TRUTH'S TRIUMPH OVER TRENT: OR, THE GREAT GVLFE BETWEENE SION and BABYLON.

THAT IS, The vnreconcileable opposition betweene the Apostolicke Church of CHRIST, and the Apostate Synagogue of ANTICHRIST, in the maine and fun­damentall Doctrine of IVSTIFICATION, for which the Church of ENGLAND Christs Spouse, hath iust­ly, through Gods mercie, for these manie yeares, ac­cording to Christs voyce, separated her selfe from Babylon, with whom from henceforth she must hold no Communion.

By H. B. Rector of S. Mathews Friday-Street.

2. COR. 6. 14, 15, 16.
What fellowship hath righteousnesse with vnrighteousnesse? and what communion hath light with darkenesse? And what concord [...] Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the Beleeuer with an Infi­dell? And what agreement hath the Temple of God with Idols?

LONDON, Printed for MICH. SPARKE. 1629.

To the High and Excellent, who in­habiteth Eternity, IESVS CHRIST, the Lord our Righteousnesse, the faithfull witnesse, the first begotten of the dead, the Prince of the Kings of the earth, who hath loued vs, and wa­shed vs in his owne bloud, and hath made vs Kings and Priests vnto God, and his Father: Glory, Dominion, Blessing, Honour, Power, for euermore. Amen.

MOst High and Holy Lord Iesus, to whom should a sinfull wretch, and worthlesse abiect presume to ap­proach, but to thee his gracious Sauiour, and mercifull Redeemer? Vouchsafe then, O Sun of righte­ousnes, to stretch thy healing wings ouer my fainting and feeble soule, now prostrate at thy beautifull and blessed feet, and so bathe & wash me in the fountain of thy precious bloud, as that I may be presented spotlesse before thy Fathers Throne, clad in the robes of thy perfect righteousnesse. [Page] Thou art that faithfull witnesse to confirme, yea that souereigne King, and supreme Iudge, to maintaine the cause of thine eternall truth against all Antichristian aduersaries. Vouchsafe therefore to patronize this poore labour, which the weakest & vnworthiest of all thy seruants, is bold here to consecrate to thy Name. It is but that small fruit and rivulet, which hath sprung from thee the liuing Roote, and Fountaine of all grace; so as by iust right it is thine. Let thy power protect the worke and workman from all iniury of time; and thy grace blesse the worke, both to the confirming of thy people in the sauing truth, and to the conuincing of the gain-sayer. Thou seest, O Lord, the presumption of Antichrist, and of his seduced seducing Apostles. Thou beholdest these Apostatizing luke-warme times, how many looke backe to Egypt, to Babylon. Thou num­brest and weighest Antichristian Aduocates, and Baals Pleaders, and Babylons Reconcilers, as if they would in despight of thee and thy blessed Word, re-erect Ba­bels Tower within the borders of thy Sion.

O Lord, are not thine eyes vpon the truth? And do not thine eyes runne to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew thy selfe strong in the behalfe of them, whose heart is perfect towards thee? Art not thou He, that in former times hast saued vs from our enemies, & hast put them to confusion, that hate vs? But now, Lord, (if we may dispute with thee, and seeing thy seruant, who is but dust and ashes, hath begun to speake to my Lord) wherefore hast thou cast thy people off, and go­est not forth with our Armies? Wherefore doest thou make vs to turne our backe from the enemy, that they which hate vs, spoile our goods? Wherfore doest thou [Page] make vs a reproach vnto our neighbours, a scorne and derision to them that are round about vs? Or can wee plead for our selues, as once thy people by the mouth of thy seruant Dauid, did, Though all this be come vp­on vs, yet haue we not forgotten thee, nor behaued our selues falsly in thy Couenant? Or can wee say, Our heart is not turned backe, nor our steps declined from thy way? Or, That wee haue not forgotten the Name of our God, nor stretched out our hand to a strange God? Alas, O Lord, our confusion is still before vs, our iniquities are with vs, they testifie against vs; so that how can wee hold vp our heads before thee, or stand before our enemies? And yet, O Lord, all our smart and shame cannot teach vs to beleeue thy Pro­phets, who haue often told vs, The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if yee seeke him, he will be found of you: but if yee forsake him, hee will forsake you. And wherein are we conuinced of our forsaking of thee, O Lord, but by beholding with lamentable experience, how thou seemest now of long time to haue forsaken vs? For else, if thou Lord wert with vs, how should so many calamities and disasters fall vpon vs, and vpon thy people round about vs? How should England, formerly a terrour to her neighbours, be­come now their scorne and derision? The truth is, O Lord, we must needs confesse to our great shame; that with the Church of Ephesus, wee haue declined from our first loue. O teach vs to remember from whence we are fallen, and to repent, and do the first works, left thou come against vs quickly, and remoue our Candle­sticke out of his place, except we repent. And hast thou not at least a few things against vs, that the woman [Page] Iezebel, which calleth her selfe a Prophetesse, is suffe­red to teach, and to seduce thy seruants to commit for­nication with Idols? For this, thou hast couered thy selfe with a cloud, that our prayer should not passe through. For this, thou hast made vs as the refuse in the midst of the people. For this, all our enemies haue opened their mouth against vs; yea, thy fierce windes haue fought against vs, wasted and wracked our forces. Yet doe not, O Lord, cast vs off for euer. Thy people put their mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope. O teach vs to search and trie our waies, and turne again to thee our God. O pleade for vs to thy Father, when in thy name wee lift vp our heart with our hands to God in the heauens. And lest our praiers be turned into sin, O strengthen our hearts and hands from the highest to the lowest, to cast our from among vs our Idol-sins, and sinfull Idols, the abominations, and prouocations of thy iealousie.

O blesse thy seruant, our gracious Soueraigne, King CHARLES, double vpon his royall person the spirit of vpright Dauid, and of zealous Iosiah, to purge and re­paire thy Temple, that vpon himselfe his Crown may long flourish, his righteous Scepter may cherish and support thy people, his victorious Sword may suppress and vanquish thine and his enemies. Showre down thy grace into the heart of his royall Queene, that shee comming to partake with him in the onely and blessed means of saluation, thy Word & Sacraments, may be­come also a ioyfull & fruitful nurcing Mother to thine Israel. Multiply the Spirit of wisdome & counsel vpon his Maiesties Honorable Counsellers, that taking all their counsel at thee & thy word, all their consultations [Page] and resolutions may prosper, and procure peace and prosperity to these Kingdomes, and thy Churches therein and abroad. Double the Spirit of zeale and piety vpon all the Ministers of thy Word and Sacra­ments, especially, vpon the reuerend Arch-Bishops & Bishops, that standing in the place of Pillars in thy Temple, of the salt of the earth, of the light of the world, they may strongly support thy true Religion, season and lighten those places, which are dark and vn­sauory, and all for want of faithfull Ministers▪ thus shall they highly magnifie their office, and discharge their stewardship, by prouiding and sending painfull labourers into euery corner of thy field. Inspire and in­flame them, Lord, with that zeale of thine own, where­with thou didst purge thy Temple from profane mer­chandize: that so they may with the whip-cords of sound Doctrine, and wholesome Discipline, chase out of thy Church all Herefie and Idolatry. Why should the world, O Lord, complaine and cry, Where is the spirit of those a [...]cient Bishops and Martyrs, and [...] Champions of thy truth, as of Cranmer, [...] ­mer, Hooper, Bucer, Peter Martyr, Iewel, and other faithfull witnesses, whose eyther bloud hath beene the seed, or preaching and writing the watering of this thy noble Vineyard? O keepe farre from vs the spirit of cowardise, and lukewarmnesse, of ambition, and loue of the world, lest these infeebling and infatuating our soules, wee should proue a generation of peruerse and foolish children, pulling downe what our religious fore-fathers with such care and paines, mature iudge­ment, and sound knowledge in the truth, haue built. Stirre vp, O Lord, the noble hearts of the two honou­rable [Page] Chancellors of our Vniuersities, that with the ayde of soueraigne authority, they may zealously set themselues to preserue those Fountaines and Nurce­ries from the mudde of Heresie, and the bitter root of Impiety. Infuse the spirit of courage, zeale, vpright­nesse, and hatred of couetousnesse, in aboundance vpon all the reuerend Iudges and Iustices of the Land, that they may duely execute the Lawes by freeing the poor innocent from the potent oppressor, by cutting downe sinne, and cutting off the traiterous ring-leaders to Ido­latry. Thus thy Church being purged, Iustice executed, Religion maintained, sinne reformed, our Couenant with thee renewed, our vowes of better obedience and thankfulnesse performed, and we through thy me­rits reconciled to thy Father of mercies: thou the great Captaine and Lord of Hosts, mayst againe take thy peoples part, turne the edge of thy Sword against thine enemies, and fill our mouthes with a new song of praise & thank [...]giuing to thee, which sittest vpon the Throne, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, God blessed for euer.

Amen.

The Preface to the Reader.

CHristian Reader, loe here the two great mysteries laid open; the one of Godlinesse, the summe where of is Christ, beleeued on in the World: the other of Iniquity, the head whereof is Antichrist, beleeued on of the World. Two Mysteries in­compatible, as light and darknesse. They are the two bounders, dister­minating Ierusalem from Babylon. This Mysterie of ini­quity, I meane, the Romish doctrine of Iustification, is the head-doctrine, or source, whence all their meritorious sa­tisfactions doe flow. And Bellarmine, with other Pontifi­cians,Bellarmin. de Iustif. l. 1. c. 4. confesseth, Iustification to bee the maine Cardo or hinge, whereon hangeth the whole body of controuersies betweene them and the Pretestants. Nor was it for no­thing, that the Councell of Trent so improued all their skill and strength, to oppose and oppresse the true Catholicke do­ctrine of Iustification, as whereby the Papall magnificence and the gaine of the Romish Craftsmen for their Diana, Act. 19. was endangered. So that this their Abortiue was a hatch­ing for seuen moneths; so long was this Babylonish Ra [...] wherewith they would force heauen gates, a hammering in the Trent-forge: so as the History noteth, that the mostHist. Con [...] Trid. lib. [...]. expert in the Church affirmed, That if all the [...][Page] assembled from the Apostles times to that, were sum­med vp together, they could not make vp so many Articles as the Trent-Fathers had amassed together, in this one sixt Session of that Synod, the best part whereof also they were beholden to Aristotle for. And no maruaile they were so puzzled, for they were to encounter sundry diffi­culties: as first, the euidence of Scriptures: secondly, the con­cent of ancient Fathers: thirdly, the powerfull preaching and writings of Luther. fourthly, the dissent of their Schoolemen; and fiftly, the diuision of the Councell it selfe, some being Thomists, some Scotists, some Dominicans, some Franciscans. To satisfie and reconcile all which, was more than an Herculean labour. But what could be difficult to the Papall Omnipotencie, who could send his holy Ghost post from Rome to Trent in a Cloake-bagge, which loosed all knots, and decided all doubts? Nor had the Pope wanting in that Councell the most pregnant wits in the Pontifician world, be [...]aes a numerous multitude of new titular Bi­shops (as titular for learning as liuing) to lay on load of down right voyces, to conclude and ratifie whatsoeuer the Pope with his Cardinals in their Conclaue at Rome, and his dextrous instruments in the Councell, had with no lesse sweat than artifice, contriued. For the first maine obstacle, the euidence of Scripture, they are faine to collegue, and speake it faire, and borrow from it certaine broad Phylac­teries, wouen with Scripture phrases, wherewith the Ba­bylonish where partly decks her shamelesse forehead, and partly adornes the cobwebbe Robe of her counterfeit selfe-Iustification: as Coelestis Pater: Iesus Christ, the Sun Concil. Trid. Se [...]. 6. Proem. cap. 2. 5. 7. of righteousnesse, the author and finisher of our faith: The Father of mercies, and God of all consolation, sent his sonne to redeeme Iewes and Gentiles, and that [Page] all might receiue adoption of sonnes: Him hath God sent forth to be apropitiation for our sinnes in his bloud: for this Redemption we ought to giue thanks. And ch. 7. The Me [...]itorious cause of our Iustification is our Lord Iesus Christ &c. O holy Councell! Will any suspect the Serpent to lurke vnder such flowers of Para­dise? Or that they goe about to betray Christ with H [...]yle Master? But in this their profound hypocrisie lyeth the whole Mysterie of Iniquity; Sitamen hypocrisis dici de­bet, quae iam latere prae abundantia non valet, & prae Be [...]n. Serm. [...] Clerum. Et super Cant. Serm. 33. impudentiâ non quaerit; as Bernard saith of Romes Cler­gy in his time. If that may be called hypocrisie, which neither for the abundancy of it can, nor for the impu­dencie of it cares to conceale it selfe. Thus by egregious hypocrisie Arrius deluded the Councell of Nice, confessing Christ to be God of God, yet denyed his consubst [...]ntiality with the Father. Thus the second Councell of Nice, sum­moned to decree the erection and veneration of Images, makes a goodly Preface, giuing thankes to God that they were deliuered from Idols. Thus Augustine confesseth how he was seduced by the Manichaean hypocrisie. Thus dealeth the Trent Councell. And besides her hypocrisie, her impudencie displayes it selfe, while in this Councell, Rome alters the Rule of Faith, addes her Traditions, De­cretals and Canons, as a party and equall rule with Scrip­ture, guelds the Scriptures of their mas [...]uline authoritieSee Bulla Pii super confir­matione Con [...] Trid. & super Forma iura­menti profes [...] ­nis fidei. and genuine sense, closing vp all in the Cabinet of the Popes breast, where lodgeth his Infallibilitie. And thus the sacred Scriptures, which, till that Idolatrous Councell of Trent, were held the sole and entire Catholicke Canon and rule of Faith, must now draw in the Popes yoake with his sophisticat [...] Traditions. [Page] Now, the pure gold and siluer of Gods word must goe no longer for currant, vnlesse it be stamped in the Popes owne Mynt, and subiect also to be abased or inhansed at his plea­sure. Now, the waters of life are of noforce, vnlesse distil­led through the Popes Limbeck; nor those riuers of Para­dise medicinable, if they flow not from the sacred Minerals of the Romish Mountaines. Thus in effect the Romish A­mazon cuts off the right pap of Scripture, which yeelds the sincere milke, reseruing only the left to suckle her Paplings withall, as that Lupa did Romes founder Romulus; or, at least, the right Pap is so patched to that slepmothers breast, as it yeelds no other milke, but such as relisheth of the cor­rupt complexion of the Popes infallibility. Thus the first Rubbe is remoued, the Scriptures, which are made cock-sure for the Pope.

2 For Luther, they could easily hisse him out for an arch▪ heretick, and blast and brand with Anathema those euident truths by him deliuered. So that hard it was to iudge, whether fared worse, Luther for the truths sake, or the truth for Luthers.

3 For the consent of ancient Fathers, the most they stand vpon is S. Augustine, who indeed writ more of this diuine mysterie, than all the rest put together. But the Councell could easily euade him, saying (as Catarinus a­bout Predestination) that S. Aug. his opinion therin was nouel, neuer heard of before his time: or, that S. Aug. was drawn to speake many things awry, through heat of disputation against the Pelagians: or (as Vega) Non necesse est &c, It is not necessary to beleeue all S. Aug. his arguments to be demonstratiue, or altogether to stand in force. Thus all the Fathers corne, though grow­ing from the field of Scriptures, proues but chaffe, comming [Page] once to be sisted in the mysticall, if not Luke 2 [...] [...]1. Satanicall sanne of this actiue Councell.

4. & 5. For the dissenting Schoolemen, and those Domi­nicans and Franciscans in this Councell, whereof Vega and Soto were the two Standard-bearers, and bore a great sway therein, it behooued the Councell, to heepe good quarter with them, and to vse all their witts, eyther to reconcile them, or with some pretty equiuocations to please all parties. For this purpose, Marcellus, Priest, intituled of the holy Crosse, President of the Councell, Cardinall and Apostolicall Legate à latere, whose wits were as ve [...] ­satilous, as his titles magnificent and various: after much sweat spent in chopping and changing, peecing and pay­ring, after an hundred Congregations, wherein these matters were canuased Pro & Con: at length licked the Decrees and Canons to that forme, that each side was pleased, and Marcellus applauded on all hands; when each Sect might from the same Delphick Oracle pick out his owne meaning. Thus came these Trent Decrees to be like a curious Picture, which euery one in the Roome imagineth to looke directly vpon him. Or like an indented Table-Picture vpon a Wall, wherein the one side of the Roome may behold the face of a man, the other, of a wo­man, and they in the midst, of an Owle. Thus Soto and Vega, who in the time of this Session, writ each a Volume of this Subiect, though in some smaller points different▪ in their opinions, which they grounded vpon the Decrees, and dedicated to the Councell, were both well pleased; yet no otherwise reconciled, but, as Herod and Pi [...]ate, Brethren in euill, to crucifie Christ. The writing of which two Champions of Trent: I haue mostly all along this Treatise, confuted.

[Page]Thus, as S. Ambrose saith, Fucum faciunt, qui non Amb. de fide l. 1. c. 8. audent explicare, quod sentiunt censoriè, They do but iuggle, that dare not set downe in plaine termes, what they captiously conceiue. And as Hierome against the Pelagian Hereticks: Sola haec haeresis, quae publicè eru­bescit Hier. ad Cte­siph. de libero arbitr. contra Pelag. Ep. 3. loqui, quod scripto docere non metuit: This only is heresie, which blusheth to speake that publick­ly, that it feares not to teach secretly. But, as there hee saith, Ecclesiae victoria est, vos apertè dicere, quod sen­titis; sententias vestras prodidisse, superasse est: It is the Churches victory for you to speake plainly, as you think; to detect your opinions, is to confute them. But we haue assayed to pull off Romes vizard, and to make the Whore naked. Her figge-leaue-righteousnesse will not salue her sinne, or hide her shame. Only I cannot but lament, to see many of my brethren, the sonnes of my mother in show, to stand vp to plead for Baal. Is it the symptome of this our age, wherein there is so much learning and so little sound knowledge in the Mysterie of Christ, or wherein the Spirit of the world is so predominant, that men are so tran­sported with an vnnaturall zeale and loue to Babylon? But Wisedome is iustified of her children. And now I begin to conceiue the reason, why the Iesuites pennes are of late so silent: surely because they see ours sopoynant in one anothers sides, while our Mother-Church bleeds for it. But those that be the true Ministers of Christ, will say with S. Paul, Wee cannot speake any thing against the truth, but for the truth. Now I could heartily wish, that my brethren of the Ministry would imploy the greater part of their paines in preaching and pressing this maine Do­ctrine of Iustification: It would be a maine Bulwarke to batter Babels Tower, whereby she would scale heauen with [Page] her merits. And for Antichrist, I wonder to see such a deepe silence of him. Doth the Councell of Laterans De­cree dare vs, not to mention Antichrists comming? O­therwise to presse Iesuites with the point of Antichrist, would easily stop their mouthes, while they would put vs to show the vninterrupted lineall ped [...]gree of the Professors of our Religion from the Apostles, all along downeward to Luther. Alas, this is but a poore shift to gaine time, and to cause vs to put vp our weapons against them. We can easily descry the pearles of our Religion, strawed all along in the bottome of those muddy streames of Popery. We can disco­uer the starres, which haue giuen light in all ages of the Church, notwithstanding all Romes mysts, labouring to e­clipse them. And although iniury of time had consumed with fire our particular euidences, yet we finde them regi­stred in the Court-rowles of Scripture, which no fire, nor moth shall consume.

But not to detaine you too long in the Porch of this lar­ger edifice; know Christian Reader, that this poore Worke hath lien by me licensed for the Presse a pretty space. It was borrowed from the interrupted succisiue houres of my Court-attendance. If it displease many, I passe not so much, if it may profite some; and therein shall I prayse God. This is the fruit of all my labour: I seeke no reward, so I may shun reproofe. What can be said in opposition to this truth, or any other by me deliuered, in speciall against the Synagogue of Rome; I shall be ready to maintaine if oc­casion require, in ampler maner, if I may haue alike liberty with my Antagonists. I say no more for the present, but commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you vp, and to giue you an inheritance a­mong all them which are sanctified.

Thine in Christ, H. B.

TRVTHS TRIVMPH Ouer TRENT.

CHAP. I. Of mans workes done before grace, or of preparation in man vnto Iustification, commonly called the merit of Congruitie.
The Romish Faith.

THE title of the fift Chapter of the sixt Session of the Councell of Trent, is Of the ne­cesitie Concil. Trid. Ses. 6. cap. 5. of preparation to Iustification in men of ripe age; where they say, That by their free-will, stirred vp and helped by grace, they are disposed to conuert themselues to their Iustification, by free assenting and cooperating with the same grace.Ibid. cap. 6. Free-will the mother of Romes prepa­ratory workes. The ground of which disposition to Iustification, is freewill; which cooperating with grace, produceth fixe seuerall workes of preparation, laid downe by the Councell here, and [Page 2] reckoned vp by Vega, one of the Councels chiefe champions.Vega lib. 6. de preparatione adultorum ad Iustif. cap. 12. First, an Historicall [...]aith conceiued by hearing, beleeuing the truth of Gods promises to a sinner in generall: Secondly, a feare of Gods iustice, arising from the apprehension of their sinnes▪ whence they arise (thirdly) to a hope, by conuerting themselues to the consideration of Gods mercy, trusting that God, for Christs sake, will be fauourable vnto them; whom they then begin (fourthly) to loue, as the fountaine of all righteousnesse: and therefore are moued by a hatred and de­testation against sinne, that is (fiftly) by that Per [...]am pae­nitentiam, Which I tran­slate Penance, according to the vsuall and vulgar lan­guage of their Rhemes Te­stament: nor haue they any other repen­tance but Pe­nance. Can. 1. Penance which they are to doe before Baptisme, while (sixtly) they resolue to receiue Baptisme, to begin a new life, and to keepe the Commandements of God. And Can. 1. If any man shall say that a man may be iustified before God by his owne workes, which are done either by the power of mans nature, or by the doctrine of the Law, without diuine grace by Iesus Christ, let him be accursed.

CHAP. II. Wherein the doctrine of Romish preparation is examined.

IT being the maine drift of this Councell, to establish a righ­teousnesse inherent in a mans selfe; and not finding how to dimme the bright sun-shine of truth against this doctrine, but by an artificiall shadow of the second beames of grace, medled and mingled with blinde, or at the best, bleare-eyed nature: therefore the iudicious Reader may obserue, how while this Councell would seeme in part to ascribe the worke of Iustifi­cation to Gods grace, it doth in deed, and in the maine, attri­bute it to mans nature; as may appeare in laying the first stone of this Baby lonish building, Of the necessitie of prepara­tion to Iustification. The whole frame of which preparation, composed according to the modell of their Schoole-diuini­tie, as Gabriel Biel, one of their chiefe Sententiaries, who liuedBiel dist. 14. lib. 3. [...]u [...]st. 2. about fifty yeares before this Councell, hath laid it downe, as, That the Act of the will, presupposeth the Act of the vn­derstanding; and the Act of faith goes formost to apprehend [Page 3] the abomination of sinne, and the wages of it: hence a feare of Gods wrath, and of hell fire, hence a dislike and detestati­on of sinne. And this (saith he) is a disposition of Congruity, neither immediate nor sufficient, but very remote. Then faith turnes it selfe to the consideration of Gods mercy, and resol­ueth that God is ready to remit sinne, through the insusion of charity, to those that are sufficiently prepared and dispo­sed. Vpon that consideration followeth the act of hope, whereby a man begins to couet after God, as the soueraigne good; and from this act of hope, he riseth to loue God aboue all things, euen out of pure naturals. From this loue issueth another dislike and detestation of sinne; not for feare of dam­nation, but for God, finally, aboue all things beloued: And all these acts are followed with a purpose of amendment. And so at length this comes to be a sufficient merit of Congruity, being the immediate and finall disposition to the infusion of grace. And this is such a preparation, as doth necessarily, as by a chaine of so many infolded linkes, draw after it the infu­sion of grace, whereby a man is iustified. Thus wee see, by what perplexed pathes they would leade men towards their iustification. But note here, what a power they giue to this preparation, as euen to necessitate and inforce the infusion of grace: because, saith Biel, to a man that doth as much as lyes in him, God hath determined infallibly to giue grace. And Aquinas saith, it is a merit of Congruity, that when a manAqu. 72. qu. 114 art. 3. c. &. 6. c. doth well vse his vertue, God, according to his super-excel­lent vertue, should worke more excellently in him: Videtur Congruum, saith he: It seemes Congruous, and agreeable to reason, that a man operating according to his vertue, God should recom­pence him according to the excellencie of his vertue. Yea, such is the force of this merit of Congruity, that according to Tho­mas, Aqu. 12 qu. 114 a. 6. c. quian. homo &c. it will merit not onely grace for a mans selfe, but also for another man: for because (saith he) a man in the state of grace doth fulfill the will of God, it is Congruous, or fitting, that according to the proportion of friendship, God should fulfill mans will in the saluation of another man. Such is the nature of their doctrine of Congruitie, of which sort are their workes of preparation, [Page 4] disposing and fitting a man for grace. And this is the sense and summe of the Trent doctrine, touching preparation.

Now to cut off this Goliahs head, we neede no other than his owne sword. First, concerning the title it selfe, of the ne­cessity of preparation in the Adulti, or men growne, as we call them; note here the vanity of this doctrine, how therein they confound themselues. For I would aske them, whom they meane by their Adulti, or men of yeares? Those within theirThe vanity and incongru­itie of Popish preparation. owne Church, such as are baptized? or Heathens and Pagans, without the pale of the Church, such as are not yet baptized, as Turkes, Iewes, or Indians? Surely they mention those Adulti that are not yet baptized. But it must needs be, that they in­cludeConcil. Trid. Ses. 6. cap. 6. their owne Adulti: for else what vse is there in their Church of this doctrine of preparation, which they so highly aduance & commend, vnlesse it be among the barbarous Indi­ans? But their Adulti haue already (according to their do­ctrine) receiued the grace of Iustification in their Baptisme, conferring grace, as they say, ex opere operato: which grace be­ing once by any mortall sin afterwards lost, there can be no more merit of Congruitie, to merit a reparation of grace, as it is in the preparation vnto grace, as Thomas teacheth.Aqu. 12. quaest. 114. art. 7. c.

But leaue we the title, and let vs come to the thing. Po­pish preparation vnto grace, hangs vpon two speciall hinges: First, free-will; secondly, that this free-will is moued by grace, which their Schoole-men call the first grace, implyed in this This Coun­cell speakes of a former and later grace, but names them not. Ses. 4. cap. 5. Concil. Trin. Ses. 6. Can. 5. Councell. A free-will they must haue, though they confesse it to be weake and feeble. And such a free-will wee easily grant them, as loth to incurre their Anathema, for say­ing that free-will is altogether lost, and extinguished by A­dams fall. The praise which Vega, their Interpreter, giues to Richardus learned saying (as he cals it) of free-will, wee also (with its proper limitation) admit of. Hoctè Richar­dus (de statu inter hom. cap. 12.) Cum audis liberum arbi­trium esse captiuum, nihil aliud intellige, quàm infirmum, & natiuae potestatis virtute priua­tum. Andr. Vega lib. 15. de vera & ficta iustif. cap. 4. When thou hearest (saith he) that free-will is a captiue, vnderstand nothing else, but that it is weake, and depriued of the vertue of its natiue power. Be­ing thus weake then, how should it dispose it selfe to receiue [Page 5] grace? No, saith the Councell, (as also their Schoole-men) Free-will being weake, it must be stirred vp, moued, and helped by grace, and then it disposeth it selfe freely to receiue the grace of iu­stification. So free-will, as the God Baal, being asleepe, must bee awakened, and stirred vp by Gods grace. Well, but what grace of God is this, I pray you, that thus moueth mans free-will, as the waight, that sets the wheele a going? Surely I can learne no more from the Councels own mouth, (who knowes full well how to temper her words) but that this mouing grace of God is some sound in the eare, whereby Popish faith is conceiued. Or else, when God toucheth mans heart by theConcil. Trin. Ses. 6. cap. 5. illumination of the Holy Ghost, according to that of Gabriel Biel, who saith, that the will in the acts of it, doth presuppose the acts of the vnderstanding: and the vnderstanding wee know, must be informed by hearing, or by speciall illumina­tion. But in generall, this grace they call the first grace, or aPrima gratia seu gratia gr [...] ­tis data: se­cunda gratia, seu gratia gra­tum faciens. Romes first and second grace. grace that is freely giuen, differing from the second grace▪ which they call a grace that makes a man gracious and ac­ceptable. They say, this first grace is freely giuen, because no merit goes before it: neither is this any sauing grace, because (as they confesse) all men are alike capable of it, and many receiue it, that neuer come to saluation. This is that grace, which Arminius cals his sufficient grace.

But Aquinas saith plainly, that this first grace is not theAqu. 12. qu. 114 art. 3. 6. grace of the Holy Ghost; for to the grace of the Holy Ghost, hee attributeth the merit of Condignity: but to that grace, whereby the will disposeth it selfe, the merit only of Congrui­tie. But this first grace being once receiued, and entertained by free-will, cooperating with it, a man disposeth & prepareth himselfe to merit the second grace by way of Congruity. And yet Aquinas, speaking of this grace, saith, Deus non dat gratiam Aqu. 12. qu. 114 art. 5. ad 2. nisi dignis, &c. God giues not grace but to the worthy; yet (saith hee) not so, as being first worthy, but because hee by grace makes them worthy. O miserable perplexity! If God giue grace to none but to the worthy, then they were worthy before hee gaue them grace; but if they were not worthy before he gaue them grace, how doth he giue grace to none but to the wor­thie? [Page 6] But whatsoeuer this first grace is, wherby the will is first moued, Aquinas tels vs what it is not; namely, that it is not theAqu. 12. qu. 114 art. 3. c. grace of the Holy Ghost: for the merit that proceedeth of the grace of the Holy Ghost, is of Condignity; but the merit that proceedeth from free-will, moued by the first grace, is onely the merit of Congruity, farre inferiour to that of Condigni­tie. But that we may not lose our selues in this Maze, let Vega and Soto tell vs the Counsels minde in this point, as being themselues most priuie to it. Onely the worst is, wee finde them two of opposite opinions, in this point of merit by Con­gruitie. Vega admitteth merit of Congruity after the firstVega de meri­tis ex Congruo iustif. cap. 7. grace, disposing a man to the grace of iustification. But it is pretty to note the vafrous and subtile elusion and euasion that he findeth against the streame of Fathers, and especially of St. Augustine in this point: For whereas they (as himselfe con­fesseth)Ibid. propos. 3. shut out all kind of merit from iustification, teaching that it is freely giuen to all: Vega turnes the Cat in the pan, and saith, Loquuntur de gratia iustificationis, &c. They speake A notable Pontifician shift. (saith he) of the grace of iustification, as it comprehends all the gifts of God belonging to our iustification; whereof, in that pro­position a little before, hee makes the first grace to be one. And so take iustification as it comprehends the first grace in it, it excludes all merit; because no merit goes before the first grace, as the most of them teach: but taking the grace of iu­stification alone by it selfe, which is the gratia gratum faciens, the grace that makes a man accepted, it may bee questioned (saith he) whether that may not fall vnder the merit at least of Con­grnitie. Whereupon hee inferreth his fourth proposition, which is, That faith and other good workes, whereby wee are dispo­sed Ibid propos. 4. Fides & alia bona opera, quibus disponi­mur ad grati­am gratum fa­cientem, qua formaliter iu­stificamur, & fimus accepti Deo, meritoria suntex Congruo eiusmodi gratiae, & nostrae iustificationis. vnto the second grace, by which wee are formally iustified, and made acceptable to God, doe by Congruitie merit such grace, and our iustification. Yea Vega ibid. saith, Alia sunt merita ex congruo, quae in peccatoribus reperiuntur, quae null [...] praemio digna sunt, quia fiunt ab hominibus▪ Deo ingratis & exosis: sed tamen eiusmodi ex se sunt, vt Congruum sit, & diuinam bonitatem condeceat, ea ex libe­ralitate & benignitate sua acceptare, vt trahat peccatores ad suam [Page 7] gratiam: Of another sort are those merits of Congruitie found in sinners, which are worthy of no reward, as being done by men not liked nor beloued of God: but yet of themselues they are such, that it is Congruous and meete, and beseeming the diuine goodnesse, out of his liberalitie and bountie to accept them, that hee may draw sinners to his grace. But Soto on the other side, shutteth out all man­ner of merit of Congruity, going before iustification. Pergi­mus Soto de nat. & grat. lib. 2. cap. [...] de merito ex congruo. pro ingenio nostro constituere, &c. Wee proceede (saith Soto) according to our capacitie to define, that before iustification, which is wrought by that grace that makes a man accepted, there is in mans workes no merit, either of Condignitie or of Congruitie. But a little after, hee makes a full amends for it, saying, Cum autem quis, &c. When a man begins once to be in the state of grace, (to wit of iustification) then may hee merit both for himselfe by Condignitie, and for others by Congruitie. Other merit of Congruity, going before the grace of iustification, Soto confesseth he findes no foundation of any, vnlesse that of St. Augustine, alleadged by Thomas; Fides meretur iustificationem; that faith meriteth iustifi­cation. But Soto would haue this put among St. Augustines re­tractations: whereas by Merit in that place, is meant, not either any Congruity or Condignity, (termes vnknowne to the ancient Fathers in any such sense) but onely the meanes or instrument to procure or acquire grace. And as Soto him­selfe a little after, acknowledgeth St. Augustines meaning, ex­pressed by himselfe, by the word Impetrare iustificationem: That whereas he saith, Faith doth merit iustification, his meaning is, faith obtaineth iustification, sine aliqua ratione meriti; without any respect of merit.

Here let mee insert by the way, a worthy annotation ofWhat the an­cient Fathers vnderstood by the word Me­rit. George Cassander, vpon the word Mereri, or Merit, in his se­cond Scholia vpon his Ecclesiasticke hymnes, printed at Paris 1616▪ for in other later impressions, haply you shall finde this Scholia is quite purged out by the Index Expurgatorius, composed by the commandement of the Catholike King, Phi­lip the second, and by the aduice also of the Duke of Albany; the copy whereof was printed at Strasburgh. The words of the Index are these: Scholium incipiens, Vocabulum merendi apud [Page 8] veteres, &c. deleatur totum. The Scholium of George Cassander, beginning thus, &c. Let it be wholly cancelled. But being notwith­standing preserued from this Purgatory fire, let vs note it. Vocabulum merendi apud veteres Ecclesiasticos Scriptores, ferè idem valet, quod consequt, seu aptum idoneum (que) fieri ad consequendum. Id, quod inter caetera, vel ex vno Cypriani loco apparet. Nam quod Paulus inquit, 1. Tim. 1. [...], quod vulgò dicitur, Misericor­diam consecutus sum: vel vt Erasmus vertit, Misericordiam adep­tus sum: id Cyprianus ad Iubaianum legit, Misericordiam merui. Et multa loca sunt in Ecclesiasticis officijs, & precibus, vbi hoc vocabu­lum hoc intellectu accipi debeat. Quae vocis notio si retineatur, multa quae duriùs dici videntur, mitiora & commodiora apparebunt. The word Merit (saith Cassander) among ancient Ecclesiasticall Writers, doth commonly import as much, as to attaine, or to be made apt and fit to attaine, or obtaine. That, which among others, doth appeare out of one place of Cyprian. For that which Paul saith, 1. Tim. 1. [...], which the vulgar latine rendreth, But I obtained mercie: or as Erasmus rendreth it, I got or receiued mercie. The same doth Cyprian to Iubaianus reade, I merited mercie. And many other places (saith hee) there are in the Ecclesiasticall offices and prayers, where this word (Merit) ought to bee taken in this sense. Which sense of the word, if it bee retained, many things which seeme to be spoken harshly, will appear more gentle and accommodate. Thus Cassander. But this (among sundry other sayings of Cassander) being condemned by the Index to bee purged out of his workes, doth plainly shew what opinion the Pontificians haue of Merit, aduancing it to a sense of a higher straine, than the ancient Fathers of the Church were euer acquainted withall. Or let the Pontificians themselues interpret vnto vs the meaning of this word Merit, vsed by St. Augustine, spea­king of the sinne of our first Parents, Foelix culpa, quae talem August. meruit Redemptorem. Will they say, that Adams sinne merited, either by Congruity or by Condignity, Christ the Redeemer? And againe, where hee saith, Nemo de sui peccati dimissione de­speret, Aug de tempore [...]er. 35. quando illi veniam meruerunt, qui occiderunt Christum: Let none despaire of the pardon of his sinne, when as they merited pardon which killed Christ. Will they therefore say, that they which [Page 9] murthered Christ, merited pardon, either Congruously or Condignly? Or what meant Gregory, sirnamed the Great, Bi­shop of Rome, when he vsed the word Merit to Sauls perse­cuting the Church of Christ, sayingGreg. in E­uang. hom. 34. Illi dictum est, Quid me persequeris? Iste verò audire meruit, Dimissum est tibi peccatum tuum; To him it was said, Why doest thou persecute me? But he me­rited to heare, Thy sinne is forgiuen thee. What merit was this trow we? And the same Gregory speaking of the theefe vpon the Crosse, saith, Latro cruentis manibus audire meruit, &c. The theefe with his bloudy hands merited to heare, This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise. What merit was in his bloudy hands? But thus we see the meaning of the word Merit in these purer and ancient times, vsed for to obtaine, or such like.

But to returne whence we digressed; we see Vega and Soto, two grand Captaines in the Trent Councell, one directly op­posite to the other in the matter of merit of Congruity. But the Councell, through the dexterity ofSee Histor. Concil. Trid. lib. 2. Pontificians can with faci­lity reconcile flat contradic­tions. Sancti Crucij, hath so composed the decrees, and namely this of preparation, as that by profound equiuocations, euen flat contradictions are reconciled. But the conclusion is, that merit of Congruitie is ratified by the Councell, in the necessity of preparatorie workes to iustification; but inuolued in such generall termes, that Soto and his side holding the contrary, may not take of­fence at it, but be made to beleeue, that the Councell is for them. In so much as Soto in his three bookes de Natura & Gratia, which he writes as a Commentary of this Session of the Councell, sets downe all the Decrees and Canons of the same, as the ground and text of his Commentary.

Take one notable instance of their egregious equiuocati­on, in the first Canon of this Session before alleadged. If any Si quis dixerit, hominem suis operibus, quae vel per humanae naturae vires, vel per legis doctrinam fi­ant, absque di­uina per Iesum Christum gratia, posse iustificari coram Deo, Anathema sit. Can. 1. man shall say, that a man may bee iustified before God by his owne workes, which are done either by the power of mans nature, or by the doctrine of the law, without diuine grace by Iesus Christ, let him be accursed. Note here what variety of senses this Canon is full charged withall. Would Vega and his side haue their merit of Congruity decreed? Here is a Canon leueld against all [Page 10] those that shall say, that a man by his own works may be iusti­fied before God, without the grace of God; implying, that by, and with the grace of God assisting a man, he may be iustified before God by his owne works, done by the power of nature (as his free-will) or by the doctrine of the law. Yea but thus Soto may feare, that the Anathema, the deadly bullet of this Canon, will hit himselfe, for denying all merit of Congruity, done by the power of nature, assisted by grace, going before iustification. Then let Soto but view ouer the Canon againe, & hee shall see it turned and leuelled against the Pelagians, who taught, that a man by his owne workes, done by the power of nature, may be iustified before God, without diuine grace by Iesus Christ. Or against the vnbeleeuing Iewes, who thought to be iustified before God by the obseruation of Mo­ses law, sauing onely that the Councell hath cautelously and correctedly expressed this, vnder the name of the letter of Moses law, Chapt. 1. as here, vnder the name of the doctrine of the law, lest (as the History of the Trent-Councell hath well obserued) if it had passed (as at the first draught) in these words, per legem Mosis, by Moses law; then exception might haue beene taken in the behalfe of Circumcision, to which some ascribing remission of sinnes, this Canon or that Decree might haue been a preiudice to their opinion. Thus all par­ties, euen the contrary factions of that Councell, were well satisfied, while one side conceiued the Decree made expresly for them; and the other side, that it made not against them. The Decrees being not vnlike an artificiall indented picture­table, which to him that lookes full vpon it, presents one kinde of forme or face; to him that stands on the one side, another forme; and to him on the other side, a third. Or like a plaine picture, which hanging on the wall, although the po­sture of the face be set one way, yet it seemes to cast equall aspect vpon euery one in the roome. Thus is verified that of Guido Clemens, Priest and Cardinall of St. Potentiana, who saith, that in the Church of Rome there is quaedam radix du­plicitatis, Io [...]. Sarisbur. in Polychron. lib. 6 cap. 4. simplicitati columbae contraria; a certaine roote of dou­blenesse, which is contrary to the doues simplicitie. To conclude this [Page 11] point of Popish preparation; it is so farre from fitting and dis­posing a man to receiue the grace of iustification (grace of iustification being rightly vnderstood) as it is a maine impe­diment and stumbling blocke in the way vnto it. For where­ [...] this preparation of theirs aduanceth mans free-will, and other naturall powers to the attainment of grace; what doth this else but puffe a man vp with a conceit of himselfe, that he is in a better state than indeed he is, as hauing something [...]ft in him, which being helped by some motion of common [...]r I wot not what) grace, is able to leade him to the full pos­ [...]ssion of grace, and so of glory? Gregory faith well, Hee that Greg. Past. Curae pars 3. admon. 33. Qui mor­bum suum ne­scit, quomodo medicum quae­rit? maior enim, quò ci­tiùs, quia sit culpa, agnosci­tur▪ eo etiam celeriùs emen­datur: minor verò, dum quasi nulla creditur, eò peiùs & securiùs in vsu retinetur. [...]owes not his disease, how doth he seek to the Physitian? for the grea­ter the fault is, being the sooner acknowledged, it is the more speedily [...]ended; but the lesser sinne, while it is deemed to be as it were none [...] all, is so much the worse, and more securely kept in vro. If Saint [...]ul, speaking in the person of a regenerate man, as exercised [...]th the combate betweene the flesh and the spiritRom. 7. 18., com­ [...]aines, that in him, that is, in his flesh dwels no good thing: [...]en what good thing can there be in any vnregenerate man [...]o dispose him to any grace, whoseGen. 6. imaginations of his heart [...]e onely euill continually? They are euill, and onely euill; and that continually onely euill. If corrupt Nature haue yet any thing left [...]o brag off, if any free-will to this grace whereof we speake; [...] here is that conuicting power of the Law, that makes sinne out of measure sinfull? That casts a man downe in the sense of his misery, causing him to cry out, Rom. 7. 13. Wretched man that I am, [...]o shall deliuer me from this bodie of death? How shall a man come to Christ, wearie and laden, that he may be refreshed? How comes the vngodly to be iustified, if hee bring any meritto dispose him thereunto? How shall the Law then be our School­master to bring vs to Christ, who came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance? Wee need none other testimony to con­ [...]ince this Pontifician puffe-doctrine of preparatory workes, to bee at the least Cousin germaine to that of the Pelagians, than the Councell of Trent it selfe.

The Pelagians held, that some men vsing the reason of their owne will, haue or doe liue in this world without any sinne. [Page 12] To this agreeth that Canon of Trent, If any shall say, that all Ses. 6. Can. 7. Si quis dixerit, opera omnia, quae ante iusti­ficationem fi­unt, quac unque ratione facta sunt, verè esse peccata, vel [...]dium Dei me­reri, &c. Ana­thema sit. workes done before iustification, howsoeuer they bee done, are truely sinnes, and deserue the hatred of God; let him be accursed. Compare now the Pelagian and Pontifician doctrine together, and one egge is not liker another. Pelagians & Pontificians compared to­gether. All workes done before iustification are not truely sinnes, say the Trent-Fathers; therefore the workes of the Pelagian heretickes done before, or without iustifica­tion, whatsoeuer, or howsoeuer done, are no sinnes, as they taught. Shall St. Austine be vmpire in this case? Aug. contra Pelagianos. lib. 3. in fine. tom. 7. Pelagianorum sententia est, sine vllo peccato, aliquos homines iam ratione propriae voluntatis vtentes, in hoc saeculo vixisse vel viuere. Optandum est vt fiat, conandum est vt fiat, supplicandum est vt fiat, non tamen quasi factum fuerit, confidendum est. Qui seipsum talem putat, ipse se decipit, & veritas in eo non est; non ob aliud, nisi quia falsum putat. It is the opinion of the Pelagians, that some men by vsing the reason of their owne will, haue, and doe liue in this world without sinne. It were to be wished so, it were to be laboured for, it is to be prayed for, yet not to be beleeued, as if it were so. He that thinkes himselfe such a one, deceiueth himselfe, and the truth is not in him; for no other cause, but because he deemeth falsely. And in another place hee saith, Si Gentilis (inquis) nudum operuit, nunquid quia non est ex Aug. contra Iul. Pelag. lib. 4. cap. 3. tom. 7. fide, peccatum est? Prorsus in quantum non est ex fide, peccatum est; non quia per seipsum factum, quod est nudum operire, pecca­tum est: sed in tali opere non in Domino gloriari, solus impius negat esse peccatum. Nam quamuis bona, malè tamen facit; ideo negare non potes eum peccare, qui malè quodlibet facit. Fructus bonos non facit arbor mala: An dicis hominem infidelem arborem bonam? If a Hea­then (saist thou) shall couer the naked, is it therefore a sin, because it is not of faith? Certainly, in as much as it is not of faith, it is sinne; not in regard of the worke it selfe, which is to clothe the naked, is it a sin: but in such a worke, not to glory in the Lord, only the wicked man denieth this to be a sin: For although he doth good, yet he doth it ill; therefore thou canst not deny that he sinneth, that doth any thing ill. An euill tree doth not beare good fruit: Doest thou call an vnfaith­full man a good tree? Note here, St. Augustine condemnes all workes for sinnes, that are not done in the state of grace, but in the state of nature and infidelity. Therefore St. Augustine [Page 13] is anathematized of the Church of Rome, for saying that all workes done before iustification, are indeede sinns.

But whereas the Pontificians may obiect, that St. Au­gustine Obiection. condemnes onely such workes, as are done without faith, and not those Pontifician workes of preparation, wher­of faith (as they affirme) is the roote:

I answer, St. Augustine speaketh honestly, without equi­uocation:Answer. for hauing to do with the Pelagians, those enemies of the grace of God, hee opposeth the state of grace against the state of nature: shewing that whatsoeuer a man doth in the state of nature before he be in the state of grace, it is sin: stiling euen the best workes of these heathen moralists, but splendida peccata, glittering sinnes. Now whatsoeuer is done be­fore iustification, is done in the state of nature, & consequent­ly it is sinne, in St. Augustines sense, because it is the bad fruit of a bad tree. As for that first grace, whereby the Papists teach a man is stirred vp to prepare himselfe for iustification, it doth not set a man, ipso facto, in the state of grace, hee is for all that faith of his, a meere naturall man still. And there­fore that faith, which they speake of, going before iustifica­tion, is not freed from the imputation of sin, whereas that sauing faith, whereof St. Augustine speaketh, is that which doth actually not dispose vnto, but possesse a man of, the state of grace, which is the verie state of iustification, as we shall see in the due place hereafter. Therefore Popish preparation vnto iustification, is nothing else but meere Pelagianisme: both Pelagians and Pontificians ioyntly holding, that all workes done without, or before iustification, are no sins.

CHAP. III. The Catholicke faith touching preparation to iustification.

THe Romish faith concerning such preparatorie workesWhy Romes doctrine of preparation is hereticall & antichristian. to iustification, the Catholicke faith of Christs Church doth renounce and disclaime, as hereticall and antichristian, for these reasons. First, because the holy Scriptures teach no such thing, but the cleane contrarie. The Scriptures teach [Page 14] no merit of Congruitie: they teach not, that free will being stirred vp, and helped by I wot not what first grace, a man is thereby disposed to receiue iustification; but the flat con­trary: Ioh. 1. 12. As many as receiue Christ, and such are theyTo receiue Christ, is to beleeue in him. as beleeue in him▪ are made the Sonnes of God. But doth not this grace come by some disposition in mans nature, as by his free will assisted, and so cooperating with the grace of God▪ for the attaining of iustification? No such thing. For verse 13 Christ teacheth that those Sonnes of God are borne not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Where note a direct opposition betweene Gods grace, and mans will in the worke of Regeneration, or Iustification; mans will being by a negatiue, vtterly excluded from any copartnership with God: Not of the will of man, but of God. So Titus 3. 5. Not by workes of righteousnesse which we haue done, but according to his mercie he saued vs, &c. Where all humane workes going before Iustification, all merits of congruitie, are excluded from disposing a man to receiue iustification: for not by the workes of righteousnesse which wee haue done, but accor­ding to his mercie, hee saueth vs. And Rom. 4. 5. To him that wor­keth not, but beleeueth on him that iustifieth the vngodly, his Faith is counted for righteousnesse. Note, God iustifieth the vngodly, therefore not the righteous, not the meritorious by Congrui­tie; vnlesse vngodlinesse and sinne can merit iustification at Gods hand: as St. Augustine said of Adams sinne, Foelix culpa, qu [...] talem meruit Redemptorem, It was a happie sinne, that merited such a Redeemer. Whereas, besides some places of Scripture, which they peruert to their purpose, they obiect the exam­ples of the Eunuch, Acts 8. and of Cornelius, Acts 10. by which they would proue their workes of Congruitie, as Vega alledgeth them. Vega may remember what he said in anotherVega de meritis ex congruo iu­stif. q. 7. place before, where hee produceth St. Augustines authoritie, to proue that these two were true beleeuers, before the Apo­stles came and preached vnto them: which also Vega him­selfeVega de ar­gum. pro [...]ces. bapt. cap. 15. subscribeth vnto, confessing that these two had grace and faith before; sauing onely the difference is in the accep­tion of grace and faith: wherein the Pontifician egregiously [Page 15] equiuocateth, the true nature whereof wee shall hereafter discouer. But say, that neither the Eunuch nor Cornelius, be­fore they were instructed by the Apostles, had the grace of iustification: doth it therefore follow, that those workes of theirs did by Congruity merit iustification at Gods hands? or that they were thereby prepared to iustification? Why did not then Esau's teares merit the blessing ex congruo? or why did not Ahab's repentance merit by Congruity, not onely a repriuall of punishment, but an absolute pardon of his sinne? for they did quantum in se fuit, as much as in them lay: Or else, according to Romes doctrine, God must be vniust, or at least wanting in his natiue goodnesse.

For further cleering of this point, come we to the ancient Fathers, to whom also this doctrine of merit of Congruity and of Condignity was altogether vnknowne. This Vega himselfeVega lib. 8. cap. 11. de argum. contra iustif. merit. ex con­gruo. is forced to confesse, where making this obiection; Why did the Fathers (saith hee) no where vse this distinction of merit of Congruity and Condignity? to which he answereth; If all things, which neuer were in vse among the Fathers, are to be condemned, we shall be forced to condemne many things which all He should say, Romane-Catholickes. Pontificians make Philoso­sophy a rule▪ for Diuinitie. Catholickes now receiue. And the Philosopher should haue said in vaine, Scientias fieri per additamenta, that Sciences are brought to passe by addition. But he addeth, Neither are we to grant, that this distinction of merit of Congruity and Con­dignity was altogether vnknowne to the Fathers. They acknowledged the things, although they vsed not the termes (saith Vega) se [...]ing they diuersly vsed the word of Merit, as either strictly or largely; whereof we shall speake more largely hereafter. In the meane time, let vs see what workes of preparation the ancient Fa­thers taught or inioyned, as necessarie to dispose a man to iustification by way of merit, taken in the largest sense, as Vega at least would haue it.

But before we come to set downe the ancient doctrine ofA promoni­tion. the Church concerning this point, I must premonish the Rea­der, seriously to note this one thing in the Fathers, That when they speake of grace and faith, whereby a man is iusti­fied, they meane nothing else but sauing grace, and iustifying [Page 16] faith, not now preparing a man vnto, but actually placing and possessing him in the state of iustification and saluation. They meane nothing lesse, than any such first grace, prepara­tory, and euen common to wicked men, which neuer come to partake of the second grace, as the Romanists doe teach. The Fathers admit of no such meane betweene sauing grace and faith, and betweene sauing faith and iustification; betweene any first & second grace, as differing in kinde, but vnderstand one sauing effectuall grace. Indeede St. Augustine speaketh of a first and second grace; but by the first he meaneth that of iustification, by the second that of sanctification: differingAug. de praed. & grat. tom. 7. no more, but as the roote and the branch, the tree and the fruit: Or St. Augustine acknowledgeth no other first grace,Aug. tract. 3. in Ioh. 1. but that which is giuen to the elect in this life, saying, Coronat in nobis Deus dona misericordiae suae; sed si in ea gratia, quam pri­mam accepimus, perseueranter ambulemus. God crowneth the gifts of his mercie in vs; but if in that first grace, which we haue receiued, we walke with perseuerance. Ambrose saith, He that dare preach Ambros. de v [...] ­lat. Gent. lib. 2. cap. 8. & ibid. lib. 1. cap. 9. that the grace of God is giuen according to mens merits, preacheth against the Catholike faith. Therefore this doctrine of merit of congruity was no Catholicke doctrine in Saint Ambrose his dayes, nor doth he meane any other grace, but that of iustifi­cation. All the preparation this holy man alloweth, is, where he saith, Duce Deo, venitur ad Deum; by God leading vs, we come vnto God. And St. Chrysostome: So soone as a man beleeues, hee is Chrysost. in Rom. hom. 5. & 17. iustified. And St. Augustine: Praedestinatio est praeparatio gratiae; Predestination is the preparation to grace, to wit, of iustification. And further, he explaines himselfe thus: Inter gratiam & prae­destinationem, Aug. de praedest. sanct. cap. 12. &c. Betweene grace and predestination this is the onely difference, that predestination is the preparation of grace, and grace is the gift or donation of predestination: Or as a little after, Grace is the effect of predestination. But will the Pontifician say, Mans free-will is not for all this excluded from being an in­gredient, at least in preparation? Augustine in the same place shuts free-will quite out of doores, yea from setting one foot vpon the threshold, or entry, to iustification. Ideo ex fide vt secundum gratiam firma sit promissio omni semini: non de nostrae [Page 17] voluntatis potestate, sed de sua praedestinatione promisit. Promisit enim, quod ipse facturus erat, non quod homines; quia etsi faciant ho­mines bona quae pertinent ad colendum Deum, ipsa facit, vt illi faci­ant, quae praecipit: non illi faciunt, vt ipse faciat quod promisit. Alio­quin vt Dei promissa compleantur, non in Dei, sed in hominum est po­testate, & quod à Domino promissum est, ab ipsis redditur Abrahae. Non autem sic credidit Abraham, sed credidit dans gloriam Deo, quo­niam quae promisit, potens etiam & facere; non ait, praedicere; non ait, praescire: nam & aliena facta potest praedicere, at (que) praescire; sed ait, potens etiam & facere: ac per hoc, facta non aliena, sed sua. That is: It is therefore of faith, that according to grace the promise might be sure to all the seede: he promised not out of any respect to the power of our will, but of his predestination. For he promised, not that which men, but which himselfe was about to doe; because though men doe those good things, which belong to Gods worship, hee causeth them to doe those things, which hee hath commanded: they doe not cause him to doe that which hee promised. Else that the promises of God should bee performed, it is not in the power of God, but of men; and that which the Lord hath promised, is by them performed to Abraham. But Abraham did not so beleeue God, but hee beleeued giuing glory to God, because what he had promised, he was able also to doe; he saith not, to fore-tell; he saith not, to fore-know: for hee is able to fore-tell, and fore-know other mens workes; but hee saith, hee is able to doe: meaning hereby, not others workes, but his owne. So this holy man. For otherwise, saith he, a little after: Per hoc, vt promissa suae Deus possit implere, non etiam in Dei, sed in hominis potestate: hereby it should come to passe, that it rested not in Gods power to bee able to fulfill his promises, but in mans power. St. Au­gustine therefore admits of no mixture of mans free-will concurring with Gods grace, in preparing him to receiue the promise of God touching iustification, as being built vp­on the eternall decree of Gods predestation, as an effect springing from the cause. And (Epist. 107. Vital.) The will is prepared of the Lord, saith he. How? Quia praeuenit hominis voluntatem bonam, nec eam cuiusquam inuenit in corde, sed facit: For God preuents the good will of man, nor doth hee finde this good will in anie mans heart, but makes it so. [Page 18] And the same Father in his exposition of the Epistle to theAug. in ex pos. Epist. ad Galat Galathians vpon these words, Induerunt Christum, They haue put on Christ: saith thus, Filii fiunt participatione sapientiae, id praeparante atque praestante Mediatoris fide; quam fidei gratiam nune indumentum vocat. Vt Christum induti sint, qui in eum credi­derunt: They are made sonnes by the participation of wisedome, which is prepared and performed by faith in the Mediator; which grace of faith, he now calleth aputting on. So that they haue Christ put on them, which haue beleeued in him. Faith then so prepares, as it also performes the worke of iustification: whereas Po­pish faith may, as they say, prepare, and yet faile to performe. And writing to Simplicianus, he comes directly to the point: Quaeritur, vtrum vel fides mereatur hominis iustificationem, an Aug. ad Simpli­cianum▪ l. 1. q. 2. tom. 4. verò nec fidei merita praecedant misericordiam Dei, sed & fides ipsa inter dona gratiae numeretur: Misericors Deus vocat, nullis hoc vel fidei meritis largiens, quia merita fidei sequuntur vocationem potius, quam praecedunt, It is demanded, whether faith doe merit mans iustification, or else neither the merits of faith do go before the mercie of God, but euen faith it selfe is reckoned among the gifts of grace: The mercifull God calleth, bestowing this grace, no not vpon any merits of faith, because the merits of faith rather follow voca­tion, than goe before it. And againe in another place, Ante fidem Aug. in Psal. 118 concio 7. non debentur homini nisi mala pro malis; retribuit autem Deus in­debitam gratiam, bona pro malis: Before faith nothing is due to a man but euill for euill; but God doth reward a man with vndeserued grace, to wit, good for euill. Where hee speakes of sauing faith iustifying, not of common faith preparing. And in his one hundred and fifth Epistle to Sixtus his fellow Priest, Restat Aug. Epist. 105. ad Sixtum Com-praesbyt. vt gratuitum Dei donum esse fateamur, si gratiam veram, id est, sine meritis, cogitamus: Wee are to confesse that to bee a free gift of God, if we consider the true grace, that is, without merits. Now the true grace, is that whereby a man is iustified and saued: but this grace is a free gift without merits: therefore no merits goe before the grace of iustification. And Bernard sweetely,Bern. in Cant. ser. 17. Non est, quò gratia intret, vbi iam meritum occupauit. Et, deest grati [...], quicquid meritis deputas: Grace hath not where to enter, where merit hath already taken vp the roome. And, you detract [Page 19] from grace, whatsoeueryou attribute to merits. And againe, Ergo Ibid. iam plena confessio gratiae ipsius gratiae plenitudinem [...]ignat in anima confitentis: Now then a plenary acknowledgement of grace, is a signe of the fulnesse of grace it selfe in the soule of him that thus confesseth it. And thus consequently out of the Fathers wee conclude, as the Catholicke doctrine of the Church in those primitiue times, That there is in man no worke of preparati­on, whereby to merit by congruitie the grace of iustification, which is the freegift of God, without our merits. And St.August. Augustine plainely discouers vnto vs the puddle whence this doctrine of merit of congruitie first issued: namely from Pelagius, Qui eos remunerandos dicit, qui bene vtuntur libero ar­bitrio, & ideo mereri Domini gratiam, debitum eius reddifatetur: who saith, they are to bee rewarded, which vse well their free will, and thereby merit the grace of God, which he confesseth to be rendred as due to their free will. This accordeth with Romish Schoole diuinitie, teaching, That homini operanti secundum suam virtu­tem, Aqu 82. q. 11 [...]. videtur congruum, vt Deus recompenset secundum excellen­tiam suae virtutis: To a man working according to his naturall power and vertue, it seemeth meet, that God render a recompence according to the excellencie of his vertue. Therefore the Catho­licke Church of Christ, whereof the Church of England is a member, reiecteth this Pontifician preparation to iustifica­tion,Note the pra­ctice and com­mon opinion of the Church of Rome in the point of merit of workes: wc• is nothing else but the fruit of this their do­ctrine, which snake-like lur­keth vnder the greene leaues of subtile hy­pocrisie. Bern▪ de gratia & libero arbit. as a doctrine repugnant to the holy Scriptures, and to the Writings of the Catholicke Doctors and Fathers in the Pri­mitiue Church. This doctrine of Rome tending also (howso­euer they would dissemblingly disclaime it in words) to a flat derogation from the glorie of Gods grace, while it would make man an equall sharer with God in the atchieuement of so great a worke: for though they seeme to ascribe the glory to God, because (say they) he stirreth vp the will, whereby it beginneth to prepare and dispose it selfe to grace; yet this is nothing else but a mocking of God. As deuout Bernard, spea­king of this diuine stirring vp of free will, saith, Nefas est Deo quod minus, nobis quod excellentius sit, attribuere, It is ini­quitie to attribute to God that which is lesse, and to our selues that which is the more excellent. Now to stirre vp, what is it else, but [Page 20] as it were to awaken one from sleepe? The will is asleepe, and God must awaken it, before it can do any thing that is good: and being thus awakened, it sets it selfe a working. As Sampson awakened by Dalilah, shewed his great strength; the glorie of which action, is it to be ascribed to Dalilah for awakening and stirring him vp, or to Sampson, who being asleep, wanted nothing but stirring vp, to giue him occasion to exercise his strength? Mans will therefore beeing but stirred vp of God, and Sampson-like doing workes of wonder, euen aboue hu­mane strength, and naturall force, as to prepare and dispose it selfe for that great worke of iustification, how shall it not bee honoured much aboue God, by how much mans worke herein is greater than Gods worke? The Church of Rome is very nice and strait laced, in setting out the manner of Gods mouing of mans will in the first grace, as they call it: as fea­ringConcil. Trid. Sess. 6. cap. 5. & 6. What free will is left in vs in the state of corruption. Bern. lest more glorie might bee giuen to God, than to man; for they ascribe no more to God, but a certaine stirring vp, and helping of the will, whereby it should freely dispose it selfe to iustification. Whereas Bernard speakes home, and like a downe-right honest man in this point, Facit Deus vo­luntarios, quatenus dum de mala, mutat voluntatem in bonam: God makes men willing, whole of euill he changeth the will into good. So it is one thing to stirre vp, and helpe; another, to change the nature of a thing from euill to good. St. Ambrose: Volun­tas Ambros. de vocat Gentium l. 1. cap. 2. nihil habet in suis viribus, nisi periculi facilitatem: The will hath no power at all, but a propension to perill, And St. Chrysostome, Omnes homines antequam pecc [...]mus, liberum quidem habemus ar­bitrium, Chrys in Matth. 21. hom. 37. tom. 2. si volumus sequi voluntatem Diaboli, an non. Quod si semel peccantes obligauerimus nos operibus eius, iam nostra virtute [...]uadere non possumus. Sed sicut Nauis, fracto gubernaculo, illuc ducitur, vbi tempestas voluerit: sic & homo diuinae gratiae auxilio perdito per peccatum, agit, quod non vult ipse, sed quod Diabolus vult; & nisi Deus valida manu misericordiae soluerit eum, vsque ad mortem in peccatorum suorum vinculis permanebit: All men (saith he) before sinne, haue free will, to follow the Diuels will, or not. When once by sinne wee haue captiuated our selues to his workes, wee cannot now by our owne power free our selues. But as a Ship, the [Page 21] Rudder being broken, is carried whither the tempest will [...] so [...] [...] ­uing by sinne lost the helpe of diuine grace, doth not that wh [...] him­selfe willeth, but which the Diuell willeth; [...] God with a strong hand of mercie loose him, hee shall abide in the bonds of his sinnes euen vnto death. So then this strong hand is more than a bare stirring vp. St. Augustine here seemeth to allude to that in the Gospell: where our Sauiour resembleth the state of sinfull man to a house, kept and possessed by a strong man, when the will is wholly capituated by Sathan, and cannot befreed, but by the power of Christ, a stronger than that strong man. But the Councell of Trent wants the ingenuitie to acknow­ledge the mightie power of God in freeing mans captiue-wil from the tyrannie of the strong Diuell. Also St. Chrysostome in the prosecution of that his former Treatise, compareth mans will before sinne, to wit, in the state of innocencie, to a free-people or state, in whose power and election it is to chuse what King they wil; but hauing once elected such a one for their King, it is not now in their power, vpon any dislike to depose him againe, although he tyrannize ouer them neuer so much: none can free them from this grieuous bondage, but only God. So, it being once in the power of mans will, in the free state of innocencie, to choose a King, God or the Diuell; hauing once by the consent of sinne made choyce of the Prince of darkenesse, who tyrant-like ruleth in the chil­dren of disobedience, taking them captiue at his will; it ap­pertaines only to the mightie power, and infinite goodnesse of God to set free these miserable Captiues out of that Ty­rants more than Egyptian bondage. A worke no lesse, if not infinitely more, miraculous, than the deliuerance of those Israelites through the middest of that Red Sea: Howsoeuer the Trent Fathers mince the matter, and obscure the power of Gods mighty worke in mans conuersion, parting the glo­rie of it betweene mans nature, and Gods grace, as wee haue heard: Like the Whoore that would haue the child diuided, 1 Kings, [...]. [...]6 between her selfe, and the true Mother. But that the glorie of Gods powerfull grace in mans conuersion may not lye thus smoothered vnder the dampe of earthy and deepe hypocrisie, [Page 22] let vs see a little what this free-will of man is in the state of [...] Free-will in corrupt nature corruption. Vega highly commends that saying of Richardus, as we noted before; Doctè Richardus (inquit) Cum audis liberum arbitrium esse capt [...]um, nihil aliud intellige, quam infirmum, & na­tiuae virtutis potestate priuatum: Learnedly said Richardus, saith he: When thou [...]e arest that free-will is a captiue, vnderstand it no other­wise, than that it is weak, & depriued of the vertue of its natiue power. I wote well these Pontifician spirits would gladly bring mans free-will into credit, by filing and smoothing that rougher language, which the Fathers haue left vpon it. And I dare be bold herein to gratifie the Trent-Councell: Let free-will in mans corrupt heart be, not captiue, but only weake, not dead, but depriued onely of its primitiue and natiue vertue; nay let it be aduanced to as high a pitch of perfection, as possible a sinnefull man can reach vnto; I enuie it not. But at the best, when all is done, is it euer the neerer to grace or iustificati­on? If nature haue any faculty at all this way, surely it is to be found in those men that most excell in the gifts of nature, as in the Philosophers, the learned, the disputers of the world. Wherefore then doe not these receiue the Gospell with all readinesse and freedome of will? Nay, are they not rather the further off from Christ, by how much nature seemes more excellent and perfect in them? Saint Paul makes a challenge (1. Cor. 1. 20.) Where is the wise? Where is the Scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made the wisedome of this world foolishnesse? and vers. 21. he concludeth flatly, that seeing the world by wisedome know not God in the wisedome of God, it plea­sed God by the foolishnesse of preaching to saue them that beleeue. And vers. 26. Not many wise men after the flesh are called, &c. And our Sauiour (Mat. 11. 25.) I thanke thee O Father, Lord of heauen and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise, and men of vnderstanding, and hast reuealed them vnto babes. And therefore hence we may conclude, That the more our nature presumeth of its owne perfection, any way in disposing it selfe to grace, the more blinde it is, and further off from grace; though the Councell of Trent accurseth those that shall con­demne natures disposing of it selfe to grace, Can. 7. Nay, bring [Page 23] me an Angell in his pure naturals, innocent as Adam in his first creation, his will most free, vntainted, vncaptiued▪ yet what relation is there betweene him and the [...] [...]ate? This is a high and hidden mysterie, which neither Adam in his purest naturals, no nor Angell, but by speciall reuelation (Ephes. 3. 10.) could by their naturall knowledge attaine vnto. As the Lord said to Peter, Flesh and bloud hath not reuealed Matth. 16. 17. this vnto thee. What free-will then can there be in vs by na­ture towards that thing, which our naturall vnderstanding is altogether ignorant of? The naturall man receiueth not the things 1. Cor. 2. 14. of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishnesse vnto him, neither can hee know them, because they are spiritually discerned. Now that which the vnderstanding apprehends not, the will desires not: Ignoti nulla cupido. Thomas Aquinas saith well and truly: Hoc est ex institutione diuinae prouidentiae, vt nihil agat vitra suam Aqu. 12. qu. 114 cap. 2. virtutem. Vita autem aeterna est quoddam bonum excedens propor­tionem naturae creatae, quia etiam excedit cognitionem & desiderium eius, secundum illud. 1. Cor. 2. 9. Oculus non vidit, &c. This is of the appointment of Gods prouidence, that nothing should worke be­yond its proper vertue. But eternall life is a certaine good, exceeding the proportion of created nature, because it also exceedeth the know­ledge and desire of it. according to that, 1. Cor. 2. 9. Eye hath not seene, nor eare heard, neither haue entred into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that loue him; for God hath reuealed them vnto vs by his spirit, &c. And so Thomas concludeth, that not euen Adam in his perfection could merit eternall life, without a supernaturall grace. And the same Aqui­nas;Aqu. Su [...]. q. 22. art. 6. cap. [...]. Ea quae sunt fidei, excedunt rationem humanam: those things which are of faith, exceede humane reason. And a little after: Homo assentiendo his, quae sunt fidei, eleuatur supra naturam suam, &c. A man by assenting to those things which are of faith, is eleua­ted aboue his nature: & therefore it is necessary that faith be infused into him by a supernaturall gift of God. Yea, say the Pontificians, We ascribe the first motion of free-will to the worke of a preuenting grace. But by their owne confession, this work of grace is no o­ther, but to moue & stirre vp, & as it were, to awaken the will. Indeede, if the Trent-Fathers would not hypocritically halt [Page 24] in this point, but speake ingenuously and plainly, and say, That God by his spirit, through the preaching of the word, doth illuminate the blinde vnderstanding of the naturall man (asActs 16. 14. he did the heart of Lydia) to see the mysterie of Christ, and so the will is inflamed to desire, and long after saluation: then wee, and all Catholicke beleeuers, would in this point giue them the right hand of fellowship. This is indeede the right and true preparation vnto the grace of iustification, if not ra­ther the true grace it selfe already begun in our hearts. For this is life eternall, that they know thee, to bee the onely true God, Iohn 17. 3. and whom thou hast sent, Christ Iesus. And as the Prophet Esay speaketh. By his knowledge, shall my righteous seruant iustifie ma­nie; Esa. 53. 11. for he shall beare their iniquities: which implyeth, that holy knowledge and illumination is the first worke of grace and iustification, knowledge there being taken for sauing faith; faith being that to the soule, which the eye is to the bodie: as the Lord applyeth it, Iohn 3. 14. 15. Or if these Romane-Ca­tholicke Doctors would but vse the same language, that the ancient Fathers of the Church haue vsed concerning free­will, they should herein shew themselues honest men. Saint Augustine confesseth plainly, that man by abusing his free-will, Aug. Enchir. ad Laurent. tom. 3. Libero arbitrio [...]alè v [...]ens ho­mo, & se per­didit, & ipsum. Ezech. 11. 19. hath lost both himselfe and it. And by this reckoning, more is required than a bare mouing, helping, or stirring vp of the will, as if it were onely lame, when it is quite lost. That there­fore in the Prophet must here take place: I will take from them their stoni [...] heart, and giue them a heart of flesh. The heart in mans conuersion must be new made and moulded againe.

But they will obiect, that free-will by mans fall is not alto­getherObiection. lost, according to that of St. Augustine: Peccato Adae lib [...]um arbitrium de hominum natura perisse non dicimus; Wee doe Aug. contra duas epist. Pe­ [...]ag. ad Bonif. [...]ib. 2. not say, saith hee, that by the sinne of Adam mans nature is depri­ued of free-will, or that free-will is perished. But note what St. Augustine there addeth; Sed ad peccandum valere in homini­bus, subditis Diabolo: ad bene autem pie (que) viuendum non valere, nisi ipsa volunt as hominis Dei gratia fuerit liberata, & ad omne [...]onum actionis, sermonis, cogitationis adiuta: But wee say (saith he) that free-will in men subiect to Satan, preuaileth to the com­mitting [Page 25] of sinne: but to good and godly liuing it is of no [...] lesse mans will be freed by Gods grace, and assisted vnto euery [...] worke, and word, and thought. And in his book de grati [...] [...] arbitrio, ca. 17. he saith: He worketh first that we may will, who when we do wil doth perfect vs by cooperating: that therfore we may wil, he works without vs; but whē we are willing, & seruile, that we may per­form, he cooperates with vs. And c. 16. vpon Phil. 2. Deus est qui ope­ratur in vobis, &c. Certum est nos facere, cum facimus, sed ille facit vt faciamus, praebendo vires efficacissimas voluntati. And Epist. 107 to Vitalis Carthaginen. vpon that of the Apostle, Phil. 2. God worketh in vs, euen to will: he saith; Vera Dei gratia praevenit hominis voluntatem bonam, nec eam cuiusquam inuenit in corde, sed facit: The true grace of God preuenteth mans good will, neither findes he it in any mans heart, but makes it good. Whereupon, in his second booke against Iulian the Pelagian, hee calleth it, Seruum arbitrium; saying: Hic vnltis hominem perfici, at (que) vti­nam Dei dono, & non libero, vel potius seruo propriae voluntatis ar­bitrio; You would haue a man perfected, and I would it were by the gift of God, and not by the free, or rather seruile arbitrement of his owne will. Thus according to St. Augustine, mans liberum ar­bitrium is by Adams fall, turned into seruum arbitrium, seruing onely to sinne; and to turne it to good, it must not onely bee moued, stirred, or helped, but freed by Gods grace: which is a worke of power, in disarming the strong man. And what this grace is, hath beene shewed afore, to wit, Gods sauing grace; The true grace of God, saith Augustine, not a common grace. Deuout Bernard vnderstands by free-will, a meereBern. de gratia & libero arbi­trio. will in man without respect to the obiect, good or euill, Velle inest nobis ex libero arbitrio, non etiam posse quod volumus. Non dico, velle bonum, aut velle maelum: sed tantum velle; To will is in vs proceeding from free-will, but not to performe what we will. I say not, to will good, or to will euill, but onely to will. And againe; Cor­ruit homo de posse non peccare, in non posse non peccare, amissa ex toto complaciti libertate: Man fell from a possibility not to sinne, to an impossibility of not sinning, hauing altogether [...]ost the liberty of delight. Per propriam quippe voluntatem seruus peccati factus, meritò perdidit libertatem consilij: for by his owne proper will being [Page 26] made the seruant of sinne, hee hath deseruedly lost the liberty of his election or counsell. Now how shall all this be repaired againe? The same Bernard resolueth it: Velle homini vt esset, creans gra­tia fecit; vt proficiat, saluans gratia facit: vt deficiat, ipsum se deijcit: That man should haue a will, is from creating grace; that this will should profit, is from sauing grace: that it should decay, is of its owne voluntary defection. It is therefore a worke, not of common grace, as they vnderstand by the first grace, where­by they say the will is moued: but of effectuall sauing grace, to restore the will of man, and fit it for Christ. Habet igitur homo necessariam Dei virtutem, & Dei sapientiam Christum, qui ex eo quod sapientia est, verum ei sapere re-infundat, in restauratio­nem liberi consilij: & ex eo quod virtus est, plenum posse restituat in reparationem liberi complaciti; Man therefore hath the necessarie vertue of God, and wisedome of God, which is Christ, who as hee is wisedome, doth re-infuse wisedome to know the truth, to the restau­ration of the freedome of election; and as he is vertue, doth restore a full power to the reparation of the freedome of delight and happinesse: which (saith he) is begun here in grace, and consummate hereafter in glory. And again concerning free-will, he saith; Nemo putet ideo dictum liberum arbitrium, quod aequa inter bonum aut malum potestate aut facultate versetur, cum cadere per se quidem potuerit, non autem resurgere, nisi per Domini spiritum. Ergo si à Domini spiritu, iam non à libero arbitrio. Let no man thinke, that free-will What Free­will is. is therefore so called, as hauing an equall and indifferent power or faculty betweene good and euill, seeing it could fall by it selfe, but not rise againe but by the spirit of the Lord. And if it bee by the spirit of the Lord, it is not now of free-will. And St. Augustine tells vs plainly what that grace is, whereby the will is freed; to wit: Gratia Dei per Iesum Christum Dominum nostrum, in qua nos sua, Aug. de peccat. orig. contra Pe­lag. & Celest. lib. 2. tom. 7. non nostra iustitia instos facit, &c. That grace, whereby the will is freed, is the grace of God by Iesus Christ our Lord, wherein hee ma­keth vs iust by his owne, not by our righteousnesse, &c.

But, saith the carnall minde, If man haue not free-will toObiect. accept grace offered, what cause hath God to complaine, or to condemne man for that, which is not in his power to per­forme? I might answer with the Apostle; O vaine man, who [Page 27] art thou that repliest against God? But I answer againe, Though man haue no will of himselfe to receiue grace offered; yet he hath a will to reiect grace offered, for which he is [...] con­demned. So that mans corrupt will is sufficient to conuict him, though no way able to conuert him, after that manner which Pontificians teach. And thus God needeth not mans carnall wit, to pleade for the equity of his iustice; sith God doth not simply condemne men for that, which by nature they are inuincibly vnable to performe, as by the vertue of free-will to receiue grace offered; but for that, which is in their power and will to doe: namely, when they not only not willingly receiue, but wilfully and contemptuously reiect and put from them, the grace of God offered them in the Gospel. And iustly doe all such obiecters come within the compasse of Iobs censure, Iob 13. 7. Will yee speake wickedly for God, and talke deceitfully for him? &c. As Saint Hierome; Concede Deo Hier. ad [...]te [...] ­phon. epist. 13. part. 1. tract. 2. potentiam sui, nequaquam te indiget defensore: Let God be Master of himselfe, he needes not thee to pleade for him.

Now by the former testimonies, as by a cloud of witnesses, the Church of Rome is sufficiently conuicted of grosse absur­ditie, and of grieuous impiety in her doctrine of preparation to iustification: wherein her Gordian knot of manifold er­rours (while the Romish Harlot would haue the liuing childe diuided betweene her and the true Mother, Gods grace) is cut asunder, and dissolued by the sharpe sword of Sa­lomons wisedome. First, because the worke of preparati­on,Reasons ouer­throwing Po­pish prepara­tion. is rather the worke of iustification it selfe, and that so soone as the vnderstanding is inlightened, and the will inflamed to apprehend Christ by faith. Second­ly, because that grace of God, whereby the will of man is prepared to iustification (as they say) is no common grace, receiued as well by the reprobate, as the elect: but the sauing and iustifying grace of God, which whosoeuer recei­ueth, is more truly said to bee already actually iustified, than disposed and prepared thereunto. Thirdly, because the work of Gods grace in mouing the vnderstanding, and the will to [...]mbrace Christ, is no weake and common worke, but a worke [Page 28] of power, in loosing the workes of the Diuell, that strongIoh. 3. 8. Luke 11. 20. 21 man. Fourthly, because mans will doth not cooperate with Gods grace, as a co-agent and fellow-worker, in the first act of mans conuersion; but Gods grace is the Agent, and mans will is the Patient; that effectually calleth, and wee effectu­ously come; that strongly drawes vs, and we, by the vertue thereof, sweetly, not compulsarily, freely, not frowardly, and not now passiuely, but actiuely, do runne after Christ: as St.Cant. 1. 4. Aug de spiritu & litera ad Marcellinum. tom. 3. Ipsum velle credere, Deus operatur in homine, & in omnibus mi­sericordia eius praeuenit nos. And Tract. 26. in Ioh. 5. tom. 9. Si trahimur ad Christum, ergo inuiti credimus. At credere ne­mo potest, nisi volens. And, Ille quippe tra­hitur ad Chri­stum, cui datur, vt credat in Christum. Aug. contra duas Epist. Pelag. ad Bonif. l. 1. Ier. 31. 18. 19. Augustine saith, The will to beleeue, God worketh in man, and in all his mercie preuenteth vs. And againe, If we be drawn to Christ, then we beleeue vnwillingly. But none can beleeue, vnlesse he be wil­ling: for he is drawne to Christ, to whom it is giuen to beleeue in Christ. He is the mightie Agent in conuerting vs: and wee thereby become meeke Patients in being conuerted. Turne thou me, saith chastised Ephraim, and I shall bee turned: Thou art the Lord my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented, and after that I was instructed, I smote vpon my thigh, &c. And it is a thing not vnworthy the obseruation, that euen in their vulgar Latine Translation (which they preferre before all others, yea before the originals themselues) wheresoeuer any is exhorted to conuersion to God, the Verbe is alwaies put in the passiue signification, as Conuertere, or Conuertimini, Be thou Conuerted, or be ye Conuerted: and neuer in the actiue, Con­uerte te, or Conuertite vos, Conuert thou, or Conuert you your selues: which might sufficiently conuince all Pontificians, that the worke of our conuersion, is not a matter of coope­ration, shared betweene mans will and Gods grace, but pas­siue in vs, and actiue in God. Hee conuerteth by his grace, and wee are thereby willingly conuerted. Contrary to the Trent Doctrine, saying, That a man is disposed by grace to conuert himselfe. Fiftly, because the whole glorie of our conuersion to Christ, is to bee ascribed to Gods grace alone, not as the Trent Fathers professe in a few Hypocriticall words, while they deny it in the maine dint of their doctrine: but in sinceritie and truth, without equiuocation of any me­rit of congruitie in vs, preparing and disposing vs to be capa­ble of iustification. Finally, because they ranke faith among [Page 29] those other workes of preparation, as if it had no other hand in the worke of iustification, but onely as a disposing cause. So as a man may haue faith before he come to be iustified, yea and such a faith also, as a man may haue it, and yet neuer at­taine to iustification. Contrary to St. Augustine, Iustificatio ex fide incipit, Iustification beginnes at faith: as hereafter more fully. For these causes the Catholicke faith abhorreth the Romane-Catholicke-doctrine, touching their preparation to iustification.

But say some (who may claime kindred either with Pela­giansObiect. or Pontificians) although the merit of congruitie bee not admitted as an inducement to iustification, yet there are some workes required of vs, as matter of preparation to faith in Christ, which though it bee not meritorious, yet it is acceptable to God. For example, Repentance is a worke necessarily proceeding, and so preparing a man to faith in Christ: which Repentance being in vs, before faith in Christ, it is notwithstanding acceptable to God.

Indeede I deny not but the Pontifician forge can affoordAns. vs such scoria enough. But what Repentance is this? A true Repentance, say they. It had neede, if it bee acceptable to God. Wherein consists it? It is (say they) a sorrow for sinne past, and a purpose of amendment for the time to come. But is this sufficient to true Repentance? Yes (say they) Ahab, and the Nineuites repented: and was not their Repentance true, sith God accepted it, and thereupon reuoked, or at least reiourned the sentence denounced? Indeede Ahabs Repen­tance was a true hypocriticall Repentance: so the Nineuites Repentance was a true carnall Repentance, as the faith of diuels is said to be a true faith, which the Pontificians challenge for their onely true faith. Is this true faith therefore acceptable to God? But was the Repentance of Ahab and of the Nine­uites acceptable to God, because God for the present forbore to punish them? It followes not, because God forbare them, that therefore their Repentance was acceptable to him. For how can the action bee acceptable, when the person is not? But their persons were not acceptable to God. For Ahab was [Page 30] a damned Idolater, and a most wretched wicked person, who had sold himselfe to the diuell: and the Nineuites were hea­thenish infidels, out of Christ. But till wee be in Christ, our persons are not accepted of God: for in him only God is well pleased. And before faith in Christ, wee are not in Christ; therefore before faith in Christ, no action of ours is accepta­ble to God, yea no way acceptable: not onely as these would haue it, not acceptable to saluation (as such obiecters them­selues confesse) but not acceptable towards it, as these affirm. For while we are out of Christ, all our actions are abomina­ble before God, much lesse acceptable to him. And so much the more abominable they bee, and so much the lesse ac­ceptable, by how much the more wee esteeme them ac­ceptable, or endeauour to please God by them. As God him­selfe saith, Matth. 3. 17. This is my beloued Sonne, in whom I am well pleased. With whom is God well pleased in his Beloued? The Apostle applyeth it, Ephes. 1. 6: To the praise of the glorie of his grace, wherein hee hath made vs accepted in the Beloued. Therefore no acceptation with God, but of those that are actually in the Beloued, to wit, in his sonne Iesus Christ. Nor doe wee feare Trents Canon here, thundring out her Ana­themaConcil. Trid. sess. 6. can. 7. to any that shall say, that all workes done before grace are sinnes; or, that the more a man endeauoureth to please God, before faith in Christ, the more deepely he endangereth himselfe to Gods high displeasure: for we affirme this again and againe, That all workes done before faith in Christ, the more wee thinke therein to please God, the more damnable they be, because herein we set vp an Idoll of our handy-work, in stead of Christ, whereby to please God.

Much lesse (as some haue dared to vent, that before sauing faith in Christ, there may be, and afore begun in a mans heart (by the meanes of preparatory graces, as repentance, and the like) the worke of sanctification, of regeneration, of clean­sing of the heart, &c. Than which doctrine, what can bee more derogatory to Christ? And what more contrary to the Scriptures; wch say, If any man be in Christ, he is a new crea­ture? therefore out of Christ, no new creature; no not inchoa­tiue [Page 31] in the least degree. For if regeneration, or sanctifica­tion, or newnesse of life, or cleansing of the heart, may be be­gun without Christ, what hinders, that it may not bee also perfected without Christ? Nay, if regeneration bee but begun, then there is a childe of God at least newly concei­ued, if not newly borne and brought forth. Such conception, is a false conception of winde; not of Gods spirit, but of mans spirit: so that if such proue all abortiues and dead borne, it is no maruaile. But the sons of God we cannot be, till we be in Christ; which is, till we beleeue in Christ: as Gal. 3. 26. Ye are all the children of God by faith in Iesus Christ: therefore be­fore this faith in Iesus Christ, we are not the children of God, no not so much as the Embrio in the first conception. But the new creature must bee in Christ Iesus, as the Apostle saith, Gal. 6. 15. So when Christ himselfe speakes of regeneration to Nicodemus, Ioh. 3. instructing him therein how it is begun in a man, hee tels him in the continuation of his speech, that this appertaines to those that beleeue in the son of man, vers. 15. and vers. 16. For a man to be regenerate, or made the son of God by adoption, he must be in the son of God by beleeuing in him. Where Christ also opposing faith to vnbeliefe, saith; those are condemned already, that beleeue not, hauing no part in the regeneration: therefore before faith in Christ, no rege­neration at all, no cleansing, no sanctification, but all condem­nation. Againe, Christ is made vnto vs sanctification, 1. Cor. 1. 30. vnto vs, in him. Of him are ye in Christ Iesus: there­fore while out of Christ, no sanctification. So the adoption of children is by Iesus Christ, Ioh. 1. 5. therefore no sons, no re­generation, but in Iesus Christ. Likewise, Ioh. 15. 2. Euery branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away. So vers. 4. As the branch cannot beare fruit of it selfe, except it abide in the vine: no more can ye, except ye abide in mee: For without me yee can doe nothing. Therefore while a man is out of Christ, vntill by faith he be ingrafted into Christ, the true Vine, from whom hee receiueth the liuely sappe of a new life, hee can doe nothing; nothing that is good, nothing that is acceptable to God; no worke of [Page 32] new obedience or sanctification.

But some may say, Regeneration is wrought by the SpiritObiection. of God in vs; and so may be before faith in Christ: and con­sequently, before we come to be actually in Christ. To which I answer: True it is, that the Holy Ghost is the immediateAnsw. efficient cause of our regeneration. But how doth he worke regeneration in vs? namely, by working in vs faith in Christ, which faith is the very immediate instrument, whereby the Holy Ghost doth regenerate, sanctifie, and cleanse vs: sith the Holy Ghost by this faith ingrafteth and vniteth vs into Christ, in whom we are regenerate, and made the sonnes of God. Now that faith is the instrument of our regeneration and sanctification, it is euident, Acts 15. 9. & 26. 18. So that the very first and prime act of Gods sanctifying spirit in vs, is to worke faith in vs; by which faith in Christ, as by a noble in­strument, the Holy Ghost vniting vs to Christ, as members to the head, doth regenerate vs, and so makes vs the adopted sons of God. And before faith in Christ, we cannot say, wee haue Gods sanctifying spirit in vs; I say, in regard of priori­tie of time: For this sanctifying spirit, in the same moment that he sanctifies vs, he workes faith in Christ in vs, by which he regenerates and sanctifies vs.

But they re-ioyne by a distinction; and say, that this repen­tanceObiection. which prepares the way to faith, and layes the founda­tion of regeneration, is not acceptable to saluation: but only to fit & prepare vs thereunto, and to make vs the more capa­ble of it. In this distinction they do much please themselues;Answ. but they confound themselues in their distinction: For they affirme againe, that this precedent repentance of theirs, is re­generation, and sanctification, and newnesse of life inchoa­tiue, begun at least in part. A bold assertion. Is it regenera­tion begun and in part? and being acceptable, is it not accep­table to saluation? Is not regeneration a worke of our salua­tion? And though regeneration should be begun in this re­pentance, in neuer so small a degree, a worke it is of our sal­uation, if it bee true regeneration. Logicians know, that Magis & minus non variant speciem. A man in the first con­ception [Page 33] is a man, though imperfect, and inchoatiue.

But they reply again, That they do not say, this preuious re­pentanceObiect. is acceptable to saluation of itself▪ but as i [...] hath rela­tion to faith cōming after, whereby it becomes acceptable. A pretty shift. And yet they say again, That repentance goeth be­fore faith, not in the precedency of time, but in nature only, & in the order of causes. Now if this repētance go before faith in the order of causes, then repentance must cause faith; & so this absurdity wil follow, That the effect must giue a form & being, at least a well being, vnto the cause; if so be faith, the effect & consequent of repētance, as they say, make the same acceptable.

But how doe they proue, that this their repentance goes before faith in Christ in nature, and in the order of causes? They proue it out of Matth. 21. 32. where Christ taxing the infidelity of the Pharisees, wherein they came behinde the very Publicans, saith; Iohn came to you in the way of righ­teousnesse, and ye beleeued him not: but the Publicans and the Harlots beleeued him; and ye when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might beleeue him. Hence they con­clude, That repentance must goe before faith, as the cause of it; alledging Christs words thus: Ye repented not, that ye might beleeue; But leauing out him; That ye might beleeue Him, to wit, Iohn Baptist, as it is in the text; which implieth what kinde of faith Christ there meaneth, to wit, an assent to the truth of Iohns doctrine: The place thereby comes to bee preuerted. For, Credere [...] ei, is the faith of assent: but Cre­dere in eum, that is, in Christum, is the iustifying faith. So that by that place alledged, if repentance goeth before faith in the order of causes, then certainly that repentance is the cause of no other faith, but the faith of assent, there spoken of; which is not all one faith with the iustifying faith. But they which af­firme thus, yet confess, that repentance doth not go before the faith of assent, which they terme also the Euangelical faith; but that its an effect & consequent therof. And here by the way I might take iust occasion, to shew the absurdity of those, that distinguish betweene Euangelicall faith, and the faith of Christ; as if Euangelicall faith were onely a generall assent to [Page 34] the truth of the Gospell; whereas a generall assent, and Euan­gelicall faith, are as different as this and the faith of Christ are all one▪ for Euangelicall faith looketh vpon the Gospell, not onely as a true history, but as the mysterie of God in Christ; it embraceth it as the Gospell▪ preaching Christ the Sauiour, yea preaching Christ to euery beleeuer of this Gospell in particular. As Luk. 2. 10. 11. The Angels said to the Shepheards, Feare not, for behold, I bring You good tidings of great ioy, that shall be to all people; For vnto You is born this day in the City of Dauid a Sa­uiour, which is Christ the Lord. Note, here is the Gospel preached; to who? I bring You good tidings. And what is the tidings? To you is borne this day a Sauiour, which is Christ the Lord. Here we haue an exact summe of the Gospell, which is Christ the Sauiour borne to vs. Now to beleeue this Gospell, is an E­uangelicall faith: but such, as cannot diuide betweene the Gospell & Christ, and such also, as must needes apprehend and applie Christ, by beleeuing in him. For, To You is borne this day a Sauiour, which is Christ the Lord. To You: this is a necessary relatiue, part of the Gospell; for Euangelium, or good tidings, imply not onely the party sending, but also the party or parties to whom it is sent.

So that the faith of the Gospell, must so beleeue the truth of the Gospell, as that it leaue out no part of it. But one part of it is, that this Gospell is sent to You; that is, to all belee­uers. For as much as the Gospell containeth the couenant of grace betweene God and vs: God and man being the parties interessed in this Couenant, mutually in Christ the Mediator. Therefore the Euangelicall faith, is not a bare generall assent to the truth of the Gospell, but a particular affiance in Christ, the summe of the Gospell: and so it apprehendeth and appli­eth this good tidings, which is to beleeue the Gospell in­deed. For that generall faith which they call an assent, when it goes no further, it makes no difference betweene the Go­spell and the Law, and other parts of the word of God: but beleeueth them all indifferently, as a true history, when it is called an historicall faith. But when faith comes to put a difference, pitching vpon the speciall obiect, the Gospell; [Page 35] and so this faith becomes an Euangelical faith: then it is so the faith of the Gospell, as it is also necessarily the speciall faith of Christ, whom it apprehendeth & layeth hold vpon▪ vnlesse a man can so diuide between Christ & the Gospel, as the Gospel may be Gospel without Christ; or so diuide the Gospell from it self, as that we may beleeue it to be good tidings, & not to vs in particular: Whereas the beliefe of the Gospell consists, in the apprehending, and certain applying of the good tidings therof vnto vs; To You is born this day a Sauiour: to You is this word of salua­tion sent. This is the Gospell; and this is to beleeue the Gospell, by applying it to vs, to whom it is sent. If we do not beleeue it sent to vs, we do not beleeue the Gospell; for it is so far a Go­spell or good tidings to vs, as we beleeue it to be sent to vs in particular. Nor is this faith of the Gospell, a certain or rather vncertaine swimming in the brain, that perhaps, or probably, or possibly, God may be merciful vnto vs in Christ: A doctrine bred of the spawne of Trent. This is a wandring imagination, hatched in mans braine, hauing no ground of truth, or agree­ment with the faith of the Gospell. Thus we see, if Euangeli­call faith be none other but the faith of Christ, and in Christ, as we haue sufficiently proued: then it followeth that the di­stinction betweene Euangelicall faith, and faith in Christ, being vnsound and groundlesse, the whole doctrine of the precedency of repentance before faith in Christ, as a necessary and acceptable preparatiue thereunto, doth euen mole sua, of it selfe fall to the ground. For the authors of such a do­ctrine must needes confesse, if they will be guided by reason, that there is no repentance but faith must goe before it, for to cause it; as either Legall faith must go before it to cause Legall repentance, or Euangelical faith must go before to cause Euan­gelicall repentance Now if there be no Euangelicall faith to goe before, and cause Euangelicall repentance, but the faith of Christ; then in vaine is any repentance deuised, to goe before and cause faith in Christ. This Eagle-eyed faith of Christ hath no sooner glanced vpon the Sun of Righteousnesse, but instantly by the force thereof, a dreery cloud being raised, causeth a gracious, but sad shower of repentance, to descend [Page 36] from those windowes and floud-gates of the now heauenly Soule, to refresh the poore sinner, now hungring and thirsting after the liuing waters. They say also, that the faith, to wit, Euangelicall faith, which is the cause of their Repentance, going before, and causing the faith of Christ, is a generall assent, or a generall faith of the truth of the Gospell. But how can this generall assent beget in mee a particular Repen­tance, vnlesse with this assent I haue also a particular affiance in the promise of the Gospell of Christ, applying it to my self? The Gospell saith, To you is borne a Sauiour, Christ the Lord. I beleeue this to be true. But how shall this beliefe moue me to Repentance, vnlesse I beleeue that this Sauiour is borne to me in particular? Ahab had not so easily repented, if Gods iudgements being layd neuer so close to him, hee had not be­leeued the truth of them in particular towards himselfe. So the Nineuites. For particular Repentance in euery man must arise from a particular apprehension and application of the Word of God towards himselfe. As for their reasons forcing Repentance to goe before Faith in Christ, they are very poor and beggarly; as that otherwise it leades me to presumption. A very friuolous and false surmise. For sauing Faith doth no sooner lay hold on Christ with the one hand, but withall it layeth the other hand vpon the sinner, the subiect wherein it is arraigning him at Gods Tribunall, iudging, condemning him for that sinner, whom Christ came to saue. Faith doth no sooner looke on Christ with the right eye, but it presently reflects on the sinner with the left eye. The reason is, because it is impossible I should beleeue Christ, to be my Sauiour, but withall I must beleeue and acknowledge my selfe to bee the sinner; which I cannot truely do, but it will necessarily breed in mee that Repentance to saluation, not to bee repented of. For, a Sauiour and a wretched sinner are relatiues, which not euen the thought of man can diuide, or sunder one from ano­ther. And so here their reason, why such Repentance must needes goe before faith, is found faultie; which is (say they) because if Repentance went not before faith in Christ, then faith in Christ would proue to be presumption. Therefore we [Page 37] haue shewed, that in true faith in Christ there is alwaies true Repentance, as the prime and immediate fruite of Faith. So that rather the nouell doctrine of such men is a high pride and presumption, carrying others also to the top of the same pinacle, by perswading them, that they haue true Repentance before faith in Christ, by which they are (at least) in part re­generate, sanctified and cleansed,

Obiect. But is there no preparation vnto the receiuing of grace and iustification? Is not (at the least) the hearing of the Word a worke of preparation to grace?

Answ. True it is, that faith, sauing and iustifying faith, commeth by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom. 10. 17. So that the hearing of the Word of God is the ordinarie meanes to beget sauing Faith and Grace in vs.

Obiect. But hearing of the Word is in our owne power, and hearing of the Word is a preparation vnto Grace; there­fore it is in our owne power to prepare our selues vnto grace.

Answ. To heare is in our owne power: but hearing of the Word is not simply a preparatiue vnto grace, but rather an externall meanes thereunto. For vnlesse God do giue aspeci­all blessing to the outward meanes of hearing the Word, in opening our hearts, as he did the heart of Lydia, wee heare the word but as a sound, or as a strange historie, or parable, and as a deepe mysterie hidden from vs. The Iewes did heare Christs Oracles, and see his Miracles, yet for all that were they no better than deafe and blinde men. God must open the heart to vnderstand, and to apprehend by Faith the mysterie of Christ preached, else Paul may plant, and Apollos water in vaine.

Obiect. To what purpose then is it for any to come to heare the Word of God, if thereby he be not the better fitted and disposed to receiue grace?

Answ. Although God be the only author and actor of wor­king grace in vs, yet for as much as he doth this by the Mini­sterie of his Word, which he hath appointed as the ordinarie meanes to beget faith and all other sauing graces in vs, there­fore it is our part and duty to attend vpon, and vse the means, [Page 38] waiting for Gods blessing vpon it. So that all the worke of preparation to grace on our part is without vs, not within vs, namely, the hearing of the Word preached, and Gods speciall blessing vpon it.

Obiect. But it is in our free will and choyce to heare the Word of God, or not to heare it: and therefore something is to be ascribed to free-will, in setting vs (at least) in the way to iustification.

Answ. It is no otherwise in our free will and choyce be­fore our conuersion, to heare Gods Word, than to heare any humane historie propounded vnto vs. For before our vnder­standing bee by faith illuminated to apprehend and apply Christ vnto our selues, and to know him to be our Sauiour in particular, we haue no will to heare the Word as the Word of God, which is able to saue our soules, but rather as the word of man.

Obiect. But doth not a man vnderstand the Word prea­ched, vnlesse first his vnderstanding be illuminated by Faith?

Answ. A naturall man may by hearing come to haue a ge­nerall vnderstanding of the Word of God, as a true historie; but before he bee indued with sauing faith from God, his vn­derstanding is not illuminated to know God in Christ to bee his Father, and Christ to bee his Redeemer; which is the summe of the Gospell and the seale which wee set vpon the truth of God therein. Iohn 3 33.

Obiect. But Iohn Baptist was sent to prepare the way of the Lord.

Answ. The Ministerie of Iohn was to teach men to be­leeue in Christ, pointing at him that was to come. So that by his Ministerie, men beleeuing and beeing baptized into Christ, they might thereby be said to bee prepared to a more plentifull measure of receiuing Christ, and his Spirit, as after­wards they did, hauing the first seeds of Faith already sowne in their hearts.

Obiect. But another obiects: before true conuersion a man must renounce the first couenant, become humble, con­fesse his vnworthinesse, his hardnesse of heart, his naturall [Page 39] disabilitie towards his owne saluation; hee must feare God▪ loue God, and the like, or else a man is incapable of, and in­disposed to receiue the grace of conuersion.

Answ. Indeed a fellow-minister of the Gospell was very earnest on a time in defending of this. He desired me to re­solue him in it by writing, as being a matter of maine con­sequence, and a maine ground wherewith many other opini­ons, on foote in these daies, would stand or fall. Now I could haue wished to haue heard his reasons of that his obiection, but time at least permitted not. Therefore my answer shall be short, as also in respect of all that before said. First then, for a man to renounce the first couenant, to become humble, &c. I say, no man can doe it, till he be in Christ. My reason is, be­cause till a man be in Christ, he is dead, blinde, proud, hard­hearted, without the feare of God, without the loue of God. Euery man is actually either the child of wrath, in the state of sinne, and death; or the childe of God, in the state of grace and life. There is no terme betweene these two. There is no terme or medium betweene a man liuing and dead, but the very instant of his soules departing from the bodie, which is in the twinckling of an eye. No more terme or medium is there betweene a man dead in sinne, and liuing by grace, but the very instant of his conuersion. For euery man (I say) is eyther a dead man in the state of sinne, or a liuing man in the state of grace: a third terme cannot come betweene. Now while a man is in the state of sinne, he is dead. If dead, he vn­derstands nothing that sauours of grace, nor hath hee any disposition or affection in him thereunto. While he is vnder the dominion of sinne, hee is nothing but meere enmitie and rebellion against God and his Grace; as the Apostle saith, [...]. &c. Rom. 8. The wisedome of the flesh, or, To be carnally minded, is enmity against God. This is the state of a man vnregene­rate, vnconuerted. Beeing thus, hee is proud, senslesse of his hardnesse of heart, senslesse of any naturall disabilitie to­wards his owne saluation, without loue, without feare of God, as Rom. 3. He is not subiect to the Law of God, neither indeede can bee, Rom. 8. Hee is so farre from renouncing the [Page 40] first couenant of works, that before his conuersion, the more morall vertues (which Saint Augustine cals but splendida pec­cata) either the frame of his naturall and corporall constitu­tion, or of his more liberall education hath adorned him with; the more is hee apt to relye vpon the first couenant, trusting to bee saued by his good workes. But I say againe, that when I see in a man these things, that he renounceth the first couenant, that he is humble, that he confesseth his vn­worthinesse, that hee complaineth of the hardnesse of his heart, that he renounceth himselfe, and his owne abilities to­wards his owne saluation, and the like: these are the signes and fruits of a true Conuert, say I. No, say you. The matter now standing betweene your No, and my Yea: who shall be the vmpire? Nay, let vs decide it betweene vs by the rule of Gods word. Either make the tree good, and the fruit good, or else the tree euill, and the fruit euill: saith Christ. An euill tree cannot bring forth good fruit, & contra. Now a man be­fore his effectuall conuersion, before he be in Christ, is an euill tree; and therefore cannot bring forth any fruit of true grace or vertue. But if a man begin once to bring forth such fruits, shew me, if you can, any reason, why such a man is not already a true Conuert? For ought you know, hauing these signes and symptomes of true conuersion, he is a true Con­uert. Nay, that he is without question a true Conuert, I proue by two reasons. First, because till a man be a true Conuert, he cannot be truely humble; he cannot truely renounce him­selfe, his sins, confesse his vnworthinesse, feele the hardnesse of his heart, to complaine of it, and the like. Secondly, be­cause all these things are common and proper to the rege­nerate man. Both these together I p [...]e thus. 1. No dead man can performe the workes of a liuing man; but these forementioned be the workes of a liuing man: therefore no dead man, therefore no man, before his conuersion, can per­forme such workes.

But you will say, these things are not so the workes of aObiect. man conuerted, but that also, as morall workes, they may be performed of a morall or naturall man before his conuersion.

[Page 41]To which I answer, that all these things are not of a morallAns. but of a spirituall nature, & are the proper gifts of the spirit of grace, which no naturall man hath, till he become spirituall; which is by conuersion, when hee rec [...]eth spirituall life. God giues grace to the humble, but first he giues grace to be humble. God giueth more grace, saith St. Iames: and whatIames 4. 6. followeth? He giues grace to the humble; that is, more grace to him, whom first he hath made humble by grace. This hu­mility comes only from Christ, to those that are in Christ. True humility, St. Augustines compares to the water of life and of grace, which floweth from the inward fountaine of the pure veine of truth. This is the water of confession of sinnes, this the water of humiliation of the heart, this the water of sauing life, of him that casts downe himselfe, that presumes nothing of himselfe, that proudly attributes no­thing to his owne power. This water is in no Forreiners bookes; not in the Epicures, not in the Stoickes, not in the Manichees, not in the Platonicks. Wheresoeuer other pre­cepts of manners and discipline are found, yet this humility is not found. The way of this humility flowes from no where else, it comes from Christ, &c. So Augustine. This Humility is the Herbe-grace, and growes no where but in the garden of grace, euen the heart of the true Conuert. It growes not in the whole field of nature, though neuer so well tilled with the doctrine of Philosophy. And for hardnesse of heart, it is in euery impenitent man: but when once it comes to be felt, and to be mourned for, this is the proper effect of a man re­nued by grace, whose not onely vnderstanding is inlightened to see, but his will and affections touched with a godly sense and feeling of his spirituall miseries, which a dead man can­not doe. Now till a man be in Christ by faith, he is a dead man. Except ye eate the flesh of the sonne of man, and drink his bloud; that is, Except ye beleeue in the son of man, ye haue no life in you. Ioh. 6. 53. And, saith the Apostle; Now I liue, yet not I, but Christ liueth in mee; and in that I now liue▪ I liue by the faith of the sonne of God, &c. Gal. 2. 20. Now a dead man knowes not that he is dead: but when he is restored to [Page 42] life, he then knowes that he was dead. So a man till hee be in Christ, that is, truely conuerted, he is dead, and knowes it n [...], much lesse can bewaile, or so much as see and feele his spirituall death▪ but being in Christ, and so made aliue, he knowes then that he was a dead man, and feeling some re­liques of spirituall mortality in him, as corruption of sinne, hardnesse of heart, and the like; he is truely humbled for it, he heartily bewailes and confesseth it, and prayeth against it: which humility, which bewayling and confessing of his spiri­tuall misery, is no lesse an infallible signe of a man restored from spirituall death to spirituall life by Christ, than the seuen times neezing of the widowes son, was a true token of his re­stitution [...]. Kin. 4. 35. from death to life againe.

But as the clause comes in but obiter, so let it suffice, to haue touched it by the way. And this I haue said, I am sure will stand good, till any shall be able to proue, That a man doth spiritually liue, before he be in Christ, before he be a true Conuert.

CHAP. IV. The Romish Doctrine of the Iustification of a sinner, what it is, and wherein it consisteth.

NOw after all this adoe about preparation to iustificati­on, which the more they magnifie, the further off they are from attaining vnto it: what is that iustification which the Romish Church stands vpon? Let vs see if it bee worth all that labour and merit, whereby they must come by it. The foolish Virgins, while they went to bestow their paines and costMatth. 25. to prepare oyle for their empty Lampes, to meete the Bride­groome, lost all their paines and expence: for when theyOleum & opera per diderunt. came, Heauen gate was shut against them. The Romish Vir­gins (for such they would bee accounted) wanting oyle in [Page 43] their Lampes; to wit, the pure oyle-oliffe of grace, distilling from the true Oliffe Tree, Iesus Christ, while they goe about toRom. 11. 24. prepare artificiall oyle made by humane inuenti [...] ▪ they may iustly feare, to find the gate of righteousnesse and mercie bar­red vp against them. If they proue not rather like the men of Sodome, who pressing vpon righteous Lot, to surprise euen hisGen. 19. 11. Reu. 11. 8. Angel-guests, were strucke with blindnesse, that they could not finde the right doore, where they would haue entred. So these, seeking to enter the gate of the righteous, as if they would surprise Heauen, the lodging of Angels, by a strange and new inuented violence; it will proue a matter of high admiration, if euer by their new way of preparation, choaked with so many mists of foggie errours, and blinde inuentions, they hit vpon the gate of iustification, and so come promiscu­ously to ioyne themselues to the sacred society of righteous Angels. But now let their iustification speake, and iustifie it selfe.

The Councell of Trent in the seuenth Chapter saith thus: Hanc dispositionem seu praeparationem, iustificatio ipsa consequitur; Concil. Trid. Ses. 6. cap. 7. quae non est sola peccatorum remissio, sed & sanctificatio, & re­nouatio interioris hominis, per voluntariam susceptionem gratiae & donorum: Vnde homo ex iniusto, fit iustus, & ex inimic [...], amicus; vt sit haeres, secundum spem vitae aternae: After this disposition or preparation, doth follow iustification it selfe; which is not onely the remission of sinnes, but also sanctification, and reno­uation of the inner man, by a voluntary receiuing of grace and of gifts: Whence a man of vniust, is made iust, and of an enemy, a friend; that he may be an heire, according to the hope of eternall life. To which also agreeth the eleuenth Canon of this Session. Si quis dixerit, homines iustificari vel sola imputatione iustitiae Christi, vel sola peccatorum remissione▪ exclusa gratia & charitate, quae in cordibus eorum per Spiritum sanctum diffundatur, at (que) illis inhaereat; aut etiam gtatiam, qua iustificamur, esse tantum fauorem Dei: anathema sit: If any man shall say, that men are iustified either by the onely imputation of Christs righteousnesse, or by the onely remission of sins, ex­cluding grace and charity, which is shed abroad in their [Page 44] hearts by the holy Ghost, and is inherent in them; or else, that the grace whereby we are iustified, is onely the fauour of God: Let him be Anathema.

In these words of the Councell, is infolded the very my­sterie of iniquity; For their iustification is composed partly of remission of sins, and partly, yea principally, ofWhat they meane by san­ctification and renouation, may be seene chap. 13. to wit, pilgri­mage, vigils, almes (speci­ally to the Friars) Pater nosters, Aue­maries, obla­tions, fastings, vowes of cha­stitie, &c. also sacramentall confession, and satisfacti­ons. chap. 14. [...] Hist. Concil. Trid. Soto de nat. & grat. lib. 2. c. 20. sanctification (as they call it) and renouation of the inner man; and to this is added mans free-will. And thus their vniust man is made iust. Note also how in the Canon, they name the imputation of Christs righteousnesse, as one of the ingredients, in this composition of iustification. But the plaine truth is, this im­putation they quite shut out from hauing any thing to doe with their iustification; as this very terme of imputation had no good entertainment in the a Councell. And note againe, how they denie the grace of iustification to be the onely fa­uour of God, reseruing a roome for mans merit: contrary to that of the Apostle, Rom. 3. 24. Being iustified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Iesus.

Now by the way, let vs see what the Pontificians meane by Imputation. For this purpose I will insert here a saying of Pighius (though otherwise a Pontifician writer) which Soto answereth, and laboureth to cleare from suspicion of heresie. Pighius hauing considered sundry places of Scrip­ture, as in the Psalmes, and Iob, &c. that the Saints of God dare not bring their own inherent righteousnesse, to the strict triall of Gods iudgement: Ex his confecit Pighius, &c. (saith Soto) Pighius thence concludes, That our inherent righte­ousnesse, if it be strictly examined by the diuine rule, is not perfect; but we are iustified rather by that righteousnesse of Christ imputed vnto vs. Which he exemplifieth: that as Ia­cob, hid vnder the habit of his elder brother, the true first­borne, receiued his fathers blessing; so wee receiue glory vn­der anothers person, to wit, Christ. Now how doth Soto, with all his subtilty, acquit his Pighius from being an here­ticke in so saying? Haec omnia (saith hee) all these things, by one word of equiuocation, are detorted to a sinister sense. Who can euer doubt, but that we, the sons of Adam, which [Page 45] by our owne nature and ability can bring no merits or wor­thinesse into Gods presence, can pretend or couer our fa [...]ts with the onely righteousnesse of Christ, in whose right we are sonnes and heires of the Kingdome? But when wee say, Christi, the genetiue case, wee doe not meane the subiect of inherency; that the sense should bee, The righteousnesse which is in Christ (as the heretickes grossely erre) but it is a note of the efficient cause; that the sense should bee, The righteousnes, which is that of Christ, being accepted of God, nos influit, doth poure into vs: so Soto. Thus we see, by what a pretty neate distinction he would assoile his brother Pighi­us from being an herericke, although hee speake the same thing with vs. Only I pitie Soto his sottishnesse, that while hee would haue Pighius to meane by our righteousnesse, our naturall righteousnesse, which may not abide Gods strict try­all; he remembers not vpon what instances Pighius inferred this his true Catholicke conclusion. For his instances, by Soto his owne allegation, were holy Iob, and holy Dauid, who disclaimed their owne righteousnesse. But I hope, Soto will not say, these were now naturall men, and vnregenerate.

Now for the clearer vnfolding of this mysterie, let vs hear their great champions, what they, in their voluminous com­mentaries vpon this Session, meane by Iustification. Soto makes a threefold iustification: Prima genuina (que) notio huius no­minis Soto de n [...]t. & grat. lib. 2. c. 6. quo termini controuersiae exponuntur. (inquit) est acquisitio iustitiae; nempe ex iniusto iustum fieri. The prime and proper notion of this word Iustification (saith he) is an acquisition of righteousnesse; namely, of vniust to be made iust. As calefaction or heating, of cold to be made hot; according to the Text of the Councell, which saith: Thus the vniust man is made iust. So they take Iustificare, to be as much as iustum facere, to make iust. Secunda, &c. the second noti­on, and next to this, is (saith he) that it signifieth an augmen­tation of righteousnesse. The first of these, he compareth to that originall righteousnesse that Adam once had; which importeth a rectitude, or right ordering of the whole man: which he proues diuinely out of Aristotle, in the fift of his Ethicks. And the second hee proueth, Apoc. 22. 11. Qui iu­stus [Page 46] est, iustificetur adhuc: He that is iust, let him be iustified still. But in this, as in many more, their Latin Translation will not abide the touch of the originall: which saith, He that is righteous, [...]. let him be righteous still, or, let him doe righteousnesse still. The like place he bringeth out of Ecclesiasticus, but with the like felicitie, and successe. And he alledgeth that of St. Iames, You see, that a man is iustified by workes, and not by faith only. ByIames 2. which words, saith hee, hee had contradicted Paul, where he saith, Arbitramur hominem iustificari per fidem, & non ex operibus: Wee iudge, that a man is iustified by faith, and not of workes: vnlesse Paul had spoken of the former iustification, and Iames of the latter. Although (saith he) we will declare in his proper place, how our workes also doe concurre in iustification. Nisi quod Paulus loquitur de praecedentibus: Vnlesse that Paul speaketh of pre­cedent workes: (I suppose he meaneth workes going before iusti­fication) So hee. Where you see he speakes very perplexedly, yet so, as hee cannot dissemble his meaning. For the iudicious Reader may well perceiue, that hee would faine force that speech of the Apostle, Rom. 3. 28. Therefore we conclude, that Rom. 3. 28. a man is iustified by Faith, without the deeds of the Law: to be meant of that faith going before iustification, which they rancke among their preparatory workes, for that is their fides informis, their faith without charity, as yet vnformed, as they say; sauing that herein he forgets himselfe: for the A­postle speakes of iustitification by faith, not of faith disposing or preparing a man to iustification. But of this more here­after.

In the third place (saith he) the name of iustification is further vsed, to signifie the absoluing of a guiltie person in iudgement, and pronouncing of him to bee quit. For which he alleageth, Prou. 17. 15. and Deut. 25 1. But this (saith he) is not much different from the first acception of the word, but rather altogether of neere affinity to it Yet this third signification (saith Soto) is no where in Paul, nor in the Scrip­ture, where any mention is made of our iustification by Christ. See this crafty shuffler, how hee can packe this close to the first kinde of acception of this word iustification, as [Page 47] if it were all one with it, or neere a-kinne vnto it: and yet he can say of this last, that it is not to be found in Paul, although he could finde the first to be in Paul, at least in his owne strai­ned sense. But is not the word Iustifie (as it is taken in the last sense, to wit, to absolue, or acquit as it were in iudgement) vsed by Paul? yea, and that also where mention is made of our iustification by Christ? What meaneth then that which the Apostle saith, Rom. 8. 33. 34. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods Elect? It is God that iustifieth; who is he that con­demneth? It is Christ that dyed: or rather that is risen againe, who is euen at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for vs. Note, the Apostle vseth here the termes of a iudiciall triall: Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods Elect? who shall ac­cuse them? who shall bring in euidence against them? It is God that iustifieth. And if God the Iudge do iustifie, who shall condemne? Yea, but how shall God iustifie a sinner? It is Christ that dyed: He dyed for our sinnes, Rom. 4. 25. or ra­ther which is risen againe: And, He rose againe for our iustification, Rom. 4. 25. &c. So you see here is iustifying taken for ab­soluing in iudgement: and it is in Paul; and that where men­tion is made of our iustification by Christ. Therefore Soto bewrayes eyther grosse ignorance in denying, or egregious malice in dissembling such a cleare truth. And no maruell, if he cannot, or will not finde iustification vsed for absolution iudiciall, in Paul, or in the Scripture, where mention is made of our iustification by Christ. For indeed iustification in this sense is the condemnation and confusion of Popish iustifica­tion: as we shall see in the due place.

Vega also, another Champion in this Councell, he speakesVega de de­script. iustif. l. [...]. in c. 4. decreti de iustificati­one. cap. 11. the same language of Babylon, and saith, there is a two­fold iustification, as Doctors (meaning the Schoole-men) say: The first, and second. The first iustification, when a man of vniust is made iust. The second, when of iust a man becomes more iust. The first he defineth thus: The first iustification is a certaine supernaturall change, whereby a man of vniust is made iust. The second thus: It is a supernaturall change, whereby a man of iust is made more iust. And these also are [Page 48] either actiue or passiue: actiue in regard of God, working this iustification, first, and second, in vs: and passiue in re­gard of man himselfe, who is changed from bad to good, and from good to better. But for the actiue iustification, as it is wrought by God, and so proues derogatory from mans ex­cellency, Vega sleights it, as rather obscuring, than clearing his definitions. But as for the third kinde of iustification, which is iudiciall, to be pronounced and accounted iust, be­fore the Tribunall seate of iustice, Vega gìues it no better entertainment, than his brother Soto, saying, That the Do­ctors intermit, and let passe this kinde of iustification, as im­pertinent to the purpose. And so it is indeede, very imperti­nent to their Pontifician purpose, and very incommodious; as the wicked complaine, that the righteous man is not for their profit, sith contrary to their waies, Wisd. 2. 12. But for other distinctions of iustification, Vega is very liberall in summing them vp together: as, Iustitia Christiana, & Mosai­ca: politica, & oeconomica: legalis, moralis, particularis: actua­lis, habituali [...]: acquisita & insusa: inhaerens & imputata: ex­terna & interna: fidei & operum: practica & theologica: pha­risaica, sincera: philosophica, supernaturalis; and so in infinitum. But enough of such blundring distinctions. So then the iusti­fication of the Church of Rome is properly to make one iust, that was vniust, and to make one of iust, more iust. Yet here it will be worth our noting, to obserue the legierdemaine of the Councell of Trent, and the Pontificians, in their distin­ction of first and second righteousnesse or iustification. For the Scriptures speaking of a twofold iustification, one by faith, another by workes; vpon which ground the ancient Fathers also do distinguish a two-fold righteousnesse, one in the sight of God, the other in the sight of men: the Ponti­ficians also, that they may seeme to speake the same language, they haue their distinction too of a first and second righte­ousnesse; yet so, as destroying the nature of the first iustifi­cation by faith, whereby we stand iust in Gods sight, they so qualifie the matter, as either they make nothing at all of their first righteousnesse, or they doe altogether confound it with [Page 49] their second righteousnesse inherent; and so by their distin­guishing▪ they make iustification and sanctification all [...]he. But the learned Cardinall Contarenus, writing a little be­fore the Councell of Trent, and was afterwards one of the Councell; in his tract of iustification, speaking of these two iustifications, saith, That by the one, to wit, the imputation of Christs righteousnesse by faith, we are iustified before God: by the other, which is inherent, we are iustified before men. But Babylon confounds all together, iustification and sancti­fication.

In the next place let vs consider, how they vnderstand this making iust. This iustification (saith the Councell) con­sists partly of remission of sinnes, partly of the imputation of Christs righteousnesse, and partly of sanctification and reno­uation of the inner man, and so of inherent righteousnesse. Now here lies the knot of the mysterie to be resolued; first, it were well, if the Church of Rome did meane truely and sin­cerely, in naming remission of sins, and imputation of Christs righteousnesse, in the point of iustification. Secondly, if at the best, they did vnderstand them aright, yet to ioyne vnto them inherent righteousnesse of our owne, will be found no iust dealing. But to allow of no iustification at all, saue that which is inherent in vs, bewrayes deepe deceit, and double hypocrisie, in once naming remission of sins, and the impu­tation of Christs righteousnesse, which they vtterly shut out, from hauing any society with inherent righteousnesse, in the worke of iustification, as a little before we premonished.

Now concerning the imputation of Christs righteousness, what do they understand by it? The Councell it selfe tels vs, chap 7. where speaking of the formall cause of iustification, they call it the righteousnesse of God; but how? the righte­ousnesse of God imputed to vs? nothing lesse: but that which is infused into vs. The words of the Councell are these: Vnica formalis causa (puta iustificationis) est iustitia Dei; non qua ipse iustus est, sed qua nos iustos facit: qua videlicet ab eo do­nati, reno [...]amur spiritu mentis nostrae, & non modo reputamur, fed verè iustinominamur, & sumus, iustitiam in nobis recipientes, vnus­quis (que) [Page 50] suam secundum mensuram, quam Spiritus sanctus partitur singulis, prout vult, & secundum propriam cuius (que) dispositionem & cooperationem: Quanquam enim nemo posset esse iustus, nisi cui me­rita passionis Domini nostri Iesu Christi communicantur; id támen in hac impi [...] iustificatione fit, dum eiusdem sanctissimae passionis me­rito, per Spiritum sanctum charitas Dei diffunditur in cordibus eo­rum qui iustificantur, at (que) ipsis inhaeret, &c. The onely formall cause (to wit, of iustification) is the righteousnesse of God; not that whereby himselfe is iust, but that whereby he makes vs iust: namely, wherewith he hauing endowed vs, wee are renewed in the spirit of our minde, and are not onely repu­ted, but nominated, and are really iust, receiuing righteous­nesse in our selues, each according to his measure, which the holy Ghost diuideth to euery one, euen as he will, and accor­ding to euery mans disposition and cooperation: For al­though no man can be iust, but hee to whom the merits of the passion of our Lord and Sauiour Iesus Christ are commu­nicated; yet that is wrought in this iustification of a sinner, while by the merit of the same holy passion, the loue of God is by the holy Ghost shed abroad in the hearts of those who are iustified, and is inherent in them, &c.

Thus a man may see, by the Councels expresse words, that though they name imputation, which they call the commu­nication of Christs righteousnesse, as the formall cause of our iustification: yet they meane nothing else, but that Christ hath merited, that charity should be infused into our hearts, whereby we should be iustified: which in summe, is as much to say, as Christ became a Sauiour, by whose merit euery man might bee made his owne Sauiour; and that by ano­ther kinde of righteousnesse, than that of Christ imputed. That this is the sense of the Councell, witnesse her chiefe In­terpreters. For if they had not finely found out this witty sense of the imputation of Christs righteousnesse, it is much to be feared they had Anathematized the very name of it, and throwne it into the fire of their Index expurgatorius, whereso­euer they had found it. But this, and other cleare truths in Scripture, they can so dextrously handle, as they can easily [Page 51] euacuate them, by turning them to a most sinister sense; and so are the lesse affraid to name them, and to seeme to auouch them. Otherwise, as the history of this Councell tels v [...], the very name of imputation found very harsh intertainment a­mong the most of their Schoole-doctors; and Soto himselfe confesseth: Quod verbum mihi semper suspectum, in suspicionem Soto de nat. & grat. lib. 2. c. 20. detuli coram sancta Synodo; which word (saith he, to wit, Im­putation) I alwaies hauing suspected, brought it into suspicion before the holy Synod. And a little after, although he com­mend the Canons of Colen, accounting them as the buckler and bulwarke of faith; yet (saith he) they, as happely more secure of the aduersaries, than safe, haue vsed that word of Imputation: where they say, That the chiefe head of iustifi­cation, is the remission and ablution of sinnes, by the impu­tation of the righteousnesse of Christ. But yet the Councell of Trent and Church of Rome, are not so barren of inuention, as not to bee able easily to reconcile this Catholicke word Imputation, to the Church of Rome, and to make it a Roman-Catholicke: For by the imputation of Christs righteousnesse, they haue learned to vnderstand, that Christ hath merited an infusion of grace into vs, whereby we are iustified. For, con­fessing the imputation of Christs righteousnesse, to be the for­mall cause of our iustification; they would teach vs out of Philosophy, that Formalis causa est res illa vel qualitas, quae inest subiecto: that the formall cause, as Soto saith, is that thing or quality, which is inherent in the subiect: for the forme, saith he, is said in relation to the matter, to which it giues a being by inherency. Pari ergo modo, &c. As therefore the aire is not luminous or lightsome formally by the light that is in the Sun, but by the light it receiueth in it selfe from the Sunne; Con­stantissimum est, &c. it is a most constant truth, That neither are wee formally iust, and accepted by the righteousnesse which is in Christ, but by that which himselfe hath conueyed into vs. Wee are (saith hee) made iust by Christs righteous­nesse, as by the efficient cause; but not as by the formall cause. But Vega peremptorily in his 7. book, and 22. chapt. intituled Of the impossibility of Christs righteousnesse, to be the formall cause [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page 52] of our iustification, concludeth thus in his first argument: Su­per [...]uum est, & ab omni philosophia alienum, ad hoc ipsum▪ ponere aliant aliquam iustitiam, videlicet, iustitiam imputatiuam Christi; It is superfluous, and abhorring from all philosophy, to put any other righteousnesse, for a formall cause of our righteous­nesse, as the imputatiue righteousnesse of Christ. Therefore according to Romane-Catholicke diuinity, which is most hu­mane philosophy, the formall cause of a mans righteousnesse must be inherent in him, and his owne, and not the righte­ousnesse of Christ imputed to vs. But yet the same author, af­terwards seemeth to shake imputation by the hand, and to be good friends with it, where he saith: Non est adeo inuisum no­bis Vega de vera & ficta iustif. lib. 25. cap. 2. hoc vocabulum, vt credam nunquam nos posse hoc in proposito benè illo vti; This word (Imputation) is not so odious vnto vs, as that I thinke, wee may neuer vse it well to this purpose: Verè nam (que), & sanè, ac latinè possumus dicere, ad satisfactionem & meritum, imputatam esse generi human [...] iustitiam Christi in passione sua, & iugiter imputari omnibus qui iustificantur, & satisfaciunt pro peccatis suis, & vitam aeternam suis bonis operibus merentur: For wee may truely, and soothly, and inLatinè dicere. plaine termes say, that vnto satisfaction and merit, the righteousnesse of Christ in his passion is imputed to mankinde, and is continually im­puted to all men that are iustified, and doe satisfie for their sins, and by their good works do merit eternall life. And much more to this purpose: And a little after hee saith; Non transi [...] iustitia Christi realiter ab illo in iustificatos: Christs righteous­nesse doth not really passe from him into those that are iustifi­ed; nor by it are we formally iustified. But imputation is of God, which ioynes the merits of Christ vnto vs, and makes them ours after a sort; in as much as for his merits sake, hee giueth vs righteousnesse, whereby wee are righteous. Cum enim per iustitiam Christi, &c. For seeing by the righteousnesseIbid. of Christ, mankinde hath satisfied for their sinnes, and by it is reconciled to God; and the gates of Paradise are thereby vnlocked, and all that are iustified, or satisfie, or merit at Gods hand, seeing by his merits they are iustified, and recon­ciled to God, and satisfie for themselues, and merit increase [Page 53] of grace and blessednesse: surely it cannot be denied, but that to mankinde, and all so iustified, Christs righteousnesse is, or may be imputed to satisfaction and merit. So Vega▪ I neede passe no other censure vpon this Romane-Catholicke do­ctrine, than that of Gregory: Deo maledicunt, cum se & ab illo Greg. moral. lib. 1. cap. 37. accepisse vires intelligunt, sed tamen de eius muneribus propriam laudem quaerunt; They blaspheme God, when they acknow­ledge they haue receiued strength from him, and yet from his gifts seeke their owne praise. And St. Augustine in hisAug. Soliloq. lib. cap. 15. tom. 9. Soliloquies, saith sweetly: Vnde gloriabitur omnis caro? Nun­quid de malo? Haec non est gloria, sed miseria: sed nunquid gloria­bitur de bono? nunquid de alieno? Tuum, Domine, est bonum, tua est gloria. Qui enim de bono tuo gloriam sibi quaerit, & non tibi quae­rit; hic fur est & latro, & similis est diabolo, qui voluit furari gloriam tuam. Qui enim laudari vult de tuo dono, & non quaerit in illo gloriam tuam, sed suam: hic licet propter tuum donum laudatur ab hominibus, à te tamen vituperatur, quia de dono tuo non tuam, sed suam gloriam quaesiuit. Qui autem ab hominibus laudatur vi­tuperante te, non defendetur ab hominibus indicante te, nec liberabi­tur condemnante te: Whereof shall all flesh reioyce? Of euill? This is not glory, but misery. But shall hee glory of good? What, of anothers good? Thine, O Lord, is the good: thine is the glory. For he, who of thy good, seekes glory to him­selfe, and not to thee; hee is a theefe and a robber, and like the deuill, who would haue robbed thee of thy glory. For he that would be praised for thy gift, and doth not therein seeke thy glory, but his owne: this man, though for thy gift hee be praised of men, yet hee is dispraised of thee; because of thy gift he sought not thine, but his owne glory. But hee that is praised of men, being disallowed of thee, shall not be defen­ded of men, when hee shall be iudged of thee; nor absolued, when condemned of thee.

I haue been the more copious in citing these two authors, Vega and Soto, because both they were grand-Sticklers in the Councell, and vndertooke to write these things as Commen­taries vpon this sixt Session of Iustification, as we haue suffi­ciently noted before. So that what the Councell hath couched [Page 54] in the Text in fewer words, these haue amplified and expres­sed more at large, to the end that no man might mistake the Councels minde and meaning, no not in the middest of her misti [...] and cloudy equiuocations. Thus they haue learned to doe with imputation (the very name whereof had so startled the Councell for the time) as men doe with the Serpent. The Serpent with her very aspect, at first affrights the beholder, but being taken, and her teeth pulled out, men are then not affraide to carry her in their bosomes: So the imputation of Christs righteousnesse was at the first sight terrible to the Church of Rome, assembled in the Councell of Trent, no lesse than the gastly Owle was to the Pope and his Cardinalls in the Councell of Lateran (which appeared to them in steede of their holy Ghost) but finding meanes to take Christ, the Antitype of that health-giuing brasen Serpent, and to pull out his teeth (to wit the truth of the imputation of Christs righteousnesse, whereby sinne and death are bitten and stung to death) lest it should bite and sting all their merits to death: they dare now freely and familiarly carry the Serpent in the bosome of their bookes, handling imputation at their plea­sure, without any perill at all to Papall satisfaction. Bellar­mine hath also learned to play with the word imputation: [...]llar▪ de iustif. [...]. [...]. 6. 8. Homo tustificatus non egit imputatione alienae iustitiae, qua iniustiti [...] propria & inhaerens tegatur: A man iustified needeth not the imputation of anothers righteousnesse, whereby his owne inherent vnrighteousnesse may be couered. And in the tenth Chapter of the same booke, Christus nostra iustitia, non quòd iusti simus ea iustitia, quae est in Christo nobis imputata: Christ is our righteousnesse, not that we are iust by the righteousnesse which is in Christ imputed vnto vs; Sic igitur & nobis imputa­tur iustitia eius, quoad satisfactionem, quam pro nobis praestitit; sed non propterea nos iusti, id est, mundi & immaculati haberi possu­mus, si verè in nobis peccatorum maculae & sordes inhaereant: So therefore is Christs righteousnesse imputed to vs in regard of satisfaction, which he performed for vs; but for all that we cannot bee holden for iust, to wit, cleane and immaculate, if the spots and staines of sinne be yet truely inherent in vs. So [Page 55] this is the generall voyce of the Councell of Trent, and the Church of Rome, to allow of no other imputation of Christs righteousnesse, but such, as by his merits wee haue a [...] [...]usion of grace, whereby we merit and satisfie God in our iustifica­tion: And so they admit of no other formall cause of iustifi­cation, but an inherent righteousnesse in themselues, and out of Christ. Thus we haue seene what the Romane-Catholike faith is touching Iustification, and the formall cause of it.

CHAP. V. The Catholike Faith concerning iustification; and of the term [...] and forme of Iustification.

NOw to know the true nature of Iustification, it much imports vs to consider in what sense this word Iustifi­cation is to be vsed and taken, in the iustification of a sinner. The Pontificians or Papists would restraine the sense of it to the etymologie of the Latine word Iustificare, as much, say they, as Iustum facere, from whence they would conclude their inherencie of selfe-iustification: wherein they doe as some Lawyers, that by the mistaking or misapplying of a word, can ouerthrow the whole right of a mans cause. In­deede St. Augustine saith, Quid est aliud iustificati, quam iusti Aug. de spiri [...] & litera ad Marcellinum tom. 3. This place makes amen [...] for that othe [...] De praed. san [...] l. 1. c. 7. facti? ab illo scilicet, qui iustificat impium, vt ex impio fiat iustus. Aut certè ita dictum est, iustificabuntur, ac si diceretur, Iusti habe­buntur, iusti deputabuntur: What else is it to be iustified, but to be made iust? namely of him who iustifieth the vngodly, that of impious he may be made righteous. Or surely it is so said, They shall be iustified, as if it were said, They shall bee accounted iust, they shall be reputed iust. So he. Thus we see, though St. Augustine, following the etymologie of the word, take iustificare, to iustifie or make iust: yet hee meaneth no­thing else, but the accounting or reputing iust, and not the in­fusingBern. de a [...] ciat. Maria. Ser. 1. of grace, whereby to be made iust. And Bernard also saith, Adde huc, vt credas, quod per ipsum tibi peccata donantur. [Page 56] Hoc est testimonium, quod perhibet in corde nostro Spiritus sanctus, dicens, Dimissa sunt tibi peccata. Sic enim arbitratur Apostolus, Gratis iustificari hominem per fidem: Adde to this, that thou beleeue, that by him thy sinnes are forgiuen thee. This is the testimonie, which the holy Ghost bea­reth in our heart, saying, Thy sinnes are forgiuen thee. For so the Apostle concludeth, That a man is iustified freely by faith. But let vs heare from the holy Ghosts own mouth in the Scriptures, he will leade vs into all truth. To iustifie, in Scripture, is vsually taken in a iudiciall sense, as beeing properly a iudiciall word, iustification beeing opposed to condemnation. The Hebrewes haue one word, which signifies to iustifie, [...]. and it is still applyed to such a iustification, as a man stands vpon in a iudiciall tryall: As Genesis 44. 16. Mah nits tadhac? how shall wee iustifie our selues? said Iudah to his brother Ioseph, in regard of the cup found in Beniamins sacke: which see­med now to be brought to aiudiciall Tryall. So 2. Sam. 15. 4. Absolon wisheth hee were Iudge of the Land, that hee might doe euery man iustice or iustifie him. Reade also for this pur­pose, Deut. 25. 1. Psal. 51. 4. 1 Kings. 8. 32. Pro. 17. 15. Esay 5. 23. & 43. 26. Matth. 12. 37. 1. Cor. 4. 4. and many other places in Scripture to this purpose, doe plainely shew how this word Iustifie is properly taken; namely to acquit or cleere, to pro­nounce or declare one iust, by the sentence of the Iudge. This sense of iustification the Church of Rome cannot endure, they smother, or at least smooth it ouer by slight of hand, as a matter of no moment. Whereas indeede there is nothing that will more directly leade vs to the true vnderstanding of the nature of iustification, than the consideration of this word, taken in a iudiciall sense, wherein the holy Ghost doth vse it, namely to acquit and absolue a man, and pronounce him iust by sentence of iudgement. This sheweth that the point of iustification of a sinner, is not so light a matter, as Papists and profane persons would make it. No: it is a Case to be tried at the barre of Gods iudgement-seate: in whose sight shall no man liuing bee iustified. Holy Iob, while hee [Page 57] pleaded with his opposite friends, hee wanted not matter for his iustification: but when once the Lord God summons [...]im out of the whirle-winde before his throne, and bids him girde vp his loynes like a man; Iob stands not now vpon his vprightnesse, but confesseth, I am vile, what shall I answerIob. 38. & 40. thee? I will lay my hand vpon my mouth, &c. Iob 40. 4. and 42. 5. I haue heard of thee by the hearing of the eare, but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhorre my selfe, and re­pent in dust and ashes. Yea, hee had said before, Chap. 9. 15. Whom, though I were righteous, yet would I not answer, but I would make supplication to my Iudge: for God is a righteous and seuere iudge; and who may stand in his sight, when he is angry, when hee sits to iudge? For the heauens are not cleane in his sight: how much more abominable and filthie is man, which drinketh iniquitie like water, Iob 15. 16. If therefore our iustification be such, as must proceede from Gods iudgement seate, and must be sentenced by Gods owne mouth, it neerely concernes euery Mothers Sonne to bee well aduised vpon what ground we stand, what euidence wee can bring to cleare our selues, to satisfie our vnpartiall Conscien­ces, to stop the mouth of the accusing Diuell, and to abide the fierie triall of that Iudge, who is euen a consuming fire, and will condemne euen the least sinne to the pit of hell. But that wee may not mistake the true acception of iustifica­tion, we are to consider iustification in a two-fold relation or respect: either as it hath relation to God, or to man, before whom also we are said to be iustified, but in a different, yea, opposite respect: whereof we shall haue occasion to speake hereafter. Here wee speake of Iustification in the first re­lation.

Now this iustification of a sinner, in the sight of God, whereof wee speake, proceedeth from a iudiciall tryall. In this sense it is vsed by the holy Ghost, Rom. 8. 33, 34. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods elect? It is God that iustifieth, who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that dyed, yea rather that is risen againe▪ &c. This iustification the Lord Iesus doth op­pose to condemnation, Iohn 5. 24. where speaking of iudge­ment, [Page 58] vers. 22. he inferreth: Verily, Verily, I say vnto you, Hee that heareth my word, and beleeueth on him that sent me, hath euer­lasting life▪ and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death vnto life. And like as Iesus Christ was condemned by aCondemnati­on by way of opposition, implyeth iusti­fication. iudiciall proceeding, Pilate giuing sentence, though accor­ding to such euidence as was most vntrue in it selfe: so all those, for whom Christ was thus iudicially condemned, shall be iudicially iustified and acquitted. But this wil appear more clearly in setting down the formall cause of our iustification.

To speake to the capacity of the simple, By formall cause, is meant that, which giues a being to iustification; as forma dat esse: the forme of a thing giues being vnto it. That there­fore which makes a man perfectly iust, is called the formall cause of his iustification. Now the Pontificians would hence conclude, That inherent qualities must be the formall cause of iustification; alledging the authority of Philosophers, who say, That the formall cause is the thing or quality which is in the subiect, as the soule of man is in the body. And therefore they exclude the righteousnesse of Christ, whereby he is for­mally iust, from being the formall cause of our iustification, because (say they) Christs righteousnesse is in himselfe, not in vs. But no maruaile, if these Pontificians doe wrest the Maximes of Philosophers from their natiue sense, when they dare so familiarly force the Scriptures themselues. The Philo­sophers speake of a physicall formality; but the holy Scrip­tures speake of the iustification of a sinner in the sight of God, the forme whereof is relatiue, and not physically inhe­rent in vs. But be it so, that the formall cause must alwayes be in the subiect, to which it giues a being; the formall cause then of iustification must be inherent. Wherein must it bee inherent? In vs? No, but in iustification, which is the subiect of this inherent formall cause. For if inherent grace bee the formall cause of iustification, then by way of relation, iustifi­cation is the subiect of inherent grace: For wee speake here of the formall cause of iustification, not of the formall cause of man, as if hee were the subiect, wherein iustification is a quality inherent.

[Page 59]But to answer their mis-applyed philosophicall diuinity▪ The forme of a thing is not alwayes a quality inherent, as in the subiect where it is; but sometimes it is onely inherent and extrinsicall, by way of relation. As, that I am the sonne of such a man, the formall cause hereof is not inherent in me; but it is originally and relatiuely from my father that begate mee, giuing a being to my sonship, respectiuely to him. So a man set at liberty by the fauour and meanes of another, the very forme of his freedome was the others act in freeing of him, not inhering in him that is freed, but rather adhe­ring vnto him. Yea the Pontificians themselues confesse, and Vega for one, that the formall cause of mans redempti­on, is a thing extrinsicall, to wit, the oblation of Christ on the Crosse; and that the free fauour of God, for the merit of Christ, is the formall cause of remission of sinnes. If there­fore the forme of our redemption and remission of sinnes, is not within vs, but without vs; why not as well the forme of our iustification, the cause whereof is Christs redemption, and the effect of it remission of sinnes? In a word, it is not with a forme, as with an accident: the being of an accident, is the in-being of it. Not so of a forme, where being, or modus essendi, consists not necessarily in the inhering in the sub­iect,Templer. Me­taph. lib. 3. cap. [...] probl. 9. whose formall cause it is: but it may as well be extrinsi­call, by conferring a vertue and power, whereby the Causatum receiueth the formality of its being.

But to leaue Philosophy, and return to Diuinity; it is yet in question; whether the matter of this iustification be within vs, or rather without vs. The Romane-Catholicke faith teacheth that it is within vs; but the Catholicke faith con­cludeth, that the formall cause of our iustification is without vs, not within vs. This is that Catholicke doctrine which the Scriptures teach, when they ascribe our iustification to faith, apprehending that which is without vs: where, by apprehending, is not meant a bare vnderstanding or know­ing, as Soto in the name of his Romane-Catholickes wouldSoto de nat. & grat. lib. 2. cap. 5. in fine▪ haue it; but it is also a laying hold vpon, and applying of the thing beleeued. We haue shewed afore, how the Pontifici­ans [Page 60] take the word Imputation; namely, for a participation of Christs righteousnesse, so farre forth, as thereby some other righteousnesse being merited, is infused into vs, and inherent in vs. But the true Catholickes hold otherwise, that imputa­tion is of a thing without vs, being apprehended and applied by faith. So that the thing imputed, is that, which is by faith apprehended: As it is said of Abraham, that hee beleeued God, and his faith was imputed to him for righteousnesse, Rom. 4. 3. Now the obiect of Abrahams faith was God; yea God promising: in regard of which obiect, Abrahams faith is imputed to him for righteousnesse. Not the act of Abra­hams faith, being but an instrument; but the obiect of it is imputed: As we may say, we are iustified by the act of faith, relatiuely to the obiect, Christ, not for the act of it. Abra­ham beleeued God, and his faith was imputed to him for righteousnesse. But how? is this sufficient to iustifie a man, to beleeue God, or the promise of God, that it should be said to be imputed to man for righteousnesse? I answer, To beleeue Gods promise, is to haue an eye of faith vpon Christ, who is the substance of all Gods promises, and in whom all the pro­mises of God are Yea and Amen, 2. Cor. [...]. 20. So that God in Christ is the obiect of faith, imputed to the beleeuer for righ­teousnesse.

But here an obiection crosseth my way, cast in by the ad­uersaryObiect. of the truth, Vega; who saith: Dixi, &c. I said that Vega de iustif. quast. 1. this faith of the Mediator is that, to which for the most part, and chiefely the Scriptures, doe attribute our iustification: yet we beleeue also (saith he) that faith taken generally, as it relieth vpon diuine truth, may also iustifie a man. Nor are wee in that errour, wherein some are, to thinke, that the onely faith of iustification promised, or of saluation in Christ, doth iustifie vs, or is imputed vnto vs for righteousnesse: For (saith he) Noahs faith of the future deluge, as Paul witnesseth, was imputed to him for righteousnesse: and he was appointed the heire of righteousnesse, which is by faith, in that he be­leeued [...]. 11. God fore-telling the floud, and, a hundred yeares before it came, began to build the Arke for the safety of his house. And to Abraham also, as the history of Genesis plainely teacheth, it was [Page 61] imputed for righteousnesse, because hee beleeued that his posterity should bee multiplied as the starres of heauen. So that hence hee concludes, that not onely to faith in Gods promis [...] in Christ, is righteousnesse imputed; but to faith in generall beleeuing Gods truth, such as is not in the compasse of Gods promises in Christ: but either speculatiue precepts, or morall doctrines, or other Propheticall predictions, or historicall relations. So that by the Pontifician doctrine, other faith besides that in Gods promises in Christ, may be imputed to a man for righ­teousnesse: As Noahs faith in building the Arke against the floud, and Abrahams faith in beleeuing Gods promise con­cerning the multiplication of his seed.

I answer; that no faith is, or can bee imputed to a man for righteousnesse, but that which hath respect vnto Christ, and the promises of God in him. But Noahs faith in preparing the Arke, to saue himselfe and his family from the floud, was im­puted to him for righteousnesse. True, this confirmeth the Catholicke doctrine of the imputation of faith, as it lookes vpon Christ: for what was the Arke but a Sacramentall type of Christ, as Augustine saith; Christus figuratus est in Noe, & Aug. expos. in Ioh. 11. tract. 9. in illa Arca orbis terrarum: Quare enim in Arca inclusa sunt om­nia animalia, nisi vt significarentur omnes gentes? Christ is figu­red in Noe, and in that Arke of the whole world: for why in that Arke were included all creatures, but that all Nations should be signified by them? And there hee applies that pro­mise to Abraham, Gen. 22. 18. In thy seed, shall all the Nati­ons of the earth be blessed. And for Abrahams faith in Gods promise, what seed of Abraham was this, in whom all the Na­tions of the earth should be blessed? Was it not Christ? Yes Christ; so saith Augustine in the forenamed place: Christus in [...]a prophetia occultus erat, in quo benedicuntur omnes gentes▪ Christ (saith he) was hid in that prophesie, in whom all the Nations are blessed. But the Apostle, or rather the holy Ghost by the Apostle, is the best interpreter of that prophe­cie, Gal. 3. 16. Now to Abraham and his seed were the pro­mises made. Hee saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one: And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this was that pro­mise [Page 62] of God, which Abraham beleeuing, his faith was counted to him for righteousnesse▪ as it is there in the sixt verse, euen as Abraham beleeued God, and it was accounted to him for righteousnesse. Therefore Vega's diuinitie hath very much failed him in propounding these two examples of Noah, and Abraham, to proue the iustification of his generall Faith: whereas we plainely see, both these Patriarches faith had spe­ciall and principall reference and respect to Christ Iesus: And therefore their faith was reckoned to them for righte­ousnesse. For the other examples, which Vega there addeth in generall out of the eleuenth to the Hebrewes, they are all of the same nature, and all confirme this infallible and vnde­niable truth, That the promises of God in Christ, and Christ alone, with all his righteousnesse, is the obiect of that Faith, which is reckoned to Abraham, to Noah, and to euery belee­uer for righteousnesse.

Here then comes in the true formall cause of our iustifi­cation, namely Christ himselfe, with all his righteousnesse; which being apprehended by faith, it is imputed vnto vs for righteousnesse. This is it that giues a true being to iustifica­tion. Iustification therefore consists in the imputation of Christ and his righteousnesse, comprehending also all the promises of God in him, apprehended by faith. Now con­cerning this Catholicke doctrine of imputation of Christs righteousnesse by faith, the Scriptures are very pregnant in the proofe of it. This Gospell hath testimonie before the Law, in the Law, and in the Prophets, and is confirmed by Christ and his Apostles. Before the Law, to omit other ex­amples, wee haue two famous ones; that of Noah, and Abra­ham, of whom wee spake euen now, who are layd downe for exemplary patterns, yea, and liuely types to all beleeuers: Noah before the floud, and Abraham after the floud, and be­fore the Law: which St. Paul doth especially note, to put a difference betweene faith and the workes of the Law in the point of iustification. In the Law also we haue two principall types, liuely▪ shadowing this doctrine of imputation. The first we finde in Leuiticus 1. 4. And hee shall put his hand vpon [Page 63] the head of his burnt-offering, and it shall bee accepted for him to make attonement for him. The burnt offering wa [...] a figure of Christ, sacrificed for vs vpon the crosse: the man that brings this burnt-offering is a type of euery true beleeuer, and the hand which hee putteth on the head of the sacrifice, is faith, laying hold on Christ, and as it were owning him for our proper sacrifice, which God accepteth to bee an attonement for vs, a sacrifice of a sweet sauour vnto the Lord. The Apostle applies this sacrifice, with the fruits of it, to Christ, Rom. 5. 11. Wee reioycein God through our Lord Iesus Christ, by whom we haue receiued the attonement. Also Ephes. 5. 2. Walke in loue, as Christ also hath loued vs, and giuen himselfe for vs, an offering and a sacrifice to God of a sweete smelling sauour. Christ is then this burnt-offering, our attonement with God, and an offering of a sweete sauour vnto the Lord. Now the instrument or hand, whereby Christ is apprehended, and applyed to euery true Beleeuer, is Faith. It was the hand of Faith, which the disea­sed woman in the Gospell, touched Christ her Sauour with,Luke 8. 46. and fetched vertue out of him; To whom the Lord said, Daughter, be of good comfort, thy faith hath made thee whole, goe in peace. This the Apostle doth also liuely setout, Rom. 3. 25. Whom God hath set forth (to wit Iesus Christ) to be apropitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousnesse for the Re­mission of sinnes that are past, through the forbearance of God, to declare at this time his righteousnesse, that hee might be iust, and a iustifier of him that beleeueth in Iesus. How fully doth the Apostle parallel and compare this truth with that type!

A second type of our righteousnesse or iustification, by im­putation of Christ vnto the beleeuer in the time of the Law, is set downe, Num. 21. 8. 9. The Lord said vnto Moses, make thee a fiery serpent, and set it vpon a pole, and it shall come to passe, that euery one that is bitten, when he looketh vpon it, shall liue: and Moses did so, and the serpent-bitten-man looked, and liued. The brazen Serpent was a type of Christ; the serpent-bitten-man is euery sinner, whom that old ser­pent hath already stung with sinne, as he did our first Parents. The looking on the brazen serpent, so lifted vp vpon a pole, is [Page 64] the faith of the beleeuer, beholding Christ lifted vp vpon his Crosse. This Christ Iesus himselfe applyeth, Ioh. 3. 14. 15. As Moses lifted vp the Serpent in the wildernesse, euen so must the sonne of man be lifted vp; that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not pe­rish, but haue eternall life. A most sweet collation of the truth with the type: shewing, that as faith is the hand of the soule, laying hold vpon the bloudy sacrifice of Christ, for our atone­ment with God; so faith is also the eye of the soule, so to looke vpon Christ crucified, as to bee thereby cured of all the deadly wounds of sin, and so to liue eternally.

The Prophets also are full of testimonies to confirme this doctrine of iustification, by imputation, Esa. 53. 4. Surely hee hath borne our grieses, and carried our sorrowes: yet we did esteeme him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted (as if hee had beene a malefactor) But hee was wounded for our transgressions, hee was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was vpon him, and with his stripes are wee healed. All wee like sheepe haue gone astray, we haue turned euery one to his owne way: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of vs all. And vers. 8. he was cut off out of the land of the liuing, for the transgression of my people was he stricken. Though he had done no violence, neither was any de­ceipt in his mouth: yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him, he hath put him to griefe: when thou shalt make his soule an offering for sinnes, he shall see his seede, &c. Here wee see most liuely set downe a mutuall imputation of our iniquities vnto Christ, and of his merits vnto vs. And then the Prophet, vers. 11. sheweth by what meane, or instrument this righteousnesse of Christs o­bedience, is imputed to vs: By his knowledge shall my righteous seruant iustifie many; for hee shall beare their iniquities. Cognitione [...]ui. By his knowledge, or by the knowledge of himselfe, that is, by faith in him, knowing and acknowledging, seeing and beholding him with the eye of faith, to bee that Lambe of God before the shearer, taking away our sinnes; for hee hath borne our iniquities. The Prophet Ieremy also doth set this downe most sweetly, by a reciprocall or mutuall relation betweene Christ and his Church, calling Christ and his Church by one and the same name; and such a name, as implyeth the imputation [Page 65] of his righteousnesse vnto vs: For Ier. 23. 6. Christ the righ­teous branch, and the iust King, by whom Iudah shall bee sa­ued, and Israel shall dwell safely (to wit, the whole Israel of God, as Rom. 11. 26. elect Iewes and Gentiles) this is his name, whereby hee shall bee called, The Lord our righteousnesse. And, Ier. 33. 16. speaking of the saluation of the same Iudah and Ierusalem, he saith: And this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousnesse. O what a glorious name is this for vs to be called, The LORD Our Righteousnesse! What tongues of men or Angels, can with greater eloquence expresse that sweete communion, that is betweene Christ and his Church, wherein the Church and euery beleeuer is so in­uested in the righteousnesse of Christ, as to be called the Lord our righteousnesse? Indeede the vulgar latine hath much dim­med and diminished the life of those places in Ieremy, tran­slating in stead of Dominus iustitia nostra; Dominus iustus noster: as much to say, as our righteous Lord: yet the interlineary Glosse vpon it, saith; Qui factus est nobis sapientia à Deo, & iu­stitia: who is made vnto vs of God, wisedome and righ­teousnesse: the same in effect, that Christ is the Lord our righteousnesse. Thus are wee, Iudah, saued by the Lord our righteousnesse; and by grace are wee saued through faith, Ephes. 2. 30.

The new Testament makes vp the testimony of the Law and Prophets fully, 1. Cor. 1. 30. Of him are yee in Christ Iesus, who of God is made vnto vs wisedome, and righteousnesse, and san­ctification, and redemption. Thus Christ is wholly ours by im­putation. This the same Apostle doth excellently demon­strate and conclude, 2. Cor. 5. 21. where hauing spoken of our2. Cor. 5. 2 [...]. reconciliation with God by Iesus Christ, which reconcilia­tion standeth in the not imputing of our sinnes vnto vs, vers. 19. he addes the reason, vers. 21. For he hath made him to be sin for vs, who knew no sin; that weimight be made the righ­teousnesse of God in him. Now how are we made the righ­teousnesse of God in Christ? by any inherent righteousnesse in vs, although deriued from the merit of Christs righteous­nesse imputed, in the Popish sense? Surely wee are no other­wise [Page 66] made the righteousnesse of God in Christ, than as Christ was made sinne for vs. How is that? Was Christ made sinne for vs, by hauing our sinnes inherent in him, or infused into him? God forbid: for hee knew no sinne. But if sinne had been inherent in him, or infused into him, hee had knowne sinne; yet hee was made sinne for vs: that is, by the imputa­tion of our sinne. Note here also, Christ is not said here sim­ply to be sinne for vs, but to bee Made sinne for vs; and that wee simply are not, but are made the righteousnesse of God in him: implying a passiuenesse in both, both of Christ made sinne, and of vs made righteousnesse; made, that is, not of or in our selues, but extrinsically, from without, from ano­ther. As therefore our sinne being imputed to Christ, made him become sinne for vs; euen so are we made the righteous­nesse of God in him: that is, by the imputation of his righte­ousnesse; which righteousnesse of Christ imputed to vs, is no more inherent in vs to our iustification, than our sinne im­puted to Christ was inherent in him to his condemnation. Whereupon St. Augustine saith, Ipse peccatum, vt nos iustitia: Aug. Enchirid. cap. 41. nec nostra, sed Dei sumus: nec in nobis, sed in ipso: sicut ipse pecca­tum, non suum sed nostrum: nec in se, sed in nobis constitutum: He was made sin, that we might be made righteousnesse: not our owne righteousnesse, but the righteousnesse of God: nor in vs, but in him: euen as he was made sin, not his owne, but ours: not in himselfe, but in vs. And Bernard excellently to thisBern. epist. 190. ad Innocent. purpose: Homo qui debuit, homo qui soluit. Nam si vnus pro om­nibus mortuus est, ergo omnes mortui sunt, vt videlicet satisfactio vnius omnibus imputetur, sicut omnium peccata vnus ille portauit: It was man that owed the debt, and man that paid it: For if one dyed for all, therefore are all dead, that the satisfacti­on of one might be imputed to all, as hee alone bore the sins of all. We are then made the righteousness of God in Christ, as Christ was made sinne for vs. But Christ was made sinne for vs, by the imputation of our sinnes vnto him, not by in­fusion of them into him. Therefore we are iustified, or made the righteousnesse of God in Christ, by the imputation of Christs righteousnesse vnto vs; not by inherency, or infusion [Page 67] of righteousnesse into vs. This is such an vnmoueable Rocke of truth, as the gates of Hell can neuer preuaile against it. Here all Popish arguments are put to silence: no Romish so­phistrie, or schoole-subtilty can inuent any probability, or see­ming-reason, to oppose this cleer and inuincible truth. But perhaps they wil find some glosse vpon this scripture, that shal make another sense of it. Indeed they want not their glosses. But mala glossa, quae corrumpit Textum: It is an ill glosse that corrupts the Text. Indeede the ordinary glosse vpon these words, Hee was made sinne for vs, vnderstands by sinne eyther the sacrifice of sinne, according to the Hebrew phrase in the old Testament, as Hos. 4. 8. or else the similitude of sinnefull flesh, as Rom. 8. 3. So the glosse is vncertaine, it pitcheth vpon no one sense. But the Scripture hath one prime and proper sense. Now that the Apostle should not simply meane by sin, the sacrifice of sinne, as being an obscure Hebrew phrase; is more than probable, because he writes this Epistle not to the Hebrewes, to whom writing, his Epistle is full of Legall types, and termes, a language which they well vnderstood; but to the Romanes, who were not acquainted with the Law terms. But the maine reason why the Apostle cannot meane here by sinne barely the sacrifice of sinne, is in regard of the Antithe­sis or relatiue opposition here betweene sinne and righteous­nesse. For sinne and righteousnesse stand here as termes op­posite one to the other: looke therefore how righteousnesse is here vnderstood, namely properly, as opposite to sinne: So sinne is to bee vnderstood properly, as opposite to righteous­nesse. Christ then was so made sinne for vs, as we are made the righteousnesse of God in him: and wee are so made the righteousnesse of God in him, as hee was made sinne for vs. Againe, Christ who knew no sinne, was made sinne for vs: So are we made the righteousnesse of God in him, euen wee, who knew no righteousnesse, that is, who had no righteous­nesse of our owne; but, as the Apostle elegantly saith, were,Rom. 6. 20 while in the state of sinne, free from righteousnesse. Christ therfore was so made sinne for vs, as that he was reputed, yea and iudged as a sinner: as Esay saith, He was numbred with the Esay 53▪ [Page 68] transgressours, and hee bare the sinne of many. Now that Christ is said to bee made sin in the abstract, and we to be made righ­teousnesse in the abstract, not righteous in the concrete, as Lo­giciansLyra vpon [...]his place. speake: Lyra saith, Ideo in abstracto dicitur iustitia Dei, vt efficeremur perfecte iusti: We are said to be made the righte­ousnesse of God in the abstract, that is perfectly iust. And that is, wee are made iust, but relatiuely in respect to Christ; as he was made sinne, but relatiuely in respect of vs, we are made the righteousnesse of God in him: as hee was made sinne for vs, and in vs, to wit in our person, as wee haue said, so he is called, The Lord our righteousnesse.

Yet true it is, that Christ might be said to be made sinne, to wit, the sacrifice for sinne, though not so properly in this place. But if Papists will wrangle and wring out this sense from this place, because the Glosse saith so, let them remem­ber, that as Lyra's Glosse saith, As we are made perfectly iust by Christ: so was he made a perfect sacrifice for vs, to free vs both à culpa & poena, from the fault and the penaltie: and not a lame sacrifice, or imperfect, to free vs onely à culpae, but not à poena, as Papists say, reseruing the punishment for their purgatorie. But of this hereafter. Howsoeuer, if they will needes take sinne there, for the sacrifice for sinne: yet Christ was so the sacrifice for sinne, as must necessarily imply the imputation of our sinnes vpon his person. But enough of this place: which one place is enough to proue the formall cause of our iustification to be the righteousnesse of Christim­puted vnto vs.

It followeth therefore that the formall cause of our iusti­fication, that which makes vs truely iust in the sight of God, yea before Gods iudgement seate, is the righteousnesse of Christ imputed to vs; and that no otherwise, than our sinnes were imputed to him, whereby hee was made a malefactor, not by hauing our sinnes in him, but vpon him: He bore our sinnes vpon him, saith Peter. So Esay; Hee bare the sinnes ofPet. 2. 24. many, and was numbred with the transgressors. Hee is the [...]say 53. 12. truth of the type of those two goates, Leuit. 16. the one slaine, the other let goe: figuring the humanity the slaine [Page 69] Goate, and the diuinity of Christ, the scape Goate: or the slaine Goate, the death of Christ; and the scape Goate his resurrection: For he dyed for our sinnes, and rose againe for our iustification; which his rising againe from the dead, is liuely shadowed in the scape Goat, on wch Aaron put both his hands, & confessed ouer him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, putting them vpon the head of the Goate, & sending him away by the hand of a fit man into the wildernesse, where those sinnes should neuer be seene more, vers. 21. Hee was that Ioshua, the high Priest, our Iesus, or Iehoshua and highZach. 3. 3 [...] Priest; who offering himselfe vpon the Crosse, was clothed in filthy garments, euen with the menstruous cloth of our sinnes imputed vnto him, or imposed vpon him: As Chryso­stomeChrys. ex vatii in▪ Mat. loci [...]. hom. 6. Esa. 61. 10. Glos. ordin. applies that place to Christ; that we might be clad in the glorious robes of his righteousnesse put vpon vs: As the ordinary Glosse vpon this place saith excellently: Iesus est in­dutus sordidis vestibus; quiae qui peccatum non fecit, pro nobis pec­catum factus est. Sed haec sordida vestis est ei ablata, cum nostra deleuit peccata: vt quia ille sordidis indutus est vestibus, nos resur­gentes in eo, semper candida habeamus vestimenta; Iesus hath fil­thie rayment put vpon him, because he that did no sinne was made sinne for vs. But this filthy rayment was taken from him, when he had cancelled our sinnes: that because he was attired in filthy rayment, we rising againe in him, may al­wayes haue white garments vpon vs. That we, as Iacob, be­ing cladde in the sweete smelling robes of our elder brother Christ, might bee accounted as a field, which the Lord hath blessed; and so receiue the blessing of the birth-right in our elder brothers name. As the type is very pregnant to this purpose: whereupon Ambrose saith thus; Iacob primogenitu­rae Ambros. lib. 2. de Iacob & vita beata. benedictionem obtinuit, veste fratris maioris natu indutus: [...]ic vestis Christi optimum odorem spirat, &c. Iacob clothed in the garment of his elder brother, obtained the blessing of the birth-right: so the garment of Christ doth yeeld a fragrant smell, &c. And againe; Quod Isaac odorem vestium [...]lfecit, for­tasse illud est, quia non operibus iustificamur, sed fide; quoniam car­nalis infirmit as operibus impedimento est: sed fidei clarit a [...] factorum [Page 70] obumbrat errorem, quae meretur venian [...] del [...]ctorum: That Isaac smelled the odour of the garments, haply it is to signifie, that we are not iustified by workes, but by faith: because carnall infirmity is an impediment to workes; but the glory of faith doth shadow the errour of our workes, and procureth par­don of our sinnes. The conuert Prodigall had the fatte Calfe slaine for him, and the best robe put vpon him. Euery sinner is this Prodigall; yea, that beleeuing repenting theefe hang­ing vpon the Crosse, as Saint Augustine compares them to­gether. Iesus Christ is the fatte Calfe killed for vs; his righ­teousnesse is that best robe put vpon vs. So St. Augustine ap­plyeth it: Proferat hic pater stolam illam primam, induat filium Aug. de temp. [...]arb. serm. c. 7. immortalitate, quem secum videt in cruce pendentem: mactet vitu­lum saginatum, hominem illum susceptum, etiam pro latronibus cru­cifixum: Let the father bring forth that best robe, let him clothe his sonne with immortality, whom he seeth crucified with Christ: let him kill the fatte Calfe, that man, taken and crucified euen for theeues. And the ordinary Glosse saith: Addu [...]ite vitulam, id est, pradicate Christum, & mortem eius insi­nuate: Bring forthe the fat Calfe, that is, preach Christ, and put men in minde of his death. Nor is that an obscure type of Christ clothing vs with his righteousnesse, which wee finde, Gen. 3. 21. where the Lord God doth make coates of akinnes, and therewith clotheth the man and the woman. No doubt of skinnes of beasts sacrificed; types of Christ. The Scripture it selfe leades vs to this construction, so often men­tioning the putting on of Christ: as Gal. 3. 26. 27. Being by faith in Iesus Christ made the children of God; and such, (saith the Apostle) haue put on Christ. Now what is it to put on Christ, but to make him wholly ours? As the king of Ba­bel is said to put on Egypt, as a garment, in token that it was become wholly his, Ier. 43. 12. Christ standing before Pilate to be iudged, as he tooke the purity of our nature in his con­ception; so now hee put on the impurity of our guilty persons in his condemnation.

And by the way, behold here a great mystery: The sonne of God, not only in our innocent nature by assumption; but [Page 71] in our guilty persons by imputation, stands before Pilate the Iudge, to bee sentenced by him. Why? what if Christ had beene killed by any of the sundry attempts of the malicious lewes, made vpon his person; as by casting him headlong downe the steep Rocke, as once they made sure account ofLuke 4. 29. him, when they had him in the midst of them: yea & had laid hands on him, leading him to the brow of the hill? No; it was not possible, in regard of the purpose of Gods wisedomeO admirable concourse of Gods wise­dome and iu­stice. and iustice, destinating his sonne to such a death, as he must dye, as Luke 24. 26. that Christ could be so put to death, by all the power and malice of hell it selfe. For Gods wisedome so disposed, that the death of his son should be such, as might bee most effectuall to satisfie and appease his fathers wrat [...], and giue a beleeuer sure confidence in the day of iudgement, as St. Iohn speakes, 1. Ioh. 2. 28. Otherwise, if it had beene so, that Christ had been killed in any such tumultuous manner, or in hugger mugger, & not by a legall & i [...]diciall proceeding against him, how had his death secured vs from the terrour of Gods Tribunall? Christ must dye; but hee must first be sen­tenced and iudged to dye by a lawfull Iudge: And such was Pilate. For howsoeuer Pilate was a man, and so subiect to be led away with passion and affection, which as a bribe doth blinde the eyes euen of the wise, and peruerteth the wayes of iudgement; yet a lawfull Iudge hee was, deputed and ap­pointed for that Prouince by Caesar: yea, by a greater than Caesar, euen by God himselfe; for euery earthly Iudge sustains the person of God himselfe, who is the Iudge of all the world: Therefore Iehoshaphat, in his charge to the Iudges2. Chron. 19. 6. whom he sent, said; Take heed what you do: for ye iudge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the iudgement. And such is the iudgement and sentence, which proceedeth from the mouth of an earthly Iudge, as that it is to be taken & receiued as the iudgement and sentence of God himself. As the wise man speakes from the mouth of the holy Ghost; Many seeke the Rulers fauour: but euery mans iudgement co [...]th Prou. 28. 27. from the Lord. Euery mans iudgement? Yes, euery mans iudge­ment. Nay more (which is also there implyed) euery iudge­ment [Page 72] whatsoeuer it bee, true or false, right or wrong, it pro­ceedeth (shal I say, from the Lord? Yes:) from the Lord. Euery mans iudgment cōmeth from the Lord: And yet many men cōplain that their cause is vniustly censur'd & sentenc'd by the iudge. But God is iust, & shal not he, the Iudge of all the world; do right? doubtlesse he is most iust, and euen that iudgement wch seemeth to vs most vniust, cōming from an earthly iudge: yet the same iudgement comming from God, is most iust. We will vse no other instance, but that iudgement of Pilate, passed vpon the Lord Iesus Christ. Iesus Christ the innocent Lambe of God, stands arraigned at the barre of Pilates iudgement-seate: many accusations are brought against him, but with­out any proofe at all. And the Iudge must goe secundum allega­ta & probata, according to the allegations and proofes, or else aequum licet statuerit, haud aequu [...] fuit: though hee giues a iust [...]enec. in Medea sentence, yet himselfe is vniust. Well, the [...]ewes with much vehemencie of mortall malice, accusing Christ before Pilate;Matth. 27. 18. but all without proofe: Pilate knowing that of enuie the Iewes had deliuered him to him to bee condemned, acquitsMatth. 27, 24. Christ as an innocent person, and that solemnely before them all. But the Iewes at length preuailing with their wicked im­portunities, Pilate contra probata, passeth and pronounceth the sentence of condemnation vpon Christ, that hee should dye. A most vniust and wicked sentence, if we consider the per­son of the Iudge, Pilate, a man swayed by humane affections (and especially feare of men, the bane of many a good cause) who against his owne conscience, pronounced Christ guilty, and worthy of death, whom he knew for no other, but a most innocent person. But now, take mee this iudgement as-pro­ceeding from the tribunall of God, and we shall see it to bee most iust; for in, or with Pilate, God sits vpon the Tribunall to iudge his owne Sonne. But God and Pilate passe the same sentence with a most different respect vpon Christ. For Christ here sustaines a two-fold person: his owne, which on­ly Pilate looked vpon, not knowing any other; and so Pilates sentence of death was most vniust: but Christ bore another person vpon him, to wit, our sinfull person, which God look­ing [Page 73] vpon, and finding him now in our stead, a guilty person by the imputation of our sinnes, being our suretie; hee passeth the same sentence of death vpon him, that Pilate did, and yet Gods sentence is most iust. Yea, but God the iudge must goe also, Secundum allegata & probata, according to due allegations & true proofes: for, shall not the Iudge of all the world doe right? But all the allegations and accusations brought against Christ, wanted proofe, yea they were most false. True. But consider Christ now as he stood in our person: so all the allegations & accusations brought against him were most true. In which re­spect, Christ at the hearing of them was silent, as guiltie per­sons who haue nothing to answer for themselues; as he that wanted his wedding garment, was speechlesse: because Christ knew that hee stood there in our person. Against whom; what accusation of sinne can be produced, but may easily bee proued? Christ was accused of two maine impieties, against God, and against the King, and the People; as a peruerter, and traytor. All this was true; for sustaining our person, stan­ding as our surety, and vndertaking to discharge all our debts, what debt was so great, what sinne so grieuous▪ that hee now stood not charged withall, and was not as culpable of? This made him to be numbred among transgressours, not common offenders, but transgressors, among criminall, yea capitall malefactors; and for this very reason, euen Barabbas, a sedi­tious murtherer is preferred before him. If Christ had not thus stood in our stead, beene iudged and condemned in our persons, he had neuer saued the Thiefe vpon the Crosse. And therefore as St. Ambrose saith, Nemo est qui possit excludi, Ambro [...]. in Psal. 39. tom. 4. quando receptus est Latro: There is none that can bee shut out, when the Thiefe is let in. And standing in our stead, if hee had not been formally and legally iudged, and so condemned, wee should neuer haue beene able to haue stood before Gods iudgement-seate. But now Christ being cast and condemned by a lawfull [...]udge, ordained and appointed of God; so that this iudgement was not mans iudgement, but Gods; this giues a supersedeas, and a quietus est, to all true beleeuers, and penitent sinners, that they shall most assuredly stand innocent [Page 74] and righteous before Gods iudgement-seat, seeing their sins are already absolutely iudged and condemned. For, as Christ was legally condemned in our person: so shall wee be before Gods Tribunall acquitted and absolued, as iust and righteous in his person. For, Who shall now lay any thing to the charge of Gods chosen? It is God that iustifieth, who shall condemne? It is Christ that is dead. O singular vnspeakeable comfort to all true beleeuers! The debt is discharged, and we are free. Christ is iudged, and we acquitted; hee is condemned, and wee ab­solued; his chastisement is our peace; his stripes our hea­ling.Esay 53. 9. So that now being iustified by his bloud, wee shall bee saued from wrath through him. Now we may with comfortRom. 5. 9. and confidence, wait for the Sonne of God from heauen, whom God raised from the dead, euen Iesus, which hath deliuered vs from the 1 Thes. 1. 10. wrath to come, as saith the Apostle. And all this, for that Christ in his owne person innocent, but in ours guilty, was iudged and condemned, euen by Gods owne iudgement, though by the mouth of a mortall man, yea an vniust, though a lawfull iudge. It is not therefore for nothing, that in our Creede we say, He suffered vnder Pontius Pilate. O happy suf­fering vnder Pontius Pilate! But why vnder Pontius Pilate? How comes Pontius Pilate in our Christian Creed? Surely not for any honour due to his name, or to his person: but in memorie of his office and calling, as he was a Iudge, who pas­sed sentence on the Lord Iesus Christ. This very article, wherein Pontius Pilate is mentioned, is a strong argument to perswade mee, that those who compiled this Creede, called the Apostles Creede, did it by the speciall instinct of the ho­ly Ghost, And in this very Article doth this Creede exceede all other Creedes, sith it, of all the rest, expresseth the man­ner of Christs condemnation; which being done by Pontius Pilate the Iudge, is the very life and soule of our iustification. I haue dwelt the longer vpon this point, as being a mysterie of rare and singular vse to the Church of God. I confesse I haue looked into sundry Catechists and Expositors vpon the Creede, but I haue not had the hap to meete with any to lead me thus to consider of this point of Christs suffering vnder [Page 75] Pontius Pilate as a lawfull Iudge: which seemeth to my poore iudgement, to bee as a secure roade and safe harbour, for all heauenly Merchants to anchor in: Although it be easie at the first sight, to take it rather as a history, than as a my­sterie.

Much lesse may we wonder at Popish writers, who in their deuoutest meditations set forth vpon the passion of Christ (as Guiuara's mysteries of mount Caluary, and such like) doe expresse more womanish passions and affections in condo­ling Christs sufferings (like those daughters of Ierusalem, whose naturall teares Christ reproued in weeping for him, and would haue them turned into spirituall teares, in wee­ping for themselues) than any masculine discretion in discer­ning the true cause & end of Christs sufferings, as that he was thus iudicially condemned in our persons, that so wee might stand guiltlesse before Gods iudgement seate. A mysterie al­together vnknowne to Pontifician spirits: as the Gospell is hid to them that are lost; in whom the God of this world hath blinded the eyes of them that beleeue not, lost the light of the glorious Gospell of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine vnto them, 2. Cor. 4. 4. Of this sort also is that viperous brood of the Soci­nians, who oppugning the doctrine of Christs satisfaction in our persons, are easily confuted and confounded by this very article of the Creed: whose madnesse is sufficiently discoue­red by Lubbertus, Ludouicus Lucins, and others; so that they neede none other confutation: their arguments being but meere argutiae, no lesse futile, than seemingly subtile; which as the hissings of the serpent, are to be hissed and whip­ped out of Christs schoole.

Now the imputation of Christs obedience vnto vs to ourImputation negatiue and affirmatiue. iustification, is partly negatiue, and partly affirmatiue. Ne­gatiue in the not imputing of sinne vnto vs; whereof the Psalmist, and from him the Apostle, speaketh: Blessed are they Psal. 32. 1. 2. Rom. 4. 7. 8. whose iniquities are forgiuen, and whose sinnes are couered: blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sinne. The reason of this not imputing our sins to vs, is because they were impu­ted to Christ, he being iudged and condemned for them: As [Page 76] Gal. 3. 13. Christ hath redeemed vs from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for vs. In this respect the Apostle makes a challenge in the behalfe of all Gods chosen: Who shall con­demne them? who shall lay any thing to their charge? For if our sinnes be imputed to Christ, and he bore them vpon him, and discharged our debt; then it cannot possibly bee, that they should be imputed to vs also, who beleeue in him. Also this not imputing our sinnes, includes in it an affirmatiue imputa­tion, to wit, of the passiue obedience of Christ vnto vs: hee suffering for vs, whatsoeuer wee should haue suffered; yea, euen eternall death it selfe, for as much as the Eternall suffe­red the nature of that death, though hee onely tasted of it, as the Apostle saith, Heb. 2. 9. yet he so tasted it, as that at once, as it were at one morsell, he wholly deuoured it, and swallowed it vp in victory: as 1. Cor. 17. 54.

Secondly, Imputation affirmatiue, is the imputing of Christs actiue obedience and righteousnesse vnto vs; wherein, as in most rich robes, we stand most gloriously arrayed in the pre­sence of God. For as the Prophet saith; To vs a childe is borne, Esa. 9. 6. Christs both actiue and pas­siue obedience imputed to vs. Esa. 26. 12. Phil. 2. 7. to vs a sonne is giuen, &c. so that Christ is ours, as well in his birth and life, as in his death. And Esay saith againe, O Lord, thou wilt ordaine peace for vs: for thou also hast wrought all our workes for vs, or in vs. This the Apostle also declareth; Christ made himselfe of no reputation, and tooke vpon him the forme of a seruant, and was made in the likenesse of men: hee hum­bled himselfe, and became obedient vnto the death. Note, the A­postle speakes there of the whole and intire humiliation and obedience of Christ, continued throughout his whole life, euen vnto the death, the death of the Crosse. Yea Christs obedience to the death was an actiue obedience; for, Passus est, quia voluit: the Apostle applies that of the 40. Psalm, Heb. 10 9. for Christ suffered willingly; to show, that in his very suffering, his obedience was actiue. Now for whom did Christ become a seruant, become obedient, but for vs, men, who by disobedience had made our selues seruants, who were by creation Lords of the world? So the Lord himselfe saith: For euen the Sonne of man came not to be ministred vnto, but Mar. 10. 45. [Page 77] to minister, and to giue his life a ransome for many. And againe, I am among you as one that serueth. Now for whom was Christ,Luke 17. 19. in the condition of his life, a seruant? For himselfe? Not for himselfe, but for vs; as himselfe saith: For their sakes I sanctifie Ioh. 17. 19. my selfe, that they also might be sanctified through the truth, Ioh. 17. 19. So that the actiue obedience of Christ in his life,Ioh. 17. 19. his holinesse, as of a seruant, is also imputed to vs: For how was hee a seruant in our person, but that hee might free vs from the condition of seruants? That as the passiue obedi­ence of Christ in his death remoued away from vs the ragges of our sins, the badge and band of our seruitude: So Christs actiue obedience in his life hath put vpon vs the most glori­ous libertie of our infranchisement and freedome; his death hath cleansed vs, & his life hath clothed vs. These two therefore are in no sort to be diuided; vnlesse we would bee content to haue our deliuerance from hel, separated from our inheritance in heauen, and still to bee subiect to the punish­ment of losse, though free from the punishment of sense; like those infants, who dying vnbaptized, the Pontificians haue deuised to put them in a certain Limbus, or Hell, where­in they must suffer, though not the punishment of sense, yet the punishment of losse, as they say. But as this is a meere fi­ction and fable; so is that other: it being as impossible for a man, eue [...] to come to possesse the Kingdome of Heauen, with­out the imputation of Christs actiue obedience and righte­ousnesse, as without his passion imputed, euer to escape hell fire. So that Christ cannot be diuided; wee must haue him whole, or none. For it was necessary, that the actiue righte­ousnesse of Christ, should both goe before, and accompany his passiue obedience; seeing, without the actiue, the passiue should haue been altogether vnprofitable: therefore they are ioyned together, Phil. 2. 7. 8. that so his passiue, might seale vnto vs his actiue, and his actiue, sanctifie vnto vs his pas­siue. Nay, was not his passiue obedience also actiue, by a vo­luntary offering vp of himselfe? Was hee not obedient vnto the death? Saith not Christ himselfe, Ioh. 10. 15. I lay downe my life for my sheepe, and vers. 17. Therefore doth my fa­ther [Page 78] loue me, because I lay downe my life, that I might take it againe: and vers. 18. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it downe of my selfe. I haue power to lay it downe, and I haue power to take it againe. Christs passiue obedience there­fore being it selfe also actiue, how can these two possibly bee separated and diuorced one from the other? That as the pas­siue obedience of Christ hath freed vs from sinne, hell, death, and condemnation; so the actiue obedience of his life, might restore vs vnto, & possesse vs in the perfect state of righteous­nesse, life, saluation, and the Kingdome of heauen. Yea, these two are so vnseparable, as that the confluence of all the sweet streames of Christs actiue obedience in his life, haue a most sweete and comfortable influence, into the bitter sea of his passiue obedience in his death; making it to bee a most per­fect and intire sacrifice, the holinesse of Christs life sanctify­ing his death, and shewing him to bee that Lambe of God, without spot or blemish. So that we cannot be partakers of Christs passiue obedience, without his actiue; lest hee proue vnto vs a lame and imperfect sacrifice. And therefore, the Apostle doth infold the affirmatiue imputation in the nega­tiue: saying, Euen as Dauid also described the blessednesse of the Rom. 4. 6. man, vnto whom God imputeth righteousnesse without workes: say­ing, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiuen, and whose sinnes are couered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sinne. Here is imputation of righteousnesse without workes, concurring with the not imputing of sinnes. For euen the passiue obedience of Christ, whereby our sinnes come not to bee imputed, had in it the holinesse and vertue of his actiueThe righte­ousnesse of his life, was as a perfume to to make his passion a sweet-smel­ling sacrifice. Stella in Luc. cap. 4. init. obedience throughout his whole life, hauing beene obedient vnto his death, that so the righteousnesse of his life also might be imputed vnto vs. Stella, vpon Luke, saith; Omnes passio­nes Christi potius actionis nomine appellandae sunt, quàm passiones. Christi martyrium, & crucis eius tormentum, nihil redemptioni no­strae prodessent, nisi actionem habuissent, quod est, velle flagellari, & velle crucifigi: All the passions or sufferings of Christ, are ra­ther to bee called actions than passions. The martyrdome of Christ, and the torment of his Crosse, had auailed nothing [Page 79] to our redemption, if they had not had action; which is, to be willing to be scourged, and willing to be crucified.

He therefore that separates the actiue obedience of Christ in his life, from his passiue in his death, is like the man in the Gospell, whom when the vncleane spirit had cleane left, re­turned,Luke 11. 24. turned, and finding him as an house swept, with whited wals, but voide of the garnish of grace, he takes seuen other spirits worse than himselfe, makes with them his re-entry, and dwels there: so the last state of that man, is worse than the first. Such is he that seemes to be cleansed from his sinnes, and all his vncleannesse (like a new swept house) by acknow­ledging the righteousnesse of Christs passiue obedience in his death, imputed to him; but neglecting, yea reiecting the righteousnesse of Christs actiue obedience in his life, as no­thing pertaining to him in the point of iustification: but as though hee must haue a selfe-garnish, as of a whited wall, in­herent in him, whereby to claime the kingdome of heauen, he becometh seuen times more vncleane than he was before. O neuer let Christs life and death be diuided, his actiue obe­dience & his passiue let euer go together; lest if we let go the one, we lose both. Therefore giue me whole Christ, or none: both his death, that I may not dye for euer from him; and his life, that I may liue for euer with him. The learned and godly Cardinall Contarenus, who liued in Luthers time, and writ soundly of iustification, saith well to this purpose: Omnis Christi iustitia attribuitur nobis, quicun (que) Christum induimus: The whole righteousnesse of Christ is attributed or imputed to vs, as many as haue put on Christ. For (to conclude this in a word) the redemption by Christ procureth two things vnto vs; deliuerance from death, and the purchase of life. By his passiue obedience hee wrought the first, by his actiue the second: For properly the death of Christ was to free vs from death; but the life of Christ to infeoffe vs in life. The condi­tion of the first Adams life was, Doe this, and liue: the se­cond Adam hath done it, that we might liue eternally; eter­nally, not as Adam had the promise, here on earth: but in hea­uen. Hence it is, that as Iesus Christ descended into the state [Page 80] of death, to redeeme vs thence by his death: So hee came downe from heauen, that in the humility and obedience of his life on earth, he might exalt vs thither: whither (else) not euen Adams best obedience could euer haue brought him; much lesse ours. Which may answer to a question, that here may be fitly moued.

Quest. Whether the obedience of the whole Law of God, wrought by Christ for vs, is auaileable as to redeeme vs from the punishment of sinne, so to purchase vnto vs eternall life in heauen? The reason of the question, is, because not the Law, if it had beene for euer perfectly fulfilled by Adam, had any promise of that eternall life, and immediate vision in hea­uen, but only of this life. Heauen is not within the Couenant of workes.

Answ. True it is, that the fulfilling of the Law in it selfe simply considered, hath no proportion with that endlesse life aboue. For the first Adam was of the earth earthly; and all his happinesse promised vpon the condition of keeping the Law, for ought is reuealed or can be demonstrated, was ter­restriall. But now forasmuch as the Law is fulfilled by Christ, this obedience reacheth to a higher reward (because there is a higher promise made) than that of the first Adam; Because Christ the second Adam is the Lord from heauen, the Eternal, whose Kingdom is not of this world, but of a bet­ter, a heauenly, whose house is not made with hands. So that his obedience to the Law in regard of his person, becomes a rich and inestimable purchase of that better Kingdome for vs. For as is the heauenly, such are they that are heauenly, to wit, the generation of God in and by Iesus Christ, 1 Cor. 15. 48. 49. 50. vide & Iohn 3. 13. No man ascendeth vp to heauen, but he &c.

Thus haue we proued out of the holy Scriptures, how the formall cause of iustification, or that which giues a perfect being to our iustification, making vs perfectly iust in the sight of God, is the imputation of Christs righteousnesse vnto vs, and that euen of his whole righteousnesse, actiue in his life, and passiue in his death.

[Page 81]And that the formall cause of our iustification is not with­in vs, but without vs, not inherent, but by imputation, may easily appeare from the maine difference betweene the first Couenant and the second. The first Couenant was that which was made with Adam in Paradise: Doe this, and liue: the second that made with man after his fal, Beleeue, and liue. So the first Couenant was of workes, the second of faith, the first, of an inherent righteousnesse of our owne: the second, of a righteousnesse without vs; not our owne simply, but by relation, namely made ours, to wit, Christs righteousnesse, who of God is made vnto vs righteousnesse, called in Scrip­tures1 Cor 1. 30. Rom. 10. 6. the righteousnesse which is of faith. Not to obserue and know this difference well, is the ready way to leade men into all errour of this mysterie of God. The Apostle doth notably set downe this difference between the first and second Coue­nant, as termes infinitely opposite, and admitting of no re­conciliation, Rom. 10. 3. when hee saith, that the Iewes being ignorant of Gods righteousnesse, and going about to esta­blish their owne righteousnesse, haue not submitted them­selues to the vnrighteousnesse of God▪ For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousnesse, to euery one that beleeueth. For Moses describeth the righteousnesse which is of the Law, that the man which doth those things, shall liue by them. But the righteousnesse which is of Faith, is to confesse with thy mouth the Lord Iesus, and to beleeue in thy heart, that God raised him from the dead, and thou shalt be saued. Also Rom. 11. 6. If it be by grace, it is no more of workes; otherwise grace is no more grace: but if it bee of workes, then it is no more grace; otherwise worke is no more worke. Also Rom. 4. the Apostle set­ting downe this same opposition betweene the Couenant of workes and of faith, saith on this wise, v. 2. &c. If Abraham were iustified by workes, he hath whereof to glory, but not before God. For, what saith the Scripture? Abraham beleeued God, and it was counted to him for righteousnesse. Now to him that worketh, is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt: but to him that wor­keth not, but beleeueth on him that iustifieth the vngodly, his faith is counted for righteousnesse. Euen as Dauid also describeth the [Page 82] blessednesse of the man, vnto whom God imputeth righteous­nesse without workes: saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiuen, and whose sinnes are couered. Blessed is the man, to whom the Lord will not impute sinne. What clearer Testimonies? Yea, this did God himselfe teach vs not obscurely by his own act, Gen. 3. For when Adam had forfeited the first Couenant, which was of workes, made with him in Paradise before his fall, and after his fall had made with him another Couenant, to wit, of faith in Christ, the promised seede of the woman: What doth God thereupon? Hee shuts man out of Paradise, and from the Tree of life, lest putting forth his hand, hee should take of it, and liue for euer. What is meant hereby? Paradise was not only the place, but also did signifie the hap­py condition of Adams blessednesse, which he was to enioy in his innocencie: the Tree of life was a sacrament and symbol of life, appointed as a speciall meanes to preserue man from dying, or decaying in his naturall strength, so long as he con­tinued in his obedience. But by disobedience hee forfeited the Couenant, brake the condition, lost his former happinesse, and was depriued of the meanes of that life, wherein hee should haue liued for euer vpon earth. Now God shutting him out from the earthly Paradise, the place of earthly blisse, and from the Tree of life, the sacrament and symbol of im­mortalitie, and hauing shewed vnto him another Tree of life in the middest of the Paradise of God, to wit, Iesus Christ, who is very God and eternall life; which whosoeuer by rea­ching out the hand of Faith, eateth of, shall liue for euer. God (I say) doth hereby plainely teach vs, that in attaining to the heauenly Paradise by the Tree of life Iesus Christ, wee must not haue any more to doe with the things pertaining to the first Couenant, now altogether forfeited; and from which Adam and his posteritie is for euer banished, neuer to returne or intermeddle there any more, Gen. 3, 22. 23. 24. Therefore to teach, and beleeue, the doctrine of an inherent righteous­nesse, whereby to attaine eternall life, is euen as it were in de­spite of God, and of his holy Angels the Cherubims, keeping the way of the Tree of life, to reuiue the old Couenant of [Page 83] workes againe, and with the hand of the body, to wit, good workes, reach out to take of the tree of life. This is a Ba­bylonish confounding of the two Couenants, which stand vpon such irreconcileable termes of difference. Is there no more difference betweene, Do this, and liue: and, Beleeue, and liue? betweene mans owne righteousnesse, and Gods righteousnesse, the establishing of the one, being the abolish­ing of the other? Nor is it to purpose, that these Babylonians alledge, that they ascribe their inherent righteousnesse to God, as the author of it, and by whom it is infused into them. Adam in his purest naturals could say no lesse, but that all his inherent righteousnesse was the gift of God: for what had he, that he had not receiued? Therefore the maine point of difference betweene the righteousnesse of the first Couenant, and of the second, is in this, That the one was inherent, and within a man, the other imputed, and without a man. Other­wise, what reall difference can bee imagined to be betweene them? the difference chiefly consisting in a direct opposition. Nor will they difference these two Couenants of righteous­nesse in regard of nature and grace, lest they should offend their Thomas Aquinas, who alloweth to the first Adam origi­nall righteousnesse, consisting (as hee saith) in a supernaturall grace, or that which they call Gratia gratum facions, the chief grace of all. Aqu. 1. q. 95. 1. & q. 100▪ ibid. Although Aqui­nas in so saying, plainely sheweth his ignorance in the diffe­rence betweene the first and second Adam. For that grace which he saith was giuen to Adam, was neuer giuen, till Ie­sus Christ was reuealed, who was the onely fountaine of this grace, Iohn 1. 17.

Now let vs see what iudgement the ancient Fathers of the Church are of in this point. Wherein when wee come to Fathers, the Pontificians cast vp their caps in triumph, as if the field were theirs. Hence it is that the Trent Fathers had such a hard conceit of the very word Imputation, that theyHist. Co [...]cil. Trid. l [...]. p. 157 Latina editi [...]. desired it should be quite cashiered and cancelled, as a word neuer vsed of the ancient Fathers: although as the Historie there saith, that the termes of communication, participation, [Page 84] diffusion, deriuation, application, computation, & coniunction, are familiar enough with them. Others were of opinion, that seeing the thing it selfe was euident enough, there needed no quarrell about the word, especially, seeing by this word the same is precisely meant, that is expressed in other words. And though Imputation be not found vsed of all the Fathers, nor so frequently, yet of some it is, namely, of Bernard in his 109. E­pistle. Vega also did affirme, That that word, though it be not found in the Scriptures, yet that it is a very proper Latine word; and that the righteousnes of Christ may most truly be said, to be imputed to mankind for merit and satisfaction, and alwaies to be imputed to all that are iustified, satisfying for their own sins: but to be imputed to them, as if it were their owne, hee approued not. Whereunto, when it was obiected what St. Thomas was wont to say, That the passion of Christ for the remission of sinnes, was so communicated to him that is baptized, as if himselfe had vndergone it, or had suffered death: there was sharpe and long contention about his words. The Master of the Eremites was of opinion, that in the Sacrament of Baptisme Christs righteousnesse was impu­ted, because in all, and euery respect, it is communicated: but not in Penance, wherein our satisfaction also is required. Soto confessed, that the terme of Imputation was very popu­lar and plausible, as which seemeth at the first blush, to ascribe all to Christ; yet in regard of those consequences which the Lutherans draw thence, he alwaies had it in suspition, as we touched before. Of which sort are, That the onely imputa­tion of Christs righteousnesse is sufficient, and no inherent required; that Sacraments conferre no grace; that, together with the sinne, the whole punishment was so abolished, that there was no place left for satisfaction; that all the faithfull were equals in grace, righteousnesse, and glory; whence was collected that execrable blasphemy, that all were equally iust with the blessed Virgin. Which words (saith the History) made that word so odious to the mindes of the hearers, that they were most propense, and bent to damne it for hereticall, notwithstanding strong reasons were alledged to the con­trary. [Page 85] These altercations and bickerings amongst the Di­uines, flowed chiefely from the immoderate affection of each to that Sect, to which hee had addicted himselfe. Thus the History.

But come wee to the Fathers: among whom, though wee finde not the word Imputation precisely, yet the thing it im­ports, we finde expressely; according to the opinion of some in the Councell, mentioned but now, saying: That seeing the thing it selfe was cleare enough, there needed no quarrell about the words; especially seeing by this word, the same is precisely meant, that is expressed in other words. And by the way, Andreas Vega triumpheth greatly, that among all theVega de vera & ficta iustis. lib. 15. cap. 2. Fathers, hee cannot finde the word Imputation; as neither in the Scriptures, that Christs righteousnesse is imputed to vs vnto righteousnesse: although he confesse the word Imputa­tion to be there vsed, as, faith imputed for righteousnesse, and sinne not imputed. And (saith hee) the ancient Doctors of the Church, before Bernard, were contented for this pur­pose to vse the words of communication, of participation, ap­plication, copulation, coniunction: but neuer the word Im­putation, as that Christs righteousnesse were so imputed to vs, as if it were made ours. But those Authors, and authori­ties which he alledgeth, doe speake very significantly to the purpose, to confirme this doctrine of imputation. As first St. Augustine: Communicatio passionum Christi, virtus tua erit; The communication of the sufferings of Christ, is thy vertue. And to passe by others, Thomas Aquinas saith: Omni baptizato com­municatur passio Christi in remissionem, ac si ipse passus & mortuus esset: The passion of Christ is communicated to euery one bap­tized for remission of sins, as if he himself had suffered & dyed. And againe, as the same Vega alledgeth him: Poena passionis Christi communicatur baptizato, in quantum fit membrum Christi, ac si ipse poenam illam sustinuisset: The punishment of the pas­sion of Christ is communicated to him that is baptized, in as much as he is made a member of Christ, as if he himselfe had sustained the same punishment. And yet (saith Vega) neither there, nor elsewhere, to my remembrance, doth hee [Page 86] say, that the punishments of the passion of Christ are imputed to vs, as if they were our owne. And perhaps (saith hee) it came to passe by the instinct and prouidence of the holy Ghost, that the Ancients neuer in this case vsed the word Imputation, lest the Heretickes might seeme to haue taken from them the hint and occasion of their errours. So Vega. Or rather, do not Pontificians euen wilfully make it an occa­sion, of confirming themselues in this their heresie, while they will rather beleeue, what they finde men haue precisely said, than cleaue to that, which God himselfe in his Word hath so expressely defined; as neither Rome is named in Scripture for the Whore of Babylon, nor the Pope for the man of sinne. But in the meane time, let any indifferent man iudge, what more could haue beene expressed by the word Imputation, than they haue done by the word Communica­tion (whom Vega hath quoted) to shew how thereby the righteousnesse of Christ is made wholly ours, his sufferings our sufferings, as if we our selues had suffered. But yet let vs see a little further into the language of the Fathers, concer­ning this point. Onely by the way, seeing Vega cannot finde the word Imputation once mentioned among the ancient Fa­thers, let him looke but St. Augustines Epist. 106. to Bonifa­cius, or as some copies haue it, to Paulinus, and there hee shall finde these words: Cur meritis praeueniri gratia perhibe­tur, quae gratia non esset, si secundum meritum imputaretur: Why is grace said to be preuented by merits, which should not be grace, if it were imputed according to merit. Yea, how often doth Augustine mention the Apostles words, where he saith; Fides imputaretur ad iustitiam: Faith is imputed vnto righte­ousnesse? But let vs contend not so much for the word; as for the thing it selfe, which wee shall finde the Fathers to a­bound in. St. Ambrose writing vpon the 39▪ Psalme, saith; Totus ex persona Christi iste Psalmus est: Iustitiam meam dicit, Ambros. in Psal. [...]9. licet non arroganter & homo dicere possit Iustitiam suam, qui Deo credit, & fidem suam sibi reputari ad iustitiam confitetur: This whole Psalme is of the person of Christ; therefore hee saith, My righteousnesse: though also a man that beleeues in God, [Page 87] and confesseth that his faith is reputed to him for righteous­nesse, may without arrogancy say, his righteousnesse. Now although Ambrose say (speaking of Christ) Iustitiam meam, in stead of Iustitiam tuam (as it is in the originall, and also in the vulgar Latine, he following some other copy) yet hereby wee may see his vnderstanding in the mysterie of Christ; namely, how Christs righteousnesse comes to bee our righte­ousnesse, our faith being imputed to vs for righteousnesse, as the Scripture saith. Sauing that Ambrose vseth the word Reputing, for Imputing; differing very little in the sound, but nothing at all in the sense. The sameAmbr. in epi [...] ad Gal. cap. [...] Ambrose writing vpon the Epistle to the Galatians, where hee opposeth the righteousnesse of the Law, and that of Christ one against the other, vpon these words: for if there had beene a Law giuen, which could haue giuen life, verily, righte­ousnesse had beene by the Law: saith, Iustitiam hau [...] dicit, quae apud Deum imputatur iustitia, id est, fidei; quia & lex habuit iustitiam, sed ad praesens, quia non iustificaret apud Deum: remittere enim peccata non potuit, vt de peccatoribus faceret iustos; he saith, that righteousnesse, which of God is imputed; to wit, the righte­ousnesse of faith: sith the Law also had a kinde of righteous­nesse, but temporary, that could not iustifie with God: for it could not forgiue sinnes, and so of sinners make men to bee iust. So that here is another ancient Father, vsing the very word Imputation. And a little after, vpon these words; As many as haue beene baptized into Iesus Christ, haue put on Christ: saith, Hoc dicit, quia credentes, dum immutantur, Chri­stum induunt, quando hoc appellantur, quod credunt: This he saith, because beleeuers, while they are changed, doe put on Christ, when they are called that, which they beleeue. So that by St. Ambrose his doctrine, our iustification is by imputation of grace by faith, in the putting on of Christ. And St. Austine, be­sides the former alledged place, where he defineth iustification to be a making of one iust, by accounting him so, or by depu­ting & reckoning him iust: saith, in Psa. 32. Nol [...] vos interrogare Aug de spir [...] ­liter. ad Mar [...] tom. 3. Aug. Psal. 32. [...]x [...] de iustitia vestra; [...]ortassis autem nemo vestrum audeat mihi respon­dere, iustus sum: sed interrogo vos de fide vestra. Sicut nemo ve­strum [Page 88] audet dicere, Iustus sum; sic nemo non audet dicere, Fidelis­sum. Nondum quaero, quid viuas: sed quaero, quid credas? respon­surus es, credere te in Christum. Non audisti Apostolum, Iustus ex­fide viuit? fides tua, iustitia tua: I will not aske you of your righ­teousnesse; for haply none of you dare answer me, I am righ­teous: but I aske you of your faith. As none of you dare say, I am iust; so you dare not but say, I am a beleeuer. I demand not yet, how thou liuest: but how thou beleeuest? thou wilt answer me, thou beleeuest in Christ. Hast thou not heard the Apostle, The iust shall liue by faith? Thy saith is thy righteous­nesse. And vpon the 30. Psalme, the same Father doth fur­ther cleare his minde touching imputatiue righteousnesse, vpon these words of the Psalme; Rid mee, and deliuer mee in thy righteousnesse: Nam si attendas ad iustitiam meam, damnas me. In tua iustitia erue me: est enim iustitia Dei, quae & nostra fit, cum donatur nobis. Ideo autem Dei iustitia dicitur, ne homo se pu­tet à seipso habere iustitiam: For if thou lookest vpon my righ­teousnesse, thou condemnest mee. In thy righteousnesse deli­uer me: for it is the righteousnesse of God, which is made also oure, when it is giuen vnto vs. And therefore is it cal­led Gods righteousnesse, lest man should thinke that he hath righteousnesse of himselfe. Now what righteousnesse doth this holy man meane here? The righteousnesse of God made ours by infusion of grace into vs? So, I know, the Pontificians would be ready to interpret this place. But let St. Augustine be his owne interpreter, who addeth in the very next words: Sic enim dicit Apostolus Paulus; Credenti in eum, qui iustificat impi­um: So saith the Apostle Paul; To him that beleeueth in him, that iustifieth the vngodly. Quid est, Qui iustificat impium? Qui ex impio facit iustum: deputatur fides eius ad iustitiam: What is that, Which iustifieth the vngodly? Who of vngodly and wicked makes iust: his faith is deputed for righteous­nesse. Yea, this holy man, is so farre from ascribing the least part of iustification to any inherent righteousnesse in vs, as that he excludes euen faith it selfe, as it is a worke, from be­ing any meritorious cause of our iustification. For elsewhere [...]g. ad Sim­ [...]. lib. 1. qu. 2. speaking of Gods election and vocation, of grace, and not of [Page 89] workes, alledging the examples of Iacob and Esau; the one lo­ued, the other hated, euen in the wombe, before either of them had done good or euill, &c. that the election of God might stand, not of workes, &c. Si autem verum est, quod non ex operibus; & inde hoc probat, quia de nondum natis, nondum (que) aliquid operatis dictum est: vnde nec ex fide, quae in nondum natis similiter nondum erat: And if it be true, that it is not of works; and from thence he proues it, because it was said of them be­fore they were borne, and before they had done any thing: whereupon, neither was it in respect of faith, which likewise (as a worke) was not as yet in them, being yet vnborne. And againe; Iustificati gratis per gratiam ipsius, ne fides ipsa superba sit. Aug. epist. 106. Bonifacio out Paulino. Nec dicat sibi quis, si ex fide, quomodo gratis? quod enim fides me­retur, cur non potius redditur, quàm donatur? Non dicat ista homo fidelis; quia cum dixerit, vt merear iustificationem, habeo fidem: respondetur ei, Quid enim habes, quod non accepisti? Being iustifi­ed freely by his grace, lest faith it selfe should be proud. Nor let any man say to himselfe, if it be of faith, how is it freely? for that which faith meriteth, why is it not rather rendred as due, than freely giuen? Let no beleeuer speake thus: for when he shall say, I haue faith, that I may merit iustification; it is answered him, For what hast thou, that thou hast not receiued? Thus this holy man disclaimes all merit of workes in vs; yea euen of faith it selfe, though it bee the instrument to apply the righteousnesse of God in Christ vnto vs, where­by we are truely iustified. And it stands with good reason: For faith iustifieth not by vertue of the act of beleeuing, but as the instrument, in applying the obiect, which is Christ. As the hand is said to heale, onely by applying the medicine; or to inrich, by receiuing a treasure; or to feed, by putting meat into the mouth: as we say, a childe is fed with a spoone, when the milke onely feedeth. So faith, by applying Christ, the true balme, healeth: by receiuing Christ, the true treasure, in­richeth: by conuaying Christ, the true bread and water of life, feedeth the soule. St. Augustine also in his first Sermon vpon the 70. Psalme, saith: In eum credo, qui iustificat impium, vt deputetur fides mea ad iustitiam: I beleeue in him that iustifieth [Page 90] the vngodly, that my faith may be deputed (hee comes very neare Imputed) for righteousnesse.

It would fill a large volume, to set downe the Tracts and sayings of this holy Father, to this purpose, seeing all his workes are euery where perfumed with this most sweet and Catholicke doctrine of iustification through the righteous­nesse of Christ imputed to vs; not for any grace inherent in vs, though it be the gift of God, bestowed on vs for Christs sake. I will onely adde one or two sayings more of this holy man. Per fidem induendo Christum omnes fiunt filij; non natura, Aug. expos. epist. ad Galat. lib. sicut vnicus Filius: sed filij fiunt participatione sapientiae, id praepa­rante at (que) praestante Mediatoris fide; quam fidei gratiam nunc in­dumentum vocat, vt Christum induti sint, qui in eum crediderunt: & ideo filij Dei, fratres (que) eius Mediatoris effecti sunt: In putting on Christ by faith, all are made sonnes; not sonnes by nature, as is the onely begotten Sonne, but they are made sonnes, by the participation of wisedome, being prepared and perfor­med by the faith of the Mediator; which grace of faith hee now calleth a clothing or putting on; so that they haue put on Christ, that haue beleeued in him: and therefore they are made the sonnes of God, and brethren of the Mediator. What plainer words could this holy Father haue vsed to expresse the nature of iustification, in the imputatiue righteousnesse of Christ, than by calling imputation a participation of Christ, by the meanes of faith? in which respect, hee calleth faith a putting on, because thereby Christ, with all his righ­teousnesse, is put vpon vs, and so wee are made the sonnes of God. Iustin Martyr saith: Quid aliud peccata nostra potuisset Iust. Mart. in epist. ad Diog. tegere, quàm Christi iustitia? O beneficia expectationem omnem exu­perantia! vt iniquit as quidem multorum, in vno iusto abscondatur; iustitia autem vnius faciat, vt multi iniusti pro iustis habeantur: What else could haue couered our sinnes, but Christs righte­ousnesse? O blessings exceeding all expectation! that the ini­quity of many should bee couered in one righteous person: and that the righteousnesse of one should cause, that many vniust, should be accounted iust. And of later times, deuoutBern. serm. ad milit. temp. c. 11 Bernard: Mors in Christi morte fugatur, & Christi nobis iustitia [Page 91] imputatur: Death is vanquished in Christs death, and Christs righteousnesse is imputed to vs. And againe: Qui nostram Ibid. & induit carnem, & subijt mortem, put as, suam nobis negabit iu­stitiam? voluntariè incarnatus, voluntariè passus, voluntariè cruci­fixus, solam à nobis retinebit iustitiam? Christus peccati meritum tulit, suam nobis donando iustitiam: Hee that both tooke vpon him our flesh, and vndertooke death, will hee, trow you, de­nie vs his righteousnesse? voluntarily incarnate, voluntarily suffering, voluntarily crucified, will hee keepe from vs his onely righteousnesse? And writing to Innocentius, he saith:Bern. epist. 190. ad Innocent. Homo qui debuit, homo qui soluit. Nam si vnus pro omnibus mor­tuus est, ergo omnes mortui sunt: vt videlicet satisfactio vnius om­nibus imputetur, sicut omnium peccata vnus ille portauit: It was man that was indebted, and man that paid it. For if one died for all, then were all dead: to the end, that the satisfaction of one should be imputed to all, euen as he alone bore the sinnes of all. Ambrose also vpon these words of the Apostle; ChristAmbros. [...]r [...]t. ad Auxent. pest epist. 32. Cyril in Esai. lib. 5. cap. 59. in fine. Corde creditur ad iustitiam, ore autem fit confessio ad salutem. Accepimus ita­que à Deo ver­bum fidei, & confessionem. Quod quidem salutare est, & iustitiam con­ciliat. Iustificat enim sic impi­um Christus, quod & palam clamitat: Ecce, deleui vt nubem iniquitates tuas, & vt caliginem peccata tua. Hoc enim ver­bum fidei in nobis erit perpetuò, & de ore nostro non cessabit, sed illud ad posteritatem vsque transmittemus: sie enim iustificabuntur & posteri. Si enim semper▪ Christus sit & Deus & Do­minus, nunquam definet fidei eius confessio apud eos, qui illius apparitionem ag nouerunt. was made a curse for vs, as it is written, Cursed is euery one that hangeth on tree; saith: Non ille maledictus, sed in te maledictus: Christ was not accursed, but in thee was hee ac­cursed. Iust so are we in him blessed. Saint Cyril also vpon these words of Esay; The Deliuerer shall come forth of Sion, and shal turn away iniquities from Iacob, &c. concludes thus, from Rom. 10 10. For with the heart, &c. With the heart, saith he, man beleeueth to righteousness, & with the mouth confession is made to saluation. We haue therefore receiued of God the word of faith, and confession. Which word bringeth salua­tion, and procureth righteousnesse: For Christ doth so iusti­fie the vngodly, that hee proclaimeth; Behold, I haue remo­ued thine iniquities as a cloud, and thy sinnes as a mist. For this word of faith shall be for euer in vs, and shall neuer cease from our mouth; but wee shall transmit and conuay it, euen vnto posterity. For thus also shall posterity be iustified: For [Page 92] if Christ bee for euer both God and Lord, the confession of this his faith, shall neuer faile with those, who haue ac­knowledged his appearing. So Cyril. This therefore was a­mong the ancient Fathers of the Church, and they haue sent it downe to vs their posterity, as the Catholicke faith to bee confessed of all Gods children, vntill the appearing of Iesus Christ, that our iustification stands in the merits of Christ, and the mercies of God, in the remission of our sinnes, and the not imputing them vnto vs. But the Trent-Fathers, and the Church of Rome, as being not the legitimate posterity, but the bastard brood, (falsly pretending from those holy Fa­thers) disclaime this Catholick faith, concerning iustificati­on in the remission of sinnes (which God in the forenamed place of Esay, cals his new Couenant, or Testament) and doth anathematize and curse to the pit of hell, all those, that haue, or shall place our iustification in the onely imputation ofConcil. Trid. Ses. 6. cap. 7. & Can. 11. Christs righteousnesse, or in the remission of sinnes, without our inherent righteousnesse; as appeareth in the former Chapter.

What needes more testimony in such a cloud of witnesses? Among all which, not a word of any inherent righteousnesse, not a word of infusion of grace, not a word of hope and cha­rity ioyned with faith, as equally concurring, much lesse pre­curring and out-stripping faith, in the worke of iustification: not a word of imputation so to bee vnderstood, as if Christ did therefore merit, that we might haue grace inherent, or of our owne, whereby to bee iustified in Gods sight. Although true it is, that the same ancient Fathers doe often call our inherent righteousnesse, which is our sanctification, by the name of iustification; but they neuer say, that hereby we are iustified in the sight of God.

In a word, the consideration of the true difference, be­tweene the first couenant and the second, doth easily con­clude the truth of this doctrine. The first couenant made with Adam in Paradise, was the couenant of workes; Doe this and liue: but the second couenant opposite to that, is of grace; Beleeue and liue: as the Apostle doth notably oppose [Page 93] faith against workes in our iustification. Therefore vnlesse wee would bring man againe into the estate of Adam, in his earthly Paradise, before his fall, and so shut out Christ the se­cond Adam: to pleade iustification by workes is a monstrous dreame. Therefore it was not for nothing, that our first Pa­rents were banished out of that earthly Paradise; typically to teach them, that now they had no more to do with that first condition of their creation, the happinesse whereof, depen­ded vpon the couenant of workes: but now they must seek a new Paradise, that is, a heauenly, and that by a new and li­uing way; to wit, by faith in Christ: which is that couenant of grace, opposite to the couenant of workes. So opposite, that, as the Apostle saith, If it be of grace, then it is no more of workes; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it bee of workes, then is it no more grace; otherwise worke is no more worke, Rom. 11. 6.

CHAP. VI. Of the instrumentall cause of iustification; and first of the Romane Catholicke doctrine herein.

THE Councell of Trent puts no other instrumentall causeConcil. Trid. Ses. 6. cap. 7. of iustification, but the Sacrament of Baptisme; which (saith she) is the instrument of faith, without which faith, no man could euer obtaine iustification. Where notwithstan­ding, shee would seeme not altogether to exclude faith, as a party-instrument. But because Baptisme is so vnderstood as an instrumentall cause, as will require rather a particular dis­course by it selfe; wee will shew here what allowance they giue to faith in iustification. That which the Pontificians ascribe to faith in the worke of iustification, is either, that it is a worke of grace, preparing and disposing a man to receiue the grace of iustification (as being the beginning of other gra­ces, and going before iustification, as appeareth out of the Tre [...] Councell, Ses. 6. cap. 8.) or else that it is a grace, con­curring [Page 94] with other graces infused and inherent; as hope, and charity, and such like, by which ioyntly a man comes to be iustified: otherwise, they allow faith no hand at all in iusti­fication; As may appeare in the Councell of Trent, the sixthConcil. Trid. Ses. 5. cap. 8. Can. 9. & 11. Session, the ninth and eleuenth Canons: Si quis dixerit, sola fide impium iustificari, &c. If any man shall say, that a sinner is iu­stified by faith alone, &c. And if any man shall say, that men are iustified either by the onely imputation of Christs righte­ousnesse, or by the onely remission of sinnes, excluding grace and charity, which is shed abroad in their hearts by the holy Ghost, and is inherent in them; or also, that the grace where­by we are iustified, is onely the fauour of God, let him bee Anathema, or accursed. Whereupon, Vega in his glosse vpon this place, sets this downe for his prime conclusion: Certis­sima Vega de iustis­grat. fide &c. qu. 2. Prima conclusio. fide est tenendum, fidem solam abs (que) operibus alijs, ne (que) satis esse ad iustificationem acquirendam, ne (que) ad tenendam acquisitam: Wee are to hold by a most certaine beliefe, that faith alone, without other workes, is neither sufficient to procure iusti­fication, nor being procured, to preserue it. And what those other workes bee, hee telleth vs, to wit; first, Baptisme; se­condly, the Eucharist or the Masse; thirdly, Penance; fourth­ly, Confession and Absolution; fiftly, the keeping of the Com­mandements, &c. And againe: Multipliciter posse hominem iu­stificari, Vega de praci­pua causa iu­stific. qu. 3. & prima quidem, ac communior magis (que) protrita via est per poenitentiam: secunda dilectio Dei super omnia, &c. Wee say, that a man may be iustified many waies. The first, and more common beaten way, is by penance: the second, by the loue of God aboue all: the third, by martyrdome: the fourth, by prayer (no doubt so many Pater-nosters, and Aue-maries vpon beades, and obseruing Cannonicall houres) the fift, by the Sacraments of the Church; and especially, by Baptisme, Pe­nance, and the Eucharist. Penance, you must note, is in great request in the worke of iustification, being here againe repea­ted and rancked in the middest, betweene Baptisme and the Eucharist, because in Penance there is not onely Confession, to know what is in the conscience, but satisfaction, to tell what is in a mans purse, if hee will deale by commutation. [Page 95] And in the last place, Probabilis est etiam sexta, vt videtur, via, nempe per fidem: It seemeth also probable, that there is a sixt way, namely by Faith. But this way of faith comes lag in the reare, and it is but probable neyther, nay it doth but seeme probable. The other wayes therefore are their common high-wayes of iustification: this of Faith is onely a way of sufferance, and that in some case of Necessitie; yet with speciall restriction too, as iustifying a man onely from originall sinne, as Vega there addeth: Vi­detur enim probabile, &c. For it seemeth probable, that if a man be infected only with originall sinne, and so soone as he should come to the vse of reason, hauing heard the preach­ing of faith, and seene miracles to confirme it, should be wil­ling to receiue it for the sauing of his soule: by this onely, that he giues credit vnto it, hee should be iustified, and haue his originall sinne pardoned. But here, mee thinkes, Vega forgets himselfe in two things: first, that he puts faith in the last place, which elsewhere he puts in the first. Secondly, that he attributes that to faith, to wit, the taking away of original sinne, which eyther was taken away before in the baptized, or if the party were not yet baptized, Faith is not sufficient to iustifie him from originall sinne without Baptisme, eyther infacto, or in voto, in deed, or in desire: Yea, in the conclusion he saith peremptorily, Non fides, sed poenitenti [...] primas partes tenet in reconciliatione peccatoris: Not faith, but penance hath the chiefe place in the reconciliation of a sinner. For (saith hee) Penance is the immediate cause, or immediate disposi­tion: and as it seemeth, sufficient with Gods grace, to our iustification; yea, it perfecteth and consummateth our iusti­fication. But Faith is not such a neer disposition to iustifi­cation, and it remaineth in sinners, and our iustification is but as it were initiated by it. It is euident therefore, that the most potent cause of our iustification, is penance, and there­fore that we are iustified, it is to be imputed to it, and not to faith. So he. Nay such is the Pontifician hatred against Faith, that Vega, Trents Interpreter, denyes euen Faith, that is formed by grace and charity (as they say) to bee sufficient to [Page 96] iustification. As he saith, Quamuis eo ipso, quod aliquis per fidem Vega de iustif­grat. &c. qu. 1. propos. 2. iustificetur, fiat fides illius formata, tamen non sequitur, quod per eam, vt formatam, acquiratur iustitia. Et ideo neque debent loca, quae [...]ribuunt iustitiam fidei, restringi ad fidem formatam: Although a mans iustification by Faith implyeth that his Faith is for­med (to wit a true Faith) yet it followeth not, that by it, as it is formed, righteousnesse is obtained. And therefore neyther those places, which attribute righteousnesse to Faith, ought to bee restrained to true Faith, or Faith that is formed. Such a hard conceit haue the Pontificians of Faith, formed or vn­formed.

But now forasmuch as the Scriptures doe euery where ascribe so much to faith in the point of iustification: howVega de praeci­pua causa iustif. quaest. 3. Vega's fiue reasons, why iustification is by the Apostle oftner attribu­ted to faith, than to other vertues▪ Aug. ibid. c. 7. doe they answer the Scriptures in this point? Surely Vega, according to his rare dexteritie, vndertakes that taske too, &c produceth fiue reasons, why the Apostle hath done most pru­dently, oftner to attribute iustification to faith, than to any other vertue. The first is, Because faith is the foundation, and fountaine, the prime cause, and roote of our saluation: which (saith he) St. Augustine hath shewed in his Booke of the Predestination of Saints; alledging Cornelius for an exam­ple, whose Prayer and Ames-deeds were done in faith, that by them (saith Vega) he might be brought to the Faith of Christ. Now note here, I pray you, a notable tricke of legier-demain in this Tridentine Champion, who was of one spirit with that Councell. For, doth he giue these titles to faith, calling it with the Councell, the fountaine, and foundation, the roote, and originall of our saluation, for any good will hee beares faith, or that herein he preferres it before other graces? No­thing lesse. For a little before, hee had giuen faith such a blow, and that with Aristotles philosophicall fist, as that hee hath made this very foundation to stagger againe. Plus enim quam omni [...] &c. For (saith he) this is of more weight, than all that are brought for the commendation of faith towards God: that we are more straitly vnited to him by our louing of him, and by sorrow for offending of him, and a purpose to ourPopish vnion. vtmost endeauour to please him for the time to come; then [Page 97] we are vnited by faith. Which being the formost in our iusti­fication, it comes hindmost, and furthest off from perfection: according to that axiome in Philosophy, Priora generatione, posteriora perfectione: The first in generation, the last in per­fection. But passe wee to his second reason, which is much like the former, Because (saith he) all our workes which con­curre to iustification, haue their meritorious force from faith, and faith from none else besides. Thirdly, Therefore is our saluation fitly attributed to faith, because there is no stronger cause to moue a sinner to those things, which on his part are requisite to his iustification. Fourthly, It was conuenient that the Apostles in their Epistles and Sermons should commonly impute and attribute our iustification vnto faith. Indeede Vega's copie hath sanctification haply mis-printed; sauing that they confound iustification and sanctification together. But why so commonly impute iustification to Faith? namely, because (forsooth) the Apostles had to doe with sundry sects, and therefore were so to attemper their exhortations, as to draw them from their sect, to the Christian Faith. Nor is it lawfull (saith Vega) hence to inferre, that there are no other things better, than those, which are more often commended. So by this reason we are to vnderstand, that the doctrine of iustification by Faith, so often commended, and preached by the Apostles in their Epistles, was not therefore so much and so often pressed and preached, as if it were the best doctrine, but that other doctrines, according to Vega's estimate, might be better: but as if the Apostles only temporized with those times, and persons with whom they had to doe. As if it appertained not to all Abrahams seede by promise, to whose Faith righteousnesse was imputed: nor was it written (saith the Apostle) for him onely, that it was imputed to him; butRom. 4. 24. for vs also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we beleeue on him, that raised vp Iesus our Lord from the dead. Therefore it isVers. 16▪ by Faith, that it might bee by grace, to the end the promise might bee sure to all the seede, both Iewes and Gentiles,Vers. 12. which walke in the steps of that Faith of our Father Abra­ham. O Vega, be not so impiously iniurious, yea sacrilegious, [Page 98] to rob vs of the inheritance of our Faith, vnder a colour, as if iustification by Faith had beene a temporary purchase, and merchandize for those Apostolicall times; and as if now the intaile were quite cut off from Abrahams race. Or if yee Pontificians will bee such malignant enemies to iustifying Faith, whereby Abraham and all his seede are, and shall bee iustified to the worlds end; then confesse your selues to bee quite cut off from being Abrahams seede.

His fift reason why iustification is most commonly ascri­bed to faith, is, because Faith is that only disposition, to which among all our workes, it might principally bee attributed, without perill of our pride, and the iniurie and derogation of Gods grace. For, seeing faith is the gift of God, and a kinde of testimony of Gods grace towards vs, in as much as it is at­tributed to our faith, it is attributed to the grace and mercy of God, and not to our strength, that no flesh shall glory in his presence. But why then, Vega, do you teach the doctrine of iustification another way, and the onely way to puffe men vp with pride, and so to empty them of all grace? As Bernard saith, Non est quo gratia intret, vbi iam meritum occupauit: [...]rn. in Ca [...]t. ser. 17. Grace findes no way to enter, where merit hath already taken vp the roome. And againe, Deest gratiae, quicquid meritis depu­tas: That is detracted from grace, whatsoeuer is imputed to merits. Dost thou commend the admirable wisedome of God, in teaching man to ascribe the iustification of Faith to the mercy and glory of God? and yet dost thou adde iustifi­cation of thine owne workes, to robbe God of his glorie, and thy selfe of all grace, puffing vp thy selfe with pride in steade thereof? But leaue we these puddles of errour, and come we to the Chryst all fountaines of Christs truth.

CHAP. VII. The Catholike Faith, of the Doctrine of Faith, as the sole imme­diate Instrument to apprehend and apply the righteousnesse of Christ imputed to vs to our Iustification, as beeing the effectuall meane of our vnion with him.

HAuing seene what credit Faith carryeth among the Pon­tificians, in the work of Iustification, which at the best, is allowed no more but eyther to dispose and make a man the more apt (& that also with the helpe of other disposing graces) to receiue Iustification; which notwithstanding for all his Faith, he may faile, and come short of: or else, to come in for a share, (but must be content with the least share, or none at all) among other graces, as Charity, Penance, Martyrdome, and such like; all which take place of Faith in Iustification: Let vs now come to take an estimate of Faith according to the standard of Catholike Doctrine, weighing it in the most vnpartiall ballance of the Sanctuary. Nor doe we purpose in this place to speake particularly, and punctually of the pro­pertie and kinde of Faith, whereby a man is said to be iusti­fied; as referring that to the more proper place: but wee will content our selues so to speake of faith here in generall, as the only immediate instrumentall cause in vs, whereby we come to bee made righteous in the sight of God. For, as our Iustification is by the Imputation of Christ, and his righteousnesse vnto vs: so the only instrumentall meane comming be­tweene, to apply, and effectually to worke this imputation of Christ to vs, is the act of beleeuing; which is the propertyAug. de verbis Apost. ser. 14. tom. 10. of Faith. As Augustine saith, Fidelis est à fide, fides à credendo: A beleeuer hath his name of Faith, and Faith of beleeuing. As the Apostle saith, With the heart man beleeueth to righ­teousnesse. Faith is the hand of the soule, which applyes the sacrifice of Christ for sinne. It is the hand that puts on the Robe of the righteousnesse of Christ our elder brother vpon vs, by the sweete smell whereof God being well pleased, be­stoweth [Page 100] the blessing of heauen and earth vpon vs, of grace, and glorie, and all. Yea, faith hath another singular proper­tie, that it is as it were the ligament, or sinew, which faste­neth and vniteth euery faithfull member to the head Christ Iesus, from the influence of whose fulnesse, we receiue and grace for grace. And the Councell of Trent seemeth to pro­fesse as much, though with limitation, and restriction to her owne reserued sense: saying, Nam sides, nisi ad eam spes accedat, [...]ncil. Trid. [...]s. 6. cap. 7. & charitas, neque vnit perfectè cum Christo, neque corporis eius viuum membrum efficit: For Faith (say they) vnlesse hope and charitie bee added vnto it, doth neither perfectly vnite with Christ, nor make a liuing member of his body. The Councell neede not here equiuocate for the matter, as if she did admit of our spirituall vnion with Christ by Faith indeed, but such a Faith, as hath hope and charitie ioyned with it: whereas in truth her meaning is, that not Faith, so much as Hope and Charitie, doe vnite vs to Christ, sith Hope and Charitie make the vnion perfect, which faith doth not. Yea, Charity and Penance (as her intimous Vega saith) doe more closely vnite vs to Christ, than Faith doth. But we shall discusse and discouer this mysterie more cleerely, when we come to speak of the kinde of Faith, required in Iustification. In the mean time suffice it vs, that we haue the Councels confession, That Faith (at least) with the helpe of Hope and Charitie doth vnite vs to Christ. And though Vega preferre Charitie and Penance before Faith, in this worke of vniting with Christ: yet thereby hee doth not altogether exclude Faith. Faith therefore (according to the Pontificians confession) hath at least a share (though the least according to their allowance) in working our vnion with Christ. But the Catholicke be­liefe ascribeth this worke of vnion with Christ primarily, yea, and solely to Faith, namely, as the immediate and onely instrument of Gods spirit in vs.

Now our iustification by the imputation of Christs righ­teousnesse, stands in our vnion with Christ. This is confessed of all, That whatsoeuer we receiue from Christ, it is by ver­tue of our mysticall vnion with him, And faith it is that [Page 101] worketh this vnion: not (Faith as Pontificians teach) before it bee formed by Charity. To which Faith only Vega ascri­bethVega de lust; [...] & grat. q [...]. 1. a certaine vnion with Christ: Comparamus enim nobis Spiritum sanctum & iustitiam, facimusque vt Christus inhabitet in nobis per Fidem informem, aut saltem per fidem, vt prius est na­tura, quàm formetur: For (saith he) wee get vnto our selues the holy Ghost and righteousnesse, and doe cause Christ to dwell in vs by Faith vnformed, or at least by Faith, as it is by nature before it bee formed. So that by this doctrine a dead Faith, or that which differeth not from the Faith of Diuels, doth cause our vnion with Christ, or Christ to dwell in vs. But let vs see how Vega cleereth this doctrine from this im­putation.Ibid. q. 2. A little after in his second question of faith and workes, taking vpon him (as he is very venterous) to answer an argument brought to proue, that Paul excludes no beleeuer from saluation, where he saith, The righteousnesse of God by the Faith of Iesus Christ vnto all, and vpon all that beleeue. To this place (saith Vega) many commonly say, that Paul said not, Vnto all, and vpon all that beleeue him, but in him; which is onely proper to those that haue charitie, and by loue tend vnto him: Aliud enim (inquiunt) est credere Deo, quod est, Aug. in Iohan. Tract. 29. ei fidem adhibere: aliud, credere Deum, quod est, credere Deum, esse: aliud, credere in Deum, quod est, credendo amare, credendo dili­gere, credendo in eum ire, & eius membris incorporari: For it is one thing (say they) to beleeue God, that is, to giue credit vnto him: another thing, to beleeue God, that is, to beleeue that God is: and another, to beleeue in God, that is, by be­leeuing to loue him, by beleeuing to affect him, by beleeuing to goe into him, and to bee incorporate into his members. They are the words of St. Augustine, vsed by him very fre­quently throughout his workes; and by name in his nine and twentieth Tract vpon Iohn, which Vega quoteth. Well, how doth Vega auoyde this Argument concerning Faith in Christ, bringing saluation vpon all that beleeue? Nihil valet hoc refugium commune. Non enim habetur grace [...]i, neque in eum, sed absolute dicitur, In omnes, & super omnes qui credunt: This common refuge, saith hee, is nothing worth. For it is said [Page 102] absolutely, Vnto all, and vpon all, that beleeue; the Greeke hath not, him, or in him. Note here, good Reader, that these Pontificians, howsoeuer they would magnifie and preferre their vulgar Latine translation, before the originall Hebrew and Greeke, yet where it makes not for them, they can ap­peale to the originall: as Vega doth here. For indeede the Latine vulgar addeth in the foresaid place of the Apostle, Rom. 3. 22. In cum: saying, Iustitia autem Dei per fidem Iesu Christi, in omnes, & super omnes, qui credunt in eum: The righ­teousnesse of God by Faith in Iesus Christ, vnto all, and vpon all, that beleeue in him. But note, the spirit of the Trent Councell cannot endure to say, or heare Credere in Christum, to beleeue in Christ. Vega here disclaimes it, as not found in the Greeke, though the Apostle doth vse this Phrase in the very same Epistle to the Romanes, at the least fiue times [...], to beleeue in him. And in the one Gospell of S. Iohn, this phrase, to beleeue in eum, in him, is vsed aboue thir­ty times: yet the Councell of Trent in her whole sixt session of iustification, doth not so much as once name credere in eum, to beleeue in him: which may make a man suspect there is something in this phrase, which will not agree with the Coun­cels stomacke. But for as much as we touched a little before, how that Vega attributeth our vnion with Christ to Faith vnformed, and that the Councell saith, that not faith alone, without hope and charity, doth eyther perfectly vnite to Christ, or make one a liuing member of his bodie: to recon­cile these two, we may easily see, how that neyther the Coun­cell doth altogether exclude Faith alone from vniting with Christ, sauing that alone it doth not perfectly vnite, nor make a liuing member, but yet a dead member of Christ, as they say: nor Vega so admit of faith vnformed, to incorporate vs into Christ, saue that it doth it imperfectly, and makes men only not liuing members. So that in this worke of vnion, Vega makes this difference betweene Faith formed and vn­formed: that the vnformed procureth the holy Ghost and righteousnesse, and causeth Christ to dwell in vs: and faith formed with charity causeth both Christ and the holy Ghost [Page 103] to dwell in our hearts, and the Kingdome of heauen to bee within vs.

But extricating our selues out of these Romane perplexi­ties, and serpentine windings, wee may easily see how the Scriptures ascribe our vnion with Christ vnto faith, euen by that vsuall phrase of Scripture, [...]: Credere in eum, to beleeue in him, or rather, as the phrase importeth, to be­leeue into him. A phrase which the Pontificians doe so much abhorre: but such, as Augustine doth set forth our vnion with Christ by; as we see in that very place alledged out of him by Vega; Credere in Christum, est credendo in eum ire, & eius membris incorporari: to beleeue in Christ, is by beleeuing to go into him, & to be incorporated into his members. And again; Hoc est credere in Deum, credendo ei adhaerere: This is to beleeueAug. in Psa. 77. in God, by beleeuing to adhere or cleaue vnto him. As that re­uolting generation of Ephraim, credidit Deo, sed non credidit in Deum, non ex fide adhaesit Deo: Ephraim beleeued God, but did not beleeue in God, did not by faith cleaue vnto God. And De verbis Domini, he saith: Qui in Christum credit, credendo in Aug. de verbis Dom. in Euang­secund. Ioh. ser. 61. Christum, veniet in eum Christus, & quoquo modo vnitur in eum, & membrum in corpore eius efficitur: Hee that beleeueth in Christ, by beleeuing in Christ, Christ will come into him, and he is altogether vnited vnto him, or rather, in eum, into him, and is made a member in his body. But note here a maine difference betweene St. Augustines sincerity, and the Coun­cell of Trents double dealing equiuocation. For Augustine in the same place before mentioned, saith, that this faith which vniteth vs to Christ, and Christ to vs, hath euer hope and loue inseparably ioyned with it, else it is not that faith, Quae credit in Christum, which beleeueth in Christ, or into Christ: His words are; Ille credit in Christum, qui & sperat in Christum, & diligit Christum. Nam si fidem habet sine spe, ac sine dilectione, Christum esse credit, non in Christum credit: Hee beleeueth in Christ, who also hopeth in Christ, and loueth Christ: For if hee haue faith without hope, and without loue, hee beleeueth that Christ is, but beleeueth not in Christ. Yet we see that this holy man ascribeth our vnion with Christ to the act of [Page 104] beleeuing, which is the prime property of faith; and not to the acts of hoping and louing, which are the secondary qua­lities of it. Euen as the act of burning is attributed to the heate of the fire, the prime quality of it; and not to the light, nor to the drinesse of it, which are secondary qualities of the fire. So that as the fire hath heate, hath light, hath drieth, all of them ioynt qualities in the fire; yet it vniteth the combu­stible matter vnto it selfe, or incorporateth it selfe into it, not by reason either of the light, or of the drieth of it, but onely: by the heate, the prime property of the fire: So faith hath be­leeuing, hath hope, hath loue, all of them inseparably ioyned vnto faith, yet faith vnites the obiect, Christ, vnto it, or vnto the soule; not by the vertue of hope and loue, but by its most proper act of beleeuing. As the same Augustine saith: Medi­cina animae omnium vulnerum, & vna propitiatio pro delictis homi­num, Aug. secund. [...]oh. ser. 60. de [...]erbis Dom. est in Christum credere. Nec omnino quisquam mundari po­test, siue ab originali peccato, siue ab actuali, nisi per fidem coadu­nentur, & compaginentur corpori eius, qui sine vlla illaecebra carnali conceptus est, & peccatum non fecit, nec inuentus est dolus in er [...] eius, &c. The medicine of all the wounds of the soule, and the only propitiation for mens sinnes, is to beleeue in Christ. Neither can any man be cleansed, either from originall, or from actuall sinne, vnlesse they be by faith vnited, and ioynted into the body of him, who without any carnall lust was con­ceiued, and did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. But the Trent Councell, with her Pontificians, will haue hope and loue so ioyned with faith, in working our vnion with Christ, as indeede they attribute a greater part of this worke to hope and loue, than to faith: which is all one, as to say, the fire doth more burne by vertue of his light and drieth, than of his heate. which is most absurd.

Further, the Apostle sheweth this vnion by faith, Ephes. 3. 17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. Now this dwelling is reciprocall and mutuall; for as Christ dwelleth in our hearts by faith, so wee dwell in him by faith, and so by faith are made one with Christ. Againe, Rom. 11. 19. 20. Thou wilt say then, the branches were broken off, that I might bee [Page 105] graffed in: Well, because of their vnbeleefe they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. And againe, ver. 23. If the Iewes abide not still in vnbeleefe, they shall bee graffed into the true Oliffe tree, that is, into Christ againe. If they abide not still in vnbeleefe: implying, if they beleeue, they shall be re-ingraffed: so that faith is the instrumentall meane of our ingraffing into Christ, of our vniting with him. Whereup­on Augustine saith; Quam insertionem Oleastri (amputatis prop­ter Aug. epist. 120. ad Hon [...]rat. cap. 20. infidelitatis superbiam naturalibus ramis) etiam ipse Dominus in Euangelio praedixit, occasione illius Centurionis, qui in eum ex Genti­bus credidit; significans inseri Oleastrum propter humilitatem fidei: Which ingraffing of the wilde Oliffe (the naturall branches for their proud infidelity being cut off) the Lord himselfe foretold in the Gospell, by occasion of that Centurion, who of the Gentiles beleeued in him; signifying the implanting of the wilde Oliffe for his humble faith. Thus we see vpon what ample proofes and testimonies this truth standeth, that by faith wee are vnited vnto Christ. Now because our vnion with Christ is a doctrine of singular vse, setting forth the na­ture and excellency of our Iustification by Christ, and where­in we put on and possesse Christ our righteousnesse; therefore wee esteeme it fit to bee treated of in an intire Chapter by it selfe.

CHAP. VIII. Of the nature and kinde of the vnion betweene Christ and the faith­full, and of the fruits and effects arising from the same.

VNion is a making of many into one. Now there are sun­dry kindes of vnion: there is a consubstantiall vnion (as Bernard cals it) in the diuinity; but this so transcendent, as it may be called rather vnity than vnion, and rather one than vnity. The Father, the Word, and the Spirit, these three are one, 1. Ioh. 5. 7. and Christ saith, I and the Father are one; not wnited, but one, Ioh. 10. 30. So that this vnion in the diuinity, [Page 104] [...] [Page 105] [...] [Page 106] this vnity, this one, hath no parallel. As Bernard saith, speaking of some other vnions: Haec omnia, quid ad illud summum, at (que) [...]ern. de consid. [...]. 5. cap. 8. (vt ita dicam) vnicè vnum, vbi vnitatem consubstantialitas facit? All other vnions, what are they to that one supreame, and (as I may so say) that onely one, where consubstantiality makes the vnity? And, super Cantica, serm. 71. Singularis ac summa illa est vnitas, quae non vnitione constat, sed extat aeternitate: That is the most singular and excellent vnity, which consists not by vnition, but existeth by eternity. There is also a personall vnion, and that is of the two natures in Christ; which Ber­nard cals dignatiua vnitas, qua limus noster à Dei verbo [...]vnam assumptus est personam: a vouchsafing or gracious vnity, where­by the word of God vouchsafed to assume our slimie nature into the vnity of his person. There is a Sacramentall vnion between the signe, and the thing signified in the Sacraments. There is a naturall or animall vnion of the soule and body in man. There is an accidentall vnion betweene the mind and learning, found in a learned man. There is an artificiall vni­on betweene the hand and the instrument; as when the work is predicated of, or denominated of them both ioyntly: as a carued worke implies both the hand and toole wherewith it was wrought. There is a morall vnion between two friends, as Dauid and Ionathan. There is a ciuill vnion between the Prince and the People. There is an vnion of dependency be­tweene the Creature and the Creator; for in him wee liue, and moue, and haue our being, Acts 17. 28. Finally (to passe by others) there is a spirituall and mysticall vnion betweene Christ and beleeuers: which is called spirituall, especially, from the principall efficient of it, the Spirit of God, and of Christ; as the Apostle declareth, 1. Cor. 12. 13. By one spirit are we all baptized into one mysticall body of Christ.

Now this spirituall vnion between Christ & the beleeuer, as it comes short of that first transcendent vnion in the sacred Trinity in vnity, so it doth as farre excell all those other vni­ons; yet so, as it seemeth to partake in some thing of them all. For first, concerning that stupendious and wondrous vnion in the diuine Hypostaces or Persons, our vnion with Christ is [Page 107] resembled to it: as Ioh. 17. 20. 21. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall beleeue on mee through their word; that they may all be one, as thou Father art in mee, and I in thee, that they also may be one in vs. And, Ioh. 14. 20. At that day ye shall know that I am in the Father, and you in mee, and I in you. Yea, Christ and his beleeuers are so vnited in one, in one mysticall body, as Christ and they are called one Christ, 1. Cor. 14. 12. So is Christ, that is, Christ and all his members; being there compared to one body com­pacted of many members: So is Christ, saith the Apostle. So then, as the Father is in the Sonne, and the Sonne in the Fa­ther, one God; so beleeuers are in Christ, and Christ in belee­uers, one Christ. So that the vnion betweene the Father and the Sonne, and betweene Christ and vs, seemeth to be alike. It is somewhat like indeede, but nothing alike: for the Father and Christ are one; so is Christ and the beleeuer one, but yet in different respects. The Father and the Sonne are one, but essentially and naturally: Christ and the beleeuer are one, not essentially nor naturally, but are made so by grace, as Ioh. 17. 23. That they may be made perfect in one. So 2. Pet. 1. 4. We are made partakers of the diuine nature by gift. And as Ber­nard saith; Hanc vnitatem non tam essentiarum cohaerentia facit, Bern. super Cant. ser. 71. quam continentia voluntatum: This vnity is wrought, not so much by the coherency of essences, as by the correspondency and nearenesse of wils. And againe; Homini & Deo, sua cui (que) & natura, & substantia est, cum Patris Filij (que) constet penitu [...] esse vnam: In the vnion betweene God and man, each of them notwithstanding retaine their nature and substance proper to themselues; bu [...] the Father and the Sonne haue both one and the same substance. So that in our vnity with God in Christ, there is not confusio naturarum, sed voluntatum consensio: not a confusion of natures, but a consent of wils.

Secondly, this vnion betweene Christ and the beleeuer, is not an hypostaticall or personall vnion, such as is betweene the two natures in Christ; but it is mysticall onely, and such as maketh the beleeuer in Christ, to be with him one Christ, yet not personally, but spiritually & mystically, as 1. Cor. 6. 17. [Page 108] He that is ioyned vnto the Lord, is one spirit.

Thirdly, this vnion betweene Christ and the beleeuer, is not that Sacramentall vnion between the signe and the thing signified, sith the signe hath no benefit from the thing signifi­ed, nor is it any longer a signe, than in the Sacramentall vse and application to the beleeuing Communicant, and so the Sacra­mentall vnion ceaseth; yet as vnto euery faithfull receiuer, wheresoeuer the visible signe is administred, the inuisible grace signified is together exhibited, by vertue of the Sacra­mentall vnion, hauing dependance on Christs promise, and reference to the condition of faith in the Communicant: So such is the vnion betweene Christ and the beleeuer, that wheresoeuer faith is, there also is Christ with all his graces present to the beleeuer; for hee dwels in our hearts by faith, Ephes. 3. 17.

Fourthly, this vnion betweene Christ and the beleeuer, is not naturall (or natiue, as Bernard cals it) as that betweene the soule and the body in man; because the one of them may be separated from the other by death; but Christ and the be­leeuer are neuer separated, no not in death: for to me to liue, is Christ, and to dye is gaine, Phil. 1. 21. For who shall separate vs from the loue of Christ? Rom. 8. 35. & vers. 38. I am per­swaded that neither death, nor life, &c. shall be able to sepa­rate vs from the loue of God, which is in Christ Iesus our Lord. But herein they agree; as the body hath no life but from the soule: so the soule of euery faithfull man hath no life, but in and from Christ; as the Apostle saith, Gal. 2. 20. I am cru­cified with Christ: Neuerthelesse I liue, yet not I, but Christ liueth in mee, and the life which I now liue in the flesh, I liue by the faith of the Sonne of God, who loued mee, and gaue himselfe for me. And as the soule and the body make one na­turall man, so Christ and the beleeuer make one spirituall and mysticall Christ; and all beleeuers, both of Iewes and Gentiles, are made one new man, not naturall, but supernaturall in him, Ephes. 2. 15.

Fiftly, this vnion betweene Christ and the beleeuer, is not an artificiall vnion, as that betweene the hand and the instru­ment [Page 109] of the Artificer; for the instrument is subiect to wea­ring, to breaking, and at length, to casting away, when there is no more vse of it: but we are so in the hand of Chris [...], as we are preserued for euer; as Ioh. 10. 28. I giue vnto them eternall life, and they shall neuer perish, neither shall any man plucke them out of my hand. yet herein it agreeth; that as the instrument can do nothing of it selfe, not moue, not work, without the hand of the Artificer: so we can do no good thing, without the hand of Christ mouing and directing vs: as himselfe saith; Without mee ye can doe nothing: for heeIoh. 15. 5. Phil. 2. 13. worketh in vs both to will and to worke, of his good plea­sure. That as the Hatchet may not exalt it selfe against himEsa. 10. 15. that heweth with it, but yeelds the praise of the worke to his workeman; so saith euery faithfull soule, as Esa. 26. 12. Lord,Esa. 26. 12. thou wilt ordaine peace for vs: for thou also hast wrought all our workes in vs, or for vs.

Sixtly, this vnion betwixt Christ and euery beleeuer, is not an accidentall vnion, as betweene a man and learning, whereby he becomes a learned man: for an accident may be both present and absent, without the destruction of the sub­iect; as a man may be learned or vnlearned, he may get lear­ning, and lose it againe, and be a man still: but the learning of the holy Ghost, wherewith all the faithfull are inspired, cannot be missing, without destruction to the soule. He is no faithfull man that wanteth the knowledge of God in Christ, whom to know is eternall life, and not to know, is eternall death: for all the faithfull are taught of God, as Ier. 31. 33. & 34. verses. Yet herein doth our vnion with Christ resemble the accidentall vnion, because as no man is borne learned, or borne a Philosopher, but is made so by education and instru­ction; so no man is borne by nature the childe of God, the scholar of Christ: but in time becomes a Christian Philoso­pher, by the instruction of the Word of God, and the inspi­ration of the Spirit of God, whereby hee is made a faithfull man, and a Disciple of Christ.

Seuenthly, this vnion betweene Christ and the beleeuer, is not a morall vnion, such as is between friends; which though [Page 110] it be founded at the best vpon vertue, yet it is no lesse mor­tall, than it is morall; for if thé friendship dye not, before the friend dye, yet death makes a separation: as Dauid lamented the death of his louing friend Ionathan, the memory of whom lasted for a while in Dauids kinde vsage of Mephibosheth Io­nathans [...]. Sam. 9. sonne; but it soone cooled, vpon a small occasion of Mephibosheths false seruant Ziba, who by belying his master2. Sam. 19. to Dauid, got halfe his masters inheritance from him, when himselfe deserued rather to haue beene punished for wrong­ing his master, than so rewarded for his dissembling officious­nesse, in bringing a present to Dauid of his masters store: So friendship is very mortall, it dyes often in a mans life time, or seldome suruiues death. And therefore the Poet said well; Foelices ter & amplius, Quos irrupta tenet copula; Nec malis di [...]ul­sus Horace. querimonijs, Suprema citiùs soluet amor die:

O happy, and thrice happy they
Whom loues knot holds inuiolate;
Nor loosened till lifes last day
By back-complaints begetting hate.

But the vnion betweene Christ and his faithfull ones, though it be somewhat like that betweene morall friends, but mor­tall men; as being betweene Christ and his friends, as he cal­leth his faithfull, Ioh. 15. 15. I haue called you friends, &c. yet this friendship between Christ and his, excelleth all other friendship. The Philosophers could say; Amicus est alter idem: A friend is another selfe. And, Animus est non vbi animat, sed vbi amat: The soule is not where it liueth, but where it loueth. And, Amicorum omnia sunt communia: Betweene friends all things are common. Now these in comparison, as they are in practice amongst men, are but in a manner meere sayings, nominals rather than realls: For as Salomon saith; Most menPro. 20. 6. will proclaime euery one his own goodnes: but a faithfull man who can find? Salomon found one among a thousand, which I thinke was the Prophet, that told him freely of his folly. [Page 111] Such friends few can finde, especially such as Salomon was. But now whatsoeuer can be spoken in praise of friendship, is really true betweene Christ and the beleeuer, his faithfull man: for they are so mutually each of them alteridem, another selfe, as that they are indeed oneselfe. Their soules and spi­rits are so interchangeably in each other, as the spirit of Christ doth really liue in vs, and our soules doe liue in him. Wee are in the Spirit, and the Spirit of Christ in vs, Rom. 8. 9. And, Now I liue, saith the Apostle, yet not I, but ChristGal. 2. 20. liueth in mee, and the life which I now liue in the flesh, I liue by the faith of the Sonne of God, who loued mee, and gaue himselfe for mee. Here is true loue indeede, where the soule is not where it liueth, but where it loueth. And between these friends all things are most freely common: He partakes of our flesh, we of his spirit: Hee of our nature, we of his grace: He of our infirmities, we of his perfections: He of our pouerty, we of his riches: yea, Hee of our sinnes, which hee bare vpon the Tree, wee of his righteousnesse, the best Robe. He is called the sonne of man, we the Sonnes of God: He the Lord our righteousnesse, and we the Lord our righteousnesse: yea, He and we one Christ. O incomparable communion!1. Cor. 12. 12. O incomprehensible vnion! Neuer such an immediate inter­course and community betweene friends. And this, not for a day, or a yeare, or for terme of life; but for life without terme. For as Christs loue to his is from euerlasting, so it is to euerlasting; it is without beginning, and therefore without ending, Ioh. 13. 1. So that of this loue, betweene Christ and his faithfull friends and brethren, we may sing the Psalme of Dauid, the burthen whereof, is principally the loue between Christ and his brethren: Behold, how good and how plea­santPsal. 13 [...]. it is, for brethren to dwell together in vnity! It is like the precious oyntment vpon the head, that ran downe vpon the beard, euen Aarons beard, and went downe to the skirts of his garments. As the deaw of Hermon, and as the deaw that descended vpon the mountaines of Sion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, euen life for euermore. This Psalme is a mirrour and cleare type of that vnion and [Page 112] communion of grace betweene Christ and the faithfull. Be­hold therefore, it is Christ that maketh his faithfull ones to dwell together in vnitie, to bee of one minde in the house of God, Psalme 68. 6. He it is, that perswades Iaphet to dwell in the Tents of Sem: the Gentiles to become one Family with the Iew, vnder Christ, that one head, whose type was Aaron. From him our head, our high Priest, flowes downe the oyle of grace vpon vs, vnto the skirts of his clothing, euen vpon vs, whose nakednesse hee hath couered with the skirts of the robes of his righteousnesse; of whose fulnesse wee haue all receiued, and grace for grace. His head is full of the dew of grace, distilling vpon the barren Mountaines of his Sion, his Church and chosen, to poure a blessing vpon it, and there to giue life for euermore. Such is the vnion betweene Christ & his faithfull ones, farre passing the loue betweene dearest friends, euen that betweene Ionathan and Dauid, passing the loue of women.

Eightly, nor is this vnion betweene Christ and the beleeuer, a ciuill vnion, such as is betweene the King and the Subiect: for alas! to what dis-vnion and diuision is this subiect too, especially where the Pope is Lord Paramount, whenas ey­ther his roaring Buls of excommunication, and deposition of Kings, or the poysoned steellettoes, or pistols of his all-daring brats, doe euen teare the head from the body, as too lamen­table experience hath proued? True it is, that Christ is our King, and we his seruants, hee commands vs, wee obey him, he is our Princely head, we his members: but his comman­dements are not grieuous, his yoke is easie, and his burden light. He hath lightened the burden, and sweetened the yoke vnto vs, by both hauing borne the grieuousnesse and bitternes of it himselfe alone, and for the remnant, hee both beares it with vs, and giues vs strength to beare it: yea, he hath so lo­ued vs, and so shed his loue abroad in our hearts, by his holy Spirit giuen vnto vs, that as hee can neuer deny vs the grace and protection of a louing Prince: so hee hath giuen vs grace, neuer to deny him our most humble homage, and louing obe­dience. So that neuer was there such a strait bond betweene [Page 113] Prince and People, as betweene Christ and the Beleeuer.

Ninthly, this vnion betweene Christ and the Beleeuer is not a coniugall vnion, such as is betweene a man and his wife; although this be a mysticall resemblance, whereby Christ set­tethEphes. 5. forth his vnion with vs. For, this Coniugall vnion suf­fereth dissolution, and death giues the Suruiuer libertie to marry a new mate. Not so with Christ and his Spouse. This is a band indissoluble. The marriage band is but during this life, it holds not in heauen; for there they neither marry, nor are giuen in marriage: but this with Christ suffereth no di­uorse, but death is a degree to the full consummation of it.1 Cor. 6. 17. Also the man and the wife are but one flesh: but Christ and the beleeuer one spirit.

In a word, this vnion betweene Christ and the Beleeuer, is not the vnion of dependency, as between the Creature & the Creator: for this is common to all the Creatures, who haue their being, life, and sustentation in a dependency from the Creator: his raine showreth, and his sunne shineth vpon the good and euill, vpon the iust and the vniust indifferently. All depend and waite vpon thee, saith Dauid, and thou giuestPsal. 104. them their meate in due season; when thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good; when thou withdrawestPsal. 145. their breath, they returne to their dust. But the vnion be­tweene Christ and his, although it be an vnion of dependency, wherein the Beleeuers eternall well-beeing hath a necessary dependance on Christ: yet this dependance is proper and peculiar to the faithfull, and not common with any other Creature, vnlesse with the elect Angels, who depend vpon Christ for the perpetuation of their happinesse. So that the faithfull haue their dependance on Christ, not onely as their Creator (being the eternall Word) common with other Creatures, but chiefly as their Redeemer and Sauiour, proper to them only; and that not only for the supply of things tem­porall, but much more of graces spirituall, and glory eter­nall.

Thus by shewing what kinde of vnion this between Christ and the Beleeuer is not, wee come to see the more cleerely [Page 114] what it is. The Scripture also setteth forth this vnion by sundry similitudes, especially foure: as, betweene a house [...]hes. 2. 20. 21. and the foundation; betweene the vine and the branches, or, [...]hn 15. 4. 5. [...]om. 11. 24. [...]hes. 5. 25. [...]hes. 4. 15. 16. the oliue roote and the tree; betweene the man and the wife; betweene the head and the members. What more neare? the foundation and building make one house; the vine and branches one tree; the man and wife one flesh; the head and members one body. So Christ and the beleeuer are one spirit. Being vnited to Iesus our head, hee becomes the Sauiour of vs his body, Ephes. 5. 23. Beeing vnited to Christ, wee are annoynted with all his titles and graces: we are made Kings and Priests to God his Father. Beeing vnited to this founda­tion, [...]euel 1. 6. we become liuing stones, growing vp to an holy Temple in the Lord. Being vnited to this Vine, this Oliue, we partake of the sweetnesse of the one, and of the fatnesse of the other. Being vnited to this Spouse, wee are endowed with all his goods. Being vnited to this head, wee receiue the rich influ­ence of spirituall life and motion, quickning euery member: Yea, that which is the summe of all, wee put on Christ; hee becomes wholly ours, being made vnto vs of God, wisedome, and righteousnesse, and sanctification, and redemption, and all in all. Now true it is, that this vnion is not only internall, inuisible, reall, and peculiar to Gods elect, but also externall, visible, nominall, and common to all Christians. So that although all Christians in Common, as well Hypocrites and false Professors, as the sincere and faithfull, may claime a share in this vnion, so farre forth as it is ex­ternall and visible, as beeing wrought by externall and visi­ble instruments, the Word and Sacraments, wherof all Chri­stians are in common partakers: yet onely the Elect and Faithfull are partakers of the internall and true reall vnion with Christ, as being wrought by a most powerfull Agent, the Spirit of Christ, and by a most actiue instrument, the Faith of Christ. So that Faith in the hand of Gods spirit, is the principall, yea, and sole immediate instrument and meane to vnite vs vnto Christ; euen as the spirit in man is the meane to vnite the body and soule together.

CHAP. IX. Of the other Roman [...] Catholicke euasions, to elude and frustrate the euidence of Scriptures concerning sole Faith in Iustification.

FOrasmuch as the holy Scriptures doe abound with cleare euidences, to proue our Iustification by Faith alone, in the only imputation of Christs righteousnesse, apprehended and applyed by Faith, altogether excluding workes from hauing any thing to doe in this worke: it stood therefore the Church of Rome vpon, to vse all art, and wit of men and Angels (I meane bad Angels) to blunder these Chrystall fountaines by their distinctions, and to sophisticate the pure simplicitie of truth with their faire false glosses, and farre-fetcht interpre­tations. To beginne with the Epistle to the Romanes, where the Apostle in setting down the doctrine of Iustification, doth so often attribute Iustification to faith, without workes, or without the works of the Law; opposing faith against works, grace against merit, the Law of Faith against the Law of workes, as being incompatible meanes or instruments to iusti­fication: The Pontificians can easily reconcile all, by vnder­standingVega l. 10. de i [...] aqual. grat. & gloriae iustoru [...] cap. 8. The title whereof is, De pulcherrima via concilian d [...] Paulum cum Iacobo, quae [...] ­bis ex doctrin [...] sancta Synodi illuxit: Of the most beautiful way of recon­ciling Paul with Iames, which was in­timated vnto vs from the holy doctrine of the Synod. the opposition to bee betweene Faith, and eyther those workes of the Law which are ceremoniall, or those which are done before a man haue Faith; but not of those workes, which are done in the state of grace, after a man haue receiued faith: as is intimated in the eight Chapter of the Sixt Session of the Councell of Trent. Wherupon * Ve­ga reckoning vp sundry opinions, as of some, that take those workes excluded by Paul, not only for legall and ceremoniall, but morall and naturall: of others, that say, St. Paul spake of workes going before Faith, and St. Iames, of workes com­ming after Faith, &c. At length addes his owne opinion, spun like a copweb, out of the subtiltie of his owne braine: and all vpon the preposition Ex, diuersly taken of Paul, and Iames, as this quaint Franciscan hath obserued. For this preposition Ex, saith he, in Paul signifieth merit, and debt: but in Iames, only co-operation, and co-efficiency: as where Paul saith, [Page] [...] [Page 115] [...] [Page 116] that no man is iustified ex operibus, by workes; hee should meane, none is iustified by the merits and due deserts of his owne workes. And where Iames saith, That a man is iustified ex operibus, by workes, and not ex fide tantum, by faith only, he should meane, that workes do concurre vnto iustification, and not faith alone. But wee shall not want a broome to sweep downe this subtile webb. But let vs adde first another of his webs, which hee also fasteneth vpon his Trent-Fathers: namely, That Paul speakes of the first iustification, from which, precedent workes are excluded. And Iames of the second Iustification, in which, subsequent workes are inclu­ded. Now for Vega's first reason and note vpon the prepo­sition Ex, it is no lesse really absurd, than seemingly subtile. For, if Paul by saying, Neminem ex operibus iustificari: None is iustified by workes, should meane, by the merit or due desert of his workes; then consequently by saying, hominem ex fide iustificari, that a man is iustified by Faith, he should meane, that man is iustified by the merit and due desert of his Faith: which Vega himselfe in the selfe same place denyeth. Thus the nimble Spider is wrapped and intangled in his owne webbe. And as for the Trent-Fathers conceipt of Pauls first, and Iames second Iustification, wee shall by and by see the vanitie of it. For indeede the iustification which Paul ascribeth to Faith without workes, and that which Iames attributeth ioyntly to workes with Faith, are so different, as they differ not in degrees of first and second, but in a most opposite respect, as much as Iustifi­cation in the sight of God, differeth from Iustification in the sight of man. As wee shall more plainely shew anon.

Now for Pauls iustification by faith, without workes, it is cleare, that all workes are excluded without exception; not onely legall, and ceremoniall, and morall, done before the state of grace, but those also done in the state of grace: none are excepted, of what nature soeuer. Paul shuts all out from iustification; for if any be iustified by workes, yea by workes of grace, then Abraham: for Abraham is propounded not onely as a particular beleeuer, but as the father and figure of [Page 117] all the faithfull. But Abraham was not iustified by workes, not by any workes, not by his best workes done in the state of grace. This the Apostle proues manifestly, Rom. 4. 5. To him that worketh not (instancing of Abraham) but beleeueth in him that iustifieth the vngodly, his Faith is counted for righteousnesse: So that Abraham is iustified not by working, but by beleeuing. To this purpose, Gregory surnamed the Great, Bishop of Rome, vpon the seuen penitentiall Psalmes, Greg. in 7 Psal. poenit▪ in Psa. 5 [...] in the fourth of them, to wit, Psalme 51. vpon these words: Et exultabit lingua mea iustitiam tuam (you must pardon theIf it be not a misprinting. vulgar barbarisme of the Latine) the true English is; And my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousnesse: saith, Iustitia Dei fides est: the righteousnesse of God is faith. And hee in­stanceth Abraham: Abraham beleeued God (saith he) and it was imputed to him for righteousnesse, Quia iustus ex fide vi­uit: Because the iust doth liue by faith. Si ergo iusti vita fides est, consequens est eandem fidem esse iustitiam, sine qua, quis (que) esse iustus non potest: If therefore the iust mans life be faith, it fol­loweth, that the same faith is that righteousnesse, without which, no man can be iust. Or (saith hee) the righteousnesse of God is, that he will not the death of a sinner. For it seems iust with man to reuenge his wrong; but it is the righteous­nesse of God to pardon the penitent: So he. As therefore A­braham is iustified, so euery sonne of Abraham; to wit, euery beleeuer is iustified: namely, by faith, and not by workes. Now was not beleeuing Abraham a regenerate person? Did he not bring forth many fruits of faith, many good workes of charity, piety, mercy, hospitality, obedience, humility, and the like? yet none of these come within the account of his iustification in the sight of God. For to him that worketh not, but beleeueth on him that iustifieth the vngodly, his faith is counted for righteousnesse. Therefore though the Pontificians, would neuer so faine foist and croud in by head and shoulders, their workes comming after faith, whereby they may be iustified: yet they are all thrust out by the Apo­stle, as those workers were shut out of Heauen by Christ, Mat. 7. 22. 23. except they could either bring the Text within [Page 118] the compasse of their Index expurgatorius (as they haue done [...]e the Index [...]ted at Ma­ [...]d by publick [...]thority, Ann. [...]. See also [...]ctor Iames [...] Popish cor­ [...]ptions of the [...]thers. the glosse and sentences of Fathers in the like kind) or proue Abraham an vnregenerate person, or force the Apostle to say, that though Abraham were not iustified by workes, but by faith, yet Abraham was iustified first by faith, and then by workes.

Yea but (say they) although Paul make no mention of A­brahams iustification by workes, yet Iames, another Apostle, saith plainly, Was not Abraham our father iustified by works, when he had offered Isaac his sonne vpon the Altar? There­fore [...]mes 2. 21. Abraham was iustified not onely by faith, but by works also. Therefore to loose this Gordian knot, wherein the Pon­tificians so much triumph, wee will vse no other sword (not Alexanders) but the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, to cut it asunder. At the first sight, Paul and Iames seeme to be at great oddes: the one ascribing iustification to faith, without workes: the other to faith and workes. In both, the Pontificians vnderstand one and the same iustifica­tion in kinde, but to differ only in degree or order: as Pauls iustification to be the first, and that of Iames the second; but both iustifying in the sight of God. But we shall finde it far otherwise: namely, that these two Apostles doe speak of two different iustifications, differing not in degree or order, but in kinde and quality: So that Paul speakes of that iustificati­on, whereby a man stands iust in the presence of God, which is attributed to faith, and not to workes at all; and Iames of another iustification, namely, of a testification of a mans faith, declaring a man to be a true beleeuer by good workes, which are the proper fruits and effects of sauing and iustify­ing faith. For if Iames should-vnderstand by being iustified by faith and workes together, such a iustification, as makesSee Deut. 6. 25 the Geneua translation a­misse. See the vulgar Latine, pro, Erit (que) is­stitia nostra, E­rit nostri mise­ricors, si custod. a man iust in the sight of God, then he should directly crosse his fellow-Apostle, who shuts out all workes from hauing any thing to doe in our iustification in Gods sight: For Paul saith, Rom 4. 2. If Abraham were iustified by workes, he hath whereof to glory, but not before God. But Iames saith, A­braham was iustified by workes: therefore this iustification [Page 119] of Abraham by workes, was not that iustification, which makes a man to reioyce before God; to wit, the iustification by faith, which Paul directly opposeth to iustification by workes, Rom. 4. Now that Iames speaketh of iustification by workes, and not by faith onely, as vnderstanding a testifica­tion and demonstration of sound and sauing faith, is euident by the whole passage of his second Chapter; where the Apo­stle exhorting to workes of mercy and charity, and meeting with false professors, that turned the grace of God into wan­tonnesse, professing they had faith, but made no conscience of a Christian conuersation, to testifie the truth and life of their faith by good workes: hereupon he inferreth, ver. 14. What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say hee hath faith, and haue no workes? can the faith saue him? No, that faith which is without workes, is dead, and cannot saue a man. Yea, such a faith is no better than that of Diuels. Well, yet thou saist thou hast faith. But there is as well a dead faith, as a liuing faith: a faith common with Diuels, as a faith proper to beleeuers; a sauing faith, as a deceiuing faith: Shew mee therefore whether thou hast that-liuing sauing faith of true beleeuers, or no. It is not enough to say, thou hast this faith, vnlesse thou canst proue it. It is one thing to say it, another to haue it. Now the proofe of it is by the fruits of it, to wit, good workes; as the tree is knowne by the fruits. For, the liuing sauing Faith, is not an idle, but an operatiue working Faith: it is a Faith euer working by loue. Therefore as the man saith to his Neighbour, vers. 18. Thou hast Faith, and I haue workes; shew me thy Faith without thy workes, and I will shew thee my faith by my workes. In which words the Apostle puts a plaine difference betweene a dead, and a liuing faith, which yet we are not able to iudge of, or to discerne one from another, but by good workes; and so speakes here of no other iustification by workes, but only such, as is decla­ratiue or demonstratiue in the sight of men: as it is said here, Shew me thy Faith by thy workes. So that wee see here, how it is the Apostles drift to discouer the true, sauing, liuing Faith, from a false, counterfeit, and dead faith, which not­withstanding [Page 120] vaine professors so much glory of. Hereupon the Apostle instanceth the Faith of Abraham and Rahab, which was proued to bee a liuing and sauing Faith, by the fruits and effects of it. Note the Apostles Context seriously, and with iudgement. In the 20. vers. Wilt thou know, O vaine man, that Faith without workes is dead? Was not A­braham our father iustified by workes, when hee had offered Isaac his sonne vpon the Altar? Seest thou how Faith wrought with his workes, and by workes was Faith made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled, which saith; Abraham belee­ued God, and it was imputed vnto him for righteousnesse, and he was called the friend of God. Ye see then, how that by workes a man is iustified, and not by Faith onely. First, Faith without workes is dead: But Abraham was iustified by Faith. But by what Faith? Was it a liuing and sauing Faith that A­braham had? Yes: How doth that appeare? By his workes, euen by the workes of Faith, which gaue testimony to his Faith, that it was a liuing, sauing, and iustifying Faith; for by workes his Faith was made perfect: not that his workes added any being of perfection to his Faith, but by way of de­monstration and testimony onely. As we haue the like phrase in Matth. 21. 16. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfited praise; not that Gods praise and glory re­ceiued any addition of perfection by the mouth of those babes: but onely in respect of the promulgation and declara­tion of his praise: So here. As also the Apostle inferreth in the next words, vers. 23. Thus the Scripture was fulfilled, which saith, Abraham beleeued God, and it was imputed vn­to him for righteousnesse. Note here, how Iames varieth not one iot from the truth of the Scripture, which ascribeth iustification to Abrahams Faith, without workes: for hee vseth the very same Scripture which Paul vseth, to shew iu­stification by Faith, without workes. Yea, but he addeth in the next verse, Ye see then, how that by workes a man is iu­stified, and not by Faith only. This conclusion seems to smile vpon the Papists, but in truth it derides theirfolly; for we see the Apostle doth no other here, but conclude the former pre­mises, [Page 121] shewing what is that Faith, which is imputed to a man for righteousnesse; to wit, not a dead and idle Faith, but a liuing and working Faith, testified by the proper fruits and effects of it, good workes. So that Abraham being said to be iustified by workes, and not by Faith onely, it is but to proue his Faith by his workes, and that hee was declared to be iusti­fied by Faith, through the euidence of his workes, whereby hee was declared iust in the sight of men, to whom Faith comes to be testified only by good workes. The like is to bee vnderstood of Rahabs iustification by workes; for it is ano­ther instance seruing to the same purpose of the Apostle, to distinguish a liuing and sauing Faith, from a dead and vnpro­fitable Faith. And this the Apostle concludeth, together with the Chapter, with a reason drawne from a similitude: For (saith hee) as the body without the Spirit is dead, euen so Faith without workes is dead also. Note here, how the A­postle most aptly concludeth the constant and vniforme cur­rent of this Chapter, concerning the difference betweene a dead and a liuing Faith, which are as it were the two hinges of the Chapter: As the body without the spirit is dead, euen so Faith without workes is dead also. The Pontificians vpon this place doe ground their informing of Faith by charity, as if Faith were altogether without forme and life, vntill charity be infused into it: but their collection is most impro­per, and swarueth not onely from the property of the compa­rison, but also from the maine purpose of the Apostle. For the Apostle saith; As the body without the Spirit is dead: he saith not, As the body without the soule is dead: [...], without spirit or breath: for so the word signifieth. Now if they would herein, as they doe vpon other occasions altoge­ther impertinent, consult with Philosophy, it would tell them, that there are three things concurring to the composi­tion of a liuing man; the soule, the body, and the spirit. The soule is that which informeth and giueth life to the body; but the spirit, by which they say the soule & body are vnited, is that whereby also the man doth breathe, and whereby he is knowne to liue. For so long as there is breath in a man, wee [Page 122] know him to be aliue, when a man Iyes in a swoune or trance, without any motion; to know whether he be dead or no, we take a Chrystall glasse, or such like, to discerne whether hee breathe or no: if he breathe not, we giue him for dead; but if he breathe neuer so little, we know hee is yet a liuing man. To this purpose doth our Apostle apply this comparison: that as we cannot know a man from a dead carkasse, but by his spirit or breathing; so no more can wee know a liuing Faith from a dead Faith, but by good workes, which are as it were breathed from it.

Obiect. But, will some say, The word vsed by St. Iames for spirit, may be as well taken for the soule, which giues life to the body; for so it is often taken in Scripture for the soule: as Luke 23. 46. and elsewhere. Besides, doe not most Inter­preters take it generally for the soule? Why should wee not then rather take it for the soule and spirit of a man that is within him, than only for the breath which proceedeth from him?

Answ. I answer: First as [...] is taken sometimes for the soule, as well as for the spirit; so also it is vsed sometime for breath or winde, as our Sauiour alludeth, Ioh. 3. 8. And [...], is taken for the praecordia, or lungs, whence the breath is deriued. But the question is, how it is to be taken in this place of St. Iames. For the true meaning of this word in that place, wee must (as in the true interpretation of other Scrip­tures) obserue the tenure of the text and context. Now the tenure of that whole Chapter of St. Iames, is chiefly to di­scerne true Faith from counterfeit. To demonstrate this, he instanceth the body of a man. Now by what speciall signe is the body of a man known to liue? By the spirit, saith S. Iames. What spirit? the soule, or the spirit within a man? or his spirit, to wit, his breath? (for Spirit may signifie all these.) By that spirit, which doth most liuely & plainly shew a man to be aliue, & that is the breath. For when all other signs do faile, as speech and motion of any limbe or member, in so much as a man is senselesse & lyes for dead, yet if he breathe, it is an euident to­ken that he yet liueth. But when he comes once to be as the [Page 123] same Apostle saith, [...], without this spirit, or breath, then he is certainly dead. Euen so Faith without the breathing of good workes, is dead. And this agreeth with that he saith there; Shew mee thy Faith by thy workes. The soule indeede giues the body to liue; but it is the breath that shewes the body to liue, when the soule cannot. Therefore it seemeth to my reason an vndeniable conclusion, that Saint Iames speakes there of the breath of the body, the most de­monstratiue signe of life. And deuout Bernard also excellent­ly to this purpose, and place of Iames, Vt corporis huius vitam ex motis suo dignoscimus; ita & fidei vitam ex operibus bonis: As we discerne the life of this body of ours by the motion of it; so also the life of faith by good workes. Nor are we ignorant, that St. Augustine Lib. 83. quaestionum, quaest. 76. to reconcile these two Apostles, saith, that Paul speakes of workes done before faith, and Iames of workes after faith: which opinion and conceit of his, although it not onely want, but crosse the euidence of Scripture, sith Abrahams offering vp his Sonne was a worke of, and so after faith, and yet did not iustifie him before God, as Paul plainely teacheth (and where Augustine doth neuer so little swarue from the Scripure, we must craue leaue there to leaue him: being else followers of him, as he is of the Scriptures, according to his owne law) yet St. Augu­stine going about to reconcile Iames with Paul, saith not there, nor any where else in all his writings, that good works done after Faith, doe iustifie vs in the sight of God: but only that they are necessary duties of euery true beleeuer.

Wee know also, that Body in Scripture is often taken for the whole Compositum, or the whole man or person, consisting of soule and body: as Heb. 10. 5. A body hast thou prepared me; meaning the whole humanity of Christ. So Rom. 12. 1. I beseech you Brethren, by the mercy of God, that ye present your bodies a liuing sacrifice, &c. meaning the whole man; the soule as well as the body: for the body without the soule, is not a liuing, but a dead sacrifice. So the Apostle here tel­leth vs, that as the body; to wit, a man without the Spirit, or without breathing, is dead: that is, is knowne to be dead: [Page 124] Euen so faith without workes, is knowne to be a dead faith. And so our Apostles conclusion here, is a pregnant confirma­tion of what he had formerly said, concerning the proofe and euidence of a sauing and liuing faith, which is knowne and distinguished from an idle and dead faith, onely by good workes; by the working whereof, faith is knowne to liue, as a man by breathing. So then it is cleare, that Pauls iustifi­cation by faith excluding workes, is that, whereby wee are iustified truly and really in the sight and account of God: and that other iustification, which Iames speakes of, wherein hee ioyneth workes with faith, is onely a declaratiue iustification in the sight and account of men; to whom wee manifect the truth of that faith, whereby we are iustified in the sight of God by our good workes, whereby men take notice that wee are true, no counterfeit beleeuers. Wee will conclude this place of St. Iames with the interpretation of Aquinas In Epist. Iacobi Cap. 2. Iacobus loquitur de operibus sequentibus fidem, quae dicuntur iustificare, non secundum quod iustificare dicitur infusio, sed secundum quod dicitur iustitiae exercitatio, vel ostensio, vel con­summatio: res enim fieri dicitur, quando perficitur & innotescit: Iames (saith he) speaketh of workes following faith, which are said to iustifie, not in that sense that iustification is called In the Pon­tifician sense. infusion, but in that it is called the exercise, or manifestation, or perfection of righteousnesse: for a thing is said to be done, when it is perfected and made manifest.

In the last place the Pontificians alledge Paul to the Gala­thians, where (say they) speaking of iustification by faith without the workes of the Law, hee meaneth, yea and men­tioneth the ceremonials of the Law, as Circumcision: ther­fore hee doth not thereby exclude from Iustification, the workes of grace done in vs and by vs. I answer, first, their allegation is false: for the Apostle thereby the Law, or the workes of the Law, meaneth not only the ceremonials, but the very morals of the Law, as Gal. 3. 10. for it is written, Cursed is euery one that continueth not in all things which are written in the Booke of the Law, to doe them. All things exclude nothing. Secondly, he speaketh of the workes of the [Page 125] Law, both ceremoniall and morall, as they are done euen by the faithfull and regenerate also; and not onely by others, that euen in that respect they iustifie not in the sight of God. To this end the Apostle saith (Gal. 3. 11.) But that no man is iustified by the Law in the sight of God, it is euident: for,Conferre here the term Law [...] opposed to Faith; not the Ceremoniall Law to Moral. the iust shall liue by faith. No man is iustified by the Law: therefore not the regenerate, not Abraham, though hee did workes of the Law; for he had the Law already written in the tables of his heart, before it came to be written in stone. But, say they, Abraham was iustified through workes. True. But how iustified? In the sight of God? No, saith our Apo­stle. No man is iustified by the Law in the sight of God. In the sight of man he may, as St. Iames meaneth; but not in the sight of God, as St. Paul plainely expresseth, both here, & in the forenamed place to the Romanes, Rom 4. 2. If Abraham were iustified by workes, hee hath whereof to glory, but not before God. So that the Scripture in two most euident and pregnant testimonies excludes all iustification by workes; yea, by any workes, in the sight of God, and before God: that by two witnesses of holy Scripture this word of grace, of iustification by Faith, excluding all workes whatsoeuer, cere­moniall or morall, yea, euen in the regenerate themselues, as was faithfull Abraham, the type of all the faithfull, might be established, against all Popish Sophistrie, and doctrines of Diuels.

Thirdly, admit the Apostle meant only legall Ceremonies, not morall Duties (though the contrary is manifest) yet of those Ceremonies, Circumcision is nominated by the Apostle for one speciall one. Of which he saith, Gal. 5. 2. Behold, I Paul say vnto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall pro­fit you nothing. Circumcision then is vtterly excluded from Iustification; and, to depend vpon it, makes a man a debtorObiect. to the whole Law, Gal. 5. 3. But will some say, for a Christian (as these Galathians were) to hold the necessity of Circumci­sion still, together with Baptisme, makes Christ vnprofitable, and himselfe a debtor to the whole Law. But did not Cir­cumcision iustifie the Iewes before the vse of Baptisme, as [Page 126] Baptisme doth now iustifie, comming in the stead of Circum­cision? Surely, much alike. For if Baptisme now iustifieth, as Pontificians teach, ex opere operato, then Circumcision once iustified; which the same Pontificians deny. But if Circum­cision did not iustifie the Iewes, as the Apostle affirmeth, and Papists themselues confesse; then Baptisme doth no more iustifie Christians: Seeing that Baptisme is the same and no other to vs, than Circumcision was to the Iewes; though Pa­pists put a great difference betweene them: saying, that the Sacraments of the New Testament do conferre grace, ex opere operato, but the Sacraments of the Old not so. Wherein, as in other doctrines of the mysterie of godlinesse, they bewray their grosse ignorance. But this by the way. But now, if cir­cumcision, and other ceremonials of the Law of God be ex­cluded from hauing any thing to doe in our iustification in the sight of God, by the obseruation of them; then what part can Popish Ceremonies, beeing not the ordinances of God, but the inuentions of men, yea most of them the doctrines of Diuels, what part (I say) can these challenge in the worke of Iustification▪ How shall the going a Pilgrimage to such a Shrine, or to Rome in their yeare of Iubilee, or the obserua­tion of Canonicall houres, for reciting prayers not vnder­stood, or saying ouer by the Bead-row so many Pater-nosters and Aue-Maries before such or such an Image, or buriallin a Friars Cowle, and a thousand such trumperies, and meere mockeries, yet all of them very meritorious, with that noto­rious Meretrix of Rome; how shall these things come-in for a share in Iustification?

Lastly, wee may obserue how the Apostle, as to the Ro­manes, so to the Galathians, doth oppose the Law and Faith, as Gal. 3. 12. The Law is not of Faith. But in what respect doth he oppose them? first in respect of their natures, the one con­sisting in working, the other in beleeuing: as Rom. 4. 5. To him that worketh not, but beleeueth, &c. Secondly, in re­spect of their opposite conditions. The condition of the Law is, Doe this, and liue: but the law of Faith is, Beleeue, and liue, as the Apostle declares at large, Rom. 10. 4. &c. Now all [Page 127] this opposition between the Law and Faith, is mainely in the point of Iustification. There is a Iustification by the Law, & a Iustification by Faith; but so opposite and incompatible, as they can in no wise bee reconciled together: the one doth necessarily exclude the other. Oyle and vineger cannot bee mingled together, but the one will euer floate aboue the o­ther, and admit of no mixture: so the oyle of grace and of faith can abide no mixture with the sharpe vineger of that killing letter the Law, in the worke of iustification in Gods sight; vnlesse where the Law is entirely and exactly kept in all points. But otherwise the Law and Faith, the Law and the Gospell, doe sweetly conspire together. For, as for the Ceremonies of the Law, in as much as they were types, all answering to the patterne of heauenly things shewed to Moses in the Mount, which patterne was Christ, as the Apo­stle to the Hebrewes most diuinely sheweth: those Ceremo­nies, those Types, are now all swallowed vp, and for euer fulfil­led in the substance and truth, which is Christ: And as for the morall Law, it is made subordinate to the Faith of the Gospell. so that in euery beleeuer it is the rule of Christian obedience, and holy conuersation. And therefore when the Law was giuen in Mount Sinai, Iesus Christ stands at the top, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage: Thou shalt haue no other Gods, but me, &c. Now what deliuerance was this? A tem­porall deliuerance only? No: it was a liuely type of our spi­rituall freedome from the Egyptian seruitude of sinne and Sa­than: witnesse the Pascall Lambe; which slaine, the blood sprinkled saued the Israelites, which was a type of the Lambe of God, that taketh away the sins of the world: And, the Sea diuided, a type of Baptisme; sauing the soule, and drowning sinne, together with the power of darkenesse, Pharaoh and his Hoast. So that howsoeuer the giuing of the Law was with much terrour, in regard of the manner: yet in regard of the matter being well vnderstood, it must needes bee most com­fortable to all the faithfull, who beleeue in Iesus Christ, the Deliuerer from Egypt; who hath freed vs from the curse of [Page 128] the Law, and will worke in vs both to will and to doe the du­ties of the Law, as fruits of faith, euen of his good pleasure. Indeed that notable and excellent Preface to the Morall law, I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, &c. to the common carnall and vnbeleeuing Iewes, was a Riddle: but to the Eagle-ey'd Beleeuer, Iew or Gentile, it is a most cleere Gospell; setting forth what Iesus Christ hath done for vs, and consequently what wee should doe for him: that as wee beleeue in him, who hath saued and redeemed vs out of the house of bondage, and from the seruitude of the spirituall Pharaoh; so wee should testifie this our faith, in lo­uing, fearing, seruing and obeying him, in keeping those com­mandements of Loue; written not with pen and inke, but with the finger of Gods spirit; not in tables of stone, but in the fleshie tables of our hearts. As it is in the Song of Zacha­ry,Luke 1. 74. That wee being deliuered from the hands of our enemies, should serue him without feare, in holinesse and righteousnesse all the dayes of our life. Therefore seruants were called à seruando, as being saued by those, to whom therefore they did owe their seruice. In this respect, the Law and Faith, the Law and the Gospell, are not opposite, but sweetely subordinate the one vnto the other: that as Christ hath saued vs from the curse of the Law; so he propounds himselfe to be serued of vs, by conformity to the Law, in a Christian conuersation. So that the Tree of life sweetning these waters of Marah, Iesus Christ sweetningExod. 15. 25. and sanctifying the Law vnto vs, wee drinke thereof with comfort, to strengthen vs in our way to Canaan, through this wearisome Wildernesse. As Dauid saith, I will runne the way of thy Commandements, when thou hast enlarged my heart. So thatPsal. 149. Faith and the Law, to wit, the obedience of Gods will, are sweete, yea inseparable companions, and goe hand in hand to­gether throughout the whole Pilgrimage of this life: but in the worke of our Iustification in the sight of God, they are meere strangers one vnto the other; yea, sworne opposites, that can neuer be reconciled, though the Pontificians would neuer so faine ioyne together Faith Gods Arke, and their owne worke Dagon in their Temple, to stand as copartners [Page 129] in their iustification. But Dagon fals downe, where the Arke standeth: yea, hee loseth his head (all deuices to pleade for himselfe) and his hands too, that hee cannot doe one good deede towards his Iustification, but remaines a meere trunck and senslesse blocke. And as the Philistims, while they boasted they had gotten the Arke of God to their Dagon, were not free but the more followed with diuine vengeance: So the Pontificians, while they bragge of faith and good workes as concurring in iustification, they are so farre from being saued from Gods wrath, as that they doe the more incense him a­gainst themselues. Nor shall they euer bee free from feeling, and fearing Gods plagues, till with the Philistims, they send home the Lords Arke, with a sinne-offring: that is, vntil they repent of this their profanation of the Faith of Christ; which is that onely, wherein Israel must be saued, renouncing their own workes, as hauing no more hands than Dagon left them, for to worke their iustification in the sight of God.

CHAP. X. A plausible obiection of the Pontificians, for the confirmation of their Iustification by inherent righteousnesse, answered: and diuers reasons added to shew the absurdities of Iustification by inherencie.

BVt the Pontificians in the behalfe of their iustification by inherent righteousnesse, obiect: What difference is there (say they) betweene Gods pardoning our debts, and giuing vs money to pay them? A pretty deuice indeede: For so long as they can colour and varnish ouer their hypocrisie by seeming to ascribe the glory of their inherent iustification to God, they thinke all is well enough; and if probability might stand for proofe, our penny of inherent righteousnesse might proue as good siluer to satisfie for our debts to God, as the price of Christs bloud payde for vs, and imputed to vs. But let Baal pleade for himselfe, seeing he is a God: And for the deciding [Page 130] of this doubt, we haue a leading case in the Gospell, that will easily stint the strife. The case is betweene the Pharisee andLuke 18. the Publican; both went vp to the Temple to pray. The Phari­see prayed thus, Lord, I thanke thee, I am not as other men, extor­tioners, vniust, adulterers, or euen as this Publican: I fast twice in the weeke, I giue tithe of all that I possesse. See what notable ver­tues here be in this Pharisee. But was he therefore, or there­by iustified? No: the Publican rather. But his pride ouer­threw all: Yet [...]d he not ascribe his vertues to the worke of God in him? for hee thanked God. Whereupon Augustine [...]ug. de pecca­torum meritis & remiss. l. 2. c. 5 saith: Pharisaeus gratias Deo agendo, ab eo se accepisse omnia fate­batur, & tamen improbatus est: The Pharisee in giuing thankes to God, acknowledgeth hee had receiued all things of him, and yet he was vnapproued. And againe, Pharisaeus ille superbè [...]ug. de verbis [...]omini ser. 36. quidem iustum se dicebat, sed tamen Deo gratias agebat: The Pha­risee proudly said he was iust, and yet he gaue thankes to God. And in another place, Magis iustificatus descendit de Templo Aug. de vtilit. & necess. poenit. [...]om. 50. Publicanus ille, peccatorum confessione sollicitus, quàm Pharisaeus me­ritorum enumeratione securus, quamuis & ipse gratias egit Deo: The Publican went downe from the Temple more iustified, being carefull in confessing his sinnes, than the Pharisee, who was secure in numbring vp his merits, although hee gaue thankes to God for them. And so to these two, Augustine doth apply that saying in the blessed Virgins song, He hath fil­led the hungry with good things, and the rich hee hath sent empty away. Now the Pontificians may easily see their owne face in this Pharisee. They will be iustified by their inherent righ­teousnesse. But that is derogatory to Gods glory. But they giue thanks to God for their inherent righteousnes, ascribing it to his gift. So did the Pharisee. Was he therefore iustified? Yea, St. Ambrose goes a little further, who speaking of thisAmbros. in Psal. 118. serm. 3. Pharisee, and his proud confession, saith: Aduertit hoc Diabo­lus, & perfundit eum vlcere graui, vt non teneret caput, mente carnis inflatus, & in eo in quo laudabilis fore crederetur, ibi reprehensibi­lior iudicaretur. Agebat enim gratias Deo, quod non esset raptor▪ adulter, iniustus. Quàm noxiè▪ ei luctatus est serpens, & grauibus [...]um spiris liga [...]it? st [...]d [...]t enim supplantare Diabolus bonis operibus [Page 131] intentos. Deni (que) probabilior Pharisaeus ingressus est Templum, quàm Publicanus, & condemnatus exiuit: The Diuell obserues this, and fils him with a grieuous vlcer, that he should not hold the head, being puffed vp with a carnall minde; and where­in he thought to be commended, there he was iudged the more worthy to be reproued: for hee gaue thankes to God, that hee was no extortioner, adulterer, vniust. How dange­rously did the serpent incounter him, and bound him with grieuous chaines? for the Diuell studies to supplant those, that are intent and wedded to their good workes, whereby to be iustified before God. Whence we may obserue, what a dangerous doctrine that of the Pontificians is, in seeking to be iustified by their inherent righteousnesse, howsoeuer they would seeme to acknowledge God the author of it. So that by St. Ambrose his doctrine, they that hold this, hold not the head, which is Christ, as the Apostle also speaks: They are puf­fedColos. 2. 19. vp with a fleshly mind. They are bound in Satans chains. The Diuell fils them full of vlcers; and they goe away not iustified, but condemned. And Gregory saith; Propriam lau­dem quaerunt ex Dei donis: They seeke their owne praise by the gifts of God.

But let vs more particularly examine the former obiecti­on (although it be grounded vpon carnall reason.) What dif­ference (say they) between Gods pardoning our debt, and gi­uing vs money to pay it? What difference? very great. For first, it is no where written in Gods Word, that God ena­bleth man by his grace, to pay his owne debt to God. But that God pardoneth our debts, is euery where in the Word; and wee are taught daily to pray, Forgiue vs our debts. The debter in the Gospell, that ought his Lord ten thousand Ta­lents,Matth. 18. but had not to pay: How did hee satisfie his Lord? hee humbleth himselfe, and desireth his patience, and hee would pay him all. How? Pay him all, when hee had nothing to pay? Yes: if his Lord bee patient towards him; if hee haue compassion on him, and forgiue him the debt, as he did. But for God to enable a man to pay his owne debt to God, is as nouell a doctrine, as it is a thing vncouth, and vnheard of [Page 132] among men, that a creditor should giue his debtor so much money as to discharge his debt, in stead of forgiuing the debt. So that the ground of this obiection is absurd, euen among men, much more with God. Againe, the graces of God are neuer giuen vs for this end, that wee should satisfie Gods iu­stice thereby, but to glorifie his mercy, and sanctifie his name in the vse of them. Thirdly, the debt where with Gods iu­stice is satisfied, must bee of an infinite value, euen as his iu­stice is infinitely offended. The only price of this satisfaction is the bloud of Christ, our God and Sauiour. This blood is of infinite value, to satisfie Gods iustice, because it is the bloud of God, Acts 20. 28. But there is nothing inherent in vs, no grace, no vertue, although infused into vs by the merit of this bloud shed, and dipped and dyed in it (as Pontificians play vpon it) that can be of an infinite value. For God can­not make vs, who are creatures, to bee Gods, infinite with himselfe the Creator? But if God should enable vs to satisfie for our selues, and to pay our owne debts to God, it were to make Gods of vs. None can satisfie God for mans sinne, but onely God; God-man Iesus Christ. Doe we euer reade, that God made man to be his owne Sauiour, as Pontificians blas­phemously auouch? I, euen I am the Lord (saith God) andPsa. 43. 1 [...]. besides mee there is no Sauiour. No Sauiour then but the Lord God. This is peculiar and proper to Christ alone. Acts 4. 12. There is no other name vnder Heauen giuen amongst men, whereby we must be saued; neither is there saluation in any other. Saluation then is in Christ alone; in vs there­fore it is not. In vs it is not to pay our debt for the least sinne: we cannot answer him one for a thousand, as Iob saith; How should man be iust with God? If hee will contend with him, [...]b. 9. [...]. he cannot answer him one of a thousand. So that for a man to say, he is iustified by his owne inherent workes, though flowing from Christs merits, is to make a Christ of himselfe. He that aduanceth his graces receiued of God, to such a high pitch, as to esteeme them satisfactory to Gods iustice, is to make the gifts of God, to bee so many Gods. As AmbroseAmbr. de vocat. Gent. lib. 1. ca. 2. saith; Inexcusabiles facti sunt, qui Deos sibi Dei dona fecerunt, & [Page 133] quae creata erant ad vtendum, venerati sunt ad colendum: They are become inexcusable, who of Gods gifts haue made Gods to themselues; and those things which were created to bee vsed, they adore them as an Idoll. Onely Christ is that sa­cred and mysticall [...], that fish, in whom is found our tri­bute-money; [...]. to satisfie the Maiesty of God. This money must bee stamped no where but in Gods owne Mint; as the pure siluer Oare of it is no where found, but in Gods owne Mynes, the holy Scriptures; no other Image or Superscripti­on must be vpon it, but that of Iesus Christ, and none may tender, or offer it vp to God, but onely Christ. 1. Tim. 2. 6. There is one God, and one Mediator betweene God and man, the man Christ Iesus, who gaue himselfe a ransome for all. This pure ransome, more pure, more precious than gold, will endure no mixture, no allay of any other mettals, much lesse of any drosse. But inherent righteousnesse in vs, though dip­ped in Christs bloud, as hauing receiued a tincture from it, as they say, if wee offer it to God for currant payment, hee will easily perceiue it counterfeit coine, of our owne myn­ting, of our owne inuenting, no better than Alcumy, little sil­uer, but much drosse in it, euen the drosse of humane inuenti­on and corruption, which if it bee brought to Gods touch, turnes colour; if put in the Skale of the Sanctuary, is found too light; if cast into the Test of Gods fiery iustice, it is blown all away in smoke. As Esay saith; Thy siluer is become drosse,Esa. 1. 22. Ier. 6. 30. thy wine mixt with water. And as Ieremy saith; Reprobate siluer shall men call them, because the Lord hath reiected them. Our inherent righteousnesse, call it Christs merits, or what you will, is at the best but as Piscis in arido. The fish, while it is in the sea, liueth, moueth, is full of strength and agility; but vpon the dry land, it straight loseth all his vigour, motion, and life it selfe, and quickly putrefieth: euen so the merits and righteousnesse of Christ, being in him, as in their proper element, are most liuely and vigorous, strong and a­uaileable to satisfie Gods iustice, and to plunge all our sinnes into the deepe bottome of the bottomlesse deepe of his mer­cies, by that sweete smelling sacrifice of himselfe once offe­red: [Page 134] but take any part of these merits of Christ out of him, and put them into our dry and parched sandy soules, and they become of no life, of no validity, to make the least satisfaction for the least sinnes; yea, in this respect they stinke in the no­strils of God. Our soules are but broken Cisternes, to contain this pure water of life. God could neuer yet finde any thing in vs; in vs, I say, but onely faith, whereby to iustifie vs: and this faith, not as a worke of ours iustifying vs, but as an in­strument applying Christ, by whom, in whom, and for whom wee are iustified. If God iustifie vs for righteousnesse inhe­rent, or dwelling in vs, then God should bee said to iustifie the godly: but the Scripture saith otherwise, That God iu­stifieth the vngodly. Rom. 4. 5. Now to him that worketh [...]om. 4. 5. not, but beleeueth on him that iustifieth the vngodly, his faith is counted for righteousnesse. where faith being oppo­sed to working, cannot be said to iustifie, as it is a work. A no­table testimony to proue, that our iustification is not from within vs, but from without vs; not in vs, but on vs; not of him that worketh, but of him that beleeueth in him that iu­stifieth: Whom? the godly? Nay: but the vngodly. As Au­gustine saith; Tu, Domine, benedicis iustum, sed eum prius iustifi­cas Aug. confesdib. [...]0. cap. 2. impium: Thou, Lord, doest blesse the iust, but first, he being vngodly, thou iustifiest him. As if hee had said, Being first vngodly, thou diddest iustifie him, and then being iust, thou Lord doest blesse him. How then comes this forraine righte­ousnesse vpon an vngodly man? The Apostle sheweth; His faith is counted for righteousnesse. How? His faith layes hold on Christ, who is the Lord our righteousnesse: being made vnto vs of God, wisedome, and righteousnesse, and san­ctification, and redemption, that according as it is written, [...]. Cor. 1. 30. He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

But will the Pontifician say, Doe you call the graces of Christ in vs counterfeit coyne, drosse, reprobate siluer, &c. Yes, if ye reckon it for pay, to satisfie Gods iustice withall: in this sense in vs, it is meere counterfeit, drosse, reprobate sil­uer, coyned in the Mint of Satans forgeries. It is but as the Sunne-beame vpon a dung-hill, raysing vp a stinking vapour, [Page 135] in stead of a sweete odour in Gods nostrils. But the graces of God in vs, flowing from our head Christ Iesus, in whom wee are first iustified by faith, are the matter of our sanctification, and the consequent fruits and effects of our iustification. Thus, they are a Well of liuing waters, springing vp in vs vnto eternall life. Thus, they are a garden of spices, yea of costly Spicknard, yeelding a fragrant smell, while the Sunne of righ­teousnesse shines vpon them. Thus are they more pure and precious than gold, yea, than much fine gold. Thus are they so many precious stones, to paue our way that leades to the Kingdome of Heauen: Yea thus, so many peerelesse Pearles which adorne our Crowne of grace here, and shall much more gloriously imbellish and beautifie our Crowne of glory hereafter. Thus, all our good works, and words, and thoughts, are precious euen in Gods sight through Christ. They will stand before his mercy seate, but they dare not stand before the Tribunall of his strict and seuere iustice. They dare come before God, as a proofe of our faith and obedience, but not as a price of our sinne and disobedience. And at the best, cause we haue to pray Gods mercy for them, but in no case to pay his iustice with them.

Now there be many reasons, why inherent righteousnesse is no formall cause of our iustification in the sight of God. First, because it is a meere humane inuention: It hath no warrant in Gods Word, and consequently, no warrant at all. Will the Pontificians herein, as they are willing in other things, stand to the iudgement of their father Aristotle? Hee saith; [...]:Arist. polit. lib. [...] ▪ cap. 8. All things are better determined according to the Law, than according to mans will: for it is no sure rule. Tertullian said of an errour of Hermogenes, about the crea­tion of the world of a pre-existent matter: Scriptum esse doceat Tertul. aduers. Hermog. lib. Hermogenis officina. Si non est scriptum, timeat: Let the shop of Hermogenes shew this to be written. If it be not written, let him feare. Now iustification is a fundamentall doctrine, that cannot stand but vpon the Scriptures. Iustification is by faith, and faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of [Page 136] God. The word is neare thee, euen in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith, which we preach: for with [...]om. 10. 1. the heart man beleeueth to righteousnesse, and with the mouth confession is made to saluation. Let Pontificians feare to frame such a iustification, as they finde not in the Scrip­tures. Secondly, because inherent righteousnesse doth not only diminish the glory, but euen abolish the merit of Christ in all his sufferings. His glory it is, to bee our whole and sole Sauiour; this glory hee will not impart to any creature: for hee saith; I, euen I am the Lord, and besides me there is no [...]sa. 43. 11. [...]ella in Luc. [...]ap. 4. Sauiour. Stella obserueth well, saying; Redemptor & re­demptus inuicem se excludunt: To be a Redeemer, and to be re­deemed, are two incompatible things, and cannot consist to­gether. But the faithfull are called, The redeemed of the Lord, Esa. 62. 12. and the Lord the Redeemer; therefore in no sort can they be their owne Redeemers, vnlesse Christ bee denyed to bee their Redeemer, and they his redeemed. A­gaine, the merit of Christs sufferings, was to intitle vs to the intire obedience and righteousnesse of Christ, to make it as firmely and wholly ours by imputation, as our sinne was his by imputation. But inherent iustification robs Christ of his glory, seeing thereby euery man becomes his owne Sauiour, at least in part, and so Christ is denied to bee a perfect and a­lone Sauiour. And seeing inherent righteousnesse challengeth only a part of Christs merits, and consequently, alloweth him to be but a party-Sauiour, and so also that he bore our sinnes but in part, to the end we might fill vp what is wanting, ey­ther by our owne workes, or by the surplusage of some fai­ned Church-treasure, and workes of supererogation or sa­tisfaction. Hence it is, that Christ being diuided, and our righteousnesse parted betweene him and vs, that his death comes vtterly to be abolished, and of none effect. For as the Galathians ioyning circumcision with Christ, and their workes with faith, in their iustification came to be abolished from Christ, and Christ profited them nothing: So all Popish inherency of righteousnesse, ioyning Christs merits and mans workes together, doth vtterly annihilate and frustrate the [Page 137] death of Christ. For saith and workes are opposite, and ex­clude each other in the point of iustification. As the Apostle saith; If by grace, then it is no more of workes, otherwiseRom. 11. 6. grace is no more grace. But if it bee of workes, then is it no more grace, otherwise worke is no more worke. So that grace and workes, are vnreconcileable and incompatible in the worke of iustification. Although the Trent Councell doth,Concil. Trid. Ses. 6. cap. 8. according to her manner, most impiously abuse that former place to the Romanes, applying it onely to exclude merit of condignity from those workes, which goe before iustificati­on, though not merit of congruity, according to her equiuo­call scope: destroying in one little Chapter the true nature and property of faith and grace in our iustification.

A third reason condemning Popish iustification by inhe­rent righteousnesse, is because it peruerteth the whole tenure of the Gospell, and those clouds of testimonies therein, all eui­dently prouing our iustification by Christ through faith, as hath been formerly declared. A fourth reason, because it fils the heart with pride, as we haue seene in the example of that Pharisee, who though he acknowledged God to bee the Au­thor of his many vertues, yet because he rested in them, and placed there in his righteousnesse and perfection, he failed of Gods approbation. And we see the Apostle doth often strike vpon this string, shewing how pride doth necessarily follow this iustification by workes at any hand: for by faith boasting is excluded, Rom. 3. 27. & 4. 2. & 1. Cor. 1. 29. & Ephes. 2. 9. Not of workes, least any man should boast. Implying, that works in iustification, is as the Leauen of the Pharisees, it sowers and swels the whole lumpe. And there must needes bee an intolerable height of pride in that mans heart, that dare with Lucifer, ascend into the seate of God, and aspire to be like the most High, by ioyning his workes and Christs merits toge­ther, whereby hee will be iustified in the sight of God, and become a fellow▪ Sauiour with Iesus Christ. A fift reason followeth hereupon, That consequently this doctrine of in­herent iustification leades a man headlong to hell. For as it teacheth a man to aspire to a partnership with Christ in his [Page 138] glory, in the worke of iustification: so it maketh him to haue fellowship with the Diuell and his Angels, in their eternall condemnation. It is not possible this doctrine should euer bring a man to Heauen; it being as it were a Ladder, the one side whereof is of Timber, and the other side of a Reed, ioy­ned together by rotten steps. For mans workes are that side of Reede, and Christs merits are the other side of Timber of the Tree of life, both ioyned together by the steps of vnsound doctrine of inherent righteousnesse: Like those feete, part of yron, and part of clay, no way cohering together. [...]an. 2. 33.

In a word, this doctrine of inherent righteousnesse, is a false and deceitfull doctrine: which as it can neuer truly iusti­fie a man in Gods sight, so it can neuer satisfie the conscience with solid comfort. For, that which iustifies a man in the sight of God, giues a man boldnesse and confidence in his presence. Therefore the Apostle saith, Beeing iustified by Faith, Rom. 6. 1. 2. we haue peace with God through our Lord Iesus Christ; by whom also we haue accesse by Faith into this grace, wherein wee stand, and reioyce in hope, of the glorie of God, &c. And chap. 8. 33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods chosen? It is God that iusti­fieth. And, Heb. 10. 19. where hauing shewed that our iustifi­cation stands in remission of sinnes; he inferreth thereupon, That we haue boldnesse to enter into the Holyest, that is, into heauen, by the bloud of Iesus. This is it that giues vs true peace of conscience in our selues, and confidence towards God. But inherent righteousnesse can neuer giue vs this peace of conscience, this confidence towards God, being at the best mingled with infinite imperfections and corruptions. Euen Bellarmine himselfe confesseth, That it is the safest and secu­rest course to relye vpon the only merits of Christ. And we reade, that Stephen Gardiner, that bloudy persecuter of Gods Saints, lying vpon his death bed, and being demanded by some that stood by, a reason of his faith, how hee looked to be saued: His answer was, That (for his part) hee beleeued, he could not be saued but by the only merits of Iesus Christ: but (saith hee) this is a secret, and must be kept from the peo­ples knowledge; for if this gap bee once set open, then fare­well [Page 139] all good workes. Yea Pope Gregory the Seuenth, that notorious Hildebrand, recounting his many pontificall pre­rogatiues; and among them, that one, That if the Bishop of Rome haue any personall defaults, yet vndoubtedly he is san­ctified by the merits of blessed Peter: but at length, hauingBaron. an. 107 n. 33. drunk-in such store of iniquitie, like water, as an old leaking ship, now ready to sinke in the very hauens mouth; being put to a pinch, vpon the apprehension of Gods approaching arrest, haling him vnto iudgement; then he could learn to say, I find my selfe so surcharged with the huge weight of my sinns, that there remains for me no hope of saluation, but in the sole mer­cyBaron. an. 107▪ n. 7. of Iesus Christ. So that the very Arch-Pontificians them­selues in their death, when their conscience is made their iudge, renounce their own Doctrine, & seeme to desire to dye good Protestants: like Balaam who wished he might dye the death of the righteous. But I cānot see by what way such dub­bling Wanderers can come to heauen: because, as in their life they denyed the doctrine of Faith; so in their death they are (for ought wee may deeme) deuoyd of the duety of charity. Dye they not in a most preposterous malice and enuy? They would goe to Heauen, but would pull the Ladder after them, lest the simple people should follow them. So the Hypocri­ticall Pharisees, who shut vp the Kingdome of Heauen against men; neither going in themselues, nor suffe­ringMat. 23. 13. those that would, to enter in. Thus the Testimony of Romane Catholickes themselues may bee sufficient to con­uince the vanitie and falshood of their iustification by their inherent righteousnesse. But yet for more confirmation of the truth, and confutation of this damnable doctrine of Popery; let vs take a briefe view of the faith, and opinion, which the Saints of God from time to time haue had concerning their owne inherent righteousnesse. Abraham the father and figure of the faithfull, for all his workes, yet was not iustified by them in the sight of God, as the Apostle testifieth of him, Rom. 4. 2. for if Abraham were iustified by workes, he hath where­of to glory, but not before God. This onely testimony might stand for all, to proue wherein the righteousnesse of all the [Page 140] faithfull consisteth, whereby they stand iust in the sight of God; to wit, not in their inherent righteousnesse, but in the onely righteousnesse of Christ imputed, and by faith applied. Thus Iob confessed he stood iustified, Iob 9 2. How should man be iust with God? if he will contend with him, hee can­not answer him one of a thousand. And ver. 20. If I iustifie my selfe, mine owne mouth shall condemne me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also proue me peruerse. And Chapt. 25. 4. How can man bee iustified with God? yea, Chapt. 9. 15. whom (saith he) though I were righteous, yet would I not answer, but I would make supplication to my Iudge. Indeede to­wards his friends he stands stoutly in the iustification of him­selfe, namely, of his integrity and sincerity, and that hee was no hypocrite, as they, no lesse vncharitably, than vntruely charged him; but towards God he beares himself farre other­wise: before him he humbles himselfe, he makes supplication to his Iudge, & saith, Chap. 9. 30. If I wash my self with snow­water, and make my hands neuer so cleane, yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine owne clothes shall abhorre me: for he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in iudgement. And Chapt. 10. 14. If I sinne, then thou markest mee, and thou wilt not acquite me from mine iniquity. If I bee wicked, woe vnto me: and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift vp my head; I am full of confusion, &c. But had Iob no good workes? Yes, looke vp­on his life described in his 29. 30. & 31. Chapters. Hee was an eye to the blinde, and a foote to the lame, a deliuerer of the poore, fatherlesse, and friendlesse from the oppressor, breaking the iawes of the wicked, and plucking the spoile out of his teeth: He wept for him that was in trouble, and his soule was grieued for the poore. And though hee were a great man, a wise man, a Prince, yet hee ate not his morcels alone, but the poore and fatherlesse fed with him. The naked limmes blessed him, being warmed with the fleece of his sheepe. What sinne was Iob addicted to? and what actions of piety and mercy did he not abound in? Insomuch, as in re­spect of his sincerity and integrity of heart, hee durst say, [Page 141] If I haue walked with vanity, or if my foote hath hasted toIob 31. 5. deceit, let me be weighed in an euen ballance, that God may know mine integrity. And God knew his integrity, giuing testimony vnto it, that he was a man perfect and vpright, and one that feared God, and eschued euill. Yet all this righte­ousnesse Iob renounceth, when he comes to the strict tryall of Gods Tribunall. For, comming to stand in Gods presence, he saith, Chapt 42. 5. I haue heard of thee, by the hearing of the eare; but now mine eye seeth thee: wherefore I abhorre my selfe, and repent in dust and ashes. An admirable type of a faithfull man, not trusting in his owne inherent righteous­nesse, but in the onely mercy of God through Christs merits, whereby onely he stands iustified in the sight of God.

Was not Dauid also a holy man, an honest hearted man, after Gods owne heart? yet he professeth, Psal. 71. 15. &c. My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousnesse, and thy saluation all the day: for I know not the numbers (that is, the perfecti­ons) thereof. I will goe in the strength of the Lord God, and will make mention of thy righteousnesse, euen of thine onely. And in the beginning of the same Psalme, In thee, O Lord, haue I put my trust, let me neuer bee put to confusion, deliuer me in thy righteousnesse. And Psalme 89. 16. speaking in the name of all the faithfull, he saith; In thy name shall they re­ioyce all the day, and in thy righteousnesse shall they make their boast. And vpon the 32. Psalme, Paul hath these words, as a Commentary of Dauids words, Rom. 4. 6. Euen as Da­uid also describeth the blessednesse of the man, vnto whom God imputeth righteousnesse without workes, saying: Bles­sed are they whose iniquities are forgiuen, and whose sinnes are couered: Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sinne. But Dauid disclaimeth the iustification of all inherent righteousnesse in the sight of God, Psal. 143. Heare my prayer, O Lord, giue eare to my supplication; in thy faith­fulnesse answer me, and in thy righteousnesse, And enter not into iudgement with thy seruant: for in thy sight shall no man liuing be iustified. And Psalme 30. If thou, Lord, shouldst marke iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is for­giuenesse [Page 142] with thee, that thou mayst be feared. So Esay, that Euangelicall Prophet, aduanceth Gods righteousnesse, and disauoweth mans righteousnesse. Esay 54 17. This is the heri­tage of the seruants of the Lord, and their righteousnesse is of me, saith the Lord. Yea, say the Pontificians, our inherent righteousnesse is of the Lord. Nay, saith Esay, chapt. 64. 6. We are all as an vncleane thing, and all our righteousnesse are as filthy rags. Yea, say the Pontificians, before we be re­generate, and be in Christ. But Esay speaketh of the Church of the Iewes, of the circumcised, to whom circumcision was a signe of regeneration, and of Gods Couenant of grace, and a seale of faith; and Esay puts himselfe in the number. Was Esay now vnregenerate? And in the name of himselfe, and the whole Church of the Iewes, hee renounceth all inherent righteousnesse, as filthy rags; in no sort to bee patched and pieced to that garment of saluation, to that robe of righteous­nesse, namely, Christs righteousnesse, imputed and put vpon vs by the hand of faith; wherein Esay and all the faithfull re­ioyce: as hee saith, Esa. 61. 10. I will greatly reioyce in the Lord, my soule shall be ioyfull in my God: for he hath clothed me with the garments of saluation, he hath couered me with the robe of righteousnesse, as a Bridegroome decketh him­selfe with ornaments, and as a Bride adorneth her selfe with her Iewels. And in the 43. of Esay, vers. 25. & 26. there is a flat opposition betweene Gods mercy, and our workes in iu­stification: I, euen I am hee that blotteth out thy transgressi­ons for mine owne sake, and will not remember thy sins. But may not our workes come in as sharers with Gods mercies? What workes? The Prophet addeth in Gods person: Put me in remembrance, let vs pleade together: declare thou, that thou mayst be iustified. If God pleade with vs in iudgement, we haue no euidence of any workes in vs, whereby to be iusti­fied in his sight.

But our workes and obedience to Gods lawes are called our righteousnesse. As Matth. 5. 20. Except your righteousnesse exceede the righteousnesse of the Scribes and Pharisees, yee cannot enter into the Kingdome of God. I answer, this place may well [Page 143] be vnderstood of Euangelicall righteousnesse, opposite to that legall righteousnesse of the Scribes and Pharisees, and so Christ points vs to the righteousnesse of faith in him. But admit our workes be called our righteousnesse. what then? doth it follow that this is our righteousnesse, to iustifie vs in the sight of God? Nothing lesse. For Moses saith (speaking of obe­dience to Gods commandements, Deut. 9.) Speake not thou in thy heart, after that thou art come to possesse that good Land, saying, For my righteousnesse the Lord hath brought me in to possesse this Land. No, saith Moses, vnderstand that the Lord thy God giueth thee not this good Land to possesse it, for thy righteousnesse. Now the Land of Canaan was a type of Gods Kingdome, which wee cannot come to possesse by our own inherent righteousnesse. Whereupon St AmbroseAmbros. in Psalme 4 [...]. in his enarration vpon the 43. Psalme, but according to our accompt 44. v. 3. They got not the Land in possession by their owne sword, &c. saith, Patres nostri, vtpote proximi & haredes Patriarcharum, plantati in terra repromissionis, non suis [...]o [...] meritis vindicabant: Our fathers, to wit, the next successours and heires of the Patriarches, beeing planted in the Land of pro­mise, did not claime this as due to their merits. Ideo nec Moses eos induxit, ne Legis hoc existimetur esse, sed grati [...]; Lex enim me­rita examinat, gratia fidem spectat: Therefore (saith he) neither did Moses bring them in thither, that it might not be recko­ned as the worke of the Law, but of Grace; for the Law exa­mineth workes or merits, but Grace respecteth faith. There­fore, as not Moses, but Iosua or Iesus (for so was his Name) was appointed to bring the children of Israel into the pos­session of Canaan, the Land of promise; which importeth al­so [...]. Canaan: which is as much as to shew grace, fauour, or mer­cie. the Land of mercy, or of grace: So not the Law giuen by Moses, but Iesus Christ, by whom came grace and truth: hee our true Ioshua bringeth his people into the possession of grace and glory. Ergo qui non in brachio suo, hoc est, in sua operatione praesumit, sed in Dei gratia, credens, quod non facta sua vnumquem (que) iustificant, sed fides prompta: dicit Domino, Tu es ipse Rex meus, & Deus meus, qui mandas salutes Iacob: Therefore (saith holy Ambrose) he that presumeth not in his owne arme, that is, inAmbros ibid. [Page 144] his workes, but in the grace of God; beleeuing, that not a mans workes, but his prompt and cleare faith, doth iustifie him: this man saith vnto the Lord, Thou art my King, and my God, that commandest saluation for Iacob. True it is, that the same Father in another place saith; Sola fides non sufficit: Ambros. in epist. [...]d Hebr. cap. 4. operari per dilectionem, &c. Sole faith is not sufficient: it is ne­cessary that faith worke by loue, and conuerse worthy of God. And a little after, Festinemus, &c. Let vs hasten to enter into that rest, because faith is not sufficient, but a life besee­ming faith must be added, and great care vsed, that faith bee not idle. For it is necessary for euery one that would possesse Heauen, to adorne his faith with good workes. So he. True: a most pious and Christian speech; but in all this he saith not, that faith alone is not sufficient to iustifie vs in the sight of God, and so to bring vs to the possession of Heauen: for then hee should contradict himselfe elsewhere, where hee saith; Sublatis omnibus operibus legis, sola fides posita est ad salutem: AllAmbr. in Rom. 9 the workes of the law being remoued, onely faith takes place in our saluation. Marke, he saith; Sola fides: onely faith. And againe, the same Father saith elsewhere: Non operibus iustifi­camur, Ambr. de Iacob. & vita beata. lib. 2. cap. 2. sed fid [...], quoniam carnalis infirmitas operibus impedimento est, sed fidei claritas factorum obumbrat errorem, quae meretur ve­niam delictorum: We are not iustified (saith he) by workes, but by faith; because the infirmity of the flesh is an impediment to workes, but the glory of faith doth couer the errour of our workes, which faith obtaineth remission of sinnes. And a­gaine; Infirmitas excludit à venia, & fides excusat à culpa: OurAmbr. in Apol. Dauid. infirmity excludeth vs from pardon, and faith excuseth vs from blame. And setting downe his peremptory iudgement, grounded vpon Scripture, he saith: Arbitramur secundum A­postolum, iustificari hominem per fidem sine operibus legis. Iustifice­tur ergo ex fide Dauid, qui per legem peccatum agnouit, sed peccati veniam ex fide credidit: Wee definitiuely conclude (saith hee) according to the Apostle, that a man is iustified by faith with­out the workes of the law. Therefore let Dauid be iustified by faith, who by the law acknowledged his sinne, and by faith beleeued the pardon of his sinne. And againe elsewhere: [Page 145] Deus clementia bonitatis suae semper homini procurans, vt & quod Ambros. in Rom. cap. 1 [...]. sine lege peccatum erat, & in lege, posset deleri: hoc decreuit, vt so­lam fidem poneret, per quam omnium peccata abolerentur: That is, God by the clemency of his goodnesse, alwayes prouiding for man, that both sinne committed without law, and in the law, might be blotted out: hath made this decree, to appoint sole faith, whereby all mens sinnes might be abolished. Now com­pare these iudicious sayings of this holy man, with that hee said formerly, that sole faith is not sufficient, but a good life must be added: and it will plainly appeare, that he speakes of faith alone, as sufficient to iustifie vs in the sight of God, and to procure vs the possession of heauen; yet hee meanes not a solitary and dead faith, but such a faith, as is a liuing and sa­uing faith, working by loue, which hath as well a worke of sanctification in a holy life amongst men, as of iustification by a holy beliefe in the sight of God. For there is frequent mention of a twofold righteousnesse in the workes of ancientNote. Fathers: The one of iustification before God, which is the righteousnesse of faith; the other, of iustification before men, which is the righteousnesse of workes. This second, is via regni; the way to the kingdome: that other of faith, is causa regnandi; the cause of our reigning in this kingdome.

Saint Paul also disclaimeth all his former Pharisaicall life, which, as touching the Law, was vnreprouable, calling and ac­counting it but drosse and dung. Nay, now after his conuer­sion, hauing walked holily and faithfully in his Apostolicall vocation and Ministery, so that he knew nothing by himselfe:1. Cor. 14. 4. yet what saith he? Although I know nothing by my selfe, yet am I not therby iustified: but he that iudgeth me is the Lord. And renouncing all his inherent righteousnesse, all his desire was to bee found in Christ, not hauing his owne righteous­nesse,Phil. 3. 9. which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousnesse which is of God by faith.

To omit the multitude of testimonies of holy men of God, the fathers of the Church, from time to time, who in their writings doe renounce their own inherent righteousnesse, as iustifying them in the sight of God: Let vs, for conclusion of this point, [Page 146] adde a few memorable sayings vttered by dying men, such as were of a holy life & conuersation, now agoing to appear be­fore the dreadfull Tribunall of Gods most strict and vnpartiall iudgment, & now sealing vp their faith with their last breath.

Possidonius in his 27. Chapter of the life of Augustine, tels [...]ossidonius in [...]e beginning [...]f St. Augu­ [...]ines workes. [...] Chemniti­ [...]s his Examen [...]f iustification a memorable story. Augustine (saith he) told vs, that hee heard a most wise and pious answer of Ambrose, of blessed memory, drawing neare his end, which he much praised and commended: for when that venerable Father lay vpon his death-bed, and was desired of the faithfull standing about his bed, with teares, that hee would aske of the Lord a longer time of his Pilgrimage here, he answered them: * I haue notThe like [...]peech did ve­ [...]erable Bede [...]tter at his [...]eath: saying [...]o his friends, [...] haue so liued [...]mong you, [...]hat I am not [...]shamed of my [...]ife, neither [...]eare I to dye, [...]ecause I haue almost graci­ous Redeemer. Remaines. so liued, as that I am ashamed to continue amongst you; nor yet am I affraid to dye, because we haue a good Master. And herein (saith Possidonius) our Augustine now aged, did admire and praise his words, as refined in the fire, and weighed in the ballance. For therefore is hee to be vnderstood to say: Nor doe I feare to dye, because wee haue a good Master; lest he might be thought to trust and presume too much vpon his most sanctified life. But I haue not so liued, that I am asha­med to liue among you: this he said in regard of that, which one man might know of another; for knowing the tryall of diuine iustice, he said, he relyed more vpon the goodnesse of his Lord, than vpon his owne merits: to whom also he prayed daily in the Lords Prayer, Forgiue vs our debts, &c.

Bernard, when hee seemed to drawe his last breath, beingGuil. Abbas in vita Bern. lib. 1. cap. 13. in a trance, he thought he was presented before the Tribunall of his Lord: And Sathan also stood opposite against him, charging him with many wicked accusations. And when hee had prosecuted all to the full, then the man of God was to pleade for himselfe. And being no whit terrified or trou­bled, he said: I confesse I am vnworthy; nor can I obtaine the Kingdome of Heauen by mine owne merits: But my Lord obtaining it by a double right, to wit, by the inheritance of his Father, and by the merit of his passion, contenting him­selfe with the one, hee bestoweth the other vpon mee: by whose gift, claiming it as mine owne right, I am not con­founded. [Page 147] At this word, the enemy went away confounded.

There is extant an exhortation of Anselme to a dying bro­ther, set downe in most sweet words. When any brother see­meth to be extremely oppressed, it stands both with piety and prudence, that he be exercised by a Prelate, or some other Priest, with these questions and exhortations vnder written. And first, let him be demanded:

Brother, doest thou reioyce, that thou shalt dye in the faith? and let him answer: I do. Confesse that thou hast not li­ued so wel as thou shouldest: I confesse it. Doest thou repent of it? I doe repent. Hast thou a will and purpose to amend, if thou shouldst haue time to liue longer? Yes. Doest thou be­leeue that the Lord Iesus Christ, the Sonne of God, dyed for thee? I beleeue it. Doest thou beleeue thou canst not bee sa­ued, but by his death? Yea. Doest thou from thy heart thank him for this? I doe, Giue therefore, while there is life in thee, alwayes thankes vnto him, and put thy whole trust in this his onely death. Commit thy selfe wholly to his death. Couer thy whole selfe with this death, and wrap thy selfe wholly in it. And if the Lord goe about to iudge thee, say: Lord, I put the death of our Lord Iesus Christ betweene me and thy iudgment; otherwise, I will not contend with thee. If he shall say, that thou hast deserued damnation; say thou, I set the death of our Lord Iesus Christ betweene mee and my ill­deseruings, and assigne me the merit of his most precious pas­sion for my merit, which I my selfe should haue had; but alas haue not.

Let him say againe: I put the death of our Lord Iesus Christ betweene mee and thy wrath. Let him also say three times; O Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And let those that stand about him, answer: Into thy hands, O Lord, we commend his spirit. And he shall dye secure, and shall neuer see death.

The same Anselme in his meditations, as it were setting himselfe before the Tribunall of Gods iudgement, whereby he declareth that neither the life of the regenerate, nor good workes can stand against diuine iustice, but onely Christ the [Page 148] Mediator, saith; My life doth terrifie mee: for my whole life being exactly discussed and sifted, doth appeare to me either to be sinne, or meere barrennesse. And if any fruit appeare therein, it is either so counterfeit, or imperfect, or one way or other corrupt, as it cannot but displease God: for all of it is either sinnefull and damnable, or vnfruitfull and contempti­ble. But why doe I separate or distinguish vnfruitfull from damnable? For if it be vnfruitfull, it is damnable: For euery tree which bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cast into the fire. O therefore drie and vnprofitable tree, worthy of eter­nall fire! what wilt thou answer in that day, when it shall be required of thee, euen to a moment, how thou hast spent all that time limitted and bestowed on thee to spend thy life in? O extremity! On the one side sinnes accusing; on the other iustice affrighting: vnderneath, Hels horrible Chaos gaping: aboue, the angry Iudge: within, the conscience boyling; without, the world burning. The righteous shall scarcely be saued; the sinner taken tardy, where shall hee appeare? To lurke, shall be impossible, to appeare intolerable. Who shall aduise me? Whence shall I expect saluation? Who is he that is called the Angell of great counsell? The same is Iesus. The same is the Iudge, betweene whose hands I tremble. Pause awhile, O sinner, doe not despaire. Hope in him, whom thou fearest, flye to him from whom thou hast fled. O Iesus Christ, for this thy name sake, deale with mee according to this name: looke vpon this wretch calling on thy name. There­fore, O Iesus, bee my Iesus for thy names sake. If thou shalt admit me into the large bosome of thy mercy, it shall be neuer a whit the narrower for me. True it is, my conscience hath deserued damnation, and my repentance sufficeth not for sa­tisfaction: but certaine it is, that thy mercy surpasseth all mis­deedes, &c.

It is recorded of Edward the Confessor, once King of this Island, that lying on his death-bed, his friends about him wee­ping, he said; If ye loued mee, ye would forbeare weeping, and reioyce rather, because I goe to my Father, with whom I shall receiue the ioyes promised to the faithfull; not through [Page 149] my merits, but by the free mercy of my Sauiour, who shew­eth [...] [...]ensis [...] mercy on whom he pleaseth.

Thus by these and such like testimonies of holy and deuout men, not in their Rhetoricall declamations, to winne applause with men, but in their saddest meditations, as standing in the presence, yea before the dreadfull Tribunall of that iust God▪ it may easily appeare, what confidence is to be put in the [...] mans workes, or inherent righteousnesse. All these will proue but dry fewell and stubble, when they come to that consu­mingHeb. 12. 29. Esay 33. 14. fire, to those euerlasting burnings. It is an easie matter for a carnall man, seduced with errour, and possessed with the spirit of pride, while hee is in his prosperitie, and senslesse se­curitie, as little confidering, as conceiuing the power of Gods wrath, as Dauid speakes; as little knowing the nature of sin, as the terrour of Gods strict iustice, to be puffed vp with an opinion of a few poore beggarly supposed good deeds. Iust like our first Parents, who when they had sinned, and so incurred Gods eternall wrath, got a few figge-leaues to couer their nakednesse and shame, thinking themselues now safe and secure enough. But no sooner did they heare the voyce of the Lord God, comming as a Iudge towards them, but for all their figge-leaues, they runne and hide themselues among the Trees of the Garden. Their figg-leaues quickly beganne to wither, when once the fire of Gods iealousie beganne to approach. But let now the brauest Pontifician of them all, standing so much vpon the pantofles of inherent righteous­nesse, let him lay aside his carnall security, his loue of the world, his wilfull blindnesse, hauing looked his face in the glasse of Gods Law, and catechised himselfe according to the strict Canon thereof, &c. and let him now bethinke himselfe of an account he is to make, and that presently, before a most seuere and vnpartiall vncorrupt Iudge, of all his thoughts, words, workes, omissions, commissions; let him take into his consideration (if hee haue so much grace and iudgement to consider) the nature of sinne, which is such as the least [...]innene is sufficient to damne him soule and body for euer: for, Hee that keepeth the whole Law, and yet faileth in one point, is guilty of all. Iames 2. 10. [Page 150] And the Law saith, Cursed is euery one that continueth not in all Gal. 3. 10. things written in the Law to do them. Mark, In all things: yea such is sin, as it could not be purged, nor mans soule redeemed from it, nor Gods wrath appeased, nor his iustice satisfied, but by the only death of the only son of God. Tel me, what that iustice is, which will not be satisfied: Tell me what that sin is wch will not be expiated, but by the extreame humiliation, bloud-shed­ding, death & passion of the deerest son of the eternall God? Tell me, how seuere is that iustice, how implacable that indig­nation against sin, wch would not spare the most immaculate Lambe of God, the pure spotlesse Sonne of righteousnes, euen righteousnes, holines & innocency itselfe? These things well weighed & digested in thy more refined iudgment, according to the standard of the Sanctuary; come now Pontifician, glit­tering in thy white linnen of thine inherent righteousness, set thy self before Gods dreadful Tribunall, to receiue thy eternal doom, according to thine own deseruings: bring with thee all thy merits, number now before the iudge of heauen & earth thy many pilgrimages, thy many Prayers, Pater-nosters, Aue-Maries, Canonicall houres, Shrifts, Shrine [...] adored, Saints inuoked, and the like: But thy conscience will giue thee, that all these being but will-worship, and humane inuentions; of which God wil say, Who required these things at your hands? condemned also in Esay, saying, Their feare towards me wasEsay. 29. 13. taught by the precept of men: they will vanish into smoke when they are tryed in Gods Test. Therefore howsoeuer the Romane-Catholicke Church preferres these her own Rites, and Ceremonies, and Ecclesiasticall obseruances of her own inuention, asbeeing more holy and more meritorious, than those duties of Christian holinesse commanded and prescribed in Gods Word: yet in the more sober iudgement of thine vnpartiall Conscience, know, that if God respect any righte­ousnesse at all in vs, it must be that especially, which himselfe hath commanded. If therefore thou hast any store of these, bring them with thee. If thou canst, Tell this Iudge, that thou hast dealt truely and iustly with all men, that thou hast beene liberall to the poore, giuen much Almes, yea perhaps bequea­thed [Page 151] all thy goods and possessions to pious vses, [...]u [...] i [...] [...]hy life time; and that not to the maintenance of a Monasticall Society of lazie and lustfull Abbey-lubbers, but vpon the tru­ly poore indigent Brethren of Christ; that thou hast dispos­sessed and diuested thy selfe of all earthly preferment and ho­nor, & so become poore for Christs sake; thou hast exercised thy self with watchings & fastings, not as man, but as the Lord hath commanded; and much more than all this, if thou canst alledge for thy selfe. Well▪ But all these things must now bee weighed in a iust and euen ballance, not of mans imagination, but of Gods strict iudgement. Now will not he finde, thinkest thou, an infinite lightnes in thy best works? will not his most pure eyes easily discerne thy most pious actions to be fraught with many imperfections, defiled with the mixture of mani­fold corruptions, as water running through a puddly chānel? he will discouer in all these works of thine, besids infinite de­fects & faylings in all, thy many sinister ends; the pride of thy heart, thy self-loue, the loue of yaine glory, the loue of thine own felicity, more than of the glory of God, & a thousand se­cret corruptions, lurking in the secret corners of thy selfe-de­ceiuing heart. Nay, besides this, thou canst not number vp so many good dueties which thou hast done, as this all-seeing Iudge can number, and set before thee greater and weightier duties, which thou hast altogether omitted. And more than that too, this Iudge can muster vp vnto thee whole Legio [...]s of sins, which thou hast committed, the least whereof, all the men in the world, with all their merits, their arrogant works of supererogation, the fained treasure of the Church, with Masses and Dirges, and whatsoeuer else man or Angel can▪ de­uise, cannot possibly appease the wrath, and satisfie the iustice of this Iudge for. For if all the Creatures in the world could satisfie Gods iustice for one sinne: wherefore dyed the inno­cent Lambe, and the only Sonne of God? Well th [...]n, in this case what wilt thou doe? whither wilt thou flye▪ where wilt thou seeke reliefe for thy perplexed spirit? where com­fort for thine appalled conscience? where a sanctuary for thy soule, now pursued with the hue and cry of diui [...] iustice [Page 152] and reuenge, of hell, and Satan, of the guilt of thy tormenting conscience for sinne? Thy good workes and merits? They cry guilty before Gods throne, of many imperfections, defects, corruptions. If thy actuall transgressions, which are many, if thy totall omissions of dueties which thou oughtest to haue done, should bee silent, yet euen thy best actions, which thou bringest to pleade for thee, would, and must tell the truth, and become a full grand Iurie to bring-in the verdict of thy con­demnation. And then thou shalt be found such, as the Gospell hath doomed: who pleading their great workes before the Iudge, receiued this sentence, I know you not, depart from mee [...]at. 7. 22. yee workers of iniquitie. Dost thou not thinke it safest now to bee of thy Brother or thy Father Bellarmines minde, who, howsoeuer, as a member of the Papall State, he writ mainely against the truth of iustification: yet one time speaking his conscience, and vttering his priuate iudgement, said, Propter incertitudinem propriae iustitiae, & periculum inanis gloriae, tutissi­mum [...]ellarm. de [...]stis. l. 5. c. 7. est fiduciam in sola Dei misericordia, & benignitate reponere: Because of the vncertainty of our owne righteousnesse, and the perill of vaine glory, it is most safe to repose our confi­dence in the only mercy, and fauour of God. Only herein be vnlike this Brother or Father of thine: For this sentence of his standing in his workes, shall rise vp in iudgement against him at the latter day, for all his lyes spoken through hypocri­sie: but let it teach thee, so to renounce all thy supposed me­rits, as reposing thy selfe in the only mercies of God, and me­rits of Christ, thou mayst, flying from Babylon, finde mercy and saluation in the great day of the Lord Iesus.

Let me hereunto adde a passage or two, one out of Augustine his Manual; which Booke though it bee fathered vpon some other Author, yet the chiefe matter of it is confessed to bee collected out of Augustines Workes: In omnibus aduersitati­bus Aug. manual. [...]. 22. tom. 9. non in [...]eni [...] t [...]m efficax remedium, quàm vulner a Christi: in il­lis dormio secur [...]s, & requiesco intrepidus, Christus mortuus esh pro nobis. Nihil tam ad mortem amarum, quod morte Christi non sanet [...]r. T [...]ta spes mea est in morte Domini mei. Mors eius meri­tum meum refugium meum, s [...]lu [...], vita, & resurrectio mea: meritum [Page 153] meum, miseratio Domini. Non sum meriti inops, quamdi [...] ille mi­serationum Dominus non defuerit. Et misericordiae Domini mult [...], multus ego sum in meritis: Quanto ille potentior est ad saluandum, tanto ego securier. Peccaut peccatum grande, & multorum sum mi­hi conscius delictorum; nec sic despero, quia vbi abundau [...]runt de­licta, superabundauit & gratia: In all aduersities (saith hee) I find not a more effectuall remedy, than the wounds of Christ; in them I sleepe securely, in them I rest without feare. Christ dyed for vs. There is nothing in death so bitter, which cannot be cured with the death of Christ. All my hope is in the death of my Lord. His death is my demerit, my refuge, my salua­tion, life and resurrection: my merit is the Lords mercy. I want no merit, so long as the Lord of mercies is not wan­ting. And while the Lord is rich in mercies, I am rich in me­rits. The more able he is to saue, the more am I secure. I haue committed some haynous sin, and am guilty of many trespas­ses, yet I despaire not, because where sins haue abounded, there grace hath also superabounded. And in the 23. Chapter▪ Inter brachia Saluatoris mei, & viuere volo, & mori [...]upio: Be­tweene the armes of my Sauiour, it is both my will to liue, and my wish to dye. Another passage to this purpose I finde in Gregory, in the conclusion of that singular worke of his Morals; where speaking of mans good workes, and good in­tentions,Greg. Moral. l. 35. c. 26. concludeth thus: Si de his diuinitus districtè dis [...]nti­mur, quis inter ista remanet salutis locus? quando & mala nostra pura mala sunt, & bona quae nos habere credimus, pura bona esse nequaquam possunt: If (saith he) we be strictly-sifted by God, concerning these things, what place would bee left for salua­tion in them? seeing that both our euill actions are simply euill, and the good things which we beleeue we haue, cannot be simply good. Which place of Gregory beeing alledged by Luther, to proue none can bee certaine that hee doth not al­waiesLuther l. artic. art. 35. mortally sinne: although Iohn, Bishop of Rochester▪ would haue Gregory to meane, not all workes, but only such, as we vainely boast of, as Sixtus Senensis relateth: Yet Gre­goriesSixtus Sene. bibl. sact. l. 5. annot. 45. meaning is easily discouered by the title or contents prefixed to the said Chapter, in these words; Quod S [...]nctus [Page 154] Gr [...]gorius, in his, quae iam recta intentione protulit, vanae gloriae, vel laudis humanae fauorem subrepsisse sibi formidat, & pro recompensa­tione operis, post [...]lat orationem loctoris: that is, That St. Gregory in those things, which he did with a right intention, feareth lest some affectation of vaine glory, or humane applause might haue crept in vpon him, and for a recompence of his worke, desireth the Readers prayers. And it is plaine also by the whole tenure of that Chapter, that Gregory durst not trust his best workes vpon the tryall of Gods strict iudgement: seeing that a mans best intentions are subiect to bee tainted with secret pride and vaine glory. And the said Bishop of Rochester may seeme too sharpe in his censure, the sequell whereof tends to a flat condemnation of Gregories best inten­tions, as if he had beene directly conscious of pride in them, whereas Gregory onely feareth least some such corruption might haue secretly stollen in vpon him.

And to confirme this, and put it out of all question, Gre­gory in another place speaketh excellently to this purpose: Omnis humana iustitia, iniustitia esse conuincitur, si districtè indice­tur. Greg. Moral. lib. 9 cap. 24. Prece ergo post iustitiam indiget, vt quae succumbere disoussa poterat, ex sola indicis pietate, conualescat. Dicat ergo qui etiamsi habuero quippium iustum, non respondebo, sed meum ludicem depre­cabor. V [...]lut si apertiùs fateatur, dicens, etsi ad opus virtutis excre­ [...]ero, ad vitam non ex meritis, sed ex venia conualesco: All humane righteousnesse (saith he) if it bee strictly iudged, is conuinced to be vnrighteousnesse. Therefore a man after his workes of righteousnesse, had neede to pray, that his righteousnesse, wch being discussed might sink down vnder the burthen, may recouer strength againe by the only clemency of the Iudge. Let him say then, that though I haue done any thing that is iust, yet I will not answer, but will supplicate my Iudge. As if he should more plainly confess: saying, Although I attaine to neuer so great a proficiency in the way of vertue, yet I come to obtaine life, not of merits, but of mercy. This was the constant doctrine of the Church of Rome, in this Bishops dayes.

We will conclude this point, in setting downe the iudge­ment [Page 155] of Cardinall Contarenus, who writ of iustification a lit­tleGasper conta­renus. lib. de iustif. before the Councell of Trent: where, hauing before of set purpose, examined the Protestants doctrine of iustification, confesseth ingenuously (as he had iudiciously, according to his learning and piety, scand and compared it) that Luthers doctrine, together with the Protestants, was consonant and agreeable to Catholicke doctrine. For as yet, the Councell of Trent had not decreed against the Catholicke faith, which had beene maintained by all the Fathers of the Church in all ages, euen downe to Contarenus his time, who writ some three or foure yeares before the first Session of this Councell; although the Schoole-men, specially the Scotists, had accor­ding [...]. to the Authors name, darkened and dimmed the truth, whose new doctrine notwithstanding proued not as yet Ca­tholicke, before the Councell of Trent (wherein the Scotists bore no small sway) would needes make it Romane-Catho­licke, in despite of all Catholickes. Where also we may note by the way, the falshood of that scandall which Pontificians cast vpon the Protestants Religion, as being a doctrine of no­uelty, broached first by Luther: Whereas a Cardinall of the Church of Rome, of learning and piety, after due examina­tion, found and confessed, that the Protestant doctrine of iu­stification, being the maine fundamentall doctrine of Christi­an Religion, did consent with Catholicke doctrine. But let vs see what this Cardinall saith concerning iustification: At­tingimus ad duplicem iustitiam, alteram nobis inharent [...]m, qu [...] in­cipimus esse iusti, & essi [...]imur consortes diuinae naturae; & hab [...] charitatem diffusam in cordibus nostris: alteram verò non inharen­tem, sed nobis donatam cum Christo, iustitiam (inquam) Christi, & omne eius meritum: simul tempore vtra (que) nobis donatur, & v­tram (que) attingimus per fidem. Quòd autem Deus dona [...]erit nobis Christum, & omnia cum eo, est Textus Apostoli expressus in Ep [...] ­stola ad Romanos, Qui filio suo non popercit, &c. His reor [...] posse contradicere. Restat iam inquirere, vtranam dibeamus [...]iti, & existimare nos iustificaricoram Deo, id est, sanctos & iustos haberi; ea (inquum) institia, quae deceat filios Dei, ac oculis Dei satisfacias, an hac iustitia & charitate nobis inhaerente; an potius iustit [...] Chri­sti [Page 156] nobis donata & imputata? Ego prorsus existimo piè & Christia­nè dici, quòd debeamus niti, niti (inquam) tanquam restabili, quae certò nos sustentat, iustitia Christi nobis donata, non autem sanctitate & gratia nobis inharente. Haec etenim nostra iustitia est inchoata, & imperfecta, quae tueri nos non potest, quin in multis offendamus, quin assiduè peccemus, ac propterea indigeamus oratione, qua quotidiè petamus, dimitti nobis debita nostra. Idcir [...]o in conspectu Dei non possumus ob hanc iustitiam nostram haberi iusti & boni, quemad­modum deceret filios Dei esse bonos & sanctos: sed iustitia Christi nobis donata est vera & perfecta iustitia, quae omnino placet oeulis Dei, in qua nih [...]l est quod Deum offendat, quod Deo non summopere placeat. Hac ergo sola certa & stabili▪ nobis nitendum est, & ob eam solam credere, nos iustificari coram Deo, id est, iustos haberi, & dici iustos. Hic est preciosus ille Christianorum the saurus, quem qui inuenit, vendit omnia quae habet, vt emat illum. Haec est preci­osa margarita, quam qui inuenit, linquit omnia, vt eam habeat, &c. Inde est, quòd experimento videmus viros sanctos, qui quanto magis in sanctitate proficiunt, tanto minus sibi placent: ac propterea tanto magis intelligunt se indigere Christo, & iustitia Christi sibi donata, ideo (que) so relinquunt, & soli Christo incumbunt. Hoc non ob eam accidit causam, quòd facti sanctiores, minus videant, quàm prius, ne (que) quoniam facti sint animo dimissiori & viliori; imò quanto ma­gis in sanctitate proficiunt, tanto maiori sunt animo, tantò sunt per­spicaciores. Quamobrem facti perspicaciores, magis intuentur san­ctitatis & iustitiae ipsis inhaerentis tenuitatem, cum qua perspiciunt multas maculas, quae corum oculos factos perspicaciores magis offen­dunt: ac propterea reipsa cognoscunt, non sibi nitendum esse sanctita­te, charitate & gratia sibi inhaerente, sed confugiendum sibi esse ad Christum, & ad gratiam Christi ipsis donatam, quae nitantur & in­cumbant: We attaine (saith hee) to a double righteousnesse; the one inherent in vs: whereby wee begin to be iust, and are made partakers of the diuine nature, and haue charity shed abroad in our hearts: the other, not inherent, but giuen vs with Christ; the righteousnesse (I say) of Christ, and all his merits. Both are giuen vs at one time, and we attaine both of them by faith. And that God hath giuen vs Christ, and with him all things; it is the Text of the Apostle to the Ro­manes. [...]om. 8. 32. [Page 157] These things, I suppose, none can contradict. It re­maines then to enquire, whether of these two we are to trust vnto, and to bee esteemed iustified before God. For my part (saith hee) I thinke it agreeable both to Piety and Christia­nity, to say, that we ought to relye, to relye (I say) vpon the righteousnesse of Christ giuen vnto vs, as vpon a most firme foundation, which doth surely sustaine vs; and not vpon ho­linesse and grace inherent in vs. Thus Contarenus. And a­gaine, in the same book: (Hac sola (inquit) certa, stabili, nobis nitendum est, & ob eam solam credere nos iustificari coram Deo, id est, iustos haberi, &c.) We are (saith he) to relye vpon this only certaine and stable foundation, and for the same onely, to be­leeue that we are iustified before God, that is, accounted iust. This is that precious treasure of Christians, which who so findeth, selleth all that he hath, to buy it. Thence it is, that by experiment we see holy men, who the greater proficients they proue in holinesse, the lesse they please themselues; and therefore doe so much the more perceiue they stand in neede of Christ, and of his righteousnesse giuen vnto them: and therefore they renounce themselues, and relye onely vpon Christ. Neither doth this come to passe, that becomming more holy, they see lesse than before, or are now more dege­nerous and base minded: yea, rather the more they grow in sanctity, the more generous and quicke sighted they bee. Wherefore becomming the sharper sighted, they do the more looke into the weaknesse and slendernesse of their inherent sanctity and righteousnesse, which they obserue to bee infe­cted with many spots and speckes, which doe so much the more offend their eyes, the more sharpe sighted they grow: and therefore they acknowledge, that they are not to relye vpon any sanctity, charity, and grace inherent in them, but to flye to Christ, and to his grace giuen vnto them, whereupon they wholly relye, and repose themselues. These and many other excellent sayings, hath this Cardinall left recorded, beseeming a learned, godly, and pious Diuine, set­ting forth the true nature of the iustification of a sinner be­fore God. So that by the authority and testimony of this [Page 158] learned and iudicious Cardinall, Gods wisedome and proui­dence so disposing it, it is euident, that this doctrine of iusti­fication, which the Protestants teach and maintaine, was not a new doctrine inuented by Luther, but the same which the Catholicke Doctors and Diuines taught, vntill Scotus and his Sectaries began to broach a new and contrary doctrine (which this learned Cardinall, by solid arguments from Scripture, confuteth) neuer created nor decreed for Catho­licke, vntill the Romane-Catholicke Councell of Trent.

CHAP. XI. Of the Romane-Catholicke faith it selfe, what kinde of faith that is which the Church of Rome admitteth as their Christian faith, or the faith of Romane-Catholicke beleeuers.

BY that which hath beene already declared of the Ro­mane-Catholicke doctrine, touching the iustification of a sinner, it is more than euident, that they haue quite barred vp the beautifull gate of the Temple of Heauen, blocked vp the way to saluation, beset the Tree of life with their Seraphi­call flaming sword of Anathema, fire and fagot, lest neuer a Mothers sonne of Adam should put forth his hand to taste of it, and so liue for euer in the heauenly Paradise. So that the Romish Doctors, specially the Trent-Fathers, are iust like those Scribes and Pharisees Hypocrites, which shut vp theMat. 23. 13. Kingdome of Heauen, and for all Peters pretended keyes, take away the key of knowledge, neither going in themselues, nor suffering others to enter in. Or they are like to the Phili­stims, who stopped vp those Wels, which Abraham had dig­gedGen. 26. 15. for his flockes, filling them with earth and rubbish. So these Romish Philistims, enuying Isaacs riches, the riches of Gods grace in the children of the promise, Abrahams seede, haue with the earth and rubbish of humane inuentions, and of Satans Sophistry, stopped vp those Wels of saluation, which Abraham by faith had digged, and found, & enioyed, & [Page 159] left also to his faithfull posterity to enioy to the worlds end. And in stead therof they haue hewed to themselues Cisternes,Ier. 2. 13. broken Cisternes, that will hold no water, hauing forsaken the Lord, the fountaine of liuing waters, as Ieremy speaketh.

But yet say, that the Romane-Catholicke Church had not thus stopped vp the Wels of saluation, but that, as the promi­scuous Samaritans (who were a perfect type of the Popish Church: for they meddled not with the Iewes, the true Church; they had a mixt Religion of the true God, and of Idols, false gods; they had built a Temple in Mount Garizim,Ioseph. de Anti­quit. Iud. lib. 13. cap. 17. not onely in imitation, but in emulation and opposition to the Temple in Ierusalem: So the Romish Church will not med­dle with the true Christian professors, and true Iehudahs, praysers of God, vnlesse it be by treachery and treason, by powder and poyson, fire and fagot, and sword: their Religion is mixt, and so mixt, as their Idols haue quite shouldred out the seruice of the true God; and against Christ, the true Tem­ple, whose Religion is Catholicke, and spred ouer the whole world, as Christ told the Samaritan woman, they haue builtIohn 4. 21. 23. an Antichristian Church vpon the Romane Hils, whose ima­ginary foundation is Peters Chaire, and whose gates are ope­ned and shut with Peters keyes) Say (I say) if, as the Samari­tans retained Iacobs Well intire; so the Pontificians did pre­serue the Wels of saluation pure, not hauing despitefully stopt them vp, as the Philistims did Abrahams Wels: yet, as the woman of Samaria said to Christ; The Well is deepe, and thou hast nothing to draw withall: so the Well of saluation is deepe, what is there then to draw withall; that, as Esay faith, yee may with ioy draw water out of the Wels of saluation.Esa. 12. 3. This may therefore be fitly obiected to the Church of Rome, which the Samaritan woman foolishly obiected to Christ: The Well is deepe, and thou hast nothing to draw withall. Nothing? yea nothing; not so much as a small sheard to take water withall out of the pit, as Esay speaketh: For there is noEsa. 30. 14. line to reach, no bucket to take the liuing waters out of Gods Well, but onely Faith. With this it was, wherewith the Sa­maritan woman her selfe, both drew and dranke of the true [Page 160] liuing water, out of Iacobs true liuing Well, and the Wel was Christ. With this Faith it was, wherewith the woman withMat. 9. 22. the bloudy issue drew the liuing water out of Christ, which washed away the running bloudy issue of her sins: For it was her faith, that made her whole, and that by Christs own testi­monie. With this faith it was, that the blinde man in the Gospell went and washed in the Poole of Siloam, yea in theIohn 9. soft running waters of Shilo, Iesus Christ, by vertue wherof he returned seeing.

But the Church of Rome doth not deny faith. True. Yea but euery faith will not reach this Well, nor comprehend this Water: let vs see therefore, what that faith is which the Pontificians hold, and whether it will hold water, as we say. And now are wee come to the maine point of the matter of our iustification: as Soto confesseth, that this doctrine of faith it selfe, is the princeps Controuersia, the head controuersie be­tweeneDom. Soto de nat. & grat. l. 2. c. 5. the Pontificians, and whom they call the Lutherans. But, as the same Soto saith, ibid. Est lis haec de sola fide, adeo tum à suis exordijs abstrusae, tum ob diuturnam vtrin (que) pugnam obuoluta ac implexa, vt ad eruendam veritatem vix nobis alicunde pateat aditus: This controuersie of sole faith (saith he) is both from the first originall of it so abstruse, as also by reason of the continual contentions on both sides, so inuolued and intricate, that to cleare the truth, we can scarce finde where to beginne. And herein he saith perhaps too true.

But the Pontificians treading this endlesse maze, may thank their owne Shoolemen, who first drew this Labyrinth, filling it full with the many meanders of their manifold distinctions, whereby they haue so intoxicated euen their strongest brains with often turnings, as it is no maruaile, if subtile Soto him­selfe, and others of his society, doe so much busie themselues in vaine to finde the right doore of faith, as the blinde Sodo­mites were puzled in seeking the doore of the righteous Lot, which they could not finde out. So that for a man to go about to tread this Pontifician Maze, may seeme an endlesse labour. But if wee repaire to the Councell of Trent, therein wee shall finde the whole spawne of the errours of faith [Page 161] compact in one lumpe together.

The Councell of Trent, or the Church of Rome (which you will) acknowledgeth and admitteth only one kinde of faith, namely, an Historicall faith, which (say they) is com­mon to all men, good and bad, yea common to the very Diuels themselues. The summe whereof is set down in the fifteenth Chapter of the sixt Session, and in the twenty eight Canon:Concil. Trid. Sess. 6. c. 15. can. 28. Their words are these, Aduer [...]us etiam hominum quorundam callidaingenia, qui per dulces sermones, & benedictiones, seducunt corda innocentium, asserendum est, non modè infidelitate, per quam & ipsa fides amittitur, sed etiam quocunque alio mortali peccato, quamuis non amittatur fides, acceptam iustificationis gratiam amit­ti: diuinae legis doctrinam defendendo, quae à regno Dei non solum infideles excludit, sed & fideles quoque fornicarios, adulteros, molles, masculorum concubitores, fures, auaros, ebriosos, maledicos, rapaces, caeterosque omnes, qui laetalia committunt peccata, à quibus cum di­uinae gratiae adiumento abstinere possunt, & pro quibus à Christi gra­tia separantur: That is, Also against the cunning wits of cer­taine men, which by Note the su­gar-tongued serpent, pro [...]a­ning Scripture, by an hypocri­ticall mis-ap­plying it to o­thers, when it directly taxeth seducing Pon­tificians them­selues. sweet words, and benedictions, seduce the hearts of the innocent, wee are to affirme, that not onely by infidelity, whereby euen faith it selfe is lost, but also by any mortall sinne whatsoeuer, although faith bee not lost, yet the grace of iustification being receiued, is lost: maintaining the doctrine of Gods law, which excludeth from the Kingdome of God, not onely vnbeleeuers, but also beleeuing or faithfull fornicators, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselues with mankinde, theeues, couetous, drunkards, raylers, extor­tioners, and all other, that commit deadly sinnes; from which they might haue abstained by the helpe of Gods grace, and for which they are separated from the grace of Christ. In which words, we may obserue two remarkeable things, concerning the Popish faith: first, that it hath no coherence with the grace of iustification, seeing (as they teach) the grace of iusti­fication may be lost, and yet faith remaine stil in a man: the se­cond is, that this faith of theirs is cōmon to whoor-mongers, to adulterers, and all kind of lewd persons, whom they cal be­leeuing or faithfull, though shut out from the kingdom of God.

[Page 162]To this they adde also the twenty eight Canon: Si quis dixe­rit, amissa perpeccatum gratia, simul & fidem semper amitti: aut fidem, quae remanet, non esse veram fidem, licet non sit viua: aut eum, qui fidem sine charitate habet, non esse Christianum: anathema sit: If any man shall say, that grace being lost by sinne, faith to­gether with it, is alwaies lost: or that which remaineth, is not true faith, though not a liuing faith: or that he, who hath faith without charitie, is not a Christian: let him be accursed. So that according to Romes doctrine, a man may haue faith, and want grace: and a dead faith with them is a true faith: and faith without charity may serue to make a Christian. Ac­cording to which doctrine, the Diuell should haue a true faith, and consequently not to bee denyed to bee a Christian: Euen as the Turkes call their circumcised, Mussel-men, that is, true Beleeuers; such true Beleeuers may the Pontificians be allowed to be. Vega giues the reason of this. Quod sancta Sy­nodus Vega de mortal. & venial pec­cat. l. 1. c. 14. fidem peccatorum fidem veram appellauit, &c. That the ho­ly Synod of Trent, called the faith of sinners true faith, surely she did it being compelled of you (O ye Lutherans) being de­sirous by a fit terme to make plaine to all men the Catholicke doctrine of the identity of faith vnformed and formed. And lest any hereby should bee deceiued, therefore shee hath put this qualification, licet non sit vi [...]a, although it be not a liuing faith. And yet the same Vega saith there, Quod si Lutherus, &c. If Luther had only said, that which he writ in his Commen­tary vpon the Galathians, Si vera fides est, &c. If faith be true, and if a man be truly a Sonne, charitie shall not be wanting; we had neuer opposed him. Yea Vega, but take Luthers mea­ning withall, That wheresoeuer true faith is, there is charity; and then you will retract your words, and hold on your op­position, not against Luther, but against the truth. Soto alsoSoto de nat & grat. l. 2. c. 7. puts the matter out of doubt, saying, That fides mortua propriè est fides, the dead faith is the proper faith. And chapt. 8. ibid. That this faith doth not only fictè, fainedly, or falsly, as Luthe­rans say (saith hee) sed propriè, legitimè, & verè, but properly, legitimately, and truly, make a man a Christian, and theCo [...]cil. Trid. Sess. 6. can. 28. member of Christ: according to the Text. But thus we come [Page 163] to discouer the Councels reasons, why she cals a dead faith a true faith: as also her meaning, where she saith, That the in­strumental cause of iustification is the sacrament of Baptisme, which is the sacrament of faith; sine qua, without which faith, no man euer came to be iustified. This might giue some colour to iustification by faith; sauing that they say, They may haue faith without iustification. And againe in the same Chapter, whereas they equiuocate egregiously, saying, That faith, vnlesse hope and loue be added to it, doth not perfectly vnite vs vnto Christ; alledging that of Iames, Faith without workes is dead and fruitlesse: and that of Paul, That in Christ Ie­sus neyther circumcision auaileth any thing, nor vncircumcision; but faith which worketh by loue: yet they meane no other faith, but that which is by nature voyde of loue, and hope, seeing it can subsist without them. And so consequently the faith that they hold and maintaine, is no liuing, but a dead faith, which may bee in the damned, yea which is in the very Diuels.

And for the further opening and confirming of the Coun­cels minde [...] [...]his maine point, let vs heare further what her two Champions and Expositors, Vega and Soto in their lear­ned Commentaries vpon this Session of the Councell, haue said concerning their iustifying Faith. These, as all other Pontifi­cians at this day, taking the Councell of Trent for their guide and rule, as Bellarmine and others, with one mouth do affirm, That there is no kinde of Faith, but one: as Soto saith, Eadem Soto de nat. & grat. l. 2. c. 7. vniuersorum fides est: The Faith of all men is one and the same. Indeede in the sixt Chapter of the same Booke, he sets down a two-fold acception of Faith: the first, of that Faith which he cals a morall vertue, which is in the will: the other, an in­tellectuall vertue, in the vnderstanding. The first he takes for fidelity in keeping ones word: The second for the credit gi­uen to it. In this latter sense Soto takes that Faith, which is in man towards God: and what this Faith is, he further shew­eth in the seuenth Chapter, where he propounds two things concerning faith: first, Quod nullatenus duae, sed vna▪penitus Soto ibid. Fides est, qua credimus vniuersa reuelata, sine histori [...] sin [...], sine pro­missiones, sine pr [...]ceptiones, aut consilia: first, that there bee not [Page 164] two, but altogether one Faith, whereby we beleeue all things reuealed, whether they be histories, or promises, or precepts, or counsels. The second is, Quod promissionum assensus, ad fidem Catholicam pertinens, non est specialis ille, quo quis (que) de se credit, seu recipere modo, seu habere iam gratiam; sed ille in genere, quo fir­miter credimus, Iesum Christum vniuersalem esse Redemptorem, &c. That the assent of the promises, appertaining to the Catho­licke faith, is not that speciall assent of faith, whereby euery man beleeueth of himselfe, that hee eyther now receiueth, or hath grace already; but that generall assent, whereby we firmly beleeue, that Iesus Christ is an vniuersal Redeemer, &c.

Therefore that wee may trace these Pontificians to their fourmes or holes, we will insist in their owne foot-steps; and first shew what species, or kinde of faith they hold: and se­condly, what qualities they appropriate vnto it in particular. First therefore what kinde of faith they meane, wee haue had the testimony of the Councell of Trent ioyntly, and general­ly; and then more particularly, the Commentary of Soto vp­on it: namely, that it is a meere Historicall faith, common both to good and wicked men. To whom also wee will adde Vega's iudgement and Commentary, who also excludeth all kindes of faith, but this one Historicall faith, as any way re­quisiteVega de iustif. grat▪ &c. qu. 1. to iustification: Nor doth any of them allow vnto faith any other worke in iustification, but onely as it disposeth a man thereunto. Let vs heare Vega's owne words, who not fearing to blaspheme the doctrine of faith deliuered by Christ and his Apostles, by peruerting it to serue his Antichristian doctrine, saith: Et Paulus & caeteri Apostoli, imo & ipse Christus, cum fidei tribuebant nostram salutem & iustificationem, Ibid. qu. 2. rat. 1. cum & eam exigebant ab eis, quibus praedicabant; agebant de fide, per quam acquirere possumus, & verè acquirimus iustitiam, docebant (que) nos dispositionem, qua nos ex parte nostra disponimus ad gratiam; sed ista fides non est fides formata, aut saltem non in quan­tum formata, habet ista essicere: both Paul and the other Apo­stles, yea euen Christ himselfe, when they attributed to faith our saluation and iustification, and required it of those, to whom they preached; they handled that faith, by which [Page 165] we may acquire, and doe truely acquire righteousnesse, and they taught vs that disposition, whereby on our part we dis­pose our selues to grace; but this faith is not a faith formed, or at least not as it is formed, doth it effect these things. And by and by he explaines this more clearely, saying: Fides for­mata non est via, ne (que) dispositio ad iustitiam nostram, siquidem illa iam habet secum praesentem iustitiam: Faith which is formed, is not the way, nor the disposition to our righteousnesse: for His meaning is, by grace in­herent, as hope, & loue, &c. this already hath righteousnesse present with it. It remaines therefore that Vega alloweth no faith in iustification, but that which is vnformed, or voide of charity, and that this serues onely to dispose a man to iustification, which iustifica­tion charity possesseth, when once it hath giuen forme and life to faith.

Now Vega in the former question, among other sundry acceptions of this word Faith, doth most willingly imbrace, and pitch vpon that, which signifieth credulity, or aptnesse to beleeue, or a perswasion, or a firme and certaine assent: sed ineuidens tamen; but yet vneuident. And omitting others, this hee most diuinely proueth out of a prophane Author and Historian, Titus Liuius. As also out of the Poet Virgil:

Credo equidem, ne (que) vanafides genus esse Deorum.
I verily beleeue there is a generation
Of Gods, nor is my faith a vaine imagination.

This example Vega worthily puts among others, to demon­strate and exemplifie that faith, which the Pontificians haue and hold concerning God, and their owne saluation, by way at least of disposition, as we haue said. Now this faith, taken for credulity, or perswasion, or assent, but vneuident, hee di­uides into sundry branches; as either it is humane or diuine: humane, when we beleeue mans sayings; diuine, when we be­leeue Gods sayings. This diuine Faith, hee sub-diuideth into actuall and habituall. The actuall Faith hee cals a firme and certaine, but vneuident assent of those things, which are re­uealed [Page 166] of God. That it is a firme and certaine assent, it ex­ceeds opinion: that it is vneuident, it is inferiour to the in­tellect or vnderstanding science, and sapience, which are in­tellectuall vertues, hauing clearnesse and euidence. Habitu­all Faith is a certaine intellectuall habit, whereby the vnder­standing is made apt and disposed to the actuall Faith. This habituall Faith he further diuides into fidem acquisitam & in­fusam; into faith acquired and infused. Faith acquired, is a habit fitting vs the more easily to beleeue, being acquired by the frequency of the acts of Faith. Faith infused, is a certain supernaturall habit, and altogether of a diuine condition, in­fused by God into our vnderstandings, that by it wee may easily, and certainly, and vndoubtedly assent vnto diuine re­uelations. Verùm hic habitus, &c. but this habit (saith hee) may be both in righteous men, and in sinners, as all Catho­licke Doctors for certaine hold, and experience it selfe decla­reth. Lastly, he diuideth Faith in fidem informem, & formatam; into faith vnformed, and formed. Faith vnformed, he cals a habit of Faith, separated from charity. Faith formed, is a habit of Faith, conioyned vnto charity, and hauing it present with it. Although these in habit are both one; for as charity ioyned to Faith, makes it to be formed: so being remoued from Faith againe, leaues it as it found it, vnformed. This is the perplexed doctrine of the Pontificians, or Church of Rome, concerning Faith; who, though they be so barren of distinctions, as not to finde out the true kindes of Faith, grounded on the holy Scriptures, but Babylonishly confound them all in one: yet againe they shew their pregnant and fruitfull veine in distinguishing, when as they diuide and sub­diuide this poore Faith of theirs into so many parts, as at length it comes to iust nothing. Not vnlike to Cyrus King [...]rodot. lib. 1. of Persia, who in his expedition towards and against Baby­lon, being to passe ouer the riuer Gyndes, which afforded him no Ford to passe, but by shipping; one of his holy white steeds proudly assaying to swimme ouer, and so being drow­ned, hee thereupon in reuenge of his holy horse, vpon that goodly riuer, threatned he would so diminish and diuide this [Page 167] riuer, as women should easily wade ouer it, and not vp to their knees. So hee set his numerous Army aworke for a whole yeare, to diuide the riuer into three hundred and threescore branches, and so being as good as his word, passed on the next summer to conquer Babylon. So deale the Ponti­ficians with sauing Faith; which, being as a goodly riuer, able to carry the fairest ships of richest fraight, bound for the holy Land, onely because it will not suffer their proud inherent holinesse, by the vertue of its owne strength, to passe ouer, they doe so cut and mince it, as they make it common (such is their common Faith) for all passengers, tagge and ragge, to passe through vpon their owne legs.

Now let vs see which of these branches of Faith, Vega in the name of the Councell of Trent, and Church of Rome, layes speciall hand on; whether on the actuall or habituall, acquired or infused, formed or vnformed. Vega shuts out all other Faith from the meaning of the Apostle in all those places, where he attributes iustification vnto Faith, but onely the actuall Faith. All habituall Faith, whether acquired or infused, he peremptorily excludeth, maugre all those that say the contrary, of what authority soeuer. Now what this actu­all Faith is, we haue heard by Vega himselfe, that it is a cre­dulity, or perswasion firme and certaine, but vneuident. Note here, how this Babylonish builder contradicts and con­founds himselfe in one breath. If this Faith of his be a firme and certain perswasion, how is it vneuident? and if vneuident, how is it a firme or certaine perswasion? Indeed this Vneui­dent helpes all. It is like the picture of Venus drawne by Apelles, who being not able to delineate and beautifie her face to the life, drawes an artificiall shadow of a vaile or cur­taine ouer it. But what might bee the meaning of this word Ineuident? Surely, I finde not Vega very free to explaine him­selfe in this point. Onely in one place, he seemeth to vnder­standIbid. quaest. 1. by it, such an assent or faith, as we giue meerly for the authority of him that speaketh. And so it may very well be said to be ineuident, not onely in regard of any particular perswasion of good towards a mans selfe, from him that [Page 168] speaketh, but also of the particular truth to be beleeued. This ineuident Faith is not vnlike the Iesuiticall blinde obedience; when only the authority of the commander is respected, not the equitie of what is commanded. But the most commodi­ous property of Vega's ineuidence, is to leaue it, as we finde it, ineuident. For the maine drift of the Pontificians is, to fould vp Faith in a cloud, that no man should know it. And therefore Vega, to dazell our eyes, would haue vs beleeue, that the Apostle Paul, where hee speakes of iustifying Faith, meanes not eyther Faith vnformed, or Faith formed in parti­cular, but Faith in generall. O miserable selfe-blinding Car­dinall! would you also cast a myst before the Apostles eyes, that hee should not see what he said? was euer impudencie and folly so yoaked together? But whats the reason, that Vega will not pitch vpon one certaine and distinct Faith, spe­cially meant by the Apostle? The reason is not hard to giue: For if Vega should say, that the Apostle meant Faith vnfor­med, then the expresse words of the Apostle would euidently confute him, where he commendeth Faith working by loue. And againe, if Vega should confesse, that the Apostle else­where meant that Faith which worketh by loue, then it must needes follow, that Faith doth truly iustifie, and not barely dispose a man to iustification, as Vega would haue it.

But Vega hath another pretty euasion for this. For he saith, Aliud est, &c. It is one thing to say, that those places of Scrip­ture, wherein our iustification is attributed to faith, are to be vnderstood of Faith formed; and another, that they are to be vnderstood of Faith, which worketh by loue. For although (saith he) others take these two, for one kinde of Faith; yet we thinke these two to be most distinct, and by no meanes to be confounded together: Prius enim est, &c. For Faith wor­king by loue, goes before Faith formed by charity: because (saith he) for this end it workes by loue, that it may obtaine the holy Ghost; and by it charity, wherewith it may be for­med. O admirable subtilty, surpassing all Philosophy, all Di­uinitie! How doth Faith worke by loue, before it haue cha­rity? Or what is that loue the Apostle speaketh of, but cha­rity? [Page 169] Or is the Apostles Faith working by loue, a Faith vn­formed? O Vega! let me say that to thee truly, which Agrip­pa falsly applyed to Paul; Vega, thou art besides thy selfe; too much learning maketh thee madde. For I am sure Vega can­not answer for himselfe, as Paul did, I am not madde, but speake Acts 26. the words of truth and sobriety. For Vega's wordes are meere contradictions, senslesse and corrupt, vnsauory salt. Such is his sophisticate Sophistry, and frothy wit, that it may bee said to him as the Prophet saith to Babylon, Thy wisedome, and thy Esay 47. 10. knowledge, it hath peruerted thee: or as the Vulgar hath it, Hath deceiued thee. I know, their shift is to say, There is a loue in man vpon the first grace, disposing him to iustification, wher­by he beginnes to loue God aboue all things. And i [...] not this loue the highest degree of charity that can bee? If this loue be not charity, it is meere vanitie.

But to sum vp the totall of that wch Rome teacheth concer­ning faith in Iustification, as we find it either expressed or im­plyed in the Councell of Trent, & illustrated by her most preg­nant Interpreters: First, they allow or acknowledge but one kinde of Faith in the Scriptures, common to good and bad. Secondly, that this is the Catholicke Faith of the Church, the obiect whereof is the whole word of God, written and vn­written. Thirdly, that this Faith is a meere Historicall Faith, which may be in the very Diuels and damned. Fourthly, that this Faith is formed by charity; which while it hath, it is a liuing faith, but losing it, it is dead and vnfruitfull. Fiftly, that this Faith, euen without charity, dead and fruitlesse as it is, yet is sufficient to make a man a Christian, and a Beleeuer. Sixtly, though they admit of no other Faith to Iustification, yet that this Faith doth not iustifie by their owne confession, but may be in a man that is not iustified. Seuenthly, that a man hauing this Faith, whereby he is made a Christian, and a be­leeuer, yet for all that hee may goe to Hell. Lastly, notwith­standing all this, yet this Faith is a true iustifying Faith, though it bee dead. This is the expresse perplext doctrine of the Church of Rome concerning Faith, without any equiuo­cation at all. Come wee now to examine the truth of this doctrine.

CHAP. XII. Wherein Romane-Catholicke Doctrine, concerning the kinde of iusti­fying Faith, is confuted, and the Catholicke Doctrine confirmed: also of Faiths obiect, and subiect.

FIrst, whereas they allow no Faith in Scripture, but one, which they ground vpon that of the Apostle, Ephes. 4. 5. One Faith; it is euident they build vpon a wrong ground. That there is but one Faith, in the Apostles sense, it is true; that is, but one sauing and iustifying Faith: but that this faith is that, which the Romane Catholicks only allow of, is vtter­ly false and fabulous. And yet they cal this the iustifying faith, which Vega describeth thus: Fides cui sacrae literae nostram tri­buunt Vega de iustif. [...]rat. &c. q. 1 [...]ropos. 5. iustificationem, &c. That Faith, to which the holy Scrip­tures attribute our iustification, is for the most part, and spe­cially, the Faith of the only Mediator betweene vs and God: or, to speake more plainely, it is the Faith of Iesus Christ; to wit, a credulity, or perswasion, whereby we certainly and vn­doubtedly beleeue, that we may possibly be saued by him alone; and also other things, which are deliuered eyther by himself, or by his Church, or by his Apostles, which we are to beleeue concerning his life, death, resurrection, glory, and dignity, and grace. Note here the nature of the Pontifician Faith: They call it the Faith of the only Mediatour, between vs and God. This is well said: but it is with limitation; it is but vt plurimum, for the most part. Therefore this is not the true Catholicke faith, as we shall see anone. Then they call this Faith a credu­lity or perswasion, wherby we certainly and vndoubtedly be­leeue.This beeing [...]hat faith which some nouelists call Euangelicall faith, which they distin­guish in kinde from faith in Christ. How! Certainly and vndoubtedly beleeue! This may passe for good Catholike doctrine. But what do we certainly and vndoubtedly beleeue? namely, Per cum vnum nos posse sal­uari, That we may possibly be saued by him alone. So they place their faith in a possibility of saluation by Christ. But is this all? No: this faith hath for its full and adaequate obiect, as the en­tire rule of it, whatsoeuer is reuealed, or deliuered by writing, [Page 171] or tradition, either by Christ himselfe, or by his Church, or by his Apostles. So that this faith must bee regulated as well by that which the Church saith (and what he meaneth by the Church, we all know) as what Christ and his Apostles haue said; as well by traditions, Romes vnwritten word, as by the written Word of God. Nay, the Councell of Trent goes far­ther, making the maine rule of faith to be that sense and mea­ning, which the Church (alwayes vnderstand of Rome) hath or shall set downe, concerning all things written and vnwrit­ten. And this is the Romane-Catholike faith.

Now if this faith of theirs bee the iustifying faith, how comes it to passe, that they that haue this faith, are not iusti­fied by it? And if men hauing this faith, may notwithstan­ding be damned, and carry it with them to hell, how is it a iustifying faith? But with Romes good will, we must not touch vpon particulars. Suffice it, there is one faith, and this is the Catholicke faith of Romane-Catholicke beleeuers.

There is but one faith, say they, whether it be formed or vnformed, which they take from the Scoria of the Schooles forge: For Aquinas saith, that faith formed or vnformed, is one and the same in kinde, and in number, as the Logicke terme is. Indeede Aquinas might speake his pleasure of faithAqu 2. 2. qu. 4. 4. & qu. 19. 5. 1. The vanity of the distinction of faith for­med and vn­formed. formed and vnformed, as being the first Forger of the forme of faith. Whereas if this Scoria be but cast into the Test, it will presently fume into the ayre. For, according to Philoso­phy (Aquinas his profest and pretended proper element) a thing without forme, is non ens: if it be Tohu, it is Bohu too, Gen. 1. 2. For the forme giues the being to the thing. Now the faith of Deuils, and of the wicked, wanting a forme, as Pon­tificians say, is no faith at all. But the faith of Deuils is not no faith; a faith it is, therefore a forme it must haue. What forme? Indeede, as Scaliger saith, the formes of things are hard to be found out: But euery thing that hath but a name, must haue a forme, that giues the being. Now that the faith of Deuils hath a forme proper vnto it, is manifest, because it hath a speciall act and motion in beleeuing, which springeth from the proper forme of it. The act of the Deuils faith is to [Page 172] beleeue that God is, and that he is true in his word, and iust in his iudgements; so, as it maketh the Deuill to tremble withall. If therefore the Deuils faith hath a speciall forme, to giue being vnto it, then this forme puts a specificall difference betweene the Deuils faith and the Saints faith. For euery thing is differenced in kinde from another, by its proper forme. As therefore the Saints faith hath a speciall forme, to difference it from the faith of Deuils; so the Deuils faith hath a proper forme, to difference it specifically from the faith of Saints: as the beasts soule is by the forme of it, diffe­renced from a mans soule. And the forme makes the maine difference. But this by the way, to shew how these Philo­sophicall Doctors defile their owne nest. To proceed.

That there is but one faith whereby we are saued, all Ca­tholike Diuines haue euer taught: but that the liuing faith, which they call formed, and the dead faith, which they say is vnformed, should be all one faith in kinde, this is a mysterie neuer known, nor I suppose, euer so much as dreamt of by any of the ancient Catholick Doctors of the Church. Leo, sirna­med the Great, who was Bishop of Rome about the yeare of [...]o serm. 14. in [...]atiuit. Christ, 440. while as yet the faith of that Church was truely Catholike; he saith: Vna fides iustificat vniuersorum temporum Sanctos: & ad eandem spem fidelium pertinet, quicquid per Media­torem Dei & hominum, Iesum Christum, vel nos confitemur factum, vel Patres nostri ad [...]rauere faciendum. A sentence worthy to be written in golden letters. One faith (saith he) doth iusti­fie the Saints of all times: and it appertaines to the same hope of the faithfull, whatsoeuer eyther we confesse already done, or our Fathers adored should be done by the Mediator of God and men, Iesus Christ. Note here, this good old Bi­shop of Rome acknowledgeth one faith. What faith? A iusti­fying faith. What? A faith common to reprobates? No: such as iustifieth the Saints. What Saints? Those of the Popes Canonizing? No: The Saints of all times; such as were long before the new order of Saints instituted by the Pope, long after St. Leo. Such Saints as are not mentioned in the Popes Calender: namely, all those Saints of the old Testament, [Page 173] whereof the Popes Rubricke hath none. As the same Leo saith: Omnes Sancti, qui Saluatoris nostri tempora praecesserunt, Leo ibid. serm. 10. per hanc fidem iustificati, expectantes vniuersalem credentium re­demptionem in semine Abrahae: All the Saints, who liued be­fore the times of our Sauiour, are iustified by this faith, ex­pecting the vniuersall redemption of beleeuers in the seed of Abraham. And in his fourth Sermon vpon the Epiphany: Hoc est, quod iustificat impios, hoc est, quod ex peccatoribus facit Sanctos, si in vno, eodem (que) Domino nostro Iesu Christo, & vera Dei­tas, & vera credatur humanitas: This is that which iustifieth the vngodly, that is, of sinners maketh Saints, if in one, and the same our Lord Iesus Christ, both the true Deity, and the true humanity be beleeued. Hee putteth this particle of be­leeuing the truth of Christs two natures in one person, as pointing at the Heresies of Nestorius and Eutyches, which in his time were very hot, and tended to ouerthrow the truth of his two distinct natures in the vnity of his person. This I note by the way, lest the Pontificians should say, that this good Leo meant onely a generall saith concerning Christ. But we see the Catholicke doctrine of those purer and more vir­gin times of the Church, was, that there was but one iustify­ing faith, and this not common to good and euill, elect and reprobate, promiscuously; but such as did truely iustifie the wicked, and of sinners make Saints. So that whosoeuer had this faith, were effectually iustified, and, without the helpe of the Popes Calendar, made reall, not titular Saints. Augustine also saith: Vna fides est, quae omnes saluos facit, qui ex carnali ge­neratione Aug. de peccat. merit. & remis. lib. 2. cap. 29. in spiritalem renascendo saluantur, terminata in eo, qui venit pro nobis iudicar [...] & mori: It is one faith that saueth all, which of carnall generation, being spiritually regenerate, are saued; their faith being bounded in him, that came to bee iudged, and to dye for vs, the Iudge of quicke and dead. And againe; Ea fides iustos sanauit antiquos, quae sanat & nos (id est) Aug. de nat. & grat. lib. contra Pelag cap 44. Mediatoris Dei & hominum, &c. That faith healed the righ­teous of old, which healeth also vs (to wit) the faith of the Mediator of God and men, &c. So that there is but one sa­uing and saluing faith of all the regenerate. And this is accor­ding [Page 174] to the expresse doctrine of the holy Scriptures, which put an vnreconcilable opposition betweene a dead Faith and a liuing Faith; betweene that Faith which is common with the Deuils and Reprobates, and that which is proper and pe­culiar to the elect Saints. Hence it is, that the Scripture cals that Faith, whereby we are iustified, a holy Faith: yea, a most holy Faith, Iude 20. Also, the Faith giuen to the Saints, Iude 3. It is called also, Fides electorum; the Faith of the elect. Tit. 1. 1. St. Peter cals it a precious Faith. Therefore sauing and iusti­fyingPet. 1. 1. Faith, being that most holy Faith which is proper to the Saints, and to the Elect, it cannot possibly bee the same with that Faith, which is in the Reprobate and Deuils, but differeth from it both specie & numero; in kinde and number, as the Logicians speake.

This doctrine of iustifying and sauing Faith, peculiar and proper to Gods elect Saints, and not common with any o­ther whatsoeuer, is further confirmed by the Catholicke Do­ctors of former ages. Gregory sirnamed also the Great, Bi­shopGreg. Moral. [...]b. 16. cap. 13. of Rome, about the yeare 590. in his Morals speaking of Faith; saith: Electi omnes eum, quem fide cognouerunt, videre quo (que) per speciem anhelant; [...]uius amore flagrantes aestuant, quia eius dulcedinis suauitatem iam in ipsa sua fidei certitudine degu­stant: All the elect (saith hee) doe striue to see him by face, whom they know by faith; with whose loue being inflamed they boyle, because they now in the very assurance of their faith taste of the delicacy of his sweetnesse. This Bishop of Rome doth denominate and appropriate the Faith, whereby we now know God, and hereafter shall certainely see God face to face, to the Elect onely, and to all the Elect. And in his Homilies vpon Ezechiel, he saith: Omnes Electi, siue qui in Greg. super E­zech. lib. 2. hom. [...]7. Iudaea esse potuerunt, siue qui nunc in Ecclesia existunt, in Media­torem Dei & hominum crediderunt, & credunt, qui praecunt, & qui sequuntur, Osanna clamant: Osanna autem latina lingua, Salua nos, dicitur; ab ipso enim salutem & priores quae [...]ierunt, & praesen­tes quaerunt, & benedictum qui venit in nomine Domini confitentur: quoniam vna spes, vna fides est praecedentium at (que) sequentium popu­lornm: All the Elect (saith hee) whether those that were in [Page 175] Iudea, or which now are in the Church, haue beleeued, and do beleeue in the Mediator of God and men; which goe be­fore, and which follow after, crying, Osanna. Now Osanna in the Latine tongue is interpreted, Saue vs: for of him both they that went before haue sought, and those that liue now doe seeke, saluation; and confesse him to beblessed, that com­meth in the Name of the Lord: because there is one hope, one faith of the People, past, present, and to come. St Augu­stineAug. contr. du [...] Epist. Pelag. a [...] Bonific. l. 3. speaketh to the same purpose, Antiqui omnes iusti, ex fide, qua nos viuimus, vna eadem (que) vixerunt, Incarnationem, Passionem, Resurrectionem (que) Christi credentes futuram, quam nos credimus factam: All the ancientiust men, liued by that one and the same faith, by which we liue: beleeuing the Incarnation, Pas­sion, and Resurrection of Christ, which was to come, which we beleeue already fulfilled. What clearer testimony can be desired, to set forth the vnity of that sauing faith, which is common and proper to all the Elect people of God in all ages, in the communion and propriety of which faith, none but the Elect alone haue a part.Obiect [...]

But the same Gregory saith elsewhere, in the title of oneGreg. dialog. l. 4. c. 2. of his Dialogues, Quod sine fide ne (que) infidelis viuat: That euen the infidel doth not liue without Faith. But what Faith? him­selfe answereth, Habent etiam infideles fidem, sed vtinam in Deum; quam si vti (que) haberent, infideles non essent: Infidels haue faith (saith he) but I would to God it were faith in God: which faith if they had, they should not be infidels. Let me here adde one authority of Fulgentius an African Bishop, who liued be­tweeneFulgent. de in­carnat. & grat [...] Dom. nostri Iesu Christi. c. 22. the times of these two Bishops of Rome: Virtus est fides, non qualis in Daemonibus inuenitur, sed qualem Deus Sanctis suis donat, quos ex imptetate iustificat: Faith is a vertue, not such a faith as is found to be in the Diuels, but such as God giueth to his Saints, whom hee iustifieth from sinne. Therefore faith being a vertue giuen to Gods Saints, whereby they are iusti­fied, how can this Faith bee in the Diuels, or Damned? AndAug. l. 50. homi­liarum hom. 17. St. Augustine to the same purpose, speaking of Peters Faith, proper to the Elect, saith, Dic, quae fides? Quae per dilectionem ope­ratur. Hanc daemones non habent fidem, quae per dilectionem operatur, [Page 176] sed soli serui Dei, soli Sancti Dei, soli fide filij Abrahae, soli filij dilecti­onis, filij promissionis; ideo est & charitas dicta: Tell me, what faith had Peter? That which worketh by loue. This faith which worketh by loue, the Deuils haue not, but only Gods seruants, only Gods saints, onely the sonnes of Abraham by faith, onely the sonnes of loue, the sonnes of the promise; therefore it is called also charity. Note here, how St. Augustine puts a di­stinct difference, between that kinde of Faith of Gods saints, which is neuer separated from charity, but alwayes working by loue; and that in the Deuils and damned, which is not capa­ble of charity, no more than the Salamander of heat. Discer­nenda est ergo fides Daemonum à fide Sanctorum. Plane discernenda Ibid. vigilanter & diligenter: Therfore (saith he) the faith of the Di­uels is to be discerned from the faith of the Saints: Yea, it is to be heedfully and carefully discerned.

Yea, the whole current of ancient Fathers runne mainly to proue, that sauing and iustifying Faith, is a Faith proper to the Elect and Saints of God; and meerely distinct in kind and nature from that faith, which is common with reprobates and deuils. Hence it is, that they giue sauing and iustifying Faith such Epithets, and Attributes, as doe distinguish it from the faith, which is in the reprobate and damned. As they call it Sancta, integra, vera, viua, non reproba fides, &c. A holy, intire, true, liuing, not a reprobate faith. Origen saith, Certum est, Origen in Leuit. c. 3. hom. 3. quod remissionem peccatorum nullus accipiat, nisi detulerit integram, probam, & sanctam fidem, per quam mercari possit Arietam, cuius natura haec est, vt peccata credentis abstergat: It is certaine, that none can receiue remission of sins, vnlesse he bring an entire, godly, and holy faith, wherewith he may buy the Ramme, the nature whereof is this, to take away the sins of the beleeuer. And againe, Si fidem obtuleris, tanquam precium (hoc est Siclum sanctum) Christo velut Ariete immaculato in hostiam dato, remis­sionem accipies peccatorum: If thou shalt offer thy faith, as a price (that is the holy Sicle) hauing Christ as an immaculate Ramme offered vp in sacrifice, thou shalt receiue remission of sinnes. This ancient Doctor of the Church cals faith a price, as Peter cals it a precious faith. Chrysostome vpon the third2 Pet. 1. 1. [Page 177] Chapter to the Romanes, saith, What is the Law of Faith?Chrys. in Rom cap. 3 serm 7. [...]. Theoph. in Io­han. cap. 3. S. Basil. dicit, [...]. And againe, [...], &c. Basil. regul. con­tract. definit. 80. To be saued by grace. Hee declareth the power of God, that not only he saueth, but also iustifieth, and glorifieth, without the helpe of any workes, but requiring only faith. If there­fore God do saue, and iustifie, and glorifie vs by faith, without the helpe of any workes concurring in our iustification; then surely wicked and godlesse men, so remaining, whatsoeuer o­ther faith they may haue, they haue nothing to doe with this iustifying Faith, by which most properly we are called Fideles. Theophylact saith, Qui credit in Filium, non iudicatur. Nunquid si immundam egerit vitam, non iudicatur? Maximè quidem. Non e [...]im verè fideles sunt eiusmodi: Hee that beleeueth in the Son, is not condemned. But if a man leade an impure life, is he not condemned? Yes doubtlesse. For such men are no true be­leeuers. St. Basil saith, What is the property of a Christian? Faith working by loue. The Faith then of a Christian, is not separate from loue: for it is alwayes operans, working by loue. And the same Father addeth: What is the property of Faith? A ful perswasion without reasoning, &c. where the same Father sheweth other common properties of faith; as it apprehends the truth of Gods Oracles, and is true it self [...], without adding or detracting. Our Sauiours words in the third of Iohn, v. 16. are very powerfull, God so loued the world, that he gaue his onely begotten Sonne, that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life. Whence issueth this conclusion, Who­soeuer beleeueth in Iesus Christ, shall neuer perish. But wic­ked men, by the confession of Pontificians, although they be­leeue, do perish. Therefore that faith or beleefe which wic­ked men haue, is not that faith or beleefe in Christ, which will not suffer any man to perish.

St. Augustine to this purpose, vpon these words, Credo in De­um, &c. saith, Non dicit, Credo Deum, vel credo Deo, quamuis & haec necessaria saluti sint. Aliud est enim credere illi, aliud credere illum, aliud credere in illum. Credere illi, est credere vera esse, quae lo­quitur: credere illum, credere quia ipse est Deus: credere in illum, diligere illum. Credere vera esse, quae l [...]quitur, multi & malipossunt: credere autem ipsum esse Deum, & Daemones possunt: credere vero [Page 178] in Deum, soli nouerunt, qui diligunt illum, qui non solum nomine Christiani sunt, sed & factis & vita, quia sine dilectione fides inanis est: cum dilectione fides Christiani, sine dilectione fides Daemonis: I beleeue in God, &c. He saith not, I beleeue that God is, or I beleeue God: although also these are necessarie to saluation. For it is one thing to beleeu him, another to beleeue that he is, and another to beleeue in him. To beleeue him, is to beleeue those things are true which he speaketh: to beleeue that he is, is to beleeue that he is God, or that God is: to be beleeue in him, or into him (as the Scottish Dialect or Phrase doth more liuely expresse it) is to loue him. To beleeue those things to bee true which he speaketh, euen many wicked men may doe it: and to beleeue that God is, euen the Diuels can also doe it: but to beleeue in God, they only can skill, which doe loue him, which are Christians not onely in name, but also in their deeds, and life, because faith without loue is vaine: with loue the faith of a Christian, without loue the faith of Diuels. So this holy Father: As elsewhere throughout his workes, he teacheth this as the Catholik doctrine, constantly maintained in the Church of Christ, That sauing and instifying faith, is a faith meerely distinct and different in kinde and nature from that faith, which is in wicked men, and in Diuels, cleane con­trary to the Romane Catholicke doctrine▪ as the like place we alledged before in the sixt Chapter, out of his 29. Tract vpon St. Iohn. And it is also vsed by the Glosse vpon Rom. 4. Vega citeth the place by way of obiection, but leaues it vn­answered, as we haue formerly shewed: For indeede it is vn­answerable. And therefore but only in that one place, and that by way of obiection, Vega in all that voluminous Booke of Iustification neuer meddleth with Credere in Christum, keeping him close to his Text, to wit, the Councell of Trent; which in that whole and large Session of Iustification not once men­tioneth Credere in Christum, as is aboue noted. As also his fel­low-Commenter Soto hath not in all his Commentaries vpon this same Session of Trent, ne [...], not the least mention of Credere in Christum. Let vs a little take a second suruey of St. Augustines former speech, wherein he plainely setteth down [Page 179] a three-fold kinde of beleeuing: all which are necessary to saluation, as concurring in euery true beleeuer; yet so, as the two inferiour kindes of beleeuing are common also to the vngodly, and the Diuels themselues; as to beleeue that God is, and that he is true in his Word. But that faith, whereby a man beleeues in God, is the highest kinde of faith, and proper only to those that are saued, and common to none else what­soeuer. Wee cannot better demonstrate the true difference betweene these three distinct kindes of faith, than by paral­leling, or comparing them with those three kindes of soules,A compari­son. which the Philosopher setteth downe: the first and lowest kinde of soules, is that which is in plants and trees, called anima vegetati [...]a, a soule which hath life without sense: the second kind of soules, is that which is in the bruite beast, and is called anima sensitiua, or the sensitie soule, which hath life and sense, but is voyde of reason: the third kinde of soules, which is the highest and noblest, is that which is in man, cal­led anima rationalis, or the reasonable soule, which hath not only life, and sense, but also reason. So there is one kinde of soule in the plant, another in the buite, another in man. And as the sensitiue soule of the beast, which containeth also life in it (which is the soule of the plant) is but one soule, and dif­fereth in species and kinde from the soule that is said to bee in the plant: so the reasonable soule of man, containing in it both life and sense, the one common with the plant, the other common also with the beast, is but one soule, and differeth in specie, or kinde from the two other kinds. So it is in the three kindes of faith, which St. Augustine differenceth in their di­stinct species, or kindes, by three distinct phrases of speech, Credere Deum: credere Deo: & credere in Deum. Credere Deum, To beleeue that God is, is the lowest kinde of faith, and is in the very Diuels: Credere Deo, or to beleeue God, is the second kinde of saith; containing also, and implying the for­mer, to wit, to beleeue that God is (for a man cannot beleeue God, vnlesse he beleeue that God is:) and this faith is in wic­ked and godlesse men: But credere in Deum, to beleeue in God, which is the true sauing and iustifying Faith; containing also [Page 180] and implying in it the other two, of beleeuing God, and be­leeuing that God is, is the highest kinde of Faith, and proper onely to the elect Saints, and seruants of God. As the same Augustine saith: Si creditis in eum, creditis eum; non, si creditis Aug. tract. 29. in Iohan. eum, creditis in eum: If ye beleeue in him, ye beleeue him; not, if ye beleeue him, ye beleeue in him. As therefore the soule of man, is not the same in kinde with the soule of the beast, and the soule of the plant, though each be called anima, or soule; so sauing faith, which is to beleeue in God, is not the same in kinde with the faith of Deuils, and wicked men. And as the soule of the beast, though it haue both vegetation, which is the soule of the plant, and sense also, proper to it selfe, yet is but one soule; and mans reasonable soule, al­though it haue both vegetation and sense ioyned with rea­son, yet is but one intire soule, vegetation, sense, and reason, being three distinct faculties of one and the same soule in man: So the faith of wicked men, although it containe the faith of Deuils, yet is but one faith in them; and sauing faith in the godly, is in kinde but one sauing faith, although it con­taine in it all the kindes of faith, which concurring in the Saints of God, are so many distinct faculties or properties of one and the same sauing and iustifying faith. And as the ve­getable soule or life of the plant, as it is considered alone in the plant, is a distinct kinde from the other soules, as of the beast, and of man; but being considered as it is in the beast, ceaseth to be a distinct kinde of soule, being now only a fa­culty or property of the soule of the beast: and as the sensitiue soule of the beast, is distinct in kinde from other soules, as it is the soule of the beast; but being considered as it is in man, ceaseth to be a distinct kinde of soule, being now onely a fa­culty or property of the reasonable soule of man: So credere Deum, or credere Deo, to beleeue God, or that God is, are di­stinct kindes of faith in the Deuils, and wicked men, distinct also in kinde from credere in Deum, to beleeue in God, which onely Gods Saints doe: but credere Deum, and credere Deo, concurring with credere in Deum, in Gods Saints, are not now distinct kindes, but faculties and properties of one and the [Page 181] same sauing faith, distinct in kinde from that of Deuils, and wicked men, and proper only to Gods Saints. Thus haue we, as plainly as we can, illustrated by a similitude the three di­stinct kindes of faith, in Deuils, in the Damned, and in the Saints, proued and confirmed by Scriptures and Fathers, but mainly against all reason and sense impugned by the Church of Rome, a cruell and vniust step-dame to sauing and iustify­ing faith.

But, say the Pontificians, this faith of theirs, which at theObiection. best is, Credere Deo; to beleeue God, is the onely Catholicke Faith, as that Faith, whose obiect is the whole Word of God in generall, written and vnwritten, written veritles, and vn­written traditions: and that according to the sense and in­terpretation of the Church of Rome, or which is the summe of all, the Pope. We are not ignorant of the deepnesse of SatanAnsw. herein. But as they cannot abide credere in Deum (which they could heartily wish were put out of their Creed, as in effect they haue already done) so neither can they indure, that the promises of God in Christ reuealed in the Gospell, should be the speciall and prime obiect of Faith. Onely they allow it a roome in the crowd of all other things, reuealed in the whole Word of God, written and vnwritten, &c. But it is so crowded into a narrow corner, as they haue in a manner quite choaked it; for, as their Champion and interpreter Soto saith: Eadem vniuersorum fides est, cuius vna, eadem (que) perexigua Soto de nat. & grat. l. 2. c. 7. particula est de promissionibus: There is one faith of all, which hath one particle, & that a very small one concerning the pro­mises. Alas! what a poore diminution is here; Particula, non pars: is not this diminitiue enough, but hee must put small; yea, perexigua, very small? vnto it, and so leaue a very small, not part, but diminitiue particle for faith in the promises of God? But Romane-Catholikes must bee content with this poore pittance of faith, no otherwise beleeuing Gods promi­ses, but as other Histories reuealed in the Word, as the Coun­cell of Trent teacheth in her sixt Session, and sixt Chapter:Concil. Trid. Sess. 6. c. 6. But else, she makes no mention at all of beleeuing in the pro­mises of God, and by faith applying them to our owne soules. [Page 182] No, the Church of Rome is of another spirit: she wants that can did ingenuity, to acknowledge this gracious mysterie of Christ, and of the Gospell. So that these Pontifician Romane-Catholickes, place onely the truth of God (and well too, if they ioyned not their owne lying traditions) as the generall obiect of faith; namely, as a true History to be beleeued. As Soto commenting vpon the forenamed place of the Councell, saith: Ratio Christianis credendi, est summa infallibilis (que) Dei veritas; Soto ibid. haec autem eadem perlucet in reuelatis omnibus, siue ad Historiam pertineant, siue ad Promissiones: The reason inducing Christians to beleeue, is the soueraigne and infallible truth of God; and this same s [...]ineth in all those things that are reuealed, whe­ther they pertaine to the History, or to the Promises. But how doth he vnderstand the faith of these promises? Sanè quas cre­dimus (saith hee) non solum verè esse factas; sed esse firmissimas, quantum ex parte Dei, nisi nos renitamur: which promises in­deed we beleeue, that not only they were truely made, but are most firme, as touching Gods part, vnlesse we resist. But as for speciall Faith in beleeuing and applying the promises of God, quòd non pertineat; that it appertains not to Catholick Faith (saith Soto) is most easie to demonstrate: Fides enim Ca­tholica ex sola diuina assertione, vel promissione pendet; quod autem quis (que) aptus sit, & idoneus promisso beneficio suscipiendo, ex humano sensu, & cooperatione etiam pend [...]t: For (saith he) the Catholick Faith depends vpon Gods onely affirmation, or promise; but that any man may be apt or fit, to receiue the benefit promi­sed, doth depend vpon the sense, and also the cooperation of man. And so he concludes; Ergo huius Fides non est Catholica: therefore this mans Faith is not Catholicke. So that by Ro­mane-Catholicke Doctrine, a speciall Faith in the promises of God in Christ, is not the Catholicke Faith: for by Catho­licke Faith, they vnderstand a generall Faith, such as is the Catholicke Faith of all Romane-Catholickes. And hence it is also, that they place Faith onely in the vnderstanding, as assenting vnto the truth of God in his Word; and not in the will, in applying and apprehending the goodnesse and grace of God reuealed in the Word.

Now to cleare the truth in this point; The Catholick Faith is so called, not in respect of the generality of it, as if iustify­ing Faith were onely a generall Faith, or because the generall obiect of it is whatsoeuer is reuealed in the Word as a Histo­rie: but because the true Catholicke Faith, is the Faith of all the Elect of all times, to the end of the world, and because this Faith comprehends all Faith in it. For the true Catho­licke Faith doth both credere Deum; beleeue that God is, and credere Deo; beleeue that whatsoeuer is contained in the holy Word of God written, is true: and also, credere in Deum; be­leeue in God; that is, in especiall, beleeue the promises of God in Christ reuealed in the Gospell, that they are not onely true, in respect of God who promiseth, but that they doe be­long to euery beleeuer in Christ in particular. As Saint Iohn saith (speaking of the blessed estate of Gods children, both here, in that they are now the Sonnes of God, and hereafter in the perfect vision of God) Euery man that hath this hope in 1. Ioh. 3. 3. him, purifieth himselfe, euen as he is pure. The Apostle Paul set­ting forth the nature of iustifying Faith, in the example of faithfull Abraham, hee bounds it mainely vpon the promise of God in Christ, as the speciall obiect of Faith. As, Rom. 4. 13.Rom. 4. 13. The promise that Abraham should be the heire of the world, was not to him, or to his seede, through the Law, but through the righte­ousnesse of Faith: for if they which are of the Law, bee heires, Faith is made voide, and the promise made of none effect. Therefore it is of Faith, that it might be by grace, to the end the promise might be sure to all the seede: not to that onely, which is of the Law, but to that also, which is of the Faith of Abraham, who is the father of vs all. And vers. 20. Hee staggered not at the promise of God, through vnbeliefe, but was strong in Faith, giuing glory to God. So wee see that the promise of God, is the speciall obiect of iustifying Faith. And hence it is, that all true beleeuers, who are the children of Abraham, are called the children of the Promise, Rom. 9. 8. They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the Promise are counted for the seed, & heires of the Promise. Heb. 6. 17. Yea the promises of God in Christ are the very sum of the Gospel; as the Apostle decla­reth [Page 184] very amply in the third Chapter to the Galathians. As vers. 8. The Scripture foreseeing, that God would iustifie the Hea­then through faith, preached before the Gospell vnto Abraham, say­ing, In thee shall all Nations be blessed. So we see plainly, that the speciall obiect of Faith, is the Gospell of God; and the Gospel of God, is the promise of God in Christ. This was the summe of all Christs preaching; The Kingdome of God is at hand, re­pent Marke 1. 15. yee, and beleeue the Gospell. And so Gal. 3. 22. the Apostle sweetly concludeth this heauenly Doctrine: The Scripture hath concluded all vnder sin, that the promise by faith of Iesus Christ, might be giuen to them that beleeue. Hence also was the Land of Canaan, being a type of the Kingdome of Christ, called the Land of Promise: and Abraham and his sonnes, coheires of the same Promise. What Promise? For hee looked for a City which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God, Heb. 11. 10. And by faith he waited for this promise, vers. 9.

The Pontificians would faine haue that faith, whose pray­ses are so predicated in that 11. Chapter to the Hebrewes, to be vnderstood of their kinde of Catholicke faith: to wit, a ge­nerall historicall faith. And they alledge the third Verse, and the sixt Verse, &c. Vers. 3. Through faith wee vnderstand that the worlds were framed by the word of God: Hence they conclude their Historicall faith. And, Vers. 6. He that commeth to God, must beleeue that God is, &c. Hence they inferre, that Faith is nothing else, but a certaine assent concerning the truth of God in his essence, a [...]d in his Word reuealed, and in his pro­mises in generall onely. But if there were no other place of Scripture, to set forth the full nature of true, sauing, and iusti­fying Faith, this one Chapter were aboundantly sufficient. For the Apostle sets forth this Faith in this Chapter, in his full proportion and lineaments, in all the properties of it. As first, that this Faith beleeueth the truth of Gods essence, as he hath reuealed himselfe in his Word, vers. 6. and not onely as God is, in himselfe, of absolute Being; but that hee is that God, who giues a Being: as to all creatures in generall, so in especi­all, to all his promises made in Christ to his Elect. For which cause, when God sent Moses to be the Minister of his peoples [Page] deliuerance, wherein Gods promise to Abraham and to his seed, came to be accomplished, he bad Moses tell the people, [...], I AM hath sent me vnto you, Exod. 3. 14. Which name of God doth not onely signifie his essence in himselfe conside­red, but how he giues hereby a being to his Euangelicall pro­mises, to bring them all to passe in due time. This is his name for euer, as God himselfe professeth, vers. 15. Thus the Lord is said to make himselfe knowne to the children of Israel, in that their actuall deliuerance out of Egypt, so long before promised to Abraham, by his name [...], Iehouah, which comes of the roote of the former name [...], a name of his es­sence. In which name Iehouah, God saith he was not known to Abraham, as Exod. 6. 3. Not but that Abraham by faith knew God in this name, that he was true in all his promises: but he was said not to know God by this name, because he did not experimentally see the accomplishment of his promise. And thus to beleeue that God is, is not only a bare historicall or naturall faith, that there is a God, which is in the very De­uils; but it is a true Euangelicall faith, beleeuing Gods truth in his promises, which is such a faith, whereby God is plea­sed, as the Apostle saith there in the same verse. But a bare historicall faith cannot please God: for then the Deuils faith might. The Apostle amplifieth this, prouing that this faith beleeueth the truth of God in all those things contained in his Word, whether they be matters of story, as vers. 3. or of the promises of God, as vers. 6. or of the threatnings of God, vers. 7. &c. But principally, he doth by many famous exam­ples set forth the noble properties of this faith, in applying the speciall promises of God vnto it; in which Chapter the word Promise is expresly mentioned no lesse than sixt sundry times, but closely flowes, & that aboundantly, through all the veines of the Chapter. So faith beleeues, that God is a re­warder of them that diligently seeke him. vers. 6. By faith Abel offered his more excellent sacrifice. How by faith? for his sacrifice was a type of the true sacrifice, Christ Iesus, the promised seede. Gen. 3. 15. By faith Enoch was translated. Was not this by faith of that better life promised in Christ? [Page] By Faith Noah, warned of God, prepared the Arke, to the sauing of himselfe and house: Was it not by Faith in the promise of God? By Faith Abraham, being called, went out, &c. Was it not by Faith in Gods promise? For hee was the heire of the promise, and looked for a City, &c. v. 10. By Faith superannated Sarah conceiued: for she iudged him faithfull that had promised, v. 11. All these embraced the promises, v. 13. 14. &c. By Faith Abraham, after he had receiued the promises, offered vp his only Sonne, v. 17. What was it, but the promise of God, whereupon by Faith Isaac blessed his Sonnes, v. 20. and Iacob his? v. 21. How came Ioseph at his death to mention Israels deliuerance out of Egypt, and (as if himselfe also, euen after he was dead, had a share in that deli­uerance) giue a charge concerning his bones, but by Faith in Gods promise, now approaching? Why did Moses reiect the honours, pleasures, and treasures of Egypt, prefer [...]ing the re­proach of Christ before them all, and choosing rather to suf­fer affliction with the people of God: but that by Faith hee had a respect to the recompence of reward, the promise of God? And so of their passing through the Red-Sea: and of Rahabs red threed, &c. stil their Faith was pitched vpon Gods promise. But Pontificians must haue leaue to discouer their grosse ignorance in the mystery of Faith, and so to erre, not knowing the Scriptures; beeing iust with God to send them the spirit of giddinesse, lest they should come to know that most precious truth, which they so willingly and maliciously oppugne.

Is the promise of God in Christ therefore such a little atomus, such a perexigna particula, such a small mote in the eye of Faith? Nay, rather the promise of the Gospell, doth chal­lenge the chiefe respect, to be cast vpon it by the eye of Faith, as the most glorious and beautifull obiect it can finde in all the Scriptures. Christ, the promised seede, the fairest of ten thousand, is therefore called the Word of God, as being the summe of both the Testaments, as being the mercy-seate, vp­on whom the two Cherubims did fixe their constant eyes. He was the desire of Patriarches, Prophets, and Kings. Abra­ham [Page] with the eye of Faith saw his day, and reioyced; it gaue him full contentation: yea, the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that followed, and the preaching of the Gospell, all com­prehending and setting forth Gods precious promises; were such as the very Angels desired to look into. And St. Augusti [...]eAug. Enchiri. cap. 5. saith, Certum proprium (que) fidei Catholicae fundamentum Christ u [...] est: The sure and proper foundation of Catholicke faith is Christ. Who shall then forbid Faith to fasten its eye vpon this loue­ly obiect? or to build vpon this sure & proper foundation? True it is, that Faith denyes no part of holy Scripture, of what nature soeuer, the due respect and credit. It giues free assent to the whole Word of God, it subscribes to the truth of euery least tittle contained therein, credendo Deo, by beleeuing God: but that which Faith doth chiefly appropriate and apply to it selfe, is the promise of God in Christ, credendo in Deum, by beleeuing in God. Euen as the eye, casting a direct ray or beam vpon the obiect, which it chiefly aymeth at, doth so look vp­on it, as though it seeme to see nothing else, but that onely ob­iect; yet it seeth all things besides round about it, in a more generall view: so Faith, the eye of the soule, although it cast the direct beam of beleef vpon the obiect it most affecteth, to wit, Christ the Sauiour, in whom all the promises of God are, Yea and Amen, to the glory of God the Father; yet withall, it doth not restraine its generall influence of beleefe, from any part of Gods Word, no more than the eye of the body doth shut it selfe from seeing any other thing present before it, than that particular obiect, to which the radius or beam directly pointeth.

What need more testimonies? yet the ancient Fathers of the Church haue not left vs without witnesse in this point. I will vse but one or two for breuity. Chrysost. in Genes. cap. 15. hom. 36. [...], &c. Chrysostome saith; This is the propertie of true Faith, when a [...] the promise being made, not after a manner customary, or familiar with men, we [...]. confidently beleeue the power of the promiser. Thou seest, how euen before the euent and accomplishment of the pro­mises, Abraham in as much as he beleeued, receiueth a suffici­ent reward: For, to beleeue the promise of God, was imputed [Page] to him for righteousnesse. Therefore to beleeue Gods promise, is both able to make vs iust, and shall cause vs to obtaine the promises. By Faith we procure righteousnesse, and obtain the good promises. And the same Father vpon the tenth to the Romanes, saith, Hoc potissimum peculiare est fidei, vt promissa Dei [...]rys. in Rom. [...]p. 10. hom. 17. cunctacomplectamur: This is chiefly peculiar to Faith, that we embrace all the promises of God. Thus we see this holy man placeth the promises of God in Christ, as the prime obiect of iustifying Faith. St. Ambrose saith, Si exclusa fuerit promissio, [...]mbrose in [...]ist. ad Galat. [...]p. 3. sine dubio frustratur Fides Abrahae: Quod ne audire quidem se pa­tiuntur Iudaei, scientes, quia promissio ex Fide est Abrahae. Quae promissio ex Fide iustificat, non per Legem, sicut & Abraham iusti­ficatus ex Fide est. Hi ergo haeredes sunt promissionis Abrahae, qui illi succedunt, suscipientes Fidem, in qua benedictus & iustificatus est Abraham. Testimonium ergo promissionis Abrahae testamentum ap­pellatur, vt post mortem eius Haeredes essent in promissione, Filij eius factiper Fidem: That is, If the promise be excluded, without doubt the Faith of Abraham is made voyde: which not euen the Iewes themselues endure to heare, knowing, that the promise is of the Faith of Abraham. Which promise doth iustifie by Faith, not through the Law, as also Abraham is iusti­fied by Faith. They therefore are Heires of the promise to Abraham, which succeede him, by entertaining the Faith, wherein Abraham is blessed and iustified. Therfore the testi­monie of the promise to Abraham is called a Testament, that after his death they might bee Heires in the promise, beeing made his Sonnes by Faith. So Ambrose. Thus wee haue the testimonies of two faithfull witnesses, testifying this most Ca­tholicke doctrine of Faith, not onely of Abraham, but conse­quently of all the faithfull, That the promises of God in Christ are the maine obiect of sauing and iustifying Faith. And these witnesses shall stand in stead of many. Hence it is, that Faith in Scripture is called Confidence or Assiance, because it em­braceth the promise of God in Christ, as the proper obiect of it: as we touched before.

In a word, those famous ancient Creeds, vniuersally recei­ued in the Church, especially the Apostolicall, the Nicene, and [Page] Athanasius his Creede; all of them called the obiect of Faith, as being the abridgement of the Word of God: what do they commend vnto vs, as the maine and sole obiect of sauing and iustifying Faith, but Iesus Christ, his incarnation, passion, re­surrection, ascention, session at Gods right hand, &c. toge­ther with the fruits we reape from this tree of life, as to bee made his liuing members, beleeuing the holy Catholicke Church, the Communion of Saints, the Remission of sinnes, the Resurrection of the body, and the life euerlasting? all, the effects and fruits of Gods promises in Christ.

But (say the Pontificians) faith is an act of the vnderstan­ding,Soto de nat. & grat l 2. c. 7. Designatur sub­iectum fidei ess­intellectiuam potentiam, &c. as being seated in the intellectuall part of the soule, and not in the will: and therefore it is but a bare assent to the truth of Gods word in generall, and so also of the promises contained therein; and no speciall affiance in the goodnesse of God particularly towards a mansselfe. And so they make onely the truth of God reuealed, as being apprehended and assented vnto by the vnderstanding, to be the obiect of faith, and not the goodnesse of God contained in his promises, as be­ing entertained and embraced by the will.

But for the clearing of this point, we may first obserue how the Church of Rome, as in other points of doctrine, so in this maine point of Faith, doth most pitifully interfeere. For which cause, let me here insert a passage in the Prouinciall Councell of Colen, celebrated Anno 1536. some nine years before the Councell of Trent; which will partly confirme what hath beene formerly said concerning the nature of true Faith, and confront this Pontifician obiection now in hand.

This Prouinciall Synod setteth downe a three-fold kindeEnchirid. Con­cil. Colon. Pro­uincial. de sa­cramento poeni­tentiae. pag. 87. Printed at Pa­ris 1554. of beleeuing, following therein St Augustine vpon the Creed, Credo in Deum, which we haue a little before cited. We will set down the very words of the Synod, which acknowledgeth Duplicem seu triplicom esse fidei, s [...]u credendi rationem. Siquidem vna est, qua Deum esse, ac caetera, quae Scriptura commemorat, non aliter quam historica quadam fide recitata, vera credimus. Vnde & historica fides appellatur, quam nobiscum Damones commun [...]m ha­bent. [Page 190] Altera, qua Deo credimus, quae persuasio & constans opinio est, quae fidem & promissionibus & comminationibus diuinis adhibe­mus; quam habent iniusti cum iustis communem. Tertia fidei ratio est, qua in Deum credimus, solis pijs peculiaris, quae certissima quae­dam fiducia est, qua t [...]t [...]s nos Deo submittimus, toti (que) à gratia & misericordia Dei pendemus. Haec & spem complectitur, & charitatem indiuiduam comitem habet. Prima credendi ratio, seu fides illa Hi­storica, si solam accipias, informis est, & veluti adhuc mortua. Altera verò, qua Deo tantum credimus, nec dum tamen erga Deum religio­sa pietate assicimur, man [...]a. Sedterti [...], qua in Deum credimus, pio (que) affectu in [...]um tendimus, ea demum viuida, at (que) integra fides est, &c. That is: There is a two-fold or three-fold sort of faith, or be­leeuing: One is, whereby wee beleeue that God is, as also other things, which the Scripture relates, wee beleeue to be true, no otherwise than by a kinde of Historicall faith recor­ded, whence it is called an Historicall faith, which the Deuils haue in common with vs. The second is, whereby wee be­leeue God, which is a perswasion, and constant opinion, whereby wee giue credit both to Gods promises and threat­nings; which faith the wicked haue in common with the righteous. The third sort of faith, is that, whereby wee be­leeue in God, which is peculiar onely to the godly, being a kinde of most certaine confidence or affiance, whereby wee wholly submit ourselues vnto God, and depend wholly vpon the grace and mercy of God. This faith doth also compre­hend hope, and hath in it charity, as an indiuiduall com­panion. The first sort of beleeuing, or that Historicall faith, if you take it alone, is without forme, and as yet in a manner dead. The second, whereby we onely beleeue God, and are not yet affected towards him with a religious piety, is lame. But the third, whereby we beleeue in God, and are carried by a pious affection towards him, this is that liuely and intire faith. Thus the Councell of Colen. How different from the Councell of Trent? yea, the two first kindes of faith the same Synod, vpon the Apostles Creed, puts into one, as common with Deuils and wicked men, which beleeue and tremble: Sciunt enim & Daemones Illum mentiri non posse: For euen the [Page 191] Deuils doe know that God cannot lye. So that by the confes­sion of Colen, the Pontifician faith (by their owne confession) being no other of it selfe, but an Historicall faith, is no other faith, but that which in the very Deuils and Damned. And whereas the Synod of Colen acknowledgeth a third kind of faith peculiar to the godly, which alwayes hath hope and cha­rity inseparably with it, this crosseth the doctrine of Trent, which alloweth no speciall or peculiar faith to the godly, but such a faith as is common to the wicked, and which is, and may be altogether voide of hope and charity. And whereas Colen calleth this peculiar faith of the godly fiducia, or an affiance and confidence in the grace and mercy of God, in especiall manner to euery beleeuer: the Pontifician Coun­cell of Trent vtterly disclaimeth this fiducia, or strong affiance in Gods fauour and mercy, allowing Gods gracious promises, but the least part in the generall obiect of their faith, which faith of theirs, they make to be onely an assent to the truth of God, and no affiance in the promises of God; for as much as the Pontificians place their faith in the vnderstanding, and not in the will. Although otherwhiles (as lyars vse to do [...]) forgetting themselues, when they would aduance the blind­nesse of their implicite faith, they deny it a place in the vn­derstanding, and seate it rather in the will, though not for any good will. For Bellarmine would haue faith to be definedBellar. de iustif▪ lib. 1. cap. 7. rather from ignorance, than from knowledge; yet because of the two, they had rather exclude confidence from faith, than science or knowledge; they consent in generall to make choice rather of the vnderstanding, than of the will, wherein to seate their faith.

Now the occasion (as I said) of mentioning the Councell of Colen, was chiefly to shew their iudgement concerning the subiect of Faith; to wit, in what part of the soule it is in­herent, as in the proper subiect: whether in the vnderstan­ding, or the will, &c. The Synod of Colen vndertaking to decide this point, saith; Nec hoc omittendum est, fidem secun­dum duas priores credendi rationes, in intellectu consistere; secundum terti [...]m verò, etiam in voluntate: quòd actio fidei sic acceptae (quod [Page 192] est credere, fidere, & adhaerere Deo) non solo intellectu, quem fides illuminat, sed & voluntate, quam a [...]c [...]d [...]nte charitate inflammat, per­ficiatur: Nor is this to be omitted, that faith according to the two first sorts of beleeuing, doth consist in the vnderstanding; but according to the third sort also, in the will: because the action of faith in this acception (which is to beleeue, confide, and adhere vnto God) is accomplished not in the vnderstan­ding onely, which faith illuminateth, but also in the will, which by the accesse of charity it inflameth. So by the iudge­ment of this prouinciall Synod, this sola efficax, syncera, inte­gra, & salutifera fides, as the Synod cals it, ibidem: this onely effectuall, sincere, intire, and sauing faith, is resident not only in the vnderstanding, which faith informeth; but also in the will, which faith by loue inflameth. And whereas the Ponti­ficians would vtterly exclude faith from hauing any place in the will, because, say they, faith may bee separated from cha­rity: the same Synod, ibidem saith: Hoc constat, [...]am fidem, qua in Deum credimus (quae sola efficax, syncera, integra, & salutifer [...] est) nec infundi, nec accipi, sine sp [...] & charitate: This is euident, that that faith, whereby we beleeue in God (which onely is the effectuall, sincere, intire, and sauing faith) can neyther be infused, nor receiued without hope and charity. For as the same Synod addeth out of the Apostle (1. Cor. 13. a place which the Pontificians vrge to proue, that their Romane-Catholicke faith may be [...] voyde of charity) Nam quod alibi Apostolus [...]it, Si habuero omnem fidem, &c. For that which the Apostle saith, If I had all faith, so that I could remoue moun­taines, and had not charity, I am nothing: is not so to be vn­derstood (saith the Synod of Colen) as if the intire and sin­cere faith could bee receiued without charity; but rather it seemes to be spoken Hyperbolically, by way of exaggeration and aggrauation, as Chrysostome and Theophilact take it: the more to enforce the practice of charity, consisting of so many excellent dueties and perfections.

Thus haue we cited this Synod of Colen, not that we hold it any standard rule for the Doctrine of Faith (although Ve­ga blame it for speaking too broad of iustification, and espe­cially [Page 193] of imputation) but to shew how in this point of Faith, this Synod, a little more ancient than the Councell of Trent, doth differ from the Doctrine of that Councell in many things; wherein this Synod is not farre from the true way to the Kingdome of God: sauing that now whatsoeuer is in this Synod, or any other contained, must submit it selfe to the cen­sure, examination, interpretation, and approbation of the Councell of Trent, whose definitiue sentence hath irrefraga­bly passed vpon all Catholicke Doctrine, binding it to good behauiour, that it should not carry the least weapon, that might indanger the throat of Romane-Catholicke Religion. To this Synod also, we may adde the authority of the learned honest Cardinall Contarenus, who liued at the same time, and a little before the Councell of Trent wrote of Iustificati­on; in which Treatise he saith: Notus Fidei incipit à voluntate, quae obediens▪ Deo & Fidei, efficit vt intellectus assentiatur, abs (que) h [...] ­sitatione traditis à Deo; & ideo promissionibus diuinis confidat, & concipiat ex illis firmam fiduciam, quae p [...]rtinet ad voluntatem, & quasi circulo quodam, incipiat à voluntate haec Fides, & d [...]nat in voluntate: The first act or motion of Faith begins at the will, which obeying God and Faith, causeth the vnderstanding to assent to the things deliuered of God, without doubting; and so to trust in Gods promises, and of them to conceiue a firme affiance, which pertaines to the will, and that this Faith, as it were in a circle, begins at the will, and ends in the will. So that we see this good Cardinall held the will to be the prime subiect of sauing Faith.

But now a little to illustrate the former point, concerning the subiect of Faith, and the manner of inherency which it hath in a beleeuer, and to cleare the truth of it by Scriptures, and by ancient Fathers of the Church. The Romane-Catho­licke doctrine is no lesse absurd and erroneous in the obiect of sauing Faith, than in the subiect of it. They run from one extreame to another, as the Poet saith; Dum virant st [...]l [...] vi [...]i [...] in contraria currunt: Fooles from one extremity of folly runne into the contrary. But as the true Catholicke doctrine, al­though it exclude no part of Gods Word, as the obiect of [Page] Faith in generall, but yet restraineth the speciall obiect of sa­uing Faith to Christ, and the promises of God in him; so though it deny not Faith to haue a place of inherency in the vnderstanding, yet it intitleth it not onely to the vnderstan­ding, but [...]o the will, to the memory, to the affections, and all the faculties of the soule, as so many Mansions to intertain this noble Queene Faith, where she may keepe her Court of residence for her selfe, and all her train of Graces that attend her. Or wee may compare the seuerall faculties of the soule, to so many roomes or chambers in the soule, wherein, as in a magnificent Palace, Faith resideth, whose presence, as a Prince, puts life into euery part, & whose prerogatiue it is to prescribe to each of her virgin hand-maide Graces their proper taskes, her selfe putting her owne hand to euery work, acting, directing, assisting, adorning the office of each Grace, whereby it is made both acceptable to God, and profitable to men.

The Catholicke Doctrine then concerning the subiect ofThe subiect of [...]ing faith. Faith, is, That Faith inhereth or resideth not onely in the vn­derstanding, but also in the will, in the memory, in the affecti­ons, and in euery faculty of the soule. This is the Doctrine of the holy Scriptures; and therefore Catholicke. The Scrip­ture saith; Corde creditur ad iustitiam: With the heart man be­leeueth vnto righteousnesse. And againe it saith, Ephes. 3. 17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. And againe, Acts 8. 37. Philip said to the Eunuch, If thou beleeuest with all thy heart. And againe, Acts 15. 9. Purifying their hearts by faith. By these and such like places of Scriptures it is euident, that the proper subiect of Faith is the heart of man. Now by the heart, is meant euery power and faculty of the soule, and not onely the vnderstanding (as Aquinas vnderstandeth the fore­named place of Acts 15. 9. that by purifying of the heart, is meant the illuminating of the vnderstanding) but also the will, the memory, the affections, and euery faculty of the soule of man. First, the Sriptures of tentimes by naming the heart, meaneth the vnderstanding. As Ephesians 1. 18. [...], the vulgar Latine rendreth [Page] it word for word: Illuminatos oculis cordis vestri: The eyes of your heart being illuminated: but our English translation hath it, The eyes of your vnderstanding being enlighte­ned; thereby giuing the true meaning of the place, that by the heart there is meant the vnderstanding. So the Lord faith, Matth. 13. 15. Ne corde intelligant: Lest they vnderstand with their heart. In 1. Kings 3. 9. Salomon askes an vnder­standing heart. In 2. Cor. 3. 15. the vaile ouer the lewes heart, was a note of their blindnesse and ignorance in the mysterie of Christ. Secondly, heart in Scripture is often taken for the will. As Acts 7. 39. The Israelites in their hearts turned back into Egypt: that is, their will was so, if they had had power. So Acts 11. 23. Barnabas exhorts, that with purpose of heart they would cleaue vnto the Lord: that is, with a ready will, and constant resolution. So 1. Cor. 7. 37. He that stands firme in his heart, hauing power ouer his owne will, and hath de­creed in his heart. Thirdly, the heart is taken for the me­mory. Luke 1. 66. All that heard, laid vp those things in their hearts: that is, in their memory. So Deut. 4. 9. Take heede to thy selfe, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes haue seene, and lest they depart from thy heart: that is, from thy memory. And, Deut. 11. 18. Ye shall lay vp these my words in your heart, &c. that is, ye shall remember them continu­ally, as signes bound vpon your hands, and as front-lets be­tweene your eyes. Hence it is that the Latines vse Recordari, Recordari, à Corde dicitur. for to remember, or to record, implying that remembrance is an act springing from the heart. Hence also doth our Sauiour call the heart, the treasury, Matth. 12. 35. which agreeth with the memory, called Thesaurus rerum; the Treasury of things. Fourthly, heart in Scripture, is also taken for the af­fections and passions of the soule. Matth. 6. 2 [...]. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also: that is, your affection. So Rom. 1. 24. God gaue them vp to their owne hearts lusts. And Psal 62. 10. If riches increase, set not your heart vpon them. Thus all the motions, and inclinations, and cogitations in man, are referred to the heart, as the prime fountaine, whence they all originally flow. So all the vertues intellectuall and morall, [Page] are said to be in the heart: we say, A wise heart, a good heart, a valiant heart, an humble heart, an honest heart, &c. And the contrary, as wee say, A foolish heart, a wicked heart, a faint heart, a proud heart, a deceitfull heart, &c. Of a valiant man, we say, He hath a Lyons heart; and of a coward, He hath the heart of a Hare; and of a meeke man, He hath a Lambes heart: As Nabuchadnezzar for his pride, had a Beasts heart giuen him, that is, a bruitish disposition, to liue like a Beast, as hee did.

Now the issue of all this is, that faith is that same radicall grace, wherein the whole life of the Saints of God, all holy graces haue their being, and existence of holinesse, and from whence they grow and flow, euen as all the branches from the roote, and the streames from the fountaine. For, as the heart is the fountaine of all the faculties of the soule, of the vnderstanding, of the will, of the memory, of the affections, motions, cogitations, &c. all which are signified by the heart in Scripture: so Faith beeing in the heart, as in the proper seate and subiect; and being said to purifie the heart, it giues vs to know the excellent nature of Faith, which is to diffuse its vertue to the purifying and possessing of euery part▪ and faculty of the soule. For, possessing the heart, it possesseth and filleth the whole soule. It illuminates and informes the vn­derstanding, it reformes and conformes the will, it confirmes it with hope, it inflames it with loue, it prompts the memory with holy meditations, and remembrances of Gods loue and goodnesse, it moderates and tempers all the affections and passions, it directs the motions, and cogitations of the soule to their right end and scope: and in a word, the office of this faith, is, to be the immediate instrument of Gods holy spirit, to sanctifie the whole soule and body; as the Scripture ascribes the worke of sanctification to faith as the immediate Instrument, Acts 26. 18. Sanctified by Faith in me, said Christ to his new conuert Apostle. The Councell of Trent it selfe confesseth, that faith is the roote of other graces. Faith, (say they) is the roote of all Iustification: placing their iustifica­tion in hope and loue, &c. How then is Faith the roote? If [Page] it be the roote, the roote is not a bare disposition to a tree, as they would haue Faith to bee to their iustification. A dead roote cannot beare a liuing tree: but like roote, like tree. But a roote naturally produceth and shooteth forth the tree: for the life and substance of the tree is originally in the roote, and comes from the roote. Take away the roote, and the tree witherereth: for it liues in the roote. And the roote giueth life to the tree, not the tree to the roote. As the Apostle said to the ingraffed Gentile, once the Wilde Oliffe, Thou hearest not Rom. 11. 18. the roote, but the roote thee. With what reason then can the Pontificians say, That charity, which is the branch, not the roote, giues life to the root, which is Faith? Herein how far themselues differ from senslesse stockes, or come short of the vegetable trees, I define not. Now as the whole tree drawes his life and nourishment from the roote: so all the fruits of holinesse haue their life and nourishment from faith; for faith is the roote of them all. And as the Apostle saith, If the roote Rom. 11. 16. be holy, so are the branches. But Faith, the roote of other graces, is holy, yea most holy, as Iude speaketh: therfore hope, & loue, and all other graces growing in and from Faith, are sanctified by and from Faith; for as much as Faith is rooted in Christ, from whom it receiues the life, as of iustification, so of san­ctification. Hence it is, that deuout Bernard saith excellent­ly to this purpose: Primum syncera radix sancta fidei in terra hu­mani Bern. de ordin vita lib. cordis plantatur; cum (que) fides plenè adulta fuerit, velut quae­dam magna est Arbor, diuersa in se habens poma, ex quibus reficitur anima plena Deo: First, the sincere roote of holy Faith is planted in the ground of mans heart; and when faith is fully growne vp, it becomes as a great Tree, hauing in it sundry sorts of Apples, wherewith the soule, being full of God, is re­freshed. Without Faith (saith the Apostle) it is impossible to please Heb. 11. 6. God. But whatsoeuer action proceedeth from Faith, therein it pleaseth God. By Faith was Abels sacrifice made accep­table to God. By Faith Enoch, walking with God, pleased God. And are not all those actions of the Patriarches and Saints of God, related in that eleuenth Chapter to the He­brewes, all referred to Faith, as the roote from whence they [Page 198] sprang, and receiued their life and louelinesse? It is Faith that graceth euery action of the iust man: for the iust man shall liue by his Faith. Whatsoeuer fruite growes not from this roote, it is sinne. Whatsoeuer is not of Faith is sinne: is as true in generall of sauing Faith, as it is in particular of the Conscience, called Faith by the Apostle, Rom. 14 23.

Now the reason of all this, that Faith giues life and beeing to euery grace, forasmuch as euery grace is radically in faith; is, because where faith is, Christ is. Now Faith is in the heart, and consequently Christ dwelleth in the heart by Faith. And if in the heart, then in euery part, and faculty of the soule and body. So that as the soule quickneth euery part of the body: so Faith quickneth and sanctifieth euery faculty of the soule. As St. Augustine saith, Fides, quae credit in Deum, vita [...]ug. de cognit. [...]erae vitae c. 37. animae existit, & per hanc iustus vi [...]it: Faith, which beleeueth in God, is the life of the soule, and by this faith the iust man liueth. And else where he saith: Vnde mors in anima? quia non Aug. in Iohan. [...]ract. 45. ex▪ cap. [...]1. est fides. Vnde in corpore? quia non est ibi anima. Ergo animae tuae anima fides est: Whence is death in the soule? because faith is not there. Whence in the body? because the soule is not there. Therefore the soule of thy soule is Faith. And as the soule is in the body, Tota in toto, & tota in qualibet parte: The whole soule is in the whole body, and whole in euery part: So, Fides totaest in toto, & tota in qualibet parte; Whole faith is in the whole heart, and whole in euery faculty of the soule. Hence the Apostle, making himselfe the instance of the life of faith, saith, I am crucified with Christ. Neuerthelesse I liue, yet not I, but Christ liueth in me▪ and the life which I now liue in the flesh, I liue by the faith of the Son of God, who loued me, and gaue himselfe for me. Christ therefore is not to be found in that part or fa­culty of the soule, where faith is not. If Faith bee not in the will, Christ is not there; and so in the rest. And where Christ is not, there is no life, no sanctification. Our wils therefore, our memories, our affections, our motions, and cogitations are dead, prophane, all out of order, if Christ be not, and liue not in euery one of them. And Christ is not in any of them, if Faith be not there. Hence it is, that Faith is all, because [Page 199] as the roote, it containes all graces. In the vnderstanding it knoweth God, in the will it hopeth and loueth God, in the memory it thinketh of God with thankefulnesse for his mercies, in the affections it feareth God, it sorroweth for sinne, it patiently suffereth, it reioyceth in God, in all it ser­ueth God. How so? From Faith it is, that the vnderstanding knoweth God in his Sonne Iesus Christ, the knowledge ofIohn 17. 3. whom is eternall life. And therefore Diuines by knowledge in that place, vnderstand Faith. And St. Augustine saith, In­tellectus Aug. in Iohan tract. 29. merces est fidei. Ergo noli quaerere intelligere, vt credas: sedcrede, vt intelligas: Vnderstanding is the reward of Faith. Doe not therefore seeke to know, that thou mayst beleeue: but beleeue, that thou mayst vnderstand. From Faith it is, that the will hopes in God, loues God, and cleaueth vnto him: and so in the rest. And therefore St. Augustine placethAug. de verbi [...] Apostoli. ser. 3▪ Faith in the will, saying: A Domino praeparatur voluntas homi­nis, vt sit fidei receptaculum: The will is prepared of the Lord, to be the receptacle of faith. And againe, Omne quod non est Aug. contra duas Epist. P [...] lagio. ad Boni­fac. l. 1. c. 3. ex fide, peccatum est. Ac per hoc bona voluntas, quae s [...] abstra [...]it à peccato, fidelis est, quia iustus ex fide viuit: Whatsoeuer is not of Faith, is sinne. And therefore the good will, which with­drawes it selfe from sinne, is faithfull, because the iust man li­ueth by Faith.

Hence it is, that Bernard saith, Credere in Deum, est in eum Bern. flores d [...] fide. sperare, & eum diligere: To beleeue in God, is to hope in him, and to loue him. And againe: Vera & plen [...] fides v [...]iuersa prae­cepta complectitur: A true and complete Faith comprehendeth all the Commandements. Hieronymus Osorius in his firstHiero [...] ▪ Osori [...] de iustiti [...] l. [...] Booke de Iustitia, hath these words: Fides continet omnem reli­gionem at (que) pietatem: omnes enim virtutes ex fide aptè nexe (que) sunt, & cum illa sanctissimo vinculo colligatae at (que) implicitae sunt: That is, Faith containeth all religion and pietie: for all vertues are by Faith consorted and connexed together, and with it are bound and intwined in a most holy knot. But yet I dare not warrant the Reader, that he shal finde these words in Osorius from henceforth▪ seeing in the Index at Madrid, these very words are commanded to passe the flames of their Index ex­purgatorius [Page 200] And in the second booke hee saith: Ergo cum lib. 2. Fides totum animum regat, & in Verbi diuini studium rapiat, consequens necessario est, vt non cernatur solum in credendo, sed etiam in obediendo: Therefore seeing Faith doth go­uerne the whole soule, and drawe it to the study and loue of Gods Word, it followeth necessarily, that it is seene, not onely in beleeuing, but also in obeying. But these words also vndergoe the same doome with the former. Yea, why should Pontificians make it so strange that Faith should haue all other graces inseparably cou­pled with it; seeing that euen their Doctors, Aristotle and Cicero doe teach, that all morall vertues are conioyned and combined in one: and he that hath one, hath all? and that Iu­stitia est omnis virtus: Iustice is euery vertue. It is a maruaile, that they haue escaped Purgatory, seeing that not euen Gra­tian himselfe hath had the grace to be fauoured of them, his Glosse but bordering vpon Tullies Offices: for where he saith; Sed quomodo possum habere talem Fidem (that is, to remoue [...]rat. de conse­ [...]at. distinct. 4. [...]loss. Cap. vlt. mountaines) & non charitatem? cum qui habeat vnam virtutem, habeat omnes. * Nonpossem quidem, nisi miraculosè: that is: But how can I haue such a Faith (to remoue mountaines) and not charity? sith hee that hath one vertue, hath all. I could not haue it, but miraculously. All these words must out, as yee may see in Collat. censurae, in Gloss. iuris canon. num. 84. His ex­cellent Maiesty also, in his peerlesse Paraphrase of the Reuela­tion, Chapt. 20. saith, That God by Faith onely iustifieth man, which notwithstanding is done according to his workes, be­cause they, as the fruits of Faith, cannot be separated from it, and bear witnesse of the same to men in the earth. S. Augustine saith: Quid est ergo credere in eum? credendo amare, credendo dili­gere, Aug. de verbis Apost. serm. 33. [...]m. 10. credendo in eumire, & eius membris incorporari: What is it then to beleeue in him? by beleeuing to loue him, by belee­uing to affect him, by beleeuing to goe into him, and to be in­corporated into his members. Paulus▪ Fidem, quae per dilectio­nem Aug. E [...]cbir. c. 8 operatur, approbat at (que) commendat, quae vti (que) sine spe esse non potest: proinde nec amor sine spe est, nec sine amore spes, ne (que) vtrum­que sine Fide: Paul approueth and commendeth that Faith, [Page 201] which worketh by loue, which cannot bee without hope: therefore neyther is loue without hope, nor hope without loue, nor both without Faith. And vpon the 139. Psalme hee saith: Fides sic est in anima, vt radix bona, quae pluviam in fructum Aug. in Psa. 13 Praefatio. ducit: Faith is in the soule as a good roote, which bringeth the raine into the fruit. And St. Chrysostome saith; Fides est Chrysost. de fi [...] Abra [...]ae. serm. Religionis sanctissimae fundamentum, charitatis vinculum, amoris subsidium. Haec sanctitatem firmat, castitatem roborat; gubernat sexus, gradus prouehit, officia cunct [...]custodit. Fides mandata tenet, praecept [...] seruat, promissa consummat: Faith is the foundation of the most holy Religion, the bond of charity, the supply of loue. It confirmes sanctity, it strengthens chastity, it gouernes all sexes, it promotes all degrees, it obserueth all offices. Faith keepeth the commandements, practiseth the precepts, accom­plisheth the promises. And much more to this purpose, ac­cording to his golden elegancy. Ambrose also saith, there areAmbros. in Psal▪ 118. serm. 22. in Faith great prerogatiues and dignities. What bee they? Piety, Iustice, Sobriety, Charity, Discipline, or good Gouern­ment. And in a word, St. Augustine saith: In ipsa Fide sunt om­nia Aug. in Psal. 32▪ Euang. opera, quae diligit Deus: in Faith it selfe are all those works, which God loueth. Thus Faith being in the heart, as in the proper subiect of inherency, and so consequently, in the whole soule and euery faculty thereof, as the life and soule of the soule, animating euery power and property of it; it followeth, that as morall iustice is euery morall vertue (as the Philoso­pher speaketh) so iustifying Faith, which is reckoned for righteousnesse, is euery grace and holy vertue, as being the li­uing roote, and holy seede, sustaining, quickening, supplying, sanctifying all other graces, which are as so many fruits growing vpon this Tree of life, as Reuel. 22. 2. holy Faith be­ing the foundation, whereon all graces are built, the ground whereon they grow. Hence they haue all their rise & motion, yea their formall and essentiall goodnesse. For whatsoeuer is not of Faith, is sinne. If we hope not from Faith, if we loue not from Faith, if we be not patient because wee beleeue, and so in the rest: Hope, Loue, Patience, and the rest, are so many [...]ins. For as Faith is the ground or foundation of things hoped [Page 202] for, so of things loued, of things suffered, and the rest. And why may not so many habits of grace grow vpon the same roote and stemme of Faith, as so many distinct fruits vpon the same Tree of life? Yea, the Apostle elsewhere also tels vs,Rom. 5. 1. &c. that from Faith doe spring not onely peace of conscience towards God, but accesse vnto all grace, reioycing vnder hope of the glory of God, Patience, Hope, Loue, &c.

Thus it is euident by the authority of the holy Scriptures, and by the testimonies of ancient Fathers, that sauing and iustifying Faith, is not a Faith common with Deuils and Re­probates, as being in nature and kinde a dead Faith; but it is proper and peculiar onely to the Saints and Elect, as being a holy and liuing Faith, which receiueth not life from any infu­sion of charity into it, but is a liuing roote, from whence doe spring, and wherein do liue all holy graces, as Charity, Hope, Patience, Meeknesse, &c. That this is called also the Catho­licke Faith, not because it is common to good and bad, or because it hath for the generall obiect of it, the Word of God, as it is a true History, containing things done, and to be done, whether they be acts, precepts, threatnings, or promises, one with another: but because it is the Catholicke Faith of the Elect, from, in, and to all ages past, present, and to come, whose generall obiect, though it be the whole Word of God, yet the speciall obiect of it is Christ Iesus, the word incar­nate, and the speciall promises of life made vnto vs of God in him.

Now by this which hath beene already said, we may easily see the sequell and issue of all the rest of those priuiledges and markes, that the Pontificians put vpon their Catholick Faith. For seeing they admit of no other Faith in kinde, than the Historicall, we will easily yeeld vnto them, that this their Faith may be, and is in the very Deuils and Damned. We will yeeld them also, that their Faith being dead of it selfe, and without forme or being, and receiuing life, forme, and being from Charity, may also vpon the losse of Charity, become as well dead and vnformed againe, as before it receiued life from Charity. But whereas they say, that this Faith, dead [Page 203] as it is, and being fruitlesse and without Charity, yet is suf­ficient to make a man a Christian and a Beleeuer: wee allow them this also thus farre, that it may make them such Chri­stians and Beleeuers, as to send them to hell, amongst the De­uils and Damned, their fellow-Beleeuers, as their fideles for­nicarios, adulteros, molles, musculorum concubitores, fures, &c. their faithfull fornicators, adulterers, effeminate, Sodomites, and Catamites, theeues, and other such their Christian be­leeuers, whom by Trents owne confession, their Faith ex­cludesConcil. Trid. Sess. 6. cap. 15. from the Kingdome of Heauen. But this Faith of theirs, being no other in kinde, but that which is common with the damned: to wit, of it selfe, dead and fruitlesse; let them deuise neuer such precious wares to stuffe it withall, as Charity, Hope, and the like, to put life into it, it will proue no more a liuing Faith, than Michals Image, with the pillow1. Sam. 19. stuffed with Goates haire laide vnder the head of it, proued a liuing man: And so consequently, it can neuer make a man such a Christian and Beleeuer, as to bring him to the posses­sion of Gods Kingdome. But are they to be accounted Chri­stians and Beleeuers, that goe to Hell? Yes surely, as good as Romane-Catholickes: for such onely they account their Christians and Beleeuers. Well, let them enioy their priui­ledge. In the meane time they must know, that God hath another kinde of beleeuing Christians. For as the Apostle saith: As he is not a Iew, that is one outwardly, nor that Circum­cision, Rom. 2. 28, 29. which is outward in the flesh: but hee is a Iew, that is one within, and Circumcision that of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God: So he is not a Chri­stian, that is one outwardly, neither is that Baptisme, which is outward on the flesh; but hee is a Christian, that is one in­wardly, and Baptisme that of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter, whose praise is not of men but of God. But the Romane-Catholicke Christian beleeuers, are they that haue receiued their outward forme of Baptisme, and professe them­selues members of the Romane-Catholicke Church, be they otherwise neuer so damnable in their liues. What saith Ber­nardBern. serm. ad Pastores. in his Sermon ad Pastores? Neminem vestrum credo esse [Page 204] h [...]reticum: omnes creditis, &c. I beleeue none of you is a here­ticke: you all beleeue one God in Trinity, that Christ suffered, and was buried, that hee descended and ascended: But doth this faith make a man a Catholicke? By this faith, the very Deuils should bee Catholickes; for (as St. Iames saith) they beleeue and tremble. But not that faith, which is common with Deuils and men, maketh a true Catholick, but that only which is common to men with Angelicall spirits. What faith is that? That which worketh by loue. So he. Therefore, by Bernards doctrine, faith voyde of charity, which is common with Deuils, howsoeuer it may make a Romane-Catholicke, and so saith Bernard, it may the Deuill as well, but a true Ca­tholicke it cannot make. St. Augustine also puts a maine dif­ference: saying, Cum dilectione fides Christiani, sine dilectione Aug in Epist. Iohan. tract. 10. fides Daemonum: the faith of a Christian is ioyned with loue, the faith of Deuils is without loue. Hee is therefore a Chri­stian, that hath such a faith, as hath loue ioyned with it: and consequently, they are no Christians, but rather of the num­ber of Deuils, as being members of the Deuill, whose faith is without loue. And the same Austine elsewhere, plainly decla­reth who are the faithfull: saying, Corpus Christi est Ecclesia, Aug. in Psal. 56. non ista, aut illa, sed toto orbe diffusa. Tota autem Ecclesia constans ex omnibus fidelibus, quia fideles omnes membra sunt Christi, habet illud caput positum in coelestibus, quod gubernat corpus suum: etsi separatum est à visione, sed annectitur charitate. Totus Christus caput est, & corpus eius: The body of Christ is the Church, not this or that Church, but diffused ouer the whole world. And the whole Church consisting of all the faithfull, in as much as all the faithfull are members of Christ, hath that head now set in the heauenly places, which gouerneth his body: and although it bee separated from vision or sight, yet it is knit vnto him by loue. For whole Christ is the head, and his body. So we see St. Augustine confesseth none to bee faithfull, but such as are the members of Christ; nor any his members, but the members of his body, the Church: nor Christs Church to be any one particular Church, as the Romane-Catholicke Church, but indeed the Catholicke Church, spread ouer the [Page 205] whole world. Now if none bee faithfull, but such as are the members of Christ, of his Church, of his body & Christ is the Sauiour of his body, and not one of his members can perish, yea▪ not a haire of their heads shall perish: how then are they members of Christ (sith Christians, sith faithfull) that haue no part in that saluation, whereof the whole body is parta­ker? But such are members of Christ, though not perfectly vnited, as Trent saith, Chapt. 7. and Vega commendo it. But St. Augustine knew no such members of Christ. Although byAug. Epist. 23. Bonifacio. a common appellation or account, all Christians, as being baptized, are called Faithfull, in as much as they haue recei­ued the character of Faith, which is Baptisme, as Augustine saith: yet properly, and in a strict sense, none are true belee­uers, but such as are indued with a true, liuing, holy iusti­fying Faith in Christ, whereby they are perpetually and inse­parably vnited vnto him, as liuing members of the same body, to reigne with him for euermore. S [...] Saint Paul doth exemplifie this, in describing a true Iew: Hee is not a Iew, that is one outward; neither is that Circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Iew, that is one within, and the Circumcision of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God. St. Chrysostome saith, Whence art thou made holy? [...] Chrys [...] ▪ in E­pist. ad Colos. 1. Chrysost▪ ad po­pulum Antioch▪ homil. 21. Whence art thou called faithfull? Is it not therefore, because thou art sanctified by the death of Christ? Is it not therefore, because thou beleeuest in Christ? And againe: Fidelis propterea vocaris, quoniam & credis Deo, & ab eo creditam ipse i [...]stitium habes, sanctitatem, munditiam animae, infili [...]m adoptionem, regnum coelorum: Thou art therefore called faithfull, because both thou beleeuest God, and hast from him granted vnto thee righteousnesse, sanctity, purity of soule, adoption of a sonne, and the kingdome of heauen. Seeing therefore (by the Do­ctrine of Scriptures and Fathers) faith and saluation cannot bee separated, mee thinkes, the Councell of Trent had done more politickly, if with the losse of charity, they had suffered faith quite to be lost too, rather than retaining it, to be dam­ned with it.

Further, for as much as the Pontificians admit of no other [Page 206] faith to Iustification, but an historicall faith; wee easily grant that wch they so much desire, That their faith doth not iustifie them at all, but may be in them, though they go to hell for it, as themselues do teach. Whereas the faith of beleeuers, wch be­leeue in Christ, hath the property to saue, & not suffer any to pe­rish. For Christ saith (if we may beleeue Christ, rather than the Popes infallibility in the Councel of Trent) Whosoeuer beleeueth Iohn 3. 16. on the Sonne of man (or the Sonne of God) shall not perish, but hath eternall life. And v. 18: He that beleeueth on him, is not con­demned. Yes, saith the Councel of Trent, he that is a beleeuer may bee condemned, though still hee continue a Beleeuer. Lastly, sith for all this, that their Faith cannot iustifie nor saue them, yet notwithstanding they wil haue this to be a true Faith, though a dead faith. Let vs yeelde them this also, that the Romane faith is a true dead Faith, or a true Faith of the Diuels and damned. Else what true Faith is it? Gregory, once Bishop of Rome, [...]ith [...] Vera fides est, quae in hoc, quod verbis Greg. in Euang. homil. 29. tom. 2 dicit, [...]oribus non contradi [...]i [...]: That is true faith, which in that it professeth in words, it contradicteth not in maners. And a little after: Fidei nostrae veritatem, in vitae nostrae consideratione debemus agnoscore; tunc enim veraciter fideles sumus, si quod ver­bis pro [...]ittimus, operibus comple [...]: We ought to acknowledge the truth of our Faith, in the consideration of our life; for then are we truly faithful, if that which we promise in words, we performe in deeds. And St. Ambrose saith, Nunquam fides Ambros de in­carnationis Do­mini sacramen­to lib. cap. 1. vera turbatur▪ True faith is neuer troubled. How is then the Pontifician faith a true faith, albeit a dead faith, seeing (accor­ding to Gregory) what it professeth in words, it contradicteth in deeds? and according to Ambrose, it is not free from trou­ble, being ouer-whelmed with horrour of Conscience? yea, St. Hierome saith: Cum dilectio pr [...]l abfuerit, & fides par [...] abs [...]: When charity is a way, there faith also is gone with it. To summe vp all in a word that hath beene said of this point; the Notes of difference betweene the true Catholick sauing Faith, and the Romane-Catholicke faith, are these, and such like:

1. The true Catholicke iustifying Faith bringeth euery [Page 207] one that hath it, vnto saluation, and such shall neuer perish, Iohn 3. 16. & 18. and 1. Pet. 1. 9. The end of sauing Faith is the saluation of our soule. But the Romish faith doth not, by their owne confession, bring euery one of them that hath it, vnto saluation: Therefore the Romane Catholicke faith is not the true Catholicke iustifying Faith.

Secondly, the true Catholicke sauing Faith is a free gift of Gods grace, giuen for Christs sake, as Phil, 1. 29 & Ephes. 2, 8. But the Romish faith is no free gift of Gods grace, as being in the very Diuels; which faith also the Councell of Trent se­parateth from grace, Concil. Trid. Sess. 6. cap. 15. saying, that grace may bee lost, though not faith: Therefore the Romish faith is not the true Catholicke sauing faith. Whereupon Bel­larmine,Bellar, de libero arbit. l. 1. c. 6. as the mouth of all Pontificians, saith 1. Fides infusa non perit, gratia recedente, vt Catholici omnes fatentur: Infused faith perisheth not, when grace is gone, as all Catholickes confesse. So that Pontifician faith is no grace with them, and no maruaile then if iustifying faith be in no grace with them also. But how is their faith infused? This may seeme to make faith a gift of God. Let Bellarmine himself res [...]ue it: he saith,Bellar in his fift generall controuersie▪ lib. 2. cap. 31. That all men may beleeue if they will, when the Euangell is preached: and so the Pontifician faith is of them disclai [...]d to be a speciall gift of Gods sauing grace.

Thirdly, The true Catholicke sauing saith is a confidence in the promises of God in Christ, it being the foundation of things hoped for in Christ, the speciall obiect of it, Heb. 11. 1. But the Romish faith, beeing no other in its owne nature, but that which is common with the very Diuels, by their owne confession, is altogether without hope, hauing no respect to things hoped for, no more than the Diuels, for all their faith, haue: Therefore the Romish faith is none of the true sauing iustifying faith. There bee many other differences, which fol­low in this Treatise.

Instead of adding more to this place, it shall suffice to con­clude this Chapter with the definition of sauing and iustify­ing faith; which may fitly bee thus defined. Iustifying faith is a speciall free gift of God his grace, whereby a sinner be­leeuing [Page 208] in or into Christ, being thus vnited vnto him, is made [...]t maior Ca­ [...]ech. Nowell. [...]e sinitur fides [...]i [...]. This the Church of Engl. doctrine. partaker of all Christs merits and righteousnesse, and is by the same faith certainly and infallibly perswaded, that all his sins are remitted, and himselfe in Christ perfectly iustified in Gods sight: this faith also as a liuing roote, containing in it all other graces, as hope, loue, patience, humility, &c. For the proofe of each part of this definition, we neede not here stand vpon, as referring both to the foregoing, and ensuing Chapters, where they are amply proued. Now, that I call iustifying Faith a gift of God, I note the efficient cause of it to be God; whereby it is also distinguished from the faith of Diuels, which cannot bee called the gift of God. Secondly, that I call it a free gift of Gods grace, as Phil. 1. 29. this ex­cludes all precedent workes in man, as merits of congruity, or of any preuious repentance, making a man acceptable to receiue Faith in Christ, which jumps with the merit of con­gruity. Thirdly, that I call it a speciall gift, I exclude all repro­bates from hauing any communion with this Faith, it is spe­cially and peculiarly and solely giuen to the Saints, Iude 3. spe­ciall also in regard of the nature of it, being a gift of grace, flowing from Gods special loue in Christ vnto his elect Saints. Fourthly, whereby a sinner, &c. I note, that whoso hath this Faith, is empty of all inherent righteousnesse of his own; he must be a sinner, the generall subiect, wherein Faith dwelleth. Fiftly, by beleeuing in, or into Christ, I note the proper act of iustifying Faith, differencing it from all other kinds of faith; as also, that Christ is the proper obiect of iustifying Faith, & not the whole Word of God in generall. Sixtly, being by Faith vnited to Christ, and so made partaker of all Christs merits and righteousnesse, I note, that Faith is the immediate instru­ment, whereby wee are made one with Christ, and so haue our perfect communion with him in all his righteousnesse and graces; in so much as by vertue of this vnion by Faith, Christ and all true beleeuers are all one mysticall Christ. Seuenthly, by being certainly and infallibly perswaded of the remission of sinnes by faith, I note the natiue property of iusti­fying Faith; which is, to assure a man of his saluation; and [Page 209] that in a greater or lesser measure, according to the propor­tion of Faith measured out vnto vs; and that faith also as­sures vs of our iustification in Gods sight, as laying hold vpon Christ, who is our righteousnesse: which certainety and as­surance is such, as it necessarily excludeth all vaine presump­tion. For how can a man that is truely and infallibly certaine, be sayd therein vainely to presume? Lastly, I call this Faith a liuing roote, whence all other graces spring; to note the true difference betweene this iustifying faith, and the Pontifician faith, which in its owne nature is dead, vntill (say they) it bee quickened by charity infused into it: to note also how vaine that common cauill and quarrell of Papists is against our doctrine of iustification by Faith alone, as a doctrine tending (say they) to Libertinisme, and to cast off all care of good workes; whereas our faith, whereby we are iustified, is such, as being not a dead, but a liuing roote, including in it all other graces, it causeth the beleeuer to bee as a liuing tree, planted by the riuers of waters, and bringing forth his fruit in due season, whose leafe also doth not wither, and whatsoeuer he doth shall prosper.

CHAP. XIII. Of the generalitie and vncertainety of Romane-Catholicke Faith: the generalitie of it confuted, by the contrary confirmed.

BEsides the forenamed properties and limitations of that kinde of faith, which Pontificians appropriate to them­selues, though common (by their owne confession) with the Diuels and damned; wee cannot omit two other speciall markes, whereby they would dignifie and commend this their faith vnto the world. The first whereof, is the genera­lity and implicity of this faith: the second, is the vncertain­ty of it. Wee ioyne these two together, generality and vn­certainety, because the former is a necessary inducement to the latter, and as it were the foundation of Babels tottering [Page 210] Tower of vncertainty. For, grant once such a generality of faith as they require, and the vncertainty of it will easily fol­low.

Now concerning generality of faith, we noted before out of [...]oto de nat. & grat. l. 2. c. 7. Soto, that they vtterly disclaime that speciall faith in Christ, & in the promises of God in him. I may here fitly apply that sentence vsed by his Excellent Maiestie in his late speech to the honorable house of Parliament, Wch I humbly craue leaue to borrow, Dolosus versatnr in vniuersalibus: The deceitful man loueth to walke in vniuersalities or generalities. The Pon­tificians in this their vniuersality or generality of faith, deale like the timorous, and therefore cautelous Hare, who to de­ceiue her pursuers or tracers, makes many doubles, and crafty windings out and in, that vneath it is for the most sagacious pursuer, to deprehend, or finde her out. Their end is, that faith, in the height of sins deluge ouerflowing the soule, might haue no solid and firme ground, to pitch and rest her foote vpon. And here in lye [...] the mystery of their Antichristian ini­quity, to pull men quite away from Christ, that in matter of faith they may wholly depend vpon that Papall imaginary in­fallibility, hauing no other security, than to pin their soules vpon a sinnefull mans s [...]eeue: Which Vega doth not a whit dissemble, saying, Deus summam salutis fidelium in Sacerdotum Vega lib. 13. de lapsis & eorum repa­ratione. c. 31. posuit potestate: That God hath placed the summe of the sal­uation of the faithfull in the power of the Priests: the summe whereof is the Pope, the Arch-priest. But of this more in the proper place. But for their faith, it must bee generall in two respects: first, in respect of the generality of the obiect of Faith, the whole Word of God (as they say) written and vn­written, an vnlimited obiect: secondly, in regard of the ge­nerality of men to be saued or iustified, as they teach. They must neither in particular beleeue the promises of God in Christ, nor any man must beleeue that the promises of God belong vnto him in particular. To which purpose Soto saith, Fides Catholica, Christianae familiae necessaria, vtpote qua Christia­ni Sotoibid. consemur, non est specialis illa, qua indubitato credit quisque, ac constituit sibi, remitti peccata propter Christum, & esse in gratia Dei: [Page 211] sed ille assensus in genere, quo firmiter credimus Iesum Christum, vniuer salem esse Redemptorem, &c. that is, The Catholick Faith, necessary for the Christian family, as whereby we are repu­ted Christians, is not that speciall Faith, whereby euery man doth vndoubtedly beleeue and resolue with himselfe, that his sinnes are forgiuen him for Christs sake, and that he is in the fauour of God; but that generall assent, whereby we firmely beleeue, that Iesus Christ is the vniuersall Redeemer, &c. as we touched before. Now the grounds of this their generall Faith, wee finde in the sixt Chapter of the sixt Session of theConcil. Trid. Sess. 6. cap. 6. Councell of Trent, of the manner of preparation to iustifica­tion: as first, for the beliefe of things reuealed and promised, the generall obiect of it: and secondly; In spem erig [...]ntur, fi­dentes Deum sibi propter Christum propitium sore, &c. Men are brought to hope, beleeuing that God will bee, or may bee mercifull to them for Christs sake. Marke, they doc not say, beleeuing that God is mercifull vnto them, but that hee will be, or may be, as Vega interprets it; Se posse s [...]l [...]: that they may possibly be saued. And when they speake of a particular iustification of any one man in the present tense, then also they expresse it by an indefinite speech, and generall phrase: Credentes à Deo iustificari impium per gratiam eius, &c. Beleeuing that a sinner is iustified of God through his grace: not that a mans selfe is iustified. For, for a man to beleeue in particular, that himselfe is truely iustified by Christ, such a man they anathernatize and curse, Can. 14. yea, this Faith isIbid. Can. 14. so generall, and so little respecteth Christ as the obiect of it, as that Vega, in his Commentary vpon the said sixt Chapter of the sixt Session, saith: Persuaderi potest, non solum iustificari Vega lib. 6. de praepar. adult. ad iustif. cap. 19 posse homines, se [...] & saluari sine fide Christi explicita: It is very credible, that men may not only be iustified, but also saued, without the explicite, or cleare, and vnfolded Faith of Christ. Where note, that they not onely exclude the necessity of a di­stinct Faith in Christ, but also put a maine difference between iustification and saluation: For a Pontifician may be iustified, and yet not saued. Vega addes his reason: for (saith hee) al­though Christ bound all men to beleeue the Gospell, when he [Page 212] commanded his Apostles, that they should preach it through­out the whole world, & pronounced them damned, that belee­ued not: yet seeing there may be an inuincible ignorance of the Gospell (that is, eyther for want of the meanes, or by rea­songnorantia rauae dispositi­nis. cap. 18. bid. in fine. of a wicked and peruerse disposition, as they say) this shall be no impediment in this respect, why they may not be both iustified and saued, which shall obserue other naturall precepts. Thus the Councell of Trent, with her Pontifici­ans, deale with Faith and Iustification, as Cheaters, who when they play with Nouices, doe so shuffle and packe the Cardes, that they make the game sure on their owne side, and all to cheate the other of his money. So the Pontificians cheate their simple people of their siluer, and soules too, by shuffling the particular sauing faith in Christ, with such sleight of hand, in the whole pack of generall faith, that they are sure neuer to rise sauers.

Well, come wee now to shew the vanity of this generall faith, by setting against it the speciall particular faith, which Gods Word teacheth and requireth of euery one that is truly iustified, and so consequently perfectly saued.

We haue spoken before sufficiently of the proper and spe­ciall obiect of sauing faith: to wit, Iesus Christ, the summe of the Gospell, and the substance of all Gods promises. There­fore we will now confine our speech to the specialty and par­ticularity of sauing faith, in respect of the common subiect of it; to wit, euery beleeuer in particular. It is the Catholicke Doctrine of the holy Scriptures, that euery beleeuer must haue a speciall, particular, proper faith of his owne; yea a cleare, explicite, and vnfolded faith in Christ: that hee is not onely the Redeemer of mankinde in generall, nor onely that we may be saued by him, but that euery one in particular, doe beleeue Christ is his Redeemer and Sauiour. This is the spe­ciall property of sauing faith, particularly to apply Christ, with all Gods promises in him, to my soule, and thy soule. The Scriptures are very pregnant for the proofe of this point; both in the Law, in the Prophets, and in the New Testament. In the Law, this particular faith is shadowed vnto vs by [Page 213] three remarkable types: one of the hand, another of the [...], and the third of the Sicle of the Sanctuary. To which also we may adde the particular sacrifice, which euery man was to bring for his owne sinne: We will begin with the last. In the Law, euery man was to bring a particular sacrifice for his particular sinne. Leuit. 4. 27. 28. If any of the common people sinne, &c. not onely the Priest, as vers. 3. nor onely the Congrega­tion, vers 13. but if any one of the common people sinne, &c. then hee shall bring: What? an offering in generall? no: hee shall bring his offering, as a Kidde without blemish, for his sinne which hee hath sinned. Now this offering without blemish, what was it, but a liuely type of Christ, as of the Lambe with­out spot, as Peter speaketh, who was offered vp, and sacrifi­sed1. Pet. 1. 19. for euery sinner, beleeuing in particular? For the further confirmation of this point; in the second place, euery man bringing his particular offering, for his particular sinne, was to lay his hand vpon his offering, as Leuit. 4. 29. Thus the Priest must doe also, vers. 4. thus the whole Congregation must doe, vers. 15. All must lay their hands vpon their sacri­fice. Now what is meant by the hand, but a particular faith in euery beleeuer, apprehending and applying Christ, to the taking away, and purging of his sinne? This we touched be­fore* Chapt. 4. in the point of imputation, where wee shewed that the hand thus layed vpon the sacrifice, was a figure of faith. Ori­genOrig. in Leuit. applies the laying on of the hand, to the imposing of our sinnes vpon Christ, the true sacrifice. Hence it was, that to­gether with the imposition of the hand, the sinnes of the of­fendors were confessed ouer the sacrifice, and put vpon the head thereof, Leuit. 16. 21. So that this imposition of the hand, as it did figure the laying of our sinnes vpon Christ, whereby he became sinne for vs, by imputation, bearing them vpon him: So also it was a reciprocall signification of the imputation and application of Christs righteousnesse to euery beleeuer, whereby wee become the righteousnesse of God in him: the hand of faith comming betweene, laying our sinne vpon Christ, our sacrifice, and receiuing his righteousnesse vnto vs. Among the Hebrew Doctors, Maimony saith of this [Page 214] imp [...]sition of the hand, or hands, that deafe men, fooles, chil­dren, [...]aimony in [...]act. de sacri [...]. [...]erend. cap. 3. seruants, weomen, the blinde, and the stranger, might not impose their hand vpon the sacrifice. Now wee know, that the deafe, fooles, and children, are voyde of actuall faith; seruants, weomen, blinde, and strangers, might be, in a myste­rie debarred and excluded: for seruants were types of the ser­uants of sinne: weomen, wee know, were denyed the vse of Circumcision; they were not reckoned in the number of those sixe hundred thousand, that came out of Egypt, who were all men of warre, types of Christs Souldiers, who must be of a Masculine vertue. And Abraham, the Father of the faithfull, is said in Scripture, to beget sonnes, but not daugh­ters: Abraham non genuit filias, saith Origen. But this was in a mysterie only; as Melchisedechs birth and death are not men­tioned in Scripture, and that in a mystery. The blinde were of the nature of the deafe; and the strangers, argued those that were aliens from the Common-wealth of Israel, and [...]phes. 2. 12. strangers from the Couenants of promise, as the Apostle speaketh. Not, that I meane, these were denyed to haue any part in Gods Couenant, but in a mystery and type onely, as we haue said. Also the same Rabbi saith, that this imposition of the hand must be done by a mans self, & not by another, as the iust man shall liue by his faith, not by anothers faith. Abac. 2. 4▪ It must bee done with all a mans might: as Philip said to theActs 8. 37. Eunuch, If thou beleeuest with all thy heart. And immediately vpon the imposition, the sacrifice was slaine; figuring our faith in Christs bloud, Rom. 3. 2. 5. Origen compares faith to the figure of the ho [...]y Sicle, Leuit. 3. Siclo sancto comparandus Origen super [...]euit. nobis est Christus, qui peccata nostra dissoluat. Siclus sanctus fidei nostrae formam tenet: We must with the Sicle of the Sanctuary purchase vnto vs Christ, who may take away our sinnes. The holy Sicle is the figure of our faith: for (saith hee) if thou shalt offer faith as a price, Christ, as it were the immaculate Ramme, being giuen to be sacrificed, thou shalt receiue remis­sion of sinnes. Now this particular faith in Christ, is absolutely necessary for euery one that will be saued. And therefore the same Origen concludeth: Certum est, quod remissionem peccato­rum [Page 215] nullus accipiat, nisi detulerit integram, probam & sanctam fi­dem, per quam mercari possit Arietem; cuius natura haec est, vt pec­cata credentis abstergat. Et hic est Siclus sanctus, probata (vt dixi­mus) & syncera fides, id est, vbi nullus perfidiae dolus, nulla hereticae call [...]ditatis peruersitas admiscetur, vt synceram fidem offerentes, pre­cioso Christi sanguine, tanquam immaculatae hostiae diluamur: It is certaine, that no man can receiue remission of sinnes, vnlesse he being an intire, approued, and holy faith, wherewith hee may purchase the Ramme: the nature whereof is this, to blot out the sinnes of the beleeuer. And this is the holy Sicle, an approued and sincere faith, that is, where no perfidious fraud, nor peruerse hereticall craft is mingled, that offering a sin­cere faith, wee may be cleansed with the precious bloud of Christ, as of an immaculate sacrifice. Euery man therefore must bring a speciall, particular, holy, sincere faith of his own, wherewith, as with a holy Sicle, he may purchase Christ; and which, as his hand, he must lay hold on Christ, which no man else can doe for him. His generall implicite faith, to beleeue as the Church beleeueth: that is, to beleeue he knoweth not what, will not serue the turne.

This speciall particular faith in Christ, requisite in euery beleeuer, in euery one that lookes for saluation, is liuely prefi­gured by the eye: as Numb. 21. 9. if a Serpent did bite any man, when hee beheld the Serpent of brasse, hee liued. This brasen Serpent was a liuely figure of Christ crucified. A man bitten with the Serpent, is euery sinner: the way for him to be healed, is to looke vpon the brasen Serpent lifted vp vpon the pole; that is, vpon Christ crucified. Euery man that was Ser­pent-bit, hee must looke vpon the brasen Serpent with hisIob 19. 27. owne eyes, not with any others eyes: as Iob said, I shall see him with these eyes, and none other for mee. Christ himselfe ap­plyethIohn 3. the truth to the type: As Moses lifted vp the Serpent in the wildernesse; so must the Sonne of man be lifted vp, that whosoe­uer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue life euerlasting. As therefore none of the stung Israelites were cured, but those that looked with their owne eyes vpon the brasen Serpent; so none of the Israel of God is healed of the sting of sinne, but [Page 216] by his speciall, cleare, viue Faith, as the Chrystall eye of his soule, looking vpon Christ crucified. As St. Augustine vpon [...]ug. in Ioan. [...]act. 12. c. 3. the place applyeth it: Interim modò Fratres, vt à peccato sane­mur, Christum crucifixum intu [...]amur. Quomodo qui intuebantur illum Serpentem, non peribant morsibus Serpentium: sic qui intuen­tur fide mortem Christi, sanantur à morsibus peccatorum: Now Brethren (saith he) that wee may be cured of our sinne, let vs looke vpon Christ crucified. As they which beheld that Serpent, did not perish by the bitings of Serpents: so they that by Faith behold the death of Christ, are healed of the bytings of sinnes. As therefore euery one must look with his owne eyes, and that not vpon euery obiect, but vpon the Ser­pent, and liue: so euery sinner must looke with the cleare eyes of his own faith, & that vpon no other obiect, but Christ crucified, that so he may liue eternally, and be healed of all his infirmities, as Dauid saith, Psal. 103.

If we look into the whole Word of God, we shall finde this particular faith of euery beleeuer to haue beene in all the Saints of God. The Prophet Abacuc saith of euery iust man,Abac. 2. 4. The iust man shall liue by his Faith: by his owne Faith, not by anothers. This was Abrahams faith (the Father and Figure of all the Faithfull) who hearing Gods promise concerning the blessed [...]eed, to wit, Christ, in whom all the Nations of the earth should be blessed, as the Apostle applies it, Gal. 3. 16. hee thereupon beleeued. How beleeued he? not as the Ponti­ficians would haue it, by a general faith concerning the truth of that which God had said: for it is not said barely Abra­ham beleeued God, but, Abraham beleeued in the Lord, and it was imputed vnto him for righteousnesse, Gen. 15. 6. And the Apostle saith, That Abraham staggered not at the promise of God through vnbeleefe, but was strong in Faith, giuing glory to God, Rom. 4. 20. and therefore it was imputed to him for righteousnesse, v. 22. But the Pontificians will say, this was a speciall Faith, which Abraham had, not common to ordinary and common beleeuers. No such thing: for looke what kind of Faith Abraham had, the same kinde, though haply not in the same measure and degree, haue all true beleeuers. This [Page 217] the Apostle plainely resolueth in the next words, saying: Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him: but for vs also, to whom it shall bee imputed, if wee beleeue on him, that raised vp Iesus our Lord from the dead, who was deliuered for our offences, and was raised againe for our iustification. If there­fore Abraham had a speciall and particular faith, then euery true Beleeuer hath the like faith in him. But Abraham had a speciall and particular Faith: for, first he beleeued in God: secondly, hee beleeued in God especially concerning the pro­mise, the substance whereof was Christ. This Faith was im­puted to Abraham for righteousnesse. If it had not been Abra­hams speciall Faith, how had it beene imputed to him for righteousnesse? It was Abrahams peculiar, proper, owne Faith, looking with open eyes vpon the promise of God (which promise was Christ, whose day Abraham, though a farre off, saw and reioyced) which was imputed to him for righteousnesse. Thus it is with euery true beleeuer, whose owne speciall, cleare, Chrystall-ey'd Faith beholding, and ap­plying Gods promise in Christ, is particularly imputed to him for righteousnesse. This the Apostle concludes in generall, from the example and instance of Abraham, and makes it the common case of all true Beleeuers, saying, Rom. 4. 5. To him that worketh not, but beleeueth on him that iustifieth the vngod­ly, his Faith is counted for righteousnesse. This beeing so cleere a Conclusion, what neede we adde further testimonies? Christ himselfe said to Thomas, when he confessed, and said, My Lord, and my God: Thomas, because thou hast seene me, thou hast Iohn 20. 28. 2 [...] beleeued: blessed are they that haue not seene, and yet haue beleeued. Where note two things: first, Thomas his Faith in applying Christ to himselfe, saying, My Lord, and my God: and second­ly, Christs deduction, shewing the same Faith to be in euery true beleeuer, the property of which Faith, is, to apply Christ to himselfe, as Thomas did, and to say with the voyce of faith, confessing Christ, in his death and resurrection, testified by those scarres in his sacred side, My Lord, and my God.

In a word, all thoseThe most an­cient and au­thenticke Creeds require explicit faith in Christ, and the promises of God in him▪ Creeds vsed in the Church from all an­tiquity, do vnanimously, and with one ioynt consent, confirme [Page 218] this Catholicke truth of that speciall explicit, cleere, particu­lar Faith in Christ, required in euery true beleeuer. For first of all, they do all say, I beleeue in God, &c. not, We beleeue. So the Apostles Creed: the Nicene Creede saith, I beleeue in one God, &c. not, We beleeue. Athanasius his Creede saith, Whosoeuer will be saued, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholicke Faith, &c. that is, Euery man in par­ticular must beleeue. And this particular Faith is required, not only in regard of euery beleeuer, but also in regard of the speciall obiect of Faith; which is no confused, or vniuersall (I wot not what obiect) but a speciall obiect, to wit, the sa­uing knowledge of God in Christ, and the promise of life in him. Looke vpon all the Creeds, which the Fathers call the obiect of Faith, as containing the summe of that which we are to beleeue to our saluation; and doe they not mainely present to our Faith, Iesus Christ, and him crucified? Nor this onely in generall, that Christ is the redeemer of the world; but the specialties of this redemption are set downe; to teach vs, That not a generall implicit faith will serue the turne, but it must bee a particular explicit faith, comprehen­ding all those particulars in the Creede, declared at large in the Word of God. Thus the foundation of Popish vncertain­ty of Faith being remoued, to wit, a certaine vncertaine im­plicit general faith: the building it selfe threatneth immediate ruine.

CHAP. XIV. Of the vncertainety of Romane-Catholicke Faith.

THe Councell of Trent being in generall an enemie to the certainety of Faith, which giueth a true beleeuer an as­surance of his saluation: and withall considering how eui­dent both Scriptures and Fathers were in this point, so strong­ly propugned and maintained by Luther: and thirdly the Councell it selfe in the canuase of this point, while it was in [Page 219] consultation, or rather in contention, being diuided into con­trary parties and sides, some holding for certainety, as Cata­rinus, and others for vncertainety, as Vega, and others; as the History of the same Councell doth notably discouer. There­foreHistor. Conci [...] ▪ Trid. lib. 2. it became the politicke spirit of the Councell to vse all cautelous circumspection in the definite concluding of this point, contriuing it vnder such vmbratilous and sub-obscure termes, as that they might seeme neither grossely to oppose the open truth, nor yet displease that party of the Councell, that seemed to encline to the truths side, nor yet leaue Luther vncondemned for defending the truth, nor yet betray their owne cause, which was to aduance the vncertainty of Ro­mane-Catholicke Faith: Vncertainety being the very hint, which gaue occasion to the Serpent boldly to insult, and so to ouerthrow mankinde. For when Eue said, lest yee dye: the Serpent finding her staggering, takes the aduantage, & strikes her with a down-right blow to the ground, Yee shall not dye at all.

But let vs see the mystery of Trents iniquitie in their wily winding vp this bottomlesse bottome of their implicite FaithConcil. Trid. Sess. 6. cap. 9. in the vncertaintie of it. In the ninth Chapter of the sixt Session they haue these words, Quamuis necessarium sit credere, neque remitti, neque remissa vnquam fuisse peccata▪ nisi gratis diuina misericordia propter Christum: nemini tamen fiduciam, & certitu­dinem remissionis peccatorum suorum iactanti, & in ea sola quiescen­ti, peccata dimitti, vel dimissa esse, dicendum est: cum apud Haere­ticos, & Schismaticos possit esse, imo nostra tempestate sit, & magna contra Ecclesiam Catholicam contentione praedicetur vana haec; & ab omni pietateremota, fiducia. Sed neque illud asserendum est, opor­tere eos, qui verè iustificati sunt, absque vlla omnino dubitatione apud semetipsos statuere se esse iustificatos, neminem (que) à peccatis ab­solui, nisi eum, qui certò credat se absolutum & iustificatum esse: at (que) hac sola fide absolutionem & iustificationem perfici; quasi qui hoc non credidit, de Dei promissis, de (que) mortis & resurrectionis Chri­sti efficacia dubit [...]t. Nam sicut nemo pius de Dei misericordia, de Christi merito, de Sacramentorum virtute & efficacia dubitare debet: sic quilibet, dum seipsum suam (que) propriam infirmitatem, & [Page 220] indispositionem respicit, de sua gratia formidare, & timere potest: Cum nullus scire valeat certitudine fidei, cui non potest subesse falsum se gratiam Dei esse consequutum. Thus farre the whole ninth Chapter. That is, Although it be necessary to beleeue, that sins neyther are, nor euer were remitted, but freely by di­uine mercy for Christ: yet no man boasting of confidence and certainty of the remission of his sinnes, and therewith wholly * resting, ought to say, that his sinnes are, or haue beenNo rest or [...]eace to the [...]icked. remitted: seeing this vain confidence, voide of all piety, both may be amongst Heretickes, and Schismatickes, yea and is now in these our dayes, and is preached with great contenti­on Certainty of [...]ith a great [...]duersary to Romane-Ca­ [...]holickes. against the Catholicke Church. But neither is that to be affirmed, that they who are truely iustified, ought with­out any doubting at all to conclude with themselues, that they are iustified, and that none is absolued and iustified from sins, but he that certainly beleeueth that he is absolued and iustifi­ed: and that in this sole faith, absolution and iustification consisteth; as if a man not beleeuing this, should doubt of the promises of God, and of the efficacy of Christs death and re­surrection. For as no godly man ought to doubt of the mercy of God, of the merit of Christ, and of the The Pontifi­cian Opus operatum yoa­ked with God [...] mercy and Christs merit. power and efficacy of the Sacraments; so euery man, while hee looketh vpon himselfe, and his owne proper infimity and indisposition, may be Faith of fear­full Diuels approued and commended. affraid and fearfull of his owne grace: seeing no man can know by the certainty of faith, wherein there may not lye some error, that he hath obtained the grace of God.

Now I desire the Christian iudicious Reader to obserue the sundry passages, and as it were the seuerall threads of this Copwebbe. First, like the painted Whoore, she sets a faire face or preface vpon the matter, as attributing remission of sinnes to Gods mercy for Christ, which euery one must necessarily beleeue (she could say no lesse, though in the vp-shot of the matter, she would haue men to beleeue nothing lesse) but in the next place shee comes with a by-blow, and condemnes the confidence and assurance of faith, vnder the termes of boasting. And therefore prefixeth this a title before the Chapter; Contra inan [...]m Haereticorum fiduciam: Against the [Page 221] vaine confidence of Heretickes: A notable packe of cun [...]ng, well beseeming the mysterie of iniquity. They doe not goe bluntly to worke, to beate downe-right that confidence and certaine assurance, which is in a true iustifying faith, but slily they wound it, as Ioab did Abner vnder the fift ribbe, as being in none but him, that vainely boasteth and braggeth of the assurance of his iustification. Indeede, if this assurance were nothing else but a vaine confidence and boasting, they say something. But while they ioyne this certainty and assurance of Faith with vaine boasting, they plainly discouer their mas­ked hypocrisie, by mixing and confounding the pure gold of Faith, with mans drosse, as if they were both one, to be faith­fully assured, and vainly confident. But this assurance, what­soeuer it is, it must be in Heretickes, and Schismatickes, Ca­tholickes must haue nothing to doe with it, as being a vaine confidence. Yet vaine as it is, they confesse it to be a great and vehement enemy to the Catholicke Church; to wit, the Romane-Catholicke Church. In which Church, none must so certainly beleeue the remission of his sinnes, as to exclude all doubting; especially in regard of his owne indisposition and infirmity, being fearfull of his owne grace: and no mar­uaile if such be full of fearfull doubtings, that build their sal­uation and iustification vpon their inherent grace. But the conclusion is peremptory, iust like the Serpent's in the third of Genesis, beginning smoothly, but ending roughly, like the Sotherne winde; Yee shall not dye at all. So Trents conclusion is, that no man can know by the certainty of faith, whether he haue the grace of God, or no.

Furthermore, the same Councell for the confirmation of the said Chapter, to vphold their tottering vncertainty of faith, hath planted three or foure Canons, full charged with Anathemaes. As Can. 12. Si quis dixerit, Fidem iustificantem nihil Concil. Trid. Sess. 6. Can. 12. aliud esse, quam fiduciam diuinae misericordiae, peccata remittentis propter Christum; vel eam fiduciam solam esse, qua iustificamur: anathema sit: If any man shall say, that iustifying Faith is no­thing else, but a trust or confidence in the mercy of God, re­mitting sinnes for Christ; or that this confidence or trust is [Page 222] that onely, whereby we are iustified: let him bee accursed. Faith is then something else, than a trust or confidence in Gods mercy. What else? namely a diffidence in Gods mercy. And Can. 13. Si quis dixerit, omni homini ad remissionem peccato­rum assequendam necessarium esse, vt credat certò, & abs (que) vlla hae­sitatione propriae infirmitatis & indispositionis, peccata sibi esse re­missae; anathema sit: If any shall say, that it is necessary for euery man, for the attainining the remission of sinnes, to be­leeue certainly, and without any doubting of his owne infir­mity and indisposition, that his sinnes are remitted: let him be accursed. Note here, another by-blow at the certainty of Faith, but seeming to bee laid vpon the shoulders of humane frailty and indisposition; as if remission of sinnes depended vpon our owne strength and disposition. But I maruaile, why the Pontificians so much distrust their owne indisposition, about the certainty of iustification, when they so much dig­nifie their naturall disposition vnto iustification; saue onely that (for the loue of their worldly pompe, pleasure, and pro­fit, one speciall proppe whereof is their vncertainty, causing the simple seduced people to rest wholly vpon their Priest, Pope, and Purgatory, as their last Sanctuary of their troubled soules) they are not disposed to giue God the glory, and to seale to themselues the comfort of iustification by the cer­tainty of Faith: which certainty of Faith they must needes extreamely hate, when to disgrace it, they are faine to dispa­rage their owne strength and disposition, which otherwise they do so much deifie & adore. And as if mans disposition in the state of grace, being accompanied and assisted with grace, came short of that disposition which goes before grace; and as if mans disposition were not as able to confirme him in grace, as to prepare him vnto grace. But wee will not enuie them their indisposition to the assurance of grace, no more than wee admire that grace of theirs, which can giue no solid comfort and assurance to the soule and conscience.

But let vs heare what Trent further saith, Can. 14. Si quis Can. 14. dixerit, hominem à peccatis absolui, ac iustificari ex eo, quod se ab­solui, ac iustificari certò credat: aut neminem verè esse iustificatum, [Page 223] nisi qui credat se esse iustificatum: & hac sol [...] fide absolutionem, & iustificationem perfici, anathema sit: If any shall say, that a man is absolued, and iustified from sinnes, in that respect that hee certainly beleeueth hee is absolued and iustified: or that none is truely iustified, but hee that beleeueth he is iustified: and that absolution and iustification is perfected by this sole faith: let him be accursed. Note here, that the Councell of Trent differeth not one haires breadth, from denying faith it selfe to bee absolutely necessary to iustification; as wee shall more plainly discouer her minde herein hereafter. And Can. 15. Si quis dixerit, hominem renatum & iustificatum, teneri ex fide ad credendum, se certò esse in numero praedestinatorum; anathema sit: If any shall say, that a man regenerate and iustified, is bound by faith to beleeue, that hee is certainly in the number of the predestinate; let him bee accursed. And to conclude, the 16. Canon is also annexed as a blade in this reede: Si quis magnum illud vs (que) in finem perseuerantiae donum se certò h [...]bit [...] ­rum, absoluta & infallibili certitudine dixerit, ni [...]i hoc ex specialire­uelatione didicerit; anathema sit: If any shall say, by an absolute and infallible certainty, that he shall certainly haue that great gift of perseuerance vnto the end, except he shall know this by speciall reuelation; let him be accursed. Thus haue we set downe the whole mysterie of Pontifician vncertainty of faith in grosse, as wee finde it ingrossed in the Councell of Trent: For the further vnfolding whereof, let vs consult the authenticke Commentaries of the Councell.

But first, obserue we here what a deale of paines they haue bestowed about this one point of Vncertainty; and that part­ly, for the reasons formerly alledged in the beginning of this Chapter: but principally doe they impugne this bulwarke of the Certainty of faith, because it is a maine opposite to all their humane inuentions, wherewith, as so many ragges, they haue patched vp their meritorious Capuchin-garment of iu­stification. As the learned Chemnitius hath well obserued in his Examen vpon this point, saying: Nec sanè nullae sunt causae, Chemnitij Exa­men de fide Iustific. &c. Nor is it without cause (saith hee) that the Pontificians doe so eagerly contend for the maintenance of their Vncer­tainty: [Page 224] for they well perceiue, that the whole negotiation of Pontifician Merchandize, is sustained by this meanes. For the conscience, seeking some certaine and firme consola­tion, when it heares that faith it selfe, euen when it appre­hendeth Christ the Mediator, ought to doubt of the remission of sinnes, it begins to deuise a masse of inuentions, as vowes, pilgrimages, inuocations of Saints, Pardons, Dispensations, Croisadoes, Buls, Masses, and a thousand such like, being all but vntempered mortar, to build their Castle of Vncertainty in the Ayre. The conscience in this case, being like the vn­cleane spirit in the Gospell, which seeking rest, and finding none in the wauering Vncertainty of Pontifician faith, taketh vnto himselfe seuen other spirits worse than himselfe, and so the conscience becomes more vncleane, more vnsettled than it was before.

Now in the further laying open of this mysterie of Vncer­tainty, if wee should follow the infinite perplexities and win­dings, which we find in their most authenticke Commenta­ries vpon this point, we should tread an endlesse Maze, as tracing them in their vncertainties. Vega writes a large Com­mentary vpon the forecited ninth Chapter of this Councell of Trent. And Soto spends foure large Chapters vpon it. No maruaile to see men wander wide in a wildernesse of vncer­tainty. But wee will deale with them, as the Prophet saith concerning the wilde Asse. A wilde Asse vsed to the wildernesse, Ier. 2. 24. that snuffeth vp the winde at her pleasure, in her occasion who can turne her away? All they that seeke her, will not weary themselues, in her moneth they shall finde her. So these Pontificians, wan­dring in the wilde disconsolate desert of doubtfulnesse and distrust, snuffing vp the winde of vaine opinions at their pleasure, cannot bee auerted from their aberrations; and for a man to pursue them by the foote, were to weary himselfe: hee shall easily finde them out in their moneth, when and where they disburthen themselues of the fruit they trauailed withall. We will therefore onely touch those weighty reasons, which they bring for the establishing of their vncertainty.

[Page 225]Soto hath reserued and marshalled this point of Vncer­tainty, together with the arguments of it, in the latter end of his third and last booke de natura & gratia, as being his Ro­mane Triarij, to helpe at a dead lift. And indeede, the maine doctrine of iustification, hath such an inseparable relation to this point of Certainty, as this being denied and remoued, the whole doctrine of Faith falleth to ground. And therefore comming to this point, we may well apply the Prouerbe, Ad Triarios iam res redijt: The matter comes now to be tryed by the Triarij, in whom resided the maine shocke, dint, and vp­shot of the battaile. As Soto saith, Sentio ego pro mea exiguitate Soto de nat. & grat, lib. 3. c. 10. ingenij, &c. I am of opinion, according to the slendernesse of my capacity, that if there were no other argument, that wee are not iustified by faith alone, than that hence it would fol­low, that a man is certaine he is in the state of grace; wee should for this onely cause deny iustification by sole faith: such is the euidence (saith he) that faith makes no man certaine of his saluation. Et tamen aduersarij, &c. And yet the aduersa­ries (saith hee) by their peruerse argumentation, doe euen hence especially reason and conclude, that we are iustified by faith alone, because otherwise no man were sure of his iustifi­cation: for such a strong euidence do they take it, that euery one ought to be certaine of his saluation. Thus Soto. And on the other side Luther saith: Etiamsi nihil praeterea peccatum fu­isset Luther. in Gen. cap. 41. in doctrina Pontificia, &c. Although there had beene no o­ther fault in the Pontifician doctrine, than that they taught, that we ought to stagger and wauer, mis-deeming and doubt­ing of the remission of sinnes, of grace, and our saluation; yet we had iust cause to separate our selues from that Infidell and mis-beleeuing Church. So he. The case therefore standing thus, betweene Certainty and Vncertainty, in the matter of saluation, that thereupon depends the winning and losing of the field: it concernes both sides to bee no lesse sollicitous of the well managing of their forces, if not much more than the ancient Romanes, and their opposite enemies the Albanians:Liu. lib. 1. Dec. 1. when both sides resolued and concluded to pawne their per­petuall liberty and state to each other, vpon the successe of [Page 226] one conflict betweene three twin-brethren, called Horatij, on the one side, and other three twin-brethren, called Curatij, on the other.

First therefore let vs take a view of the state and strength of the Pontifician party. To omit their many distributions of certitude, as eyther in regard of the obiect, or of the sub­iect, or some diuine, some morall, &c. wherein both Soto and Vega doe infinitely confound themselues: take wee no­tice first in generall, what kinde of certitude they admit and allow of, and what they reiect and disallow. The certitudes or certainties which they allow of, are these: First, a certi­tude of Catholicke Faith; to wit, a generall Faith concerning the truth of all things reuealed in the Word of God, &c. which certitude they call a firme and certaine assent (though obscure) to the generall truth of Gods Word. And this theySoto de nat. & grat. lib. 3. c. 10. call the certitude, in regard of the obiect, the assent whereof cannot be deceiued: So that they confesse a certaine generall certainty. And this is suitable and proportionable to that kinde of Faith which they hold; namely, a generall Faith. So that their generall certainty stands vpon very good reason; for how can their certainty be any other, but generall, when their faith is no other but generall? for as he said, As the man Iudges 8. 21. is, so is his strength: So, as the faith is, such is the strength of it. Certitude therefore being the property of faith (as wee shall shew hereafter) then faith being generall, the certitude thereof can be no other than generall. Secondly, they doe also seeme to admit of a certaine particular certainty of faith, but with such limitation, as they make it to bee a most vncer­taine certainty, such as may be either true or false. To this purpose, Vega defining certainty to be a certain assent, void ofVega lib. 6. de incertitud. grat. cap. 2. all doubting, whose proper obiect is truth; hereupon he thus inferreth: Ita (que) licet certi nequeant propriè dici de suae gratia, nisi qui se certò & verè credunt esse in gratia: tamen certò assentiri se esse in gratia omnes illos & possumus, & debemus asserere, qui abs (que) vila cunctatione & trepidatione id sibi de se persuadent, siue vere hoc se [...]tiant, siue falso: Therefore (saith hee) though none can properly be said to be certaine of their grace, but those that [Page 227] certainly and truly beleeue that they are in the state of grace: yet we may and ought to affirme, that all they doe certainely assent they are in the state of grace, who without all doubt or feare doe perswade themselues hereof, whether their opinion herein be true or false. Et non nunquam &c. And oft times (saith hee) Philosophers and Diuines doe so abuse these termes, as that they affirme, that all that haue a certaine assent of any thing, are absolutely and simply perswaded thereof. Quamobrem, &c. Wherefore the Fathers (to wit, of Trent) in this ninth Chapter, doubted not to say, that Heretickes and Schismatickes doe boast of the certainty of the remission of their sins, when notwithstanding they certainely knew, that that certainety was rather a most vaine perswasion of their Iustification. And so Vega concludes: Neque dubium, quin latinè possimus dicere, apud Haereticos nostrae tempestatis non esse suae gratiae opinionem, sed certitudinem: Nor do we doubt, but that we may say in plaine termes, that the Heritiques of our time haue not an opinion of their grace or iustification, but a cer­tainety. Note here (iudicious Reader) that the Pontificians doe allow of a certaine vncertaine particular certainety of Faith, namely, such as may bee eyther true or false. They might better haue said iust nothing: sauing that they caute­lously put this clause by way of preuention, that if a particu­lar certainty of Faith bee neuer so manifestly proued, yet it may proue at hap-hazzard, eyther true or false. And this Vega would demonstrate by a distinction, saying, There is a two-fold certainty: Per se, or Quoad nos: Eyther a certainty in regard of the truth it selfe beleeued, or in respect of our apprehension, which may be deceiued; according to the Coun­cels own Text.

In a word, in his fift Chapter following, hee sets downe foure limitations of certainety, that are extra controuersiam, without all controuersie, allowed of the Pontificians. First, that euery man may haue a knowledge of his iustification by diuine reuelation, and that this hath been truly reuealed to some holy men, although but to few, and them Gods greatest familiars, as the blessed Virgin, and the Apostles. Secondly, [Page 228] it is certaine, that all righteous men may by some certaine signes, and probable arguments, or tokens and coniectures, attaine to a probable notice and opinion, or (as they call it) a coniecturall certitude of their iustification. Thirdly (saith he) it is certaine, that no mortall man, without diuine reuelation, can attaine in this life to the certainety of euidence of his iustification. Fourthly, it is also certaine, that no man can, without diuine reuelation, certainely know anothers iustifi­cation, vnlesse haply when he shall haue baptized a childe.

To these limitations wee may here adde the substance of that which Vega sets downe in the 46. Chapter of the same booke: the title whereof is, Possunt vir [...] spirituales certitudinem assequi de sua gratia: Spirituall men may attaine a certainty of their grace and iustification. By spirituall men, he vnderstan­deth those that liue in a state of perfection, as they terme it. Yet this certainety is so rarely found among such, as (after much adoe, and wauering this way and that way, Vega being vncertaine what to thinke of this certainety) at length hee is resolued vpon the point, and giues vs a rare instance of Saint Anthony, whose birth of faithull and religious Parents, whose Christian and holy education, whose firme faith in be­leeuing all which the Church of Rome beleeueth, whose care not to offend, but to please God in all things, whose voluntary pouerty, whose inoffensiue and innocent life, full of charity, whose humility, whose dayly comming to Masse, and fre­quent Shrifts, whose watchings and fastings, and other infinit deuotions, induced Vega to thinke, that this certainty of sal­uation may haply bee found in some spirituall men. But hee must bee a St. Anthony at the least, who is possest with this certainety. So few receiue this gift, as Christ said of conti­nency. No, not Martyrs themselues, saith Vega, Chapter 43. His words are, Ne (que) adduci possum, vt credam aliquem Martyrem aut babuisse, aut habere potuisse certitudinem de sua iustificatione, &c. Nor can I bee induced to beleeue (saith hee) that any Martyr eyther had, or could haue the certainety of iustification, vn­lesse God reuealed it vnto him, as also their perseuerance, and crowne of blessednesse layd vp for them; that so they might [Page 229] the more cheerefully and couragiously persist in their confes­sion.

With these limitations doe the Pontificians confine their allowance of the certainty of Iustification: First, it is only generall, not speciall or particular. Secondly, if particular there be any, they say it may be true or false. Thirdly, this spe­ciall certainty is giuen to none, but by speciall reuelation, and that to some speciall choyce persons; as the blessed Virgin, and the Apostles. Fourthly, iust men may haue some coniectural signes, and probable opinions of their iustification. Fifthly, if any had this speciall certainty, then certainly St. Anthony; a priueledge, which not euen the holy and faithfull Martyrs are capable off, without speciall reuelation, saith Vega. His reason is, because euen Heretickes may be Martyrs, and con­stantly dye for Christ. This is the state of Pontifician doctrine about certainety and vncertainety of faith in iusti­fication.

Against which, we oppose the truth of Catholick doctrineCertainety o [...] the true Ca­tholicke faith, opposite to Ro [...]ish vncer­tainety. concerning the certainety of Faith. First, to their first limi­tation we oppose, That the certainty of Faith is not generall, but particular and speciall. Secondly, to the second, that this certainty cannot be false, but alwayes infallibly true▪ and that not onely in regard of the truth of Gods word in generall, which certainty may be in dogmaticall and historicall Faith, but also of Gods speciall promises in Christ, which it is the property of sauing faith certainely to apply and appropriate to the beleeuer, that vndoubtedly they belong to him in par­ticular. Thirdly, to the third, that neyther this certainety is simply and only a speciall diuine reuelation, nor peculiar onely to a few, but it is the proper vertue of sauing and iustifying Faith, and is in euery true beleeuer, in whom true sauing faith is found. Fourthly, to the fourth, that this certainety in euery man iustified, is no coniecturall matter, gathered by probable signes, but a certaine, cleare, firme euidence of Faith. Fiftly, to the fift, As for St. Anthony, much might his priueledge be, as hauing the Patronage of Pigs, & Cattel, which the Priests do so­lemnly on St. Anthonies day blesse in his name, and so they are [Page 230] free from all diseases and disasters all the yeare after: and therefore the Pigges Masters or Dames are very Hogs, if they requite not the Priests paines with the best Pigge. But for all St. Anthonies workes of deuotion, if they had beene of a far higher and holier nature, they make but little for this eui­dence of certainety, but rather the contrary. For the more a man confides in his good workes, the more vnsettled he is in the certainety of iustification. And for Martyrs, I meane [...]on▪ poena, sed [...]usa facit [...]artyrium. [...]uangelium fa­ [...]t Martyrium. [...]ypri. Christs Martyrs if they haue not this certainty, then none euer had it. As for Heretickes, they cannot dye for Christ; while they dye in the quarrell of their Heresie. Thus we haue the state of the question on both sides. As for Veg's fourth alle­gation in his fifth Chapter forementioned, That no man can certainely know, but by speciall reuelation, whether another man be iustified or no, this is impertinent to the present pur­pose, and so we leaue it extra controuersiam.

But display wee our forces now in the open field, and try we our cause by the dint of truth. First, that the Pontificians should so stiffly stand for their vncertainty of Faith, they haue great reason, in regard it is the strongest supporter (vncer­taine as it is) of the Tower of Babell, as we touched before. [...] troubled [...]nsettled con­science like the troubled sea. [...]ude 13. It is the troubled Sea, where Romes Peter-men finde the best fishing. As the Iewes said of Christ, if we let him thus alone, all the world will goe after him, and the Romanes will come and take away our kingdome: so the Romane Pontificians may say, If we should allow of certainty of Faith, all the peo­ple would forsake vs and wee should lose our Kingdome. What would become then of the merchandise of soules, of Purgatory-Masses, and Dirges, and Trentals, so rich a trade in Romes Court, if the People might purchase saluation by faith, yea, and rest assured of it, without any dependance of humane inuentions?

But let vs examine the former limitations of Pontifician certainty apart. First, they admit only of a generall certainty, but no particular. And reason good: for (as wee said) theirVega de incer­titud. grat. c. 25. Faith is onely generall. And this their certainty they place in the vnderstanding, as they do also their faith. The obiect of [Page 231] this certainty, is the generall truth of Gods Word. So that this is such a certainty, as the very Diuels and damned may haue: for they beleeue and tremble. Why? but because they are certainly perswaded of the truth of Gods Word. And as the Pontifician faith is common with the wicked: so also their certainty, which is the fruite of such faith. Secondly, in that they say, that certainty may bee true of false, according to the disposition of him in whom it is; this is absurd. For, how can a thing be certaine, & yet false, vnlesse it be certainly false, or a false certainety? Certainety and falshood are incompa­rible, and meerely opposite. Indeede it is one thing to bee certaine, another to seeme certaine, which seeming certainty is nothing else but opinion. Thirdly, that they deny certain­ty of faith in iustification, but by speciall reuelation; this a­greeth with their maine doctrine of faith, which indeed hath no other certainty in it, than such as is in the reprobate▪ and whereas they restraine their speciall reuelation to some few, this shewes the iniquity of Pontificians, in making a Mono­poly of Gods grace, and indeede a meere nullity of sauingConcil. Trid. Sess. 6. can. 15. Faith. Fourthly, their probable coniectures of their iustifi­cation, are altogether abhorrent from the nature of Faith in Christ, and meere illusions. Such probabilities are impossi­bilities of saluation. But it is a good reason for the Pontifi­cians, why they should deny certainty of Faith, if the best certainty be onely coniecturall probability. Fiftly, say they, only spirituall men, liuing in the state of perfection; (as deuout St. Anthony) may haue a certainety of saluation, built vpon his good life. This is another strong reason, why Pontificians exclude certainty of Faith of saluation, seeing it is rather grounded vpon good workes. To these they adde two other reasons, why no man can be certaine of his iustification, be­cause (say they) The reason is naught, if he meane that th [...] knowledge of predestination must precede the knowledge of our iustifi­cation. For we do not there­fore beleeue our iustifica­tion, because we must first know our pre­destination: but we come to know our predestination by the fruit of it, iustification. no man by the euidence of faith, can bee certaine of his predestination: For, indeede if a man cannot by faith be certaine of his predestination, he cannot bee cer­taine of his iustification. The reason is good. Lastly, say they, a man cannot be certaine of his iustification, that is not cer­taine of his perseuerance in grace to the end. But no man [Page 232] (say they) can be sure of perseuerance: Therefore no man can bee sure of his saluation. These two last reasons are inferred vpon the fifteenth and sixteenth Canons of the Councell of Trent. Thus haue we in generall, as it were in a light velita­tion or skirmish, spent a small volley vpon the Pontifician forces, which march against certainety of faith. Come wee now to ioyne the maine battaile; wherein wee will obserue this order of sight: first, wee will shew the weakenesse of those arguments they bring for their vncertainety: secondly, we will make good, and fortifie those arguments, authorities, and reasons, wherewith the Catholike truth of the certainty of faith, is maintained and confirmed.

First, for the Pontifician reasons and allegations for their vncertainty of faith, wee finde sundry of them set downe inHistor. Concil. Trid. lib. 2. the history of the Councell of Trent, together with the answers vnto them, forced from the Canuase of the opposite parties: some holding, that the opinion of certainety of grace was an intolerable arrogancy: others, that that certain­ty in its kinde was meritorious. The first of these were for[ the most part Dominicans, grounding their opinion of vn­certainty vpon the authority of Thomas Aquinas, Bona­uenture, and the Schoole-men. Also vpon reason, saying, That God would not make man certain of grace, lest swelling with pride, and opinion of himselfe, he should dispise others; as knowing himselfe to bee righteous, and others notorious sin­ners. Also, that Christians would grow sleepy, sloathfull, and carelesse of good workes. In which respect incertitude of grace was profitable, yea meritorious. For perturbation, or trouble of minde, is that which at first afflicts men; but to those that haue learned to beare it, it becomes at length meri­torious. Besides, they cite places of holy Scripture; as out of Saloman, That man knowes not whether hee be worthy of hatred or loue: out of the Booke of Wisedome, That a man must neuer be free from feare of sinne, that it is pardoned: out of the Apostle, That wee must worke out our saluation with feare and trembling▪ and that St. Paul professeth of himselfe, that though his con­science did not accuse him, yet he was not therfore iustified. [Page 233] These reasons and testimonies, besides many others (saith the History) did chiefly Seripandus, Vega, and Soto alledge and amplifie out of the Fathers.

On the other side (saith the History) Catarinus with Ma­rinarus, did out of the same Fathers alledge places to the con­trary, that it might appeare, that the Fathers, as they saw oc­casion, did attemper their Sermons to the present occasions; sometimes to animate the doubtfull and deiected, sometimes to represse the presumptuous, still submitting themselues to the authority of the Word of God. They said (to wit, Cata­rinus and Marinarus) that as often as Christ is obserued in the Gospell to forgiue sins, so often he said, Be of good comfort, thy sinnes are forgiuen thee. And that it seemed absurd, that Christ would minister to any man occasion of presumption or pride, or to depriue all of that, which might be matter of profit or merit. Also, that the Scripture bound vs to giue thankes to God for our iustification, which vnlesse [...]e before we haue receiued, with what face (yea with what affection) shall we giue thankes? Sith it is folly to acknowledge a benefit, which thou knowest not, whether it bee giuen thee or no. Surely St. Paul doth clearely enough affirme this certainety, when he would haue the Corinchians sensible, that Christ is in them, vnlesse they be reprobates; and when he saith, that therefore wee haue receiued the spirit of God, that by him wee might vnderstand, what is giuen vs of God. And againe more plainely, That the holy spirit doth beare witnesse to our spirit, that wee are the Sonnes of God. And that it is also a part of great impudency, to accuse those of presumption, that beleeue the holy Ghost speaking vnto them. Ambrose affirming, that the holy spirit doth neuer speake vnto vs, but withall it makes knowne vnto vs, that it is himselfe that speaketh. And Christ saith in Iohn, That the world cannot receiue the holy Spirit, because it neyther seeth nor knoweth him; but his Disciples should know, that hee should be and abide in them. Whence (saith the History) Catarinus did very wittily conclude, that that man dreamed, who affirmed that grace was voluntarily receiued, and yet that a man knew [Page 234] not whether he hath it or no: as if to the receiuing of a thing by a voluntary motion of the minde, it were not necessiry, that he which receiues it of his owne accord, should know, that both the thing is giuen vnto him, and that hee truely re­ceiueth it, and being receiued, possesseth it.

The History further saith: the weight of these reasons for­ced those, which before accused this opinion of rashnesse, first to giue place, and then thus farre to yeeld, that although for the most part a man cannot haue assurance in this point, yet he may seeme at least to haue some coniecture. They also de­nied not certainty to Martyrs, nor to the newly Baptized, and to others being assured by speciall Reuelation: and that which at first they called coniecture, they were afterwards brought to call morall faith. Yea Vega himselfe, who in the begin­ning admitted onely of probability, yeelding to the waight of reasons, began to fauour certainty; but lest he might seeme to approach too neare the opinion of the Lutherans, hee did professe onely so great certainty, as might exclude all doubt­ing, and could not deceiue: but hee would not acknowledge it for the Christian faith, but onely humane and experimen­tall. And declaring his opinion by a similitude: As (quoth he) he that hath heate, is certaine that he hath it, and he were voyde of sense, if he should doubt of it: So he that hath grace in himselfe, doth feele it, nor can he doubt, but that hee fee­leth it; but in the sense and apprehension of his soule, not by diuine reuelation. But the other Patrons of certainty, being compelled of the aduersaries, to set downe their meaning in expresse and plaine termes, whether they beleeued, that man might haue certainty of grace, or whether they thought a man bound to beleeue it, and whether that faith were diuine or humane: at length they professed, seeing that faith was giuen by the testimony of the holy Ghost, that it could not be left to mans liberty, and seeing euery man is bound to be­leeue diuine reuelations, that that faith was no otherwise to be called, than diuine.

And when they seemed to bee pressed with the straits of the Dilemma, which was obiected; to wit, that that faith was [Page 235] either equall to the Catholicke faith, or vnequall▪ if it bee not equall, then it excluded not all doubtfulnesse; if equall, then that a righteous man ought as firmely to beleeue hee is iustified, as the very Articles of his Creede▪ Catarin us an­swered, that this faith was diuine, and as certaine excluding all doubtfulnesse, as the Catholicke faith it selfe▪ but yet that it is not the very Catholicke faith. For that faith, which eue­rie man giueth to diuine reuelations made vnto him is also diuine, and excludeth all doubt: but when the Church receiueth these reuelations, then that faith becomes vniuer­sall and Catholicke; yet in regard of certainty and freedome from doubting, euery mans priuate faith is no way inferiour vnto it, but that the Catholicke faith exceeded th [...] onely in the vniuersality. Thus all the Propherb had first a priuate faith concerning all things reuealed vnto them of God, then after that, they were receiued of the Church, they had the Catholicke faith of the same things. This opinion (faith the History) at the first sight, seemed hard eue [...] to the [...] of Catarinus; to wit, all the Caro [...]lites, whose Doctor Iohn Bacon did maintaine it; as also to the Bishops of Senogali [...], Wigornia, and Salpia, to whom at first that degree of faith seemed to bee precipitious and perilous; but afterwards ha­uing diligently weighed & examined the force of the reasons, it was approued with an admirable content of the most appro­ued of the Bishops: but Soto crying out, that it was too fa [...]o [...] ­rable to the Lutherans; others againe affirming, that Luther was not to be condemned, if he had said, that this faith doth follow after iustification: but condemned, for saying it is the iustifying faith.

And as for the reasons brought on the contrary part, they answer, that wee ought not to giue heede to the iudgements of the Note the iudgement o [...] some Pontifi­cians them­selues concer­ning their Schoole-men. Schoolemen, seeing they take the grounde of their opinion from Philosophicall reasons: s [...]th humane Philosophy may iudge amisse of diuine instinct. Againe, that Salomons authority makes not for this purpose. Hee that would draw these words [No man knoweth whether hee bee worthy of loue or hatred] to this purpose, then hee should conclude [Page 236] hence, that euery most wicked sinner continuing in his sins, should not know whether hee bee hated of God or no. And much lesse is that saying of Wisedome to be applyed to this pur­pose; and that there is a fallacy in the Greeke word [...], which doth not signifie sinne already remitted (as it is in the vulgar translation) but the expiation and propitiation for sinne; and the words of the wise man doe admonish the sin­ner, not to heape vp sinne vpon too much confidence of ob­taining pardon, and not of pardon already obtained. Nor must we ground an Article of faith vpon an error of a Translator. (Such was the iudgement in those times concerning the vul­gar edition, of those that had made it authenticall, which is easie to be obserued by the bookes set forth by those, whichAs we noted [...]efore out of Vega, reiecting [...]he vulgar la­ [...]ine, when it makes not for [...]is turne. were present at the decree of the approbation.) Also that the phrase of the Apostle (worke out with feare and trembling) is an Hebraisme, which doth not inforce a doubtfulnesse, but reue­rence, or godly feare; for as much as euen seruants doe exhi­bite feare and trembling to their Masters, with whom they are deare and gracious. Finally, that the place of Saint Paul made for them, if it bee taken for iustification. For that hee saith, he is guilty of no defect, and yet that he is not therefore iustified; a man may easily inferre, that hee was iustified ano­ther way, which confirmeth certainty. But the true meaning of the words is, that St. Paul speaking of defect in his functi­on of preaching the Gospell, doth affirme, that his conscience doth not accuse him of any omission; nor is hee therefore so confident, as that hee dare say, that hee hath performed all the parts of his office, but commits the whole iudgement to God.

And so the History concludes thus: Hee that hath not looked into the opposite writings of those, that were present at these disputations, and which the authors themselues were carefull to commit to print vpon this argument; would scarce beleeue, how many things were discussed about this Article, and with what ardency, not onely of the Diuines, but also of all the Bishops, who were perswaded that their opini­on was right, & that they had hit vpon the truth: So that the [Page 237] Cardinall of St. Crosse, saw that many had more neede of a bridle than of spurres; and by frequent digressions from the purpose, and passages to other questions, he often would ex­presse his desire of putting an end to this controuersie. It was twice propounded in the Synod of the Prelates, to relin­quish altogether this question, as being ambiguous, long, and tedious: yet affection bearing sway, they fell backe vpon it againe. Thus farre the History; which though somewhat] long, yet I hope the Reader will not thinke it more tedious in the reading of it, than I haue done in the inserting of it: which I haue the rather done, that it might the more appear, how, this point of certainty (hauing on the one side eui­dence of truth to confirme it, and on the other, humane wit and affection to oppugne it) did puzzle and perplexe the whole Synod, and fill them full of vncertainties. Wee see those reasons and authorities alledged by the aduerse faction, who were for vncertainty, very acutely and pregnantly an­swered by In this Coun­cell of Trent, if the most learned and iudicious of them, had not beene ouer­swayed by hu­mane affecti­on, no doubt, but the truth had preuailed in a great mea­sure. Catarinus, and those with him. Also whereas they catched here and there at some passages of the Fathers, seeming to fauour their doctrine of vncertainty: it is well no­ted by the History, that the Fathers might sometimes by ac­commodating their exhortations to the people, as the occa­sion required, represse the insolency of such as were presump­tuous, and vainly confident in the assurance of their saluation, howsoeuer they continued in sinne: whereas the Fathers in their maine discourses of faith, speake most clearely in the confirmation of the certainty of iustification, as we shall see hereafter.

Come wee now to Vega's incounters with the certainty of faith: he takes great paines to beate the ayre, what with an­swering, what with vrging arguments for his Pontifician Goddesse Vncertainty, now an Article of Romes faith. Hee vndertakes, according to his rare dexterity, to answer all opposites, and to expound or moderate the meaning of such authorities, as are alledged out of the Scriptures or Fathers;Vega lib. 9. de incertitud. grat. making them by some pretty quaint distinction, to speake iust as him listeth. The first place he bringeth for his vncertainty▪ [Page 238] is out of Iob 9. 20. If I iustifie my selfe, mine owne mouth shall con­demne mee; if I say, I am perfect, it shall also proue me peruerse. Vega makes much adoe about this place, fending and pro­uing: but the very sight of the Text is sufficient to confute his folly, in applying it to his vncertainty of iustification, when as this place doth giue such a deadly wound to their iu­stification it selfe by their inherent righteousnesse, which holy Iob here vtterly disclaimeth. But doth Iob here vtter one syllable of the vncertainty of his faith, in God his Saui­our and Redeemer? Nay, doth he not protest the contrary? Though he slay mee, yet will I trust in him. And vers. 18. Behold, Iob 13. 15. now I haue ordered my cause, I know that I shall be iustified. Who is he that will pleade with mee? What clearer testimony could this holy man giue of his strong confidence and assurance of his iustification by faith in God? So that I maruaile Vega would at all meddle with the example of Iob, who throughout his booke is such a cleare mirrour of a true beleeuer, whose faith is fortified with all confidence and assurance: sauing that hee can easily impute Iobs certainty to a speciall reuelation, and not to the property of faith. But let not Vega with his iug­ling, by casting a false myst, think so easily to eclipse the clear beames of truth.

With the like successe he is tampering with Dauid and Sa­lomon. He alledgeth that of Dauid, Who can vnderstand his er­rors? Hereupon he inferreth, if a man doe not know his sins, how can he be sure of his iustification? To this allegation, we neede vse no other answer, but Bernards exposition, which Vega himselfe both obiecteth, and takes vpon him to answer, that these words of Dauid are vnderstood onely of veniall sinnes, not of mortall. This Vega confessing to be verisimile; very probable, and likely to be true: yet answereth, that see­ing mortall sinnes are more truely and properly sinnes, and do more defile the soule, than veniall sinnes, why should these words bee restrained onely to veniall sinnes? I will not now enter into a discussion of veniall and mortall sinnes, a distin­ction most grosly and impiously abused by the Pontificians: but this I say, that according to the iudgement of Pontifici­ans [Page 239] of veniall sinnes, they must needes confesse, that these words of Dauid must bee meant onely of veniall sinnes: that is, such as the Pontificians call veniall. The very word in the vulgar Latine will beare no other sense, Delicta, which signi­fieth slippes, or errors, or certaine defects, and omissions, such as the Pontificians ranke amongst their veniall sinnes. But this place of Dauid makes nothing at all against certainty of faith. For what if a man, yea the holiest man, if Dauid doe not know his sinnes, his slippes, and errors? yet while he com­plaines hereof, and confesseth them in generall vnto God, praying, O cleanse thou me from my secret faults: what hindreth, but that God cleansing him from all his faults, should seale vnto him the certainty of the remission of all his sins, appre­hended by a liuely faith? As Dauid saith in the 32. Psalme, Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiuen, and whose sinne is coue­red, &c. But how shall a man come to be certaine of this his blessednesse? Dauid instanceth it in himselfe, vers. 5. I acknow­ledged my sinne vnto thee, and mine iniquity haue I not hid: I said, I will confesse my transgressions vnto the Lord, and thou forgauest the iniquity of my sinne. How did Dauid know that God had forgiuen his sinnes, seeing he saith peremptorily, Thou forga­uest the iniquity of my sinne? Did not Dauid know this by the certainty of faith? Vega, I know, hath his answer at his fin­gers ends, and will say, that Dauid came to know this eyther by speciall diuine reuelation, or else by Nathans pronouncing Dauids absolution, saying, The Lord hath put away thy sinne. Yea, but Dauid tels vs in the next words, that this was not his case alone, but it was common to euery godly man in par­ticular: For this (saith Dauid) shall euery one that is godly pray vnto thee, in a time when thou mayst be found. that is, Euery godly man should haue the like comfortable successe vpon his re­pentance, as Dauid had, and say with confidence, as Dauid did, Thou forgauest the transgression of my sinne.

But Vega, suspecting the strength of the Father's authority, he addes thereto the Sonnes; to wit, Salomons, Pro. 20. 9. Who can say, I haue made my heart cleane, I am pure from my sin? Quis, Who? That is, few or none, saith Vega; sith interrogations [Page 240] in Scripture, and in the Fathers, are commonly taken for ne­gations. And he produceth Hieromes exposition, vpon the second of Ioel, Who knoweth, if God will repent, and pardon? Quodait, Quis? &c. That he saith, Who? it is to be thought eyther impossible, or very hard. For Salomons saying, Who can say, I haue made my heart cleane? True: who can say it? yea I challenge all the Pontificians in the world: which of them, for all his satisfactory merits, can assure himselfe, that he hath made his heart cleane? Vega shall not neede to seeke out au­thorities to proue, that by Who, is meant none, or scarce any. For wee will easily grant to Vega, that neuer a Pontifician of them all, not one, can say, and that truely, and with assu­rance of his owne conscience, that hee hath made his heart cleane.

But Vega (as it seemeth) distrusting the former euidences, as not clear and certaine enough to confirme his vncertainty; he addes an impregnable argument, saying, Si hoc non sufficiat testimonium, &c. If this testimonie be not sufficient, certaine­ly that which Salomon writes in his Ecclesiastes, should satis­fie all men. What is that? Eccles. 9. 1. Sunt iustiatque sapientes, & opera corum in manu Dei: & tamen nescit homo, vtrum amore an odio dignus sit; sed omnia in futurum seruantur incerta, eò quod vniuersa eueniant iusto, & impio, &c. So runnes the vulgar La­tine: that is, There are righteous and wise men, and their workes are in the hands of God: and yet man knoweth not, whether he be worthy of loue or hatred; but all things for the time to come are kept vncertaine, seeing that all things come alike to the iust, and to the wicked, &c. First, concerning this place, which Vega brings to satisfie all men, any rea­sonable man would haue thought Vega himselfe had been sa­tisfied with the pregnant answer of Catarinus, and others in the Councell, to this very place. Wel; but let vs see further the vanitie of Vega's argument gathered from this place. First, we must know, that here (as elsewhere in infinite places) the [...] vulgar Latine swarueth extremely and senslesly from the ori­ginall. The originall goes thus word for word, No man know­eth eyther loue or hatred, by all that is before them; as our last [Page 241] English Translation (the most exact of all other) hath rendred it. So that the sense is cleare, That no man by these outward things, which are before vs, or in our sight, can know eyther the loue or hatred of God towards him: and the reason is added, All things come alike to all, and there is one euent to the righteous, and to the wicked, &c. But whereas the vul­gar Latine saith, All things for the time to come are kept vn­certaine: first, there is no such thing in the originall: and besides, to straine these words to Vega's sense, or the Concil. Trid. Sess. 6. c. 12. quoted in the Margent. Coun­cell of Trents, to proue the vncertainty of mans saluation, is to wring blood from them, and to turne a mans inside out­ward, as if the certainty of saluation depended vpon the vn­certainty of outward worldly things, as pouerty, and riches, health, and sicknesse, prosperity, and aduersity; which come alike to all men, righteous and wicked, yea Heathen and Chri­stians: yea, and if Vega's sense stood good, then it should fol­low (as we alledged before out of the History) that the most wicked men, liuing and continuing, and obstinately persisting in sinne, and impenitency, should not know whether they▪ were worthy of Gods hatred or no; whereas euen the most ignorant Heathen hath an accusing and condemning consci­enceRom. 2. 15. within him, that tels him hee is worthy of the hatred, and not of the loue of God. So that Vega, for all his winding wit, and wrangling about this place, doth but laterem la [...]are, spend his labour in vaine, thinking to winne credit and au­thority to his vncertainty from this place of Salomon. As if Salomon in his Ecclesiastes should recant what he had writ in his Prouerbes▪ where he saith, That the wicked flye, when no man Pro. 28. 1. pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a Lyon: If the righteous (and none are righteous, but those that be iustified) be as bold as a Lyon, then certainely they are not appalled with feares and doubts, and the vncertainety of their estate: for that were with the wicked to flye, when none pursueth, beeing af­fraid at the very shadow of their guilty conscience.

Vega runnes on in his Vncertainty; he fights as one thatVegal. 9. de i [...] ­cert. grat c. 11. beateth the ayre (to vse that phrase of the Apostle:) and in his eleuenth Chapter of the same Booke, hee heapeth vp sundry [Page 242] testimonies: first, out of Daniel 4. 27. Peccata tua el [...]emisynis redime, & iniquitates tuas misericordi [...] pauperum; for sitan ignascet delictis tuis: So runnes the vulgar Latine. But the Originall runnes thus: Breake off thy sins by righteousnesse, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poore: So Pagnin himselfe ren­dreth it by Ve­ga's own con­fession▪ ibid. if it may bee a lengthening of thy tranquility. But we need not in this place quarrell the vulgar Latine: that is, Redeeme thy sinnes by almes, and thine iniquities by mercy to the poore: perhaps God will pardon thy sinnes. What makes all this for Vega's vncertainty of Faith? For it is not required that the certain­tyNote here, how imperti­nent this place is for Vega: sith hee would proue by it vn­certainty of faith of a mans own saluation, whereas the place speakes of Daniels vn­certainty of anothers sal­uation. of Faith should extend to the certaine discouery of ano­thers iustification: suffice it, that true Faith doth assure a mans selfe of his owne iustification. But Daniel there speaks not of any vncertainety of remission of sinnes in him that hath it▪ but in a wicked man, that as yet hath it not. Again, by redeeming of a mans sins by Almes, is not meant a meritorious expiation of sinne by satisfaction to God, but this redeeming may bee vnderstood of making restitution to the wronged, which is a testimony of Repentance, as we see in the example of Zacheus. Or this redeeming might bee in regard of pre­uenting temporall iudgements. Ahab, vpon his hypocriticall humiliation, obtained a repriuall of Gods sentence against him, though not an absolute discharge. So propitious is God to the true humiliation of a faithfullman, when not euen the painted image of piety goes vnrewarded.

The like place he produceth out of I [...]el 2. 14. Quis scit, si conuertatur, & ignoscat, &c. Who knoweth, whether he will returne and repent, and leaue a blessing behinde him? The like also out of Ionah 3. 9. Who knoweth, if God will returne and repent, and turne away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? Both these places are of one nature with that of Daniel; being vnderstood of temporall punishments, and that threat­ned to others, nothing concerning the certainty of Faith in the remission of a mans owne sinnes. Nor vnlike is that place he alledgeth out of Acts 8. 22. where Peter saith to Symon, Repent of this thy wickednesse, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiuen thee. Peter speakes not of the vn­certainety [Page 243] of his owne Faith in the remission of his own sins▪ but of that wicked Symon. Peter knew that Repentance and Prayer to God was a speciall meanes to procure pardon of sinnes; and therefore exhorts Symon to repent and pray: yet withall Peter knew, that not euery repentance obtaineth pardon at Gods hands, no more than that of Iudas, or that of Esan, who for all his teares was reiected. But let vs heare Vega's iudgement vpon this place: Cur Prophetae esti, & Petrus, qui constantissimè praedicabant Deum misericordem esse, & valdè prae­stabilem super hominum malitijs, istis hae [...]itationis notis vtebantur, nisi vt docerent, non leuiter oportere credere nos esse iustificatos, ne (que) statim ad qualemcun (que) poenitentiam debere nobis-m [...]tipsis promit lere remissionem peccatorum? that is▪ Why did those Prophets, and Peter (who most constantly preached that God is mercifull, and very ready to forgiue the sinnes of men) vse these notes of hesitation or doubting, but to teach vs that we should not lightly beleeue that wee are iustified, nor presently vpon any kinde of Repentance, that we ought to promise to our selues pardon of our sinnes? Thus farre Vega's inference is pretty tolerable, referring his vncertainty of the pardon of sinnes, to any sleight or ouerly Repentance. Herein hee jumps with that, which wee said euen now, of Iudas and Esan's repen­tance. And besides, faith of iustification is not a light beleefe. But shall we heare Vega expresse his minde cleerely and in­genuously, without any ambiguity? He addeth: Mihi qui­dem (vt ingen [...]è di [...]am, quod sentio) sic olim loc [...]ti Prophetae isti, videntur, vt iam tum deterrerent iustos ab ista certitudine remissio­nis suorum peccatorum (quam quidam his temporibus iustificatis omnibus perswadere moliti sunt) & ea forma loquentes, arma nobis subministrasse videntur, quibus omnes hos, vt sic dicam, certitudina­rios re [...]inceremus: that is, It seemeth to me (that I may inge­nuously speake, what I thinke) those Prophets did heretofore speake thus, that they might then skare righteous men from that certainety of the remission of their sins (which certain­ty, certaine in these times haue laboured to perswade all those that are iustified of) and speaking in that forme, they seeme to conuey weapons into our hands, whereby wee should van­quish [Page 244] all these certitudinaries (as I may so say) or patronizers of the certainty of faith.

Now well-fare Vega yet, for his candid ingenuity, that he vtters his minde plainely as he thinkes. How is it possible else, that euer we should haue discouered the corruption of his heart in this point: as first, to make no difference be­tweene the righteous and the wicked; and to draw an argu­ment from the example of wicked men, as Nabuchadnezzar, Symon Magus, and such like, that because their repentance was doubtfull, and so consequently the pardon of their sinnes; that therefore the righteous and godly men should be deter­red and affraid of the certainety of the remission of their sinnes vpon their true faith and repentance? And whereas he thereupon triumphs, that these kindes of formes of speech vsed by the Prophets, and the Apostles, are weapons put into the hands of Pontificians, wherewith to beate downe the maintainers of certainety: what are these weapons, but such Withes and flaxen Coards, wherewith Dalilah thought to binde Sampson, and so to betray him into the hands of the vncircumcised? But as Sampson, hauing his seuen Nazaraicall lockes still vpon his head, brake them all as rotten tow: so the truth of Faith cannot bee bound, hauing the seuen spirits of God, whereby it retaines vnuincible strength. But the best is, Vega dare not peremptorily conclude it, but only saith, out of his ingenuity, that the Prophets seemed to him to speak so,Multa viden­tur, & non sunt. and that they seemed to conuey such weapons into the Ponti­ficians hands. Wee will therefore let these passe as seeming arguments, well beseeming Pontificians to vse as their best weapons.

To these he addes a place out of Ecclesiasticus, as the maner of Pontificians is, to equall Apocryphall Bookes with Cano­nicall Scriptures, accounting them equally Canonicall, as they do also with as good reason their Apostolick Traditions. But wee will not here take vp the quarrell with them in this point. Nor neede we to bee affraid of the place which Vega alledgeth: which is, De propitiato peccato, noli esse sine metu: [...]cle. 5. 5. Of sinne pardoned, bee thou not without feare. This place [Page 245] also was answered in the Councell by Catarinus, as wee haue recited before, out of the History. For it is not spoken of sin already pardoned, but de propitiatu peccatorum, of the future pardoning of sinnes, as the vulgar Latine (set forth by the Do­ctors of Louan) hath noted in the Margin, and Vega himselfe addeth the same, in the variety of reading. And the sequell of that place is cleare and euident, that a sinner must not bee bould to commit sinne, vpon presumption of pardon. And therefore it is expressed in the future tense, euen in the vul­gar: Et ne dicas, miseratio Dei magna est, multitudinis peccatorum meorum miserebitur: And say not thou, the mercy of God is great, hee will pardon the multitude of my sinnes. So little makes this place for Pontifician vncertainty, as it also no whit crosseth the certainty of faith; whose property is not to presume that God will be mercifull, though I sinne, but to beleeue that God is mercifull to mee vpon my present re­pentance.

And for that of the Apostle [I know nothing by my selfe, yet am I not thereby iustified] vrged by Vega for his vncertainty, in his 12. Chapter, I referre the Reader to the answer made before in the History of the Councell, which is sound and good; and needes not any thing to be added vnto it, although Vega spend a whole large Chapter about it, but all to no pur­pose in the world, but to exercise his vnlimited liberty to say what he list.

But hauing thus raked the Scriptures together, to make a heape of testimonies for the confirmation of his vncertainty; he proceeds in his 13. Chapter, to the authorities of the an­cient Fathers. To which in briefe, to auoide tediousnesse, we may answer in generall, as the History hath well noted, that the Fathers sometimes did attemper their speech to the depressing of the proud and presumptuous, as if eyther men had no sinne at all in them, or that sinning, they had Gods mercy at command. And we are to note also, that where the Fathers speake of the vncertainty of mans iustification, or rather of the certainty of their vnrighteousnes; it is most eui­dent and cleare, that then they speake of mans righteousness [Page 246] of sanctification, wherein they are neuer perfect in this life. But I cannot here omit to set down one speciall place, where­in Vega much triumpheth, taken out of St. Augustine. Vega's words are these: Inter omnia, quae legerim in Augustino, apertis­simè Aug. in. Psal. 50 [...]r 51. vers. 8. proposito nostro fauent, quae, &c. Among all, which I haue read in Augustine, those words doe most clearely fauour our purpose, which hee writeth vpon the exposition of those words, Incerta & occulta sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi: that is, Thou hast reuealed vnto mee the vncertaine and hidden things of thy wisedome. Whereupon Augustine saith; Quae incerta? Quae occulta? Quia Deus ignoscit talibus peccatoribus con [...]itentibus, & punientibus sua peccata: What vncertainty? What hidden things? Because God doth pardon such: to wit, sinners confessing, and punishing As Aug. de vera & falsa poenitentia▪ c. 19 expresseth himselfe: say­ing, Poenitere est poenam te­nere, vt semper puniat in se vl­ciscendo, quod commisit pec­cando: ille poe­nam tenet, qui semper punit, quod commisisse dolet▪ tom. 4. (or repenting of) their sinnes. And Augustine addes, as Vega also alledgeth; Nihil tam occultum, nihil tam incertum: Nothing so secret▪ nothing so vncertaine. And Vega here leaping ouer Augustines am­plification and exposition of his meaning, he onely addes Au­gustines conclusion: Hoc incertum, patefecerit Deus seruo suo Dauid, &c. This vncertaine thing, God reuealed to his ser­uant Dauid. For when standing and accusing himselfe, hee said, Pecca [...]i, I haue sinned: forthwith hee heard of the Pro­phet; that is, of the Spirit of God, which was in the Prophet, The Lord hath put away thy sinne. Well, now let vs a little in­sist vpon these words of Augustine, which Vega ingeniously confesseth, doe most clearely fauour their cause of Pontifician vncertainty, of all other that hee hath read in all Augustines workes▪ First, whereas Augustine taking the vulgar Latine for the onely Text which hee followeth, vseth the word in­certa. I answer, there is no such word in the Originall for in­certum. The words in the Originall are, [...] thatV [...]e sa [...]hum Chocmah Thodhigneni. is, word for word, And in the secret, or in the hidden part (as our last translation well renders it) thou shalt make me to know wisedome. Not a word of vncertainty. Therefore Ve­ga takes a very vncertaine ground, yea rather a meere Bohu or emptinesse, whereon to build his vncertainty. Besides, [...]th Augustine going vpon an vnwarrantable ground, taking [Page 247] that for Text which Gods Word knoweth not; are we there­fore bound presently to take his exposition for Gospell? And whereas hee applies those vncertaine and hidden things to the remission of sinnes: wee know Augustine oftentimes a­bounds with rare conceits; but else, how this application or exposition should result from the Text, vnlesse raised vp by the strength of conceit, the Text it selfe giues vs no euidence to see. But that wee may not seeme too strait-laced, in limi­ting the ouer-lauish liberty of the vulgar Latine: if wee take downe both the Text, and Augustines Glosse at one bit toge­ther, it will not choake vs, nor cause vs to surfeit; especially, if we take all the ingredients of it. For it is with Scriptures and Fathers, as with Physicke: if the Dosis haue eyther moe or fewer ingredients, than the wise Physitian prescribeth, it may alter the whole nature of the Physicke, and in stead of health, procure more hurt to the body. And here I must tell you, that Vega deales with St. Augustine, as eyther a negli­gent, or rather malicious Apothecary, who for some sinister respects, leaues out some speciall ingredient out of the com­position. Or else (to goe no further than the Scripture) hee treades in the very steppes of the Tempter, who craftily leftPsal. 91. 11. Matth. 4. 6. out the most materiall word in all the Text (which was, In all thy wayes) without which, we haue no warrant of Gods pro­tection, and so Sathan by his false fingering, would haue made the promise of God of none effect. So playeth Vega. For as we noted euen now, Vega in relating Augustines ex­position, leaues out the most materiall thing, which Augu­stine noteth in his explaning and applying those Incerta, or vncertaine things to remission of sinnes. And that is the in­stance he giueth of the Niniuites. That we may recollect all to one intire head, which Vega hath so torne asunder, wee will set downe Augustines words whole together: Incerta & occulia sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi: they be the words of his vulgar Text. Whereupon he inferreth, Quae occulta? Quae in­certa? Quia Deus ignoscit & talibus (id est, poenitentibus.) Ni­hil tam occultum, nihil tam incertum. Ad hoc incertum, Niniuitae poenitentiam egerunt: dixerunt enim, &c. What hidden? what vn­certaine [Page 248] things? Because God pardoneth euen such: that is, penitent persons. Nothing so hidden, nothing so vncertaine. Vpon this certainty the Niniuites repented: for they said, though after the Prophet had threatned, though after that voice, * Three dayes and Niniuie shall be destroyed: they said a­mongThough the ext be, Yet [...]. dayes. themselues, that the mercy of God was to be intreated. They said thus, reasoning with themselues, Who knoweth, if God will returne, and shew mercy? It was vncertaine, when they said, Quis nouit? Who knoweth? But hauing once repented, they reaped certaine mercy, &c. So Augustine. Do we not see here a manifest difference between Augustines owne applica­tion of vncertainty, & Vega's strained application? Vega would apply this vncertainty of the remission of sins to the time past, vnderstanding it of sins already pardoned, as if a man were al­together vncertaine that his sins are pardoned, when they are already pardoned. But Augustine tels vs plainly, that he vnder­stands this vncertainty of remission of sins in the future tense, that is, concerning the vncertainty of sins to be pardoned, for which God denounceth expresse iudgments, as in the example of the Niniuites. God hath threatned peremptorily, that with­in forty dayes Niniuie should be destroyed. What should the Niniuites now doe in this case? They beleeue God, that hee was true in his word: Yet they resolue to repent speedily. But to what purpose, when now the sentence was already pronounced of him that cannot lye? Yes (as knowing that such like threatnings are conditionall) they would at least put it to an aduenture, Who knoweth, if God will returne, and pardon? It may be God will shew mercy. No maruell if the Niniuites were doubtfull of the pardon of those sins, which they knew they had committed, but had not yet repented of. But whence pro­ceeded this their vncertainty? From their faith? No; but Augustine tels vs the reason: Quia peccata magna erant Niniui­tarum, dixerunt, Quis nouit? Because the Niniuites sins were great, they said, Who knoweth? So that their vncertainty pro­ceeded not from the defect of faith, but from the excesse of their sins. But as they were vncertaine before they repented; after they had repented, they found certam misericordiam, cer­taine [Page 249] mercy, saith Augustine: witnesse the preseruation of themselues, and their Citie. As therefore the Niniuites were vncertaine (in regard of the grieuousnesse of their sinnes, and the greatnesse of Gods iudgement already peremptorily threatned) whether they should finde▪ God fauourable or no, in reuersing his sentence, and preseruing their Citie; but af­terwards vpon their repentance found the certainty of Gods mercy, in sparing them, whereof the sparing of their City was a certaine and infallible argument: So sinnefull men, burthened with the guilt and horrour of sinnes, and borne downe with the terrour of Gods wrath threatned in his Word, may well bee doubtfull and vncertaine how God may deale with them, although they resolue with themselues to repent, and humble themselues; but after vpon their true re­pentance, God being mercifull in pardoning their sins, they finde now certam misericordiam, certaine mercy: the certainty whereof is the very effect of Gods mercy, applied & sealed to the conscience by a liuely faith, no less assured of the pardon of sin, than the Niniuites were of the preseruation of their Citie. Thus Vega's triumph is like his Country-treaties, very plausi­ble and currant, & will gaine much, if but beleeued, & the cun­ning conueyances be not discouered. And by this successe of Vega in this one authority, wch he sets down as a master-peece, wee may easily sum vp the account of all his other allegations out of the Fathers for this purpose, what will they amount to.

To the Fathers, he addes the authority of Schoole-men for vncertainty of grace, in his 14. Chapter, and so forwards to the 19. Chapter. But let him take his Schoole-men, we doe not enuie the Councell of Trent their authority, as out of whose Channels is gathered the Sinke of Romane-Catholick faith. So that while Vega alledgeth his Schoole-men, hee is as the Fish in the sea, or a Cocke vpon his owne dunghill. Herein I will doe, as Christ directeth, concerning the Phari­sees, let them alone, they are all blinde leaders of the blinde. And for Philosophers, as Aristotle, &c. Vega will haue them all of his side, and takes it in great snuffe, that any aduersaries of Pontifician vncertainty, should alledge any Philosopher to [Page 250] be for them. As hee saith in his 44. Chapter, in answer to those that produce euen Philosophicall reasons to oppugne vncertainty: Laterem lauant, cum nobis putant aduersari Aristo­telem: as much to say, as in the Prouerbe, They but wash the Blackamore, when they thinke to haue Aristotle to be our ad­uersary. Well, let them take Aristotle, the Schoole-Doctors, Chapt. 14. Scotus, Chapt. 15. famous Schooles, Chapt. 16. Diuines, Chap. 17. yea the infallible definition of the See A­postolique, Chap. 18. when they haue done all, what will they gaine but incertainty? imbracing (as Ixion) an empty cloud of feare and perplexity, in stead of Iuno, the true substance of folid comfort. They may be certain of keeping their weak fort of vncertainty vnsurprised, the maintaining whereof brings vnto themselues in the end certaine ruine, and sudden destru­ction. Let Popish faith bee alwayes vncertaine, doubtfull, fearefull, perplexed, wauering with euery winde of errour, of terror; let it be such (sith it will not, sith it cannot bee any o­ther, than of Deuils. those that beleeue and tremble) as can neuer [...]ames 2. be perswaded of the remission of sinnes, of Gods fauour and mercy in Christ. Seeing they will needs bee vncertaine, let them be vncertaine; as the Apostle saith, Hee that is ignorant, let him be ignorant. In the meane time, as we yeeld to the Pon­tificians the vncertainty of their faith: so let them suffer vs to maintaine the certainty of true and sauing Catholick faith, which is such, as the gates of Hell shall neuer preuaile against. True it is, that Vega hath spent at the least 20. Chapters, from the 19. to the 39. wherein he moyles in sweate and dust, labou­ring to answer all obiections that his aduersaries bring for the confirmation of certainty of saluation: wherein hee dea­leth like a cunning theefe, who knowing which way the Bloud-Hound will pursue him, strawes saw-dust, or some such like thing, to sully the tract, and dead the sent, and at least to retarde and fore-slowe the pace of the pursuer, while himselfe in the meane time may escape the more easily. Or like the female Foxe, which being pursued at the heeles, with her traine dasheth her vrine into the dogs eyes, that vneath they are able to pursue any further. Such is Vega's holy wa­ter, [Page 251] which he sprinckleth in our way, thinking thereby to inueagle euen the most sagacious. Or else he would put vs to our shifts, as the Philistims did the Israelites, who hauing taken all their armour and weapons from them, would not suffer them the vse of any iron toole, but such as they must frame in their Forge, and sharpen with their tooles. But bles­sed be God, we are long ago freed from the spirituall bondage of these spirituall Philistims; we can tell better how to weald our owne weapons, and handle them better in our owne hands, than according to the direction and limitation of these vsurpers; and taking our owne weapons into our own hands, wee shall the better defend the truth against all those opposi­tions which Vega, with all his Pontifician power, makes a­gainst it. And when we haue spoken, then (as Iob said) Mock on. But, fearing lest I haue tyred the Reader by leading him through the many windings of Pontifician Vncertainties, which like an ignis fatuus, may easily diuert the Traueller from his plaine path, by leading him through inuious and wilde Wasts: let vs here pawse and breathe a little, and so pursue our purpose in an entire discourse by it selfe; wherin also we must looke for sundry skirmishes and assaults, which the aduersary will not let to make vpon our very Tronches.

CHAP. XV. Of the Certaintie of true sauing iustifying Catholicke Faith.

LEauing the Vncertainty of Saluation to the Pontificians, as their vncertainty of Faith, in regard of their incer­tainty in their grace, incertainty in their baptisme, incertain­ty in their Sacraments, incertainty in their absolution, incer­tainty in their Masse, incertainty in their Priests disposition, incertainty in their penance and conuersion, incertainty in their contrition, incertainty in their satisfaction and merits, incertainty in their Monastical life, incertainty in their Saints, incertainty in their charity, incertainty in their righteous­nesse. [Page 252] incertainty in their holy Ghost inhabiting in them, in­certainty in their inucation, incertainty in their laying downe their life for Christ, their incertainety in purgatory; while they acknowledge none other certainty, but a morall, coniecturall certainety, which at the best is doubtfull and deceitfull: all which, not only Soto and Vega, but also Bel­larmine in his Bookes of iustification (iustifying all that ey­ther the Councell of Trent, or her Commentators, Vega and Soto, or Andradius, and others their fellowes, haue writ con­cerning this point; yea, and much more, but that I would not goe out of my Text, and prefixed bounds, of the Coun­cels proper Commentaries) haue amply set down. Come we now to encounter this Romane Catholique vncertainty, with the Catholique doctrine of the certainty of Faith. But be­fore we can come to lay a firme foundation of this certainty of Faith, which Pontificians call nothing else, but a vaine hereticall presumption: wee must digge vp, and remoue one maine heape of Rubbish and Sand, which the Pontificians haue put to choke vp the hauen of true rest, and to vnder­mine all certainty of Faith, and whereon they haue cobbled vp their tottering Tower of vncertainty: for the maine ground of their vncertainty is the Bulla Pii Quarti super [...]rma iura­ [...]enti profes­ [...]onis fidei. [...]ffixed to [...]heir Councell [...]f Trent. [...]Bulla Pii [...]uarti P. R. [...]per confirma­ [...]one Consilii [...]riden. & Sexti [...]e of ficio dele­ [...]ati. lib. 1. Papa [...]st Lex anima [...]a [...] terris: The [...]ope is a li­ [...]ing Law vpon [...]arth. And hee [...] said to haue [...]ll Lawes in [...]he cabinet of [...]is brest, as [...]heir extraua­gants say. authority of the Church, on which must depend the verity and certainty of the Scrip­tures themselues. Which being so, what maruaile is it, if they vtterly renounce all Certainety of Faith, and of Saluation? For, what certainty of Faith can there bee, if the holy Scrip­tures, the obiect and ground of Faith, be not certaine? And, what certainty can there bee in the Scriptures, if they must depend vpon the authority of the Church, for their certaine­tie? And, what certainty can there be in the Church, if this Church be no other than the Church of Rome? And, what certainety can there bee in the Church of Rome, when it wholly depends vpon a the only breast of a sinfull man, vpon whose infallibilitie notwithstanding the whole Pontifician Church cannot finde, no not the least footing for any Certain­ty of Saluation to stand vpon?

But to remoue this heape of Rubbish: although for mul­tiplicity [Page 253] of Controuersie it be growne to a mighty Mountain, which may seeme to exceede the strength and labour of Her­cules himselfe to remoue; yet I trust with one small graine of Faith, to ouerturne this Mountaine into the Sea. For first: whether was the Word of God, or the Church more ancient? Was not Gods Word? For, by the voyce thereof was the Church first called. Where was the Church when the Gospell began first to be reuealed? Gen. 3. 15. As yet the whole world in Adam and Eue lay buried in Apostacy; and now totus mundus in maligno positus, the whole world lay in wickednesse, till this Word of the Gospell of the promi­sed and blessed seede of the woman made a separation, and did constitute a Church. So that the first ground and foun­dation of the Church, is the Word of God; as it was also of the first frame of the Creation. Hereupon the Apostle saith, That the Church is built vpon the foundation of the ApostlesEphes. 2. 20. and Prophets, Iesus Christ being the chiefe corner stone, in whom all the building fitly framed together, groweth vnto an holy Temple in the Lord. The foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, is the Old and New Testament, whereof Christ Iesus is the chiefe corner stone. Away with the blasphemy of the Councell of Lateran, that calleth the Pope, Leo the tenth, the corner stone, and the Lyon of the Tribe of Iuda, and ma­ny such blasphemous titles, which are proper and peculiar only to the person of Christ. But that eyther the Church, or the Pope of Rome, had any such authority and power ouer the Scriptures, it was neuer known in those purer times of the Church, when the sweet and salutiferous streames of the waters of life were not as yet poysoned and imbittered with that Luciferian wormewood starre, that fell from heauen. ItReuel. 8. 10. 11. was in those primitiue and virgine times the Catholicke Doctrine of the Church, That the Church was to be ruled by the Scriptures, and not the Scriptures by the Church, muchAug. Epist. lib. Epist. 130. Cir­tensibus. lesse by any one man. St Augustine saith, De Catholica Eccle­sia id credant homines, quod Diuinae Scripturae dicunt, non quod lin­guae humanae maledicunt: Let men beleeue that concerning the Catholicke Church, which the Diuine Scriptures doe say, and [Page 254] not which mens tongues doe mis-say. By which place we see, that the Catholicke Church is to bee estimated according to that which the Scriptures testifie of it. Therefore not con­trary. And in his Booke of the vnity of the Church, Eccle­siam Aug. de vni­tate Eccles. c. 16 suam demonstrent, &c. Let the Donatists shew mee their Church, not in the tales and rumours of the Affricans, not in the Synods of their Bishops, not in the learning of their disputants, not in their deceitfull signes and prodigies; for wee are fore-warned and fore-armed against such things by the word of the Lord: but in the prescript of the Law, in the predictions of the Prophets, in the songs of the Psalmes, in the Shepheards owne voyce▪ in the preachings and labours of the Euangelists, to wit, in all the Canonicall authorities of the holy Bookes. Nor so (saith hee) as that they col­lect and quote such places, as are obscurely, or ambiguously, or figuratiuely spoken, which euery man interprets at his pleasure according to his owne sense. For such places cannot be truly vnderstood and expounded, vnlesse first those which are most plainely deliuered, bee by a firme Faith entertained. Note here the Catholicke doctrine of those times, teaching, that the authority and sense of the Scriptures depended not vpon the Church, but the authority of the Church vpon the Scriptures, and the Scriptures were to bee interpreted by themselues, to wit, the more obscure places by the more plaine; as he speaketh often elsewhere in his Bookes De doctri­na Christiana. I will adde one place in steed of many: Quit Aug. de Baptis­me contra Do­nat. lib. 2. c. 3. autem nesciat, &c. Who can bee ignorant (saith hee) that the holy Canonicall Scripture, as well of the Old, as of the New Testament, is contained within its owne fixed limits, and that it is so preferred before all the latter writings of He excepts none, no not the Bishop of Rome. Bishops, as that it may not bee disputed or doubted off, whether it bee true or salse, whatsoeuer is found written in it: and for the writings of Bishops which eyther haue beene, or are writ­ten after the establishment of the Canon of Scriptures, they haue beene subiect to the wiser iudgements, and grauer au­thorities of some more skilfull and learned Bishops, and might bee censured by Councels, if ought therein swarued [Page 255] from the truth: and those very Councels themselues, which are prouinciall▪ doe without scruple submit to the authority of plenary Councels, assembled from the vniuersall Christian world; & of those plenary & generall Councels, often times the former are corrected by the Not a word of the Bishop of Romes au­thority ouer general Coun­cels. Those former ages were ignorant of it. latter, when by some better ex­periment of things, that which was shut, is opened, and that which was hid, is made known▪ without any swelling of sa­crilegions pride without any strouting of arrogancy, without any contention of bleake enuie, with holy humility, with Catholicke peace, with Christian charity. So that Bishops are corrigible by prouinciall Councels; these by generall Councels, and these also by some latter Councels, as being all subiect to imperfection. But the holy Scriptures come vnder the f [...]rula of no Bishop or Councell to bee censured. Nay, as Augustine saith: Titubabit fides, si diuinarum Scriptunar [...] ­cillat authoritas: Faith will stagger and stumble, if the autho­rity of the diuine Scriptures doe wauer. And hee taxeth the Manicheans of this impiety and sacriledge, that they wentAug. contra faustum Mani­chaeum. lib. [...] ▪ cap. 19. about quite to take away the authority of the Scriptures, ap­prouing any thing, not because they found it written in that supreame authority, but because their fancy tooke a liking to it; therefore they approued the Scriptures. And so their priuate s [...]s [...] must giue authority to the Scriptures, which they frame to their owne fancy, and not the Scriptures giue authority to their Doctrines. What difference then is there betweene the Pontificians, and the Manicheans in this maine point?

But the Pontificians of old, obiect vnto vs one speciall au­thority out of St. Augustine to ouerthrow all that hee hath said for the supreame authority of the Scriptures aboue the Church. His words are (which they obiect, and wherein they greatly triumph, to proue the authority of the Church aboue the Scriptures) Ego Euangelio non crederem, [...]isi [...]e Catho­licae Aug. contra Epist. Manich. quam voca [...]t fundamenti. lib. cap. 5. tom. 6. Ecclesiae c [...]m [...]eret authoritas: that is, I should not beleeue the Gospell, vnlesse the authority of the Catholicke Church did moue me. Now if we obserue the occasion of this saying of Augustine, it will easily appeare that hee had no such mea­ning, [Page 256] as to preferre the authority of the Catholicke Church, before the authority of the holy Scriptures; for then hee should with one breath contradict the whole tenure of all his writings, wherein hee still aduanceth the authority of the Scriptures aboue all, as irrefragable, supreame, and subiect to no authority. Now the occasion of this speech of Augustine, was this: Manicheus, a grand Heretique, writes an Epistle to Augustine, wherein he stiles himselfe, Manichaeus Apostolus Iesu Christi prouidentia Dei Patris: that is, Manicheus the A­postle of Iesus Christ, by the prouidence of God the Father. Whereupon Augustine saith; Haec sunt salubria verba, de per­enni ac vi [...] fonte: These are wholesome words, from the eternall & liuing fountain. But with your good patience (saith Augustine) if it please you obserue what I require. Non credo, istum esse Apostolum Christi; quaeso ne succenseatis, & maledi­cere incipiatis, &c. I doe not beleeue, that this is an Apostle of Christ; I pray you bee not angry; and fall a reuiling: for you know that I am resolued, to beleeue nothing rashly that you say. I aske therefore who this Manicheus is? you will an­swer me, an Apostle of Christ. I doe not beleeue it. Now thou hast nothing, what to say, or doe; for thou didst promise me the knowledge of the truth, and now thou constrainest mee to beleeue that which I know not. But haply thou wilt reade the Gospell vnto me, and out of that thou wilt assay to proue the person of Manicheus. Now if thou shouldst finde any man, who as yet doth not beleeue the Gospell, what wouldst thou doe if he said vnto thee, I doe not beleeue it? Ego vero Euangelio non crederem, nisi, &c. For I should not beleeue the Gospell, vnlesse the authority of the Catholicke Church did moue me. Quibus ergo▪ &c. whom then I haue obeyed, when they said, Beleeue the Gospell; why should I not beleeue them, saying vnto me, Doe not beleeue Manicheus. Elige quid velis: Choose which thou wilt. If thou wilt say, Beleeue the Catholickes: they admonish mee to giue no credit to you. Wherefore, giuing credit to them, I cannot but not beleeue thee. if thou shalt say, Doe not beleeue the Catholickes, thou goest not the right way to compell me by the Gospell to the [Page 257] faith of Manicheus, seeing I beleeued the Gospell it selfe, be­ing preached vnto mee by the Catholickes. And so forth to this purpose Augustine pursueth his discourse. So we see the question is about the truth of Manicheus his title, calling himselfe an Apostle of Iesus Christ, &c. This hee obtrudes and thrusts vpon Augustine, to giue credit to it. Augustine (and that worthily) makes question of it. Hee would haue him proue it by the Gospell. Well. But Manicheus foylteth in some counterfeit Gospell, wherein he stiles himselfe an Apo­stle of Iesus Christ; a Gospell, that was neuer acknowledged for Canonicall Scripture. But Manicheus will haue it recei­ued for Gospell. How shall it be tryed? Is it therefore Gospel, because Manicheus saith it? Or doth the Gospell depend vp­on the testimony of one man? No, saith Augustine: Pagan-In­fidels are brought to receiue and beleeue the Gospell, by the preaching of the Catholicke Church, which hath from time to time kept the Canon of Scriptures intire, without the mix­ture of counterfeit Gospels. By this authority of the Catho­licke Church, to wit, by the preaching of the Gospell by the Church, Augustine himselfe, when hee was a Manichee, was wonne to the faith of the Gospell. Hence it is, that instancing himselfe for one, that as yet beleeued not the Gospell, hee saith, Ego non crederem Euangelio, &c. I should not (that is, I, if I were as once I was, an vnbeleeuing Manichee) I should not beleeue the Gospell, vnlesse the authority of the Catho­licke Church did moue me. So that hee makes the compari­son betweene the authority of the Catholicke Church, and the authority of one man, Manicheus. The question is, Whe­ther Augustine, if he were a neutrall beleeuer, as yet neyther beleeuing that Gospell which Manicheus bringeth, neuer heard of before, nor that which the Catholicke Church preacheth, and hath euer taught, should rather bee induced by the peremptory authority of one sole man, to beleeue a new Gospell, than by the authenticke authority of the Catholick Church of Christ, to beleeue the euerlasting Gospell of Iesus Christ, comprehended in both the Testaments, and perpetu­ally receiued, preserued, professed, preached, and beleeued of [Page 258] the Catholicke Church from all ages. In this case Augustine inclines & cleaues to the authority of the Catholick Church. And what true Catholicke doth not reuerence the authority of the Church of God; bringing him to Christ by the prea­ching of the Gospell, as the Samaritan woman brought her neighbour Citizens to Christ? But being brought vnto Christ, after they had heard him themselues, they said to the woman, Now we beleeue, not because of thy saying; for wee haue [...]ohn 4. 4 [...]. heard him our selues, and know that this is indeede the Christ, the Sauiour of the world. So euery beleeuer may say, I was first induced, and as it were led by the hand and voice of the Church, to beleeue the Gospell of Christ: but after that I haue heard, receiued, and beleeued Christ himselfe speaking in the Scriptures, I now beleeue not for the Church, or any mans saying, but for the authority of Christ, and the Scrip­tures themselues. As Augustine ingeniously saith to Paulina,Aug Paulinae Epist. 112. Nolo▪ authoritatem meam sequaris, vt, &c. I would not haue you follow my authority, that you should therefore thinke it necessary to beleeue any thing, because it is spoken by mee: but beleeue eyther the Canonicall Scriptures, or the truth that doth inwardly teach, and giue testimony thereof. For if a truth bee once confirmed by the euident authority of holy Scriptures; to wit, those, which in the Church are called Ca­nonicall, it is without all doubting to be beleeued. And in his third booke against Maximinus, an Arrian Bishop, dispu­tingAugust. contra Maxim. Arrian. Epist. lib. 3. c. 14. about the word Homousion, Augustine saith; Nec ego Ni­cenum, nec tu debes Ariminense, &c. Neyther ought I to vrge the authority of the Nicene Councell, nor you that of Ari­minum: for neyther am I bound to the authority of this, nor you of that: but both of vs are bound to the authorities of the Scriptures, common witnesses to vs both, and vnpartiall to eyther: So let thing with thing, cause with cause, reason with reason, contend. Such was the Catholicke Doctrine of those times, wherein Augustine liued, that the authority of the Canonicall Scriptures, was aboue all other authority, ey­ther of Bishops, or prouinciall Synods, or generall Councels. In those times the man of sinne had not thus exalted himselfe [Page 259] aboue all that is called God, or that is worshipped, as to vsurpe authority ouer the sacred Scriptures, whose autho­rity is venerable: as Augustine saith, Omnia qu [...] profer [...]tur August. à sanctis Scripturis, plena veneratione suscipere debemus: All things whatsoeuer are deliuered out of the holy Scriptures, wee ought to entertaine with all reuerence. As Tertullian saith: Adoro Scripturae plenitudinem: I adore the fulnesse of theTertul. adners▪ Hermog. lib. Scriptures.

But what need we further testimonies to vindicate thisi Ca­tholick truth, that the authority of holy Scriptures was euer aboue the Church? yet we will only adde a testimony or two, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses euery word may be established. In St. Chrysostomes workes, the vncertaine author (but allowed of all, euen of the Pontificians them­selues) vpon the 24. Chapter of St. Matthew, vpon these words, Then, when yee shall see the abomination of desolation stand Chrys. in Mat. 24. hom. 49. ab incerte auto [...] in the holy place, let them which are in Iudea, flee to the mountaines: saith thus; that is, When ye shall see wicked heresie, which is the Army of Antichrist, standing in the holy places of the Church, then they which are in Iudea, let them flye to the Mountaines: that is, they which are in Christianity, let them betake themselues to the Scriptures. For as a true Iew is a Christian, as the Apostle saith; Hee is not a Iew that is one Rom. 2. 29. outward, but hee that is one inward: So the true Iudea is Christianity, whose name doth signifie Confession. And the Mountaines are the Scriptures of the Apostles and Pro­phets: as it is said of the Church; her foundation is vpon the holy Mountaines. And why at this time doth hee com­mand all Christians to betake themselues to the Scriptures? Because at this time, since Heresie hath inuaded the Churches, there can be no triall of true Christianity, nor other refuge for Christians, which desire to know the truth of faith, but the holy Scriptures. For formerly it was knowne many wayes, which was the Church of Christ, and which was Gentilisme: but now those which would know which is the true Church of Christ, cannot know it by any other meanes, but by the Scriptures. Why? Because all those things, which [Page 260] are proper to Christ in the truth, the same also heresies haue in a figure or similitude: they haue likewise Churches, they haue likewise the Diuine Scriptures themselues, likewise Bi­shops, and other Orders of Clerkes, likewise Baptisme, like­wise the Eucharist, and all other things, and in a word Christ himselfe. Therefore if any would know which is the true Church of Christ, how can he, in the confusion of so great a si­militude, discerne it, but only by the Scriptures? And many o­ther things to this purpose doth the same author there set downe, sending vs to the Scriptures, as the only touch-stone, to try the true Church from the false, counterfeit, & Antichristi­an Church. If therefore the true Church of Christ be known onely by the Scriptures; then surely the Scriptures depend not vpon the authority of the Church. But that must needes bee the Antichristian Church, that challengeth and vsurpeth an absolute power ouer the Scriptures, which for their au­thority and sense must be beholden to the Church; to wit, the Church of Rome, to wit, the Pope. And the same Authour in [...]rys. in Mat. [...]. homil. 24. the 44. Homily, vpon the 23. of Matthew, saith; Hereticall Priests doe shut the gates of truth, to wit, the holy Scriptures: for they know, that if the truth should once bee made mani­fest, then their Church is to be forsaken, and themselues must come downe from their sacerdotall dignity to a popular base­nesse▪ and neither themselues doe enter into the truth of the Scriptures, because of their auarice; nor suffer others to en­ter, by reason of ignorance. But in a point so cleare, and not once called into question among the Fathers of former ages, but onely by a sort of Heretiques, as the Arrians, and Mani­chees, and the like; still the authority of the Scriptures was preferred aboue all, till of late dayes, the Church of Rome hauing called from the dead the old hereticall vsurpa­tion, hath cryed downe this authoritie of the Scriptures. We shall not need to produce more authorities out of the Fathers to vindicate the Scriptures authority aboue the Church, or any man whatsoeuer. Let vs conclude the controuersie onely with one question. The Church of Rome challengeth autho­ritie ouer the Scriptures: I would faine know who gaue her [Page 261] this authoritie? For whatsoeuer authority the Church of Rome hath, if shee haue it not from the Scriptures, of what worth is her authority? And, if she haue her authority from the Scriptures, how comes shee to challenge authority ouer that, from whom shee receiueth her authority? vnlesse the Church of Rome deale with the Scriptures in the case of au­thoritie, as she hath dealt with the Emperours in the case of supremacy. For the Bishop of Rome first receiued his supre­macy ouer other Bishops from the Emperour, hauing it con­firmed by that vsurping Parricide Phocas: This supremacy not long after grew to that height, as that it ouer-topt the im­periall Soueraignety it selfe, and so the Pope began to vsurpe authority ouer the Emperour, of whom hee receiued his su­preame authority. Thus he dealeth with the Scriptures. For the Pope cannot but confesse, that what authority hee hath, is grounded vpon the Scriptures, else his authority is of no value: yet notwithstanding the Pope is not ashamed to a­uouch, that now the authority of the Scriptures doth wholly depend vpon him. But if the Popes authority bee such, as it hath no ground nor foundation in the Scriptures, then he must proue it to bee some diuine Numen, falling vnto him imme­diately from Heauen; like the image that came downe from Iupiter, so adored of those Ephesians, whose Goddesse, Diana,Acts 19. 35. was so famous. Nor euer was that image, nor that great God­desse Diana more adored of the Ephesian world, than this imaginary vnlimited transcendent power of the Pope ouer Scriptures, and all, adored of the Pontifician world. But say, some Angell from heauen brought him this power in a boxe. Vnlesse this power haue vtterly taken away all power and Authoritie, yea and truth from the Scriptures, it cannot escape Pauls Anathema, which Augustine applyeth, and wher­with we will shut vp this point: Siue de Christo, &c. WhetherAug. contra li­teras Petillian [...] Donatist [...]. lib. 3. cap. 6. it be of Christ, or of his Church, or of any thing whatsoeuer pertaining to our faith and life, I will not say, Wee (for wee are not to be compared to him that said, Although that wee) but as he addeth there, If an Angel from heauen shall preach vnto you besides that which you haue receiued in the Legall [Page 262] and Euangelicall Scriptures, let him bee accursed. Now what can be of greater moment concerning faith and life, than the Popes authority ouer the Scriptures; which being not found in the Scriptures, it is, together with the Pope and all his worshippers, branded with Anathema. Which leauing to the Pontificians, let vs now come to pitch the certainty of salua­tion vpon the vnmoueable Rocke of the holy Scriptures.

Now for the Catholicke doctrine of the certainty of iusti­fication, we affirme against all Pontificians, That this certainty is no probable coniecture, no generall hope, no plausible opi­nion, no decei [...]eable perswasion, no vaine and hereticall presumption, no speciall reuelation, no peculiar donation to this or that Saint: but that this certainety is the natiue and inbred propertie of a true iustifying Faith, a perswasion that cannot be deceiued, common to euery true beleeuer, though after a different degree and measure, in some greater, in some lesser, in some stronger, in some weaker, according to the measure of Faith, and the mixture and allay of humane frail­ty, fighting one against another in euery regenerate man, as Iacob and Esau in the same wombe▪ shaken with temptati­ons, not subdued, sustaining long fight, but euer at length victorious; and when at the weakest, yet it is certaine, Marc. 9. 24. be­leeuing, though with vnbeliefe, Rom. 4. 18. against hope beleeuing in hope, aboue hope, vnder hope.

For the confirmation of this truth, we call the two Testa­ments to witnesse. The Hebrewes haue three speciall word [...], whereby they expresse the nature of true iustifying Faith, as touching the certainety of it. One is, [...], Emun, which sig­nifieth Faith, the roote whereof is Aman, which signifieth to nourish: to which Dauid alludes, Psal. 37. 3. Trust in the Lord, and doe good, so shalt thou dwell in the Land, [...],Tremel & pascer [...] fide. and thou shalt be fed by Faith; word for word as Tremelius ren­ders it. And in the [...]ixt of Iohns Gospell, the Lord ioyneth be­leeuing on him, and feeding on him, together, as both one: As St. Augustine saith, Crede, & manducast [...]: Beleeue, and thou hast eaten. Now this word which the Hebrewes vse for faith, signifieth also truth, or that which is firme, stable, or settled. [Page 263] And what can bee more firme or certaine, than truth? The Prophet Esay hath a very elegant exposition of this word, [...], If ye beleeue not, ye shall not be esta­blished.Esay 7. 9. To beleeue, and to bee established, both comming of the same roote in the originall. Hence also comes the word Amen, vsed in all languages, which is a note of beleeuing, and assenting to the truth, and as it were sealing it vnto vs. And the Apostle vseth it for a note of certainty, 2▪ Cor. 1. 30. For all the promises of God in Christ, are Yea, and in him Amen, &c. that is, Most true and certaine. Faith therefore is no doubt­full coniecture, or wauering hope, but a most certaine beleefe, firme as truth it selfe.

Another word vsed by the Hebrewes for Faith, is [...], beta [...]h, which signifieth trust, security, confidence and affiance. This word is vsed by Esay, notably to set forth the confidence and securitie of Gods Saints; as Esay 32. 17, where speaking of the full reuelation of the Gospell in the comming of Christ in the flesh, hee saith, Then the worke of righteous­nesse shall be peace, and the effect of righteousnesse quietnes, [...], and assurance, or securitie for euer, as the vulgar Latine renders it. Note here, that the effect of the righteousnesse of Gods Saints, is assurance and security in beleeuing.

The third word vsed in the Old Testament for beleeuing, is [...], Chassah, which signifieth so to beleeue, trust, or con­fide in God, as to make him our sure sanctuary and resting place, vnder whose protection the Beleeuer is safe and secure, as the Chicken vnder the wing of the Hen; as we reade this word vsed in Ruth 2. 12. (they are the words of Boaz to Ruth) The Lord recompence thy worke, and a full reward be giuen thee of the Lord God of Israel, vnder whose wings thou art come to Heb. Lach [...] ­soth. trust. And Dauid vseth the same word in the same phrase of speech, Psal. 36, 7. How excellent is thy louing kindnesse O God! th [...]refore the childen of men put their trust vnder the shadow of thy wings. As the Lord vseth the same comparison to the vnbeleeuing Iewes, How often would I haue gathered you together as the H [...] Mat. 23. 37. gathereth her Chickens vnder her wings, and yee would not? Thus we see the true nature of Faith, as it is expressed by significant [Page 264] words in the Old Testament, all of them setting forth the certainty and assurance of Faith in God. So that the certainty wch beleeuers haue of their iustification, is not by any extra­ordinary reuelation bestowed vpon this or that Saint in parti­cular, but it is of the very essence & nature of iustifying Faith it selfe: and therefore in whomsoeuer this faith is, there also is the certainty of Faith, securely reposing it self in the bosome of Gods mercy, and vnder the wings of his holy protection.

Come we to the new Testament: where let vs begin with that excellent description, which the Apostle makes of sa­uing and iustifying faith, peculiar to the Saints of God, of whom he setteth downe an ample Catalogue in the 11. Chap­terHeb. 11. to the Hebrewes. Faith (saith he, vers. 1.) is the substance of things hoped for, and the euidence of things not seene. The Greeke Text is very emphaticall and significant. First therefore to acquit this faith, from being that, which the Pontificians [...]. would haue to be; to wit, a meere Historicall faith, common with Reprobates and Deuils, the Apostle shewes the obiect of it to be, [...], things hoped for, [...], things not seene: such as the Apostle meaneth, 1. Cor. 2. 9▪ the things which the eye hath not seene, which God hath prepared for them that loue him: which fall not within the reach of that faith, that is common to the wicked, who are altogether hopelesse, and loue not the Lord Iesus Christ. Therefore the faith here described by the Apostle, is the faith of Gods elect alone, who onely haue the hope of eternall life. Secondly, this faith is called [...], the substance (as also the vulgar La­tine hath it) or subsistence of things hoped for: that is, Faith makes those things that are hoped for, to be so sure and certaine, as if they were already in our possession. Or [...], is as much as an vnder-proppe or basis, supporting and sustai­ning vs with constant patience, in the assured expectation of those things hoped for, as yet vnseene. So that it signifieth a most stefast vnmoueablenesse of faith. As 1. Cor. 15. 58. It is called also [...], an euidence, demonstration, or argu­ment (as the vulgar Latine) of things not seene. Now what is more sure and certaine than an euidence, or plaine demon­stration? [Page 265] Whereupon St. Chrysostome vpon these words, saith, O what an admirable word he vseth, saying, the argument ofChrys. in Heb. 11. 1. homil. 21. [...], &c. things not seene? for an argument or demonstration is in things most manifest. Therefore faith is a vision of things not appearing, and it brings vs to the same certainty, to the which wee are brought by things which are seene. So that neyther about the obiect of things which are seene, can it bee called credulity, or incredulity: nor againe can it be called faith, but when a man hath certainty concerning those things which are not seene, more than concerning those things which are seene. For because those things which are yet in hope, are reputed as yet without substance, or subsi­stence, and faith giueth vnto them their substance; not that it addes any thing vnto them, but it selfe is the substance or subsistence of them: For the purpose; the resurrection is not yet fulfilled, not yet present o [...] subsistent, but faith makes it to subfist in our soule: this is it which the Apostle calleth [...], or substance. So Chrysostome. Yea this word [...], as it importeth a subsisting, signifieth also animum praesentem, a confidence or full assurance of the mind. And it is sometimes vsed in authorsfora fastening, or a close ioyning together, as a ioynt, [...], a fast iuncture. And such is faith, whichThe ophrast. lib. 5. de causis plantarum. ioyneth the obiect & the subiect together, making the things hoped for, to be as it were in our present possession. It is also the euidence of things not seene, presenting them visibly and sensibly before vs; like a most cleare perspectiue glasse, which presents and attracts, as it were the most remote obiect nea­rer to the eye, for the clearer view of it. Thus Abraham, and those other Saints of the Old Testament, saw these inuisible things afarre off with the eye of Faith, Heb. 11. 13. and were perswaded of them, and imbraced them, as the Apostle excel­lently declareth. Thus if sauing and iustifying Faith bee the substance, the subsistence, the assurance, the confidence, the coherence of things hoped for; if the euidence, the argument, and demonstration of things not seene, prepared for such as loue God, & reuealed to vs by the Spirit: how then is not this Faith most sure & certain of iustification, & eternall saluation?

[Page 266]This is further confirmed by sundry other authorities of holy Scripture, as Ephes. 3. 12. In quo habemus fiduciam & acces­sum in confidentia, per fidem ipsius (as the vulgar Latine renders it well) that is, In whom (to wit, Christ) we haue boldnesse and accesse with confidence, through the faith of him. Now what boldnesse or confidence can a man haue, without assu­rance and certainty? And, Heb. 3. 6. Christus tanquam Filius in d [...]mo sua▪ [...]quae domus f [...]m [...] nos▪ si fiduciam & gloriam spei, vs (que) ad finem firmam r [...]tineam [...]s: Christ as a Sonne ouer his owne house; which house are we, if we hold fast the confidence, and the reioycing of the hope firme vnto the end. Now the strength of a house doth mainly stand vpon the firmenesse of the foundation. And the Apostle (as wee haue heard) cals Faith the foundation of things hoped for. And Heb. 4. 16. Adeamus ergo cum fiducia ad Thronum gratiae, vt misericordiam, &c. Let vs therefore come with boldnesse vnto the Throne of grace, that we may obtaine mercy, and finde grace to help in time of neede. And Heb. 10. 19. Habentes ita (que) fratres, fi­duciam, &c. Hauing therefore brethren, boldnesse to enter into the Holiest by the bloud of Iesus, &c. accedamu [...] cum vero corde in plenitudine fidei, &c. let vs draw neare with a true heart [...]. in full assurance of Faith; hauing our hearts sprinkled from an euill conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water, let vs hold fast the professioe of our Faith without wauering: for he is faithfull that promised, &c. And 1. Ioh. 5. 13. 14. Haec scribo vobis, &c. These things I write vn­to you, that beleeue on the Name of the Sonne of God, That yee may know that ye haue eternall life, &c. Et haec est fiducia, quam habemus ad eum: And this is the confidence that wee haue in him, &c. Thus we see what glorious Elogies or Pray­ses the holy Ghost giueth to sauing Faith, the proper effects whereof are assurance, truth, confidence, boldnesse: which the vulgar Latine so often translateth Fiducia, a word much enuied by the Councell of Trent, and extreamely inueighed against, yea and shamelesly iniured by Vega; who taking vp­onVega lib. 14. de peccato mortali & veniali. him to interpret the meaning, and to measure out the la­titude of Fiducia, doth pitifully mangle and mince it; saying, [Page 267] that it hath some certaine agreement with Faith, but so as it is distinct from certainty, and that it is a kinde of motion of the appetite, and that it may be in deadly sinners, trusting that they are iustified, when they are not; and that it is a pro­bable perswasion of obtaining our desire; and that this pro­bable perswasion of obtaining the mercy of God, is a most fit meanes to the obtaining of Faith. So that in the conolusion, this Fiducia, is by Vega preferred to be set in the ranke of pre­paratory graces, sauing, that I doe not see how Fiducia can be a meanes to beget Faith, seeing he puts Faith also among his preparatiues: and also in another place [...]aith, That Theologi­call▪ Faith is the beginning of Iustification▪ which Faith may be in those that sleepe, and want the vse of reason; and Fidu­cia is onely an act, or a consequent passion issuing from it. O miserable perplexities. How doe these Po [...]ti [...]ician [...] torment their wits, in making infinite doublings, to make men lose the right path like the Lapwing, which w [...]rieth her selfe partly with her owne plaining voice, and partly with her deuious and extrauagant [...]luttering about, farre enough from the marke, yet so as if shee were still about it, and all to deceiue and diuert the Fowler from co [...]ing neare h [...]r [...].

But the Doctrine of the certainty of sauing Faith, is fur­ther confirmed by the holy Ghost. As Ioh. [...]. 33. The Lord saith, Hee that hath receiued his testimony, hath set to his [...], that God is true. What seale is this, but the seale of Faith? So the Lord applies it, vers. 36. Hee that beleeueth [...] the Sonne, hath euerlasting life. And St. Iohn ioynes them both together, setting the seale of Faith to the testimony, 1. Iohn 5. 9. 10. [...]. This is the testimony of God, which he hath testi­fied of his Sonne: Hee that beleeueth on the Sonne of God, hath the testimony in himselfe. Faith then is the seale of Gods testimony; and what greater certainty or assurance can be, than in a seale? Also Matth. 9. 2. Confide fill, &c. Sonne, be of good comfort (or be confident, as the originall word sig­nifieth) thy sinnes be forgiuen thee. So vers. 2 [...]. Confide [...]li [...], &c. Daughter, bee confident, thy Faith hath saued thee. So that the confidence of sauing Faith in the remission of sinnes, [Page 268] is not onely in the masculine sexe, Sonne be confident; but euen in the female and weaker sexe, Daughter be confident, thy Faith hath saued thee, goe in peace. This certainty of Faith is also confirmed by a comparison taken from building. Christ Iesus is the Rocke, whereon euery beleeuer as a house is built. This building is so strong, as no flouds of persecuti­ons, nor windes of temptations can shake it downe. Hence Esay saith of God, and God of Christ, Behold, I lay in Sion for a Esay 28. 16. foundation, a stone, a tryed stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation: He that beleeueth shall not make haste. What is this, that he saith, He that beleeueth shall not make haste? Haste (wee know) is a signe of feare, which causeth flight: feare is a to­ken of a guilty conscience in wicked men, who flye, and haste away, when none pursueth: But the righteous is as bold as a Pro. 28. 1. Lyon. A Lyon hasteth not away at the sight of men; such is he that beleeueth, he makes no haste: but as Dauid saith, his heart standeth fast, and beleeueth in the Lord. So Paul andPsal. 11 [...]. 7. Peter, both speaking by the same Spirit, expound the same place thus, Rom. 9. 33. and 1. Pet. 2. 6. Behold, I lay in Sion a chiefe corner-stone, &c. and hee that beleeueth on him shall not bee confounded, or, shall not be ashamed. Now what is it, that maketh a man confounded or ashamed, but sinne; and shame, the pu­nishment of sinne? But he that beleeueth on the Son of God, this precious corner-stone, hath his sinnes remitted, and his shame remoued: there remaines not so much as the least staine or guilt of sinne in his conscience, whereby to affright or ashame him, or that hee should for feare or shame make haste.

Now certainty being a natiue and inherent quality of Faith, is not therefore any extrinsicke or accidentall thing, giuen out of speciall grace to such & such beleeuers, as it were by extraordinary reuelation, as if some few of Gods speciall Fauorites, had this granted and ingrossed vnto them, in the nature of a Monopoly. But this certainty, is as inseparable a quality of sauing Faith, as the heate is of fire. And therefore certainty of Faith is common to all true beleeuers, without exception. Not onely Iob had it, nor onely Paul, but all and [Page 269] euery true beleeuer; the poore Palsie-man, who while hisMatth. 9. body was trembling, as it were in a motion of trepidation, yet his Faith was fixed in his orbe. The silly weak woman had no lesse strong Faith to stay the running issue of her bloud, than the valiant Ioshua had, in staying the course of that Psal. 19. Gyant­like-runningIosh. 10. Sunne. For the woman said within her selfe, If I may but touch the hemme of his garment, I shall be whole: not, I may perhaps bee whole, or, I haue a probable perswasion or coniecturall opinion to be made whole; but, I shall bee whole. In a word, this Faith, yea this certaine confident Faith, this substance of things hoped for, and this euidence of things not seene, was in all beleeuers of the Old Testament, none excep­ted, whereof the Apostle giues vs a summary Catalogue; in the 11. to the Hebrewes. Tell mee, what shall wee say of the very women? (a sexe, whom the Pontifician Church much scorneth in the point of Faith) yet the Apostle saith of them, That by Faith the women receiued their dead raised to lifeHeb. 11. 35. againe; others of them were tortured, not accepting deliue­rance, that they might obtaine a better resurrection. But I trow, if they had not beene certaine, but doubtfull of their saluation, would not the sense of their tortures in their more tender bodies, the naturall feare of death in their more passio­nate mindes, and the loue of life, haue easily perswaded them to haue accepted deliuerance, being offered? Would they (thinke you) so easily haue parted with their liue bird in the hand, vpon the vncertaine hazzard of two in the bush? No, it was their Faith, and the certainty of their Faith, that made them despise present life, and imbrace present death, because they were sure to receiue a better resurrection, than the re­ceiuing of their temporall life from a temporall death. De­uout Bern. Epist. 190. Bernard saith, Nonne si fluctuat fides, manis est & spes no­stra? Stulti ergo Martyres nostri, sustinentes tam acerba propter incerta, nec indubitantes, sub dubio remunerationis praemio, durum per exitum, diuturnum inire exilium: If Faith wauer, is not our hope also vaine? Our He meaneth the old Mar­tyrs of the Church, that suffered for the true religion, not the new Martyrs of Rome, that iustly suffer for rebellion and treason. Martyrs then were fooles, to vndergo such bitter torments for vncertainties, nor to make no doubt, vnder a doubtfull recompence of reward, to goe into a long [Page 270] exile by a hard passage. Yea, saith the Apostle (and he speaks it in the behalfe of all true beleeuers, Citizens of the Hea­uenly Ierusalem) we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolued, we haue a building of God, an house not made with hands, but eternall in the Heauens. We know it: and it is by Faith that we know it; and what greater cer­tainty than knowledge?

And to conclude, the Apostle makes this knowledge of Faith to pertaine in common to all beleeuers, and so in com­mon, as peculiar only to Gods Elect; sith they that want this certainty of Faith, are Reprobates. Examine your selues whether yee bee in the Faith, proue your owne selues: Know yee not your owne selues, how that Iesus Christ is in you, except yee bee Reprobates? Therefore a man by examining himselfe, may know whether hee bee in the faith; a man, by prouing him­selfe, may know that Iesus Christ is in him. If he cannot at all come to know that Christ is in him (and if hee neuer can bee certaine, but euer remaines doubtfull of it, so that hee knoweth it not) then hee is a reprobate, if hee perseuere in this doubting and doting ignorance vnto the end. Then by the Apostles rule (and the rule is infallible) they that doubt of their faith, of their saluation by Christ, of their iustifica­tion, are concluded to bee reprobates. What shall then be­come of the whole Pontifician Church, who teach and pro­fesse,Concil. Trid. Sess. 6. Can. 12 13. 14. yea, who peremptorily decree and command, that none vnder paine of Anathema, doe beleeue certainely, and with­out doubting of his saluation? O Reprobate Church! But leauing them, wee see the Apostles peremptory command to the Corinthians, and so to Christians, so to examine themselues, so to proue their owne selues, as that they know (and knowledge is certaine) that they are in the Faith, and that Iesus Christ is in them. Whosoeuer hath not this know­ledge, this certainety of Faith, is by the holy Ghost doomed and damned for a Reprobate, whatsoeuer the Councell of Trent say to the contrary.

Ob. But the most firme beleeuer is not without doubtings, yea, such as sometimes doe border and trench vpon despaire, [Page 271] through some fierce assault of tentation. It is true indeede. But this doubting is not the effect of faith, but rather a defect, or weakenesse of Faith, while the act of it is for the time suspended, or suppressed; God so disposing it for our tryall, and further approbation. As the soule remaines intyre, euen in deliquio, though it haue not for the time its organicall operations in the body: So of Faith. Faith may bee brought euen vs (que) ad deliquium, to an extreame fainting in our sense and apprehension, and as it were to the last gaspe: yet Gods Aqua coelestis, is neuer wanting to reuiue it. Faith may for the time bee asleepe in a mans heart, as Christ was in the ship, while the heart is euen couered ouer with waues of temp­tations: yet being awakened by prayer, by and by the Coast is cleered againe, and faith, recouering its natiue strength, assureth the heart, as the Angell did Paul in that dangerousActs 27. Nauigation, That none in this litle Barke of ours shall perists,Acts 28. 1. but safely arriue vpon the Honey-hauen of Milita, euen [...]t that true Honey-flowing-land of Canaan.

Indeede Faith suffereth many paroxismes, or fits of tenta­tions: but all such fits are but as so many fits of in Ag [...]e in the Spring, which make a man the healthier and stronger all the yeare after. What if Faith now and then doe sleepe? yet sleepe, wee know, though it binde vp, and as it were deaden the senses for the time, that vneath a man sleeping is discer­ned from a dead man: yet, this very deepe sleepe tends to the refection of the body, and makes it arise more vigorous, euen as a Gyant refresht with wine, or as a Dazie, drooping all the night, displayes its cheerfull lookes at the approach of the morning sunne. The Sunne may bee eclypsed or clouded a while, but anon breakes through all interpositions and op­positions, with the fresh darts of his piercing beames; and during the Eclipse, it lacked none of its light in our vnder­standing, but we lacked the light of it in our sense: So Faith may be eclipsed or ouer-clouded with tentations for a time, yet lose none of its vertue, sauing onely we are not so sensible of it, till at length it haue ouercome the tentation. The fire that is raked vp close vnder the embers, though it cannot now [Page 272] be seene, yet it is fire still, and is the better peserued against the next morning, to [...]ee [...]e vpon new fewell: So Faith, though it bee not easily discerned, while it lyeth couered vn­der the dead ashes of deepe contrition and humiliation for sinne, and of mortification, yea of tentation; yet it is the better preserued, that while heauinesse for sinne may endure for a night, yet the ioy of Faith returnes in the morning, as it were feeding it selfe with new workes of obedience, flaming forth in a Christian life. So that Faith, be it lesse or more, is alwayes in its own nature certaine, though not alwaies alike in our sense and apprehension.

The most fruitfull Tree is not free from windes and tem­pests, whereby it is shrewdly shaken; yet for all that▪ it is not hindred, but rather helped (as the Philosophers speake) in bringing forth more plentifull fruit in his season; sith the roote thereof, firmely fastned in the ground, is not loosened, but rather inlarged, to receiue a fresh supply of sappe from the earth, to become the more fruitfull. Such is a faithfull man, whom Dauid compares to a Tree, planted by the riuersPsal. 1. of water: who though he be shaken with sundry windes of temptation, yet he bringeth forth his fruit in due season, his leafe not withering, and his actions prospering; sith his Faith, as the roote, is fixed in Christ, hauing the Riuer of the water of life flowing from Gods holy Spirit to nourish it continual­ly: for, as Esay saith, Chap. 27. 10. In measure in the branches thereof wilt thou contend with it, in the day when hee bloweth with his fierce winde. God moueth the branches of his liuing Trees, and that in measure, by afflictions, and temptations, but the rootes are vntouched. A ship, wee see, lying at hull in the Harbour, is tossed and tumbled on this side, and that side, yet being fastned by the Anchor, it is not subiect to wracke; yea, being now vnder sayle, exposed to the windes and waues, yet it is wa [...]ted onwards to the intended Port by the direction of the wise Pilot, sitting and steering the Helme according to his Card and Compasse: So the faithfull man, euen when he rides securely in the Harbour of Tranquility, as Dauid did, Psal. 30. when hee said, In my prosperity I shall neuer bee moued; [Page 273] yet God turning away his face for the time, hee is troubled: but keeping his Anchor-hold of hope, both sure and stedfast, and adhering to God, by faithfull prayer and humble suppli­cation, he is preserued from wracke, keeping still his faithful station. Or let him lanch out into the Deepe, and hoyse vp saile for some noble voyage, though he be driuen with fierce windes; yet Gods Spirit sitting and steering the Helme of his Faith, by the Card of Gods Word, he bringeth him at length safely to the Hauen, where hee would be, although through most extreame difficulties. So wee see, the fruit of sauing Faith may bee suppressed, yet the roote not supplanted: the act of it may be suspended, yet the habit not lost: Faith may sleepe, and yet liue: it may be eclipsed, yet hold on his course: faint, yet not faile: sicke, yet not to death: bruised, yet not broken to peeces: shaken and weather-beaten, yet not suf­fer vtter shipwracke: languish, yet not perish.

Bernard alledging St. Augustines words, to wit, Fides, non coniectando, vel opiniando, habetur in corde, in quo est, ab eo cu [...]is est, sed certa scientia, acclamante conscientia: that is, Faith is found in the heart, wherein it is, of him whose it is, not by coniecture, or opinion, but by certaine knowledge, the con­science according with it. Bernard thereupon inferreth these words: Ego securus in Magistri Gentium sententiam pergo, & sci [...] qu [...]ntam non confundar▪ Placet mihi (f [...]t [...]or) illius de fide definitio. Fides est (a [...]t) substantia rerum sperandarum, argumentum non ap­parentium. Substantia (inquit) rerum sperandarum, non inanium phantasia coniecturarum. Substantia nomine aliquid tibi certum fixum (que) praefigitur. Non est enim [...]ides estimatio, sed certitudo: I doe securely follow the iudgement of the Teacher of the Gentiles, and I know, that I shall not bee confounded. His definition of Faith (I confesse) pleaseth me well. Faith (saith he) is the substance of things hoped for, and the euidence of things not seene. The substance of things hoped for, not the phantasie of vaine coniectures. Vnder the name of substance thou hast something certaine and fixed layd downe. For faith is not opinion, but certainty. So Bernard. And this was the Catholicke Doctrine of the ancienter Fathers of the Church. [Page 274] St. Chrysostome vpon the wordes of the Apostle, Heb. 10. 19. [...]hrysost in [...]eb. 10. hom. 19 [...] & v. 22 [...], &c. Hauing therefore, Brethren, boldnesse to enter into the most holy by the bloud of Iesus: saith: Whence is this boldnesse? from remissi­on of sins. And vpon the 22. vers. Let vs draw neere with a true heart in full assurance of faith, &c. Hee saith, [...] Which of vs draw neare? Hee that is holy by faith. And that with a true heart in full assurance of Faith. How is that? [...]. Wee must so beleeu, as if we did with our eies behold things visible before vs. And much more certainely. [...] &c. For in these things wee may bee vncertaine, and so be deceiued: but faith cannot bee deceiued. And here wee are ledde by sense: but in matter of faith, wee are ledde by the spirit. And vpon the Epistle to the Romanes, Ch. 4. where the Apo­stleChrys in Rom. c. 4. serm. 8. [...]. saith, vers. 21. Being certainly perswaded, &c. Chrysostome saith, Obserue, that he saith not simply, He beleeued, but, He was certainely perswaded. For such a thing is faith, that it is more manifest and cleare, than those demonstrations which are deduced from reason; and doth more perswade than they. For he that is perswaded by reasons, may be induced by other reasons to wauer in his iudgement: but he that is settled vp­on faith, hath now long agoe carefully guarded, and guirt a­bout his hearing, as it were with a Rampart or strong Wall round about, lest hee should be infected with peruerse spee­ches. And a little after, It is the property of a weake, pusillani­mous, and wretched minde, not firmely to beleeue. If there­fore at any time it happen, that any doe flout vs for our cer­tainty and confidence inbeleeuing, let vs againe obiect vnto them incredulity, as to those that are wretched, pusillani­mous, foolish and weake, and which haue no better vnder­standing than the very Asses. For, as to beleeue, is the point of a magnanimous and noble minde: so to bee incredulous and wauering, is a signe of a most foolish minde, light, and abased, euen to the bruitishnesse of the vnreasonable Beasts. There­fore (saith hee) leauing these, let vs imitate the Patriarch Abraham, and glorifie God, as he also gaue glory to God. And what is it that he saith, giuing glory to God? Hee considered [Page 275] Gods righteousnesse, and his neuer sufficiently comprehen­ded vertue and power; and so conceiuing in his minde a thought worthy and beseeming such a person, hee got a most certaine perswasion of the promises. So he. Thus wee see this holy man disclaimes all hesitation or doubting in faith; he propounds the patterne of Abraham, whose faith was most certaine, whom we are to follow in the same steps, as the Apostle saith, Rom. 4. 12. for the promise is made sure to all the seede, to all those that are of the faith of Abraham, vers. 16. He that wants this certainty of faith, doth not truly beleeue, as Chrysostome saith, he vnderstandeth no more than a beast, than the very Asses, hee is of a base and pusillanimous spirit, he denieth to giue glory to God, which, as Chrysostome saith, is the most excellent property of a Christian mans life. Let the Pontificians, and among them Vega, with his Coun­cell of Trent, looke to their credit in this point, least as men without vnderstanding, they be found like to the beasts that perish.

St. Basil saith, [...], what is theBasil. Ethica i [...] fine definitioni 80. property of faith? an vndoubting assurance, or full confidence voide of distrust. The same Saint Basil also in another place saith, That faith, beyond all reasons of Sciences and Arts, dothBasil. in Psal. 115. draw the soule to a consent; yea, and that faith relyeth not vpon Geometricall or necessary demonstrations, but is iufused into the soule by the operations of the holy Ghost. And a­gaine; Faith is an vndoubted assent to those things which areBasil. in ascetic [...] heard, in a certaine perswasion of the truth of those things which are preached by the grace of God: which Abraham shewed (saith hee) hauing testimony, that hee doubted not through distrust, but was strong in the faith, giuing glory to God; and being certainly perswaded, that he which had pro­mised, was able also to performe.

Tertullian afore him, saith; Fides integra secura est de salute: Tertul. lib. de Baptismo. sound and intire Faith is secure of saluation. But shall wee neede to bring candles to shew vs the light of the Sunne? The Sunne-shine of the Scriptures hath so clearly manifested the truth of the certainty of faith, that the ancient Doctors of [Page 276] the Church, borrowing their light from that Sunne, are as so many Starres witnessing the same truth. So as not so much as a cloud of doubtfulnesse is to be seene in them as touching this point; howsoeuer the Pontificians, dazzled with the bright beames of truth, would also cast a myst before faiths eyes, and would * perswade vs, that where the Fathers speakVega de in­ertitud. grat. ap. 32▪ 33. 34. &c. Where hee akes vpon [...]im to inter­ [...]ret the autho­ [...]ities of the [...]athers, ma­ [...]ing against [...]ontifician [...]ncertainty. of the certainty of faith, they meane some morall or experi­mentall certainty; distinctions, which their simple▪ hearted spirits neuer dreamed of in this kinde: and where the Fa­thers speake of our manifold infirmities and weaknesses, that are in our nature, and of those doubts and feares that arise from our carnall corruption, the Pontificians would perswade vs, that they meane of the doubts and feares that are in faith▪ So witty are the Pontificians in their selfe-deceinings.

Now besides this natiue certainty of sauing faith in euery beleeuer, there be many other accruing and concurring helps, seruing to seale vp this infallible certainty of faith, with all fulnesse of assurance. As first, the infallible testimony of the Spirit of truth, witnessing to our spirits, to the spirit of faith, that we are the Sonnes of God, Rom. 8. 16. And Gal. 4. 6. Be­cause yee are sonnes, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Sonne into your hearts, crying Abba Father. And Ephes. 1. 13. In whom also yee trusted, after that ye heard the Word of truth, the Gospell of your saluation: in whom also, after that yee beleeued, yee were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, vntill the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory. This place is very pregnant, and worthy our best atten­tion. The holy Ghost is called the seale, wherewith wee are sealed, and the earnest of our inheritance. Now a seale and earnest, are Symboles of assurance. But marke; this seale and earnest is giuen vs, after that we haue beleeued. So that here is the seale of the Spirit annexed to the seale, and certainty of our faith, ad corroborandum titulum, as the Lawyers speake, to strengthen our title: That (as the Apostle saith) by two im­mutable things, wee might haue strong consolation, who haue fled for refuge to lay hold vpon the hope set before vs, which hope wee haue as an anchor of the soule, both sure and stedfast; and which [Page 277] entereth into that within the vaile, whither the fore▪runner is for vs entred, euen Iesus, made an High Priest for ouer after the Order of Melchisedech. So 1. Ioh. 4. 13. Hereby we know, that we dwell in him, and he in vs, because he hath giuen vs of his Spirit. Faith then being certaine, and confirmed also by the seale of Gods Spirit, what more certaine? Hence it is, that Bernard, wri­tingBern. epist. 190 to Pope Innocent, against Abailardus, saith; Abailardus fidem definiebat aestimationem; quasi cuique in ea sentire & loqui, quae libeat, liceat: aut pendeant ab incerto, in vagis ac varijs opini­onibus nostrae fidei Sacramenta, & non magis certa veritate subsi­stant. Nonne si fluctuat fides inanis est & spes nostra? Sed absit, vt putemus in fide, vel spe nostra aliquid, vt is put at, dubia [...]stima­tione pendulum, & non magis solum, quod in ea est▪ certa ac solida veritate submixum, oraculis & miraculis diuinitus persuasum, sta­bilitum & consecratum partu Virginis, sanguine Redemptoris gloria resurgentis. Testimonia ista credibilia facta sunt nimis. Si quò mi­nùs, ipse postremò Spiritus reddit testimonium spiritus nostro, quod filij Deo sumus: that is: Abailard hath defined faith to bee an opinion; as if it were lawfull for euery one to speake and de­termine of faith, as they listed: or as if the mysteries of our faith depended vpon vncertainty, in wandring and wilde opinions, and did not rather subsist in a most certaine verity. For if faith bee wauering, is not our hope also vaine? But far be it, that wee should thinke that there is any thing in our faith or hope, wauing (as he thinketh) in a doubtfull opinion, and not rather the onely thing that is in it, is supported with the certaine and solid truth, perswaded by oracles and mira­cles from God, established and consecrated by the To wit, by Christ. birth of the Virgin, by the bloud of the Redeemer, and by the glory of him that rose againe. These testimonies are most credible. If they were not sufficient, the Spirit himselfe in the last place, doth giue testimony to our spirit, that we are the Sons of God. Quomodo ergo fidem quis audet dicere aestimationem, nisi qui Spiritum istum nondum accepit, quiue Euangelium aut ignoret, aut fabulam putet? Scio, cui credidi, & certus sum, clamat Apo­stolus; & tu mihi subsibilas, fides est aestimatio? How then dare any man call faith an opinion, but he that hath not as yet re­ceiued [Page 278] that Spirit, or who knoweth not the Gospell, or re­putes it a fable? I know whom I haue beleeued, and am cer­taine, cryeth the Apostle; and doest thou whisper, faith is an opinion? So Bernard. So that in Bernards time, who liued betweene foure and fiue hundred yeares agoe, the darknesse of Egypt had not as yet so ouer-spread the earth, but that some light shined in the land of Goshen, to giue light to Gods peo­ple: Nor had the deluge of Apostacy, breaking forth from the great deepe of the mysterie of iniquity, and falling down in Cataracts from the top of that Skye-threatning seuen-hild Citie, sitting vpon many waters, so ouer-flowed the firme ground of Christian faith, but that the Doue of Gods Elect, might finde some place to pitch the foote of the certainty of saluation vpon.

There be also sundry other accessory testimonies, to establish euery true beleeuer in the certainty of his saluation: as the holy Scriptures, wherein is set downe the truth of Gods pro­mises. The Scriptures are strong and euident testimonies of God: and therefore called the Two Testaments of God. Search the Scriptures (saith Christ) for in them yee finde euerla­sting Iohn 5. 39. life, and they are they which testifie of me. And, Iohn 20. 31. These things are written, that yee might beleeue, that Iesus is the Christ the Sonne of God, and that beleeuing, yee might haue life through his Name. St. Augustine vpon the words of the Psalme, Aug. in Psal. 144. God is faithfull in his words, &c. saith, Noluit sibi credi dicenti, sed voluit teneri Scripturam sanctam, &c. God would not haue his bare saying to be beleeued so much, as he would haue the holy Scripture to be firmely holden; euen as if you should say to a man, when you promise him any thing; Thou doest not be­leeue me, behold, I giue thee my writing for it: for seeing one generation goeth, & another commeth, the Scripture of God ought to remaine, as a certaine hand-writing of God, which all passengers reading, may hold fast the way of his promise, &c. And Bernard saith, vpon these words, Matth. 8. Speake but Bern. sermo Guerrici super Cantica Canti­corum, serm. 47 the word onely, &c. Bonum est, si dicantur verba; sed nihilominus bonum est, si scribantur verba, &c. It is good, if the words bee spoken; but yet it is good also, if the words be written. For [Page 279] the word flyeth away irreuocable, vnlesse it be committed to writing. Scriptura, &c. The Scripture makes the word both stable and visible. St. Ambrose saith; Sermo plurim [...] Scriptu­rarum Ambros. de Cain & Abel lib. 2. cap. 7. animam confirmat, & quodam spiritalis gratiae colorat va­pore: The plentifull speech of the Scriptures doth confirme the soule, and as it were colour it with a certaine vapour of spirituall grace. And vpon the Epistle to the Romanes, Chapt. 1. vers 2. In the holy Scriptures. Hoc ad cumulum, &c. This heeAmbr. in Epist. ad Rom. cap. 1. added to the heape of his true protestations, that hee might cause the greater faith in the beleeuers. And TheophilactTheoph. in Luc. 16. vpon Luke 16. They haue Moses, and the Prophets, &c. saith, Nothing is so profitable, as the diligent searching of the Scriptures; for by searching of the dead, the Deuill may de­ceiue vs: but those which soberly search the Scriptures, no­thing can deceiue them; for they are the lanthorne and light whereby the theefe is discouered, and taken tardy. So that the holy Scriptures are a strong foundation to build the cer­tainty of Faith vpon.

So the holy Sacraments, which are the seales of Gods Te­staments, they are all the seales of our faith, Rom. 4. 11. A point that hath much puzzled and perplexed the Pontifici­ans, for as much as both the ancient Fathers are full of testi­monies to this purpose, and the Pontificians themselues doe ascribe so much to the efficacy of the Sacraments (as confer­ring grace ex opere operato, as they terme it) whereupon might seeme to follow a necessity of certainty of grace in all those that are partakers of them. But such is their inueterate en­mity against this certainty, that rather than they will shew the least fauour towards it, they are content to diminish a lit­tle from the power and efficacy which they ascribe to their Sacraments. But first, for the Fathers; Vega very stoutly, andVega lib. 9. de incertitud. grat▪ cap. 41. as he would seeme, ingeniously professeth to act the aduersa­ries, that is, the Protestants part, in alledging their proofes for the certainty of faith, sealed by the Sacraments, both out of the Scriptures, and out of the Fathers. But whatsoeuer the proofes and authorities be, Vega very wittily (as his manner is) reduceth all their answers to these three heads. First, Ad­mit, [Page 280] saith he, that those things required to the worthy recei­uing of the Sacraments, be certaine and fixed, yet no man can be certaine, that he hath omitted nothing requisite thereunto: for there might be remaining in him some errour, or inuinci­ble ignorance before the receiuing of the Sacrament, and so in regard of his indisposition, he is vncertaine of any grace receiued or ratified by the receiuing of the Sacrament. And so Vega makes a mans iustification, to depend vpon the wor­thinesse or vnworthinesse of his owne disposition, or prepa­ration in comming to the Sacrament; whereof, say they, as none can be certaine, that it is, as it ought to be, but the con­trary rather: so neither can he be certaine of any grace recei­ued by the Sacrament. But as the good King Ezechias prayed1. Chron. 30. 18. 19. 20. vers. for the commers to the Sacrament of the Passeouer, saying, The Lord God pardon euery one, that prepareth his heart to seeke God, the Lord God of his Fathers, though hee be not cleansed accor­ding to the purification of the Sanctuary (that is, so exactly as hee ought.) And the Lord hearkened vnto Hezechias, and healed the people: So though we come short (as the best doe) in the per­formance of holy duties, according to that perfection, which the Lord requireth; yet there is place alwayes left for hum­ble prayer, both to procure Gods pardon for our faylings, and his speciall grace and blessing in our reuerent vse of his holy Ordinances. But this in briefe by the way to confute Vega's folly. Secondly, he answereth, That though there bee no er­rour, nor inuincible ignorance remaining in a man, that is to receiue the Sacraments, yet (saith Vega) I do not see it euery way certaine, that those things are sufficient, which are ac­counted requisite to iustification with the Sacrament of Bap­tisme, or Penance. For it is not certainly receiued of all, that these Sacraments doe conferre the first grace. As the Master of the Sentences, Alexander Hales, and Gabriel Biel, are of the contrary opinion. And sith these opinions, saith hee, are not condemned expresly by the Church, although the oppo­site opinions be much more probable: therefore there is place left for all kinde of doubtings and hesitations about our iusti­fication; as well after the receiuing of the Sacraments, as be­fore: [Page 281] So that there is no more ground, whereof to gather the certainty of grace, because of the Sacraments receiued, than by reason of our owne disposition.

But his third answer is the maine one he stands vpon: for he saith, Vt (que) radicitus totum hoc argumentum subruamus & [...]ner­uemus, dico tandem, &c. And that wee may ouerthrow this whole argument by the rootes, and vtterly disable it, I say thirdly, &c. Here we cannot chuse but erect our expectation vnto some prodigious exployt to be performed by this Cham­pion. What will he doe? He comes Sampson-like, and makes no more reckoning to pull downe the pillars, whereon the whole frame of Christian faith standeth, than Sampson did to pull downe the house vpon the Philistims heads. But let Vega beware hee pull not an old house vpon his owne head. Well, Dico tandem, &c. I say once for all, that although it mayAd Triarios re▪ redijt. be certaine by faith, that any kinde of repentance for sinnes, with a purpose of keeping the Commandemets, and a desire to receiue Baptisme, be, together with Baptisme and Penance, sufficient to obtaine grace; yet it doth not follow, that our grace may by faith be certaine vnto vs. For although it may appeare euidently to euery one, whether he hath these things or no; yet none can be certaine by faith, or euidently, that he is truely baptized or absolued: because there is necessarily required vnto the accomplishing of these and all other Sacra­ments, an intention in the Priest, to doe that which the PriestThe Priests intention a Supercedeas to all certainty of faith. doth, as is decreed in the seuenth Session of this our Councell, Can. 11. But of that intention in the Priest, no man, without diuine reuelation, can by faith or euidence be certaine. And so forth, to this purpose. Thus doth Vega at one blow stag­ger the certainty of faith confirmed by the Sacraments; nay, not onely stagger it, but strike it dead, if certainty (as the Pontificians in their Councell haue decreed) must depend vpon the intention of the Priest, in the time of consecrating the Sacraments, and without the Priests intention, the whole Sacrament is voyde and vaine: and whether the Priests in­tention were going a wool-gathering or no, no man knoweth. Into such a miserable exigent of vncertainty haue the Pontifi­cians [Page 282] implunged themselues; as into the very Gulfe of Hell, where doubt and despaire dwels.

Now for those diuine helpes to the natiue certainty of sa­uing Faith, we may summe them vp, and reduce them to this gradation: As first, Gods Word; Dictum Iehouae: secondly, Gods promise: thirdly, his oath: fourthly, his hand-writing: fifthly, his seale: sixthly, his earnest or pledge, 2. Cor. 5. 5. So that God, as it were by so many steppes and degrees, leades our Faith to the very top of the impregnable Rocke of all in­fallible and vnmoueable certainty. Another accessory testi­monyThe testimo­nie of a good conscience. confirming the certainty of faith, is a good conscience; which is not onely conscientia rectè factorum, but faciendo­rum: not onely a good conscience, in regard of our life past, wherein we haue endeauoured to liue vprightly, and heartily repented vs of whatsoeuer we haue mis-done, eyther by omis­sion or commission: but also in regard of the time to come, while we resolue in a sincere purpose of heart, and endeauour with all our power, to serue God in holinesse and righteous­nesse all the dayes of our life. Of the good conscience of the life past, the Apostle speaketh, whereby the certainty of his faith is sealed vp vnto him▪ 2. Tim. 4. 6. 7. I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at band; I haue fought a good fight, I haue finished my course, I haue kept the faith. Where­upon hee concludes in the certainty of Faith: Henceforth is laide vp for mee a Crowne of righteousnesse, which the Lord, the righteous Iudge, shall giue mee at that day. And, of his good con­science for the time to come, he speakes, Phil. 3. 13. Brethren, I count not my selfe to haue apprehended: but this one thing I doe, forgetting those things which are behind, & reaching forth vnto those things which are before, I presse towards the marke, for the price of the high calling of God in Christ Iesus. Also, Heb. 13. 18. Pray for vs, for we trust we haue a good conscience in all things, willing to liue honestly. Now the conscience of a man is weighty, and magna Cicero. in vtram (que) partem, as the Orator said. It is a powerfull testi­mony eyther to accuse, or to acquite a man. As Rom. 2. 15. The Apostles good conscience was a comfortable testimony vnto him, Acts 23. 1. So 2. Cor. 1. 12. Our reioycing is this, the testi­mony [Page 283] of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisedome, but by the grace of God, we haue had our con­uersation in the world. Now a good conscience hath many branches, eyther as it reflects vpon Faith; so it is priuie to the remission of sinnes, and reconciliation of the soule with God: or as it respecteth our loue, both of God, and of the godly in especiall. Loue is another seale of Faith, as 1. Iohn 3. 18, My Godly loue seale & badge of the certain­tie of saluation little children, let vs not loue in words, neither in tongue, but in deed, and in truth. And hereby wee know, that wee are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. And vers. 14. We know that we haue passed from death vnto life, because we loue the brethren. Yea, this is such a badge, as all men may know vs to belong to Christ, Iohn 13. 35. By this shall all men know that yee are my Di­sciples, if yee haue loue one to another.

Another seale of the certainty of Faith, is affliction for Christs cause. Hereupon the Apostle saith, 2. Cor. 1. 5. As the sufferings of Christ abound in vs, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And hereupon hee groundeth the certainty of his hope, not onely touching himselfe, but also the Corinthians themselues, vers. 7. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall you be also of the con­solation. Yea, the afflictions which Gods children suffer for Christ, are occasions and meanes to fasten our faith the more surely vpon God: as vers. 9. We had the sentence of death in our selues, that we should not trust in our selues, but in God which raysed the dead. The Apologue of the Traueller, may be a Morall vn­to vs in this matter. The Sun and the Winde plaid each their part by turnes, to see which could first cause the wayfaring man to cast his cloake off. The Winde blowing and blustring vpon him, caused him to buckle it closer to him: but the Sun working vpon him with his warme rayes, at length made him weary of his weede, and to cast it aside. So preualent are the blasts of afflictions to cause the Christian Pilgrim, to buckle his mantle of Faith closer vnto him; when as the flattering gleames of outward prosperity, doe cause often times a feeble fainting in the soule. To this purpose the Apostle saith excel­lently, 2. Cor. 4. 8. We are troubled on euery side, yet not distressed: [Page 284] we are perplexed, but not in despaire: persecuted, but not forsaken: cast downe, but not destroyed. Alwayes bearing about in the bodie the dying of the Lord Iesus (The Apostle keepes his Cloake close about him, for all the storme) that the life also of Iesus might be made manifest in our mortall flesh. And vers. 16. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for vs a farre more exceeding and eternall weight of glorie. For our suffering with and for Christ, is a sure to­ken of our reigning with him. Rom. 8. 17. If so be that we suffer with him, we shall also bee glorified together with him. Hereupon the Apostle reioyceth, yea, and glorifieth in this behalfe, 2. Thes. 1. 4. We our selues glory in you, in the Churches of God, for your patience and faith, in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye indure, which is a manifest token of the righteous iudgement of God, that yee may bee counted worthy of the Kingdome of God; for which ye also suffer, seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recom­pence tribulation to them that trouble you, and to you who are trou­bled, rest with vs, when the Lord Iesus shall be reuealed from Hea­uen, with his mighty Angels, &c. And, Rom. 5. 1. &c. Therefore being iustified by Faith, wee haue peace with God, through our Lord Iesus Christ, by whom also we haue accesse by Faith into this grace, where­in we stand, and reioyce in hope of the glory of God. And not onely so, but we glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation work­eth patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed, because the loue of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by the holy Ghost, which is giuen vnto vs. So that by these places of holy Scripture, wee may note what a strong euidence and assurance of saluation, a faithfull man receiueth from the vse of afflictions, such as he suffereth especially for Christs cause. They are infallible tokens vnto vs of Gods righteous iudgement to come: yea, they are the very Chara­cters of Christ. As the same Apostle saith, Gal. 6. 17. From henceforth, let no man trouble me: for I beare in my body the markes [...]. of the Lord Iesus. As if the Apostle had said: Let no man go about to disturbe my Faith, or to trouble and blunder the clear chrystall fountaine of that Euangelicall Doctrine, which I [Page 285] haue both preached and practised, with the mixtures of legall Ceremonies, and carnall Rites: for I am ready to seale vp with my dearest bloud this my Faith and Doctrine, bearing already about in my body the ignominious markes (as the world ac­counts them) of the Lord Iesus, as the most certaine seales and testimonies of my reioycing in Christ Iesus; by which re­ioycing I dye daily. In a word, the afflictions of Christ, are the Christians high-way to Heauen. Acts 14. 22. Paul confir­med the soules of the Disciples, by exhorting them to conti­nue in the Faith, concluding, that we must through much tri­bulation enter into the Kingdome of God. So that a Christi­an asking the way, by which he must trauell to the Kingdome of Heauen, his Country; and being told, that the way through which he must passe, is a very narrow and strait passage, in­cumbred with many difficulties and dangers, strowed with thornes and bryars, beset with band-dogs, and wilde beasts, crawling with serpents and snakes, and lying through a bar­ren and desolate desert, where hee must looke to finde but hard entertainment, suffer much hunger and thirst, cold and nakednesse, &c. will not this Christian Traueller, meeting with such signes and tokens of his way, chawked out vnto him aforehand, perswade himselfe, that he is now in the right way to his Countrey? Whereas if hee meete with pleasant pathes, through fertile fields, and bespangled meadowes, and pleasant groues, and chrystall riuelets, to refresh and delight him, and in stead of saluage wilde beasts, and serpents, finde courteous entertainment, and kinde vsage of the Natiues and Patriots of the Country: may he not iustly suspect he is out of his way? For as one saith; Non est ad astra mollis è terris via: Seneca. The passage from earth to Heauen is not strowed with Roses▪ Afflictions then being the way to Gods Kingdome, the Chri­stian mans Country, it is a strong euidence, that he is one of Gods Sons and Children, whom the Father thus chasteneth,Heb. 12. 6. as the Apostle saith.

Another meanes to strengthen our Faith in the certainty of it concerning saluation, is our manifold infirmities; a thing not more strange, than true. For, as the Apostle saith▪ [Page 286] 2. Cor. 12. 10. When I am weake, then am I strong. Therefore, saith he, I take pleasure in infirmities; most gladly therefore will I reioyce in mine infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest vpon me. Now the reason why our infirmities and weaknesses doe tend to our further strengthning in Grace and Faith, is, not out of the nature and property of infirmities, but because they driue vs from reposing confidence in our selues, to rest the more strongly vpon Christ. This is like that [...], the Philo­sopher speakes of; As in the winter season, Well-water is more warme than in summer, being inuironed round with cold frost, which causeth the natiue heate to recollect it selfe inward: So Faith being compassed about with many infirmi­ties, is thereby occasionally moued to recollect his strength together: and is then strongest, when the flesh is weakest. As the Apostle saith, When I am weake, then am I strong. This is that, whereof the Apostle speakes, 1. Cor. 1. 25. calling it the foolishnesse of God, which is wiser than men; and the weak­nesse of God, which is stronger than men: For (saith hee) yee see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called: but God hath chosen the foolish, weake, and base things of the world, to confound the wise, strong, and honourable of the world. What's the reason? The Apostle addes it, That no flesh should reioyce in his presence: For of him are we in Christ Iesus, who of God is made vnto vs wisedome, and righteousnesse, and sanctifica­tion, and redemption; that according as it is written, He that 2. Cor. 12. glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. Thus Gods strength is made perfect in vs, through our weaknesse.

Finally, that which the Pontificians make a block to stum­ble, or a shelfe to split and wracke the certainty of their sal­uation; euen that doth the Scripture put as a faithfull station to harbour in, and a firme ground to anchor on: and that is feare. As they alledge that of the Apostle, Phil. 2. 12. 13. Worke out your saluation with feare and trembling: for it is God, which worketh in you, both to will and to doe, of his good pleasure. But the Pontificians, as if they would professe themselues altogether strangers and aliens from this mystery of grace, they do most [Page 287] grosly peruert and Concil. Trid. Ses. 6. cap. 1 [...]. wrest this place of the Apostle to a quite contrary sense, as if by feare and trembling, the Apostle should teach vs to doubt of our saluation. Indeede, as Trent takes feare; namely, for the slauish and seruile fear, such as is in the Deuils, and such as is sutable to Romish faith, no maruaile if it be full of anxiety and perplexed horrour: but taking it as the Apostle meaneth it, for the filiall and godly feare that is in Gods Saints and Sonnes, it is free from anxious perturba­tion. But it is euident, that the Apostle speakes of feare and trembling in regard of Gods power in working in vs, and of our owne manifold infirmities and disabilities to performe any good duety, as of ourselues. For the Apostle testifieth, It Phil. 2. 12. 13. is God that worketh in vs both to will and to doe, and that of his good pleasure. Whereupon St. Augustine saith; Vnde, Cum ti­more Aug. de nat. & grat. contra Pelag. cap. 33. tom. 7. ac tremore? nisi quia superbia etiam in ipsis rectèsactis cauen­da est, ne homo, dum quod Dei est, deputat suum, amittat quod Dei est, & redeat ad suum: Whence is this, that he saith, With fear and trembling? but because pride is to be preuented euen in our best actions, lest while a man account that his owne, which is due to God, he lose euen that which is Gods, and returne to that which is his owne. And vpon the 103. Psalme, Aug. in Psal. 130. concio 4. vpon the same words of the Apostle, Augustine saith; Quare cum tremore? Quia Deus operatur. Quia ipse dedit, non ex [...]te est, quod habes: cum timore ac tremore operaberis. Nam si non trem [...]ris eum, auferet quod dedit: Why with trembling? Because it is God which worketh. Because he gaue, and it is not of thee, which thou hast: therefore thou shalt worke with feare and trembling. For if thou wilt not tremble before him, hee will take from thee that which he gaue. And he addes that in the second Psalme, Serue the Lord in feare, and reioyce vnto him with trembling. Si cum tremore exultandum est, Deus aspicit, fit terra­montus; aspiciente Deo tremant corda nostra, nam tunc ibi requi­escet Deus: If we must reioyce with trembling, God looketh, and the earth quaketh; when God looketh on vs, let our hearts tremble, for then God resteth there. Audi illum alio loco, &c. Heare him in another place, Vpon whom shall my Spirit rest? euen vpon him that is poore, and of a contriteEsay 66. [Page 288] heart, and that trembleth at my word. So that our feare is our security, our trembling our rest and reioycing. Thus we become Gods habitation for his Spirit to rest on. So farre is our feare and trembling from doubting and vncertainty, that our trembling heart becomes a faire obiect of Gods gracious countenance. Vpon him will I looke; and a firme subiect of his eternall residence, vpon him will I rest, saith the Lord. Or if we referre feare and trembling to the consideration of the day of Christs comming in Maiesty, when euery tongue shall confesse, and euery knee bow vnto him, which the Apo­stle in the same Chapter a little before mentioneth, expoun­ding it of our appearing before him at that day, Rom. 14. 11. Yet this feare and trembling, is so farre from working in vs wauering and doubtfulnesse of our saluation, that S. AugustineAug. in Psal. 147. in pr [...]oemio writing vpon the 147. Psalme, saith: In Euangelica lectione ter­riti sumus de di [...] nouissimo. Terror ille securitatem parturit. Ter­riti enim praecauemus; praecauentes, securi erimus: In the reading of the Gospell we are affraid of the last day. This terror begets security. For being affraid, we take heede betimes; and ta­king timely heede, we shall be secure. And to conclude this point, the wisedome of God saith clearly, Pro 14. 16. In the feare of the Lord is strong confidence, and his children shall haue a place of refuge. Thus whereas the Pontificians teach their peo­ple to doubt of their saluation, in regard of their owne indis­position: Gods Spirit reareth vp a Temple of rest vpon our trembling heart (as once he established the stable earth vpon the tremulous waters) teaching vs to reioyce in our indispo­sition and infirmities, and to exult in our trembling, because his strength is made perfect in our weaknesse, because our reioycing and glorying is not in our selues, but in God, who worketh in vs both to will and to doe, and that of his good pleasure. So that the true beleeuers owne infirmities, are strong motiues to driue him out of himselfe, and to rest whol­ly vpon God, who is his onely strength. What is the reason then, that the Pontifician, so much depressing and vilifying his owne indisposition, in regard of certainty of Faith, is not also moued thereby to renounce himself, and repose his Faith [Page 289] the more firmely vpon God? The reason is, for that as on the one side, they aduance beyond all measure the power of their naturals, as their free-will, and the like, both in receiuing and retaining of I wot not what inherent grace, whereon they build their iustification: so on the other side, they do as much depresse their indisposition (as they call it) not that thereby they might be driuen out of themselues, to seeke rest in God, but that in a Babylonish and confused mixture of a high and lowe conceipt of themselues, they might build an imaginary Tower reaching vp to Heauen, whose foundation and whose fabricke is nothing else, but tottering vncertainty. And were it not that God had altogether confounded these Babylonish builders, not onely in their language, but in their very iudge­ments, me thinkes, in their naturall policy, they might haue salued or saued the credit of their disposition (which other­wise they so much adore) by not mentioning it at all, and in stead thereof haue magnified their naturals, and in herent righ­teousnesse to the very skyes: and so all their certainty of saluation would euen mole sua, of it owne accord, fall to the ground, according to their owne desire. For, once perswade a man, that his saluation hath but any part of dependance vp­on his owne naturall abilities; and then, the more you possesse him with an opinion of his owne worth, the further off he is from all true certainty of saluation. For as the deeper Seas haue the loftier surges, tossing the ship now vp to Heauen, now downe to Hell, so that the passengers stagger too and fro likePsal. 107. a drunken man, and are at their wits end, as Dauid speaks: So the higher a man is mounted from the firme ground of sole sauing Faith, vpon the swelling surges of his owne inherent righteousnesse, the more is his conscience, vpon euery winde of temptation, rowled vp and downe, now to the top of vaine presumption, now to the bottome of deepe despaire, hauing not the least anchor-hold of true hope, whereon to stay his brittle Barke. But sith the Pontificians acknowledge no other instification, but that which is inherent, whereupon doth ne­cessarily follow vncertainty, as a fruit of the same tree; and seeing this certainty at the best can be no other, but a vaine [Page 290] presumption and false confidence, which they maliciously brand the certainty of true Faith withall: therfore let them at their pleasure cry vp, or cry downe their own coyne, to hold their Merchants in suspense of making any sauing trade by the certainty of saluation, because such certainty grounded vpon their inherent righteousnesse, must needes be meere pre­sumption.

CHAP. XVI. Of Pontifician vncertainty in regard of predestination, and persouerance in grace.

THe Pontificians, denying the certainty of predestinati­on,Concil. Trid. Ses. 6. Can. 12. 13 and so consequently of perseuerance in grace, do make the vncertainty of both the maine ground to build the vncer­tainty of their faith vpon. Concerning predestination, the Trent-Councell saith in the 12. Chapter, the title whereof is, To take heed of the rash presumption of predestination: Nemo quamdiu in hac mortalitate viuitur, de arcano diuinae praedestinatio­nis mysterio vs (que) adeo praesumere debet, vt certò statuat se omnino esse in numero praedestinatorum: quasi verum esset, quod iustificatus, aut amplius peccare non possit, aut si peccauerit, certam sibi resipi­scentiam promittere debeat. Nam nisi, ex speciali reuelatione, sciri non potest, quos Deus sibi elegerit: that is, No man while hee li­ueth in this mortality, ought so to presume of the secret my­sterie of diuine predestination, as that he certainly beleeues, hee is altogether in the number of the predestinate: as if it were true, that a man once iustified, eyther cannot sinne any more, or if hee sinne, ought to promise to himselfe certaine repentance. For it cannot be knowne, but by speciall reuela­tion, whom God hath elected to himselfe. Note here, that the Councell puts no difference betweene the certainty of faith, concerning predestination and rash presumption, still refer­ring all certainty to speciall reuelation from God. So that I would aske these Pontifician Fathers, that if a man by speciall [Page 291] reuelation being assured of his predestination, should there­upon confidently affirme, that hee is certainly in the number of Gods elect, and predestinate vnto life eternall; whether they would not also iudge this to bee rash presumption. But this by the way. And Chapter 13. the title whereof is, Of the gift of perseuerance: Similiter de perseuerantiae munere, de qu [...] scriptum est, &c. Likewise of the gift of perseuerance, whereof it is written, he that shall endure to the end, he shall be saued, &c. Nemo sibi certi aliquid absoluta certitudine polliceatur; ta­metsi in Dei auxilio, &c. Let no man promise to himselfe any certainty by an absolute assurance; although all men ought to place and repose a most firme hope in Gods helpe, &c. but with feare and trembling let them worke out their saluation in labours, in vigils, in almes-deedes, in prayers, in oblations, in fastings, and in chastity: for they ought to bee fearefull, knowing that they are borne againe vnto the hope of glorie, but not yet vnto glory, &c. Note here, that the Pontifician Councell calleth perseuerance a speciall gift of God, thereby meaning, that it is a gift meerly distinct from faith, & no fruit of iustifying faith. Now the Catholick Doctrine teacheth, that although perseuerance be a gift of God, yet it is not so distinct from true sauing faith, but that it is also a proper fruit thereof. Note here also, how though in generall they say, that all men ought to haue a most firme hope in Gods helpe, yet their maine doctrine is, to driue men to fearfulnesse and doubtful­nesse what shall become of them, seeing they tye their gift of perseuerance to the most vncertaine condition of their owne standing. As the Councell elsewhere saith; Deus sua gratia semel iustificatos non deserit, nisi ab eis priùs des [...]ratur: God doth not forsake those that are once iustified by his grace, vnlesse first he be forsaken of them. But come we to the Commen­taries vpon this Text of the Councell.

First, concerning the point of predestination, whereon de­pends perseuerance in grace: I commend the Reader to the History of the Councell of Trent, where he may in one briefe view, see how humane deuices, and labyrinths of vngroun­ded distinctions, were set on worke to vndermine this foun­dation: [Page 292] some of them holding the Orthodoxe truth concer­ning election and reprobation, alledging the example of Ia­cob and Esau, Rom. 9. together with sundry other proofes out of the Scriptures. But a second sort condemning this as a hard, cruell, in humane, horrible, and impious opinion, that it made God an accepter of persons, vniust; that it ouerthrew free­will; that it drowned men in the gulfe of despaire; that it made others carelesse and presumptuous. And therefore, that God willing to haue all men saued, purposed to offer the same meanes to all, and whom he fore-saw would apply their free­will to receiue grace offered, those he predestinated to be sa­ued: Others whom he fore-saw would not obey, but refuse to cooperate with God, those he did reprobate to damnation. Otherwise, there appeared no reason, why God in the Scrip­tures so often complaines of sinners, labours to reclaime them, and win them vnto him, if there were not in the means of grace offered a sufficiency to saue, and in men a liberty and ability to receiue them.

Hereupon the History setting downe the censure of these two opinions, saith, That the first contained a great & hidden mysterie, humbling mans conceit on the one side, and aduan­cing Gods grace on the other. The other more plausible, po­pular, specious, and apt to puffe vp man with pride, and herein agreeing with the Friars vaine, professing rather artificiall cu­riosity in preaching, than accurate and sound Diuinity; and to the Courtiers it seemed more probable, as more agreeable with politicke respects. It had especially two stout main­tainers, that were Bishops. And they which defended it, building vpon humane reasons, thereby shewed their preg­nant wit aboue others: but when they came to testimonies of the Scripture, they easily failed in their cause. So the Hi­storie.

In the third place, he reciteth the opinion of a third sort, of whom Catarinus is specially named, who, to mitigate and mo­derate the matter, confesseth, that there is a certaine number of the predestinate vnto life, but those very few, whom God out of his speciall grace purposed effectually to call, and saue. [Page 293] As for the rest, God would haue them also to bee saued, affor­ding them sufficient meanes, but leauing it to their owne will to accept, or refuse them. And these latter were of two sorts; some that receiuing the means, were saued, though they were none of Gods elect; and of these there was a great number: Others, refusing to cooperate with God, who would haue saued them, are therefore damned. That the cause of the pre­destination of those first few, was the only absolute will and pleasure of God: and of those other, Gods preuision of their accepting and vsing of Gods helpe, and their cooperating with it: but the cause of the reprobation of the last, Gods pre­uision of their peruerse will in refusing Gods helpe, or in vsing it ill. This diuision is much like that which wee finde in Pla­to's Phedo; where all men are sorted into three rankes: First,Plato in Ph [...] ­done. of such as are very good, but very few; and those dying, goe straight to Heauen, to the Elizian fields. The second, of those that are starke naught, whereof there are very many; which dying, goe immediatly to Hell, whence there is no redempti­on: and the third sort, are of a middle condition, neither very good, nor very bad; who dying, are cast into a Riuer in Hell, where continuing for a yeare or two, till they be throughly purged, they are after that remoued into Heauen. But that Riuer in Hell is long ago with the extreme heate of Hell fire so dryed vp, as it is now become a hot dry stoue, called Pur­gatory, where that middle sort of Pontificians, who are ney­ther of the number of speciall predestinate, nor of the worst and refuse of the rest, but such as by the vertue of their free­will, accept Pontifician grace offered them, are for a time en­tertained in those hellish flames, till eyther their vncleane soules, or their Executors full sachels and powches bee throughly purged. But this is by the way.

But from the heate of those altercations, in the time that these things were a hammering in the Councels forge, let vsVega. come to see, what their learned Commentator Vega, hath in cold bloud set downe concerning this point of predestination, according to the Councels definitiue sentence. Duo sunt, &c. There are two things, which the To wit the Trent-Fa­thers, so vsu­ally termed by equiuocation. Fathers define concerning [Page 294] the mysterie of predestination: First, they decree, That not euery one that is iustified, is predestinate, and that the grace of iustification may befall euen those that are not predesti­nate, because he that is iustified, may lose his iustification once had, and neuer after recouer it. And this (saith he) the Fathers deliuered in these words of the 12. Chapter, Quasi verum esset, &c. As if it were true, that he that is once iu­stified, could eyther sinne no more, or if hee did sinne, ought to promise to himselfe certaine repentance. Sed multò adhuc apertiùs, &c. But much more plainly in the 17. Canon, in these words; Si quis iustificationis gratiam, &c. If any shall say, that the grace of iustification happeneth to none, but such as are predestinate to life, and all others, who are called; to be cal­led indeede, but not to receiue grace, as being by Gods pow­er predestinate to euill: let him be accursed. And, saith Ve­ga, by the name of predestination, they doe in this place vn­derstand an eternall preordination of some to blessednesse: or, which is somewhat more plaine and familiar, a certaine and firme purpose, whereby God from eternity would bestow blessednesse vpon some men. Now by all this it appeareth, that the Trent-Fathers hold, that others may be iustified, be­sides those that are predestinate and preordained vnto life. So that it seemeth, the Councels definitiue sentence concerning predestination, concluded vpon Catarinus his opinion afore cited; that besides the certaine number of the predestinate vnto life, who are but a few, there are another sort left at large, and at their owne liberty, who receiuing grace offered by the cooperation of their free-will, are also iustified as well as the other.

Secundum vero, &c. And the second thing, which the holy Synod hath here taught her faithfull ones concerning iustifi­cation, is, that the mysterie of predestination, is so hidden and secret, as no man without diuine reuelation can know, who those be, whom God hath predestinate. Verba, &c. The words of the Councell are in the 12. Chapter; Nam nisi ex speciale reuelatione sciri non potest, quos Deus sibi elegerit: For it cannot be knowne, but by speciall reuelation, whom God hath cho­sen [Page 295] to himselfe. Quare in principio, &c. Wherefore in the be­ginning of this Chapter, the Fathers doe wholesomly admo­nish all beleeuers, that no man, while he liueth in this morta­lity, doe so farre presume, as certainly to assure himselfe, that hee is in the number of the predestinate. Thus haue wee, I hope, without any equiuocation, the full meaning of this holy Synod concerning predestination, and the certainty of it.

As for the point of perseuerance, which Vega coupleth with predestination as necessarily depending vpon it, we shall need to adde no more, but what the Councell it selfe saith expresly enough in Can. 16. cited by Vega: Si quis magnum illud vs (que) in finem perseuer antiae donum se certò habiturum, absoluta & infàllibili certitudine dixerit, nisi hoc ex speciali reuelatione didicerit, ana­thema sit: that is, If any shall say, that hee shall certainly haue that great gift of perseuerance vnto the end, by an absolute and infallible certainty, vnlesse he shall learne this by speciall reuelation, let him be accursed. And this (saith Vega) con­firmeth that which the Fathers said of predestination. Now the cause (saith he) for which all righteous men ought to be affraid of their perseuerance, and that none can arrogate to himselfe such a great certainty as this, vnlesse it By some good chance, doubtlesse. happen vnto him by diuine reuelation, the Fathers haue opened in those words of the 13. Chapter, Veruntamen, &c. But let them that thinke they stand, take heede, lest they fall; and so vnto the end of the Chapter. Thus wee haue the state of Pontifician Doctrine, touching the certainty of iustification, in regard of predestination and perseuerance.

For the maine substance of these Trent-Fathers Decrees and Canons, touching predestination and perseuerance, wee shall trye what truth is in them, when we come to set downe the opposite doctrine of the Catholicke Faith. In the meane time, let vs a little weigh the moment of Vega's argumentsVega lib. 12. [...] incertitud. prae destinat. & per seuerantiae. c. for the defence of the Councell. In his second Chapter of his 12. Booke, Of the vncertainty of predestination and perse­uerance, after a goodly flourish and triumphall tripudiation, as if the field were already won, before he had strucke stroke, [Page 296] he saith, Habemus certissima & fortissima argumenta, &c. We haue most certaine and strong arguments, whereby to con­firme and defend the Doctrine deliuered here by the Fa­thers, and to vanquish the contrary heresies. And first, to proue this definition of the Fathers, saith he, Non omnis, &c. Not euery one that is iustified, is predestinate. We haue many places of Scripture to serue our purpose, prouing, that there haue been many in the state of grace, and afterwards haue fallen from it, and at length damned. For example, Saul, that was elect to be King of Israel, is said (1. Sam. 9. 2.) to be electus Saul, one of Vega's Elect. & bonus, an elect and good man; so that there was not a bet­ter than he, among all the children of Israel. Now (saith Ve­ga) being said to bee bonus & electus, elect and good (as the vulgar Latine hath it) it is manifest, that he was then in the state of grace: for the Scripture (saith hee) doth not adorne men with such prayses, which are out of the state of Gods grace. But (saith he) Saul afterwards fell, and was reiected and damned. I answer: Saul is there called an elect man, in that he was a choice, and goodly tall young man, proper of personage, insomuch as none was found comparable to him for personage and stature; for hee was taller by the head and shoulders, than any of the people. Doth this proue that hee was one of Gods eternall election? Or doth God elect men to saluation, for the goodlinesse of their person? No: wee see the contrary, 1. Sam. 16. 7. That Saul dyed a reprobate, and desperately, we easily grant it: But that Saul euer was in the state of grace, Vega saith nothing yet to the purpose to proue it, nor euer can he. I rather maruaile, why Vega omitted a more probable argument, to proue Saul to haue once been in the state of grace; to wit, because the Spirit of the Lord com­ming vpon him, he was turned into another man▪ An argu­ment which some other Pontificians vrge: yet Vega alledgethAug. lib. 2. ad Simplic. qu. 1. St. Augustines censure of Saul, who concludes him to bee a reprobate, saying, The example of this Saul, makes against some proud heretickes, which deny that any of the good gifts of the holy Ghost, may be giuen to those, that doe not apper­taine to the condition of Saints. Which saying of that wor­thy [Page 297] Father, doth plainly proue, that Saul was neuer of the number of Gods Saints; and that euen wicked and reprobate men may haue notwithstanding some speciall gifts of the holy Ghosts, and yet be neuer a whit the nearer to the state of grace. Saul was said to be changed into another man, when Gods Spirit came vpon him; not in regard of conuersion from sinne vnto God, or from a wicked life to the state of grace: but of a priuate man, whose thoughts reached no higher than his fathers Asses, hee was made a Prince, and en­dowed with Princely qualities of wisedome and courage, the gifts of Gods Spirit, whereby hee was enabled for such a weighty gouernment. Yea, we are not affraid to put this caseGreg. lib. 4. ca. 3. in 1. Reg. 9. to the tryall euen of a Bishop of Rome. Gregory, the last good Bishop of Rome, saith thus of Saul: Saul electus dicitur, non se­cundum gratiam, sed secundum iudicium. Bonus dicitur, vt diuinae aequitatis dispositio commendetur. Bonum profectò est, quicquid est iustum, &c. Saul is said to bee elect, not according to grace, but according to iudgement. He is called good, that the di­sposition of diuine equity might be commended. That indeed is good, whatsoeuer is iust, &c. And he illustrates this by the instance of Ecclesiasticall Pastors. Per iustitiam quippe Dei, Pa­stores reprobi, &c. For by the iustice of God, reprobate Pastors are permitted to climbe to the regiment of holy Church; but they which are euill by their iniquity, are good by diuine di­spensation: and now by the secret ordination of God, they are elected, who at the last, in the vniuersall iudgement, shall be reprobated. Therefore a reprobate shepheard, because by di­uine dignation he is appointed to that office, may bee called elect: and because he is iustly permitted, hee may bee called good. And because hee is thought fitter than others to exe­cute Gods iudgements, therfore none is said to be better than he among the children of Israel. Seeing therefore it cannot be proued, that Saul was euer in the state of grace, but the contra­ry is manifest, euen by the iudgment of him, who, was once Bi­shop of Rome; no maruaile, if he dyed a desperate Reprobate.

Hereunto Vega addeth Salomons example, that being en­dued with extraordinary wisedome from God, and so stan­ding [Page 298] in the state of grace, he afterwards fell away, and VegaSalomon one of Vega's Re­probates, though once Elect. laboureth to proue, that Salomon dyed a Reprobate. For an­swer; that God gaue such wisedome to Salomon, this proues him no more to be in the state of grace, than that which was giuen to Saul. This wisedome giuen to Salomon was famous indeede, but for ought we finde, it was no other, but a natu­rall and morall wisedome, and knowledge, whereby he might the better iudge that great people, committed to his charge, as Salomon himselfe saith, 1. Kings 3. 9. and know the nature and property of all creatures, as 1. Kings 4. 29. 30. 31. &c. Not that I deny, but that Salomon might now be in the state of grace, and no doubt but he was: but that hee was not there­fore in the state of grace, because of his extraordinary wise­dome giuen vnto him. For doe not wee know, that for a na­turall and morall wisedome, euen Heathen men, as many Pa­gan Philosophers, haue farre excelled many of Gods Saints? Againe, as we deny not, but that young Salomon was now in the state of grace; so we deny, that hee euer fell totally away from this estate. It is true, he fell fearfully, but not totally: forSalomon fell not away to­tally. marke what the Scripture saith expresly, 1. Kings 11. 4. It came to passe, when Salomon was old, that his wiues turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of Dauid his father. And in the 6. vers. Salomon did euill in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did Dauid his father. Whence note, first, that it is said, When Salomon was old. Indeede old age when it comes to dotage, is dangerous, and very slippery: but to dote vpon women, yea many women, wiues and concubines, so many hundred of them, and those also strange women, of a strange Religion; alas, poore old Salomon, how were his affections distracted, and his thoughts euen pulled asunder, as it were by so many Furies, as there were fancies in his womens heads! Well, by this meanes, the byas of his affections whee­ling about his women, as so many Mistresses, caused his heart to decline from his direct course, tending towards the maine marke, which was God. But this declination, it was no flat Apostacy; for now the worst was, that he went not fully after [Page 299] the Lord his God; his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of Dauid his father. His former single heart began now to double, his vpright heart began now in victa aetate, in his verging or stooping old age, to grow crooked. Yet for all this, he kept him vpon his feete, he still stood in the state of grace, although with much staggering: and though his left foote failed him, yet his right foote re­mained firme; though the left foote of his affection went af­ter his strange women, and so was drawne with them after their strange gods; yet he had the right foot of his affection vpright to God-wards. Which I speake, not to excuse or mi­tigate his sinne: for it was most fearefull and lamentable, and to bee bewayled with sad repentance and a floud of teares: But taking Gods Word for my warrant, I affirme, that though Salomons fall was fearfull, yet it was not totall; his heart had not quite forsaken his God.

Againe, as Salomons fall was not totall, so neyther was itSalomons fal [...] as not totall, s [...] not finall. finall: For we haue his Ecclesiastes, as an eternall monument of his intire repentance and conuersion from vanity to God. And as an infallible token of a true penitent, he stiles himselfe the Preacher. He layes aside his royall Crowne, diuests him­selfe of all his Princely titles and ornaments, and in stead thereof, takes on him the humble, but holy stile of a Preacher; not onely to preach repentance vnto others, but to perswade them by the strongest argument of his owne practice, and the best euidence of his owne experience. And the Wisedome of God shewes it selfe admirable, in making choice of Salo­mon to be the Pen-man of that excellent Book of Ecclesiastes, euery line whereof, hee that runnes may reade in the face of wise Salomons owne experience: in which mirrour, euery naturall man may cleerly see his owne full proportion. Salo­mon had no more strange wiues and concubines, than the world hath minions of strange vanities, which euery carnall man, according to the variety of his fancy, as his Idoll-God­desse, adoreth. Now God in his mercy willing to admonish the vaine world, and to reclaime vaine men from their sun­dry Idol-pleasures, and withall the more strongly to allure [Page 300] them, in his wisdome, makes speciall choice of Salomon to be his Preacher. Why so? Salomon was the wisest man that euer was, from the first Adam, before the second Adam, Christ, and so of all men in the world, could giue the exactest iudgement, and truest censure of the nature of all things vnder the Sun. Besides his incomparable wisdome, he had a most aboundant experimentall knowledge of all earthly things, whatsoeuer might seeme excellent in the eye and iudgement of flesh and bloud; yea, hee was most industrious and studious, eagerly searching into the depth and height, and all the dimensions of worldly excellency; till I might see (saith he) what was that Eccles. 2. 3. good for the sonnes of men, which they should doe vnder the Heauen, all the dayes of their life. Wouldst thou then know, thou worlds doting Louer, what the true nature of the world, and of all that is in the world (as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life) is? Hearken to the Preacher, yea aske Salomon, the wisest of men. Aske him in any kinde, he will resolue thee, as he did the Queene of Sheba, and other Prin­ces that came to heare his wisedome; whom he resolued in all their questions. Trauaile not to any of the Philosophers, to enquire of them wherein thy Summum bonum consisteth: for when they haue told thee all they can, thou wilt come as farre short of giuing them credit, as they will doe in giuing thee true counsell. If they tell thee, that riches, pleasures, and honours, are all vaine things, and no felicity to be found in them: thou wilt but laugh at them, as men at least experi­mentally ignorant of the nature of those things, whereof they neuer had the vse and possession. Aske Diogenes of honour, & hee prefers his Tubbe before Great▪ Alexanders Triumphes; and tramples on Plato's pompous pride, with a greater pride of pouerty. And in a word, thou wilt answer them all, with ignoti nulla cupido: they therefore despise these thing, because they neuer tasted the sweetnesse that is in them, at least in the worlds apprehension. But come to Salomon, who not onely knew the nature of these things better than all those Heathen wise men, but also made it his study, yea, and his practice too, to know them by an infallible experience; and his iudge­ment [Page 301] will be found to bee aboue all exception. And what is his iudgement of all these things? what profit, or what plea­sure, or what contentment found he in any, or in all of them? This is his definitiue sentence of them: All is vanity, and vexation of spirit. Thou hadst better farre to beleeue him, than goe about to trye. Hee stands as a Sea-marke to war [...]e all wordly Merchants, yea the greatest Princes and Poten­tates of the earth, to beware of those Rockes, and She [...]e [...], and Syrtes, whereon himselfe suffered wofull shipwracke. But yet, if vnheedily, thou hast fallen vpon the same Rockes, be­hold also Salomon standing as an example of penitency to all men. For as hee teacheth all men to eschue the deceiptfull pleasures, profits, and preferments of the world; so he i [...] ­teth them to follow with him the true and souereigne good; concluding his Booke thus, Let vs heare the end of all, Feare God, and keepe his Commandements; for this is whole man; for God will bring euery worke to iudgement, with euery se­cret thing, whether it be good or euill. A noble precedent of a penitent soule; not onely to repent himselfe, but to be­come a royall Preacher of repentance to others. So did his fa­ther Dauid, Psal. 51. where, repenting of his sinne, and hauing pleaded for Gods mercy and fauour, to the [...]a. vers. then as a speciall fruit of his reconciliation with God, hee saith, Then will I teach transgressors thy wayes, and sinners shall be con [...]er [...]d vnto thee. So that this is the vp-shot of all this discourse of Salomon, to giue God the glory in Salomons repentance, and in his choosing of him, to bee both a Patterne and a Preacher of repentance to the world. If I haue beene▪ longer herein, than perhaps may seeme sutable to the present purpose, I must craue pardon; although I shall not repent me, if by this means I shall be any occasion of conuerting any young Alipius from the Circensian pleasures of this vaine world, to the imitation of Salomons repentance; as St. Augustine thanked God, forAug confes. lib. 6. cap. 7. hauing beene a meanes of conuerting Alipius from the Cir­censian games, wherewith he had been so bewitched. Which, saith Augustine, was vpon this occasion: Alipius being pre­sent at one of my Rhetoricke Lectures in Carthage, I tooke [Page 302] occasion, being offered, to delight my Auditory with a Simile taken from the Circensian games, wherewith Alipius being taken, Augustine confesseth; Tu scis, Deusnoster, quod tunc de Alipio de illa peste sanando non cogitauerim: Thou knowest, O God, that at that time, I did not so much as think of curing A­lipius of that pestilentiall disease. Or as the same Augustine, contrary to his vsuall manner, hauing made a digression be­sides his intention from his purpose, was as it were by Gods all-directing prouident hand, led out of his owne way, to reduce a wanderer into the right way. For by his digres­sion, hee was a meanes to conuert one Firmus a Merchant, but a Manichee vnto the true Faith: Possid, in vita August▪ cap. 15.

But to returne to our purpose. Notwithstanding the Book of Ecclesiastes bee a most cleere euidence of Salomons repen­tance, sith it cannot be denied to be his, both by the title of it, and the whole passage of the booke; yet Vega labours tooth and naile to make a Reprobate of him. One of his rea­sons is, because the Scripture makes no mention of his repen­tance, as of Dauids. But I hope, the booke of Ecclesiastes he will allow to be Scripture. But shall we take all those for Re­probates, whose sinne the Scripture recordeth, but makes no mention of their repentance? What then shall become of holy Moses, whose infidelity at Meribah, in not honouring the Lord by his obedience and faith, is recorded in Scripture, yea so, as there is not onely no mention of his repentance; but, as if his sinne remained vnpardoned, and hee deceased in Gods displeasure, he was not suffered to come into the land of Ca­naanNumb▪ 20. 12. for that very cause. Did not therefore Moses repent him of his sinne? or dyed he in Gods displeasure? or must hee not come into the Kingdome of Heauen, whereof Canaan was a type? But Vega prosecuting the matter very eagerly, alledgeth also his proofes, not onely out of Ecclesiasticus, to no purpose (but not a word of Ecclesiastes) but also out of St. Augustine & Cyprian; who indeed doe speake somewhat difficultly and doubtfully of Salomon, as making his example a matter of terrour, and so it is no doubt.

[Page 303]But there are also other Fathers to counterballance them, & for the Doctrine of small falling away from grace, we shall see their iudgements at large. Yet at length, Vega himselfe is willing to condeseend so farre to indifferency herein, as he is content to waue the matter, so it be granted, that though Sa­lomon did repent, whereof there are such pregnant proofes, yet at least his example of falling may confute (as hee saith) Iouinian, that denyed the iust could once fall away from the grace receiued.

Another example he brings of Iudas, who (saith hee) hadExample of Iudas. once grace, and fell away from it. For Iudas was in the state of grace, at what time he was chosen to be an Apostle; else he had not bin admitted to that dignity. And that hee both had▪ and lost this grace, Christ proueth; saying, Of those whom thou gauest mee, haue I lost none, but the sonne of perdition. So Vega. But tell mee, Vega, what grace had Iudas, when he was cho­sen to be an Apostle? Had hee the true grace of iustification, whereby he was accepted with God? Where proue you this? You might remember your Schoole distinction; which may well enough be admitted; to wit, of gratia gratis data, and gra­tia gratum saciens: the first, a grace freely giuen, to enable men to the worke of the Ministery, and such like; whereof Christ speaketh, Freely you haue receiued, freely giue: but the o­therMatth. 10. 8. is that grace, which makes a man accepted with God through Christ; whereof the Apostle speaketh, Ephes. 1. [...]. where hauing spoken in the Verse before of Gods predestina­ting vs vnto the adoption of children by Iesus Christ, accor­ding to the good pleasure of his will; he addeth, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made vs accepted in the be­loued, &c. Now Iudas being made an Apostle, had the former grace giuen vnto him, to enable him to preach, and doe mi­racles, and to discharge the duety of an Apostle: but the o­ther grace, to make him accepted in the Beloued, according to Gods eternall purpose in predestination, whereof the A­postle there speaketh, we deny that euer Iudas had that grace. Yea, Vega himselfe confesseth, that Iudas was not of the num­ber of the predestinate to life eternall, but that notwithstan­ding [Page 304] he had the grace of iustification. Vnlesse Vega equiuo­cates in the word Grace, meaning onely a certaine fauour of God towards Iudas in making choice of him to be an Apostle. If Vega meane so, we grant that it was a great fauour indeed; but that Iudas was so in the grace and fauour of God, as to be adopted for one of his Children, and so accepted in his belo­uedIudas had not sauing grace. Sonne, we vtterly deny; nor can Vega with all his So­phistry euer proue it. Christ saith indeed, Of them whom thou hast giuen mee, I haue lost none, but the sonne of perdition. Was Iudas then giuen to Christ by his Father, in such a speciall manner as the rest of the Apostles were, who were also holy and elect vessels of mercy? Gods giuing there vnto Christ, is in a twofold respect to be considered: First, as all the Twelue were Apostles; so God gaue them all to Christ, without dif­ference, to serue him in the ministery of the Gospell. For the wickedest Apostle or Minister of the Gospell, hath as great power and authority giuen him to execute his function, as the holiest of all. The wicked Scribes and Pharisees must bee heard with all attention and reuerence, sitting in Moses Chaire; that is, teaching Moses Doctrine. But secondly, the Twelue were giuen to Christ as men; and so they were giuen in a most different respect, and to a diuers end. Our Sauiour saith▪ Haue not I chosen you Twelue, and one of you is a Deuill? Iudas was a Deuill (that is, a deuillish man, a Deuill incar­nate, as we vse to say of a most wicked man) when God gaue him to Christ; and as a man, a wicked man, hee was giuen to Christ to be his Minister, that he might also be his betrayer, as the Scriptures had foretold▪ But the rest of the Apostles were giuen to Christ, as men elect and predestinate in Christ to life eternall. So was not Iudas giuen to Christ, euen the enemies being witnesses. St. Augustine hereupon saith, vpon the words of Christ, Ioh [...]6. Haue not I chosen you Twelue, and Aug. quaest. su­per Genes. lib. 1. qu. 117. tom. 4. one of you is a Deuill? Vt non ad electionem etiam ipse pertinere vide­atur: That (saith he) Iudas might not seem to appertaine to the election. Non enim facile, &c. For the name of Elect is not easily found in an euill man, vnlesse when euill men are elected by euill men. Quod si put auerimu [...], &c. If we shall thinke that [Page 305] he also was elect, that by his treason the Lords Passion might be accomplished: that is, that his malice was elected to some purpose, sith God can make a good vse euen of the wicked. Illud, &c. Let vs attend to that he saith, Iohn 13. 18. I speake not of you all, I know whom I haue chosen: Vbi declarat, &c. Where he declareth, that none but good men appertaine to the election. Ac per hoc, &c. And hereby, that which is said, I haue chosen you Twelue, is spoken by a Figure Syne [...]doche that by the name of the greater or better part, that also might be said to be fulfilled, which doth not belong to the name it selfe. So Augustine. And also vpon the same words of Iohn 6. in his exposition of the 55. Psalme▪ Nonne vos, &c. Haue notAug. in Psal. 55▪ I chosen you Twelue, and one of you is a Deuill? Ergo [...] Di­abolus electus est? Is euen a Deuill then elected? Aut si electus non est, &c. Or if he be not elected, how did he elect Twelue, and not rather Eleuen? Electus & ille est, sed ad aliud▪ Electi vnd [...]im ad opus probationis, electus vnus ad opus [...] Iu­das was also elected, but to a diuers purpose. The eleuen were elected to the worke of approbation, that one was elected to the worke of temptation. So Augustine. So that as the electi­on of the Twelue, was for diuers ends; of the Eleuen to their saluation, and of Iudas, to become an instrument of Christs death, to his damnation: So Gods giuing of the Twelue to Christ, was for different purposes; for though all of them were chosen to be Apostles, yet Eleuen of them were also chosen to be vessels of grace, not onely to conuey it to others, but to conserue it in themselues: but Iudas, a Deuill, a sonne of per­dition, was chosen not only to be an Apostle, but the betrayer of Christ; God well vsing an euill instrument, as Augustine saith. In the meane time, let it not seeme strange, that the Pontificians so highly dignifie Iudas as to giue him once a place in the state of grace for as St. Augustine reporteth, theAug. de haeresi­bus ad Quod­vult-deum. lib. 6. 18. Cainites. Deuill wanted not a sort and sect of Heretickes, called Cai­nites (because they worshipped Cain, who murthered his brother) who also held Iudas in very high esteeme, as some certaine diuine creature, euen for betraying of Christ, because (say they) he knew it was a worke that would [...] profita­ble [Page 306] to the world. But seeing Vega, with his Pontificians, will needes make Iudas an example of a man, once in the state of sauing grace, let them take him as Christ cals him, a Deuill; such was elect Iudas: and so wee shall not enuie, but pitie the case of these men, that confesse them­selues to bee in no better state of grace, than Iudas once was.

But Vega, in behalfe of the Councell of Trent, prosecutes his arguments, to proue the vncertainty of predestination and perseuerance, in fiue whole Chapters together, from the third to the seuenth; shewing himselfe a true Pontifician, in doubling and iuggling with the truth. But his arguments are so sleight, and his instances so impertinent, that I will not spend time in the reciting of them. Onely I will name the head of them, that the Reader may thereby estimate the whole body. As, That some predestinate haue sometimes been out of the state of grace; as namely, before their effectuall calling: and some after their effectuall calling, as falling from grace by euery mortall sinne, as the Pontificians teach. And as they may fall from grace, so the wicked (he must needes meane the reprobate, as opposite to the elect; for else, all men by nature are wicked, and there is no difference, as the A­postleRom. 3. 22. 23. speaketh) the wicked (saith Vega) may bee receiued into grace, as the predestinate may fall from grace. And so wee yeeld vnto him, that the wicked; that is, the re­probate, may bee as well receiued into grace, as the prede­stinate and elect may fall from grace totally or finally. But we still affirme, and shall by and by confirme it, that the elect of God cannot fall totally and finally from grace: and no more can the reprobate be euer receiued into grace.

But Vega's seuenth Chapter seemes to be full of moment, the title whereof is, De consensu Doctorum, & Ecclesia totius in Iouinianum & Vicel [...]um: Of the consent of Doctors, and of the whole Church against Iouinian and Wiclefe. Note here a point of Pontifician brauery, and serpentine subtilty together: First, a goodly flourish of the consent of Doctors, and of the whole Church; and then to disgrace the Doctrine of prede­stination, [Page 307] as a nouelty, and an opinion of singularity, he fastens it vpon Iouinian and Wiclefe, as the prime authors of it. Now because the Chapter is long, and full of allegations, as his man­ner is in his serpent-like gate; let it suffice vs to take the con­tents of the whole in a few words. And because we will not be our owne caruers, we will take Vega's owne words, in the beginning of the Chapter: Praedestinates & iustificatos posse ca­dere à Dei gratia, & necessariam esse omnibus perseuer antiam vs (que) ad mortem, vt p [...]rueniatur ad palmam, satis potest ex praedictis con­stare: sed vt constet consensisse semper huis veritati Ecclesiam, quod nos vbi (que) ostensures esse sumus polliciti, adiungam ijs, quae iam cita­ [...]imus, aliquot alia testimonia Doctorum, quae hanc▪ veritatem lucu­lenter nos docent: that is, That the predestinate and iustified may fall from the grace of God, and that perseuerance vnto death is necessary for all, that they may come to the Crown, it may sufficiently appeare by that wee haue said before: but that it may appeare, that which wee haue euery whereWe are too well acquain­ted with you [...] Pontifician promises. pro­mised to shew, that the Church hath alwayes consented to this truth, I will adde to those already cited, some other te­stimonies of Doctors, which doe clearly teach vs this truth. These words are the ground of the whole Chapter; wherein obserue, that the maine thing Vega shootes at in this Chap­ter, is to proue, that therefore the predestinate, and those that be iustified may fall away from grace, because (forsooth) per­seuerance in grace vnto the end is necessary for all. Now though this ground be most false and absurd, yet his whole Chapter tendeth to proue, that because vpon the necessity of perseuerance, the Doctors of the Church vse many exhorta­tions to men to perseuere, whose testimonies to this purpose Vega heapeth vp in great number: therefore the Doctors of the Church doe all consent, that a man that is predestinate to life, may fall away from grace. It is Vega's owne collecti­on: for else, saith he, why doe these Doctors vse so many ex­hortations to men, to striue to continue in the faith, not to be secure vntill the end? for this is the summe of all his testimo­nies that he alledgeth. In the prosecution of all which, I cannot better compare Vega, one of Trents chiefe Questers, [Page 308] than to a Spaniell, which taking his scope in a large field, tra­uersing vp and downe, in and out to find game, puts vp many a Foule but still the more he prosecutes them, the faster and farther they flye from him. So dealeth Vega. Hee takes the whole Church, a large field to quest in, he startles many a Do­ctor and Father, foolishly thinking in his owne sent, to make them his owne▪ but in the vpshot, they flye the farther from him. As here. The Fathers exhort men to constancy, and perseuerance in the grace of God, not to bee negligent and carelesse, not to be carnally secure, but so to runne, as they may obtaine. True; and such exhortations are most godly and necessary: for they are speciall meanes and motiues to stirre vs vpto attaine that end of our faith, the saluation of our soules, to which we were predestinate, and preordained of God. For as God hath appointed vs to the end so he hath appointed vs also to the meanes, as Ephes. 2. 10. For wee are his workemanship, created in Christ Iesus vnto good workes, which God hath [...] ordained, that we should walke in them. Exhortations therefore, and pious admonitions are very necessary, as spe­ciall meanes to draw vs on along to our wished end, as a stiffe ga [...] of winde, filling the failes of our deuoutest affections, vntill wee [...] at our appointed port. And whereas Vega would pe [...]ersly conclude hence, that because we must take heede least we fall, as the Councell of Trent alledgeth out of the Apostle▪ therefore the predestinate to life may and doe fall away hence rather we may conclude the contrary, that seeing God hath predestinated vs to the end, which is our full and small saluation, and hath chal [...] vs out the way and meanes, by which we come to reach and attaine to this end, as to walke carefully and heedfully, fearing to displease God, sollicitous to serue God, to take heede of carnall security, and all false and groundlesse confidence▪ therefore continuing on in this path, obseruing these meanes, tending vnto the end, we doe hence gather to our selues stronger assurance euery day, that we shall at length, most certainly attaine to the end of our most Christian race, and so obtaine the Crowne of life. For as St. Peter, exhorting the faithfull to diligence and per­seuerancePet. 2. [Page 309] in holy duties, as meanes leading to the end: saith, If yee doe these things, ye shall neuer fall: for by this meanes an entrance is made vnto you aboundantly into the euerlasting Kingdome of our Lord and Sauiour Iesus Christ. What? Did St. Peter meane, that the faithfull should be doubtfull, or vn­certaine of their saluation? or were they so much nearer to falling away from grace, because hee warnes them so much to be carefull to keep their way, and to continue in the meanes? No; the contrary: for by this meanes, an entrance was admi­nistred aboundantly into the Kingdome of Gods glory. And this is the vnanimous scope of all the testimonies of those Doctors and Fathers of the Church, which Vega so multi­plyeth, going about to corrupt so many witnesses, to giue in euidence for the instability and slipperinesse of his Pontifician grace.

Now for his eight Chapter, which he spends about answe­ring some places in St. Iohns Epistle, seeming, as he saith, to make for the Heretickes, as Iouinian, &c. we will speake of it in a fitter place by and by, when we come to confirme the Catholicke truth; and in the meane time leaue Vega dazeling his owne eyes, by his ouer-daring of the glorious Sunne, and scorching his owne wings, in fluttering about the bright flame of Gods Word, which for all his huffing at it, he shall neuer be able to put out. But hee goes on, to proue that no man can know his owne predestination and perseuerance, but by diuine reuelation. In his 10. Chapter, he brings Salomons saying, and such like, Blessed is the man that feareth alwayes; asPro. 28. 14. though the feare of God were an enemy to Christian assu­rance in this kinde: sith it confirmes it much more; the holy feare of God being a certaine fruit and effect of predestinati­on, leading to perseuerance, as both we haue, and shall fur­ther make good. Hee alledgeth also against the certainty of perseuerance, that of Salomon, Pro. 27. 1. Boast not thy selfe of tomorrow: for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Here the Pontifician still is like himselfe, bewraying his malice a­gainst the truth, as if certainty of grace were a boasting. No­thing lesse. For while we entertaine certainty, we exclude, [Page 310] and vtterly abandon boasting and presumption; certainty and presumption being incompatible, yea contrary one to the o­ther, and cannot possibly cohabit, and dwell together in one heart. For there is nothing more vaine than boasting, no­thing more vncertaine than presumption: besides, Salomon there speakes of to morrow, as our Sauiour, Matth. 6. 34. and as St. Iames, Chapt. 4. Vers. 13. 14. that men should not be ey­ther ouer anxious, and sollicitous, or ouer presumptuous of to morrow, about their worldly affaires; Whereas thou knowest not, saith Iames, what shall be on the morrow; for what is your life? you may as a vapour vanish away before to morrow. So that in these things that are in regard of vs contingent, a man can haue no certainty. But saluation stands not vpon any tickle termes of contingency, as wee shall see anon. And whereas Vega al­ledgeth Bernard, as denying the certainty of election and predestination, because, saith Bernard, the Scripture is against [...]ern. in Septu­ [...]ges. serm. 1. Eccles. 9. 1. it, which saith, Man knoweth neither loue nor hatred, by all that is before them: although we be not absolutely bound to beleeue any mans authority in alledging the Scriptures, when it is plaine hee mis-vnderstandeth, or at least mis-applyeth the place, as Bernard, vnder correction, doth here; sith it is plaine and euident (as wee shewed before) that the Preacher speaketh of these outward things, as prosperity and aduer­sity, which are no certaine markes of Gods fauour or displea­sure, as being common to all men promiscuously, as well the righteous as the wicked: yet we are not so straight-laced, as not to embrace euen Bernard himselfe in this point. For if the certainty of saluation rested vpon mans testimony, wee might as soone relye vpon Bernards authority, as another. But where Bernard speakes properly and iudiciously in ap­plying the Scriptures, none is more cleare than hee in this matter▪ So that in the very same Sermon, out of which Vega pickes so much matter, as he thinkes makes for him, Bernard doth confute Vega's mis-conceit of his meaning, confirming that truth, which wee auouch▪ For where Vega leaues off, Bernard goes on, and saith: Propter hoc data sunt sign a quaedam, & indi [...]ia manifestas salutis, vt indubitabi [...]e sit, eum esse de numero [Page 311] Electorum, in quo ea signa perman serint. Propter hoc (inquam) ques praesciuit Deus, & praedestinauit conformes fieri imaginis Filij sui, vt quibus certitudinem negat causa sollicitudinis, v [...]l fiduciam prae­stet gratia consolationis: For this cause (saith he) there are cer­taine signes, and manifest tokens of saluation giuen, that it might be indubitable, (out of all doubt) that he is of the num­ber of the Elect, in whom these signes doe abide. For this cause (I say) whom God foreknew, he also predestinated to bee made conformable vnto the image of his Sonne; that to whom the cause of sollicitude or fearfulnesse doth deny cer­tainty, the grace of consolation might giue euen a confident assurance. So Bernard. Whence we see, that whereas imme­diatly before he had said, that which Vega alledgeth for his owne purpose (alledging authorities of Fathers, as Satan did the Scriptures, by peece-meale) Generationem istam quis e [...]ar­rabit, &c. Who shall declare that Generation; to wit, of Gods Children, whereby they are both begotten and preserued in grace, that they cannot fall away, as Bernard there excellent­ly sheweth? Quis potest dicere, Ego de electis sum, &c. Who can say, I am one of the elect, I am one of the predestinate to life, I am of the number of Sonnes? Quis h [...]t, inquam, &c. Who, I say, can say these things; the Scriptures gain-saying: Nescit homo, &c. Man knoweth not whether he be worthy of loue or hatred. Whereupon he addes, Certitudinem vti (que) non habe­mus; sed spei fiducia consolatur nos, ne dubitationis huius anxietate penitus cruciemur: We haue not certainty; but God doth com­fort vs with a confidence of hope, lest we should be altoge­ther tormented with anxiety of doubting. Thus farre Vega alledgeth out of Bernard. But note here, Bernard speakes not of vncertainty in regard of faith; but in regard of humane frailty, which he cals the cause of sollicitude or fearfulnesse: and so he concludes, not leauing Gods Children in a misera­ble vncertainty, sith they haue many infallible and manifest signes and tokens of their saluation, that they are, without all doubt, in the number of Gods elect; hauing the grace of con­solation to make them confident, that they are predestinate to bee made conformable to the Image of the Sonne of God, [Page 312] although they want not in the meane time, the clogs of car­nall infirmities, that doe often impeach and checke their Cheery and Christian confidence, while the beames of faith are ouer-clouded with the vanishing vapours of fleshly feare, vntill the storme of the afflicted and conflicting conscience be ouer, and the cloud wasted by the prepotent sunne-beames of grace, which will not long be eclipsed, or suspended from shining vpon the faithfull soule. But of Bernards authority for the point of certainty more clearely anon, where his eyes are not dazeled or deceiued by a false light, at least, by a mis-apprehension and mis-application of the true light.

Now to conclude Vega's arguments, from the 11. Chap­ter, to the end of his 12. Booke, he yeeldeth thus farre, That a man may come by some signes to haue some probable conie­cture and opinion of his predestination, and perseuerance in grace. The title of his 11. Chapter is in these words: Ex bea­titudinibus Euangelicis, probabilis potest colligi nostrae & al [...]orum praedestinationis seu perseuerantiae opinio: By the Euangelicall be­atitudes, there may bee gathered a probable opinion of our owne and others predestination or perseuerance. And those seuerall beatitudes, hee mustereth vp in so many Chapters to the end of the Booke; as Humility, Meeknesse, Mourning, Hunger and Thirst after righteousnesse, &c. as they are laid downe, Matth. 5. in all which Chapters Vega doth but fight with his owne shadow: where wee leaue him, and come to the Catholicke truth.

CHAP. XVII. Of the certainty of Catholicke and true iustifying Faith, in regard of the certainty of predestination vnto grace, and perseuerance▪ therein vnto glory.

BEing now, by Gods grace, to speake of the certainty of sa­uing Faith, in regard of predestination and perseuerance▪ [Page 313] that we may not seeme to build, without laying first a foun­dation; it is requisite, first of all, to lay downe the true state of the Doctrine of predestination, as wee finde it reuealed in the Scriptures. And so much the rather, because the Ponti­ficians haue so miserably mangled it, seeking by their cun­ning vnderminings to blow vp (wherein they are very ex­pert Pioners) and so to throw downe the most goodly frame of Christian Faith, like those their typicall Babylonian Edo­mites, who said of Ierusalem (the type of Gods Church and Chosen) Raze it, Raze it, euen to the foundation thereof. For thePsal. 137. Church of Christ, consisting of all the Elect, is mainly foun­ded vpon the eternall decree of Gods predestination.

So that in this case, wee are not to forbeare to speake the truth, because carnall minded men haue from time▪ to time carped and cauelled at this Doctrine, as wee reade in the Councell of Trent: For as St. Augustine saith, Nu [...] propter Aug. de [...]on [...] perseuer. lib. 2▪ cap. 16. mal [...]s vel frigid [...]s, huius sententiae (nempe. praedest [...]ationis) veritas deserenda, aut ex Euangelio delenda putabitur? Dicatur verum▪ maximè, vbi aliqua quaestio, vt dicatur, imp [...]ll [...]t, & capian [...], qui pos­sunt: ne forte cum tacetur, propter eos, qui capere non possunt, non solum veritate fra [...]dentur, verumetiam falsitate cap [...]tur▪ qui ve­rum capere, qu [...] capiatur falsitas▪ possunt: that is, Is the truth of this Doctrine ( [...]o wit, of predestination) to bee for saken, or shall it be thought worthy to be cancelled out of the Gospell, because of those that are wicked and cold? Let the truth bee spoken, especially, where any question doth inforce it to be spoken, that they may receiue it, who are capable of it▪ le [...]t haply, when it is concealed, in regard of those that are not able to receiue it, they who are capable of the truth, whereby falshood may be detected, be not only defrauded of the truth, but may be taken with falshood. And a little after: Nonne potius est dicendum verum, vt qui potest capere, capia [...], quam [...] ­cendum▪ vt non solum id ambo non capiant, ver [...]e [...]i [...]m qui est in­telligentior, ipse sit peior? Instat inimicus gratiae, at (que) vrget modis omnibus, vt credatur secundum merita nostra dari; ac sic gratia i [...] non sit gratia. Et nos nolumus dicere, quod teste Scriptur [...] [...] dicere▪ timemus enim videlicet, ne loquentibus nobis [...], q [...] [Page 314] veritatem non potest capere; & non timemus, ne tacentibus nobis, qui veritatem potest capere, falsitate capiatur. Aut enim sic prae­destinatio praedicand [...] est, quemadmodum eam sancta Scriptura eui­d [...]ter loquitur, vt in praedestinatis, sine poenitentia sint dona & vo­catio Dei: aut gratiam Dei secundum nostra dari merita confiten­dum, quod sapiunt Pelagiani: that is, Is not the truth rather to be spoken, that he which can receiue it, may receiue it, than to be concealed, that not onely neyther can receiue it, but also he that is more intelligent, may be made worse? The enemy of grace is instant, and vrgeth by all meanes, that it might be beleeued, it is giuen vnto vs according to our merits; and so grace should now bee no more grace. And yet wee will not speake, that which by the testimony of the Scripture we may speake: for we feare, forsooth, lest if we speake, he be offen­ded that cannot receiue the truth: and we doe not feare, lest while we are silent, he which is able to receiue the truth, may be deceiued by errour. For eyther is predestination so to bee preached, as the holy Scripture doth euidently declare it, that in those that be predestinate, the gifts and calling of God may bee without repentance: or else we must confesse, that the grace of God is giuen according to our merits, which is the opinion of the Pelagians. And againe in the same booke, Chapt. 21. Nimi [...] contentionis est praedestinationi contradicere, vel de praedestinatione dubitare: It is too much peruersnesse to contradict predestination, or to call it into question. Yet Saint Augustine denies not, but that wisedome and discretion is to be vsed in the preaching of it. For (saith he) it is not so bee preached to the ignorant multitude, as that the preaching of it may seeme worthy of reproofe. For dolosi, vel imperiti me­dici est, etiam vtile medicamentum sic allegare, vt aut non profit, [...]ut ob [...]t: It is the property of a deceiptfull, or an vnskilfull Physitian, so to apply euen a wholesome plaster, as that either it doe no good, or else hurt. Which was the prouident wise­dome of his sacred Maiesty, our gracious Soueraigne, in his late in [...]unction to Ministers; not to debarre them from the free and lawfull, yea the most vsefull and comfortable prea­ching of that diuine Doctrine of predestination, as occasion [Page 315] serued: but rather to giue direction, at least to younger Di­uines, lest through want of mature iudgement in the manner of opening that mysterie, and applying of it, they might haply put a stumbling blocke before the iniudicious and ignorant hearer. For otherwise his excellent Maiesty doth himselfe beare royall record to this diuine Doctrine, in his learned Pa­raphase of the Reuelation, the 20. Chapter, in the latter end, in these words, The booke of life was opened, to the effect that all those, whose names were written in it: to wit, pre­destinated and elected for saluation, before all beginnings; might there be selected for eternall glory.

Now haue not wee in these times the same iust cause of speaking this truth, in regard of those Pelagianizing enemies of the grace of God, the Pontificians and their complices, as Augustine had against the Pelagians? both of them conten­ding to ouerthrow the truth of predestination, being the ground of the free grace of God in sauing mankinde, and to establish mans merits and righteousnesse, as the motiue cause of the grace of God. Therefore in this so important a cause, hauing to deale with so many importunate aduersaries of this fundamentall truth, we must not be meale-mouthed, lest we come to verifie that of our selues, which Gregory once said of some: Nonnulli, dum veritatis Discipuli esse humiliter neglig [...], Greg. moral. [...] Magistri errorum fiunt: Many, while out of a kind of humility, they neglect to be the Disciples of the truth, they become the Masters of errors. Come we then in the feare of God▪ to free our selues of the enuie of his great glory in setting down this great mysterie, wherein the glory of Gods rich grace doth most clearly shine, and shew it selfe.

Predestination then is an vnchangeable act of Gods goodPredestination defined. pleasure and will, whereby he hath from all eternity of his free grace, elected out of the corrupt masse of mankinde, fal­len in Adam, a certaine number of men, whom hee hath pur­posed effectually to bring to eternall saluation, by the only ab­solute meanes and merits of Iesus Christ, and by other con­ditionall and subordinate meanes appointed by him for the receiuing and applying of Christ, and walking in him, [...]en [Page 316] vnto the end: leauing the rest of men in their originall cor­ruption, to their further and finall condemnation. The Scrip­ture makes good euery part of this definition. First, for the subiect of it, which is predestination, the * word is there often [...]. vsed, which signifieth a fore-determining, or appointing, or preordaining of a thing. But about the name, or the thing, there is no great question made. The very aduersaries are for­ced to confesse it, at least in part. Now for the Predicate of the definition, it is an act or decree, called sometimes in Scripture, [...], Gods Councell, as Ephes. 1. 11. sometimes [...], Gods Purpose, as Rom. 8. 28. sometimes [...], as 1. Pet. 1. 2. which is such a fore-knowledge, as is not onely a bare prescience, but a Praescitum, an established or decreedSee Beza and Erasmus on Rom. 8. Quid [...]it Dei [...]. fore-knowledge; as the Latines call a decree of the people Plebiscitum: and also the decree or iudgement of a cause, Cog­nitio, or tryall, or knowledge. So [...], or praecognitio, or fore-knowledge of God, is his witting and willing act or de­cree. The Apostle therefore in the forenamed place (Rom. 8.) doth ioyne the purpose of God, and his fore-knowledge toge­ther, as one and the same thing, vers. 28. 29. For wee know that all things cooperate or worke together for good to them that loue God, being the called according to his purpose: and hee addes, For whom he fore-knew, those hee also predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Sonne. So that to predestinate to a conformity vnto Christ, is an act of Gods fore-knowledge or fore-decree, conducing vnto, or producing the end, to the which God de­creed or purposed. Which [...], fore-knowledge, or fore-decree of God, is very emphaticall and significant, con­taining in it, as wee said before, not a bare prescience (much lesse that this fore-knowledge in God, was led or moued by the euent of those things, which he saw would come to passe in the creature, according to which euent he should prede­stinate men to saluation or damnation▪ because he fore-saw they would be such & such, as the Pontificians, & whosoeuer symbolize with them in this matter, possessed or tainted with the spirit of the Pelagians: of which Augustine speaketh) but this fore-knowledge in God here, hauing speciall and sole re­ference [Page 317] to the Elect in Christ, it importeth a knowledge not of apprehension onely, but of loue and approbation, as God isIohn 1. 48. When thou wa [...] vnder the fig▪ tree, I knew thee. said to know his owne, 2. Tim. 2. 19. but not to know the rest, as Matth. 7 23. and God thus fore-knowing of his, doth with all predestinate them to saluation. Hence it is, that the Scrip­ture neuer speaketh of this fore-knowledge in God respe­ctiuely, as it appertaineth to this his eternall purpose towards mankinde, but it is alwayes applyed to the Elect onely. As Rom. 11. 2. God hath not cast away his people, whom he fore-knew. So 1. Pet. 1. 2. Elect, according to the fore-knowledge of God the Fa­ther. And Rom. 8. 29. Whom he fore-knew, them also he did prede­stinate, &c. Yea and Christ also, that elect one of God (Esa. 42.) in whom we are elect, is said to be fore-knowne of God; that is, fore-ordained, as 1. Pet. 1. 20. [...], fore-known or fore-ordained of God. So Acts 2. 23. Christ was deliuered by the determinate Councell, [...], and fore-know­ledge of God: which fore-knowledge, or fore-appointment of God, is so proper to Gods Elect, as no where in all the Scriptures, is it to be found applyed to the Reprobate. It is no where said in the Scripture, that God did reprobate those, whom he fore-knew. But on the contrary, Gregory saith,Greg. moral. lib. 2. cap. 4. Nescire Dei, reprobare est: Gods not knowing, is to reprobate. As he applyeth that place, Luke 13. 27. Depart from me, I know you not, &c. So that Gods [...], or fore-knowledge, is the ground of his predestination, respectiuely to the Elect, whom he did so fore-know, as he did loue, approue, and like, and so predestinate, or fore-ordaine to life.

But some Pontifician spirit may obiect: Gods prescience or fore-knowledge, though it be vnderstood for a knowledge of approbation, yet this approbation was in respect of his prescience of apprehension, fore-seeing that such and such men, would be such and such in their willingnesse to receiue grace offered; and thereupon to his fore-knowledge of ap­prehension, hee ioyneth the fore-knowledge of approbation. This obiection plainly argueth, that the spirit of those anci­ent Heretickes, the Pelagians, is risen againe, and hath posses­sed the mindes of all such obiectors. To which I shall neede [Page 318] to shape no other answer, but only to vse the same, which Au­gustine made to the Pelagians, to the very same purpose. Praesciebat (ait Pelagianus) qui futuri essent sancti & immaculati, Aug. de praedest. Sanct. l. 1. c. 18. Sic Arminiani, noui nostri Pe­lagiani. Nonne ergo certo futu­rum, quod prae­sciebat Deus? Tum qu [...]rsum quaso vniuer­salis gratia? Sa­tis est, si gratia ijs tantū offera­tur, quos Deus praesciuit accep­turos, caeteris non item. Sed contra vniuer­salem gratiam, scitè Chrysost. in Rom. 8. hom. 15. in haec verba, [...]; &c. per liberae voluntatis arbitrium, & ideo eos ante mundi constitutio­nem in ipsa sua praescientia, qua tales futuros esse praesciuit, elegit. Cum dicat Apostolus, Elegit nos in ipso ante mundi constitutionem, vt essemus sancti & immaculati. Non ergo quia futuri eramus, sed vt essemus. Nempe certum est, nempe manifestum est; ideo quippe tales eramus futuri, quia elegit ipse, praedestinans, vt tales per gra­tiam eius essemus: The Pelagian saith, God fore-knew such as would be holy and immaculate, by the freedome of their will, and therefore hee chose them before the foundation of the world in his very prescience, whereby hee fore-knew they would become such. Whereas the Apostle saith, He chose vs in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without spot. Not therefore, because we would become such, but that we should be such. This is certaine, this is manifest; that therefore wee would become such, be­cause he did choose vs, predestinating vs, that we should be­come such by his grace. We neede not to adde any other testi­monies of the Scriptures; the whole current of them run­neth all along with vs in this point, carrying vs to the full Ocean of this grace of God, as will further appeare through­out this whole definition. True it is, that St. Augustine him­selfe was once of that opinion with the Pelagians, Pontifici­ans, and our new Pelagians, concerning Gods prescience; as vnderstanding it to be nothing else, but a preuision of future things and euents, and thereupon to haue grounded his de­cree. Which opinion Augustine ingenuously retracteth and recanteth in his first booke of his Retractations, and the 23. Chapter.

Secondly, as predestination is an act, or decree, so it is an immutable and vnchangeable act. With God is no variable­nesse, nor shadow of change, Iames 1. 17. And Rom. 11. 29. [...], the free gifts and calling of God are without repentance. If the Stoickes did attribute such a perfection to a wise man, as that he should [Page 319] not be subiect to repentance: then those men are stockes, andSapientem nul­lius rei poenite­re. Cic. vnwise men, yea wicked and intolerably presumptuous, that dare impute a mutability to Gods decrees, as depending vp­on the vncertaine euents of mans fickle will. No, saith the Apostle, The foundation of God stands sure, and hath this seale, 2. Tim. 2. 19. The Lord knoweth who are his. What stands surer than a founda­tion? and what foundation so sure, as Gods foundation? Yea, it is a sealed foundation, neuer to be cancelled or abrogated: Infinitely more sure, than the decree of Darius concerning Daniel, which like the Law of the Medes & Persians, alterethDa [...]. 6. 8. not. For euen Gods decree towards his seruant Daniel, did frustrate the end and purpose of that wicked decree, as it was intended by the Persian Councellors. Quis tollit pradesti [...]atio­nem Aug. in Psal. 32. Consilium Do­mini manet in aeternum, &c. Dei? Ante mundi constitutionem vidit nos, fecit nos, [...]m [...]d [...]it nos, misit ad nos, redemit nos: hoc eius consilium manet in [...]t [...]r [...]um, haec eius cogitatio manet in saecul [...] saculoru [...]: Who taketh away the predestination of God? Before the foundation of the world he saw vs, he made vs, he mended vs, hee sent vnto vs, he redeemed vs: this counsell of his remaineth for euer, this thought of his heart is permanent vnto all ages. And Anselme in Rom. 8. Praep [...]su [...] Deus Electos ad vitam v [...]ni [...], [...] proposi­tum mut [...]ri non potest: secundum hoc propositum, non [...] su­um meritum, vocati sunt à Deo, vt sancti s [...]t: God purposed to bring the Elect to life, whose purpose cannot be changed: according to this purpose, not according to their merit, are they called of God to be holy. Neyther doth the immutabi­lity of Gods decree stand vpon his bare prescience, as if it were no otherwise immutable, but as God did fore-see the euents of things would be so and so, in which respect only his decrees should be said to be mutable, that the aduersaries of the truth might seeme to confesse a kinde of immutability in God, but frame [...] according to their mutable fancies: but this decree of God hath its foundation in the immutable will of God. And therefore it followeth in the definition, That pre­destination is an immutable act of Gods good pleasure and will. This part of the definition is proued aboundantly by the Apostle, Ephes. [...]. 5. Hauing predestinated vs [...] the adopti­on [Page 320] of Children by Christ to himselfe, according to the good pleasure of his will. And vers. 9. Hauing made knowne vnto vs the myste­rie of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he had purposed in himselfe. And vers. 11. In whom also wee haue obtained an in­heritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him, who worketh all things after the counsell of his owne will. Whereupon Augustine hauing to this very purpose recited the same Scrip­tureAug. de praedest. Sanctor. l. 1. c. 18 at large, saith, Quis haec aud [...]at diligenter, & intelligenter, & audeat de hac, quam defendimus, tam clara veritate dubitare? Who can heare these things diligently, and intelligently, and dare doubt of this so cleare a truth, which we defend? Now Gods will is the prime, absolute, and independent cause of his decree and act of predestinating vs to saluation. Yea, vo­luntas Aug. Sent. 58. Dei (saith Augustine) est prima & summa causa omnium corporalium, spiritualium (que) motionum. Nihil enim fit visibiliter & sensibil [...]ter, quod non de in [...]isibili & intelligibili summi Imperatoris [...]ula, aut inbeatur, aut permittatur, secundum ineffabilem iustitiam praemiorum, at (que) poenarum, gratiarum & retributionum, in ista to­tius creaturae amplissima quadam, vniuersa (que) republica: The will of God is the prime and supreme cause of all both corporall and spirituall motions. For nothing is done visibly and sensi­bly, which is not from the inuisible and intelligible Court of the supreme Emperour, eyther commanded or permitted, ac­cording to the vnutterable iustice of rewards and punish­ments, of fauours and retributions, in this kinde of spacious and vniuersall republique of the whole creature. And Ludo­uicus Viues noteth vpon St. Augustines words, Qui voluntatem Aug. de Ciuit. Dei, l. 9. c. 22. Voluntas Dei certissima, quàm potentis­sima est. Dei spectant, certissimam originem, è quae vniuersa profiscunt [...]r, spectant. Id (que) quoniam aliud non [...]it in mundo, quam quodea vult: They which looke vpon Gods will, doe looke vpon a most certaine cause or fountaine, from whence all things do flow. And that, because there is no other thing in the world, than what his wil willeth. This is according to that of the Apostle, saying, That God worketh all things after the counsell of his own will. The will of God then is the prime & supreme cause of all. And this will is in himselfe, and of himselfe alone; it depends not vpon any thing out of himselfe, [...] vpon the cre­ature, [Page 321] or the actions of men fore-seene, but it is in himselfe,Voluntas Dei intra se est, no extra se. Ephes. 1. 9. and not without himselfe, as Ephes. 1. 9. Hauing made knowne vnto vs the mysterie of his will, according to his good pleasure, which hee had purposed [...], in himselfe. Now this absolute inde­pendent will of God, is, as wee see, set out by sundry at­tributes: as, The Purpose of his will, the Counsell of his will, the good Pleasure of his will, vers. 5. 9. 11. By the Purpose ofVers. 11. his will, is set out Gods immutable determination: by the Counsell of his will, Gods vnsearchable wisedome: and by the good Pleasure of his will, his vnspeakable goodnesse, mer­cie, and free grace in the worke of ordaining man vnto salua­tion. So that the Counsell, and Purpose, and good Pleasure of Gods will in appointing vs vnto saluation, was not suggested into the minde and disposition of God, by the meanes of any eyther faith or workes in vs, which God fore-saw we would haue: but our faith and other good fruits of it are therefore in vs, because God according to the Counsell, Purpose, and good Pleasure of his owne will, did appoint vs vnto saluation. As Augustine saith excellently to this purpose: Fiunt electi, Aug. de praede [...]. Sanct. l. 1. c. 17. non qui eliguntur, quia crediderunt, sed qui eliguntur, vs credant. Hanc enim vocationem & Dominus ipse satis aperit, vbi dicit, Non vos me elegistis, sed ego elegi vos. Nam si propterea electi erant, quoniam crediderant, ipsi [...]um prius vti (que) elegerant credendo in eum, vt eligi mererentur. Aufert autem hoc omnino, qui dicit, Non vos me elegistis, sed ego vos elegi. Et ipsi quidem procul dubio elege­runt eum, quando crediderunt in eum: vnde, non ob aliud dicit, Non vos me elegistis, sed ego vos elegi; nisi quia non elegerunt [...]um, vt eligeret eos, sed vt eligerent eum, elegit eos: quia misericordia eius praeuenit eos, secundum gratiam, non secundum debitum. Elegit ergo eos de mundo, cum hic ageret in carne; sed iam electos in seipso, ante mundi constitutionem. Haec est immobilis veritas praedestina­tionis & gratiae: They are elect, not who are elected, because they beleeued, but who are elected, that they might beleeue. For this calling the Lord himselfe also doth sufficiently de­clare, where he saith. You haue not chosen mee, but I haueIohn 15. chosen you. For if they had been therefore elected, because they had beleeued, then they had chosen him first, by belee­uing [Page 322] in him, that they might merit to be chosen: but he doth altogether take away this, who saith, You haue not chosen me, but I haue chosen you. And indeed they certainly choose him, when they beleeue in him: whereupon, for no other cause he saith, You haue not chosen mee, but I haue chosen you: but because they chose not him, that he might choose them, but that they might choose him, he chose them: be­cause his mercy preuented them, according to grace, not ac­cording to debt. Therefore he chose them out of the world, when hee liued here in the flesh: but being already chosen in himselfe before the foundation of the world. This is that vn­moueable verity of predestination and grace. And a little af­ter, Elegit ergo Deus fideles, sed, vt sint, non quia iam erant: GodAug. ibid. therefore elected the faithfull, but, that they might be faith­full, not because they were [...]lready faithfull. And alledging that of St. Iames (Iames 2.) Hath not God chosen the poore in this world, that they might be rich in faith, and heires of the Kingdome, which he hath promised to them that loue him? He thereupon con­cludes: Eligendo ergo facit diuites in fide, sicut haeredes regni: Therefore by electing them he maketh them rich in faith, as also heires of the Kingdome. And before in the 16. Chapter, Ad hanc vocationem (electionis & propositi Dei) qui pertinent; omnes sunt doc [...]biles Dei; nec potesteorum quisquam dicere, credidi, vt sic vocarer: praeuenit eum quippe misericordia Dei, quia sic vo­catus est, vt crederet: Whosoeuer doe appertaine to this voca­tion (namely of Gods election and purpose) they are all taught of God; nor can any of them say, I beleeued, that therfore I should be so called: sith the mercy of God preuen­ted him, because he is so called, that he might beleeue. And lib. de Patientia. Christus non iustos, sed iustificandos elegit: Christ did not chuse those that were already iust, but those who were to be iustified. Thus wee see this holy man, following the word of Christ, concludes the Purpose, Counsell, and good Pleasure of Gods will, to be the prime, originall, absolute, in­dependent cause of mans saluation. As hee saith elsewhere: Praedestinatio est praeparatio gratiae, gratia autem est ipsa donatio, seu praedestinationis effectus: Predestination is the preparation [Page 323] of grace, and grace is the gift it selfe, or the effect of prede­stination.Aug▪ Enchiri [...] cap. 94. 95. 99▪ tom. 3. And in his Enchiridion: Vnum ex paruulis eligendi, [...]lterum relinquendi causa vna erat, Dei voluntas: cuius enim vult, miseretur Deus, & quem vult, obdurat. Miseretur scilicet magna bonitate, obdurat nulla iniquitate, vt nec liberatus de suis meritis glorietur, nec damnatus, nisi de suis meritis conqueratur. Sola enim gratia redemptos discerit à perditis, quos in vnam perditionis concreuer at massam ab origine ducta causa communis. Et, nisi per indebitam misericordiam nemo liberatur; & nisi per debitum iudi­cium nemo damnatur: There was one and the same cause ofRom. 9. electing the one, and leauing the other of the children (to wit, Iacob and Esau) euen the will of God: for God hath mercy vpon whom he will, and whom he will, he hardeneth. Hee sheweth mercy out of his great bounty, hee hardeneth without any iniustice, that neyther hee that is freed, might glory of his owne merits, nor hee that is condemned, might complaine but of his owne demerits. For it is onely grace which separateth the redeemed from the condemned, whom the common cause, deriued from the originall, had confoun­ded altogether in one masse of perdition. And, but by vndue and vndeserued mercy, none is deliuered; and but by due and deserued iudgement, none is condemned. Thus this holy man. So that whatsoeuer exceptions or obiections, cauils or ca­lumnies, eyther the malicious or ignorant enemies of this truth take vp against it, as blaming God for an accepter of persons, in preferring one wicked man before another, being all naught, without exception or difference, in Adams corrupt loynes; they doe but shoote their arrowes against the Sunne: or as that famous Naturalist Aristotle, who would desperately drowne himselfe in that Septemfluous Sea of Euripus, for spight that hee could not finde out a reason for the ebbing and flowing of it. Or it is, as the Apostle vseth a familiar comparison, as if the Pot should expostulate with the Potter, and demand a reason why he made it such and such. The rea­son of Gods will is a mysterie, as the Apostle sheweth; the effects whereof, are made knowne vnto vs, but the primeEphes. 1. 9. cause locked vp in Gods owne brest. To prye into this Ar­canum, [Page 324] or secret, what is it, but with the Bethshemites to peepe into Gods Arke, and so to perish by a fearfull plague? Can Emperours and Commanders in any Armie haue their wils presently obeyed▪ and put in execution, without deman­ding a reason of them? nay, can that great mysterie of ini­quity impose vpon their disciples blinde obedience vnto their most damnable and diabolicall designes, proceeding from that Dragons will, which animateth the Beast, a reason whereof to demand, were as dangerous to the party deman­ding, as hee by the execution of the command might proue dangerous to others▪ and cannot God haue his will absolute and free to himselfe, though it be most iust, wise, and perfect­ly good, but the vilest▪ and [...]a [...]est of men dare affront it, and eyther call God to an account for a reason, why hee so wil­leth, or else they must conclude, that their owne wils, for the goodnesse of them, must bee the reason and cause mouing God so to will? Yet if they will needes haue a reason of this supreme will of God, whereof wee speake, let them know, God so willeth, because it is his good pleasure. If that will not satisfie thee, because I relate it, heare the Apostle. He ha­uingRom. 9. said, Hee hath mercy on whom hee will, and whom hee will, hee hardeneth▪ and thou replying, Why then doth God yet complaine? for who hath resisted his will? But O man (saith he) who ari th [...]i [...] that replyest against God? Whereupon St. Augustine saith: Ta­libus Aug. Epist. 105. [...] to compres­ [...]yter [...]. dicamus cum Apostolo (non enim melius illo [...] possu­mus, quid dicamus) O hom [...] ▪ tu quis es, qui responde as Deo? Quae­rimus nam (que) meritum obdurationis, & inuenimus. Merito nam (que) peccati vniuersa massa damnata est; nec obdurat Deus impertiendo malitiam, sed non impertiendo misericordiam. Quaerimus autem meritum misericordiae, & non inuenimus, quia nullum est, ne gratia [...], s [...]n [...]n gratis donatur, sed meritis redditur: To such re­plyers let vs say with the Apostle (for we cannot finde what to say better) O man, who art thou, that replyest against God? for wee enquire for the merit of obduration, and wee finde it. For by the merit of sinne the whole masse is con­demned; nor doth God harden by in [...]using of malice, but by not imparting of mercy. But wee enquire for the merit of [Page 325] mercy, and we find it not; because it is not at all, lest grace be made voide, if it be not giuen of gratuity, but rendred of dutie. And to conclude this point with S. Augustine in a word,Aug. de b [...]n [...] perseuerant▪ cap. 12. t [...]m. 7. [...]on [...]icitur ita (que) gratiam Dei non secundum merita accipientium dari, sed secundum placitum voluntatis eius, in laudem & gloriam ipsius gratiae eius, vt qui gloriatur, [...]llo modo in seipso, sed in Do­mino glorietur: qui hominibus dat, quibus vult, quoniam misericors est; quod & si non det, iustus est: & non dat, quibus non vult, vt notas faciat diuitias gloriae suae in vasa misericordiae. Dando enim quibusdam, quòd non merentur, profectò gratuitam, & per hoc ve­ram suam gratiam esse voluit. Non omnibus dando, quid omnes merentur, ostendit. Bonus in beneficio certorum, iustus in supplici [...] caeterorum: We conclude therefore, that the grace of God is giuen not according to the merits of the receiuers, but ac­cording to the good pleasure of his will, vnto the praise and glory of his grace, that he that glorieth, should by no means glory in himselfe, but in the Lord: which giueth to men, to whom he will, because he is mercifull; which if hee doe not giue, he is iust: and he giueth not to whom he will not, that hee may make knowne the riches of his glory, vpon the ves­sels of mercy. For by giuing to some that which they merit not, it is that he would haue his grace to be free, and so to be grace indeed. And by not giuing to all, he sheweth what all doe deserue. So he is good in pardoning some, iust in puni­shing the rest. Like vnto a creditor, who hauing sundry debtors, deepely and indifferently engaged vnto him, it is in his free power and choice which of them hee will freely acquite, and of which hee will iustly require his owne.

Now to shut vp this point of the definition, which is that, whereon all the rest depends, we finde in the Scriptures, that there is no one part of the gracious mysterie of mans salua­tion, but it is expresly and particularly referred to the will and good pleasure of God, as the prime and supreme cause of all: That the Sonne of God, Iesus Christ, came into the world; to1. take our nature vpon him, to be incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and to become our Mediatour, and to accomplish the worke [Page 326] of mans saluation, it is wholly and in euery part ascribed to the will and good pleasure of God. How often doth Christ himselfe say in the Gospell, I came downe from Heauen not to doe mine owne will, but the will of him that sent mee? Ioh. 6. 38. It Col. 1. 19. pleased the Father, that in him should all fulnesse dwell, and (hauing made peace through the bloud of his Crosse) by him to reconcile all things vnto himselfe, &c. His death and passion, were the fruits of Gods will and good pleasure, Esa. 53 10. It pleased the Lord to bruise him, he hath put him to griefe; when thou shalt make his soule an offering for sinne, &c. and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. His preaching here on the earth, and re­uealing the mysterie of God vnto Babes, was from his Fathers good will: Euen so Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight, Mat. 11. 26. I hope they will not deny or question any of this, as by pretending any merit in vs, to precede or procure as a motiue, from God, any part of this grace of Redemption. And yet I know not what they meane, when they ascribe to the Virgin Mary a merit at least Ex congruo, why shee should be the Mother of God.

That we should be saued by such a means as the preaching2. of the Gospell, which is Christ crucified (a meanes con­temptible in the eyes of the world) it is Gods good pleasure. It pleased God by the foolishnesse of preaching, to saue them that beleeue, 1. Cor. 1. 21. The whole administration of the Word of God, is according to his owne will, Heb. 2. 4. Our regene­ration,Iohn 1. 13. is not according to the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God. And Iames 1. 18. Of his owne will beg ate he vs, by the Word of truth, that wee should be a kinde of first-fruits of his creatures. So also our saluation. 1. Thes. 4. 3. This is the will of God, euen your sanctification. It is hee that worketh in vs both to will and to doe, of his good pleasure, Phil. 2. 13. The perse­uerance of Gods Saints and Elect in the state of grace, vntill they come to full glory, is the will of God. Iohn 6. 39. This is And who hath risisted his wil? the Fathers will, which hath sent me, that of all, which he hath giuen me, I should lose nothing▪ but should raise it vp againe at the last day. And Mat. 18. 14. It is not your Fathers will, that one of these little ones should perish. That we inherit eternall life, it is Gods good [Page 327] pleasure. Luke 12. 32. Feare not, little flocke, for it is your Fa­thers good pleasure to giue you the Kingdome. So also, Iohn 6. 40. It is the will of the Father to giue vs eternall life. The Scrip­tures abound in setting forth the glory of Gods will and good pleasure herein. Admirable is the wisedome and counsell of God, that hee hath in the holy Scriptures so punctually and particularly pointed out vnto vs the pleasure of his will, ta­king place in euery part and passage of the worke of our Re­demption, as altogether depending vpon that prime, inde­pendent, eternall will, and good pleasure of God, in his free purpose and appointment of vs vnto eternall life. Let all ad­uersaries here stop their mouthes, and be couered with con­fusion of face, that goe about to robbe God of this his great glory, while they would haue Gods electing of vs, to depend vpon the free-will and work of man, and Gods will and plea­sure to bee no more but a consequence of their wils; which qualities and actions in them, God fore-seeing from all eter­nity (say they) did thereupon will, that such should be saued; according as he saw they would both receiue grace offered, and retaine the same vnto the end. And this they will haue to be the very substance, and whole contents of the Gospell. O for a Gagge for this new Gospell! Nay, no Gospell, but it is the old spell of the Serpent; which subtile though it were, yet it is foolishnesse with God. Ye shall be as Gods, knowing good Genes. 3. and euill. That is, as some learned Interpreters note vpon it, the Serpent would perswade mankinde (as indeede he did) that hee should not neede any further Gods wisedome and counsell for direction; themselues should bee thenceforth [...], selfe-wise sufficient, yea euen as Gods, knowing all things. And Salomon saith, Hee that is selfe-wise, is a foole, yea a foole of all fooles. Well, yet this Doctrine of the Ser­pent did not directly (though by consequence it did) exalt man aboue God, but onely seemed to place him in an equall ranke with him. But this Doctrine, built vpon that founda­tion of the Serpent, is now erected so high, as it surmounts the Throne of God. Now must God become inferiour to his creature, his Souereigne will must daunce attendance at the [Page 328] doore of mans will. Onely they haue left God his bare pre­science, as if he were no better than a poore Prognosticator, or Fortune-teller. And yet if this hellish and blasphemous doctrine were to bee found onely amongst those ancient He­retiques, the Pelagians, or among their successors, the Ponti­ficians, it were but dignum patella operculum; no maruaile, if they that are of their Father the Deuill, doe the workes of their Father. The Lord Christ keepe out, or whippe out this dotage, yea this doctrine of Deuils, out of his Schoole. Let such vncleane Birds neuer nestle or roost in Christian Nurceries. But passe wee to the next point in the definition.

From the perennious and pure fountaine of Gods will and pleasure, doe flow all the riuers of the waters of life towards the creature: as first in Gods eternall electing out of the cor­rupt masse of mankinde, a certaine number of men. This e­lection of God, is the prime and proper act of his good plea­sure and will. As Ephes. 1. 4. 15. Verses. So Deut. 7. 6. 7. 8. Vers. where we haue a type of his election in the children of Israel, flowing from the free loue and fauour of God. But this re­flecteth vpon that before, sufficiently confirming this. Againe, this election is of a certaine number of men. I say, of a cer­taine number, not of all, as some absurdly affirme, which is against the nature of an election. For, Electio est aliquorum, non omnium: Election is of some, not of all; as the word it selfe also importeth, signifying to gather out from among others. Againe, a certaine number, and definite; not vncertaine, and indefinite, as the Pontificians teach. The number of the E­lect of God is a certaine and fixed number: Hereupon Augu­stine saith; Qui praedestinati sunt in Regnum Dei, eorum ita cer­tus Aug. de correp. & grat. cap. 13. est numerus, vt nec addatur eis quisquam, nec minuatur ex eis: The number of them that are predestinate vnto the King­dome of God, is so certaine, that neyther any can bee added vnto them, nor diminished of them. This is according to the truth of God▪ 2. Tim. 2. 19. The foundation of God stands sure, hauing this seale, The Lord knoweth who are his. If the Lord know who are his, hee knoweth how many are his; and if how many, there is a certaine number of them, else the Lords [Page 329] knowledge were vncertaine. Christ saith also, I know mine, and am knowne of mine: yea, he calleth his owne sheepe by name. Christ knoweth the certaine number of sheepe, that belong vnto his fold. And their names are inrolled in Hea­uen. Heb. 12. 23. And Christ saith, few are chosen in com­parison of the residue. And, Pauperis est numerare pecus: Christ the Shepheard can easily number his little flocke. Yea, hee that numbereth our haires, doth he not number the persons of his elect? Therefore the seruants of God are sealed in their fore-heads, and the number of them is set downe, of all the Tribes of Israel, Reuel. 7. Indeed in the 9. Verse, a great mul­titude did Iohn see, which no Man could number. But they are certaine with God. So the number of Gods elect is cer­taine, as certaine to God, as the number of the Starres ofPsal. 147. 4. 5. Heauen, which God calleth all by their names. So great is the Lord, so great his power, and his vnderstanding in­finite.

Obiect. But it may be obiected, that election appertaineth to all indifferently, as being left to euery ones choice. For the Scripture saith, that God would haue all men to be saued, as 1. Tim. 2. 4. and Rom. 11. 33. God hath shut vp all in vnbe­liefe,Aug. de correp▪ & grat. cap. 1▪ that hee might haue mercy vpon all. But these places proue not that Gods election belongeth to all, for then the Scripture should bee opposite to it selfe, which saith else­where, That few are chosen. But as St. Augustine well noteth, this All is simply meant of all the Elect. As he saith, Omnes [...]ommes vult saluos fieri, vt intelligantur omnes praedestinati, quia omne genus hominum in eis est: sicut dictum est Pharisaeis, Decima­tis omne olus (Luc. 11. 42.) vbi non intelligendum est, nisi omne quod habebant: that is, God would haue all men to bee saued, meaning all the predestinate, because in them is all sorts of men: as it was said to the Pharisees, Yee tithe all kinde of herbes; where we are not to vnderstand but all that they had. As also St. Ambrose saith, Quamuis magna pars hominum Sal­uantis Ambros. de v [...] cat. Gent. lib. [...] gratiam repellat, aut negligat, in electi [...] tamen & praesoitis, at (que) ab Omnium generalitate discretis, specialis quaedam c [...]nsetur vniuersitas. Pro parte mundi, totus mundus; & pro parte homi­num, [Page 330] omnes homines nomin [...]ntur: Although a great part of men reiect, or neglect the grace of the Sauiour, yet a certaine spe­ciall vniuersality is accounted in those that are elect, and fore-knowne, and separated from the generality of All. For a part of the world, the whole world; and for a part of men, all men are named.

Next, this certaine number is elected out of the corrupt masse of mankinde, all corrupt in Adams loynes, after his fall. Therefore, the elect are called vessels of mercy; and mercy implyes misery. Hence the Apostle, very aptly com­pares the corrupt masse of mankinde to a lumpe of Potters clay; and clay is nothing but dirt. Also an example of Gods election we haue in Iacob and Esau, in the same place, Rom. 9. which two, are set out as types of all mankinde; Iacob of the Elect, and Esau of the Reprobate. Now to what time or con­dition, had Gods act or purpose of separating these two, one from the other, speciall reference? Namely, while they were yet vnborne, and before they had done good or euill, that the purpose of God, according to election, might stand, not of workes, but of him that calleth; it was said vnto her, The elder shall serue the younger; Iacob haue I loued, but Esau haue I hated. So that God did in his eternall purpose elect Iacob, and reiect Esau in their Mothers wombe, before they had actually done good or euill; but not before they had both of them a­like contracted the corruption of originall sinne in their Mothers wombe. Hence it is, that presently after mans fall, Gen. 3. the Lord God first reuealeth the mysterie of his will, in his eternall purpose towards mankinde, in putting an en­mity betweene the Serpents seed, and the Womans seed, both Angels and Men. The Serpents seede are the Reprobate, a ge­neration of Vipers, of their Father the Deuill: The Womans seede there, are the Elect: first Christ, and in him all the E­lect, who are blessed in him, and who, with Christ, are at con­tinuall enmity with the Serpent and his seede, Michael and his Angels, fighting against the Dragon and his Angels, the bond-womans sonne persecuting the free-womans sonne in an allegory, Gal. 4. Thus Gods election had a speciall refe­rence [Page 331] to the corrupt masse, out of which he chose vs to sal­uation. So Ezech. 16. Abraham, the Father of the faithfull, for his natiuity and birth, was an idolatrous Amorite. Ieru­salem, the type of Gods Elect, was chosen in her bloud, ver. 5. as the Lord saith, None eye pitied thee, but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast borne; and when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine owne bloud, I said vnto thee, when thou wast in thy bloud, Liue: yea, I said vnto thee, when thou wast in thy bloud▪ Liue.

Now this election of God, in choosing out of the co [...] masse and lumpe of mankinde, such as shall be saued, doth necessarily imply, that this election is of his free grace, as is expressed in the definition: which is a point worthy our spe­ciall consideration, although indeed, this free grace of God, is the very life-bloud (as it were) which [...]unneth through the whole body, and filleth euery veine of the definition. It is called an election of grace, Rom. 11. 5. To this grace it is, that the Apostle ( [...]auished with the admiration of Gods incom­prehensible loue, & breaking forth into a gratefull acclamati­on and benediction of God for it, as if now hee had but [...]ly come forth▪ or were still in his rapture in the third Heauen) referreth and ascribeth the whole worke of our saluation, To the praise of the glory of his grace (saith he) wherein he hath made vs accepted in the Beloued, Ephes. 1. 6▪ And in the seuenth Verse, In whom we haue redemption through his bloud, the forgiuenesse of sinnes, according to the riches of his grace. And Chapt. [...]. 4. &c. God who is rich in mercy, for his great loue, wherewith hee loued vs, euen when we were dead in sinnes, hath quickned vs together with Christ (by grace ye are saued) and hath raised vs vp together, &c. That in the ages to come, he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindnesse towards vs, through Christ Iesus. What greater loue, what greater grace, what richer mercy, tha [...] for God to cast his eye of fauour vpon vs, euen when we were dead in [...]es? As the Apostle saith also, Rom. 5. 8▪ God c [...] ­mendeth his loue towards vs, in that while we were yet sinners, when we were enemies, Christ dyed for vs. And in the vulgar Latine, [Page 322] set forth by the Dinines of Louain, printed at Antwerpe, 1584. in the fourth to the Romanes, Verse 5. wee finde these words in the Text, Ei verò qui non operatur, credenti autem in eum; qui iustificat impium, reputatur fides eius ad iustitiam, secun­dum propositum gratiae Dei: Now to him that worketh not, but beleeueth in him, that iustifieth the vngodly, his faith is recko­ned for righteousness, * according to the purpose of the graceSecundum opositum grae­ [...] Dei. of God. Now these last words are not in our vulgar transla­tions, nor in most Greeke Copies; but the Louain Doctors haue noted in the margent, that they are found in some Ma­nuscripts, and Greeke Copies. And it were to be wished, that they had added no worse than this into that their translation; for it is but that, wch is the generall Doctrine of the Gospell of Christ. For the preaching of the Gospel, what is it, but a beame of this grace of God shining vpon sinners? as Tit. 2. 11. The grace of God, that bringeth saluation, hath appeared vnto all men. And the Gospel, is the Gospel of the grace of God, Act. 20. 24. And the Word of God, is the word of his grace, vers. 32. And Acts 14. 3. Yea, we finde the very same words in the Apostle, 2. Tim. 1. 9. Who hath saued vs, and called vs with an holy calling, not according to our workes, but (marke) according to his owne purpose and grace, which was giuen vs in Christ Iesus, before the world began; but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saui­our Iesus Christ, &c. So that the ground of our saluation by Ie­sus Christ, is the meere grace of God; by this grace we are sa­ued, by this grace we come to inherit eternall life: for eternall life is of the grace of God, it is [...], the free gift of his grace, And wee are heires of the grace of life, 1. Pet. 3. 7. The Apostle Paul was so in loue with this grace, that all his Epistles are perfumed throughout, as it were with this pre­cious oyntment. Hee nameth it not so little as a hundreth times. The salutation of each Epistle hath grace in it: yea, the Apostle sets it as his marke at the end of euery Epistle, and would haue all his Epistles knowne by that marke to bee his. As hee sai [...]h, 2. Thes. 3. [...]7▪ 18. The salutation of Paul with mine owne ha [...], which is the [...]oke [...] [...]n euery Epistle, so I write, The grace of our Lord Iesus Christ bee with you all. So that besides o­ther [Page 333] probable arguments, I finding this marke at the end of the Epistle to the Hebrewes, I conclude it to bee Pauls Epistle. No one Apostle ends his Epistle with the prayer and wishing of grace, but onely Paul. Indeede the R [...] ­lation endeth so: The grace of our Lord Iesus Christ be with you all, Amen.

Thus Gods gracious eternall purpose, in electing to salua­tion such, as in his speciall fauour hee was pleased to fore­know, being the prime and originall cause, whereon depends the whole frame of our effectuall saluation▪ it teacheth vs a maine difference between the first Couenant, and the second. The first Couenant was made with the first Adam in Para­dise, which indeed did meerly depend vpon mans [...]i [...]l▪ to keep it, or to break it▪ Doe this, and thou shalt liue. This w [...] that first Couenant; which, Man failing to keep, & so forfeiting his estate, God now makes a second Couenant in the second A­dam, which he will not (as he did in the first) hazzard vpon mans will or ability in the keeping of it; Gods wisdome we [...]l weighing, that if Adam in his perfection so easily and quickly brake the first Couenant, though hee had both will and power to keepe it: how much more man now, corrupt and weake, would neuer bee able to keepe the second Couenant. And therefore to make sure worke, God takes a contrary course in the second Couenant; which, that it may for euer stand firme and immutable, hee hath established it vpon the sure foundation of his owne good pleasure and will, wherein is no shadow of change.

Well, the conclusion is, Gods free grace and fauour is the ground of our election, it is the foundation, whereon depends our whole saluation; wee are elected, wee are saued, all by grace, according to his purpose and grace. This grace of God, the Pontifician Church cannot away withall, as being an ene­my to all their Doctrine. And therfore the Councell of Trent hath excluded, yea and condemned the grace of God, as the sole efficient cause of saluation▪ for S [...]s. 6. Can. 11. the words be, Si quis dixerit, &c. gratiam, qua iustificamur, esse tantum fauo­rem Dei: anathema sit: that is, If any shall say, that the grace, [Page 324] whereby we are iustified, is onely the fauour of God: let him be Anathema, or accursed. If Romes Curse were of force, then wofull were the case of St. Paul, that doth so often & mightily magnifie the grace of God in our iustification; yea, the only grace and fauour of God, excluding workes, as not hauing the least share with Gods grace therein. Nay, the whole Word of God, which is the Word of his grace, and the Gospell of his grace, must fall vnder Romes Curse. Howsoeuer the equiuo­cating Romanists would foyst and shuffle in their workes, by the name of grace: by which indeed they destroy and ouer­throw the grace of God.

Obiect. But say some, It is sufficient that wee grant, that Gods grace doth manifest it selfe in prouiding for vs, and of­fering vnto vs meanes, whereby we may be saued, without which meanes, because we cannot be saued, therefore we are said to be saued by the grace of God.

Answ. Is that sufficient? O enemies of the grace of God, and of your owne saluation! Will you so limit Gods grace? Will ye so eclipse the glory of his grace, as to confine it with­in such narrow bounds? Indeede great, and infinitely great was Gods loue, in so louing the world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne▪ that all that beleeue in him, should not perish, but haue life euerlasting. But did his gift depend vpon mans acceptance, that it might be effectuall if man would, other­wise not? Then, as Esay saith, Who hath beleeued our report? Had not then this great loue of God beene vtterly lost? Had not this gift beene such, as no man would receiue it? For what saith the Scripture? All haue sinned, and [...] comeRom. 3. 23. short of the glory of God. The naturall man [...] percei­ueth not, receiueth not this gift: it is farre aboue out of his reach. He may say, Who shall fetch Christ from aboue, that I may haue him within my reach? What reach? The Deuill had him within his reach, when he carryed him vp to a high mountaine. But thou wilt say, God reacheth out Christ vnto thee in his Word. The Word is neare thee. True. But where is thy hand to put forth to receiue him? Thy hand must bee a liuely faith: for to beleeue in Christ, is to receiue him as [Page 335] Gods gift. But faith also is the speciall gift of God. There­fore, saith the Apostle, By grace are ye saued, through faith; and not of your selues, it is the gift of God. Now herein doth the glory of Gods grace shine forth, and gloriously display it selfe, that he hath not only in his rich mercy prouided vs the means of saluation, making tender of it vnto vs in his Word; but hee effectually also giueth it vnto vs, giuing vs a minde and meanes to receiue it. As St. Iohn saith, Hee hath giuen vs a 1. Ioh. 5. 20. Iohn 6. 44. minde, to know him that is true. And Christ, No man can come vn­to mee, except the Father, which hath sent mee, draw him. And a­gaine, No man knoweth the Father, but the Sonne, and he to whom Matth. 11. 27. the Sonne will reueale him. And (Matth. 16. 17.) Peter hauing confessed Christ to be the Sonne of the liuing God, Christ answered him, Blessed art thou Simon Bar-Iona: for flesh and bloud hath not reuealed this vnto thee, but my Father which is in Heauen. As the Apostle also, 1. Cor. 12. 3. No man can say, that Iesus is Christ, but by the holy Ghost: that is, No man can truly acknowledge him to be his Christ, but by the holy Ghost. O­therwise, the very Deuill, seeing his miracles, & feeling his power euen ouer them, confessed, saying, I know who thou art, Luk. 4. 34. & 41. the holy one of God: and, Thou art Christ the Sonne of God. Yet the Deuill did not this by the holy Ghost; nor was it by any power of Gods grace. But herein stands that grace of God: first, in choosing vs freely of his meere loue and mercy; not fore-seeing vs to be good, but finding vs to be euill, shut vp in vnbeleese, that he might haue mercy vpon vs. Secondly, not only in prouiding and offering meanes of grace, but also in effectuall giuing and bestowing grace vpon all those whom he hath chosen, giuing them grace to receiue grace, that of his fulnesse we might all receiue, and grace for grace; as it fol­loweth in the definition.

Now as God out of his meere loue, grace, and fauour, did from all eternity elect and appoint a certaine number of men, fallen in Adam, vnto saluation: So for the effecting of this his eternall purpose in time, hee did also appoint the meanes, whereby hee would bring those vnto the end of their saluati­on. The meanes is twofold: First, the only absolute meanes, [Page 336] which is Iesus Christ: Secondly, an inferiour and conditio­nall means, whereby we are made capable to receiue Christ, with all his benefits. First then, Christ is that only all-suffici­ent and absolute meanes, whereby God would effectually worke saluation vnto vs; vpon, and to whom the eye of his grace principally and immediately reflecteth, in his electing of vs. So Eph. 1. 4. He chose vs in him, and Ephes. 3. 11. according to the eternall purpose, which he purposed in Christ Iesus our Lord. Now there is no other name vnder Heauen, giuen amongActs 4. 12. men, whereby we must be saued; neyther is there saluation in any other. And, other foundation can no man lay, than that which is laid, Iesus Christ, 1. Cor. 3. 11. Iesus Christ, God-man, is the Centre, in whom all the lines of Gods loue and mercy to mankinde doe meete. Thus are wee chosen in him, before the foundation of the world, Ephes. 1. 4. Thus are we blessed with all spirituall blessings in heauenly places, in Christ, ver. 3. Thus are wee predestinated vnto the adoption of children by Iesus Christ, vers, [...]. Thus hath God made vs accepted in the Beloued; to wit, Iesus Christ, in whom the Father is well pleased, vers. 6. Thus haue we redemption through his bloud, euen the forgiuenesse of sinnes, according to the riches of his grace, vers. 7. Thus in the dispensation of the fulnesse of time, God doth gather in one all things in Christ, both which are in heauen, and which are in earth, euen In him, vers. 10. Thus in him we haue obtained an inheritance, to which wee are predestinated, vers. 11. Thus in him beleeuing, we are sealed with the holy Spirit of promise. Now in that God did of his meere grace elect vs vnto saluation, therein appeareth the wonderfull mercy and loue of God towards vs: in that hee made choice of his owne Sonne to bee the onely soueraigne meanes of this our saluation, therein▪ appeareth also the infi­nite wisedome of God, to seale vp, and to reueale vnto vs his incomprehensible loue. Thus is Christ called the power of God, and the wisedome of God. In him are hid all the trea­sures of Gods wisdome. This is that deepnesse of the riches of the wisdome & knowledge of God, wherein the Apostles ad­miration was swallowed vp, and where with the blessed An­gels [Page 337] themselues were transported with rauishment, Luke 2.Rom. 11. 33. 13 14. This wisedome of God in Christ, God-man, all the Deuils could not, for all their subtilty, comprehend▪ neyther can all the wisedome of flesh and bloud conceiue it: it is foo­lishnesse to the Gentile, and a stumbling blocke to the Iow. Who can conceiue, that the Sonne of God could suffer, and dye? Yet this did Iesus Christ in that Hypostaticall vnion of his two natures. Who can conceiue, that a man should fully satisfie the iustice of God for the sinnes of the world? And yet this did the man Iesus Christ; that▪ one Mediator be­tweene God and Man, the Man Iesus Christ, saith the Apostle, 1. Tim. 2. 5. Nothing but the precious bloud of God, could reconcile vs to God, in appeasing his iustice towards vs: no­thingActs 20. 28. but the bloud of God, could purchase for vs the fauour of God, and eternall life. So that in Iesus Christ is reuealed vnto vs, [...], the manifold wisedome of God, as the Apostle speaketh, Ephes. 3. 10. In him alone, and none but him, is the Father well pleased with vs. So is Christ the only soueraigne absolute meanes, in whom as wee are ele­cted, so we are also saued.

Yet to the end, that all the elect might be made effectually partakers of the loue and fauour of God in Christ, the wise­dome of God hath also ordained subordinate, conditionall, and ordinary meanes, whereby we should receiue Christ for ours. These meanes are the Word of God preached, where­by faith is begotten in vs, through the operation of Gods Spi­rit, and the holy Sacraments administred, whereby our faith in Christ is sealed and confirmed in vs. By this faith it is, that we lay hold vpon Christ, wherby he is made ours, and we made his, being mystically vnited vnto him, & so in him adop­ted the Sonnes of God by grace, as we shewed at large before. Now I call these ordinary & conditionall means, not simply absolute, as Christ is; because although by the meanes of these, to wit▪ the Word and Sacraments, men are ordinarily brought vnto saluation in Christ: namely those, who come to be made capable of the ordinary means; yet in case any of the elect cannot come to the vse of the ordinary meanes, as In­fants [Page 338] dying before Baptisme, and many Children dying before they come to heare the Word of God; and so actually, in re­gard of the ordinary meanes to beleeue God, being an abso­lute and free agent, that can worke aboue meanes, and with­out meanes, aboue all that we can thinke (as saith the Apo­stle) is not so bound to the ordinary conditionall meanes, but that hee can, and doth without them saue all those that be­long to the Couenant of grace, elected in Iesus Christ, the onely absolute meanes.

Againe, I call the Word and Sacraments conditionall meanes, because, though they bee not so absolute so to tye God, as if he could not saue vs without them; yet they be so conditionall, as we may not looke to be saued, but by them, if God doe giue vs opportunity to vse them, and make vs ca­pable of them: For God did no lesse ordaine these ordinary meanes, whereby wee should come ordinarily to receiue Christ; than he did ordaine Christ himselfe, the onely abso­lute meanes whereby we must be saued. Hence it is, that St. Augustine, according to his manner, saith excellently: Tunc Aug. de praedest. Sanct. lib. 9. voluisse hominibus apparere Christum, & apud eos praedicari doctri­nam suam, quando sciebat, & vbi sciebat esse, qui in eum fuerant credituri; quod posset sic dici, Quando sciebat, & vbi sciebat esse, qui electi fuerant in ipso ante mundi constitutionem: Then was Christ willing to haue himselfe made manifest vnto men, and his doctrine to be preached among them, when he knew, and where he knew there were such, as should beleeue in him; which may be thus explained, When he knew, and where he knew those were, who had been elected in him before the foundation of the world. So that Christ hath appeared, his Gospell is preached, principally for no other end, but to ma­nifest Gods glory in the sauing of his elect. So it is an infal­lible marke; wheresoeuer God sends the meanes of saluation in the preaching of his Word, there is some of his elect to be called, and saued. Hence it is, that the holy Ghost giueth spe­ciall direction and commission to preach in such and such places onely, for the time: namely, where his elect were. Thus was Philip commanded to goe preach to the Euruch, Acts 8. [Page 339] So Peter to Cornelius, Acts 10. The Apostles are inhibited to preach the Word in Asia; for the time was not yet come, Acts 16. 6. They were restrained also by the same▪ Spirit of God, from preaching in Bithynia, vers. 7. So that this was a signe, that as yet God had no people ready for his Word in those places. As the Lord himselfe renders the reason why he will haue Paul to continue in Corinth, and to preach the Word boldly against all opposition; For (saith the Lord) I haue much people in this City, and I am with thee, to pre­serue thee from all enemies, Acts 18. 10. So Christ was not sent, but to the lost Sheepe of the house of Israel, to those whom his Father had giuen him out of the world: for who were they that beleeued, but so many as were ordained to eternall life? Acts 13. 48. Againe, as Gods wisedome did or­daine these ordinary and conditionall meanes, whereby his elect should be made effectually partakers of Christ, in whom they are elected: So in the last place, by the grace of Christ, in the vse of these meanes, wee are sanctified and made con­formable to Christ, to walke in him, euen as he hath walked, in all holy obedience. For as God in Christ did elect and or­daine vs to the end, which is to be saued; so also he hath or­dained vs to all the meanes tending to this end: which means are in no sort, to bee seuered from Gods eternall purpose in sauing vs: for as he did before all time appoint vs vnto salua­tion in his Sonne; so before all time he did appoint the man­ner, and meanes, and way, wherein we must walke vnto the end of our saluation: as it is said in the definition, Euen vnto the end; that is, till wee come to the end of our Christian race, to receiue the end of our faith, the saluation of our soules.

This end is that very thing, to which we are ordained and elected in Christ. As by grace we are elected vnto grace, so also to perseuere in grace vnto glory: For the foundation of God stands sure, and hath the seale, The Lord knoweth who are his. Now hath God laid a foundation, and shall not he finish? No, he is the wise builder. Whom he loueth, he loueth to the end. As it is said of Christ, Hauing loued his owne▪ that is,Iohn 13. 1▪ [Page 340] from euerlasting: he loued them vnto the end; that is, to e­uerlasting. For the gifts and calling of God are without re­pentance:Rom. 11. 29. It is not possible for the elect to be deceiued; that is, seduced from Christ, Matth. 24. 24. Doth any fall away, and apostatize from the truth? It is not from the grace of Christ that they fall; for they neuer had it: but they fall away from that temporary profession of faith and conuersation, wherein for a time they continued. So St. Iohn, speaking of [...]. Ioh. 2. 19. Apostataes, and reuolted Antichristians, saith, They went out from vs, but they were not of vs; for had they beene of vs, they would no doubt haue continued with vs: but they went out, that they might be made manifest▪ that they were not all of vs. WhereuponAug. de correp. & grat. cap. 12. Augustine saith; Nec nos moueat, quod Filijs suis quibusdam Deus non dat istam perseuerantiam. Sunt enim quidam, qui Filij Dei propter susceptam vel temporal [...]ter gratiam, dicuntur à nobis, nec sunt tamen Deo. De quibus Iohannes, Ex nobis exierunt, sed non erant ex nobis. Non erant ex numero Fil [...]orum, & quando erant in fide Fil [...]orum. Non enim perit Filius promissionis, sed Filius perdi­tionis. Fuerunt isti ex multitudine vocatorum, non ex paucitate electorum: Nor let it moue vs (saith hee) that God doth not giue this perseuerance to some of his Sonnes. For there are some, who because of a temporary grace receiued are called of vs the Sonnes of God, and yet with God they are not so. Of whom Iohn speaketh, They went out from vs, but they were not of vs. They were not of the number of Sonnes, no not when they were in the faith of Sonnes. For the Sonne of promise perisheth not, but the Sonne of perdition. Those were of the multitude of the called, not of the small number of the elect.

But here it may be obiected, that St. Augustine confesseth,Obiect. that those that fell away, were once in the true faith; and therefore, a man may fall away from true faith, and conse­quently from grace finally and totally. But Saint AugustineAnsw. cleareth this in many places of his Bookes, shewing, that a man cannot fall away from the faith of the elect. As Fides Christi, fides gratiae Christianae [...]; id est, ea fides quae per dilectionem Aug. de fide & operib. cap. 16. [...]on [...]. 4. operatur, posita in fundamento, neminem per [...]e permittit: The [Page 341] faith of Christ, the faith of Christian grace; to wit, that faith which worketh by loue, being built vpon the foundation, per­mitteth none to perish. And therefore where hee speakes of such as were once in the faith, and fall from it, hee meaneth not the proper faith of the Elect, but the common faith of Christians. As he also saith, Appellamus nos & electos Christi Aug. de correp. & grat. cap. 9. Discipulos, & Dei Filios, quia sic appellandi sunt, quos regeneratos pi [...] viuere cernimus: We doe call men euen the elect Disciples of Christ, and the Sonnes of God, because they are so to bee called, whom we see to be regenerate, and to liue godly: butBy regenerate▪ he meaneth those that are baptized, and so seeme by their external profession to be truly and really regene­rate. Aug. ibid. if they haue not perseuerance, they are not truely called, sith they are called that, which they are not. And therefore, Quia non habuerunt perseuerantiam, sicut non verè Discipuli Christi, ita nec verè Filij Dei fuerunt, etiam quando esse videbantur, & ita vo­cabantur▪ Because they had not perseuerance, as they were not truely Christs Disciples, so neyther were they truely the Sons of God, euen when they seemed to be so, and were called so. Of this sort and sense is another place of St. Augustine to bee taken, which the Author of the new Gagge for the old Goose, for haste (as Charity may deeme) rather than eyther of ma­lice or ignorance (not easily incident to a man of such rare and extraordinary learning) hath perhaps casually, in such aNew Gagge for an old Goose. Ch. 10 Aug. de correp & grat. cap. 1 [...] swift flowing current of discourse, dropped from his Goose­quill. His allegation out of St. Augustine, is in these words: Credendum est quosdam de filijs perditionis, non accepto dono perse­uerantiae vs (que) in finem, in fide, quae per dilectionem operatur, incipere viuere, & aliquandi [...] fideliter & iustè viuere, & postea cadere, ne (que) de ha [...] vita, priusquam hoc eis contingat, auferri. The author of the Gagge seemeth to alledge this place to proue, that a man may totally fall away from grace, sith from faith working by loue. And the words, as he alledgeth them, seeme to fauour that opinion, as if it were Augustines definitiue conclusion, for all peremptorily to beleeue it, Credendum est. But as a guelt man, though he haue all the other signes of a man, hath lost his virility, the chiefe difference of his Sexe: so this sen­tence being but a little guelt, how much is it made to degene­rate from the Masculine stile of St. Augustine? For Augustine [Page 342] speaking there of the gift of perseuerance, inferreth this sen­tance, thus: Propter huius vtilitatem secreti, credendum est quos­dam, &c. For the benefit of this secret, (to wit, of perseue­rance) credendum est: where wee are to note, that these first words, left out by the Author, are a speciall qualification and limitation of our faith herein; namely, how farre forth, and in what respect Augustine would haue vs thinke so, that men may fall from that faith, which worketh by loue, to the end, that thereby they should bee more carefull to keepe their standing; therefore he saith, Propter huius vtilitatem secreti. A clause in no case to bee neglected; for little though it bee, it leaueneth and seasoneth the whole lumpe. As the same Au­gustine elsewhere saith, Deus melius esse iudicauit, miscere quos­dam Aug. de b [...]no. perseuer. l. 2. 8. non perseueraturos, certo numero Sanctorum suorum, vt quibus non expedit in huius vitae tentatione securitas, non possint esse securi: God iudged it better, to mingle some that should not perse­uere, with the certaine number of his Saints, that they, for whom security in the tentation of this life is not expedient, might learne not to be secure. Now that Augustine, by that faith working by loue, mentioned in the former allegation (from whence he would haue vs beleeue, for our owne profit and proficiency in perseuering, that the reprobate fall) did not meane that true reall faith of the Saints and Elect, which worketh by loue; but onely such a faith, in appearance and common account: besides many other places, and those also which we haue forecited; that one may conuince it, where heAug. de correp. & grat. cap. 7. saith vpon 2. Tim. 2. 19. Horum fides, quae per dilectionem opera­tur, profectò aut omnino non deficit, aut si qui sunt, quorum deficit, reparatur antequam vitaista finiatur, & deleta, quae intercurrerat, iniquitate, vsque in finem perseuerantia deputatur: The faith of those, which worketh by loue, eyther doth not faile at all, or if there be any, whose faith doth faile, it is repaired before this life be ended, and the inquity, which came betweene, be­ing blotted out, perseuerance is deputed euen vnto the end. Yea, he saith definitiuely, Fides eius, qui aedificatur super Pe­tram, Aug. ibid. pro qua etiam orauit Christus, ne deficiat, non deficit: His faith that is built vpon the Rocke, for the which also Christ [Page 343] prayed, that it should not faile, faileth not. And Christ saith expresly, That the house built vpon the Rocke, faileth not,Mat. 7. 25. but standeth firme against all windes and waues of tentations. The Rocke is Christ, and the house vpon this Rocke, is euery true beleeuer. But say, that former allegation out of Augu­stine, had beene altogether set downe by him, eyther in those termes, or in that sense as the Author citeth it; what if one such speech tending that way, should haue fallen from that excellent holy man? shall that one preponderate the whole tenure of St, Augustines workes? Nay, rather let it bee inter­preted by his other sayings, than they be ouerthrowne and euacuate by this. And let the learned Author of that booke of the Gagge, so maintaine the truth of Christ in the maine current of his other writings, as they may not only extenuate, but wholly expiate and expunge (to omit other things) at least this blot, dropping from his penne. Augustine, though a most excellent light in Gods Church, yet wherein he saw his errours (such was his rare humility, and dextrous ingenuity) hee writ a Booke of Retractations. But for his Doctrine in the point of the Saints perseuerance in the state of grace, vn­to the end, it is so cleare, and consonant to the Scriptures, that it needes no retractation; and as vneasie it is almost by any wit to bee peruerted, as subuerted. Onely let not a mis­alledged place, or a mis-conceiued allegation out of Augu­stine, stand as the Rest, whereon the state of the Doctrine of the Church of England must lye at hazzard. Nor euer let it be said, that the Doctrine of the faith of the Church of England is any other, than the Doctrine of the Catholick faith, which is built vpon the holy Scriptures, the onely adaequate obiect and rule of Catholike faith.

Now the ground and foundation of perseuerance in grace vnto the end, is the eternall decree and act of Gods good plea­sure and will, in predestinating and electing a certaine num­ber of men out of the corrupt masse of mankinde, to be saued in and through Iesus Christ. So that the certainty of perse­rance of the elect Saints, depends vpon the immutability of that foundation of God, which stands sure, and hath Gods [Page 344] seale vpon it, The Lord knoweth who are his. And it is worth the [...] Tim. 2. noting, yea very materiall for the vnderstanding of the scope of the Apostle in that place, to obserue the words immediatly going befoee, vers. 18. where speaking of the heresie of Hy­meneus and Philetus, by whose meanes the faith of some was ouerthrowne: and ieast some hereupon might conclude, that therefore Gods elect may fall away from faith, the A­postle preuents, or at least remoues that obiection, inferring in the next words, Neuerthelesse the foundation of God stands sure, &c.

Yea this foundation of God stands so sure, as that it stands not idle and empty, but still in all ages, in all places where Christ is preached▪ the elect are effectually called, and built vpon it, vntill the full and finall consummation of the holy and heauenly Temple of God. So that as the Apostle saith,Rom. 8. Whom God did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he cal­led, them he also iustified; and whom hee iustified, them hee also glo­rified. Note here the golden chaine of mans saluation. Our glorification is chained to our iustification; our iustification to our effectuall vocation; our effectuall vocation, iustifica­tion, glorification, begunne here in grace, and consummate hereafter in glory, are all chained inseparably to predestinati­on, [...]ug. de praedest. [...]anct. lib. 1. Gods foundation. Whereupon S. Augustine saith, Quos prae­destinauit, ipsos & vocauit, illa scilicet vocatione, secundum pro­positum; non ergo alios, sed quos praedestinauit, ipsos & vocauit: nec alios, sed quos ita vocauit, ipsos & iustificauit: nec alios, sed quos praedestinauit, vocauit, iustificauit, ipsos & glorificauit, illo vtique fine qui non habet finem: Whom he predestinated, them he also called, to wit, with that calling which is according to his pur­pose; therefore none else, but whom hee predestinated, them he also called: nor any others, but whom he so called, them he also iustified: nor any others, but whom he hath prede­stinated, called, iustified, them he hath also glorified vnto the end, that hath no end. And De fide ad Petrum Diaconum. cap. 3.Aug. de fide ad P. Diaconum. cap. 3. Illi cum Christo regnabunt, quos Deus gratuita bonitate sua praede­stinauit ad Regnum: quoniam tales praedestinando praeparauit, vt Regno digniessent, praepatauit vti (que) secundum propositum vocando [...] [Page 345] vt obediant: praeparauit iustificandos, vt accepta gratia rectò cre­dant, & bene viuant: praeparauit etiam glorificandos, vt Christi co­haeredes effecti, Regnum coelorum sine fine possideant: They shall reigne with Christ, whom God of his free goodnesse hath predestinated to the Kingdome: for because by predestina­ting he hath prepared such, that they should be worthy of the Kingdome, he hath prepared them to be called according to his purpose, that they should obey: hee hath prepared them to be iustified, that hauing receiued grace, they should beleeue aright, and liue well: he hath prepared them also to be glori­fied, that being made coheires with Christ, they might pos­sesse the Kingdome of heauen without end. Thus we see the maine reason of the Saints perseuerance in grace vnto the end, is grounded vpon the immutability of Gods election▪ So that the enemies of the truth, and of Gods glory, and louers of their owne glory, know well enough, that their Doctrine of vncertainty, and of falling away from grace, cannot stand, so long as Gods foundation remaineth sure▪ therefore they haue laboured tooth and nayle to vndermyne and blow vp this foundation of God, that so men might be as a tottering house built vpon the sand; or as a Ship without an anchor, tossed vp and downe, and running vpon the danger of euery rocke and shelue, as St. Iames compares the faithlesse man to the winde-driuen waue, Iames 1. 6.

Now as God hath preordained and elected vs, as to the end of our saluation, so to the meanes ordinary and conditio­nall, the Word and Sacraments, whereby wee should be in time effectually called to imbrace by faith the onely absolute meanes of our saluation, Iesus Christ, in whom we are ele­cted, and by whom we are mightily saued: So also hee hath ordained and appointed vs vnto holinesse of life and conuer­sation, wherein we should walke and perseuere vnto the end of this life, as it is in the definition. For good workes, being the proper, immediate, and necessary fruits of iustifying Faith, they become also the ordinary high-way to the Kindgome. They are via Regni, though not causa Regnand [...] the way of the Kingdome, but not the cause of making vs Kings▪ Hereupon [Page 346] the Apostle saith, Ephes. 1. 4. That God hath chosen vs in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and with­out blame before him in loue. And Chapt. 2. 10. We are his worke­manship created in Christ Iesus vnto good workes, which God hath before ordained, that we should walke in them. Here the Apostle speakes of the new creature, of the regenerate man, created, or re-created in Christ Iesus; created in Christ Iesus vnto good workes, that we should walke in them. For the good workes of a regenerate man, as they are euidences of true faith, so they are excellent meanes to preserue vs from fal­ling, and to make vs perseuere in grace vnto the end. Therfore St. Peter saith, 2. Pet. 1. 10. Wherefore, Brethren, the rather giue diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if yee doe these things, ye shall neuer fall. These things; namely such as hee spake of in the fift, sixt, and seuen Verses: to wit, all kinde of good workes. For so (saith he) an entrance shall be ministred vn­to you aboundantly, into the euerlasting Kingdome of our Lord and Sauiour Iesus Christ.

Obiect. But some will here obiect, that for as much as the A­postle doth vse [If] here, as putting the assurance of our ele­ction vpon Ifs and Ands: therefore if a man continue not to doe these things, he shall fall; and so consequently, the assu­rance of our perseuerance is only conditionall: So that it rests in vs, eyther to stand or fall from grace.

Answ. For answer hereunto: True it is, that the aduersa­ries of this truth catch at all shadowes, whereby they may any way obscure this cleare Doctrine, that so all men might remaine still in the shadow of death; as Adam would haueGenes. 3. done, when he thought to hide himselfe from God, by taking shrowd vnder the shadowie trees. Hereunto they adde sun­dry places of Scripture, as all such, where there is eyther any exhortation to take hold of grace, or any admonition to take heede of falling▪ As 1. Cor. 10. 12. Let him that thinketh hee standeth, take heede, lest hee fall. And Rom. 11. the Iewes fall is propounded to the called Gentiles, as an example of admoni­tion, vers. 20. Because of vnbeliefe they were broken off, and thou standest by faith▪ Bee not high minded, but feare. And to omit [Page 347] many other, they alledge one maine place out of Ezech. 18. where God threateneth, That if the righteous forsake his righteousnesse, and commit iniquity; in the iniquity that hee hath committed, he shall dye, and his former righteousnesse shall be remembred no more. From these and such like pla­ces the aduersaries would conclude, That a man may fall to­tally and finally from grace; or at least they would waue the matter, and leaue it indifferent: sith (say they) we find such opposition in the Scripture about this point. Nay (say they) we can bring as many places, that make against certainty of election, and perseuerance in grace, as can be brought for it. So that the aduersaries (I neede name none but the Pontifici­ans; for all that hold of their wicked Doctrine, though they seeme to abhorre the name of Pontificians, yet indeede they are one with them) the aduersaries (I say) are here upon very peremptory and insolent, because not vnderstanding the Scriptures, but peruerting them to their owne destruction▪ they thinke they are as fast and full on their side, as against them. Hereupon at the leastwise they would, I say, waue the matter, and make it indifferent, whether side a man choose. So that by hooke or by crooke they would bring in a new Di­uinity, as Copernicus and his followers, a new Philosophy; who, making demonstration, that the earth may as well moue round about in 24. houres, as the heauens; therefore his di­sciples conclusion must be, that not the heauens, but the earth moueth about once in 24. houres. The motion whereof hath caused this brain-sicke giddinesse in these new Philosophicall Heretickes, or Hereticall Philosophers. But the grounds of Diuinity in this point in hand, are farre more demonstratiue and certaine, than that of Copernicus his Philosophy. For he can finde no certaine demonstration of the heauens motion, but that he can stoppe with his versatilous wit; no more then my braine, earthy as it is, can be moued to beleeue his earths motion. But these Nouel-Diuines, must needes confesse, that the Doctrine of Gods election▪ effectuall vocation of the E­lect, and their perseuerance in grace, is very clearly set down▪ in the Scriptures. Which being so, while they would oppose [Page 348] other places of Scriptures against it, what doe they else, but goe about to make God a lyar, that with him should be Yea and Nay? For if the Scripture be contradictory in the matter of saluation, then it should be no better than a lye; and so God, the author of the Scripture, a lyar. But let God be true, and euery man a lyar. Yea, let the Scriptures be true, vniforme, consonant, and like themselues, and all such wresters and per­uerters of the truth, lyars. But they cannot bring any one sentence of Scripture, to contradict this truth of the certainty of Gods election. The Scripture saith, The foundation of God stands sure, and hath the seale, The Lord knoweth who are his: but where can the aduersaries bring one place of Scripture con­tradictory, which saith, The foundation of God is vncertaine, without seale, The Lord knoweth not who are his? The Scriptures saith of Apostates They went out from vs, but they were not of vs; for had they been of vs, they had continued with vs: but where saith it the contrary, that Apostates were once the true Children of God, sealed vp in Gods foundation, and knowne of God to be his, and that they were once really of the num­ber of Gods Elect? The Scripture saith, It is impossible to deceiue the Elect, and to seduce them from Christ. The Scripture saith, He that is borne of God, sinneth not; neyther can be sinne, because he is borne of God: that is, he cannot sinne vnto death; namely, by sinne fall away from God finally. Where saith it, That he that is borne of God doth sinne vnto death, and so falleth totally and finally from God? Indeede; if as Archimedes, that famous Mathematician and Engineer, who was so confident of his Art, that he durst say, he would remoue this whole terrestri­all Globe, if he had but a Ground or Base to fasten his Engine vpon (although the Base must needes be farre bigger than the Moueable.) So they, if they could finde such a solid ground in Scripture, seruing their owne opinion, and preponderating the eternall vnmoueable truth of Gods election, as thereupon they could pitch their artificiall Engine; much might be, that these rare Engineers, might Giant-like, be able to reere Mount Pelion vpon Mount Ossa, and so climbe to the top of Olym­pus: while by their faith, as a graine of scelerata Sinapis, they [Page 349] command the vnmoueable mountaine of Truth (if the foun­dation of it did not stand the more sure) to bee cast into the floating sea of their fleeting imagination.

But (say they) the Scripture speaketh doubtfully in many places, as in those fore-alledged and other. To which all I answer in one word, that none of those fore-alledged places doe crosse or contradict the truth of God. Nay contrary, they are all as meanes, to bring the purpose of God to its finall pe­riod and effect. For, Be not high minded, but feare: Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heede lest he fall: Worke out your saluation with feare and trembling: If ye doe these things, ye shall neuer fall: If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withe­red: If the righteous forsake his righteousness, and commit iniquity: and if there be any other Scriptures of this nature, eyther ex­hortatory or admonitory (besides that they are excellent re­strictiues to all sorts of men in generall, God extending his restraining grace euen to wicked men) they are all necessary precepts, and soueraigne preseruatiues and antidotes, especi­ally to the elect of God, to preserue them from falling. These places do not imply, that Gods elect may fall away: but they serue as meanes to preuent them, that they doe not fall. Now God hath (as I said) not only ordained the end, but all means tending thereunto. Of which meanes, those many exhorta­tions▪ and admonitions in Scripture are a speciall part. To this purpose Augustine speaketh excellently: Tene quod habes, ne Aug. de correp. & grat. cap. 13. alius accipiat Coronam tuam. Quod autem etiam perseueraturis Sanctis sic ista dicuntur, quasi eos perseueratures habeatur incer­tum; non aliter hoc audire debent, quibus expedit non altum sapere, sed timere. Hinc & Apostolis dicebatur, si manseritis in me: di­cente illo, qui illos vti (que) sciebat esse mansuros. Et per Prophetam, si volueritis, & audieritis me; cum sciret ipse, in quibus operaretur & velle. Et similia multa dicuntur, propter huius vtilitatem secreti, ne fortè quis extollatur, sed omnes etiam qui bene currunt, timeant, &c. that is, Hold that which thou hast, lest another take thy Crowne (they are the words of the holy Ghost.) Now thatApoc. 3. 11. these things are so spoken euen to the Saints that shall perse­uere, as if it were vncertaine whether they should perseuere; [Page 350] they ought not to heare of this otherwise, whom it behooueth not to be high minded, but feare. Hence also it is said to the Apostles, If you shall abide in me: himselfe speaking it, who knew full well that they would abide in him. And by the Prophet, If ye be willing, and will harken vnto me; when himselfe knew, in whom hee would worke euen to will. And many such things are spoken, for the profit of this secret, lest any should be puffed vp; but that all, euen those that runne well, should feare. Hence it is that the Apostle saith, 2. Tim. 3. 16. All Scripture is giuen by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproofe, for correction, for instruction in righteous­nesse: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished vnto all good workes. Note here how the holy Ghost, vnto the Do­ctrine of the Scripture, ioyneth reproofe and correction, as necessary meanes to bring Gods seruants to perfection. So that those places of Scripture, which deterre men from pre­sumption and security, Gods Children make vse of them, as meanes to keep them in the way, not as stumbling blockes to take offence at, whereby to fall.

If any here obiect that of Gregory, Video Paulum, &c. I see Paul called out of that cruelty of persecuting, to the grace of Apostleship; and yet he so feareth, amidst Gods secret iudge­ments, as that euen after he is called, hee feareth to be a cast­away. For he saith, Castigo, I chastise my body, &c. 1. Cor. 9. and Phil. 3. I follow if I may comprehend, &c. Yea it was now said of him by the voice of the Lord, He is a chosen ves­sell vnto mee: and yet for all that, chastizing his body, hee feareth lest hee should be reproued, or cast away. Doth Gre­gory hence conclude, that the elect is vncertaine of saluation,Greg. moral. lib. 29. cap. 9. or that it is possible for him to become a reprobate? Nothing lesse. For note what the addeth there: Debet profecto, in spe esse non solum securitas, sed etiam timor in conuersatione, vt & illa cer­tantes foueat, & iste torpentes pungat: There ought surely, there ought to be not onely security in our hope, but also feare in our conuersation; that both the one (security in hope) may cheere those that fight, and the other (feare) checke and spurre them that faint. Vnde, &c. Whence (saith he) it is well [Page 351] spoken by the Prophet, They which feare the Lord, let them hope in the Lord. As if he said plainly, That mans hope is vainly confident, who refuseth to feare God in his conuersation▪ And lib. 9. cap. 27. he further cleareth his minde herein, Se [...]ndum est, quod viri sancti ita incert [...] sunt, vt confidant; at (que) ita confidunt▪ vt tamen ex securitate non torpeant: We are to know, that holy men are so vncertaine, as that they are confident; and are so confident, as that notwithstanding they droope not through security. So that such like places of Scripture, as teach vs to feare and tremble, being rightly vnderstood and applyed, they are so farre from shaking the certainty of our election and perseuerance in grace, that they tend exceedingly to the esta­blishing of it. Yea they serue also to stoppe all foolish and carnall mens mouthes, that would (forsooth) in Christian po­licy haue this Doctrine of God smoothered and suppressed, as tending to make men carelesse of the meanes of saluation: Whereas on the contrary, seeing the wisedome of God hath tyed the meanes of saluation so inseparably and conditionally to his own purpose and good pleasure in our election: there­fore all men being alike indangered vnto God, should not persist in their rebellion, to their further damnation, but should vse all diligence in the vse of those meanes, by which God doth worke saluation vnto vs.

Tell me (if politick respects may take such place) A Kings subiects being all fallen (without exception) into a Premu­nire, hauing forfeited their estates and all: if now the King out of his speciall grace and fauour, haue resolued with him­selfe to pardon such a number of them▪ as seemeth good vnto him, whose names he enrolleth in his booke of Arca [...]a regni, not purposing to pardon any moe, but these onely; yet withall hath appointed such and such meanes to be vsed, and conditi­ons to be obserued, as he prescribeth, and so thus farre publi­sheth by Proclamation to all his subiects, that such is his de­termination and good pleasure, to pardon and spare a certaine number of his subiects, such as himselfe, out of speciall grace, hath made choiee of; but the number of the persons, and who they be, he [...]on [...]aleth in his brest, but reuealeth to them the [Page 352] meanes whereby hee will saue them▪ will any of his subiects be so desperately minded, as to say thus with himselfe, The King hath resolued to pardon a certain number, and no more, and to receiue them to fauour by such meanes as hee com­mandeth, by obeying such and such Lawes; but sith I am vn­certaine, whether I be one of that number or no, I will not take the paines to vse any such meanes, nor so much as endea­uour to obserue those conditions, though neuer so easie, which he requireth in that behalfe? Nay, will not all rather harken to the conditions, being all of them gracious, and no way grieuous, euery one for his part hoping, that he may be one of that number, whom the King hath resolued to receiue to grace and fauour againe, yea, and highly to aduance in his Kingdome? If it bee but a running Lottery, wherein the whole Countrey is coosened, though there be but a few pri­zes to many blankes, yet how forward are men to aduenture their money, some pawning their very beds, and all to bee cheated? Wee see there is no Papist so vncharitable, that though his neare kinsman, be it Father or Mother, or so, dye neuer so wicked, yet at the least in hope he is but in Purgatory, how will he empty his purse, yea how often, for so many Mas­ses, to release him out againe? although it be a most desperate aduenture; nay, he will not stick perhaps to go a long Pilgri­mage, and to doe some tedious Penance inioyned him by a sinnefull Priest, and all for the pardon of that sinne, whereof notwithstanding neyther the Priest can giue, nor himselfe re­ceiue any assurance of pardon by such meanes at Gods hand▪ And shall not all men indangered to God for soule and all, be ready to entertaine and obserue all such conditions, prescri­bed by God, whereby they may be saued, and without which they cannot be saued?

Yes (say these selfe-wise carnall Vniuersalists) if we, were but in as much hope of Gods fauour, as wee may be of a prize in a Lottery, we would hazzard all we haue, skin for skin, and all, to saue our life. Yea, or if it were in our owne power, so to vse the meanes prescribed, and the conditions imposed, as that thereby we might be saued, notwithstanding wee knew, [Page 353] that God had determined to saue but a few of many; wee should bee willing to vse our best endeauour, in hope of the Kings fauour. But the case betweene God and man is other­wise. We are indeede all of vs fallen into a Premunire, and haue forfeited our whole estates, liues and liberties, for our Rebellion. But we heare, that though the King of his speciall grace, haue purposed to pardon, and to preferre a certaine small number in comparison of the rest; but withall, that this pardon must be procured by such meanes, as no one of all his subiects, is in himselfe of ability and power to vse, and put in practice, vnlesse the King also giue vnto him a speciall strength to doe that which the King requireth▪ therefore what should I trouble my selfe for the matter? I know the worst of it; and seeing it is not in my power to helpe my selfe, let the King doe what he will: If I be one of those, whom he hath purposed to pardon, what should I need to take care any further? But if not, what neede I bestow labour in vaine? Yea, but withall obserue, though the grace, and the meanes, and the power of right vsing the meanes be of the King, because he will haue all the glory of working that, which all mans strength and wit could neuer haue accomplished: yet the King to his former decree hath added another clause, that notwithstanding the Kings purpose and decree, which may not be altered, notwithstanding the right vse of the meanes of procuring his pardon, depend vpon him alone; yet the King hath peremptorily commanded all his subiects, none ex­cepted, that if any shall dare to contemne, or neglect those meanes, which hee hath prescribed for the good of those, whom they chiefly concerne, that man shall not onely not be pardoned for his former rebellion, but bee bound ouer to a further condemnation, to suffer greater torments and tor­tures, than otherwise he should haue done. Tell mee now in this case, what subiect would be so foolehardy, as openly to contemne and reiect the commandement of the King? and not rather to doe the best that lyeth in him to obserue those things which he commandeth; seeing that of endeauour may come much good: but of contempt, certaine condemnation▪ [Page 354] Euen thus stands the case betweene God and vs: we haue all sinned, and forfeited our estates with God. He, of his mercy, hath purposed to saue a certaine number of vs condemned persons; he hath withall prescribed the meanes, whereby he will saue that speciall number: yet the meanes are such, as though in their owne nature they bee gentle and easie (for Christs yoake is easie, and his burthen light) yet in regard of our impotency, it is in Gods power onely to enable vs to vse the meanes aright▪ Now, though God giue his speciall grace & strength to none, but those whom he hath appointed to saue; yet for as much as we are ignorant who those be, whom he hath ordained to saue, and euery man may as well thinke himselfe to bee of the number, as any other; and seeing though hee cannot of himselfe so much as will that which is truly good, but God worketh in vs both to will & to do, euen of his good pleasure: yet because God hath commanded all men indiffe­rently to receiue and entertaine his commandements, and conditions, which wilfully to refuse, despise, and oppugne, heapeth vpon a man further condemnation, which was the miserable case of Corasin, Bethsaida, and Ierusalem, with her contemning, oppugning Iewes: and because God hath reser­ued this secret number to himselfe, both how many they be, and who they be, whom he hath purposed to saue, none know­ing himselfe to be of the number, till hee be actually and effe­ctually called, and haue receiued the white stone, the marke of his election, with the new name of the Sonne of God in it, which no man knoweth, but he that hath it; nor any being so wicked, but he may proue to be one of the number of Gods elect, and so to be effectually called in due time: and because for any man to iudge himselfe, while he liueth in this world, to bee of the number of the reprobate, is a desperate iudge­ment, yea a preiudice of Gods purpose and grace, and a rash presumption, as daring to prye into Gods secrets, and to deter­mine that as certaine, which God hath left vncertaine: there­fore for a man to cauill at this truth of God, and thereupon to frame friuolous and foolish unreasonable reasons, to resist and contemne Gods ordinance; what is it but to heape vpon him­selfe [Page 355] greater and greater condemnation? God will not in the meane time haue his truth dissembled, his glory diminished, his mercy despised, and his iustice disparaged. Let no man dare to say, Why doth he yet complaine? Who art thou, vaine man, that pleadest against God? take thou heede thou giuest not God further occasion to complaine of thee: Shall thy politicke, or rather braine-sicke reasons, be wiser than Gods wisedome? God hath willed it so: And his will is aboue all humane reason. And Gods will is nothing