THE SVMME OF CHRISTIAN RELIGION: Deliuered by ZACHA­RIAS VRSINVS in his Le­ctures vpon the Catechism auto­rised by the noble Prince FREDE­RICK, throughout his dominions:

Wherein are debated and re­solued the Questions of whatsoe­uer points of moment, which haue beene or are controuersed in Diuinitie.

Translated into English by HEN­RIE PARRIE, out of the last & best Latin Editions, together with some sup­plie of wāts out of his Discourses of Di­uinitie, and with correction of sundrie faults & imperfections, which ar as yet remaining in the best corrected Latine.

AT OXFORD. Printed by IOSEPH BARNES, & are to be sold in Pauls Churchyard at the signe of the Tygres head, 1587.

TO THE RIGHT HONORA­BLE, HENRIE EARLE OF PEN­BROOKE, LORD HARBERT OF CARDIFF, MARMION, AND S. QVINTINE, KNIGHT OF THE MOST NOBLE ORDER OF THE Garter, and Lord President of WALES, Grace and peace, with encrease of Honor.

IF in this time of trou­ble, and disorderlie age of the world, it may not seeme, right Honorable, ouer-great bold­nes in mee to presse your Ho­nour with these my labours, who are already ouer-pressed with your owne, which with continual and vncessant care & watchfulnes you vn­dertake for the quiet & repose of this our Church & Countrie: I shal humbly craue of your Honor to lend a fauourable eie vnto this litle work, & to reach your hand of approbation vnto it, that so beeing fenced with your honourable protection & countenance, it may the more securely & freely put it self in the view, & beare the face & countenance of others. The rea­sons & causes which haue induced mee to presume thus farre, are such as I make no doubt, but vpon de­claration [Page] of them to obtaine and finde your Honour most ready and easie in yeelding your assent. For, were it that your auncient fauour and good will ma­nifoldly extended to my father, who long since de­parted this mortality, had not at all stretched to met his sonne, but had with him alone both liued & died: Yet might not I, without some skar of impiety, com­mit that euer the memory of that should die in mee, the profit & pleasure whereof I knew in him so long to liue. But seeing it hath further also, as I lately was giuen to vnderstand, so pleased your Honour, that this happy course of your fauor should not begin & end in one, but should continue & lineally run on; & that the force & vertue thereof, should passe conti­nuately from the root vnto the brāches: much more blameable verily would be my silent forgetfulnesse, & double would the fault be, where dutie doublie is required. In which considerations, if I should haue made any distrust of your good acceptatiō, or should any way haue with-drawen this small present, by misdoubting the welcome it should receiue at your Honours handes: I might haue beene most iustly ar­raigned & condemned of an vndutiful & vngrateful cogitation, being without al either colour of excuse, or shadowe of pretence to free & acquite mee from it. And that especially, seeing the Author, whom I interprete, & the matter which hee conteineth, are both of that qualitie, as, if I stoode to waite & ex­pect a fit time & a worthy person for them, no time might seeme fitter than this for which I should re­serue them, no person worthier than your selfe to whom I might present them.

[Page]For this beeing the time, & these the euill daies, wherein Satan & the powers of darcknesse haue bro­ken loose vpon the chosen of God, & the broode of Antichrist, hatched long agoe, but neuer flush vntill now, haue, by the cōmission of their Dam, taken their flight out of their nests, in which they roosted for a season, & are flowen in flocks abroade into all coasts & countries christian, to charm with sweet, but false notes of hereticall melodie the hearts of silly people, & the wits euen of the Gallants of this worlde: what greater opportunity & more fit occasion, in respect of these & the like occurrences, could haue offered it selfe vnto me, or I haue wished, for the bestowing of either my paines on this Booke, or this Booke on my deare Country? Which as it giueth place to no Realme nor Region of the earth in the constant loue & fast embracing of the booke of books the Volume of the highest, & the blessed trueth of God almighty: so is it not behind them in beeing assaulted & shaken euerie way, what by the casts & complots of forrai­ners, what by Diuelish practises, conspiracies, & pro­ditions of Domesticals, that some-way at least it might be throwen down, clogged with a yoke of ser­uitude, & enthralled to the slauery of the man of sin.

For the better effectuating of which their purpo­ses, & more cunning & currant bringing them to passe, how of late yeares, yea & daies, many fugitiue persons of this our Country, ordained & sacred by their Superiours to this good end, haue made their returne in swarmes vnto vs with outlandish minds & Doctrine, to inspire the people with heresie & rebel­lion: none so farre in any course of life remooued & [Page] estrainged from publicke action, whose eares haue not beene mooued, & his verie heart wounded with these tidings. No time or season which they haue omitted, no place, no creeke, no corner in this land which they haue not sought out, no person from al­most the highest potentate to the lowest woorme, whom they haue not felt, &, except hee hath beene too sound, sounded & wagged & lifted at too, that they might plant & supplant, set & vnset, roote in & roote vp,D. Allen, in his Apologie of their two Seminaries; and in other his treatises of like trage­die. & all, as one of their old whining Prophets soothly & solemnly with teares full often telleth the Christian world, to bring vs home vnto the lap of our mother, holie Church, of which their Lorde the Pope is holy father. Well may hee be her father, but then such a father doubtlesse hath he beene vnto her, as is recounted by ancient Historie Aruntius a Romane to haue bin vnto his virgin daughter Medullina,Plutar. in Pa­rallel. with whom in the darke, rapt with a pang of drunkennes, he committed incest. But were the Church of that remorse of conscience & resolute courage in reuen­ging herselfe for this spiritual villanie, as was that vir­gin for suffering that corporall force & rauishment: Shee would burne within her inflamed with a fiery zeale of holie indignation, & drawing out this ince­stuous Romane, who hath defiled her in the darknes of Idolatrie, himselfe drunken with the cup of for­nication, would bring him vnto the altar, euen that altar of the Lord, which hee hath made a witnesse of so many his hateful pollutions & incests, & there slay him before God, for the appeasing of his ire & wrath towards her, & for the washing away of this so grie­uous a blot & high reproch of her Virginity.

[Page]The which that the poore seduced people of our land, may bee the better enabled, & more throughlie animated to take in hande & put in execution, who nowe as shaken & shattered reedes are carried and blowen awaie with euery puffe & blast, euery breath & winde of Iesuiticall mouthes: I haue, in charitable regard & commiseration of their cases most misera­ble, taken into my handes this learned Abridgement comprising in no great roome the very full bodie & course of all Diuinity & Christianity, & opened the hidden treasures thereof vnto them in their mother-speech, that nowe no longer, (after they are once brought to the light & knowledge of their whole du­ty, what to God, what to their Soueraigne, what to euerie man & their natiue Country they must per­forme) they suffer themselues to be slocked away, by wily merchants, from Christ their Master; neither stand in a mammering, as men rent in sunder, a part here, & a part there, a part with Belial, & a part with Christ, a part with Spaine, & a part with England, a part with the Pope, & a part with Queen Elizabeth: but all may in an vnanimity of cōsent striue one way, folowe one Christ, liue loially in their own Country, vnder their owne blessed Liege & Lady, with all prosperity.

Whose person then, in a woorke of so great mo­ment and so good importance, might I haue prefer­red before, or matched in equall ballance with your Honor, to whose fauour & patronage I should com­mend it: of whose zeale, wisedome & industry most constantlie shewed in this cause of God, her Maiesty, the Church & publike weale of this kingdome, thou­sands [Page] of those, who are nowe liuing in those Prouin­ces, ouer which you are placed, cannot but yeelde their testimonie to that, the fruit & benefit whereof they liue & ioy in, and which deserueth not onelie a present remembrance, but a perpetuall registring & recommendation to all succeeding ages.

In which most worthy and noble endeuours, as it hath pleased God to make and appoint you a chiefe and principall instrument for the continuance of his Gospel, and for the eternising of his name & glo­rie here amongest vs: So beseech I him, that it will please him so to make and appoint you still, & with an enlarged bountie & liberalitie so to encrease the riches of his graces & gifts in you, that you may with strength go forward, continue, and neuer giue ouer in this holie & honourable race of your life, & in the glorious quarell of Christ & his spouse; vntill when in the end without end you may reigne with him in glorie.

Your Honors most humble at commaund, HENRY PARRIE.

TO THE CHRISTIAN REA­DERS HENRY PARRIE WISHETH GRACE AND PEACE THROVGH IESV CHRIST OVR LORD.

WHereas but a smal and short remnaunt of daies is alotted vnto euerie of vs to trie the ha­zard and aduenture of this world in Christes holy Merchandize, (yet forty yeares, and the yongest may, the oldest must depart) I bee­ing subiect to this common case, and most certaine vncertainty of our life; neither knowing, if perhaps at this present my staffe standeth next the doore: haue beene and am desirous and earnest in this behalfe, so to bestow all my possible endeuours and labours in this my Lord and Masters trafique, as that neither I may returne vnto him with a Talent in a napkin, and withall may leaue behind mee some poore token and testimony of my loue and duty to­wards him and his blessed Spouse, with future posterity.

Which my desire and earnest deliberation strugling and striuing so long within me, vntil it had gotten the conquest of such shamefast and fearful motions, wherewith men are well acquainted, who are at al acquainted with their owne infir­mities: I was thereby at length drawen to this bold and har­dy resolution, as to commit something to the presse, and so to the eies of them, whose great and sharp censures, I haue euer with trembling thought of heretofore, and euen now would flie them with al willingnes.

[Page]Wherefore also in respect hereof, & of the greennes of my age, so hath the flame and heat of my desire been slaked and cooled with the water as it were of fear, wherewith I shake in mine owne conceit: as I haue not presumed to draw anie shaft out of mine owne quiuer, or to present the world with an vn­timely fruite of so yong a tree: but rather haue made choise of a shaft out of the Lordes armory, framed by the hand and skill of the Lords work-man, fit to make the man blessed who hath his quiuer full of them.

If yet in this I haue been presumptuous, if bolde, if vndis­creete, if foolish: my brethren, for your sakes haue I bin so: for your sakes haue I bin presumpteous, bold, vndiscreete, & foo­lish, euen for you and for your children. The greater is my hope and trust, that these whatsoeuer my paines and labours shall find fauor and grace in your sights, and receiue good en­tertainment at your hands; bicause for you they haue bin vn­dertaken, and the gains and commodity, that shal arise ther­of (if by the blessed wil of God any shal arise) shal redound vn­to you and yours for euer.

It is a case lamentable, deseruing the bowels of al Christi­an pitty and compassion, and able to cause the teares of sor­row to gush out and streame downe the face of a man, who is not frosen too hard in security and in an vncharitable care­lesnes: when he shall but lift vp his eies, and see the wast and desolation of so many distressed soules, who in so many places of this our land & country haue bin & are daily either pined away and consumed to the bone for lack of Gods susteinance, the bread of life, the word of God, the only preseruatiue of the soule; or, through the deceitful poison of that old Sorceres and Witches Children, infected and baned vnrecouerably. Alas poore soules, fain would they haue somewhat to keep life with­in them: and therefore as famished and starued creatures, [Page] which haue beene for a space pounded vp and pin-folded in a ground of barrennes, debarred of al succor & reliefe, when e­uer they may light of any thing that may go down the throat, be it as bitter as gall, and as deadly as poison, they swallowe bitternes as suger, and lick vp death as sweet honny. And yet, (I rue to speak it) such is the hard-hartednes and brutish vnnaturalnes of manie merciles men, if yet men, who haue so flinted their foreheads, seared and sealed vp their minds and consciences in al impietie: as that they haue entred as it were into a league & bond with themselues to forget Christ, neuer to knowe the man more, neuer to speake in the name of Iesus; neuer to feed the flock of Iesus, whose soules are euen as great and dear to him, as the price they cost him. For, had not these men swornlikeOf Valen­nus the Ca [...] dinals reli­gion, who (graceles man) abiur his ecclesi­asticall voc [...] tion, to be [...] lifted vp t [...] temporall Dukedom [...] Sabellic. E [...] nead. 10. li [...] sons of the earth to possesse the earth for euer, and to leaue heauen and the heirs of heauen, euen the chosen of God, to God himself to look to: it were vncredible, naie, vn­possible were it, that after so many threats & warnings from heauen, from earth, from God, from men, from their foes a­broad, and their frinds at home, they should not yet once, not once descend into a dutifull consideration of this their heauy trespasse, and so with a speedy industrie and assiduitie reenter and recouer those their forsaken charges, which a long while haue languished and worne awaie for want of pasture, and ly now (the deer lambs of Christ Iesus) stretched on the ground for faintnes, fetching their groanes deepe, and their pantes thicke, as readie to giue ouer and to yeelde vp the Ghost. O Lord, are not thine eies vpon the truth? Ierem. 5.3 thou hast stri­ken these men, but they haue not sorrowed; thou hast consumed them, but they haue refused to receiue cor­rectiō: they haue made their faces harder thā a stone, & haue refused to return. Not the losses and vnsupporta­ble calamities of Christs people, not the miserable apostasie & [Page] grieuous falling awaie (woe to vs therefore) of multitudes of the ignorant and vnlettered men from the Apostolicke faith and the Church of Christ, not the certaine daungers and ha­zards of their owne persons, Wiues, Children, and Kinsfolkes (with all which rods of his fatherly chastisement God hath latelie, in his iustice tempered with surpassing mercy, visited them) can awake or rouze them out of that dead and deadlie slumber, wherby they haue as much as in them lieth betraied to the powers and forces of Satan Gods sacred enheritance, and laid open the precious flock of Christ to the mouthes and teeth of Woolues.

But would God the burden of this sin rested onelie on the neckes of these rechlesse persons, whose extreme barbaritie yet in letting, through their profane absence, their harmlesse sheepe to drop awaie by famine of the word, hath raised a lou­der cried and clamour against them in the eares of God, than any we are able to make by our most iust cōplaint in the eares of men. Another swarme of Caterpillers there are, the very trash and rifraffe of our nation: who deeming it a more easie life to say seruice in the church, than do seruice in the house, and to stand at the altar of God, than to followe the plough of their Master, haue, like men of idle & dissolute quality, on­ly moued thereto in a lazie speculation, laide their wicked & sacrilegious hands on the Lords Arke, vnreuerently entred, with shooes and all, into his Temple, taken his vndefiled Testimonies in their defiled mouthes, disgraced, defaced, and diffamed the glorie & maiesty of diuine rites and mysteries, through their beggarly entring into, & base demeaning thē ­selues in so high an office. Gape not these men, trow you, for new miracles to rain out of heauen? As if Christ must needs for their sakes lay the foundation of his Church again, & cal again from the net, & the receit of custom, and other trades [Page] of this world such as hee would dispatch abroad for this holy Message, that so these artisans might be inuested with A­postleships, Doctorships, and the rooms of Prophets, as ready men after a nights sleepe, or an hours trance to turn the book of God, & menage the keies of Heauen. But my frind, be not deceiued: awake out of sleep, & dream no more.Zach. 13. [...] Thou art no Prophet; thou art an husbandman, & taught to be an heardman from thy youth vp. Get away therefore with speed from the Lords house, if thou be a cleauer, to thy wedge and ax if a hind, to thy Masters plough; but meddle not with Gods affaires, least he break out vpon thee and destroy thee.

But in vain spend I words to brasse and Iron: who, though the Lord hath held in his hand for a long time the ful viol of his wrath, and is now wearie with holding it any longer, and about to poure it out vpon them for this their horrible trans­gression; yet staggar they not a whit at it, but run on like hū ­gry cōpanions with an eie only to the flesh pots, and so sel both themselues & their people for a morsel of bread, & a messe of pottage to the diuel. Shal I not visit for these things, saith the Lord? Ierem. 9. [...] Or shal not my soule be auenged on such a nation as this? Yes doubtlesse, hee, who is able to muster the cloudes and winds, and to fight with heauenly powers against vs, shal and wil, if wee leaue not off to make such hauok of his children, be auenged on vs; he shal raise vp the standard, and make the trumpet blow, nether shal suffer the sight of the one to passe our eies, nor the soūd of the other to forsake our ears, vntil destruction come vpon destruction, death vpon death, plague vpon famine, and sword vpon both, to the vtter ouer­throw both of our selues & Country perpetually. Nay rather, O God, if there bee any place for mercy, (and why should wee doubt of mercy with thee the God of mercy?) looke not vpon this drosse and filth wherewith thy holy house hath bin pollu­ted, [Page] but sweep them out; but looke, O Lorde, with thy tender eie of compassion vppon thy silly people (for what haue they done?) and stirre them vp daiely for Pastors and Prophetes wise and skilfull men, whose lips may keepe knowledge, and whose hands may break vnto them the bread of life.

Now, that this may haue a more mature & happy successe, I am humbly to beseech and solicite (if so this my simple work come vnto their hands) the Reuerend Fathers of this Land, to whom I acknowledge al duty & submission in the Lord, & whom with al reuerence I solicit in this the Lords cause, that if their authority be not able to stretch so far as to the throw­ing out of these dum, deafe, and blind watch-men out of Gods tabernacle, into which they haue been shuffled (against manie of their Honors wils) by those accursed Simoniacal Patrons, who haue sodred & simoned the wals of their houses with the verie bloud of soules: yet it may please their wisedoms to con­straine and compell these, wheresoeuer they shal find them in any of their Dioceses, to the reading and diligent studying of those books which their owne country-men, moued with mere pittie towardes them and their flocks, haue painfully deliue­red vnto them in a tongue familiar and common to them all.

And if it shal seeme so good and expedient to their Ho­nours, to adioine these my labours vnto the paines and tra­uels of many the seruants of God who haue with great praise endeuored in the like matter on the like respects heretofore: I make no doubt, but that out of this short, yet ful Summe of Christian Religion, God adding his blessing thereunto, they may in short time receiue such furniture and instruction, as they shal saue both themselues and others, who both else are in case to perish euerlastingly. But if their feete wil walke on in the way of blindnes, and themselues refuse to come out of the darknes of ignorance into the bright light of Gods know­ledge: [Page] yet wil I not faint in hope for Israel but wil looke when yet once againe God himselfe shal smite on rockes, and water shal flowe out of them, that his people in this time of drought maie drinke.

Euen so, O God, for thy promise sake, and for thy troth of ould plighted in thy beloued Sonne vnto thy chosen, open the rock of stone againe, let againe the waters, the liuing waters of thy word flow out, and let the sauing riuers of thy Gospell runne, and stop not, through al drie places of our Land, that men and Angels may see the felicity of thy Chosen, and re­ioice in the gladnes of thy people, and giue thanks, and praise, and glory, and honour, with thine inheritance, vnto thy bles­sed name for euer.

A CATECHISM OF CHRISTIAN RELIGION.

1 What is thy onely comfort in life and death?

THat both in soule, & bo­dy1. Cor 6.19. 1. Thes. 5.10., whether I liue or dieRom. 14 8., I am not mine own, but belong1. Cor. 3.23. wholy vnto my most faithful Lord & Sauiour Iesus Christ: who by his precious blood most fullie satisfying1. Pet. 1.18. 1 Iohn. 1.7. & 2.2. for all my sinnes hath deliue­ [...]ed1. Iohn. 38. Heb. 2.14.15. mee from all the power of the diuell, and so reseruethIohn. 6.39. me, that without the will of my hea­ [...]enly Father, not so much as a haire may falMat. 10.30. Luke. 21.18. from [...]y head: yea all thinges mustRom. 8.28. serue for my safe­ [...]y. Wherefore by his Spirit also he assureth2 Cor. 1.22. & 5.5. Eph. 1.14. mee [...]f euerlasting life, and makethRom. 8.24. me ready, and pre­ [...]ared, that henceforth I may liue to him.

2 How many thinges are necessarie for thee to know, that thou enioying this comfort maist liue & die happilie?

ThreeLuk. 24.47. 1. Cor. 6.11. Rom. 8.16. Tit. 33.4.5.6.7 8.. The first, what is the greatnesIohn 9.41. Rom. 3. of my sin, & misery. The second, how I am deliueredIohn. 17.3. from all sinne and miserie. The third, what thankes I oweEphes. 5.10. 1. Pet. 2.9. & 3.10.11.12. Rom. 6.11.12.13. Mat. 5.16. 2. Tim. 2.15. vnto God for this deliuerie.

There is a three-fold order, or there are three partes of the studie of diuinitie.

THE first is a Catecheticall institution, or briefe summe of Christian doctrine, which is called a Catechisme, and is a briefe explication of the generall pointes of the same doctrine. This part is necessarie. For both the learned and vnlearned ought to know the foundation of religion.

The second, a handling of common places, or cōmon places, which contein a larger explication of euery point, and of hard quaestions, together with their subdiuisions, reasons, and argumentes.

The third, a diligent meditation of the scripture, or holy writte. This is the highest degree, for which we learne all the rest: to wit, that we may come furnished to the reading, vnderstanding, and propounding of the holy Scripture. Those former partes are taken out of the Scripture: and a­gaine common places do lead vs vnto the Scripture, which is as it were a rule, by which they are directed.

What a Ca­techisme is. A CATECHISME is a briefe doctrine, framed for youth & the ruder sort, con­teining in it the summe of the doctrine of the Law & Gospel, or of Christian re­ligion, which being deliuered, is requi­red againe at the handes of the auditors. It is so called of a Greek woord, [...], which signifieth to resound, or to returne a voice back a­gain Eccho-like: because that children did by mouth make rehearsall of those thinges which were asked them, and [Page 3] which they had hard. Catechumeni in the primitiue church, were those who learned the Catechisme: that is to say, such as were now of the Church, and were instructed in christian Doctrine. Neophyti, or Nouices, were those who were but new come vnto the Church, so called from twoo Greeke woords, [...] and [...], which signify a new plant. Of the Catechumenes there were twoo sortes. 1 Those who first be­ing of some yeares, whether of the Iewes or of the Gentils, afterward came vnto Christ, but were not as yet baptised. These were first instructed in the Catechisme, and after­wards baptised, and admitted to the Lords supper. 2. Those who were borne in the Church. That is, the Children of Christi­ans. These eftsoones after their birth, as being members of the Church, were baptised, and after they were growen a little elder, they were instructed, and confirmed by laying on of handes, and so dimissed out of the companie of the Catechumenes, so that it was lawfull for them thence-for­ward to draw neer vnto the Lordes Supper.

This Catechising doctrine hath euer been in the Church. For in the olde Testament God himselfe in briefe-wise de­liuered the doctrine of the Lawe & Gospell, the Decalog & the promises, as when hee saith, Walke before me, Gen. 17.1. Gen. 22.18. and be thou perfect. Likewise, In thy seed shal al nations of the earth be blessed. Now these things God would that Abraham and his poste­ritie should teach their Children, and their whole familie: and therefore this doctrine was framed fit for the capacity of Children, and the ruder sort. In the old Testament fur­thermore there were also sacrifices, praiers, & other things, in which the youth were instructed. In the new Testament, in the Apostles time, there was likewise a Catechising do­ctrine: as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrewes repor­teth. Therefore, leauing the doctrine of the beginning of Christ, Heb. 6.1. let vs be led forward vnto perfection, not laying againe the foundati­on of repentance: that is the beginning of Christian doctrine, which comprehendeth repentance and faith. These first beginnings or principles of Christian doctrine are called in the same place the doctrine of baptismes, because they that were of some yeares before they came to christ, were first instructed, before they were baptised. It is called also the doctrin of laying on of hands, because the Catechisme was required at their handes (that [Page 4] they should be able to answere in it) on whom hands were laid, that is to say, of the children of Christians, who were baptised in their infancy. The parts of these rudimentes of Christian doctrine, which they cal Catechisme, are the Lawe and the Gospel, or (as it is said in the place afore named vnto the Hebrews) repentance and faith in Christ. Semblably the fa­thers also write Briefe summes of doctrine: certain remnants of which we see as yet in Popery.

Now it behoueth that the youth be by and by instructed in this doctrine, and doe knowe the foundation. 1. Because of the com­mandement of God, [...]eut. 6.7. Thou shalt tell them vnto thy children. 2. Because we are so corrupted, that, except we be timely in­formed of the wil of God, hardly, or neuer we learne to do things acceptable vnto God, and scarsely suffer ourselues with much adoe to be withdrawen from those errors which happily we drunk in, in our childhood. 3. Because we are to hold the foundation, vpon which we may build, and vn­to which we may referre those thinges which wee reade.

4. Because God receaueth not into fauour those, who by their iudgement cannot discerne betweene things ho­nest and dishonest (this is to be vnderstood touching those, who are able to receaue instruction) neither doth saluation befal to those who haue vnderstanding, without agnising and profession of the truth, or without faith & repentance. This is life eternall, Iohn. 17.3. Rom. 10.17. that they know thee to be the only verie God. And, faith commeth by hearing. Now no man beleeueth in him of whom he hath neuer heard. There must therefore in the Church be deliuered such a summe of doctrine, of which the ruder and yonger sort also may bee capable. 5. Because of order and seemlines. For as the Children of the Iewes after Circumcision were instructed in the Lawe: so it be­seemeth vs also after Baptisme to instruct our little ones in the first principles of Religion. 6 It is necessary also for the rude and yonger sort that they bee seuered and discerned from the Heathen. Obiection. But we may haue an implicit or confused faith. Therefore no neede of instruction. Aun­swere. No faith is without knowledge: therfore there is need of instructiō.Rom. 10.14. Iohn. 3.36. How shal they beleeue in him of whom they haue not hard? He that beleeueth not in the Sonne, the wrath of God abideth on him.

OF THE HOLY SCRIPTVRE.

WE see all men, who at leastwise striue not to cast off all sense of humanitie, to im­brace and professe some opinion of God and his wil, as also some manner of wor­shipping him, partly drawen from nature her selfe, and partly by persuasion recea­ued: which is it that they cal Religiō. Now albeit al wil easily grant that to be the true Religion, which hath beene deliuered by God himselfe, neither will they seem to haue come vnto that degree of impudency, as not to yeeld their assent vnto God when he speaketh of him­selfe and of his owne wil: yet notwithstanding, which maie be that Religion deliuered from aboue, wil neuer be agreed vpon amongest men, vntil our Lord Iesus Christ returning to iudge the quick and dead, doe decide the controuersie. There are two opinions of Religion. The one deemeth that in euery Religion, which doth leade a man towardes God, saluation is to be found. The iust man shal liue by his faith, that is, euery man (as these men interpret it) shall liue by his faith, what maner so euer it be. But this opinion is not true: because there is but one true Religion: others are false, ly­ing at variance with the true, according as it is said: He that beleeueth not in the Sonne, the wrath of God abideth on him. The other opinion thinketh (and that rightly) that that is the true Religion, in which God is truely worshipped, and that to be but one, & that in it onely men shal be saued. But the Church of God doth certainly know, and though all the Diuels and wicked ones stamp at it, doth professe that this is the alone true and wholesome doctrine of God and his worship, which God himselfe euen from the creation of man deliuered by his owne voice to our first fathers, and afterwards would haue to be contained in the scriptures by the Prophets and Apostles. Since then whatsoeuer we may affirme of God and the saluation of men, doth depend on the written word, we wil first consider these foure things as touching the Scripture, before wee come to make reci­tall what our selues affirme.

[Page 6]1 What the holie Scripture teacheth: or, how Christian doctrine is diuided.

2 What Religion, deliuered in the Scriptures, differeth from o­ther religions: or how we ought to discerne the true Church, and to disseuer her from other sects.

3 From whence it appeareth, this Religion alone to be true and diuine: and al others to be forged.

4 For what cause no doctrine besides the holy Scripture is to bee receaued into the Church.

OF THE FIRST QVESTION.

What the holy scripture teacheth. THE argument and summe of the whole sacred Scripture cannot be more rightly, nor more sim­ply, nor with more perspicuous breuitie comprised, thē the holy Ghost hath comprised it in the ten commandements, & Creed, in which the Articles of our Faith are rehearsed: which will be manifest inough if we remē ­ber that the whole Scripture consisteth of twoo partes, the Law and the Gospell. The Catechisme of Heidelberg maketh mention of three, of which yet the first & the third appertaine vnto the Law. Others make fiue parts: The De­calog or tenne commandements, the Law, the Creed, the Sacraments, and praier. But the Decalog is the summe of the Law: and therefore is it to be referred vnto the Law, which is the former part. The Creede conteineth the summe of the Gospel: and therefore must it be referred vnto the Gospell, which is the secōd part. The Sacraments are as appurtenāces adioined vnto the doctrine of the Gospel: therfore also they are referred vnto the second part. Praier is a part of the worship of God; and therefore to be referred vnto the Law. There are also who say, this doctrine of the Church is diui­ded. 1. Into the doctrine as touching God, 2. into the doctrin concerning his wil, 3. into the doctrine concerning his 1 works. But these three parts are handled both in the Lawe, and in the Gospel.An argument from the di­uision. 1. For al the doctrine concerning God is either of the nature, or of the will, or of the workes of God. [Page 7] Wherefore what the nature of God is, is taught in the Law and Gospel. His wil is seene either in his commandements, or in his threatnings, or in his promises. Now his works ei­ther are his benefites, or the iudgementes of his will, which are to be beheld in the creation, after the fal, & in the resto­ring of man. Besides these, the sinnes also of men and di­uels are described. And of all these wee are taught, either in the Law, or in the Gospel, or in both. Wherefore the Law & the Gospel are the chiefe generall heads which compre­hend al the doctrine of the Scripture.

2 Christ himselfe hath made this diuision, saying: So it is 2 written, and so it behooued Christ to suffer, Testimonies. and to rise from the dead the third day, and that in his name should be preached repen­tance, and remission of sinnes. Now all this is conteined in the Law and the Gospell.

3 Because the Law and the Gospel doe comprehend the 3 same, which are comprehended in the writings of the Pro­phets and Apostles, and in the doctrine of the Church, in which is comprehended, what God hath done vnto vs, and what of vs hee requireth. Therefore haue we well diuided the Doctrine of the Church into the Law and the Gospel.

4 We doe gather also the self-same argument of the holy 4 scripture by this,From the de­finition of the subiect, to wit, the couenant. that the bookes of the Prophets and apo­stles are called the old and new Testament. For it is wel known that here by the name of Testament is meant the couenant. If then the couenant which is between God and the faith­full bee described in these bookes, it must needes bee that in them is declared what God promiseth and what hee doth vnto vs, to wit, his fauour, remission of sinnes, his holy spirit, righteousnes, and life euerlasting, and preseruation of his Church in this life, by and for his sonne our mediatour: as also what he requireth of vs, that is to say, faith, by the which we receaue his benefits: and a life framed according to his commandementes, by which wee declare our thank­fulnes. And these are the thinges which are taught in the Law and Gospell.

5 Neither is the meaning of the holy Ghost otherwise,5 From the Subiect cor­relatiue of the couenāt. when in a woorde he sayeth, that Christ is taught in the whole Scripture, and that hee alone is to be sought there. For Paul truely, as also the rest of the Apostles, did not [Page 8] propose a maimed, but a whole doctrine vnto the churches, euen as himselfe witnesseth, Act. 20. That hee kept nothing backe, but shewed all the counsell of God concerning the Ephesians. And yet the selfe-same Apostle 1 Cor. 2. saith: That hee knew nothing but Iesus Christ, and him crucifyed. And Cap. 3. That the foundation of the doctrine of the Church is Christ alone: And that this foundation is common to the Prophets together with the Apostles. Wherefore the Doctrine concerning Christ, is the summe and scope of the Scripture, and the founda­tion laid by the Prophets and Apostles, on which whosoe­uer rely not, they are not stones of the Temple of God, that is, members of Christes Church.

OF THE SECOND QVESTION.

SINCE that we do vnderstand, what is the Doctrine of the Church,Wherefore true religion is to be dis­cerned from others. cōteined in the books of the Prophets and Apostles, to wit, the sound and vncorrupt voice of the Law of God and the Gospell concerning Christ: easie it is & necessarie for vs to discerne it from al other religi­ons. 1 Because of the comman­dement of God,1 Cause. The com­mandement of God. 1. Iohn 5.39. 1. Cor. 10. 1 Cor 6.17. Apoc 18.4. E [...]a [...] 52.11. [...] Iohn. 10. 2. [...]me. The glory of God. 2. Cor. 6.15. which ought to suffice vs whether we know the cause, or no. Flie Idols, Depart from her, my people. Be not yo­ked with Infidels. Be yee holy. Touch no vncleane thing, yee that beare the vessels of the Lord. Hee that bringeth not this doctrine, bid him not, God speede.

2 For the glorie of God: who as hee will not haue him-self coupled with idols and diuels: So also hee will haue his truth seuered from lies, and his houshold to bee separated from the enemies of the Church, that is, from the children of Satan. It were contumelious so to thinke of God, as that he would haue such Children, as persecute him. There is no agreement betweene Christ and Belial.

[...]. Our salua­tion.3 For our owne saluation, and that in two respects. 1. That the Church may be known, that is, may be beheld, vnto the which the faithful may ioyne them-selues. Whereas if thou canst not discern the true Church from the false, thou shalt [Page 9] [...]ot know vnto which to ioyne thy selfe, and what maner of woorship thou oughtest to follow. For God will, that all which are to he saued be gathered vnto the Church, accor­ding as it is said, Out of the Church there is no saluation. 2. In regard of our comfort: that euery one may know of what kingdome they are, and whether they be of those vn­to whom God promiseth saluation. This canst thou not know, except thou canst discerne the true Church from false churches.

4 The doctrine of other sectes,4. The confir­mation. and the difference is ne­cessarie to be knowen, that our faith and comfort may bee the surer, when as we see that to be in our Church, which [...]is wanting in others: likewise when as wee perceiue what is the cause, why they who make profession of our doctrine he saued, but all other sectes together with their sectaries be damned.

5 Least wee being deceaued should embrace the doctrine of some other sect, for true Religion.5. The eschu­ing of dan­ger. Act. 4 Iohn. 10. For there is no saluation in any other: neither among men is there giuen any other name vn­ [...]der heauen, whereby wee must bee saued. Therefore is it said, He that is the sheepheard of the sheepe, him doe the sheep follow: because they know his voice: and they wil not follow a stranger, but they flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers. It is ne­cessarie therefore that the sheep know how to discerne the voice of the sheepherd from the voice of wolues, according vnto the rule 1. Iohn. 4 Beleeue not euerie spirit. For Sathan is wont to transforme himselfe into an Angel of light, and the most part of Heretikes doe imitate the woords of true tea­chers, whereas their opinions are most different. And wee oftentimes see that the ruder sort, when as they perceaue some similitude in some either rites or opinions, are easily lead to beleeue, that the aduersaries of the Church do pro­fesse either the same religion with vs, or not so bad as wee make it: or since that they haue some thing common with vs, that it is not much material whether they let passe some thinges, or ad some others. Wherefore least some shewe of likenes may beguile any man, it is profitable that the mani­fest and vniuersal differences of the true and false religions may be laid open to the sight.

6 Least we be partakers of the punishments which are to6. Punish­ment. [Page 10] come on such men.Apoc. 18.4. Goe out of her, that ye be not partakers in her sinnes, and that ye receaue not of her plagues.

7 That the wic­ked may bee left vnex­cuseable.7 That the wicked may bee left vnexcuseable. For albeit an acknowledging of God is neither sufficient to saluation, nor true without the doctrine of the Church: yet so much of God is manifested vnto al men, as is sufficient to take a­way al excuse from them for their impiety. For neither vnto these very things, which may truely bee gathered concer­ning God by the light of nature and frame of the world, do they giue their assent, neither go they forward to seeke a more full knowledge of God, vnto the which those thinges are as it were spurs to pricke them forward: but either they doe quite and clean reiect them, or they draw them vnto an other meaning, and stitch their own inuentions vnto them, besides and against the testimonie of the whole nature of things and their owne consciences. So that they are igno­rant indeed of God, but that of stubbornes and of purpose.

And this is the very cause why at length they are op­pressed with desperation, because they are conuicted by the force of the trueth to haue stubbornely sought after error and blindnes.

The difference of this true doctrine from others.

1 This doctrine was deliuered from God: other Sectes are sprung from men, and haue beene inuented by Diuels.

2 True Religion hath firme testimonies, diuine, such as quiet consciences,The Law by nature known, yet darckened. and conuince al other Sects of error.

3 In the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles is deliue­red the whole Lawe of God, rightly vnderstood and vncor­rupt: and both the Tables of the Law are perfectly kept. As for other Sects, they cast away the principal parts of Gods Law, that is to say, the doctrine concerning the true know­ledge and worshippe of God, which is contained in the for­mer Table of the Decalog: as also they do reiect the inward and spirituall obedience of the second Table. That little good and true which they haue is a part of the commande­ment concerning the discipline conteined in the second Table, or concerning the outwarde and ciuile duties to­wardes men.

The Gospel by nature not knowen.4 The whole Gospel of Christ, & that rightly vnderstood, is in the true church alone taught, and in this true doctrine [Page 11] alone is it contained. Other sects either are clean ignorant of it, as the Ethnickes, Philosophers, Iewes, Turkes, who al­so are as very enemies of the Church: or they doe patch some litle part of it out of the doctrine of the Apostles vnto their owne errors, of which part yet they neither know nor perceiue the vse, as the Arrians, Papists, Anabaptists, and al other Heretikes, of whom some concerning the person, others concerning the office of our mediator, maintaine errors. Al these, though they arrogate vnto themselues the title of the Church, and professe the name of Christ: yet (since that they depart from that onely foundation of the Church which is Christ, that is, since they do not acknow­ledge Christ either to be true God, or true man, neither do seek for righteousnes and saluation wholy in him) they are not the members of the true Church not so much as in out­ward profession, as it is said, 1. Iohn. 4. Euery spirit which con­fesseth not that Iesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God: and this is the spirit of Antichrist.

The difference of this true Doctrine from Philosophie.

It is true that wee studie Philosophie, and not the Do­ctrine of other sectes: but yet there is a very great differēce between these twoo Doctrines. 1. Philosophie is whollie naturall: but the principall part of this doctrine (that is, the Gospel) is reuealed from aboue euen from God. 2. On­ly this doctrine declareth the Gospel: Philosophie is quite ignorant of it. 3. The Doctrine of the Church sheweth the originals of our miseries: Philosophie doth not so. 4 This doctrine whereas it doth assure vs of eternal life, it doth mi­nister comfort vnto our consciences, and sheweth vs the way how to wade out of dangers: Philosophie teacheth vs not so much as this. 5. Of this we are taught the whole Law: Philosophie letteth passe the chiefest partes. Indeede Phi­losophie conteineth two partes profitable for mans life, as Logick, Mathematikes & others which God would not de­liuer in this doctrine: But as concerning this doctrine, Phi­losophie hath but a little part of the Law, & that obscure­ly, and that taken out but of a few preceptes of the Law. It hath certain common comforts: those that are not com­mon it hath not, as being proper vnto the Church. Commō [Page 12] comfortes are these. 1 The prouidence of God, or the ne­cessitie of obaying him. 2. A good conscience. 3. The woor­thines of vertue. 4. The final causes or the endes which ver­tue proposeth. 5. The examples of others. 6. Hope of reward. 7. A comparing of euentes: because a lesse euil is compared vnto a greater. Those comforts which are not common but proper vnto the Church, are, 1. Remission of sinnes. 2. The presence of God in miseries themselues. 3. Our finall de­liuerie.

Certaine notes or markes, by which the Church is distingui­shed from others.

The marks, which distinguish the Church, or the profes­sors of true doctrine from others, are these. 1. Puritie of do­ctrine. 2. The right vse of the Sacramentes. 3. Obedience to­wards God and his doctrine, both in life and maners. Many times truly great vices do grow in the Church, but they are not maintained, as falleth out in other Sectes. For the true Church is the first her selfe that doth comprehend and condemne them, before any other. As long as this remai­neth, so long remaineth the Church.

OF THE THIRD QVESTION.

Whence it may appeare that this Re­ligion alone was deliue­red of God which is con­teined in the Scripture. GOD in the very creation of the woorld put this bridle in the mouth of all reasonable crea­tures, that no man without ex­treme and manifest impuden­cie, such as was the Diuels in paradise, durst saie that anie thing, if it were once apparant­ly knowen to haue beene spo­ken or commaunded by God, might be called into question, or that any man might re­fuse to obey it. Here-hence are those things so often incul­cated in the Prophets, Hearken O heauens, & hearken O earth, For the Lord hath spoken. Thus saith the Lord. The woorde of the Lord came to Esaias, Ieremias, &c. Since therefore it appea­reth that the bookes of the olde and new Testament are the wordes of God, there is no place left of doubting whe­ther [Page 13] that bee the true Religion and doctrine which is con­teined in them. But whether these bookes were written by diuine instinct, and by what proofes and Testimonies we are certaine of so great a matter, this is a question not to be let passe of vs.Wherefore this question is necassary. For except this aboue all other things remain stedfast and immoueable, that whatsoeuer we read in the bookes of the Prophets and Apostles, doth as truely declare the wil of God vnto vs, as if wee did heare God o­penly speaking to vs from heauen: it cannot chuse but that the very foundation and whole certainty of Christian Re­ligion must bee weakned. Wherefore it is a consideration worthy those who are desirous of the Glory of God, and do seeke for sure comfort, to enquire whence it may appeare vnto vs that the holy Scripture is the word of God. To this question now long since answere hath bin made by the Pa­pists, that forsooth it is not otherwise certain,The first part. The autority of the Scrip­ture doth not depēd of the Church. then because the Church doth confirme it by her Testimonie. But we, as we neither reiect nor contemne the Testimony of the true Church, so we doubt not but their opinion is pestilent and detestable, who often saie that the holie Scriptures haue not their authoritie else-where then from the woorde of the Church.

For first, wicked is it and blasphemous to say,1. Reason. The reproch of God. that the au­tority of Gods woord dependeth of the testimonie of man. And if it be so, that the chiefest cause, why wee beleeue that the scriptures were deliuered from heauen, be the wit­nes of the church, who seeth not that heerby the autoritie of mans voice is made greater, then of the voice of God? For he that yeeldeth his testimonie vnto an other, so that he is the onely or the chiefe cause, why credence is giuen vnto the other, out of all doubt greater credite is giuen vn­to him, then vnto the other who receiueth his testimonie. Wherefore it is a speech most vnwoorthy the maiestie of God, that the voice of God speaking in his holie booke is not acknowledged, except it bee confirmed by the wit­nesse of men.

Secondarily:2. Reason. Our comfort. Faith is groū ­ded on ap­prooued wit­nes, therfore not on mans. wheras the doctrine of the Prophets & Apo­stles doth preach of so great matters, as the certaine know­ledge of thē is so greatly desired of all, who are well dispo­sed, and the conflictes of doubtfulnes in all mens mindes [Page 14] are so great: what full assurance of our faith can there bee, what sure consolation against the assaultes of temptations, if that that voice, on which our confidence relieth, bee no otherwise knowen vnto vs to bee indeed the voice of God, but because men say so, in whom wee see so much ig­norance, error, and vanitie to bee, that no man scarcely, especially in matters of some weight, doth attribute much vnto their woorde, except other reasons concurre with it.

3 Reason. The confu­tation of our enemies.Thirdly, the truth of God and christian religion is plain­ly exposed vnto the mockes and scoffes of the wicked, if we going about to stop their mouthes do therefore onely de­sire that we should be credited, that our Religion is from God, because our selues say so. For if they bee by no other confutation repressed, they will with no lesse shew of truth deny it, than wee affirme it.

4 Reason. Witnesses.Last of all, the scripture it selfe in many places is against this opinion, & doth chalenge a far higher authoritie vnto it selfe, thē which hangeth vpon mens woords. For so sayth Christ himselfe, Iohn. 5. I receiue not the record of man: signifi­eng thereby, that his doctrine stood not, no not on Iohn Baptists testimonie, although yet he did alleadge it, but as of lesse account, that he might omit nothing, by which men might be moued to beleeue. Therefore he addeth, But I saie these thinges that you may beleeue, I haue a greater witnes then the witnes of Iohn. And if Christ nowe beeing humbled said these thinges of himselfe, then surely shall they be no lesse true of him being in glory, and sitting in his throne: And 1. Corinth. 2. Paul saith: My word and my preaching stood not in the entising speech of mans wisedome, but in plaine euidence of the spirit, and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisedome of men, but in the power of God. If so bee then our faith must not rest no not vpon reasons wisely framed by men, much lesse shal it depend on the bare word of men. Eph. 2. the Church herselfe is said to bee builded vpon the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles. If then the confidence and confes­sion of the Church staieth on the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles, as on the foundation: the certainty of the Scripture cannot hang on the Churches witnes. For so should not the Church be vpheld by the testimonie of the Prophets and Apostles, but by her owne. And 1. Iohn. 5. it is [Page 15] said; If we receiue the witnes of men, the witnes of God is greater. If it be greater, then the authoritie of it hangeth not on the record of man: But wee are to giue more credence vnto God witnessing the Prophets and Apostles writings to bee indeede his voice, then vnto the Church affirming the same.

Now that it is said of the contrary,That they are true, the Church a­lone doth witnesse. Answere. The minor is false. That by the Churches Obiection. 1 record alone it doth appeare vnto vs, that the sacred bookes, which wee haue, were written by the Prophets and Apostles, whose names they beare in their forhead, and that euen vnto vs they are come vncorrupt: this we grant not. For God farre more certain­ly testifyeth both in the Scripture and in the hartes of his Saints, that no fained or forged thing is in these books, thē it can be by the Church, and all the creatures of the world confirmed. They therefore who stand vpon the Churches testimonie alone in this point, shew that themselues haue not as yet felt or vnderstood the chiefest testimonies.

Furthermore they say, that the bookes authentike, The discer­ning of bookes. Answere. The Minor is false. 1 The wor­king of the holy Ghost. or as they Obiection. 2 terme them, Canonical of both Testamentes are discerned from the Apocryphall by the Churches iudgement: and therefore that the autority of holy canon doth depend on the churches wisedome. But that this difference of the bookes is not determined by the churches iudgement, but being imprinted into the books themselues by the Spirite of God is onely acknow­ledged and approoued by the Church: this is easily to be vnderstood, if the causes of this difference be considered. For either in these which are called Apocryphall the force and maiesty of the heauenly spirit doth lesse euident­ly appeare in the weight and vehemency of woordes and matter, then in others, of which it is clear that they are the heauenly oracles therefore set downe in writing by diuine instinct, that they might be the rule of our faith: or it cannot be determined, neither out of these books themselues,2 The cer­tainty of au­thours. nor out of others, which are canonicall, that they were written either by the Prophets, or Apostles: because either they were not penned by those, whom God by certaine testimo­nies hath warranted vnto vs to be endued with a prophe­tical spirit: or themselues do not shew any certaine authors of them: or by their forme of speech or other reasons it may be gathered, that they were not left of them, whose names [Page 16] they beare. Now as touching either this euidence of the spirit, or certainty of the authors, we builde not our iudge­ment on the testimonie of the Church, but of the bookes themselues. And therefore not for the Churches iudge­ment onely do we iudge some bookes to be canonicall, and the foundation and rule of our faith, and do therefore ac­cept of the doctrine of other some, because they agree with the canonicall: but rather for the verie causes of this diffe­rence which wee finde in the bookes them-selues.

Obiection. 3 The Church is more anci­ent than the Scripture. 1. Answere. The minor is false.As for that, which some men say, that the Church is an­cienter then the Scriptures, and therefore of greater auto­ritie, it is too trifling. For the woord of God is the euerla­sting wisedome in God him-selfe. Neither was the know­ledge of it then first manifested vnto the Church, when it was committed to writing, but the manifesting of it began together with the creation of mankind, and the first begin­nings of the Church in paradice: yea, the woord is that im­mortall seede of which the Church was borne.

The Scrip­ture is first in nature as the cause.The Church therefore could not bee, except the woord were first deliuered. Now when wee name the holy Scri­pture, wee meane not so much the characters of the let­ters and the volumes, but rather the sentences which are conteined in them, which they shal neuer be able to prooue to be of lesse antiquitie then the Church. For albeit they were repeated and declared often after the beginning of the gathering of the Church:2. Answere. The Maior is false. A yonger workmā may be more skil­ful than an elder. yet the summe of the Law & Gospell was the same for euer.

To conclude, neither is that which they assume, alwaies true, That the autority of the ancienter witnes is greater thā of th [...] yōger. For such may be the conditiō & quality of the yonger witnes, that he may deserue greater credit then the ancien­ter. Christ being man, bare witnes of himselfe: Moses also and the Prophets had long time before borne witnes of him: neither yet is the autoritie therefore greater, no not of all the other witnesses, then of Christ alone: In like sort the Church witnesseth that the holy Scripture, which wee haue, is the woord of God: The Scripture it selfe also doth witnes of it selfe the same, but with that kinde of witnes, that is more certaine and sure than all the othes of An­gels and men.

[Page 17]There is alleadged also to this purpose a place. 1.The pillar of truth. to Ti­mot.Obiection. 4 3. Where the Church is called the pillar and ground of the truth. But since the Scripture doth teach otherwhere, and that not once, that the foundation of the Church is Christ and his word: it is manifest inough that the Church is the pillar of the truth, not a foundamentall or vpholding pil­ler, but a ministeriall, that is, a keeper and spreader of it a­broad, and as it were a mansion place or sure seat, which might carrie the truth left with her, and committed vnto her, in the open face of all mankinde:Acts. 9. Gal. 2. 1 Thes. 2. 2 Thes. 1. Tit. 1. euen as the holy A­postle Paul was called an elect vessell to beare the name of God before the gentiles and kinges: neither yet did Paul get credit vnto the Gospell, but the Gospell vnto Paul. So likewise are the Apostles termed pillars, Galat. 2. not that the Church rested on their persons, but that they were the chiefe teachers of the gospell, and as it were the chief­taines and maisters of doctrine. For a man is not bound to beleeue those that teach, on their bare woord, but for the proofes which they bring of their doctrine.

Furthermore, they alleage a sentence of Austin out of Obiection. 5 his booke entituled against the Epistle of the foundation,A place of Augustine. 1 Answere. An example maketh no rule. chap. 5. I (saith Augustine) would not beleeue the Gospell, except the authoritie of the catholicke Church did mooue mee thereunto. But first, if it were true that either Austin or some others did giue credence vnto the Gospell onely for the Churches autoritie: yet might there not bee fashioned a rule hence of that, which all men either did or ought to doe.

But that this is not the meaning of Austine,2 Aunswere. He speaketh of himselfe as yet not cōuerted, or not sufficientlie confirmed. which these mē wold haue, they do easily perceaue, who weigh both the whole course of this place, & the phrase of speech which is vsual vnto Austen. For Austen going about to shew, that the Manichees were destitute of al proof of their doctrine; first he opposeth one, who as yet beleeueth not the gospel, and denieth that such a one is able any way to be conuicted by the Manichaeans: for he were to be conuicted either by ar­gumentes drawen out of the doctrine it selfe, of which the Manichaeans haue none; or by the consent of the catholike Church, from which themselues were departed: for exam­ple sake, he proposeth himselfe, who should not haue had [Page 18] beleeued the Gospel, except the authoritie of the catholik Church had moued him thereunto. Austen therefore spea­keth this not of himselfe, as hee was then, when hee writ these things against the Manichaeans, but of himselfe, be­fore hee was yet conuerted, or not sufficiently confirmed. And that hee speaketh not of the present, but of the time past, the words that follow do manifestly declare: whom then I beleeued, when they said: Beleeue the Gospel: why should I not be­leeue them when they say: Beleeue not a Manichean? For hence it appeareth, that when he saith he was mooued especially by the authority of the Church, he meaneth it of that time, at which he obeied the Churches voice, that is, departed from the Manichaeans vnto the true Church. But after that once he was conuerted, and had perceaued the truth of doctrine; that his faith was not now any more builded on the autho­ritie of the Church, but on a far other foundation, himselfe is a most sufficient witnes for vs, whereas in the selfesame book,Therefore he did beleeue the Church especially, before he was able to per­ceiue it. cap. 14. he saith on this wise: Thou hast purposed nothing els but to commend that thy selfe beleeuest, and to laugh at that which I beleeue. And when as I of the other side shal commend that which myselfe beleeue, & laugh at that which thou beleeuest: what dost thou thinke we must determine, or do, but euen to shake handes with them, who bid vs to know certaine things, and afterward will vs to beleeue things that are vncertain: and let vs follow them, who bid vs first to beleeue that, which as yet we are not able to perceaue, that being more enhabled by faith it self, we may discerne to vnder­stand that which we do beleeue, not men now, but God himselfe in­wardly strengthning and illightning our mind. Wherefore they do manifest iniury vnto Austen, who draw that which him­selfe confesseth of himselfe, when hee was not yet conuer­ted, or was but weake, vnto that time, when he affirmeth far otherwise not of himselfe onely, but of al the godly.

For so reuerent a regard ought we to haue of the worde of God, and such also is the force and efficacy of the holie spirit in confirming the harts of beleeuers, that we beleeue God, yea without any creatures Testimony: euen as Elias forsooke not god,1. Reg. 19. The applica­tion of the answere. no not when he thought that himselfe only was left aliue of the true worshippers of God. If therefore either Austen, or whosoeuer els being not as yet conuerted vnto religiō, nor as yet hauing experiēce of the certainty of it, in [Page 19] his hart,That follo­weth not which they would. 1 Because there is more in the Con­sequent, than in the Ante­cedent. 2 Because thereis a fal­lacy of the Accident. A declarati­on of the like example. 1 The Sama­ritan. was moued rather by humane thē diuine Testimo­nies to imbrace it: it cānot therof be gathered that the cer­tainty of the holy scripture depēdeth on no other Testimo­nies, or that by no other wee are assured of it: because that, that some are moued especially by humane voices to reue­rēce it, commeth not therof to passe, for that the Scripture is not maintained by any other authority: but it chaunceth through the fault and weaknes of them, who sticking vpon humane records, do not feel as yet, or vnderstād diuine. An image and example of these degrees of faith is in the storie of the Samaritan woman, Iohn. 4. For many of the Samaritans are said to haue beleeued in Christ, because of the speech of the wo­man who testified, that he had told her whatsoeuer shee had done. But after that they had had Christ with thē for two daies, many more beleeued because of his owne speech: and they said vnto the woman: Now we beleeue not because of thy saying: for we haue heard him our selues, 2 The Emu­lation of the Iewes. and know that this is indeed the Christ the Sauiour of the world. Al men come not by the same occasions, nor haue not the same beginninges vnto faith. Rom. 11. Paul saith, that saluation was come vnto the Gentiles, and that he did magnifie his ministerie, that the Iewes might bee prouoked to follow the Gentiles. In the first of Peter, cap. 3.3 The hone­stie of wiues. wiues are willed to be subiect vnto their husbandes, that euē they which obey not the woord, may without the woord be wonne by the conuer­sation of the wiues, while they behold their pure cōuersation which is with feare. Euen then as the Samaritans were moued, first by the speech of the woman to beleeue in Christ, but af­ter they had seen Christ and heard him, they were so con­firmed, that they said they would now beleeue though the woman hold her peace: so also may it bee, that they which are not as yet conuerted, or are but weaklings, may be mo­ued especiallie by the Churches testimonie, as which run­neth more into their eies, to giue credence vnto the Scri­pture: who yet neuerthelesse after they are once illumina­ted with a more plentifull light of faith, do find by experi­ence, that they are confirmed by a far superior and more certain testimonie, that the Scripture is the woord of God, and do know by the force and euidence of it, that they must keepe their faith, were all the Angels and men perswaders to the contrary: as it is said by the Apostle: Though we or an [Page 20] Angel from heauen preach vnto you otherwise thē that which we haue preached vnto you, Gal. 1. The conclu­sion of the first part. let him bee accursed. By these thinges therefore it may bee vnderstood, that the voice and con­sent of the catholicke Church may and ought amongest other testimonies to serue for our confirmation: and yet the autoritie of the holy Scripture not to hang vpon it: but that out of the Scripture it selfe rather wee must learn, by what argumentes wee may bee brought to know that it was deliuered from God. Because that God himselfe doth witnes it: and also such is the force and quality of that hea­uenly doctrine, that although all men should gainsay it, yet it would not be any otherwise more manifestly & certain­ly knowen to bee the voice of God, then by it selfe.

The 2. part. Arguments shewing the certa [...]ntie of the scriptureBut least any man may thinke, that by any argumentes, which euē reason by a naturall light iudgeth to bee sound, without the singular grace of the spirite this may bee wrought in the mindes of the wicked, as either to obey the truth, or to leaue off to reproch it: first hee must remember that the arguments or testimonies are of two sortes, which shew the certainty of Christian religion, and maintaine the autority of the Scripture. For there is but one onely testi­monie, which is appropriated vnto them alone who are re­generated by the Spirit of Christ, and vnto them alone is it knowen, the force of which testimonie is so great, that it doth not onely abundantlie testify and seale in our mindes the truth of the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles, but it also forcibly inclineth and moueth our hartes to the em­bracing and following of it. Other testimonies whatsoeuer may bee brought, they are vnderstood indeed both of the godly and the wicked, and do compell their consciences to confes, that this religion rather than others is pleasing vn­to God, & that it came from him: but vnlesse that one other come also, which is knowē of the godly alone, these testimo­nies wil neuer bring to pas that mē shal embrace the truth, although it be knowen vnto them. The arguments therfore which shew the truth & certainty of the scripture are these.

1 The puritie of doctrine.1 Puritie and perfectnes of doctrine. For wee haue the pure & perfect doctrine as of the Gospel, so also of the Law. Now other sectes haue not both the tables of the Law per­fect: the first many haue in part: the second but in some part [Page 21] also, and that stained with many lies.

2 The Gospel it self.2 The Gospel shewing our deliuerance. Because it yeeldeth sure consolatiō to mens consciences, shewing the onely way of escaping sin & death. The nature of man was not created to destruction. Wherfore that doctrine, which sheweth deliuerie, without violating the iustice of God, is vndoubtedly true & certain.

3 The antiquity of this doctrine:3 Antiquity. because it is found to be most auncient, partly by conference: For if wee confer this with other doctrines, wee shall find it to be pure and most true, as deliuered from God, from which men afterwardes fell away. Other sectes haue sprung vp at other times, and again haue perished: this hath continued, though it hath bin mightily oppugned by her enimies.

4 Miracles proper vnto the Church,4 Miracles. which tend to the same end, that they may declare & confirme this doctrine.1 Obiection. Others also haue mira­cles. Aunswere. It is not true. For albeit mention is made also of some miracles of the heathen, & it is said of Antichrist and false prophets, that they shall woorke signes and great woonders, so that the verie elect themselues, if it were possible, should be seduced: yet these neither in number, nor in greatnes are equall vnto the miracles of the Church; and by the ende, for which they are done, it may easily be discerned, that they are not wrought by a­ny diuine power. Wherefore there is a double difference especially by which true miracles are seuered from false.

For first those miracles which are vaunted of by the e­nemies of the church are such,They differ. 1 In the sub­stance. as without changing the course and order of nature may bee done by the sleightes & iuglings of men or diuels: & seeme therefore to others to be miracles, because they perceiue not the causes of them,2 In the end▪ and the meanes whereby they are wrought. Furthermore they haue this as their chiefe end, that they may confirme idols, superstitions, manifest errors & mischiefs. But the mi­racles with which god hath set foorth his church, are works either besides or contrarie vnto the course of nature and se­cond causes, and therefore not wrought but by the power of God. The which that it might be the more manifest, god hath wrought many miracles for the confirming of his truth, whose verie shew the diuel is neuer able to imitate or resemble: as are the raising of the dead, to stay or call backe the course of the Sunne, to make fruitles and barrain [Page 22] women fruitful. But especially the miracles of God are di­stinguished by their endes from the diuelish and fained. For they confirme nothing but which is agreeing with those thinges which afore time were reuealed by God, and that in respect of the glorie of the true God, of godlines, and ho­lines, and the saluation of men,

And therefore is it said of the miracles of Antichrist, 2. Thessal 2. That his comming shal bee by the working of Sathan, with al power and signes, and lying wonders, and in al deceiueable­nes of vnrighteousnes, among them that perish. &c. Now if any be so bold as to cal in question,2 Obiection. They are doubtful. Answere. The Antece­dent is false. whether or no the miracles which are reported in the Scriptures were done so indeed, he is out of al question of ouer great impudency. For he may after the same maner giue the lie to al both sacred and pro­fane histories. But let vs first vnderstand, that as other parts of the holy story, so especially the miracles are recited, as things not wrought in a corner, but done in the publik face of the Church and mankind. In vaine should the Prophets and Apostles haue had endeuored to get credit vnto their doctrine by miracles, which men had neuer seen. Further­more, the doctrine which they brought, was strange vnto the iudegement of reason, and contrarie to the affections of men: and therefore their miracles, except they had bin most manifest, woulde neuer haue found credite. Also it clearly appeareth, both in the miracles themselues, and in the doctrine which is confirmed by them, that they who writte them, sought not their owne glory or other commo­dities of this life, but only the glory of God, & mens salua­tion. To these arguments agreeth not only the Testimonie of the Church, but the confession also of the verie enemies of Christ, who surely, if by any meanes they could, woulde haue denied and suppressed euen those thinges that were true and knowen, much lesse would they haue confirmed by their Testimony ought that had beene forged or obscure.

5 Oracles. Obiection The Hea­thens also haue Pro­phecies. Answere.5 The prophecies which were fulfilled in their due time doe yeelde their testimony vnto this doctrine: in like man­ner the foretellings of thinges to come, and the correspon­dence of euentes, which could not bee foretold but by God reuealing them. And albeit the heathens also, and others boast of their prophecies, and oracles: yet great and mani­fold [Page 23] is the difference betweene them & the sacred Prophe­cies, which sheweth euidentlie enough, that these were vt­tered by diuine instinct; but those to haue beene Lei­gerdemains of the Diuell going about by a fained imi­tation to darcken the trueth and glorie of God. For they squared from the truth and iustice of God before time reuealed: they countenanced wickednesse and ido­latry: they were poured out by Prophets who were stir­red with a furious and diuelish pang: they were darke, or doubtful: and wheras they were vncertaine, oftentimes by a false hope they allured those who listened vnto them into hurt and destruction: at leastwise they were vttered of such things, whose euents the Diuel through his subtiltie maie after a sort coniecture by tokens going before, or else be­cause he did know that by the permission and commaunde­ment of God hee should bring them to passe. Wherefore neither do they confirme and make good the Religions of those men amongst whom they florished; neither doe they diminish the authoritie of the holy Scripture, in whose o­racles we maie see al things contrary vnto that which hath bin now spoken of these.

6 The confession of the enemies them-selues,6 The confes­sion of the enemies. because whatsoeuer is true & good in other Sects, that also Christi­an Religion hath, and that more clearly and better: neither can those natural principles be refelled. And if other sectes haue anie thing which agreeth not with our doctrine, that may easily be refuted: but if they haue any thing which can­not be refuted, they haue stollen that from vs, which is the Diuels woont. Yea our verie enemies themselues are con­strained to confesse that our doctrine is true: yea the Diuel himselfe too: Thou art the Sonne of God. Luke. 4.41. For of that force and nature is the woord of God, that it doth so much the more grieuously strike and wound the consciences euen of those who are not conuerted, how much the more stubburnelie they kicke against the pricke. Euen as it is said, Heb. 4. The word of God is liuely and mightie in operation, and sharper then any two edged sword, and entereth through euen vnto the diuiding asunder of the soule and the spirit, and of the iointes and the mar­row, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the hart. And Luke. 21. I wil giue you a mouth and wisedom, wher-against al your [Page 24] aduersaries shal not be able to speak or resist.

7 The hatred and oppug­ning of the diuel & the wicked. Iohn. 8.44.7 The hatred and oppugning of this doctrine by the diuel and the wicked, which is a testimonie that it is true: For the truth breedeth hatred: The diuel was a lier from the beginning: He endeuoureth therefore to oppresse the Law and the Gos­pell, that faith and honestie may bee destroied. He doth therefore together with his complices persecute the truth: because it doth more sharply accuse him than other sectes.Iohn 7.7 The world hateth me, saith Christ, because I testify of it, that the woorkes thereof are ill.

8 The mar­ueilous pre­seruation.8 The maruailous preseruation of this doctrine against the furies of Satan, and enemies of the Church. None is so much assailed; none also continueth so sure. Others are not assailed, and yet they perish most speedily.

9 The puni­shments of the enemies.9 The punishmentes of the enemies, as of Arius, Iulian, and others. Albeit in the world for the most part the wicked florish, and the Church is oppressed: yet that it falleth not Objection. 1 so out by chaunce,The enemies of the church doe florish. Aunswere. For a short time. neither because God is pleased with them, the euents witnes, and the Scripture very often doth iterate it. For the Church is alwaies preserued, euen amidst her persecutions, when as the short felicity of Tyrants & wicked imps hath a most dolefull and aeternall destruction following it. But God suffereth them for a while to haue their swinge, and to florish, that by the scandal of the crosse the faith and patience of the godly may be more exercised and tried & vnto the wicked there may be left a time of re­pentance, and when they abuse the long-suffering of God, that then at length so much the iuster and heauier plague may light on them. And therefore the holy Scripture in so many places, as in the Psalmes, 37.52.57.58. & often else­where comforteth the godly against this kind of tentation, foretelling, vnto them, defence and deliuery, but destructiō Obiection. 2 vnto their enemies.Not all. Neither is thereby the force of this proofe weakned, because that all the persecutours of the Church are not in Tragicall manner taken out of this life. For whiles God doth take vengeance on most of them in this life, he doth sufficiently shew what he would haue to be thought of the rest, verily, that they are his enemies, whom without they repent, he will plūge into aeternal plagues, the beginning and feeling of the which is desperation, in which [Page 25] all the enemies of Christian Religion end their daies, yea they who are not oppressed with any other calamities of this life. To conclude, that it may be manifest,Not for this cause. Answere. Yea, for this cause. that they are Obiection. 3 not onely for other transgressions so punished of God, God doth so often denounce in his worde, that such shal bee the ends of his enemies, and that for this very cause, because they go about to extinguish the people and true worship of God. Yea furthermore they are not a few, frō whom, while they lie in torments, their cōscience wresteth out this con­fession, that they haue drawen these miseries vpon them­selues by persecuting the godly: as from Antiochus Epipha­nes, & Iulian the Apostata. And since that al the aduersa­ries of the Church in their calamites and death are desti­tute of comfort, it is manifest that they suffer as the ene­mies of God, and therefore are far from true Religion.

Now that which the wicked alone doe, there is no doubt but that is in the number of their Sinnes, for which they suffer punishment. Wherefore the ouerthrowes of the ene­mies of the Church are no obscure Testimony of the wrath of God against them, euen as God himself saith of Pharao, To this same purpose haue I stirred thee vp, Exod. 9. Rom. 9. that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

10 The consent of true doctrine,10 The con­sent of the parts of doctrine. 11 The con­fession and constancy of Martyrs. and the iarring of o­thers, euen about the chiefe pointes.

11 The testimonies and confessions of Martyrs, who sea­ling with their blood this Doctrine, doe shewe euen in the middest of death that they indeede doe so thinke, as they taught, and that they drawe that comfort out of it, which they did preach vnto others. And hence also it appeareth Obiection. 1 that the certainty of this holy doctrine dependeth not on mens record,Doth the cer­taintie of do­ctrine depēd of men? though the constancy of Martyrs and other godly men giue comfort vnto vs. For albeit the Testimony of the Saintes too doth concur, as a lesse principal proofe, vnto our confirmation: yet in their examples is seene a far other, euē the testimony of God himself, who strengthneth and comforteth them, so that they are ready to sustaine any thing for his name sake. Neither ought that to mooue vs a whit if other sectes also tel vs of their Martyrs. For first Obiection. 2 they are far behind that number of Martyrs,Others are Martyrs also. which the [Page 26] Church hath.Answere. They differ. Againe there is not that alacritie and cheer­fulnes found in them, in suffering punishmentes, which is in most of the martyrs of Christ, so that it may easily appeare that they neuer feele that security of conscience, and ioie of hart in God, which the Godly feele. And thirdly, which is chiefely to bee considered, the defenders of wicked do­ctrine suffer, as being cōuicted of their errors. But the godly, no falshood being shewed in their confession, are Tyranni­cally by their persecutors drawen vnto punishment, where­as the persecutors themselues are conuicted of their im­piety and iniurie, euen as the Lord promiseth. I wil giue you a mouth and wisedome where-against al your aduersaries shal not bee able to speak or resist. Wherefore albeit sometimes some men suffer for their doctrine, the certainty whereof they are not able to confirme neither to themselues, nor to others: yet doe they it not fenced by any diuine strength and comfort, but being blinded by their owne stubburnes or pride, and the illusions of the Diuel they run headlong to destructi­on: contrariwise, it is saied of the godlies Martyrdome: Philip. 1. It is giuē vnto you for Christ, not onely to beleeue in him, but to suffer for his sake.

12 The godlines and holines of those, of whom the sacred Scriptures haue been written, and who truely embrace this doctrine.

13 Their plaine dea­ling in dete­cting of vices. 14 The Testi­monie of the holy Ghost.13 Their ingenuitie and plaine dealing in opening faults committed either by them or theirs, whom the holy ghost hath vsed in committing this doctrine to writing.

14 The testimonie of the holy Ghost which crieth in the hartes of the godly, Abba father. This testimonie doth not onely prooue (which all the former also do) but it perswa­deth too. For faith is nothing els, then a firme assent, by which wee agree vnto all the woord of God deliuered vnto vs, and a confidence, by which euery one of vs do know & resolue, that God, according vnto the tenor of this Scri­pture, is mercifull & good vnto vs. Which confidence there followeth ioyfulnes resting in God, and calling on him, with an assured hope of obtaining those good things, which according to the prescript of his woord wee begge of him. Nowe that both of these, that is, both this assent or as­surance of our doctrine, and the liuely consolation which [Page 27] thence springeth, neither do rest vpon the testimony of mē nor of any creature, but is inflamed and strengthned by no other doctrine then of the Prophets and Apostles, read, heard and meditated of by them: this euery one of the god­ly through a liuely and certain feeling of their hearts haue experience of. This spirit therefore God adioyneth as a wit­nes vnto his woord. Esai. 19. This is my couenant with them, saith the Lord, my spirite that is vpon thee, and my woordes, which I haue put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out out of the mouth of thy seed, saith the Lord, from hencefoorth euen for euer.

This spirite also Christ promiseth as the chiefe witnesse of his doctrine vnto his Disciples: Iohn. cap. 15. When the comforter shall come, hee shall beare witnes of mee. And cap. 16. When he is come which is the spirit of truth, hee will lead you into all truth: for hee shall not speake of himselfe, but whatsoe­uer hee shal heare shal hee speake, and hee wil shew you the things to come. Hee shall glorify mee: for hee shall receiue of mine, and shall shew it vnto you. To this witnes do the Apostles appeal, as beeing the chiefe, and alone sufficient. The Apostle Paul 2. Cor. 1. And it is God which stablisheth vs with you in Christ: who hath also sealed vs, and hath giuen the earnest of the spirit in our hartes. And 1. Thes. 1. For our Gospel was not vnto you in word onely, but also in power, and in the holy Ghost, and in much assu­rance. And 1. Iohn. 2. But yee haue an ointment from him that is holie, and yee haue knowen al thinges. Wherefore wee must e­uer remember this, that by the alone witnes of the holy spirite wee are mooued forcibly in our harts, to beleeue the Scripture, and to submit our selues vnto it as vnto the voice of God: and that by al the other before alleadged Testimo­nies al men indeed are conuicted, and the godlie also pro­fitably confirmed, but no man is turned vnto God thereby, without the spirit witnessing within him.

For whenas he once breedeth this most assured persuasi­on in our mindes, that the doctrine which is conteined in the holy Bible is of a truth the wil of God, & worketh that comfort and change of our minds and harts, which is pro­mised and taught in this booke: by our experience and fee­ling it is so confirmed, that while this remaineth within vs, though al Angels & men should say contrarie, yet we would [Page 28] beleeue this to be the voice of God:Obiection. The scripture beareth wit­nes of the spi­rit; therefore the spirit not of it. Answere. but if that remaine not or be not in vs, though al should say it, yet we would not be­leeue it. Neither doth not the spirit therefore establish the autoritie of the Scripture, because we are to examine what the spirit speaketh within vs by the rule of the Scripture: for before that this is done of vs, the spirite himselfe decla­reth vnto vs, that the Scripture is the word of God and in­spired by him, & that he wil teach vs nothing in our hartes, which is not agreeable vnto that Testimonie before set downe of him in the Scripture. And if this be not first most certainlie persuaded vs of the spirit himselfe: we will neuer recal our opinions of God & his worship to the Scripture, as the onelie rule to trie them by. Now then after it is decla­red vnto vs by diuine inspiration, that the Scripture is a suf­ficient witnes of that diuine Reuelation in our harts, then at length do we find our selues to be confirmed by the mu­tual Testimonie of the same spirite in the Scripture and in our harts, and we beleeue the Scripture affirming of it selfe, that it was deliuered by diuine inspiration to the holie men of God: as it said, 2 Tim. 3. and 2. Pet. 1.

OF THE FOVRTH QVESTION.

For what cause no do­ctrine beside the holy Scripture is to be recea­ued in the Church. The scripture is of God; therefore the rule of faith. WHEREAS it appeareth vnto vs that it is the woorde of God, which the Prophets and Apo­stles haue left in writing: there is no man which doth not see, that the Scripture must bee the rule and squire, by which all thinges which are taught and done in the church, must be tri­ed. Now all thinges, of which there vseth to arise questions in the Christian Church, doe appertaine either vnto doctrine, or vnto discipline and ce­remonies. That the word of God ought to be the rule vnto both sorts, it is out of doubt. But in this place wee speake of the doctrine of the church, which consisteth in the sen­tences and decrees, which wee are bound by the comman­dement of God to beleeue or obey: and therefore they can not bee chaunged, by the autoritie of any creature: & they [Page 29] are become obnoxious vnto the wrath of God, whosoeuer submit not themselues in faith and obedience vnto them. To these decrees and preceptes the Papists adde many sen­tences, which not onely are no where deliuered in the Scri­pture, but are repugnant vnto it; and they contend, that the Church or the Bishops haue autoritie of decreeing: yea contrarie and besides the Scripture, what the Church must beleeue or doe: and that mens consciences are bound by those decrees no lesse than by the woordes of the holy Scripture to beleeue or obey. Contrariwise wee beleeue and confesse, that no doctrine is to bee proposed vnto the Church, not onely if it bee repugnant vnto the ho­lie Scripture, but if it bee not conteined in it.

And whatsoeuer either is not by the expresse testimony of the holie Scripture deliuered,The diffe­rence of the Scripture, & of other mens opiniōs or doth not conse­quently follow out of the woordes of the Scripture rightly vnderstood, that wee hold may bee without any hurt or conscience beleeued, or not beleeued, chaunged, abrogated, and omitted.1 The Scrip­ture only is of it selfe to be beleeued, and the rule of faith. For wee must euer hold a necessa­rie difference betweene the bookes of the Prophets and A­postles, and the writinges and doctrine of others in the Church: first, that the Scripture onely neither hath, nor can haue anie error in anie matter; other teachers both maie erre, and oftentimes also doe er, when they depart from the written woord of God. Againe, that the Scrip­tures are beleeued on their own word, because we know that God speaketh with vs in them: others haue credit, not be­cause themselues say so, but because the scripture witnesseth so, neither a whit more than they can proue by the Scrip­ture. Wherefore we doe not reiect others doctrine and la­bors in the Church: but onely setting them in their owne place, we submit them vnto the rule of Gods word. This do­ctrine first is deliuered of God himselfe, and that not in one place onely of the Scripture: as Deut. 4. You shal not ad vnto the word which I speak vnto you, neither shal you take away frō it. And in the last Chapter of the Apocalyps: I protest vnto eue­rie man, that heareth the words of the Prophesie of this book, if any man shal ad vnto these things, God shal adde vnto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anie man shal diminish of the words &c. Neither onely by these wordes is forbidden, that [Page 30] no false things & openly repugnant to the written woord be added to the doctrine of the church, but also that no vncer­taine things, or things not appertaining vnto it be mingled therewith. For it is not in the power of any creature to pro­nounce what we are to thinke of God and his wil: but this is onely to bee learned out of that which is disclosed in his woord. And therefore the men of Beraea are commended, Act. 17. Who searched the Scriptures daily whether those thinges were so.

2 Faith is grounded only of the word.Secondly, faith, which is spoken of in the Church, is a part of diuine worship, that is, the sure assent, by which wee embrace euery word of God deliuered vnto vs, because it is impossible for vs to be deceiued by it if we vnderstand it a­right. Further also, that it may breed in vs a true woorship­ping of God and comfort of our soules, it must stand sure and immoueable against temptations. But there is no cer­tain doctrine cōcerning God & religion besides that which is knowen to be reuealed in his woord. We may not there­fore giue the honor which is due vnto God, vnto men: nei­ther may wee go from certain thinges vnto vncertaine, but cleaue onely to the woord of God in the doctrine concer­ning religion: and therefore humane decrees must not bee accounted amongst those preceptes which wee are to em­brace by faith. Faith commeth by hearing, hearing by the word of God. &c.

3 Things ne­cessary to be beleeued or done are part of diuine wor­ship: But things not prescribed are not part of diuine worship. Therefore they are not necessarie.Thirdly, for so much as the woorship of God is a woorke commaunded of God, perfourmed by faith, to this ende principallie, that God may bee honored: it is manifest that to beleeue and doe those thinges, which can not bee deni­ed or omitted without offending of God, is the woorship of God: and contrariwise that God can not bee woorshipped, but by the prescript of his will, both the consciences of al men, and God himselfe in his holy woord doth testify: as Esai. 29. and Matt. 15. In vain do they woorship mee who teach the doctrines and commaundementes of men. It is as wicked ther­fore to number those things which are not expressed in the woord of God, amongest those which are necessarie to bee beleeued and done in matters of religion: as it is vnlawful for any creature to thrust vpon God that woorship, which himselfe neuer required.

[Page 31]Fourthlie,4 The Scrip­ture is suffici­ent. there cannot be anie thing added of men vn­to his doctrine without great iniurie and contumelie done vnto the holy Scripture. For if other thinges besides these which are written, are necessarie to the perfection of true Religion; then doth not the Scripture shew the perfect ma­ner of worshipping God, & of attaining to Saluation, which fighteth with the plaine words of Scripture, which affirme that God hath opened vnto vs in his word as much as hee would haue vs know in this life, concerning his wil towards vs, as Christ saith Iohn. 15. Al thinges which I haue hard of my father I haue made knowen vnto you. And Paul Act. 20. I haue kept nothing back, but haue shewed you al the counsaile of God. And 2. Tim. 3. Knowing that thou hast knowē the holie Scriptures from a Childe which are able to make thee wise vnto Saluation through the faith which is in Christ Iesus. For the whole Scripture is giuen by inspiration of God, and is profitable to teach, to improue, to correct & to instruct in righteousnes.

Fiftly,5 Other Do­ctors may er; the Prophets and Apostles cannot; ther­fore they are tied to these. we are to consider the degrees of them who teach in the Church. For therefore is the authoritie of the Pro­phets and Apostles far higher, then of other Ministers of the Church: because God called thē immediatly, to declare his will vnto other men, and adorned them with Testimo­nies of miracles and other thinges, by which hee witnessed that he did so lighten and guide their minds with his spirit, that he suffered them to erre in no one point of doctrine: o­ther ministers are called by men, and may erre, and doe erre, when they depart from the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles. Wherefore the Apostle Paul, Ephe. 2. saieth: That the Church is builded vpon the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles. And 1. Cor. 3. That hee had laied the foundation, and other then that could no man lay: others build vpon it gold, sil­uer, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble. Now it is manifest that they, who may err, ought to be tied vnto their doctrine, who are warranted by the testimonies of God that they can not erre. Wherefore all other teachers in the Church must not bring any new point of doctrine, but onely propound and expound those thinges vnto the Church, which are deliue­red by the Prophets and Apostles.

For these causes therefore doth the whole auncient Church with great consent submit it selfe vnto the rule of [Page 32] the sacred Scriptures: whose autoritie yet ought of right to bee somewhat greater than these men, who both in woords and deedes fight against this opinion. Basil in his Sermon of the confession of saith, saieth: that it is a falling from the faith, and a fault of pride, either not to admit those thinges which are writtē in the holie Scriptures, or to add any thing to them. And August. in his third Epistle: For neither ought wee to account of euery ones discourses, though they bee catholick and woorthy men, as of the canonical scriptures, that it may not bee lawfull for vs, without impairing the reuerence, which wee owe to those men, to dislike and refuse any thing in their writinges, if peraduenture we shal find that they haue thought otherwise thē the Scripture hath, as it is by Gods assistāce vnderstood either of others, or of our selues. And Epist. 112. If ought be confirmed by the plain autoritie of the diuine Scriptures, of those, which are called in the Church canoni­cal, wee must without any doubting beleeue it: as for other testimo­nies, by which any thing is mooued to bee beleeued, thou maist chuse whether thou wilt beleeue thē or no. But against these testi­monies of the Scriptures & the auncient church the aduer­saries of the truth contend, that besides the doctrine, which is comprised in the holy Bible, other decrees also, made by the autoritie of the Church, are no lesse vnchangeable, and necessarie to saluation, then the oracles Propheticall and Apostolick.Obiections of the Papistes. And that they may not without some shew and pretence take vpon them this autority of decreeing what Obiection. 1 they list, besides and contrary vnto the Scripture: they al­leage places of Scripture,The scripture doth not re­maine perfect. in which some writinges of the Prophets and Apostles are mentioned: which are not come to our handes: as Num. 21. is named the Book of the warres of the Lord. Ios. 10. The Booke of the iust. And often in the books of Kings, The Booke of the Chronicles of the Kings of Iuda. In the Epistle catholicke of Iude, are alleaged, the prophecie of E­noch, and the storie of the bodie of Moses: And lastly the Apo­stle Paul, 1. Cor. 5. and Eph. 3. maketh mention of his Epistles, which now the Church hath not. Hence therefore these men will conclude, that the doctrine of the sacred Scripture is maimed, and that therefore the defect hereof must be Sup­plied by the Church. But first of all concerning the holie Scripture we are to know, that so much thereof hath beene preserued of God for vs, as was necessarie and profitable [Page 33] for the doctrine and comfort of the Church: euen as Iohn witnesseth: that Iesus did many thinges before his disciples, 1 As much of the history as is sufficient, doth remain. Iohn. 21. which are not written in the storie of the Gospel. And that these thinges, which are extant, were written, that wee might beleeue that Iesus is the Christ the Sonne of God, and that beleeuing wee might haue life euerlasting in his name. Furthermore,2 The holy Scripture is perfect in sense▪ though not in words. concerning do­ctrine and precepts, albeit some thinges written by the A­postles be not extant, whatsoeuer yet of necessarie doctrine was in them, it is certaine that it is contained in those, which we haue: both because that Paul in both places doth repeate that which hee hath written in those Epistles: and also because it hath bin before shewed that God hath deli­uered the whole doctrine of our saluation, in the Scripture, which is extant, and wil preserue it vnto the ende of the world.

They bring other places also, by which they indeuour to Obiection. 2 gather,Some things were spoken by word of mouth. that Christ & his Apostles did deliuer some things vnto the Churches by mouth, which are not comprised in the writings of the Apostles. As Mat. 28. where Christ sen­deth his Apostles to preach: Iohn. 16. I haue yet many things to say vnto you, but you cannot beare them now. Act. 16. Paul and Timothy deliuered vnto the Churches the decrees to keepe, ordained by the Apostles, and elders, which were at Ierusalem. 1. Cor. 11. I wil order other things when I come. 2. Thes. 2. Keepe the instructions, which you haue beene taught either by word, or by our Epistle. And cap. 3. Withdrawe your selues from euerie brother which walketh not after the instruction, which he receaued of vs. And in the 2. and 3. Epistles of Iohn. I haue many things to write vnto you: but I would not by paper and incke, but I trust to come vnto you and speake mouth to mouth. 1 Tim. 6. Tit. 1. and 2. And Paul chargeth Timothie to keep that which was committed vnto him, and to commit those things, which he had heard of him, to men fit to teach. Lastly they saie, That be­fore the bookes either of the olde or new Testament were written, the doctrine was deliuered vnto the Church by mouth. But neither the Prophets, nor Christ, nor the Apostles haue deliuered any other precepts by mouth, then those which are written: And if they ordained any ceremonial thinges in the Chur­ches, which they committed not to writing, neither were they contrarie to these which are written, neither ouer­many, or vnprofitable, neither put on them with an opini­on [Page 34] of necessitie. For neither was there any other Gospel, from the beginning, neither did Christ command anie o­ther to be preached, then that which we haue written. Nei­ther were those things any other which the Apostles then could not beare through infirmitie, then the selfesame which the Lord had taught them before, which the spirite should cal into their minds and expound vnto them, which themselues afterwards did deliuer in writing to the church: neither were they otherwise then sutable to those thinges, which they had before receaued of the Lord, neither olde wiues to is, such as a great part of the Popish traditions are: but the most authenticke doctrine of the Gospel, either vn­knowen, or repugnant vnto the reason and wit of man. But what Paul in the Acts is said to haue deliuered vnto the churches is there expressed, euen the decree of the counsel of Ierusalem, concerning blood, strangled, and thinges offered to idols. Vnto the Corinthians hee promiseth that he will take order for matters of ceremonies euen such as appertained to the ministring of the Lords Supper. Now by the instructions which he speaketh of to the Thes­salonians, he vnderstandeth, not anie Lawes concerning ceremonies, but the whole doctrine of the Gospel, which he had taught euen the selfe same both by word and writing: which hee had committed to Timothie: and by the declaring of which mouth to mouth, Iohn pro­miseth to bring true ioie vnto his auditours. But bee it that Paul spake neuer so much of keeping traditions, or ordinances which were not written, as 1. Cor. 11. when hee saith, Now brethren, I command you, that you keepe the ordinances, as I deliuered them vnto you: yet should not the aduersaries therefore obtaine, that their traditions either are to be kept, or are Apostolicke, wher­as most of them are singularly repugnant to the Apostles doctrine; neither yet that there were more ordinances then in the Church, then are written, since that the Apostles did ordaine no rites, by which the consciences of men should be bound.

Obiection. 3 They alleadge farther the practise and examples of the A­postles, That the A­postles haue decreed a­gainst and besides the Scripture. Tit. 1. as if they did make anie ordinances or Lawes either besides or against the Scripture: as when Paul ordaineih manie things of choosing Bishops and Deacons, of widowes, of weo­men to be couered and to containe themselues in silence, of not de­uorcing the husband, if he bee an infidel, of controuersies betweene [Page 35] Christians. 1 Tim. 3. 1 Cor. 11. 1 Cor. 14. 1 Cor. 7. 1 Cor. 6. But these men remember not that their authority is not equal vnto the Apostles authoritie: neither consider they that there is nothing in all these thinges appointed of Paul, which is not agreeable to the rest of the word of God contained in writing, and that manie of those things which they alleadge is comprehended in the commandements of the Decalog. More trifling is it,1 Answere. that they saie the forme of Baptisme appointed by Christ was changed by the Apostles, because it is reade in the Acts. 2.8. and 19, that they Baptised in the name of Iesus Christ. For in those places not the forme of Baptism, but the vse is declared, that is, that men were baptised, for to testifie that they did belong to Christ. Neither yet by the example of the Apostles, who interdicted the Churches thinges offered to idols, blood, and that which was strangled, is it lawful for Councels and Bishops to make decrees and Lawes to tie mens consciences. For first, here againe there must needs be reteined a difference betweene the Apostles by whom God opened his wil vnto men (whereupon they also saie, It seemed good to the holie Ghost and to vs) and other ministers of the Church, who are tied vnto the Apostles doctrine. Further, as cōcerning this decree of the Apostles, they decreed nothing else, then what the rule of charitie commaundeth, which at all times would haue; that in things indifferent men should deale without offence.

Now if they vrge, that these ordinances are called necessary: againe it doth not thereupon follow, that the traditions of Bishops are necessarie, especially such as are the Bishops of Rome. Then, that necessity, whereof the Apostles speak, was neither to last continually, neither did it binde con­sciences for feare of the wrath of God, if these things were not obserued: but it dured but for a time, for their infirmity who were conuerted, from Iudaisme to Christ, or were to be conuerted, as Paul doth at large teach, 1. Cor. 10.

To these they ad the examples of the Church, whom they say Obiection. 4 euen from the Apostles to these verie times to haue beleeued and obserued some thinges, not onelie not deliuered in the Scripture, Present ex­amples. 1 but contrarie to the Scripture. They bring forth the selfesame de­cree of Ierusalem, concerning things offered to idols, and blood: which being made of the Apostles, and expresly set downe in the Scripture, was yet abolished by the Church. But it hath bin al­ready [Page 36] ready said, that that constitution was made, not that it should last for euer, but for a time, for a certaine cause, euē for the infirmitie of the Church, which was gathered from among the Iewes: and after that cause ceased, that ordi­nance taketh place no longer. Neither yet did it at that time fetter mens consciences, as if the worshipping or of­fending of God did lie in it: wherefore the abrogating of it is not contrarie, but doth verie well agree with it. To these 2 also they recken the obseruing of the Lords Daie. We trulie as we doe beleeue this to be an Apostolick tradition, & perceaue it to be profitable, and a farre other maner of one, then for the most part they are, which they would faine thrust vpon vs vnder the Apostles name: so we doe not put anie worship of God to consist in this thing, but know it to be left arbitra­rie vnto the Church. Euen as Coloss. 2. it is said, Let no man 3 condemne you in respect of a holie daie. But they affirme also that some things not written are beleeued, which yet to call in que­stion, we our selues confesse to be vnlawful: as, That infantes are to be baptised: That Christ descended into Hel: That the Sonne of God is cōsubstantial vnto the eternal father. But they are too impu­dent, if they take vnto themselues a licence of hatching newe opinions, because the Church, for to expound the meaning of the Scripture, vseth some where wordes, which are not extāt in the Scripture. But impious are they & blas­phemous, if they saie the doctrine it self, which the Church professeth in these wordes, is not extant in the Scriptures.

5 Obiection. The holie Ghost is to teach the Church, therfore not the ScriptureThey say also, that the holy Ghost is promised the Church, that it may teach those things, which ar not deliuered in the Scriptures: as Iohn. 14. But the cōforter, which is the holy Ghost, whō the father shal send in my name, he shal teach you al things. And cap. 16. whē the spirit of truth shal come, he shal lead you into al truth. But here they maliciously omit that which is added; And shal bring all 1 things to your remembrance, which I haue told you. Again, He shal beare witnes of me. Again, He wil reproue the world of sin, of righ­teousnes & of iudgement. Again, He shal glorify me, for he shal re­ceiue 2 of mine, & shall shew it vnto you. For out of these it is ma­nifest that the holy Ghost should speake nothing, but that which was writtē in the Gospel, & Christ himself had before time taught his disciples: so far is it that he should bring any thing contrary to thē. For neither can he dissent frō Christ, [Page 37] nor frō himself. So also, when they alleadge that of Ier. 31. I will put my Lawe in their inward partes, and in their harts will I write it. And 2. Cor. 3. Ye are the Epistle of Christ written not with incke, but with the spirit of the liuing God: not in tables of stone, but in fleshie tables of the hart: they doe not marke, that the spirite cannot speake in mens hearts contrarie vnto these things, which he reuealed in the Scripture: neither would God write anie other Law, in mens harts, but that which is alreadie reuealed and written; and that therefore the Apo­stle Paul opposeth not the matter written, but the manner of writing in tables and hearts, one against another: for be­cause that the same was written in both, but there with ink, and here with the spirit of God. It hath lesse colour, which 3 they goe about to builde out of that place to the Philip­pians, cap. 3. If you be otherwise minded, God shall reueile euen the same vnto you: If therefore, saie they, the Church think anie thing different from the written woorde, that proceedeth from the holie Ghost. For the Apostle comforteth and cō ­firmeth the godly, that albeit they did not vnderstād some­what of that which there hee had written, or were of ano­ther iudgement in it: yet that hereafter they should bee taught it of God, and should know those things to bee true, which he had written. Whenas therefore it is denied that the holy Ghost reuealeth any thing diuers from that which is written: the rule & maistership of the spirit in the Church is not taken awaie, but the same spirit is matched with him selfe, that is with the rule of Scripture, least those thinges should be thrust vpon vs vnder his name, which are not his.

Further they make their boast that the Church cannot erre:6 Obiection. The Church doth not er. and that therefore the decrees of the Church are of e­quall autoritie with the holie Scripture: because the Church is ruled by the same spirite, by which the Scripture is inspi­red: euen as it is promised, Matth. 18. If two of you shall agree in earth vpon any thing, whatsoeuer they shal desire, it shal be gi­uen them of my Father which is in heauen. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the middest of them. And cap. 28. I am with you alway vnto the end of the world. So, 1. Ioh. 2 Yee haue anointment from him that is holy, and yee know all thinges: Likewise, The anointing which yee receaued of him, dwelleth in you: and yee neede not that any man teach you: But as [Page 38] the same annointing teacheth you of all thinges, and it is true, and is not lying, and as it taught you, yee shall abide in him. But first of all wee know that it is the true Church onely,1 Aunswere. The true Church. Mat. 13. Mar. 4. Luk. 8. which er­reth not, and is ruled by the holy spirite, which is gathered in the name of Christ, that is, which heareth and followeth the voice of the Sonne of God: And therefore these things doe nothing appertain to a wicked multitude, which open­lie maintaineth doctrine contrary to the Gospel, though it neuer so much vaunt of the Churches name, yea and bea­reth sway and rule in the Church: according to that which is said, To him that hath shal bee giuen: But from him that hath not, euen that which hee seemeth to haue, shall bee taken away. So did the Pharisees, and Sadduces amongst the Israelits er, not know­ing the scriptures: neither were they the true Church, though they seased vpon the name and place of it.2 Answere. Vniuersallie. Secondly: the true Church indeede erreth not vniuersallie. For al­waies the light of the truth, especially concerning the foun­dation of doctrine, is preserued in some mens minds: wher­upon the Church is called the pillar and ground of truth. But yet neuertheles some also of the godly oftentimes fall into errors through ignorance and infirmitie: yet so, that they hold the foundation, neither doe they defend their erroni­ous opinions contrarie to their conscience, and at length they forsake them, euen as it is said: If anie man builde vpon this foundation gold, 1 Cor. 3. Ephes. 4. 1 Cor. 12 siluer, &c. And Philip. 3. If ye bee otherwise minded, God shal reueile euen the same vnto you. Last of al, there is giuen vnto euery man grace according vnto the measure of the gift of Christ. And the spirit distributeth to euerie man seuerallie as he wil. The Apostles before they had receiued the holie Ghost at Whitsontide, were the liuely members of the Church: yet erred they concerning the kingdom & office of the Messias.

There were of the Chiliasts opinion great men in the Church, as Pasias, Irenaeus, Apollinarius, Tertullian, Victo­rinus, Lactantius, Methodius, Martyr. And therefore, al­though the Church er not vniuersallie: yet oftentimes some of her members erre, when as they swarue from the woord: which God suffereth not seldome to happen vnto them, for to keepe vs, beeing warned of our weakenes and blindnes, in modestie, and his true feare, and in daily inuocating of him; and withal to teach vs, that the truth of doctrine is not to [Page 39] be measured by the title of the church, but by the woord de­liuered of him by the handes of the Prophets and Apostles: as it is said: Thy woord, O Lord, is a lanterne vnto my feet, Psalm. 119. and a light vnto my pathes. Likewise 1 Tim. 6. Keepe that which is com­mitted vnto thee, and auoid profane and vaine bablinges.

This ground beeing once laied,7 Obiection. The Church ought to o­bey Bishops by the com­mandement of God. that so far foorth the Church erreth not, as it doth not swarue from the written woord of God, it is easy to answere to that which they make shew of to the contrarie; that the Church is ruled by Bi­shops, and therefore must obey them: as it is saied, Act. cap. 20. Take heede vnto all the flocke whereof the holy Ghost hath made you ouerseers, to gouerne the Church of God. And Mat. 18. If hee refuse to heare the Church, let him bee vnto thee as an hea­then man, and a Publicane. Luc. 10. Hee that heareth you, hea­reth mee: and hee that despiseth you, despiseth mee. And to the Hebrewes 13. Obey those who beare rule ouer you. For both they must rule, and the Church must obey them, according vnto the prescript of Gods woord: as it is said, If any man preach any other doctrine, let him bee accursed. Aunswere. Necessarilie in those [...] things which belong to the ministery: frely in traditi­ons. Gal. 1. Whatsoeuer ther­fore the ministers propound out of the woord of God vnto the Church, wee must of necessity obey it; that which the Lord teacheth Matt. 23.2. when hee saieth, The Scribes & the Pharisees sit in Moyses chaire. All therefore whatsoeuer they bid you obserue, that obserue and doe. For they sit in Moses chaire, who teach Moses doctrine in the Church. If also they ordaine any thinges indifferen [...] and of a middle sort, which are profitable, these also are to be obserued for main­taining of order, and auoiding of offence. But if they require vs to beleeue or obserue thinges repugnant to the woord of God, or thinges that are in their owne nature indifferent, with putting an opinion of necessitie in them, and of woor­shipping of God, they sit no longer in Moses chaire, but in the chaire of scorners: and of them it is said,Iohn. 10. The sheepe heard them not. Likewise 1. Tim. 4. In the latter times some shall depart from the faith, and shal giue heed vnto the spirites of error. And that the decrees of the Bishops also are not to bee re­ceaued among the precepts and decrees of the Church, is confirmed by the example of the ciuill magistrate, whose iust & good Lawes binde the cōsciences of the subiects.1 Inst. For the dissimilitude of the examples consisteth in that, that [Page 40] God himselfe by expresse woorde hath decreed a necessitie of obedience to the Lawes and commandements of the ci­uil magistrate,1 Instance. The mag­strate doth bind the con­sciences; therfore Bishops. which are not repugnant vnto his Law: but hath giuen a liberty of conscience in traditions of the Church: so that he pronounceth himselfe to be angrie with him, who obeieth not ciuil magistrats, as long as they com­mand nothing repugnant to his Lawes: but not with them, which without offence do contrarie to the constitutions of Bishops. For of the magistrate it is said, Rom. 13. We must o­bey him for conscience sake. But of thinges indifferent in the Church, Coloss. 2. Let no man condemne you in meat or drink, or in respect of a holy daie. 2 Instance. The higher power doth more bind. 1 Answere. Likewise, Gal. 5. Stand fast in the liberty, wherewith Christ hath made vs free. Now if againe they reply, that the office of Bishops is aboue the ciuil power, and therefore hath greater force, then that, to bind men to obey: first, we graunt, that more obedience is due vnto the superior power then to the inferiour, as long as it commaundeth nothing con­trarie to Gods woorde. As long therefore as the ministers propound the word of God vnto the Church, and for auoi­ding of offence, commaund such thinges to be obserued as appertaine to decencie and order, they do not now offend against them, but against God, whosoeuer obey them not. But if they require their lawes concerning thinges indiffe­rent to be obserued with putting an opinion of necessitie in them and of the worship of God, and do make them ne­cessarie, when there is no danger of offence to ensue; Be­cause this charge is contrarie to the word of God, no obe­dience 2 is due vnto it. Further, we confesse that greater obedience is due vnto the superiour power in those things, in which it is su­periour, that is, in which God would haue other powers to obey it. But the ministerial power is superiour vnto the ciuil in those things, which belong properly vnto the ministerie, that is, which are of God deliuered, commaunded, and committed vnto the ministers, that by them they may bee declared vnto the Church. But of matters indifferent, con­cerning which nothing is either commanded or forbidden of God, the ciuil power is superiour, by reason of the autho­ritie, which God in these matters hath giuen vnto the ciuil magistrate, and not to the ministers of the Church.

Obiection. 8 But against this they returne againe: That wee also doe al­leadge [Page 41] the Testimonies of councels & fathers in confirming the do­ctrine of the Church: which were but in vaine for vs to doe, Fathers and councels ar cited. if their sentences had not the force and authoritie of Ecclesiastical doctrine. But we neither bring nor receaue the Testimonies of the ancient Church with that mind, as if without the authority of the holie Scripture, they were sufficient for confirmation of anie point of doctrine. Neither yet is the regard had of them in vaine. For both they which are rightlie minded, af­ter they are instructed by the voice of the Scriptures con­cerning the truth, are yet more confirmed by the Church, as by a Testimonie of lower degree: and they which attri­bute more authoritie vnto them then they should, or abuse their sayings against the trueth, are very wel refuted by the testimonie of them, whom they have made their iudges.

Also they say: That order & decencie in the Church is necessary Obiection. 9 by the commandement of God, according as it is said, Traditions are order. 1 Cor. 14. Let al thinges be done comelie and in order. For God is not the author of confusion. Now the order and discipline of the Church doth a great part consist in traditions Ecclesiasticall, wherefore they conclude that by the violating of these, mens consciences are wounded, and God offended. But as God commaundeth some order to be appointed and kept in the Church,Answere. Of mere par­ticulars there is no con­cluding. so hath he given a double libertie in it vnto his Church: first that it be arbitrarie for the Church to appoint as may bee most commodious for it, what order shal be in euerie place and at euery time obserued. Then, that also after any thing is certainelie ordained, may be kept or not kept without hurt of conscience both of the whole Church, and of euerie one of the godly, if there bee no danger of offence. For it is necessarie that euer a diffe­rence be put betwixt the commaundements of God, by the obseruing whereof God is worshipped, and offended by the breaking of them; and those things, which God hath left to men to appoint, neither is worshipped or offended, as him­selfe pronounceth, either by the altering or omitting of them, so long as there is no cause or danger of offence. And the same Apostle,Gal. 5. who commandeth all things to be done comelie and in order, willeth vs to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made vs free, and that we should bee condemned of no man in meate or drink, or in respect of an holy day.

Wherefore not they, who without contempt of diuine [Page 42] things, or wantonnes, or danger of offence, doe something otherwise in there things then is appointed, but they rather offend against the commaundement of God, concerning keeping order, who either woulde haue no order in the Church, or trouble that which is wel appointed.

Obiection. 10 Obscure things do not suffice with­out interpre­ration. Aunswere. The minor is false, if they respect the ground.These men find fault also with the obscuritie of the holy Scriptures, which they proue both by exāples of hard places of Scripture, & also out of the second epistle of Peter cap. 3. where it is said: That there are some thinges hard to be vn­derstood in the epistles of Paul. And therefore, since that thinges darckly spoken, without they bee expounded, can not suffice to per­fect and wholesome doctrine, they vrge that the interpretation of the Church also is necessarily to bee receaued with the Scripture.

But here aboue all thinges they iniurie the holie Ghost, ascribing darkenes & obscuritie vnto him, who of purpose endeuoured to applie himselfe in simplicitie of speech to the capacitie of the common people, and the rudest. For those thinges which appertaine to the ground of doctrine, which is necessarie to be knowen of all, as are the articles of our beleefe, the tenne commaundementes: they are so plainly recited, so often repeated, so plentifully expoun­ded in the Scriptures, that they are open and easie to any, but to him who will not learne: euen as the 119. Psalm tea­cheth, Where the woorde of the Lord is called a Lanterne to our feete, and a light to our pathes. Againe, The enterance into thy woordes sheweth light, and giueth vnderstanding to the simple. And 2.1 Instance. The ground of doctrine is vnknown to manie. Peter 1. The woorde of the Prophets is called a light shining in a darke place. To which yee doe well, saith hee, that yee take heede as vnto a light that shineth in a darke place, vntill the day dawne, and the day starre arise in your hartes. And Salomon in the first of the Prouerbes, affirmeth, that hee writeth to giue the simple sharpnesse of witte, and to the child knowledge and discretion: Again, that wisedome crieth with­out, & uttereth her voice in the streetes. Paul also 1. Cor. 1. saith, that Christ sent him to preach the Gospell not with wisedome of woordes, least the crosse of Christ should be made of none effect. The ground therefore and summe of doctrine is not obscure, ex­cept it bee vnto the reprobates, who contemne the truth, or stubburnlie reiect it: as the Apostle saith, 2. Cor. 4. If our Gospell bee hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the God of [Page 43] this world hath blinded their mindes, that is, of the infidels, that the light of the glorious Gospell of Christ should not shine vnto thē. And the prophet Esai. 65. and the Apostle, Rom. 10. All the day long haue I stretched foorth my handes to a disobedient and gainsaying people. And Psalm. 36. The woordes of his mouth are iniquitie and deceite: he hath left off to vnderstand and to doe good. And Mat. 11. I giue thee thankes, o Father, Lord of Heauen and Earth, because thou hast hidde these thinges from the wise men, and men of vnderstanding, and hast opened them vnto babes.

Now if they replie againe:2 Instance. Diuine mat­ters are ob­scure vnto al men. that diuine matters are hard and obscure to all men, as it is said, 1. Cor. 2. The naturall man per­ceiueth not the thinges of the spirit of God: for they are foolishnesse vnto him: neither can he know thē because they are spiritually dis­cerned: they should first haue called to mind, that this ig­norance and hardnes riseth not of the obscuritie of the scri­pture, but of the blindnes of mans mind: and furthermore, that this obscuritie, since in verie deed it is not in the Scri­pture, but seemeth to bee the fault of our nature, doth not alwaies remaine in those who are regenerate, but is remo­ued from them by the illumination of the holie Spirite, ac­cording to those sayinges, Luc. 8. It is giuen vnto you to know the secrets of the kingdome of God, but to others in parables, that when they see, they should not see: & when they heare, they should not vnderstand. And 2. Cor. 3. Vntil this day when Moses is read, the vaile is laid ouer their hartes. Neuerthelesse when their hart shall be turned vnto the Lord, the vaile shalbe taken away. 3 Instance. The Scrip­ture a long time not knowen. From this verie place may we easily refute that which they obiect: That wee our selues, in that that we say the Scripture hath not bin vnderstood for these many ages in the Popish Church, do confesse the obscuritie of it. For the ignorance, which hath bin from the beginning of the world, and shall bee to the end, in the ad­uersaries of the truth, is not to bee imputed to the obscuri­tie of the Scriptures, but to their owne peruersnesse, who haue not a desire to know and embrace the truth. As the A­postle saith, 2 Thes. 2. Because they receiued not the loue of the truth, that they might bee saued, therefore God shall send them strong delusions, that they should beleeue lies.

Whereas therefore it appeareth that the ground and summe of doctrine is not obscure:4 Instance. Manie places obscure. yet wee confesse that there are some places of Scripture, which haue losse light [Page 44] & more difficulty, then others. But first, they are such, that although they were not vnderstood, yet the ground may both stand and be vnderstood. Furthermore the interpre­tation of these places dependeth not of the autority of mē, but the exposition of thē is to be sought, by the conference of other places of Scripture, which are more cleare: or if we can not finde it: yet least wee should affirme any vncertaine thing concerning diuine matters, our conscience not satis­fying vs in it: wee must suspend our iudgement, vntill God shal open vnto vs some certaine meaning: and in the mean season, wee are to hold those with thankfull mindes, in which God hath left no place of doubting for vs.5 Instance. Of the necessity of inter­pretation. Act. 20. But when wee answere thus vnto our aduersaries, they rise againe vp­on vs out of those thinges which wee grant them. For be­cause we confesse that some places of Scripture are harder to be vn­derstood then others: and that by occasion of the dulnes and slow­nes of mans minde in learning diuine matters, neither those things which are most cleare, are vnderstood of the people, as the Eunuch of Queene Candaces doth complain: How can I, saith he, except I had a guide? And that the ministerie it selfe was therefore ordai­ned of God in the Church, for that it seemed good vnto the holy ghost to ad for our instruction an exposition of the Scripture, which is done by the voice of the Church.

To be short, because our selues in writing and teaching doe ex­pound the Scriptures, and do exhort al men to the reading and hea­ring the exposition thereof: Out of these they conclude, that besides the reading of the Scripture, the interpretation of the Church is necessarie: and that therefore what the Church doth pronounce of the meaning of the Scripture, that is without controuersie to be re­ceaued. But we first confesse that the interpretation of the scrip­ture is necessarie in the Church, not for that without this to come vnto the knowledge of heauenly doctrine is simplie impossible, whereas both God is able, when it pleaseth him, to instruct his euen without the Scripture it selfe, much more then without the exposition of his ministers: and the godly learne many thinges out of the Scriptures without interpreters: and of the contrary side except the eies of our mindes be opened by the grace of the holie spirit, heauenly doctrine seemeth alwaies alike obscure vnto vs, whether it be expoūded by the word of the Scripture, or of the church: [Page 45] but for that it pleased God to appoint this ordinarie way of instructing vs, and himselfe hath commanded the mainte­nance and vse of his ministery in the Church, that it should be an instrument which the holy Ghost might most freelie vse for our saluation. Againe,Interpreting must not be a deprauing of the Scrip­tures. although interpretation of scrip­ture be necessarie, yet this is so far from graunting anie li­cence vnto the ministers to bring new ordinances into the Church, that nothing doth more tie them to this doctrine alone, which is comprehended in the Scriptures, then this verie function of expounding the Scriptures. For to inter­pret another mans woordes, is not to faine at our pleasure a meaning either diuers from them or repugnant vnto them: but to render the same meaning and Sentence either in more words, or in more plaine words, or, at least, in such, as may be more fit for their capacitie, whom wee teach: and withal, when there is need, to shew, that this is the mind of the autor, which we affirme to be.Three points to be obser­ued in inter­preting. Now such an interpreta­tion of Scripture is made by these meanes: that first the phrase be considered, and the proper sense of the woordes found out: then, that the order and coherence of the mem­bers or parts of the doctrine, which is conteined in the text of Scripture, be declared: Thirdly, that the doctrine be ap­plied to the vse of the Church, which it hath in confirming true opinions, or refuting errors, in knowing of God and our selues, in exhorting, in comforting, and in directing of our life: as Paul commaundeth, 2. Tim. 2. Studie to diuide the word of truth aright. And to. Titus, cap. 1. A Bishop must holde fast the faithful word according to doctrine, that he also may be a­ble to exhort with wholesome doctrine, Lib. 2. con­haereses. and improue them that saie against it. And wiselie did Epiphanius aduise: Not al woords of Scripture haue neede to bee allegorised or construed according to a strange sense, but they must be vnderstood as they are: and further they require meditation and sense for the vnderstanding of the drift and purpose of euerie argument. That is, Al places of scrip­ture are not to be transformed into allegories: but we must seeke out the proper sense of the words, by meditation and sense, that is, vsing the rules of art, and hauing a regard of the propriety of tongues and our own experience, by which we know the nature of those things which are signified by words commonly vsed in the Church.

[Page 46] 6. Inst. Concerning the diciding of a contro­uersie about the text and meaning thereof.But here is cast in another difficultie, for that in contro­uersies concerning the text and the meaning thereof, such a iudge is required, whose authoritie and testimonie may suffice for deter­mining of the meaning of the text. For when both parties, saie they, who striue about the meaning, plead ech of them that his in­terpretation is true, except iudgement bee giuen of such a iudge, from whom it may not be lawful to make anie appeale, the contenti­on wil neuer bee decided, and we shal stil remaine doubtful of the sense of the Scripture. Furthermore this iudgement must needs be­long vnto the Church: for in the Church alone we are to seeke for an examining and determining of controuersies concerning Religion. What the Church therefore doth pronounce in these matters, wee must of necessitie rest vpon that as the assured meaning of the Scriptures. And hereof they saie it is manifest, that the decrees of the Church are of no lesse authoritie then the expresse sentence of the Scripture. But we, as we willingly grant, that the controuer­sies of the Church must bee at length determined, Aun. Not the Church, but the holie ghost is iudge in the word. and that accor­ding to the Sentence of that iudge, of whom wee may bee certainlie assured that we can not be deceaued: So wee acknowledge this iudge to be not the Church, but the holy Ghost himself speaking vnto vs in the Scripture, and declaring his owne woords. For he is the supreme iudge, whose iudgement the Church onely demandeth, declareth, and signifieth: he can not bee deceaued, whereas all men are subiect vnto the daunger of error: in a word, he being the author of the Scripture, is the best and surest interpreter of his owne words. And therefore the Scripture it selfe in al doubtes recalleth vs and bindeth vs vnto it selfe: as 2. Pet. 1. We haue a most sure word of the Pro­phets, to the which yee doe wel that yee take heede, as vnto a light that shineth in a dark place. Iohn. 5. Search the Scriptures. Esay. 8 To the Lawe, and to the Testimonie: if they speake not according to this word, The Church doth not al­waies speake the words of the holie Ghost. it is because there is no light in them. For although the holie Ghost speaketh also by the Church: yet because shee doth not alwaies speak the words of the holy Ghost, she can not be the supreme & chiefe iudge of controuersies in Religion. For this iudge must be such a one, whose sentence may by no means bee called in question. But wee haue none such, besides the word of God registred in the Scriptures.Deciding of controuer­sies is not ta­ken away. Neither doe we at all take away the deciding of controuersies, when wee make Scripture iudge of the meaning of the scripture. For although contentious [Page 47] persons alwaies seeke sophismes, by which they may delude and shift off the testimonies of Scripture; yet doe they this against their conscience: and the louers of the truth require no other interpreter of the Scripture, but the Scripture: and doe acknowledge and confesse themselues to be plen­tifully satisfied by it.

For whereas vnto men also it is graunted, to bee them­selues the best interpreters of their own wordes: how much more ought this honor to bee yeelded vnto the holy Scri­pture?The way how to de­cide doubt­ful places. 1 The Ana­logy of faith. Wherefore if controuersie be mooued concerning the meaning of some place in the Scripture, we ought much more to doe that here, which we would doe in other wri­tinges. First of all, to consider and respect the anologie of faith, that is, to receiue no exposition which is against the ground of do­ctrine, that is against any article of faith, or commaundement of the Decalog, or against any plaine testimonie of Scripture: 1 Cor. 3. 2 Examining of Antece­dents & Con­sequents. euen as Paul admonisheth, forbidding to build wood, hey, stubble vpon the foundation. Secondly, to weigh the thinges that goe before, and follow after that place, which is in question: that so not onely no­thing contrary to these may be faigned on it: but also that that may bee set for the meaning of it, which these require. For these ei­ther not beeing obserued, or beeing dissembled, the mea­ning of the Scripture is not seldome depraued.Psalm. 91. So those words of the Psalme, Hee shall giue his Angels charge ouer thee, that they shall beare thee in their handes, that thou hurte not thy foote against a stone. The Diuell tempting Christ, interpre­teth them as if they serued to maintaine ouer-rash and curious attempts: when yet that which is added [In all thy waies] doth shew that they are to bee vnderstood of men doing those thinges that are proper vnto their calling. Thirdly,3 Resorting to places which teach the same more clearly wee ought to search euery where in the Scripture whether there bee extant any place, where it stands for confessed, or is manifest, or may bee shewed, that the same doctrine in other woordes is deliuered touching the same mat­ter which is conteined in that place, which is in controuersie. For if the meaning of the clearer and vndoubted place be manifest vn­to vs, wee shall also be assured of the place which is doubted of, be­cause in both places the same is taught: as when Rom. 3. it is said: We conclude that a man is iustified by faith without the workes of the Lawe: That in this place, to be iustified by faith is not to please God for the worthines of faith, but for the merit of Christ appre­hended [Page 48] by faith: and that the woorkes of the Law signifie not the ce­remonies onely, but the whole obedience of the Law, chiefly the mo­rall, other places doe teach vs, which in moe and clearer woordes deliuer the same doctrine concerning the iustification of man before God: as in the same chapter, By the woorkes of the Law shall no flesh bee iustified in his sight: for by the Law commeth the know­ledge of sinne: But now is the righteousnes of God made manifest without the Law, hauing witnes of the Law and of the Prophets. The righteousnes of God by the faith of Iesus Christ vnto all and vpon al that beleeue: for there is no difference: For all haue sinned, and are depriued of the glorie of God: and are iustified freelie by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Iesus. 4 Conferring like places togither. Fourthly, wee must conferre places of Scripture, where though the same woords bee not spoken of the same thing, yet the like woordes and formes of speaking are vsed of the like thinges. For if the interpretation of the like place bee certaine, and there bee the same causes for the like interpretation to bee giuen in the place that is in controuersie, which are in the other, then of like places wee must giue one and the same iudgement. The Lord willeth, Mat. 5. to put out our eie, to cut off our hand, if it be a cause of offence vnto vs. Now whereas the Law forbiddeth vs to maime our bodie, Thou shalt not kill: that therefore by this figure of speech the Lord would haue vs that wee should rather forsake thinges most deere vnto vs, then that by the lust and motion of thē wee should suffer our selues to be withdrawen from God: the like forme of speech otherwhere vsed, to signifie things most deer and precious, doth shew, as Ierem. 22. If Iechoniah were the signet of my right hand, yet would I plucke thee thence. And Deut. 32. Hee kept him as the apple of his eie.

5 The catho­like Church.When once according to these rules the controuersie concerning the text & meaning thereof is iudged, we may lawfully also descend to the consent of the Church, yet putting great space betwixt, & not without great aduisement. For least by the name of the Church we be beguiled: first of all no sentence or meaning is to bee receiued, which these rules of examining and iudging, which haue bin now declared, doe not suf­fer. Then must wee consider, what times, and whose writinges are purest: what pointes of doctrine haue bin, and in what ages ei­ther rightlie expounded or depraued with errors: lastly whose inter­pretation either is of the autor, or may bee of vs confirmed by the testimonie of the Scripture. And to this deciding of all con­trouersies [Page 49] about the meaning of the Scripture, drawen out of the Scripture it selfe, do all the godlie and louers of the truth agree, euen as it is said,Iohn. 8.47. Hee that is of God heareth the wordes of God: now the testimonie of the auncient and catholicke Church, so farre as they see it to accord with the Scripture, they doe with glad and thankful minds embrace, and are so much the more assured of the known truth. But if any quar­relling men doe not yeelde vnto the Testimonies of the Scripture, we must not seek, because of them, a iudge higher then the word of God, but must leaue them vnto the iudge­ment of God, as the Apostle counsaileth vs to Titus. 3. Re­iect him that is an heretik after once or twise admonition, knowing that hee that is such, is peruerted, and sinneth being damned of his own selfe. And 1. Cor. 14. If anie man be ignorant, let him be igno­rant. And in the last of the Apocalyps: Hee that is filthie, let him bee more filthie. Neither verilie doth hee, whom the woord of God doth not satisfy, rest on the autoritie of men, as the truth it selfe doth shew. But as these thinges are sufficient to shutte the mouthes of them who gainsay the truth,6. Prayers. or at least-wise to manifest their impudencie: so is there further required for the fencing of the consciences of all the godlie in debate of religion, besides a care of lear­ning the doctrine of the woord of God, an ardent and daily inuocating of God, by which wee may desire that wee may be taught and guided by his holy spirite: This if we shal doe hee will not suffer vs to make stay in error,Mat. 11.28. Esaie. 57.15. which may pul vs from him: but will open vnto vs the true and certaine meaning of his woord concerning all thinges necessarie to our saluation, that our faith may depend not on humane, but diuine autoritie, euen as it is promised in the seuenth Chapter of Matthewe, Aske, and it shall bee giuen you: seeke, and ye shall finde: knocke, and it shall bee opened vnto you. For whosoeuer asketh, receiueth: and hee that seeketh, fin­deth: and to him that knocketh, it shall bee opened. And in the eleuenth of Luke, How much more shall your heauenlie Father giue the holie Ghost to them that desire him? Also in the first of Iames, If anie of you doe lacke wisedome, let him aske of God, which giueth to all men liberallie, and reprocheth no man, and it shall bee giuen him: but let him aske in faith, and wauer not.

[Page 50]To their former arguments our aduersaries adde, that it Obiection. 11 is a shame that the holie Ghost speaking in the Church should bee subiect to the examinatiō and iudgement of another: It is vnmeet that the holy Ghost should be subiect vnto another and therefore we must not examine him by the rule of the Scripture. But seeing that the same spirite speaketh in the Church and in the Scripture: when wee doe examine the voice of the Church by the Scripture, we doe not subiect the holy Ghost to ano­ther: but we compare him with himselfe. And by this means first we giue vnto him the praise of trueth and constancie, while we doe acknowledge and testifie that hee is alwaies like himselfe, and doth neuer square from himselfe: then al­so we confesse that the supreme authoritie of pronouncing the wil of God belongeth vnto him, while we doe not seeke, whether those things be true and certaine which hee hath spoken, but whether those be his words, which men ascribe vnto him: and this we doe euen after the selfesame manner which he hath prescribed vs: and after that we finde out by the rule of the written word, that any thing hath proceeded from him, to that without making any controuersie we sub­mit our minds & wils. Contrariwise it is easie to see that our aduersaries themselues are guiltie of that contumelie against the holie Ghost, of which they accuse vs. For while they wil haue the authoritie of giuing iudgement, concerning the meaning of the Scripture, and of deciding controuersies, not to belong vnto the Scriptures but vnto themselues: by this verie thing both they imagine that the holy Ghost may dissent from himselfe, and do make themselues iudges higher then the holy ghost and the word of God.

Obiection. 12 The letter killeth, the spirit quick­neth.Lastly, whereas Paul saith, 2. Cor. 3. That he is the minister of the newe Testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter doth kil, the spirit doth quicken: some men do thence gather, that wee are to heare, not what the written word of God soundeth, but what the spirite speaketh by the Church or in our hearts. Yea there hath growen an opinion heretofore, that the grāmati­cal and literal meaning of the Scripture is pern [...]cus, except all be transformed into allegories. But a manifold paralogisme in this argument doth easily appeare if it bee considered what the letter, and the spirit signifieth in Paul. For that all the do­ctrine and knowledge touching God, as also the out­warde obseruation of the Lawe in those that are not rege­nerate, [Page 51] is called the letter, by the Apostle: and the spirit, first the holy Ghost himselfe: Secondly, the true doctrine concer­ning God, when the holie Ghost is of force and efficacy by it: Third­ly, faith and conuersion, and motions pleasing God being kindled of the holy Ghost through the word: it appeareth by the words go­ing before. For, for that which here he saith, that he was made of God a minister, not of the letter, but of the spirit: he said before, that the Epistle of Christ was ministred by him, and written not with incke, but with the spirit of the liuing God, in tables of the hart: that is, that his preaching was not in vaine, but of force and efficacy in the harts of men, the holy Ghost woorking by it. And in like manner, Rom. cap. 2. hee calleth the cere­monie without conuersion, circumcision in the letter: but con­uersion it selfe, circumcision of the hart in the spirit. And Rom 7. He willeth vs to walke in newnesse of spirit, and not in the oldnes of the letter: that is, in true holines, such as is begun by the spi­rit in the regenerate: not in the sinne and hypocrisie of them who know verilie the wil of God, and make practise also of outward discipline and behauiour, but remaine with­out faith and conuersion.

Wherefore first, as the doctrine by the fault of men,1 The letter killeth not of it selfe, but by an acci­dent. and not of it, remaineth only the letter: so also not of it owne na­ture, but because of the corruption of men it killeth, that is, it terrifieth mens mindes with the iudgement of God, and doth stir vp a murmuring and hatred against God, as wee are plainly taught by the Apostle, Rom. cap. 7. The Law is ho­lie, and the commaundement is holy, and iust, and good. Was that then which is good, made death vnto me? God forbid. But sinne that it might appeare sinne, wrought death in me by that which is good, that sinne might be out of measure sinful by the commaundement. For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold vnder sinne. But the proper effect of the Scripture is to quicken men, that is, to lighten them with the true knowledge of God, and to mooue them to the loue of God. As it is said 2. Cor. 2. We are vnto God the sweete sauour of Christ in them that are saued, and in them which perish &c.

Secondly albeit the letter, that is,2 It killeth as it is without the Spirit. the doctrine without that spiritual motion, killeth: yet the operation of the holy ghost accompaning it, when now it is not the letter, but the spirite, and power of God to saluation, vnto euery one that [Page 52] beleeueth, it doth not kil, but quicken, as it is said, Psal. 119. Thy word quickneth me. Wherefore that the letter kil vs not, we must not cast awaie the Scripture, but the stubburnes of our harts: and desire of God that he would let his doctrine bee in vs and others, not the letter, but the spirit: that is, that he would forcibly moue our harts by it, & turn them to him.

The spirit quickneth, a­greeing with the word.Thirdly, that it is added, that the spirit quickneth: that cal­leth vs not awaie from the Scripture to other opinions or reuelations. For that spirit quickneth, which dissenteth not from the Scripture: but teacheth and mindeth the same, which he hath vttered in the scripture. But that spirit which leadeth men awaie from the Scripture, it quickneth not, but may bee said much more truely to kill then the letter, that is, not by an accident or external cause, but of it owne nature. For the spirit of Antichrist is a liar and a murderer, and therefore be it accursed vnto vs.

4 The Apostle misconstrued by them.Fourthlie, they who by the letter vnderstand either the characters of letters, or the proper and literall sense, whe­ther it be of the whole Scripture, or of those speeches which are allegorically and figuratiuely spoken: and by the spirite, the interpretation of those speeches: it is manifest that they swarue farre from the minde of Paul, both by those thinges which haue beene spoken concerning the meaning of Paul, and also because not onely euerie sentence of Scripture, whether it be proper, or figuratiue, but also euerie interpre­tation of it, is and remaineth the killing letter, except the quickning force of the holie Ghost come vnto it.

Wherefore since that neither for interpretation, nor re­uelation, nor authoritie, nor any other pretence it is lawful, leauing the Scripture of the Prophets and Apostles, to de­part to whatsoeuer decrees of religion which are not con­firmed by the Testimonie of the Scripture, let vs hear it as an oracle sounding from heauen, bringing to the reading thereof, not minds forestalled, neither with opinions, con­ceiued either of our owne brains or elswhere, neither with affections, neither with preiudices: but the loue of God, & a desire of knowing the truth. So shall it come to passe, that both wee shall know the true meaning of the Scripture, and by it godlines and sure and sound comfort shall bee kindled in vs and get increase.

OF THE TRVE COMFORT of the Godlie.

THE scope and ende of this doctrine is, that wee may haue sure comfort both in our life & at our death. And that wee may haue this, wee are especiallie to learne the doctrine of Christianitie. Now the summe of this comfort doth consist in this, that wee are the members of Christ: that is, that we are engraffed into Christ by faith, that he is care­full of vs: and that by him wee are loued of God, reconciled to God, and conioyned with him. This comfort the diuel goeth about to take from vs after this maner. 1. Thou art a sinner: therefore thou art not acceptable in the sight of God.

Answere. But Christ hath made satisfaction for me with his precious blood. 2. But thou must die the death. Answere. But Christ hath deliuered me from the power of death, and I know that by Christ I shall scape out of the hands of death. 3. But how if thou leese the grace of Christ? For thou maist fall and perish; because it is a long way to heauen. Answere. Christ hath not onely merited his benefites for mee, but also bestoweth them on me, and preserueth them in mee, and giueth mee perseuerance, that I may not fall from grace. 4. But what if these thinges appertaine not vnto thee? and how knowest thou that thou art Christes? Answere. 1. Because I haue the testimonie of the holie Ghost within me. 2. Because the generall pro­mise appertaineth to all the faithful. If I haue faith there­fore, that promise appertaineth vnto me. But I know I haue faith by the effectes of faith. 1. Because I haue a will to obey and beleeue God, albeit I am but weake. 2. Because I haue good woorkes, which are signes of true faith. Therefore I haue true faith, and by a consequent, Christ and his bene­fites appertaine vnto mee.

This comfort is necessarie. 1. For our saluation: that we despaire not. 2. For the woorshipping of God. For that wee may woorship God, wee must come out of sinne and death: not rush into desperation, but bee susteined with a sure comfort vnto the ende. This comfort, though other sectes promise, yet can they not make performance thereof, because their consci­ence and experience oftentimes goeth against them. The doctrine of the Church alone maketh performance of it, so [Page 54] that mens consciences are at rest, because this alone she­weth the fountaine of all miseries, vnto which mankind is subiect: and this also alone prescribeth the waie of escaping them.

The partet of this comfort are, 1. Our reconcilement to God by Christ, to which Christ alone we belong: and therefore wee are not at our own libertie, so that wee may freelie sin, neither lieth our saluation in our handes or power. For if it were so, we should leese it euery moment. 2. The maner of our reconcilement, euen by the blood of Christ. 3. Our de­liuerie from miseries. 4. The preseruation and maintenance of our reconcilement and deliuerie:Mat. 10.30. so that not so much as an haire may fal from our head, without the will of our hea­uenly father. Obiection. But the godly are daily slaine. Aun­swere. These things do not hurt, but helpe forward our salua­tion.Rom. 8.28. All thinges worke together for the best vnto them that loue God. 5. The testimonie of the holie Ghost woorking true comfort in our hartes and true conuersion vnto God. By this testimonie of the holie Ghost wee know that wee are Gods, after wee are once deliuered from these miseries. For the holy ghost, which is the surest pledge of this thing, doth witnes in our hartes that they trulie belong vnto vs. For hee maketh vs to serue God without feare. Luk. 1.74. Gal. 4 6. And this Spirit of Christ, which God hath sent foorth into our hartes, crieth Ab­ba Father. 6. Our certaintie of euerlasting life. This part differeth from the fifth: because that is the certaintie of the thinges themselues: but this is our certaintie, by which wee know these thinges to be certaine. And this is the beginning of faith.

Three things to bee obser­ued for the attaining vn­to this comfort. 1 The know­ledge of our miserie.2 Our deliue­rie.3 Our thank­fulnes. That we may attaine vnto this comfort, three thinges are to bee considered of vs. 1. The knowledge of our miserie, that we may de­sire deliuerance, and be thankful to God. 2. Our deliuerance: without which we haue not comfort. 3. Our thankfulnes, with­out which wee are not deliuered. Herein is conteined the summe and purpose of the whole sacred Scripture. And these doe plainly accord with the diuision of the Scripture, or Catholicke doctrine, into the Law and Gospel, and with the diffe­rences of these parts. For vnto those three members are the Law and the Gospel referred: to the first and third appertei­neth the Decalog or tenne commandementes, because there [Page 55] is a double vse of the Law, the knowledge of our sinne, and the rule of our life. To the second member appertaineth the Creede, because this speaketh of our deliuerie, and is the sum of the Gospel: The Sacramentes likewise are to be referred vnto the second part, because they seal that which is taught in the Gospel. They are those appurtenances as it were ad­ioyned to the promise of grace, and the seals of iustification by faith. Praier belongeth vnto the third part, that is, to thankfulnes: because praier is the chiefest part of thankful­nesse.

Out of these arise foure questions. 1.From these arise fower quaestions. 1 Quaestion. For what cause these three are necessarie for our obtaining of comfort. 2. Whence we may knowe these three: euen out of the Lawe and the Gospel. 3. How. 4. Wherefore.

The knowledge of our miserie is necessarie for our obtaining of comfort. 1. Because if we knew not our miserie,Why these three are ne­cessarie for the obtai­ning of our comfort. Why the knowledge of our misery is necessarie. Mat. 11.28. Isaie. 57.15. and euen the greatnes of it, we should not know the greatnes of our hap­pines, neither should we desire deliuerie out of euils. If wee desire not deliuerie out of euils, wee doe not seeke it: if wee seeke it not, we obtaine it not: because God giueth deliuerie only to those who seeke it: it is opened onlie to him that knocketh: and so hath God his ende in them, euen his worship. Blessed are they who thirst after righteousnes. Come vnto me al ye that labor. I dwel in a contrite spirit. That which wee haue now said, is confir­med also by this syllogism, or form of argument. That which is necessarie for to stir vp in vs a desire of deliuerance, that is necessarie for our comfort: But the knowledge of our mi­serie is necessarie for the desire of saluation, or deliuerance: Therefore the knowledge of our miserie is necessarie for the obtaining of our comfort: yet not for the comforting of vs: for we are terrified by this knowledge of our miserie. But this terror is good for vs, because, except we know our mise­rie, we desire not deliuerie. And they that desire not deli­uerie, receiue it not.

2 The knowledge of our miserie is necessarie for the ob­taining of our comfort: because wee should be vngratefull if we were ignorant out of how great miseries wee were deli­uered and drawen: For how much the more wee feele the greatnes of our euil, so much the more desire wee and with for a remedie, and so much the more thankfull are wee to­wards [Page 56] God, because he gaue vs a remedie against sin. 3. Be­cause by the preaching of the Lawe, is made a preparation to the preaching of grace: otherwise there followeth carnal securitie, and our comfort is made vnstable. Whereof it ap­peareth, that we drawe the knowledge of our miserie chiefly out of the Law, & that therfore we must begin frō the prea­ching of the Law, as the Prophets and Apostles haue done, and that to the end that mens consciences and hearts may be cast downe before God, and prepared to repentance, and to the receiuing of the gospel. Except this be done, men wil become more careles and stubburne, and pearles shal be throwen to swine to be trodden vnder feet.

Why the knowledge of our deliuerie is necessarie. Igno [...] nulla cupido. The knowledge of our deliuerie is necessarie for our comfort. 1. Because a good thing, not knowen, is not desired: ac­cording to that, There is no coueting after an vnknowen thing. When wee haue found it also, if wee knowe not what it is, wee desire it not, and therefore doe not obtaine it. Yea that verie meanes, by which wee attaine vnto our deliuerie, requireth the knowledge of our deliuerie. For thou shalt er in the desire of thy deliuery, except thou know what, and of what qualitie it is, and after what manner it is receiued. Furthermore, wee are made by faith partakers of this deli­uerie. But faith is not without knowledge. Wherefore the knowledge of our deliuerie is necessarie, both that we may obtaine it: & also because the mean & instrument it selfe, by which we do obtaine it, cannot bee without the knowledge of our deliuerie. 2. A good thing not knowen doth not com­fort: that therefore it may comfort thee, thou must knowe how great and what maner a good thing it is. 3. The know­ledge of our deliuerie is necessarie, that we may be thanke­ful: because for a thing not knowen to be good wee vse not to giue thankes, for that we make light account of it: and if we wil be indeed grateful, al the circumstances of that good thing are knowen and desired of vs. We know our deliuerie, out of the gospel. 1. By hearing it. 2. By learning it. 3. By as­senting vnto it, and that out of the gospel: because the Go­spel alone doth promise deliuerie vnto those that beleeue in Christ. Now wee must diligently also obserue the maner of our deliuerie, that wee doe not our selues imagine, or re­ceiue imagined by others any maner of deliuerie to the re­proch [Page 57] of Gods name, and hazard of our owne saluation.

The knowledge of our thankefulnes is necessarie for our comfort. Why the knowledge of our thank­fulnes is ne­cessarie. 1. Because no man can doe anie thing gratefull vnto God, except he first know what is grateful vnto him: For he wilbe worshipped, and haue vs gratefull vnto him, not after that maner which wee will but which himselfe hath prescribed. Except therefore thou knowe, what is gratefull vnto him, thou shalt reape thence no comfort. 2. Because there is first of all true consolation, where there is thankfulnes: for ex­cept thou be thankful, thou canst not applie vnto thy selfe the merit of the Sonne of God. For it is offered and ap­plied onely to vs being thankful: now thou canst not shewe thankfulnesse, except thou knowe after what maner the Lord bestoweth on vs his benefites. 3. The knowlege of our thankfulnesse is required necessarily, because it is the chiefe ende and scope of our deliuery:1 Iohn. 3.8. for this purpose appea­red the Sonne of God, that he might destroie the workes of the diuel. 4. That we may know that those thinges which we doe are no merit, but onely a declaring of our thankfulnes. And what thou giuest thankes for, that thou knowest that thou hast not deserued. 5. By this thankfulnes our faith & com­fort is confirmed in vs. Obiection. That which of it selfe fol­loweth, is not necessarie to be taught. But thankfulnes must needes follow of it selfe: Therefore it is not necessarie to be taught. Aunswere. Thankfulnes followeth deliuerie. But not the maner of thankfulnes likewise: for of this we are to bee instructed out of the word of God. Furthermore that pro­position is not vniuersally true: for a thing may be taught, which of it selfe doth greatlie followe, for greater and fuller knowledge and confirmation. Now thankfulnes it selfe we know, 1. Out of the Gospel; because it promiseth deliuerie, with a condition of repentance. 2. Out of the Law, because the Law in speciall doth declare and determine the kindes of obedience. Seeing that then the true, sure and onely comfort of the faithful is the scope of the whole doctrine of christianity: & seeing that to that comfort these three are necessarily required, that is, The consideration of mans miserie, of his deliuerie, and of his thankfulnes: it appea­reth that these three are the chiefe partes of Christian do­ctrin. And therfore we wil intreat of thē hereafter in order.

THE FIRST PART.
OF THE MISERIE OF MAN.

Whence knowest thou thy miserie?

OVT of the law of GodRom. 3.20..

What doth the Law of God require of vs?

That doth Christ sum­marily teach vs, Mat. 22. Thou shalt loue the Lord thy God with all thy hart, with all thy soule, with al thy minde, & with all thy strength Luk. 10.27.. This is the first and the great commaundement, and the second is like to this, Thou shalt loue thy neighbour as thy selfe. On these two commaundements hangeth the whole Law, and the Prophets.

Art thou able to keepe all these thinges perfectlie?

No truelyRom. 3.10. & 23. 1 Iohn. 1.8: For by nature I am prone to the ha­tred of God and of my neighbourRom 8.7. Ephes. 2.3. Tit. 33..

Did God then make man so wicked and peruerse?

Not soGen. 1.31.: But rather hee made him good, and to his owne imageGen. 1.26. & 27., that is, endewed with true righteousnes and holines, that hee might rightly know God, his creator, and hartily loue him, & liue with him blessed for euer, and that to lawde and magnify him2 Cor. 3.18. Col. 3.10. Eph. 4.24..

Whence then ariseth this wickednes of mans nature?

From the fall and disobedience of our first pa­rentes, Adam and EueGen. 5. Rom. 5.12.18.19.: Hence is our nature so [Page 59] corrupt, that wee are all conceaued and borne in sinnePsal. 51.5. Gen. 53..

Are wee so corrupt, that wee are not at all apt to doe well, and are prone to all vice?

Indeede wee are: except we be regenerated by the holie GhostIohn. 3.5. Gen. 6.5. Iob. 10.4. & 15 14.16. & 3 [...] Esaie. 53 6..

Doth not God then iniurie to man, who in the Law requireth that of him, which he is not able to perfourme?

NoeIohn. 3.5. Eph. 4.24.. For God had made man such a one, as he might perfourme it: But man, by the impulsion of the diuelLuk 10.30., and his owne stubburnesse, bereaued himselfe and all his posteritie of those diuine graces.

Doth God leaue this stubburnesse and falling-away of man vnpunished?

Noe: But is angrie in most dreadfull manerRom. 5.1 [...]. Heb. 9.27., as well for the sinnes wherein we are borne, as also for those which our selues commit, and in most iust iudgement punisheth them with present and euerlasting punishmentes, as himselfe pronoun­ceth: Cursed bee hee that confirmeth not all the words of this Law to doe them Deut. 27.26 Gal. 3.10..

Is not God therefore mercifull?

Yea verilie, hee is mercifullExod. 34.6.: but so, that hee is also iustExod. 20.5 Psal. 5.5. 2 Cor. 6.14. Wherefore his iustice requireth, that the same which is committed against the diuine Maiesty of God, should also be recōpenced with extreme, that is, euerlasting punishmentes both of bodie and soule.

IN THIS first part concerning the Miserie of man, there are three places handled.

  • 1 Of sinne.
  • 2 Of the creation of man, which maketh to the vn­derstanding [Page 60] of the former place concerning sin.
  • 3 Of free will.

How we come to the knowledge of our miserie and sinne. By the Lawe.We know our miserie, and that we haue sinned, out of the Lawe of God, which exacteth and requireth of vs the con­trarie to that which is in vs. For we are prone to hate God and our neighbour, which is very sinne it selfe: but the Lawe requireth of vs the loue of God. Nowe the name of miserie stretcheth farther then the name of Sinne. By the name of miserie, we vnderstād, the euil of trespas or offence, that is, al sin: and the euil of punishment, which comprehendeth al the de­structions of our reasonable nature, as griefes, torments, ca­lamities. To be short, the euil of punishment comprehendeth al miseries and sinnes that follow after, wherewith sinnes that goe before are punished. So the numbring of the peo­ple, committed by Dauid, is both a punishment and a sinne. That our miserie is learned out of the Law, it appeareth suf­ficiently by this syllogisme or reason, whoseThat is pro­ued by a syl­logisme, Whose maior being set by the Law, Deut. 27.16. Gal. 3.30. Mat. 22.38. Maior or first proposition the Law it selfe mentioneth: Accursed be euerie one who abideth not in the perfect loue of God and his neighbour. Now this loue of God, Christ calleth the first & greatest comman­dement. Likewise our conscience addeth theAnd Minor added by our conscience, The conclu­sion must ne­cessarily fol­low, as an ap­probation of the sentence of the Law. Mat. 22.37. The part of the maior ex­plicated. 1 Why In perfect loue, and what that is. Minor or se­cond propositiō: I haue not abiddē in al: of these two propo­sitiōs ariseth the conclusion, which is the approbation or a­lowing of the sentence of the Lawe: therefore I am accur­sed. So then out of the Law commeth our knowledge of sinne.

Neuertheles the Maior, or first proposition, is to be decla­red more at large. First it is said, whosoeuer abideth not in per­fect loue, that is, as Christ expoundeth it, hee that loueth not God with al his hart, with al his soule, with al his cogitation, and with al his strength. With al his hart] by which are vnderstood al the affections, inclinations & appetits, or desires. For God wil haue himselfe alone to bee acknowledged the chiefest, and himselfe to be loued aboue al things: and, that men may relie on him, hee wil haue the whole hart to be yeelded vp to himselfe, not part to him, and part to another: and to this is opposed, not to walke before God with a perfect hart. Obiection. If we ought to loue God with al our hart, then ought we not to loue our Parentes. Aunswere. It is lawful for to loue o­ther things also besides God, but nothing aboue God. We ought to loue our Parents, but not chieflie. For we ought to [Page 61] loue al other things for God. It followeth, with al thy soule] by which he comprehendeth that part which is willing to anie thing, or the motions of the will: then therefore hee mea­neth, with thy whole will and purpose. Thirdly, with al thy co­gitations] by which he vnderstādeth the vnderstanding and mind: so much as we know of God,1 Cor. 13.10. so much also doe we loue him; therefore when we shal know him perfectlie, that which is in part shal be abolished. And therefore our loue of God which now is but in part, shall then bee perfect. Lastlie, with al thy strength] in which al inward actions agreeable to the Lawe of God are contained. Secondlie, it is said, In the Loue of God: 2 Why In the loue of God, and what that is. as vnto whom, being once manifested and doing good vnto him, man is bound: whereupon the Lord calleth himselfe our God. Now to loue God, is to acknowledge him to bee the chiefest good, and to bee the chiefest good to vs: and so to loue him, that thou wilt rather forgoe all things then thou wilt depart from him, or not bee ioined with him: for that which is best, that thou dost most desire, and dost co­uet most of al to be ioined with it.

Thirdly it is said, In the loue of thy neighbour. 3 What is, In the loue of thy neighbor To loue thy neighbour, is for the loue that thou owest vnto God to wish well and doe well vnto thy neighbour, and to doe all things to him which thou wouldest in aequitie and, accor­ding to the Law to be done to thee.

The Loue of God is the summe of the Law,Why the loue of God is the summe of the Law. Why it is called the first com­mandement. because it is ta­ken for our whole obedience, as beeing the cause of our obedience. The loue of God is called the first Commaunde­ment, because it is the spring and fountaine of the rest. It is the fountaine of the rest. 1. because it is the efficient and im­pulsiue cause. 2. because it is the final cause or ende which the rest propose, which is, for to declare our loue towardes God. In like maner it is called the greatest commaundement. 1. because it is the end of al the rest of the cōmaundements, & of our whole obedience▪ for therfore thou oughtest to do well vnto thy neighbour, because thou louest God: & again, that thou maist shew thy obedience to him. 2. because that is the principall woorshippe for which the ceremoniall lawes were ordained, and so is opposed vnto the ceremo­niall woorship, which was appointed for this morall lawe.

Obiection. The second commaundement is like vnto the first, [Page 62] therefore the first is not the greatest. Answere. The loue of our neighbour is like vnto the loue of God. 1. Because that comman­dement of louing our neighbour is opposed vnto the cere­monies. 2. Because the obedience of the first table is the cause of the second. Thirdlie, because the breach of the se­cond table doth as well deserue eternall punishmentes, as the breach of the first. 4. Because it appertaineth to the morall woorship, which is described in the first and second table. 5. It is like, because of the coherence of both, for that neither can be obserued without the other. 6. Because one is autor of both. 7. Because both of thē contain our whole o­bedience. Hēce now appeareth the answer to this obiectiō. Therefore our neighbour is to bee set aequall with God, and to bee aequally worshipped. For ir hath beene said before, Thou shalt loue God alone with al thy hart. Now the loue of our neighbour is like vnto the loue which wee owe vnto God, in respect of the kind of worship, but vnlike in respect of the degree. And it is also vnlike first in respect of the obiectes, or things loued. For God and man who are to be loued are diuers obiectes. 2. For that the loue of our neighbour riseth from the loue of God: but it falleth not so out of the contrarie. 3. As it was said, it is vnlike in respect of the degree of our loue to God. Obiection. If the loue of God bee the chiefest commaundement, then the loue of God is greater then faith. Answere. Loue is heere ta­ken for our whole obedience which wee owe vnto God: vn­der which faith is comprehended, which is the cause of all the rest of our actions. For in that wee are commaunded to loue God, wee are also forbidden to offend him: for no man offendeth him whom he loueth.

Why the loue of our neighbour is called the second com­mandement. The loue of our neighbour is called the second commaundement. 1. because it containeth the summe of the second table: for if thou loue thy neighbor as thy self, thou wilt not murther him, thou wilt not hurt him. 2. because the loue of our neighbour must rise out of the first table, euen from the loue of God: and so is that also explicated, which is added of Christ: That on these two commaundements hangeth the whole Law & the Pro­phets, that is, that al the other legall obedience which is cō ­tained in Moses & the Prophets doth spring from our loue of God and our neighbour. Obiection. In the Prophets also is the promise or doctrine of the Gospell: therefore Christ seemeth not [Page 63] to speake aright in this place. Answere. He speaketh of the do­ctrine of the Law, not of the promises of the Gospel, which appeareth by the question of the Pharisie demanding, which was the chiefe commaundement, not which was the chiefe pro­mise: and therefore Christ answereth him vnto the pur­pose. Hitherto reacheth the declaration of the Maior or first proposition concerning the abyding in the perfect loue of God and our neighbour.

Now remaineth the Minor Proposition, which is, But I haue not abidden in al, that is, I haue neither loued god nor my neighbour as I ought: whence the conclusion ariseth: There­fore I am accursed: and so it appeareth that indeed the know­ledge of our miserie and of our punishment, which is con­tained vnder the name of miserie, is drawen out of the Law. That, which also is proued by another argument, The Lawe sheweth our punishment, because it bindeth vs either to yeeld obe­dience, or to suffer punishment: But no man performeth that obedi­ence: Therefore it bindeth vs to suffer punishment. Furthermore, the Law sheweth that al euils happen vnto vs because of our sins. Againe, it sheweth the iustice of God, the greatnes and hea­uines of the wrath of God against sinne. Hence ariseth a question, whence sinne commeth, especiallie since that the Lord made man good, and to his owne image. To this question apperteineth the common place concerning sinne, the creati­on of man, and free wil: which three places we wil discourse of in order.

THE COMMON PLACE OF SINNE.

THE questions here to bee obserued, are these.

  • 1 Whether sin be, or whence it appeareth to bee in vs.
  • 2 What sinne is.
  • 3 How manie kindes of sinne there are.
  • 4 What bee the causes of sin.
  • 5 What hee the effectes of sinne.

That sinne is not onely in the world, but in vs also,We know that sinne is in vs. 1 Out of the Law of God. wee know, 1. Out of the Law of God, that is, by comparing our selues and the Law together, in considering what the Law [Page 64] requireth, and what we haue performed. The Law requireth whole and perfect obedience, both inward & outward. But this we find not in our selues. Obiect. That which teacheth vs to seeke for righteousnes elsewhere then in our selues, & doth shew vs to be guilty of sin, by that we haue knowledge of our sin: But the Go­spel willeth vnto to despair of ourselues, Ob. We know it by the Gospel also. Ans. Not principally. & to seeke for righteousnesse elsewhere. Therefore by the Gospel we haue knowledge of our sinne. Answere. I grant that we haue after some sort knowledge of our sinne by the Gospel, but not principally. For this is the principal vse of the Law. But the Gospel presupposeth that which the Law hath proued, that is, that we are sinners, be­fore it sendeth vs to Christ. So also sciences, which are in order directlie one vnder another, take their principles o [...] chiefe groundes from the sciences next aboue them, and proceed according to them, not prouing them, but ta­king them as graunted. Againe, the Gospel doth onelie in generall accuse vs of sinne: but doth not in speciall declare what and which be our sinnes. But this is the principall and proper function of the Lawe: therefore doe wee not put the Law as excluding the Gospel,2 By the Law of nature. 3 By testimo­nies of Scripture. 4 By punish­ments ensu­ing. 5 By sermons which treat of repen­tance. as if by the Law alone we had knowledge of our sin: but chiefly and properly. 2. We knowe that wee haue sinne in vs, by the Lawe of nature, or by that iudgement of conscience, which is in al men. 3. By the testi­monies of the holy Scripture, as Psalme 14 and 53. Esaie 59.4. By the punishments and miseries which follow sinne. 5. By the sermons which treat of repentance.

Now this question is sette downe, 1. against the Li­bertines. 2. for the exercise of repentance. And here the question is not, whether sinne be in some thing, or in some men, but whether it bee in all men. And because that without the knowledge of those things neither dew honour can bee giuen to God, nor saluation befall to vs: God wil haue the nature and causes of sinne and the punishmentes thereof to be knowen and searched out of vs.

But euen as of the beginning of mankinde, so also of his corruption and restoring, none know the certaintie besides the Church, which is instructed by the voice of God con­cerning these so weightie matters. And therefore the Phi­losophers doe erre about the verie definition and decla­ring the nature of sinne, while they iudge either outward [Page 65] actions onely, or purposes and desires which agree not with honest discipline to bee sinnes: but not corrupt inclinations and affections, ignorance, errors, and doubtings of God and his will: and in a woord, whereas they doe not vnderstand wholly the law of God, it cannot be but they must make ac­count of manie most hainous sinnes as of no sinnes. They erre also about the cause of sinne, for because whereas they are ignorant of the falling away of the diuels from God, & of the seducement and corruption of mens natures in our first parentes, they imagin that sinne was not borne toge­ther with vs, but that all as they grow in yeares, so by their owne will they doe fall into it. Last of all, they erre about the effect of sinne, because both they are ignorant of the e­uerlasting punishments, neither are they able sufficientlie to conceaue of the horrible wrath of God against sinnes, no not though they were taught it out of the word of God. The Apostle, Rom. 7. I had not knowen lust, except the Law had said, Thou shalt not lust. Iohn. 16. The holie Ghost shall reprooue the world of sinne, because they beleeue not in mee. Psal. 90. Who knoweth the power of thy wrath? For according to thy feare is thine anger.

WHAT SINNE IS.

IT is agreed on of all men,The nature of sinne. that sinne is a thing displea­sing God, contrarie to righteousnes, & deseruing punish­ment, as it is said, Psalm. 5. Thou art not a God that loueth wickednes. As therefore the rule of righteousnes is the wil of god: so of the cōtrary, we are not otherwhere to know what sinne is, then by the same rule of mans life & actions. There­fore the definition of sin in the 1. Epist. of Iohn. cap. 3. is the truest and plainest: Sinne is a transgression of the Law: or, what soeuer is repugnant to the Law. But because here mens mindes seeke further, what those euils are, which are forbidden and condemned by the law of God: we must adde an explicati­on of this definition out of the Sermons and declarations of the Law scattered throughout the whole Scripture: to wit, That sinne is a defect, or an inclination, or action repugnant to the law of God, offending God, & making him that sinneth togither with al his posterity, guiltie of temporal & eternall punishments, except remission bee graunted for the Sonne of God our Mediatour.

[Page 66] The The Logi­cians cal it Genus, which is the more common na­ture of a thing, or the matter of it. general nature of sinne is a defect. Likewise, an inclinati­on, or action. Now there are called defectes in the minde, igno­rance, and doubtfulnes of God and his will: in the hart, a priua­tion of the loue of God and our neighbour, of ioy in god, and of an earnest desire and endeuor to obay God according to al his comman­dementes, and an omitting of inward and outward actions, which are commanded by the Law of God. Or, This defect is an absence, 1 Of good inclinations in our minde. 2. Of the knowledge of God. 3. Of motions to obay the Law of God. 4. Of inward actions, which are required in the Law. 5. Of outward actions, which follow the inward.

Now corrupt inclinations are said to bee, stubburnes of the hart and will against the Law of God, or against the iudgement of the minde, as touching honest and dishonest actions: or a pronesse & willingnesse of nature to doe those things which God forbiddeth, which euill they call concupiscence. Or, A corrupt inclination is a qualitie of the minde, which hath an action following it, euen so that albeit wee are not willing as yet actuallie to doe those thinges which the Law forbiddeth, yet are wee willing by inclination of mind. That sinne is a defect, shall be proued in the question of ori­ginall sinne. That sinne deserueth eternall punishments, shall bee proued in the question of the effectes of sinne.

The diffe­rence of sin. Now the difference of sinne, which maketh it to differ from all other defectes, is, that it is repugnant vnto the Law of God.

The proper quality of sin. The propertie of it is, that it maketh a creature guiltie of the eternall wrath of God. For as the speciall and peculiar difference of sinne is, repugnancie with the law of God: So a proprietie necessa­rilie adioined vnto it, is the guilt of the person sinning, that is, a binding of him to temporall and eternall punishmentes, which is done according to the order of Gods iustice and will. And this is that which they commonlie say, that there is a double for­malitie or difference of sinne: repugnancie with the Law and guilt: or that there are two respectes, of which one is a comparison or a dis­similitude with the Law: the other as it is ordained to punishment. For sinne is considered with this respect in the Church, that wee may haue the whole description of it, not onely as an euill habit of the will which is called vice of the Philoso­phers. But that guilt in men doth not onely enwrappe the sinners themselues, but also their posteritie in the iudge­ment of God: as it is said, Exod. 20, Visiting the iniquitie of [Page 67] the fathers vpon the children vnto the third and fourth generati­on of them that hate mee. And Deut. 28. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy bodie.

Last of al an An accidēt is that which so belongeth vnto a thing, as it is not of the nature thereof but so belongeth vnto it, as it may also not belong. accident of sin is conteined in these woords: Except remission be made for the satisfaction of the Sonne of god: which is therefore added, least this might seeme to be said in the definition of sinne, That all, whosoeuer haue sinned, perish, without all recall, together with their posteritie. For although there follow the nature of sinne, which is to be re­pugnant to the law of god, the condemnation of the sinner and his posteritie: yet both are exempted from it, if they apply vnto themselues the merit of Christ by faith, and bee con­uerted.

3. How manie kindes of sinne there are.

There are fiue principall diuisions of sinne.

The first diuision is this: There is one sinne Originall, & another Actuall.

OF ORIGINAL SINNE.

THat there is Original sinne in al men, Original sin in al men. is prooued and main­tained against the Pelagians, and the Anabaptists, 1. By the Testimonies of Scripture: As,Iob. 14.4. who can bring a clean thing out of filthines? Psa. 51.5. In sinne hath my mother conceaued me. Ioh. 1.1.13. Which are borne not of bloode, nor of the wil of the flesh, nor of the will of mā, but of God. Iohn. 3.36. He that beleeueth not the Sonne, the wrath of God abideth on him. Rom. 5 16. The fault came of one offence vnto condemnation. Ephe. 2.3. We were by nature the children of wrath. 2. Because infants also are subiect to sinne: because they die. But they haue not sinne by imitation: therefore by propagation. Which is also confir­med by Testimonies of Scripture.Gen. 6.5. All the imaginations of mans heart are onely euill, and that continually. Isaie. 48.8. I called thee a transgressor from thy wombe. Rom. 7.23. I see another Law in my members re­belling against the Law of my mind.

Against this doctrine of Original sinne, The Pela­gians and A­nabaptists a­gainst Origi­nal sinne. in times past did the Pelagians striue, as at this daie doe the Anabaptists, de­nying that there is any Original sin: For because that neither the posteritie are guiltie by reason of the first Parents fall, neither is sin deriued into them from their auncestors by propagation: but euerie one sinneth, and becommeth faultie by imitation onely of the first [Page 68] Parentes. Others grant, that all became faultie by reason of the first sinne, but not that withal such corruption was bredde in vs, as might deserue condemnation and the wrath of God: for that the de­fectes, as they think, with which we are borne, are no sinne.

What we are to oppose a­gainst them.But that we may altogither fortifie our selues against Pe­lagians & Anabaptists, and others of the same litter, these foure thinges are proposed diligently to be considered.

1 That al mankind is held guiltie for the disobedience of our first Parentes, except by the benefit of the Mediator they bee exempted from it.

2 That there are in vs, besides this guilt, defects & inclinations re­pugnant to the Lawe of God, euen from the houre of our birth.

3 That these defects and inclinations are sinnes, and deserue the aeternal wrath of God, except wee bee deliuered by his Sonne. For Christ freeth vs, not onelie from the guilt, but also from the corruption. For as a double euil befell vs from Adam, euen our guilt for the sin committed in him, and the corruption of our nature propagated from him vnto vs: So by Christ, the other Adam, a double grace hath befallen vs: euen Im­putation of righteousnes, and Regeneration. These two are proued togither in the scripture. As,Rom. 3.23. Al men haue sinned, and are depriued of the glorie of God, and are iustified freely by his grace through the redemptiō that is in Christ Iesus. Gal. 3.22. The Scripture hath concluded al vnder sin, that the promise by the faith of Iesus Christ should be giuen to them that beleeue, God shal circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seede.

4 That these euils are deriued not by imitation; but by propaga­tion of a corrupt nature from our first Parents vnto al their poste­ritie, Christ onely excepted. So then we know, that there is Ori­ginal sinne: let vs now see what it is.

Original sinne is the guilt of al mankind, by reason of the fal of our first Parentes, and a priuation of the knowledge of God, and his will in our minde, What Origi­nal sinne is. and of all inclination to obey God with our will and heart: and of the contrarie, in these there remaineth a wicked inclination to disobey the Lawe of God, ensuing vpon the fal of our first Parentes, and deriued from them vnto al their posterity, and so corrupting their whole nature, so that al by reason of this cor­ruption are become guiltie of the euerlasting anger of God, neither can they doe any thing pleasing and acceptable to God, except re­mission be graunted for the Sonne of God the Mediatour, and a re­newing [Page 69] of their nature by the holy Ghost. A more briefe definiti­on of the nature of Original sinne is this, Original sinne is a wanting of that original righteousnes which ought to be in vs. Now original righteousnes, is a conformitie and perfect obedience, as wel inward as outward, according to the whole Law of God: because man at first pleased God by that conformitie.

The formal cause of sinne, as it hath respect to punishment,The formal cause of sin. is the guilt. Now the guilt is, to be obnoxious to punishment, and to be ordained to euerlasting torments: and to bee worthie of these, be­cause of the offending of God. That the cause of this guilt was the fall of Adam, is proued, 1. By testimonies of Scripture. As by one man sinne entred into the world, and death by sinne, Rom. 5.12. and so death went oueral men. By one mans disobedience many were made sinners. 2. It appeareth also by this antithesis, or contrarietie. As de­liuerie from sinne is, not to bee guiltie, because of the satis­faction of Christ: so of the contrarie, Originall sinne is the guilt which for the fal of our first Parents was deriued vnto al their posteritie.

That the priuation or want of the knowledge of God is sinne, The priuati­on of the knowledge of God is sinne. is proued by this argument. Whatsoeuer is contrarie to the Law is sinne. The priuation of the knowledge of God is contrary to the Law: Therefore it is sinne. Now that priuation of the knowledge of God is contrarie to the Law, the reason for it is, 1. Because the Law of God requireth in men gifts and faculties oppo­site to these defectes and inclinations. For, Accursed be euery one that abideth not in al. But there is commanded in the Law, the true knowledge of God, & a correspondence of al the powers in mans nature with the wil of God, when he saith: I am the Lord thy God: Thou shalt haue none other Gods before me. Likewise: Thou shalt loue the Lord thy God with al thy hart. Whosoeuer therfore do roue and swarue in opinions concerning God, not acknowledging him ac­cordingly as he is manifested in the Scriptures, and they whose harts do not so turn with the loue of god, that nothing may withdraw them from him, these, as much as lieth in them, are fallen from ae­ternall life, and are subiect vnto the curse. 2. To this be­longeth all the sayinges of the Scripture, which tax our ignorance of God. Yee erre, not knowing the Scriptures. The gospell is said to bee hid to those which perish. Ignorance of the Gospel is sinne.

That a corrupt inclination to disobey the Lawe of God is sinne, A corrupt inclination is sinne. is [Page 70] proued. 1 By the tenth and last commandement: Thou shalt not couet. For the Law requireth inward & outward obedience, and that we haue an inclination to loue God. That corrupt inclination therefore is a defect & sin. Sin is the transgression of the Law. 2. By other testimonies of Scripture. The frame or imaginatiō of mans hart is euil, Gen. 8.21. euen from his youth. We were by nature the children of wrath. 3. By death & other punishment which followed. The wages of sin is death. Inclinations there­fore to wil or doe il are sinne.

1 Obiection. That which is not voluntarie, neither can be auoi­ded, is not sinne: Inclinations are not voluntarie. Therefore they are not sinne. Answere. It is true in ciuil matters, that that which is not voluntarie is not sinne, but not in spirituall matters. For the Scripture teacheth both that the wisedome of the flesh cannot be subiect to the Law of god: and, that al who are not subiect vnto the Law, are subiect to the wrath of God. Wherefore the iu­stice of God requireth that euerie creature who is endewed with reason be condemned and punished of God, whensoe­uer he is disobedient vnto his Lawe, whether willing or vn­willing, whether he bee corrupted by his owne fault, or by the fault of his auncestors. For so great and so inuiolable is the maiestie of God, so great euil is there in sinne, that the defection of one man from God is sufficient to prouoke the anger of God toward al his posteritie.

2 Obiection. Punishments are not sinnes. These inclinations and defects are punishments of the first fal: therefore they are not sinnes. Aunswere. It is true that punishmentes are not sinnes, if we respect the course of ciuil iustice: but not so, if we respect Gods iustice. For God oftentimes punisheth sinnes with sinnes. Which is speciallie shewed, Rom. 1. and 2. Thessa. 2. For God hath power of depriuing his creatures of his spi­rit: which power his creatures haue not.

3 Obiection. Priuation is sinne. God inflicteth it, creating in vs a soule not adorned with those gifts, which he would haue had be­stowed vpon vs, if Adam had not transgressed. Therefore God is the autor of sinne. That is, priua­tion being an accident, and hauing a di­uers nature according to the diuers respect as it is of God inflicted, and as it is by vs receiued; in the obiection deceitfully this diuersity is dissembled. Aunswere. It is a fallacie of the Accident. For as God inflicteth it, it is Gods iustice: but as it is drawen on vs by the fault of our Parents, and our selues also do wil­linglie receiue it, it is sin. Replie. But God should not haue puni­shed [Page 71] this fault with such a punishment, seeing hee did know that so great euil would ensue. Aunswere. Let God execute his iustice, and let the world perish. Therefore he should doe it, because it was iust.

4 Obiection. The desires of things that are obiect vnto them are natural: therefore they are not sinnes. Aunswere. True: ordinate desires of their proper obiects, which God hath ordained for them: but not inordinate, and such a [...] are against the Lawe. For to desire, of it selfe, is not sinne: But the desire is of it selfe good. But a desire against the Law is sinne.

5 Obiection. Nature is good. Therefore there is no Original sin. Aunswere. 1. True it is that Nature is good, if you consider it before the corruption. All thinges were verie good which God made. 2. Euen now also Nature is good, in respect of the sub­stance and being of it, and as it was made of God: but not in respect of the qualitie of it, and as it is corrupted.

That these euils are not onelie drawen by imitation, but also are borne with vs, whiles our corrupt nature is propagated from our first Parents vnto al their posterities, these testimonies doe mani­festlie shew. Iob. 24. Who can bring a cleane thing out of filthines? Iohn. 1. Which are borne not of blood, nor of the wil of the flesh, nor of the wil of man, but of God. Rom. 5. By one man sinne entered into the world, and death by sinne, and so death went ouer all men, for as much as al mē haue sinned. & cap. 7. We know that the law is spi­ritual but I am carnal, sold vnder sinne. Eph. 2. We were by nature the children of wrath, as wel as others. Last of al, seeing infantes also are subiect to sinne, whereupon also they die, and are to be baptised, as before time they were circumcised: and they cannot as yet sinne by imitation: it must needs be that sinne is bred in them, as it is said, Genes. 8. The cogitation of mans heart is euill euen from his youth. And Isaie. 48. I called thee transgressor euen from thy womb.

Against this doctrine it is obiected: first,Obiect. Of the deri­uation of the soule from the soul of the parents. If sinne bee propa­gated from the Parents vnto their posterity, either the soul stained with originall sinne, is deriued by deduction out of the soule of the Parents, or is created by God of nothing infected with sinne, and is infused into the bodie: or els being created pure by God it draweth corruption and naughtines of the body, vnto which it is vnited. But since that a spiritual substance may not be cut into parts, soules are not propagated by deduction out of the soule of the Parentes, nei­ther [Page 72] are they created corrupt of God, because God by this meanes should be made autor of sinne, contrarie to that which hath beene said: God saw al which he had made, & they were verie good: nei­ther are the soules depraued by the bodies: partly for that it would be against both the end, vnto which man was created, euen to life e­uerlasting, and also against the goodnes of god, for a pure and inno­cent soul to be ioined with a bodie of which it should be depraued: & partlie for that sinne can not be propagated by the bodie, which [...] senseles, neither exerciseth any action on the soule, but by the soul. Wherefore the children are not borne corrupt of corrupt parentes.

1 Answere. The souls are corrupted by the bodies.To this the answeare is double. First they can not proue that, which in the third place in their Minor they affirme: That the soules can not draw naughtines & corruptiō from the bo­dies. For our first Parentes also were created to eternall life, and yet were depraued falling from god. Wherefore as the creation of our first parentes, and their triall by temptati­on, and in temptation their falling away (which being put, their corruption was certainly to followe:) so also the vniting of the soules with their bodies, in which cer­tainlie they shall be corrupted, is not contrarie to the good­nes of God: partly because God is so good, as also he will shew foorth his anger against sinne, and his iustice togither with his mercie in his woorkes: partly because he hath ap­pointed a remedie in his sonne, vnto the which who flie are deliuered from this hereditarie and necessarie corruption, and from the danger of damnation: neither is it disagreeing from his goodnes, rather to saue men freed from sinne and death, by the death of his onele begotten Son, then if they had neuer fallen into these miseries. Neither is it absurd, that the nature or temperature of the bodie, though it bee senseles, yet should be prone to euill, and no fit instrument for the good acti­ons of the soule: and that the soule not being established in that puritie, in which it was made, should follow the incli­nations and corrupt temperature of the bodie, and should fal from that integritie in which it was, as soone as it is vni­ted vnto the bodie: and seeing that the bodie proceeding from sinful and guiltie parentes, is one part of a man, that God should be offended with the whole man, for that part of his which is guiltie, and should withdraw the grace of his spirite, that the other part also, that is, the soule being [Page 73] depriued of spiritual giftes, may fall into wickednes and ma­lediction.

But be it that they were able to prooue that Minor pro­position,2 Answere. The souls are togither cre­ated and vni­ted to their bodies. yet there is another sufficient answere to the Ma­ior: so that wee haue no neede to enter into any doubtfull dispute, about the deducting of the soule from the soule of the parentes by generation, neither of the maner how Ori­ginall sinne is propagated. For although wee graunt that the soules of all men, as soone as they begin to liue, are created of god: yet it is not to be imagined, that the soules haue a beeing some time, before they are vnited to the bodies.

For at one and the same time they are both created and vnited to their bodies: as it is said,The soule of man is at the same time both created and vnited to the bodie. Hee breathed in his face breath of life. But as the substance also of bodies, though it be taken out of the substance of the parentes, yet is rightly said to be created of God, that is, framed by him: and the substances both of men and diuels, who both are sinfull, are preserued of God, neither is yet God the autor or maintai­ner of their sinne or malice: so also the substance of the soules and their naturall faculties, God togither both crea­teth, and bereaueth of his giftes: which giftes hee gaue of that condition to Adam, that hee would also giue them to his posteritie, if himselfe did keepe them: but would not giue them, if hee by his vnthankfulnes should cast them a­way. Now the soule being destitute of the spirite and spiri­tuall light, although it bee inclined to desires and operati­ons, yet is it blinde, not inclined to such desires and acti­ons, as the law of God requireth. And by this meanes the inclinations, being despoiled of their rightnes, are become of their owne accord euill, and are repugnant to the lawe of God. And those defectes, in the minde and will, and heart of our first parentes, are the iust punishmentes of sin com­mitted by our first parentes, and by their seed in them, as they are inflicted by God: but the inclinations corrup­ted by these defectes, and the defectes themselues, because they are a cause that man neither is, nor can bee conforma­ble to the law of God, they are sinnes, as they are drawen, by men sinning, vpon themselues and their seede, and as they haue from them and their seede their being.

2 Obiection. That which the Parents themselues haue not, they [Page 74] cannot deriue vnto their posteritie. Original sin is taken awaie from the godly. Therefore at the leastwise these doe not deriue it to their posteritie. Aunswere. Original sinne is taken away from the godlie and saints of god, as concerning the guilt of it, that is, so as it is remitted them for Christs sake. But as it is a sinne repug­nant to the Lawe, so it abideth in them. For although they be withal regenerated by the holie ghost, vnto whomsoe­uer their sinne is forgiuen: yet that renewing is not perfe­cted in this life. Wherefore the godlie also doe deriue such a nature to their posteritie, as themselues haue, that is, a cor­rupt one,Vnrighteous­nes and dam­nation from our parentes, but righte­ousnes by the grace of Christ. subiect to defects, and euil inclinations. If they re­plie that therefore the guilt stretcheth not to the posteritie, because the Parents are freed from it, the Aunswere is, that that is not deriued from the Parents to their posteritie, which the Pa­rents by nature haue not: and that they are freed from the guilt not by nature, but by the grace and benefit of Christ. Wherefore they deriue vnto their posteritie, not righteous­nes, which is freely imputed, but vnrighteousnes, and dam­nation, vnto which themselues by nature are subiect.

Why the Pa­rents righte­ousnes is not deriued vnto their childrē.And the cause why they deriue their guilt vnto them, & not their righteousnes, is this: because their posteritie are not borne of them according to grace, but according to na­ture: neither is grace and iustification tied to carnall pro­pagation, but to the most free election of God. As it is said, Iohn. 1. Which are borne not of blood, nor of the wil of the flesh, nor of the wil of man, but of the wil of god.

3 Obiection. It is said by the Apostle, Rom. 11. If the roote be holie, so shal be the branches also. Aunswere. This hindereth no­thing at al. For hee vnderstandeth not here by holines, re­mission of sinnes, and regeneration: but this worthines of Abrahams posteritie, for that God, for his league made with Abraham, had appointed alwaies to conuert some of his posteritie, and to indow them with true and inward ho­lines.

Rom. 9.4 Obiection. It is said vnto holie Parentes: Your children are holie. Answere. The Apostle in that place sheweth, that nei­ther al the children of holie men obtaine remission of their sinnes, or are regenerated by the holy ghost, neither the ho­lines of the children proceedeth from carnal propagation. For of Iacob and Esau it was said, when they had neither done good [Page 75] nor euil, I haue loued Iacob, and haue hated Esau. The meaning therefore of Paul is, that the children of godly Parentes, al­though one of the Parentes be an infidel, yet they are holy, in respect of the external fellowship of the Church: that is, that they are to be counted for members, or citizens of the Christian Church, and so also for the chosen, and inwardlie sanctified of God, except themselues declare are themselues to be others by their vnbeliefe and impiety. But neither is out­ward, nor inward sanctifie of the nature of the parents, see­ing neither is found in it, but both befal, as wel to the chil­dren as to the Parents, of the free mercy, and couenant, or promise of God.

5 Obiection. They are more miserable vnto whom their sinnes of al their ancestors are deriued, the they vnto whom haue stretched but the sinnes of some of their ancestors. But if sinne passe from the Parents, vnto the children, then vnto the latest of their posteritie come the sinnes of al the ancestors, vnto the former onely their sins who liued before them. So then are the latter more miserable then al the rest, which would be absurd, and not agreeable to the iustice of God. The first aunswere to this is: that it would be neither absurd nor vniust, although god should punish more heauily, and more forsake the latter of the posteritie, then the former. For how ma­nie more sinnes are committed, and heaped vp by man­kinde, so much the more vehemently is his wrath kind­led, and the punishment is more aggrauated. Whereupon are those sayinges, Genes. 15. The wickednesse of the Amo­rites is not yet ful. Matt. 23. That vpon you may come all the righ­teous blood. 2. God therefore suffereth the sinne of our first Parents to passe vnto al their posteritie, as concerning the corruption of nature and guilt: that hee might satisfie his owne iustice, and that himselfe might haue occasion of ex­ercising his mercy in his sonne. Rom. 5. and 11. But of the actual sinnes of euerie man he saith, that he visiteth the iniquitie of the father on the children vnto the third and fourth generation: that is, according to his iustice hee punisheth the sinnes of the parents in their posteritie, and yet of his mercy doth set bounds and limits for sinne, that the posteritie may not al­waies pay for the sinnes of their ancestors, or imitate them, and that it may not be of necessitie that the children of e­uil Parents should be euil, or worse, or more miserable then [Page 76] their Parentes: euen as also he exerciseth his mercie vnto the thousand generation of them that loue him, and yet retaineth the liberty of his election, so that not alwaies good Parents haue their posteritie good also. The reason of this diffe­rence betweene Original and Actual sinne is, because that righteousnes and life euerlasting was not lost first by the posteritie, but by our first Parents.

Obiection. But God wil not punish the posteritie for the Parents sins. Answere. 1. True, except they persist in them. 2. If the Pa­rents had not receaued this conformity with God both for themselues and their posterity, so that if they did retaine it, their posteritie also retaine it: and if they did leese it also from their posteritie.2 Causes, for which God doth iustly punish in the posteritie both their own sins and their parents. Hereof it may bee vn­derstood, that god for two causes doth iustlie punish in the posterity both their owne sinnes and their auncestors: first, because the whole nature of the Parents sinning is guiltie: and the childrē are as it were a part of the Parents, because they proceede out of their substance or masse. Wherefore that cannot bee but guiltie as wel after, as before the pro­pagation from the Parents, vnlesse by some singular benefit remission of that fault befal vnto it, which now before in the Parents themselues it did commit: Againe, because the Pa­rents haue receaued the giftes of God to be imparted also vnto their posteritie, of that condition, if the Parents them selues did retaine them: and if they did cast them away and leese them, that their posteritie also should be depriued of them. Wherefore after the Parents did bereaue themselues of righteousnes and the grace of God, they cannot, being themselues vncleane, bring foorth cleane, but corrupt chil­dren, and like to themselues, and therefore guilty as well of their owne as of their Parents sinne, because they partake of it being deriued vnto them, consenting vnto it either in act, as to vs who are come to some yeares; or by inclinati­on, as infantes, except by the singular mercie of God this their in-bred corruption be corrected.

Why after the fall, came this general corruption.There was added, in the definition of Originall sin, that this corruption of nature ensewed vpon the fal, in our first parentes. For of man not yet fallen it is said, that he was made to the i­mage of God: and all thinges which God had made, were verie good: but of man fallen and his posteritie, All the ima­ginations [Page 77] of the heart of man are onelie euill continuallie.

Wherewithall wee are taught, that the whole nature of of man, that is, his mind, wil, and hart, and all his faculties are so depraued, that without renewing, they can bring foorth none, but vitious actions, and such as displease God, according to those sayinges, Rom. 7. For wee know that the law is spirituall: but I am carnal, sold vnder sinne. Again, For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing. And Rom. 8. So then they that are in the flesh can not please God. Matt. 7. A cor­rupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit. And truly the reason, why it must needs be so, is not obscure. For whatsoeuer is not ex­actlie agreeable to the rule of the Lawe, that cannot please God, but deserueth malediction & the wrath of God euer­lasting, as it is said: Accursed be euery one that abideth not in all which are writtē in the book of the Law. And S. Iam. ca. 2. Whosoe­uer shall keep the whole Law, & yet faileth in one point, he is guiltie of al. But no action of men since the fal hath beene wholy agreeable vnto the Lawe: wherefore no action of theirs can please God. The minor is hereof manifest: because the Law, in euerie action, requireth the knowledge of the true God, agreeing with his wil reuealed in the Scripture: & this end, as principal, that the true God, by that obediēce of the rea­sonable creature, may be honored: and furthermore requi­reth such a desire of obeying god, & such a loue of god, as for a man rather to leese al, then to depart euen in the least matter, from the wil of god: and that there be none, no not the least affection, or desire, or inclination, that may cal him from that exceeding and most ardent loue of god, and from obedience towards his Law. 1. Cor. 10. Doe al things to the glo­rie of God. Deut 6. Thou shalt loue the Lord thy God with al thy hart, and with al thy minde, and with al thy strength. But they who are not regenerat, in all their actions, they doe not so much as acknowledge the true god, much lesse doe they re­fer al to his honor, or loue him aboue al things, but are tur­ned away from him, and are his enemie [...] Rom. 5. When wee were enemies, wee were reconciled to god. And cap. 8. The wise­dome of the flesh is enmitie against god. Wherefore no action of theirs, whatsoeuer it appeareth to the shewe, agreeth with the rule of the Law of God. As it is said, Rom. 14. What­soeuer is not of faith, is sinne.

[Page 78] The doctrine of Original sin, profitable to be held in the Church.This doctrine concerning Original sinne is to bee held in the Church. 1. That the knowledge of sinne be perfect. 2. Because god will haue our corruption to bee knowen to bee so great, as wee can not so much as begin our obedience by our selues without his grace, and his holie spirit. 3. That wee may know what sinnes are in the godlie, and what be the differences of the sinnes which are in the regenerat and in the reprobate.

What Actual sinne is.Actuall sinne is euery inward and outward Action, which is repugnant to the Law of god, as well in the minde, as in outward actions: and the omitting of those thinges which the law commaun­deth, as to will, to thinke, to follow, to doe euil: not to will, to flie, to omitte to doe good. Likewise motions and passions contrarie to the Law. Hither belongeth that diuision into sinnes of fact, and sins of omission.

The second diuision of Sinne.

Raigning sin.THere is Raigning sinne, and sinne Not-raigning. This diui­sion is taken out of the Apostle, Rom. 6. Let not sin raigne in your mortall bodie. Sinne Raigning is all sinne which is not re­pented of, and which is not resisted by the grace of the holie Spirit, and for which not onely according to the order of gods iustice, but also for the thing it selfe hee is guiltie of eternal punishmentes, who hath it. And it is called Raigning, 1. Because it is pampered: 2. Be­cause it hath rule ouer a man, and maketh him guiltie of eternal dā ­nation. Al sins in the wicked are raigning sins. Such are all sinnes in the wicked, who beleeue not the Sonne, and are without faith and repentance. That is also in the elect before their conuersion, although it be re­mitted according to the secret purpose of God: yet they do not as yet know it.In the elect also, before their conuer­sion. 1 Iohn. 3.8. But after they are conuerted, they striue against it, that it may not beare rule ouer them.

It is called also Mortal, in which who perseuereth, & dieth in it, perisheth. He that committeth sin, that is, he that of pur­pose & with delite sinneth, is of the diuel. Where he speaketh of Raigning sin. Sin raigning is all sin in the regenerate, before their conuersion: in the not regenerat, continually: whether they be defectes, o [...] inclinations, or errors, or Actuall sinne.

Sinne not Raigning, is that which is repented of, & which is re­sisted by the grace of the holy Spirit, Sinne not Raigning. and whereof we obtaine remissi­on: And this sin is in the godly. If wee say we haue no sin, we de­ceaue our selues, and there is no truth in vs. This saith Iohn, Of [Page 79] sinne Not-raigning. It is no more I that doe it, Rom. 7. but the sinne that dwelleth in mee.

Sinne Not-raigning is called also Veniall, Why not raigning sin is called venial. not for that it de­serueth remission, or that it is not woorthie of punishment, but be­cause remission followeth such sinne. Neuerthelesse I had rather vse the names of Raigning and Not-raigning sinne, 1. Because the names of Mortall and Veniall sinne are obscure, and doubtful. For all sinnes are mortal. And Iohn also calleth Mortal sinne, or sin to death, the sinne against the holie ghost. 2. Because of the errors of the Papists, who saie that they are called venial sinnes, which are light, and deserue not aeternal paines: whereas yet it is said, Ac­cursed be euery one who abideth not in all. 3. Because the Scripture vseth not these terms, especially the name of Venial sinne.

1 Obiection. But the elect fal not from grace. Answere. Finally they doe not. But they who sinne mortallie, and doe not repent, perish. This falleth not to the elect, that they should fal finally: but before the end, they fall easily and often.

2 Obiection. The wil of God is vnchangeable. But he will the saluation of the elect, and remission of their sinnes. Aunswere. I grant that it is true, concerning the purpose and counsaile of God, but not concerning our affiance, which we haue of the remission of sinnes. For our comfort standeth not to­gither with errors, which are contrarie to the foundation, and with sinnes committed against our consciences. For then are we said to haue remission of our sins, when we apply these benefits to our selues. Eph. 2.13. Now in Christ Iesus yee which once were farre off are made neere by the blood of Christ. And Osc. 2.23. I wil saie to them which were not my people, thou art my people. And they shal say, thou art my God.

3 Obiection. He that is borne of God sinneth not. Therefore the regenerat sin not. Aunswere. 1. He sinneth not to death. The elect may sinne a­gainst their conscience, yet not to death. For the e­lect doe not wholy forsake God, albeit they sinne against their consciēce: but they retain stil some beginnings of true godlines, by which as by sparcles they are stirred againe to repentance, as Dauid, Peter, Manasses. 2. He sinneth not, as hee is regenerated: but hee sinneth as long as hee abideth in this life, sinne not raigning in him, and yet some times raigning too: as he is not regenerated by the spirit of God,Regenerati­on but b [...]gun in this life. but is as yet carnall. For regeneration, or the renuing of vs to the image of God is not perfected in an instant, but is be­gun [Page 80] onely in this life, and in the life to come is at length finished.1. Ep. c. 1 For so doth Iohn himselfe pronounce of himself, and all the Saintes in this life. If wee say that wee haue no sin, wee deceaue our selues, and truth is not in vs. If wee acknowledge our sinnes, hee is faithfull and iust, to forgiue vs our sinnes, and to clense vs from all vnrighteousnes. This is therefore the mea­ning of Iohn, that the regenerate indeed do sinne: but yet not so, that they make much of their sinne, or doe so at a­ny time yeeld and assent to euil desires, that they cast away all loue of godlines, and repent not. For alwaies in the re­generat there remaineth some remnant of a regenerat na­ture, which causeth either a strife against sinne, or else true repentance: that is, it suffereth them not to sinne to death or euerlasting destruction, or wholly to forsake God. And this consolatiō so long they enioy, as they know them­selues to be regenerated, that is, as they keepe faith, and a good conscience.

4 Obiection. It is said, 1. Iohn, cap. 3. His seed remaineth in him, neither can hee sin, because he is borne of God. And. 1. Pet. 1. Being borne anew not of mortal seede, but of immortal, by the word of God who liueth and endureth for euer. If therefore the seede of Gods woord neuer dieth in them that are borne anewe, they euer re­maine regenerate, The regene­rate in this life may, and doe often­times leese the grace of God, in part, but not in whole. & euer retaine grace, neither euer fal into Raig­ning sinne. Answere. The regenerat may leese, and doe often leese grace and the holy spirit, as concerning some giftes, somtimes more, somtimes fewer: although they leese it not, if we respect al the gifts. For there abideth in thē some be­ginning or print of true faith & conuersiō, which although, when they yeeld to euil inclinations or desires, it is so op­pressed, & darkned, that it neither can be known of others, neither confirme them of the grace of God and their owne saluation, for the present: yet it suffereth them not wholy to forsake God and the knowen truth, and to cast awaie their purpose of embracing by faith the merit of the son of God. So Dauid praieth Psa. 51. Create in me a cleane hart O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Againe, Restore to me the ioie of thy saluation. He had lost therefore cleannes of hart, right­nes, and newnes of spirite, and the ioy of saluation, which he beggeth of God to be restored vnto him: and yet did he not wholy want them: for otherwise hee would not haue as­ked, [Page 81] neither would hee haue looked for from God this re­newing and restoring. The seed of God, that is, the woord of God working true faith and conuersion in the elect, a­bideth & dieth not in the regenerate, as concerning their conuersion and small perseuerance, how-euer they fall of­ten grieuously before their end, 1. Ioh. 2.19. If they had beene of vs, they would haue continued with vs.

5 Obiection. A good tree cannot bring forth euill fruite. Man in this life is not simply good, and there­fore his woorks are not alwaies good. Aunswer. It cannot, as it is good. For if it be simply good, all the fruit thereof is good: which shall so come to passe in the life to come But if it be partly good, and partly euill, such is the fruite also; which we haue triall and experience of in this life.

Heretofore it hath beene said,Al sinnes mortal in their own na­ture, but pardo­nable by the grace of God. That all sinnes are in their owne nature mortall. Against this sentence, some op­pose that which is said, Psal. 32.5. I wil confesse my wickednesse vnto the Lorde, and thou forgauest the punishment of my sinnes. And Prouer. 24.16. A iust man falleth seuen times, & riseth againe. Whence they gather that there are some sinnes, the committers whereof continue still iust, and therefore deserue not eternall death. But they reason amisse from that which befalleth to sinne but by an accident, to that which is by it selfe in sinne. For it is true indeede that there are many sinnes, for which the Saints doe not leese holinesse and righteousnes, neither become obnoxious to the wrath of God. But this commeth to passe, not by the smalnesse, or nature of the sinne, whatsoeuer it be, but by the grace of God, who doth not impute, neither will punish with eternall death those sinnes, which yet in their owne nature deserued it. This doth the Prophet most euidently shewe, in the same Psal. when he saith, Blessed is he whose wickednesse is forgiuen. And Psal. 143. Enter not into iudgement with thy seruant: for in thy fight shall none that liueth be iustified.

2 Obiection, It is said Matth. 5.22. Whosoeuer is angrie with his brother vnaduisedlie, shalbe culpable of iudgement. And whosoeuer saith vnto his brother, Racha, shall be woorthie to be punished by the Counsell. And whosoeuer shall saie, Foole, shall be woorthie to be punished with hell-fire. Whence they con­clude, seeing Christ himselfe maketh degrees of punishments and sinnes, so that of these former, he threatneth hel-fire, but vnto [Page 82] the third onlie, therefore there are some sinnes smaller, than those who deserue eternall punishment. But the Aunswere vnto this is manifest out of the woordes themselues: which is, that Christ doth not speake of ciuill iudgementes and punish­ments, when he mentioneth Iudgement, and a Counsel. For he doth not here speake of the ciuill order, but disputeth against the corruptions of the Pharisies, concerning the true meaning of Gods Lawe, and concerning the iudge­ment of God against both inward & outward sinnes.

For neither can, nor ought to be punished, by the magi­strate with corporal punishmēt, either such gestures as sig­nify some bitternesse or contempt, or bad affections if they haue not accompanieng them, an endeuor to do any man iniury. Now whereas in the third place he nameth hel-fire, he doth not exempt the other two kinds of sin from eter­nall punishments, but signifieth that the third shal receiue a sharper punishment at Gods hand than the other.

3 Obiection. It is said, Mat. 12. Euerie sinne and blasphe­mie shalbe forgiuen vnto men, but the blasphemie against the ho­ly Ghost shal not be for-giuen to men, neither in this worlde, nor in the world to come. Hence they will gather, That some sinnes are for-giuen in this woorlde, some in the worlde to come, that is, in purgatory, and some are neuer for-giuen, of which these be mor­tall, but the others veniall in their owne nature. But first, neither heere, neither else-where, doth Christ teach that some sinnes are forgiuen in the worlde to come. Sins are remit­ted in this world onely. For that all other sins are for­giuen not in the woorld to come, but in this woorlde, both Christ signifieth in this place, and the Scripture elsewhere teacheth: because it is certaine that sinnes are not remit­ted, but only to those who repent.

No sinne, which may not be re­mitted; except the sin against the holy Ghost.But he denieth that the sinne against the holy Ghost is remitted either in this world, or in the worlde to come, that hee might more significantly expresse the deniall of pardon to it. Secondly, Whether they say for-giuenesse to bee in this woorld, or in the woorlde to come, yet this standeth im­moueable, that it commeth not of the nature or corrupti­on of the sinne, but of free mercy for Christs sake. And if euery sinne be so grieuous, that it could not be purged but by the blood of the Sonne of God; then doubtles they do great despite & contumelie vnto that blood, who so exte­nuate [Page 83] any sin, as to deny that it deserueth eternall punish­ment, vnto which the death of the Sonne of God is equi­ualent. Farther, euen by their owne confession, There are manie mortal sins, which notwithstanding are forgiuen in this life. Wherefore either they must make all these to be euen in their own nature venial, or they wil neuer proue out of this place, that the smalnes of the sin, is the cause of forgiuenes.

4 Obiection. It is said, Rom. 1. The wrath of God is reueiled from heauen against al vngodlinesse. And, 1. Cor. 6. Know yee not, that the vnrighteous shall not inherit the kingdome of God? Out of these and the like places they gather, that seeing they are mortal sinnes which shut men out of the kingdome of God: and all sinnes do not so: therefore there are some sinnes which in their own nature are not mortall. But they conclude more than fol­loweth by force of reason. For that some sinnes are venial, there is no doubt, but that commeth by grace remitting those sinnes, which without remission, would shut men doubtlesse from the kingdome of God.

5 Obiection. It is said, 1. Cor. 3. If anie mans worke burn, Al sinnes shut men out of the kingdom of gods were they not remitted by the grace of God. he shal loose: but he shall be safe himselfe, neuerthelesse yet as it were by fire. Therefore, say they, some sinnes cast men into fire, that is, into some punishment, but not eternall. This also we grant, not in respect of the nature of sin, but in respect of pardō, which befalleth to those who hold the foundatiō, which is christ. For to build on the foundation wood & stubble, that is, to parch the word of god, with vnnecessary questiōs, humane opinions & traditions, which oftē are occasions of schisms in the Church, & often of Idolatry and errours; it is not so light a sinne as they deeme it, who do it; but deserueth eter­nall malediction, except remission be made for the Sonne of God, as it is declared in the Reuelation Chapt. 22.

6 Obiection. It is said, Heb. 5. A high priest taken frō among men is bound to offer for sins, as wel for his own part, as for the peo­ples. This place sheweth that the sinnes of the priest are not venial by themselues, or of their own nature, but for the sa­crifice of Christ, which was signified by the typicall sacrifi­ces: & therfore it quite & clean ouerthroweth the opinion of our aduersaries. For if al sins euen of a righteous Priest, are in the sight of God so great, that they cānot be purged but by the death of the Son of God; it necessarily foloweth [Page 84] that they of their own nature deserued euerlasting death.

7 Obiection. It is said, Iam. 1. When lust hath conceiued it bringeth forth sin; & sin when it is finished bringeth forth death. Here, say they, Iames saith that there is one sin finished, when as the wil vpon deliberation consenteth to euil lust: Actual sinne is an effect of Ori­ginall sinne, & a cause of death; which though purchased by Originall, yet is aggrauated by Actuall. another not fini­shed, when a man sinneth without deliberation: & to sin finished he ascribeth, that it bringeth foorth death. We answere that the consequence of this is not of force, because that a property which belongeth to diuerse kindes, when it is ascribed to one kind, it foloweth not thereof that it is to be remooued frō the other. For S. Iames distinguisheth the kindes or de­grees of sins, Original, & Actual: & saith that death folow­eth after Actual; not as if death did not follow after Origi­nal, but because that Actual is a middle between Originall sin & death, as a cause of this, & an effect of that, and doth aggrauate death or punishmēt, which already was purcha­sed by originall sinne. Neither doth he chiefly speak of the degrees of punishmentes, but of the cause and originall of them to be sought in the corruption of our own nature.

8 Obiect. It is said, Iam. 3. In manie things we sin al. Hence our aduersaries wil proue, that the sins of the iust are venial, be­cause they fal either into few sins, or into no mortall sins. To this, as also to most of that which hath gone before, we answer, that the sins of the iust, who by faith retein or receiue righ­teousnes, are venial, not of their own nature, but by grace.

Gods iustice is not at variance with his mercie, though it iudge the least sinne worthy of eter­nall death.9 Obiection. God is not cruell but mercifull, neither light in his loue, but constant. Wherefore he doth not for euerie light sin iudge a man worthie of eternall punishments. But they ima­gine that the iudgement of God concerning sin is at vari­ance with his mercy: which are not at variance, but do ve­ry well agree. For God is in such wise merciful, as he is also iust. Now the iustice of God requireth, that he iudge all e­uen the least offence and contempt of his maiesty, worthy of eternall damnation. This iudgement against euery sin, the mercy & constancy of Gods loue doth not take away; but for the shewing and declaring thereof it is sufficient, that he reioiceth not at the destruction of them that per­rish, & that for testimony thereof he inuiteth all to repen­tance, & forgiueth them who repent their sinnes, which by thēselues were worthy of euerlasting death; that is, he pu­nisheth [Page 85] them & causeth satisfaction for them not in the sinners, but in his own sonne sent to take flesh, by punishment answering & satisfieng his iustice.

10 Obiection. It is said, Mat. 5. Whosoeuer shal breake one of these least commandements, and teach men so, he shal be called the least in the kingdome of heauen. This they interpret after this sort. That he, who both by sinning & teaching doth against the law, is fallen from the kingdome of god, & not he who in teach­ing subscribeth to the law, although sometimes he doth a litle con­trary to that he teacheth. But first the opposition or contrari­ety which Christ addeth, But whosoeuer shal obserue & teach them, the same shalbe called great in the kingdome of God, doth shew that Christ in the former part of the speach doth vn­derstand those who breake, that is, violate the lawe which they teach; so that the meaning is: although one teach wel, & yet violate one of these cōmandements, which the Pha­risies term the least, that is, of the commandements of the Decalog: he shal find these cōmandements so not to be the least, but the greatest, as himselfe shal thereby become the least, that is, in no place, in the kingdome of God. Second­ly albeit it be granted vnto thē, that in the words of christ, to teach so, is the same, that to teach contrary to the law: yet can it not at al be gathered thence, that they alone shal be the least in the kingdome of God, who by teaching & sin­ning breake the law, & not they also, who by sinning onely, & not by teaching transgres it. The first reason is in the ve­ry words of Christ:Christ calleth them the least, not as in his own iudgement, but as in the iudge­mēt of the Pha­risies. And so he imitateth them in thus speaking. because he calleth those commaunde­ments the least, by a figure of speech called imitatiō, which are the greatest, & the breach whereof, whether it be com­mitted in deed, or in doctrine, or in both, god iudgeth wor­thy the shutting out of his kingdome, euen by our aduersa­ries confession; that is, the whole Decalog, which the Pha­risies did set behind their traditiōs. The other reason is in those wordes which Christ addeth, For I saie vnto you, ex­cept your righteousnesse exceed the righteousnes of the Scribes & Pharisies, ye shal not enter into the kingdome of heauen. In these words Christ sheweth that a farre other righteousnesse is required by the Lawe of God, than the Pharisies thought of: & that those sinnes also are so great, that they shut men out of the kingdome of heauen, which the Pharisies ac­counted [Page 86] either for light, or no sins, as To be angrie with thy Brother vnaduisedlie, To saie vnto him Racha, or Foole: To be troubled with an euill affection, or desire of reuenge. For euen these things also he saith are to be auoided, if we wil auoid Hell fire, & be the children of our heauenlie father. Therefore he saith: Whosoeuer looketh on a womā to lust after her, hath committed adulterie with her alreadie in his hart. And 1. Iohn 3. Whosoeuer hateth his Brother, is a man-slaier: & yee knowe that no man-slaier hath eternal life abiding in him. And therefore not they only which cōmit the greater sins, but they also who commit the lesser cānot escape euerlasting death, but by the satisfaction of christ imputed to them.

Sinnes made venial vnto the repentant, by grace for the in­tercession and satisfaction of Christ.But as our aduersaries accuse this sentence of too much rigor; That al sinnes are by themselues of their owne na­ture mortal, that is, deserue aeternal death: so also the other sen­tence, That sinnes are made venial to those who repent, which of their owne nature are mortal, they reprehend as too gentle and re­pugnant to Gods iustice: because to call that for veniall, which is mortal, is contrarie to truth and iustice. But the answere is rea­die, That God, if we respect the nature of sinne, adiudgeth al sinne woorthy of euerlasting death: & giueth pardon to none but of free grace for the intercession and satisfaction of his sonne our Mediatour.

The third Diuision of Sinne.

What sinne is a­gainst the con­science.There is sinne against the conscience, and sinne not against the conscience. Sinne against the conscience is committed of those who wittingly and willinglie sinne. So Dauid wittinglie and willinglie committed adulterie and murder. Sinne not against the conscience is that, which wee either not witting, or not willing commit, or which is committed of those who knowe the wil of God, acknowledge and bewaile their sinne, but are not a­ble to auoid it: as are Original sinnes, sinnes of omission, ig­noraunce, infirmitie, euen in the regenerate and Saintes. They omit manie good thinges, which they would not omit; or commit euil things, which they would not cōmit, being sudainly ouertaken and ouercome by infirmities: & therefore are most grieuously angrie with themselues for their sinnes committed, so that they are not more grieued at any thing, than for that they offend God daily by their [Page 87] sinne; and therefore desire and grone after nothing more than the grace of the holy spirite, whereby to resist sinne. Such sinnes are not imputed to the regenerat, neither doe they cast off grace, the holie spirit, and faith. Such a sinne of ignoraunce Saint Paul saith his blasphemie was, which hee com­mitted, before he was conuerted, against God, as also his persequu­ting and violence against the Church, & therefore God had mer­cie of him, 1. Tim. 1.13. Another kinde of those sinnes not a­gainst the conscience, to witte infirmitie, the same Apostle describeth, Rom. 7.19. I doe not that good which I would, the euil which I would not that do I. Yet not I doe it, but sinne that dwel­leth in me. Hither also is to be referred the sin of Peter, who wittinglie denied Christ, but not willinglie, for he had not the power to doe otherwise. It was not raigning sinne: be­cause he acknowledgeth and bewaileth it, and holdeth fast his faith, Luk. 22.32. I haue praied for thee that thy faith faile not. Much lesse was it the sinne against the holy Ghost: because he loued christ no lesse, when he denied him, than when he bewailed his offence, though that affection did not at that time for fear of imminent danger shew it selfe. Moreouer this third diuision of sinne and the definition of both sinnes Christ hath expreslie deliuered Luk. 12.47. The seruant that knew his masters wil, and prepared not himselfe, nei­ther did according to his wil, shal be beaten with many stripes: But he that knew it not, and yet did commit things worthie of stripes, shal be beaten with few stripes.

The fourth Diuision of sinne.

THere is sinne pardonable, and sinne vnpardonable. Al sinne repen­ted of is pardo­nable. Al sin is pardonable, whereof men repent and obtain pardon. Vnpardonable is a purposed deniall and oppugning of the knowen truth of God and his wil and workes, of which the conscience is conuicted, whereof no man obtaineth par­don: because it is punished of God with a perpetual forsa­king, and blindnes,They are shut from pardon, who are shut from repen­tance. so that they who so sinne neuer returne to God by true repentance. Now they who are excluded from repentance are also necessarily excluded from remis­sion of sinne. Christ Mat. 12. calleth this kind of sinne, The sin or blasphemy against the holy Ghost, when he saith: Wherefore I saie vnto you, euerie sinne and blasphemie shall bee [Page 88] forgiuen vnto men: They are shut from repen­tance who sinne against the holie Ghost. Why it is called in special a sinne against the holie Ghost. but the blasphemie against the holie Ghost shal not be forgiuen vnto men. But it is not therefore called the sinne against the holie Ghost, as if the holy Ghost might be offended by any man, and not the father also & the Son: but because the reuealing of the heauēly truth is the work of the diuinity, which is immediatly wrought by the holy ghost. And therefore they who witting & willing resist this, are blasphemous indeede against al the persons of the Godhead, but in a more singular and special maner, against the holy ghost, that is against his proper & imme­diate operatiō & working in their minds. That this kind of sin is signified by this name, it hereby appeareth, for that none can after a peculiar maner sin against the holy ghost, but they on whom he hath bestowed a peculiar & proper benefit, that is, a benefit immediatly giuē by himself, & ap­pertaining to his sanctifieng or office, which he exerciseth in the Church, which is the very light of truth kindled in their minds. The same appeareth by the speech of Christ: & Marke, 3. plainly declareth (whē he saith, For they said he had an vncleane spirite) that Christ did attribute this sinne vnto them, who being conuicted as cōcerning the doctrin of Christ, and his diuine works, yet notwithstanding did a­gainst their conscience ascribe these thinges to the diuel. The same is shewed by other places, where this sin is des­cribed. As Heb. 6. For it is impossible that they which were once lightned, and haue tasted of the heauenlie gift: and were made partakers of the holie Ghost &c. if they fall awaie, should be re­nued againe by repentaunce. And 2. Pet. 2. If they, after they haue escaped the filthinesse of the woorlde, thorough the know­ledge of the Lorde, and of the Sauiour Iesus Christ, are yet tangled againe therein, & ouercome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. Who sinne a­gainst the holie Ghost. Out of which sayings first we vnderstand, that not al the reprobate, who perish, not obtaining remission of their sinnes, doe sinne against the holie Ghost: but that this sinne falleth only on them, who are lightned by the holy Ghost with certaine knowledge of the truth: that which hapneth not to al the reprobate, although so much neuerthelesse is re­uealed to al of them concerning God, as may suffice for the iust condemning of them and their posterity. For the holy ghost is not giuen but to them, who are endued with [Page 89] the knowledge of the heauenly doctrine, as it is said, Iohn 14. whom the world cannot receiue, because it seeth him not, nei­ther knoweth him. Likewise, Luk. 12. The seruaunt that knoweth the wil of his master. Wherefore some perish, vnto whom the holy Ghost hath not giuen this light of truth, and there­fore they doe not commit this peculiar sinne against the holy Ghost.

If it be obiected,The difference between other sinnes not par­doned, and this sin against the holie Ghost. That euerie vnpardonable sinne is a sinne against the holie ghost, because Christ saith that the sinne against the holie ghost is vnpardonable: But final perseuerance in whatso­euer sinne without repentance, is remitted to no man. And there­fore it is a sinne against the holie ghost: and by a consequent, all that perish sinne against the holie ghost. The ambiguity of vn­pardonable sinne maketh four termes in this Syllogisme. For in the Maior it signifieth that kind of sinne, which is neuer remitted to any: because whosoeuer commit it, whe­ther at the end, or before the end of their life, they perse­uere in it euen to the end without repentance: But in the Minor it signifieth not a certaine kind of sinne but al their sinnes who repent not: which indeede are not remitted to them, because they perseuere in them to the end without repentance, and they are vnpardonable not before the end, but in the very end of their life: yet are they re­mitted to others who perseuere not in them, but repent. For perseuerance in sinnes is nothing else, than the sinnes themselues, which are continued vnto the end, & therfore this is the meaning of the Minor: Sinnes, in which men perseuere without repentaunce vnto the end, are not par­doned them who perseuere in them. But now all men doe not perseuere in them, as they perseuere in the sin against the holy Ghost, euen whosoeuer once fal into it. And christ in this speech sheweth not, for what sins men are punished with euerlasting death. For it is certaine that it befalleth for all sins, of which men repent not: but he sheweth, what sins are such, as whosoeuer doe commit them, they do ne­uer repent. This he affirmeth of no kind of sin, but only of blasphemy against the holy Ghost.

Secondly, out of the testimony alleadged we gather that the sinne against the holy Ghost, is not euery Raigning-sinne, The peculiar nature of the sin against the holy Ghost making it differ from al o­ther Raigning sinne. whether committed against our conscience, or against the knowen [Page 90] truth: but a sinne against the whole first table of the Law, and not one onely part of it, but a defection from al religion, or godlinesse: and such a denying, or oppugning, or contumelious handling of the true doctrine of God and his will, as proceedeth not of weaknes or terrour, or fear, or torment, but of a purposed and stubburn ma­liciousnes. For the obedience of the first table is, after a man hath once tasted of the word of God, reuerentlie to obey and sub­scribe vnto it. Neither depart they from a part of doctrine, but from all religion, who so fall, that they crucifie againe to themselues the sonne of God, and treade him vnder foote, & count the bloode of the testament as a profane thing, and despite the spirit of grace. Neither doe the Iewes sin of weaknes, in ascribing the works of Christ to the diuel, or hereticall men, after they are once conuicted of their errours by certaine and manifest testimonies of the woord of God: neither they, who vnder the name and shew of Christ remaine stil dogs & swine returning at length to their vomit & wallowing in the mire, from which for a while in outward profession and hypocrisie they abstained. And hereby may be esteemed and iudged in some sort the grieuousnes of this sin, whereas it commeth nearest to the sin of the diuels, who knowing the truth, yet stood not in it, but doe despite it with hatred and hor­rible fury, and endeuour vtterly to oppresse it.

The elect can neuer fal into this sin against the holy Ghost.Thirdly, hereof also it followeth that the elect and those who are truly conuerted can neuer fal into this sinne against the holy ghost: & that they who commit it were neuer possessed of true faith and repentance. For al those who are chosen of God to euerlasting life, are conuerted in this life: and al they who are truly conuerted ought certainely to think that they are in the number of the elect, and therefore shall neuer so sin, as withal to perish: according to those sayings, Iohn 10. My sheepe shal neuer perish, neither shall any plucke them out of my hande. Luke 22. I haue praied for thee that thy faith faile not. 2. Timoth. 2. The foundation of God stan­deth sure, & hath this Seale, The Lord knoweth who are his.

How many of the reprobate are said in scrip­ture to be light­ned & sanctified.That many of the reprobate are saide to bee lightened and to bee made partakers of the holy Ghost, to haue tasted of the heauenly gift, the good word of God, and of the powers of the world to come, and last of al to haue bin sanctified with the blood of the Testament: likewise in Peter, to haue escaped from the filthines [Page 91] of the woorld: the Apostles themselues shew that this is to be vnderstood of the knowledge of the truth, and the foregoing and detestation of errors and vices for a season, and lastly of the sufficiency of Christ merits euen for the wiping away of their sins also, and the offer thereof made vnto them by his word and Sacraments: which they shew, when they interpret that lightning & tast to be the knowlege of the truth & righteousnes, & cal thē dogs & swine, 2. Pet 2. Heb. 6 7. not made so againe, but returning to their vomit and wallowing in the mire, and further compare them to the earth drinking in the raine, but bringing forth insteed of good herbs thornes and briars. For these things agree not to true faith and conuersion.

Fourthly, by these things which haue bin said,We are not rashlie to pro­nounce anie man a sinner a­gainst the holie Ghost, vntil wee see him giue vp the Ghost in A­postacie and blasphemy. it appea­reth that we are not rashly to pronounce who they bee that sin a­gainst the holy ghost: and that we may not iudge of this sin vntill the end, that is, vntil we know them, who once had the truth & confessed themselues to be conuicted and perswaded of it, with hatred thereof to persecute & reproch it, or to end their life in hatred & despite against it. The reason hereof is manifest, because we are not the beholders of mens harts.

If it be obiected, that, 1. Iohn 5. it is said, There is a sin vn­to death: I saie not that thou shouldest praie for it: If hee wil not that we shal praie for those who sinne to death: it must needes bee that wee maie discerne them from others. Wee aunswere, that Iohn doth not vniuersally forbidde, that wee praie for anie so sinning; but at such time, as that is manifest vnto vs either by some diuine testimony, or by manifest argumēts and the sinners owne profession. But before this is certain & manifest vnto vs, we ought to desire of god the conuersi­on of al men, & as much as in vs lieth, to endeuor it, as it is said, 1. Tim. 2. I exhort that first of al supplications, praiers, inter­cessions and giuing of thanks be made for al men. And 2. Tim. 2 The seruant of the Lord must not striue, but must be gentle toward al men, apt to teach, suffering the euil men patiently, instructing them with meeknes, that are contrarie minded, prouing if God at any time wil giue them repentance that they may know the truth, and that beeing deliuered out of the snare of the diuell, of whome they are taken, they maie come to amendment and perfourme his will. And Matth. 5. Praie for them which hurt you, and persecute you. And Actes 7. Lorde, laie not this sinne to their [Page 92] charge. Our praier for the aduersaries of the trueth must be condi­tionall, with sub­mission to Gods will. If it be replied, that so it will come to passe that our praier shall be contrarie to the will of God, if not knowing of it we praie for them who sin against the holie Ghost: the aunswere is ready: That praier is made for them, with a condition, by which we submit our wil & desires to the counsail of God, that he will conuert and saue the aduersaries of the truth, if they maie be recouered: but that he will represse them and punish them, if he haue not appointed to recouer them.

Our praier for them being but conditional, it argueth not but that their sinne maie be not­withstanding vnpardonable.By the same answere is this argument dissolued, Their sinne is not vnpardonable, for whom wee must praie: But wee must praie for all men: Therefore no mans sinne is vnpardonable. First wee denie the Minor: because if it appeareth by a­nie diuine testimonie, or by manifest argumentes and their owne profession that they are castawaies, whether they sinne against the holy Ghost, or otherwise do not re­pent; we must not pray for them. Secondly neither is the Maior true. For if we know not, whether they sin against the holy Ghost, or are reiected of God or no, we must pray for them, but with that condition, if they may bee reco­uered.

Out of these thinges also which haue been spoken, an­swere is made to this obiection. He that must fear lest he hath anie vnpardonable sinne, The fear of vn­pardonable sin belongeth to the wicked, not to the faithful. can neuer bee assured of remission of his sins and of life euerlasting: But if there be anie sin vnpardonable, which is committed before the ende of a mans life, no man can be assured, that he hath not, or shall not haue such sinne: There­fore either there is no such sinne, or no man can bee assured of the grace of God, and his owne saluation. For the Minor of this reason is false, cōcerning those who beleeue. For they must certainely think, that they neither had, nor haue the sinne against the holy Ghost; because there is no condem­nation to them, who are in Christ: neither that they shall haue this sinne, because no man can plucke the sheepe of Christ out of his hand.

Adam and Peter sinned not a­gainst the holie Ghost.1 Obiection. Adam and Peter obtained remission of sins: Adam and Peter sinned against the holy Ghost, because they de­nied the manifest and known truth of God: Therefore some men sinning against the holy Ghost obtaine remission of sins. Aun­swere. The proofe of the minor is a false definition: For [Page 93] not euery deniall or reiection of the truth is sinne against the holy Ghost, but that onely, which hath accompa­nying it an inwarde hatred of the trueth, and which of a purposed intent and with horrible furie endeuou­reth to oppresse it: which hatred of trueth was not in Adam or Peter. Augustine therefore saith: Faith fai­led not Peter in his heart, when confession failed him in his mouth.

2 Obiection. The sin of Cain was not vnpardonable. God sparing Cains life doth not therby shew his pardoning of his sinne, but a further reuen­ging of it. Because God would not haue him killed: therefore he pardoned him his sin. But Cains sinne was committed against the holy ghost: Therefore some sinne against the holie Ghost is not vnpardonable. Aun­swere. In the proofe of the Maior is a fallacie, putting that which is no cause as if it were a cause. For the cause why God woulde not haue him killed, was not, for that hee had pardoned Cain his sinne, not repenting himselfe of it, but that the murderer might be the longer tormented with the furies of his conscience, that in so long time not repenting, he might bee made inexcusable; and furder also, that murders might not waxe rife among men.

3 Obiection. They who are altogether ignorant of Christ, Euerie sinne of the vnregene­rate vnpardona­ble, because not repented of, which to others through repen­tance are pardo­ned. sinne not against the holy Ghost. But al that know not Christ haue vnpardonable sinne: because it is neuer pardoned them. Therefore some vnpardonable sin, is not against the holy Ghost. Aunswere. We grant the whole reason, if in the Minor and conclusion thereof bee vnderstoode, by vnpardonable sinne, those sinnes of the vnregenerate, which are not indeed remitted vnto them, for that they persist in those sinnes to the end without repentance: yet to others they are remitted, who persist not in them, but repent of them in this life. For not al who commit them, persist in them. But if that kind of sinne be vnderstoode, it is neuer remitted to any man, be­cause al they who commit it persist in it to the end of their life without repentance: then is the Minor false. And so it there no consequence in this reason.

The sin against the holie Ghost, and sin against the conscience differ, as a general frō a particular. Sin against the conscience, is the general. For a man may also through infirmity & ig­norance denie the trueth, not through a hatred of it: as [Page 94] Peter and Paul did. So that then the sinne against the holy Ghost is a sinne against the conscience: but euerie sinne against the conscience is not a sinne against the holie Ghost. And therefore this is more general; the other more particular.

The difference betweene the sinne against the holy Ghost, and sinne against the conscience. The sinne against the holy Ghost, is said to be vnpardonable, not that it exceedeth, or surmounteth the greatnes of the merit of Christ; but because hee is punished with a finall blindnesse, who committeth it, neither is it at any time granted him, to repent. Because it is a speciall and singu­lar kinde of sinne, therefore hath it a singular punishment, that such sinners should not at all repent. And without repentaunce there is graunted no remission of sinnes.

The fifth Diuision of sinne.

What is sinne of it selfe, and what sinne only by an accident.THere is some sinne, which is of it selfe sinne, and some which commeth to be sinne by an accident.

Sinnes of themselues, are al those things which are for­bidden of God in the Law, or whatsoeuer things the Lawe condemneth: as are inclinations disagreeing from the Law of God, & some actions also, which are sins in respect of vs: but in respect of God are punishments.

Sinnes by an accident, are things either commanded of God, or neither commaunded, nor prohibited, that is in­differēt things, which are not done after the same maner, neither to the same ende, vnto which God woulde haue them to be don, that is, without repentance, or with great defect. Things commanded, in the vnregenerate are sins, because although the actions & doings of those things are commanded, yet the person, from whō those actions pro­ceed, pleaseth not God, neither is reconciled vnto God. Further, that which the vnregenerate doe, they doe it not to that end, whereunto they ought, that is, to the glorie of God, neither is their action grounded of faith. For they know not whether or no they haue God fauorable to thē, or whether that be pleasing vnto him which they doe. But these conditions and circumstances are necessarily requi­red to a good work: for it sufficeth not to do good works af­ter a ciuill manner. Those ciuil works indeed are good, as they proceed from God: but as they are in vnregenerate men, [Page 95] they are euil: euen as it is sin, when a wicked man giueth almes: because it proceedeth not from the loue of God & therfore not frō faith, neither is referred vnto gods glory.

But yet those things which men doe beeing forbidden in the Law of God are of thēselues & properly sins, because the nature or definition of sin doth properly agree vnto them: which is, that they are don against the expresse commandement of God. And therefore in the Scripture thinges which are so done of men, are euer called euill, but neuer good. But those things which are commaunded of God, when they are done by the vnregenerat, or in hypocrisie, they are so discommended, as yet neuerthelesse they are counted and praised for good: and that not only in respect of God, who is the efficient of those things in men, in respect of whom al the actions of the wicked are iust: but also in respect of the men themselues by whom they are done, so that they also are said to haue done wel, as 1. Kings 21. Seest thou howe Ahab is humbled before me? Because he submitteth himselfe be­fore me, I wil not bring that euil in his daies. And 2. Kin. 10. The Lord said vnto Iehu: Beholde, because thou hast diligentlie exe­cuted that which was right in my eies &c.

Neither is there cause why anie man shoulde heere say, that inclinations and actions are of themselues good, How inclinati­ons and actions are in them­selues both good and bad. because they are things in nature made and raised of God. For they are of themselues good, as they proceed from God: but as they are in men corrupted, or as they are don by men, they are of themselues euil and vitious, because they are commit­ted against the Law of God.

But neither of the contrary followeth it,Why the works of the vnregene­rate cannot please God. that the works of the vnregenerate, whether they be ciuillie or morallie good, are not therefore sinnes, and displeasing God, because they are com­manded of him. For that the woork be good and pleasing to God, not only that which is commanded must be done, but it must be done after that maner also which is commanded, or, which is all one, it must agree not onely in part but in whole with the Lawe of God. And since the woorks of the vnregenerate are not so done, though not wholy yet for a great part they swarue from the Law of God, and are destitute of that perfection and rightnes, without which they cannot please God.

If any man vrge, That the works euen of the regenerat also [Page 96] are not perfect, Why the works of the regene­rate doe please God. neither yet for al that are they counted sins: and that therefore wee must not so seuerelie giue sentence against o­thers: the answere is at hand: that faith shineth on the works of the godlie, but not on the works of the wicked. And therefore they please God, & their imperfection is couered through the satisfaction and intercession of Christ, which falleth not so out with the works of the wicked. And lastly in those is begunne the true and inward obedience of the wil and hart: but in these not so: and therefore these are hypocrisy, which is seuerely condemned by God himselfe.

So also if they be saide to bee recompensed with reward, and therefore not to be sins: First we answer, that to be approued and rewarded in them which is good: but that euil which cōcurreth is not only condēned & punished, but the good also, which the wicked do, is depriued of the honor & name, and so of that eternal reward of those works which are indeed good & please God. Secondly we answere, that these are somtimes recompensed with temporall rewards, but neuer with aeternall. Thirdly, that they are recompensed of God with these rewardes, not as that he simply liketh of them, or so acknowledgeth thē for good, that he doth not withal repute them for euil: but that he might inuite by these rewards others aswel vn­beleeuers as beleeuers to keepe and obserue externall dis­cipline and honesty: Because he wil that in mankind there bee kept some order necessarie for the preseruation of the society of man, yea euen amongst the wicked & hypocrits. Fourthly, those rewardes are rather a diminishing and mitiga­tion of their punishmentes than any rewardes: because they make nought for their saluation to whom they befall. And God will according to the order of his iustice, punish greater sins with greater punishmentes, and lesser with lesser, both in this life and in the life to come.

The morall acti­ons of the vnre­generate are not therefore to be omitted of vs because in them they are sinne; but we must a­uoide the sinne and performe the action.Moreouer this is a fallacie of the accident, If any col­lect and gather that wee must not doe the morall workes of the vn­regenerate, because they are sinnes. For those workes which are of themselues sinnes, that is, are forbidden of God, wee ought of necessitie to auoide: but those which are sinnes but by an accident, ought not to be omitted of vs, but cor­rected by vs, and so done, that they may bee performed without any sinne concurring or intermingled with them. [Page 97] For they are not condemned for themselues, but for the sinnes which are adioyning to them. Now it followeth not, that that good which remaineth, shoulde be reiected or a­bolished, because of the imperfections and defects: but ra­ther it should be nourished, and increased, & clensed from those euils wherewith it was stained.

Discipline therfore is necessary, euē in the vnregenerat,Wherefore ex­ternall and ciuill discipline is ne­cessary in the vn­regenerate. in respect of the commandement of God; for auoiding the grieuousnes of punishmēts, which ensueth vpō the breach of Discipline: for the preseruation of the peace and society of mankinde: for a way & entrance to conuersion which is stopped by perseuering & persisting in manifest offences.

If instance be giuen:The good action of hypocrites is not to be omit­ted, but their hypocrisy there­in onely to be eschewed. Hypocrisie is sinne of it selfe and is to be auoided, as Math. 6. it is saide, Be not as Hypocrites: But the Discipline or outward behauiour of the wicked is Hypocrisie. Therefore it is sinne of it selfe, and they should omit it. We aun­swere to the Maior by distinguishing the diuersitie of Hy­pocrisie. There is a double hypocrisie: one is in workes not commaunded of God, done for ostentation sake or to de­ceiue, as those which Christ mentioneth, Math. 6. To make a trumpet be blowen before him, when he giues almes, to pray stan­ding in the Synagogues and in the corners of the streets, to looke sourely, and disfigure his face in fasting, and all other supersti­tious and humane traditions which appertaine not to the edifiyng of the Church. That these thinges are to bee o­mitted and left vndone, there is no doubt; as it is saide, In vaine doe they worshippe me, teaching doctrines the dommaunde­ments of men. And therefore they are here expresly con­demned & forbidden of Christ. There is another hypocri­sie in workes commanded of God, but not done after that manner, which God requireth. These are not to bee left vndone, but to be corrected, & to be done without hypocri­sie, that is with true faith & godlines: as in the same place Christ teacheth of almes, praier, fasting, not to be omitted of the godly, but to be otherwise perfourmed, than they were of hypocrites.

By this which hath beene spoken it is manifest,The vse of the difference be­tweene sinnes which are of them-selues sins, and those which are made so by an accident. for what cause this difference of sinnes, which are of themselues sinnes, and by an accident sinnes, is necessarie: least that a false persuasion of their owne righteousnes or merites should rest in mens mindes, and least with sinnes which are of themselues sinnes shoulde bee cast a­way [Page 98] also good thinges which come to be sinnes but by an accident, and so shoulde bee encreased and heaped vp the sinnes and pu­nishments of mankind.

The workes of the regenerate and vnregenerate differ seuen maner of waies.

IN this place is to bee obserued the difference betweene the workes of the regenerate, and vnregenerate. They differ seuen waies.Why one and the same worke is good in the regenerate and sinne in the vn­regenerate. For one and the same worke commaunded of God, is good in the regenerat, and sinne in the vnregenerat. 1. Because the re­generate are reconciled to God: The vnregenerate are not. 2. The regenerat doe it to the glory of God: The vnregenerat no way do so. 3. In both of them that good worke is imperfect. but that of the godly is couered by the satisfaction and intercession of Christ: that of the vngodly not so. 4. The worke of the godly is ioined with a beginning obedience: that of the vngodly with sinne raigning. 5. The good worke which is in the wicked, is made euill. But the good which is in the godly, though it be contamina­ted with sinne; yet because it is hidden by the satisfaction of Christ, it is not punished; neither is it obiected vnto him, that he doth defile the giftes of God with his sinnes, neither doth the Lord for that worke bereaue the regenerate man of e­uerlasting life: all which hee doth in those who are not re­generat. 6. The good worke in the wicked is onely adorned with temporall rewards; & that not as if it pleased god, but for to inuite by this meanes others to honesty. But the good worke in the godly is freely adorned not only with temporall but also with eternall benefites; & that also because it pleaseth him in our mediator,Math. 5.16. & not only thereby to inuite others to honestie; according to that of Christs: So let your light shine before mē, that they may see your good works & glorifie your father which is in heauen. Wherefore the good works of the godly are oftē ­times in the old testamēt shadowed by an acceptable incense, wherewith God is honored & pleased. And godlines, as the Apostle saith, hath the promise of this life & the life to come. 7. Good works in the vnregenerat make only to the mitigatiō of their punishments, that they may not suffer more grieuous pains, as other wicked persons doe: but the good workes of the godly doe not only serue for this, that they may suffer lighter and easier punishments, but also that they may be quite freed from all euill.

[Page 99] Thinges indifferent in themselues may bee also sinnes by an accident, that is,How things in themselves in­different by an accident be­come sinne. if they be done with offence or without faith. For whatsoeuer is done without faith is sinne. Vnto the pure all thinges indeede are pure; but it is euill for the man which ea­teth with offence. Out of these and the like places is this di­uision taken. For when the Apostle saith that all thinges are vncleane to the vncleane and wicked, he intimateth also that those thinges which of themselues are good, are notwith­standing vncleane or sinnes vnto the wicked.

In all these diuisions it is affirmed, that also in the [...]aintes of God is sinne. Wherefore we must hold the difference betweene the sinnes of the regenerat, and the vnregenerat. There are diuers sinnes truely in the Saintes: as 1. Originall sinne. 2. Many actuall sinnes, as of ignoraunce, omission, infirmi­tie. 3. Some also fall into errors which fight with the foundation it selfe, or into sinnes against their conscience, for which they leese a good conscience, comfort, many giftes of the holy Ghost, and should be condemned except they did repent. But neuertheles very much doe the regenerate in sinning differ from the wicked. 1. Because the purpose of God is to keepe the godly for euer. 2. In the godly there is assured & certain repentance in the ende. 3. In the very sins themselues is the true beginning of faith, sometimes more, sometimes lesse, and the godly so resist and striue against sinne, that they fall not without re­pentance into errors against their conscience, and repug­nant to the foundation.

4. What are the causes of sinne.

1 SOme deriue the original of sin from the destinie of the start, Men seeke the cause of sinne any where, ra­ther than where it is. saying, I sin because I was borne vnder an vnlucky Planet.

2 Others when they sinne and are rebuked for their sinne, they make answere, Not I, but the Deuill was in fault, that I commit­ted this deede.

3 Others, leauing excuses, directly cast the fault vpon God, say­ing, God would haue it so: for if he would not, I should not haue sinned.

4 Others, when God (say they) might haue hindered me, and yet did not, himselfe is the author of my sinne.

It is no newe thing, for men to sharpen their blasphe­mous tongue against God. For our first Parentes, when [Page 100] they had sinned and were accused of their sinne by God, they translate and passe ouer the fault committed from themselues to others, neither ingenuously confesse the truth. Adam returneth the fault not so much vpon his wife as vpon God himselfe: The woman, saith he, which thou gauest to be with me, she gaue me of the tree, and I did eate: as if hee shoulde say▪ except thou hadst ioined her to me, I had not sinned. But the Lord gaue him not his wife, that shee shoulde be an occasion of euill vnto him, but that it might be the better and more comfortable for him. The woman simply imputeth the fault to the Deuill, saying, The Serpent beguiled me, and I did eate. These are the most false and cor­rupt iudgements concerning the originall of sinne, impi­ous and detestable, whereby the maiestie, truth and iustice of God is grieuously offended.

Destinie no cause of sinne.1. They, who make destinie a cloake for sinne, 1. define de­stinie to bee a linked order thorough all aeternitie, and a certaine perpetuall necessitie of intents and workes according to the coun­sailes of God, or according to the euill planets. Now if you aske them who made the planets, they haue not ought to aunswere, but God. Therefore these men lay their euill to Gods charge. But such a destinie did not all the founder Philosophers maintain, much lesse Christiās. 2. S. Austine, against two epistles of the Pelagians, vnto Boniface, lib. 2. cap. 6. They, saith he, who hold destinie, maintain that not on­ly actions & euents, but also our willes themselues depend of the position of the planets, at the time of euery ones conception or na­tiuitie which they call constellations. But the grace of God sur­passeth not onely all the starres, and all the heauens, but also all the Angels. Let vs conclude these things with the word of the Lord by his Prophet Ieremy, pronouncing to this sense, Thus saith the Lorde, Learne not the way of the heathen, & bee not afraid for the signs of heauen, though the heathen be afraid of such: for the customes of the people are vaine. Wherefore that the Astrologers call the planet of Saturne vnmerci­full, sharpe and cruell: and the planet of Venus fauourable and gentle, it is the vanity of vanities. For the starres haue no force of dooing good or ill. And therefore the fault of sinners ought not to be imputed vnto them.

2. That the Deuill is not the onely author of sinne, who when [Page 101] as we commit sinne shoulde beare alone the blame of the sinne, and our selues be free from fault,The Deuill not the onely autor of sinne. it is most of all de­clared in this, that he is able to induce and entice a man to euill, but not to compell him. For God keepeth vnder the Deuill, by his power, that he cannot doe what he will: but onely what, and so much as God permitteth him. Nay he hath not so much as power ouer filthie swine, much lesse ouer the most noble soules of men. He hath indeede a subtilty, and great force in perswading: but God is stronger, who also neuer ceaseth himself to put good motions into mans minde. Neither permitteth he more to Satan, than he ma­keth profitable for man. Which we may see in that most ho­ly man Iob, in the example of Paul, and in his wordes: God is faithfull, which will not suffer you to be tempted aboue that you be able. Wherefore they are vain men, who vnloade the blame of their wickednes on the Deuils shoulders.

It remaineth that we shew,God no cause of sinne. that also God is not the au­thor of sin. Gen. 1. & 2. God saw those things which he had made, and they were very good. Psal. 5. Because thou art not a God that loueth wickednes. Iames. 1. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God. Eccle. 15. Saie not thou, it is through the Lord that I turne backe: for thou oughtest not to doe the thinges that he hateth. To these and verie manie the like speaches maie be added the great and most perfect goodnes of God, so that no ef­fect of his is euill. And because God is true, and far from all dis­sembling and guile, neither can destroie or denie himselfe; 2. Tim. 2. it is certain that plaine contradictorie willes cannot be in him. But he testifieth in his law (which is as it were a glas of that puritie which is in God) that hee hath a horrible hatred of sinne. Wherefore he doth not will anie, and much lesse causeth or furdereth it. More­ouer, that which one himselfe worketh in an other, hee cannot of right punish. But God doth most iustlie punish al sinnes. Where­fore he neither will nor causeth anie sin. Rom. 3. Is God vnrighte­ous which punisheth? God forbid: else how shall God iudge the world? Lastlie God doth neither wil nor cause that which destroieth his image: sin is the destruction of the image of God. Wherefore God doth neither will nor cause it. Of this wee conclude, that God is not the author of sinne; but that the originall of euill springeth from man himselfe, by the instigation of the Deuill: yet so neuerthelesse, that we say, that the Deuill being at the [Page 102] first corrupted did corrupt man,The cause of sin is to be sought in our first father (through the Deuils instigati­on) and so by discent to be found in vs. but coulde haue done no­thing, except man of his owne accord had consented to euill. Here are we to remember againe the fall of our father Adam. God made Adam to his owne image, and similitude, that is, he made him most good, vncorrupt, holy, righteous, and immortall: hee furnished him with most excellent giftes, that nothing might be wanting vnto him to all blessednes in God. Wherefore his vnderstanding was wholy diuine: his will most free and most holy, hee had power of dooing good and euill: a law was giuen him of God, which shewed him what he should doe, or what he should not doe. For the Lord said, Thou shalt not eate of the fruite of the tree of know­ledge both of good and euill. God simply required of him o­bedience and faith, and that whole Adam should depende of him, and that not constrained by necessitie, but shoulde doe it freely. God made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand of his counsel, saying: If thou wilt thou shalt obserue the commandements, and testifie thy good will. There­fore when the Serpent tempted man, and counsailed him to tast of the forbidden tree, man was not ignoraunt that the counsaile of the Serpent did not agree with the com­maundement of God. The Lorde compelled him not: nei­ther did Satan compell him in the Serpent. For God had said: Ye shall not eate of that tree, neither shall ye touch it, least ye die. Wherefore it was in the hand of his counsaile, to eat or not to eate. God declared vnto him his will, plainely charging him, that he should not eate, and adding the pe­rill, he did withdraw him from eating, least perhaps thou die. Satan also, as neither coulde hee, did not vse any force: but did probably moue him vnto it, & at length did ouercome him. For when the will of the woman declined to the word of the Deuill, her minde departed from the worde of God, and reiecting a good lawe, she committeth an euill worke: afterwardes she drewe on her husband willingly following her to bee partaker of her sinne. That doth the Scripture inculcate in these wordes: So the woman (seeing that the tree was good for meate, Gen. 3.6. and that it was pleasant to the eies, and a tree to be desired to get knowledge) tooke of the fruit thereof, and did eate, and gaue also to her husband with her, and hee did eate. Here haue you the beginning of the euill, the Deuill: and that [Page 103] which moued the will of man, that is: the false commendation of the Deuill, and euen a mere lie, and the delectable shewe and sightlines of the tree. Wherefore Adam and Eue doe of their owne accord, that which they doe, being lead with a hope of more excellent wisedome which the Seducer had lyingly promised them.The beginning of sinne from the Deuil, and the free electi­on of man cor­rupted by his se­ducement. Wee conclude therefore that sinne hath his beginning, not from God who forbiddeth e­uill, but from the Deuill, & the free election of man, which was corrupted by the Deuils falshood. And therefore the Deuill and mans corrupted will obeying him are the most true cause of sinne. This euill flowed from our first Parents vnto all their posteritie, so that sinne hath not else whence his beginning, than from our selues and our corrupt iudge­ment, and wicked will, and the suggestion of Saran. For an euill roote, and that first corruption bringeth forth of it a rotten braunch, agreeable to the nature thereof, which Satan now also setteth forwarde and laboreth it as it were plantes, by his guiles and lies: but in vaine doth he labour; except we yeeld our selues to bee fashioned and dressed by him.

That is called originall sinne, which proceedeth from the first originall, that is,What is origi­nall sinne. was deriued from the first parent into all by propagation or generation. For this sinne wee bring with vs in our nature out of our mothers wombe in­to this life. I was borne in iniquitie, and in sinne hath my mother conceiued me. And of the Deuill Christ speaketh thus: Hee hath beene a murtherer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth: because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie then speaketh he of his owne: for he is a lier, and the father thereof.

To this may be added this reason: that sinne cannot be a proper & natural effect of any cause but of that which hath power to doe against the law. But this no nature hath power to doe,Sinne the pro­per effect of a reasonable na­ture transgres­sing the law. besides the nature of Angels, and of men: For God is a law vnto himselfe, and can not doe or intend any thing against his lawe. And other creatures, whereas they are not indu­ed with reason, and therefore the law not made for them, they cannot commit sinne: because take away the law, and there is no place left for sinne. Wherefore it necessarily fo­loweth, that sinne is such an effect, as agreeth to those Angels alone who fell, and to men.

[Page 104] The first cause of the first sinne, the Deuil. The second, mans will. The first sinne cause of all sins thence folow­ing.But there is an order to bee obserued in these causes. For the cause of the first sinne in Paradise is the Deuil, instiga­ting, & the will of man assenting or obaying; & these former sinnes are the causes of all that follow. The reasons, 1. Be­cause by one man sinne entred into the world. 2. Because man and the Deuill are able by their owne nature to sinne against the lawe. And that first sinne or first fall in Paradise is the cause of originall sinne, both in Adam, who fell, and in others who haue their discent from him. Originall sinne is the cause pre­paratiue as it were of all actuall sinnes, according to that of Paul, Sinne that dwelleth in me doth it, and euill and corrupt inclinations doe carry me to euill actions. Causes impul­siue of sins are those obiectes which sollicite men to sinne. Yea actuall sinnes are the causes also of those sinnes that follow them.

Former actuall sinnes cause of others which follow after, not onely in them which first sin­ned, but also in others.Furthermore whereas the scripture teacheth that the sinnes which followe are the punishmentes of those that went before, and the fault or desert is an impulsiue cause of punishment; it is manifest that actuall sinnes which goe before are the causes also of those that follow them, euen as of other pu­nishments or calamities, which are purchased by our sinnes. And that is to bee vnderstood aswell of the falles of those that commit the sin, as of others fals, with which aswel they are punished, whose falles they are, as they, who first sinned: as the sinnes of the Parents are punished by the sinnes of the children, the sinnes of the subiects by the sinnes of the Ma­gistrates, or contrariwise: as cap. 1. to the Romans, of pur­pose is declared. Wherefore God gaue them vp to their hartes lusts, vnto vncleannes. And 2. Thes. 2. Whose comming is by the working of Satan, with al power and signs and lying wonders, & in all deceiuablenes of vnrighteousnes, among thē that perish. And Exod 2. I the Lord thy God am a iealous God, visiting the sinnes of the fathers vpon the children vnto the third and fourth gene­ratiō of them that hate me. And 2. Sam. 12. Thus saith the Lord, behold I will raise vp euill against thee out of thine owne house, and will take thy wiues before thine eies, and giue them vnto thy neighbour.

God the causer of sinnes as they are punishmēts, but not as they are sinnes.If humane reason doe here obiect: That God is the au­thor & causer of punishmēts? If therefore sins be the punishments of sins, it followeth that God is the cause of sinnes: We answere [Page 105] that there is a fallacie of the accident in the Minor. For it commeth to passe by an accident, that is by the fault of those who sinne, that when by the iust iudgement of God either themselues or others are punished by euil men, they in the meane season (God permitting, that is not shewing them that he would haue those things to be done by them for to punish them, which things yet he hateth, and which he will punish both in this life and the life to come) do ful­fill their desires swaruing from the law of God, & estraing­ing themselues more and more from God by sinning, doe purchase more grieuous punishmentes vnto themselues. Or if we will distinguish the Maior, it is in effect the same. For punishments come from god as author and causer of them, as they are punishmentes: but in asmuch as they are sinnes, so they come, God neither willing them, nor approuing them, nor causing, but onely permitting. For to per­mit this kinde of punishments, which sinners by sinning in­flict ether vpon themselues or others; is nothing else, than not to cause, that euill men shoulde doe this, which God woulde haue done for punishment, to the same ende, that they may obey this will of God.

So also we answere to that Argument: The priuation or want of righteousnes and diuine wisedome god inflicteth as a pu­nishment vpon men: but that priuation is sinne. Therefore god is the causer of sinne. For this priuation is not sinne, as by the iust iudgement of God it is inflicted, but as it is of men themselues voluntarily brought vpon them by their owne misdeedes and demerites, and is admitted or receiued in­to the minde, will and hart: euen as euill actions are not sinnes, as they are gouerned by god, but as they are done by men.

They say further: He that mindeth the end, mindeth also the meanes. God mindeth the ends of sinne, Punishment and the manifestati­on of Gods glory and iustice are not the endes of sinne, because men are not by them moued to sinne. that is punishment and the shewing of his iustice and wrath in punishment. Wherefore he mindeth sinnes also, by which those ends are come vnto. But the Minor is to be denied, that punishment & the manifestati­on of the glory of god are the endes of sinne. For the end is that which moueth the efficient cause to bring forth an ef­fect: but punishment or the manifestation of the glory of god, do not moue the sinner to sinne. These cannot there­fore [Page 106] bee saide to bee the ends of sinne. But those are the proper ends of sinne, which the Deuils and men respect in sinning: that is the destruction of men, the fulfilling of e­uill desires, the oppression and reproche of God and his truth.

God respecteth those as ends not of mens sin, but of his permission of their sinne.If they reply, that men indeede haue not those endes, but that god respecteth them: For that which god permitteth, to shewe his iustice by punishing it, the end which god proposeth thereof, is the punishment of the sinners, and his owne glorie. But he permit­teth sin to punish it, and to declare himselfe iust by punishing it: therefore these are the endes of sin, in respect of the purpose & in­tent of god: we deny the Maior. For God suffering sin to be committed respecteth as the end (not of an others worke, that is of the sin of Deuils or mē, but of his own work, that is of his permission of sinne) the punishment of sinnes, and the manifestation of his owne iustice. For sin is one thing, and the permission of sinne another, whereof is spoken, Exod. 9. For this cause haue I appointed thee to shew my power in thee, and to declare my name throughout all the world, Prouerb. 16. The Lorde hath made all thinges for his owne sake: yea euen the wicked man for the day of euill. Roman. 9. God being willing to shew his truth, and to make his power knowen, hath suffered with long patience the vessels of wrath prepared to destruction. Wherefore punishment is not the end, but the consequent or proper effect of sinne, and an accidentary effect there­of is the manifestation of the glorie of God: as Paul shew­eth, Rom. 3. For if the veritie of God hath more abounded tho­rough my lie to his glorie &c.

If here againe they reply: He that will the consequent will also the antecedent: How God is said to will punish­ment which is the consequent of sinne, and not sinne it selfe, which is the an­tecedent. But God will these things which are the con­sequents of sinnes, that is, punishment, and execution of his iu­stice: therefore he will also the antecedent, that is, sinne it selfe, without which these should not follow or be consequēts: we deny the whole consequence of this reason. For nothing folow­eth or can bee concluded in reason, when both the former propositions are mere particular. For the Maior of this reason is not vniuersally true, but onely then holdeth it, when as the antecedent together with the consequent a­greeth with the nature of him which will the consequent: and not when onely the consequent agreeth, and not the [Page 107] antecedent. For when it falleth thus out, then is the con­sequent by his wil, but the antecedent is not by his will, but onely by permission. For God is saide to will those thinges which he liketh, as agreeing with his nature and rightnes; but to permit those thinges which yet he disliketh, abhor­reth & condemneth, but neuertheles for iust causes hinde­reth them not from being done. And therefore it is said in the scripture, that he will & causeth life euerlasting, which is the consequent, and the conuersion of men which is the antecedent and goeth before: and that he will not, but on­ly permitteth punishment as it is sin which foloweth and is the consequent of sinnes: as is deliuered in holy Scripture Rom. 9. and Ephes. 1.

If again they vrge: He that forbiddeth not sin, The reasons why God not forbid­ding sinne is yet no cause of sin. when he may forbid it to be committed, in him is some cause & fault of the sin: but God permitteth it, when he might forbid it: therefore there is some cause & fault of sin in him: we deny the consequence: because the Maior is not vniuersally true. For it is onely true of him, who doth not perfectly hate sin, and therefore forbiddeth it not, when he may: & who is bound to hinder sin that it be not committed. But it is not true of God who with vnspeakable anger accurseth & condemneth sin, nei­ther yet hindereth it from being committed; because he is neither bound to doe so, neither doth he permit it, without most good & iust causes. Farther, God might by his abso­lute power hinder euil; but he wil not corrupt his creature, & man being iust & righteous. Wherefore he dealeth with mā after the order of mā. He proposeth lawes vnto him: he proposeth rewardes & punishments: he willeth him to em­brace good, and flie euill. To the doing of which thing nei­ther denieth he his grace, without which wee can doe no­thing, neither refuseth he our diligence and labour. Hereif man cease & giue ouer, the sin & negligence is ascribed to man, not to God, though he could haue hindered it, & did not because he ought not to hinder it, least he should trou­ble his appointed and setled order, and destroy his owne worke. Wherefore God is not author of euill or sin.

If they obiect farther:God doth not euil when he permitteth euil▪ He that doth euill that good may come of it, doth not well, Rom. 3. God when he permitteth euill for good ends, doth euill that good may come of it: Wherefore he doth [Page 108] against his iustice and law: and by a consequent is bound to hinder euill: we deny the Minor. For God when he permitteth e­uill, doth not euill, but good. For the permission of sinne is one thing, which is the good and iust worke of God: and sinne is an other thing, which is the euill and vniust worke of the Deuil, or man sinning and transgressing the lawe.

Lastly they say: what God permitteth willingly, that he will to be done: God permitting sin, doth not will sin to be done. but he willingly permitteth sinne: wherefore he will sinne to be committed, and by a consequent is the cause of sinne. But the Maior is to be denied: God will the permission, that is the priuation of his spirite and grace: but the sinne of his crea­ture, which concurreth with it, he will not: because he nei­ther mindeth it, nor approueth it. They confirme their Maior by this Argument: To permit is neither to will, or not to will: But it is not, not to will; for then either that shoulde not be done, which God is saide to permit; or something shoulde bee done that God woulde not: both of which are absurd. Wherefore to per­mit is the same that to will, and by a consequent God when he per­mitteth sinne, doth will sinne. We denie the consequence, be­cause there is not a sufficient enumeratiō of the diuersities of will in the Minor, for God is said to will, & not to will a thing after two waies. Either to will, as when together he both li­keth & worketh a thing, or as he liketh a thing onely, (vn­der which also is comprehended his cōmanding) but doth not worke it. And he is said not to will any thing, either as he both disliketh & hindereth a thing, either as he onely disliketh it, but doth not forbid or hinder it. Both which kindes of will are contained in the Maior: but onely one of them in the Minor: which is, both to dislike & hin­der a thing from being done.

For if God in that sense woulde not sinne to bee com­mitted, then those absurdities shoulde follow which they speake of. But when we say that God will not sinne, we vn­derstand that they doe greatly displease him, and yet that god hindereth them not from being committed: which al­so is not, to will, but to not will sinne. For god can will no­thing, but that which is agreeable to his owne nature and goodnes: neither doth the holy Scripture shewe any where that god will those thinges which are contrarie to his nature, in such sort as they are contrarie.

[Page 109]This is also obiected:God the cause of mans will, but not of the cor­ruption of his will, is not a cause of sinne, whereof mans will corrupted is a cause. Hee that is the cause or the efficient of a cause, is also the author of the effectes of that cause, if not the next, yet a farre off. But god is the cause of that will, which is the cause of sinne: therefore is he the cause of the effect of the will, that is of sinne. Wee aunswere to the Maior, by distinguishing of the cause. For a cause which is a farre off a cause, is sometimes by it selfe, and sometimes onelie by an accident a cause. That is a cause by it selfe, of an effect, which doth not onely bring forth the next cause of the effect, but also doth moue and gouerne it in bringing forth the effect, which it selfe intended, or vnto the which it was appointed: as when god frameth and ben­deth the will of men which himselfe made, to good workes, or to such actions as himselfe will haue done: when the Father or Master bringeth vp his Sonne or his Scholer to good thinges, and the learning which hee instilleth into his minde mooueth him to doe well: when the Sunne and raine make the earth fertill, and the earth bringeth forth Corn. But when the cause which is a far off a cause either doth not moue the next cause of the ef­fect, or doth not intend and mind the effect, neither is appointed thereunto; it cannot be said to be a cause of that effect, but by an accident: as when of a good father is borne an euil and e­uil-liuing sonne: or of a good father a good and wel-liuing son: when a godly Magistrate by his commandement mo­ueth the will of a wicked executioner, to execute a guilty person, and he being impelled either by desire of reuenge, or by hatred, or by cruelty, reioiceth at his euil, whom he executeth, and so committeth murther before God: and lastly, when one maketh a sword, and another vseth it ei­ther wel, or il. Now as often as the next cause is either be­fore the bringing foorth of the effect depraued, or in the verie bringing of it foorth, either by it selfe, or by another cause: then bringeth it forth a bad effect, which the cause remoued or a farre off, that either bringeth forth or moueth this next cause, neither intendeth, neither as by any ordination or appointment vnto it, produceth: As when the wil & hand of the cleauer purpose to cut a thing, and the iron being too dul causeth that to break which is taken in hand to be cut. So also God ma­keth and moueth the wil: but because the wil of men is de­praued [Page 110] by the diuel and it selfe, it bringeth forth sin, which God neither when he maketh nor when he moueth the wil, intendeth or mindeth to bring forth. Wherefore it fol­loweth not at al, that God is the cause of those sins which are committed by his creatures depraued and corrupted of themselues.

Likewise it is obiected: Second causes are able to do nothing without the first cause, which is God. Wherefore neither is sinne brought forth, neither doe they depraue themselues, but that also the first cause worketh it with them. God the first cause doth not concur with se­condarie causes to the bringing forth of sinne. We aunswere to the ante­cedent: The second causes do nothing without the first cause, that is, without the first cause preserue them and mooue them to doe, so far forth as it is good which they doe: but they doe without the first cause concurring with them to the bringing forth of euil, as it is a fault, or of sin. Isa. 30. We to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me, and couer with a couering, but not by my spirit, that they maie laie sin vpon sin.

How the good will of man cor­rupted it selfe.Likewise they obiect: That which is good, cannot by sinning corrupt it selfe, except it be some other waie corrupted: as it is said, A good tree cannot bring forth euil fruit. The wil of the di­uel and Adam, before the fal of both, was good: Therefore it could not corrupt it selfe by sinning, except it were by some other means corrupted. We deny the Maior. For although the creature be good, yet God not preseruing his goodnes, that is mouing or willing that his wil should be moued by outward obiects, neither in the meane season lightning and gouerning the wil with the knowledge of his own diuine will, it is not on­ly possible, but it must necessarily folow that he must sinne, become an euil tree, and thorough his owne wil and fault auert himselfe from God, run to worse and worse, and pur­chase blindnesse the iust punishment of sin both vnto him and his: as it is said: Without me ye can doe nothing. Againe, it is obiected: He that withdraweth grace from the sinner, without which sin cannot be auoided, he is the the cause of sinne: God did withdraw his grace frō man, without which hee could not persist in righteousnes. Wherefore God was the cause of mans sinne. Wee deny the Maior. First, because God was not bound to man, to preserue that grace in him which he gaue him. Secondly, because he withdrew his grace for man beeing willing thereunto, and re­iecting [Page 111] it of his owne accord. Thirdly, because he withdrewe his grace, not that he did enuie man, righteousnes and eternal life, or that he is delighted with sin, but to trie him, that is, to shew how the creature is able to doe or keepe no goodnes, without the singular goodnes and mercy of his creator: and so god is not at al the cause of sin, although sin doth necessarily follow this withdrawing in him, from whom the grace is withdrawn. So then when God did withdraw his grace frō man, not God withdrawing it, but man reiecting it is the cause of his owne sin & destruction.

Againe they say:God wil the temptation of man: yet not the sinne of man. He that wil haue him to be tempted whom he knoweth certainly wil fal, if he be tempted, he will the sinne of him who falleth. But God would that man should bee tempted of the diuel, whō he knew certainly would fall, for otherwise mā could not haue bin tempted. Wherefore God is the cause of his fal. Here also we deny the Maior. For he is not the cause of sin, who wil haue him that will fall tempted, for to try or to make manifest the weaknes of his creature; but the diuell temp­ting man to this end, that he may sinne, and be separated from God, and man obeying the tempter against the com­mandement of God, are the causes of sin. For the antece­dent, which being put must necessarily haue another thing consequent thereof, is not the cause of the consequent, ex­cept it worketh somewhat in producing the consequent. But God neither in withdrawing his grace, neither in that he doth wil the temptation of man, worketh in producing of sin, as it is sin, because he neuer intended it.

Againe they obiect:That is not of God but of man and the Diuel which maketh sinne. He that is the cause of those thinges which make sin, is the cause of sin. God is the cause of those things which make sin, that is, of the action, which is the matter, and of the priuation of rightnes in man, which is the form of sin. Where­fore he is the autor of sin. To these the aunswere hath beene made before. For the Minor is to be denied. Because the a­ction, & priuation of the diuine light & direction do make sinne, as they are contrarie to the Law. And they are con­trary to the law of God, and make sin, as they are commit­ted by man, & are in him: but as they are guided by God & inflicted, they are not sin, but a trial of him that would sin, or a punishment of him that had sinned. Wherefore that is not of God, but of man and the Diuell which maketh sin.

[Page 112] Whether God would the fall of Adam, and how.Last of al they vrge: Seeing that God would the fa [...] of A­dam either as it was sin, or as a punishment, and coulde not will it as a punishment, because no sin had gone before which should be therewith punished; it seemeth to follow that God would that worke as it was sin. But this consequence also is deceitful, be­cause ther is not a sufficient enumeratiō in the Maior. For although the first sin was no punishment, yet God would that action, not as a sinne and contrary to his will and na­ture, but as in punishing, and receiuing againe mankind into fauour by his Sonne it was a waie and occasion of excercising and manifesting his iustice and mercy, and an example of the weakenesse of all creatures, yea of the most excellent, if they bee not by the singular goodnesse of the Creator preserued; as it is declared, Rom. 11. God hath shut vp al in vnbeleefe, that hee might haue mercie of all. And in the same place it is shewed concerning the blind­nesse of the Iewes, That partlie this obstinacie was come to Israell, vntill the fulnesse of the gentiles were come in: and that the Iewes are enimies of the gospell for our sakes; and that we haue obtained mercie through their vnbeleefe: That is, that god would this their obstinacy, not as it was a sinne of the Iewes, neither onely as a punishment of other sinnes, but also as an occasion of translating the gospel vnto the gen­tiles. And it is saide, Rom. 3. That God in the preaching of the Lawe respecteth this, That all the world be culpable before him. Wherefore this also he respected & would in permit­ting of sin: which if it had not come betweene, the Lawe had not made the world culpable before god.

God made Sa­tan good, and himselfe euil.1 Obiection▪ Satan was made of god. And therefore the ma­lice also of Satan. Answere. God made indeed al the Angels; yea those which became Apostataes and Diuels: but yet he created al the Angels at the beginning good. But Satan is saide not to haue stoode stedfast in the trueth. Then be­fore his fall he stoode in the trueth. But afterwardes hee treacherouslie fel from his alleagiance, and sinned against God: and therefore the crime of euill sticketh in that run-away the Diuell. For since that time, after he fell, there is no trueth in him, no faith, no integrity, no feare of God, no light, no goodnesse. He that committeth sinne is of the Di­uell, &c. For he is the first sinner and the fountain of sinne.

[Page 113]2 Obiection. God made Adam. Therefore he made sinne. Sinne not made of God, because it is no creature but the corrup­tion of a cre­ature. Answere. Sinne is the corruption of a nature created good of god, but not any creature, made of god in mā. God made man good, who, by Satans perswasion, corrupted willinglie that goodnesse which be receiued of god: so that now sin is mans, and not a creature of god created in man. Neither is the nature of man the cause of sinne. For god who created all thinges, & the verie nature of man, created them all good: wherefore the verie nature of man also was created good. But sinne is an Accidentall quality,Sinne a naturall propertie of man corrupted, but not of man simplie, as he was first created. which befell vnto man in his fall, and after his fall, beeing euen from the begin­ning such as now it is; but no substantiall property, nor of the nature of man. Now indeede whereas we are borne in sinne, sinne is a naturall propertie of men, according to the iudge­ment of Augustine Against the Maniches, Cap. 9. But & if we say any man to be naturally euill, we say so because of the originall of the olde sinne, in which all our mortality now is borne.

3 Obiection.God gaue not man a will & power to work euil, but to doe good. But the will and power which was in Adam was from god. Therefore sinne also is from god. Answere. God gaue not man a will and power to woork euill. For he made a law to forbid euill. Wherefore Adam himselfe did ill be­stowe that will and power which he receiued of god, in ill vsing them. The prodigall sonne receiued mony of his fa­ther, not that hee should lash it out wastfully, but that hee might haue as much as sufficeth neede. Wherefore when himselfe doth ill bestowe his mony, and perisheth, he peri­sheth through his owne default, and not by his fathers, though he receiued the mony of his father. Therefore the fault is in the abuse. Hee that giueth thee them, leaueth the vse of them vnto thee. If hee be iust, hee giueth them thee for to vse, and not to abuse. When thou abusest them, the fault is laid on thee who abusest them, and not of him who gaue them. So god gaue a will and power to Adam to do good, not to woorke euill.

4 Obiection. God made man so as hee might fall, It was necessary that man should haue free power either to stand or fall. Rom. 9.20. Isai 45.9. neither did confirme & establish in him the goodnesse of his nature. Where­fore hee would haue him to fall or sin. Answere. The Scripture beateth back this frowardnesse of men wickedly curious. Who art thou which pleadest against god? W [...] bee vnto him that [Page 114] striueth with his master. Except god hath made man so as he might fal, there had beene no praise of his woorke or ver­tue. And what, if it were necessarie that man should bee so made as hee might fall? For so did the verie nature of God require. God doth not graunt his glorie to anie creature. Adam was a man, no god. And as god is good, so is he also iust. Hee doth good vnto men, but hee will haue them to be obedient and thankefull vnto him. He bestoweth infi­nite goodnesse vpon man, therefore hee shoulde haue beene thankefull, and obedient, and subiect vnto him. For hee declared by his Lawe what hee woulde, and what hee woulde not. Of the tree of the knowledge of good and euill, saith hee, thou shalt not eate; When thou eatest, thou shalt die. As if hee shoulde saie, Thou shalt re­garde mee, thou shalt cleaue vnto mee, obaie mee, serue mee: neither shalt thou elsewhere seeke for rules of good and euill but of mee, and so shalt thou shew thy selfe obedient vnto mee. Replie. God foreknew the fall of man, which if he would, hee might haue hindered. But hee did not hinder it: Therefore God was in faulte that Adam sinned. Aunswere. Vnto this obiection answere hath beene made before: neither doth that necessity followe vpon the fore­knowledge of God, that Adam must needes haue sinned, because God did foreknow that he would sin. Some wise father did foreknowe by some signes and tokens that his sonne should hereafter at sometime be slain with a sword. Neither doth this his foreknowledge deceiue him: for hee was thrust through for fornication. But hee is not there­fore thought to be slaine, because his father did foreknow that he should be slaine:Lib. 2. De. vocat. Gent. cap. 4. but because he was a fornicator. So saith Ambrose speaking of the murder which Cain cō ­mitted: Verily God did foreknow, to what the fury of him being in a rage woulde come: neither yet was the attempt of his will forced of necessitie to sinne, because the knowledge of god could not be de­ceiued. Li. 3. de libero arbitrio, cap 4. And Augustine: God is a iust reuenger of those thinges, of which yet he is not an euill autor.

Wherefore those sinnes which ensue and followe, are in respect of god, considered as most iust punishments, which as they are punishments, haue their beeing from him as their author and causer: but as they are sinnes, in respect [Page 115] of men they come, God neither willing nor causing them, but permitting onely, seeing he doth not cause men to do that, which he would haue done for a punishment, to this end, as for to obay therein his will. For one and the same work is good and holy, in respect of God: and sin, in respect of men, by reason of the diuersitie both of the efficiences & of the ends. For first, man, by reason of his great both ignorance and corruption, will and worketh euill only. But God because hee is exceeding good, and the verie rule of goodnesse and righteousnesse, doing in all things what he wil, will and worketh alwaies only that which is good. Secondly, men haue such an end of their actions as is disagreeing frō the Law of God, that is, what they doe, they do not to that end, to obay God, but to fulfill their bad and corrupt desires. But God hath the end of all his woorkes, agreeing with his nature and Law, euen that he may declare and execute his iustice, goodnesse, and mercie. By these two thinges it commeth to passe, that the reasonable creature woorking together with God, God woorking vprightly and holily, doth ne­uerthelesse it selfe woorke vnholylie and corruptly.

5 What are the effects of sinne.

NOw that it is defined what sinne is, and from whence it came, we are to consider also what be the euils which fol­low sinne. For except this also be knowen, we know not yet, how great euil there is in sinne, and with how great hatred God pursueth it. It hath been said before, that euil was of two sorts: one of crime or offence, which is sinne, the other of paine or punishment: The euil of punishment, is the effect of the euil of offence. That this maie be the better vnderstoode, we must here againe remember, that of punishments, Some are onlie punishments, as are the destruction of nature, or tormentes; others both punishments and sins, as al sins, which haue followed since the first fal.

1 The sinnes which follow are effects of those which go before. Sinnes ensuing, effects of sinnes which go be­fore. So original sinne is the effect of the sinne or fal of our first parents. By one mans disobedience manie were made sinners. And secondly, All actual sinnes are effects of original sinne Sinne took occasion by the commandement, and deceiued me. And thirdlie, The effect of actual sins is the increase of them, that is, greater guiltines by reason of the most iust iudgement of God; be­cause [Page 116] God punisheth sins with sins. Wherefore God also gaue them vp to their hearts lustes. Rom. 1.24. 2 Thes. 2.11. Mat. 25.29. Other mens sins oftentimes ef­fectes of actual sinne. And therefore God shal send them strong delusiō, that they should beleeue lies. Frō him that hath not, shal be takē away also that which he hath. And fourthly, The ef­fects of actual sins are also oftentimes other mens sins, by reason of scandale or example, wherby some are made worse of others, & are entised or moued to sin. So the persuasion of the diuel caused man to decline from God: and now it worketh in stubburn-minded men. The diuel put it into the heart of Iudas to betraie Christ, Ioh. 13. Euil speeches corrupt good maners. So euill tea­chers doe withdrawe men from god to errours, idolatry, and other sins. So a vse of liberty out of season offendeth, and draweth men to sinne.

An euil consci­ence an effect of sinne.2 There followeth sin, in the immoueable and perpetual order of Gods iudgement, an euil conscience which is the knowledge and dislike which we haue in our mind of our own sinne, and the know­ledge of the iudgement of God against sin, and that proceeding out of the knowledge of Gods Law, vpon which ensueth the fear of the wrath of God and punishment, according to the order of gods iu­stice, and a flieng and hatred of God who destroieth sinne, which is the beginning of desperation, and eternall torments, except it bee cured by the comfort of the gospel. Rom. 2. The gentiles shewe the effect of the Law written in their harts, their conscience also bea­ring witnes, and their thoughts accusing one another, or excusing. And Isaiah: There is no peace to the wicked.

Temporall and spiritual euils effects of sin.3 Temporall and spirituall euils: as temporall death, and in a worde all the calamities of this life. These euils are onely punish­ments, that is, torments and dissolution of nature.

If any man obiect, that they also are subiect to temporall death, and other calamities, who haue all their sinnes remitted them; and therefore al temporall euils are not the punishmentes or effects of sinne: Temporal euils in the regene­rate are effectes of sinne, not as punishmentes, but as chastise­ments. but some haue other causes: we answere, that the consequence holdeth not from the denial of one particu­lar to the denial of the general. For albeit the calamities of the regenerate are not effectes of sin as a punishment, which is inflicted on men sinning, that so the iustice of God might be satisfied: yet are they effects of sinne as cha­stisementes and exercises, whereby sinne is repressed, and more and more purged out, vntill at length by corporall death the whole be abolished. Now that of the blind man, [Page 117] Ioh. 9. Neither this man hath sinned nor his parents: Christ mea­neth not simply that they had not sinned, or that their sins were not a cause of this calamity: but that their sinnes were not the principal cause, why he was borne blind; but that the woorkes of God should be shewed on him, Christ by a miracle opening his eies.

4 Eternall death which is the effect of al sinnes, Eternall death the effect of sin. as they are sinnes. For al of what quality soeuer they bee are punished either with eternal paine, as in the reprobate; or with equi­ualent paine to eternal, as in the sonne. This death doth begin in the reprobate, euen in this world, that is, anxiety, and torment of conscience: which we also should feele, ex­cept we were deliuered by the grace of God. Now by the name of eternal death, is not vnderstoode the destruction of the soule or body, or the separation of them: but the aban­doning and banishing of the soule and bodie liuing from the face of God, a continuall horror and torment, and a feeling and flying of Gods wrath and iudgement, and a horrible murmuring against God, taking vengeance of their sinnes.

If they obiect, that the sinnes of those who beleeue in Christ, The regenerate though they sin, are not punished with this death, because Christ hath suffered an equiualent pu­nishment for them. are not punished with eternall death: we answere that those were punished in Christ with a punishment, which both for the grieuousnes of the punishment, & for the dignitie of the person who suffered it, is equiualent to those eternall punishments which were to bee inflicted vpon vs for our sinnes. As it is said, Esa. 53. He hath laid vpon him the iniqui­ties of vs all.

Against that which we affirme, that eternall death is the effect of al sinnes, yea euen of the least: The 1. Obiection is:Why the during of punishment ought to be a­like to al sinnes, but not the degree of pu­nishment. Like is not to be giuen vnto things vnlike. But sinnes are not alike. Therefore al ought not to be punished with eternall death. Aunswere. There is more in the conclusion of this rea­son, than was in the premisses. For only this followeth to be concluded. Therefore all sinnes ought not to bee puni­shed with like punishment. For all sinnes, euen the least, deserue eternall punishment; because all sinnes offend a­gainst the eternall and infinite good. Wherefore as con­cerning the lasting of the punishment, all sinnes are puni­shed with like punishment: but not as concerning the de­grees [Page 118] of punishments. All sins are punished with eternall torments, yet so, as not with equal torments. The seruaunt who knoweth the wil of his master, and doth it not, shall be beaten with manie stripes. It shal be easier for them of the land of Sodom in the daie of iudgement, than for thee.

Al sinnes are not equal.Here the Stoicks obiect; That al sinnes or vices are ioined with anie one vice, and therefore all are alike and equall. But nei­ther is this consequence of force, whereas also things vn­like and vnequal maie bee ioined together: neither is the antecedent graunted. That seemeth to be proued by the saying of Iames, cap. 2. He that faileth in one is guilty of al. But Iames saith not, that all sins or vices concur and are ioy­ned with one: but first, that in the breach of one point the whole law is violated, as the whole bodie is said to be hurt, when one part is harmed. Then, that there concurreth with euery sin the fountaine or cause of al other sins, that is, the contempt of God. And this euil beeing seated in the hart doth violate the loue of God, and so al other parts of our obedience towards God. For no woork, which procee­deth not from the perfect loue, dread and reuerence of God, can agree with the Law of God, or please God. And yet haue we experience that this hindereth not, but that he which is infected with one vice may bee propense and prone to some sins more, and to some lesse, especially since vices themselues also are one opposite to another, by the one of which contraries and not by both at one time eue­ry man violateth vertue.

Neither are those principles also of the stoicall philo­sophers to be graunted: That how farre soeuer thou goe in sin­ning, after thou hast once past the line or middle, which is vertue, it is not material for the encreasing or augmenting the fault of passing beyond the line: And that al vertues are alike and equall one to another, so that no man is stronger than a strong man. For whereas sin is a swaruing frō the middle, it is manifest, that how much greater the swaruing is, so much is the sin more grieuous: And that vertues are both in the same, & in di­uers men otherwhile greater, otherwhiles lesser, euen as much as the qualities of the body are different in degrees, experience doth witnes. Wherfore in the iudgemēt of god also there are degrees put aswel of punishmēts as of sins.

[Page 119]2 Obiect.Gods great mer­cy & his iustice neither impea­ched by other in punishing sin with eternal pu­nishment. Hee that is exceeding merciful doth not punish all sinne with exceeding and extreme punishment, neither is to al eternitie angrie with sinne, or looketh vpon the torments of his owne woorke. For extreme iustice, which doth strictly follow right and lawe in punishing, admitteth no fauourable equity, which yet mercie, especially exceeding mercy, doth vse and shewe. But God is exceeding mercifull. Therefore hee doth not pu­nish all sinne with exceeding, that is, euerlasting punish­ment. Or, God punisheth all sinne with extreme punishment, Therefore hee is not mercifull. Auns. First wee are to distin­guish the ambiguitie of the Maior. Hee that is excee­ding mercifull doth not inflict exceeding and extreme punishment, that is, except his iustice require it. But that God should punish all sinne with euerlasting punish­ment, his exceeding iustice requireth, which is,Psal. 5.5. earnest­ly and exceedingly to hate and punish all whatsoeuer is not agreeable to his Lawe: So that except hee did punish it with sufficient punishment, hee should not bee merci­full, but light and cruell. Secondly, wee deny the conse­quence of the reason: because it is a sophisme reaso­ning from that which is not the cause, as beeing the cause. For the iudge is not therefore vnmercifull, for that hee executeth a robber on the wheel: because he doth it ac­cording, to iustice, neither is delighted with the torment and death of a wretched man, but had rather he were sa­ued, if so the Lawes permitted. Right so, God, according to his infinit wisedome, euen in inflicting extreme punish­ment on all sinne, doth notwithstanding shewe immeasu­rable and manifould mercy, and contrariwise in shewing exceeding mercy doth most straitly and exactly exe­cute his iustice. For 1. He punisheth our sinnes sufficiently and fullie, not in vs, but in his onely begotten sonne, our guilt being translated on him. 2. He offereth remission of sinnes and grace to al men, who receiue his Son the Mediator with true faith and conuersion. 3. Hee woorketh also that faith and con­uersion by his spirit in the Elect. 4. Hee preserueth his elect in af­flictions. 5. At length he fully deliuereth them: And all these things hee doth of his free mercy, not bound or obliged thereto by any merite of ours. 6. He is not delighted with the destruction of the reprobate, who refuse that grace offered: but by [Page 120] differring their punishment, and by other great and diuers benefits he inuiteth them to repentaunce. Wherefore the execution of Gods iustice is not repugnaunt to his mercy, neither doth his mercie take away or make breach of his iustice, but they are both coupled with a marueilous temperature in preseruing and sauing vs.

How God is said remit nothing of his iustice, and yet to be mer­cifull.3 Obiection is against this; That god doth so exercise his mercy, as he doth not thereby make breach of his iu­stice. He that remitteth nothing of extreme iustice, is not at all merciful, but onely iust: God remitteth nothing of extreme iu­stice, because hee punisheth all with a sufficient punishment. Therefore God is onely iust, and not mercifull. Aunswere. We deny the Minor. For god giueth vs his Sonne, and punisheth him for vs, of his meere mercie, not of any right, not bound thereunto by anie merites of ours. Besides, the Maior of the second Obiection is to be distinguished. It is the propertie of him that is merciful to exercise mercie; tru; on beleeuers, and such as are penitent.

1 Reply. It is the propertie of him that is mercifull to pardon men, whether they be penitent or not penitent. Answere. This is a false definition of mercy.

2 Reply. Faith and repentance are not the cause of mercie: Therefore by this aunswere, neither should the penitent obtaine mercy, that is, deliuerance from death. Aunswere. I graunt that faith and repentance are not the cause of mercie, and that it is not done for their repentance but for the satisfaction and punishment of Christ only: yet with this condition, that we apply this by a true faith vnto our selues and repent. Reply. Naie, neither on the penitent doth God exercise mer­cie: For if god punish all sinnes with sufficient punishment in Christ, he is not mercifull. Aunswere. I deny the consequence of this proposition: because he gaue vs his Sonne freelie, who should satisfie for vs. This satisfaction did the Gospel adde.

God remitteth freelie our sins, in that he giueth vs freely that re­compence which he taketh for them.4 Obiection. Hee that remitteth not without all recom­pence, doth not remitte freely, and so not of free mercy. God re­mitteth not without all recompence. Therefore hee remitteth not freely. Answer. God remitteth not vnto vs our sinnes freely in respect of christ, but freelie in respect of vs, because hee exacteth nothing of vs, and freely giueth vnto vs Christes [Page 121] satisfaction. Although then he wil haue satisfaction to be made by another, euen by Christ: yet doth he remit vnto vs our sins freely, because he (as it hath been said) giueth vs Christ of his free mercy, who might satisfie for vs; and from him proceedeth this satisfaction and application, of it vnto vs. For he causeth vs, both by his election, & the satisfaction of Christ freely giuen of him vnto vs, & by the giuing of his holy spirit, to receiue Christ by faith: and this he doth for no other cause, but only of his free mercy. Yee are saued by grace. First, because satisfaction is not made by vs. Secondly, because the price for sinnes is imputed vnto vs. Reply,What mercy god extendeth to the wicked. against that which was aunswered to the second Obiecti­on, that is, that the mercy of God is extended also to the wicked; The Prophet Ieremy saith: Forgiue not their iniquity, neither put out their sinne from thy sight. The mercy therefore of God is not extended to the reprobate. Aunswere. 1. It is true, when God denieth his mercy vnto them repenting, and except he haue iust cause why hee doth not saue all. But God hath most iust cause, why he suffereth some to perish, euen the manife­station of his iustice and power in punishing the wicked. 2. It is to bee vnderstoode of that degree of his mercie, which he sheweth towardes his chosen, euen of this mercy, whereby he giueth them remission of sinnes, his holy spirit, and life euerlasting. But it is not to be graunted, concerning that generall mercie whereby hee guideth and gouer­neth all creatures.

Replie, against that which is saide in the same Aunswere to the Second Obiection; That God is not delighted with the destruction of the wicked. The Lorde saith in Isaiah. Ah, I will ease me of mine aduersaries. There­fore God is delighted with the destruction of his enemies. Aunswere. These and the like speeches are spoken af­ter the order of men by an anthropopathie or humane affection, and by them is signified, That God will the execution of his iustice: but is not delighted with the death or destruction of men, as beeing his creatures.

It is requisite that this doctrine bee knowen in the Church, That knowing howe great an euil sinne is, The vse of this doctrine of sinne in the church wee maie yeelde the praise of iustice vnto God, who doth most seuerelie punish it: and that we maie abhor al sinnes with our whole heart, [Page 122] and desire the more earnestlie to bee fensed and defended of God against all sinne; and that not extenuating or lessening anie, wee flatter our selues in a conceit of our owne righteousnesse, or in hope of escaping: that measuring our sinne by the Law of God, neither esteeming euill good, or good euill, wee loose our consciences when God bindeth them, or binde them when God looseth them: and acknowledging the remnant of sinne in vs, and our manifolde fallings, we should not despaire of pardon, flieng to God the media­tour with bouldnesse; that also we maie be able to discerne our selues from the wicked and prophane men in whom sinne raigneth, and from all those that sinne against the holie ghost, and that wee maie conceiue in our minde hope and confidence of Gods mercie: that we laie not the cause and fault of our sinnes & destruction on God, but remēber that it is to be sought in our selues; that know­ing there are degrees of punishments & sinnes, we ad not sinnes to sinnes, but consider that lesser sinnes shalbe punished with lesser punishments, and greater with greater: that remembring the sins of the parents are punished also in their posteritie, wee spare not onelie our selues, but our posteritie also in auoiding sinne, that wee maie giue and render thankes vnto God for this benefit, that hee for his own glorie and the gathering and saluation of his Church, doth maintaine and continue also amongst the wicked some order of vertue and discipline. And last of all, that true and perpetuall thankefulnesse maie be kindled in vs towardes God and his Sonne our Lord Iesus Christ, in that he hath deliuered vs frō these great euils, sinne, and the paines and punishment of sinne.

OF THE CREATION OF MAN.

The necessity of this Doctrine. SEEING that God would especially open & manifest himselfe in the creatiō of angels & men, necessary for man is the knowledge of himselfe; both for that God wil be knowen by his own image, which he engraued in mans nature, & also be­cause without it we neither aspire, nor attaine to that end, to the which we were created. Now the knowlege of our selfe is two-fold: That is, of man vncorrupted, such as hee was made of God, & shal be after his restoring accōplished: & of man fallē into sin & corrupted, such as he now is. The first is of the ex­cellency and happines, the other of the misery of mankind.

[Page 123]Now this common place is annexed vnto the former of sinne: 1. Because when it is proued that there is sinne, Why it is placed next the dis­course of sinne. and that the nature of man is sinfull, the question straight ariseth, whether God created man subiect to sinne. And if not so, how then? For out of the doctrine concerning Original sinne this obiection seemeth to follow. Man is a sinner. Man was created of God. Therefore God created man a sinner. Whereunto our answere is, that it is a fallacie of the Accident, or that more is brought in the Conclusion, than was in the Antece­dent. Secondly, This place is annexed that it may be vnderstood out of what dignitie and felicitie man hath throwne himselfe by his owne vnthankefulnes. Thirdly, that we may know whence sin came, and so not thinke God to be vniust. Fourthly, that we may know the greatnes of sinne in vs. Fiftly, that there may be kindled and increased in vs an earnest desire of recouering our first felici­tie, yea and farre greater than that was. Sixtly, that we may be thankefull for the restoring of it. But there occurre many thinges, which proue God not to bee the author of sinne. 1 The nature of God. He is of his owne nature good, God not the au­thor of sinne, which was also proued before pag. 101. and the chiefe good: how then should anie euill thing come from him? 2. It is written Gen. 1.31. All that God had made, was verie good. 3. It is proued by the lawe of God, by which hee condem­neth all euill thinges and sinnes, and commandeth good thinges. Wherefore he is not the author of sinnes. For the lawe of God is as it were the glas of that puritie which is in God. 4. It is proued by the punishmentes which God in­flicteth vpon sinners: but he were vniust, if he shoulde pu­nish that in man, whereof himselfe were author. 5. By the description of sinne, which is a destruction of the image of God in man, according to which man was made. This i­mage was righteousnes. And therefore not sinne. More vnto this purpose hath beene spoken in the former place of sinne. To this place of the creation may be referred the place of the Image of God. Likewise the place of the first sinne of Adam and Eue. Those two places we will handle next af­ter this, that so afterwardes wee may come to the place of freewill, which is also ioined with this of mans crea­tion.

THE QVESTIONS OF MANS CREATI­ON ARE ESPECIALLIE TWO.

  • 1 What, man was created of God.
  • 2 To what end, or for what, man was created.

1 What, man was created of God.

This question is proposed euen for the same causes, for which the whole place it self is. 1. That it may ap­peare, that God is not the author of sinne. 2. That wee may know the greatnes of the sinne of mans vnthankefulnes. 3. That we may pray to God & craue earnestlie for his grace, & our deliuerie from sinne. 4. That wee may bee thankefull for our deliuerie from sinne.

MAn was created, first consisting of bodie and soule. His bodie was fashioned of a masse or lumpe of earth,Man created perfect both in bodie and soule. immortall, if hee stoode still in righ­teousnesse; mortall, if hee fell: for mortali­tie ensued on sinne. His soule is a substaunce incor­poreall, vnderstanding, and immortall: this was by god infused and vnited to an instrumentall body, to informe or quicken it, and together with it to make and constitute one person or Subsistent, namely man, to worke certaine motions, and actions external and internal, by the ministe­rie of the bodie and without the ministerie of the bodie, iust and pleasing God, all which the soule accomplisheth in the bodie, and some also by the bodie as an instrument, some by it selfe, without the bodie, that is, not vsing the bo­die or any part thereof as an instrument of his operations. Secondly, man was created perfectlie wise. Thirdly, Perfect­lie holie, and iust. Fourthly, Lord ouer other creatures. Fiftly, Truely and perfectlie blessed and happie. And this is to be cre­ated to the image of God.

Obiect. Perfect wisedome, righteousnes, & blessednes are in god alone.Man perfect but in a certaine de­gree and mea­sure, not infinitly as God. Man is not God: therefore these could not be perfect in man. Aunswere. This reason is a fallacie deceiuing by rea­son of the equiuocation or ambiguitie of the word Perfect. For in the Maior proposition is vnderstoode, The perfection of the Creator, which is the very immensitie and vnmeasu­rablenes [Page 125] of his essence and properties, by reason whereof nothing can be added more vnto God, whereby he may be greater, or better, or happier: of which perfection if the Conclusion also speake, wee graunt the whole rea­son: for this perfection is communicated reallie to no creature at all, no not to the fleshe of Christ. But it is an other perfection, which is in creatures, namelie a perfection in partes and degrees. For all creatures, euen the most excellent, haue onely partes and degrees of good thinges distributed of the Creator vnto them, euerie one such as are agreeable to their nature and place.

All things therefore, are in their owne kind or sort most good and perfect, when they are and remaine such, as God woulde then haue euerie of them to bee, when hee created them. So in man at his creation was perfect wisedome or knowledge, perfect Righte­ousnesse, perfect Blessednesse, not that nothing could bee added more vnto them, or that they did match and equall the perfections of God, but because they had that degree of perfection, in which degree God woulde haue them to bee in man. Wherefore for mans perfection, it was sufficient, if hee knewe all those thinges concerning God and his workes, which God woulde haue him to knowe; and further, if hee did shewe and performe that conformitie, which God exacted of him. It was not required to mans happi­nesse, that hee shoulde knowe all thinges, or bee per­fectlie iust, holie, blessed, and happie: for that had not perfected man, but transformed him into God. The same is to bee conceiued and thought concer­ning the perfect wisedome, Righteousnesse, and Bles­sednes of Angels.

2 For what, man was created.

THe last and principall end of mans creation is the glorie and praise of god. The principal end of mans cre­ation, to praise & worship God. For therfore god created reasonable crea­tures, that being known of them he might bee magnified. It is an action proper vnto man to know & magnifie god. [Page 126] Therefore he was created to know and worship God: that is, to professe him, to call vpon him, to giue thankes vnto him, & to obey him; Lastly to loue God & his neighbour.

The worship of God comprehendeth Profession and In­uocation on the name of God, Thankesgiuing, Praiers, & Obedience,Other ends of mans creation are, The knowledge of God. which consisteth in our loue and dueties to­wards God and men. Many other endes are subordinated to this principall end. For vnto the worship is substituted the true knowledge of God. For God not being known can not be worshipped. This is euerlasting life, that they may know thee a­lone to bee the true God. Further, To the knowledge of God is sub­ordinated or next in order the felicity & blessednes of man, which is the fruition and euerlasting participation of God,Mans felicitie. in which consisteth glorie and eternall life. To this is subordi­nated the manifestation of God, The manifesta­tion of God. or the declaration of Gods mercie in his chosen to euerlasting life, and of his iustice and wrath a­gainst sinne to be punished in the reprobate. For that thou maist know God, and be happy, it is needfull also that he make himselfe manifest vnto thee. Vnto the manifestation of God is subordinated the preseruation of societie in mankinde. For ex­cept there were men, God shoulde not haue whom to ma­nifest himselfe vnto.The preseruati­on of the society of men. I will declare thy name vnto my brethren. To this preseruatiō there folow next in order the duties of nature, and the mutuall good turnes, and benefites of one man towards an other. For no societie or coniunction or conuersing of men together can be or consist without mutuall dueties passing enterchangeably betweene them. Wherefore the societie of men, and mutuall communicating and imparting of dueties betweene them, are the subordinate endes of man created, seruing for the obtaining of the principall end, which is the manifestation, participation or fruition, knowledge, praise and worshippe of God. When therefore God is saide to be the ende of man, it is meant of him ma­nifested, participated, knowne, and worshipped. And in this end, as being the chief and last, the whole felicitie and blessednes, and glorie of man consisteth.

1. Obiect. Heauen, earth, and other creatures which are void of reason, Other creatures are said to praise God as being the matter of his praise: which yet they shoulde not bee, if man and Angels were not. are said to worshippe and magnifie God: Therefore the worship and praise of God is not the proper end why man was created. Answere. This reason hath a fallacie of equiuo­cation [Page 127] or ambiguitie. Creatures voide of reason are saide to worship and praise God, not that they vnderstand ought of god, or know and worship him: But because they bea­ring certain prints and steps of Diuinitie in them, are the matter of gods praise and worship. But the creatures en­dewed with reason are said to praise and magnifie god, not onely, because in them are extant most conspicuous and notable testimonies of god, but chiefly, because they bee­ing endewed with a power & facultie of vnderstanding, & of conforming themselues to the will of god, know by the beholding & contemplation of gods works in thēselues & other creatures, the infinite goodnes, wisedome, power, iu­stice, bounty, and maiestie of god, and are raised and stirred vp to worship god aright both in minde, and in worde, and in the whole obedience, according to his diuine law. And if god had not created creatures of reason and vnderstan­ding, who might beholde, consider, and with thankefull minde acknowledge his workes, and the order and dispo­sing of thinges in whole nature: other thinges which are voide of reason, might no more be saide to praise and wor­ship god, that is to be the matter and occasion of praising him, than if they had neuer beene at all.

2. Obiection. The felicitie and blessednes of man is a qua­litie, or condition and estate, in which or with which man was cre­ated; that is, it is a part of the image of God, and a forme or pro­pertie of man. Therefore it belōgeth to the first question, what man was created, and not to this of the end of mans creation. Answere. This hath no contrarietie in it; for the same may be in di­uers the finall cause & the formal. For the soule and the properties or faculties thereof, are both the formal and final cause of a liuing bodie: the forme, as they actuate and giue life vnto the bodie: the ende, as the bodie is framed of nature for this, that the soule may informe it, and exer­cise by it his operations & actions. In like sort the blessed­nes of man, or participation or fruition of god, as also the knowledge of god, is a propertie and part of the image of god in man, in respect of the beginning, when man by his creation beganne both to bee, and to bee iust and blessed: it is the ende of man in respect of continuance & perseue­rance, that is, as god created man wise, iust, and blessed for [Page 128] this, that hee shoulde continue so for euer: that is, man was created iust and happie, & he was created for this, that he might be iust and happie. Wherefore albeit the existence of blessednesse and the continuance & abiding of the same are the same in the thing it selfe: yet in consideration and respect they are diuers. By reason of which diuers respects, felicitie, wisedome, holines, are both a qualitie and an end of man, that is, are referred to the questions, WHAT and FOR WHAT man was created.

This first creation of man is diligently to be compared with the miserie of mankinde, as also the end for which we were created with the aberration and swaruing from the end: that so by this meanes also wee may know the great­nes of our miserie. For howe much the greater wee see the good was, which wee haue lost; so much the greater wee know the euils to be, into which we are fallen.

OF THE IMAGE OF GOD IN MAN.

The chiefe questions hereof are, 1. What the image of God in man is. 2. How farre forth it is lost, and how farre it remaineth. 3. How it is repaired in man. 4. How it is in Christ, and how in vs.

1 What the image of God in man is.

The image of god to be consi­dered not in the body, but in the soule.SEing god is not corporeal, neither hath a body: we must consider this image, not in the body, but in the soule of man: and because it is very much darckened, and almost blotted out by sinne, wee must iudge of it not by that state, in which men began to be after sinne was committed, but by the repairing, which commeth by Christ, that is, by the nature of man regenerated. And to conclude, whereas there is but a small beginning of regeneration in this life, we shall at length in the euerlasting life and glorie behold and vnderstand perfitely the image of God wholy resto­red shining in vs.

It is not to be sought onely in the substaunce, but chieflie in the qualities and giftes of the soule.Further, that wee are not to seeke the image of God in the substaunce alone of the soule, but chieflie in the vertues and giftes, with which it was adorned of God in the creation; it is euen thereby manifest, for that the nature and substaunce of the soule remaineth euen [Page 129] in the vnregenerate, but the image of God for the most part is lost: yet notwithstanding, because the soule is an vnderstanding spirite, the more excellent spirite, the more excellent part of mans substance, separable from the body, immortal, the beginning and cause of life, and mouing in a liuing body: wee must confesse that the nature thereof, though vnregenerat, is some shadow of that Diuinitie. But the image of God (seeing the substance as of spiritual na­tures in generall, so of the minde of man is vnknowne to vs in the mist and darkenes of this life) is to be considered in those faculties and operations, in which wee see man to excell other creatures, and know him by the word & works of God, to bee agreeable and conformed vnto God. These faculties are especially two: The vnderstanding, and will: The inward senses are adioined to the vnderstanding, and the affections to the will.

The image of God in man, The description of the image of God. is a vertue knowing aright the na­ture, will, and workes of God; and a will freelie obeying God, and a correspondence of all the inclinations, desires, actions, with the will of God: and in a word, a spiritual and vnchangeable puritie of the soule, and the whole man, perfect blessednes & ioy resting in God, and the dignitie of man, and maiestie, whereby hee excelleth and ruleth other creatures. Or, The image of God in man is, 1. The soule it selfe together with the faculties thereof, endewed with rea­son and will. 2. In the soule, wisedome, and knowledge of God, his will, and workes: euen such as god requireth of vs. 3. A conformity with the lawe of god, or holinesse and righteousnesse, vnder which wee comprehende the heart, and all affections. 4. Felicitie with­out miserie and corruption; perfect blessednesse, ioie, aboundance of all good thinges, and glorie, wherewith the nature of man was adorned. 5. The rule and dominion of man ouer the creatures, as fishes, foules, and other liuing creatures. In all these thinges the creature after some sort resembleth his creator: yet can he by no meanes be equalled vnto his Creator. For in God all thinges are immense and without measure, and e­uen his essence infinite.Ephes. 4.24. The Apostle Paul putteth Righte­ousnesse and holinesse, as the chiefe partes of this image: which yet doe not exclude but presuppose wisedome, and knowledge. For no man can worship God vnknowen. But neither doth Paul exclude perfect blessednes & glorie: for [Page 130] this according to the order of Gods iustice, is necessarily coupled with perfect holinesse, or conformitie with God. Whereupon it foloweth, that where true righteousnesse and holinesse is, there is the absence of all euils, whether of crime and offence, or of paine and punishment. Righte­ousnesse and holinesse in this text of the Apostle may be taken for one and the same, or distinguished So that Righteous­nesse may be meant of the actions, and Holinesse of the qua­lities. Righteousnesie, that is, a conformitie and congruitie of the will and heart with the minde iudging aright, that is, according to the word of God.

1. Cor. 15.47. The first man was of the earth earthlie; the second man the Lord from heauen. As the earthlie was, such are they that are earthlie: and as is the heauenlie, such are they also that are hea­uenlie. And as wee haue borne the image of the earthlie, so shall wee beare the Image of the heauenlie. The Apostle doth not here take away the image of the heauenlie man from Adam when he as yet stoode; but compareth his nature & estate aswell before as after his fall, with that heauenlie glorie, into which wee are restored by Christ, that is not onely the nature of man corrupted through sin by death, but the degree of the image of God in mans nature be­fore the fall, & before glorification, with that which folow­eth his glorification.

2 How far forth the image of god was lost, and how farre it remaineth.

The remnants of the image of god.THe image of god in man was not wholy lost, but for the greatest part. For there remaineth in all as well the vnregenerate, as regenerate, 1. The incorporeall substance of the soule together with the power thereof: likewise libertie in his will, which whatsoeuer it will, it will freely. 2. Manie motions, as of those things which we know by sense, as are naturall principles; some motions also of god, his will, and workes. 3. Some prints of vertues, and an ablenes concerning outwarde Discipline and behauiour. 4. The fruition of manie good thinges. 5. The Dominion also ouer the creatures is not wholy lost. He is a­ble to rule many and to vse them.

Why God pre­serueth these remnants in vs.These remnants are therefore preserued of god. 1. That they might be a testimonie of the bountie of god towards those who were vnworthie of it. 2. That god might vse them to the restoring [Page 131] of his image in man. 3. That he may leaue the reprobate without excuse. Now the image of god remaineth not. 1.What is lost of the image of God in vs. In respect of the true, sauing, & sufficient knowledge of god & his will. 2. The integritie & perfectiō of the knowledge of gods workes, & a dexte­rity of discerning the truth. 3. Rightnes, & cōformitie of al inli­nations, desires, and actions in our will, hart and outward parts: by the losse whereof ensue actuall sinnes, and merite eternal damna­tion. 4. Whole and perfect dominion ouer the creatures. For those beastes which feared man before, now assault him; his enemies are hurtfull vnto him, and doe not obey him. The fieldes bring forth thornes and thistles. 5. The right and in­terest of vsing these creatures was lost, because hee graunted it to vs his children, not to his enimies. 6. Life euerlasting was lost, and in place thereof is come death both temporal and eternal, with calamities of all sortes: that is, we lost the felicity and happines both of this life and of the life to come.

Obiection. The Heathen haue many great vertues, and atchieue great workes. Therefore it is not true, that the image of god is lost in them. Answere. All these workes are not plea­sing to god, because they proceed not from the true know­ledge of god, neither are wrought to that end, that all the glorie may redound to god. Those their vertues, are onely of outward behauiour & discipline, but not from the hart, thereby to obey god, whom they flie, and to whose glorie they can doe nothing.

3. How the Image of god is repaired in vs.

THe repairing of it is wrought by god alone, The repairing of the image of god in vs is the work of all three per­sons. who gaue it vnto men: For in whose power it is to giue life, in his also it is to restore it being lost. The maner of restoring it is this. 1. The Father restoreth it by his Son. 2. The Son by the holy Ghost im­mediately regenerating vs. We are changed into the same image, 1. Cor. 3.18. from glorie to glorie, as by the spirite of the Lord. 3. The holy ghost restoreth it by the word: the gospel is the power of god vnto saluation. 4. This is so done by god, Rom. 1.16. as that in this life it is onely begunne in the chosen, and then is confirmed and augmented vnto the end of their life, & is made perfect in the end of this life, as cō ­cerning the Soule, but as concerning the whole man, at the resur­rectiō of the bodies. Wherefore it is to be obserued, who is the author, & what the order and maner of this repairing.

How the Image of God is in Christ, and how in vs.

Christ both essentiallie the image of the fa­ther according to his Diuinitie, and according to his humanitie a created image of God, though in far more ex­cellencie than Saints and An­gels.NOw if it be obiected, that this honor is proper vnto Christ to be the image of god, Coloss. 1. and Hebr. 1. it is well kno­wen that Christ is after an other sort the image of god, than other men. For hee is in respect of his Diuinitie the image not of himselfe, neither of the holy Ghost, but of his eternall fa­ther, coeternal, and consubstantiall, and coequall with his Father, in essence, essential properties, and workes, and is that person, by which the Father doth immediatly reueal himselfe in creating and preseruing all thinges, but chiefly in sauing the elect. Secondly, In respect of his humane nature, he is the image of God, & that of the whole Trinitie, because the three persons together bestowed on Christs humanity these giftes, properties, & maiestie, which are the image of God. Now albeit this image of God is created & finite, not immense: yet doth hee by many degrees, and in number of gifts, as in wisedome, righteousnes, power, glorie, far excell al Angels, & men: & after a peculiar maner resembleth the fathers nature and wil vnto vs, in doctrine, vertues, & acti­ons, because as the human nature which he took vnto him, so all the properties & actions thereof, are proper vnto the Substantiall & coeternall word of the eternall father. Iohn. 14. Philip, hee that hath seene me, hath seene my father. Beleeuest thou not that I am in the father, & the father in mee? The wordes that I speake vnto you, I speake not of my selfe; but the father that dwelleth in me, he doth the workes. Angels & holy men are ter­med the image of god as wel in respect of the son & the ho­ly ghost, as of the eternal father: as it is said, Let vs make man in our image according to our likenes: & that not for the likenes or identity of essence, or some equality: but for the agree­ing of some properties, not in degree or essence, but in kind & imitation which are essential & infinit in god, but in the creatures finite & accidental, that is, qualities & motions framed in thē by god to represent in some sort his nature.

They also, who, as in time past the Anthropomorphitae, will haue the image of god to be the forme of mans body; Adam not the image of God according to his bodie, but accor­ding to his soule. say that whole Adam was made to the image of God; and therefore according to his body also. But they perceiue not the vsual maner of spea­king of a person composed of diuers natures, which is cal­led The communicating of properties, when that is communi­cated to the whole person in the concrete, which is onely [Page 133] proper to one of the natures; as in the same place: Adam was made a liuing soule. Now as the scripture mentioneth the nature of the soule, so also doth it mention such an I­mage of God, as agreeth not vnto the bodie.

Again they obiect. Christ is the image of god. The faithfull not in al thinges like vnto the diuini­tie in which they are like Christ: because Christ himselfe in his body was not like vnto God, but vnto man. But the faith­full beare in their bodie the Image of Christ, Heb. 2. & 4. Philip. 4. Therefore the body also is the image of Christ. There are 4. terms in this Syllogism: because christ is not in his body, but in his Diuinity the image of his father: & in soul or in the gifts or properties thereof, & actions, he is the image of the whole Diuinity or godhead. Wherefore the image of god is in the faithful the same which the image of god is in Christ: nei­ther are they in all thinges like vnto the godhead, in which they are like Christ: because there is somewhat in Christ besides his Diuinity, & the image of the Diuinity which is in the soul, that is, his body, which hath an affinity not with the diuine nature, but with the nature of our bodies. Again they say: The frame of mans body is made with admirable skil & cunning: wherefore there shineth in it & is beheld as in an image the wisedom of the creator. But it foloweth not hereof that the body is the image of god. For so should al things be made to the image of god, seing that in al gods works, his power, wisedome & goodnes doe appeare, which yet the scripture doth not permit: which setteth out onely the reasonable creatures with this title & commendation; & placeth the i­mage of god in those things, which belong not to the body but to the soul. Here also question is made concerning the place of the Apostle, 1. Cor. 11. Man is the image & glory of god; How man is said of S. Paul to be the image of god, and not the woman. but the woman is the glory of the man: where Paul seemeth to at­tribute the image of god onely to man, and to take it away from the woman. But the Apostle meaneth, that man only is the i­mage of god, not in respect of his nature, being partaker of diuine wisedome, righteousnes, & ioy; neither in respect of his dominiō ouer other creatures: for these are common to man & woman: but in respect of ciuil, domestical, & ecclesi­asticall order,Gen. 3.1. Cor. 14. 1. Tim. 2. in which he wil haue the publick gouernmēt & administratiō to belong vnto the man, not to the womā.

Quest. Seing that mā was made to the image of God, it is demanded, whence came this state in which now we see all things contrary? Ans. From the sinne of our first Parents.

OF THE FIRST SINNE.

Next vnto the place of the image of god, is adioyned the place of the first sinne. For seeing man was created to the i­made of God, that is, perfectly wise, perfectly righteous, & perfectly blessed, the questiō hath been not without cause in all times, whence this present estate of man commeth, wherein he, except he be born again by the holy ghost, cannot do other than sin, and be obnoxious to calamities of all sortes, and at length to death it selfe. To this question answere cannot be made but out of the doctrine of the Church onely: which is, that all this confusion and miserie floweth from the first sinne of our first Parents. We must see therefore what that sinne is: concerning which, fower thinges especially come to bee considered.

  • 1 What it was.
  • 2 What the causes thereof.
  • 3 What the effectes.
  • 4 Why god permitted it.

1 What that first sinne of Adam and Eue was.

The manifoldnes of the first sinne. 1 In pride a­gainst God.IT was diuers and manifolde: and many and most grie­uous sinnes are seene in that first sinne. 1. Pride against god, ambition, and an admiration of himselfe. For man not con­tent with that state wherein god had placed him, desired to bee e­equal with God. This doth God charge him with, when he saith; Behold the man is become as one of vs to know good and e­uill. 2 In increduli­tie & contempt of Gods iustice. 2. Incredulitie, and vnbeliefe, and contempt of Gods iustice, and mercie: because he thought not that God could & would inflict on man transgressing his commandement, that pu­nishment, which he had threatned. Wherefore he tempted God, and charged him with a lie: For God had saide, Thou shalt die the death: The Diuell denied it, saying, Ye shall not die: and Adam beleeued the Diuell. Now not to beleeue God, and of the contrarie to beleeue the Diuell is to ac­count god for no true god.3 In stubbornes and disobedi­ence. 4 In vnthanke­fulnes. 5 In vnnatural­nes. 3. Stubbornes and disobedience. For he is become disobedient vnto God. 4. Vnthankefulnes for benefites receiued at his creation; as for these, that he was cre­ated to the image of god, and to eternal life. 5. Vnnatural­nes, iniustice, and crueltie. For there was a neglect of loue in him towardes his posteritie: because those good thinges [Page 135] were not giuen vnto him onely, but also to his whole po­sterity. Therefore he had them, that he should keep them for himselfe and his,6. In Apostasie. or should make losse of them from both. But al this he neglected. 6. Apostasie, or manifest de­fection from God to the Diuel whom he obeyed, whom he beleeued, whom he set in the place of God, withdrawing and sundring himselfe from God. He did not aske of God, those good things which he was to receiue, but reiecting the wisedome and direction God, by the aduise of the Di­uel, wil aspire to be equal with god. Whereof it is apparent that Adams first sinne was no light fault, but horrible sin, and woorthy of so great punishment as it was punished withall.

2 What were the causes of the first sinne.

THe first cause of the first sin was the Instigation of the di­uell. The second,The cause of sinne. The diuels insti­gation, & mans will freely yeel­ding vnto it. God no willer or causer of it, but permit­ter onely. Mans wil freely consenting to the Diuel a­gainst Gods commandement. Now although God would that man should be tempted by the diuel, & did withdraw that his grace frō him, whereby he should resist the temptati­ons of the Diuell; yet he was not the cause of that sinne, which Adam, destitute of diuine grace, did committe. For he was not at all obliged or bound vnto man, to keepe and mantaine that grace in him, which he had giuen him. And further he withdrewe it from man willing, and also himselfe reiecting it: neither yet therefore withdrew he it, as that he would or did purpose or intend sin, or were de­lighted therewith, but to proue and to trie man, & to shew, how vnable the creature is to doe or reteine ought that is good, God not preseruing and directing him by his spirite. Wherefore hee suffered together with his triall of Adam, the sinne of Adam to concurre, but he was no cause or effi­cient of it.

3 What are the effects of the first sinne.

THe first & next effect is, Originall sin, or the corruption of mans whole nature, & the destruction of Gods image as well in our first parents, as also in all their posterity. 2. A further & later effect are all actual sins; for that which is the cause of the cause, is also the cause of the effect. If original sin be an effect of the first sin, thē are also actual sins, which [Page 136] are the effects of originall, effects of the first sin. 3. What­soeue euils of paine or punistment: because it is the cause of sins, therefore is it also the cause of punishments.

Now although that first sin was committed many ages past: yet notwithstanding the effect thereof, which is a pri­uation or want of the true wisedome and direction of god, & of rightnesse in our inclinations and desires remaineth euer since that sinne was committed, in the whole posteri­tie, by gods iust iudgement. Wherefore those things also which necessarilie ensue this priuation, continu, except by the singular benefit and mercy of God the prauity of our nature be corrected, our sin being pardoned and remitted.

4 Why God permitted the first sinne.

GOD permitted it, that is, gaue not his grace of resi­stance to our first parēts, as to the blessed Angels; 1. be­cause (as the Apostle saith, The causes of gods permission of the first sinne. 1 To shew his owne iustice and power. Rom. 9.) he would shew his iustice, anger and power in punishing eternally the sinnes of the wic­ked: but his mercie & loue towardes mankinde in sauing his Cho­sen, not imputing sinne vnto them for his Sonnes sake. And Rom. 11 32. Gal. 3.22. God hath concluded all vnder sinne, that hee might haue mercy on all,2 To shew mans weakenesse and infirmitie. that euerie mouth may bee stop­ped. 2 That it might stand for an example of the weaknes & infir­mitie of al creatures, euen the most excellent, if they enioy not the special blessing of their creatour, and be preserued in that rightnes wherein they were created. The necessitie & vse of this do­ctrine of mans creation. This doctrine concerning the creation of man is necessary for the Church, for many causes and vses which it hath. Wee must knowe that man was created of God without sinne, least God bee imagined the authour or cause of sinne. Whereas mans bodie was fashioned of cley: let vs thinke of our frailtie, that wee be not lifted vp with pride. Seeing that the workemanship of God is so admirable in the framing of mans bodie, and seeing it was created for the ministerie of Gods worship, & for god to dwell in, and for e­uerlasting life: let vs neither abuse it to dishonesty, neither wil­lingly destroy it, nether make it a fly of diuels, but keeping it chast & cleane, endeuour that it be a temple and instrument of the holie ghost to worship god. Seing that god would haue mankind to consist of two sexes, each is to haue his due place and honor, neither is the weaker to be contemned, or oppressed by tyrannie, or lust, or to bee [Page 137] entertained with iniuries & contumelies, but iustly to bee gouer­ned and protected. But especially seeing man was created to the image and likenes of God, this great glory is to be acknowledged and celebrated with a thankeful mind, neither through our leud­nes and malice is the image and likenesse of god to bee transfour­med into the image and likenesse of Satan, neither to be de­stroied either in our selues, or others. And seeing it is destroi­ed by sinne thorough our owne fault: we must acknowledge and be­waile the greatnesse of this vnthankefulnesse, and the euils which followed, by comparing therewith those good things which we haue lost. We must earnestly desire the restoring of this felicity and glo­rie. And because the glory and blessednesse, which is restored vnto vs by the sonne of god, is greater than that which we lost in Adam, so much the more must the desire of thankefulnesse and of profi­ting and encreasing in godlinesse be kindled in vs. And seeing we hear that all things were created for the vse of man, and that the dominion ouer the creatures lost in Adam is restored vnto vs in Christ; we must magnifie the bountifulnes of God towards vs: we must aske all thinges of him, as beeing our creatour and soue­raign Lord, who hath the right and power of giuing al good things, to whom, and how far he will himselfe: and vse those things which are granted to our vse, with a good conscience, & to the glorie of god, who gaue them. And that this may be done, we must not by our infidelity cast our selues out of that right which wee receiue in Christ: & if god of his own power & autority either giueth vs lesse than wee would, or take away from vs, that which he hath giuen, wee must submit our selues patiently to his iust purpose & most profitable for our saluation. And seeing the soule is the better part of man, & the happinesse of the bodie dependeth on the happinesse of the soul, & seing also we are created to immortall life, we ought to haue greater care of those things which belong to the soule and eternal life, than of those which belong vnto the bodie and this tē ­porall life. And at length, seeing the end and blessednes of man, is the participation & communicating of god, his knowledge, & wor­ship; let vs euer tend vnto it, & referre thither al our life & acti­ons. And seeing we see one part of mankinde to be vessels of wrath to shewe the iustice and seueritie of God against Sinne, let vs bee thankefull to God, for that of his meere and infinite goodnesse he would haue vs to bee vessels of mercie, to declare through all eternitie the riches of his glorie. Last of all, that we [Page 138] maie learne, consider, and begin these thinges in this life, let vs to our power tender and helpe forward the common society, and sal­uation of others, for which we are borne.

OF FREE-WILL.

WHEREAS God is a most free agent, and man was created to the image of God,The causes of diuers contro­uersies arisen a­bout free-will. yea and was furnished with liber­tie of will, it seemeth to many not to agree that all the actions of mans will are gouerned by the vnchangeable pro­uidence of God, & that the nature of men is so corrupted by the fall of our first parents, and O­riginall sinne, that it is able to bring forth nothing but that which is euill and displeasing God, without the re­newing and especiall benefite of the holy Ghost. For neither do they acknowledge that for liberty, which is tied to any necessity; neither seemeth it that wee shoulde graunt the whole libertie of the will to haue beene lost by sin; because also after the fal there are left in men some prints and steps of Gods image, and the blame and crime of sinne cannot be laid on men, except the will be free. To this is added the pride of mans wit, which admitteth no­thing more hardly, than that the glorie and original of all good should be transferred from men to God alone. Fur­ther also the notable vertues of men not regenerated: and lastly the iudgement of our sense and reason, which doth not marke without the light of Gods woorde the secret gouernement of Gods prouidence in humane actions.

Wherefore hereupon haue risen controuersies & de­bates concerning free-wil, while the olde diuines yeelding too much vnto the Philosophers swelling with a vain per­swasion of wisedome and righteousnesse, and the latter as­centing vnto the former, haue either spoke more magnifi­cently than they ought to haue done of the strength and power of mans will, or haue endeuoured to arrogate that vnto men, which is not found in them since the first fall. But let vs remember that this doctrin of free wil, is a view [Page 139] and contemplation not of mens ability and excellencie, but of their weaknes and misery; which is therefore to bee ioined with the doctrine of the creation and fall of man, that wee knowing the more from what top of dignity and felicity, into how deepe a gulfe of ignominie and misery we are cast by sinne, may not more deepely plunge our selues by a vaine confidence of our owne strength vnto e­uils, but may incline to a true humility and thankful­nesse towards God, and bee of him reuiued, quickned and healed.

For, that the scope of this disputation may be knowen, and the vse thereof perceiued:The state of the maine que­stion about free will. we must vnderstand that the principal question in it is this, Whether as man auerted himselfe from God, and corrupted himself, so of the other side he be able by his owne strength to returne to God, and to receiue grace offered by God, and to amend himselfe: And further, whether the will of man be the first and principal cause why others are conuer­ted, others persist in their sins, and as wel of the conuerted as not conuerted others are more, others lesse good or euil, and in a woord doe either good or euill, some after one maner, some after another. To this question the aduersaries, Pelagians, and the like, make answere, That so much grace is both giuen of God, and left by nature to al men, that they are able to returne vnto God and o­bey him; neither ought we to seeke any other cause before or aboue mans wil, for which others receiue or retaine, others refuse or cast awaie diuine succour and aide in auoiding sinne, and do after this or that manner order and institute their counsailes aad acti­ons.

Contrariwise, we haue learned out of the sacred scrip­ture: That albeit by nature so much of God and his wil is knowen to all, as maie suffice for taking away all excuse from them of sin: and although it be manifest that many woorks morally good may be done euen of the vnregenerate, and the wil doth in them freely make choise either of good or euil: yet no work pleasing to God can be vndertaken, or perfourmed by any man, without regeneration and the especial grace of the holy spirit: neither can more or lesse good be in any mans counsailes or actions, than God of his free and purposed goodnes to euery one doth cause in them: neither any o­ther way can the wil of any creature be inclined, than whither it shal seeme good to the eternall and good counsel of God: And yet [Page 140] all the actions of the created wil, both good and bad, are wrought freelie.

The chiefe questions here to be obserued are fiue.

  • 1 Of the word, liberty, or freedome.
  • 2 What is the liberty of the wil.
  • 3 What is common, and what diuerse in the liberty of will, which is in God, in Angels, and man.
  • 4 Whether there be any liberty in vs, and what.
  • 5 The degrees of free wil.

1 Of the word, Liberty.

Libertie from bond & misery. THere is one kind of liberty from bond and misery. And this signifieth a relation or respect, that is the power or right, or ordering either of person or thing, made either by ones wil or by nature, to deale at his owne arbiterment or motion according to honest Lawes, or order agreeable to his nature, and to enioy commodities conuenient for him without inhibition or impediment, & not to sustaine the defects & burdens or encomberances which are not proper to his nature. So is God most free, because he is bound to no man. So the Romanes and the Iewes were free, that is, stoode not charged with such gouernementes & burdens, which a mā might want without any swaruing from iustice. So are we made free by Christ from the an­ger of God, and euerlasting death, & leuitical ceremonies. So a Citie, field, house is free from seruitude, danger, or any burden. So a birde is free in the aire. Wherefore vnder li­bertie in this sense is comprehended, as a special vnder his generall, ciuill libertie, which is a right or ability for a man to doe and dispose of himselfe and his affaires at his owne pleasure, according to honest and good lawes. Wherefore this libertie is opposed to bondage and seruitude. Of this there is no question in this place: because it is a greed vp­on, that we are all the seruantes of God; for we are all ob­liged by his Lawe, either to obey him, or to suffer punish­ment, if we do not obey: neither is it put in our wil or plea­sure, to obey, or not to obey; to suffer, or not to suffer pu­nishment. For our will, will many things freely, the liber­ty of performing whereof notwithstanding wee haue not, [Page 141] either some prohibition, or other impediment hindering vs from it.

2 What is the liberty of will.

THere is another libertie, of will, which is a power, right, or ability proper vnto a reasonable nature, to will any thing, to choose or refuse any obiect, represented vnto it by the vnder­standing, and to mooue it selfe (by an internall cause of motion, that is, which hath in it selfe a cause of moouing it selfe) by her owne proper motion, (beeing apt to will or not to will, and beeing without an externall cause) without anie constraint or vi­olent impulsion from any external cause, the nature of the wil re­maining still entire and free to doe this or that, or also to su­spend, forbear and differre any action. These sixe thinges there­fore concurre to constitute and make the libertie of wil.

1 An obiect, whether that be any end proposed, Six things requi­red to liberty of will. which still is considered as good, or the meanes, whereby the end is come vnto. 2. The mind knowing and vnderstanding the obiect. 3. The will alike and equally apt to choose or refuse the obiect represented vnto it. 4. The will dooing one of the two vpon former delibera­tion. 5. Doing it of her selfe, or hauing the cause and beginning of her motion internall and without her: and this is to doe by her owne and proper motion. 6. Not being constrained by any ex­ternal agent.

Furthermore, that which is endewed with this facul­tie or abilitie, is called free, that is, dooing as it selfe will without constraint. For that is saide to bee a free agent, What is said to be a free agent. which, whether it bee mooued of it selfe onely, or al­so of some externall cause, yet notwithstanding hath such an internall cause of the action which proceedeth from it, as thereby both it is apt to this motion; and it selfe moueth while it is moued, that is, is moued by an inward cause to doe after this or that manner, suffering no force or constraint thereto of anie externall agent. Where­fore an agent doeth not cease to bee free and volun­tarie, albeit it bee mooued of an externall cause, so as it bee not constrained, and haue in it selfe not onelie a Passiue, but also an Actiue Originall and cause of the action which it woorketh. Nowe that which is [Page 142] voluntary is opposed to that which is violent or constrained, That which is voluntarie may be necessary but not constrained. Necessarie is more general than constrai­ned, & therfore agreeth to more than doth Con­strained but not to that which is necessary. For God and the blessed Angels are necessarily and alwaies good, yet not constrai­nedly, but with most free will. For that is said to be constrai­ned, which hath only an externall beginning and cause of motion, and not also an internal, wherby it may also moue it selfe to do on this or that manner. Wherefore the diffe­rence betweene constrained and necessary is to be obserued, as also between contingent, and free. Constrained is in respect of necessary, as a special in respect of his general. For what­soeuer is cōstrained is necessary, but not whatsoeuer is ne­cessary is constrained. SoContingēcie is opposed to Ne­cessitie: and those things are saide to be done contingently, which are not necessarily don, but might in re­spect of their owne nature as well not haue beene doone Contingent in respect of free is as a generall in respect of his speciall. For whatsoeuer is free is contingēt, but not al that is contingent is free. And as that which is constrained may be also contingent, but cannot bee either free or voluntary: So that which is necessary may be voluntary, or free: & contrariwise, that which is voluntary may be necessarie, but cannot be constrained.

Moreouer free Arbiterment differeth from the libertie or freedome of will. Arbiterment is as theThe concrete is that which signifieth the subiect toge­ther with some accident or qua­litie or essence in the subiect: As arbiterment signifieth not wil only, which is the subiect, but wil choosing or re­fusing, which is an accident of the will. The abstract is the accident or quality or essēce in it selfe, which doth not withall in signification implie the subiect. concrete, & sig­nifieth the will it selfe, but, as it chuseth or refuseth a thing, the iudgement of the vnderstanding going before. Where­fore it comprehendeth both faculties or powers, to witte, both the iudgement of the minde or vnderstanding of the obiect, and the will either receiuing or refusing it. Nowe freenesse or libertie is as it were the abstract, that is, the qualitie or maner of doing, proper vnto the will. Free arbi­terment therefore is a facultie or power of receiuing or refusing, (without constraint, by proper motion & aptitude to either part) that which the vnderstanding aduiseth to bee chosen or refused. Or, it is the iudgement it selfe and wil in a creature endewed with reason, choosing or refusing any obiect represented vnto it by the vnderstanding. And this faculty or power of the soul is cal­led Arbiterment, in respect of the mind, shewing vnto the will an obiect to be chosen or refused: And it is called free in respect of the will. 1. Because the will doth of her owne ac­corde followe the iudgement of the mind and vnderstanding. 2. Be­cause it is by nature equallie fit to receiue or refuse. 3. Because it mooueth it selfe by her owne proper motion, either hauing with­in it selfe, or rather being it selfe the beginning and cause [Page 143] of her own motion, to choose or refuse any thing that is obiect vnto it. 4. Because in this election or reiection it suffe­reth no impediment, and no force or constraint of anie externall a­gent, whether that bee God, or the diuel, or men, or anie thing else whatsoeuer.

And this is it, which they say, to do any thing vpon delibe­ration or aduisement going before. which manner of dooing is proper vnto the will. For this is the difference betweene a nature agent, and a voluntarie; The difference betweene a na­turall agent and a voluntarie. that the naturall cause is ordai­ned or appointed, or fit and apt to one certaine manner of woorking, neither can it forbeare working, if the obiect be present whereon it should woorke: as fire cannot but burne a bodie put vnto it, if it bee of such matter as wil take fire. But the will is able and apt to choose or refuse contrarie or diuers obiects, or to forbeare and differ the choise thereof: as a man may haue a will to walke, or not to walke, or may differ his wil of walking. To doe therefore anie thing with free arbiterment and will, is, to doe vpon a fore-deliberation, according to the will of god, sometimes simplie, and sometimes in some respect onelie: and against it also sometimes in some respect, but neuer sim­plie against it. For the libertie of woorking is not taken away in any creature, if God be said so to rule & bend their wills, that they be not inclined any other way than whither god will haue them inclined, either simply or in some sort. But free arbiterment is a faculty or power of working vpon de­liberation, and without constraint, or rather the very wil it selfe so woorking.

Wherefore if the name of free arbiterment be so taken & expounded, as hath beene said;The name of free arbitermēt may be tolera­ted in the Church, though it be not vsed in the scriptures. albeit it be not vsed in the Scriptures, yet maie it be tolerated & borne-with: because both the description thereof, such as was euen nowe deli­uered, agreeeth with the Scripture, and the auncient wri­ters haue also vsed the same name. But if it be taken for such a will of free working, which excludeth all action and woorking of the first cause guiding, inuiting, and bending the creatures wils, whither it selfe listeth, such a free arbi­terment cannot bee admitted. For example sake: Abime­lecke abstaining from Rebecca, and the Iewes crucifieng Christ, both did it with free arbiterment: because those forealeaged conditions, which make free arbiterment, did [Page 144] agree vnto both: neither yet could they at that present doe otherwise than they did, God so guiding & directing the ir wils.

3 What is like or common, and what diuerse or different in the libertie of will, which is in god, in Angels, and man.

Common to men and Angels with God, to wil a thing with­out constraint.THese two things are common to God, and reasonable creatures, that is, Angels & men, that they doe things vpon deliberation and aduise, and will without coaction those things which they haue considered and thought of: that is, Their wil being by nature fit to will the contrary or diuerse from that which it doth wil, or also to differre & forbear the action, doth incline to the other part of it owne accord, and by a proper force which is within it. For it is said of God, Psal. 115. He hath done all things, which hee would. And of men, Mat. 23. Hierusalem, how often would I haue gathered thy children, and ye would not?

The differences of our liberty of wil, and Gods. 1 God knoweth al things of him­selfe, perfectly, perpetually.But the differences also of this liberty in God and in the creatures are to be considered. The first is, in the vnder­standing. God vnderstandeth and knoweth all thinges of himselfe perfectly and perpetually; neither can any igno­rance of any thing, or any error of iudgemēt, fal into God at any time. But the creatures know neither of themselues, neither all things, neither the same at all times, but at such time, and so much, as is reuealed vnto them. Who hath knowen the mind of the Lord? Of that daie and houre knoweth us man. God giueth vnderstanding. Neither is there any thing which is not manifest in his sight. He illighteneth euery creature. To be­hold all things which are infinite, requireth infinite power and wisedome, which is proper to God alone. Mention is here made of the vnderstanding, because a thing not vnder­stood is not either desired or refused.2 His will depen­deth of none but himselfe: ours of him. The second diffe­rence is in the will. The wil of God is gouerned or moued, or depending of no other cause, but of it selfe. The wils of Angels and men are so the causes of their actions, that ne­uerthelesse they are carried by the secret counsell of God, & his power and efficacie, which is euerie-where present, to the choosing or refusing of any obiect: and that either immediately by God, or mediately by instrumentes, some [Page 145] good, some bad, which it seemeth good vnto God to vse, so that it is impossible for them to doe any thing beside the eternall decree and counsail of God. And therefore the woorde [...], that is, to be absolutely his owne, at his owne will, and in his owne power, agreeth most properly vnto God, who perfectly and simply is his owne, and at his owne will. But of the creatures, more rightly is vsed [...], that is, voluntarie and free, which worde the Apostle vseth to Philemon, vers. 14. Heb. 10.26. 1. Pet. 5.2.

That God is the first cause of his actions,God the first cause both of his owne actions and ours. Psal. 115.3. Dan. 4.52. Gen. 29.7. Exod. 3.16. Act. 2.23. and 3 17. &c. and 4.17 &c. the Scrip­ture doth declare. He hath done whatsoeuer he would. Who ac­cording to his wil worketh in the army of heauen, and in the inha­bitants of the earth. But that the wils and counsailes of the creatures depend of God who is aboue them, these and the like speeches doe proue. The Lord shal send his Angell before thee. Go and gather the Elders of Israel together. Him be­ing deliuered by the determinate counsel and fore-knowledge of God yee haue slaine. I know that through ignorance ye did it. and, But God hath fulfilled these things: and, Herode and Pontius Pilate gathered thēselues together: to do whatsoeuer thine hand, and thy counsel had determined before, to be done. By these and the like places it is manifest, that all second causes, as they were created of God, so are they ruled of him as their first, supreme & soueraign cause. But the wil of God dependeth on no one of the creatures, because then a second cause should be put before the first cause. And as God hath not any efficient, so neither hath he any mouing or inclining cause without him. Moreouer God so ruleth and guideth the wil of his creature, that he doth not draw or enforce it, but bend and encline it, that is by obiectes represented to the mind he effectually moueth, affecteth, and allureth the wil to wil that which then the mind iudgeth good, and refuse that which seemeth euil: so that the wil it selfe also vpon deliberatiō going before, & a voluntary assent folow­ing chooseth that, which God wil & sheweth to be chosen.

3 It appertaineth as well to the vnderstanding as vnto the will, that God as he vnchangeably knoweth all things,3 God determi­ned all things which he will from euerlasting and wil them vnchangeablie▪ we determine what we wi [...]l in time, & many times change from that which we fi [...]st deter­mine. so also hath determined from euerlasting, and will vn­changeablie al thinges which are done, as they are good, & permitteth them, as they are sins. Now as the creatures [Page 146] notions and iudgements of thinges, so also their willes are chaungeable, so that they will that, which before they would not, and will not that, which before they woulde. For seeing that al the counsels of God are most good, most iust, and most wise, he neuer disliketh, correcteth, or chan­geth them, as often-times men doe, when as they doe per­ceiue themselues to haue determined anie thing vnadui­sedly before. Neither doth God depend on their second causes, either motions, actions, or mutations, or doth ad­uise according to them, as doth the creature: but himselfe beeing the first cause, al the actions of al creatures depend on him. For he doth not, as men, take aduise concerning the end, by viewe of meanes or things antecedent leading thereunto, but according vnto his decree concerning the end & consequent he doth decree & ordaine the means & antecedents: that is, God woorketh not thereafter as hee seeth the second causes to woorke, but he causeth or per­mitteth the second causes so to worke, as he himselfe hath decreed and purposed to woorke. Hither appertaine those sayings, Num. 23. God is not as man, that he shoulde lie. Mal. 3. I am the Lord, and change not.

The vnchange­ablenes of Gods purpose taketh not away the libertie of his will.Obiection. Hee that can not change his counsaile and pur­pose, hath not free-will. But God cannot change his counsail and purpose, which he hath once appointed. Therefore his will is not free. First we deny the Maior. For not he, which doth not change his purpose which hee hath once appointed, hath not liberty of wil, but he which could not purpose any other thing beeing let by some external cause. But the li­berty of god consisteth not in the change of his wil or pur­pose, but in this, that God will all thinges whatsoeuer hee will, altogether with his will, and of himselfe, and could haue hadde otherwise decreed, or not decreed all thinges, which hee decreed from euerlasting of the creati­on, preseruation and gouernment of things, according to these sayings, Matthew, 19. Luk. 18. With men this is im­possible, but with God al thinges are possible. These and the like sayings shew, that God hath so appointed from euerlasting with himselfe the creation of things, and the gathering & sauing of his church, not, as if he could not haue not don this, or not haue appointed it otherwise, but because so it [Page 147] seemed good to him: neither must men seeke anie superior cause thā his wil of al his diuine works which he exerciseth in his creatures; neither is there any other necessitie to be found in them, than which dependeth of the most free ap­pointment of god himselfe. For as to resolue of such a purpose as is to be changed, so also to change it either to better or to worse, is rather seruitude or bondage, than freedoome and libertie: For it proceedeth of ignorance or impotencie. For they change their coun­sels and purposes, who either or in taking them, or are not able to perfourme the counsaile which they haue taken. But to resolue of such a purpose, as might alike either haue beene decreed or not decreed, and which after it is decreed, is neither changed nor to be changed at any time, this is perfect and diuine libertie. Nowe God whatsoeuer he hath decreed, could either not haue decreed it at al, or haue decreed it otherwise. And that he changeth not that which he hath once decreed, the perfectnes of his nature, euen his infinit wisedome and goodnesse is cause thereof. For most wisely and rightlie doth he decree all thinges, & constantlie persisteth in that which is good & right. Wherfore the immutability in god doth aswell not diminish his libertie, as his immortalitie, & other things which are proper vnto his diuinitie.

Secondly if any man vrge, that it is a point of liberty, not on­lie to resolue of anie aduise what he will, but after he hath resolued to bee able either to followe it, or to change it: we vnderstand by those things which haue beene alreadie spoken, that this doth agree to the creatures, which may or in their purpo­ses, and therefore stand in need of changes & alterations: but not to god, who can neuer er, and therefore requireth no change of his purpose. Lastly, if they reply, That not to be able to alter a purpose once vndertaken is a defect of abilitie or power, & therefore against the libertie of God: we answere that the antecedent of this reply is true, if the change of it be impossible by reason of some impediment, comming from some external cause, or by reason of defect of nature, or a­bility: but the antecedent is most false, if the impossibilitie of change proceed from a perfection of that nature, which is not changed, & from a wisedome and rightnesse of that purpose which is vnchangeable, and from a perseuerance and constancy of the will in that which is good and right, after which sort it is apparant to be in God.

[Page 148] Gods directing of out wil taketh not away the l [...] ­bertie thereof.But against that, where it was said, that the wils of all crea­tures are so guided by God, that neither they are able to will, what hee from euerlasting hath not decreed, neither not to will, what hee hath decreed for them to will: more question is vsed to bee made. 1 That which is ruled by the vnchangeable will of God, doth not woorcke freelie; The will of Angels and men is ru­led by the vnchangeable will of God. Therefore either it hath no libertie, or the choise which it maketh is not tied to the will of God. Answere wee make to the maior by a distinction. It is not a free agent which is so ruled by God, as it hath no deliberation and election of his owne. But that which GOD so ruleth, as hee sheweth the obiect vnto the vnderstanding, and by it effectuallie mooueth and af­fecteth the will to choose it; that dooth notwithstan­ding freelie woorke, albeit it bee inclined, at the becke and will of GOD, whither hee will haue it. For to woorcke freely in the creatures, is not to woorcke with­out anie ones gouernment, but with deliberation, and with a proper and selfe-motion of the will, although this motion be elsewhence raised & ruled. Wherefore it is not the immutabilitie and operation of the diuine will and prouidence, which is against this libertie, but a priuation and constrainte of iudgement, which is an impulsion or a motion proceeding not from an inwarde cause or facultie, but onely from an outwarde cause, be­side or against the nature of that which is mooued. Nowe such an impulsion falleth not into the will: but God mo­ueth it, leading and bringing it on as it were by obiects, to choose that which he will. For the facultie or abilitie and power of the will cannot be brought into act, that is, to shewe and expresse it selfe, without an obiect; and, We are, liue and mooue in God, Acts. 17. But to bee mooued of no other cause but of himselfe onelie,Necessity taketh not away liberty of will in vs. this is exceeding and infinite perfection and libertie, agreeing to God alone, which the creature cannot desire, much-lesse arro­gate and challenge vnto it selfe, without notorious blas­phemie.

Further it maie easilie be shewed, that the necessitie or immutabilitie, which ariseth not from constraint, but from the nature of the will, or from the commotion of it stirred [Page 149] by other causes to choose or refuse an obiect thought of by the mind, doth not at al withstand or hinder the liber­tie of will.

First, because this necessitie doth not take awaie, This necessitie proceedeth frō Gods woorking in vs, which ra­ther preserueth thi [...] libertie. Absolute necessi­ty doth not take awaie in God greater li­bertie: much­lesse can a lesse absolute neces­sity take away a lesse liberty in vs. but effectua­teth and preserueth the iudgement of the minde, & free or volun­tarie assent of the will, in asmuch as god doth cause & woorke in men both the notions, and election of obiects.

Secondly, Because God, albeit hee is by nature, that is, by exceeding and absolute necessitie good, and hath begotten his sonne, and had his holie spirite from all eternitie: yet will he, not by a constrained, but most free-will, be, liue, be blessed and good, haue his sonne and holie spirite, and will all his purposes and works to be good and iust, although it be impossible that hee shoulde will anie thing contrarie to these which hee hath already determined. If then this absolute necessitie of willing things, in God, doth not take awaie euen the grea­test libertie; there is no doubt but that necessitie, which is but onelie conditionall, that is, according to the decree and gouernment of god, doth not take awaie that libertie, which agreeth vnto the creatures, that is, iudgement and election free and voluntarie.

Thirdly,Angels & saints in heauen haue greater li­berty of will, and yet greater ne­cessity. The holie Angels and blessed men in the celestiall life, euen by our aduersaries owne confession, are endued with grea­ter libertie of will, than we are in this life. But they necessarily wil those things onelie which are right and iust, and hate and ab­horre all thinges whatsoeuer are euill and vniust; because they are made such of god, and so established by him, and are so illuminated and guided by the holy ghost, that they cannot otherwise will or work: neither by this necessitie of willing those thinges which are good and pleasing to god, is the liberty of will taken away or diminished in them, but rather is encreased, and confirmed, as who with al willing­nesse choose and doe those thinges onely which are iust.

Fourthly, It is shewed by many testimonies of scripture, Many paces of Scripture cōfirm the necessity of those actions, the liberty of which yet both we and our adue [...]ries acknowledge. that the wils & voluntary actions of good and wicked men, which our aduersaries mantaine to be and to haue beene free, and we also, ac­cording to the right meaning of this worde Libertie, do willinglie confesse, are so guided by the secret and vnchangeable purpose of god, that they neither can nor could either doe or be otherwise. [Page 150] Wherefore either so many manifest places of scripture must be denied, or openly corrupted; or it must be graun­ted, that one and the same action of the will is free & con­tingent in respect of the will, and necessary in respect of Gods gouernment.

Contingent ef­fects leese not their contingen­cie by reason of any necessitie imported by Gods decree. The same is to be saide of the effectes of the will which are in respect therof contingent, that is, free, and might as well not bee doone as be done.Fiftly, it is declared by manie places of scripture, that all contigent effectes doe retaine their contingencie, which they haue from the nature of their causes, although they bee done by the vnchaungeable determination of the purpose or pro­uidence of God. But all voluntarie effectes or motions are contingent, in respect of the will, which by nature was like able to haue doone the plaine contrarie vnto them. They therefore retaine their contingencie, that is, their li­bertie (for this is the contingencie of the actions of the will) although they be so determined of by gods wil, that there can be no other.

The reason of the Maior in this argument is, for that GOD so mooueth the second causes, and by them bring­eth to passe what hee will, that in the meane season by his prouidence hee dooth not destroy or abolish their nature, which hee gaue them at their creation, but rather preserueth, and nourisheth it; so that as concerning their nature, some woorcke contingently, some necessarily, although in respect of the libertie of Gods purpose, all woorke contingently, and in re­spect of the vnchaungeablenesse of his decreee, all woork necessarily so as they doe. For when GOD by the rising of the Sunne lighteneth the woorlde, he ma­keth not the Sunne so, as if beeing risen it did not ne­cessarily lighten, or were apt by nature not to lighten: and yet is it in the power of God, either to chaunge the nature of the Sunne, or, that remaining as it is, not to lighten the woorlde: as hee shewed in Aegypt, and at the passion of Christ. In like manner, when the Quailes light at the Tentes of the Israelites, and the Rauens carrie meate to Elias, and one Sparrowe falleth on the ground, GOD doth not make the nature of these liuing creatures such, as coulde not bee carried else-where: and yet that they can haue no other motion than that which they haue, by [Page 151] reason of the will of God interposed and comming be­tweene, the Scripture plainly affirmeth. Whereof it is ma­nifest, that as in other thinges which work contingently, their contingency, so in the wil the liberty which is giuen it of God, is not taken away but rather preserued by gods gouernment.

Nowe then, if our aduersaries in their argument vn­derstand that Liberty which consisteth in the delibe­ration of the minde, and free assent of the wil, wee doe not onely graunt, but also better mainetaine than they, the liberty of will in all actions thereof: and so the Ma­ior of their argument shall bee false, to witte, that those things which are done by the vnchaungeable decree of God, are not done by the free will of men and Angels. For this libertie the prouidence of God doth so not hin­der but rather establish and confirme, that without this that liberty cannot so much as be: for God both keepeth his order which he appointed at the creation by his per­petuall efficacy and operation, and doth inspire into all by his vertue true notions and right election. But if they challenge a libertie vnto the creatures depending of no other cause whereby it is guided, wee denie their whole argument, as knowing such a liberty of creatures to stand against the whole Scripture, and that it only agreeth vnto God. For him alone doe al things serue: In him we liue and moue, and haue our being: he giueth vnto al not only life or pow­er of mouing themselues, but euen breathing too, that is, very mouing it selfe.

To the same tendeth this Obiection also. If the will, The will wor­keth togither with God, & is not mere pas­siue. when it is conuerted of GOD, or turned and inclined to other Obiectes, cannot with-stand; it is euen meere passiue, and so woorcketh not at all. But this consequence de­ceiueth them, because there is not a sufficient enume­ration, in the Antecedent, of those actions which the will may haue, when it is mooued of GOD. For it is able not only to withstand God mouing it, but also of it owne proper motion to assent and obey him. And when it doth this, it is not idle, neither doth it onely suffer, or is mooued, but it selfe exerciseth and mooueth her owne actions. And yet this is to bee vnderstoode of the actions of the [Page 152] wil, not of the new qualities or inclinations which it hath to obey God. For these the wil receiueth not by her owne operation, but by the working of the holy Ghost.

The will of man withstanding the reueiled will of God is yet guided by his secret wil, & therefore resi­sting doth not resist.Thirdly they say: That which withstandeth the will of God, is not guided by it: But the will of men in manie actions withstandeth the will of God: It is not therefore alwaies guided by the will of God. But the consequence heere faileth, be­cause there are foure termes. For the Maior is true, if both the reuealed and the secret will of God bee vnder­stood, so that simplie and in all respects it bee withstood, and that bee doone, which simply and by no meanes it would haue done: that which is impossible to come to passe, because of the omnipotency and liberty of God. But in the Minor the will of God must bee vnderstoode, as it is reuealed. For the secret decrees of Gods will and prouidence are euer ratified, and are perfourmed in all, euen in those, who most of all withstand Gods com­mandements. Neither yet are there contrarie wils in god. For nothing is found in his secret purposes which disa­greeth with his nature reuealed in his woord: And God openeth vnto vs in his Law, what he approueth and liketh, and what agreeth with his nature and the order of his mind: but he doth not promise or reueal, how much grace he wil or purposeth to giue to euery one to obey his com­mandements.

God though the mouer of wic­ked wils, yet not the mouer of the wic­kednes of the wil [...].Fourthly, as touching this Obiection: If all moti­ons euen of wicked willes are raised and ruled by the will of God, and manie of these disagree from the Lawe of God, and are sinnes: god seemeth to be made the causer of sinnes: The aun­swere is, that it is a paralogisme of the accident. For they disagree from the law, not as they are ordained by, or pro­ceed from the wil of god (for thus far they agree very wel with the iustice and Law of God) but as they are done by men, or Diuels: and that by reason of this defect; because either they doe not know the will of god when they doe it, or are not moued by the sight & knowledge therof to do it; that is, they doe it not to that end, that they maie obey God, who will so haue it. For whatsoeuer is doone to this ende, it disagreeth not from the Lawe: seeing the Law doth not but with this condition either commaund [Page 153] or forbid any thing, if God hath not commanded a man to doe otherwise. So doth the Lawe of God forbidde to kill anie man, except whome God hath commaunded anie to kil. Who then killeth a man, God not commaun­ding it, hee out of doubt doth, and offendeth against the Lawe. Neither doth God dissent from himselfe or his law, when he wil haue some thing done either by his reueiled, or secret will, otherwise than according to the generall rule prescribed by himselfe in his Law. For hee hath such endes and causes of all his purposes, as that they can­not but most exactlie agree with his nature and iu­stice.

Fifthly they obiect: Libertie which is guided of another can not be an image of that liberty which dependeth of no other, which is in god. But the liberty of mans will, is the image of the li­berty, which is in god. Therefore the liberty of mans will depen­deth not or is not guided by the will of god. We denie the Ma­ior. For seeing that euerie thing which is like is not the same with that vnto which it is like, to conceiue in some sort the libertie of God, it is enough that reasonable crea­tures doe woorke vpon deliberation and free election of will, albeit this election in the creatures is both guided by themselues and another, in God by no other than by his owne diuine wisedome. The image of a thing is not the thing it selfe: and the inequality of degrees ta­keth not awaie the image, as neither the likenesse and similitude of some partes taketh awaie the dissimili­tude of others. Wherefore the libertie of reasonable creatures both is gouerned of God, and is notwithstan­ding a certaine image of the libertie which is in God, because it chooseth thinges once knowen vnto it by her own and free or voluntary motion. For as of other facul­ties or properties, so also of libertie it is impossible that the degrees should bee equall in God and his creatures: whereas all thinges are infinite in God, and finite in his creatures. Seeing therefore wisedome, righteousnesse, strēgth, in the creatures is the image of the vnmeasura­ble wisedom, righteousnes & power which is in god: a por­tion also of liberty agreeable and competent for the crea­tures may be the image of the liberty which is in God.

[Page 154] The will is not idle or mere pas­siue when God worketh by it, no more than the sun, raine and such like instrumentes of Gods operation.Sixtly, they say, If the creature cannot but doe that which God wil haue done, and cannot do, what god will not haue done, the wil hath no actiue force, but is wholy passiue, especially in our con­uersion, which is the work of god: Likewise there is no vse of laws, doctrine, discipline, exhortation, threatnings, punishments, exam­ples, promises, and lastly of our study and endeuour. Wee denie the consequence: Because the first or principal cause bee­ing put, the second or instrumentall cause is not thereby taken away. For as god lightneth the world, & doth quic­ken the earth, bringeth foorth corne, nourisheth liuing creatures, & yet are not the instruments of gods working idle, as the sun, the raine, the earth, husbandmen, & food: So god conuerteth men, ruleth their purposes, wils, & acti­ons, that is, teacheth & moueth them to approue & chuse what he wil, by laws, by magistrats, by doctrine, by rewards, by punishments, and lastly by their owne wil, which al he v­seth as instruments, not as if he could not without these il­lighten the mind with notions, and incline the wil: but be­cause it so seemeeh good to him to exercise his power by these.

Albeit God was able to haue wrought what he would with­out the will, yet because he will worke by the wil, the working of the will is not in vaine.If they reply, That that wold necessarily come to passe so, which is don, & euen without them, & therefore they are in vain vsed: we deny the antecedent. For although god were able to moue mens wils without these, and if he had so decreed to doe, men doubtles should doe without these, what now they do beeing mooued by these: yet whereas god hath once so de­creed the effects, as he hath also appointed their secōd in­strumentall and impulsiue causes: that verily shal be doone which god wil haue done, but yet not without middle and second causes, by whose means and working comming be­tweene and interposed, god wil bring his purposes and de­crees to passe. Luk. 11. Hee wil giue his holy spirite to those who aske him. Rom. 8.10. Whom he hath predestinated, them hath he also called. If they reply again: Although it be grāted that these are not in vaine in those in whom god wil shew his force and be ef­fectual by them: yet in others who are not moued by them, ther is no vse of them: we answere, 1. Although there were no vse: yet because that is not knowen vnto vs, whom god wil mooue, or not moue, we are to labour in teaching and vrging all, and to commit the euent and fruit of our labour to God, 2. [Page 155] Tim. 4. Preach the word, bee instant in season &c. Ezech. 3. If thou warn the wicked, & he turne not from his wickednes, he shall die in his iniquitie, but thou hast deliuered thy soule. Secondly we aunswere, the consequence followeth not from the de­nial of one particular, to the denial of the generall, or from a not sufficient enumeration. For although many obey not teaching & admonitions, neither are moued with rewards and punishments: yet this vse is great, that by this meanes their naughtines and stubbornnes is opened, and so the iu­stice of God made more manifest in their punishment: Ioh. 15. If I had not done workes among them which none other man did, they had not had sinne. Rom. 1. God hath shewed it vnto them, to the intent, that they might be without excuse. 2. Cor. 2. We are to God the sweete sauour of Christ in them that are saued, and them who perish. Seauenthly: Heb. 9. Externall Discipline is called the righteousnes of the flesh: Therefore it dependeth on mans will. The consequence of this reason is to bee denied, which doth not holde from the position or putting of the second cause, to the remouing of the first cause. For as it foloweth not, the Sun causeth day, therefore God doth not: so nei­ther doth this folow: the vnregenerate performe outwarde Discipline, therefore they doe it, god not causing it in them nor ruling and directing them.

8 Obiection. They alleage testimonies also,How the scrip­tures admit libertie of will. which confirme that men doe euill or good with freewill. As Exod. 35. The chil­dren of Israell offered free gifts vnto the Lord. Deut. 30. I haue set before thee life & death, good & euil, blessing & cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may liue. But in these & al the like places only that liberty of mans will is affirmed, which hath beene spoken of before, that is, that the will o­beieth or withstandeth the precedent iudgemēt of the vn­derstanding with free and voluntarie motion without any constraint: but the gouernement of god is not at all remo­ued from voluntarie actions. For it was shewed before, that this liberty of will doth not stand against that necessitie which by the prouidence of God doth accompanie it.

9 Obiect.What necessitie the scripture re­moueth from voluntarie acti­ons. They bring forth testimonies also in which necessitie is remoued & taken away from voluntarie actions. Leuit. 22. Of these ye shal offer willingly. Act. 5. Whils it remained, appertained it not to thee? And after it was solde, was it not in thine owne [Page 156] power? 1. Cor. 7. vers. 37. Hee that standeth firme in his hart, that hee hath no necessitie, but hath power ouer his owne will &c. 2. Cor. 9. As euery man wisheth in his heart, so let him giue. 1. Pet. 5. Feede the flocke of God, caring for it not by constraint, but wil­lingly. But these sayinges speake of obligation or binding, which somtimes is signified by the name of necessity, as the freeing from any bond by the name of libertie; as Leuit. 22. Act. 5. partly of coaction, or constraint, as 2. Cor. 9. and 1. Pet. 5. or also of neede, as 1. Cor. 7. which yet may be referred to obligation or bonde, by which the Parentes are bounde to haue regard of the infirmitie of their children. So also the power of will in the same place signifieth the right or pow­er of determining any thing, no obligation or bond hinde­ring it. But the remouing of any obligation or coaction doth not at all take away the vnchaungeablenes of volun­tary actions, which vnchangeablenes hangeth on the de­cree of God. For as well his will, who is not bound, neither by any neede or want constrained, is guided and mo­ued by the purpose and counsell of Gods prouidence; as his whom either bond or neede constraineth to resolue of a­ny purpose. Wherefore the scripture denieth not, that the will is moued and ruled by God, when it is not driuen by bonde or want or feare to doe any thing: for there are be­sides these many other reasons and causes by which God can moue it either to will or not to will.

How in scrip­tures God is said not to will that which yet he will.10 Obiection. They bring places of scripture, which testifie that men will or doe somewhat, God bidding and willing o­therwise. Ierem 7. Because I haue called you, and ye haue not an­swered, I will doe vnto this house, as I haue done to Sylo. Mat. 23. Hierusalem, Hierusalem, how often would I haue gathered thy chil­dren, euen as the hen gathereth her chickens vnder her winges, and ye would not? If then they did that, which God would not; their actions did depend onely of their owne will, and not of Gods. An­were. It is a fallacie concluding that which is in some sort so, to be in all respects and simply so. For God will not the actions of sinners, as they are sinnes: But hee wil them, as they are punishmentes of sinnes, and the execution of his iust iudgement. Wherefore this consequence holdeth not: God will not the actions of the wicked, as they are sins. There­fore simply he will not haue them to be done, but they depend onely [Page 157] on the will of the wicked. For if God simply would them not, they could by no meanes be done. And except there were somewhat in them, which did agree with his iustice and nature: he would not by reason of his goodnes infinite and passing measure suffer them to be done.

If they reply, That God woulde thinges contrarie to those which men doe, as it is saide, How often woulde I haue gathered thee, and therefore it is done onely by the will of men, whatsoeuer men doe, the same answere serueth: that God would the o­bedience of all his reasonable creatures towardes his lawe as concerning his commanding and approouing it. For he requireth it of all, and bindeth all to it, and approoueth it in all, as being agreeable to his nature and puritie: but nei­ther will he alwaies it, nor in all, as concerning his working and grace, whereby they who are directed and guided doe that which God approoueth and requireth. Deut. 29. The Lord hath not giuen you an heart to perceiue, and eies to see, and eares to heare, vnto this day.

4 Whether there be anie libertie in vs, and what it is.

THat there is libertie of will in men, it is proued, 1.Gen 1.26. Eccl. 15.14. & 15. Because man was made to the image of God. And free-will is part of the image of God. 2. By places of scripture. Let vs make man in our image, according to our likenes. God made man from the beginning, and left man in the hand of his counsel. 3. By the definition of that libertie, which agreeth to man. For man worketh vpon deliberatiō, that is, freely, knowing, desiring, and refusing this or that obiect. And because the definition agreeth vnto man: therefore also doth the thing which is defined agree vnto him.

1 Obiect. If there be in man libertie of will, The doctrine of Originall sinne not ouerthrowen by that libertie which we hold to be in man. the doctrine of original sinne is ouerthrowen: for these are contrarie, not to be able to obey God, and to haue libertie of will. Aunswere. They are not contrarie: because we haue libertie to wil and do good, onely in part, to wit, as we are regenerated by the holy spi­rite, but not in whole, and full, neither in that degree, in which before the fall we had it, and shall haue it in the life to come. Againe, although the vnregenerate are onely a­ble to wil those thinges which are euil; yet they will them [Page 158] vpon deliberation, without constraint, euen by their owne proper and inward motion: and therefore freely.

Abilitie to choose as well good as bad, is not necessarily ioined with free-will.2 Obiect. He that hath not ability to choose as well good as bad, hath not free will and arbiterment, But man hath not ability to choose as well good as euil. Therefore he hath not free will. Answ. The Maior consisteth of a bad definition of free will. For the liberty of reasonable creatures consisteth in the iudge­ment and deliberation of the mind or vnderstanding, and in the free assent of the will, not in a power to will as well good as euill, or contrarie. The good Angels by reason of the wisedome and rightnes of their iudgement, and of the great and constant propension or readinesse of their will to that, which they knowe to bee good and right, cannot will euill and vniust thinges, but onely thinges good and honest; and yet notwithstanding they most freely choose and doe those thinges which are iust. Right so, men by reason of their inbred ignoraunce, and corrupt iudgement of those thinges which are to be done, and of the ende, as also by reason of the stubbornnes and frowardnes of their will, can will onely those thinges which are euill: which al­so they followe and pursue with exceeding willingnes and pleasure, vntill they are regenerated by Gods spirite.

3 Obiection. That is free, which is ruled of none other but of it selfe onely; The will of man is seruant to sin, and yet inclineth to sinne freely. or which is bound to none. Mens will is not ruled of it selfe onely, but of another, and is bound to the law: therefore it is not free. Aunswere. The Maior is true, if it bee meant of that libertie which is in God, but false being meant of mans libertie. For, man to be ruled of none, is not libertie, but a shamefull barbaritie, and a wretched slauerie. But the true libertie of the creature is, to bee subiect vnto honest and iust lawes, and to obey them: It is a power of liuing as thou wilt, according vnto the law of God.

4 Obiection. That which is a seruaunt and in bondage is not free. But our will is a seruaunt and in bondage. Therefore our will is not free. Aunswere. There is an ambiguity in this reason, or it affirmeth that to bee simplie so, which is but in some respect & sort so; or the conclusion fetcheth in more, than was in the premisses. That which is in bondage, is not free, that is, not in that respect or consideration, as it is in bon­dage. Our arbiterment or will is in bondage, to wit, vnder [Page 159] sinne. Therefore it is not free, that is, from sinne, which it is not able to shake off by any force which it self hath, ex­cept it bee freed and deliuered by the grace of God. But hereof it foloweth not: therefore simply no way it is free. For it is free, as touching the obiects represented vnto it by the vnderstanding: because it chooseth or refuseth them being once knowen, or suspendeth and forbeareth her acti­on, by her owne and proper motion, without constraint. The summe of all is: We graunt the conclusion, if free bee taken for that, which hath abilitie to do those things which are good and pleasing to God: for so farre is it in seruitude vnder sinne, and hath power onely to sinne: but wee denie the whole, if free bee taken for voluntarie, or deliberatiue, which chooseth the obiectes represented vnto it by volun­tarie motion, not constrained or forced thereto by any ex­ternall agent.

5 There are foure degrees of freewill.

IT may easily be vnderstood by the degrees of the liberty of mans will, what the libertie it selfe is. Now there are fower degrees of that libertie which is in man, which are distinguished according to the diuers states or conditions of mans nature.

The first degree of libertie was in man not yet fallen, The first degree of libertie in man before his fall. before sinne; euen that power and abilitie giuen vnto man from aboue, by which the mind was lightned with the perfect & certaine knowledge of God & his diuine will, whereby the will also by the proper inclination thereof and free motion did yeeld perfect obedience vnto the knowen will of God. But yet the wil was not so confirmed in this inclination & knowledge, but that it could decline & defect from that o­bedience by her owne proper and free motion, if hope or shewe of any good to come by defecting were offered vnto it. Or shorter thus. Before the fall it was such a power in man, as that he was able to will and yeeld perfect obedience, to be cōformable to god, & to make choice of that cōformity: And further was able if he listed to forsake that conformi­ty. Or to be yet shorter. Man before his fall had perfect libertie either to continue good: or to fall. Before the fall there was a fitnes and aptitude in man to choose good or euill: and man was perfectly conformed to god, because hee was made to the I­mage of God. Again, All things which God made were very good. [Page 160] Now that there was in our first Parentes some weakenes ioined with perfect knowledge and obedience of God, which might bee ouercome by the greatnes and force of some temptation,Man though most free, yet not so strong but he might fall, God not assisting him. the euent it selfe doth euidently inough declare. And that by the especial purpose of god there was not so much grace bestowed vpon our first Parentes, as thereby they were not able to be seduced by the tentation of Satan, and bee moued to sinne: the Apostle witnesseth Rom. 11. when he saith: God hath shut vp al in vnbeleefe, that he might haue mercie on all. Likewise Rom. 9. say [...]g, That the vessels of wrath are prepared of god to destruction; [...]e sheweth, that god therefore suffered mankind to fall, because it see­med good to him not onelie to declare his mercy towards his chosen, but his anger also, and power and iustice, in punishing the repro­bate. Furthermore, whereas nothing is done, without the euerlasting & most good purpose & counsel of god; the fall also of our first Parents may be so much the lesse exemp­ted from it, by how much the more god had precisely & exactly determined from euerlasting, concerning his chiefe work, euen mankind, what he would haue done. Lastly, the creature can by no meanes retaine that righteousnes, and conformitie with God, except God who gaue it, keep it, neither can he leese it, if god will haue it kept: according to these sayings. Iames. 1. Euerie good giuing, and euerie perfect gift is from aboue, and commeth downe from the father of lights. Iohn. 1. In it was life, and the life was the light of men: which lighteth euery man that commeth into the world. Psalm. 51. Take not away thy holy spirite from me. Psalm. 104. If thou hide thy face, they are troubled. 2. Tim. 2. The foundation of god remai­neth sure and hath this seale, The Lord knoweth, who are his. And of our confirmation and establishment in the life to come, Math. 22. In the resurrection they are as the Angels of god in heauen. As then man could not haue fallen, except god had withdrawen his hand, and not so forceably and effectually affected his will, & ruled it in temptation: so neither could he persist in integrity, when hee was tempted, except god had sustained and confirmed him, euen as hee confirmed the blessed Angels, that they shoulde not defect and fall a­way together with the other Apostataes. Seeing therefore such was the first mans estate, from which he wittingly and [Page 161] willingly fell; the crime and fault of sinne neither can nor ought to be laid on God, but on man only, albeit notwith­standing he fell by the eternal counsell and will of God.

Humane reason fansiyng her owne wit, in deriuing the blame of sinne from herselfe,The causes of humane reason refuted which lay the fault of the first sinne on God. when shee heareth these thinges, is troubled and keepeth a stirre, and faineth many absurdities to folow, except such a libertie of doing well or euil be giuen to man, that his perseuerance or falling depend of his own will alone. First, that God was the cause of that first sinne, and by consequent, of all other sinnes, as which came all of the first fall: Likewise, that he was the cause of the sinne of the Diuel seducing man: especiallie seeing the first sinne is not to bee accounted a pu­nishment, as other sinnes: for no sin had gone before, How the first sinne might be a punishment vnto t selfe, & to that end permitted of God. which should be punished with that sinne: and therefore seeing God coulde not will that as a punishment, he may seem to haue willed it as a sinne. But although there be nothing to the contrarie why sinne may not be the punishment euen of it selfe: whereas in the same action both the creature depriuing himselfe of that conformitie which he had with God might sinne, and god depriuing him of that good, which hee of his owne accorde casteth away, might punish, as it is said of couetousnes, Sy­rach. 14. There is nothing worse than when one enuieth himselfe: and this is a rewarde of his wickednes: Yet notwithstanding there are other ends besides punishment, for which it was conuenient for God to will the action both of the Diuell, & of man. God woulde the temptation of man which was done by the Diuell, as a tryal of man, by which it might be made manifest, Other endes and causes why God would the action, though not the sinne both of Satan and Adam. whe­ther hee woulde perseuere in true pietie towardes God: Euen as God himselfe doth tempt Abraham immediatly, when hee commaundeth him to doe that, which yet hee woulde not haue done. God would that assent of man, by which he did yeelde vnto the Diuell, against the will of God as a manifestation of the weakenesse and feeblenesse of the creature, which can­not keepe the giftes wherewith hee was adorned by God, without Gods especiall instinct and aide. Likewise, He woulde haue this done, as an occasion or a waie to manifest his iustice and seueritie in punishing, and his mercie in sauing sinners. As Exod. 9. Rom. 9. Nowe God respecting and willing these thinges in that perswasion and enticement of Satan, and in mans assenting and yeelding thereunto: [Page 162] did notwithstanding all this while hate the sinne of both, and therefore did not wil it, neither cause it, but iustly per­mitted and suffered it to be done. For first, whatsoeuer things God doth, they are alwaies iust. 2. He was not bounde vnto man to preserue and confirme him in goodnes. 3. He would haue man to be tempted and to fall, that he might trie mans perseuerance in true pietie towards God. 4. That he might manifest the weakenes of the creature. 5. That this fall might be an occasion and way, to mani­fest Gods iustice and mercie. These things very well agree with the nature and law of God. Now that they say, That man did not fall of his owne free will, except he had equall power as well to persist in obedience as to fal: the consequence is not of force, because they reason from an ill definition of mans libertie, which they imagine cannot stand, if it be determined and ruled by God. But the whole scripture witnesseth that it sufficeth for the libertie of the creature, if the will be inclinable of it selfe to the contrarie, of that which it chooseth, and doth of it owne accord choose that which the minde either liketh or disliketh.

And hence also is that dissolued, that they say, that man is not iustlie punished of God, if he coulde not auoide his fall. For he that sinneth willingly, or doth drawe on himselfe the necessitie of sinning, is iustly punished, his owne consci­ence accusing him: neither is it vniust that hee is forsaken of God, and depriued of the grace of the holy ghost, who wittingly and willingly casteth it away, and that hee suffer the punishment of this his ingratitude and contempt of God, although he cannot, God forsaking him, doe other­wise. For none is forsaken of God, except he be willing to be forsaken. As Math. 18. It must needes bee that offences shall come, but woe be vnto that man, by whom the offence commeth.

At length they say, that God is made cruell, enuious, and far from bountie and mercie, Gods denial of grace no cruel­tie, but a way to greater mercie. if hee did not bestow that grace vpon man without which he knew man could not stand or cōsist in temp­tation; & yet would haue him tempted of the Diuel. But these and the like tauntinges and reprochinges of the woorkes and iudgementes of God, out of doubt are ioyned with great impietie, because they ouerturne that grounde and principle, which is the first degree & step to godlines & re­uerence towards God, that is, that whatsoeuer God doth, it is good and iust, & not disagreeing from his nature and [Page 163] lawe, whether the reason thereof bee knowen vnto vs, or vnknowen. Wherefore this aunswere should suffice, that it disagreeth not from the mercie and goodnesse of god, whatsoeuer hee doth. But there is not want also of other answers. As, that that deniall of grace doth not disagree, but verie well agreeth with the mercie and bountie of god, when god will haue this to bee an occasion of bestowing a greater grace and benefite: as it is apparant in the fall and restoring of man. Againe, that that is not disagreeing from mercie, or any other vertue, which doth apper­taine to the manifesting of the glorie of the chiefe good, which is god. For although it bee mercy not to re­ioyce in the ruine or destruction of his creature; yet mercie ought not to fight with iustice. Now it is iust, that more regarde shoulde bee had of the chiefe good, that is, god, both by himselfe and by others, than of all the creatures: Wherefore very well doe agree toge­ther in god his mercie which will not the death of a sinner, and his iustice which suffereth mankinde to fall, that by his fall the seueritie and goodnesse of god may appeare.

The second degree is in man fallen into sinne, The second de­gree of l [...]bertie after the fall, in man not rege­nerate. and being vnregenerate. In this state the will verily doth worke freely: but yet is carried to euill onely, and can doe nought else but sinne, except it bee regenerated by the holy ghost. Or shorter; It is the fitnes & pronenesse in man after his fall, beeing vnregenerate, to choose onely e­uill. The reason is, because men by the first Parentes fall, are destitute of the true knowledge of god, and of all in­clination to obey him. Therefore no actions of the vnre­generate, be they neuer so notable, can please god, seeing they are not referred to this end, that god may bee hono­red by their obedience. This blindnes and corruption of mans nature doth the scripture liuely depaint out in very many places. Al the thoughts of man are euil. Psalme. 59.11. 2. Cor. 3.5. Ephe. 2.3. Iere. 13.23. Math 7.18. We are not able of our selues to think any good thing. We vvere by nature the sons of vvrath. Can the black Moore change his skin? Then may ye also doe good, that are accustomed to doe euil. An euil tree cannot bring forth good fruit. Wherfore the wil & ability to do good work [...], is no more in the vnregenerats power than their creation.

[Page 164] The libertie which is in man now after his fall, and not yet regenerated and recouered, is the very bondage of sinne.This libertie of the vnregenerate is the most wretched seruitude of sinne, and very death in sinnes, whereof the scripture treateth in many places: as Iohn. 8.34. Whosoeuer committeth sinne is the seruant of sinne. Rom. 6.16. Know yee not that to whomsoeuer ye giue your selues as seruants to obey, his ser­uants ye are to whom ye obey, whether it be of sinne vnto death, or of obedience vnto righteousnes? 2. Pet. 2 19. Promising vnto them libertie, & are themselues seruants of corruption.

Free will to out­ward good acti­on without an in­ward faith and o­bedience, is not freewill to good.1 Obiection. Nothing more easie, saith Erasmus, than to keepe a mans hands from stealing. Againe, Socrates, Aristides, & manie others haue shewed and exercised manie vertues. There­fore they had free will to good before regeneration. Aunswere. 1. This is an ill definition of a good worke and of free wil to good, which is a power of yeelding obedience pleasing to God. The vnregenerat steale within by their lust and desire, though not by outwarde fact. That the vnregenerate contain their hands, that is, obserue outward Disciplin, this is also Gods benefite, who by his generall prouidence gouerneth also the heartes of the wicked, and bridleth their inbred wickednes, that it breake not forth and effect that which it would. But hereof it foloweth not that it is easie to begin inwarde obedience, or that to contain their hands from stealing is simply a good worke.The outward actions good in themselues, are made euill by want of an in­ward faith. Neither are those good works before God, that is, pleasing vnto God, which haue not ioined with them faith and in­ward obedience. But faith and inwarde obedience coulde not be in them, because they were not regenerated.

Replie. 1. The workes of the law are good: Heathen men did the workes of the lawe: therefore the workes of heathen men were good. And by consequence, heathen men also or vnregenerate, haue libertie of doing good. Wee answere to the Maior by a distin­ction: The works of the law are good; true, by themselues: but they are made ill by an accident, & so are these workes of the lawe made ill by an accident, of the vnregenerate: because they are not done by them for that ende and after that sort which God commanded.

The remnants of spirituall life in the vnregenerat are not sufficient to make their workes good.Replie 2. There remain also manie true notions in the minds of the vnregenerat, concerning god, and his will, & the right orde­ring of their life. Wherefore the will working according to these notions and the direction of true reason, doth not sinne, but wor­keth well. Answere, first, Those legal notions whether they be­long [Page 165] to the first, or to the second table of the Decalog, they are not perfect and sufficient: And therefore God cannot bee rightly worshipped according to these remaines or reliques of spi­rituall light, except there come thereunto the knowledge of God and his diuine will out of the word of God which is deliuered vnto the Church. Further, Men not brought vp in the Church doe patch manie false thinges with these true imprin­ted notions of nature, and doe heape sinnes vpon errors. Thirdly, Such is the frovvardnes of the vvill and affections euen against the iudgement of rightlie informed and ruled reason, that they o­beie not so much as those naturall notions, much lesse those vvhich are to be adioined out of the vvoord of god. Whence also are those complaints euen of the heathen: I see the better and I like them, but I follow the worse; & that accusation of the Apo­stle, Rom. 1.18. The wrath of god is reueiled from heauen against all vngodlines and vnrighteousnes of men, which withhold the truth in vnrighteousnes: wherefore those notions without the grace of the holy ghost doe not ingender true godlines in them.

2 Obiection. God commendeth vs for good vvorkes. The praise and commendation which is giuen of God to our good workes doth not proue that they pro­ceed from our selues, but rather are his giftes. There­fore good vvorkes are in our povver and vvill. Answere. This is a fallacie concluding of that which is no cause, as if it were a cause. God commendeth our good workes, not be­cause they are or can bee performed of vs, without our re­newing by the holy ghost; but because they are agreeable vnto his lawe, and good, and pleasing vnto him: yea be­cause they are his owne giftes and effectes in vs; and wee his instrumentes vnto whom hee communicateth him­selfe and his blessinges: according as it is saide Romans. 8. Whom he predestinate, them also he called.

Replie. Who doth not in such sort vvorke vvell, as that it is in his ovvne povver to doe either vvell or ill, hee deserueth neither commendation nor revvard: but those good things vvhich men doe are not in their povver and arbiterment, therefore they deserue not either commendation or revvardes for their vertues. Aunswere. If the question bee of desert, wee graunt the whole Argument. For it is true, that no creature can de­serue or merite ought at gods hand; neither ought the praise or commendation or glorie bee giuen to vs, as if the good which wee doe were of our selues, it beeing god [Page 166] who worketh whatsoeuer is good in all. But if they saie that neither rewarde nor commendation is iustly giuen; more is in the conclusion, than was in the premisses. For God, to testifie that righteousnesse pleaseth him, and to shewe forth more and more his bountie and goodnesse, doth adorne it with free rewardes.

How God is said to wish our con­uersion and good workes; and yet they not there­by proued to be in our power.3 Obiection. What God doth wishe and will to bee done of vs, that wee are able to performe by our selues: but God doth wishe and will our conuersion, and our good workes: Deutronom. 32.29. Luke. 19.42. Therefore wee are able to performe them by our selues: And so consequently, wee neede not the opera­tion and working of the holy Ghost.

Answere. This reason is a fallacie deceiuing by the am­biguitie of the word Wish. For in the Maior proposition it is taken, as it vseth properly to signifie: in the Mi­nor, not so. God is saide to wish, by a figure of speache, called Anthropopathie, making God to be affected after the or­der of men; and therefore the kinde of affirmation is diuers in the Maior, and in the Minor. But God is said to wish, in two respectes. First, In respect of his commaunding and inuiting. Secondly, In respect of his loue towardes his creatures, and in respect of the torment of them that perish, but not in respect of the execution of his iustice. Replie. 1. He that inuiteth others, & is delighted with their wel doing, it folo­weth thereof, that their wel dooing is in their owne power, & not in his who inuiteth them. But God inuiteth vs, and is deligh­ted with our well dooing: Therefore it is in our selues to doe vvell. Aunswere. Wee denie the Minor; because it is not inough, that God inuiteth vs: but our will also to doe well must bee adioyned, which wee cannot haue but from god onely. God therefore doth wish our con­uersion, and doth inuite all vnto it, that is, hee requi­reth obedience towardes his lawe of all, hee liketh it in all, and for the loue which hee beareth vnto his crea­ture hee wisheth nothing more, than that all performe it, and all bee saued: but yet a will to performe it, they onely haue, whom god doth regenerate by his spirite. Deutronom. 29.2. Yee haue seene all that the Lord did before your eies: yet the Lorde hath not giuen you an heart to per­ceiue, and eies to see, and eares to heare vnto this daie. [Page 167] Reply. 2. Hee that commandeth thinges vnpossible to bee done is vniust. GOD commaundeth such obedience, as is vnpossible to be doone. Therefore hee is vniust. Aunswere. The Maior is to be distinguished. He is vniust that commaundeth thinges vnpossible, except himselfe first gaue an abilitie to perfourme those thinges which hee commaunded: and Secondly, except hee, vvho is commaunded to perfourme them, hath lost that a­bility through his ovvne fault: Lastly, except there bee some o­ther endes and vses of the commaundementes besides his obe­dience, vvho is commaunded. But God had made man such a one as was able to perfourme that obedience, which hee requireth of him. Wherefore man by his owne fault and folly leesing, and of his owne accord casting away this ability, God neuertheles hath not therefore lost his right to require obedience of him, beeing dewe, and by him owed vnto GOD his creator: But rather hee doth in right require it of all: First, in respect of his glorie: because hee is iust, and therefore doth of right require no lesse nowe, than before Adams fall, our conformity and correspon­dence with the whole Lawe. Secondly, that wee may subiect and submit our selues vnto God, and implore and craue his grace, when wee see him of right to require that of vs, which thorough our owne fault we are not able to perfourme. Reply. 3. But not vve, but Adam, receiued and lost this abili­tie of perfourming obedience vnto GOD. Therefore the Lavv is not vnpossible vnto vs thorough our ovvne fault. Aunswere. Adam, as hee receiued this ability for himselfe and his posterity, so he lost it from both.

Wherefore God doth in right depriue both Adam and his posterity of his giftes and gtaces: Euen as a no­ble man by his disobedience leeseth a Lorde-shippe in fee graunted him of the Prince, not onelie from himselfe,God commaun­ding thinges vn­possible, doth yet commaund them for good causes and to good ends. but also from his posterity: neither doeth the Prince any iniurie to his Children, if hee restore not vnto them the Lorde-shippe lost by their Fathers fault and disobedience. And if hee doe restore it, hee doeth it of free grace and mercy. Reply. 4. But yet, hee that commaundeth thinges vnpossible, doeth in vaine com­maund them, vvhich is neither the part of a vvise man, nor of a iust. GOD in requiring good woorkes of those, who [Page 168] through the corruption of their own nature haue no liberty or abi­litie to doe them, commandeth things vnpossible: Therefore hee commandeth them in vain. Answere. The Maior is false, if it be meant of him, who in commanding things impossible doth withall make some able to perfourme them; and who hath also other causes which hee respecteth in commaunding them, besides the doing of that which he commaundeth. But God doth so require obedience, which vnto the vnre­generate is vnpossible to performe, that in requiring it hee doth withall make it possible in his chosen to be perfour­med. For in these by exhortation and precepts he woor­keth, 1. That they giue vnto him the praise of iustice and righte­ousnes. 2. That they acknowledge their owne weaknes and impoten­cy. 3. That they know hat they ought chiefly to aske of God, euen remission of sins, and the grace of the holy ghost, for the alone satisfaction of Christ. 4. That they being reconciled vn­to god, and renued by the holie ghost, receiue power and ability to obey god according to his whole Law, here in part and beginning, and in the life to come fully and perfectly. Wherefore the re­quiring of an impossible obedience, is in respect of the elect a great benefit: because it is the waie to receiue a pos­sibility. Now in the reprobate, God, in commanding them that which they shal not be able to doe, hath besides other vses also these.

1 That they maie at leastwise obserue outwarde order and discipline 2. that their wickednes and stubburnnes may be opened. 3. That they maie be left excuseles, & the iustice of god in punish­ing them made more conspicuous and manifest. Wherefore god doth not in vaine require those things of the reprobate which they by their own power cannot perform. Reply. 5. But God seemeth to bee cruell, who proposeth commaundementes, whereby some, being destitute of grace to obey, maie bee the more hardned and more grieuouslie condemned. Answere. He is not cruell First, because he is not delited with the frowardnes, destru­ction and torment of the wicked. Secondly, because hee doth not owe that gace vnto anie: so that if he had suffered al mankind to perish, he could not therefore haue been accused of cru­elty. Thirdly, because in his iust iudgement, willing to shewe in some, both the weakenes of the creature, and also his iustice and power in punishing sinne, he leaueth them in sinne and destructi­on, [Page 169] into which he permitted them to run. Rom. 9. And hereby we easily vnderstand, in what sense those common sayings of Hierom are to be taken, Let him bee accursed, who saith, that God commandeth things vnpossible: And, Let him be accursed, who saith, that the Law is possible without grace. For it is vnpos­sible to the vnregenerate: it is possible, as concerning per­fect obedience to man not yet fallen, or wholy restored: but to the regenerate which are not yet glorified & wholy restored, it is possible, by the imputation of Christes satis­faction, and by the inchoation or beginning of newnes of life, which is wrought by the holy ghost in them, in this life.

4 Obiection. That which cannot bee auoided is not sinne. The ineuitable­nes of an ill acti­on doth not take away sinfulnes from it. The vnregenerate cannot auoid sinne. Therefore their woorks are not to be accounted sinnes. Aunswere. Wee deny the Maior. For it is enough to make it sinne, if it bee voluntary. And how much the more necessarily men sinne, with so much the greater wil they sinne. They cannot therefore pretend necessity to cloake their fault. This doth the example of the Diuel proue, who sinneth so much the more grieuously how much the more necessarily he sinneth, wittingly and willingly striuing against God, and contumeliously despi­ting him. But they doe vainly and wickedly cauil, That the iustice of God doth not impute those sinnes to the Diuel, which he necessarily doth commit after his corruption: Likewise, That the Diuel is now finally and without hope of pardon cast away of god, but men haue power yet in this life either to persist in sinne, or to forsake it, and therefore those actions onely of theirs are sinnes, in which sinne cannot be auoided. For God is wrath with all sins of men & Diuels, and punisheth all sinnes with eternall paines, or with equiualent punishment vnto eternal. Nei­ther doth therefore necessary and ineuitable or vnauoid­able sinne cease to be sinne, for that there is or is not hope of obtaining recouery and pardon. For whatsoeuer is com­mitted against the law of God, that is sinne, whether it can be auoided, or not auoided, whether he who sinneth forsa­keth his sin, or persisteth in it.

5 Obiection. They who cannot but sinne, They who ne­cessarily sinne are not vniustly punished, be- are vniustly pu­nished. But the vnregenerate cannot but sinne. Therefore God doth vniustly punish them. Aunswere. They who necessarilie [Page 170] sin, are vniustly punished, except that necessity come vo­luntarily, and by their own wil. But men haue drawen vpon them that necessity voluntarily, in the first parentes, and themselues also doe willingly sinne. Therefore God doth iustly punish them.

6 Obiection. They who haue not equall and like abilitie to choose good or euill, must needes be either all good or all euill. The vnregenerate haue not like abilitie to choose good or euill, but onelie libertie to choose euill. Therefore they must needes bee all alike euill. Answere. If the argument bee vnderstood of humane nature, as it is without the grace of the holie spirite, it is wholy to bee graunted: for it is certaine that all men before regeneration are alike and equally estranged from faith and conuersion, yea neither would they obserue outward discipline and behauiour, except God bridled them, that they should not commit outrages. Gen. 20. I kept thee, that thou shouldest not sin against me. But if they conclude, that all must needes continue alike euill, when the holie spirit moueth and inclineth their harts and minds to con­uersion, there is more in the conclusion, than in the former propositions. For as it is vnpossible that they should be cō ­uerted whom God mooueth not, so is it not onely possible, but also necessary, that they whom he voutsafeth the grace of regeneratiō, shold be cōuerted. Ioh. 6.37. Al that the father giueth me, shall come vnto me. Reply. It is said, Hose. 13. Thy de­struction cōmeth of thy selfe Israel. Isa. 59.2. Your iniquities haue separated between you & your god. Therfore the cause of this diffe­rence, that some are cōuerted, & some not; is in the wil of mā, & not in the bestowing or withdrawing of Gods grace: that is, before the grace of regeneration is bestowed, so are some better than others, as that they take that grace which others refuse. But Hose as ad­deth an answere. In me onlie is thy helpe. Hee sheweth that our safetie doth so depend of God, that we cannot haue it without his singular mercy & grace: wherefore destruction commeth of those that perish, as concerning the merit of punishment: but this taketh not away the superiour cause, that is Gods reprobation. For the last cause taketh not a­way the first cause. The same is aunswered to that of Isa. Sinnes separate the chosen from God for a time, the reprobate for euer; but yet the diuine purpose and counsel of God [Page 171] going before, by which God decreed to adioine those vnto him, or to cast them from him, whom it seemed good to him so to deale with. Rom. 9.18. He hath mercie on whom he wil, and whom he will he hardeneth.

7 Obiection. Hee that hath not libertie to doe good, The woorde of god not without good cause de­clared to the vnregenerate. and es­chevve euil, is in vaine pressed vvith precepts and doctrine: but the vnregenerate haue not libertie to doe good vvoorkes and omit euill: therefore obedience is in vaine commanded them. Answere. The Maior is to be denied, for when god doth suffer his wil to bee denounced to the wicked, either hee doth together lighten them and moue them within by his spirite to obay his voice, or pricketh them with the prickes of conscience, either to obserue externall order and discipline, or not so much to persecute the knowen trueth; or he doth discouer their hypocrisie & madnes in oppugning it, or hee maketh manifest their weakenesse and ignoraunce, and at length maketh them inexcusable in this life and in the last iudge­ment. Reply. 1 Whose conuersion and obedience dependeth of the grace of god, hee hath no neede of exhortations and precepts. But in them also vvho are conuerted, their conuersion dependeth of grace. Therefore precepts are vaine and needelesse. Wee make answere to the Maior, by a distinction. If conuersion depend of grace, so that the spirite doth not adioine do­ctrine as an instrument, whereby to teach their mindes, and mooue their heartes; let this verily bee graunted: al­though as it hath beene before saide, there remaine as yet other vses of Doctrine. But when it hath pleased God by this instrument both to lighten and mooue or incline mens mindes to faith and obedience, the Maior is false. For it is written, Romanes 1. The ghospell is the povver of God vnto saluation to euerie one that beleeueth.

2 Reply. It is not mercie, but crueltie to propound pre­cepts and Doctrine to those, vvho are denied the grace of obeieng, and vvho are by it more hardened, and more grie­uouslie condemned. God therefore doeth not this vvho is exceeding mercifull. Wee deny againe the Maior. 1 Be­cause Gods exceeding mercy doth not take awaie his iu­stice. 2 Because he so will haue them to bee made in­excusable by the preaching of his heauenlie Doctrine, as that in the meane season, he reioyceth not at their [Page 172] destruction, and punishment: But for the manifestation of his iustice, (whereof that greater regard shoulde bee had than of all the creatures, euen Gods iustice it selfe requi­reth) hee will that which otherwise hee abhorreth in his mercy and goodnes towardes all creatures, as Ezechiel saith, 21. I wil not the death of him that dieth.

4 Readines of minde to re­ceiue grace is not before conuersion but after.8 Obiection. He that prepareth himselfe to receiue grace by which he maie doe good works, he now doth woorkes, pleasing to God: But men prepare themselues to receiue grace. Therefore also before regeneration they doe works pleasing to god. We deny the Maior: which yet these places seeme to proue. 1. Sam. 7. Prepare your hart vnto the Lord. Act. 10. The praiers and almes of Cornelius before he was taught and baptized of Peter, come vp into remembrance before god. But in these and the like places to prepare, or to haue in readines, or to confirme the hart, is not to doe works before the conuersion, by which god maie bee inuited to bestowe the grace of regeneration vpon men: but it signifieth that a readie and firme will of obeying god and persisting in true godlinesse is shewed of those which are already regenerated and conuerted. For the people of Israell had repented when Samuell said this vnto them. For there goeth before in the same place, al the house of Israel lamented and followed the Lord: Likewise Cor­nelius before he was taught of Peter that Iesus was the Messias, is said to haue beene then godly and seruing god, and so calling and inuocating on him, that his praiers pleased God and were heard.

Albeit good woorks are said to be ours, yet it followeth not that we are au­thors of them, but the instru­ments whereby the author wor­keth them.9 Obiection. The workes which are not in our power to per­forme, are not our workes, neither are truly and properly said to be done by vs: But good woorks are said to bee ours, and to be done by vs: Therefore it is in our wil to do them, or not to do them. We de­ny the Maior. For they are not therefore said to be ours or to be done by vs, bicause they are of our selues: but because God worketh them in vs, as in the subiect, and by vs as in­struments, and that so, as our wil doth them of her owne proper motion, although not except it be renewed, raised, and guided by the holy ghost. For beeing regenerated and moued by him we are not idle, but he working in vs we our selues also woorke wel, and that freely without constraint. For by regeneration the wil is not taken away, but corre­cted, [Page 173] as which before would onely that which is euil, will now that which is good. Eph. 2.10. We are his workmanshippe created in Christ Iesus vnto good works which god hath ordained that we should walk in them.

10 Obiection.God helpeth vs in working, and yet beginneth our working in vs. He that is holpen by another in conuersion and in beginning good workes, doth somewhat of them himselfe, be­fore he is holpen. For he that hath help beginneth the action. God helpeth vs, wherefore it is of our selues to begin good works. The Minor is proued. Marc. 9. I beleeue Lord; but help my vnbeliefe. Rom. 8. The spirit helpeth our infirmity. Aunswere. Nothing cā folow in conclusiō of mere particular propositions. For the Maior here is not vniuersall, seeing not onely he may help who beginneth a work, but he also in whom it is begun and accomplished by another. Now so doth god help vs, that himselfe doth first breede and engender in vs true knowledge of him, and an inclination to obey him, and the beginninges of good motions, & doth encrease also and perfect the same begun by him. But he is therefore said to help vs, because he doth so work in vs, that we are not idle but work while he worketh: and yet we are a­ble no more to persist, or to bring it to an end, without him, than to begin it. And therefore we being inclined, moued, and go­uerned by him, wil also our selues of our owne accord, and are able to work wel, and do work wel, that is, because God worketh good things not onlie IN vs, but also BY vs as ioint workers with him. Phil. 1.6. he that hath begun this good work in you vvil perfourme it vntil the daie of Iesus Christ. & 2. 13. It is god who worketh in you both the wil & the deed, euen of his good pleasure. Reply. The beginning, & proceeding & accom­plishment of conuersion is the free work & gift of god. Therefore mans wil when he is conuerted doth nothing, but is meere passiue. There should bee no vse also (as hath bin said before) of lawes, discipline, doctrine, exhortations and such like. Answere. We de­ny the consequence of this reason: because the reason pro­ceedeth from the putting of the first cause, to the remo­uing of the second or instrumētal cause. Again it is a mere fallacy cōcluding that to be simply so, which is but in some respect so. For first, the wil as also the whole man renued, is both the subiect and instrument cooperating and iointly woorking of his conuersion, that is, is conuerted of god, and doth conuert himselfe. For the action of god conuerting & inclining the [Page 174] wil goeth before the assent of the will, not in time, but in na­ture only. Secondly the holy ghost regenerating & cōuerting vs, woorketh in vs both new qualities, in receiuing wherof we are mere passiue & work not our selues (For we cānot make to ourselues a fleshy hart of a stony,No generall preuenting grace in vs which wee haue in our owne power to vse o [...] refuse: but the special grace of the spi­rite onelie wor­keth in vs con­uersion, the want whereof causeth our continuance in sinne. & God worketh in vs euen to wil) & also new actions, in working which we are both passiue and actiue. For we being regenerated by gods spirit are not stocks but ioint workers with him, because we are made of vnwilling & vnfit to good, willing & fit, & able to do good. Thirdly the ho­ly ghost worketh this regeneration not without precepts, doctrin, & other means, but by thē: because it so pleased him. Wherfore they cānot be neglected without shewing an impious & wicked contēpt of god himself. But here especially our aduersaries wil reply again, that indeed we cannot be cōuerted to god, except his grace preuent vs, & moue vs to cōuersion: but this grace preuē ­ting those who are to be conuerted, is so far giuē to al, as it is in thē ­selues, or in their own power to vse it or refuse it, that is, to be tur­ned from, or to persist in sin. And then at length, they who haue vsed rightly that first & vniuersal grace preuēting al men, that is, haue by their libertie applied thēselues to chuse that good, vnto the chu­sing whereof they are sollicited, but yet not effectually moued of god. Vnto these is giuen also the subsequent, & ioint-working grace, so that what they could not haue performed without this, this now cō ­ming between, they may do, that is, may truly turn vnto god & per­seuere. This they proue by sentēces of scripture which seem to hang the grace of god vpon the condition of mans vvil. Zac. 1. Turn to me, & I wil turn to you, Isa. 1.19. If ye cōsent, ye shal eat the good things of the earth. Ier. 7. I called you & ye answered not. But it is certainly manifest out of the Scripture, that neither anie man can be cōuerted, except the holy ghost be giuen him, neither is he giuen to al men of god, but to those only whō he of his free mercy vouchsafeth this benefite, so that the cause is not to be sought in mē, but in god alone, why these rather thā they, beleeue gods voice & ar turned vnto him: & therfore al truly might be cōuerted as cōcerning the li­berty & power of god, & the chāgeable nature of mans wil, but not, both in respect of the auerting of their nature frō god, & of that in-bred corruption in al which may indeed betakē away by god, but cānot without his working, be laid aside or put off by vs, & also in respect of the vnchangeable [Page 175] decree of god, wherby god hath determined to leaue some in sin & destructiō, into which he hath permitted them to fal: & therefore either not to lighten their minds with his knowlege, or not to renu their harts & wils with new incli­nations or powers; nor effectually to moue thē to yeeld o­bedience to the known truth. Neither do the testimonies teach otherwise which the aduersaries ale age. God willeth vs to turne to him, that he may turn to vs, that is, may turne away & mitigate our punishments, & bestowe his benefits vpon vs; not as if our cōuersion were in our own power, but because he wil effectuat & confirm these precepts & com­mandements in the harts of his chosen. Hee promiseth good things to those who wil obey him, not as if it were in our power to wil obedience, but because he wil stir vp by his promises that wil in vs. He chargeth the stubburn with their wickednesse, not as if it were in their owne power to put it off, but be­cause he wil by accusing their wilful stubburnnes take a­way al excuse from them when he iudgeth them.

Again they vrge,The will of receiuing Gods grace goeth not before faith & conuersion, but is part and the beginning thereof. Although no man can bee conuerted to doe wel without grace, yet not only the consequent gifts & benefits of god, but the first grace also of his holy spirit whereby we are conuer­ted, al who are willing may haue, seeing god promiseth that he wil giue to al, that wil. As Isay. 1. Apoc. 3. Isay. 31. Al ye that thirst, come to the waters. But al may wil. Therfore al may be conuerted. We deny the Minor. Reply. The wil of receiuing goeth before the receiuing it selfe. Therfore they who as yet haue not grace, may haue wil to receiue it. We deny the Antecedent as cōcerning the grace of conuersiō. For no man can desire this, except he haue the beginning of it in him. For it is god who worketh in vs, both to wil and to doe. Wherefore the wil of beleeuing and repenting is the very beginning of faith and con­uersion, the which whosoeuer haue true and vnfeigned, it is encreased and perfected in them, as it is saide;Gods promises, not vnprofitable though made with an vnpos­sible condition to the vnrege­nerate, which yet is made pos­sible to the re­generat by Christ. Hee that hath begunne this good vvoorke in you vvill perfourme it

11 Obiection. They gather also and collect these say­inges which promise Gods bounty with a condition of our obedience. As, If thou vvilt enter into life, keep the com­mandements. Likewise, Do this, & thou shalt liue. Out of these, thus they reason, A promise which hath adioined an vnpossi­ble [Page 176] condition is vnprofitable and mocketh him, vnto whom it is made. But Gods promises haue an impossible condition. There­fore they are all vncertaine, yea neuer to be perfourmed, and no­thing but a mockerie. Aunswere. First wee deny the Maior. For the promise euen in those, who receiue it not, hath this vse, that it may bee made manifest, that God doth not re­ioice at the destruction of any, and that hee is iust in puni­shing, when as he doth so inuite thē vnto him, who through their ingratitude contemne and refuse gods promises. Se­condly we distinguish: that vnto them indeed the promise is vnprofitable, to whom the condition adioined is neuer made possible through faith and grace of iustification by Christ, and of regeneration by the holy Ghost. But so it is made possible vnto the elect. Wherefore God deludeth ne­ther, but earnestly declareth to both of them, what they ought to be; vnto whom he giueth euerlasting life, and how vnwoorthy they are of Gods benefites, and shall neuer bee partakers of them, vnlesse by the free mercy of God, they be exempted from destructiō: further also he allureth more and more and confirmeth the faithful to yeeld obedience. Lastly they cite also other sayings which seeme to place conuersion and good-woorks in the will of men; Psal. 119. I haue applied my heart to fulfil thy statutes. 1. Ioh. 5. verse 18. He that is begotten of god keepeth himselfe. These & the like sayings attribute the woorke of god vnto men: first because they are not only the obiect, but the instrumēt also of gods woorking which the holy spirite exerciseth in them. Then, because they are such an instrument, which being renewed and moued by the holy spirit; doth also it selfe woorke to­gether and mooue it selfe. For there is not one effect as­cribed vnto the holie ghost, and another to mans will, but the same to both: vnto the holie ghost as the principal cause, vnto mans will as a secondarie and instrumentall cause.

The third de­gree of libertie in man regene­rated The third degree of libertie, belongeth to man in this life, as he is regenerated, but not yet glorified, or in whom regene­ration is begun, but not accomplished or perfected. In this state the will vseth her libertie not onely to worke euill, as in the second degree, but partly to doe ill, and partly to do well. And this is to be vnderstood two waies: First, that some [Page 177] works of the regenerate are good and pleasing to God, which are done of them according to Gods commandement, but some euil & displeasing to god, which they do contrary to the com­maundement of God: which is manifest by the infinit fal­lings of holy men. Secondly, that euen those good works which the conuerted doe in this life, albeit they please God by reason of Christes satisfaction imputed vnto them, yet are they not perfectly good, that is, agreeable to Gods law, but vnperfect, & stained with many sins: & therefore they cannot if they be beheld without Christ, stand in iudgement & escape damnation.The cause of the renewing and beginning of this liberty in man to good, is the spirit wor­king by the wil. The cause for which the wil beginneth to work well, is this: because by the singular grace or benefite of the holy spirit mans nature is renewed by the word of God, there is kind­led in the mind a new light & knowlege of god, in the hart new affections, in the wil new inclinations, agreeing with the Lawe of God, and the will is forcibly and effectually mooued to doe according to these notions and inclinati­ons, and so it recouereth both the power of willing that which God approueth, and the vse of that power, and be­ginneth to bee conformed and agreeable to God, and to obey him. Deut. 30.6. The Lord thy God wil circumcise thy hart & the hart of thy seed, that thou maiest loue the lord thy god with al thine heart. Ezec. 36.26. A new hart wil I giue you, and a newe spirit wil I put within you, and I wil take away the stony hart out of your body, and I wil giue you an heart of flesh, and I wil put my spirit within you, and cause you to walke in my statutes. Act. 16. The Lord opened the hart of Lidia, that she should attend to those things which were spoke of Paul. 2. Cor. 3. Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is libertie. Why the will in the regenerate vseth liberty not onely to good, but to euil also. The causes for which the will vseth her libertie not onely to the choosing of good, but of euill also, are in number two. The first, for that in this life the renewing of our nature is not perfect, neither as con­cerning the knowledge of GOD, neither as concerning our inclinations to obey GOD: and therefore in the best men, while they liue here, remaine stil many and great sinnes both originall and others. The Second, for that the regenerate bee not alwaies ruled by the holy spirite, but are sometimes for a time forsaken of GOD, eyther for to try, or to chastise, or humble them, but yet are recalled to repentaunce, that they perish not. Of the [Page 178] first cause it is said, Rom. 7. I knowe that in me, that is, in my flesh dwelleth no good thing: for to wil is present with mee, but I finde no meanes to performe that which is good. Marc. 9. I beeleue Lord, but help thou my vnbeliefe. Of the second cause it is said Psa. 51. Take not away thy holy spirit from mee. Isaiah 63.17. O Lord, why hast thou made vs to erre from thy wayes, and hardned our heart from thy fear? Returne for thy seruaunts sake. 1. Kings. 8.57. The Lorde our God bee with vs that hee forsake vs not, neither leaue vs. Therefore the regenerate man in this life doth alwaies goe either forwarde or backewarde: neuer conti­nueth in the same state.

Hence are deduced these 2. conclusions: first, as man corrupted, before he be regenerated can not begin new obedience plea­sing & acceptable vnto: God So he that is regenerated in this life, although he beginne to obey God, that is, hath some inclinati­on and purpose to obey God according to all his com­maundementes and that vnfained, though yet weak and strugling with euil inclinationes, affectiones, and desires, and therefore there shine in his life and manners a desire of pietie towardes God and his neighbour: yet can hee not yeeld whole and perfect obedience to God: because neither his knowledge, nor his loue of God is so great and so syncere, as the law of God requireth, and therefore is not such righteousnes as may stande before God, accor­ding to that saying, Psal. 143.2. Enter not into iudgement with thy seruaunt, for in thy sight shall none that liueth be iustified. The second: They who are ōcuerted can no farder retein good in­clinations, neither thoughts and affections, and a good purpose, to perseuere and go forwarde therein, than as the holy spirit wor­keth and preserueth these in them: for if he guide and rule them, they iudge and doe aright: but if he forsake them, they are blinde, they wander, slip and fall away: yet so, that they perish not, but repent and are saued, if so bee they were euer truely conuerted. 1. Cor. 4. What hast thou, that thou hast not receiued? If thou hast receiued it, why reioicest thou as if thou haddest not receiued it? Philip. 1. I am perswaded that hee who hath begun this good worke in you, will performe it vntill the daie of Iesus Christ. Phil. 2.13. It is God that worketh in you both the wil and the deed, euen of his good pleasure. Ioh. 15. With­out me you can doe nothing. 1. Cor. 1.8. Who shall also confirme [Page 179] you vnto the end that yee maie bee blamelesse in the day of our Lorde Iesus Christ. 1. Cor. 10.13. GOD is faithfull which will not suffer you to be tēpted aboue that you be able, but wil euen giue the issue with the tētation, that yee may be able to bear it. 1. Pet. 1.5. You are kept by the power of God through faith to saluation. Reasons to proue the for­mer doctrine,

This doctrine, that the regenerate neither perfectly nor continually can obey God, and that as the beginning so the continuance of our conuersion dependeth of God; is confirmed, besides these testimonies, by euidēt reasons; as, that we receiue all good things from God, Iames 1. much more then these good things which are the greatest of all, that is our conformity with God, and perseuerance therein.

2 Againe: Nothing can be done besides the eternal decree of God. But the good works, which the conuerted doe, God from euerla­sting did decree; Ephes. 2.10. We are his workmanship created in Christ Iesus vnto good works, which God hath ordained that wee should walk in them: Ier. 1.5. Before I formed thee in the womb, I knew thee, & before thou camest out of the womb, I sanctified thee. wherfore they are able to do neither more nor lesse of such workes, than God hath decred to worke in thē by his spirit.

3 Againe: The gifts of the holy spirit are not in the wil and power of men, but in the power of the spirit who dispenseth them. 1. Cor. 12.11. All these things worketh euen the selfesame spirite, distributing to euery man seuerallie as he will. Eph. 4.7. Vnto e­uery one of vs is giuen grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 2. Thessal. 3.2. All men haue not faith. Nowe perseueraunce in true godlines, and a will and desire to perseuere, and the crauing of the confirmation, strength­ning and aide of the holie spirite, are no lesse the gift of the holie spirit, than regeneration it felfe, and faith, and conuersion, as hath bin shewed before. Wherefore to per­seuere in faith and conuersion, is no more in our power, than to beleeue, and to be conuerted.

4 Againe: In whose power and arbiterment our perseuerance is, he is the preseruation of our safety. But God, and not we, is the autor and preseruer of our safety. Iohn 10. No man shall plucke my sheepe out of my hand: Therefore our perseueraunce is not in our owne power and arbiterment, but in Gods.

5 Lastly, As our conuersion, so also our perseueraunce is the free gift of GOD: that is, As God findeth no cause [Page 180] in vs why to conuert vs: so neither findeth he cause in vs, whereby hee should bee mooued to keepe vs beeing con­uerted, that wee doe not defect or fal. For neither is there cause in vs why hee should more keepe vs from falling away, than our parentes in Paradise: Neither is the chiefe cause in the Saintes themselues, why God should defend some rather than some against tentations and sinnes, as Samuel and Iosaphat, rather than Sampson and Da­uid. But if to perseuere were in our power, or not to perseuere, then the cause of this diuersity should bee in vs. Wherefore perseuerance in godlinesse, and absteining from sin is not to be ascribed to our selues, but to the mer­cy of God.

But against the former sentence, to witte, that euen the best woorckes of the Saintes in this life are not perfectly good: and therefore are not able to stande in the iudgement of God and to please God, but by the im­putation of Christs satisfaction, the papists oppose them­selues.

1 Obiection. The woorks of Christ and the holie spirit, saie they, cannot be impure, and not please God. The good workes of the regenerate, Christ worketh in them by his spirit: vvherefore it is necessarie and must needes be that they are pure and perfect, and please God euen as they are considered in themselues. For God cannot condemne his owne woorkes, although he examine them ac­cording to the rigor of his iudgement. We answere to the Ma­ior: The workes of God are pure and woorthy no repre­hension,The good works of the regenerat are not perfect so long as thēselues who work ioint­ly with the spirit, are not perfect. as they are the woorkes of God, and such as God woorketh: but not as they are depraued by the creatures: neither are they alwaies pure, which are not the workes of God only, but the creatures also. For these, as they are of God, are voide of all fault: but as they are doone by the creatures, they are good also and without reprehensi­on, if the creature, by which God worketh them, be per­fectly conformable to the will of GOD; but impure and vnperfect, and according to the sentence of the Lawe sub­iect to damnation, if the creature, by which God woorketh thē, be corrupt & vitious, that is, depraued by the not know­ing of God, and by auerting from God.

2 Obiection. God cannot condemne the members of his Sonne. [Page 181] Rom. 8.The imperfecti­ons of the rege­nerate and their workes ar blot­ted out and par­doned in Christ. There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Ie­sus. The regenerate are the members of Christ. Therefore euen as they are considered in themselues, they and their woorkes can­not bee condemned in the iudgement of God. Answere. There is more in the conclusion than in the premisses. For this onely followeth, That the Saintes cannot bee con­demned: but this commeth in respect of Christ his satis­faction imputed to them, not in respect of their owne obe­dience, which pleaseth GOD: not because it perfect­ly agreeth with the Lawe, but because the defectes, and faultes which cleaue vnto it, are pardoned through Christ.

3 Obiection.How Christ wil render vnto e­uerie one accor­ding to his woorkes. Christ in iudgement will render vnto euerie one according to his woorkes. But the seueritie of Gods iustice dooth not render good according to woorkes which are not per­fectlie good. Wherefore the woorkes of Sainctes are so perfect, as that they can not bee condemned in the iudgement of God. Wee aunswere vnto the Maior: The iustice of GOD dooth not render good, but according vnto perfect woorkes, if hee iudge legallie, according to the coue­naunt of perfect obedience towardes the Lawe. But hee rendereth good also, according to imperfect woorkes, and such as deserue damnation, except the sinne that cleaueth vnto them be pardoned, when as hee iudgeth according to the gospell, that is, not according to the couenaunt of woorkes, or our owne obedience, which shoulde satisfie the Lawe, but according to the coue­naunt of faith, or of the righteousnesse of Christ ap­plied vnto vs by faith: and yet according to workes, as according to the tokens, or testimonies of faith, from which they proceede, and which they, as effectes there­of, doe shewe to bee in men.

4 Obiection. The Scripture in manie places ascribeth per­fection of good woorkes to Saintes, euen in this life, and saith that they are perfect, and did walke with their whole and perfect heart before God. Psalme 119. I haue sought thee with my whole heart: and in the same Psalme, Blessed are they that keepe his testimonies, and seeke him with their whole heart. Genes. 6. Noah was a iust and vpright man in his time. 2. Chron. 15.17. The heart of Asa was perfect in all his daies. [Page 182] Matth. 5.In what sense the Scriptures sometimes as­cribe perfecti­on of workes to the regene­rate in this life. Bee yee perfect, as your father, in heauen is perfect. Answere. First these and the like speeches speake of that perfection which is not of degrees, but of partes, or of the integritie and syncerity of the obedience begun in them. Perfection of degrees, or obedience perfect in degrees, is that which hath not onely all the parts of obedience, but that degree also, which the law requireth in vs. Such a per­fection haue not the regenerate in this life: They haue in­deede all the partes of obedience begun in them, but yet weakely, so that they are here daily more and more perfe­cted, but attaine not to the chiefe and due degree thereof vntill they inioy the life to come. The perfection of partes is the integrity of obedience, or whole obedience, begun ac­cording to the whole law: or, it is a desire and endeuor to o­bay God, and withstand corrupt lustes, according not to some only, but to al the commandements of his lawe. The perfection of securitie, is a desire or studie of obedience and godlinesse, not fained, but true and earnest, albeit some­what bee wanting to the partes, as touching the degree. This perfection, to wit, both the integritie and syncerity of obedience, is in al the regenerate. For vnto them is it proper, to submit themselues to the commaundementes of God, euen to all without exception, and to beginne in this life all the partes of true godlinesse, or obedience. This is called also the iustice of a good conscience, because it is a necessarie effect of faith, and pleaseth God through Christ.

And albeit in all men, euen in the most holy, much hypocrisie remaineth, as it is saide, Euerie man is a lyer: yet there is a great difference betweene them, who are wholy hypocrites, and please themselues in their hypo­crisie, hauing no beginning or feeling of true godlinesse in their hearts, and those, who acknowledging and be­wailing the remnantes of hypocrisie which are in them, haue withal the beginnings of true faith and conuersion vnto God. Those hypocrites are condemned of GOD: these are receiued into fauour, not for this beginning of obedience in them, but for the perfect obedience of Christ which is imputed vnto them. And therefore to this declaration or exposition, another is also to be ad­ded: [Page 183] That they who are conuerted are perfect in the sight of God, not onely in respect of the partes of true Godli­nesse, which all are begunne in them, but also in respect of the degrees of the true and perfect righteousnesse of Christ imputed vnto them: As it is said, Coloss. 2.10. Yee are compleate in him. Heb. 10.14. With one offering hath he consecrated for euer them that are sanctified. But they reply, that the perfection also of degrees is attributed vnto the Saintes in the Scripture. 1. Corint. 2. vers. 6. Wee speak wisedome among them that are perfect. 1. Cor. 14. Be perfect in vnderstanding. Eph. 4. vers. 13. Till we all meete together in the vnity of faith and knowledge of the Sonne of God, vnto a perfect man, and vn­to the measure of the age, of the fulnesse of Christ. But these places also doe not call them perfect, in respect of the Law of God, that is, in respect of that degree of know­ledge and obedience which the Law requireth in vs: but in respect of the weaker, who haue lesse light and cer­tainty and readines, confirmed by vse and exercise to obey God, to resist carnall lustes, and to bear the crosse. For so is this perfection expounded, Heb. 5. and Ephes. 4.14. That we be no more children, wandering and carried about with euerie wind of doctrine. Philip. 3.12. Not as though I had alrea­die attained to it, or were already perfect. They oppose against these aunsweres a place out of 1. Iohn 4. vers. 17. Herein is the loue perfect in vs, that we should haue boldnesse in the daie of iudgement for as he is, euen so are we in this woorld. There is no feare in Loue, but perfect Loue casteth out feare, for feare hath painfulnesse: and hee that feareth is not perfect in Loue. But Saint Iohn meaneth not that our Loue towardes GOD, but Gods Loue towards vs is perfect, that is, de­clared and fully knowen vnto vs by the effects or be­nefites of GOD bestowed vpon vs in Christ;Our regenera­tion & newnes of life doth as­sure vs of our iustification, as being an effect thereof. or as Saint Paul speaketh, Roman. 5. Where hee saith, that the Loue of GOD shed abroad in our heartes, by the holy Ghost, is the cause, why wee doe without feare, and with bouldnesse expect the day of iudgement: And of this mercy and free Loue of GOD towards vs hee signifieth, that by this token or testimonie wee are assured, because in this life wee are refourmed by the holy spirite to his image. For by our regeneration wee are assured of our iusti­fication, [Page 184] not as by the cause, of the effect, but as by the ef­fect, of the cause. Nowe though regeneration be not per­fect in this life, yet if it bee indeede begun, it sufficeth for the confirmation and proouing of the truth of our faith vnto our consciences. And these very words, which S. Iohn addeth: Loue casteth out fear; shew that Loue is not yet per­fect in vs, because wee are not perfectly deliuered in this life from fear of the wrath and iudgement of God, and eternal punishment. For these two contrary motions are now together in the godly, euen the fear and loue of God in remisse and low degrees, their feare decreasing, and their loue and comfort or ioy in God encreasing, vntill ioy get the conquest, and perfectly cast out all trembling in the life to come, when GOD shall wipe away euery teare.

Diuers places of Scripture to be vnderstood of the vprightnesse of a good consci­ence, not of anie perfect fulfilling of the Law in the godly.Obiection. Iohn. 3.21. He that doth truth, commeth to the light, that his deedes might bee made manifest, that they are wrought according to God. 1. Iohn 3.20. If our heart condemne vs not, then haue wee boldenes toward God. Psalm. 119. I haue not declined from thy Lawe. Therefore the good woorckes of the regenerate maie bee alleadged and stand in Gods iudgement as perfectlie aunswerable vnto his Lawe. Aunswere. These and the like sayinges doe not challenge to the Godly in this life perfect fulfilling of the Law; but the vprightnes of a good conscience, without which faith can not con­sist or stand: as neither can a good conscience, without faith. As it is saide, 1. Timot. 1.18. Fight a good fight, hauing Faith and a good conscience. And Roman. 5.1. Then beeing iustified by Faith, wee haue peace towarde GOD thorough our Lorde Iesus Christ. For a good conscience is a cer­taine knowledge, that wee haue faith and a purpose to obey GOD according to all his commaundements, and that wee and our obedience, though maimed and scarce begunne, please GOD; not for that it satisfieth his Lawe, but because those sinnes and defectes which remayne in vs are for-giuen vs for the satisfaction of Christ which is imputed vnto vs. For as newe obedience is begunne by Faith, so by Faith also it pleaseth GOD. Wherefore the Godly slacke not to bring foorth their life into the light, neither shake and shiuer they at the tri­bunal [Page 185] of Christ, but comfort themselues with the consci­ence, or inward knowledge thereof.

Obiection. 2. Pet. 1.10. Giue diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if yee doe these thinges, yee shal neuer fall. 1. Iohn. 3. Whosoeuer is borne of GOD, sinneth not. Aun­swere. These sentences in times past the Pelegians also and Catharistes, and nowe the Anabaptistes abuse, to establish perfection of new obedience in the regenerate: but to fall and to commit or doe sinne, signifieth in those places of Peter and Iohn, to haue Raigning-sinne, and to yeelde vnto it, and perseuere in it: and in this sort the regenerate sin not. But that there remain n [...]twithstanding remnants of sins and defectes in them, is expresly shewed, 1. Ioh. 1.8. If wee say we haue no sin, the truth is not in vs.

Obiection. Mat. 6 Luk. 11.The similitude which is vsed by Christ calling the ey the light of the bodie, doth not inforce the lightsomnes of the minde. The light of the bodie is the eie: if then thine eie be single, thy whole bodie shal be light: here­of they gather, that the mindes of the regenerate are so pur­ged in this life, that the whole heap and multitude of their workes is light and pure, that is, perfectly aunswerable to the Law. But seeing the speech of Christ is conditionall, it is manifest that neither the Antecedent, nor consequent, but onely the sequele thereof is affirmed: and that the Antece­dent also beeing supposed, the consequent is no other­wise put, than is the Antecedent. Wherefore Christ doth not affirme by this similitude of the eye guiding the bo­dy, that the mindes of men are lightsome, and so all their actions to bee well directed, and without sinne, but rather hee accuseth the frowardnes of men, who goe a­bout to oppresse and put out euen that light which is left them by nature, and doe withhold the truth, as S. Paul speaketh, in vnrighteousnesse, and therefore are wholie that is, in all their actions, darke, corrupt, and worthy of damnation. Furthermore, the purity of actions can bee but so far supposed, as the purity and light of mens minds is supposed. For the light of nature beeing supposed, acti­ons morally good follow: spirituall light supposed, actions also spiritually good, or good woorkes follow: imperfect il­lightening supposed, imperfect obedience; perfect illigh­tening supposed, perfect obedience also followeth. See­ing then in this life perfect light and knowledge of [Page 186] God and his will & as much as the law of God requireth, is not kindled in the regenerate, but is differred vntill the life to come. 1. Cor. 13. For we knowe in part, and we prophesie in part; but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shalbe abolished: Therefore neither in other parts perfect conformity with the Lawe can bee in this life; yet neuerthesse euen nowe concerning imputation of per­fect puritie it is true, that the godly are pure and without sinne in the sight of God, when hee beholdeth them in Christ, which is then when the light of faith is kindled in their hartes.

So also that, Ephes. 5. is to be taken: Christ gaue him­selfe for the Church, that hee might sanctifie it, and clense it by the washing of water through the woorde, that hee might make it vnto himselfe a glorious Church, not hauing spotte, or wrinckle, or anie such thing; but that it should bee holie and without blame. For the Baptisme of water by reason of the woorde of promise adioined signifieth and sealeth to the faithfull a clensing by the blood of Christ, which is most perfect, and presenteth vs in this life vnblameable before God: and a clensing by his spirit which is begun in this life, and perfected in the life to come, and there­fore cannot pacifie and quiet our consciences.

There are also obiections against the second part of the former Doctrine, concerning the third degree of libertie, by which obiections they contend that it is in the power of the regenerate, either to perseuere in righteousnesse, or to depart from it.

They who haue liberty, say they, to choose good, haue liberty to perseuere. The regenerate haue libertie to choose good. 2. Cor. 3. Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is libertie. Therefore they haue power to perseuere.

Aunswere. If the conclusion of this reason bee rightly meant, the whole reason may be graunted, to wit, that the regenerate haue so far forth libertie to perseuere, as they are ligh­tened and guided by the holie ghost.

For the libertie which they haue to choose good depen­deth vpon his working and motion. But if it be meant that the godly haue this libertie either alwaies, or so, that their perseueraunce dependeth of themselues; there will bee [Page 187] more found in the conclusion, than was in the premisses; and that for two causes. First, Because they haue libertie alwaies to perseuere, who are neuer destituted of the guiding of the holie spirite: which shalbee in the life to come. Secondly, Because euen their libertie also to good, who are neuer forsaken of the holie spirite, yet dependeth not of themselues, but of God.

But here they replie:The regenerate deserue the de­parture of gods spirit from them through their manifold sinnes, which yet the merit of Christ, and his power preserueth in them. He that is not forsaken of the holie Ghost, except himselfe first withstand the motion of the holie ghost, hath alwaies the aide and assistaunce of the holie Ghost readie, that hee maie persist in that good which hee purposeth. But the godlie are not forsaken of the holie Ghost, vnlesse themselues first withstand him: therefore they haue alwaies the assistance of the holie Ghost readie, that they may perseuere. But hee who hath this hath in his owne power to perseuere, or to decline: because the cause is in his owne will alone why hee doth either obeie or re­sist the spirite mouing him.

When wee denie the Minor of this reason they prooue it thus. The iustice of GOD doth not inflict pu­nishment, but on those who sinne: but to bee forsaken of the holie Ghost, is a punishment of sinne, and vnthankeful­nesse: Therefore no man is forsaken of the holie Ghost, but who hath first deserued that forsaking through his owne stub­bornes. The aunswere hereto is double. Fisst, the Argu­ment may be graunted, as concerning the regenerate. For in them, as long as they are in this life, there is alwaies so much remaining of sinne, as they deserue not onely temporall, but eternall desertion and forsaking: and al­though, because the sinne which remaineth in them is forgiuen them for Christ, therefore they are freed from e­uerlasting punishment▪ yet are they not free from chastise­mentes, so long as the remnaunts of sinne abide in them.

There is therefore in respect of their sinnes also al­waies most iust cause why sometimes for a season God woulde bereaue them of the grace and guiding of his spirite. As, it is in the second of Samuel the twentie and fourth Chapter: And the wrath of the Lord was again kindled against Israell, and hee mooued Dauid against them, in that hee saide, Goe and number Israell and Iuda.

[Page 188] Euery forsaking or rather slee­ping as it were of the holy ghost in the regenerat is not a punish­ment, neither done to that end.Secondly, we answere to the Minor, that euery forsaking is not a punishment, or done to that end as to punish: but some­times also for tryall, that is, for to make knowen and open the weakenes euen of the best and holiest both to them­selues and others, that they may learne that they cannot for one instant or moment stand against the tentations & assaults of Satan, if they be not presently sustained and ru­led by the conduct of the holy spirite; and that so they may be made more watchful, and more earnest to cal hereafter for the assistance of the holy spirite, & to beware of relap­ses & fallinges. Lastly, that both in this life, & in the world to come they may the better know and set forth their own vnworthines, and the mercie of God towardes them, who hath reclaimed and recalled them out of so many & grie­uous sinnes vnto himselfe, and hauing deserued a thousand times death and destruction, hath not yet suffered them to perish. For these causes it is saide, 2. Cor. 12. Least I shoulde bee exalted out of measure through the abundance of reuelations, there was giuen vnto me a pricke in the flesh. And Rom. 11. God hath shut vp all in vnbeliefe, that he might haue mercie of all.

Against this they say; That God doth promise the assistance of his holy spirite to all that aske it. But this is generall onely concerning finall perseueraunce, but not so as touching continual perseuerance. For God promiseth no where that he will so guide his saints by his spirite in this life, that they shall neuer fall.

By this which hath beene said, that obiection also va­nisheth to nothing, when they say, That the conuerted, seeing they haue in their owne power to depart from that which is right, and to resist, haue also perseueraunce in their owne power. For al­though hee constraineth not or violently draweth their wils, but maketh them of rebels, and enimies, willingly & of their owne accorde to become the sonnes of God; and as concerning mens wils in this life, there is nothing more prone than they to euill: yet as touching the counsel, pur­pose and working of God, euidence of truth constraineth euen the aduersaries themselues to confesse, that it cannot be, but that the wil of man must then obey, when God ac­cording to his euerlasting counsels hath decreed forcibly to moue & incline it either to conuersion, or to perseue­rance. [Page 189] Neither doth this immutabilitie and efficacie of Gods purpose take away the libertie of will, in the conuer­ted, but rather increaseth & preserueth it; and how much the more effectually God moueth it, with so much the greater propension, and readines it both will and doth good, which the example of the blessed Angels cōfirmeth. This is also more friuolous, that they say, That the godly are made careles and slouthfull, and the desire to perseuere is dimini­shed in them, if they heare that their perseueraunce dependeth of the grace of the holy spirite alone. For we may very well inuert this and returne it vpon our aduersaries: seeing nothing doth more giue an edge vnto the saints and those who are indeed godly, to a desire and indeuour to beware of falling, and to a daily and earnest calling vpon God, than if they knowe, that they cannot so much as one moment stand a­gainst the tentations of the Diuel and their fleshe, except by the vertue and instinct of the holy spirite they bee with­drawen from euill, and bee forceably moued to good: but contrariwise that opinion as experience teacheth, maketh men careles and lesse minding to beware of sin, by which men imagine that it is in their owne power, to depart from god, listening a while and yeelding to their owne lusts, and to returne againe to God, as oft as themselues thinke good so to doe. Now if so bee this sentence concerning true per­seuerance depending of the grace of the holy spirite, breed in the reprobate and prophane men a carelesnesse and contempt of God; it is both foolish and iniurious, to iudge of the elect and godly by their humour, or for their fro­wardnes to hide and smoother the truth. Lastly, against the defectes of libertie in the second and third state or de­gree of man they obiect after this sort: If whole conuersion and perseuerance doe so depend of Gods will, and doe the worke of God in men, that neither they can haue it, in whom hee doth not worke it; neither they cannot but haue it, in whom he will worke it: that then not onely the libertie, but all the action and operation of the will is taken away, and there remaineth onely that it bee con­strained and suffer: which is against the scripture, experience, the inward strife and combate of the godlie, and our owne confession. But we answere, that the will is not therefore idle when as it doth not resist the spirit forciblie mouing it. For to assent [Page 190] also & obey is an actiō of the wil.The working of the instrumen­tall cause, which is our will, is not taken away, when we put the working of the principal cause, which is God. But when they reply, That we make that obediēce of the wil in conuersiō & perseuerāce wholy the worke of god, & so leaue nothing to the wil, what to doe: they run into an other paralogism of consequēt, wheras they re­moue the working of the second or instrumental cause, for that the first cause or principal agēt is put. For that which is so wholy the work of god in mā that man is only as the sub­iect, in which god worketh; in that we grant that the wil is only passiue & suffreth, & doth work nothing: as in imprin­ting or working, or maintaining in the will & heart newe qualities or inclinations. But that which is so the worke of god, that the will of man is not only the obiect, but the in­strument also of gods working, & an agent by it own force giuen it of god in producing an effect; in that the wil is not only passiue, but both actiue & passiue, for as much as it is to this end moued of the spirite to worke, that it self might do that, which God wil worke by it: which also so commeth to passe in all the good actions of the will; euen as in ill actions also, when it is incited either by the Diuel or other causes, it self is not in the mean season idle. Wherefore in Ezechiel it is added, 36. I wil cause you to walke in my Statutes, and yee shall keepe my Iudgements, and doe them.

The fourth de­gree of libertie is in man perfect­lie regenerated after his glorifi­cation. The fourth degree of libertie is in man perfectlie regenerated after his glorification, or after this life. In this libertie the will shalbe only free to choose good, and not to choose euill: & this shalbe the perfect libertie of our wil, by which we shall not only not sin, but shall abhorre nothing more than sin, & also shal not be able to sin anie more. The reasons hereof are these. Because in the mind shal shine the perfect knowledge of god & his will, in the wil & heart a most perfect & exceeding in­clination to obeie god, an exceeding loue of god, & a ioy resting in god, & an agreeablenes or conformitie with god. Wherefore no place shalbe for ignorance, for errour, or any doubting of God, yea or for the least stubbornes against God. Lastly, That conformitie in the elect, of all their inward powers and faculties with God, and the effectuall guiding of the holie Ghost shalbee continued to all eternitie. For the blessed Saints are neuer forsaken, but continuallie ruled by the holie Ghost in all their actions, in the celestiall life. For which cause it cannot possiblie bee, that any motions or actions [Page 191] of man there shoulde once swarue from rightnesse. And therefore it is said, Math. 22. They are as the Angels of god in heauen. This last degree of libertie after mans glorificati­on greater than the first before his fall, because this excludeth all possibility of falling, the other did not. Neither by this meanes is the libertie of will taken away, or diminished, but is truely confirmed and perfected in the blessed Angels & men: for as much as both the vn­derstanding is free from al error, ignorance, and doubtful­nes, and lightened with the perfect knowledge of god; and the heart and wil free from all stubbornes, and without all soliciting or suggestiō to withstand god, is carried with an exceeding loue of god, and an alacrity to obey the knowen will of god. And hence it appeareth also how much more excellent our state shalbe, than was Adams before his fall. Adam truely before his fall was perfectly conformed to god, but he could wil both good & euil, and therefore had some infirmity ioined with his excellent gifts; euē a power to depart from god & leese his gifts: that is, he was change­ablie good. But we shall not be able but to will good onely. And as the wicked are onely carried to euill, because they are wicked: so shal we also only loue & chuse good, because we shalbe good. It shalbe then impossible for vs to will any euill: Because wee shalbee preserued by gods grace in that perfect liberty of wil, that is, we shalbe vnchangeably good.

It is necessary that this doctrine Of the similitude and dif­ference of free-will which is in god, and his creatures, The vse of this doctrine con­cerning the di­uersities of li­bertie which is in God and in man, and of the diuerse degrees of mans libertie. and in diuers states and degrees of mans nature, deliuered hitherto out of the scripture, should be manifest & knowen in the Church for many & waighty causes: 1. That this glorie may be giuen to god, that he alone is the most free agent, whose libertie and wise­dome dependeth of no other: and that all the creatures are subiect to his gouernement. 2. That we may remember, that they who wit­tinglie and willinglie sin, or haue cast themselues into a necessitie of sinning, are not at al excused: and so not god, but their own wils declining of their own accord from gods commandements, to be the cause of their sins. 3. That we may know, god alone to be of himself & vnchangeably good, & the fountain of goodnes: but no creature to be able neither to haue, nor to keep more goodnes, than god of his free goodnes wil work & keep in him, & therefore we must desire it of him, & ascribe it receiued to him. 4. That we knowing god to be a most free gouernor of al things, may confesse that he is able for his glory & our safety, to change those things which seeme most vn­changeable. [Page 192] 5. That wee knowing from what excellencie of our nature wee haue fallen by our owne fault, may the more deplore and bewaile our vnthankefulnes; and magnifie Gods mercie, who aduaunceth and lifteth vs vp euen to a greater excellencie. 6. That knowing the miserie, and naughtines of our nature and disposition, if once god forsake vs, we may be humbled in his sight, and ardentlie de­sire to wade and come out of these euils. 7. That hauing knowledge of that libertie, into the which the sonne of god restoreth vs, wee may the more desire his benefites, and be thankefull vnto him for them 8. That knowing we are by the mercie of god alone seuered from them that perish, that we rather than they might bee conuer­ted; wee bee not lifted vp with an opinion of our owne goodnes or wisedome, but ascribe the whole benefite of our iustification and saluation, not to anie cause appearing in vs, but to the mercie of god alone. 9. That acknowledging the vveakenes and corrupti­on vvhich remaineth euen in vs regenerated, vve may seeke for iustification in Christ alone, and may vvithstand those euils. 10. That knovving our selues not to be able to stand against tentati­ons vvithout the singular assistance of the holie spirite, vve may ardently and dailie desire to bee preserued and guided by god. 11. That vnderstanding that vve are not preserued against our vvils, but with our wils, we may wrastle with tentations, & indeuour to make our calling and election sure. 12. That vnderstanding the counsaile of god concerning the conuerting of men by the doctrine of the gospel, and ministerie of the Church, vve may imbrace ear­nestlie and desirouslie the vse thereof.

OF EVILS OF PVNISHMENT.

IN this question also we are to speake of the effects of sinne, that is, of the other part of mans miserie, euen of the euill of paine and punishment. It is saide that God doth most grie­uouslie, most iustlie, and most certainelie punish sinne. Most grie­uouslie, for the greatnes of sin, because the infinite good is offēded thereby. Most iustlie, because euery sin violateth his law: & therfore euen the least sin meriteth eternal abiecti­on and casting away. Most certainelie, both in respect of his iustice, which abhorreth and punisheth whatsoeuer is not agreeable vnto it; and in respect of his truth, because hee had denounced before that he woulde punish men, if they [Page 193] obeied not his commaundement. God therefore, seeing he is true, doth neuer change this his sentence.

1 Obiection. But the wicked florish here. Aunswere. The wicked florish but for a short time, to bee cast at length in­to eternal tormentes, except they repent. Yea in this life also they are punished. First, they are miserablie vexed with the torments and terrors of conscience, which in the reprobate are the beginning and sense of eternall paines. 2. Euen those good things which they vse with greatest pleasure, serue for their punishment and destruction; and verilie so much the more, how much the lesse they know and acknowledge them for a punish­ment. For it is a most grieuous punishment, not to receiue gods gifts in respect of gods promise, nor to know the right vse of them, neither with his giftes to receiue a will and a­bilitie also to vse them well. For if these thinges concurre not in the fruition of good things, mens sinnes and punish­ment must needs be the more encreased and exasperated: and thereby, except there come conuersion, eternal destru­ction or death is certainely purchased. 3. They are afflicted with other punishmentes also most grieuous oftentimes; yet with more grieuous in the life to come, where it shalbee a continuall death, not to bee dead.

2 Obiection. But God made not euil, and death. Aunswere.The euils of sin and punish­ment had not come, if man would. He made them not in the beginning; and further also af­ter the beginning neither euill, nor death shoulde haue beene, except our selues had woulde: For they ensued on the voluntarie sinne of man, God forcibly inflicting them, as a most iust punishment.

3 Obiection. If God punish sinnes with present and euer­lasting punishments, he punisheth the same twise, & is vniust: but God punisheth sinnes with present and euerlasting punishmentes: therefore he punisheth the same sinne twise, and is vniust. Answ. The Minor is to be distinguished: for it is but one punish­ment, but hath seueral parts. For present punishments are the beginning of euerlasting, because they are not suffici­ent to satisfie Gods iustice.

4 Obiection. If God punish sinnes with eternall punish­ments: Then either all of vs perish; or Gods iustice is not satisfied. Aunswere If God should punish our sinnes in vs with eter­nal punishments, we should all perish, neither should we e­uer [Page 194] recouer vs thence: but hee doth not so punish them in vs: neither yet is Gods iustice impeached or violated, be­cause hee punisheth our sinnes in Christ with a punish­ment temporall, but yet equiualent to euerlasting. This equability doth the Gospel adde vnto the rigour and seue­ritie of the law.

5 Obiection. The iustice of God permitteth not that the same sinne be twise punished: but our sinnes are most fullie punished in his sonne, and this punishment is imputed vnto the godlie or be­leeuers. Therefore the same ought no more to bee punished in the godlie, and so they are vniustlie afflicted. Aunswere. The af­flictions of the godly are not punishments and satisfaction for their sinnes, but onely fatherly chastisementes, and the Crosse, whereby they are brought to humility. Which that it may bee better vnderstoode, wee are necessarily here to speake of afflictions or calamities.

OF AFFLICTIONS.

The chiefe questions are,

  • 1 How manie kindes of afflictions there be.
  • 2 What be the causes of them.
  • 3 What comforts are to be opposed against them.

1 How manie kindes there be of afflictions.

SOme afflictions are temporal, and some eternall. Eternal, are the tormentes of the soule and bodie, proper vnto the wicked, into which all the Diuels are to bee throwen, and all wicked men who are not conuerted in this life.

The qualitie of these tormentes is expressed, when they are called in scripture, a worme, fire, horror, euerlasting torment; likewise, euerlasting death, which is not a destruction of the bodie and soule, or a perpetuall senselesnes, but an infinite and endlesse continuaunce of those tormentes which the wicked in this life dispairing begin to feele: or, it is, neuer to be dead, & yet to die continually; that is, to liue, forsa­ken and abiected of God, subiect to all tormentes both of bodie and soule.

But wee are here to collect testimonies of scripture a­gainst Epicures (of which heard not a fewe are found euen in the Popes court) thereby to demonstrate, that the pains [Page 195] & torments of the wicked both in bodie and soule,Why the punish­ment of sinne ought to bee eternall. shalbe e­ternal. 1. Isai. 66.24. Their worme shal not die: & their feare shal not be put out. Mar. 9.43. Into hell into the fire that neuer shalbee quenched, where their worme dieth not & the fire neuer goeth out. Mat. 25.41. Go into euerlasting fire which is prepared for the Di­uel & his Angels. 1. Pet. 4.18. If the righteous scarcelie be saued, where shall the vngodlie & sinner appear? Mat. 10.28. Feare him who can cast both bodie & soul into helfire. The soul is the cause & fountain of sins: the body, as a thing without reason and brutish, doth execute that which the soul sheweth & com­mandeth: wherefore both the author & instrument of sins shalbe punished. 2. The reason also, why the paines and pu­nishments of sins should be eternal & infinit, is euident: be­cause for sin committed against the infinit good, an infinit punish­ment is iustlie exacted: neither coulde there be made by anie temporall punishment of a meere creature sufficient satis­faction vnto gods infinit & eternal iustice: & therefore the temporal punishment of Christ, that it might be sufficient to deliuer the elect, was to be equiualent to eternall pains.

Here the Epicures obiect: He that is exceeding mercifull, How Gods mer­cie and his iu­stice stand toge­ther in inflicting eternall punish­ment. cannot behold the eternal torments of his creatures, much lesse in­flict such on them. God is exceeding merciful; because his mercie doth far exceed our sins: Therefore he doth not suffer his creatures to remain in eternal torments. Answ. The Maior is true, when exceeding & most exact iustice, such as is in god, doth not exact, & require that exceeding sinne haue exceeding pu­nishment. Replie. Exceeding strict iustice doth not stand with exceeding mercie: because that admitteth no mitigating equabi­litie. In God is exceeding iustice, therefore not exceeding mercie. Answ. Both the Maior, and the proofe thereof is false. Be­cause God, punishing of his exceeding iustice our sin with exceeding punishment, doth notwithstanding shewe ex­ceeding equability and fauorablenes, whiles he translateth the punishment thereof from vs, & laieth it vpon his sonne. They frame also the same reply on this wise: With him, that followeth extreme or strict iustice, mercie and equabilitie hath no place. But god in punishing sinnes foloweth strict iustice. Therfore he is not merciful. To which we answer. 1. that the Ma­ior is false in respect of him, who for his wisedome knoweth means to mitigate punishmēts, or to exercise mercy, as that [Page 196] notwithstanding his iustice may remaine inuiolated, and himselfe bee satisfied. So god doth execute extreame and exquisite iustice in punishing our sinnes, shewing neuerthelesse exceeding and maruelous equabilitie and lenity, while hee punisheth them in his Sonne, and not in vs. And therefore one degree of mercie de­nied, doth not straight enforce the deniall of others. God punisheth sinne in the reprobate with eternal punish­ments: & yet is he merciful, while he is not delighted with the death of him that dieth: but doth by differring, and mitigating the punishment, and by bestowing benefites inuite all men to repentance. When a Iudge putteth a rob­ber to death, he executeth extreame iustice: yet may he be mercifull withall, if hee reioice not at the destruction of the man, but had rather hee were saued, if so the lawe permitted.

Temporal af­flictions be­long both to the wicked and the godly. Temporall afflictions belong to both: both vnto the godly and to the reprobate. These are either punishments, or the Crosse. The punishment, is either destruction or torment inflicted by order of iustice on the person giltie of sinne. And this is proper vnto the reprobate, because it is in­flicted on them to this ende, that Gods iustice may bee satisfied. For the law bindeth all men, either to obedience, or to punishment.

In the wicked they are punish­mentes, in the godly the crosse.Obiection. But the euils which the wicked suffer in this life are lighter than that they shoulde satisfie Gods iustice. An­swere. They are a part of their punishment, though not their whole punishment. Nowe as euerie part of the Aire is called Aire, so euerie part of punish­ment, is punishment. The degrees therefore of the punishment and paines, which the wicked suffer, are to bee obserued. The first degree is in this life. For when the conscience of their misdeedes and wickednesse doth gnawe, vexe, and terrifie them, then beginneth their hellish and infernall worme. The second degree is in tem­porall death: When they departing out of this life without comfort, come into the place of torment and vexations, Luke. 16. The third degree is at the day of iudge­ment, when againe to euerie of their bodies, raised from the dead, their soules shalbee reunited. For then [Page 197] at length shall the paines of hell bee consummated, and shall fall in troupes together on both bodie and soule.

The Crosse, is the affliction of the godly.The Crosse of the godly is of foure sortes. For this is not properly a punishment, because it is not in­flicted, that thereby Gods iustice shoulde bee satisfi­ed for their sinnes. Nowe the Crosse is of foure sortes, which are drawen from the endes, for which it is laid on the godly. First, the Chastisementes, 1. Chastisements. which GOD layeth on the godly, for the remnaunts of sinne in them, and oftentimes also for some peculiar sinnes committed by them, that they may bee admonished of their vncleannesse, and stirred to repentaunce, and the studie of godlinesse and good workes, least persisting in their sinnes, they bee condemned.

For they are not according to iustice inflicted, to bee any satisfaction or recompence for their sinnes: but according to mercie, for their amendment and sal­uation. For by these chastisementes they are admoni­shed of the anger of GOD against sinnes, and of e­ternall punishment, which GOD will inflict on them, if they repent not. Secondly,2. Tryals. The proofes and tryals of their faith, hope, inuocation, feare of GOD, and patience: that the elect may goe forwarde in these vertues, and the same also bee made knowen to others. Such was the affliction of Iob. Thirdly, Martyrdomes, 3. Martyrdomes. which are testifications concerning their doctrine. For when the godly are, for the confession of true doctrine, pressed with calamities, or slaine, these afflictions are no punishmentes of certaine transgressions, but mar­tyrdomes, whereby they testifie and witnesse, the do­ctrine of the gospell which they professe, to bee true, and doubt not to seale this with their bloud, and where­by also they witnesse that they in exceeding tormentes and death feele and haue experience of that comfort, which they did promise out of that doctrine, in their tea­ching vnto others. They witnesse also and testifie, that there remaineth another life, and an other iudgement after this life. Fourthly & lastly, the Crosse is their Raunsome, euen the obedience of Christ alone,4. Raunsome. which is a satisfaction for our sinnes, consisting of his whole [Page 198] humiliation, from the very first point of his Conception in the wombe, to his last agonie on the Crosse.

A briefe type or table of mans afflictions.
  • Afflictions are some
    • Temporal
      • In the wicked: as punishmentes properly, & in speciall so called.
      • In the godly, as the Crosse: and that is,
        • 1 Chastisements.
        • 2 Trials.
        • 3 Martyrdome.
        • 4 Raunsome.
    • Eternal: as the hellish tor­ments of the damned.

2 What are the causes of afflictions.

The impellent cause, sinne. SInne is the impellent cause (because it is an euill merite and deserueth euill) of punishmentes in the wicked, and also of the Crosse in the godlie: yet after a diuers maner and in diuers re­spects. It is a cause of punishment in the wicked, that sinne may bee recompensed with iust punishment. In the godly, the cause of the Crosse is not to satisfie Gods iustice, but that sinne may be knowen, and so relinquished and put off. The impellent cause then of punishmentes in the wicked is their sin to be punished or recompensed.The chiefe effi­cient, Gods iu­stice. The principall ef­ficient cause is the iustice of god inflicting punishmēt for sin. Instrumentall causes thereof are diuers:Instrumental causes, all crea­tures. Angels and men, both good and bad, and all other creatures, which are all armed against sinners, and fight vnder GODS banner. The finall cause is, that the iustice of GOD may bee sa­tisfied.

The causes of the crosse of the godly. The causes of the crosse of the godlie are, 1 The acknowledge­ing and purging out of sin. God doth not giue the bridle vnto the godly, but by fatherly chastisementes restraineth, recalleth and amendeth them.1. The acknow­ledging, and re­linquishing of sinne. 1. Corin. 11.32. When wee are iudged, wee are iudged of the Lord. Psalm. 119.71. It is good for mee, O Lord, that thou hast humbled mee. But hee giueth the raines to the wicked, that they may gal­lop [Page 199] to destruction: he endoweth them with the commo­dities of this life, and suffereth them to enioy a short ioy, thereby to shewe his loue towardes his creatures, and to conuince them of vnthankfulnes, and to take away al ex­cuse from them. 2. The hatred of the Diuell and the wicked. 2. The hatred of the Diuel and wicked men. Iohn. 15.19. If ye were of the world, the world would loue you. The Diuel especially lieth in wait & ambush against the church and assaulteth it, both by tyrants, and by heretiques, to pul many from God. 1. Pet. 5 8. The diuel goeth about like a roa­ring Lyon. 3. The triall in exercise of godlines, 3. The trial or exercise of god­lines. that we may bee established and go forward in spiritual gifts, and that both vnto our selues & others our hope, faith & patiēce may be made known. Eccle. 34.10. He that hath not been tempted, what knoweth he? So then it is apparant that glorying in prospe­rity is but vaine. Rom. 5.4. Experience bringeth hope. 4.4. Particular de­fects in the god­lie. Parti­cular defects and fallings in the Saints. Diuers haue diuers de­fects: and therefore Gods chastisements also are diuers. God sheweth that hee is angry also with the sinnes of the godly, and is desirous that they returne from them. The scriptures are rise and ful of examples hereof: As in Da­uid when he numbred the people, when he committed adultery, and added murther vnto it, God shewed his wrath in plaguing the people for the former, and in taking away by death the child borne in adultery, hee shewed his anger against his adultery. Againe, hee shewed how desi­rous hee was to haue him rise againe, by sending his Pro­phet to make his sinne knowen vnto him, and so to call him to repentance. So many times dealt he with the Isra­elites also, whose often falling, as also Gods often recal­ling them is in the Scripture frequent. 5. The confirmation or testimonie of their doctrine in their martyrdomes. Ioh. 21.18.5. The confirma­tion and testi­mony of the truth by their martyrdome. 6. Their glorious deliuerie. Peter is foretold, by what death he should glorifie God, and confirme the doctrine of Christ which he preached. 6. The glorious deliuery, that is, the manifestation of the im­measureable wisedome, power, mercy, and iustice of God, in the miraculous & wonderful deliuerance of the church. God bringeth his into extreme dangers, & findeth out & sheweth a waie of deliuery, where no creature could saue or deliuer them. 1. Sam. 2.6. He bringeth down to hel, and bring­eth back againe. 7. The making of a conformity between the mem­bers [Page 200] and Christ their head, 7. A conformitie between them and Christ. both in afflictions & in glory. 2. Tim. 2.12. If we suffer with him, we shal also raign with him. Rom. 8.29. Those which he knew before, he also predestinate to bee made like to the image of his sonne. Ioh. 11.16. and. 16.20. Mat. 10.24. The seruant is not greater than his Lord, neither the Disciple aboue his master. 8. The afflictions of the godly in this life are a testimony & confirmation of the iudgement and life to come. 8. A confirmati­on of the life to come. Because the iu­stice and truth of God requireth, that at length it goe wel with the good, and il with the bad. But this commeth not so to passe in this life. Therefore there is remaining yet another life. And hence we are to aunswere the argu­ment which the worlde vseth against the prouidence of God.

The Church of God (say they) is not the Church, because it is oppugned throughout the whole woorld, and troden vnder foote of al men. Answere. This argument maie bee wel inuerted on this wise: The company of those that embrace the doctrin of the Prophets and Apostles are in a good cause vniustly oppugned, and afflicted by the wicked and reprobate: Therefore they are the true Church, and the people of God, and are to be at length certainly, fullie, and gloriously deliuered, the wicked being cast into eternal tormentes. For God is iust and true: Therefore he wil be one daie a reuenger of those iniuries, whereby not onely the Godly in this life are hurt, but the glory also of God himselfe is by the wicked obscured, and darkened, and troden vnder foote.

3. What are the comforts and consolations, which are to be opposed against afflictions.

OF comforts in afflictions, some are proper vnto the Church, some are common to it with Philosophie. Comforts in af­flictions. Proper, are the first and two last of those, which shall be recited. The rest are common, and that but in outwarde shewe onely and in name,Remission of sins, and recon­ciliation vnto God. but not beeing further entered into and dis­coursed of 1. Remission of sinnes and reconciliation vnto GOD. This is the ground and foundation of the rest: Because without this wee cannot rightly apply the rest vnto vs, neither reape any comfort from them: But if this [Page 201] bee well setled, the rest follow of their owne accorde. For they who are not certaine of the remission of their sinnes, alwaies doubt, whether the promise of grace be­long vnto them: but he who is certaine of this, know­eth that the anger of GOD, punishments and eternall death are taken away, and that those euils which are laide vpon him, are no punishment, but a fatherly cha­stisement, Roman. 5.1. Beeing iustified by faith we haue peace toward GOD. Againe: If when we were enemies, we were re­conciled to GOD, much more beeing reconciled wee shall bee saued. Roman 8.3. If GOD be on our side, who can be against vs? The reason is, because, take awaie the cause, and you take awaie the effect: take awaie sinne, and the punishment also of sinne is taken awaie. 2. The necessitie of obeying GOD, 2. The necessitie of obeying God, and the loue which we ow him. and the loue due vnto him. The Godlie knowe, that they must obey the fatherly wil of GOD in suffering euils, both bicause he wil that they suffer them: and also because he hath so deserued of them, as that they ought for his sake to suffer far greater, and lastly because they are his fa­therly chastisemēts. Iob. 2.10. Shall we receiue good at the hand of God, and not receiue euill? Psal. 3.9.9. I held my peace, because thou diddest it. Iob. 1.21. Blessed be the name of the Lord. The Philosophers also say, that it is patiētly to be suffred, which can not be altered or auoided, and that it is foolishnes to kicke against the prick. But in the meane while they hold a fatal necessi­ty, and in suffering calamities submit not themselues to god, neither acknowlege them to be a iust punishment, neither suffer thē to that end, as thereby to obey him. And therefore they find either smal or no comfort at al hereof.3. The worthines of vertue. 3. The worthines of vertue, that is, of obedience towards God which is tru vertu, for which a man is not to cast away his courage in bearing the crosse. Mat. 10 37. & 16.25. He that hateth not his father and mother for my sake, is not worthy of me. He that seeketh to saue his soule, shall leese it. This dignity of vertue doe the Philosophers most of all vrge, but coldly,4. A good con­science. because they are destitute of true vertues. 4. A good consci­ence. The godly are assured of remission of sinnes in Christ, and haue a purpose to obey God: and therefore beare a good conscience vnto themselues in Christ. The Philoso­phers comfort not theirs on this maner. For the Philoso­phers [Page 202] beeing once afflicted, thinketh, why doth not good fortune followe a good conscience? And therefore hee murmureth against God, and fretteth, as did Cato and others. 5. The finall causes in their chastisementes, trials, 5. The final cau­ses of their af­flictions. and Martyrdomes. Those causes are, first, Gods glo­rie. The torment is lesse to the godly, when they know that GOD is honoured by their sufferings, and that thereby they shewe their thankefulnesse vnto him. Psalm. 119.75. Thou art iust, O Lorde, and thy iudgements are right. Secondly, Our saluation, which is accomplished by afflictions. Psalm. 119.71. It is good for mee that I haue beene affli­cted. 1. Cor. 11.32. When wee are iudged we are chastened of the Lorde, because wee shoulde not bee condemned with the woorlde. Thirdly, the saluation of others, that is, their con­uersion and confirming. For Actes 5. The Apostles reioy­ced (euen because they sawe many by their ministe­rie to bee conuerted vnto GOD, and faith to bee con­firmed in others, by the example of their afflictions and constancy in the truth and doctrine) that they were counted woorthy to suffer rebuke for Christs name. The Philo­sophers say, It is a good end for which thou sufferest, that thou maiest saue thy country, and attaine vnto euerlasting renowme and glory. But yet in the meane season, wret­ched man, hee thinketh, what will these thinges profite me, when my selfe perish? But we are chastised that wee may not perish with the world.6. The compa­ring of ends & euentes. 6. The conference and com­paring together of euentes. It is better for a short time to be chastised of the Lord, with certaine and assured hope of a glorious deliuery, than to liue in plenty and aboun­daunce of thinges, and to be pulled from God, and to run into euerlasting perdition.

The Philosophers conferring and comparing euils together, finde but little good, arising out of so manie euils:7. The hope of recompence. Because the true good, for the obtaining where­of they suffer euils, they are wholy ignoraunt of. 7. The hope of recompence. Matth. 5.12. Your rewarde is great in hea­uen. Wee knowe that there remaine other blessinges for vs after this life, nothing to be compared with these momentary afflictions. Euen in this life also the God­lie receiue grater blessinges than other man. For they [Page 203] haue GOD pacified and pleased with them, and other spirituall giftes, and the beginning of eternall life. Therefore also corporall blessinges are profitable for their saluation. Marc. 10.29. There is no man that hath for­saken house, or bretheren, or children, or landes, for my sake, and the Ghospels, but hee shall receiue a hundred-fould nowe at this present, and in the woorlde to come eternall life. Psalm. 37.16. A small thing to the iust man is better than great ri­ches to the wicked. Roman. 5.3. Wee reioyce in tribulations. A recompence in small euils doth in some sort comfort the Philosophers, but in great euils not at all: because they thinke that they hadde rather want that recom­pence, than buie it so deare: the reason whereof is, because the recompence is but vncertaine, small, and transitorie. 8. The example of the Sonne of GOD. For the seruaunt is not aboue his Maister, Iohn 15.20.8. The Examples of Christ and his Saintes who haue suffered before vs. And God will haue vs to bee made like to the image of his Sonne. Roman. 8.29. And Philip. 2.5. Let the same minde bee in you that was euen in Christ Iesus. 2. Cor. 8.9. IESVS CHRIST beeing rich for your sakes, became poore. Let vs accom­pany therefore Christ in ignominy and in glory. For both the thankfulnesse, which we owe, requireth this: and seeing Christ hath died, not for his owne profite, but for ours, why shoulde wee refuse to suffer any thing for our owne profite and commodity? Likewise, the ex­amples of other holy and godly men, who haue suffered with the sauing both of themselues & others, & haue not pe­rished in afflictions, but haue beene maruailouslie saued & preserued. Mat. 5. So did they persecute the Prophets, which haue beene before you. The examples therefore of holy Martyrs doe comfort and hearten vs, while we thinke, that we are not better than they, but rather woorse. And therefore ought wee much more patiently to beare our crosse. Againe, seeing they haue beene preserued by GOD amiddest their afflictions, and haue escaped out of them, wee haue confidence also that wee shall bee preserued and deliuered, because the Loue of GOD towardes his is immutable, and knoweth no chaunge. 9.9. The certaine presence and assistance of go [...] The pre­sence and assistaunce of GOD in all cases and chances of our life. Wee know that God hath a care of vs euen in our crosse: [Page 204] that he will defend, comfort, strengthen, and establish vs by his spirite, that wee may not through griefe and paine forsake him. 1. Cor. 10.13. God doth not suffer vs to be tempted aboue our power. Psal. 19.15. I am with him in his tribulation. Iohn. 14.16. I will send you another comforter. Iohn. 14.23. I & my father will come vnto him. Ioh. 14.18. I will not leaue you comfortles. Esay. 49.15. Can a woman forget her child, and not haue compassion on the Son of her wombe? Though shee should for­get, 10. The final and ful deliuerie. yet will I not forget thee. 10 The finall and full deliuerie. For as of punishment, so also of deliuerie there are three degrees. The first is in this life, where we haue the begin­ning of eternall life. The second is in our bodily death, when the soul is caried into Abrahams bosome. The third is after the resurrection of our bodies, when wee shall bee both in body and soule perfectly blessed, that is, fully deli­uered from all both sinne and punishment. Ioh. 10.28. No man shall plucke them out of mine hande. Rom. 8.30. Whom he iustified, them also he glorified. Reu. 21.4. God shall wipe away all teares from their eies. Wherefore as the first consolation is the foundation and beginning, so this last is the finishing and accomplishment of all the rest.

THE SECOND PART.
OF MANS DELIVERIE.

12 Seeing then by the iust iudgement of God, we are subiect both to temporall, and eternall punishments; is there yet any meanes or way remaining, whereby we may be deliuered from these punishments, & be reconciled to God?

GOD will haue his iusticeExod. 20.5. & 23.7. satisfied: wherefore it is necessary thatRom. 8.3. wee satis­fy, either by our selues, or by another.

13 Are we able to satisfie by our selues?

Not a whit. Naie rather we doe euerie dayIob. 9.2.3. & 15.15. Mat. 6.12. increase our debt.

14 Is there any creature able in heauen or in earth, which is only a creature, to satisfie for vs?

None. For first, God will notHeb. 2.14. punish that sin in any other creature, which man hath commit­ted. And further, neither can that which is no­thing but a creature, sustaine the wrath of god a­gainst sinne, andPsal. 130.3. Iob. 4.18. &. 25.5. deliuer others from it.

15 What manner of Mediatour then and deliuerer must wee seeke for?

Such a one verily, as is verie man, & perfectly iust, and yet in power aboue al creatures, that is, who also is verie1. Cor. 15.21. & 25. Ier. 23.6. Isai. 53.11. 2. Cor. 5.14. Heb. 7.16. Isa. 7.14. Rom. 8.3. God.

16 Wherefore is it necessarie that he be verie man, and that perfectly iust too?

[Page 206]Because the iustice of God requireth that the same humane nature which hath sinned, doe it selfe likewise make recompence for sinne: But heeRo. 5.12. & 17. that is himselfe a sinner,1. Pet. 3.18. cannot make re­compence for others.

17 Why must he also be verie God?

That he might by the power of his GodheadIsay. 55.3. & 18. Acts. 2.24. 1. Pet. 3.18. sustaine in his flesh the burden of Gods wrath, and1. Iohn. 1.2. & 49.10. Act. 20.28. Ioh. 3.16. might recouer & restore vnto vs that righ­teousnesse and life which we lost.

18 And who is that Mediatour, which is together both very God, and a very perfectly iust man.

Euen our Lord Iesus Christ,Mat. 1.23.1. Tim. 3.16. Ioh. 14.16.1. Tim. 2.5. Luk. 2.11. who is made to vs of God wisedome, righteousnesse, sanctificati­on, and1. Cor. 1.30. redemption.

19 Whence knowest thou this?

Out of the gospell, which God first made knowen inGen. 3.15. Paradise, & afterwardsGen. 22.18. & 49.10.11. Rom. 1.2. Heb. 1.1. Act. 3.22. &c. & 10.43. did spread it abroad by the Patriarks & Prophets:Ich. 5.46. Heb. 10.7. shadowed it by sacrifices & other ceremonies of the law: & lastlyRom. 10.4. Gal. 4.4. & 3.24. Heb. 13.8. accōplished it by his only begotten Son.

20 Is then saluation restored by Christ to all men, who perished in Adam?

Not to al: but to those only who by a true faith are engraffed into him, &Ioh. 1.12. & 3.36. Isa. 53.11. Psal. 2.12. Rom. 11.20. Heb. 4.2. & 10 39. receiue his benefits.

21 What is faith?

It is not only a knowlege, whereby I surely as­sent to al things which God hathHeb. 11.13. Ia. 2.19. Gal. 2.20. reuealed vnto vs in his word, but also an assuredRom. 4.16. & 5.1. & 10.10. &c. Iac. 1.8. trust kindled in myRom. 1.16. & 10.17. 1 Cor. 1.21. Mar. 16.16. Act. 16.14. heart by the holyMat. 16.17. Ioh. 3.5. Gal. 5.22 Phil. 1.19. ghost thorough the gos­pel, whereby I make my repose in God, being as­suredly resolued, that remissiō of sins, euerlasting righteousnes & lifeHab. 2.4. Mat. 9.2. Eph. 2.7.8.9. Rom. 5.1. is giuen not to others only, [Page 207] but to me also, and that freely through the mercy of God, for theRom. 3.24.25. Act. 10.43. merit of Christ alone.

22 What are those thinges which are necessarie for a Christian man to beleeue?

All things which areIoh. 20.31. Mat. 28.10. promised vs in the gos­pel: the sum whereof is briefely comprised in the Creed of the Apostles, or in the Articles of the Catholick & vndoubted faith of all Christians.

23 Which is that Creede?

I Beleue in God the father almighty, maker of heauē & earth. And in Iesus Christ his only Son, our Lord: which was cōceiued by the holy ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered vnder Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead & buried, he descended into hell, the third day he rose again frō the dead, he ascended into heauen, & sitteth at the right hand of God the father al­mighty, from thence shal he come to iudge the quick & the dead. I beleue in the holy ghost, the holy catholick church, the communion of saints, the forgiuenes of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life euerlasting.

AMEN.

[Page 208]24 Into how manie parts is this Creede diuided?

Into three parts. The first is, of the eternall fa­ther & our creation. The second, of the Sonne & our redemption. The third, of the holie ghost & our sanctification.

25 Seeing there is Deut. 6 4. Ephes. 4.6. Esa. 44.6. & 45.5. 1. Cor. 8.4. but one onlie substance of God, why namest thou these three? The Father, the Sonne, and the holie Ghost.

Because God hath soEsa. 61.1. Luc. 4.18. Psal. 110 1. Mat. 3.16.17. & 28.19. Io. 14.26. & 15.26. Tit. 3.5.6. Eph. 2.18. 2. Cor. 13.13. Gal. 4.6. 1. Ioa. 5.7. manifested himselfe in his woorde: that these three distinct persons are that one true euerlasting God.

OF THE FATHER.

26 What beleeuest thou, when thou saiest, I beleeue in God the Father almightie, maker of heauen and earth?

I beleeue the euerlasting father of our Lord Ie­sus Christ whoGen. 1. & 2. Psal 33.6. Iob. 33.4. Act. 4.24. & 14.15. &c. Isa. 45.7. hath made of nothing heauen & earth, with all that are in them, who like-wise vp­holdeth andPsa. 104.3. & 115.3. Mat. 10.29. Heb. 1.3. Rom. 11.36. gouerneth the same by his eter­nal Counsel and prouidence;Ioa. 1.12. Rom. 8.15. Gal. 4.5.6.7. Eph. 1.5. to bee my God & my Father for Christes sake: and therefore I doe so trust in him, and so relie on him, that I make no doubt, but he will prouide all thingsPsal. 55 23. Mat. 6.26. Luc. 12.22. neces­sarie both for my soule and bodie. And further whatsoeuer euils he sendeth on mee in this trou­blesome life, hee willRom 8 28. turne them to my safety, seeing both he is able to doe it, as beeingIsa. 46 4 Rom. 10 12. & 8.38 &c. God almightie; and willing to doe it, as beeingMat 6. & 7.9.10.11. a bountifull father.

27 What is the prouidence of God?

The Almighty power of God euery where present,Act. 17.25. &c. Psal 94 9. &c. Is. 29.15. &c. Ezec. 8.12. whereby hee doth as it were with his hand vphold &Heb. 1.2.3. gouerne heauen & earth, with all [Page 209] the creatures therin: So that those thinges which growe in the earth, as likewise raine and drouth, fruitfulnes & barrainnes, meat &Ier. 5.24. Acts. 14.17. drink,Ioh. 9.3. health and siknesse,Prou. 22.2. riches and pouertie, in a woord, all things come not rashly or by chance, but by his fatherly counsell and will.

28 What doth this knowledge of the Creation and prouidence of God profite vs?

That in aduersitieRom. 5.3. &c. Iac. 1.3. Iob. 1.21. &c. wee may bee patient, andDeut. 8.10. 1. Thess. 5.18. thankfull in prosperitie, &Rom. 5.4.5. haue hereafter our chiefest hope reposed in God our most faithfull father, beeing sure that there is nothing which mayRom. 8.38.39. withdrawe vs from his loue, for as much as all creatures are so in his power, that without his will they are notIob. 1.12. & 2.6. Prouer. 21.1. Acts. 17.25. &c. able not only to do any thing, but not so much as once to moue.

OF THE SONNE.

29 Why is the Sonne of God called Iesus, that is, a Sauiour?

Because he saueth vs from al ourMat. 1.21. Heb. 7.25. sinnes: Nei­ther ought any safety to bee sought for from any other, norAct. 4.12. can elsewhere be found.

30 Doe they then beleeue in the only Sauiour Iesus, who seeke for happinesse and safety of the Saintes, or of themselues, or elsewhere?

No. For although in worde they boast them­selues of him as their sauiour, yet indeed they de­ny the onlie Sauiour1. Cor. 1.13. & 30. &c. Ga. 5.4. Iesus. For it must needes be that either Iesus is not a perfect Sauior, or that they, who embrace him as their Sauiour with a true faith, possesse all thinges in him whichHeb. 12.2. Isa. 9.6. Col. 1.19.20. &. 2.10. Isa. 43.11. & 25. Ioh. 1.16. are required vnto saluation.

31 Why is he called Christ, that is, annointed?

[Page 210]Because hee was ordained of the Father, and annointed of the holy Ghost thePs. 45.8. Heb. 1.9. Deut. 18.15. Acts. 3.22. chiefe Prophet andIoh. 1.18. & 15 15. Mat. 11.27. Ps. 110.4. Heb. 7.21. & 10.21. Doctour: who hath e opened vnto vs the secret counsaill and all the will of his father concerning our Redemption; And the high-Priest, who with that one onely Sa­crifice of his bodie hathRom 8.34. & 5.9.10. redeemed vs, and doth continualliePs. 2.6. Luk. 1.33. make intercession to his fa­ther for vs. And a king, who ruleth vs by his word and spirit, and defendeth andMat. 28.18. Ioh. 10.28. maintaineth that saluation which hee hath purchased for vs.

32 But why art thou called a Christian?

Because through faith I am a member of IesusActs. 11.26. 1 Cor. 6.15. christ, and1. Ioh. 2.27. Is. 59.21. Ioe. 2.28. partaker of his annointing, that both I mayMat. 10.33. confesse his name, & present my selfe vn­to him a liuelyRom. 12.1. Apo. 5.8.10.1. Pet. 2.9.2. Tim. 2.12. Rom. 6.12.13. Apo. 1.6. sacrifice of thankfulnes, and also may in this life fight against sin and satan with a free & good cōscience, & afterward1. Tim. 1.18.19. enioy an e­uerlasting kingdom with christ ouer al creatures.

33 For what cause is Christ called the only begotten sonne of God, when we also are the sonnes of God?

Because christ alone is the coeternal & natural son of the eternallIoh. 1.14. Heb. 1.2. Ioh. 3.16. & 4.9. father, & weRom. 8.5. Eph. 1.6. Ioh. 1.12. 1. Ioh. 1.3. are but sonnes adopted of the father by grace for his sake.

34 Wherefore callest thou him our Lord?

Because he redeeming & ransoming both our body and soul from sins, not with gold nor siluer, but with his precious blood, & deliuering vs frō al the power of the diuel, hath set vs1. Pet. 1.18. & 10.1. Cor. 6.20. & 7.23. Ep. 1.7. 1. Tim. 2.5.6. free to serue him.

35 What beleeuest thou when thou saist, He was con­ceiued by the holy ghost & borne of the Virgine Mary?

That the sonne of God, whoIoh. 1.1. & 17.5. Rom. 1.4. Col. 1.15. &c. Ps. 2.7. Mat. 3.17. & 16.16. is and continu­eth [Page 211] true and euerlastingRom. 9.5. Is. 7.14. & 9.6. 1. Io. 5.20. Io. 20.28. God,Ioh. 1.14. Gal. 4.4. tooke the verie nature of man, of the flesh and bloode of the Vir­gine Mary, by the woorking of the holy Ghost,Ps. 132.11. Act. 2.30. &c. Rom. 1:3. that withal he might be the true seed of Dauid, like vnto his brethren in al things, sin excepted.Mat. 1.18.20. Luc. 1.35.

36 What profit takest thou, by Christs holy concepti­on and natiuity?

That hee is ourHeb. 2.16.17. Mediatour, and dooth couer with his innocency and perfect holines my sins,Phil 2 7. in which I was conceiued,Heb. 4.15. & 7.26. that they may not come in the sight ofPsal. 32.1.1. Cor. 1.30. Ro. 8.3.4. Gal. 4.4.5. God.

37 What beleeuest thou, when thou saist, He suffered?

That hee all the time of his life, which hee lead in the earth, but especially at the end therof,1. Pet. 2.24. & 3.18. Is. 53.12. susteined the wrath of God, both in body and soule, against the sin of al mankind, that he might by his passion, as the onely1. Ioh. 2.2. & 4.10. Rom. 3.25. propitiatory sacri­fice, deliuer our body and soule from euerlasting damnation, and purchase vnto vs the fauour of God, righteousnes, and euerlasting life.

38 For what cause should hee suffer vnder Pilate as being his iudge?

That he being innocent andLuk. 23.14. Ioh. 19.4. condemned be­fore a ciuil iudge mightPsal. 69.4. Is. 53.4.5. 2. Cor. 5.21. Gal. 3.13. deliuer vs frō the seuere iudgement of God, which remained for al men.

39 But is there any thing more in it, that hee was fastned to the crosse, than if hee had suffered any o­ther kind of death?

There is more: For by this I am assured that he took vpō himself the curse, which did lie on me. For the death of the crosse wasDeut. 21.23. Gal. 3.13. accursed of god.

40 Why was it necessary for Christ to humble him­selfe vnto death?

[Page 212]Because the iustice and truth of God could by noGen. 2.71. other meanes be satisfied for our sins, but by the very death of theHeb. 2.9.14.15. Phil. 2.8. Sonne of God.

41 To what end was he buried also?

That thereby he might make manifest, that he wasActs. 13.29. Mat. 27.60. Luk 23.53. Io. 19.38. &c. dead indeede.

42 But since that Christ died for vs, why must we al­so die?

Our death is not a satisfaction for our sinnes, but the abolishing of sinne, and our passage intoIoh. 5.24. Phi. 1.23. Rom. 7.24. euerlasting life.

43 What other commodity receiue wee by the sacri­fice and death of Christ?

That by the vertu of his death, our old man is crucified, slaine, andRo. 6.6.7. &c. buried together with him, that hencefoorth euill lustes and desires may notRom. 6.12. raigne in vs, but wee mayRom. 12.1. offer our selues vn­to him a sacrifice of thankesgiuing.

44 Why is there added: He descended into hel?

That in my greatest paines and most grieuous tentations I may support my selfe with this com­fort, that my Lorde Iesus Christ hathIsay. 53.10. Matth. 27.46. deliuered me, (by the vnspeakable distresses, torments, and terrors of his soul, into which he was plūged both before, and then especially, when hee hanged on the crosse) from the straits and tormentes of hel.

45 What doth the resurrection of Christ profit vs?

First, by his resurrection he vanquished death, that hee might1. Cor. 15.16. & 54.55. Rom. [...]4.25. 1. Pe. 1.3. &c. & 21. make vs partakers of that righte­ousnes, which hee had gotten vs by his death. A­gain, we are now alsoRom. 6.4. Col. [...] 1. &c. Ep. 2.5. stirred vp by his power to a new life. Lastly, the resurrectiō of our head christ, is a1. Cor. 15.12. &c. Rom. 8.11. pledge vnto vs of our glorious resurrection.

[Page 213]46 How vnderstād you that, He ascended into heauē?

That Christ, his Disciples looking on, wasAct. 1.9. Ma [...] 16 19. Luc. 24.51. ta­ken vp from the earth into heauen, and yet stillHeb. 4.14 & 7.25. & 9.11. Rom. 8.34. Eph 4.10. Col. 3.1. is there for our sakes, and wil be, vntill he come againe to iudge the quick andAct. 1.11. Mat. 24.30. dead.

47 Is not Christ with vs then vntill the ende of the world, as he hath Mat. 28.20. Mat 26.11. Io [...] 16.18. & 17.11 Acts. 3.21. promised?

Christ is true God, and true man: and so accor­ding to his manhood he is not now on earth: but according to his godhead, his maiesty, his grace, and spirit, heIoh. 14 17. &c. & 16.13. Ep. 4.8. August tract. 50. in Ioh is at no time from vs.

48 Are not by this means the two natures in Christ pulled asunder, if his humanity bee not wheresoeuer his diuinity is?

No: for seeing his diuinity is incomprehēsible, & euery whereAct. 7.49. & 17.27. &c. Ier. 23.24. present: it followeth necessarily that the same is without the bounds of his human nature which he took vnto him, and yet is neuer­theles in it, &Col. 2.9. Ioh. 3 13. & 11.15. Mat. 28.6. abideth personally vnited to it.

49 What fruite doth the ascension of Christ into hea­uen bring vs?

First, that he1. Ioh. 2.1.2. Rom. 8.34. maketh intercession to his father in heauen for vs. Next, that wee haue our flesh in heauen, that wee may bee confirmed thereby, as by a sure pleadge, that it shal come to passe, that he who is our head willIoh. 14.2. & 20.17. Eph. 2.6 lift vp vs his mēbers vn­to him. Thirdly, that heeIoh. 14.16. & 16.7.2. Cor. 1.22. 2. Cor. 5.5. sendeth vs his spirit in­steed of a pledge between him and vs, by whose forcible working we seeke after, not earthly but heauenly things, where he himselfe isCol. 3.1. Phil. 3.20. &c. sitting at the right hand of God.

50 Why is it further saide, Hee sitteth at the right hand of God?

[Page 214]Because Christ therefore is ascended into hea­uen, toEp. 1.20. & 5.23. Col. 1.18. shewe there that hee is the head of his church, by whō the fatherMat. 28.18. Ioh. 5.22. gouerneth al things.

51 What profite is this glorie of our head christ vnto vs?

First, that through his holy spirite heEph. 4.10. powreth vpon vs his members heauenly graces. Then, that hee shieldeth andPs. 2.9. & 101. 2. Ioh. 10.28. Ephes. 4.8. defendeth vs by his power a­gainst all our enimies.Lu. 21.28. Ro. 8.23.24. Phi. 3.20. Tit. 2.13.

52 What comfort hast thou by the comming againe of Christ to iudge the quicke and dead?

That in all my miseries and persecutions I looke, with my head lifted vp, for the verie same, who before yeelded himselfe vnto the iudgemēt of God for me, and2. Thess. 1.6.7. 1. Thess. 4.16. Mat. 25.41. tooke away all malediction from me, to come iudge from heauen, to throw al his & my enimies into euerlasting paines, but toMat. 25.34. translate me with all his chosen vnto himself into celestiall ioies and euerlasting glory.

OF THE HOLIE-GHOST.

53 What beleeuest thou concerning the holy-ghost?

First, that he is true and coeternall God with the eternal father & theGen. 1.2. Is. 48.16. 1. Cor. 3.16. 1. Cor. 6.19. Act. 5.3.4. Son: Secondly, that he is alsoMat. 28.19. 2. Cor. 1.2. giuen vnto mee toGal. 3.14. 1. Pe. 1.2. 1. Cor. 6.17. make mee through a true faith partaker of Christ and all his benefits, toAct. 9.31. comfort me, and toIoh. 14.16. 1. Pet. 4.14. abide with mee for euer.

54 What beleeuest thou concerning the holy & Ca­tholicke Church of Christ?

I beleeue that the Sonne ofIoh. 10.11. God doth from theGen. 26.4. beginning of the worldeRom. 8.29.30. Ep. 1.10. & 1. Pet. 1.20. to the end gather, defend andIs. 59.21. Ro. 1.16 & 10.14.17. Eph. 5.26. preserue vnto himselfe by his spirite andAct. 2.46. Eph. 4.3.4.5. woorde out of wholeMat. 16.18. Ioh. 10.28. mankinde a com­pany1. Ioh. 3.21. 2. Cor. 13.5. chosen to euerlasting life, and agreeing in [Page 215] true faith: and that I am a liuely1. Ioh. 2.19. member of that company, and so shall1. Cor. 1.8.9. Rom. 8.35. &c. Psal. 71.18. remaine for euer.

55 What meane these wordes, The communion of Saints?

First, that al and euerie one who beleeueth, are in commonIoh. 1.3. Rom. 8.32. 1. Cor. 12.13. &. 21. 1. Cor. 6.17. partakers of Christ, & all his graces, as being his members. And then, that euerie one ought readily &1. Cor. 13.5. Phil. 2.45.6. cherefully to bestow the giftes & graces which they haue receiued; to the com­mon commodity and safety of all.

56 What beleeuest thou concerning remissiō of sins?

That god, for the satisfaction made by1. Ioh. 2.2. 2. Cor. 5.19.21. Christ, hath put out all the remembranceIer. 31.34. Ps. 103.3.4.10.11. Rom. 7.24.25. Rom. 8.1.2.3. of my sinnes, & also of that corruption within me, wherewith I must fight all my life time: and doth freely en­dowe me with the righteousnesse of christ, that IIoh. 3.18. come not at any time into iudgement.

57 What comfort hast thou, by the Resurrection of the flesh?

That not only my soule, after it shal depart out of my body, shal presently beLuc. 23.43. Phil. 1.23. taken vp to christ, but that this my flesh also, being raised vp by the power of christ, shalbe again vnited to my soul, & shalbe1. Cor. 15.53. Iob. 29.25.26. 1. Ioh. 3.2. Phil. 3.21. made like to the glorious body of christ.

58 What comfort takest thou of the article of euerla­sting life?

That for asmuch as2. Cor. 5.2.3. I feel already in my hart the beginning of euerlasting life, it1. Cor. 2.9. Iohn. 17.3. shal at length come to passe, that after this life I shal enioy ful & perfect blisse, wherein I may magnifie God for euer; which blessednesse verily, neither eie hath seene, nor eare hath heard, neither hath any man in thought conceiued it.

[Page 216]59 But when thou beleeuest all these thinges, what profit redoundeth thence vnto thee?

That I am righteous in Christ before God, and an heir ofHeb. 2.4. Rom. 1.17. Ioh. 3.36. eternal life.

60 How art thou righteous before God?

Rom. 3.21.22.24.25.28. & 5.1. Gal. 2.16. Ep. 2.8.9. Phil. 3.9.Only by faith in Christ Iesus: so that, although my conscience accuse me, that I haue grieuously trespassed against al the commandemēts of god, and haue notRom. 3, 9. &c. kept one of them: and further am as yetRom. 7.23. prone to all euill: yet notwithstanding (if IRom. 3 42. Ioh. 3.18. embrace these benefits of christ with a true confidence & persuasion of mind) the ful &Tit. 3.5. Ep. 2.8.9. per­fect satisfaction, righteousnes & holines of Christ without any1 Ioh. 2.2. merit of mine, of the meereRom. 3.24. Deut. 9.6. Ezec. 36.22. mer­cy of God,1. Ioh. 2.1. &c. imputed andRom. 4.4. 2. Cor. 5.19. giuen vnto me, & that so as if neither I had committed any sin, neither any corruptiō did stick vnto me: yea as I my selfe had perfectly1. Cor. 5.21. accomplished that obedience, which Christ accomplished for me.

61 Why affirmest thou, that thou art made righte­ous by faith only?

Not for that I please god through the worthi­nes of meere faith: but because onely the satisfa­ction, righteousnes and holinesse of Christ is my righteousnesse before1. Cor. 1.30. &c. 1. Cor. 2.2. God: and I1. Ioh. 5.10. cannot take hold of it or apply it vnto my self anie other way than by faith.

62 Why cannot our good works bee righteousnesse, or some part of righteousnes before God?

Because that righteousnesse which must stand fast before the iudgement of God, must bee in al points perfect, &Gal. 3.10. Deut. 27.26. agreeable to the Law of God. Now our works, euen the best of them are imper­fect [Page 217] in this life andIsa. 64.6. defiled with sinne.

63 How is it that our good works merit nothing, see­ing God promiseth that he wil giue a reward for thē, both in this life, and in the life to come?

That rewarde is not giuen of merite, but ofLuk. 17.10. grace.

64 But doth not this doctrine make men carelesse and profane?

No. For neither can it bee, but they, which are incorporated into Christ through faith, shoulde bring forth the fruits ofMat. 7.18. Ioh. 15.5. thankefulnes.

OF THE SACRAMENTES.

65 Seeing then that onely faith maketh vs parta­kers of Christ, and his benefites, whence doth it pro­ceede?

From the holy Ghost, whoEp. 2.8. & 6.23. Ioh. 3.5. Phil. 1.29. kindleth it in our harts by the preaching of the gospel, &Mat. 28.19.20. 1. Pet. 1.22.23. confir­meth it by the vse of the sacraments.

66 What are the Sacraments?

They are sacred signes and seals set before our eies, and ordained of God for this cause, that hee may declare and seal by them the promise of his gospel vnto vs, to wit, that he giueth freely remis­sion of sinnes, and lifeGen. 17.11. Rom. 4.11. Deu. 30.6. Leu. 6.25. Heb. 9.8.9. Eze. 20.12.1. Sam. 17.36. Isa. 6.6.7. & 54.9. euerlasting not only to al in general, but to euery one in particular that be­leeueth, for that onely sacrifice of Christ which hee accomplished vpon the crosse.

67 Doe not then both the woorde and Sacramentes tend to that ende, as to leade our faith vnto the Sa­crifice of Christ finished on the crosse, as to the one­ly ground of our saluation?

It is euen so. For the holy Ghost teacheth vs by the Gospell, and assureth vs by the Sacramentes, [Page 218] that the saluation of al of vs standeth in the on­lie sacrifice of ChristRom. 6.3. Gal. 3.27. offered for vs vpon the crosse.

68 How many sacramentes hath Christ ordained in the new Testament?

Two. Baptisme, and the holy Supper.

OF BAPTISME.

69 Howe art thou admonished and assured in Bap­tisme, that thou art partaker of the only sacrifice of Christ?

Because ChristMat. 28.19. Act. 2.38. commaunded the outwarde washing of water, adioining thisMar. 16.16. Mat. 3.11. Rom. 6.3. promise there­unto, that I am no lesse assuredly washed by his bloode and spirite from the vncleannesse of my soule, that is, from all my sinnes, than I amMar. 1.4. Luc. 3.3. washed outwardelie with water, whereby al the filthinesse of the bodie vseth to bee pur­ged.

70 What is it to be washed with the blood and spirit of Christ?

It is to receiue of God forgiuenesse of sinnes freelie for the bloode of CHRIST which heeHeb. 12.24.1. Pet. 1.2. Apoc. 1.5. &. 22.14. Zac. 13.1. Eze. 36.25. &c. shedde for vs in his Sacrifice on the Crosse. And also to bee renewed by the holie Ghost, and thorough his sanctifying of vs to become members of Christ, that wee maie more and more die to sinne, andIoh. 1.33. & 3.5. 1. Cor. 6.11. & 12.13. Rom. 6.4. Col. 2.12. liue holily and without blame.

71 Where dooth Christ promise vs that hee will as certainlie wash vs with his bloode and spirite, as wee are washed with the water of baptisme?

[Page 219]In the institution of Baptisme; the wordes whereof are these:Mat. 28.19. Goe and teach all Nations, Bap­tising them in the name of the father, the sonne, and the holy Ghost. Mar. 16.16. He that shall beleeue and be baptised, shall bee saued: but he that will not beleeue, shal bee damned. This promise is repeated againe, whereas the Scripture calleth Baptisme, the Tit. 3.5. washing of the new birth, and Act. 22.16. forgiuenesse of sinnes.

72 Is then the outwarde Baptisme of water the wa­shing away of sinnes?

It is not. For theMat. 3.11. 1. Pet. 3.21. Eph 5.26. bloud of Christ alone clean­seth vs from all1. Ioh. 1.7. 1. Cor. 6.11. sinne.

73 Why then doth the holie Ghost call Baptisme the washing of the newe birth, and forgiuenes of sinnes?

God speaketh so not without great cause: to wit, not onely to teache vs, that as the filth of our bodie is purged by water, so our sinnes also areApoc. 1.5. & 7.14.1. 1. Cor. 6.11. purged by the bloud and spirite of Christ: but much more to assure vs by this di­uine token and pledge, that wee are as verily washed from our sinnes with the inwarde wa­shing, as we areMar. 16.16. Gal. 3.17. washed by the outward and vi­sible water.

74 Are infantes to be baptised also?

What else? for seeing theyGen. 17.7. belong as well vn­to the couenaunt & Church of God, as they who are of a full age; and seeing also vnto them is promisedMat. 19.14. remission of sinnes by the bloude of Christ and theLuc. 1.14.15. Psal. 22.11. Isa. 24.1.2.3. Act. 2.39. holy Ghost the worker of faith, as well as vnto those of full growth: They are by Baptisme to bee ingrafted into the Church of God, and to beAct. 10.47. discerned from the children [Page 220] of infidels, in like sort as in the olde Testament was done byGen. 17.14. circumcision, in place whereof isCol. 2.11.12.13. Baptisme succeeded in the new Testament.

OF THE LORDS SVPPER.

75 How art thou in the Lords Supper admonished and warranted, that thou art partaker of that onely sacrifice of Christ offered on the Crosse, and of all his benefites?

Because Christ hath commaunded me and all the faithfull to eate of this breade broken, and to to drinke of the cup distributed in remembrance of him, with this promiseMat. 26.27.28. Mar. 14.22.23.24. Luc. 22.16.20. 1. Cor. 10.16.17. & 11.23.24.25. & 12.13. adioined. First, that his bodie was as certainly broken and offred for me on the Crosse, and his bloud shed for me, as I be­hold with my eies the bread of the Lord broken vnto me, and the cup communicated to me: and further that my soul is no lesse assuredly fed to e­uerlasting life with his bodie, which was crucifi­ed for vs, and his bloud, which was shedde for vs: than I receiue and tast by the mouth of my bodie the bread and wine, the signes of the bodie and bloud of our Lord, receiued at the hand of the Minister.

76 What is it to eate the bodie of Christ crucified, and to drinke his bloud that was shed?

It is not onely to imbrace by an assured confi­dence of minde, the whole passion and death of Christ, and thereby toIoh. 6.35.40.47.48.50.51.53.54. obtain forgiuenes of sins and euerlasting life, but also by the holy Ghost, who dwelleth both in Christ and vs, so more and more to beeIoh. 6.56. vnited to his sacred bodie, that though he be inAct. 3.21. Act. 1.9. &c. 1. Cor. 11.26. heauen, and we in earth, yet ne­uerthelesse are wee flesh of his flesh, and bone of [Page 221] hisEph. 5.29.30.32. 1. Cor. 6.15.17.19. 1. Ioh. 3.24. & 4.13. Ioh. 14 23. bones; and as all the members of the bodie are by one soule, so are wee also quickened andIo. 6.56.57.58. Io. 15.1.2.3.4.5.6. Eph. 4.15.16. guided by one and the same spirite.

77 Where hath Christ promised, that he will as cer­tainely giue his bodie and bloude so to bee eaten and dronken, as they eate this breade broken, and drinke this cup?

In the institution of his supper; the wordes whereof are these:1. Cor. 11.23. &c. Mat. 26.26. &c. Mar. 14.22. &c. Luc. 22.19. &c. Our Lord Iesus Christ in the night that he was betraied, tooke bread. And when he had giuen thankes, he brake it, and said, Take, eate, this is my bodie which is broken for you: this doe you in re­membrance of me. Likewise also he tooke the cup when he had supped, and saide, Exod. 24.8. Heb. 9.20. This cup is the Newe Testa­ment in my bloud: Exod. 13.9. this doe as often as yee shall drinke it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye shal eat this bread and drinke this cup, ye shewe the Lordes death till he come. This promise is repeated by Saint Paul, when he saith: The cup of thankesgiuing, wherewith we giue thankes, is it not the Communion of the bloud of Christ? The bread which we breake, is it not the com­munion of the bodie of Christ? 1. Cor. 10.16.17. For wee that are manie are one bread and one bodie, because wee all are parta­kers of one bread.

78 Are then the bread and wine, made the verie bo­die and bloud of Christ?

No verily. But as the water of baptisme isMath. 26.29. Mar. 14.24. not turned into the bloud of Christ, but is only a sign and pledge of those thinges that are sealed to vs in Baptisme: So neither is the bread of the Lords Supper the verie bodie of1. Cor. 10.16. &c. & 11.26. &c Christ: Although ac­cording to the manner of Sacramentes, and thatGen. 17.10. &c. Exod. 26.27.43.48. & 13 9. Act. 7.8. Exo. 24.8. Le. 16.10. & 17.11. Isa. 6.6.7. Tit. 3.5. Act. 22.16. 1. Pet. 3.21. 1. Cor. 10.1. forme of speaking of them which is vsuall vn­to [Page 222] the holy Ghost, the bread is called the body of Christ.

79 Why then doth Christ call breade his bodie, and the cup his bloud, or the new Testament in his bloud; and Paul also calleth bread and wine, the Commu­nion of the bodie and bloude of Christ?

Christ not without great consideration spea­keth so: to wit, not onely for to teach vs, that as the bread and wine sustaine the life of the body; so also his crucified body and bloudshed are in­deed the meat & drinke of our soul, whereby it isIohn. 6.51.55.56. nourished to eternall life: but much more, that by this visible signe and pledge he may assure vs, that wee are as verily partakers of his bodie and bloud, through the working of the holy ghost, as wee doe1. Cor. 10.16.17. perceiue by the mouth of our bodie these holie signes in remembraunce of him: and further also, that his suffering and obedience is so certainely ours, as though we our selues had suf­fered punishments for our sinnes, and had satis­fied God.

80 What difference is there betweene the Supper of the Lord, and the Popish Masse?

The Supper of the Lord testifieth to vs that we haue perfect forgiuenesse of all our sinnes for that only Sacrifice of Christ which himself once fullyHeb. 7.27. & 9 12.26.28. & 10.10.12.14. Iohn. 19.30 Mat. 26.28. Luc. 22.19.20. wrought on the Crosse: Then also that we by the holie Ghost are graffed into1. Cor. 6.17. & 10.16. & 12.13. Christ, who now according to his humane nature is onely in heauen at the right hand of hisHeb. 1.3. & 8.1. &c. Father, and there will beIoan. 4.21.22.23. & 20.17. Luc. 24.52. Act. 7.55.56. Col. 3.1. Phil. 3.10. 1. Thes. 1.9.10. worshipped of vs. But in the Masse it is denied, that the quicke and the dead haue remission of sins for the onely passion of Christ; [Page 223] except also Christ bee daily offered for them by their Sacrificers. Further also it is taught, that Christ is bodilie vnder the formes of breade and wine, and therefore is to beeIn canone Missae: item de consecrat. distin 2. worshipped in them. And so the verie foundation of the Masse is nothing else than an vtter denyall of that onelie Sacrifice and passion of Christ Iesus, and an accursed Idolatrie.

81 Who are to come vnto the Table of the Lord?

They onely who are trulie sorrowfull, that they haue offended GOD by their sinnes; and yet trust that those sinnes are pardoned them for Christes sake: and what other infirmities they haue, that those are couered by his passion and death; who also desire more, and more to go for­ward in faith and integritie of life. But hypocrites and they who doe not truely repent, do eate and1. Cor. 10.21. & 11.28. &c. drinke damnation to themselues.

82 Are they also to be admitted to this supper, who in confession and life declare them-selues to bee Infi­dels and vngodlie?

No. For by that meanes the couenaunt of GOD is profaned, and the wrath of GOD is1. Cor. 11.20.34. Is. 1.11. &c. & 66.3. Ier. 7.21. &c. Ps. 50.16. &c. stirred vp against the whole assemblie. Where­fore the Church by the commandment of Christ and his Apostles, vsing the keies of the kingdome of heauen, ought to driue them from this Sup­per, till they shall repent, and chaunge their manners.

83 What are the keies of the Kingdome of hea­uen?

Preaching of the Gospell, and Ecclesiasticall Discipline: by which heauen is opened to the [Page 224] beleeuers, and isMath. 16.19. & 18.18. shutte against the vnbelee­uers.

84 How is the kingdome of heauen opened and shut by the preaching of the Gospel?

When by the commaundement of Christ it is publickely declared to all and euerie one of the faithfull, that all their sinnes are pardoned them of God for the merite of Christ, so often as they imbrace by a liuely faith the promise of the Gos­pel: but contrarily is denounced to all Infidels & hypocrites, that so long the wrath of God and e­uerlasting damnation doth lie on them, as theyIoan. 20.21.22.23. Mat. 16.19. persist in their wickednesse: according to which testimonie of the Gospel, God wil iudge them as wel in this life, as in the life to come.

85 How is the kingdome of heauen opened and shut, by Ecclesiasticall Discipline?

When according to the commaundement of Christ, they, who in name are Christians, but in their doctrine and life shewe themseluesRom. 12.7.8.9. 1. Cor. 12.28. aliens from Christ, after they hauing beene sometime admonished wil not depart from their errours or wickednesse, are made knowen vnto the Church or to them that are appointed for that matter, & purpose, of the Church; and if neither then they obey their admonition, are of the same men by interdiction from the Sacramentes shut out from the Congregation of the Church, & by God him selfe, out of the kingdome of heauen: And again, if they professe and indeede declare amendment of life, areMat. 18.15.16.17. 1. Cor. 5.3.4.5.2. Thes. 3.14.15. 2. Ioh. 10.11. 2. Cor. 2.6.7.10.11. [...]. Tim. 5.17. receiued as members of Christ and his Church.

[Page 225]AFter it hath beene shewed in the first part, that men are become obnoxious vnto euerlasting pains and pu­nishmentes, by reason of obedience not yeelded vnto the lawe; a question by and by ariseth, Whether there is, or bee graunted anie escape or deliuerie from these punishmentes. To this question the lawe maketh aunswere, that a deliuerie is graunted, so that perfect satisfaction be made vnto the law and the iustice of God, by sufficient punishment, paied for the sinnes committed. For the lawe bindeth either to obe­dience, or that beeing not performed, to punishment. The performance of both which, both of obedience, & punish­ment, is perfect righteousnes and iustice: and on both fol­loweth the approbation & allowing of him; in whom that righteousnesse is. Now, the meanes and manners of satisfacti­on are two: one, by our selues; which the lawe teacheth, and the iustice of God requireth: for wee haue sinned. But this satisfaction deliuereth not from eternall malediction; because it is neuer sufficient, and finished, but indureth to all eternity. The other meanes of satisfiyng is by an other, that is, by Christ. This meanes doth the Gospell shewe, and the mercie of God freely offer: neither yet is it repugnaunt to his law and iustice; because in no place the lawe misliketh or reiecteth it. This satisfaction or punishment is tempo­rall, and yet sufficient, that is, equiualent to euerlasting punishment, and therefore a price worthie inough for our deliueraunce. Wherefore since Christ hath paied in our behalf vnto the law a sufficient punishment for our sinnes, the iustice of God, and the sentence of the lawe altogether willeth and requireth, that we bee admitted vnto a recon­cilement with him, that is, be approued of God, and recei­ued into fauour. Furthermore, by the questions of the Ca­techisme a little before propounded, two things are taught concerning mans deliuerie. The first is, that it is possible; and after what sort. The second is, by whom, and by what maner of Mediatour it may be atchieued. The places here to be discoursed of are three.

  • 1 Of Mans deliuerie.
  • 2 Of our Mediatour.
  • 3 Of the Couenant.

OF THE DELIVERIE OF MAN.

THe questions to bee considered hereof, are fiue.

  • 1 What mans deliuerie is, or in what things it consisteth.
  • 2 Whether anie deliuerie might be wrought after the fall.
  • 3 Whether it bee necessarie, and cer­taine.
  • 4 What manner of deliuerie it is, and whether it bee per­fect, that is a deliuerie from the euill both of crime and paine.
  • 5 By what meanes it may be wrought.

1 WHAT MANS DELIVE­RIE IS.

THis worde Deliuerie is respectiue. For all deliuerie and libertie hath a respect to somewhat: to wit, it is a graunt, whereby any one is licensed according to honest lawes, or the order of nature, to be free from subiections, defects, and burdens not proper vnto his nature, and to doe thinges agreeable vnto his nature without lette or hinderaunce.The deliuerie of man, an immuni­tie from miserie and the gilt of sinne. So the Deliuerie of man is an immunitie from miserie, that is, from the guilt and subiection or tyrannie of sinne: or, it is the right and power restored by Christ, to liue freely, accor­ding to GODS lawe, and to inioy those commodi­ties which were at the beginning graunted by GOD vnto mans nature without prohibition or impediment. For thus to liue, agreed vnto mans nature, in respect of his creation: and not to liue thus, is mans most miserable and shamefull seruitude. As therefore the mi­serie and seruitude of man comprehendeth sinne, and [Page 227] death, or punishment: so his deliuerie, is a deliuerie from sinne and death; or a restoring of righteousnes and life e­uerlasting.

Nowe Deliuerie from sinne, is the perfect, both par­doning of sinne, that it may not for euer bee impu­ted; And also the abolishing of it in vs by regeneration, or newnesse of life, which is begunne here, but to bee perfected in the world to come. Deliuerie from death, is a Deliuerie, both from Desperation, or the fee­ling of GODS wrath, which beeing in the wic­ked here begunne, shall continue euerlastingly, and is called euerlasting death: and secondly, from cor­porall death and all calamities and miseries by our Re­surrection and Glorification. In summe: That Deliue­rie is a full restoring of life euerlasting, that is, of Holinesse, Righteousnesse, and felicitie, or perfect Blessednesse, and so of all good thinges which are contrarie to those euils. It is called Deliuerie, be­cause men, without Christes satisfaction, are helde as it were fettered in gyues, and Captiues of sinne and hell.

2 Whether anie Deliuerie might be wrought after the fall.

THis question is necessarie. For if there be no deli­uerie of vs out of miserie, in vaine make wee que­stion of the rest. Againe, there is some cause to doubt thereof, to them especially,The deliuerie of man possible. The causes of which possibility in God onelie. vnto whom the doctrine of the Gospell is vnknowen. The Deliuerie therefore of man is possible. And the causes of the possiblenesse thereof are in GOD alone, declared in the sacred Scripture.

The first is his mercie and immeasurable goodnesse, which that hee woulde exercise in sauing of vs, not impeaching his iustice, he hath vttered in his word. Iohn. 5.21. The father quickeneth whom he will.

The second is, his infinite wisedome, whereby hee know­eth, how to turne the purposes of the Diuel imagined and deuised to the reproche of GOD himselfe, by corrup­ting [Page 228] mankinde, and to the ouerthrowing of the salua­tion of Gods chosen, euen to the manifesting of his owne glorie, and to the saluation of his chosen. God therefore, by this his wisedome hath found out an admirable tempe­rament, and such as no creature coulde haue found, of his iustice and mercie, in deliuering man, that is, such a way, whereby hee might shewe his exceeding both mercie and iustice.

The third is Gods omnipotencie, wherefore hee is able to performe that deliuerie of man from sinne and death, which hee through his immeasurable mercie, and wise counsaile decreed. Luc. 1.37. With God nothing shalbee im­possible. To denie then mans deliuerie, is to spoile God of infinite wisedome, goodnes, and power, against that which is said, 1. Sam. 2.6. The Lorde bringeth downe to the graue, and raiseth vp. Psal. 68.20. To the Lord God belong the issues of death. Isai. 59.1. The Lords hand is not shortened.

Obiection. What the vnchangeable iustice and truth of god requireth, that is vnchangeable. But the iustice and truth of god requireth the casting away and damnation of man: for god had expresselie threatned euerlasting death to the transgressours of his lawe: and the iustice of god will destroie euerie thing that is not conformable thereunto. Therefore the casting awaie of man from the face of god is vnchangeable, neither is it possible that without the impeaching of gods iustice and truth man should escape euer­lasting damnation. Aunswere. The Maior is to bee distin­guished. What the iustice of God requireth, to wit, simplie without al condition, that is simply vnchangeable. It re­quireth the casting away of man with this condition, ex­cept there bee interposed a full and perfect satisfaction. Wherefore the iustice of GOD requireth that a sinner ei­ther satisfie, or bee cast away. Mathew 5.36. Thou shalt not come out thence, vntill thou hast paide the vtmost farthing. Re­plie. But impossible is it for vs to satisfie for our sinnes, or to beare sufficient punishment, so that wee may come from thence. Aunswere. It is impossible in respect of our selues, but not in respect of God. He knoweth the meanes how by an o­ther full satisfaction may be made for vs.

Adam after his fall, before by special reuela­tion hee was as­sured of the pro­mise, could not hope for deliue­rance.But that our deliuerie by another is possible, is knowen onely by the promises of the Gospel, and the reuealing of [Page 229] the holy Ghost forcibly mouing our hearts to beleeue the Gospel.

Here ariseth a question: Whether Adam after his fall might haue certainly promised himselfe deliuerie? Wee aun­swere, that hee coulde not, without especiall promise, and reuelation. And before he had this, nothing could present it selfe vnto his mind, but the great iustice & truth of God exacting of him euerlasting punishment, for not yeelding obediēce. For flesh & bloud reueal not those things, which are the peculiar and proper benefites of the Mediatour. But some man may except: that the selfe same causes notwithstanding doe remaine, euen nowe after the publishing of the Gospell, to wit, the iustice and truth of GOD, who is neuer chaunged. If then Adam coulde not hope for deliuerie before the promise was published, neither could he after the publishing there­of. For so hee might haue reasoned: It is impossible that the iustice and truth of GOD shoulde bee impeached. But mans recouering and escaping out of punishment, would impeache the iustice and truth of GOD, because euerlasting punishment shoulde not bee inflicted on man which yet the iustice and truth of GOD require. For, the punishment to bee euerlasting, and yet man to wade and escape out of it, are thinges contradictorie, and of flatte repugnauncie. There­fore mans escape and deliuerie out of punishment is impos­sible.

This Obiection or temptation Adam might by the promise nowe made haue repelled on this wise. The Minor is true, if the escaping bee such, that suf­ficient punishment and equall to the sinne bee laide neither vpon the sinner himselfe, nor on another who offereth himselfe in the sinners place. But the iustice of GOD hath inflicted punishment sufficient for our sinnes, on his owne Sonne who offered himselfe of his owne accorde to sustaine it for vs. Wherefore mans escaping out of miserie, by the full satisfaction per­formed by the Sonne of GOD, doth not impeache but rather establish Gods iustice.

But againe it is replied: That which necessarilie doth not conclude punishment to insue, doth leaue some hope, [Page 230] neither willeth vs to dispaire of deliuerie from punish­ment. But the euent hath taught, that the casting away of man is not necessarilie concluded or inferred vpon the first fall of Adam. Therefore Adam beeing fallen, no not before the promise published concerning the seede of the Woman, ought altogether to haue dispaired of his deliuerie. Aun­swere. Hee ought not verily to haue dispaired, nei­ther coulde hee haue inferred vpon his fall necessarily, that his deliuerie out of miserie was simplie impossible; but neither coulde hee of the otherside haue certaine­ly promised vnto himselfe, or hoped for it, before the publishing of the Gospell. Because neither hee nor any creature was able,Humane reason might probablie coniecture, but not necessarily conclude mans deliuerie. or shoulde for euer haue beene a­ble of himselfe to perceiue, or so much as imagine vn­to himselfe a maner of escaping punishment, not re­pugnant to the iustice of God: except GOD had de­clared and reuealed the same by his Sonne. Hee might truelie (as others likewise, who liue out of the Church destitute of the worde of promise) haue probablie reaso­ned, that one day there shoulde bee a deliuerie. First, be­cause it is not meete, that man the most excellent creature shoulde bee made of GOD to sustaine the greatest punish­ment, and that for euer. Againe, For that it seemeth not likely, that GOD woulde haue deliuered a lawe to man to no effect, that is, which shoulde neuer bee perfectly performed by him.

But except the voice of the gospel had come, mā would neuer haue beene able by these reasons long to haue withstood the tentation of the Diuel, who woulde ea­sily haue refuted them by his owne example. Where­fore albeit these two reasons are of themselues most true (for GOD did not make mankinde vnto perpetuall miserie, neither made hee a lawe to no effect) yet man beeing fallen is not able, by reason of his blind­nesse and corruption, without the promise and grace of the holy Ghost to assent vnto them, that is, is not able of them certainely and necessarily to infer, that he knoweth and hopeth for his deliuerance out of paine and miserie.

3 Whether Deliuerie be necessa­rie and certaine.

THat some should be deliuered and saued from destru­ction is necessarie. Obiection. But it is free vnto God, The deliuerie of some necessarie. euen to saue none. Answere. It is free vnto God, to saue ei­ther al, or none, or some: for he was not bound to vs, that he should saue vs. Rom. 11.35. Who hath giuen vnto him first, and he shal be recompensed? Yet is it necessarie that he should saue some, not by any absolute necessitie, but by such as is called necessitie by supposition.

First, because God hath most freely and vnchangeably decreed, The necessitie not absolute, but depending on the vnchange­able will and decree of God. & promised this deliuerie published. A syllogisme thereof may be framed on this wise: It is impossible that God should either lie or deceiue. But God hath auouched and promised by an [...]th, that hee will not the death of a sinner, but will that hee bee conuerted and liue. The conuersion therefore and deliuerie of man, not onelie may bee wrought, but necessarily also is wrought.

Secondly, In the beginning God created mā, that he might for euer be magnified of him. Epes. 1.6. He hath made vs to the praise of the glorie of his grace. And Psalm. 89.48. Hast thou made al men for naught? Wherefore seeing God is not frustrated of the end of his counsels, it is necessarie that some be de­liuered.

Thirdly, God did not in vaine send his sonne into the world, and deliuer him ouer vnto death. Iohn. 6.39. I came downe from heauen to doe his will which hath sent me. And this is the fa­thers will which hath sent mee, that of al which hee hath giuen mee I should loose nothing. Mat. 9.13. I am come to call sinners to repentance, & 18.11. The Sonne of man is come to saue that which was lost. Rom. 4.25. He died for our sinnes, and is risen againe for our iustification.

Fourthly, God more enclineth to the exercising and setting forth of his mercy, than of his anger. But he sheweth his anger in punishing the wicked. Therefore he must shew his mercy in sa­uing the Godly.

4 What manner of Deliuery this is.

THe deliuerie and setting of man at libertie is necessarilie compleat, that is, in al ponites perfect,Our deliuerie most perfect. euen from both [Page 232] euils, both of crime, and of paine. First, because God is not a deliuerer in part onely, but saueth and loueth perfectly those whom hee saueth. 1. Iohn 1.7. The bloode of Iesus Christ cleanseth vs from all sinne, to witte, as touching both the formall partes thereof, the guilt, and the corruption of sinne.

Secondly, because he doth perfectly punish the wicked, that his iustice may bee exactly satisfied by their punishment: Therefore doth hee perfectly deliuer the godly from punishment; because he is more inclining & propense to mercy than to anger. Thirdly, because we were fully & perfectly lost in Adam. But Christs benefit is not imperfecter, or of lesse force than the sin of Adam, which it would be, if he did not perfectly deliuer: because al haue lost al their righteousnesse, saluation, and blessednes in Adam. Therefore righteousnes and felicity is restored by Christ.

Each of these deliueries, both from the euill of crime, and from the euil of paine or punishment, is necessarily perfect. Be­cause the image of God, glory and blessednes, which is re­stored vnto vs by Christ our redeemer, is more glorious, & greater than that,Our deliuerie from eternall death perfect in this life, from other calamities in the life to come. which we lost in Adam. Our deliuery from euerlasting death or damnation is most perfect, euen in this life, both as touching the parts thereof, and also in degree. Because Christs satisfaction for our sinnes, which is imputed vnto vs, is a most perfect conformity and correspondence with the law of God: Now from other calamities we shal be ful­ly deliuered in the life to come, when as the remnants of sin in vs shalbe vtterly abolished. In the meane season, they are mitigated vnto the godly, euen in this life, & turned into fatherly chastisements.

Our deliuerie from sinne in part here by re­generation, but perfect in the life to come. Our deliuery from crime or sinne by regeneration, is perfect, not at once in a moment, but successiuely by degrees. For in this life it is perfect, as concerning the partes thereof, but as by a be­ginning onelie, that is, all the partes of obedience are be­gunne in the redeemed, or beleeuers: so that, as long as we liue here, it is daily augmented by new accessions and encreasings. But after the departure of the soule out of the body this deliuerie is perfecter: because then man doeth wholy cease from sinne. After the resurrection and glorification it shall bee most perfect, both as touching the partes thereof, and [Page 233] in degree. For then shall God bee all in all, that is, hee shal immediatly blesse vs with exceeding happinesse, so that nothing shall remaine in vs repugnaunt to God: but whatsoeuer shal be in vs, that shal be of god. But now there is somewhat in vs, which is not of GOD, euen sinne it selfe.

5 By what meanes mans deliuerie may be wrought.

THe meanes whereby we may be deliuered from the curse, and beeing reconciled to God, may be accoun­ted iust before him, is only one, euen a full and condigne or worthy satisfaction, that is, punishment for sinnes committed, or obedience omitted. For the Lawe,The law being transgressed, no satisfaction but by suffering due punishment. when as wee haue not perfourmed obedience, dooth iustly exact punishment of vs: this being sufficiently paied, wee are receiued of God into grace, and beeing indued with the holy spirit are re­nued to the image of God, that wee may hence-forward obey his Law, and enioy euerlasting blissefulnes. Beeing therefore reconciled vnto God by satisfaction most ful­ly perfourmed vnto the Law, we are deliuered then from sinne also, that is, from corruption it selfe, by regeneration, that is, by the forcible working of the holy Ghost, abolishing it in vs, and restoring true holines and righteousnes, heere, by beginning it, and in the life to come also, by perfecting and absoluing it. This deliuery is necessarily knit with the former, as a necessary effect with his proper & nearest cause. For God wil of that condition accept of this satis­faction, and for it pardon our sinne, so that wee leaue off to offend him hereafter thorough our sinnes, and be thankfull vnto him for our sinnes pardoned, and other his benefites. For to bee willing to bee receiued into Gods fauour, and yet not to be willing to cease from sinning, is to mock God. Wherfore they who are receiued of God into fauour, are withall regenerated: and satis­faction is the cause, as of acceptation, so also of regenera­tion. Now that, if satisfaction or sufficient punishment come not betweene, there is no deliuery from the guilt, or from sinne it selfe: the cause hereof is gods great iustice, and truth, which his mercy dooth no way ouerthrowe, Deut. 27.26. Cursed bee hee that confirmeth not all the woordes of this [Page 234] Law, to doe them. Matth. 5.18. It is not possible that one iot of the Law should fall, that is, be frustrate, till al thinges be fulfilled. Psal. 5.4. Euill shal not dwel with thee. Seeing then the Lawe is not an emptie sound, and doth exact satisfaction for sinne committed, equall vnto the fault, it is wholy neces­sary, that we performe it, if we wil be receiued of god into fauour.

Heere are wee met with an Obiection: But wee neuer sa­tisfie the Lawe, therefore this manner of escaping punishment, is vaine and imaginary. We Aunswere. Wee are not able to sa­tisfie by obedience; wee are, by paying the penalty which the Law in most full manner exacteth for our obedience omitted. Reply. But the Lawe requireth obedience, that is, the loue of God and our neighbour. Therefore it is necessarie, that the Law be satisfied by obedience. Aunswere. The Antecedent or former proposition is to be distinguished. The Lawe re­quireth obedience, that is, which was after to bee perfourmed: this beeing perfourmed, the Lawe was satisfyed. But if it bee not perfourmed, then the Lawe exacteth punishment, as a satisfaction for o­bedience omitted. For neither can satisfaction bee made by obedience, for the breach of the Lawe, or for omitting of obedience. Because the obedience or Godlinesse which followeth the breach of the Lawe, when as it is due for that present, when it is perfour­med, cannot at all satisfie for the debt or offence or trespasse which is past. Wherefore sufficient punish­ment, is that satisfaction, which the Lawe and Gods iustice exacteth at our handes for the not perfourming of obedience, that wee may bee accepted and beloued of God.

This beeing sette downe and resolued of, further demaund is made, by whome that satisfaction or punishment is to bee perfourmed? The Lawe will haue it perfourmed by vs, and that iustly: but it yeeldeth not ability to perfourme it, neither any where maketh declaration thereof. But the Ghospell declareth and sheweth vs Christ, by whome we may satisfie. By our selues wee can­not.

First, because the Lawe requireth perfect satisfaction: [Page 225] it is not perfect,Our satisfaction can not bee by our selues, be­cause then it woulde bee infi­nite, and so ne­uer accompli­shed. except it bee either eternall (for all sinne is an offence against the infinite good: If then this infinite good must bee satisfyed, satisfaction must needes be made by eternall punishment, which aun­swereth in equality to that infinite good) or else tem­porall, yet equall to eternall, and worthie to bee ac­cepted by the iustice of GOD for satisfaction. If it bee eternall, then neuer shall wee bee deliuered or recouered out of punishment, death and sinne beeing fullie conquered: because it can neuer bee saide, that wee haue satisfyed (which implyeth the ende) but one­lie that wee are satisfieng (which sheweth the perpe­tuation and continuing of punishment) which satisfa­ction is such as the punishment of the Diuels and reprobate men, which neuer shall haue an end. Nowe for a Temporall punishment which shoulde bee aunswerable and equall to eternall, there is no man, by reason of manifolde imperfection who can perfourme it.

Secondly, because dailie wee heape vp offences and debtes, yea euen in our punishmentes themselues, while wee doe not in them acknowledge God to be iust, and iust­lie to punish vs for our sinnes, but murmur and fret against him. Wherefore our paines and punishmentes must needes be also heaped vp and encreased. For he, who goeth on afterwards in offending him, whom he hath here­tofore offended, can neuer haue him fauourable vn­to him. Thirdly, because wee cannot deserue of God, that hee shoulde pardon vs our present sinnes, muchlesse our sinnes past. Neither can wee pay the debt past, with that, which wee owe presently. Since then wee are not able by our selues, wee must needes make satisfaction by ano­ther.

Obiection. The Lawe requireth OVR punishment, because wee haue sinned. Aunswere. The Lawe requireth ours, but not exclusiuely, so that it doth not admit it to bee performed by another, for vs. For, albeit the Law knoweth not this satisfaction for our sins made by another, & to be imputed vnto vs, but the Gospell onely reuealeth it: yet no-where dooth the Lawe either exclude or disalowe it. [Page 236] Wherefore it is not contrarie to the Lawe, that another should satisfie for vs. Reply. But that another should be puni­shed for offenders, is vniust. Aunswere. That another should bee punished for offenders, is not disagreeing with Gods iustice,The conditions to bee in him re­spected, who may bee punish­ed for another. if these conditions cōcur withall. 1 If hee who is puni­shed, be innocent. 2 If he be of the same nature with the offenders. 3 If of his own accord he offer himselfe to punishment. 4 If him­selfe be able to recouer out of punishment, and not inforced to pe­rish therein. And this is the cause that men can not iustly punish ones offences in another, because they cānot bring to passe, that the partie punished shoulde not perish in the punishment. 5 If hee wish and attaine vnto that ende which Christ respected, euen the glorie of GOD, and saluation of men.

A meere man is not able to suffer and satisfie for man.Furthermore, that other, by whom we must satisfie, either must be a creature onlie, or God to. But no mere creature, be he man, or not man, can satisfie for man, which is a sinner. First, be­cause the iustice of God doth not punish in other creatures that, which man hath committed. But man hath sinned. There­fore all humane nature which hath sinned, ought to bee punished, Rom. 5.12. As by one man sinne entered into the world, and death by sinne, and so death went ouer all men, for as much as all men haue sinned. Secondly because no creature at al can sustain temporal punishment equiualent to eternal. By reason there­fore of the infirmitie & weakenesse of the creature, there would not be proportion betweene the punishment & the sinne, and so not sufficient punishment. Psalm. 130.3. If thou Lord straitly markest iniquities, O Lorde, who shall stande? Rom. 8.3. Because the Lawe was not able to iustifie, God sent his sonne. Deut. 4.24. God is a consuming fire. Thirdly, He who is himselfe defiled with sinne, cannot satisfie for others. Fourthly, Because the punishment of a meere creature would not bee a price of sufficient woorthinesse and valewe for our deliuerie. Where­fore our Mediatour must be a man: yet so, that he be god also. Fiftly. The same is also shewed by this, that the deli­uerie of man is wrought after a sort also by regeneration. But to purge out sinne, and to make fleshie hearts of stonie, is the worke, not of any creature, but of God alone. For his it is to restore the image of God in vs, who first created it in vs. Seeing therefore wee haue neede of a Mediatour for [Page 237] our deliuerie, we must nowe speake of him.

OF THE MEDIATOR.

THE doctrine concerning the Mediator is to be held,The causes why this doctrine concerning the mediatour is di­ligently to bee obserued. and diligently to be consi­dered. 1 Because it is the foundation and short sum of Christian Doctrine. 2. In respect of the glorie of God, that we may know, God doth not of any leuity pardon sins, but is so grieuously offended therewith, that he granteth no pardon to them, except the satisfacti­on of his sonne mediate and come betweene. 3 In respect of our saluation; that we enioying such a mediator may be as­sured of eternall life: because this our Mediatour is both willing and able to graunt it vs. 4 That we may acknowledge and magnifie the mercie and goodnesse of God towards vs, in that he hath giuen vs his sonne to be our Mediator. 5 Because this do­ctrine is at all times most grieuouslie oppugned by the enemies of the Church, both forraine and domesticall, which are heretickes. But here it may seeme to some man that the doctrine con­cerning the Mediator belongeth to the place of Iustifica­tiō, because in this also the office of the Mediator is decla­red. But it is one thing to teach, What and what manner a benefit the benefite of iustification is, and howe it is receiued: an o­ther thing to shew, whose that benefite is, and by whom it is be­stowed. And these are different and diuerse propositions: Iustification belongeth to the Mediatour, or is wrought by the Mediatour; and, remission of sinnes is our iustification. In the former propositiō iustificatiō is the subiect, that is, it is that whereof an other thing is affirmed; in the later it is the at­tribute or predicate, that is, iustification it selfe is affirmed of another thing, euen of remission of sinnes.

The principall questions are these.
  • 1 What in general a Mediator is
  • 2 For what cause he is necessarie.
  • 3 What his office is.
  • 4 What manner of one is necessarie.
  • 5 Who, or what person, is and may be Mediator.
  • 6 Whether there may be more Mediators.

1 What a Mediator is.

A Mediatour in generall.A Mediatuor in generall signifieth him, who interposeth or putteth himselfe betweene parties which are at va­riance, & reconcileth the one to the other. Now to recon­cile is 1. To make intercession or intreatie for him, who offendeth, vnto him who is offended. 2. To make satisfaction for the iniurie offered. 3. To promise & to bring to passe that the partie who hath offended, offend no more. For except this be brought to passe and effectuated, the fruite and commodity of the inter­cession is lost. 4. Lastly, to bring them to an attonement and agreement, who were before at enmitie. If one of these con­ditions bee wanting, there cannot bee anie true reconcile­ment.

A mediatour in special.But in speciall, and as heere it is vsed and meant of Christ, a Mediatour is a pacifier or reconciler of God and men, as well by merit and desert, as also by efficacie and forcible operation: that is, it is a middle person betweene God who is offended and angrie with sinne, and mankind offending, and subiect to the anger of God; to reconcile men vnto God, restoring them into fauour, causing men to loue God, and God men; and that by making entreaty and satisfaction to Gods iustice for them, and applying forcibly & effectually vnto them his satisfaction or merit; regenerating them, that they may cease from sinning; and hearing their groans and petitions, when they call vpon him. For when Christ doth these things, he causeth god to loue vs, and vs to loue god, that is, he maketh a peace and agreement to be betweene God and vs.

How Christ is a midle person, & howe a media­tour. A middle person, and a Mediator are different, because that is the name of the person, this of the office. Both which Christ is betweene God the father and vs. Hee is a Mid­dle person, because in him both natures, diuine and hu­mane, are vnited personally. And a Mediatour, because he reconcileth vs to his father, albeit in some sort he is also in the same respect the Middle person, in which hee is Mediatour, because in him two extreames are ioyned, God and man.

It is demaunded whether Adam had neede of a Media­tour before his fall? Aunswere is to bee made by distingui­shing of the diuerse meaninges and significations of Me­diatour [Page 239] If a mediatour be meant to be such a one, through whose mediation or by whome God doth bestowe his be­nefites, and communicate himselfe vnto vs, Adam verilie euen before his fall had neede of a Mediatour, because Christ euer was that person, by whom god the father cre­ateth and quickneth all thinges. For in him was life, to wit all, both corporall and spirituall life, and the life was the light of men. But if the Mediatour bee vnderstoode to bee him who perfourmeth both these and all other partes of a Mediatours office: Adam did not stand in neede of a Mediatour before his fall. Wee must obserue notwith­standing that in the Scriptures this Phrase of speech is not found, whereby CHRIST is saide to haue beene the Mediatour also before the fall of man.

2 For what cause a Mediatour is necessarie.

A Mediatour is necessarie: Because first,No reconciliati­on without a mediatour. GOD will not bee fauourable and doe good vnto vs, without reconcilement be made, that is, except first wee are brought again into fauour with him. But the iustice of God admitteth not anie returne into fauour, without satisfaction, and a re­storing of Gods Image in vs. Wee now are not able to perfourme this, to witte, to appease God beeing offen­ded with vs, and to make our selues acceptable vnto God. Wee haue neede therefore of another Mediatour, who may performe this for vs. Secondly, God required a Me­diatour of the partie offending. For God, as God, woulde not receiue satisfaction of him selfe, and woulde for his iustice sake that the partie offending woulde ob­taine fauour by him, who was able to make perfect satisfaction. Wherefore such a truce-man is required who both shoulde not bee auerse from man, but shoulde desire to helpe him, and also should bee most acceptable vnto GOD, least hee shoulde suffer a repulse; and fur­ther might easily by his fauour, wherby hee shoulde pre­uaile with GOD, reconcile vs vnto him through satis­fieng and making entreatie and intercession for vs. Nowe were not wee able to beare this person, because wee were Gods enimies, neither were wee of power to make our stonie heartes fleshie. Therefore wee stoode [Page 240] in need of a third, euen a Mediator, who both was able and willing to doe that for vs, and in vs, that is, who shoulde make intercession vnto God for vs, satisfie perfectly gods iustice for our sinnes, and restore vnto vs the image of God which we had lost, so that hereafter we should cease to sinne, or offend God thorough our sinnes, and should beginne by little and little to liue more and more ac­cording to the rule of Gods law. Thirdly, They who neces­sarily must satisfie the Lawe either by themselues or by another, & are not able by themselues, haue neede of a Mediatour. But we must satisfie the Law either by our selues or by another: and by our selues we are not able:The meanes of satisfieng by another, as it is not set dowen, so it is not shut out by the law. Therfore we haue need of a Mediatour. But exception is made against the distin­ction of the Maior proposition, in appointing either our selues or another. Where only one meanes of satisfieng is put downe, there must not be sought for or set downe another. But the Lawe acknowledgeth and putteth downe onely one means and way of satisfieng, to witte, by our selues: Therefore wee must not set downe also another, neither must wee say, either by our selues, or by another. Aunswere. We graunt the whole reason, being vnderstoode of the Law, or according to the declaration of the Law. For in the Law in vaine is sought the way of satisfieng by another. Againe, the Law teacheth onely one way or meanes of satisfieng, yet so that it no where excludeth, or denieth the other meanes which is by ano­ther. For no where doth the Lawe say, ONELY by our selues satisfaction must be made to the Law. And albeit God did not expresse that other meanes in the Law, yet in his secret counsail hee vnderstood it, and left it to bee reuealed by the Gospel.The law requi­reth our selues to satisfie: The gospel sheweth and Gods mer­cie admitteth another to satis­fie. In this therefore we must seeke it. This double meanes of satisfieng is to be obserued; the former meanes of satisfaction the Law and iustice of God requireth, to wit, that satisfaction be made by vs: the other doth the Gospel declare, and the mercy of god admit. Re­ply. The doctrine of the Gospel then is disagreeing from the Law. Aunswere. It is not disagreeing. Because the Law putteth it not exclusiue, as shutting out al other: neither what the Law teacheth not, dooth it therefore deny or take away. Lastly, that a Mediatour is necessarie to make satisfaction to the iustice of God for vs, many other thinges declare. [Page 241] 1. The tremblings and tormentes of conscience in euerie one. 2. The paines of the wicked. 3. The sacrifices ordained by God, whereby was desciphered Christes onely & perfect Sa­crifice. 4. The Sacrifices of the Heathen. For when as they were pressed with the prickes of conscience, they sought for a meanes without themselues, whereby they might pacifie God. 5. The Sacrifices of hypocrits. 6. The sacrifices of Pa­pistes.

3 What is the office of a Mediatour.

THe office of a Mediatour is, To deale with both parties, What the medi­ator doth with God. both the offended and the offender. First, with GOD who was offended, our Mediatour had necessarily to do these things. 1. To make intercession for vs vnto him, and to craue pardon for our fault. 2. To offer himselfe for to satisfie. 3. To satisfie indeede the iustice of GOD, by suffering for our sinnes pu­nishment sufficient, though temporall. 4. To craue of God and al­so to obtaine, that he would accept of this satisfaction, as a price of sufficient woorthinesse, for which hee woulde account vs for Children, pardoning our offences. 5. To bee our surety and to pro­mise in our behalfe, that at length we wil leaue off to offend him by our sinnes. Without this suretiship or promise, intercession findeth no place, no not with men, much lesse with God.

Secondly, with the party offending, that is, with vs,What he doth with man. our Me­diator must do these things. 1. He must be the messenger or embas­sador of God the father vnto vs, that is, to shew and open this de­cree of the father, that hee dooth present himselfe to make sa­tisfaction for vs, and that God wil for this satisfaction pardon vs, and receiue vs into fauour. This vnlesse he should perform, we should bee euer ignoraunt of this will of God, and so should not be desirous of so great a benefit, nor euer attain vnto it. For there is no desire after that which is vnknown. 2. Hee must perfourme this satisfaction, by the pouring out of his owne blood: because otherwise the iustice of God shoulde be violated. 3. He must impute and apply that satisfaction vnto vs. 4. Hee must cause vs, by giuing his holy spirite vnto vs, to ag­nise this so great a benefit, and to embrace, and not reiect it. For neither can any reconcilement be, or any amity be knit betweene parties, who are at variaunce, except both partes accorde. 5. Hee must by the same spirite cause vs to leaue off to sinne, and beginne to bee conformable to Gods Lawe, [Page 242] that is, he must regenerate vs, and restore the lost Image of god in vs. 6. He must preserue, maintaine, & shield vs in this re­concilement and obedience begunne in vs, against the Diuels and all enimies, yea against our owne selues, least we reuolt againe. 7. Hee must glorifie vs being raised againe from the dead, that is, perfect and finish our saluation which is begun, or all the giftes both which we haue lost in Adam, & those which himselfe hath merited for vs.

In merit and efficacie doeth the Mediatour­ship consist. The office therefore of the Mediator consisteth in merite, & in efficacy or forcible operation. For in these two, are all those things which we haue mentioned, comprehended & absol­ued. Ioh. 10. I laie downe my life for my sheep, &, I giue vnto them eternall life. God giueth vs eternall life, and this life is in his Sonne. Iohn. 1. In him was life. Iohn. 5.26. As the Father hath life in himselfe, so likewise hath hee giuen to the Sonne to haue life in him-selfe; As the Father raiseth vppe the dead, and quickeneth them, euen so the Sonne quickeneth whome hee will.

The benefites of the Mediatour.Nowe when question is made of the office of the Me­diator, question is made withall concerning his benefites. For the office inioyned of God vnto the Mediatour, is, to be­stowe benefits, which Paul, 1. Cor. 1.30. compriseth in fowre generall heades as it were, when hee saith: Christ is made of God vnto vs, wisedome, and righteousnesse, and sanctification, and redemption.

I. Wisedome.1 He is called wisedome, first, because he is the matter or sub­iect of our wisedome, 1. Cor. 22. I esteemed not to know any thing among you but Iesus christ, & him crucified. This is our chiefest wisedome to knowe and beleeue, that Christ is appointed our sauiour, by whom wee beeing reconciled to GOD, haue giuen vnto vs the holy spirite, righteousnesse and e­uerlasting life. Secondly, Because hee is the cause or author of our wisedome; and that three waies. 1 Because hee hath brought foorth out of the bosome of the eternall father wisedome, that is, the Doctrine of our redemption. 2 Because he hath ordai­ned, and doth preserue the ministerie of his woord, by which he informeth vs of the fathers will and his office. 3 Because hee is forcible and effectuall in the hartes of the chosen, and maketh them to yeeld their assent vnto the woorde or Doctrine, and to bee refourmed by it according to his [Page 243] Image. For these three causes, hee is called the woorde, and the image of GOD, as it is saide; No man know­eth the Father, but the Sonne, and hee to whom the Sonne will reueale him. Shorter thus, Christ is called our wisedome, because hee is, 1 The subiect. 2 The author. 3 The meanes of our wisedome.

2 Hee is called our Righteousnesse, that is, our Iustifier. 2. Righteousnes. For in him our righteousnesse is, as in the subiect, and is made ours by his merite, and forcible operation. For 1. hee suffered the punishment of our sinnes, which is iustice and righteousnesse, and the merit for-which we are re­puted iust and righteous. Furthermore, he by his power ma­keth vs righteous in the sight of god, by imputing vnto vs that his righteousnesse, and by giuing vs faith, whereby our selues also receiuing it may apply it vnto vs.

3 He is called our Sanctification, 3 Sanctification. 4. Redemption. because he doth rege­nerate vs by his holy spirit. 4 Redemption: because hee fi­nally deliuereth vs. For the word [...], (which we in­terpret Redemption) dooth not onely signifie the price, but also the effect thereof. For abstractes are put for their concretes, according to the vsuall maner of the He­brewes.

4 What manner of Mediator ours ought to bee.

IT is manifest by those thinges which are gone before, that there is giuen vs a recouerie out of eternal paines, (wherunto we were adiudged by reason of our sin) by a suf­ficient satisfaction, perfourmed by some Mediator in our behalfe. Now therefore it may bee well demaunded, what manner of Mediatour is required to performe & pay a recom­pence and ransome equiualent to our sins, and of sufficient worthinesse to redeeme vs: To this answere is made in the 15. question of the Catechisme. That such a one is requi­red, who must bee True man, that is,Our Mediatour must bee true man and true God. who must haue mans nature, comming of mankind, and sprung from Adam (and stil retaining it) not as that it should be created of nothing, or made anie way, than of our bloode. 2. A man perfectlie iust. 3. True God. Nowe the Demonstrations and proofes concerning the person of the Mediatour are drawne from his office. For because such is his office, him-selfe also ought to bee such a one.

[Page 244] Hee must bee true man, sub­iect vnto all our infirmities, ex­cept sinne.1 He ought to be true man, and that a seruaunt, that is, subiect to al infirmities, Phil. 2.7. Isa. 53.3. First, because it was man that sinned: As by one man sinne entered into the woorlde. Secondly, That he might suffer death. For he ought to make satisfaction for vs, by shedding his blood. Hee coulde not haue suffered death, except he had bin true man. Thirdly, That he might help and relieue our infirmities. Fourthly, That hee might bee our brother, and our head, and wee his members. Heb. 2.14. For as much as the children were partakers of the flesh and bloode, hee also himselfe likewise tooke part with them. It was requisite therefore that our Mediatour shoulde bee true man, and that borne of the same mankind, which sinned; not created of nothing. 1. Because of Gods iustice, which required that the selfesame nature, which hadde sinned, should pay for those sinnes: because the same was to bee deliuered. But our nature which sprang from A­dam, sinned. Wherefore true man of the same nature with vs ought to pay for men that, which was required at their handes. Gen. 2.17. In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt die the death. Ezech. 18.20. The same soul that sinneth shall die. 1. Cor. 15.21. By man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. Hereof the Apostle also saith, Coloss. 2.12. That wee are buried with him thorough Baptisme, in whom wee are also raised vp together. Augu. Lib. de ve­ra relig. And Augustine in his booke Of true Religion saith, The same nature was to bee taken, which was to bee deliuered. 2. For our comfort: which consisteth in this, that wee may know, our Mediatour to bee very man, sprung of the same bloode, of which our selues were, and to be our brother. For except hee were such a one, wee should neuer bee able to resolue, that he is the Messias, and promised Sauiour vnto vs, and that the benefite of redemption dooth certainely belong to our flesh, and to vs men, neither shoulde wee freely fly and betake vs vnto him in our temptations. For of the seede of the woman it is saide,Gen. 3.15. Gen. 12. & 22.26. that hee shall break the head of the Serpent the Diuel: and, In Abrahams seede are all nations to bee blessed. It was requisite therefore that our Mediatour shoulde bee borne of mankinde very man. And furthermore I adde, that it was requisite that he should be subiect to al our infirmities, sinne onely [Page 245] excepted. And that, 1. For the truth of God, who often by the Prophetes describeth our Mediatour to bee such a man, as is poore, weake, contemptible. And of Esaias espe­cially is hee described to bee such a one. 2.Isai. 53.3. Heb. 2.11. For our comfort. Hee that sanctifieth, and they which are sanctified, are al of one (that is of the same humane nature) Wherefore he is not ashamed to cal them brethren.

2 It is requisite that hee bee a man perfectly iust, Why our media­tour was to bee voide of sinne. that hee might worthily bee our Sauiour, that is, that his passion might bee a ransome for the sinnes of others, For, had he bin a sinner or vniust, he should not haue beene able to haue satisfied so much as for his owne sinnes, and to haue auoided the wrath of God, much lesse to merit gods fauour for others. 2. Corinth. 5.21. God hath made him to bee sinne for vs, which knewe no sinne, that we should be the righ­teousnesse of God in him. Hebru. 7.26. Such an High-Priest it became vs to haue, which is holy, harmelesse, vndefiled, sepa­rate from sinners. 1. Pet. 2.22. Who did no sinne, neither was there guile found in his mouth. 1. Pet. 3.18. Christ hath once suffered for sinnes, the iust for the vniust, that hee might bring vs to god.

Nowe foure manner of waies is Christ perfectly iust,Christ said to be perfectly iust foure waies. or hath perfectly fulfilled the Lawe. 1. By his owne righte­ousnesse. For Christ alone perfourmed perfect obedience, such as the Lawe required. For hee was conceiued by the ho­lie ghost, neither was there guile in him. 2. By paying sufficient punishment for our sinnes. It was necessary that this double fulfilling of the Law should be in Christ. For except hee were iust for himselfe, that is, hadde perfect conformitie with the Lawe, he could not haue fulfilled the Lawe for vs, by making satis­faction for our sinnes, or by suffering the punishment which the Law exacted of vs, not of him. And except his suffering of punish­ment had beene sufficient, wee shoulde as yet remaine in our sinnes and death. Furthermore, that righteousnesse of Christ, whereby himselfe did perfectlie keepe the Lawe, is called the fulfilling of the Lawe by obedience: and his suffering of pu­nishment due for our sinnes, is termed the fulfilling of the Lawe by punishment; likewise obedience perfected and absolued in suffering punishment. And the punishment verily vnto which we were bound, he of his owne accord [Page 246] paied for vs, and imputeth it vnto vs, that it maie no more bee necessary for vs to bee subiect vnto euerlasting dam­nation. But his obedience or purity of life, that is, per­fect loue of God and our neighbour, hee perfourmed for himselfe, not for vs, neither dooth hee impute it vnto vs. 1. Because himselfe is bound by nature to perfourme it; in that he is man: For euery reasonable creature, in that he is a creature, oweth perfect conformity and correspon­dence to the Lawe and his creatour. 2. If Christ had per­fourmed his obedience vnto the Lawe for vs, wee surelie should bee no longer bound vnto it: as neither is it neces­sarie that wee should susteine euerlasting punishment for our sinnes, because they were once punished in Christ. 3. The Lawe and iustice of God doth not exact both to­gether, that is both obedience, and punishment; but the one of them onely, that is, either obedience, or punish­ment.

The third way, that Christ dooth fulfill the Law, is by fulfilling of it in vs, by his spirite, when as he regenerateth vs by it, and maketh vs able, that euen in this life we may beginne both inwarde and outwarde obedience, which the Law requireth of them who are reconciled to GOD, and may perfourme that wholy and fully in the life to come. Fourthly, hee fulfilleth the Lawe by tea­ching it, and by purging it of errors and corruptions, and by re­storing the true vnderstanding of the Scripture or sacred doctrine. For, as it appeareth by the Euangelist S. Matthew, the Scribes and Pharisies had so corrupted the spiri­tuall meaning of the Lawe, wholly restraining it to bo­dily actions, that Christ was enforced thereby to giue the right sense of manie places thereof, and so by the light of the trueth to scatter the mist of their corrup­tions.

Our Mediatour was to bee true God.3 It was requisite, that hee should bee God, not an i­maginary GOD, and onely adorned with excellent giftes aboue all the Angels and Sainctes, but very god by nature, and that chiefly for these causes which here followe.

The first is, that hee might bee able to sustaine the in­finite wrath of GOD, or greeuousnesse of punishment, which [Page 247] shoulde bee temporall, and yet equiualent to eternal paines. Nowe a mere creature by reason of his infirmity woulde haue beene brought to nothing, or beeing oppressed by the weight of so great a punishment, would haue remai­ned for euer subiect vnto the wrath of GOD. That there might therefore be a proportion betwixt the punishment of our Mediatour, and all the sinnes of all men, which was altogether required by the infinite iustice of God: it was behoouefull that that person shoulde bee of infinit strength, and so to bee GOD, who should suffer (with­out falling into despaire, or beeing brought vnto nothing) a punishment, finite in time, but in greatnesse, and wor­thinesse or valewe infinite. Nowe necessarilie was that punishment finite in respect of time: Because, that our Me­diatour might accomplish the benefite of our Redemp­tion, and nowe, when it was perfectly merited, apply it or bestowe it vpon vs, by his forcible working, that is, might effectually saue vs: it was necessary, that hee shoulde by his power overcome death, and first depell it and shake it off from himselfe. These thinges coulde not haue beene doone by a meere man, who, of what strength soeuer hee bee, cannot by his owne force or power wrastle out of the handes of Death. Where­fore it was requisite that the Mediatour shoulde bee God.

Obiection.No mere man able to perform the punishment due for sinne. But a meere man was able by his obe­dience perfectlie to fulfill the Lawe. Aunswere. If wee graunt this: yet that obedience coulde not haue beene a price for anothers debt, because himselfe shoulde haue beene bound to perfourme it, as bee­ing man. It was required therefore, that our Me­diatour shoulde pay a sufficient punishment for vs, which hee shoulde not haue been able to beare and ouercome,Wicked men & Diuels satisfie in neuer satisfi­ing. except hee had beene withall true GOD. For not the Diuels themselues are able to su­staine the waight of Gods wrath, much lesse shoulde wee men bee able to doe it. Reply. But all the Diuels and wicked men, are constrained to beare & sustaine the wrath of God. Therefore creatures doe beare and sustaine it. Aunswere. They indeed beare the immeasurable wrath [Page 248] of God, and sustaine sufficient punishment: but so, that the wrath of God is neuer satisfied by them, and so they neuer recouer out of punishment. For their punishment is exten­ded to all eternitie. The wicked die, neuer dying. But the Sonne of God did so beare the burden of Gods wrath, that after he had satisfied for our sinnes, hee did shake off that burden and draue it away both from himselfe and from vs.Why Christes punishment be­ing but tempo­ral, was yet equi­ualent to eter­nal. For his temporarie punishment was equiualent to eternall. 1 In respect of the worthinesse of the person: for the Sonne of God did suffer. Acts. 20.28. God hath purchased the Church with his own blood. Rom. 8.3. God hath sent his Sonne. 2. For the grieuous­nesse of the punishment; because hee sustained the torments and the feeling or sense of the wrath of God, and the hor­rors of death for the whole world. He descended into hell. Psal. 18.5. The sorrowes of hel haue compassed me about. Deutr. 4.24. God is a consuming fire. Isay. 53.10. He hath laid the iniquity of al of vs vpon him, hee would breake him &c. And hence is it also vnderstood, why christ did so greatly tremble at death, whereas many Martyrs haue without feare or trembling offered their throate to the persecutors. But it was neces­sarie that it should be a finite punishment, because other­wise there had beene no satisfaction, if it had beene in­tended for euer.

The second cause is, that his punishment might be a suffi­cient and full woorthy merit and ransome for the purging of the sinnes euen of the whole world, and for the repairing of that righ­teousnesse and glorie which they had lost. The worthines of this price must be infinit, & therfore so must the person also be himselfe, which paieth such a price. For, that the creator suffered for the sinnes of the woorlde, is by infinite more, than the death of al the creatures, and the conformitie or correspondence of all the Angels and holy men with God. Wherefore the Apostles when they speake of Christs pas­sion, euer almost make mention of his Godhead. Acts. 20.28. God hath purchased the Church with his blood. 1. Iohn. 1.7. The blood of Iesus Christ cleanseth vs from all sinne. Ioh. 1.29. Behold the Lambe of God which taketh away the sins of the world. Yea God himselfe in Paradise ioyneth these two. Gen. 3.15. The seede of the woman shal breake thine head, and thou shalt bruse his heele. Wherefore not only the woorthinesse of the [Page 249] person himselfe doth declare the worthinesse of this price, but also the multitude and greatnesse of sinnes which are committed from the beginning of the world vnto the end, among which none is so little, that deserueth not euerla­sting death, and all of them are so euill and grieuous, that they cannot bee expiated or doone away, no not by the e­ternall punishment of any creature.

The third is, That he may restore, by his forcible operation & power, the Image of God in vs.

The fourth is, That he should make knowen vnto vs the se­cret wil of God, concerning the receiuing of mankind againe into fauor. For of this except he were God, himselfe should bee ignorant, & so should not be able to reueale it vnto others. Ioh. 1.18. No man hath seene God at anie time, the onlie begotten Sonne, which is in the bosome of the Father, hee hath declared him.

The fift is, That he might giue the holie ghost, by whome hee might bestowe on vs, mantaine and perfect in vs the benefits pur­chased by his death, to wit, remission of sinnes, righteousnesse, new obedience, and life euerlasting. For it is not sufficient for our Mediatour to make intercession for vs, to be made a sacri­fice, to open and manifest the decree of God, but it is ne­cessarie also, that he promise in our behalfe, that wee shall embrace the decree concerning our redemption by our mediator, and cease at length to offend God through our sinnes: which is the other part of the couenant, made be­tweene God and vs, and is performed by vs, that the coue­nant may remaine firme and ratified. But this by-reason of our corruption, could bee promised of no man in our be­halfe, except hee haue the power also of giuing the holie ghost, by whom he might woorke in vs to assent, and to be more and more conformed to the Lawe of God. But to giue the holy ghost, and by him to woorke forcibly, in the harts of men, faith, conuersion and saluation, belongeth to god alone, whose also is the spirit. Ioh. 15.26. Whom I wil send you from the father. Obiection. The partie offended cannot bee Mediatour, Christ as he is God, is the partie offended. Therefore, as hee is God, hee cannot bee Mediatour. Aunswere. The Ma­ior proposition is true, if the partie offended be such a one, in whom there are not more persons.

[Page 250]But a most cleare Testimony, whereby are taught in few words those three, to wit, That the Mediatour is both true man, and perfectly iust, and true God, is extant, Act. 20.28. when it is said: God hath purchased the Church with his blood. For he is true man, who sheddeth his owne blood. He is perfect­ly iust, who sheddeth it for the redemption of others. He is true God, to whom both the name and properties of true god are giuen, which is, to be a redeemer both by his merit, and also by his effica­cy and power, and that, of the church, that is, of the elect and chosen.

5 Who is and may be that Mediatour.

OF the person, who should be that Mediatour, mention hath beene made by the way, in the former question: but the handling of it dooth chiefly appertaine vnto this.The Mediatour was to bee God yet not the fa­ther, nor the Ho­ly Ghost. That Mediatour who must be both very god and very man, is not neither can be any other, than the naturall sonne of god, who also is the sonne of Mary, that is, Iesus Christ. 1. Our Mediatour must be true god. But god the father could not be Mediatour, because he worketh not by himselfe, or immediatly, but mediately by the Sonne and the holy Ghost, though yet he dooth all things of himselfe: neither is hee the messenger, or is sent, but he sendeth the Mediatour. Neither yet could god the holy ghost be Mediator, because he was to be sent of the Mediator into the harts of the elect. Therefore necessarily the sonne was to be our Mediatour. 2. That which a man imparteth to others he must needes haue himselfe first. But it belongeth vn­to the Mediatour to conferre and bestowe grace and the name of the children of God vpon vs, that is, to woork, that through him we might be adopted of God to bee his sonnes, (now this the holy Ghost doth not giue, for hee is not the Sonne: neither had the father it, because hee was to adopt vs by his Sonne to bee his Sonnes) There­fore the Mediatour himselfe was to haue the right and name of a Sonne, and that not by grace onelie, but by nature, that is, hee was to bee a Sonne by nature, that hee might make vs the Sonnes of adop­tion. Iohn. 8.36. If the Sonne shall make you free, yee shall bee free indeede. Iohn 1.12. As manie as receiued him, to them hee gaue power to bee the Sonnes of GOD. Ephes. 1.5. Who hath predestinate vs to bee adopted thorough Iesus Christ [Page 251] vnto himself: & vers. 6. With his grace he hath made vs accep­ted in his beloued. 3. The Sonne alone is that person, by which the father openeth his will concerning our redemption, giueth his holie spirit, & maketh vs new creatures. Therefore is the sonne called [...], that is, the price & ransome of our redempti­on, and the scripture ioineth the first creation with the se­cond, & sheweth that we are again to be created by him, by whom we were created of God, 2 Cor. 5.17. Gal. 6.15. Eph 2.10. Ioh. 13. But this was proper vnto the Mediatour, to be a messenger & truceman betweene God vs, & to remake or regenerat vs by his spirit. Therefore the sonne must be this Mediatour. 4. It belongeth to the Mediatour, to send the holy Ghost. But the son sendeth the holy Ghost. Therefore the sonne is Mediatour. The father also indeede sendeth the holy Ghost; but mediately by the Sonne: the Sonne immediatly. 5. It belongeth to the Mediatour, to suffer & die for vs. But the son is he, who taking our flesh vpō him hath suf­fred in it, & died. Therefore he is the Mediator. 6. That the son is the Mediatour, is proued by conference of reuelations & prophecies in the old testament, & by the fulfilling of the same in the new. 7. The same is proued by the works & miracles which Christ wrought. Ioh. 5.36. The works that I do beare witnes of me, that the father sent me. Ioh. 1.38. Beleeue my works. 8. This is al­so apparant by the office of the son. His office is to declare the counsail of his father: whence, he is called the word. Ioh. 1.18. The onely begotten son, which is in the bosome of the father, he hath declared him. Hee hath also opened vnto vs the true knowledge of god, & his secret wil concerning our redemp­tion. 9 By testimonies of Scriptures, both others & this of the Apostle. 1. Cor. 1.30. Christ is made of god, vnto vs wisedome & righteousnes, or iustice, & sanctification & redemption. Here are put theThat is, wise­dome is put for the maker of vs wise, Iustice, for our Iustifier, sanctification for our sanctifier, redemption for our redeemer. abstracts, for their concrets. Iustification, and San­ctification in vs before the fall were one & the same thing, as in the holie Angels: but now they are different and di­uers in vs. For Iustification now is the imputatiō of Christs righteousnes, whereby we are accounted righteous before God. Sanctification is the working of a conformity with god in vs: which conformitie is here vnperfect, but shalbe per­fected in the life to come: where holines & righteousnes shalbe againe one & the same, euen in vs. The sūme is, In the [Page 252] person of the mediatour three things are to be considered: which all the scripture ascribeth to Christ alone. First, that hee is God, which many places of the scripture do confirme. As Ioh. 1.2.3. The word was God. All thinges were made by him. Act. 20.28. God purchased the Church with his bloud. Rom. 1.4. Who was declared mightilie to be the Sonne of God, touching the spirit of Sanctification. Rom. 10.11. Whosoeuer beleeueth in him, shall not be ashamed. 1. Iohn. 5.7. There are three, which bear record in heauen, the father, the word, and the holie Ghost: & these three are one. To these also are to bee added those places, in which is attributed to Christ, diuine worship, inuocation, hearing of our praiers, workes proper to God alone. In like manner those which attribute vnto Christ the name, Iehoua. Hierem. 23. Zach. 2. Math. 3. Likewise those, in which those thinges which are spoken of Iehoua, are applied to Christ, as Isai. 6.9. and Ioh. 12.40. &c. Secondly, that he is true man. Hither belong those places, which call Christ man, & the son of man: as when Math. 1.1. he is called the sonne of Dauid, the sonne of Abraham, & Luc. 1.31. The fruite of the wombe. And when Romans. 1.3. & 9.5. he is said, to be made of the seede of Dauid according to the flesh: As also, to haue a bodie of flesh, not to be an imagina­rie, but a true bodie. 1. Iohn. 4.2. Euerie spirite that confesseth that Iesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God. Hither belong also those places, which attribute vnto Christ things proper vnto man, as to grow, to eat, to drink, to be ignorant of some thing, to rest, to be wearie, to be baptised, to bee circumcised, to lament, reioice &c. Thirdly, that two natures in Christ make one person. Hither are referred the places which by communicating of the pro­perties of each nature, attribute those to his diuine na­ture, which are proper to his humane nature, and so con­trariwise. As Ioh. 1.14. The word was made flesh. Heb. 2.14. He was made partaker of flesh and bloud. Act. 20.28. God purchased the Church with his bloud. Ioh. 8.58. Before Abraham was, I am. Mat. 28.20. I am with you alway vntil the end of the world. Heb. 12. Hee spake vnto vs by his sonne, by whom he made the world. 1. Ioh. 4.3. Iesus Christ is come in the fleshe. Roman. 9.5. Christ is God ouer all blessed for euer. Amen.

6 That there is but one Mediatour.

There can bee but one media­tour, because there is but one natural Sonne of God. THere is but one mediatour, 1. Tim. 2.6. The reason is, be­cause the Sonne onely is mediatour, and can performe the [Page 253] office of the mediatour. And there is but one onely naturall Sonne of God. 1 Obiect. The Saintes also make intercession for vs. Therefore they also are mediatours. Answ. There is a difference betweene the intercession of Christ, and of the Saintes, who liue in the world, and pray for others, yea for their persecutours and for vnbeleeuers. For the Saints de­pend vpon the merit of Christ, Christ offered himselfe a suertie, and a satisfier; he sanctifieth himselfe for vs, that is, presenteth himself in our steed. 2 Obiect. Where are manie meanes, there is not one mediatour. But there are manie meanes of our saluation; Therefore there is not one onely mediatour. Answ. The Maior proposition wee denie. For it is one thing to be a meanes, another thing to be the mediatour of our saluation.

OF THE COVENAVNT.

IT was said,The couenant is that reconcilia­tion, which Christ the medi­atour hath wrought between God and man. that the mediatour is a person reconciling parties which are at variance. Nowe this reconciliation in the scrip­tures is termed the Couenaunt, and Te­stament, which is the correlatiue, that is, hath a mutuall respect to the media­tour. Wherefore the Doctrine which treateth of the Couenaunt is linked with the place concer­ning the mediatour, because euerie mediatour is the me­diatour of some Couenaunt, and a reconciler of parties who are at enmitie.

The chiefe questions are,

  • 1 What a Couenaunt is.
  • 2 Whether it can be made without a mediatour.
  • 3 Whether there be but one and the same Couenaunt, or more.
  • 4 In what the old and new Couenaunt agree, and in what they differ.

1 WHAT A COVENAVNT IS.

A Couenaunt in generall signifieth a mutuall promise or a­greement betweene the parties who are ioined in that Coue­naunt, [Page 254] whereby is made a bond or obligation for the per­formance of certaine thinges on both parts, solemne cere­monies and tokens beeing added thereto, to testifie and confirme that promise and agreement. For the making therefore, declaring, & confirming of a Couenaunt serue mutual promises and outward signes and tokens of the Couenaunt. A Testament is called the last will of a Testator, whereby he at his death disposeth of his thinges, what he woulde haue done concerning them: this is ratified by the death of the Testator.

In speciall, the Couenaunt betweene God and men is a mutual promise and agreement, made by our Mediatour, confirmed by othes and solemne tokens (which we call Sacraments) whereby God bindeth himselfe to remit their sins vnto them that beleeue, and to giue them euerlasting life, for & by his son, our Mediator: & men bind themselues to receiue this so great a benefite with faith, and to yeeld true obedience vnto God; which is, to liue according to his will, that so they may declare their thankefulnes vnto god. The summe is: This Couenaunt is gods bond to yeelde vs his grace and fauour: and of the otherside our bond, to receiue this grace by faith; and to yeelde new obedience.

Why the recon­ciliation be­tween God and vs is called a co­uenaunt.Furthermore the name of Couenaunt and Testament shew the same thing, to wit, our reconcilement with God, or the mutuall agreement betweene God and men. This reconcile­ment is called a Couenaunt, because, as it hath been said, both God vnto vs, & we vnto god haue promised certain things to be performed of both parts, adding certaine signes and pledges of this our mutuall agreement.Why also it is called a Testa­ment. It is called a Testa­ment, because this reconciliation was made, by the death of the Testator, Christ comming between, that so it might be firme and ratified.It could not haue bin a Te­stament, except Christ the Te­stator had died. For while the Testator liueth, he re­taineth a right to change, detract, or adde any thing. This reason is alleadged in the epistle to the Hebrews, cap. 9.16.17. The Testament, saith the Apostle, is confirmed when men are dead. For it is yet of no force as long as hee that made it is aliue. Christ hath purchased our reconcilement with God for vs with his bloud, and hath left it vnto vs, euen as Parents at their decease deliuer their goodes vnto their children. Obiection. The Testament is ratified by the death of the Testa­tor, which is good, who cannot die. Therefore this reconcilement is [Page 255] not ratified, or at least wise it may not be called a Testament. Aun­swere. The Minor is to bee denied. Because, God is saide to haue redeemed the church with his bloud: Therefore hee died; but he died according to his humanitie. Or, which com­meth to the same; Christ is the Testator, as hee is both God, & man: but died according to his humanity only. Where­fore this reconciliation or Couenaunt may be called a Te­stament. Replie. But Christ is the intercessor, The same is cal­led an intercessi­on in respect of Christ, who by intercession worketh it: and a reconciliation in respect of vs, who are recon­ciled. and god the Te­stator: Therefore the reconciliation is not of force. Aunswere. They differ in persons and offices. The person of Christ differeth from the person of the father and the holy Ghost in office, not in efficacie and power; and in respect of him it is an intercession, in respect of vs a reconciliation or re­ceiuing into fauour.

2 How a Couenaunt may be made betweene god and men.

THat Couenaunt could not be made without a Media­tour. For without Satisfaction, and the death of the Media­tour, there could not be wrought a reconcilement, or anie receiuing into fauour. For wee were the enimies of God: neither was there an entrance open for vs to god, before he was pacifi­ed by the merit of our Mediatour. Againe, Without the Me­diatour regenerating vs, we should not haue beene able to stand to the conditions, and so had the Couenaunt beene made of no force: as it hath beene shewed more at large before in the place of the Mediatour, in the second question.

3 Whether there be but one Couenaunt.

THere is but one Couenaunt in substaunce, and matter:There is but one couenaunt in substance, two in circumstan­ces. two in circumstaunces, or administration. There is but one in sub­staunce. 1. Because there is but one god, one Mediatour of those parties, god and men, one meane of reconcilement; one faith: one way of the saluation of all who are saued and haue been saued euen from the beginning of the world vnto the ende. Hebr. 13.8. Iesus Christ yesterday, and to day, the same is also for euer. Roman. 9.5. Who is ouer all. Col. 1.18. And he is the head of the bodie of the church. Ephes. 2.21. In whom all the building coupled toge­ther groweth vnto an holie temple in the Lord. Actes. 4.12. [Page 256] Among men there is giuen none other name vnder heauen where­by we must be saued. Mat. 11.27. No man knoweth the father but the sonne, and he to whom the sonne will reueal him. No man com­meth to the father but by me. Iohn. 14.6. I am the way, the truth, and the life. Luc. 10.24. Manie Kings and Prophets haue desired to see, that which ye see. Iohn. 8.56. Abraham reioiced to see my day and he saw it, and was glad. All therefore as wel vnder the law, as vnder the Gospel, who were to be saued, had respect to the onely mediatour Christ, by whom alone they were reconciled to God and saued: and therefore there is but one Couenaunt. 2. Because the principall conditions whereby we are bound vnto God, and God to vs, and which are called the substaunce of the Couenaunt, are both before and after Christ all the same. For in both, both in the olde and new Couenaunt or Testament God promiseth remission of sins to belee­uers and repentant sinners. In both, men are bound to be­leeue and repent; that is, the grounde and foundation of doctrine in both is the same, to wit, the law and the promise of grace proposed in Christ.

Nowe the Couenaunt is also of two sortes, or there are two Couenants, as concerning the circumstances, & those conditions which are lesse principal, which are the formes of administra­tion, seruing for the principal conditions, that the faithfull may attaine vnto them by the helpe of these. A rule here may be obserued:The diuersitie of Couenaunts is knowen by the diuersitie of their conditi­ons. In all Couenaunts their conditions are euer to be considered: which if they be the same, then are the Couenaunts also the same: if diuers, then the Coue­naunts also diuers: if partly the same, and partly diuers, then the Couenaunts also are in part the same, and in part diuers: as in this Couenaunt.

1 In what the old and new Couenaunt agree, and in what they differ.

1. The same au­tor of both co­uenaunts. 2. The same parties in both reconciled. 3. The same me­diatour of both.THe new Couenaunt agreeth with the old, in respect of God, in these. 1. The same is the Author of both Coue­naunts. 2. The same parties are ioined in both Couenaunts, to wit God and man. 3. The same is the mediatour of both. Moses in deede is called also the Mediatour of the old Testament, but as a type: For Christ was also in the old Testament the Media­tour [Page 257] but had adioined vnto him Moses as a type, but nowe he is Mediatour without that typicall Mediatour. For he is manifested in the flesh, & is no more couered with types. 4 The promise of grace is in both the same, to wit, remission of sinnes, the giuing of the holy Ghost or regeneration,4. The same promise of grace in both. & life or glorie euerlasting, to bee giuen freely by and for Christ the Mediatour to those onely who beleeue. For God pro­miseth grace and mercie to all who beleeue in the Media­tour. Gen. 22. In thy seede shall all nations be blessed. Gen. 3. Hee shall breake the serpents head. Gen. 17. I will bee thy god, and the god of thy seede. This is the same with the promise, which is made to the faithful of the new Couenaunt: Hee that belee­ueth in the Sonne hath euerlasting life. Now here wee speake not in particular, of the circumstances of grace, but in ge­nerall, of grace it selfe which was promised. Both Coue­naunts haue the same corporal promises also, but that only in generall.

Now, in respect of men, the new agreeth with the old: that in both men are bound to faith and new obedience. Gen. 17. Walke before me, and be thou vpright. I will be thy god, and the god of thy seede. But the Lord cannot be our god, except by a true faith we applie the merite of Christ vnto vs, for which alone he will receiue vs into fauour; and except wee bring forth the fruites of true repentance. The new and old Co­uenaunt therefore agree as concerning the principal con­ditions of the Couenaunt, both in respect of god, and in respect of man.

But they differ, in respect of god, in these. 1.How the old and new Coue­naunt differ in respect of God. In the promises of corporall benefites. For these in the old Testament were spe­cial, certaine, and definite, as the promises of the Land of Canaan, of the Church, of the gouernement and Mosaical ceremonies to be obserued in that region and nation vntil the comming of the Messias: and lastly of the Messias to be borne out of that people. In the new Testament there are no speciall promises of certaine corporall benefites, but onely generall; as that god will alwaies in this life giue his Church some abiding and resting places, although it be dispersed and scattered throughout all Nations. 2. They differ in a circumstaunce of the promise of grace. For in the olde Couenaunt they were reconciled vnto god, and saued for [Page 258] the Messias sake who shoulde come, or be exhibited: we in the newe Couenaunt are saued for him beeing come and exhibited. 3. In the signes or symboles of the promises. In the old were many and diuers signes and Sacramentes, as the Circumcision, the Passeouer, the Sacrifices: in the new few, and plaine, euen Baptisme, and the supper of the Lord. 4. In the olde Couenaunt were types and figures of good thinges to come, and so all thinges were the more obscure and darke; in the newe is an accomplishment and exhibiting of those things, and so all thinges more cleare. The doctrine and knowledge of the Gospell, especially nowe Christ beeing come and mani­fested, is more bright and plentifull, for that a declaration of thinges done vseth to bee more perspicuous than the fore-telling of thinges which shall bee done. 5. In the olde the pouring out and effusion of the gifts of the holie Ghost is more narrow and sparing, in the new more large & plentifull. Hierem. 31. vers 31. I will make a newe Couenaunt. 2. Cor. 3.6. The olde was but for a time, during vntil the comming of the Messias. The newe is for euer: According to that, I will make an euerlasting Couenaunt with them. How they differ in respect of men. They differ in respect of men. First, For that in the olde testament the Church stood bound to the obedience of the whole Mosaicall lawe, Morall, Ceremoniall, and Ciuill. In the newe testament wee are bounde onelie to the spirituall or morall worship, and the vse of the Sacramentes. The Ceremoniall and Ciuil lawes of Moses binde not vs. Se­condly, The olde was made to one certaine Nation. The Pro­phets therefore were sent vnto the people of Israell, and to them they applyed their speeches. The newe belongeth to all Nations. For God will that all bee saued, of what Nation, language or condition so euer they bee. The Apostles therefore were sent to the whole world to gather the Church of Christ out of all Nations: or, which is the same, in the old testament the Church was tied vnto a certaine Nation; In the newe it is Catholicke and vniuersall, that is, spread through all Nations.

Why the old co­uenant was ta­ken for the law, and the New for the Gospel.Here is to be obserued, that the old Couenāt is takē by a figure of speach called Synecdoche (which we vse when wee take the whole for a part, or a part, for the whole) for the law, in re­spect of that part, which was especially handled there. For in the old testament the law was more vrged, & there were [Page 259] many partes thereof. Contrariwise the gospel was then more obscure. The newe also is taken for the Gospell, because in the newe testament a great part of Moses law is ab­rogated; and the manifestation and knowledge of the gospell is to vs more cleare and ample.

OF THE GOSPEL.

THis 19. question of the Catechisme, which is, cōcerning the gospel, is like to the third. For as that, so this also shew­eth, that our deliuerance by the Media­tor is knowen & learned out of the gos­pel. Seeing then it hath beene alreadie spoken of the Mediator, we are necessa­rily also to speake of the doctrine in which the Mediator is declared, described, and offered vnto vs. That doctrine is the gospell. Afterwardes wee are also to speake of the meane, whereby we are made partakers of the Mediatour: that meane is Faith. First, therefore the common place concerning the Gospel commeth to be handled, which is fitly annexed to the former doctrine concerning the Mediator & Couenant between god & men. 1. Because Christ the Me­diatour is the subiect or matter of the Gospel, which teacheth, who, & what maner of Mediator this is. 2. Because he is the Autor and publisher of the same: For it is part of the Media­tors office to publish the gospel, as it is said Ioh. 1.18. No mā hath seen god at any time: the only begottē son, which is in the bo­some of the father, he hath shewed him. 3. Because the gospel is part of the couenant, & the new couenant is often taken for the gospel.

The principall questions are,

  • 1 What the gospel is.
  • 2 Whether it hath bin alwaies knowen.
  • 3 How it differeth from the Law.
  • 4 What are the proper effects of the gospel.
  • 5 Whence the truth and certainty of the gospel maie appeare.

1 WHAT THE GOSPEL IS.

THe greek word [...], for which we vse Gospel, signi­fieth 1. A ioiful message or news: 2. The sacrifice which is offe­red to god for this ioiful news. 3. The reward which is giuen to him who bringeth these glad tidings. Here it is takē for the doctrin which intreateth of Christ: because it declareth ioiful things, euē our deliuery frō sin & death, or remissiō, & life [Page 260] euerlasting. There is a difference also to bee obserued be­tweene the word [...], and [...]. This word [...] signifieth the doctrine concerning Christ now manifested: and is a cleare declaration of things done, or of the promi­ses nowe fulfilled, by the Messias being manifested. But [...] is the promise and as it were a certaine shadow­ing out or a darke expressing of things to be fufilled by the Messias, who was after to bee manifested, and so is it more obscure. The Gospell (for so we interprete [...]) is of the new Testament, & the fulfilling of the promises of the old Testament. Neuertheles this difference of these words is not perpetuall, neither consisting in the thing it selfe. For both of them declare the same benefites of the Messi­as: but the difference is onely in the circumstance of time, & in the maner of his manifestation & exhibiting. Ioh. 8. A­braham saw my daie and was glad. Ioh. 14.5. No man commeth to the father but by me.

Now the Gospell is the doctrine made manifest of God by his Sonne the mediatour presently after the fall of mankind into sinne and death, The definition of the Gospel. promising all beleeuing and repentant sinners remission of sinnes, and their receiuing into fauour, and life euerlasting, freely to be graunted through and for his sonne the Mediatour: By which doctrine the holie ghost doth forcibly kindle and worke in the hartes of the chosen, faith, repentaunce, and the beginning of euerlasting life. Out of the 18. 19 & 20. questions of the Ca­techisme, such a definitiō of the Gospel is framed: The gos­pel is the doctrin cōcerning Christ, deliuering & teaching that he is made of god (vnto all those who are ingraffed into him by a true faith, and do imbrace his benefites) wisedome, righteousnes, sancti­fication, & redemption: which doctrine was reuealed of god, first in Paradise by his son, & afterwards propagated by the Prophets, shadowed by the sacrifices and ceremonies of the law: and lastly ful­filled and accomplished by Christ. Both which definitions, all the summes which are in scripture deliuered of the Gospel doe confirme: as Ioh. 6.40. This is the will of him that sent me, that euerie man that seeth the sonne and beleeueth in him should haue euerlasting life: And I will raise him vp at the last day. Act. 13.38. Through his name was repentaunce and remission of sinnes to be preached to all nations. Luc. 24 47. He commandeth his dis­ciples to preach faith & repentance. Ioh. 1.17. The law was giuen [Page 261] by Moses, but grace came by Christ. By these and the like testi­monies of the scriptures it is manifest that both the law and the gospel preacheth repentance: and that the instrument, where­by god doth worke in vs repentaunce or true conuersion, is properly the gospel. But this order in proceeding must bee obserued. First the law is to be proposed, that thence wee may know our miserie. Then,What order is to be obserued in teaching the law and the Gos­pel. that wee may not dispaire after our miserie is knowen vnto vs, the Gospel is to bee taught which both giueth vs a certaine hope of returning into Gods promised fauour by Christ our Mediatour, and sheweth vnto vs the maner how we are to repent. Thirdly, that after we attaine vnto our deliuerie, we bee not careles and wanton. Againe, the lawe is to bee taught, that it may bee the leuil, squire and rule of our life and actions.

2 Whether the gospel hath beene alwaies knowen.

THe gospel, that is, the doctrine concerning the promise of grace through Christ our Mediatour, is not newe, but hath alwaies beene extant in the Church. The Gospel published in Paradise. For presently after mans fall it was manifested in Paradise: but consummated and absolued by Christ; both in the fulfilling or ful perfor­mance, as also in a more cleare declaration of those things which had before time beene promised in the olde Testa­ment. This is confirmed by the records of the Apostles: as of Peter, Act. 10.43. To him also giue all the Prophets witnes, that through his name all that beleeue in him shall receiue remis­sion of sinnes. 1. Pet. 1.10. Of the which saluation the Prophets haue inquired and searched. Likewise of Paul, Rom. 1.2. Which (gospel) he had promised afore by his Prophets in the holie scrip­tures. Of Christ himselfe also, saying, Ioh. 5.46. Had yee belee­ued Moses, ye woulde haue beleeued me; for he wrote of me. The same is manifest by all the promises and prophecies, which speake of the Messias. This is therefore diligently to bee marked, because God will haue vs know that there was, & is, from the beginning of the world vnto the end, one one­ly way of saluation. Ioh. 1. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. Ioh. 10.28. I giue vnto them eternal life. Ioh. 8.56. Abraham saw my day, and was glad. Gen. 12.3. In thy seede shal all Nations bee blessed. Iohn. 10.7. I am the doore. Iohn. 14.6. I [Page 262] am the way, the truth and the life. No man commeth to the fa­ther but by mee. Ephes. 1.22. God hath appointed him ouer al thinges to bee the head to the Church. Hebrewes. 13.8. Christ is yesterdaie, and to daie. Iohn. 5.46. Moses writ of me. Now Moses writ of Christ.Why Moses is saide to write of Christ. First, Because he recounteth the promi­ses concerning the Messias. Gen. 12.3. In thy seede shall al na­tions be blessed. Deutronom. 18.11. God shall raise you vp a Prophet. Numb. 24.17. A starre shall rise out of Iacob. Se­condly, he restraineth the promise concerning the Messias vnto certaine persons, of whom hee was to bee borne: By which af­terwardes the promise of the Messias was more and more renewed and reuealed. Thirdly, The whole Leuitical Priest­hood, and ceremoniall worship had a respect and were referred vnto Christ, as the Sacrifices, the immolations, the altars, the temple. Yea the kingdome also, and the kings were a type of the kingdome of Christ. Wherefore Moses writ many things of Christ.

1 Obiection. But Paul saith, that the Gospel was promised by the Prophets: and Peter saith, that the Prophets did foreshew the grace which should come vnto vs: wherefore the Gospell hath not beene alwaies. Aunswere. The Antecedent of this rea­son is to bee distinguished. The Gospel was promised, and the grace and fauour to come was foreshewed: it is true. First, as concerning the fulfilling of those thinges, which in the olde testament were promised to come. Secondly, In re­spect of the more manifest knowledge of the promise of grace. Thirdly, In respect of a more large pouring out of the giftes of the holie Ghost. Wherefore the whole reason wee ac­cept of, as true, if by the Gospell they vnderstand the doctrine of Christ alreadie exhibited & raised from the dead, sitting at the right hand of his Father, and gi­uing aboundantly giftes vnto men. But wee denie it, as the worde Gospell is taken for the very promise it selfe of grace, remission of sinnes, regeneration, glorifica­tion, freely to be bestowed for the Mediatours desert, and merit. For this grace was also promised & truely proffered in the old testament to all beleeuers, for Christs sake, but who was hereafter to come & to be exhibited; as the same grace is yeelded vnto vs for the same Christ, but who is al­readie come and exhibited. Iohn. 8.56. Abraham sawe my day, [Page 263] and was glad. Act. 10.43. To him giue all the Prophetes wit­nesse. Rom. 10.4. Christ is the end of the Law.

Obiection. 2. Paul Ephes. 3.5. saith, That in other ages the gospell was not opened vnto the Sonnes of men. Aunswere. This reason is a fallacy of diuision (as the Logicians call it) in dismembring or diuiding those thinges which are to bee ioined: or otherwise, it is a fallacie, in affir­ming that simply to bee saide so, which was so said but in some respect. For the Apostle in the same place present­ly addeth, as it is nowe. For now, that is, the Messias beeing manifested, the gospell is much more clearely discoue­red, and deriued and spread to many more, than it was in the old Testament. It was therefore knowen vnto them who liued of olde: though not, in so simple sort as vnto vs.

3 Obiection. The Lawe was giuen by Moses, grace and truth came by Christ, Iohn 1.17. Therefore the gospell was not from the beginning. Aunswere. Grace and truth did appeare by Christ exhibited and manifested, to witte, in respect of the fulfilling, and full and plentifull per­fourmance of those thinges which were promised in the old Testament. But hereof it followeth not, that they in the old Testament were destitute of this grace. For vnto them also was the same grace effectually applied by Christ and for Christ, but beeing as yet to be manifested in the flesh, and therefore more sparingly. Whatsoeuer grace and true knowledge of God was euer in any men, they had it by Christ. Iohn 1.18. No man hath seene God at any time, the only begotten son, which is in the bosom of the father, he hath declared him. Reply. But hee saith, The Law by Moses: therefore not the gospel. Answere. The consequence is of no force which is inferred from the manner of handling a thing to the thing it selfe. As, Moses doth comprise and deliuer the gospell in dark and sparing maner: Therefore he doth not at al meddle with it: This consequence is not of force. For the Law is said to be giuen by Moses: because this was chiefly belōging to his office, that he should pub­lish the law: though withall hee taught the gospel, albeit more obscurely & sparingly. For the promises of grace are intermingled with the law: and al the rites of the old testa­mēt haue a significatiō & a testificatiō of the grace of the [Page 264] gospell, which grace was bestowed on beleeuers for christ, who shal hereafter be manifested. But it was christs chiefe functiō to publish the Gospel, albeit he also taught the law. For he purged the moral Law from corruptions, by right­ly interpreting it, and did write it by the woorking of his holy spirit in the harts of men, abrogating the Law cere­monial and iudicial.

3 How the Gospel differeth from the Law.

ALthough in the doctrine both of the Lawe and of the Gospell is entreated of the nature of God, and of his wil and workes: yet is there very great difference between both.The law kno­wen by the light of nature. They differ, 1. In their reuealings, or in the maner of their reueiling. The Law is knowen by nature, that is, knowledge of the Law was graffed and ingendered in the mindes of men in the very creation, and therefore knowen to al, although there were no other reueiling of it. Rom. 2.15. They haue the effect of the Law written in their harts. The Gospel knowen by the light of grace onelie. The gos­pel is not knowen by nature, but is peculiarly reuealed to the Church alone, by the Sonne our Mediatour. For no creature could haue seene or hoped for that mitigati­on of the Law, and the way howe to recouer out of pu­nishment, except the sonne had reueiled it. Matth. 11.27. No man knoweth the father but the Sonne, and hee to whome the Sonne wil reueile him. Matth. 16.17. Flesh and blood hath not re­ueiled it vnto thee. Iohn 1.18. The sonne which is in the bosome of the father, he hath declared him. Secondly, they differ in the verie kind of doctrine, or in the subiectes or matters which they deliuer. For the Law teacheth what we ought to bee, to wit, per­fectly conformed vnto God:The law teach­eth what wee ought to bee, but not how we may bee, as wee ought. but yet it dooth not make vs to be such. But the gospell sheweth the meanes, whereby wee maie bee such, euen by the imputation of anothers righte­ousnesse, and the inchoation or beginning of newe o­bedience, whereby we are conformed to God in Christ. The Lawe saith, Restore that thou owest: doe this and liue: The Gospell saieth, The Gospel tea­cheth how wee may bee. beleeue CHRIST, thy debt is payed: the grace of the holy Ghost is purchased, whereby hee that is regenerated may perfourme the Lawe. 3. They differ in the promises. The Lawe promiseth euerlasting [Page 265] life, but with a condition of perfect righteousnesse or obedience to bee perfourmed of vs. Hee that dooth them shall liue in them. If thou wilt enter into life, keepe the commaundements &c. The gospel promiseth euerlasting life, with a condition also of per­fect righteousnesse, but which is perfourmed by another, though yet imputed vnto vs by faith. The Law promiseth life to those who yeelde obedience, or are righteous in themselues. The gospell promiseth vnto sinners remission of sinnes and life euerlasting freely to be giuen for the satisfaction of Christ, apprehended of them by a true faith, that they be penitent or begin new obedience. The gospel therefore requireth of vs only a true faith, whereby we may embrace Christs perfect righteousnesse freely imputed to belee­uers, yea Christ himselfe together with all his bene­fits bestowed of mere grace vpon vs. Neither for these respects are the Law and the gospell at ods one with the other. For albeit the Lawe will, that thou keepe the com­maundementes, if thou wilt enter into life: yet dooth it not shutte thee from euerlasting life, if another fulfill the Lawe for thee. For by setting downe the one way of satisfieng for sinnes, it doth not exclude the other, to wit, of satisfieng by another, which way the gospel declareth vnto vs. Now we cannot make satisfaction by another, that is, by Christ, except by faith wee cloth our selues with his perfect righteousnesse. The gospell therefore commaun­deth vs to haue faith, and with-all to repent from our hearte: for faith cannot stande without true repen­tance.

4 They differ in effectes. The Lawe is the ministerie of death, The law, the mi­nistery of death. and killeth. Because by it selfe without the Gospell, it is on­ly the letter, that is, the outwarde preaching, and bare knowledge of those thinges which we ought to doe. For it teacheth indeede our duety, and that righteousnesse, which God requireth at our handes: but it dooth not make vs able to perfourme that righteousnesse, neither dooth it shewe vs any hope to attaine thereunto by ano­ther; but rather accuseth and condemneth our vnrigh­teousnesse. Fleshe hardely bearing this, is angrie and rageth against GOD himselfe, and is in despaire.The Gospell, the ministery of life. The gospell is the ministerie of life and of the spirit, that is, it hath the [Page 266] forcible operation of the holy Ghost adioined, and doth quicken. For this is the instrument of the holy Ghost, which hee properly vseth, to kindle faith in vs, whereby wee, who before were dead, are againe quickned and receiue strength to perfourme the Lawe. For thorough faith in Christ our Mediatour, the Lawe ceaseth to bee vn­to vs the ministery of Death, and is become spiritu­all, that is, the instrument of the holie GHOST, whereby hee forcibly mooueth our heartes to serue God.

The Gospel is the preaching of repentance.It was said, in the definition of the Gospell, and in the third difference betweene the Law and the Gospell, that the Gospell requireth both faith and repentaunce or newe obe­dience, and so is the preaching both of remission of sinnes and of repentaunce. Against this Flacius Sectaries keepe a sturre, and reason after this sort: There is no precept or com­maundement belonging to the Gospell. The preaching of repen­taunce is a precept or commaundement. Therefore the prea­ching of repentaunce belongeth not to the Gospell, but to the Lawe. Aunswere. We deny the Maior, if it bee generally meant.The recalling of sinners vnto God is proper vnto the Gos­pel. For this precept is proper vnto the Gospell, That it commandeth vs to beleeue it, to embrace the benefit of Christ, and now being iustified to begin that righteousnes which the Lawe requireth of vs. Wherefore the Gospell is the preaching of repentaunce: because it willeth sinners, yeelding them hope to obtaine pardon tho­rough and for CHRIST, to returne vnto GOD. It sheweth them the way howe to exercise true repen­taunce, and beginneth it in their hearts by the force of the holy Ghost. These thinges are not doone by the Lawe, but by the Gospell onely. They reply. Yea but the Lawe also willeth vs to beleeue, and commaundeth conuersion. Therefore it is not proper to the Gospell: or else the Gospell is not diuerse from the Lawe. Aunswere. Both the Law and the Gospell commaundeth faith and conuer­sion to God; but diuersly. The Lawe dooth it onelie in general, because it commaundeth vs to beleeue euery woord of God,Both the lawe and the Gospel require faith. that is, all the promises, commaundements, and threatninges of God, deliuered either in the Lawe, or in the Gospell, and that with a denouncing of punishment, ex­cept [Page 267] wee doe it. The Lawe saith, Beleeue euerie woorde of God: it willeth therefore, that we beleeue and obey this com­maundement also, by which God in the Gospell com­maundeth vs to returne vnto him, and to beleeue in Christ. But the Gospell in speciall, and expresly willeth vs to embrace by faith the grace promised vs in Christ, and to re­turne vnto God: that is, it saith not in generall, Beleeue all the promises and denouncinges of God, &c. For this it lea­ueth vnto the Law: but it saith plainely and expressely, Beleeue this promise, to wit, that thy sinnes are pardoned thee, and that thou art receaued of God into fauour, by and for Christ, and returne vnto GOD. Further, it exhorteth vs both inwardely and outwardely, by the woord and Sacramentes, that wee walke woorthie of him, that is, doe such woorkes, as are pleasing to GOD: but this it dooth onely in generall, and therefore sendeth vs backe vnto the Lawe, which in particular and distinctly declareth, what that righteousnes, or obedience, or workes are, which God requireth of vs.

4 What are the proper effectes of the Gospell.

THe proper effectes of the gospell are 1. Faith. Roman. 10.17. Faith commeth by hearing. 2. Corint. 3.8. The gospell is the ministery of the spirite. Rom. 1.16. The gospell is the power of God vnto saluation to euerie one that beleeueth. 2. Our whole conuersion vnto God, iustification, regeneration, and saluation, which are the effects of Faith. For by Faith as by the in­strument whole Christ together with all his benefits is re­ceiued.

5 Whence the truth and certainty of the gospel maie appeare.

THe truth and certainty of the gospell, that is, of the promise of grace appeareth, 1. By the testimony of the holy ghost. 2. By the prophecies which haue bin vttered by the Prophets and other holy men. 3. By the fulfilling of those Prophecies, which was accomplished in the new Testament. 4. By the miracles, where­by the doctrine of the gospel was confirmed. 5. By the end or proper­ty of the doctrine of the gospel: Because that alone sheweth the way how to escape death and sinne.

Question, 20. & 21. of Faith.

The necessitie of the true do­ctrine of Faith.THese two questions are necessarily annexed to the former concerning the Mediator Christ, & the gospel. For without this Doctrine of faith, neither the Mediator, neither the preaching of the gospell are profitable to anie, but rather en­crease and aggrauate their condemnation. For albeit the satis­faction of our Mediatour Christ for our sinnes be most per­fect, and God doth testifie in his gospell, that hee will ac­cept it for righteousnesse, & for it receiue men into fauour: yet notwithstanding all are not freed from miserie, but they only who beleeue the gospell, and also doe apply the merit of Christ vnto themselues by a true faith. For of that condition is Christes righteousnesse made ours, if wee receiue it: now that receiuing is the act and worke of faith alone, that is, faith only is the mean, whereby we are made partakers both of Christ himselfe, and of all his benefites. Wherefore we are diligently to learne out of Gods word, what is the nature, and what the propertie of faith.

Grace is greater than sinne in re­spect of the suf­ficiencie of Christes satisfa­ction, not in re­spect of the ap­plication there­of.1 Obiection. Grace exceedeth the sinne of Adam. If there­fore for the sinne of Adam al men are cast away: much more by the grace of Christ, all and not beleeuers onlie are saued. Aunswere to the Antecedent: Grace exceedeth and is aboue sinne, in respect of the sufficiencie of the satisfaction; not in re­spect of the application thereof. Wherefore, that al are not saued through the satisfaction or obedience of Christ, the fault thereof sticketh in men themselues, and is to bee as­cribed vnto the vnbeleeuers, who embrace not the grace of Christ offered, but like vngratefull men reiect it. But in the beleeuers onlie doth god obtaine his end and purpose, when as they bee thankefull vnto God, receiue the benefites of god by a true faith, and celebrate and magnifie them in their whole life.

2 Obiection. Whomsoeuer Christ hath fully satisfied for, they are to be receiued of god into fauor: For so doth the Iustice of god require. But Christ hath fullie satisfied for all the sinnes of all men. Therefore al men are to be receiued of god into fauor: or, if this be not doone, god shall be vniust, or somwhat is derogated from christs merit. Aunswere. The Maior proposition beeing vn­derstoode simply and without any limitation, is false. All are receiued into fauor, for whom Christ hath satisfied, to [Page 269] wit, if they apply the satisfaction of Christ vnto themselues by beleeuing and resoluing, that they are for that his satis­faction accepted of god, Ioh. 3.16. So god loued the world, that he gaue his Sonne, that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, might haue euerlasting life. And hereof it appeareth, wherefore all are not saued, euen because all doe not apply by faith Christes sa­tisfaction vnto them; and god will haue examples to re­maine not only of his mercy in his chosen, but of his Iustice also in the reprobate. This would not be, if al, without ma­king of difference, were saued.

Obiection. Adam by one sin made al subiect to condemnati­on, but Christ doth iustifie only some. The force of Christes satis­faction is seene not in the mul­titude of them who are saued, but in the great­nes of the beni­fit. The force therefore is greater of sin to condemne, than of the satisfaction of Christ to saue. Auns. We deny the consequence of this argument: because the efficacie and excellency of the satisfaction of Christ, is not to bee esteemed, by the multitude of them who are there­by saued, but by the greatnesse of the benefit it selfe. For it is a greater work to deliuer and saue euen one from euerlasting death, than to make all men by one sin guiltie of euerlasting death. For be it that Christ should saue euen but one man. 1. It was necessarie that hee shoulde paie in a finit time, a punishment in greatnesse and valewe infinit, not only for that one sinne of Adam, but for other infinite sinnes which followed it, of which euery one also deserue infinit punishment. 2. It was required al­so, that he should purge and take away not onlie that originall & birth-sinne, but also infinite others. 3. and should restore in vs a perfect conformitie with god. Wherefore the grace of Christ in sauing euen one man doth in infinit manner exceed the sinne of Adam. Againe, that al are not saued by Christ, the cause lieth not in the force and excellency of his satis­faction, or in the merit of Christ: for this in it selfe is a sufficient and ful worthie ransome, for the expiating of al the sinnes of al men: but the fault rather is in men, who do not as much as applie vnto themselues by a true faith Christs merit, as they doe apply vnto themselues the sinne of Adam, both by beeing borne in it, and consenting vnto it, and in fostering it. For the grace of God is not narrow­er, or of a straiter compasse than sinne, in respect of the sufficiencie of Christes satisfaction, but in respect of the sufficiency of the application thereof, which is required of [Page 270] men. For God will not so shewe his mercie, as that he will not also exercise his iustice.

Now the reason, why God doth impute for perfect righteous­nesse the merit of Christ to beleeuers onely, and restoreth saluation vnto them, is, for that in them alone he obtaineth the end both of his creation, & also of his deliuerie & iustification, euen his praise and glorie. For they only agnise this bene­fit of GOD, and yeeld thanks vnto him for it: the rest de­spise it.

OF FAITH.

HAVING declared the Doctrine con­cerning the Mediatour, which is the gos­pell; it remaineth that we speake of the meane, whereby wee are made parta­kers of the Mediatour, that is, of faith, without which also the preaching of the Gospell profiteth and auaileth no­thing.

The principal questions concerning Faith, are seuen.
  • 1 What faith is in generall.
  • 2 How many kindes of faith there are.
  • 3 How those kindes differ.
  • 4 How faith and hope differ, and agree.
  • 5 What are the causes of faith.
  • 6 What the effects.
  • 7 To whom it is giuen.

1 WHAT FAITH IS.

FAith in generall, is a knowledge of certaine propositions, & a firme assent, caused by the authoritie of a true witnesse, who is not thought to deceiue, whether it be God, or An­gell, or Man, or Experience: or, it is to assent firmelie to a thing knowen, for the asseueration sake, & word of true witnesses. This faith reacheth to thinges both diuine and humane. Wherefore wee must giue a more restrained faith, which [Page 271] may agree to diuine thinges: which notwithstanding must bee also generall. Theologicall faith therefore is a cer­taine knowledge, firmely yeelding assent to all thinges, The definition of Theological faith in general. which are deliuered in the sacred Scriptures, of God, his will and woorkes, and of sinne: euen because God himselfe dooth affirme it: or, it is, to yeeld assent to euerie word of God, deliuered to the Church, ei­ther in the Lawe, or in the Gospell, for that it is the asseueration or auouching of God himself. Oftentimes it is taken for the ve­ry doctrine of the Church, or those thinges whereby wee are out of Gods woorde enfourmed and instructed vnto faith or assent and beleefe.

Furthermore, albeit there be also other certain notices whereunto we firmely giue assent, as vnderstanding or ap­prehension of principles, Science, Sapience, Art,How faith diffe­reth from all other kindes of knowledge. Pru­dence (for the assent comming vnto the notice doth con­firme and perfect it, so that what knowledge of a thing is had without assent, it is imperfect and vnprofitable) yet none of these are that faith, especially the Theologicall, such as a little before it is described. For to those notices or apprehensions we doe assent, either because they are naturally engraffed in our mindes, or, for that they bring demon­strance or some other true and certaine proofes. But the Theologicall assent or faith is not, neither ariseth it out of the instinct of nature, neither out of sense, or experience, nei­ther out of demonstrations, or reasons borrowed from Philosophie, but commeth and dependeth of a peculiar and supernaturall reuelation or diuine Testimonie. That therefore which is added in the former description, for the asseueration of God himselfe, distinguisheth Theological faith from al other knowledges, euen the most certaine. And this generall definition of Theologicall faith is necessa­rie, that wee may not thinke that out of Philosophie or such principles as are naturally knowen to all, are to bee drawen reasons or argumentes sound and sufficient, to confirme the articles of our faith, but may know, that the woord of God, and those good and necessarie consequen­ces and arguments which are framed out of it, are a super­naturall light, and more certaine then all, though most exact, and exquisite, demonstrances either natural or Ma­thematicall of Philosophers.

2 What are the kinds of faith.

  • 1 Historical.
  • 2 Temporary.
  • 3 Working miracles.
  • 4 Iustifieng.

What historical faith is.THe difference of these kindes one from the other ap­peareth out of their definitions. Historicall faith, is to know and think al those thinges to bee true, which are manifested from aboue, either by voice, or by visions, or by any other manner of reuelation, and are taught in the bookes of the Prophetes and Apostles, and thus to be persuaded of them for the asseueration and testimonie of god himselfe. It is called historicall, because it is a bare knowledge, of such thinges, as God saith hee dooth, or hath done, or hereafter wil doe. Of this faith these Te­stimonies of holy Scripture make mention. Iames 2.19. The Diuels beleeue, and tremble. For the Diuel knoweth exactly, both what things are written in the woorde, and also what are not written. Because he is a spirit, witty, quick, and lear­ned: hee is present and seeth whatsoeuer things are doone in the church, & also through long experience hath known & doth know the doctrin of the church to be true, &c. 1. Cor. 13.2. If I haue al faith, so that I moue moūtains &c. Which say­ing may be constred of al the sorts of faith, Iustifing faith only excepted. Act. 13. Simon Magus is said to haue beleeued, to wit, that the doctrine was true, which the Apostles did propound.Historical faith good in it selfe, but made ill by them, who can not applie it vn­to themselues. Wherefore historicall faith, may be without iusti­fieng faith, although iustifieng faith is not without it: for the hi­storical is a part of the iustifieng: & therefore this is good and profitable, and necessarie in it selfe, but is made in Di­uels and men sinne by an accident, for that they apply not those thinges to themselues, which they knowe out of the word of God.

What tempora­rie faith is. Temporarie faith, is to assent vnto the heauenly doctrine which is deliuered by the Prophets and Apostles, to professe it, and to reioice in the knowledge thereof, and to glory therein for a time, yet not for any feeling of gods grace towardes them, but for other causes whatsoeuer, Temporarie faith is lead in a string with the commodities of this world, and with them doth liue and die. and therefore without any true conuersion, and finall perseuerance in the profession of that doctrine. This faith or approbation of Gods truth, and ioy therein, is not true, sound and perpetual, but only dureth for a season, because it ariseth and dependeth of temporary causes, which may bee changed and taken away; as the desire and pleasure of [Page 273] knowledge, glory, honours, and other worldly commodi­ties, whether publick or priuate, true, or apparant & in shew. These commodities being gone once, and persecuti­on or some other temptation arising, it must needs be also that this faith must fail. This definition is drawn from the words of Christ: Matth. 13.20. Hee that receiueth seede in the stony ground, is he which heareth the word, and incontinently with ioie receiueth it, that is, embraceth and professeth it, and re­ioiceth in it: yet hath he no roote in himselfe, that is, hee wan­teth applying of the merit of Christ & confidence therein, and the regeneration of the holy ghost. Wherefore it is only a resemblance and shew of godlines, not true godli­nes and faith. It differeth from historical faith, 1. For that this temporarie doth fore put historicall. Further, it addeth some­thing vnto knowledge, as profession of doctrine and a certaine god­linesse, gladnesse and glorying or reioicing, because of the know­ledge of the truth, but at length it saileth. Historical faith is onely aknowledge. This difference is thereby confirmed, in that the Diuels haue historicall faith: for they beleeue & trem­ble: but they haue not this Temporarie faith. First, because that knowledge and faith, which they haue, neuer faileth or is ex­tinguished, but remaineth in them perpetually. Againe, neither ioy they in their knowledge, neither doe they professe it: but though they know it to be true, yet do they horribly persecute it, and would haue it wholy rooted out. Now if any man had rather com­prehend this temporary faith vnder historicall, I am not against it. But then must degrees be made of historicall faith, to wit, that in some it is ioined with a certaine ieioi­cing and profession, as in those who reuoult from the do­ctrine of the Church and godlinesse: in others not so, as in the Diuels and damned persons: and so the matter commeth all to one. Obiection. But the Diuel hath often professed Christ; therefore he doth not oppugne his doctrine. The Diuel Pro­fessed Christ, that for his testi­monies sake, he might the lesse bee beleeued. Aun­swere. He did this, not for any desire of promoting and aduanncing Christs doctrine, but for the hatred he bore vnto it, that by his testimony he might cause it to be sus­pected, and might mingle therewith his owne errors and lies. Therefore doth Christ commaund him silence. Matth. 1.25. As also doth Paul: Act. 16.18. Wherefore it is but an ac­cident vnto historicall faith, for the Diuell to professe [Page 274] those thinges which he knoweth to be true, although hee greatly detesteth them: as also men for some cōmodity, or vpon some other cause sometimes professe those thinges which they hate, and the memory whereof they woulde haue abolished both out of their owne mindes, and out of the minds of al men

What the faith of working mi­racles is. The faith of Miracles is an especial gift of working miracles, that is, it is a certaine persuasion, springing from an especiall re­uelation and promise of god, whereby a man firmelie resolueth, that some extraordinary or miraculous woorke, and contrarie to na­ture, shall come to passe by gods power, which hee hath foretolde or woulde haue to bee doone in the name of God and Iesus Christ. This kinde of faith is prooued out of the Apostle. 1. Corinth. 13.2. If I had all faith, so that I could remooue moun­taines &c. For although this speech bee vnderstoode of all the kindes of faith, excepting iustifieng faith, yet is it es­pecially referred to the faith of Miracles: as Christ also saith,Faith of mira­cles, cōmeth by speciall reuela­tion. Mat. 17.20. If ye haue faith as much as a grain of mustard seede, ye shal saie vnto this mountaine, Remoue &c. That this faith is diuerse from the other kindes, neither to bee drawen simply out of the word of god, but by an especial reuelation of god comming thereto, without which miracles cannot be wrought, we prooue by these reasons. 1. By that saying of Christ, If ye haue faith as much as a grain of mustard seede: But manie holie men, who both knewe the historie of Gods woorde, and reioyced therein, and applyed it vnto them­selues, had faith: yet did they not remooue mountaines. Therefore this is a diuers kind of faith, from that which they had. 2 Many endeuored to cast out Diuels without anie reuelation from aboue, as the Sonnes of Sceua. Act. 19.14. With whom it fell out ill; the spirite of the possessed man inua­ding, disarming and wounding them. 3 Simon Magus Acts. 8.13. is saide to haue beleeued, and yet could hee not woorke miracles: and therefore he would haue bought and gotten this power with mony. 4 The Diuell knoweth the storie of the Scripture, neither yet dooth hee woorke miracles: because none besides the Creatour is able to chaunge the nature of thinges. 5 Iudas did woorke miracles, and yet, Ioh. 6.70. hee is saide of the Lorde to bee a Diuell, that is, not to haue a iustifieng faith. He had therefore some other faith, to [Page 275] witte, the faith of Miracles, Historicall, and perhaps also Temporarie faith. So, Matthewe. 7.22. Manie shall saie vnto Christ: Haue wee not by thy name cast out Diuels? But CHRIST will aunswere them, I neuer knewe you.

Wherefore this gift of woorcking miracles is giuen to hypocrits also. For albeit they haue alwaies Historicall faith ioined therewith: yet haue they not alwaies Iustifi­eng faith. The other kindes of faith extend to all thinges that are written in the woorde: but this of Miracles, is appropriated and restrained to some certaine workes or effects to come.

Iustifieng or sauing faith, What Iustifieng faith is. as it is described out of the word of God in the 21. question of the Catechisme, is, not onelie steedfastlie to assent to euerie woorde of GOD, and in this also to the promise of grace for Christes merit, but also a confidence, and full perswasion, applieng to euerie one that pro­mise; that is, whereby euerie man in his minde is fully and certainely perswaded, that not onely others, but himselfe also hath God fauorable vnto him, according to the promise of grace, and therefore reioiceth in God, and ouercommeth all pensiuenesse and feare.The differences of Iustifieng faith from the rest. This differeth from the other kindes of faith, in that this onely is the cer­taine confidence, whereby wee apply Christes merit vnto our selues. And we apply it vnto our selues, when euerie one of vs doe certainely resolue, that the righteousnesse or merite of Christ is also giuen and imputed to vs, that wee may be esteemed for iust and righteous of God, and also may be regenerated, & glorified. Confidence or trust, is a mo­tion of the hart or wil following and pursuing some good thing, & reioicing and resting therein. It is a motion of the heart, because it is a following and pursuing of a good thing, & a desire of retaining that good, which a man already doth enioy. It is reioicing, because it is glad of the present grace of God to­wardes euerie of vs, of full deliuerance from the gilt of sin, & from sinne it selfe in part; & because by that which euery one enioyeth in present, hee conceiueth euerlasting hope of blessings to come, as of euerlasting life, & of ful deliuery from al euill both of crime and paine, and therefore is free from the feare of future euill. To him that hath shall bee giuen. The holie spirite giuen vnto vs, is the earnest and pledge [Page 276] of our full redemption. 2. Corinth. 1.22. and 5.5. Ephes. 1.13.

Againe, iustifieng faith differeth from the rest, in this also, that this iustifieng faith is concerning all spirituall giftes, and whatsoeuer belong to our saluation, and is properly and simply or absolutely called faith in the Scripture: and is proper also and peculiar to the elect and chosen. The faith of mira­cles is of a certaine gift, whereby we are not bettered, which we may want without any hinderaunce to our saluation: neither is it giuen to al the faithful; nor at al times. Hi­storicall faith is a part of the Iustifieng, and befalleth to al both the godly, and hypocrits, but is not sufficient alone to sal­uation, because it applieth not to it selfe those benefits which are knowen vnto it out of the word. Temporary faith hypocrites haue. Iustifieng faith therefore comprehendeth historicall, but this is not sufficient to make a iustifieng faith, as neither are the other two. For, If the inheritance be of faith, that faith then shal be one of these foure: But it is not of historicall faith: otherwise the Diuels also shoulde bee heirs. Neither of temporary, for that is reiected by Christ: Nor of the faith of miracles; if so, Iudas also should be heire. The inheritaunce therefore is of iustifieng faith, which is properly called faith. The more general or material cause of faith, is a knowledge and assent. For, if we speak properly, we are not said to assent vnto a doctrine which we know not. The difference or formall cause is, to apply the promise of grace once known, and as it were to claim it for him that knoweth it. For this causeth faith to be, and to be called iustifieng. The sub­iect or part of man wherein it remaineth, is the heart or will. The peculiar affection, or property of it, is to rest & ioy in God, where­by it is distinguished from all the other sorts of faith. The holy spirit is the principall efficient cause thereof. Instrumentall causes, are the word and Sacramentes. Furthermore, what iusti­fieng faith is, No man know­eth what iustifi­eng faith is, but hee that hath it. no man vnderstādeth, but he who hath it, for he that beleeueth knoweth that he doth beleeue. As he who neuer hath tasted honny, dooth not verily knowe that it is sweete, though you te l him much of the sweetenesse of hon­ny. But whosoeuer truely beleeueth, that is, hath a sa­uing faith, hee both hath experience in himselfe of these things, and also is able to declare them to others. [Page 277] First, hee beeing conuicted thereof in his conscience, knoweth that whatsoeuer thinges are spoken in the Scriptures, are t ue and diuine. For faith is builded vpon a certaine, or as­sured and diuine Testimony; otherwise were it not a full perswasion. 2. Hee findeth himselfe bound to beleeue them. For if I confesse them to bee true, therefore is it meete and iust that I should assent vnto them. 3. Hee is certaine that thorough Christes satisfaction hee is receiued of God in­to fauour, and is endewed with the holy Ghost, and is by him regenerated and directed. 4. Hee applieth vnto himselfe all these thinges, and dooth thus gather and conclude of the former: I knowe that those thinges which are promised, belong vnto mee: that is, with a certaine confidence hee thus concludeth, By the present loue of God towardes me, and the beginninges or first fruites of the holy Ghost, I certainly resolue and am perswaded, that God will ne­uer chaunge this his good will towards mee, and there­fore I hope also for a consummation and accomplish­ment of these blessinges, that is, for plenary and full re­demption. 5. He reioiceth in the present blessinges which he hath, but most of all in the certaine and perfect saluation to come: and this is that peace of conscience, which passeth all mans vnder­standing. 6. Hee hath a will to obey the doctrine of the Prophetes and Apostles without ani [...] exception in doing or suffering what­soeuer is therein commaunded. If I wil beleeue God, I must o­bey his will, and thinke that this his will is not reuealed vnto vs from men, but from him. Wherefore a man endu­ed with iustifieng faith doth that duty, which is imposed vpon him, striue the world and the Diuell neuer so much against him: and vndergoeth, beareth and suffereth what­soeuer aduersities for the glory of God cheerefully and boldly, hauing God his most benigne and good father. 7. Hee is certaine, that his faith, though it bee in this life imper­fect and languishing, and often very much eclypsed, yet being builded vpon the promise of god, which is vnchangeable, dooth neuer altogether failor die, but the purpose which it hath of beleeuing and obeying God, continueth, it striueth with doubtes and temptations, and at length vanquisheth, and in the celestiall life which is to come, shall hee chaun­ged into a full and most certaine knowledge of God [Page 278] and his will, where wee shall see God face to face. 1. Cor. 13.12.

4 How faith and hope differ and agree.

ALbeit faith & hope agree, in that they both respect the same benefits, and therefore. Heb. 11.1. faith is saide to be of things which are hoped for; as also in that they are mutuallie ioy­ned in an inseparable bond: For he that is certaine of the pre­sent wil of God towards him,Faith apprehen­deth things pre­sent: hope respe­cteth thinges to come. is also certaine of his will to come, because god doth not change: Yet notwithstanding, they must not be confounded, but distinguished. For faith taketh hold of the present good, as remission of sins, or recon­ciliation, & regeneration, or the beginning of obedience & life euerlasting in vs. Hope eyeth the good to come, as the con­tinuance of our reconciliation, and the perfecting or ac­complishment of euerlasting life or our conformitie with God, that is, full deliuerie from all euill. For these are the effectes to come of that present and perpetuall wil of God towards vs, which wee apprehend by faith. Rom. 8.24. Wee are saued by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: But if we hope for that we see not, we doo with patience abide for it.

1 Obiection. Life euerlasting is a thing to come. We beleeue life euerlasting: Wee beleeue therefore that which is to come, that is, faith is also of things to come, and so faith is hope it selfe.

Ans. The Maior must bee distinguished. Life euerlasting is to come; tru, as concerning the consummation or accom­plishment therof: But it is present vnto vs, as cōcerning the wil and vnchaungeable purpose of God, who hath decreed from euerlasting that which he hath begun in vs, and will also in due time accomplish it. Againe it is present vnto vs as concerning the beginning therof. For euerlasting life is begun here in the elect by the holy ghost. Wherefore faith apprehendeth it, as it is present, both in respect of the purpose of God, & in respect of the beginning thereof in vs. For he that be­leeueth feeleth and knoweth that he is quickened: and re­solueth, this to bee the will of God, that that quickening and reuiuing which is here begunne, shall bee absolued in another life. Iohn. 5.24. He that beleeueth in the sonne, hath passed from death to life. Iohn. 17.3. This is life eternall, that they know thee to be the only verie God, and whome thou hast [Page 279] sent, Iesus Christ. Gal. 4.6. God hath sent forth the spirit of his sonne into your harts, which crieth Abba, father. Rom. 8.24. We are saued by hope. 1. Ioh. 3.2. Now are we the sonnes of God, but it doth not yet appear what we shalbe. By faith thē we are certein that those blessings also, which as yet we haue not, are not­withstanding ours, for Gods promise, & for the vnchange­able will in God to giue them vs: but in certain hope wee looke for them, as concerning their accomplishment.Faith apprehen­deth the promi­ses of thinges to come; hope re­lieth on the thinges promi­sed. The summe is, There is one and the same act, and operation of faith and of hope, but they differ in consideration. It is called faith as it doth apprehend things to come, as if they were present in regard of the vnchangeablenes of Gods will. It is called hope, as it doth cer­tainlie look for the bestowing of those things. Therfore, Heb. 11 1. it is shewed, that faith is, the ground & substance of things which are hoped for, that is, it is that, which maketh things which are hoped for to be extant and present, in that manner as hath bin shewed. Shorter thus, Faith apprehendeth the promi­ses concerning things to come, as they are to come: Hope, the things themselues which are promised.

2 Obiection Faith is the euidence of thinges which are not seene: therefore not of thinges present. Aunswere. It is the euidence of thinges which are not seene, to wit, by the outward senses: but they are seene by the eies of the mind, euen as if they did lie open to the eies of the bodie. A­gaine they are not seene, in respect of their accomplishment or consummation.

5 What are the causes of Faith.

THE first and principall efficient cause of faith, is the ho­lie ghost, illightening the minde, that it may vnder­stand the word, and moouing the will, that it may assent vnto the woord once vnderstoode. Yee are freelie saued by faith, and that not of your selues: it is the gift of God. Ephes. 2.8. Obiection. The Diuel hath faith: It is wrought therefore in him by the holie ghost. Aunswere. What faith is in the Di­uel, is wrought by the spirit of God, but that by a generall woorking onely, whereby hee worketh in all, euen in Di­uels and hypocrites, what-soeuer knowledge or vnder­standing is in them. 1. Cor. 12. &c. not by a speciall and proper action or working, wherby to regenerat or sanctifie [Page 280] them, that they might truely acknowledge him to bee the author of this gift, and magnifie him therefore; after which maner hee woorketh faith in the elect alone. The Diuels therefore and hypocrits haue faith from the spirit of God: but the elect from the spirit of God sanctifieng them.

The instrumentall cause of faith in generall is the whole worde of God, the Lawe and the Gospell, written, spoken, readde, heard,The chiefe in­strumental cau­ses of ingende­ring iustifieng faith are the preaching of the word, and the vse of the sacramentes. meditated: likewise many works & miracles of God in the world. But the chiefe and proper instrument of iustifieng faith is the preaching of the Gospell, & the vse of the sacraments. For these doth the holy ghost vse as instruments (yet not necessarie but arbitrarie & at his own good pleasure) both to stir vp faith in vs, and to nourish, strengthen & increase the same. Rom. 10.17. Faith commeth by hearing. Rom. 1.16. The gospell is the power of God vnto saluation to euerie one that belee­ueth. 1. Cor. 4.15. I haue begottē you through the gospel. Mar. 16.16. He that shall beleeue and be Baptized, shall be saued. Act. 22.16. Wash away thy sins. 1. Cor. 10.16. The bread which we break, is the communion of the bodie of Christ. Wherefore ordinarilie iustifieng faith is neuer engendred in those who are of yeares to receiue it, without the preaching of the gospell. The cause of that faith which worketh miracles, is not simply the woorde of God, but there must necessarily come thereto an especiall and immediate reuelation from God.

The formal causes of faith, a sure and ful con­fidence in Christ. The obiect of faith, Christ and his benefites promised. The final causes of faith, Gods glorie, our sal­uation. The formall cause of iustifieng faith, is a certaine knowledge & confidence in Christ.

The obiect of it is, Whole Christ, and his benefits promised in the word: Likewise, God fauorable to vs through Christ.

The subiect, wherein it remaineth, is the vnderstanding & will of man.

The end or finall cause. 1 The glorie of God, to wit, the celebration of his trueth, iustice, bountie, mercie, which hee hath shewed in the sending of his Sonne, and in the giuing of faith in him. 2 Our Saluation, that we may receiue the blessings which are promised in the worde.

6 What are the effects of faith.

The effectes of faith, iustificati­on, and regene­ration.THe effects of iustifieng faith are, 1 The iustifieng of vs before God. 2 Peace of conscience, or ioy resting on God. Rom. 5.1. Beeing iustified by faith, we haue peace with god. 3 Our whole conuersion, which followeth faith, and beginneth at the same time [Page 281] with faith. For by faith are our hats purified. 4 The fruits of con­uersion & repentance, euen good woorkes. For whatsouer is not of faith is sinne. Hither may be referred also the consequen­ces of faith, that is, encrease of spirituall & corporal giftes. The first then and immediate effect of iustifieng-faith is Iustification: from this afterwardes flow al other benefites purchased by the blood of Christ, which all we beleeue to be giuen vs by faith. If therefore faith be the next cause of our Iustification, in respect of vs, it is also the cause of those thinges which necessarily followe Iustification. Luk. 8.48. Thy faith hath saued thee. In a worde: The effects of faith are Iustification and Regeneration, which is begunne here, and is to bee perfected in the life to come. Rom. 3.28. & 10.10. Acts. 13.39.

7 Vnto whom faith is giuen.

IVstifieng faith is only proper to the elect,Iustifieng faith giuen to all the Elect, and to them onely. and that to all of them. For it is giuen to the elect alone, and to all the elect, euen to infants, as concerning some inclnation Ioh. 6.44. No man cā come to me, except, the father, which hath sent me, drawe him. Ioh. 20.16. Ye beleeue not: for yee are not of my sheepe. Mat. 13.11. It is giuen to you to knowe the secrets of heauen: but vnto them it is not giuen. Act. 13.48. And they beleeued as ma­ny as were ordained to euerlasting life. Rom. 8.30. Whome hee predestinated, them also hee called; and whome hee called, them also hee iustified. Ephes. 2.8. Faith is the gift of God. Rom. 10.16. All haue not harkened to the gospell. 2. Thes. 3.2. For all men haue not faith.

Temporarie faith, and the faith of miracles, is giuen to those who are members of the visible Church only, that is hypo­crites. But now neuerthelesse this faith of miracles ceaseth which florished in the Primatiue Church; for that nowe the Doctrine is sufficiently confirmed. Historicall faith all they haue, who are by profession of the Church, whether they be of the godly, or reprobates: yea and they also, who are not members of the Church, but enimies, as Diuels & Tyrants. Historicall is a part of Iustifieng faith: because there can bee no assent or perswasion of a thing, which is not first knowen.

Obiection. Historicall faith is a good worke. Historical faith which is good in it selfe, made ill The Diuels haue Historicall faith. Therefore they haue good woorkes. Aun­swere. [Page 282] Historical faith is a good worke, if it be ioyned with an application of those thinges, whereto it assenteth, that is, with confidence. Reply. Historicall faith is a good woork, though it bee not ioined with confidence, because it is an effect of the spirite of God: Therefore the Diuels haue good woorkes. Aunswere Historical faith is a good woorke in it selfe, but is made ill by an accident, for that the reprobate doe not apply those thinges to themselues which they knowe and beleeue to bee true. Wherefore the Diuels are saide to trem­ble: for that they doe not think that God is towardes them also such, as is described in his woorde, good, mercifull, &c. The summe is: As the substaunce it selfe of the Diuels, and other things which they retaine still of their first cre­ation; so also both the knowlege and faith which they haue concerning diuine matters, are in themselues very good, because they are the effects and gifts of god: but they are made euil by an accident, euen by reason of their abusing of them, for that they referre them, not to this end as to shewe themselues gratefull vnto God the author of these good things, and to magnifie him for them.

A beleeuing in­clination in in­fante, though not an actual beleefe.Obiection. Against this, that all the Elect are saide to haue faith, some thus reason: Many infantes are of the Elect, and yet haue not faith: Therefore al the Elect haue not faith. An­swere. They haue not indeede actuall faith, but they haue a power or inclination to beleeue, which the holy Ghost, as is fittest for their capacity and condition, woorketh in them. Wherefore that remaineth stil, which before was confirmed: That all the Elect haue faith. And further, this I adde, that not only faith, but the confession also of faith is necessary for al the Elect which are growen to years and vnderstanding. 1. Because of the commandements of God. Exod. 20. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lorde thy God in vaine. Therfore thou shalt take it aright. He that shal confes me &c. Mat. 10.32. 2. Because of the glory of god. Let your light shine be­fore the woorlde. Mat. 5.16. 3. Bicause faith is not idle: for it is as a fruitful tree. 4. That we may bring others to Christ. And thou bee­ing conuerted, confirme thy brethren. Luc. 22.32.

How to know that wee haue faith.Now we know that we haue faith. 1. By the testimony of the holy ghost, and by a feeling of true faith in our selues, or by the thing it selfe, that is, by a true and vnfained desire of recei­uing [Page 283] the benefits offered by Christ. For he that beleeueth, knoweth that hee dooth beleeue. 2. By the strife and conflict within vs of the faith of doubtfulnes. 3. By the effects; that is, by an earnest purpose of obeying God according to all his commandements.

Against the certainty of faith, The certaintie of faith. whereof we spake in the de­finition of faith, some dispute on this wise. Obiect. 1. They, who may fal before the end of their life into sin & dānation, cannot be certain of their saluation & euerlasting life: This is proued, be­cause, to be certaine, and to be in possibility to fall, are contrary one to the other: It is false therefore, which is taught in the definitiō of Iustifieng faith, to wit, that euerlasting life is giuen vs, and so our faith to be certaine and assured of it. Ans. To be in possibility of falling, or failing, that is finally,True faith may faint for a time, but cannot fail finallie. is contrary to the certainty of our saluatiō. But they who are once inriched by god with true faith, doe not fail finally. Reply. 1. All that are weak may faile finally. We are al weak. Therefore we maie fail finally. Auns. The Maior is to bee distinguished. All that are weak may faile finally; true, if they stoode by their owne strength. But we, who are beleeuers, stand, preserued and vphelde by the grace and power of God. Therefore can wee not fi­nally fail. For whom God hath once embraced with his fa­uour, them he wil not, nor suffereth to fal vtterly from his grace. Reply. 2. But god hath no where promised that he wil keep and preserue vs in his grace. Answere. Yes, he hath promised, and expressed it, Ioh. 1.28. I giue vnto them eternal life, and they shall neuer perish, neither shall any pluck them out of mine hand. My father which gaue them me is greater than all, and none is a­ble to take them out of my fathers hand. I and my father are one. Rom. 8.38. I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor An­gels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor thinges present, nor thinges to come &c. shall bee able to separate vs from the loue of God, which is in Christ Iesus. Reply. 3. But it is saide, 1. Corint. 10.12. Let him that thinketh hee standeth, take heede least hee fall. Therefore perseuerance dependeth not of God promising, but of our selues, and therefore is doubtful, standing vpon a doubt­full ground. Aunswere. This is a fallacy reasoning from that which is no cause, as if it were a cause. For by this verie exhortation hee goeth about to nourish, make perfect, and preserue the safetie of the faithfull. [Page 284] For God vseth such threatninges, thereby to retaine the godly in their dutie, that they may not waxe proude, and please themselues. But hereof it doth not followe that hee permitteth the perseuerance of the godly in faith & grace to their owne strength and arbiterment. Moreouer Paul in that place speaketh not to particular men, but to the bo­die of the Church of Corinth, in which many were hypo­crites. Wherefore they who truely b [...]leeue, must certainly resolue, that God wil saue them. For if he will haue vs assu­red of his present fauour & g [...]ace towards vs, he will also haue vs assured of that which is to come: because God is vnchangeable. Reply. 4. Salomon saith, Man knoweth not, whe­ther he be worthy of loue or hatred. Therefore we cannot be assured of the election of God, neither resolue any thing of Gods present fa­uor, &s, by consequent, neither of that which is to come. Answere. To the Antecedent. 1. Man knoweth not; true, as concerning second causes, or by euents of thinges, bee they good or euill. For external and outward fortune, is no certaine token where­by to iudge of Gods fauour. 2. Againe man knoweth it not; of himselfe, but he knoweth it God reuealing it, and certifiyng vs aboundantly of his loue towards vs by his word and spi­rite. Replie. 5. But no man hath knowen the mind of the Lord. Rom. 11.34. Aunswere. No man hath knowen it, that is, before G [...]d hath reuealed it, neither after hee hath re­ueiled it doth any man perfectly know it: for so much know we of god, as himselfe hath reuealed vnto vs: It is the spirit, which reuealeth and witnesseth vnto vs, that we are the sonnes of God. 2. Cor. 1.22. Rom. 8.16.

2 Obiection. Ezech. 18.24. The iust man is said to perish, if he turne himselfe out of the right way. I herefore beleeuers also may defect from godlines, and fall from euerlasting saluation An­swere. He in that place is called iust, not who is truely iust: but who seemeth vnto men iust. For the sonnes and heires only are indewed with true conuersion and godlines. Rom. 8.14. As many as are led by the spirite of God, they are the sonnes of God. And if sonnes, then also heires. 1. Cor. 2.12. We haue re­ceiued the spirite which is of God, that we might know the things, which are giuen vnto vs of God. vers. 16. Wee haue the minde of Christ. Eph. 1.13. 2. Cor. 1.22 and 5.5. The spirite is called the earnest of our deliuerie which is to come.

[Page 285]3 Obiection. Paul 2. Cor 6.1. exhorteth the Corinthians, that they receiue not the grace of God in vaine; so Christ likewise biddeth vs, watch and pray. Aunswere. Thereby carnal secu­ritie is forbidden and certainety of saluation, as also faith, tranquillity, watchfulnes, and praier is commaunded. For these are the necessary and proper effects of our election, & an infallible Argument of saluation. For al beleeuers are elected: and Eph. 1. Paul teacheth, that by faith wee are made partakers of Gods adoption.

4 Obiection. Saul failed and fell away finally. Saull was one of the godlie. Therefore the godly also fall away. Aunswere. We denie the Minor, that Saul was one of the godly. Replie. But he had the giftes of the holie ghost, Aunswere. Hee had such giftes of the holie Ghost, as are common to the godly with the reprobate; he had not the gifts of regene­ration, and therefore neither shall hee the holy Ghost san­ctifiyng him, which is proper to the elect.

5 Obiection. The doctrine of the certaintie of our saluation breedeth securitie. Aunswere. It breedeth indeede a spiritual securitie, by it selfe, in the elect alone: and a carnal, by an accident, and that onely in the wicked and reprobate: but not at all in the godly.

Conclusions comprising the summe of the doctrine of Faith.

1 FAith, if wee take the word amply and largelie, signifi­eth a certaine knowledge rising from the asseueration of witnesses, who are thought not to deceiue.

2 In the doctrine of the Church, mention is made of fower sort [...] of faith. Historicall, Temporarie, working miracles, and Iu­stifieng.

3 Historicall faith is a knowledge, resoluing, those thinges to be true which are deliuered in the bookes of the Prophets and A­postles.

4 Tēporary faith is the knowlege of the doctrin of the church ioined with a ioy, for the knowledge of the truth, or for other ei­ther true, or apparent good thinges, without any applying of the promise of grace to the beleeuer, and therefore without either true conuersion or finall perseuerance.

5 Faith which worketh miracles, is a certaine knowledge by especiall reuelation of the will of God, of working some certain mi­racle according to the petition or foretelling of him, by whom it is [Page 286] to be wrought.

6 Iustifieng faith is a knowledge, whereby a man doth firmly assent to euery word of God reuealed vnto him, and resolueth, that the promise of gods grace through christ belongeth to him: & fur­ther it is a ful persuasion and cōfidence in this fauor of god towards him, ouercomming al fear and pensiuenes.

7 For the confidence of iustifieng faith is a motion of the will & heart, consisting of a ioy conceiued for the certainty of the pre­sent grace of God towardes vs, and of a hope of our future deliuery from al euils.

8 There is no faith therefore; but which resteth on the wil of God reuealed in his word.

9 All faith is wrought in men by the holie Ghost, ei­ther by the voice of Gods heauenly doctrine, or by immediat reue­lation.

10 Seeing God wil kindle, frame, and confirme ordinary faith in vs by the doctrine of the Church, al are bound to hear it and me­ditate thereon.

11 Temporarie faith befalleth to manie hypocrites which are in the Church. Historical, and the faith of miracles is common to the godly and vngodly. Iustifieng faith is giuen in this life to all those only who are chosen vnto euerlasting life.

12 Iustifieng faith doth not alwaies comprise Historicall; nei­ther is alwaies ioined with the faith of miracles: As also the faith of miracles hath alwaies either historicall or temporarie faith ioy­ned therewith, but Iustifieng it hath not alwaies.

13 Faith also in the Saintes is imperfect in this life and lan­guishing: but yet whosoeuer feeleth in his hart an earnest desire of beleeuing, and a strife against doubts arising in his mind, he maie and ought certainely to resolue that hee is endewed with true faith.

14 True faith being once kindled in our hearts, albeit often it languisheth and is darkned for a time, yet is it neuer wholy extin­guished.

15 But after this life it shall attaine vnto a more certaine and ful knowledge of God & diuine matters, euen to a feeling and experience, with all the blessed, of Gods presence: which knowe­ledge the Scripture calleth knowledge by the spirite, and face to face.

16 Faith which is onely historicall, breedeth, though by an [Page 287] accident, despair, and the grieuousnes of Gods iudgement.

17 Temporary faith breedeth a certaine ioy, but not a quiet conscience, (because it ariseth not from the true cause:) as also it maketh shew of confession and some shew of good woorkes, but that only for a season.

18 Faith of miracles, doth obtain of God those miracles, where­of it is conceiued.

19 By faith only applying to euery one the promise of grace we obtaine and receiue righteousnes before God, and the participa­tion or communion of Christ with al his benefits.

20 As before this faith cannot goe true conuersion, and the beginning of true obedience, according to all the commaun­dementes of God, so can they not but needes accompanie the same.

OF THE CREEDE, OR, SYMBOLE OF THE APOSTLES.

AFter we haue intreated of FAITH,Why the creede is called a sym­bole. it directly followeth now that we speake of the sum of those things which are to bee beleeued, which we cal the Symbole of the Apostles, or the Apostolick Sym­bole.

The especial Questions here are,

  • 1 What a Symbole is.
  • 2 What are the parts of the Apostolique Symbole.

1 WHAT A SYMBOLE IS.

THis woorde Symbole, is deriued from a greeke woorde, which signifieth either a common collation of diuerse men to the making of a banquet, or, a signe, token, and marcke, where­by a man is discerned frō others: Such as is the militarie signe, whereby fellowes are desciphered from enimies. The Symbole, so termed in the Church, is a breefe and summa­rie forme of christian doctrine: or a briefe summe, or confession of the points of Christian religion, or Euangelical doctrine. Nowe it is called by the name of Symbole, because it is as a token, or profession, whereby the Church with her members is discerned from all her enimies, and from al other sects. Some say, that this briefe summe of Euangelical doctrine was called a Symbole, for that this [Page 288] doctrine was collated as it were, and imparted by the Apostles, and euery one of them did bestow some part thereof: but that cannot be proued. But if you wil deriue it thence, this reason also nothing absurde may be rendered thereof: for that the Ar­ticles of faith are the squire and rule, whereunto the faith and doctrine of al Orthodox or right beleeuing Christians ought to a­gree and be conferred.

This Symbole is called Apostolique, 1. Because it conteineth the summe of the Apostolique doctrine, which the Catechumens were enforced to hold and professe. 2. Because the Apostles deliuered that summe of doctrine to their Scholers and Disciples: which the Church afterwardes held as receiued from them. This selfesame Symbole is called also Catholick, because there is but one faith of al Christians. Question. Were there not new Symboles made, as Athanasius Symbole, the Symbole of Nice, of Ephesus, of Chalcedon. Aunswere. These are not other from this Apo­stolique Symbole: but certaine words are added as an ex­plication of this, by reason of heretiques, by whom because of the shortnes thereof, this was depraued. There is no change either of the matter or of the Doctrine, but onely of the forme of declaring it, as easily appeareth by compa­ring them together.

2 What are the parts of the Apostolicke Symbole or Creed.

THe principall parts thereof are three.

  • 1 Of the Father and our creation.
  • 2 Of the Sonne and our redemption.
  • 3 Of the holy ghost and our sanctification: that is, of the workes of our Creation, Redemption and Sanctification.

How our Cre [...] ­tiō, Redemptiō, Sanctification, are ech appropriated to some one person of the Trinitie, and yet all three persons haue their ioint wor­king in them.Obiection. Vnto the father is ascribed the creation of heauen and earth: vnto the Sonne, the redemption of mankind: vnto the holy ghost, sanctification. Therefore the Sonne, and the holy ghost did not create heauen and earth; neither did the Father and the holy ghost redeeme mankinde; neither do the Father & the Sonne sanctifie the faithfull. Answere. It is a fallacie grounding vpon that which is affirmed, but in respect, as if it were simply affirmed. For the creation is giuen to the Father, redemp­tion to the Sonne, sanctification to the holy ghost, not as they are simply an operation or woork, (for so should other persons be excluded from it) but in respect, for the order and man­ner of woorking, which is peculiar and proper to euerie of [Page 289] them in producing and bringing forth the same externall woorke. A more open declaration hereof may be this. The woorkes of our creation, redemption, & sanctification, are the operations of the Godhead outwardly, that is, externall ope­rations, which God worketh on his creatures: and they are vndiuided, that is, common to the three persons, which they by common wil and power woork in the creatures, by reason of that one and the same essence and nature of the Godhead, which they haue. For the Scripture attributeth the Creation not onely to the father, but to the Sonne al­so, and the holy ghost. Ioh. 1.3. Al things were made by it. Gen. 1. The spirit of the Lord moued vpon the waters. Mat. 1.20. That which is conceaued in her, is of the holy Ghost. Likewise our re­demption is attributed to the father, and the holy Ghost. Iohn. 3. God sent his Sonne into the woorlde, that the world might be saued by him. Tit. 3. Hee saued vs by the renewing of the holie ghost, which he shed on vs abundantly. And sanctification both to the father, and to the sonne. Gal. 4.6. God hath sent the spi­rit of his sonne into your harts, crying Abba, Father. 1. Thess. 5.23. The very god of peace sanctifie you throughout. 1. Cor. 1.30. Christ is made sanctification vnto vs. Eph. 5.26. Christ sanctifieth the Church. Al the persons therefore create, redeem, sancti­fie. Neuerthelesse yet in respect of that order of woorking which is betweene them, Creation is ascribed vnto the fa­ther: Because hee is the fountaine, as of the Diuini­tie of the Sonne and the holie Ghost, so also of those diuine operations which hee woorketh and perfourmeth by the Sonne and the holie Ghost. Redemption is ascribed vnto the Sonne; because hee is that person which execu­teth the fathers will concerning the redeeming of man­kinde, and dooth immediatly perfourme the woorke of our redemption. For the Sonne onely was sent into flesh, and hath paied the ransome or price for our sinnes, not the father, nor the spirit. To the holy ghost is ascribed sanctification: because he doth immediatly sanctifie vs. For the father createth, but mediatly, by the Sonne and the holy Ghost: The Son from the father: and the holy Ghost from the father and the sonne. The father and the holy ghost redeeme vs, but mediatly, by the sonne: But the son immedi­atly from the father by the holy ghost. The father and the son [Page 290] sanctifie vs, but mediatly, by the holy ghost; but the holy Ghost immediatly, from the father and the sonne.

The workes of the trinitie ex­ternal or inter­nal: external common to al three; internal appropriated vnto the person.Here is to be obserued, that the workes of the persons are of two sortes: namely, Their woorkes inwarde, and their woorkes outward. The inward or internal workes of the persons, are those, which the persons haue and exercise one towardes another. By these actions or properties are the diuine persons distin­guished, and described. For the father is the first person, which hath not his essence and beeing from any other, neither begotten nor proceeding; but being of himself, he begot from euer­lasting the sonne, & from him proceeded the holy Ghost. The sonne is the second person of the Godhead, begotten from euerlasting of the father. This generating or begetting of the Son is the participating of the whole diuine essence, wherby the son receiueth from the father the same essence whole­ly and entirely, which the father hath and reteineth. For the diuine essence being infinit and indiuisible, there can­not some part thereof bee seuered, and imparted to ano­ther, as it commeth to passe in creatures; but it must needs bee wholy imparted vnto him, vnto whomsoeuer it is im­parted. The holy ghost is the third person of the deity, proceeding, from euerlasting, from the father and the sonne. But begetting & proceeding differ. For to be begotten, or to be born, is for another man or another person to bee produced out of the sub­stance of him that begetteth, by waie of birth, as the sonne is borne of the father. Proceeding is a communication of the diuine essence, whereby the third person onely of the Godhead receiueth from the father and the sonne, as the spirite from him, whose spirit it is, the same whole essence, which the father and the son haue & retaine. As therefore he that begetteth is one person, & hee another that is be­gotten: In like maner the holy ghost also is another person from the father & the son, from whom he from euerlasting ineffably is produced, or hath his being, by proceeding or issuing: yet for al this there is but one and the same diuine essence of these three persons, albeit the father, as the foū ­taine of the deity, hath his beeing from no other, but from himself: the son begotten of the father: the holy ghost pro­ceeding from the father and the Sonne.

2 The outwarde or external woorkes of the persons are those, [Page 291] which are done towards the creatures, and on them, & by them, through the wil and power or efficacie of the father, the son, & the holy ghost: but yet that order stil of the per­sons beeing kept, as that the father is the fountaine of the operations of the son, & the holy Ghost, & doth al things, not of any other, but of himselfe: The Sonne and the holy Ghost doe not work of themselues, but by themselues, that is, the Son worketh, the fathers wil going befo e, the holy Ghost woorketh, the will going before both of the Father & the Son. Obiect. Whose works are diuerse, their essence also is diuerse. The external works of the Father, the Sonne and the holy Ghost are diuerse: Therefore their essence also is diuerse. Answere vnto the Maior we make by inuerting it thus; Nay rather because the persons are infinit, there must needes bee but one essence of all. Because the inward operation is the com­munication of the essence: and therefore the diuersity of externall woorks doth not import diuersitie of essence.

THE FIRST PART OF THE CREEDE, OF GOD THE FATHER, CREATOR.

I BELEEVE in God the father Almighty, Creatour of heauen and earth.

To beleeue in God, is, to beleeue 1. That there is a God, and hee such a one, as hee hath manifested himselfe in his woord and woorkes. 2. That he is such a one to me, and that whatso­euer he hath manifested of his nature, hee will apply and refer to my safety.

Obiect. In the Creed the father only is said to bee God. The word, God, in the creede, is ment essentially to all three per­sons, not perso­nallie to one. There­fore the son & the holy ghost are not god. Ans. We deny the ante­cedent. Because the name of god in the creed is put essen­tially, & cōpriseth al 3. persons, that is, it is put for God the father, the Son, & the holy Ghost. These 3. therefore, The Father, the Son, & the holy Ghost, are one subiect by appositiō of the word, God, as if it should bee saide: I beleeue in one God, who is the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost. The rest, which commeth betweene each of these in the Creede, appertaine to the description of each person: and this is easily proued. First, these words, I beleeue, and the parti­cle, in, are referred after the same maner and sense to al three per­sons. For it is as well said, I beleeue in the Son, and, I beleeue in [Page 292] the holy ghost, as, I beleue in the father. But we may beleue but in one god. Wherefore as we beleeue in the father, in that he is God: so beleeue wee also in the Sonne and the holy ghost, because they are God. When then it is said, I beleeue in the sonne, &, I beleeue in the holy ghost, in both places is ne­cessarily vnderstoode the woord, God. Furthermore, if of these woordes of the first article, it followe, that the father onely is God, then of the same words by the like reason it should followe, that the Father onlie is omnipotent, and creatour of heauen and earth: which the whole Scripture crieth to bee most false. But of especiall consideration is this name of God, but on­ly once mentioned in the Creede, thereby to signifie, that the true God is but only one.

One thing to beleeue God, an other thing, to beleue in God.Wee are moreouer to obserue in this place, that it is one thing to beleeue God, another thing, to beleeue in god, For that sheweth a faith of knowledge, or historicall, this declareth true faith or confidence. To beleeue god, if wee speake properly, is to beleeue there is a GOD, and hee such a one, according to whatsoeuer is ascribed vnto him, as he hath manifested himselfe in his woorde. To beleeue in god, is, to be perswaded, that whatsoeuer God is, & is said to be, he is al that, and referreth it all to my safety, for his sonnes sake; that is to resolue that he is such a one to­wards me.

What is to be­leeue in the fa­ther, and why God is called a father. To beleeue in the Father, is, to beleeue, 1 That hee is the Father of our Lorde Iesus Christ. 2 That he is also my father for Christs sake, that is, that he beareth a fatherly good will towards me, as hauing adopted vs, by Christ & in Christ, to be his sonnes. God is called a Father. First, In respect of christ his onlie begotten & naturall Sonne. Secondly, In respect of all creatures, as he is Creator, & preseruer of them all. Thirdly, In respect of the elect, whom beeing adopted in his beloued Sonne, he regenerateth. Wherefore GOD is our Father in respect both of our Creation, adoption, and regenera­tion.

When the name of the Father is opposed to the Sonne, it sig­nifieth the first person of the God-head: but when it is refer­red to the creatures, it signifieth the whole diuine nature, which is the Father, the Sonne, and the holy ghost: Or, the name of Father as it is opposite to the Sonne, is vnderstood [Page 293] personallie, as heere in the Creede: but as it is compared with the creatures, it is taken essentially: as, Our father which art in heauen.

To beleeue in God almightie, is to beleeue in such a one,What is to be­leeue in God Al­mightie. 1 Who is able to doe whatsoeuer he will, yea also those thinges which he will not, if they be not contrarie to his nature: as hee could haue kept Christ frō death, but he would not. 2 Who doth all thinges euen with his becke and worde onlie, without anie difficultie. 3 Who alone hath power to woorke al thinges, and is author of that power which is in all his creatures. 4 Who is also vnto me Almightie and omnipotent, and both can and will direct all thinges, to my safetie, that is, who will vse his omnipoten­cie to the preseruing and sauing of mee, not only for that he hath nothing wanting vnto him for performance here­of to my behoofe, but also for that no creature is able to stop or hinder it. There is no good then so hard or full of difficultie, but he is able to giue me: no euil so great, but he can auert it from me. And this is properly to beleeue in god almightie and omnipotent. Neuerthelesse those things which go before are necessarily linked with the latter. For except we beleeue God to bee such, that is omnipotent, wee shall not be able to beleeue that God is such to vs in christ: that is, wee shall not bee able to apply his almightinesse and omnipotency vnto vs: so also in the rest which our faith apprehendeth concerning God, these two are to be ioy­ned, to wit, that God is such, both in himselfe and towards vs.

Obiection. God is not able to make that which is once doone, vndoone. Therefore he is not omnipotent. Answere. To haue the power to ly, or to be changed and the like, is no part of omnipotencie, but of infirmity. Now a passiue power, as to suffer change, and defects, are in creatures, not in God. Furder it is Gods omnipotency, to be able to do whatsoe­uer he will. By inuerting it therefore I conclude thus: Be­cause GOD is not able to will and doe that which is against his nature, and which would destroy it, he is om­nipotent.

To beleeue in the creatour, is, 1 To beleeue in him, What is to be­leeue in God the Maker or Creatour. who is cre­ator of al thinges. 2 Who sustaineth and gouerneth by his proui­dence those thinges which he hath created. 3 Who hath created [Page 294] all thinges, and so my selfe also, to his owne glorie, and to the ob­taining at length of my saluation: & that I may be a vessel of mer­cie, hee bringeth mee to that saluation by his especiall prouidence, where-with hee embraceth his chosen. 4 Who hath created all other thinges to his glorie, and for vs, euen to serue for the safetie of his Church. More brieflie thus: I beleeue in God the Creatour, that is, I beleeue that God, who hath created all thinges, and gouerneth them by his proui­dence, hath created mee and the faithfull in the world, to celebrate and serue him: and all other thinges, to serue for our safetie. All thinges are yours: and you are Christes, and Christ is Gods: as if he should say, All thinges are created for vs, euen as wee are created for God.

To this first part of the Creede belong three Common places, verie necessarie to be knowen.

  • 1 Of GOD.
  • 2 Of the Creation.
  • 3 Of Gods prouidence.

OF GOD.

THE principall questions are,

  • 1 Whether there be a God.
  • 2 What hee is, or what manner of God hee is whom wee woorship, and in what hee differeth from Idols.
  • 3 Whence it may appeare that there is but one God.
  • 4 What the names of Essence, Person, and Trinitie, signifie.
  • 5 In what the Essence differeth from the person.
  • 6 Whether these names are to bee vsed in the Church, and whether they are had in the Scripture.
  • 7 Howe manie persons there bee of the godheade.
  • 8 Howe these differ one from another.
  • 9 For what cause this doctrine is to bee helde in the Church.

1 WHETHER THERE BE A GOD.

THE great miserie of mans nature cannot bee suf­ficientlie thought vpon, that, whereas it was created to the bright knowledge and euen the verie image of god, it is fallen so farre, as not onely it is ignorant who, and what God is, but also maketh dispute, whether there bee [Page 295] any GOD in heauen or no. The causes of this euill,The causes which haue made men to doubt whether there be a God. the Church alone doth vnderstand: the first whereof is the blindnesse and corruption of mans nature after his fall: the next the instigation of the Diuel, who would haue the whole opinion of God rased out of the minds of men: vnto which commeth the horrible confusion of mans life and humane affaires, in that often-times the wicked florish, & the godly either are oppressed by them, or while they per­ceiue not the causes of these euils, and the secret gouern­ment of God, they fall to doubting whether there bee any God, who hath care ouer the world and humane affaires.

But that there is a God, is proued by diuerse reasons.

1 From the beutifull & goodly order of nature, The reasons which proue there is a God. 1. The order of all thinges in the world. 2. The nature of mans minde. beheld in the world. Now order is instituted, but of a wise and vnderstan­ding nature. In nature there is order. Therefore there is a superiour mind or intelligent power which instituteth and maintaineth the same.

2 From the nature and excellencie of mans minde. For it cānot possibly be, that he should bestow any thing vpon an other, which himselfe hath not, who should giue it: & that our reasonable nature must needes haue his original from an intelligent & vnderstanding nature, is manifest inough, for that the cause is not woorser or baser than the effect it bringeth. But the mind of mā is reasonable or indued with reason, & hath some cause. Therfore it hath an vnderstan­ding cause, which is God. The Minor is proued Whatsoeuer hath a beginning is from another: because it must needes be from some thing. And of it selfe it cannot haue being or beginning, be­cause nothing is cause of it selfe. But mans mind hath a beginning. Therefore from another; which other must needes be God.

3 From the notions of general rules or principles in the mind; 3. The general rules and princi­ples naturallie ingendered in the minde of man. as are the difference betweene honest things & dishonest, numbe­ring, vnderstanding of consequences in discourse & reasoning, & other notions borne together with vs. For these notions of principles beeing borne in vs, and with vs, could not come by chance or from a sensible nature common to vs with brute beasts. Whereupon we frame this Syllogisme: Noti­ons are not engendred nor haue their being, but from a cause intel­ligent (for no man maketh another wise, who himselfe is not wise) but in men there are notions, not comming by vse, nor receiued frō [Page 296] men: Therefore they are from God. Rom. 1. God is said to haue manifested his righteousnesse to men. Likewise, Man is the image of god. Seeing then these effects are attributed vnto God as proper: there must needs be a God.

4. This principle it selfe; That God is.4 From the naturall notion of this principle, whereby wee af­firme, that god is. Principles are true: Because they are di­uine wisedome; and because, the contrary or opposite thereto beeing granted, nature is thereby destroied. But, That God is, is a principle. 1. Because euery one hath experi­ence hereof in himselfe. 2. All wise men confesse it. 3. All nations consent in it: because they haue some religion, and about that they contend and striue. 4. Rom. 1.19. That which may be known of god is manifest in them, that is, in the minds of men, for god hath shewed it vnto them. Therefore god is.

5 The terors of conscience.5 The terrors of conscience which are stroken into the mindes of the wicked after they haue sinned. The torment of minde, which ensueth vpon sinnes committed, is inflicted of a iudge which knoweth both honest and dishonest thinges, detesteth those things which are dishonest, beholdeth the mindes and harts, exerciseth iudgement vpon the minds: But in al the wicked is this torment. Rom. 2.15. They shew the effect of the law writtē in their harts, their conscience also bearing witnes. Isa. 57.20.21. The wicked are like the raging sea, that can­not rest. There is no peace, saith my god, to the wicked. Isa. 66.24. Their worme shall not dy, neither shall their fire bee quenched, Therefore there is some such iudge. But he cannot be, ex­cept he be God: because this punishment cannot come but from God. Deutr. 4. God is a consuming fire.

Against the beastes of the world, who think this doctrine of God to bee but a cunning deuise of the wiser sort to keepe the simple people in order.And hence is apparant the impudencie of Epicures and Academicks, who deeme al religion to be deuises of subtill men, coined to this end and purpose, that the rest of the common people might, through fear of a superiour power, be kept in good or­der. For first, if through deceiueablenes other men beleeue that God is, and dread him; why then are these men them­selues, who wil seem by their sharp insight to espy the guile most of al tormēted with the conscience & priuy acknow­ledgement both of this their blasphemy, as also of other their misdeeds? Moreouer the sole and bare asseueration & word of a few could not haue bin sufficient neither to per­suade al mankind, nether to maintain the persuasion, once [Page 297] brought in, to al succeeding ages. Neither doth that lightē the force of those argumēts, which are deducted from this notion, that there is a God; & from the conscience, in that they say, there are many found, who neither beleue there is a god, nether are moued with the conscience of their sins. For although they couet neuer so much to persuade themselues, that there is no God, yet is their conscience alwaies against them. And therefore it is most false that these men ima­gine that any one of the wicked is free from the gnawing of his conscience. For how much the more euery one des­piseth God and al religion, and endeuoreth to represse the prickes of conscience: so much the more is he tormented, and at euery mentioning and signifieng of God hee trem­bleth and shaketh with horror; and how much the slowli­er, with so much the more seuere dolor & paine is his secu­rity shaken from him. Whereupon wee see, those, whose whole life was profane and secure, for the most part, when they are oppressed with the terror of gods iudgement, to perish in despair. Now that which is said Psa. 10. The vngod­ly is so proud, that hee careth not for god: neither is god in all his thoughts: & Ps. 14. & 53. The fool hath said in his hart, there is no god: that this hath not this meaning, as if the wicked were void of al knowedge and fear of god, or do not confes that there is a god: but that framing vnto themselues another, than he indeed is who hath manifested himself, to wit, one that careth not for mens affairs, defēdeth not, nor deliue­reth the good, and punisheth the wicked; they place an i­dol in the roum of the tru God: Dauid himself doth suffici­ciently declare, when as he describeth the same prophane­nesse of the wicked, Ps. 10. in these words: For he hath said in his hart, tush, god hath forgotten, he hideth away his face, and he wil neuer see it.

6 From the punishmēts of the wicked, 6. The punish­mentes of the wicked. which they suffer besides the torments of conscience. For the euents of al times cōstrain men to confesse that their sins are punished with grieuous punishments in this life; & cōtrariwise the lot & end of the good to be more pleasant. Wherefore there is a minde or vnderstanding power, which discerneth honest things frō dishonest, iudge of mankind, punishing the wicked, & defē ­ding the good. And that this may not be ascribed to the [Page 298] wisedome or seuerity of magistrats or other men, this first withstādeth & hindereth, for that it must needs be that this na­tural instinct, whereby men iudge that offender▪ are iustlie puni­shed, must proceed from some mind which is enimy to wickednes. Again, for that oftentimes by marueilous & inexpected and vn­looked for meanes they are drawen to the iustice and punishment of the Magistrates, whose sinnes before had beene priuy, or who seemed to haue bin able by their owne power or subtilty easily to escape their handes; and that especially, for that many, who through either the negligence or white­liuerdnes of Magistrats are not punished by them, yet run into calamities and haue allotted vnto them ruthful ends. And whē transgressions & sins encrease too much, & their impunity, whole nations and common-wealthes with horrible and manifest examples of gods wrath perish: as the world in the de­luge: Sodom by fier cast from heauē: Pharao in the red sea: the Iewes, & many florishing kingdomes by most lamen­table ouerthrowes. That these things cānot come to passe by chaunce, neither any other way than by the iudgement and power of him who is Lord of mankind & nature, both Gods comminations and threatnings, and the conscience of euery one, and the order of iustice, whereby these folow and ensue vpon impiety, and the very hugenes, waight and greatnes of things doth conuince. Wherefore it is said, Ps. 58. The righteous shal reioice when he seeth the vengeāce: he shal wash his footsteps in the blood of the vngodly. So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: doubtles there is a god that iudgeth the earth. And Psa. 9.16. The Lord is knowen to execute iudgemēt: now albeit the wicked florish often for a while, & the godly are oppressed, yet neuertheles exāples which are fewer in nūber, do not weaken the general rule, vnto which most euēts agree. But if it were so that fewer of the wicked did suffer punishment, yet those selfsame examples, though but a fewe, would testify that god is, & that he is displeased with the offences of others also, who seem to be lesse puni­shed. But this is not true, no not of any of them, that they are not punished in this life. For al those who are not be­fore the end of this life conuerted to god, if punishment do not sooner ouertake them, yet at length they die in dis­paire, which punishment is more grieuous than all the [Page 299] euils eyther corporall or externall, and is the begin­ning & testimonie of euerlasting punishment. Now in that this punishment is not sufficient, it doth therein agree with all euen the most tragicall cases of the wicked: and there­fore wee are taught by the doctrine of the Church, that Gods lenitie, which he doth not seldome vse in this life to­wards the wicked: and his seueritie, which hee seemeth to shew towardes the godly, doth not at all weaken his diuine prouidence and iustice, but rather declareth his goodnes, whiles by differring of punishment he inuiteth the wicked to repentaunce, and by exercising the godly with cha­stisementes and crosses, hee perfecteth their saluation; and also it confirmeth the certaintie of iudgement after this life, wherein perfect satisfaction shall be made by the wicked to Gods iustice.

7 From a bodie politique, which is wiselie ordered by lawes. 7 Common weales wisely ordered. This coulde not haue beene shewed vnto men, but from a minde, vnderstanding and approouing this order, which minde is God himselfe. Moreouer, that which is not preser­ued by humane wisedome, or by force, or naturall causes, neither yet can be ouerthrown by Diuels & the multitude of wickedmen, hath a defender more potent & mightie than these. Common-weales are not preserued by humane strength or wisedome, & are oppugned by the wicked and Diuels. Therefore they haue a superior and migh­tier defender than all these. And this defender is God alone.

8 From the order and nature of efficient causes. 8. The order and nature of efficient causes. For it can not bee, that the processe and race of effici­ent causes shoulde bee of an endlesse and infinite ex­tent: wherefore there must bee some first and princi­pall cause, which may either mediately or immediate­ly produce and mooue the rest, on which also all o­ther causes may depende. Nowe that the progresse of causes, which haue their moouing and beeing eache of other, is not infinite, they shewe by this reason. If the causes of anie effect were infinite, whereof some should mooue or produce other some, one of these absurdities should follow; that either within the compasse of a finite time should bee effected infinite motions and mutations, or else at no time those infinite causes euer to attaine vnto their end, that is, vnto their purposed effect. Both which beeing manifestly false, and im­possible, [Page 300] it must needes be that the original of mutations dependeth of some cause immutable, eternal and omnipotent.

9. The endes of all thinges.9 From the final causes of al things. To appoint the endes of all thinges belongeth to a nature which is wise, and ad­ministreth al things. Now al thinges are ordeined to their ends, and those also certaine. (But these endes and vses of thinges haue not their beeing by chaunce, or from a nature onely endewed with sense) Therefore from some nature which is wise and omnipotent, which is God alone.

For, that nature worketh for some end, this is so farre from remoouing the framer and artificer from it, as rather it most of all confirmeth, that there is a minde maker and framer of the woorlde, which appointed the actions of na­ture to these ends, and nature deede intendeth to an end thtough the ordination and appointment of another, but neither vnderstandeth it, nor is moued thereby to work.

And further, that there are manie things in the world which not onlie seeme vnprofitable to all, but are also troublesome and pernicious: this also doth not infringe the generall rule, That all thinges were made to a good vse. For by reason of sinne those things nowe hurt, which would haue profited men if they had not sinned. And therefore to the godly al thinges turne to their safetie, yea that punishment it selfe, which God inflicteth by other creatures vpon mē, serueth for an vse agreeable to the wisedome and iustice of God. Many thinges also, whereby men feele discommodities, haue withal some vses acceptable, & preseruatiue to mans life. And farther there is no one thing among all things which yeeldeth not matter of agnizing and celebrating the wisedome, bounty, power, and iustice of the author.

10. Certaine & euident foretel­lings of euents.10 From certaine and cleare significations of future euentes, which neither by humane sight or perceiueablenes, nei­ther by naturall causes or signes coulde haue beene fore­knowen: but only beeing reuealed by him, who hath both mankinde and the nature of all thinges so in his owne power, that nothing can bee doone but through his mo­tion. Such are the prophecies of the deluge, of the poste­rity of Abraham, of the comming of the Messias. Which first is thereby manifest, for that the decrees and coun­sailes [Page 301] of that minde, which is the first cause of his owne workes, no man can knowe before himselfe: and therefore they cannot bee foreknowen of others, but beeing disclo­sed by him. Furthermore, many Prophecies haue beene vttered in such sort, that God hath not onely foretolde things should so come to passe, but also that those thinges shoulde bee doone and brought so to passe by him, Ezech. 12. Of all thinges foretolde by him hee saith, I will speake the woorde, and I will doe it. Lasty, it must needes bee that he knoweth all things who promiseth that hee will giue aunswere concerning all purposes and euentes ne­cessary to bee knowen, which shall bee demaunded of him, and dooth indeede perfourme this; euen as God did among the people of Israel. And therefore God himselfe alleageth this as his worke alone, for proofe of his diuinity against all forged & fained Gods. Isa. 41.23. Shew the things that are to come heereafter, that wee may knowe that you are Gods.

11 From heroicall instinctes, that is, wisedome,11. Heroical and noble in­stincts of minde. and excel­lent vertue, in vndertaking and atchiuing those woorkes, which surpasse the common capacity of mans nature. Such is the felicity and happinesse of noble artificers or gouernours, in searching or polishing artes, and in finding out deuises and counsailes: Likewise the couragiousnesse of mind in performing the actions of vertue, and in mena­ging matters: such as was in Achilles, Alexander, Archime­des, Plato, and others.

2 Who and what God is.

WHen it is demanded, who is the tru god, Wee must ac­knowledge God to bee such, as himselfe hath manifested him­selfe to bee. we are to hold most firmly and surely, that he alone is the tru god, who euen from the beginning of mankinde did not onely manifest himselfe in the nature of thinges by the steppes and prints of his diuinity shining therein, but especially in the Church, by his woord deliuered, and other famous testimonies of miracles, deliueries, and consolations, wher­by he plainly teacheth whom & what he will be acknowle­ged and published by vs to be, and that he is not acknowle­ged or woorshiped of any, but of them, who thinke accor­ding to this word both of him and his will, neither is the [Page 302] true knowledge of him founde else-where than in this worde. The certaintie of this position, is hereof most manifest, for that all those who imagine GOD to bee other in essence, or nature, or will, than hee hath testifi­ed himselfe to bee in his owne manifestations and re­ueilings, doe not embrace and woorship at all the true GOD, but an other thing of their owne framing, in steede of the true GOD, according to these sayings, Iohn. 4.22. Ye woorship that which ye knowe not: we woor­ship that which wee knowe: for saluation is of the Iewes. And cap. 5. vers. 23. He that honoreth not the sonne, the same ho­noreth not the father which hath sent him. Gal. 4.8. But then when ye knewe not GOD, yee did seruice vnto them which by nature are not Gods. Eph. 2.12. Ye were at that time without Christ, & were aliants from the common-wealth of Israell, and were straungers from the Couenaunt of promise, and had no hope, and were without GOD in the world. Act. 17.23. Whom yee then ignorantly worship, him shew I vnto you. 1. Iohn. 2.23. Whosoeuer denieth the sonne, the same hath not the father.

But against these thinges seemeth that to bee, which Paul saith to the Rom. 1.19. That that which may bee knowen of GOD is manifest also in men estranged from chri­stian Religion: for that GOD hath shewed it vnto them. For the inuisible thinges of him, The glimse of nature not suffi­cient to shew who is the true God. that is, his eternall power and Godhead, are seene by the creation of the world beeing considered in his woorkes; to the intent that they shoulde be without excuse. And Act. 17. That GOD in former ages did not leaue himselfe without witnesse: and that out of the whole nature of thinges, but chieflie by the minde of man, and the difference of thinges honest and dishonest, and by the punishments the of wicked, it may in some measure bee ga­thered, not onely that there is a GOD, but also what hee is: and therefore manie thinges are found to haue beene spo­ken truely by the heathen and others concerning the vnitie and nature of GOD. But to these obiections wee aun­swere: that there are indeede some true thinges, con­cerning GOD manifested otherwise also than by the worde deliuered to the Church: but by them notwith­standing, who is the true GOD, cannot bee shewed; and that for two causes. For first, those thinges by themselues [Page 303] are not sufficient: For, to the knowing of the true God, it is requisite that wee knowe and professe, not some thinges onely, but all thinges which hee openeth of himselfe, and woulde haue knowen. Moreouer, these selfe same true testimonies of God also, which remaine in mens minds and in na­ture, all they by reason of a naturall blindnesse in them and pra­uitie doe manie waies corrupt, who in weighing of them followe not the light and interpretation thereof drawen from the worde of God deliuered to the Church, when as euen of these thinges which might bee knowen by the helpe of nature, manie thinges they doe not knowe, manie they faine of their owne, which haue nothing agreeing with the nature and wil of God: and those thinges which they do retaine, & in shewe of wordes professe, they farre otherwise vnderstand than they are proposed of God, and declared in his word, and in the Church vnderstoode: and so beholding and sounding in their mouth true sentences and sayinges con­cerning God, conceiue neuerthelesse and foster false opi­nions of him in their mind. This answere S. Paul himselfe expresseth Rom. 1. when he addeth; That they are inexcusable; because that when they knewe god, they glorified him not as god.

Now albeit Philosophicall wisedome cannot therefore shew, who is the true god, for that concerning the essence, na­ture, wil, and workes of god,The voice of nature concer­ning god, neither to bee reiected nor contemned, either in respect of insufficiencie, or of mens mis­constring it. so much as is necessary to bee knowen it doth not teach, & is diuersly depraued by men, so that out of the Church remaineth no true knowledge of god, yet neuertheles that voice of the nature of things concerning god ought not for these causes to bee reiected as false, or contemned as fruitles. For neither is that straight waies false in it selfe, which is peruerslie constred of men; neither fruitles for al things, nor to al men, which auaileth the reprobate nothing at all to euerlasting saluation. For god will also out of the Church bridle the lewd & dissolute, by the testimonies which their conscience & punishments giue of his will, an­ger, and iudgement, and according to them will hee haue the life and manners of men ruled. Hee will haue mans corruption and his iustice made more conspicuous and cleare in punishing them, who stubburnely withstand the knowen truth. He wil by natural testimonies, mens consci­ence shewing the imperfection thereof, haue men stirred [Page 304] vp to seeke the true God in the Church, as it is said, Act. 17. That men were therefore placed in the theater of the worlde, that they should seeke the Lord, if so be they might haue groaped after him, and found him. Hee will also haue them, who are con­uerted to him, to be more confirmed by the consent of na­ture and the worde, as the often alleadging of naturall te­stimonies in the Scriptures declareth. Lastly he will, the imperfection of naturall knowledge being considered, haue mens ignorance concerning God acknowledged, & his mercy magnified, who discouereth and openeth him­selfe in his woorde.

God cannot bee defined, 1. Because he is immense. 2. Be­cause his essence is vnknown vnto vs: Yet some way hee may be described: which description comprehendeth his attri­butes or properties, the persons & principal woorks and by these three is the true God discerned from all false Gods.

The description of God accor­ding to the rules of Diuinitie.After this sort then is God Theologically described, God is a spiritual essence, intelligent, eternall, infinite, other from all the creatures, incomprehensible, most perfect in it selfe, vnmu­table, and of an immense power, wisedome & goodnesse, true, iust, chast, mercifull, bountifull, most free, angry and wrath with sinne: which essence is the eternal father who frō euerlasting begot the Sonne according to his Image, and the Sonne, who is the coeternall Image of the father: & the holie ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Sonne: Euen as it hath bin manifested from aboue, certain worde thereof beeing deliuered by the Prophets, Christ and the A­postles, and by diuine testimonies, t [...]at the eternall Father toge­ther with the Sonne, and the holy ghost, hath created heauen and earth, and all creatures, and worketh all good things in all: & that in mankind he hath chosen vnto himselfe and gathered a Church, by, and for the Sonne, that by his Church this one and true Deitie may be according to the word deliuered from aboue, acknowledged, celebrated, and adored in this life, and in the life to come: & lastly that he is the iudge of the iust and vniust.

The description of God accor­ding to philoso­phie.Philosophically he is described on this wise: God is an eternall minde or intelligence sufficient in himselfe to all felicitie, most good, and the cause of good in nature. So is hee defined by Plato in his book of Definitions; likewise in his Timaeus. And by Aristotle Lib. 12. Metaph. Cap. 7. and Lib. de Mundo, &c.

[Page 305]The Theological description of god,In what the for­mer descriptions differ. which the church deliuereth, differeth from this Philosophical description, because that is pefecter than this. 1 In the number of parts, whereof it addeth manie by nature vnknown vnto men; as of the Trinity, of the Redēption of man, &c. 2. In the vnderstanding & declaration of those parts, which are common to both▪ for the Theological description declareth them more certainlie and fullie. 3. In the effect or fruite. By Philosophie or the light of nature men are not able to bee brought to the true knowledge of God, both because it is maimed, and false by mens corruption: as also because it doth not stirre vp in vs Godlines, that is, the loue and feare of God: seeing it tea­cheth not those things, whereby this is effectuated and brought to passe.

An explication of the description of God deliuered by the Church.

GOD is an essence] That is, a thing, which 1. hath his being from none, but from himselfe. 2. is preserued or sustained of none but subsisteth by himselfe. 3. is necessarilie. 4. is the only cause vnto all other things of their being. Wherfore he is called Ie­houa, as if you would saie, beeing by himselfe and causing other things to be, to wit, according to his nature and promises.

Spirituall] 1. Because hee is incorporeal: as being infinite, and indiuisible, & most excellent. 2. Insensible. For first, ex­perience teacheth this. Secondly, God is without sensible quali­ties, which are the obiects of the senses: and Thirdly, hee is immense. The eies perceiue onely thinges finite, and which are within a certain compasse. 3. He is spirituall, because both himselfe liueth, and is the author of all life both corporall and spi­rituall.

Obiection. Against this opinion manie places of scrip­ture haue beene heretofore by some alleadged,How God and Angels ap­peared vnto men. in which it is written, that God and Angels did appeare and were seen, thereby to proue, that their nature is corporeal and visible. But we are to know, that not the very substances of God and Angels, but created shapes and bodies were beheld of men, made, car­ried, and moued, by the will and vertue of God or Angels, that by them they might make knowen their presence, and vse their ministerie and seruice in instructing men of those [Page 306] thinges which seemed good vnto them. And these were sometimes by imagination represented to the interiour senses of men: which also somewhere may, & somewhere cannot be gathered out of the circumstances of the histo­ries: As the Angels appearing to Abraham & Lot, were in­uested with true bodies, as which might bee toucht and handled. Whether Micha before Achab saw with the eies of his bodie, or of his mind, the Lord and his Angels, is a matter of doubt. But that those visible shapes were not the very substaunce of God, is hereby manifest, for that the scripture with great consent teacheth, that God is seene of no man, neither can be seene, and incomprehensible, and vnchangea­ble. But those visible shapes were not alwaies the same.

How God is saied to be seene face to face.2 Obiection. To these they adde that which is saide, that God was seene of Iacob face to face. Gen. 32. And of Moses. Exod. 33. and Deut 34. And of all the people, Deut. 5. And that all of vs shall see God face to face, in the life to come. 1. Cor. 13. By which metaphor or borrowed speeche, is signified a cleare and conspicuous manifestation and knowledge of God, which is perceiued, not with the eies of the bodie, but of the minde, either by meanes, as by the word, by his woorkes and outwarde tokens, and such as runne into the the senses, whence the minde may gather somewhat of God: Or without meanes, by inwarde reuelation. And al­beit in the life to come shall bee a farre more bright knowledge of god than nowe: yet to knowe god most per­fectly is proper to god onely, as it is saide, Iohn. 6.46. Not that any man hath seene the father, saue hee which is of God, hee hath seene the father: So farre is it, that the inuisible, infinite and euerlasting Deitie may euer be conceaued by bodilie eies, whose nature is not to perceiue any obiectes, but such as are finite and limited.

How the partes of mans bodie are attributed vnto God.3 Obiection. They haue alleaged also those sayinges, wherein the parts of mans bodie are attributed to God. But these also are not properly, but by a Metaphor, spoken of god, whereby is signified to vs a power in god working after an incomprehensible manner his workes, a certaine shadowe whereof are those actions, which men doe by the ministe­rie and helpe of their bodily partes: as the eies, and eares signifie the wisedome of god, whereby hee vnderstandeth [Page 307] all thinges: the mouth, the publishing of his worde: the face, the declaration, tokens, and feeling of his diuine goodnesse & grace, or seueritie & anger: The hart, his loue: the hands and armes, his power: the feete, his presence.

4 Obiection. They haue affirmed also,The image of God in man doeth not argue a bodily shape in God. because man was made according to the image of god, that therefore god hath a hu­mane shape; not marking, that the image of god consisteth not in the shape and figure of the bodie, but in the mind, & integritie of nature, in wisedome, righteousnes, and true ho­lines. Eph. 4. As for Tertullian, whereas he reasoneth, that god is a bodie; that he speaketh vnproperly therein, and abu­seth the word bodie, in steed of substance, not only Austine witnesseth in his Epistle to Quoduultdeus: but this is also an argumēt, & proofe thereof, because he termeth also the soules and Angels oftentimes bodies.

Wherefore let vs know that therefore wee are taught the nature of god to bee spirituall,Why wee must knowe God to bee spirituall. that wee may not con­ceiue of god anie thing which is grosse, terrene, carnall, and vnworthie his diuine Maiestie: neither shoulde deeme that hee can bee perceiued by our bodilie senses or in thought imagined, but shoulde consider his nature by his worde and woorkes: that wee shoulde not dare to represent him by any bodilie shape: and in a worde, that wee shoulde remember that hee is to bee worship­ped, not with the gestures or other thinges of the bodie, but with the minde and spirituall motion of the heart. Lastly, Seeing hee alone inspireth into vs temporall and euerlasting life, wee shoulde acknowledge the gift of both to come from him: Out of this fountaine onely wee should seeke it, and indeuour to referre it wholy to his glorie.

Intelligent] 1.Why God is saied to bee in­tilligent, and against whom wee are to holde it. Because hee is the cause both of the minde of man, and of the notions shining in it, and also of that order which it in the nature of thinges and common weales. 2. Because all intelligence or vnderstanding of the creature commeth from him, both in respect of the facultie, as also in respect of the operation. For neither can the efficient and preseruing cause of intelligent natures, and of the vn­derstanding it selfe and order in nature, bee but in­telligent and vnderstanding. And therefore the ho­ly Scripture also reasoneth on this wise, Psalme. 94.9. He that planted the eare, shall hee not heare: or hee that made the [Page 308] eie, shall he not see? Nowe this wee are to holde, first, against those, who setting nature in the place of God, imagine the world and the varietie and order of thinges in it, to arise from the mat­ter and the inclination thereof to this forme: when as notwith­standing these thinges coulde not haue their beeing from a cause not intelligent. Wee are to holde it also, thereby to acknowledge not onely true knowledge it selfe, but also all abilitie of vnderstanding, and the sagacitie and perceueraunce of the sen­ses and minde to be the gift of God.

Eternall] That such an eternitie, which can haue neither beginning nor any end of beeing, agreeth to God alone, both nature sheweth, The eternitie of god without beginning or end. for so much as hee is the first cause of all things, and of infinite perfection & power; and the scripture also recounteth, as Psal. 90.2. Before the mountains were brought forth, or euer the earth and world were made; thou art God from euerlasting, and world without end. But we are to obserue, that not therefore onely the eternitie of God is so often incul­cated in the scriptures, that in regard hereof hee may bee discerned from thinges created: but also because hee will im­part eternitie vnto vs, that is, hee hath purposed and promi­sed that he will giue vs of his eternall goodnes, and proui­dence, eternal blessings, and will haue continuall care of vs through al eternitie, and wil haue a kingdome in Angels & men, whereof shalbe no end.

Therefore are wee giuen to vnderstand that God is e­ternal to vs,God eternal vn­to vs. that we may oppose the certain hope of eternall bles­sednes grounded vpon his eternitie against the shortnes of mortall life, and against the frailtie of mans condition. For seeing hee is eternal, he can, and seeing hee promiseth, he will for euer preserue vs with his protection. Psal. 48.13. For this God is our GOD for euer and euer. And Psalm. 111.9. Hee hath commaunded his Couenant for euer. Wherefore being vphelde by this consolation, let vs neither refuse to suffer the short mi­serie of this life, neither preferre the short felicitie thereof before e­ternal blessings: and seeing God wil be not only bountifull towards the godly, but iudge also of the vngodlie eternally, let the cogitati­on of the eternal wrath of god keep and hold vs in the feare of god, that we may not desire to buie the fading shewe of whatsoeuer good with eternal miserie.

That god is other from all his creatures, we must hold: first, [Page 309] against Philosophers,God, other and diuerse from all creatures. who wil haue the world or nature it selfe to bee god, that is either a generall matter, or a power, or a minde and intelligence, or some forme to be infused, min­gled, & tied to the bodies of the world, & them to informe, quicken, sustein, and moue, as the soule susteineth and mo­ueth mans bodie. Which Virgil calleth, the spirit of the world: others the soule of the world. Secondly, against those who ima­gine the creatures, either all, as Seruetus; or some, according to the doctrine of the Manichees, to spring from the verie essēce or nature of god, deriuing it selfe, as they speake, into others by propagation. Thirdly, that al prophane, vnworthie, & idolatrous cogitation of god, whereby god may be made like to anie creature, may be exclu­ded. For, that the essence of god is far other than the essēce of al the creatures, both nature & the word of god sheweth, whē as it teacheth that god is wise & Creator of the world: now the world hath manie parts vnreasonable; and it self cannot be Creator to it selfe, it sheweth also that things are not deriued out of the substance of god, that beeing vnchangeable and indiuisible. And lastly, that the Deitie is most vnlike & different from all things created, because there can neither be, nor be imagined anie similitude of a finite nature and an infinite.

First therefore, whereas the scripture saith,How all thinges are saide to bee of God. that al things are of god: Rom. 11.1. Cor. 8. it doth not mean that al things are god, or the essence of god, or propagated from it. For al other things are of god, not as begotten of him or procee­ding from him, as the word, and eternal spirite of god, but as cre­ated, that is, made of nothing. Rom. 4.17. Who calleth those things that are not, as if they were. Secondly, when as the soule of man is called celestiall and diuine. Likewise, when it is said, we are the generation of god. Act. 17.29. This is not meant of the cō ­municating of the diuine substance, as if the soul were de­riued from the essence of god, but of the similitude of pro­perties, & of the creation. The soule therefore is said to bee celestiall and diuine, that is, adorned with celestiall & diuine powers & gifts, which although they be a certain shadowe of the diuine nature, yet are they created qualities. Thirdly whereas the elect and saints are said to bee of god, to bee borne of god and his spirite, and the sonnes of god, and spirituall; Iohn. 1.13. & 8.47. & 3.6. Neither is this vnderstood of the propagati­on of the essence, but of the similitude of the properties, or [Page 310] of the image of God, to the which they are refashioned by Gods spirite. And fourthly when Paul also saith, 1. Cor. 6.17. That he which is ioined vnto the Lord, is one spirit; and Pe­ter. 2. Pet. 1.4. That we are made partakers of the diuine nature: we are taught, both that the spirite of God dwelleth in vs by grace, and is ioined vnto vs, as also that there is begun in vs euen nowe a conformitie with God, which shall bee per­fected in the life to come. And lastly, when Christ himselfe is said to be God, and to haue a diuine bodie: There is not there­by signified a mutation of the diuine nature into the hu­mane, or of the humane into the diuine: but an vnsepara­ble conioyning of two natures, reteining their properties distinct, into one person, and a glorifiyng of the humane nature which indeede agreeth to a nature ruler and gouer­nes of all things, but yet notwithstanding made & created.

What wee are to learne by the immensitie and incomprehensi­bilitie of God. Incōprehensible, or immense] 1. He wil haue vs to know, that he cannot be cōprehended in the cogitation of any creature, so that what things he ascribeth to himself in his word, how great soeu