Which Suffrage was by them delivered in the Synod of Dort, March 6. Anno 1619. Being their vote or voice foregoing the joint and publique judgment of that Synod.

LONDON, Printed for Robert Milbourne, and are to be sold at his Shop in Pauls Churchyard at the signe of the Greyhound. 1629.

The five Articles controverted in the Low-Countries, and discussed in the Synod of Dort.

  • 1. Concerning Gods Predestination.
  • 2. Of Christs death, and mans Re­demption thereby.
  • 3. Of Freewill in the state of cor­ruption.
  • 4. Of conversion unto God, and the manner thereof.
  • 5. Of the Perseverance of the Saints.

THE SVFFRAGE OF THE DIVINES OF GREAT BRITAINE CONCER­NING THE FIRST ARTICLE: • That is of Election, , and • That is of Reprobation,  • First of Election, Orthodoxall, which wee lay downe and confirme. , • First of Election, Erroneous, which wee reiect and confute. , • The Positions, Orthodoxall, which wee lay downe and confirme. , and • The Positions, Erroneous, which wee reiect and confute. 


THe decree of Election, or pre­destination unto salvation is the effectuall will of God, by which according to his good pleasure, for [Page 2] demonstration of his mercy, he pur­posed the salvation of man being fallen; and prepared for him such meanes, by which he would effectu­ally and vnfallibly bring the Elect to the selfe same end.

WE call this Decree of Election an ef­fectuall will of God, because it re­spects not meerely and onely a way set downe and leading to life, leaving man so ordained in the power of his owne free will, (after such manner as Adam was ordained to happinesse) but it doth respect and fore-ap­point the very issue of this Ordinance. For this will is conjoyned with the power of God,Ephes. 1.11. Esa. 14.24. The Lord of hosts hath sworne, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to passe, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand. Psal. 113. Whatsoever the Lord would, that did hee in heaven and in earth: (upon which place see St. Austin, Enchirid. c. 75.) Rom. 8.30. Whom hee [Page 3] hath predestinated, those he glorified. Iohn 6.39. This is the Fathers will that sent mee, that of all, which he hath given me, I should lose nothing. And vers. 37. All that the Father giveth me shall come unto me.

We acknowledge no other moving cause of this will, besides the meere good pleasure of God. Rom. 1.18. He hath mercy on whom he will have mercy. Ephes. 1.11. Being predestina­ted according to the purpose of him, who worketh all things according to the counsell of his owne will. Rom. 9.11 Before the children were borne, when they had done neither good nor evill; that the pur­pose of God according to Election might stand.

But God doth deale with certaine men af­ter this especiall manner for manifestation of his owne mercy. Rom. 9.23. That God might make knowne the riches of his glory toward the ves­sels of mercy. Yea and to them considered in the state of Adams fall, namely for the freeing them out of the masse of perdition. Eph. 1.4. In him [to with Christ] he hath chosen vs. 1 Tim. 1.15. Christ came to save sinners.

Finally, lest Gods working in time should vary from his eternall purpose, hee who did [Page 4] effectually destinate the elect unto salvation, doth also afford them meanes agreeable to this foresaid intention; that is to say, those meanes, which God knew would without faile bring them to salvation. 2. Tim. 1.9. Hee hath saved us with an holy calling. 2 Thess. 2.13. God hath chosen you unto salvation in the sanctifica­tion of the Spirit, and beleefe of the truth, to which he hath also called you by our Gospell. Ephes. 1.4. He hath chosen us, that we might be holy and with­out blame. Mat. 13.11. To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdome of heaven.

Out of which testimonies of Scripture it is evident, that God by his foregoing decree of Election hath subordained all these things (to wit, the knowledge of the Gospell, Voca­tion, Faith, Iustification, Sanctification, and Perseverance) for the obtaining of the fore­determined salvation.

Out of many sayings of the Fathers wee gather a few.

Aug. de praedest. Sanct. c. 19. When he predestinated us, he foresaw his owne worke, who maketh us both holy and without blame.

Idem de corrept. & grat. c. 14 When God determineth to save a man, no will of [Page 5] man resisteth God: for to will or to nill is so far forth in the power of him that wils or nils, that it can nei­ther hinder the wil of God, nor yet surpass his power.

He doth so teach them, Idem de grat. Christ. cap. 13. who are called according to his purpose; bestowing at once both to know what they are to performe, and also to performe what they know.

Although a great part of mankinde doe either re­ject or sleight the grace of the Saviour, Prosp. de vocat, lib. 1. cap. 9. yet the elect, and those which are foreknowne, and so differenced from the many, are reckoned for a certaine speciall collective body, so that out of the whole world ano­ther entire world may seeme to be freed.

There is a portion of mankinde, Idem Devo [...] lib. 2. cap. 3. which is promo­ted by the meanes of faith, enspired from God to high and eternall salvation by speciall graces.


CHrist is the head and founda­tion of the Elect: so that all saving graces prepared in the de­cree of Election are bestowed upon the elect onely for Christ, through Christ, and in Christ.

[Page 6]GOD, in the eternall Election of particular men, by one and the selfe same act, both doth assigne Christ their head, and also doth appoint them according to his good pleasure the members of Christ: out of which pur­pose even before their vocation (which is af­terward performed in time) God doth behold them as given unto Christ, and chosen in him, and accepted of himselfe. Ephes. 1.3. He hath blessed us in all spirituall benediction in Christ. v. 4. He hath chosen us in him. v. 7. In whom we have redemption and remission of sinnes. v. 13. In him we are sealed.

Whatsoever is intended to the Elect from all eternity, is (as we may so say) shut up in the will of God, neither is it immediately impar­ted unto us, but for Christ, in Christ, and by Christ. Coloss. 2.3. In whom are hid all the trea­sures of wisedome and knowledge. v. 7. Wee are rooted and built up in him. v. 10. Ye are complete in him. Lastly, he is the fountaine, from which all the streames of saving grace doe flow to us. Iohn 1.16. Of his fulnesse have all we received grace for grace. 2 Tim. 1.9. He hath called us with an holy calling, according to his purpose and grace, [Page 7] which was given us in Christ Iesus before the world beganne.

As he was predestinated that one, Aug. de praedest. Sanct. cap. 15. that he might be our head: so we being many, are predestinated, that we might be his members.

God calls many predestinated his sonnes, Cap. 16. that hee might make them the members of his owne predesti­nated onely Sonne.

After the fall of man, De bon. persev. cap. 7. God would have it an act of his meere grace alone, that man should come unto him. And this grace he placed in him, in whom wee also have obtained this our lot, who were predestina­ted according to his purpose.


FAith, Perseverance, and all gifts of grace leading home un­to salvation, are the fruits and ef­fects of Election.

WE acknowledge in some men certaine gifts of grace, which are to be reduced to the common supernaturall providence of God. But those gifts, which have an infallible [Page 8] connexion with glory, and doe worke effec­tually for the obtaining thereof: (as justifying faith and persevering) are the very effects of eternall election. Act. 13.48. As many as were ordained to eternall life, beleeved. Tit. 1.1. The faith of the Elect of God. 1 Pet. 1.5. We are kept by the power of God by faith unto salvation.

Prosp. epist. ad Aug. 361. By this predestination of the purpose of God, they are faithfull, who are fore-ordained unto eternall life.

Aug. de praedest. Sanct. c. 10. The predestination of God is the preparation of grace, and grace is the very effect of predestination. When therefore God promised to Abraham, that the Gentiles should beleeve in his seed, he made not this promise with respect to the power of our will, but out of his owne predetermination: for hee promised that which hee himselfe would doe, and not what men would doe.

Cap. 16. Hath he not said, Not of workes, but of him that beleeveth? Hee hath taken wholly even this from man, that he might attribute the whole to God.

Cap. 17. Let us understand the vocation, by which they are made the Elect, not as if they were chosen, because they had beleeved, but they are chosen, that they may beleeve. For if they were therefore chosen, because they had beleeved, they had chosen him first be belee­ving [Page 9] in him, that they might so come to be chosen.

These gifts of God are given to the Elect (who are called according to the purpose of God) of which kinde of fruits these are, namely both to begin to be­leeve, and to persevere in faith to the end of this life.


THe decree of Election is defi­nite, not conditionall; it is irre­vocable, and immutable, so that the number of the Elect can neyther be increased, nor yet diminished.

IN predestination the meanes to salvation are no lesse absolutely decreed, than salvation it selfe. For howsoever salvation, in the execu­tion thereof, dependeth upon the conditionall use of the means, yet the will of God electing unto salvation is not conditionall, incomplete, or mutable: because hee hath absolutely pur­posed to give unto the Elect both power and will to performe those very conditions, name­ly, repentance, faith, obedience, and perseve­rance. For the Decree of God predestinating cannot bee conceived after this forme, I will [Page 10] choose Peter to eternall life, if it shall so hap­pen that he doth beleeve, and persevere: But rather after this manner: I doe choose Peter unto eternall life, which that he may infallibly obtaine, I will give unto him persevering faith. 2 Tim. 2.19. The foundation of God standeth sure, God knowes who are his. Rom. 9.11. That the pur­pose of God might remaine according to election. Rom. 11.28, 29. Beloved according to Election. For Gods gifts and calling are without repentance.

Prosp. ad Cap. Gall. Resp. 8. This adoption of the sonnes of God, this fulnesse of the Gentiles, was foreknowne and preordained in Christ, which from the beginning unto the end is built up with liuing and choice stones. Of these stones not one is cast out, not one lessened, not one snat­ched away.

Erroneous Opinions, or unsound Doctrines, concerning Election, which we reject.


THat the Decree by which God hath purpo­sed in Christ, and for Christ, to save those, which repent▪ and beleeve unto the end, is the whole and entire decree of predestination unto salvation.

[Page 11]TRue indeed, this is Gods decree declara­torie of salvation to be proclaimed to all equally and without difference; as al­so prescribing the manner by which the elect are to be brought to salvation. But in this the whole fabricke of Gods praedestination (set downe in the holy Scriptures) is not explai­ned. For the decree of predestination doth in­ferre some certain particular persons to be pre­destinated, those being knowne to God, and severed from others by this very decree of Ele­ction, Matt. 20.16. Many are called, but few are chosen. Rom. 11.5. A remnant according to Election. 2 Tim. 2.19. The Lord knowes who are his. But the above-named decree doth predestinate no mā de facto, or by certaine event; it severeth none frō the rest; it writeth no name in the booke of life.

Though such a decree bee established, yet might all men notwithstanding bee repro­bates: God might neither have now, nor haue had, nor have hereafter any Church upon earth. Which absurditie being granted not on­ly that promissory decree might faile, Matt 28.30. I am with you alwaies unto the end of the world, [Page 12] but even the whol Scriptures might be annihi­lated, which doth necessarily suppose a church in being, to which, and for which the Scrip­ture was indited.

Lastly, if there were no other decree of pre­destination then this, Christ himselfe should not be appointed by any fore-going decree of God, to be for certaine the head of the Church; because to him there should be no members infallibly assigned; neither could Christ be said infallibly [...], to have the preheminence, as a King, except there were given unto him by the positive decree of God, some, who were to be certainly his subiects. When yet the Scripture doth no lesse intimate unto us the certaine and irrespective decree of God in ma­king Christ our head & King, then it doth con­cerning his taking our flesh, and suffering for us. The Apostle (Eph. 1.) hauing set downe the mystery of our Redemption, by Christs Passi­on, Resurrection, & Ascension, presently adds vers. 22. (as flowing from the same decree) and gaue him to bee the head ouer all things to the Church which is his body, Lu. 1.33. Of his kingdome there shall be no end. Act. 2.30. God hath made him Lord.

[Page 13] This predestination of the Saints is nothing else, Aug. de persev. cap. 14. then Gods foreknowledge and preparation of those be­nefits, by which they are most certainly freed, whoso­ever are freed.


THat the peremptory Election of particular persons is made upon the fore sight and consideration of their faith in Christ, and of their perseverance in the same faith, as upon a Condition fore-required in electing.

FAith foreseene, and perseverance in faith doe follow the decree of vocation accor­ding to Gods good purpose. But such voca­tion doth depend upon the foregoing decree of predestination. Rom. 8.30. Those whom hee predestinated those he hath called. Act. 13.48. As many as were ordained to eternall life, beleeved.

1. God foresees no man as persevering in faith and holinesse unto the last gasp, but him, whom he decreed by his foregoing will so to keepe, but him, whom he really guideth and directeth through his whole course of life, and preserveth in the way of salvation by an [Page 14] operation, and speciall protection flowing from Gods foresaid will. Iohn 10.28, 29. My sheepe shall not perish for ever, neither shall any one take them out of my hand, neither can any one of them take them out of my Fathers hand. Mat. 24.24. That they should seduce, if it were possible, the ve­rie Elect.

Since therefore perseverance in faith is grounded upon the Election of God, Electi­on cannot proceed from the fore-required condition of persevering faith.

2. Furthermore, the decree of giving glo­rie and salvation vnto stedfast beleevers in the end of this life, as the reward of faith and o­bedience performed, is an act of Iustice, or at least of faithfulnesse and truth. But according to the Scriptures, Election is a free act, not of debt, but of grace, an act of loue and speciall mercy founded upon the meere good will of God. Luke 12.32. It is your Fathers good plea­sure to give you the kingdome. Eph. 1.11. Being predestinated according to the purpose of him, who worketh all things after the counsell of his owne will.

3. By the like reason faith foreseene is to be excluded frō Election, as fore-seen works: [Page 15] that is to say, God may be sayd as well to haue elected holy men for the condition of sancti­fication, as beleeuers for the condition of faith. For who seeth not, that this faith foreseene doth in truth passe into the nature of a worke? which appeares more evidently by the annex­ed condition of perseverance; by which is in­tended nothing else, but the fruits of obedi­ence and holinesse, and the whole harvest of all good workes.

4. Lastlie, by granting this Election upon Gods foresight, it followes that Christ was chosen by vs, before we were chosen by him, contrary to that Ioh. 15.16. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you. Which divine Oracle is often urged by St. Augustine, to this purpose.

Neither doth faith it selfe goe before that Electi­on, Aug. de Pers. Sanct. c. 10. which the Lord intendeth saying, yee haue not chosen me, but I have chosen you; for he did not choose us, because we have beleued, but that we may beleeue; lest we should be said to have chosen him first.

No merits of man-doe goe before the Election of grace: Prosp. ad excep. Genuin [...]. resp. [...]. yea and faith it selfe, whence begin all merits, is the gift of God; lest grace should not bee grace, if any thing should goe before it, for which it may bee given.


THat faith and perseverance in faith are not fruits or effects of Election to salvation.

IF God (who is the onely giver of perseve­ring faith) before he gives such faith, or de­crees to give it, doth foresee, that it will by the very giving of it, bring salvation to the re­ceiver, then without doubt hee gives it also with this intent, and absolute purpose, that it shall bring salvation. But so to give, is to give out of a foregoing purpose infallibly to save, which is all one as to give by the decree of E­lection. Therefore persevering faith is the fruit of this decree, or a speciall grace prepa­red in this decree. Whence it is called. Tit. 1.1. The faith of the elect of God, Ephes. 1.5. Having praedestinated us into the adoption of Children. But into the actuall estate of this adoption we are admitted by faith, Ioh. 1.12. He gave them the power (or priviledge) to become the Sonnes of God, even to them that beleeve on his name; There­fore faith it selfe arises from praedestination.


THat Election to salvation is not one and the same, but that there is one indefinite, another definite; and this either incomplete, revocable, changeable: Or complete, irrevocable unchange­able

ALthough there are divers acts of Gods Election, which may bee assigned ac­cording to divers objects, namely, of the end, and of the meanes; yet the Scripture no where makes mention either of the divers degrees or kindes of Election.

1 For Election is a certaine infallible or­daining of severall persons to salvation, in the minde and will of God. Therefore this inde­finite Election (here supposed) is no true elec­tion, because it ordaines no singular person to salvation, but it onely shewes and prescribes the manner of comming to salvation promis­cuously to all.

2 Besides, seeing Election is perfited with one act, and ex natura rei, according to the na­ture of the thing it selfe, is as the Schoolemen speake, in the number of those things which doe not grow and increase by degrees, (as [Page 18] sanctification, mortification, and such like) but which doe consist in indivisibili, without latitude, (such as justification or absolution from sinnes) surely it cannot bee imagined to be capable of intention or remission, and ther­fore by no meanes doth it admit a graduall perfection, that it may be thought to bee in­complete, or unfinished to day, and complete or fully finished to morrow: Much lesse can this maimed halfe-election be accompted ele­ction, which doth not ordaine to salvation in­fallibly, but disposes onely by some qualitie or contingent act, which in the judgement of the very devisers thereof, hath no necessarie connexion with eternall life.

3 Lastly, that which is said to bee revoca­ble, and changeable, cannot be true election, because election signifies the constant purpose and unchangeable counsell of God ordai­ning the elect unto blisse. Heb. 6.17. [...], God shewes unto the heires of promise the immutability of his counsell.

Aug. quesi. disp. de praed. Act. 10. Two things follow predestination, an affording of aid to obtaine the end, and the very obtaining of the end it selfe.

[Page 19] He that will have Gods disposall of things to bee changed according to the mutability of free will, Prosp. ad Cap. Gall. resp. 8. professeth that the judgements of God can be sear­ched by him.


THat the object of peremptory and complete Election is man considered no otherwise than in the end of his life.

1 IN the end of this life a beleever is consi­dered not as to bee elected, but to bee brought into the kingdome prepared for him before the foundation of the world. 2 Tim. 4.7. I have fought a good fight. I have fi­nished my course: Henceforth there is laid up for me a Crowne of righteousnesse, which the Lord the righteous Iudge shall give me at that day. The A­postle did not say, henceforth now God shall elect me to the Crowne of righteousnesse, but shall give it.

2 Furtherfmore, if election should beginne at the end onely of this life, the reason or ar­gument drawne from predestination or elec­tion could conferre nothing at all to the faith­full, for finishing their course in faith and [Page 20] godlinesse. But predestination extends it selfe as well to the meanes in the way, as to the end in the conclusion of our life, and as it were ca­rieth the Elect by infallible meanes to the ap­pointed marke or goale. Rom. 8.30. Whom he did predestinate, them he also called, and whom hee called, them he also justified, and whom he justified, them hee also glorified. But if man considered onely as in the last moment of this life, were the object of complete election, all those things should bee inverted thus, Whom hee called, those he will justifie, and whom hee justifies, those hee will hereafter prede­stinate.

3 Moreover, 2 Tim. 1.9. We are called with a holy calling, according to his owne purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Iesus before the world beganne. This purpose of God since it goes before this holy calling, and forelayeth the foundation to it, considers man as the sub­ject of a sure election, according to this pur­pose, not as he standeth in the end of this life, but as he was before the beginning of this life, yea before the world beganne, appointed by Gods purpose to a most complete Election. [Page 21] Neither truly can there be settled any definite election, to eternall grace, to faith, to adopti­on, (Eph. 1.5.8.) if these things be considered as hanging in uncertainty; neither shall the future perseverance of the Elect be fore-ordai­ned by God, but onely foreseene in the man to be elected, and so this act of God shall bee only an approbation following, (such as may be performed by man, that knowes not what is to come hereafter) not a foregoing and ope­rative Election: such as all elections, in rea­son, and by force of the name of Election, must needs be.

4 Last of all. Iohn 10.16. The Gentiles not yet called, much lesse settled in finall perseve­rance, are by our Saviour stiled his sheepe, be­ing indeed then separated by the foregoing mark of entire and complete election.

He that makes men sheepe, Aug cont. Ep. Pelag. l. 4. c. 6. doth make free mens wils unto obedience▪ but why doth hee (with whom there is no acception of persons) make those men sheepe, and makes not others? O man who art thou that replyest against God?

Yee say that Iacob was elected for his future workes, Lib. 2. cap. 6. which God knew he would doe, and so you [Page 22] contradict the Apostle, saying: Not of workes: as if he could not have said, Not of present workes, but or workes of come.

Aug. de praedest. Sanct. cap. 17. They are elected before the foundation of the world, by that predestination, in which God fore­knew what he would doe; they are elected out of the world by that calling, by which he fulfilled that which he did predestinate.


THat in this life no man can receive any fruit or perceive any sense of his owne election, o­therwise then conditionall.

FIliall adoption is the proper, naturall, and unseparable fruit of Election, and is to be perceived by the Elect in this life, the spi­rit of adoption revealing it to their hearts. Gal. 4.6. Because ye are sonnes, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Sonne into your hearts, crying Abba Father. If a son, then an heire of God. Rom. 8.15, 16 Ye have received the spirit of adoption, wherby we cry Abba Father. The Spirit it selfe beareth witnes with our spirit that we are the children of God. Eph. 1.14. Ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance. Hee saith [Page 23] the earnest of our inheritance, which is an in­fallible signe, that we shall never be dis-inhe­rited, but shall at length obtaine our inheri­tance. Rom. 5.2. We glory in the hope of the glory of God. And v. 5. This hope maketh us not asha­med. Neither is there any falshood in this so­lid peace of conscience, in the glorying of the godly, or in this infused hope, because these gifts are both sent by God to the elect; and to this end are they fastened in their mindes, that they may be certaine arguments of their un­changeable election.

We confesse, our election is not to be per­ceived by us à priori, by the causes: but the pro­per effects of it may be knowne. And from the proper effect upward to the cause, the ar­gument is good.

We likewise grant that the assurance of elec­tion in the children of God themselves, is not alwayes so constant and continuall, but that oftentimes it is shaken with temptations, and for a time suppressed, so that not onely the degree of assurance is lessened, but even elec­tion it selfe, in respect of the sense and appre­hension of the Elect, seemes uncertaine, and ready to vanish.

[Page 24]Lastly, we confesse that the Elect justified, when they fall into grievous sinnes and cleave unto them, are not onely deprived of the pre­sent taste of their election, but also conceive a great feare of the contrary, namely of Gods wrath and revenging justice: and that deser­vedly: seeing the holy Ghost vouchsafes not to communicate this heavenly and sweet Man­na of comfort to a defiled conscience, yet wallowing in its owne filthinesse, but onely to a cleane heart, and such an one as exerciseth it selfe in the practise of faith, repentance, and holinesse. But we thinke that the mindes of the faithfull being wakened, and rising out of their pollutions, are renewed by God and comforted againe, with a sweet sense of eter­nall life, prepared for them before the founda­tion of the world, and in due time undoub­tedly to be conferred upon them.

Clem. Alex. Stromat. A faithfull man hath received by faith, that which is uncertaine to others, and layeth hold on the promise.

Tertull. advers. Mar. lib. 5. That it might be certaine that wee are the sonnes of God, he hath sent his Sonne into our hearts crying, Abba, Father.

[Page 25] Who is iust, Bern. Epist. 107 but bee that returnes love to God, that loved him, which comes not to passe but by the spirit revealing to a man by faith the eternall pur­pose of God concerning his salvation. Which reve­lation is nothing else but an infusion of spirituall grace, by which while the workes of the flesh are mortified, man is prepared to that kingdome, which flesh and blood doth not possesse, receiving together in one spirit, both whence bee may presume he is be­loved, and whence he may returne love, lest he should be loved in vaine, or without returning love againe.


THere is no election of Infants dying before they have the vse of reason.

IF one absurdity, or unsound doctrine bee granted, more of the like will follow. This here followes upon that, that they require in all divine Election, faith fore-seene, upon which it may bee grounded, which indeed cannot be fore-seene in such infants. But we on the contrary evidently prove that these te­nets are against all Divinity.

[Page 26]1 They who have an entrance in time vn­to life eternall, without all doubt were elected to life eternall before all time. Otherwise the number of them that are glorified should ex­ceed the number of them that are predestina­ted, which is impossible. For that proposition must be understood reciprocally with equall extension of both termes.De Predest. c. 17. Whom hee hath pre­destinated, those hee hath glorified, namely, these and no other, (as Saint Austin inferreth.) But the Scripture supposes the names of some In­fants to bee written in the booke of life, and that they must appeare before the judgement seat of God, Rev. 20.12. and be admitted into the new Ierusalem, Rev. 21.27. of such is the Kingdome of heaven, Luke 8.16.

2 Whosoeuer are admitted onely into the Kingdome of Heaven, were before out of Gods free good pleasure chosen vnto the Kingdome of Heaven. But to as many in­fants as enter into Heaven, eternall life is a gracious gift through Iesus Christ, Rom. 6.23. therefore they were chosen to that Kingdome in Christ.

But if this be the meaning of this Position; [Page 27] That there is no election of Infants, that is to say, of infants one before another, as if al were promiscuously saved; neither truely hath that supposition any good ground; nor this being granted, will the foresaid position follow. For the circumstance of age is impertinent, and hath no operation to the establishing or take­ing away of Gods election. Suppose there­fore all infants to be saved, not one being re­jected, yet because Election and praeterition looke upon the common heape, not the age, they are segregated, though not out of the number of infants, yet out of the whole lump of sinfull mankind; Which segregation is no lesse then a true election.

The riches of the goodnesse of God have beene poured forth upon the first beginnings of some in­fants, Prosp. de arbitr. ad Ruff. in whom neither the precedent, nor the future piety was the motiue for Gods choosing them.

Infants having no wils, Prosp. Epistola ad Aug. no actions of their own, are segregated not without the judgement of God; Some being taken as heyres, some are let passe as debtors.

God helps those infants, Aug. de bono persever. cap. 11. whom hee will; though they neither will, nor runne, whom hee hath chosen before the foundation of the world in Christ.


THat the good will of God, by which out of many possible conditions, he hath decreed to choose faith onely, and to accept it for the condi­tion of bestowing salvation, is that only or chiefe good pleasure of God, whereof the Scripture speakes, and out of which all singular persons are chosen.

WEE doe not deny, but that there is such a good pleasure of God, layed open in the Gospell, by which hee hath decreed to choose faith as a condition for conferring salvation, that is, by which hee would have the actual obtaining of salvation, (especially of those which are of ripe yeares) to depend upon the condition of foregoing faith. And this is the ioyfull and saving mes­sage to bee published to all Nations in the name of Christ.

But this is not the very decree of Election, properly taken, and so much is set forth by the Apostle Paul.

1 For that decree is Active, ordaining some particular persons to saluation, not disposing [Page 29] in things, or of the connexion of things in or­der to salvation: and it is confined to the crea­tures themselves, not unto qualities, Ephes. 1.4. He hath chosen vs, to wit, Men, Rom. 8. Those whom he hath predestinated, that is to say, Men, Mat. 20. Few are chosen, That is, few Men.

2 But the quality it selfe of faith is not in this sense called Elected, but prescribed to the E­lect, and given and prepared from eternity. For it is one of the chiefe spirituall blessings, all which the chosen receive in Christ, Ephes. 1.2.

3 Lastly, it is not rightly affirmed, that parti­cular men are elected out of this good plea­sure, by which faith onely is ordained, as the condition of bestowing salvation. For to be elected, is to bee destinated to life eternall, o­thers being ouerpassed. But in the foresaid de­cree, no person is chosen) no one person pas­sed by, but all are alike called, and designed to salvation by one and the same condition.

In God the disposing of future things, Aug de bano persever. cap. 16. by his un­fallible and unchangeable foreknowledge, is no o­ther thing then to predestinate.



REprobation properly called, or not-electing, is the eternall de­cree of God, by which out of his most free will he hath decreed, not so farre to take pitie of some persons falne in Adam, as to rescue them effectually, through Christ, out of the state of misery, and without faile to bring them to blisse.

THe proper act of Reprobation, as it is op­posed to Election, we thinke to be no o­ther, then the denying of the same glory, and the same grace, which are prepared for the sonnes of God by Election. But glory and effectuall grace, are prepared for them in the decree of Election, and with this very intent, that it should be effectuall, that is, that by such grace the sonnes of God might without faile [Page 31] come to the foresaid glory. Such grace and glory to be prepared for Reprobates, we deny.

This non-election, we avow to be groun­ded vpon the most free will of God. Rom. 9.11. That the purpose of God, according to election might stand, not of workes, but of him that calleth. It was said, Iacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. (That is) I have not so loved him, as that through grace I should certainly bring him to glory. And v. 18. He hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth: Againe, (vers. 21.) Hath not the Potter power over the clay, of the same lumpe, to make one vessell unto honor, and another unto dishonor. And Ioh. 10.26. ye beleeve not, because ye are not of my sheepe.

Moreover, the glory of Heaven is due to none, but is the free gift of God, Ro. 6.23. Ther­fore God according to his most free will, can choose whom he will to glory, and overpasse whom he will, and that without any aspersiō of iniustice or hard dealing: since that in the bestowing of freegifts there is no place left for injustice. Neither is it any inclemēcy or cruelty, to deny that to any man, which is no way due unto him: especially whē in the persō presented unto [Page 32] there is found the highest demerit or desert of punishment, which is so farre from expecting free gifts, that it cannot choose, but call for most just judgements: of which sort is the whole state of mankinde represented to God, when hee was to choose, or refuse whom he would among them. And what is here said of the bestowing of glory, is likewise to bee understood of the giving effectuall grace.

Aug. de praedest. cap. 6. Behold mercy and judgement, mercy in Election, judgement upon those that are hardened.

Idem de corr. et grat. 13. They which doe not pertaine to the most certaine and happy number of the predestinated, are dismis­sed and left to their owne free will, &c.

De bono persev. cap. 14. They which by Gods deepe judgement are not se­vered by the predestination of grace from the lumpe of perdition, to them are not applyed Gods promises or workings, through which they might beleeve, if they should heare or see such things.


THis not electing or over-pas­sing doth not presuppose in the man overpassed any qualitie or other condition, then that which is in the elect, and which is common to the whole corrupted heape.

GOd choosing out of his mercy doth find every elect person in the corrupted heape, overwhelmed in the same misery with the rest, and by his present condition subject to death. Rom. 9.15. I will have mer­cy on whom I will have mercy. and ver. 23. That he may make knowne the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy which he had prepared to glory. Also (ver. 22.) God willing to shew his wrath and make knowne his power, &c.

So equall objects and persons of the same condition being propounded, why God should free some, and not all, why these ra­ther then them, hee does not fetch the reason out of any disparity among them, but onely [Page 34] out of Gods free pleasure to show forth here his rich glory, there his just wrath, when he makes these (such as they were not) vessels of mercy, those, (such as they very neere were) vessels of wrath.

A type hereof is represented unto us, Ezek. 1.16. where the naturall impurity of all men is set downe (v 4.) and the goodnesse of God choosing, (v 6.) When thou wast in thy blood, I said unto thee, live▪ yea I said unto thee (others be­ing left in their impurity.)

Aug. de bon. persev. cap 7. Idem con [...]. 1. Iulian. lib 5. c. 3. He which is freed let him love Gods grace, hee which is not freed, let him acknowledge his owne debt, although all men out of the same masse of per­dition and damnation, according to the hardnesse of their heart, doe treasure up for themselves wrath, as much as in them lyes, God notwithstanding through his mercifull goodnesse does bring from that state some to repentance others according to his just judg­ment be does not bring.

Prosp. de voc. gent. lib. 1. c 17. Grace doth find some, whom it may adopt among the most wicked at their last end, when many, which seeme lesse guilty, have no part in this gift.


WHen God affordeth his sa­ving Gospel to save Na­tions, hee doth not this out of consi­deration of speciall worth in them: And when hee denies this benefit to others, there is alwaies a conco­mitant unworthinesse in them, to whom it is denied. But the meere will of God is the onely cause, why to these he will not show that mer­cy, which out of his good pleasure he vouchsafed to others no lesse un­worthy thereof.

DEut. 9.4. Say not in thine heart, for my righteousnesse, the Lord hath brought mee in to possesse this land, when for the wickedness of those Nations he hath driven them out from be­fore thee: and (v. 5.) That he might performe the word that he sware unto thy Fathers.

Vpon the like motives God alwayes finds [Page 36] in all places why he should not giue his Gos­pel to be preached, or why hee should take it away being once given. But where hee af­fordeth it to a people, it is not for their righte­ousnesse, or lesse wickednesse, then is other­where found; as if it were out of a kinde of congruity or desert, but for his good pleasure and freedome of his spirit, which blowes where it listeth, and as long as it will.

Prosp de voc. gent. lib. 1. c. 16. If we will ascribe this to the merits of mens wills, that grace should bee said to passe by the bad, and choose the good, the state of many innumerable Nati­ons will confute us, to whom for so many ages the light of heavenly doctrine hath not shined.

Neither can we say that their posterity were bet­ter men, of whom it was written; The Gentiles, which sate in darkenesse, have seene a great light.


TO some of those, to whom the Gospel hath shined, al­though they bee indued with many gifts of grace, yet of their owne ac­cord, and withall infallibly, they, [Page 37] by Gods permission, fall into those sinnes, in which being forsaken and so remaining till death, they make themselves liable to just damnation.

WE doe not deny but these though being not elected, yet receive ma­ny effects of grace, such as recko­ned up, Heb. 6.4. Illumination, tast of the hea­venly gift of the good word, and of the powers of the world to come. All which they turne to their owne greater destruction, being left to their owne wills, and not being founded upon Christ according to the decree of Election, Rom. 11.7. The election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

He that falls away from Christ, Prosp. ad cap. Gall. resp. 2. and ends his life being an alien from grace, shall bee damned for his last sinnes. And because his Apostacy could not be hidden from Gods foreknowledge, nor frustrate the same, without doubt God never chose such a man, be never predestinated him, yea hee never set apart from eternall death him, who was to perish.

Some receive the grace of God, Aug. de correp. es gral. cap. 13. but for a time, they persevere not, they forsake God, and are [Page 38] forsaken of him: for they are left to their owne freewill.


GOd damnes none, or destinates to damnation, except in conside­ration of sinne.

1 GOd dispenseth the gifts of grace to his free will. Matt. 20. 15. It is not lawfull for me to doe what I will with mine owne? Yet hee never appoints the evill of punishment, but upon the fore-seene guilt of men. Rom. 3. 9. The Iewes and Greekes are all under sinne. (v. 19.) That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world guiltie before God. Rom. 2. 9. Tribulation and anguish be unto the soule of every man that worketh evill.

2 Moreover, damnation is an act of vin­dicative justice, and therefore it must necessa­rily presuppose a precedent fault.

Prosp. ad Cap. Gall. Sent. 14. A man that is not predestinated, perisheth by vo­luntary, not by constrained infidelity.

Ibid. ad cap. Gall. resp. 16. The predestination of God hath neither excited, perswaded, nor forced the falls of those which perish, nor the untowardnesse of wicked men, nor the wicked [Page 39] desires of sinners, but God hath fore-ordained his owne judgement, by which hee will render to every one according to that he hath done.

Erroneous Opinions.


THat the decree, by which God from all eterni­tie, and that irrevocably, hath purposed out of lapsed mankinde, to leave none but the impe­nitent, and incredulous, in sinne, and under the wrath of God, as being aliens from Christ, is the whole andentire decree of Reprobation.

1 THis we deny, for the reasons alled­ged by us against the first erroneous position of Election.

2 Besides, in this decree, there is not con­tained the speciall will of God, not to take pi­tie of whom he will, in which the decree of reprobation (as it is opposed to Election) is formally contained.

3 Adde to this, that if this decree were granted, it might come to pass that God might passed by none, but that all might hee chosen, and brought to eternall life.


THat Reprobation from salvation is not of one kinde onely, but is either indefinite and gene­rall, or else definite and particular: and that this is also diverse, either incomplete, revocable, mu­table: or else complete, irrevocable, immutable.

REprobation, which is the negation of Election, doth set downe to us the im­mutable will of God, by which he hath decreed not to take pitie of that person, whom he passeth by, so farre forth as to bestow upon him eternall life. Now this will of God doth not admit any change at all. Esa. 46.10. My counsell shall stand. Malach. 3.6. I am the Lord, I change not.

Hereto may be added what wee have for­merly set downe at the fourth orthodoxall position, and at the fourth erroneous position concerning Election.

Prosp. de vocat. Gen [...]. lib. 2. c. 33. All the children of adoption, before the founda­tion of the world, were chosen: In which election what man soever was not foreknowne in Christ, shall not by any meanes be joyned unto him.


THat no man after Adams fall was overpas­sed by the meere will of God, but all reproba­tion of particular persons was made upon consi­deration of their antecedent infidelity, and finall perseverance in the same.

MOst certaine it is, that God from all e­ternity did know, that those, whom he should passe by, would dye in their infidelity. But it is false that this foreseene in­fidelity should be the cause of his not-electing them.

1 For all men, and every man in particular, if not elected to persevering faith, are foreseen, as persevering in infidelity; and no man is fore­seen as with out faile persevering in his infide­lity, but he, whom God in the disposing of effectuall grace by his antecedent decree hath passed by, Ioh. 20. 26. Ye beleeve not, because ye are not of my sheepe. 1 Ioh. 2. 19. If they had beene of us, they had continued with us. The Apostle fetch­eth this preterition, or non-election from the meere will of God; as it is manifest out of the forecited places, at the first Orthodoxall positi­on concerning Reprobation, & at the second [Page 42] error concerning Election.

2 To conclude, if we shall set downe for a ground, that no man is reprobated, but for his foreseene impenitence, and finall incredu­litie, there should be no mysterie in the decree of Reprobation, nothing vnsearchable, no­thing beyond our reach; quite contrary to that of the Apostle, Rom. 11.33. Oh the depth, &c. to that, Rom. 9.20. What art thou O man, who disputest against God?

Aug. Epist. 107. We know that grace is not given to all men, and that where it is bestowed, it is not given according to the merit of their workes, neither yet according to the merit of their will, to whom it is given.

Ibid. Many are not saved, not because they would not be saved, but because God will not. That is, because God is not pleased to bestow speciall effectuall grace upon them.


THat no man is considered of God, as reproba­ted, passed by, or not elected, except in the ve­ry moment of death.

THis is manifestly false, because the con­sequents of this preterition, are appa­rantly [Page 43] shewed toward them, whom God doth paste by, even in this life. Such are those descriptions obvious in the holy Scriptures. Of not calling according to the purpose of God; Gods permitting men to walke in their owne waies, that their hard hearts are not mollified. With whom God deales after this manner, those he considers, as men, whom he had formerly passed by, or not-eglected, Ro. 9. God hated Esau before hee had done either good or ill. Mat. 13. To some it is not given to know the mystery of the Kingdome of Heaven.

The Suffrage concerning the second Article.


OVt of an especiall love and intention both of God the Fa­ther, and of Christ himselfe, Christ dyed for the Elect, that hee might [Page 44] effectually obtaine for them, and in­fallibly bestow on them both remis­sion of sinnes, and salvation.

THis first proposition declareth, that the Elect shall without faile have remission of sinnes, and eternall life by the death of Christ, and that out of the especiall love and intention of God the Father, and Christ. This is proved out of the holy Scriptures, which doe shew forth the efficacie of the death of the Sonne of God in respect of the Elect, Iohn 11.51. Iesus must dye for the Nati­on, and not onely for that Nation, but that hee might gather into one the sonne of God, which were dispersed, Ephes. 5.25. God loved the Church, and gave himselfe for it, that he might sanctifie it, &c. In which words is declared the intention of Christ offering himselfe, as the same offering concerneth the infallible be­stowing of salvation.


OVt of the selfe same love by and for the merit and inter­cession of Christ, faith, and perse­verance, are given to the same E­lect, yea and all other things, by which the condition of the covenant is fulfilled, and the promised bene­fit, namely, eternall life is obtained.

THis position sheweth, that out of the death and intercession of Christ, those gifts of grace doe flow to the Elect, by which they are effectually brought to life eternall. Rom. Hee that spared not his owne Sonne, how shall he not even with him give us all things? Heb. 8.10. I will give my lawes into their mindes, and in their hearts I will write them. For that grace, which is given unto the Elect for the death of Christ, is the grace of effectuall redemption. Now wee understand by the grace of redemption, not such a grace, by which men may bee redeemed, if they will, [Page 46] but by which they are in event mercifully re­deemed, because God so willeth.


GOd taking pitie on mankinde being falne, sent his Son, who gave himselfe a ransome for the sins of the whole world.

IN this oblation of Christ we consider two things: the manner of calling of men to the actuall participation of this sacrifice, and the benefit divers wayes redounding unto men by the same sacrifice.

As for the manner, there is no mortall man, who cannot truly and seriously bee called by the Ministers of the Gospell to the participati­on of remission of sinnes, and eternall life by this death of Christ. Acts 13.33.39. Bee it knowne unto you that remission of sinnes is preached by Christ. Iohn 3.17. He that beleeves not, is con­demned, because he hath not beleeved in the Sonne of God. There is nothing false, nothing colou­rably fained in the Gospell, but whatsoever is offered or promised in it by the Ministers of the word, is after the same manner offered & [Page 47] promised unto them by the Author of the Gospell.

Touching the benefit by the death of Christ, in which is contained an infinite trea­sure of merits, and spirituall blessings, the ac­tuall fruit doth redound to men after that manner, and that measure, and by the same meanes, as seemes good to God himselfe.

Now it pleaseth God even after the accep­tation of this sacrifice, no otherwise to bestow actually upon any man remission of sinnes and eternall life, then by faith in the same Re­deemer. And here that same eternall and se­cret decree of Election shewes it selfe, in as much as that price was paid for all, and will certainly promote all beleevers unto eternall life, yet is not beneficiall unto all; because all have not the gift of fulfilling this condition of the gracious covenant. Christ therefore so dyed for all, that all and every one by the meanes of faith might obtaine remission of sins, and eternall life by vertue of that ransome paid once for all mankinde. But Christ so dyed for the elect, that by the merit of his death in speciall manner destinated unto them [Page 48] according to the eternall good pleasure of God, they might infallibly obtaine both faith and eternall life.


VPon this merit of Christ is founded that generall promise of the Gospell, according to which al that beleeve in Christ may really attaine remission of sins, and eter­nall life.

THat this promise is universall, and founded onely upon the death of Christ, it is evi­dent out of the 10. of the Acts 43. To him give all the Prophets witnesse, that they shall receive remission of sinnes, by his name, as many as beleeve in him, &c. Rom. 3.24.25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood. Therefore although this promise bee not di­vulged unto all in every time and place, yet it is of that nature, that it may be truly published to all and every one: For the nature of the promise extends it selfe perpetually to man­kinde, although the knowledge of the pro­mise [Page 49] according to the speciall providence of God, is published sometimes to these, some­times to other Nations. Marke 16.15. Goe into all the world, and preach the Gospell to every crea­ture. He that beleeveth, &c.


IN the Church, wherein accor­ding to the promise of the Gospel salvation is offered to all, there is such an administration of grace, as is sufficient to convince all impeni­tents and unbeleevers, that by their owne voluntary default, either through neglect or contempt of the Gospell, they perish, and come short of the benefit offered unto them.

CHrist by his death not onely established the euangelicall covenant, but moreover obtained of his Father, that wheresoever this Covenant should bee published, there also, together with it, ordinarily such a measure of supernaturall grace should bee dispensed, as [Page 50] may suffice to convince all impenitents and unbeleevers of contempt, or at least of neg­lect, in that the condition was not fulfilled by them.

Here two things are briefly to bee explai­ned. Whereof the first we put downe for a supposition: That some measure of grace is ordinarily offered by the Ministerie of the Gospell.

The second for a position: That that grace is sufficient to convince all impenitents and incredulous persons, either of contempt, or at least of neglect.

The first is plaine out of the Scriptures. Esay 59. and the last verse. This is my covenant with them, saith the Lord: My Spirit that is upon thee, and my word, which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth from henceforth, and for ever. Hence it is evident that the word and the Spirit are inseparably joyned together by the promise of God in the Ministery of the word.

Hence the Ministers of the new Testa­ment are called the Ministers, not of the letter, but of the spirit, not of the killing letter; but of the [Page 51] spirit that giveth life. 2 Cor. 3.6. The ministery of the Gospell. v. 8. is called [...]: The ministration of the Spirit. Hence is the Gos­pell styled, Tit. 2.11. [...], saving grace, or the grace that bringeth salvation: and [...], 2 Cor. 5.19. The word of reconciliation. And our Saviour, Luke 10.9.11. when he sent the 70. Disciples to preach the Gospell, commanded them, that they should say to the people, to whom they preached it, The kingdome of Hea­ven is come neare unto them. Because that some supernaturall grace is offered unto them, to whom the Gospell is preached.

It is not well said, Prosp. ad cap. Gali. resp ad ob. 4. that all those are not called to grace, to all whom the Gospell is preached, although there may be some, who obey not the Gospell.

The second is proved out of the 15 of Iohn 22. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sinne, but now have they no cloake for their sinne. Out of this place it is certaine, that Christ in propounding the Gospell, did with­all dispence that internall grace, which so far forth sufficed, that in that they accepted not, or rejected the Gospell, they might bee justly taxed of positive infidelity. Iohn 3.19. This is [Page 52] condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darknesse rather then light. So are men justly damned, because they turne away from the light of the Gospell. Heb. 2.3. How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? For the neglect of salvation offered in the Gospell, we are subject to just punishment: therefore sal­vation is offered in the Gospell.

Heb. 4.12. The Word of God is quicke and powerfull, and sharper then any two edged sword, piercing even to dividing asunder of soule and spi­rit, and of the joynts and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hence it comes to be manifest that there is such power and efficacie of the word, that it insinuates it selfe even into the secretest closets of the soule, and as it doth without faile quicken those which truely beleeve; so it doth truely inflict a deadly wound upon the stubborne.

Lastly, the Scripture threatneth most bitter punishments to those, who doe not receive; who neglect, who despise, the preaching of the Gospell. Mat. 10.14. Whosoever shall not heare your words, It shall be easier for Sodom. Heb. 6.4. It is impossible for those, who were once en­lightened [Page 53] and have tasted of the good gift of God, &c. For the earth which drinketh in the raine, and yet beareth thornes, and bryars, is nigh unto cursing.


NOtwithstanding this generall Covenant of saving those that beleeve, God is not tyed by any co­venant or promise to afford the Gospel, or saving grace, to all and every one. But the reason why hee affords it to some, and passeth by others, is his owne mercie and ab­solute freedome.

1 CHrist hath no otherwise established this covenant, then that the communica­tiō of this covenant shold remaine, in the free & full power of the Father. But God in giving one grace is not tyed to the giving of another. Matt. 10.15. Is it not lawfull for me to doe with my owne what I will?

No such covenant or promise is to be found in the Scriptures. God promiseth in the old [Page 54] Testament, that the preaching of the Gospell should be communicated to the Gentiles. In the new Testament the partition wall is bro­ken downe, and it is given in charge to the Apostles, Marke 16.15. Goe into all the world and preach the Gospell unto every creature: but God no where promised, that universally in the world, at one and the same time it should be preached.

Epistola ad Russ. & de vocat. gent. lib. 2 cap 3.Nay rather (as is well noted by Prosper,) Even at that very time, in which the preaching of the Gospell was sent to all Nations, hee, who would have all men to be saved, and come unto the know­ledge of the truth, yet forbad the Apostles to goe to some places. And so by this stopping or delaying of the Gospel, many were so foreslowen, or hindred, that they dyed without the knowledge of the truth, and without sanctifying regeneration. Let the Scripture speak what was done. But passing through Phrygia, and the Region of Galatia, they are forbidden by the holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, but after they were come to Mysia, they assayed to goe into Bithy­nia, but the spirit suffered them not; Thus farre Prosper.

2 Moreover, it is plainly evident (notwith­standing [Page 55] this universal Covenant, which was of force even in the old Testament) that God revealed not the knowledge hereof unto the Gentiles, Psal. Hee sheweth his word unto Iacob, he hath not dealt so with any Na­tion, and therefore they knew not these lawes. Acts 14.16. God in times past suffered all Nations to walke in their owne wayes. Yea and in our daies scarce the sixt part of the habitable world have given their names to Christ. But if in fact and event God hath never vouchsafed the preaching of the Gospel to all and every one, certainly then hee is not bound so to afford it. For he doth, whatsoever he hath bound him­selfe to doe.

The same also is to be said of saving grace. We no where in the Scriptures meet with a­ny mention of any promise, by which God hath bound himselfe to impart this grace to all and every one. Nay rather the Scripture makes mention of Gods liberty in commise­rating, Rom. 9.18. God hath mercy on whom hee will have mercy, notwithstanding this cove­nant grounded in the blood of Christ. And although God doth blesse with many bene­fits [Page 56] all men, yea even the most ungratefull, wch live without the lists of the Church, and al­though all men (as being sinners) stand in need of saving graces, yet is hee obliged to none, either to bestow the one or the other.

3 Lastly, it is concluded out of the holy Scriptures, that some are iudged and condem­ned for sinnes committed onely against the law of nature, Rom. 2.14.15. Whereby is im­plyed, that upon invincible ignorance they are excused for not fulfilling the Law of faith. Which excuse can have no place, where God proclaimes his Law, and men are bound to obey.

ERRONEOVS OPINIONS rejected by us.


THat Christs death being granted, God hath no other intention of saving any particular persons then conditionall, and suspended upon the contingent act of mans faith.

1 FOr the refuting this; sufficient grounds are laid by us in our former positions and reasons concerning the first Arti­cle, in which the election of particular persons [Page 57] is established, and incomplete Election con­futed.

Item, where the certaine meanes of salva­tion flowing from the decree of Election are set forth. Lastly, in this second Article, at the first and second Positions, where is proved, that Christ dyed with that intention, that hee might bestow speciall graces upon the elect.

2 All theologicall Arguments drawne from the Scriptures and analogy of faith, by which Christs incarnation, humiliation, and exaltation, are either proved or confirmed, do tend to the demonstration of Gods expresse intention, for a fruitfull effect of this so great a mystery, not producing it upon condition, (namely, if men would that this fruit might hence arise, when it was equally in their po­wer to nill the same) but effecting it with­out faile, the power of God working it.

3 Moreover, the house of God being to be built ex hominibus, of men, hath not sufficient firmenesse and solidity, if it be built ab homini­bus, by men: this fabricke must bee reared by Gods owne hand. Mat. 16.18. Vpon this rock will I build my Church. 1 Cor. 3.9. Yee are Gods [Page 58] husbandry, ye are Gods building. Ephes. 2.20. Be­ing built upon the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles, Christ himselfe being the chiefe corner stone: In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy Temple, &c. In whom you al­so are builded together. Ephes. 4.16. From whom the whole body fitly joyned together, and compacted by that which every joint supplyes according to the effectuall working in the measure of every part, &c. Therefore God building a Church for him­selfe, doth with his owne hand prepare the stones, polish them, and cyment them: hee doth not expect that they should by hap ha­zard fit themselves, and joyne themselves to the foundation.

4 Vpon no less certainty of a speciall decree, the salvatiō of the Church is fore-ordained to be effectually broght to pass by Christ, thē that by wch Christ himselfe is sent. The same voice of God which at first promised Christ to bee exhibited, doth also seale unto us by an abso­lute promise the effect thereof, without any condition. Gen. 3.15. The seed of the woman shall breake the Serpents head. But the Serpent is not crushed, but by the certaine freeing of some [Page 59] men from the captivity of Satan, and trans­plantation into the kingdome of the Sonne of God. Esa. 53.10. When thou shalt make his soule an offering for sinne, hee shall see his seed, hee shall prolong his dayes. Hebr. 2.13. Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Therefore the decree of God, concerning the continuance of his seed to be adopted into the houshold of Christ, is inseparably knit to the decree of lay­ing downe Christs soule for sinne: and unto Christ offering himselfe for a sacrifice children are given, not by or of themselves, but of God, who indeed gave Christ unto them.

5 If the fruit of Christs passion bee onely conditionall, then the benefit redounding from the second Adam is not more certaine then it had beene from the first Adam, for to him salvation was propounded under this condition (Doe this, and live,) which conditi­on that he might perform if he would, ability was given him by God, yet not so that hee should without faile performe it actually. But in the new Testament, grace being obtained for us by the death of Christ, salvation is not onely offered unto us under a condition, (be­leeve [Page 60] and thou shalt be saved) but God brings to passe by his holy Spirit, that we beleeve actu­ally. Heb. 8.6. He is the Mediator of a better co­venant, which was established upon better promi­ses. And what that promise is, it is evident, v. 10. I will put my lawes into their mindes, and write them in their hearts.


THat it was the proper and entire end of Christs death, that he might purchase right and power unto God the Father, to save men up­on what conditions he would.

1 IF the death of Christ did purchase no­thing else for us, then to open a meanes for the making of any new covenant with mankinde, then are we not freed from the yoake of the Law, because notwithstan­ding this, it shall bee free for God the Father, yea even after the payment and acceptation of this sacrifice, againe to impose upon us the condition of performing the Law. But Christ to take away the curse of the Law, was for us, that is, in our stead, and that once, made [...], [Page 61] a curse, Gal. 3.13. Therefore we cannot, in re­spect of the Law not performed by us, bee made againe guiltie of the Law, and [...], the second time accursed.

2 Christ by his death hath merited for us the very reconciliation of our persons with God, yea and grace to be actually imparted to us, Ioh. 1.16. Of his fulnesse have all we received; Otherwise the second Adam (being the Lord from Heaven) had bin lesse helpfull to his, thē the first Adam (being from the earth earthly,) had beene harmefull to his, both in respect of imputation, if Christ had not undergone pu­nishment for us, and also in respect of trans­fusion, if no propagating grace bee derived from Christ the head into his members.


THat Christs death hath obtained for all men, restitution into the state of grace and sal­vation.

1 SAlvation is a thing promised by the new covenāt, neither is it promised, but upon the condition of faith. Whosoever beleeveth shall be saved. Since therefore all men [Page 62] have not faith in Christ, under wch only con­dition salvation is promised, it is certaine that the death of Christ did not obtaine for all, but for the faithfull alone, a restoring into the state of grace and salvation, which is abundantly proved, by that of the Apostle, Rom. 5.1. Being justified by faith we have peace with God. By peace in that place we understand our reconciliatiō with God, who were formerly enemies, and our restoring into the bosome of grace. This is also further enforced by those places,Rom. 3.4. Gal. 2.16. Which prove that we are ju­stified by faith alone in Christ, that is, accoun­ted by God for just persons.

2 Without faith in Christ, man doth re­maine in the state of damnation, Iohn 3.18. He is already judged. Iohn 3.36. He shall not see life, but the wrath of God remaineth on him. But they whosoever are restored into the bosome of grace, every one of them hath remission of sinnes, which makes men happy, Psal. 32.1. neither doe they remaine in condemnation; neither doth the wrath of God remaine upon them. They therefore who want faith, are not restored, by the death of Christ, into the [Page 63] state of grace or salvation, since through the name of Christ no man obtaineth remission of sinnes, except hee who beleeves in him, Acts 10.43.

3 If so be the death of Christ hath obtain­ed restitution for all, then are they restored ei­ther then when Christ from all eternity was destinated to death, which is false; For so no man should be borne a child of wrath, nei­ther should originall sinne any whit damage mankinde, being according to this opinion from all eternity forgiven them, neither should infants and other need the laver of regenera­tion: which is contrary to the assertion of our Saviour, Iohn 3.5. Except a man be borne of water and the spirit, he cannot enter into the King­dome of Heaven. Or else they were restored in the person of our first parents, when the pro­mise of the seed of the woman was proclaim­ed. Which cannot be. For our first parents were not restored into the state of grace, but by faith in Christ, and consequently their po­sterity in like manner. Therefore not all, whether beleevers or unbeleevers, are resto­red. Or lastly, when Christ himselfe suffered [Page 64] death upon the Crosse, which cannot be. For so no man before that moment should have beene restored, which will not be granted by any: neither are all restored from that time, because without doubt even at that moment and afterward, the anger of God waxed hot against some of his accusers, condemners, cru­cifiers, and mockers.

Their Suffrage concerning the third and fourth ARTICLES.
First of the strength of freewill in man after the fall.


THe will of man being falne, is deprived of the supernaturall and saving graces with which it was endowed in the state of innocen­cy, and therefore to the performing [Page 65] of any spirituall actions it is able to doe nothing without the assistance of grace.

THat the will of man was endowed with excellent graces, it is hence mani­fest, because man was made after the Image of God. But the jmage of God had the prime place in the cheife faculty of the soule, and what these graces were with which the will of man was beautified in the Creati­on, it is evident out of those things, which are restored for the making whole againe of this Image, Ephes. 4.24. Put yee on that new man, which after God is created in righteousnesse and true holinesse. And that this righteousnesse, holiness and uprightnesse of our will was lost by the fall, it is cleare by this second receiving the same, being recovered by the grace of God in Christ. For wee are to put on anew, that which we put off in Adam, when hee was stript and left naked.

And that such a will as this of ours availes nothing to the performance of supernaturall actions, the Scripture cleerely witnesseth, Iohn [Page 66] 15.5. Without me you can doe nothing. Rom. 5.6. When as yet wee were of no strength, &c. 2 Cor. 3.5. We are not sufficient of our selves to thinke any thing, as of our selves.

L [...]chirid. c. 30.Hence is that saying of St. Austin, What good can a wicked man doe except so farre forth as hee is freed from perdition. And againe, Our will is so farre said to be free, as it is freed.


THere is in the will of a man being fallen, not onely a possi­bility of sinning, but also an head­long inclination to sinne.

THis possibility was in the will, even when it was incorrupt, as it is too evi­dent by the event. But after the fall, e­ven by the fall, there was over and above ad­ded, a greedy thirst and desire to sinne. Iob 15.16. Man drinkes iniquity like water. A content and delight in sinne, Prov. 2.14. Who rejoyce to doe evill, and delight in the frowardnesse of the wic­ked, [Page 67] Gen. 6.5. Every imagination of the thoughts of mans heart was evill continually. A slavery under sinne, Rom. 6.17. Ye were the servants of sinne. Lastly, death in sinne, Ephes. 2.2. You were dead in sinnes and trespasses.

Neither can the case stand otherwise in cor­rupt man not yet restored by the grace of God, since that such is the nature of the will, that it cannot remaine single or utterly unfur­nished, but falling frō one object, to which it did adhere, it pursues another eagerly to em­brace it. And therefore being by a voluntary Apostasie habitually turned from God the Creator, it runnes to the creature, with an un­bridled appetite, and in a lustful and base man­ner commits fornication with it, being al­wayes desirous to set her heart and rest on those things wch ought only to be used on the By, and to attempt and accomplish things forbidden. What maruell then if such a will be the bondslave of the deuill? Luk. 11.21. When a strong man armed keepes his place, his goods are in peace, &c.

The will without charity is nothing but a vicious desire. Augu. Retract. 1.5.

Of those things that goe before Conversion.


THere are certaine externall workes ordinarily required of men before they be brought to the state of regeneration, or conversion, which are wont sometimes to be per­formed freely by them, and other­whiles freely omitted, as to goe to Church, to hear the word preached, or the like.

THat such things are required it is manifest, Rom. 10.4. How shall they beleeve in him, of whom they have not heard. And that they are in our power both reason tells us, seeing it is in every mans power to rule his mouing faculty; and experience proves it, because wee see, in outward things, men, as they will thē ­selves, doe this or that, or omit both. They can therefore sit at home, when they should go to [Page 69] Church. It is in their power to stoppe their eares when the Preacher speakes. Marke 6.20. Herod heard Iohn gladly. Acts 13 46. The Iewes refuse to heare the Gospell. Psal. 58.4. The wic­ked stop their eares like the deafe Adder.


THere are certaine inward ef­fects going before conversion, or regeneration, which by the power of the word and Spirit are stirred up in the hearts of men not yet ju­stified; As are, a knowledge of Gods will, a sense of sinne, a feare of pu­nishment, a bethinking of freedome, and some hope of pardon.

THE grace of God is not wont to bring men to the state of justification (in which we have peace with God through our Lord Iesus Christ) by a sudden Enthusiasme, or rapture, but by divers degrees of foregoing actions taming and preparing them through the Ministery of the word.

[Page 70]1 This we may see in those, who upon hea­ring S. Peters Sermon, feele the burden of their sinne, are stricken with feare and sorrow, de­sire deliverance, and conceive some hope of pardon: All which may bee collected of those words, Acts 2.37 When they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said to Peter and the rest of the Apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we doe?

2 This the very nature of the thing re­quires; for as in the naturall generation of man there are many previous dispositions, which go before the bringing in of the form: so also in the spirituall generation, by many actions of grace which must goe before, doe we come to the spirituall nativity.

3 To conclude, this appeares by the in­struments which God uses for the regenera­ting of men. For he imployeth the Ministery of men, and the instrument of the word, 1 Cor. 4.15. I have begotten you through the Gos­pell. But if God would regenerate or justifie a wicked man immediately, being prepared by no knowledge, no sorrow, no desire, no hope of pardon, there would be no need of the mi­nistery [Page 71] of men, nor of the preaching of the word for this purpose: neither would any care lye upon the Ministers, dividing the word of God aright, fitly and wisely first to wound the consciences of their auditors with the terrors of the Law, then to raise them up with the promises of the Gospell, and to ex­hort them to beg faith and repentance at Gods hand, by prayers and teares.


WHom God doth thus prepare by his Spirit through the meanes of the word, those doth hee truly and seriously call and invite to faith and conversion.

BY the nature of the benefit offered, and by the evident word of God we must judge of those helpes of grace, which are bestowed upon men, and not by the abuse, or the event. Therefore when the Gospell of its owne na­ture calls men to repentance, and salvation, when the incitements of divine grace tend the [Page 72] same way, we must not suppose any thing is done fainedly by God. This is proved by those earnest and patheticall intreaties, 2 Cor. 5.20. We pray you in Christs stead be ye reconciled vnto God. Those exhortations, 2 Cor. 6.1. Wee beseech you that you receive not the grace of God in vaine: those expostulations, Gal. 1.6. I marvell that you are so soone removed from him, that called you to the grace of Christ: those promises, Apoc. 3.20. Behold I stand at the doore and knocke; if any man heare my voice and open the doore, I will come in to him.

But if God should not seriously invite all, whom he vouchsafes this gift of his word and Spirit, to a serious conversion, surely both God should deceive many, whom he calls in his Sonnes name, and the messengers of the Euangelicall promises might bee accused of false witnesse, and those, who being called to conversion doe neglect to obey, might bee more excusable. For that calling by the word and the Spirit cannot be thought to leave men unexcusable, which is onely exhibited to this end to make them unexcusable.


THose whom God hath thus di­sposed, he doth not forsake, nor cease to further them in the true way to conversion, before he be for­saken of them by a voluntary neglect or repulse of this initiall or entring grace.

THe talent of grace once given by God is taken from none, but from him, who first buries it by his owne fault. Mat. 25.28. Hence is it that in the Scriptures every where wee are admonished, that we resist not the Spirit, that we quench not the Spirit, that we receive not the grace of God in vaine, Heb. 3.7. that wee depart not from God. Yea that is most evidently noted to bee the reason of Gods forsaking man, because God is first forsaken by man. Prov. 1.24. Be­cause I have called and you refused, I will laugh at your calamity. 2 Chron. 24.20. Because yee have forsaken the Lord, he hath also forsaken you. But never in the Scriptures is there the least men­tion [Page 74] that God is wont, or is willing, at any time, without some fault of man going be­fore, to take away from any man the aid of his exciting grace, or any help which he hath once conferred towards mans conversion.

Thus the Orthodoxe Fathers, who had to doe with the Pelagians ever taught.Aug. vel Prosp. ad [...] 7. It is the will of God that wee continue in a good will, who be­fore he be forsaken forsakes no man, and oftentimes converts many that forsake him.


THese foregoing effects wroght in the mindes of men by the power of the word and the Spirit, may be stifled and utterly extingui­shed by the fault of our rebellious will, and in many are, so that some, in whose hearts by the vertue of the word and the Spirit, some knowledge of divine truth, some sorrow for sin, some desire and care of deliverance [Page 75] have beene imprinted, are changed quite contrary, reject and hate the truth, deliver themselves up to their lusts, are hardned in their sins, and, without all desire or care of free­dome from them, rot and putrifie in them.

MAtth. 13.19. The wicked one commeth and catcheth away that which was sowne in his heart. 2 Pet. 2.21. It had beene better for them not to have knowne the way of righteousnesse, then after they have knowne it, to turne from the holy commandement delivered unto them. But it is hap­pened to them according to the true Proverb, The dog is turned to his owne vomit. Heb. 6.4. It is im­possible for those who were once enlightned, and have tasted of the heavenly gifts, and were made partakers of the holy Ghost, and have tasted of the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to returne them againe to repentance.

Many doe quickly entertaine the light of the minde,Prosp. de vocat. lib. 2. cap. 2. but the understanding it selfe hath not the [Page 76] same force or power in all, and many when they seem enriched with faith and understanding, yet they want charity, and cannot hold fast to those things which they see by faith, and understanding, because there is no persevering in that which is not loved with the whole heart.


THe very elect in those acts go­ing before regeneration, do not carie themselves so, but that for their negligence and resistance, they may justly be relinquished and for­saken of God, but such is the speciall mercy of God towards them, that, though they doe for a while repell and choake the grace of God, exci­ting or enlightning them, yet God doth urge them againe and againe, nor doth he cease to stirre them for­ward, till hee have throughly subdu­ed them to his grace, and set them in the state of regenerate sonnes.

[Page 77]IOhn 6.37. Whatsoever my Father gives me shall come to me, and him that commeth unto mee I will in no wise cast out. Ier. 14.7. O Lord, though our iniquities testifie against us, doe thou it for thy names sake: for our backslidings are many. And 32.39. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may feare me for ever. Philip. 1.6. He that hath begunne a good worke in you, will performe it untill the day of Iesus Christ.

But if God should not goe on thus to fol­low even those that hold off and retire from him, no calling would bee effectuall, there would be no filiall adoption, and even electi­on it selfe, grounded upon the good pleasure of God, would be frustrated.

Since the fall of man,Aug. de persev. God would have it ascribed to his grace that a man doth come unto him, neither will he have it ascribed to any thing but his grace, that a man doth not goe from him.


THose that are not elected, when they resist the Spirit of God, and his grace, in these acts forego­ing [Page 78] regeneration, and extinguish the initiall effects of the same in them­selves, by the fault of their own free-will, are justly forsaken by God, whensoever it pleases him: whom by their owne fault so forsaken, we truly pronounce to remaine by the same demerit hardened and uncon­verted.

WE thinke it to be without all doubt, that no mortal man doth so cary him­selfe toward God, but that either by omitting that, which he should have done, or committing that, which hee should not have done; he deserves to have the grace taken frō him, which hee hath. Which ground being forelayed, it is cleere, that God without all in­justice and cruelty may take from such men that grace, which hee hath extended to them, and leave them to the hardnesse of their own hearts, Rom. 9.18. Hee hath mercy on whom hee will have mercy, and whom hee will hee hardeneth. God oweth this to no man, that when he re­sists [Page 79] enlightening & exciting grace, and serves his own lusts, he should then soften and mol­lifie him by that speciall grace, which no hard heart doth resist, Rom. 11.35. Who hath first gi­ven unto him, and it shall be recompenced unto him againe? Againe he, that is thus forsaken, being not converted, perishes through his owne fault, Iohn 5.34.40. I say these things that yee might be saved, and ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life. Acts 28. The heart of this people is waxed grosse, lest they should be converted and I should heale them.

Of conversion, as it designes the immediate worke of God regene­rating men.


GOd doth regenerate, by a cer­taine inward and wonderfull operation, the soules of the elect, be­ing stirred up and prepared by the aforesaid acts of his grace; and doth, as it were, create them anew, by in­fusing [Page 80] his quickning spirit, and sea­soning all the faculties of the soule with new qualities.

HEre, by regeneration we understand not every act of the holy Spirit, which goes before or tends to regeneration, but that act, which as soone as it is there, we conclude presently this man is now borne of God.

This spirituall birth presupposes a minde moved by the spirit, using the instrument of Gods Word, whence also wee are said to bee borne againe by the incorruptible seed of the word, 1 Pet. 1.23. Which must be observed, lest any one should idlely and slothfully expect an Enthusiasticall regeneration, that is to say, wrought by a sudden rapture without any foregoing action either of God, the Word, or himselfe.

Furthermore wee conclude that the spirit regenerating us, doth convey it selfe into the most inward closset of the heart, and frame the minde anew by curing the sinfull incli­nations therof, & by giving it strength, and in­fusing into it a formall originall cause or ac­tive [Page 81] power to produce spirituall actions ten­ding to salvation, Ephes. 2.10. We are his work­manship created in Christ Iesus to good works. Ezek. 36.26. I will take away your stony heart, and give you an heart of flesh.

From this worke of God commeth our ability of performing spiritual actions leading to salvation. As the act of beleeving, 1 Iohn 5.1. Whosoever beleeves that Iesus is the Christ, is borne of God. Of loving, 1 Iohn 4.7. Every one that loveth is borne of God. Lastly, all works of piety, Iohn 15.5. Without me ye can doe nothing.

Prosper saith that Grace creates good in us. De lib arb.

The Schoolemen doe not deny so mani­fest a truth.Quaest disp. de verit. art. 2. Thomas Aquinas affirmes, that this grace, of which we speake, doth give a certaine spirituall being to the soule, that it is a certaine su­pernaturall pertaking of the divine nature, that it is, in respect of the soule, as health is in respect of the body.


IN this worke of regeneration, man is meerly passive, neither is [Page 82] it in the power of mans will to hin­der God regenerating thus imme­diately.

IOhn 1.13. Which were borne, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. For if in the naturall creation it be true that God made us, and not we ourselves, much more in the spirituall recreation, Ier 13.23. If the Ethiopian cannot change his skin; nei­ther can man defiled with sinne correct his naturall corruption.

In the will depraved there is the passive po­wer to receive this supernaturall being, com­ming from without, but not the active to produce it of it selfe, or with another, Ier. 17.14. Heale me O Lord, and I shall be healed.

In quickning of men God doth expect no begin­ning from mans will, Epistola Syno­dica Episcopo [...]is African. but hee quickneth the will it selfe, by making it good.

Bern de grat & lib. ar. Bern ibidem. What doth freewill? I answer briefly; It is saved. This worke cannot be effected without two▪ one, by whom it is done, the other, in whom it is done. God is the Author of salvatiō, freewil is only capable of it.

Aug. de cor. & gra. cap. 14. Our creation in Christ was made into the free­dome [Page 83] of the will, and without us; if into freedome, then not out of freedome; If without us, then it is not in us to hinder this worke of God.

When God determineth to save, no will of man resisteth.

Of Conversion, as it imports what man himselfe doth in turning to God by faith and saving repentance.


VPon the former conversion followeth this our actual con­version, wherein out of our reformed will, God himselfe draweth forth the very act of our beleeving, and converting: and this our will being first moved by God, doth it selfe also worke by turning unto God, and be­leeving, that is, by executing with­all its owne proper lively act.

1 IN order of time the worke of God con­verting man, and the act of man turning [Page 84] himselfe to God, can hardly be distinguished, but in order of causality or efficiency, Gods worke must needs goe before, and ours fol­low; An evill tree, naturally bringing forth e­vill fruit, must needs be changed into a good tree, before it can beare any good fruit: but the will of an unregenerate man, is, not onely as a bad, but as a dead tree▪ Therefore if it bring forth good fruit, it doth it, not that thereby it may be bettered, or that by its owne coope­ration it may be quickned; but it doth it, be­cause it is already changed and quickned.

This is elegantly expressed by Saint Austin. A wheele (saith he) doth not therefore run well, Ad Simpli. lib. 1. q. 2. that it may be round, but because it is round. So say we, the will runnes well, not that it may be regene­rated, but because it is already regenerated.

De Sacram. fid. pag. 242. Hugo de sancto Victore to the same purpose: Renewing grace (saith he) causeth a reformed will first to exist, then gives power to this will to be mo­ved: first it works the will, afterward it workes by the will.

2 Secondly, wee say that God doth not onely worked this habituall conversion, wher­by a man gets new spirituall ability to beleeve [Page 85] and convert, but also, that God doth, by a cer­taine wonderfull efficacy of his secret opera­tion, extract out of our regenerated will the very act of beleeving and converting. So the Scripture speaketh in divers places. Iohn 6.66. The Father giveth us power to come unto the Sonne, that is, to beleeve. Phil. 1.29. To you it is given to beleeve, [...], the very act of beleeving. 2 Tim. 2.26. God giveth repentance.

But if God by infusing some strength into us should only give us a possibility or power of beleeving, a possibility or power of con­verting, and so leave the act to the free will of men; surely we should all doe as our first fa­ther did, by our free will we should fall from God, neither should we ever bring this pos­sibility into act. This therefore is that excel­lent special grace granted to the elect in Christ, wherby they not only can beleeve if they will, but also will beleeve then when they can. Phil. 2.13. God worketh in us the will and the deed. This working grace the Fathers of the Catho­lick Church have maintained against the Pela­gians. God commands a man to wil, In Epist. Synod. African. but he also works in him this very thing, namely, he commands him [Page 86] to doe, but also workes in him the doing.

Aug de grat. Christ. cap. 14. Every one, that hath learned of the Father, hath not onely power to come, but commeth indeed: where there is both the progresse of our possibility, the de­sire of our will, and the very effect of action.

Aug de praedest. Sanct. God effecteth our faith, working in our hearts after a wonderfull manner to make us beleeve.

3 Lastly, this also we adde, that this acti­on of God in producing faith, doth not hin­der, but rather is the cause that the will doth worke together with God, and produce its owne act. And therefore this act of beleeving, howsoever it is sent from God, yet, because it is performed by man, is attributed to man himselfe. Rom. 10.10. With the heart man be­leeveth unto righteousnesse. 2 Cor. 4.13. I belee­ved: therefore have I spoken.

Aug. de persev. lib. 2. cap. 2. It is God, not who beleeveth all things in all men, but who worketh all things in all men: it is certaine we beleeve when we beleeve, but it is God who brings to passe that we beleeve: wee are they that worke, but God workes in us the very working.


THis action of God doth not hinder the freedome of the wil, but strengthen it, neither doth it root out the vicious power we have to resist, but it doth effectually and sweetly bestow on a man a resolute will to obey.

1 HEre we deny two things; first, that by the divine operation there is any wrong offered to the will. For God doth so worke in nature, even when hee raiseth and advanceth it above its proper spheare, that he doth not destroy the particular nature and be­ing of any thing, but leaves to every thing its owne way and motion to performe the acti­on. When therefore God worketh in the wills of men by his Spirit of grace, he makes them move in their naturall course, that is, freely: and then doe they worke the more freely, by how much they are the more effec­tually stirred up by the Spirit. Iohn 8.36. If the [Page 88] Sonne shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. 2 Cor. 3.17. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Verily it seemeth incredible to us, that God, who made our wills, and gifted them with liberty, should not bee able to worke on them, or in them, after such a man­ner, as that without hurting the natures of them, he may freely to produce any good action by them.

Aug. de cor. c. 14. He doth what he pleaseth with the wills of men, and when he pleaseth: having an all-sufficient po­wer to incline mens hearts which way he listeth.

Prosp. de vocat. gent. l. 2. cap. 36. We so beleeve this more abundant grace to be powerfull, that we withall deny it to be violent.

2 A second thing which we here disclaime, is the whole extirpation of corruption. For although God in the very act of regeneration doth worke so powerfully upon the will, that actually the present power to resist is suspen­ded for that time, yet doth hee not plucke up by the roots, no not for that time, the remote power of resisting, which (as the Schoolemen speake) is potentia in actu primo posita, a power of the first and youngest growth, but hee suf­fers it to lurke and lye hid in the bitter root [Page 89] thereof. For so long as that root of corrupt and corrupting concupiscence remaines in the soule of man, certaine it is that there must needs be there withall, not onely a possibility but also a pronenesse to resist the motions of the holy spirit, Gal. 5.7. The flesh lusteth against the spirit. But this reluctant power, by reason of the most forcible, and yet sweet or gentle motion of grace, cannot in this case and at this time breake forth in actum secundum, into present operation and exercise. Pro. 21.2. The Kings heart is in the hand of the Lord, he turneth it whithersoever it pleaseth him. And consequent­ly the hearts of other men lesse free.

This grace cannot be resisted, Robertus Saris­bur. de verita­te grat. pag. 20. because first it worketh in us to will, that is, not to resist: for he can no farther resist, from whom to will to resist is taken away; as excellently writeth our Reverend late Bishop of Salisbury.


GOd doth not alwayes so move a converted and faithfull man to godly ensuing actions, that hee [Page 90] takes from him the very will of re­sisting, but sometimes hee suffers him, through his owne weaknesse, to stray from the direction of grace, and in many particular actions to follow his owne concupiscence.

WEE must alwayes put a difference be­tweene those principall acts, with­out which the Elect cannot be saved (such as are, to turne unto God, to beleeve, to perse­vere) and particular ensuing acts, which being considered by themselves, are not absolutely necessary to salvation, as the avoyding of this, and that sinne; the not omitting of such and such a good deed. For the performing of the former actions, grace doth so worke that it gives the Elect both power and will to ac­complish them. But, as for the latter, there is not wanting unto us, the motion and gui­dance of Gods Spirit through the whole course of our lives; yet so, that wee may bee wanting unto those motions of grace; yea and too too often wee are wanting unto them, [Page 91] and ever and an on we both freely and foully obey our owne corruptions. Hence that of the Apostle, Gal. 5.16. Walke in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Ephes. 4.30. Grieve not the spirit of God, by whom yee are sealed unto the day of redemption. For they are said to grieve the holy Spirit, who resist the guidance thereof, and with a servile libertie goe after their owne concupiscenes, contrary to the motion of grace, and suggestion of their own conscience.

Erroneous Opinions which wee reject.


THat the will is not capable of spirituall gifts; and that therefore there never were any spi­rituall gifts in the will of man before his fall; that these graces were never severed from the will of man upon his fall, and that such graces are never infused in regeneration into the wills of men.

THe holy Scripture, in placing Gods spi­rituall gifts in the heart, acknowledgeth also them to be in the will. As namely [Page 92] uprightnesse or truth, Psal. 32.12. Rejoyce all yee that are true in heart: puritie, Mat. 5.8. Blessed are the pure in heart: goodnes, Luke 8.15. They are those, which with an honest and good heart heare the word of God and keepe it.

1 But if any man shall referre these graces to the affections, and place them without the will, he shall (which were a foule enormity) settle the chiefest gifts of divine grace in the unreasonable part of the soule. Moreover, the very habituall conversiō of the will unto God the Creator, & the aversion or turning away thereof from the inordinate desire it had to commit fornication with the creature, with­out doubt is to be counted a chiefe and princi­pal gift. And that the will was capable of this gift, it doth hence plainly appeare, because it was created with such uprightnesse. For God in the beginning made man righteous. But that this righteousnes is lost, it is over manifest by the effects, seeing that now the will being carnall, cannot choose but injoy and rest in those things which it ought onely to make use of, and use the things which it ought ra­ther to injoy: forasmuch as a whole trope of [Page 93] sinfull dispositions have rushed and broke in upon the will.

2 Furthermore, as the will of a meere na­turall man, is said to be vicious frō a certaine inbred & inherēt wickednes, wch in a wicked man even thē when he doth nothing, is habi­tuall, so againe we must acknowledge that in the will of the regenerate there is a certaine righteousnesse, infused and given from God, which is presupposed in their religious actions

Saint Austin in many places setteth forth this habituall righteousnesse.

The good will of man goes before many graces of God, Enchir. cap. 32. but not before all, and this good will it selfe is to be reckoned among those gifts which it selfe can­not precede.

But lest any man should dreame that this goodnesse of the will is not an inward gift infused into that very faculty, but onely a bare denomination fetched from the act of the will;De vocat. lib. 1. cap. 6. Prosper calls it the first plantation of the hea­venly husbandman. Now a plantation notes something engrafted in the soule, not an act or action flowing from the soule.


THat that grace, by which wee are converted is onely a gentle and moral swasion or induce­ment.

WEE deny not, but in the worke of con­version, whether in fitting us for that future grace, or in confirming us therein, as already performed, God useth the perswasive force of his threats, promises & exhortations, by which he allureth, stirreth, and ploweth up the fallowes of mens hearts. But moreover, for adding without faile the last close to this operation, hee works more powerfully and unconquerably, according to the exceeding great­nesse of his power, and the working of his might, Ephes. 1.19. Neither is swasion sufficient, which no more then contingently affecteth and inviteth the will.

1 For morall swasion, moveth onely by way of object, and so farre forth as the end propounded can allure. But the Philosophers rightly determine, that, as the inclination of any one is, accordingly hee apprehends the end; So long therefore as a man is carnall and [Page 95] unregenerate, his will cannot so bee affected with supernaturall benefits proposed unto it, that by the desire of them hee should bee throughly enflamed to beleeve and convert. But the will must be overcome and changed by a powerfull operation exceeding all swasi­on, that so it may effectually embrace the good represented unto it.

2 If men should be converted unto God onely by a morall swasion, then this question, why, upon profer of equall grace, one man beleeves, another doth not, might be answe­red out of the free wils owne power of wil­ling or nilling, neither should we have herein any cause to admire the unsearchable wise­dome and justice of our God. But this sound doctrine hath alwaies beene defended against the Pelagians, Aug. de persev, l. 1. cap. 7. That conversion & faith comes from the secret grace of God, which according to his mer­cie is afforded to some, and according to his justice is not vouchsafed to others.

3 If men were converted onely by morall swasion, he which receives this swasive grace might truly say, I have separated my selfe: For I have received this gentle and swasive grace, [Page 96] which hath solicited me to faith and conver­sion, but no more then it solicited others: they, by the liberty of their free-will, did re­ject this morall swasion, and therefore they still remaine unconverted; but I, by the liber­tie of my free-will, have given way and em­braced the same swasion, and therefore I am converted. To what purpose then is that of Saint Paul, Who hath separated thee? What hast thou, which thou hast not received?

Aug. de praedest. cap. 9. Faith both begunne and perfected is the gift of God, and no man, who doth not oppose most manifest Scripture, will doubt, but that this gift is given to some, and not given to other some.


THat, presupposing all the operations of grace, which God useth for the effecting of this con­version, yet the will of man is still left in an equall ballance, either to beleeve, or not to beleeve, to convert, or not to convert it selfe to God.

1 IF after all the workings of grace the will of man be left in eaven point, it will necessarily follow, that, not God by his grace, but man by his free-will, is the chiefe [Page 97] cause and author of the very act of beleeving and converting. For he, who by the utmost dint and straine of his grace prevailed no fur­ther, then to raise up a mans will to an indif­ferency, or estate of equall ballance, doth not concur, as a principall and predominant, or over-ruler, but onely as an associate, and con­tingently, that is, upon this condition, if so be that the will, by its owne naturall power, first shall have removed it selfe from that equalitie. That therefore which is of lesse moment, the will receives from God, namely, that it should be placed in a certaine middle estate, equally inclined to beleeve, or not to beleeve, but that, which is of greater moment, as specifying the very event, that is, actually to beleeve, this the will by its owne power hath performed.

2 It would else follow, that God affordeth no more grace to the Elect, then to those, who are not elected, and that those owe no more thanke to God, then the other: in as much as the hand of God hath wrought in both nothing else, but an eaven stand of the will: which equally consists in a point, and is not capable of any latitude, or degree.

[Page 98]3 The grace of conversion is given with that intention, that it shall become effectuall, and shall not onely set a man forward on his way, but also bring him to performe the ve­ry act of faith, whither although such grace might perchance sometime reach by the sway of mans will, equally poised to embrace and follow the motions of grace, yet no lesse often should such grace be frustrated by reason of the same free will, likewise placed at eaven ballance, and freely thence setling it selfe to refuse grace, and to resist it. For in levell coun­terpoise there is alwaies presupposed an equal hazard of setling to either side.

Aug. de praedest. Sanct. c. 8. This grace is refused by no hard heart: For it is therefore given, that the hardnesse of the heart bee first taken away.


THat a man cannot doe any more good, then he doth, nor omit any more evill then, he doth omit.

[Page 99]THis is most false and absurd, whether it be spoken of an unregenerate and na­turall man, or of one that is regenerate, and supported by sanctifying grace.

1 First, concerning the state of a naturall man, although hee cannot put off his inbred corruption, nor shake off the dominion of sinne in generall, yet can he represse many out­ward actions, in which he lets loose the reines to his owne concupiscences. Corrupt concu­piscence enclines a wicked man to all kinde of evill, yet it doth not determine or confine him unavoydably to commit this or that sinne in particular, as to act this murder, that robbery, that adultery.

2 This is manifest also in that the very lewdest men attempt their wickednesse not without some precedent deliberation, and most free contriving of the meanes tending thereto, and being ready to commit the act, they have power to hold in and restraine themselves, being awed by the reverence of some other man, or through some present feare of danger.

3 Lastly, punishments by the Lawes of [Page 100] men should be without cause menaced, if no man could omit those crimes which he doth commit.

But as for actions which are in themselves good, certaine it is that unregenerate men doe omit many outward morall acts, which for the substance of the worke they could per­forme, and for the voluntary neglect of such actions they are justly condemned. Matt. 25. 42. I was an hungry, and ye gave me no meat: I was athirst, and ye gave me no drinke, &c.

Likewise the same is to bee avowed con­cerning those that are regenerated and truly sanctified; to wit, that although they are freed from the dominion of sinne, Rom. 6.14.18. Being made the servants of righteousnesse. Rom. 8.1. Which walke not after the flesh, but after the spirit: They can notwithstanding, and that voluntarily, step out of the strait path of righ­teousnesse, even then also, when they doe not transgresse: In like manner then, when they fell or slipped, they were able by the helpe and power of grace, through their free (that is, freed) will, to have resisted their owne concupiscence, and to have avoided those ma­nifest [Page 101] workes of the flesh recounted, Gal. 5.9. Fornication, uncleannesse, debate, contentions, &c. What man of sound judgement will say that David could not but commit adulterie, and, that being committed, that hee could not choose but by a leud and deliberate plot take away the life of him, to whom hee had offe­red that extreame wrong? But (that we goe not far for examples) we appeale unto the con­sciences of all godly men. Who is hee, that daily praying unto God, Forgive us our trespas­ses, doth not also acknowledge that through the grace of God it was in his power to per­forme divers good workes which yet hee hath omitted, and likewise to overcome di­vers temptations, to which he notwithstan­ding hath yeelded. 1 Cor. 10.13. God is faith­full, who will not suffer you to bee tempted above that you be able, but will even give the issue with the tentation, that you may be able to beare it.

Their Suffrage concerning the fift ARTICLE.

Which is of the perseverance of the Saints.

IN this Article when question is made con­cerning the perseverance of the Saints, it is to be understood, that wee treat of those Saints onely, which are come to the use of reason, and are justified by the Act of faith formed in them by the preaching of the Gos­pell; and who are supposed by the act of their owne wills to persevere in the same faith, or else to faile in their perseverance.

Collat. Hag. Bert. part. 2. pag. 10.1 It is manifest out of the fift Article of the Remonstrants, that they are here intended, who are grafted into Christ by a true actuall faith; But those onely who are of ripe yeares, are grafted into Christ by a lively faith.

2 It is also proved by the connexion of the Articles. For in the fourth article the Remon­strants labour to prove, that God worketh faith in men by such a power and grace, as man may resist; and consequently that God [Page 103] by a resistible power, doth keepe and preserve faith already wrought in the hearts of the faithfull; whereupon they inferre, that, that man, who once had faith, may lose the same, as further appeareth in the state of this con­troversie set downe by the Remonstrants. Collat. ibidem. pag. 150. But God doth effect and preserve faith in that manner in those onely, who are growne to ripe yeares: For as much as they onely have power freely to withstand grace.

3 Thirdly the Remonstrants affirme, that perseverance, of which we treat here, to bee a gift offered equally to all the faithfull with this condition, namely, if they shall not bee want­ing to themselves in the entertainment of this sufficient grace: which assertion plainly sup­poseth, that this Article ought to bee under­stood concerning the perseverance of them, who are come unto ripe yeares, onely they be­ing able through the use of their freewill, to be wanting to this sufficient grace, as those, in whose power the use of this liberty is.

If the Remonstrants had more diligently weighed these things, they might have fore­borne their argument taken from infants [Page 104] baptized, to avow the Apostasie of the justi­fied; especially those who deny that there is any donation of reall grace in the baptisme of Infants.Ibidem. Pag. 19.

Because in this Article two things there are which are usually questioned, the one, whe­ther they, who are not Elect, may ever come to the state of sanctification and justification, wherby they may be reckoned among the number of the Saints, the other, whether the Elect, who are justified and sanctified, doe at any time wholly fall off frō this estate. Ther­fore in the first place wee set downe those Positions, by which we shew how farre they, who are not Elect may goe on in the way.

Touching those who are not Elect.


THere is a certaine supernatu­rall enlightening granted to some of them, who are not elect, by the power whereof they understand [Page 105] those things to be true, which are re­vealed in the Word of God, and yeeld an unfaigned assent unto them.

THe truth of the position concerning the first part, namely the enlightening of their minds, is plainely collected out of the Scrip­tures, Heb. 6.4. Where the Apostle maketh mention of such as sinned against the holy Ghost, affirming that they were enlightened, and in the 10. Chap. and 26. Vers. hee intimateth that they might wilfully sinne after they had re­ceived the knowledge of the truth. The Apostle Peter also, 2 Pet. 2.22. makes mention of some, who, when they knew the way of righteousness, neverthelesse turned from the holy commandement which was given unto them. Iudas was the sonne of perdition, Ioh. 17.12. yet he was furnished with the knowledge of the Gos­pell; and thereupon was sent by Christ with the other Apostles to preach the Gospell to the house of Israel, Mat. 10.7. And Christ threat­neth the like punishments to them that de­spise the preaching of Iudas, as of [...] 9. [Page 106] All those were enlightened with a supernatu­rall knowledge of the truth of the Gospell. Which illumination proceeding from the holy Ghost did beget a true knowledge in the mindes of these men: out of which knowledge they, as occasion required, brought forth actions sutable to the same. Yea it may come to passe, that an hea­then Philosopher may apprehend more accu­rately and distinctly the mysteries of Christs Incarnation, and in his understanding more subtilly discern the unity of the person and di­stinction of natures, then an unlearned Chri­stian.

Concerning the unfained assent which may be, and often is, yeelded to the Gospel by some, who are not elected, there is the like e­vidence, Luk. 8.13. The seed which fell upon the stony ground noteth to us such hearers, as for a while beleeve, that is, those which give as­sent to things revealed from above;See Calvin up­on that place. and espe­cially to the covenant of the Gospell. And thereby it is plaine, that this their assent was no way fained, because they received the word with joy. Acts 8.30. Even Symon Ma­gus [Page 107] himselfe beleeved Philip preaching concer­ning the Kingdome of God, and was baptized for testimony of his faith. Hymenaeus and Alex­ander made shipwracke of their faith, which was not dissembled, or fained, but true. For it is not to be imputed for a fault to any man, that hee is falne from an hypocriticall faith, neither can shipwracke be made of a fained faith, but onely a detection and manifestation of it. Nor indeed can hee suffer shipwracke who never was in the ship, 2 Pet. 2.20. Some are said to have escaped from the filthines of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord, whose latter end is worse then their beginning. This know­ledge doth intimate, not a bare apprehension, but withall an assent yeelded unto the things knowne, whence came that escape from the filthinesse of the world, Iohn 12.42. It is re­corded that among the chiefe Rulers many be­leeved on him, but because of the Pharisies they did not confesse him, least they should bee cast out of the Synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more then the praise of God. They beleeved with an unfained dogmaticall faith which then lay secretly hid in their hearts, but never shewed [Page 108] it selfe in any outward profession, for feare of danger ensuing. Who, as St. Augustine speakes, if they should goe on forward upon their entrance into faith, Tract. 53. upon Saint Iohn. would also overcome the love of hu­mane glory by their farther progresse in faith.

All backsliders of this kinde are justly re­proved, and punished, not because they fained that faith they never had, but because they for­sooke the faith they had: and they sin in a far greater measure, which depart from the grace of faith conferred upon them, then they who never tasted of the glad tidings of the Gospel, as our Saviour teacheth us, Iohn 15.22.


IN these fore-mentioned there doth arise out of this knowledge and faith, a certaine change of their affections, and some kinde of amendment of their manners.

OVt of this said illumination and assent of faith, there doth arise in such as are not elect, some kinde of mutation of their affecti­ons, as also amendment of their lives. The [Page 109] first is plainely set downe, Mat. 13.20. They heard the word, and received it with joy. As also 1 Reg. 21, 27. And it came to passe when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his cloathes, and put sackcloath upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sack­cloth, and went softly. These behaviours were evidences of his true sorrow conceived through the Prophets words, as appeares in that God rewarded this his humiliation, by removing temporall punishments, as it is, v. 19. because he hath humbled himselfe before me, I will not bring the evill in his dayes.

Heb. 6.4. The Apostates there described, were not only enlightened, but had tasted of the heavenly gift, the good Word of God, and the power of the world to come. And in the 6 vers. it is intimated, that they were after a sort renewed; and in the 10. Chap. and 16. verse. They who had received the knowledge of the truth, vers. 24. are said to tread under foot the blood of the Covenant, by which they are sanctified, Mat. 6.20. Herod heard Iohn the Baptist gladly.

Concerning some amendment of their conditions, the same is testified by the exam­ple of the same Herod, who received Iohn the [Page 110] Baptist, and when he had heard him, did many things likewise, 2 Pet. 2.20. Some had escaped from the filthinesse of the world, through the know­ledge of their Lord and Saviour Iesus Christ. These had eschewed the pollutions of the world, by the operation and knowledge of this faith; some also chap. 1. vers. 9. forget that they were purged from their old sinnes, and out of such the uncleane spirit is said to have departed, Mat. 12.43.

In these, as the enlightning and assent, yeel­ded to the truth revealed from above, was not fained, but trve in its owne kind and de­gree; so likewise was the change of their af­fections and manners: namely these begin­nings or entrances were not fained or colou­rable, but proceeded out of the power of those dispositions unto grace, and from the inspiration of the holy Ghost, which they felt in themselves for a time, as is evident by their affections, their joy, sorrow, and zeale, which they doe not so much faine and make a shew of, as find to be truely in themselves.

Aug de correct grat. cap 9.Of such Saint Augustine thus speaketh, They were not sonnes then when they were in the profes­sion, [Page 111] and had the name of sonnes, not because they fained their righteousnesse, but because they re­mained not in that righteousnesse.


VPon those good beginnings, testified by the externall works of obedience, they are reputed, and by a charitable construction ought to be taken for beleevers, justified, and sanctified men.

THey, who to these inward gifts of the holy Ghost, have added the outward pro­fession of a Christian faith, together with the amendment of their lives, ought of right to be reckoned by us (who cannot finde out or search into the inward secrets of mens hearts) in the number of the faithfull, of the justified, and sanctified. This is plainly proved out of the Apostle Saint Paul, who in his Epistles which hee wrote to particular Churches, at Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, &c. entitles them all promiscuously, beloved of God, Saints, sanctified, Rom. 1.7▪ 1 Cor. 1.2. Ephes. 1.1. Phil. 1.1. In [Page 112] like manner the Apostle Peter, in the begin­ning of his first Epistle speaketh unto the di­spersed strangers, in this forme of speach; To the Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, De Corr. et grat. cap 9. through the sanctification of the spirit. Adde we to these the note of Saint Augustine speak­ing of those, who were not elect. These, because they live godly, are called the sons of God. And af­terwards againe; There are some, who are called of us the sons of God, because of the grace received by them for a time, but yet they are not the sons of God.


THey, who are not elect (al­though they thus far proceed) yet they never attaine unto the state of adoption and justification: and therefore by the Apostasie of these men, the Apostasie of the Saints is very erroneously concluded.

ALthough they, who are not elect, being brought up & cherished in the Churches bosome, are in their minds, will, and affecti­ons disposed by the aforesaid preparatives ten­ding [Page 113] in some sort to justification, yet are they not thereupon placed in the state of justifica­tion or adoption. For they still retain through­ly setled in their hearts the strings and roots of their leud desires, to which they give them­selves over, still they remaine wedded to the love of earthly things, and the hardnesse lurk­ing in the secret corners of their hearts is not taken away: so that either persecution or ten­tation arising, they retire from grace, and be­ing either intangled with the love of pleasures, and enticements of the flesh, or caried away with some other vicious affections, at length they shew that they are lovers of themselves, and lovers of pleasures, rather then lovers of God, and that they enjoy nothing lesse then God, howsoever they may flatter themselves, but indeed that they would make use of God, De Civit. Dei Lib. 15. that they may enjoy the world, as S. Augustine speakes. Whence it is manifest that they never really and truly attaine that change and renovation of the minde and affections, which accompa­nieth justification, nay nor that which doth immediately prepare and dispose unto justifi­cation. For they never seriously repent, they [Page 114] are never affected with hearty sorrow, for this cause, they have offended God by sinning, nor doe they come to any humble contrition of heart, nor conceive a firme resolution not to offend any more; unto them is not given repentance unto life, which is mentioned, Acts 10.18. nor that godly sorrow which worketh re­pentance to salvation never to be repented of, 2 Cor. 7.10. they are not poore in spirit, for theirs is the kingdome of God, Contra Iulian. lib. 5. cap 3. Mat. 5.13. To this purpose is that of Saint Augustine, who speaking of the reprobate, saith, God bringeth none of them to that wholesome and spirituall repentance, by which a man is reconciled to God in Christ. Adde also that such doe never feele in themselves an earnest desire of reconciliation: They doe not hunger and thirst after righteousnesse. For such shall be filled, Matth. 5.6. And to them shall be given of the fountaine of living water, which shall be in them a well of water springing up to eternall life. Iohn 4.14. Also they doe neither denie themselves, nor seriously bid defiance to their owne lusts, nor doe they once feele in their hearts any such accounting of all things but losse that they may winne Christ, as the Apostle did, Phil. 3.8. And to conclude, [Page 115] they never attaine to that unfained lively faith which justifieth a sinner, and worketh through love, 2 Tim. 1.5. For this faith is the peculiar of the Elect, and is not afforded to the not elected.

Furthermore, that onely the Elect are justi­fied, it is plaine by that golden chaine of the Apostle, Rom. 8.30. Whom he did predestinate, them he also called, and whom he called them he also justified. De praedest. Sanct. cap. 17. Those onely, and no other, as out of S. Augustine we have shewne at the first Article.

Againe the same Saint Augustine, Cont. advers. leg. & prophet. lib. 2. cap. 11. God doth not forgive the sinnes of all men, but of those whom he foreknew and predestinated.

It is plaine also out of the Scriptures, that they, who are not elect, never come unto the estate of adoption; For first the estate of adop­tion 1 is grounded upon predestination;Ephes. 1.5. Who hath predestinated us, unto the adoption of Children by Christ Iesus.

Secondly, the state of adoption, as also the 2 right and priviledge of sons is not obtained, but by a lively faith; For as many as received him, to thē he gave power, that is, aright & priviledge that they should be the Sons of God, Iohn 1▪12▪ to wit, to such as beleeve in his name. Also, ye are all the sonnes [Page 116] of God by faith in Christ Iesus. Gal. 3.27. But this faith is proper to the Elect as was before declared.

3 All that are adopted for sonnes are rege­nerated, and that by the incorruptible seed, 1 Pet. 1.23. by the word of the living God. 1 Iohn 3.9. Whosoever is borne of God doth not commit sinne, because his seed remaineth in him.

Rom. 8.17. Gal. 4.7.4 Those adopted sons are also heires, heires of God, and coheires with Christ, and doe receive the earnest of their inheritance. But they who are not elect are never regenerated by this incor­ruptible seed, neither have they the seed of God remaining in them, neither are they as­signed to be heires with Christ. Hence is that of Saint Augustine. De corr. & grat. cap. 9. They were not in the number of sonnes, no not when they were in the faith of sonnes. Againe, As they were not the true Disci­ples of Christ, so neither were they the true Sonnes of God, yea even when they seemed to be and were so called. De Iacob. cap. 6. And Saint Ambrose: What, can God the Father make void those gifts he hath bestowed, and banish those from the grace of his fatherly affecti­on whom he hath made his sons by adoption?

C. 3. Distinct. 10. q. 1▪ art. 1. Gabriel Biel saith, It is plaine that those whom God foresaw are not his adopted sonnes because they [Page 117] are not preordained by the will of God unto everla­sting inheritance.

Apostacy is onely of those, who never rea­ched home to true justification, and to the state of adoption. But as for those, who are the chosen sonnes of God, and endued with true sanctitie, their perseverance is certaine and undoubted, as we shall shew afterwards. Either therefore the Apostasie of the true sons of God ought to have beene proved by evi­dent places of Scripture, or else that offensive name and title, of the Apostasie of the Saints, should have beene forborne.

Of Perseverance, As it concernes the Elect, and of the certainty ther­of in it selfe.


BEsides that dogmaticall faith and some kinde of amendment in affections and manners, there is in due time given to the Elect ju­stifying [Page 118] faith, regenerating grace, and all other gifts, by which they are translated from the state of wrath unto the state of adoption and sal­vation.

WHen God dealeth with his Elect, hee stayeth not in certaine preparatives, and initiall operations, but alway finisheth his worke, by induing them with a lively faith, by justifying and adopting them, and by chan­ging them from the state of death to the state of life. This the Apostle sheweth, Rom. 8.30. Whom he hath predestinated, those he also called, and whom he called he hath also justified, and whom he hath justified he hath also glorified. And Colos. 1.12. I give thankes to the Father, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in light, and hath delivered us from the power of darknesse, and hath translated us into the king­dome of his deare Sonne. Out of which places it is plaine that God giveth to all the Elect a certaine continued connexion of spirituall be­nefits, which never leaves them, but plyeth them onward even unto the state of glory.


ALthough the Elect, being set in this estate, omit some thing in every good worke by reason of the remainder of concupiscence, and commit daily smaller sinnes od sur­reption, negligence, and inconside­ratenesse, yet neither from thence is the state of justification shaken, nor the benefit of their claime to the in­heritance of the Kingdome of hea­ven thereby interrupted.

ACcording to the rigor of the Law every sinne, yea the verie least is mortall, and excludes the offender from the favour of God and kingdome of heaven. But God never deales in that strict manner with his sonnes adopted and justified in Christ. There are in­deed some sinnes, for which God denoun­ceth his anger and indignation upon these his sonnes, yea and threatneth banishment from [Page 120] heaven, and also eternall death, of which we may reade, 1 Cor. 6.10. Gal. 5.25. Coloss. 3.6. which wee will handle in the positions fol­lowing. There are againe some other sins, for which our mercifull God is not wont, no not for a time, to deprive his children of the light of his countenance, or to terrifie them with the feare of death or damnation: of which kind are the rebelling motions of our concu­piscence, whereof the Apostle complaines Rom. 7. also the defects and staines which do cleave to the best workes of the regenerate: Lastly, those daily trippings and scapes of hu­mane infirmity, which are committed with­out any determinate purpose of committing them, and which are forgiven by our daily craving of pardon: of these St. Iames cap. 3. v. 2. In many things we offend all: and St. Iohn 1.8. If we say that wee have no sinne, we deceive our selves. Notwithstanding these sinnes every faithfull man may rightly say,Rom 8.1. There is no con­demnation to them that are in Christ Iesus; yea e­ven in the midst of these infirmities, God saith to every justified man,2 Cor. 12.9. as hee said to the Apo­stle, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength [Page 121] is made perfect in weakenesse. And sure they cannot be said to fall by their infirmities from the state of justification, through whose weaknes the power of God is made perfect, and who all this while may boast that the power of Christ dwelleth in them, as it is in the same place.


THese very same, thus regene­rated and justified, doe some­times through their owne default fall into hainous sinnes, and there­by they doe incurre the fatherly an­ger of God, they draw upon them­selves a damnable guiltinesse, and lose their present fitnesse to the king­dome of heaven.

IT is manifest by the examples of David and Peter, that the regenerate can throw him­selfe headlong into most grievous sinnes, God sometimes permitting it, that they may learne with all humility to acknowledge, that, not by their owne strength or deserts, but by [Page 122] Gods mercy alone they were freed from eter­nall death, and had life eternall bestowed up­on them.

Whilest they cleave to such sinnes, and sleepe securely therein, Gods fatherly anger a­riseth against them▪ Psal. 89.31. If that they pro­phane my statutes▪ and keep not my commandements, then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Rom. 2.9. Tribulation and anguish upon every soule of man that doth evill.

Besides, they draw upon themselves dam­nable guilt: so that as long as they continue without repentance, in that state they neither ought nor can perswade themselves other­wise, then that they are subject to eternall death. If ye live after the flesh, ye shall dye, Rom. 8.13. For they are bound in the chaine of a capitall crime, by the desert whereof, accor­ding to Gods ordinance, they are subject to death, although they are not as yet given over to death, nor about to be given, (if we cōsider the fatherly love of God) but are first to bee taken out of this sinne, that they may also bee rescued from the guilt of death.

Lastly, in respect of their present condition [Page 123] they lose the fitnes, which they had of entring into the Kingdome of Heaven, because into that Kingdome,Apoc. 21.27. there shall in no wise enter any thing, that is defiled, neither whatsoever worketh abomination; For the Crowne of life is not set upon the head of any but those,2 Tim. 4.8. who have fought a good fight, and have finished their course in faith, and holinesse. He is therefore unfit to obtaine this Crowne, whosoever as yet cleaves to the workes of wickednesse.


THe unalterable ordinance of God doth require, that the faithfull so straying out of the right way, must first returne againe into the way by a renewed performance of faith and repentance, before hee can bee brought to the end of the way, that is, to the Kingdome of Heaven.

BY the decree of Election the faithfull are so predestinated to the end, that they are [Page 124] (as along the Kings high way) to be led to this appointed end, through the meanes set down by God, otherwaies not to attaine the same. Nor are Gods decrees concerning the means, manner, and order of such events, lesse fixed and sure, then the decrees of the end and of the events themselves. If any man therefore walke in a way contrarie to Gods ordinance, namely, that broad way of uncleannesse and impenitencie, (which leads directly downe to hell) he can never come by this meanes to the kingdome of heaven. Yea and if death shall overtake him, wandring in this by-path, hee cannot but fall into everlasting death. This is the constant and manifest voice of the holy Scripture,Luke 13.3. Except ye repent, yee shall all likewise perish. 1 Cor. 6 9. Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, &c. shall inherit the kingdome of heaven. They are deceived therefore that thinke the elect wallowing in such crimes, and so dying, must notwithstanding needs be saved throgh the force of election. For the salvation of the Elect is sure indeed, God so decreeing: but withall (by the decree of the same our God) not otherwise sure, then through the way of [Page 125] faith, repentance, and holinesse. Without holi­nesse no man shall see God, Heb. 12.14. The foun­dation of God standeth sure. Let every one that na­meth the name of Christ depart from iniquity, 2 Tim. 2.19.

As therefore it was sure out of the decree and promise of God, that all those, who sailed in the ship with Saint Paul, should escape a­live out of shipwracke, and notwithstanding Pauls saying was also as certaine,Acts 27.31. Vnlesse these remaine in the ship, ye cannot be saved. So also it was certaine that the elect servants of God, David and Peter, should come to the king­dome of heaven: yet withall it was no lesse certaine, that if they had remained unrepen­tant, the one in his homicide and adultery, the other in his denying and forswearing Christ, neither of them both could have beene saved.

For that Theologicall rule is most true, Any one defect maketh a thing bad: Malum oritur [...] quovis defectu: Bonum non nisi ex causis integri [...] but to make truly good, no parcell requirable must bee wanting. Therefore for that incomparable good of life eternall, wee are not fitted out of that onely that wee are elected, unlesse there concurre other things, which are by Gods decree neces­sarily [Page 126] required to the accomplishing of Elec­tion. If any of these things be wanting, nay if the contrary hereto bee in the elected, there seemes then to arise a strange impossibility thwarting on both sides. As for example, It is unpossible that Paul, being chosen, should pe­rish. Tis also unpossible, that Paul, being a blasphemer against Christ, and an unbelee­ver, (if he dye in this state) should not perish. Or thus; It is unpossible that David being cho­sen, should perish. Tis also unpossible, that David, being a man-slayer, and an Adulterer, (dying impenitent) should not perish. But Gods providence and mercy doth easily loose this knot, by taking care that none of the elect dye in such estate, by which, according to some ordinance of Gods will, he must be ex­cluded from eternall life.


IN the meane time, betweene the guilt of a grievous sinne, and the renewed act of faith and repen­tance, such an offender stands by his [Page 127] owne desert to bee condemned; by Christs merit and Gods decree to be acquitted; but actually absolved he is net, until he hath obtained par­don by renued faith & repentance.

THere can bee no question of the merit of damnation, for such a sinne. They which doe such things shall not inherit the Kingdome of God, Gal. 5.21. Notwithstanding in such a guilt the faithfull are not in the like case with the wicked. To the faithfull the blood of Christ is a prepared antidote at hand ready to be applyed, which, as soone as their faith is a­waked and rouzed up, they can use, to the o­vercomming of this deadly poyson. But to the unfaithfull, this inward active cause is want­ing, to wit, faith, without which the remedy, though soveraigne in it selfe, is as if it were layed afarre off, out of reach, neither can it be made their owne, or actually applyed to them.

Ad moreover hereunto Gods speciall love, which, though it doth not hinder, but that [Page 128] his fatherly indignation ariseth against an un­dutifull sonne; yet it keepes of hostile hatred, such as carieth with it a purpose of condem­ning, 1 Corinth. 11.32. When we are judged, wee are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Notwithstanding in this case the Father of mercies, who will not condemne (with the world) his children, though bound with the guilt of sinne, yet on the other side he will not have them lye still sleeping in their sinnes, to­gether with the world. And therefore hath he set downe this order, that the act of repen­tance must goe before the benefit of forgive­nesse, Psal. 32.5. I acknowledge my sinne unto thee, and mine iniquitie have I not hid. I said I would confesse my transgression unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sinne. Ezek. 18.27. When the wicked man turneth away from the wic­kednesse that hee hath committed he shall save his soule alive.

If any man therefore would know the ve­ry moment, in which, after the guilt procured by a grievous sin, he becommeth actually ab­solved; Saint Cyprian seemes manifestly to [Page 129] have shewne it, in these words; When I see thee sighing in the sight of God, Cyprian, deca [...] Domini. I doe not doubt but the holy Ghost breatheth with thy sighes: When I be­hold thee weeping, I perceive God forgiving.


IN the foresaid space the right to the Kingdome of God is not taken away, universall justification is not defeated, the state of adoption re­maineth undissolved, and by the cu­stody of the holy Spirit, the seed of regeneration, with all those funda­mentall graces, without which the state of a regenerate man cannot stand, is preserved whole and sound.

OVr right to the Kingdome of Heaven is not founded on our actions, but on the free gift of adoption, and on our union with Christ. And consequently the right to the Kingdome of Heaven, is not taken away, un­lesse that be first taken away, upon which it is founded:Rom. 8.17. If Children, then heires, heires of God, [Page 130] and coheires with Christ. Therefore adoption remaining, and the engrafture into Christ, the faithfull may wander out of the way, which leadeth to the Kingdome of heaven, but hee cannot be said to lose his right of inheritance to that Kingdome. For as he, which fell into a leprosie, was debarred from his own house untill hee was clensed, and yet in the meane space lost not his right to his owne house: So the adopted sonne of God taken with the Le­prosie of adultery or murder, or any other grievous sinne, cannot indeed enter into the Kingdome of Heaven, unlesse he first be pur­ged from this contagion, by renewed faith and repentance; yet all this while his heredi­tary right is not quite lost.

Furthermore, that universall and most pro­perly called justification (which the Apostle so lively sets forth, Rom. 3.24, 25.) is not frus­trated by the enterposed guilt of a particular sinne, though heynous and grievously woun­ding the conscience. For against this justifi­cation is directly opposed, not every guilt of every sinne, but the universall unremitted guilt of all sinnes, nor the guilt of every person [Page 131] whatsoever, but the guilt of unbeleevers, not yet washed in the blood of Christ, nor the guilt of any, whatsoever degree, but such a guilt, as for which the hostile anger and ven­geance of God lieth heavily upon the guiltie person. Whosoever is justified by a true faith can never afterward bee guiltie after this manner.

We may therefore say, that the effect of ju­stification is for a time suspended by the en­tercourse of such a particular sin: because the person, by reason of this new guilt, needeth a particular absolution. But wee cannot say, that the state of justification is dissolved: for­asmuch as the same person doth not fall from the generall pardon of his forecommitted sins, nor is deprived of that speciall intercession, which our Saviour hath promised to all the faithfull, nor of the free love of God his Fa­ther.

The same case holds in adoption. For God never adopted to himselfe a Sonne in Christ, whom afterwards he either must or would dis-inherit, and cast out of his familie. The children of God may indeed sinne, and that [Page 132] very grievously; but the providence and mer­cie of God will not suffer them so farre to sin, as that they should thereby be bereft of their heavenly home and Father.Iohn [...].35. The servant abideth not in the house for ever, but the sonne abideth for ever. Ambr de Iacob. & vit. beat, lib. 1. cap. 6. For (as Saint Ambrose speakes) God doth not make void the gift of adoption.

To conclude, the seed of regeneration, with those fundamentall gifts (without which the spirituall life cannot subsist) are preserved in safetie. This is hence evident, because that the same holy Spirit, who doth infuse this seed into the hearts of the regenerate, doth imprint into the same seed, a certaine heavenly and in­corruptible vertue, and doth perpetually che­rish and keepe the same, Iohn 4.14. Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall ne­ver thirst: but the water, that I shall give him, shall be in him a Well of water springing up unto everlasting life. 1 Iohn 3.5. Whosoever is borne of God doth not commit sinne: for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sinne, because hee is borne of God. This seed of life remaining in them, it is altogether impossible that the gifts of lively faith & charitie should be quite extinguished.

[Page 133]Hence Gregory rightly sayes, In holy mens hearts the Spirit alwayes abides, Moral. lib. 2. cap. 42. according to some vertues or graces, according to others he comes to depart, and departs, to returne; but in the hearts of his Elect, he remaineth in those vertues, without which, eternall life is not attained.


THat the regenerate doe not altogether fall from faith, ho­linesse, and adoption, proceeds not from themselves, nor from their owne will, but from Gods speciall love, divine operation, and from Christs intercession and custody.

IT is certaine, that if God would deale with us upon strict termes, he might most justly for our ungratitude & untowardnesse with­draw from us his fatherly favour, and gifts of saving grace. But for as much as (even by the determination of the Schoolemen) sinne doth not take away grace efficiently, that is, by [Page 134] certaine expulsion; but by way of demerit, that is, deservingly, surely; unlesse it can bee proved, that God deales with his according to their deserts, it will not follow, that, upon the committing of a grievous sinne, they lose faith, or fall away from the state of justificati­on and adoption. For that, which, in regard of our ill desert, might justly be done, is, by the mercie of God, and by Christs intercessi­on, and the operation of the holie Ghost, hin­dred from being done.Rom. [...].39. No creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Iesus our Lord. Rom. 16.20. Not the Devill: for God shall bruise him under our feet. Iohn 5.5. Not the world: for Christ hath overcome the world. And he doth so worke in all his, that they also at length over­come through faith. Lastly, not (those things from whence is our greatest danger) our own weaknesse, the inclination and pronenesse of our owne free will to wickednesse: for the goodnesse of God is alwaies shewed in this weaknesse of the faithfull, and, through the in­tercession of Christ for them, is obtained, that they shall not fall off from their faith. Luke 22.32. I have prayed for thee, that thy faith faile [Page 135] not. Iohn 17.20. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall beleeve on me through their word. We doe not therefore fetch this perseve­rance of the faithfull in their faith, and Gods grace, from their owne free will, but from Christ, that frees them. The Lord shall deliver me from every evill worke, and will preserve me un­to his heavenly kingdome, 2 Tim. 4.18.

To this purpose are those words of Saint Augustine, Aug. de bon. persev. cap. 6. We live safer, if wee trust all to God, and doe not commit our selves partly to God, and partly to our selves.

As God workes, Ibid. cap. 7. that we come to him, so he works also, that we depart not from him.


THe perseverance therefore of holy men is the free gift of God, and is derived unto us out of the decree of election.

THis conclusion ariseth out of those things, which are said before: but that it may more manifestly appeare, we will adde some­what more.

[Page 136]First, that it is the free gift of God, is proved out of the words of the Apostle, 1 Cor. 4.7. What hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive, why dost thou glorie as if thou hadst not received? If any thing can give a just cause to men of glorying, surely this, that they have persevered in good unto the end, then when they could at their owne pleasure not have made use of those meanes, which in themselves were sufficient for perseverance. Either therefore this doth betide the faithfull by way of speciall gift, or they have something which they have not received, in which they may greatly glorie. But wee affirme on the contrarie, whether by perseverance be under­stood either that power, which doth propp and hold up the faithfull, or the stabilitie it selfe, and the unconquered firmenesse of their faith; or lastly, the very act of persevering, that there is none of these, which is not the gift of God.

Touching that power, by which the will is stayed up,In respon. ad Walach. pag. 75. that it may persevere, the Remon­strants easily grant, that it is the onely grace of GOD which doth arme a man with this [Page 137] strength to persevere.

Touching the stability and firmenesse, which is considered as the manner or adjunct of true faith, this also is to bee numbred a­mong the gifts of God. For he which doth give the thing it selfe, to wit, faith, doth also give the manner of the thing, to wit, the sta­bility and firmenesse of the same faith, 2 Thes. 3.3. The Lord is faithfull, who shall establish you. 1 Cor. 1.7.8. Yee come behinde in no gift, waiting for the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ, who shall confirme you unto the end, that ye may be blamelesse. Out of which words it is manifest, that faith is the gift of God, as well in the increase, and stability, as in the entrance, and beginning thereof.

Lastly, if we desire to take out of the Scrip­tures the true formes of speaking, wee ought to call the very act of perseverance the gift of God. For if the Scripture doth not only call the quality it selfe of faith the gift of God, but doth declare,Phil. 1.19. that to beleeve is given freely to men, then also ought we to acknowledge, as Gods gift, not onely perseverance, but also the act it selfe of persevering. This is most mani­festly [Page 138] taught in the place alleaged, where the Apostle saith, that it was given to the Philippi­ans, not onely to beleeve in Christ, but to suffer for his sake. Which, what other thing is it, then to persevere in the faith of Christ under the Crosse of persecution.

De persev. c. 10.To this purpose Saint Anstine. Wee affirme that perseverance is the gift of God, by which wee abide in Christ constantly unto the end. And it is reckoned among the Errors of the Massilians, Epist. Hilar. ad Aug. that they denyed that such perseverance is given to any, from which he is not suffered to stray. Which Error Saint Austine refutes in his booke of Perseverance, chap. 6.

It remaines now, that we prove this gift of perseverance to spring from the fountaine of Election; to the confirming of which we will produce one argument onely.

That, which is given out of an effectuall intention to save without faile that person, to whom it is given, that, without question, doth flow from the decree of election. For what is it else to elect one, then to ordaine him to ob­taine salvation without faile? But now such is the force and nature of this gift, that we can­not [Page 139] conceive, that perseverance is ordeined, or given unto any, except upon a former in­tention both to order and bring the same man infallibly unto salvation. For whatsoe­ver benefit doth accrue unto any by any di­vine grace, that wholly without doubt the Author of that grace decreed to conferre upon him, to whom hee vouchsafed to impart the same grace. But by the immoveable purpose of God whosoever shall persevere, shall bee saved. Therefore to whomsoever God pur­posed to give perseverance it is a manifest evi­dence that the same man was destinated to salvation by the foregoing decree of God. To this purpose is that of Mat. 24.24. Where the impossibility of being seduced in respect of cer­taine persons knowne to God, is grounded upon this foregoing Election of them: and that of Saint Paul, Rom. 11.5. where the remnant of those few, which fell not from God, is said to be caused according to the election of grace: But of this see more in Saint Austine de bon. persev. cap. 16.

Of the certainty of perseverance in respect of our selves,


EVery faithfull man may bee certainely perswaded, that, through the mercy of God his Fa­ther, hee shall bee kept, and bee brought uvnto eternall life.

WEE treated before of Perseverance, in respect of the certainty of the object or thing it selfe; Now are wee to treat of it in respect of the certainty of the subject, to wit, in as much as, that thing, which is certaine in it selfe, is also by us, in whom it is brought to passe, apprehended as certaine and infallible.

We, admitting every one of the faithfull in­to the partnership of this benefit, doe avow it to be not a priviledge afforded to a few of the faithfull, but a gift bestowed on all the faith­full, as they are faithfull, without distinction.

Moreover wee say rather, that the faithfull [Page 141] may, or can have within themselves this per­swasion, then that they are alwaies actually so perswaded▪ because this certaine perswa­sion, although it proceeds from the very na­ture of faith, yet doth it not alwaies, as it might and ought, put forth into action, but is some­times suppressed, as wee will hereafter de­clare.

Neverthelesse here wee affirme, that every true faithfull man hath in readinesse at home within himselfe alwaies, and upon all occa­sions, such a foundation sure enough, where­upon, if he rightly weigh his owne conditi­on, and Gods promise and custody, hee may build up this actuall confidence of his owne preservation in faith unto eternall life.

1 First, it is not enough unto God, in regard of his owne glory, that he preserve us, unlesse he also ascertaine us of this his preservation. Blessed be God by whose power wee are preserved through faith unto salvation, 1 Pet. 1.5. Now we doe not particularly blesse God for those things which wee know not to have re­ceived.

2 To Christ our Saviour it was not suffi­cient [Page 142] to pray that Peters faith might not faile, (from which prayer that gift was made cer­taine in it selfe) unlesse Saint Peter also should know it, and thereupon enjoy in himselfe the full perswasion thereof, Luke 22.32. I have prayed for thee Peter that thy faith faile not.

3 It is not enough for us for our comfort, that we, being wafted in the ship of the Church, goe on towards the haven of salvation, except also we be fully perswaded, that we cannot by any tempest be defeated of our wished harbor. It was not enough for Noah to bee shut up safe in the Arke, but hee was by the promise of God secured against shipwracke for the confirmation of his confidence. Gen. 6.18. With thee will I establish my covenant, and thou shalt come into the Arke.

4 This assurance of perswasion doth flow from the very nature of speciall faith, which not onely is directly caried unto that which is promised, but also doth reflect upon it selfe, and its owne apprehension. Of the former act are meant those speeches in the Scripture, Rom. 5.1. Being justified by faith wee have peace with God. Iohn 10.28. My sheepe shall never pe­rish. [Page 143] Of the latter those, 1 Iohn 2.3. Wee doe know, that we know him. 1 Iohn 5.10. He that beleeveth on the Sonne of God, hath the witnesse in himselfe. Also, 1. Cor. 2.12. We have received the Spirit, which is of God, that wee might know the things which are given us of God. Therefore e­verie faithfull man through the inmost opera­tion of his owne faith beleeves the preserva­tion of the same faith in himselfe.

5 The same is confirmed out of the testi­monies of this faith. Spirituall joy is a mani­fest evidence. 1 Pet. 1.8. Beleeving ye rejoyce with joy unspeakeable and full of glory. And this joy will not vanish. Iohn 16.22. Your joy no man shall take away from you. Also spirituall glory­ing. Rom. 5.2. We have accesse by faith into this grace, wherein we stand and boast, in hope of the glory of God. And this glorie is caried upon its object, as present, and alreadie attained, al­though indeed it bee but future. So Chryso­stome upon this place: Every man glories of those things, which hee hath already. Now because our hope of future things is as certaine and evident, as of things already received, the Apostle saith, wee also glory of these.

[Page 144]6 Lastly the certainty, not onely of perseve­rance, but also of the perseverer, is warranted by the mutuall pledges laid downe betweene God and the faithfull: on that side our pledge kept in the hand of God on this side Gods earnest pennie laid up in our hearts: A double pledge is given for the securing not both par­ties, but one onely, to wit, us. And this dou­ble pledge, although it be possessed on both sides, yet is surely kept by the fidelitie of one part onely, to wit, of God.

Of the former, Saint Paul treateth in the 2 Tim. 1.12. I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have beleeved, and I am perswaded, that he is able to keepe that, which I have committed unto him, a­gainst the last day. That which I have commit­ted, there is the pledge of salvation: Able to keepe, there is a sure preserver: I know and am perswaded, there is faith: I am not ashamed, there is confidence.

Concerning the latter pledge left with us, the Apostle speaketh, Ephes. 1.13, 14. Yee were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance: and 2 Cor. 1.22. Who hath given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. [Page 145] But if God, having once given this earnest, should not also give the rest of the inheri­tance, hee should undergoe the losse of his earnest: as Chrysostome most elegantly and foundly ar­gueth in his third Sermon upon the 2 Cor. 1. And likewise in his second Sermon upon the Ephes. 1. They, that truely partake of the spirit, know that it is the earnest of our inheritance.


THis perswasion of faith can­not come into the act and vi­gor, without the endeavor of holi­nesse, and use of the meanes.

THe firme perswasion of Gods bestowing the gift of perseverance, and of our attain­ing of life everlasting, we attribute to the mer­cy of God alone; and the intercession of Christ, as to the originall cause: but so, as we withall referre it to sanctification, as an unse­parable companion, and a most sure signe. This is laid downe, as an evidence of a solid faith, 1 Iohn 2.3. Hereby we are sure, that wee know him, if we keepe his commandements. This is [Page 146] set forth as the proper passion of justification, Rom. 8.1. There is no condemnation to them, that are in Christ Iesus, who walke not after the flesh, but after the spirit.

But we measure this holinesse, not by the degrees of it, but by the endeavor, and setled purpose of him, that hath it: and withall we professe, that this holinesse and perswasion of faith may and ought to bee forwarded and confirmed by watching, fasting, prayer, and mortifying the flesh, and other meanes there­to appointed by God, Mat. 14. 38. Watch, and pray, lest ye enter into temptation, 1 Cor. 9.17. I beat downe my body, and bring it into subjection, lest I my selfe should be reproved. Notwithstanding in the meane while let us so reckon this our diligence, and pious use of these meanes; in the number of the exercises of our freed will, that withall wee account that very diligence and endeavour amongst the helpes of assisting grace and motions of the holy Spirit dwel­ling in us.

Now it is certaine that this firme perswa­sion, of which we speake, cannot put forth it selfe without these holy endeavors.

[Page 147]1 Because sanctification (the companion of justification) cannot consist without the intent of obedience: An habituall purpose whereof (although interrupted by many slips) is sufficient to the Elect for the main­taining the state of justification entire in it selfe. But for the present comfort of this confidēce, is necessarily required an actuall purpose of such obediēce; neither can any man out of the testimony of the spirit speaking to his heart, say, I doe now confidently beleeve, that I shall remaine in the state of grace to the end, unless he also adde, out of the sincere intent of his minde, I doe now most constantly purpose with my selfe to walke in the wayes of Gods holy Commandements.

2 Much lesse can it be imagined, that this lively act of our confidence can stand with an actuall and direct purpose of sinning. For as one habit is opposed to another habit, so al­so an act is opposed to an act. Neither can we, without a senselesse contradiction, ima­gine a man concluding after this manner, I am confident, that life everlasting cannot be taken away from mee: and yet withall I resolve [Page 148] with my selfe to be a slave to my alluring af­fections. Our Saviour shewes that these con­trary resolutions cannot stand together, Mat. 6.24 No man can serve two Masters.


THis perswasion hath not that degree of certitude, that can alwayes shut out all feare of the con­trary, but is sometimes lively, some­times languishing, sometimes, (as in great temptations) none at all.

IN spiritual gifts, with wch we are furnished in this life, sincerity is required, perfection of degrees is not to be expected; Even that gift which is the hand, by which wee lay hold on all the rest, hath its diseases, and weaknesses; so that the perswasion of the faithfull concer­ning their owne salvation and perseverance, cannot alwayes enjoy the highest degree of certitude.

1 The first infirmity ariseth out of the ground it selfe, whereupon this personall con­fidence [Page 149] is built, which seemes to be of lower degree, then the certitude of dogmaticall faith. For the Articles of the Catholique Faith doe worke upon our assent, as immediate and o­riginall principles: but the truth of this speciall faith is not enforced thence, as a necessary con­sequent, but is added therto by way of assump­tion. Therefore there can be no greater cer­taintie of that conclusion, which frameth this perswasion, then such as is in the weaker of the premisses. But that assumption is groun­ded upon experimentall arguments, weighed and applied by a mans private conscience; which arguments or markes, since they are sometimes questioned whether or no they be true and concluding evidences, nay often times are hid under the cloud of temptation, so that they the while cannot shine forth to our present comfort, what wonder, if so bethe faithfull have not alwaies at hand a lively and firme perswasion concerning their eternall salvation.

Nay, which is more, the very principles of the Catholique faith, howsoever they are, by the light of revelation, cleare in themselves, [Page 150] yet for as much as they are knowne to us, by the certainty, not of evidence, but onely of ad­hesion, they doe not procure in us an assent of such uniforme stabilitie, as is yeelded unto Mathematicall demonstrations, and inbred noti­ons admitted by all men. But in our contem­plating these revealed principles, our of the re­mainder of our carnall diffidence, sometime there arise, (as wee may so say) certaine va­pours, or mists, through which the light of divine truth (in it selfe immutable) to our weake eyes seemeth to tremble, and suffer a kinde of refraction. How much more fre­quent and more lasting is that mistake, which may betide any of the faithfull in the viewing his own personal confidence? Their eyes truly would alwayes waver, except both this com­mon revelation of the Catholique Faith, and also that personall application, made by the conscience, were confirmed and sealed unto our hearts by the holy Ghost, bearing witnesse to our spirit, that we are the sonnes of God. And this very testimony of the Spirit, although the seed thereof be never utterly extinguished, yet in regard of the fruit and sense thereof, some­times [Page 151] it either withdrawes it selfe, so that our owne infirmity may be evident to us, or else for a time it is, as it were, raked up under the ashes by our rebellion and ingratitude.

2 Therefore that other weaknesse doth arise from temptations, by which this per­swasion is assaulted. And those are partly af­flictions, which seeme to menace us with the evill of punishment, and partly our owne perverse concupiscences, which doe brand our soules with the evill of sinne, and guilt thereof, and partly the snares and assaults of the Devill, by which he doth set upon us in both those kindes. But the maine skirmish consists in the mutuall wrastling and strug­ling of the flesh and spirit. Whilest this wrast­ling lasts, our faith is weake: but if so be the spirit overcomes the flesh, then our spirit cheeres up, and triumpheth in this manner: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? But if (which often falls out) the spirit, thus wea­ried and weakned, receive the foile for a time, being either overborne with the load of af­flictions, or tainted with the spots of hainous sinnes, then there remaines no such actuall [Page 152] perswasion, a stop is made of al spiritual com­fort, and the light of Gods countenance is hid­den from us. Hence those mournfull com­plaints of holy men: Iob 6.4. The arrowes of the Almighty are within me, the poyson whereof drinkes up my spirit, the terrors of God set them­selves in aray against me. Lament. 3.42. We have transgressed and rebelled. Thou hast not pardoned, thou hast covered thy selfe with a cloud, that our prayers should not passe through. But if the waves of temptation arise yet higher, and the fiery darts of the devill doe wound the conscience already pressed downe with its owne burden, then not onely this sweet perswasion is bani­shed, but also a perswasion utterly contrary commeth in stead thereof: by force whereof holy men, thus affrighted, doe apprehend God as an angry Iudge, and seeme to themselves to be now falling headlong into the open gates of Hell. This case is set downe in those al­most despairing speeches of Iob, Iob 3.2. Let the day pe­rish wherein I was borne: And that of David, I said in my haste, Psal. 31.22. I am cut off from before thine eies.


WHen a faithfull man, after much struggling, hath got the upper hand of these temptati­ons, that act, by which he doth ap­prehend the fatherly mercy of God toward him, and eternall life to bee conferred without faile upon him, is not an act of floating opinion, or of conjecturall hope, such as may be built on a false ground, but it is an act of a true and lively faith, stirred up, and sealed in his heart by the spirit of adoption.

AS it fares in nature, so in grace, after the cloud is removed the day is the clearer, and certaine diseases, after they are overcome, prove occasions of future health. A faithfull man, escaping out of the waves of great ten­tations, [Page 154] doth not only receive the confidence, which was almost extinguished, but gaines a greater measure thereof. For hee is made stronger by the conflict, and more cheerefull by the conquest; Nay, if in this wrastling some of his bones bee broken, after they be set a­gaine, they will knit the stronger, Psal. 51.10. The bones which thou hast broken shall re­joyce.

1 Because the life and state of a regene­rate man is spirituall, he may be said, while he is transported by the force of sin or tentation, to be with-held from his naturall place. The spirit therefore doth easily returne backe again to his own bent, and againe acknowledgeth his former confidence in the fatherly mercy of God. This is manifest out of the examples of the Saints, who have expressed their owne vehement conflicts, still ending in the lively voyce of faith.Ionas 2.5. So Ionas being in the belly of the Whale, said, I am cast out of thy sight, yet I will looke againe toward thy holy Temple. Rom. 7.24. And Saint Paul, O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver mee from the body of this death? I thanke God through Iesus Christ our Lord. In them, both [Page 155] their conquest following their conflict breaks forth into a vigorous act of faith.

2 Because the panting soule, thirsting for Gods fatherly reconciliation, doth run more greedily to the fountaine of living waters, and relisheth more sweetly that, whereof it per­ceived it selfe for a time debarred, namely the fruition of God appeased. Thence it acknow­ledgeth in it selfe the seed of faith, by the force whereof it ariseth againe to repaire the very breaches made upon faith: whose root in­deed spreadeth the further by this loosening, and sends forth new tendrells, from which sprout our new shoots of greater certainty. By this conflict and affliction the faithfull Christian learnes patience, by which he morti­fieth himselfe:Rom. 5. by patience probation, by which he searcheth himselfe: from probation hee mounts up to an hope of overcomming like­wise future tentations.2 Cor. 1.10. Who delivered us from so great a death, and will deliver us, in whom wee trust, that he will yet deliver us: and of perseve­ring, and consequently attaining eternall life; 1 Cor. 1.18. Who shall confirme you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Iesus [Page 156] Christ. And this same hope maketh not asha­med; as it followes in the same Apostle. It is not therefore a fleeting opinion, or uncer­taine conjecture, but an hope, which, as it springs from faith, so it hath the same certain­tie with faith, and therefore is solide and un­deceivable.

Wee have in David an example of this re­newed and confirmed confidence after that his spot of that great sinne was washed away Psal. 51. After that the assault of that dange­rous temptation was abated, Psal. 73. In both these cases there are to be seene, cleerely shine­ing forth, the spirit of prayer, spirituall joy, and the seale of adoption. Take not thy holy spirit from me. Thou hast holden mee by the right hand. Thence proceeds that confident conclusion; It is good for mee to draw neere unto God, and to trust in the Lord.

Erroneous Opinions rejec­ted by us.


THat the perseverance of those, who are truly faithfull, is not an effect of Election, but a benefit offered equally to all, upon this condition, namely, if they shall not be wanting unto suffici­ent grace.

WE have confuted the first part hereof at the first Article in our third Positi­on, and in the third Erroneous Opi­nion, and also in this fifth Article, in the eighth Position, Of the certainty of perseve­rance in it selfe.

The second part of this Opinion containes many incongruities.

1 It is not true that perseverance is a gift onely offered, and not given also. For the Scrip­tures witnesse, that God doth not onely offer unto his the grace of perseverance, but also that he gives it them, and puts it into their hearts. Ier. 32.40. I will put my feare into their hearts, [Page 158] that they shall not depart from me. Iohn 4.14. The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up unto eternall life. 1 Cor. 10.13 But will with the tentation make a way to escape.

2 It is false, that it is offered equally to all, as appeares out of our Positions set downe before in the first Article: Where wee have proved that perseverance in faith doth belong to the Elect alone.

3 It is false that perseverance is a grace offe­red upon condition: for it is a gift promised absolutely by God without any respect at all of condition. The reason is this: Some pro­mises of God are touching the end, others tou­ching the meanes which conduce to the end. The promises, concerning the end, that is to say, Salvation, are conditionall. Beleeve and thou shalt be saved. Bee faithfull unto the death, (that is, persever) and I will give thee the Crowne of life. But for as much as no man is able to performe the conditions, God also hath made most free and absolute promises to give the very conditions, which he workes in us, that so by them, as by meanes, we may attaine the end. Deut. 36.6. And the Lord thy God will cir­cumcise [Page 159] thy heart, to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soule, that thou maist live. The end here promised is life, which the Israelites could never attaine without the per­formance of the condition, namely, their love of God. But here God promiseth absolutely, that hee will give unto them this condition. Since therefore the promises of Faith, and per­severance in Faith, are promises concerning the meanes, they are expresly to bee reckoned among those absolute gifts, by which God, (considering mans disability both to attaine the end without the meanes, and also to per­forme the meanes or conditions of himselfe,) doth promise that he will make them able to performe the conditions. God promiseth life to those that constantly feare him: the promise of life is conditionall: but of constant feare, it is absolute. I will put my feare in their hearts, that they may not depart from me.

4 Be it so that this gift were conditionall, yet it is not offered upon this condition, if men will not be wanting to themselves in the en­tertainment of this sufficient grace. Against this condition those reasons are of force, [Page 160] which we brought before against the strength of free wil in mans conversion: to which we adde also these.

1 First it will follow out of this conditi­on, that wee doe in vaine intreat God in the behalfe of any men, that he would give unto them the gift of perseverance, because of course he offers them universall and sufficient grace, to which, if they themselves will not be wanting, they shall persevere.

2 This is an idle condition. For it makes perseverance to be the condition of perseve­rance. For to persevere is nothing else, but not to be wanting unto this sufficient grace. If therefore God offers perseverance upon this condition, he offers the same upon condition of it selfe.

3 Lastly, the second part of this opinion is soundly confuted by Saint Austine, de corrept. & grat. cap. 11. & 12. of which disputation this is the summe, It was given to Adam that hee might, if he would, persevere in good: but it was not granted to him to will to persevere. But such grace is given to us, who are truly engrafted into Christ, that not onely we may, if we will, but also that wee [Page 161] shall will to persevere in Christ. Againe in his booke de unitate Ecclesiae, cap. 9. the same Au­stine doth contemne this very opinion main­tained by the Donatists, namely, that Men be­leeve, if they will; if they will, they persevere in that which they beleeve; if they will not, they persevere not.


THat perseverance is a condition required in the new Covenant and foregoing Gods Election.

SEE the second and fift Erroneous Opini­on rejected by us in the first Article.


THat hee, who doth truely beleeve, may sinne against the Holy Ghost.

These reasons confute this Opinion;

  • 1 FIrst, to sinne against the Holy Ghost, is to sinne unto death, 1 Iohn 5.16. Those who are truely faithfull cannot sinne unto death; Because to sinne unto death is to commit that sinne, upon which death shall surely follow, to wit, that eternall and second death, which never hath power over those, who are truely [Page 162] faithfull, as being those, who dye unto sinne, and doe rise againe from their sinnes unto newnesse of life, Apoc. 20.6. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power.
  • 2 They, who sin against the Holy Ghost, shall never come unto glory, or unto the Kingdome of Heaven; to which all true be­leevers do without faile come. For it is the same to bee a true beleever, as to bee justified, and to be the adopted Sonne of God; but the justified shall come to glory; Rom. 8. Whom he justified, them also he glorified; and the adopted sonnes of God shall attaine the Kingdome of Heaven, Gal. 4.7. If sonnes, then also beires of God through Christ.
  • 3 1 Iohn 3.9. Whosoever is borne of God (as is every true beleever) doth not commit sinne, which (by the Apostles owne inter­pretation, ver. 8. He that commiteth sinne is of the Divell, is to be understood of those sinnes which estate a man under the Kingdome and power of the Divell, such as principally the sinne against the holy Ghost is. Hither tends the speech of the Apostle, 2. Tim. 4.18. The [Page 163] Lord shall deliver mee from every evill worke, and will preserve mee unto his heavenly Kingdome. What? From every evill worke without ex­ception? Not so; But from every such evill worke, which might wholy deprive him of all right to the Kingdome of Heaven; of which kind no question, the sinne against the holy Ghost, is, not onely for the inward ma­lice, but also for the finall impenitency joyned to it.


THat no true beleever, or regenerate person, can be assured in this life of his perseverance and salvation, without speciall revelation.

OF the first part of this position, we hand­led before in this Article. But now, that a man may know that his perseverance for the future may be secured without any speci­all revelation, wee prove by this reason. Tis confessed that some Saints (especially Saint Paul) did obtaine this certainty. Rom. 8. I am perswaded that neither life nor death, &c. But Saint Paul did not fetch this perswasion from extraordinary revelation, but from those [Page 164] grounds, which are common to him with other the faithfull. vers. 32. He, that spared not his owne Sonne, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods Elect? It is God that justifieth. vers. 33. It is Christ that makes intercession for us. What? was Christ on­ly given for Paul, and not for other beleevers also? Was Paul alone the Elect of God? Doth God justifie Paul onely? Or doth Christ make intercession for Paul alone? Since therefore out of these premises common to the whole Church of the Elect, Saint Paul in that place inferres that confident conclusion, Who shall separate us? and, I am perswaded, &c. certaine it is, that other beleevers also, who have inter­est to the same meanes of salvation, may hence deduce and apply unto themselves this full perswasion of their salvation and perseve­rance.

The same conclusion every faithfull soule is able to make out of other ordinary premises.

1 From the faithfulnesse of God, 1 Cor. 10.13. God is faithfull, who will not suffer, &c.

2 From experience of his former good [Page 165] will, Phil. 1.6. Being confident of this very thing, that hee, which hath begun a good worke in you, will also perfect it, &c.

3 From the practise of good workes per­formed in faith, 2 Pet. 1.10. If yee doe these things, ye shall never fall; and what those things are, tis evident out of the 5. and 6. verses.

4 From the testimony of the conscience, 1 Iohn 3.21. If our hearts condemne us not, then have we confidence toward God.

5 By the testimony of former led life, 2 Tim. 4.7. I have fought a good fight: hence forth is there a Crowne laid up for me.

6 Lastly the testimony of the Spirit doth seale all these things to us, Rom. 8.16. The Spirit it selfe beareth witnesse with our spirit, &c.

These and other evidences of the like kind, are obvious to every faithfull soule, and there­fore likewise the conclusion.

But if this certainty should issue only from an extraordinary revelation, Saint Peter shold in vaine exhort all the faithfull, thus; 2 Pet. 1.10. Give diligence to make your calling and electi­on sure.


THat as often as any grievous carnall sinne is committed, so often is the state of justificati­on and adoption lost.

AGainst this opinion these arguments, besides others, are of force.

1 Man cannot by any sinne make void any act of Gods. But justification and adop­tion are Gods acts, and those flowing from his owne good pleasure: Ergo. When there­fore it is questioned whether or no there may be an intercision of justifying grace, cau­sed by the sinnes of the flesh, the question is, not onely whether a man can lose any quali­tie by sinne, but we must fetch this question much further, to wit, whether mans sinne be of force to make void Gods acts, or to alter that doome of God, by which hee in himselfe hath already pronounced us just, and adopted us into the right and title of Sonnes. In vaine in this case some oppose against us the defect of the subject, or failing on mans part: Whereas God doth continually repaire the [Page 167] subject (which of it selfe, without doubt, would faile) by giving the faithfull perseve­rance, that they may not faile. For to the end that by faith he might keepe us, he keepes also that very faith in us: De veritate gratioe. as elegantly that reverend late Bishop of Salisbury.

2 So farre it is that every grievous sinne of the flesh should altogether devest a faithfull soule of the state of justification and adopti­on, that on the contrary, it is held, especially by practicall Divines, that God doth permit those sinnes very often in justified and adop­ted persons, that both their justification and adoption might be afterward the more con­firmed unto them; according to that of the Prophet, Psal. 119.71. It is good for me, that thou hast humbled me, that I might learne thy statutes. This is evident in the falls, not onely of Da­vid, but also of Hezekias, and Peter, whereby occasionally the endevor of holinesse, the ac­knowledgement of their owne infirmity, and a more vehement suit unto God for the gift of perseverance were increased in them. We conclude therefore, that neither justifica­tion is broken off, nor yet adoption lost, by [Page 168] the falls of the Saints, but that hence it comes to passe, that, rising againe, they doe so much the more warily worke out their owne salvation with feare and trembling.


THat the doctrine of the certainty of perseve­rance and salvation, is of its owne nature both hurtfull unto true piety, and pernicious e­very way to Religion.

BOth Gods truth, and mans experience ea­sily wipe off this aspersion. For this Christian perswasion of perseverance, and salvation, not onely in respect of its own nature, But also according to the very event in the Church, doth, by Gods blessing, pro­duce a quite contrary effect.

1 First in respect of the thing it selfe, the certainty of the end doth not take away, but establish the use of the meanes. And the same holy men, who upon sure grounds promise unto themselves both constancy in the way of this pilgrimage, and fruition of God in their everlasting home, know also that these [Page 169] are not obtained without performance of the duties of holinesse, and the avoidance of con­trary vices: and therefore they turne not their backes from these meanes, but industriously embrace and prosecute them. 1 Iohn 3.3. Eve­rie man that hath this hope in himselfe, purifieth himselfe, even as he is pure. Esay 38.5. When Hezekiah had received that promise of God of an addition of fifteene yeares to his life, he did not therefore neglect the use of medicines or meats, but, that this promised event might be brought into act, he applied, for the cure of his body, the plaister, which was prescri­bed unto him by the Prophet. The Apostle doth altogether reject this consequence of car­nall security imputed to this doctrine, and that with a kinde of indignation. Rom. 6.1. Shall we continue in sinne, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, which are dead to sinne, live any longer therein? As if Saint Paul would in­timate unto us, not onely the incongruity, but also impossibility of such a sequell.

2 As touching the event, true it is, that any the most wholesome truth of God may bee perverted by the abuse of men. But upon [Page 170] this doctrine wee cannot acknowledge that there groweth any such inconvenience, no not de facto, that is, in the event it selfe. Let us take a view of the Reformed Churches, in which this confidence of perseverance and inviolable adoption is beleeved and maintai­ned. Doe we finde that thereupon the bridle is let loose unto riot? That piety is trampled downe? We give thankes unto God through our Lord Iesus Christ, that among ours (who enjoy this full perswasion of spirituall com­fort, and are confident, that there is an inhe­ritance, which cannot bee lost, laid up for them in heaven) there is not found lesse care of godlinesse, nor lesse endevor (so far forth as mans infirmity will suffer) to live an un­blameable life than is to be found among any sort of those, who pinne their perseverance on their owne free will, and will not grant it to flow from any foregoing Election of GOD.

THus have wee set downe our joynt Suffrage concerning these five controver­ted Articles; which our judgement wee beleeve to be agreea­to the word of God, and sutable to the Confessions of so many reformed Churches. From which, that this one of the Low-Coun­tries should be separated, it neither will seeme safe, nor pious unto those, who have any graine of wisedome, or sparke of true piety.

And this our most Gracious and Mightie King of Great Britaine Defendor of the Christian Faith, and the most earnest maintainer of it, (out of his hearty wishes, that in these flou­rishing Provinces, the faith might remaine sincere, and the peace of the Church and Common-Weale be entirely preserved) hath [Page 172] especially aymed at, when he gave in charge to us, appointed to bee sent hither, that wee should as much as in us lyeth, by our mode­rate advises set forward the publike peace of your Church; and that we should exhort our Reverend Brethren assembled in this celebri­ous Synode, that they should not determine any thing in their Synodicall Suffrages, which might thwart the received Doctrine, which hath beene established in so many publike Confessions of the Churches.

This received doctrine hath not long since seemed distastfull to the palate of some ill-af­fected to Innovation, which doctrine though they have by all meanes and helps indeavour­ed to disgrace and suppresse, yet neverthelesse, like a kinde of heavenly fire, it hath sent forth the clearer rayes by the very motion and agi­tation. We truely with from our hearts un­to our brethren, called Remonstrants, that the eyes of their understanding may be enlighte­ned, and that their minds may not be estran­ged from the study of peace: as also unto the rest of our reverend brethren, such charitable affection toward them, that they may not [Page 173] cease, to wish well unto the persons of those men, whose errors they oppugne.

And here wee crave leave a little to turne our speech to the most illustrious and migh­ty States, and to their most judicious Dele­gates, and finally to all the rest, that sit at the sterne of the Common-weale in this Coun­trey. It is your parts (most noble Lords) no lesse to take care lest the Orthodox Religi­on, then the Common-weale, committed to your trust, should receive any damage. For Magistrates serve God in this, when for his service they doe those things, which none can doe, but Magi­strates. In this case therefore there needs, not onely your pietie and good example, but also your power and commands: Let your po­wer restraine that, which here goeth by the name of libertie of prophecying. Vpon presump­tion whereof some are wont, first lightly to nibble at, then openly to impugne, and at last to cry downe the most established grounds of our faith. If it shall bee lawfull for every one to impeach the Orthodox doctrine, ap­proved by the common consent of all the re­formed Churches; it is to be feared, that they [Page 174] who through the connivence of the Magi­strate, have begun to innovate in the Church, will afterward, against his prohibition, as oc­casion may serve, attempt the like in the Com­mom-wealth.

But they little need our exhortation, who to their great paines and cost have already ta­ken the best course, that could be wished, for the renovation and consummation of peace and truth in these Churches. Therefore we thinke it unlawfull to doubt of their con­stancy, of whose singular prudence, piety and care we have had experience: And will pray unto God, that those things, which have pro­ceeded from them with a pious intention, may be finished with happy successe.

And now beloved brethren and fellow Ministers, wee will also in a few words ad­dresse our selves to you, from whose wise­domes it cannot bee hid, that among these principall Controversies so much discussed, there bee sometime sleight questions inter­mingled, which neither have the same certain­tie of beliefe, nor are of any great moment to true piety. But as for those which are of [Page 175] that nature, that, unlesse they be maintained, the free grace of God, in the provision for mans salvation, is infirmed, and the free will of man set up in Gods Throne, for those you ought constantly to stand, as for the free-hold of Religion; neither by any meanes ought you to endure, that the certainty of our salvati­on should bee revoked from the stability of Gods purpose to the inconstancy of mans freewill. But if among these any questions come in, which being not yet determined by the Reformed Churches, are probably disputed by godly and learned men either way without any damage to the rule of faith, it becomes not grave and moderate Divines to thrust upon other mens consciences, as de­terminations of Faith, their owne private opinions herein. In such Tenets there is no danger, so long as you take heed, that diver­sity of opinion doe not either among the Ministers dissolve the bond of peace, or a­mong the people sow the seeds of faction.

Moreover (that wee may give no further caution) among those things, which are cer­taine, and soundly grounded upon the word [Page 176] of God, some there be, which are not to bee inculcated to every auditory without diffe­rence, but onely to be touched warilie in due time and place. Among these is that high mystery of Predestination, a most sweet doc­trine, and full of comfort, but to those onely, who are rooted in faith, and exercised in pie­tie, to which kinde of men, in great conflict of conscience, it may bee instead of a strong tower of defence. But when they, who have not yet well learned the first foundations of Religion, and whose mindes are wholly ca­ried away by their carnall affections, are by the indiscretion of some Preachers, called on to dive into this depth, this commeth of it, that, while they brabble about the secret de­cree of Predestination, they neglect the sa­ving knowledge of the Gospell, and, while they dreame of nothing else but Predestinati­on unto life, they never care to set foot in that way, in which they must walke, who are Predestinated unto life.

And concerning the mystery of Reprobati­on, greater care is to be had, that it be not only handled sparingly and prudently, but also in [Page 177] the explication thereof those fearefull opini­ons, and such as have no ground in the Scrip­tures, bee carefully avoyded, which tend rather unto desperation, then edification, and doe bring upon some of the Reformed Churches a grievous scandall.

Lastly, wee are so to determine of the pre­cious merit of Christs death, that we neither sleight the judgement of the Primitive Church, nor yet the Confessions of the Re­formed Churches, nor (which is the most principall point of all the rest) weaken the promises of the Gospel, which are to be pro­pounded universally in the Church.

These briefe admonitions are here given by us, rather that wee might testifie our love toward our Venerable brethren, then that we thought they needed this our advise.

There remaines nothing now, but that wee humbly beseech Almighty God, that the counsailes of the States, the endeavors of the Ministers, the assistance of foraine Divines, and the endeavors of all may ayme at this, and obtaine this end, that the Church of the Low Countries, all errors being roo­ted [Page 178] out, and dissensions composed, may en­joy the Orthodox Faith, and a setled peace for ever, through him, who is the Advocate of our peace, our Lord and Savior IESVS CHRIST. Amen.

Subscribed by
  • George Carleton D. in Divinity, Bishop of Lan­daff, afterward Bishop of Chichester.
  • Iohn Davenant D. in Divinity, now Bishop of Salisbury.
  • Samuel Ward, the Lady Margarets, professor of Divinity in the Vniversity of Camb. and Ma­ster of Sidney Colledge there.
  • Thomas Goad D. in Divinity.
  • Walter Balcanquall, then Bachelour in Divinity, since D. in Divinity, now Deane of Rochester.

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