VINDICIAE FOEDERIS; OR, A TREATISE OF THE Covenant of God ENTERED WITH MAN-KINDE, In the several Kindes and Degrees of it, IN WHICH The agreement and respective differences of the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace, of the Old and New Covenant are discust.

The Conditions of the Covenant of Grace on mans part, are assigned and asserted.

The just latitude and extent clearly held forth, and fully vindicated.

Several Corollaries containing many heads of Divinity, now controverted, and practical points singularly useful, inferred.

In particular the necessity of a constant settled Ministry (to bring men into Covenant, and to bring them up to the termes of it,) and of Schooles, and Nurseries of Learning, and an orderly call in tendency to it.

Infant Baptisme in that latitude, as now in use in reformed Churches maintained.

Newly corrected and much enlarged, & in many places cleared by its Author.

Thomas Blake, late Minister of the Gospel, at Tamworth in the Counties of Stafford and Warwick.

Whereunto is annexed, a Sermon preached at his Funeral by Mr. Anthony Burgesse, and a Funeral Oration made at his death by Mr. Samuel Shaw.

The second Edition.

All this is come upon us, yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in the Covenant, Psal. 44. 17.

London, Printed for Abel Roper, at the Sun against St. Dunstans Church in Fleet-street. 1658.

To his Reverend, and much Honoured Friend, Mr. SAMVEL HILDERSAM, Bachelar in Divinity, and Pastor of West-Felton in the County of Salop; Together with Mrs. MARY HILDERSAM, his pious Consort.

NO time can wear out the memory of those favours which I have recei­ved from your hands; You were of the first that gave me a visit, when few durst adventure themselves un­der the same roof, being by the good providence of God, necessitated to leave a place sorely af­flicted with the Pestilence; and labouring under a Feaver, wherewith presently on my departure God pleased to afflict me: and were eye-witnes­ses of the mean accommodations, which in those [Page] straits could be provided for me and my reve­rend brother, with both our wives and families, all cast upon the same condition at that time; & you made it appear that your eyes affected your hearts, in giving a free invitation to me, and those that had dependance upon me, to your house, assoon as with security we durst adven­ture over any mans threshold, where for many moneths we had free and liberal entertainment. If Paul in an Epistle did remember the like from Onesiphorus (with special observation, that he was not ashamed of his chaine) my heart must needs have checked me, if having opportunity of Epistling according to received custom, you should have been forgotten. I shall not be ashamed of the language of beggers, if they have learnt it from such a hand; The Lord grant unto you, that ye may finde mercy from the Lord in that day. In your house I had not only leisure to make a good progresse in this Work, but singu­lar accommodation from your accomplisht Li­brary. So that you have not only a deserved interest in the Author, but in the Work it self; upon sight of one part, you have often called up­on me for publication of the whole. So that if the Reader reap any benefit, he may see how [Page] large a share in the thanks is yours. I know you affect not Panegyricks, neither am I fitted for them, nor was ever accustomed to them. There is much published to the world of one of you in the life of your reverend Father, to whom I have often in my thoughts applied that of Doctor Hall concerning learned Whittaker; Who ever saw him without reverence, or heard him without wonder? Having led the Reader through his glory, they adde: And yet his name with the lively picture of his person lives, in his worthy sonne, Master Samuel Hildersam; whose learning Cambridge knew, when he was Fellow of Emmanu­el Colledge; and whose present Ministerial labours, and pious conversation at West-Felton in Shropshire, do perpetuate the honour of his Reverend Father; whose memory he doth much reverence; and whose rich vertues both personal and ministeriall he doth hap­pily imitate. And it is not little that is said of the other, where it is remembred, that you were propounded by him, for a meet wife for his dearest sonne; and recorded that he was heard with affection to ingeminate these words; Never man had a kinder daughter in Law. To be a follower of such a precident, and to be found worthy of such a Testimony, is a great­er [Page] glory, than all the noble blood that ran through the veines of the greatest of either of your Ancestors. Let this small piece finde a roome in your Study and Closet, and testi­fie to the world that gratitude lives in the breast of

Your most affectionate friend and servant, THO. BLAKE.

THe Reverend Author of this Treatise is already known to the Presse by his for­mer Labours, which do give so faire a character of his worth, and bespeak of thee so ready an entertainment of this excellent piece, that were it not, that in this glut of books wherewith the world is cloyed, it might be unhappily buried out of thy sight; We neither need, nor should prefix these few lines, tanquam digitum indicem, to point thee to it. The subject about which it is conversant, is of noblest ranke; viz. The Covenant of Almighty God with Man-kind, which is distinguisht into its kindes; of Works, of Grace. And this againe, according to the several formes or modes thereof, Old and New, which how they respectively take hands and agree, wherein they shake hands, and part. What the terms of the Covenant of Grace are, as propound­ed by God, and what the conditions on mans part, whereupon he (being thereunto responsal) becomes truely a consederate, what is the amplitude and com­prehensivenesse thereof in respect of the persons that have right to claim to the priviledges or interests of it, are all set forth in their various colours, and so drawne to the life, that thy spirit is not like to be tired [Page] with reading; but led on with an appetite so sharp and quick, that when thou arrivest at the end, thou wilt complaine of the shortnesse of the way. For in the doctrine of the Covenant truly stated, an Ortho­dox Faith hath sure foundation; thence practick godlinesse receives powerful influence and obligation. Thereby very many errours of several sorts of Erro­nists, as by a teste or standard are rectified, or disco­vered; from thence our Sacraments do as it were re­ceive a soul, and those pertinent and seasonable digres­sions following in this book, concerning the necessity of a settled Ministry, &c. do by consequence receive both strength and usefulnesse. As concerning the remains of a former controversie about Paedobaptisme, which are presented to thee in this Book, they are not out of their own place in a Treatise of the Covenant. We shall not adventure to say any more thereabout, but in imi­tation of that of Mr. Hooker in the Preface to his Ecclesiastical Politie, shall crave leave to re-minde all agitatours of that or any other controversie. That the time will come, when a few words delivered with meeknesse of wisdome, shall afford them more comfort, than great volumes written with scorneful­nesse, and in the ferment of a sower and angry spirit; for 'tis an honour to any man to be a Slave to another mans reason, and Master of his own passions, vale.

Thine in the Lord Jesus,
  • Richard Vines.
  • Sam▪ Fisher.

A Preface to the READER.

BEing by the good providence of God here­tofore engaged, in the vindication of se­veral truths, which were of concernment to his Church, especially, the Birth-privi­ledge and Covenant-holinesse of the issue of beleevers, I was unwilling to be silent, when a spirit of opposition prevailed, lest the truth (for which I had stood, and make it may glory ever to own) should suf­fer. In a designe of this nature, the greatest question with me was how to proceed to the best advantage of truth▪ per­sonal conflicts are highly wearisome, and ungrateful, there is much time spent with very little satisfaction to the Rea­der, even where most satisfaction is given to an adversarie He must be followed in such paths that he goes, which of­ten are not very acceptable to the Reader to accompany. And for the businesse in hand, viz. the vindication of a beleevers faederall holynesse till the ground work be right laid, and well understood, the superstructure in any such dispute (managed in the most dextrous way that is conceiv­able) will scarce settle those that are weak, and not yet well informed or established. I judged it therefore a way most satisfactory, and of greatest and most probable hopes, for the clearing, not only of this Controversie, but many more now in agitation, to adventure upon a full Treatise of the Covenant, which God hath entered with man, and the va­rious dispensations, and diversifications of it; whether such as were occasioned by mans fall, or that God according to [Page 2] his Sovereignty, by his just Prerogative hath been pleased to order; where this is not in some measure clear, many truths of great weight must needs lie obscure. Master Bax­ters words in his Preface to the Reader before his Apho­rismes of Justification are very remarkable: It is not in studies (saith he) as it is in manifactures, that one man may begin where another left; but every man must fetch it from the very principles himself, neither can we take the words of those that have studied it before us for that is neither a sound nor satisfa­ctory knowledge (quoting Mr. Pemble,) thence it comes to passe that while we are busie in examining our fore fathers inventi­ons, and posterity imployed in trying our Examinations, neither we nor they have much time to adde any thing for the encrease of learned knowledge. Now the Covenant must needs be the principle where we must begin to get knowledg of the seals of the Covenant; This way therefore (resting on divine as­sistance) I have chosen, quickened to it as by the excellency and great concernment of the subject, so also by the desires of many that this thing in a just Treatise might be handled; And when my thoughts were most full of it, and busiest a­bout it, and some preparations made for the work; the Sta­tioner by letter solicited, that I would enlarge my Birth-priviledge, and sit it to these present times, and he would see it published; Hereupon I went on in the work (a Scheme of which follows here in an Analytical Table) in which I have received help from many (as my slender furniture, and strength with leasure to attend the perusal of them would give leave) yet I have tied my self to follow none; I think there is scarce any thing in which I am singular, I have so much childish fear as scarce to dare to wall in publick where I am alone, yet in several things I shall be found to dissent from others, and those of eminent name with whom I should blush to have any thoughts of comparison: There are dissentings among those that are of highest repute. In [Page 3] such case no inferior can agree with both parties, and there­fore it must not be deemed any piece of arrogance or singu­larity, to leave the one: where I am put to it to differ, the Reader shall finde my reason, together with my opinoin. If better light lead him another way, I shall never desire that he shall go with me blindfold, or leave the truth to have me his companion, yet least in leaving me, he should let go the truth it self, I shall only request an unprejudiced and unby­ass'd judgement; If he bring a blood-shot eye, all will ap­pear of a wrong colour. It cannot be hoped but that wa­ding through so many particulars, I shall meet with oppo­sition frō some hands; I would only let such know first, that I have made no man my adversary out of will,The Authours dissent from some. [...] as desirous to be a man of contentions. I sometimes close with my greatest adversaries, and sometimes dissent from my most honoured, and admired friends: I think I have as strong an antipathy against quarrels, as Luthers against covetousness: I only leave where that light that for present I enjoy, leads me another way. 2. That I have wrote nothing but that which as I beleeve, so I resolve (God assisti [...]g) to hold, till a more clear light detect my errour. There are few things that have vented, but many yeers have held my thoughts, words or shews, will not work me out of them. 3. That I am not yet so wedded to an opinion, but am ready to yeeld up my self to be over-ruled by reason; He is the happiest man that lies under the conquest of truth. 4. That no man shall displease me that will deal argumentatively with me either by the clear immediate testimony of Scripture, or argu­ments by just consequence derived from them; but in case I shall meet with such dealing as I have found, to have my words by enterchange made not mine, but the adversaries own, my Arguments misrepresented, and held out to the halves; I shal give those leave to hold up and pursue quarrels with their own fancies. My years and employments, toge­ther [Page 4] with my weaknesses, will be a sufficient Apology to hold me back from intermedling in such trifles. And for the Reader that would read for satisfaction, I would acquaint him,

First,Advertisemē [...]s to the Reader concerning the present work. that I have made it my businesse to cast the whole mould and Series of the work; that he may find method and order in it, & if at any time through inadvertency or other­wise, he be at losse, and especially if he take not the whole work before him (as I should desire) he may soone have re­course to the Analytical Table, and see in what order that which in present his eye is upon, stands in the whole di­scourse; If he gaine no advantage by the method into which it is cast, much paines and industry of mine is lost.

Scondly, That I have made it my studie to leave out no piece or part, which may be fairly looked for within this Verge, but have endeavoured to take the whole into con­sideration, studying to avoid two extreams, the one much prejudicial to the Reader in Treatises of this nature, to give us a bare skeleton of bones and sinewes, leaving their Readers to clothe them with skin and flesh: These serve better to help their memories that are already seen in the subject, then to help those with satisfaction that are not al­ready verst in it, Memoriae mater ingenii noverca. I would learned Amesius in his Medulla Theologiae, Cases of Conscience, and other learned Works, had not, affecting brevity, herein been defective. Sure I am, the Reader might well wish, that learned Camero's work De triplici foedere had by his own hand been more inlarged, & that he had spoken more fully; where his Reader may see cause justly to close with him, and given in his Reasons especially in several differences (which he assigns beteewn the Old (which he calls the subservi­ent Covenant) and the Covenant of Grace, where many suppose they have cause to dissent from him. The other extream might be the Readers benefit, but would have [Page 5] been my burthen, and that is an enlarged full discourse on every particular Divinity-head, that may occur in the hand­ling of this Subject, a way which reverend Master Ball in­tended, I have heard it from those that received it from his own mouth, that his purpose was to speak on this Sub­ject of the Covenant, all that he had to say in all the whole body of Divinity; a work that the whole Church might wish (had not Divine providence determined otherwise) that he had enjoyed life to finish. That which he hath left behinde gives us a taste of it, and the advantage the Church might have received by it. I have thought it e­nough to handle each particular, so as might well answer expectation in reference to the present subject: To speak of Christ as a Mediatour of the Covenant, and to set forth the distinct parts of his work in such mediation without handling the whole of the work, and all the Offices inci­dent to his Mediatorship: To speak of his death ratifying the Covenant of grace, waving the controversie of the extent of it, in the intention of God, or purpose of Christ; It is sufficient to me to assert Faith to be a con­dition of the Covenant necessary to be put in by us to attain the mercies in the Covenant, to speak of it so far as is here concerned without a large Treatise of the nature, requisites, and life of it; so I may say of godly sorrow, ces­sation from sin, sincerity of obedience, and the like.

Thirdly, Those particulars relating to this subject, which are most controverted, and in this age disputed, I have spoke to more at large; to instance in some. The conditions of the Covenant of Grace, as well to the an sint? whether there be any such conditions at all? which in our times by several hands out of several Principles is denyed; Or the Quae sint? what these conditions be? laying down rules and helps for the better discovery of them. The supposed dif­ferences between the old and new, Whether such that of­fer [Page 6] injurie to the Covenant, under which the Fathers lived, under Moses his administration, or before his dayes, ma­king it a meer carnal Covenant, consisting of temporal promises, as the possession of the Land of Canaan, and pro­tection there, or at the least a mixt Covenant, and no pure Gospel-Covenant, and the seals suitable? Or such that put too great a limit to the Covenant in Gospel-times ve­sting it onely in the elect regenerate, excluding all profes­sed ones not yet regenerate, not onely from Covenant-mercies, but all Covenant-terms, not admitting any to stand in any relation to God, but those only whom his Spi­rit hath changed, making the call of God in the largest sense convertible with Election, and the seal of Baptism to be of no greater latitude (unlesse by mistake mis-applied) than the seal of the Spirit, and determining it in the persons of the elect (about which the meer congregational men and the Antipoedobaptists agreeing in the former, do differ) that they excluding the seed, and leaving them in the same con­dition (hope of education excepted) with the Heathens: In these and some others, as the Reader may meet withall, I have been more large, in such things where all agree, or where it much skills not, whether we agree or differ (as in what place, whether on earth, or heaven, man had enjoyed immortality in case he had not sinned) what need we to ad­minister matter of contention, our work is to make up brea­ches (were it possible, so far as it may stand with truth) and not to widen them.

Fourthly, I have not so tied up my self to the expresse immediate doctrine of the covenant, but that I have occa­sionally drawn Corollaries or Inferences leading to other things of neer relation to, and necessary dependance upon this of the Covenant; I shall not need to give instance, the Reader all along will meet with them, such as I thought would be useful, and to the judicious not ungrateful, some [Page 7] of them practical, that the whole of the Book might not be found to be Polemical, ayming at least at that which the Poet so cries up—Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit u­tile d [...]lci.

Fifthly, For that part in which Infant-Baptisme and its grounds are particularly vindicated from Antipoedobaptists, the Reader may see their arguments and corrupt glosses are examined, onely as (according to my method laid down) I have been necessitated, and so, that the Covenant had not been vindicated according to my duty, in case that had been neglected; And here those that please to heed may see; First, the dependance that this Controversie about Infant-Baptisme hath on the doctrine of the Covenant; that a Scripture Covenant cannot be asserted, but Infant-Member-ship, Infant-Baptisme in the latitude, as now ge­nerally used by Pastors in their Congregations, must be upheld. Secondly, the order in which this controversie is here carried, may so much the rather invite the Reader to it, seeing what is in opposite Authors laid down scattering­ly, without regard to any head of doctrine in the Covenant to which it doth relate, here it is reduced to its proper place, and carried on in that manner as an orderly Treatise, and not a personal conflict; following adversaries no farther than as they stand in the way, to cloud the truth that is there prosecuted▪ and though many advantages are hereby neg­lected, that might have been taken, which adversaries use to prosecute to the uttermost, and these adversaries would to the height have improved; yet I am very well pleased, making it my businesse, that my Reader may not be trou­bled, but edified. Thirdly, the Scriptures that are pro­duced, and ordinarily agitated in this controversie of In­fant-Baptism, are not only urged, but a just Analysis of the context opened, the full scope and drift laid down, so that it may appeare that the words are not enforced, but [Page 8] of themselves in their native strength commend that do­ctrine to us; that of Jerome, Apol. adversus Jovinian much takes with me, Commentatoris officium est, non quod ipse velit, sed quid sentiat ille quem interpretatur exponere; Alioqui si contraria dixerit, non tam interpres erit quàm adversarius e­jus quem nititur explanare; And let the impartial and learn­ed judge whether somewhat more cleare light is not here added to their full meaning and the adversaries▪ Sophismes more cleerly detected. Fourthly. The least blow which Mr. Tombes received (purposely intended for him) was from Mr. Baxters hand, which work contains many irrefragable Ar­guments to assert Infants Church-Membership, and Baptism from several Scripture-Texts, if not of themselves plain, yet made plain, so that he needs not blush at his Title; but he doth not make it: his businesse fully to answer Argu­ments on the contrary, where he is most full, I have been most brief; where he is most brief, I have been more large; he hath satisfied his Reader, I hope the Reader will say that I have in that part done somewhat for satisfaction of my adversary.

Sixthly, The last part of this Treatise (as the advice on the top of the leaf may signifie) is no more than a new Edition of, with an ample addition to my Birth-priviledge, which above my expectation found so good acceptation, onely handling it there Sermon-wise, as fixt on a proper Text, and here by way of Treatise, as a branch of this do­ctrine of the Covenant, I was put to it in a great part to change the methodand texture of it, so that it may rather seem to those that compare them, a new frame, with much borrowed from it, than the same reprinted and enlarged; and there I have endeavoured satisfaction to that which some have said in the way, admitting Infants not accord­ing to their Parents-priviledges, but qualification: not as they stand in relation to God, but as they fill up their [Page 9] relation, which new limit I hope I have discovered to be unwarrantably put, casting those out which the Church (according to the mind of God) from Abraham to this time hath received, to the disquiet of our Congre­gations, and multiplication of our sad, and deplorable diffe­rences.

Seventhly, I have made it my businesse to avoid all im­pertinencies and unnecessary dilatations, being ambiti­ous to speak multa in paucis, and not to put the Reader to paines to finde out a little which may serve his purpose in much, affecting brevity so farre as may be without ob­scurity: In all which, I shall only request two things of the Reader, and both of them such that God himself com­mands.

First,A double re­quest made to the Reader. Not to have the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory with respect of persons, that he do not take an estimate of doctrinal points, or controverted opinions, ac­cording to the outward garb in which men appear, by rea­son of any dignity, relation power, or any such circumstance whatsoever; If this once prevail, opinions will be taken up, not according to the strength of truth, that is seen in them, but according to the quality of him that vents them; they will judge of the faith by the men, not of the men by the faith, and upon this account on all hands truth is in dan­ger: And as men in their reputations ebbe and flow, their judgements of things must hold up or fall. Truths some­times will be cast off, barely on the low repute, and meane condition of such that do deliver them: Though Christ spake as never man spake, and al treasures of wisdome were hid in him, yet it was enough against him that he was a Carpenters son, Matth. 13. 55: that none of the Pharisees and Rulers beleeved in him, or sided with him, John 7. 48. A poor man may save a City, and never the lesse his wis­dome despised, Eccles. 9. 16. sometimes because they are [Page 10] not men of our interests that hold it, they make not up a party for us. The more considerable the interest is, the greater the hazard (in these cases) truth runnes. Paul being brought before a Councel, Acts 23. had not a man of whom we can read for him, but all against him, for this rea­son, because it did not appear that his opinions served any of their Interests; when he observed this, and saw their Interests divided, and that his adversaries made two parties, he de­clares himself to be for the Interest of the one against the o­ther, and in point of the Resurrection to be for the Phari­sees against the Sadduces, bred up in that way, and so per­sisted; hereupon having not a friend before, now he hath ma­ny: There arose a great cry, and the Scribes that were of the Pha­risees part arose, and strove, saying, We find no fault in this man, but if a spirit, or an Angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight a­gainst God, Verse 9. now and not before he must be heard. Upon the same terms that truth is cast off, errour is received and taken in, nothing must be gainsaid, that men of name, & men of Interest will appear to own; yea, relations, kindred, and affections this way gained, are mightily prevalent, to work into Faction and take up Tenents. As diseases many times run in a blood; so also opinions where they take in a kindred, often very few escape. Twenty Sermons, were Paul, yea, Jesus Christ in the Pulpit, would not so take to settle men in the truth, as one poor Letter, or simple senselesse three-pennie Pamphlet from the hand of a childe, a brother, or sister will work to draw into Errour. I will not here undertake to deter­mine who are meant by children in that speech of our Saviour Christ, Matthew 12. 27. It appears that it spake some relation, that drew affections, and therefore whereas Christ is censured to cast out Devils by Beelzebub the chief of Devils, when any of these do such a work, they are cryed up in another manner. [Page 11] It was a true Observation of him that said, Omnia diota tan [...] astimantur, quantum est ipse qui dixerii, nectam dicti­onis vim, atque virtutem, quam dictatoris cogitent digni­tatem.

The second request of mine is, that men take heed of having mens persons in admiration, because of advan­tage; we have seen the mischief that respect of persons works, and advantages will work men in the height of it. That way that men can either save themselves from dan­ger, and hold where they are, or rise up to a greater height, the world is apt to take, and the Religion of that side shall be theirs. Hence it is, that when godlinesse ought to be the chiefest gain, gain with these is their whole godlinesse; and state Religion is almost the faith of every man. Those of that party still [...] for [...] depart the least from the very height of their own princi­ples for it, but they will have all others upon account of their prevalency come into it: so that self is no other than their unity paraphrased, and so long as providence holds them up, they are not much mistaken: Re [...]sians will become Jewes, when Mordecai a Jew is the man that rules. Saul saw that that was a mighty motive to draw a party in war, to have the gift of vineyards, and oliveyards, to be the fountain of honour, able to make Captaines over thou­sands, hundreds, fifties. It is no lesse to draw on a party in Religion, as every turne of State respective to Religion is a clear evidence: If these stumble upon truth, they yet, hold it upon such carnal motives, that they are neither true to it, nor receive the comfort of it: Make truth then the greatest advantage, there is glory enough in it, without any farther garb to have it in admiration: own it though with a scracht face where you find it; though you be o­therwise at losse, it will bring an hundred-fold with it. If I can but gain these things at thy hands, I shall not [Page 12] feare that this piece shall run the hazzard of thy censure; spare no errour in it, so that thou wilt gladly take up, and rest satisfied in all the truths that thou findest. That truth may have the first place in thy soul, is the desire and prayers of him that can do nothing a­gainst, but for the truth,

Thomas Blake



An Advertisement to the Reader touching this second Edition.


IT was once the sad complaint of Reverend Davenant, Dissertatio. de morti Christi. Cap. 1. pag. 1. that, Religionis nostrae mysteria, quae sunt ad parem & solatium animarum promulga­ta, in solam penè litigandi & pugnandi materiam vertantur. The great mysteries of Religion, those pre­tious Beamings of the Sunne of righteousnesse which were shed abroad, for the begetting of spiritual heat and life in the beleeving heart, were often eclipsed, and their influence much debilitated, through the intervening body of cloudy Controversies. This way Satan gained up­on the Church in its Infancy, which gave occasion to that good admonition, we have upon record from the blessed Apostle, Heb. 13. 9. Be not carryed about with diverse and strange doctrines, for it is a good thing that the heart be esta­blished with grace; What these diverse and strange doctrines were, Interpreters have their different thoughts, which I shall wholly wave; the Reader may yet observe the Apostle hinting at, and tacitely reproving, the pronenesse that was in men eagerly to pursue, studiously to sweat, and tug a­bout empty notions, whilest the spiritual sense, and feeling of truth in the heart, was little heeded. The same Apostle traces Satan in the same design among the Colossians, Cap. 2. Which puts him upon that pathetical exhortation, Cap. 3. To seek the things that are above, to lay out their zeal, and centre their affections upon things of a more solid, sublime, and spiritual nature, viz. the application of Christ in the [Page 14] power of his death, and precious in-comes of his Spirit for the mortification of lust. What unspeakable advantage this continued enemy of a beleevers life and comfort hath gain­ed in our age (not to mention the spoyles made in the in­tervening) our present breaches, sad decays, two fully evidence; yea, so fully, that did not a graciory word uphold, and everlasting armes fix themselves un­derneath, our ruines had been uncapable, of any further breach. In the midst of these astonishing providences, and terrible dispensations, the Lord (such is his infinite wis­dome, and goodnesse) hath brought forth meat out of the strong, and honey, out of the destroyer. These windy stormes have through rich grace more deeply rooted some, whilest others have been tossed to, and fro; these Contro­versal collissions have brought forth much light; thus Satan lyes bleeding under his own weapons. Among other pre­cious treasures which the Church through mercy doth en­joy, here thou mayest see truths of the greatest concern­ment to beleevers polemically vindicated, practically im­proved, that mens judgments might be ballanced, and their hearts feel the weight of truth, both which necessarily make up a beleevers acquaintance with the truths of Christ as they are in him. The Covenant of grace both in its sure mercies, and distinguishing priviledges, is a truth of the greatest mag­nitude, appearing rather as a glorious constellation, than shining with the light of a single starre; It is a rich Cabinet of Diamonds, rather than any single jewel. How far the Re­verend Authour (my ever Honoured and endeared Father) hath been serviceable in the hands of Christ for the unseal­ing of this rich Cabinet, the abundant acceptance which this Treatise found from men eminently judicious, when it was wrapped up in the swadling bands of blurred papers, be­fore it went abroad, doth fully speak. I need not adde those many special acknowledgments from some of the ablest [Page 15] pens in the Nation, which after the Authors death were found upon the file in his study; much might be spoken by me, did not my relation to him command a silence; the Ly­dian Princes tongue would break no bonds; when violence was offered to his father; give me leave to apply that to the Reverend Author, which sometimes was observed of the Athenian Orator, that in his publique discourses, he did not only [...], but aculeos in animis auditorum relinquere; And if I may without envy adde holy Melancthons pythy verse upon Luthers picture, Fulmina erant linguae singula verba tuae. But I shall forbear, craving only thy patience, in receiving an account, how far thy gain will be doubled, in this second Edition: In the first, the Learned Author was necessitated to take notice of several controversies, which were then started, these afterwards growing more personal (& therefore only beautiful in their season) are in this whol­ly waved, and truths asserted in Thesi. In the first, several expressions (through the natural brevity of the Authours stile) were obscure, and occasioned the readers stumbling, In this they receive an additional light, what passages might seem abstruse, now are enlarged. In the first the method was unavoidably clouded in several places through digressions, and appendices, In this each head is digested in its proper place. In the first, several things were omitted which now upon second thoughts, and deeper wading into the contro­versies herein handled, are by the learned Authour in this in­serted; And the whol of this don by the Authors own hand, which he had no sooner taken off, and sent it to the Presse, but the Lord dispatched a fiery chariot for him, which took him away to the enjoyment of Truth it self; what thou read­est of him now, was sealed with his death. They that were ac­quainted with his state, and frame of spirit in that juncture of time when it was finished, must needs testifie, there was no room for any carnal end to byasse, or self-interest to [Page 16] steer his notions. Respective to the doctrine here asserted, I shall assure thee from the mouth of this blessed Author, that as he sweetly laid down his life, in clear, and unspeak­able assurance of glory, so he dyed without the least Scruple in any of the truths here vindicated. I shall no longer enter­tain thee in the porch, but give thee possession of the house, craving only thy Candor in the perusal of it; orphane chil­dren though under the eye and care of endearing friends, yet sometimes may feel the want of a parental wing, I am not without fears that this Orphane Treatise, may complain of som Errata's, through the Authors unexpected death, the slow progresse of the Presse, and my great distance from it. The God of truth teach thee how to profit, break every shell, that thou mayest taste of the kernel, clear up truths to thy apprehension, and imprint them upon thy heart, so prayes he, who beggs thy prayers for him, because he is

Thine in our Lord Jesus Samuel Beresford.

A Scheme of the whole.

  • This Treatise contains
    • 1. An Introduction.
    • 2. The body of the Treatise.
  • The Introdu­ction doth contain
    • 1. The figurative acceptions of the word, Covenant.
    • 2. Requisites in a Covenant; properly so called. Chap. 1.
    • 3. A distribution of Covenants into the in several kinds.
    • 4. Seven Reasons of Gods dealing with men in a Covenant way.
    • 5. The Covenant between God, and man defined.
  • The body of the Treatise contains a distribution of the Covenant into the
    • Covenant of Works. Chap. 2.
    • Covenant of Grace.
  • The Covenant of Grace is considered,
    • 1. In the general nature of a Covenant.
    • 2. Joyntly with the Covenant of Works.
  • 1. As considered in the ge­neral nature of a Cove­nant, we may observe
    • 1. A Covenant in the proper nature of it between God and fallen man asserted. Chap. 3.
    • 2. This explained in several propositions.
  • 1. The Covenant of Grace is between God and man, and not between God and Christ. Chap. 4.
  • 2. The outward, and not the in­ward Covenant is a Covenant properly so called,
    • 1. Asserted and argued. Ch. 5.
    • 2. Cleared in 6 positions. Ch. 6
  • 3. The conditionality of the Covenant of Grace
    • 1. In five arguments proved. Ch. 7.
    • 2. Objections answered.
      • Ch. 8.
      • Ch. 9.
  • 4. God keeps up his sovereign y,
    • 1. In the power and authority of his Law. Ch. 10, 11, 12.
    • 2. In exercise of Discipline and correction for sin. Ch. 13.
  • 2. Consider joyntly with the Covenant of Works, we see
    • 1. Their agreement in eight particulars. Chap. 14.
    • 2. Their differences
      • 1. In the Covenants themselves.
      • 2. In the Conditions annext.
  • Differences in the Covenants are
    • 1. Primae.
      • The Covenant of Works was entered in mans integrity. Chap. 15.
      • The Covenant of Grace was entered in mans fallen condition.
    • 2. A prima ortae.
  • [Page]Differences, à prima ortae
    • The Covenant
      • of Works was for mans preservation.
      • of Grace for mans restitution. Ibid.
    • The Covenant
      • of Works had its precedency in time.
      • of Grace followed after.
        • Asserted.
        • Objections answered.
    • The Covenant
      • of Works was of small time in use.
      • of Grace is of everlasting continuance. chap. 16.
    • The Covenant
      • of Works had no Mediatour.
        • Asserted.
        • Objections answered.
      • of Grace was in and by a Mediatour
        • Asserted.
        • Works incumbent on the Media­tour held forth.
  • 1. To bring men into a capacity of Covenanting.
  • 2. To bring men within the verge of the Covenant.
    • 1. By his tender of it.
    • 2. Shaping the heart for it.
  • 3. To bring the soul up to the termes of the Covenant.
  • 4. To crown those that come up to the terms of it. chap. 17.
  • Differences in the conditions.
    • 1. Supposed on Gods part.
      • Death threatned.
      • Life promised.
        • The same in both
          • Asserted.
          • Objections answered chap. 18.
    • 2. Real on mans part.
  • 2 Differences asserted.
    • 1. In the Covenant
      • of Works, the conditions were in mans power.
      • of Grace, they are not performed without special grace.
        • Asserted in 6. Reasons. chap. 18
        • Objections answered. chap. 19
    • 2. In the Covenant
      • of Works, the conditions kept man within himselfe of righteousnesse. chap. 20
      • of Grace, the conditions carry man out of himself to be righteous by anothers righteousnesse.
    • 3. In the Covenant
      • of Works, conditions were for mans preservation. Ibid.
      • of Grace, conditions were for mans reparation.
    • 3. Condi­tions dis­covered.
      • 1. Service­able for mans re­turne to God which is Faith.
        • 1. Explained, the sense of it given, and reasons evincing it. Chap. 21
        • 2. In 4. Proposi­tions cleared.
          • 1. God will not justifie a wicked person.
          • 2. Man hath no righteousnesse of his own for justification.
          • 3. Man hath a righteousnesse of grace tender­ed. Ibid.
          • 4. This righteousnesse is made ours by Faith.
            • Asserted.
            • Explained.
              • 1. Faith in the Sovereignty of God doth not justifie.
              • 2. Faith justifies as an instrument.
        • 3. Objections answe [...]ed. chap 22.
          • 1. Asserted. Ib.
          • 2. Object. answ.
        • 4. Corollary drawn, A justified man is fitted for every duty. Ibid.
      • [Page] 2. Service­able for mans re­paration in his quali­fications to hold up communiō with God, which is repentance
        • 1. Objection a prevented. It is not the same with faith. Chap. 23.
        • 2. Duty ex­plained.
          • In the pre-requisite godly sorrow
            • Asserted in six particulars li­mited. Ibid.
          • In the essentials.
            • Privative, Cessation from sinne. Ibid.
            • Positive. Returne to God.
        • 3. Objections answered.
          • 1. Joyntly against Faith and Repentance. They are mans conditions, not Gods. chap. 24.
          • 2. Particularly against repent­ance it self.
            • 1. It is not hereby made a Co­venant of Works.
            • 2. Repentance necessarily flowing from Faith, is not thereby diserabled Ibid. from being a condition in the Covenant of Grace.
        • 4. Degree of obedience required in our returne.
      • 1. Perfection of degrees not called for of God in Covenant,
      • 2. Covenant of Grace doth not call for perfection, and accept sincerity.
        • Asserted.
        • Objections answered.
      • 3. Our Evangelical righteousnesse is imperfect. Chap. 25.
      • 4. Covenant of Grace requires and accepts sincerity.
      • 4. Corollaries drawn.
        • 1. Necess [...]y of a constant standing Ministery to bring men into Cove­venant with God, and to bring them up to the termes of it.
          • 1. Explained.
          • 2. Asserted.
            • 1. In seven reasons evincing that such a Ministery is established.
            • 2. In reasons evincing such a Mi­nistery to be thus established.
          • 3. Objections answered.
            • Joel 2. 28, 29. Vindicated. ch. 26
            • Jer. 31. 31. &c. Vindicated.
        • [Page] 2. Schooles and Nurseries of learning in order to a gifted Ministery.
          • Asserted. Chap. 27.
          • Objections answered.
        • 3. Orderly way of admis­sion of men into a Mi­nisterial function ne­cessary.
          • 1. Asserted by several reasons, Chap. 28.
          • 2. Explained by distinguishing of Callings.
          • 3. Ordination defined, in the parts of it explained.
        • 4. Ministers of Christ must bring their people up to the termes of the Covenant.
          • 1. Explained.
          • 2. Asserted. Chap. 29.
          • Objections answered.
        • 5. People in Covenant must come up to the termes of the Covenant. Chap. 30.
    • The Covenant of Grace is either the Old or New Covenant.
      • In which observe
        • 1. Agreement in 6 particulars. Chap. 31.
        • 2. Differences. Chap. 32.
    • Differences.
      • 1. Real in six particulars.
      • 2. Supposed or imaginary.
        • Nine Positions premised for a right understanding of the Old Covenant. Chap. 33.
        • Differences themselves assigned.
    • Differences assigned are
      • 1. Laying the Old Covenant too low.
      • 2. Putting too great a restrain [...] on the New.
    • [Page]I. Laying the Old Covenant too low.
      • 1. Supposing it to consist of meere carnal promises,
        • 1. Interests to which this deives.
          • Popish.
          • Socinian.
          • Antipaedobaptistical. Chap. 34.
        • 2. Contrary asserted, and the spiritualty of the Old Covenant maintained.
      • 2. Supposing it to be a mixt and no pure Gospel Covenant. Chap. 35.
    • 1. Meaning enquired into.
    • 2. Grounds.
      • Examined.
      • Enervated.
    • II. Putting too great a restraint on the New Covenant.
      • 1. Limitting it alone to the Rege­nerate.
        • 1. To which some­thing is spoke.
          • 1. By way of concession, that sundry Divines seeme to speak to that purpose.
          • 2. By way of Avoidance, from their owne words.
        • 2. Contrary asserted.
          • 1. In Old Testament-times.
            • 1. By confession of the advesarie.
            • 2. By Scripture-testimony.
              • 36
          • 2. In New Testament times.
            • 1. by New Testa­ment Scriptures
              • Mat. 28. 19
              • Mat. 22. 24
              • Heb. 10. 29
              • 1 Pet. 2. 9
                • 37
            • 2. By Arguments of sundry sorts. ch. 38
            • 3. Objections answered. ch. 39
            • 4. Corollaries drawn.
        • 1. Professed Beleevers are under a Covenant of Grace, and not a Covenant of Works. chap. 40
        • 2. Interest in a Church-state, is of equall atiude with the Covenāt. c. 41
        • 3. Such Covenant-interest is sufficient to give accesse to, and interest in particular visible Churches. chap. 42
        • 4. Dogmatical Faith entitles to Baptisme. chap. 43
        • 5. Impenitence and unbelief in professed Christians is a breach of Covenant. chap. 44
      • [Page] Five Positions concerning particular Churches
        • 1. Where nothing is wanting to the being of a Church, yet much may be wanting for the wel-ordering.
        • 2. A people in a vicinity ought to associate themselves.
        • 3. Professing Christians upon tender, ought to be received.
        • 4. Reformation of abuses is the work of Chri­stians, rather than separation.
        • 7. Rules concerning separation.
        • 5. Together Churches out of Churches un­warrantable.
      • 2. Terminat­ing it onely in the person actually entring & excluding the issue, in which
        • 1. Question stated as to Abrahams natural issue Chap. 45
        • 2. Arguments concluding the natural issue of Abra­ham to be in Covenant. Chap. 46
        • 3. New-Testament Testimonies evincing it. Ibid.
        • 4. Objections from Rom. 9. 6, 7, 8. answered. Chap. 47
        • 5. The extent of it to the issue of Beleevers in New-Testa­ment times.
          • 1. Asserted. Chap 48
          • 2 Proved.
        • 1. By Scripture testimonies
          • Rom. 11. 16. Chap. 49. & 50
          • 1 Cor. 7. 14. Chap. 51
          • Galat. 4. 29 Chap. 52.
          • Matth. 19. 14.
          • Marke 10▪ 14
          • Luke 18. 16.
            • Chap. 53
        • 2. By several arguments. Chap. 54.
        • 6. Corollary for Infant-Eaptisme. Chap. 55
          • 1. By Arguments asserted, objections answered.
          • 2. The reality of connexion between the Covenant and the Seal vindicated.
            • Chap 56
          • 3. Sin of Sacriledge upon the repulse charged. Ch. 57
          • 4. The title of all infants of professing parents as­serted. Chap. 58
        • 7. Practical uses concerning parent and issue inserred. Ch 60
          • 1. All possible engagements to holinesse of life. Ibid.
          • 2. Parents must see that their childrens breeding answer their birth.
          • 3. There is great danger in opposing Gods Covenant-people
          • 4. Consolation from this Birth-priviledge,
            • 1. In reference to Nations.
            • 2. In reference to single persons.
              • 1. Themselves.
              • 2. Their posterity.

The Analytical Table being chiefly intended for, and suited to learned capacities, the vulgar Reader may here see the whole of the following Treatise, as it is digested into Chapters, and these easily found by the pa­ges opposite to them.

  • Chap. 1. AN Introduction into the whole. page 1
  • Chap. 2. The Covenant of God entred with mankinde di­stinguished. page 8
  • Chap. 3. A Covenant between God and fallen man in the proper na­ture of it asserted. page 10
  • Chap. 4. The Covenant of grace is between God and man, and not between God and Christ. page 13
  • Chap. 5. The Outward, and not the Inward Covenant, is a Cove­nant, properly so called. page 19
  • Chap. 6. Six positions tending to clear the thing in question. page 24
  • Chap. 7. The Covenant of Grace calls for conditions from man. page 33
  • Chap. 8. A grand Objection against this Doctrine answered. page 36
  • Chap. 9. Further Objectious against the former Doctrine an­swered. page 48
  • Chap. 10. God in the dayes of the Gospel, keeps up the power and au­thority of his Law. The obligation of it is still inforce, to bind the consciences of Beleevers. page 53
  • Chap. 11. The Moral Law is a perfect rule of righteousnesse. page 62
  • Chap. 12. The Moral Law bindes as it was delivered by the hand of Moses. page 73
  • Chap. 13. God entring a Covenant of Grace with his people, keeps up his Soveraignty in exercise of Discipline, in the cor­rection [Page] and chastisement of his people for sinne. page 77
  • Chap. 14. [...] between the Covenant of Works, and the Cove­nant of Grace. page 86
  • Chap. 15. Differences between the Covenant of Works, and the Cove­nant of Grace. page 87
  • Chap. 16. A further difference between the Covenant of Works, and the Covenant of Grace. page 91
  • Chap. 17. Works incumbent upon the Mediatour of the Covenant of Grace. page 93
  • Chap. 18. Further differences between the Covenant of Works, and the Covenant of Grace. page 99
  • Chap. 19. Objections against the former Doctrine answered. page 113
  • Chap. 20. Further differences in the conditions in the Covenant of Works, and the conditions in the Covenant of Grace. page 115
  • Chap. 21. Faith is a condition of the Covenant of Grace. page 118
  • Chap. 22. Objections against the conditionality of Faith an­swered. page 130
  • Chap. 23. Repentance is a condition of the Covenant of Grace. page 136
  • Chap. 24. Objections against the conditionality of repentance an­swered. page 144
  • Chap. 25. What degree of obedience, the Covenant of Grace calls for from Christians. page 148
  • Chap. 26. The necessity of a Ministry to bring men into Covenant with God, and to bring them up to the termes of it. page 160
  • Chap. 27. Schooles, and Nurseries of learning, in order to a gifted Ministry necessary. page 173
  • Chap. 28. An orderly way of admission of men into the Ministerial function, necessary. page 180
  • Chap. 29. Ministers of Christ must bring their people up to the termes of the Covenant, pressing the necessity of faith and repentance. page 188
  • Chap. 30. A people in Covenant must come up to the termes of the Covenant, being engaged to God they must answer their en­gagements. page 190
  • Chap. [Page] 31. The distribution of the Covenant of Grace into the Old, and New Covenant, with the harmony and agreement, that is found between them. page 202
  • Chap. 32. Differences assigned between the Old and New Cove­nant. page 205
  • Chap. 33. Positions tending to clear the first Covenant, under Old Testament-dispensations. page 210
  • Chap. 34. The Old Covenant was not made up of meer carnal promi­ses, but contained New Govenant-promises, that were spi­ritual and saving. page 219
  • Chap. 35. The Old Covenant was a pure Gospel Covenant, and not mixt. page 224
  • Chap. 36. The Covenant of Grace, admits Christians in Gospel­times in a state of unregeneration, and is not limited in the bounds of it to the elect regenerate. page 231
  • Chap. 37. New Testament-Scriptures asserting the latitude of the Covenant of Grace in Gospel times. page 235
  • Chap. 38. Arguments evincing the Covenant of Grace in Gospel­times in that latitude as before is asserted. page 248
  • Chap. 39. Objections against this latitude of the Covenant an­swered. page 257
  • Chap. 40. Professed beleevers are under a Covenant of Grace, and not a Covenant of Works. page 262
  • Chap. 41. Interest in a Church-state is of equal latitude with the Covenant. page 267
  • Chap. 42. A man in Covenant with God, and recieved into the uni­versal Church visible, needs no more to give him accesse to, and interest in particular visible Churches. page 270
  • Chap. 43. A dogmatical faith entitles to Baptisme. page 289
  • Chap. 44. Impenitence and unbelief in professed Christians is a breach of Covenant. page 294
  • Chap. 45. The question stated concerning the birth-priviledge of the issue of beleevers. page 295
  • Chap. 46. Arguments concluding the natural issue of Abraham, [Page] Isaac, and Jacob, to be taken into Covenant. page 301
  • Chap. 47. Rom. Chap. 9. Verse 6, 7, 8, vindicated. page 309
  • Chap. 48. The Covenant in New Testament times takes in parents, with their children. page 316
  • Chap. 49. Rom. 11. 16. vindicated. page 323
  • Chap. 50. Arguments from a late hand for ingraffing into the Church invisible, and breaking off from it, answered. page 330
  • Chap. 51. 1 Corinth. 7. 14. vindicated. page 349
  • Chap. 52. Galat. 4. 29. vindicated. page 366
  • Chap. 53. Mat. 19. 14 Mark. 10. 14. Luke 18. 16. vindicated. page 393
  • Chap. 54. Reasons evincing the birth-priviledge and covenant-ho­linesse of Believers and their issue. page 401
  • Chap. 55. A Corollary for Infant-Baptisme Infant-baptisme by arguments asserted. page 410
  • Chap. 56. The reality of connexion between the Cavenant and initi­al seal asserted. page 422
  • Chap. 57. The with-holding Infants of Christian parents from ba­ptisme, is the sin of Sacriledge. page 437
  • Chap. 58. The children of all that are Christians in profession, are by vertue of Covenant-interest, to be recieved into the Church by baptisme. page 448
  • Chap. 59. A defence of the former Doctrine respective to the latitude of Infant-Baptisme. 468, page 458
  • Chap. 60. The application of the whole in several inferences. page 478


An Introduction into the whole.

I Shall not make it my businesse, for an Introduction into this Work, to enquire after the derivation of the word. Etymologies are known to be no defi­nitions; The denomination being usually given, from some adjuncts, variable, according to times & places, and not from any thing that is of the essence of that which is enquired after, in which those are highest in Criticismes, in giving their judgements of them, can yet ordinarily go no higher then conjecture; The common acception of the [Page 2] word in Scripture is that which will give the greatest light, in finding out the nature of Scripture covenants, which as most o­ther words is variously used. Sometimes is used Properly, im­plying a covenant in deed and truth, strictly so called, and con­taining all the requisites of a Covenant in it. Sometimes Tropically, for that which contains some parts and adjuncts of a covenant, and so carries some resemblance to, and stands in some affinity with it. This Tropical figurative, and the native proper sense must be carefully distinguished, and may by no meanes be con­founded, by those that will understand the true nature of a co­venant, and avoid those manifold mistakes, into which some up­on this a lone account have been carried:Figurative ac­ceptions of the word Covenant. The figurative accep­tions of the word, are diverse, sometimes the homage re­quired, or duty covenanted for, is called a covenant by way of Synechdoche, seeing a covenant between a Superiour and Infe­riour doth comprize it, so Jerem. 34. 13. I made a Covenant with your fathers, in the day that I brought them out of the Land of E­gypt, which Covenant is no other then the Law that he gave them, Exod. 21. 2. Sometimes the promise annext, is called by the name of a covenant, by a like Synechdoche, Gen. 17. 7. I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee, in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, Gen. 9. 11. Sometimes the Seal is called by the name of a Covenant, by way of Metonymy of the adjunct, serving to ratifie and confirme a covenant, Gen. 17. 10. This is my covenant which ye shall keep between me and you, and thy seed after thee, every man-childe among you shall be circumcised. Sometimes Christ the Mediatour of the covenant is called by a like figure, the covenant, Isa. 42. 6, 7. I will give thee for a co­venant of the people, and light unto the Gentiles. Sometimes the Lord Christs undertaking, to work the graces covenanted for, in the hearts of his people, in the way of his power, exerted in the conversion of sinners, is called by the name of a covenant, Jerem. 31. 33. This is the covenant that I will make with the whole house of Israel, after those dayes, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; of which more in its own place. Sometimes a covenant is taken for that peace, which usually followes upon covenants, Job 5. 23. Thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field shall [Page 3] be at peace with thee, Hos. 2. 18. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowles of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground; and I will break the bowe, and the sword, and the battel out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. When yet neither a Law, nor a Promise, nor Seal annext, nor yet the Mediatour, or any undertaking of his, can be a covenant properly so called. A Law from God with a Pro­mise annext, assented to by man, is a covenant; and when a Seal is added, there is a condescension to our weaknesse, for the more abundant ratification and confirmation of Gods stability in his Promises. In our enquiry after such covenants, which God in his gracious condescension is pleased to enter with man the general nature of a covenant must be held, every species must partake of its Genus; We must not make Gods covenant with man, so farre to differ, from covenants between man and man, as to make it no covenant at all; we must also observe that which differences it from covenants meerly humane, that covenants divine and hu­mane be not confounded together. In order to which we must know that in every covenant properly so called, these requisites must concur.

First,Requisites in a Covenant. it must not be of one alone, but at least of two parties, one can make no bargain or agreement. Secondly, there must be a mutual consent of these parties. When Nahash the Ammonite, offered to make a Covenant with Israel, on condition that he might thrust out all their right eyes, 1 Sam. 11. 2. the Israelites refusing and running the hazard of a fight, rather then undergo it, here was no covenant. Thirdly, each party must engage themselves one to another, for performance of somewhat cove­nanted for, whether debt, duty, or promise. When Abraham a­greed with the Hittites for a burial place for foure hundred She­kels, Gen. 23. 15, 16. There was a covenant properly so called, having apparently in it all requisites of a covenant. So also in Jeremies purchase, Jer. 32. 10. and the Levites hiring of himselfe to do the office of a Priest, Judg. 17. 10. Micah and he mutual­ly agree, he is to do the office of a Priest, and Micah is to pay his covenant-wages; so that he hit right of the nature of a cove­nant, that defined it to be A mutual agreement between parties upon Articles or Propositions on both sides, so that each partie is tied and bound to perform his own conditions. This holds forth the ge­neral [Page 4] nature of a covenant, and is common to all covenants, publick and private, divine or humane, differencing it first from a Law or Precept, where there is a command out of sovereignty propounded, without any obligation or engagement on the Law­giver or Commander. Secondly, from a single promise, where there is a signification of the will of him that makes the pro­mise, touching some good to him to whom the promise is made, without any restipulation, from him; And to let passe several Divisions of covenants, little pertinent to our purpose (which may be seen in Civilians and Politians, particularly in Grotius lib. 2. De Jure Belli & Pacis, cap. 15.) and to speak to such, which may give some light to the present work. Covenans of this na­ture properly so called, are either between equals, where either party may indifferently indent with other,Distinctions of Covenants. neither standing enga­ged to other, otherwise then by covenant, as in the instances before, mentioned. The Priest was not engaged to officiate for Micah, nor Micah to give money or rayment to the Priest, but by, vertue of contract, one was the others equal, in regard of any dependance one upon the other. Or else they are between Superiour and Inferiour, the Superiour condescending to the In­feriour, to deale by way of covenant, when yet the whole that is required by him, is of debt, and might without agreement or stipulation be required and exacted. This superiority and infe­riority, is either mixt and imperfect, or else it is absolute and sovereigne: Mixt and imperfect superiority, and inferiority, is, between parent and childe, master and servant, equal in being, but Superiour and Inferiour in relation; Of this nature was that of Isaac with Esau, Gen. 27. 34. Take I pray thee thy wea­pons, thy quiver and thy bowe, and go out to the field to take me some venison, and make me savoury meat, such as I love, that my soul may blesse thee before I die; Esau was tied as a childe to do what Isaac required, though he had hinted or promised no blessing; Superiority and Inferiority, absolute and sovereigne, is only be­tween God and his creature, no other is an absolute Superiour; and such is the covenant, when God enters covenant. It is of so­vereignty that God makes a Law; It is of condescension and goodnesse that he enters covenant, in which man may not in­dent, but must accept, professedly accepting, and in sincerity of heart performing, what God in covenant demands; yet it is a [Page 5] covenant, and properly so called, that he enters with his creature, especially that which he enters with mankind, having all the in­gredients, and fore-named requisites of a covenant, as in the se­quel (God willing) shall be demonstrated. God is engaged to retribution, and man to fealty, and either of both by consent. Covenants between any parties, whether Superiour and Inferi­our, or equals among themselves, are either simply and naked­ly such without any farther solemnity, or ceremony, or any thing more then is essentially necessary in a Covenant, a mutual en­gagement between each other on such termes and propositions as are mutually agreed. Or else they are covenants with addi­tion of ceremonies, solemnities, wayes of ratification and con­firmation; as instances might be given in covenants, both hu­mane and divine; As the committing the words of the Covenant to writing Jer. 32. 10. Calling in witnesses, in the same place, and Ruth 4. 10, 11. giving of the hand, making oath, Ezek. 17. 18. or any other National custome in use, for confirmation, as the setting up of a stone, Joshuah 24. 26, 27. the division of a Calf, and passage between the parts of it, Jerem. 34. 18. laying upon themselves by way of imprecation, such a judgement that then befel that beast, in case of falsification, so that some ma­king definition of a covenant, over and above what is essential, make addition of such wayes of ratification; so Ravanellus defines a Covenant to be, A mu­tual agreement of two parties, Mutus pactio disarum partium, quâ altera alterise ecritis conditionibus obligar ad aliquid faciendum, dandum aut accipiendum, adhibitis signis & Symbolis externis, ad solennem testifi­cationem confirmationis causa, ut promissio sit inviolabilis, Sic & Ursinus. in which ei­ther ties himself to other upon certain con­ditions in the use of some outward signes and tokens, for attestation and confirmati­on, that the promise may be inviolable. The covenant which God pleases to enter with man, especially with fallen man, under which we are, and our fathers in old Testament-administrations were, is not a bare naked covenant, but in the highest way of solemnity, com­mitted to writing, John 20. 31. confirmed by witnesses with miracles, Heb. 2. 4. by oath, Heb. 6. 13. 17. by seals, Matth. 28. 19. Matth. 26. 28. compared with Rom. 4. 11. And when he might have dealt with man, by way of sovereignty, ruling sole­ly by prerogative and command, not letting man know any re­ward for his service, or at all to have understood the issue and e­vent; [Page 6] yet he is pleased to wave such right, and to deal by way of covenant, and that in this way here mentioned.

First,Reasons why God deals with man in a Cove­nant-way. That his people might be willing in the day of his power, Psalme 110. 3. Obedience extorted, contributes not that honour to him, whom we obey, we confesse a necessity in our selves to yeeld, but scarce acknowledge any worth in such a Superiour to command; serving no otherwise then Israel did Pharaoh, as a bond man serves his master, one volunteer that goes out of choice, more honours an expedition, then ten that are prest by power for service, only waiting an opportunity by slealth, out of dislike, as Davids souldiers out of shame, to quit the service, I Sam. 19. 3.

Secondly, to vanquish all temptations, and overcome all as­saults that may occurre in mans way of obedience; Adam in innocency was foiled by a temptation, which he had overcome, in case he had heeded the terms of the covenant, the curse that was threatened, and the promise that was contained in it; man in his fallen estate undergoes many tryals, and is encountered with vari­ety of temptations, had he not a word on which he might hope, a word of promise in way of covenant from God; he could not stand, but of necessity must perish.

Thirdly, that love rather then fear might principle man in his o­bedience, as seeing more of goodnesse to induce, then of wrath to scare him into it; God will have his servants, sons. The free honour of a childe to his father, rather then the compulsory fear of a ser­vant, pleases him.

Fourthly, for the aggravation of sinne; The more of condescen­sion, goodnesse, bounty, and love appears, in Gods way of dealing; the more of equity is seen, and the more ingratitude and folly ap­pears in mans disobedience.

Fifthly, for mans greater consolation; An up-right-hearted man findes abundance of peace, in his covenant entered with God; when he prayes and seeks the greatest mercy in prayer, he is able to say, In thy faithfulnesse answer me, and in thy righteous­nesse, Psal. 143. 1. Paul can say, that God the righteous Judge shall give him a Crown of righteousnesse, 2 Tim. 4. 8. Having engaged by covenant, righteousnesse ties him to make good his engage­ments; This is Gods end, in his entrance of covenant, and rati­fication of it by oath, consequently, in committing it to writing, [Page 7] and confirming it by seal; That by two immuntable things in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us, Heb. 6. 18. These strong consolations were the end of God, in rati­fying his Covenant, They are the support, and Spirit reviving cor­dials to his people in Covenant; See the result of the Psalmists meditations, In the multitude of my thoughts within me, thy comforts delight my soul, Psalme 94. 19. I will both lay me down in peace and sleep, for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety, Psalme 4. 8. The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I feare? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? Psal. 27. 1.

Sixthly, for the greater terrour of the adversaries of his peo­ple, when they see themselves engaged against them, and God stands in a covenant unviolable engaged for them; when they see, that their work is to ruinate and destroy him that God will save. Hence it is while their Rock sells them not, one of them chases a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, Deut. 32. 30. Paul in bonds can make Felix tremble on his Throne, Acts 24. 25. Hamans wise-men, and Zeresh his wife spake words of terrour, upon experiment made, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevaile against him, but shalt surely fall before him, Ester 6. 13.

Seventhly, the Lord hereby puts a name, and an honour upon his people. David took it to be an honour to be related to Saul, and, so to become the sonne of a King, much more then, is it an honour to be brought into this relation to God. This honour have all the Saints, and they are taken into covenant for honour sake, The Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar peo­ple, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his Commandments; and to make thee high above all Nations which he hath made, in praise, and in honour, and that thou mayest be an holy people to the Lord thy God, Deut. 26. 18, 19. They are, the portion, the inheritance, the children, the espoused ones, and whatso­ever else that speaks a neer relation is theirs.

This was Gods way of dealing (I doubt not) with the Angels though (we being not interested in it) there is no necessity that it should be written for our learning: Sure we are, it was his way [Page 8] of dealing with man, as well before his fall, (as presently shall be shewn) as out of more abundant grace and condescension for his restitution. And not mentioning for present any more, then that which is essential in the covenant, of God with man, I suppose it may be thus held out to us:The Covenant between God and Man defined. A mutual compact or a­greement between God and man upon just and equal termes pre­scribed by himself, in which God promises true happinesse to man, and man engages himself by promise for performance of what God re­quires. This description here laid down, comprizes the way of God, in every one of his covenants with man both before and af­ter his fall, under Old and New Testament-revelations, all that is essential in any covenant that he enters; Equals covenanting do either of them article and indent, but God condescending to a covenant, man must not article, but must assent, and engage for performance of what is prescribed, otherwise it will hear the nature of a Law, but not of a Covenant. It is true, all men are bound upon tender from God, to accept; It was the sin of Jew­ish and heathenish people, to stand out whensoever the Gospel was preached; but they were no covenant-people till they gave their assent, and then they were received as a covenant-people, and baptized. Exceptions cannot be taken against, or challenge made of this definition of covenants in general, nor of the co­venant which God in particular entereth with man; and these standing, they will give us light, and afford us singular help for a right understanding of the covenant of God, entered with man in the several species, and distinct wayes of administration of it.

The Covenant of God entered with mankinde, distinguished.

THere is a two-fold covenant, which God out of his graci­ous condescension, hath vouchsafed to enter with man. The first immediately upon the creation of man, when man yet stood right in his eye, and bore his image, the alone creature on earth, [Page 9] that was in a capacity to enter covenant. We have not indeed the word covenant, till after man was fallen, nor yet in any place of Scripture,God entered Covenant with man in his e­state of inte­grity. in reference to the transactions past between God and man in his state of integrity, neither have we such expressions that fully and explicitely hold out a covenant to us, but we finde it implied, and so much expressed, from whence a covenant with the conditions of it is evinced. That Law, with the penalty an­next, given to our first parents (Gen. 2. 17. Of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not [...]at; for in the day that thou eatest, thou shalt surely die;) plainly implies in it, a covenant entred; man was in present possession of life (that is according to Scripture. phrase, happinesse) in his whole person full and compleat ac­cording to his present capacity, This is to be continued (a [...] is there evidently implied) till sinne dispossesse him of it; Till he sin he shall not die; As long as he persists in his integrity, his life is to be continued, of which the Tree of Life (as is not to be doubted) was a Sacrament. The second, God was pleased to en­ter with man upon his fall,Grace is the fountain and first rise of e­very Covenant of God with man: which was a covenant of reconcili­ation, the most unhappy variance between earth and heaven ha­ving intervened. The former, is, usually called a [...]ovenant of Works, the latter, is, called a covenant of Grace, though indeed, the fountain, and first rise of either, was the free grace, and favour of God. For howsoever the first covenant was on condition of obedi­ence, and engaged to the reward of Works, yet it was of Grace, that God made any such promise, of reward to any work of man, when man had done all (even in that estate) which was com­manded, he was still an unprofitable servant, he had done no more then duty, and no emolument did thence accrew to his Ma­ker. It was enough that he was upheld, and sustained of God in the work, to live in him, and upon him, when the work was done he might have been justly annihilated. If merit be taken in a proper sense, Adam in innocency was too low for it, all his work being an homage due, no profit redounding to God, and the work bearing no proportion to the reward. But a more superabun­dant measure of Grace is seen in Gods entrance into covenant with man in his fallen condition, and infinitely more savor is shewn in his reconciliation, then in his preservation▪ Therefore this by way of eminency hath the honour to be stiled the covenant of Grace, the other retaines the name of the covenant of Works. [Page 10] These two bearing these denominations have their respective a­greement, and differences, which are to be enquired into: but before I reach those, it is necessary that somewhat be spoken to assert a covenant of grace, in Gospel-times, and to give us some further light for a right understanding of it.

A Covenant in the proper nature of it, between God, and fallen man, asserted.

BEfore I proceed any further in this work; one great rub that lies in the way, is to be removed, otherwise, not only, all that which I have said; but also, all that which I shall speak on this subject, will fall to the ground, and that is their objection that say, that God hath not entred any covenant, properly so called, with fallen man. He hath by way of Sovereignty, laid commands upon man; Of free grace hath made rich and large promises, by way of legacy bequeathed life and salvation to him, but hath entred no covenant properly so called (as these say) with him, which is purposely done to avoid those conditions, which are asserted in this covenant. If this stand, the division before laid down, of a Covenant into a Covenant of Works, and a Co­venant of Grace necessarily falls, such a division must not be suf­fered, where any one member of the division is not, If therefore there be no covenant of God with fallen man, nor no such thing as the covenant of Grace, there can be no such division of the covenant, and all agreement or differences assigned; will be be­tween an entity, and a non-entity; between that which hath a reality, and a meer Chimaera. A covenant therefore in the proper nature of it, is to be asserted and the speed [...]est way to make this good, is to prove from Scripture the name and the thing, that the word Covenant is there, and the thing, in the proper nature of it, which the words hold out; and all of this respective to the transactions between God and fallen man. The word we finde in places without number, it were a needlesse labour to give instances, when every Reader is able to furnish himself with [Page 11] such multitudes. But when this cannot be denyed, the impro­priety of the speech is objected. It is called by the name of a Covenant (as is said) when in strict propriety of speech, it is no covenant; But to avoid this, the thing it self may be as easily proved as the word, and when we have nomen, and nominis ratio­nem, then we have a covenant, not equivocally not yet analogi­cally, but properly so called. And here I may deal liberally with any adversary, and undertake to make proof, not only of all the essentials of such a covenant in Scripture, but the usual adjuncts, not onely of all, that makes up the nature, but all accessories u­sually added to the solemnity of covenants. The essentials or real properties of a covenant, are contained in the usual definiti­ons which afterwards we shall see laid down from several hands, all of which are in short comprised in these words, A mutual con­sent of parties with stipulation on both sides. Parties, consent, and mutual engagement is all that is required to the same being of a covenant; when two parties agree, and either of them both, have their conditions to make good, there is a covenant or bargaine; see it exemplified in several instances given, Chap. 1. All of these we finde in that one place, Deut. 26. 17, 18, 19. in the cove­nant that God enters with his people, Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walk in his wayes, and to keep his Statutes, and his Commandments, and his Judgements, and to hearken to his voice: And the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his Commandments; And to make thee high above all Nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the Lord thy God, as he hath spoken. There are the Covenanters, God and his people; There is consent on both parties, Thou hast avouched, the Lord hath avouched; And there is a stipulation on both sides; On Gods part, To make them high above all Nations; which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour: On the peoples part, To keep all his Commandments, to be an holy peo­ple. There are covenant-mercies from God to his people, un­to which of grace he engages himself; and there are covenant-duties unto which man stands engaged, Psal. 103. 17, 18. But the mercie of the Lord is from euerlasting to everlasting, upon them that fear him, and his righteousnesse unto childrens children; to such as [Page 12] keep his Covenant, and to those that remember his Command­ments.

The usual solemnities of a covenant,In the usual accessories on solemnities. are also found, in the transactions between God and his people, as well as the essen­tials of it. 1. Covenants used to be written▪ for memorial for po­sterity, and so is the covenant, between God and man, as in Old, so in New Testament-times. These things are written that you might believe, and that believing you may have everlasting life, John 20. 31. 2. Covenants used to be confirmed with outward visible signes, as the killing of beasts, Gen. 15. Jer. 34. this was done in the old administration, Exod. 24. Half of the blood was sprink­led upon the Altar, to denote Gods entering of Covenant, vers. 6. The people also were sprinkled with blood, to shew their voluntary entring into covenant, vers. 8. And in the new dis­pensation, a new and unheard of ratification was used, the blood of the Mediatour of the Covenant, Math. 26. 27, 28. This Cup is my blood in the New Testament, which was shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins. This latter is a plain allusion to the former, in which you may finde. 1. A threefold agreement. Either of both these were covenants. 2. Either of both these, had their ratifications and confirmations. 3. Either of both were confirmed with blood. 2. A threefold difference. 1. The former was the Old covenant, which was antiquated; This is the New. 2. The former was ratified, and sanctified with the blood of beasts: This is ratified and sanctified, in the blood of Christ. 3. That blood could never take away sin, Heb. 10. This was shed for many, for remission of sins.

Thirdly, covenants use to be confirmed by seal: so, is, this co­venant, between God and his people, which is to be spoken to elsewhere.

As the being of a covenant is thus plentifully proved by Scrip­ture-testimony, so we might as amply prove it by arguments drawn from thence.Arguments e­vincing a Co­venant in the proper nature of it. The Churches of Christ are espoused unto Christ, Hos. 2. 19, 20. And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousnesse, and in judge­ment, and in loving kindnesse, and in mercies; I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulnesse, and thou shalt know the Lord. 2 Cor. 11. 2. I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you to Christ; and Spouses are in covenant with their [Page 13] Bridegroom. The Churches of Christ are married to Christ: Isa. 54. 5. Thy Maker is thine Husband, the Lord of hosts is his Name, and thy Redeemer the holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth shall he be called. And wives are in covenant with their husbands. Their sinnes against God are branded with the names of Adulte­ries, Whoredomes; and these are not barely dis-obedience of a Command, or neglect of a favour, but breaches of covenant. The Churches of Christ are servants of Christ, Levit. 25. houshold servants, Ephes. 2. 19. and servants are their Masters by covenant. Their sinnes in this relation are not barely obstinacy, stubbornness, or ingratitude, but they are charged with treachery, falsehood, dealing falsely in covenant, and their hearts being not stedfast in covenant. It is above me to conceive, how man can be a cove­nant-breaker, (not alone respective to man, but God, as he is fre­quently charged) when there hath past no covenant between God and him. They may question, whether there were ever any such thing, as a covenant in the world, that deny this to be a covenant, in the proper nature of it; some objections raised in their due place will be answered.

The Covenant of Grace is between God and man; and not be­tween God and Christ.

HAving asserted a covenant in the proper nature of it, it is ne­cessary, before I proceed further on, to give differences be­tween this covenant of Works, and the covenant of Grace, to speak something by way of Explication, covenant being taken in so various and ambiguous senses, or at least so many senses put upon it, which I take to be a misunderstanding of the Scripture-covenant, I shall lay down certaine Explicatory Propositions for clearing of the thing in question. And the leading on shall be this. The Covenant of grace is between God and man, between God, and those of fallen mankinde, that he pleases to take into cove­nant, God and man are the two parties in the covenant; It is not made between God and Christ. This is so plain, that a man might think [Page 14] there needed no words about it, but that there are some that will have man to be no party in it, and that it is entred onely with Christ on behalf of those that God hath chosen in Christ to him­self. To this I shall speak first by way of concession, yeelding to them of this opinion, these three things that follow. 1. That there is such a covenant of which they speak, which was entred between God and Christ, containing the transactions which passe between the Father and the Sonne, the tenor of which covenant we find laid down by the Prophet, Esay 53. 10, &c. and commented upon by the Apostle, Phil. 2. 6. There we see, first the work that Christ by covenant was to undergo, To make his soul an offering for sinne, that is, as elsewhere is exprest, to give his life a ransome for many, and as he covenanted, so he did, He became obedient to death, even the death of the crosse, Phil. 2. 8. and that, upon ac­count of this covenant entred, Christ himself speaking to it, and of his work in it, saith, John 10. 18. This Commandment have I received of my Father. Secondly, the reward that he was to re­ceive, which is laid down by the Prophet in many words. 1. He shall see his seed, ver. 10. As Isaac being received from the dead in a figure, saw a seed, had an innumerable posterity; so the Lord Christ who was received from the dead in truth; hath his seed in like manner, beleevers innumerable, which are called his seed in resemblance to the seed of man. 2. He shall prolong his dayes, not the dayes of his seed, as some would have it, making this one with the former, and rendring the words vi­debit semen longaevum, being delivered from death, he shall live and reign eternally, Revel. 1. 18. 3. The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand; he shall irresistibly do whatsoever is the Fa­thers pleasure to be done in the work of mans salvation. 4. He shall see the travel of his soul, and shall be satisfied; upon this work done, he fully enjoys the whole of all his desires. 5. There­fore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoile with the strong. He obtains a perfect victory, hath a plenary and full conquest over every adversary. 2. We yeeld that the whole of these covenant-transactions; between God and Christ, was on our behalf. Making his soul an offering for sinne, he offers it for those that are fallen by iniquity; All is, (as is there said) for the justification of many. Whatsoeve it is, that upon the work done redounds to himself, yet the reason of undertaking [Page 15] was for us, Vnto us he was borne, unto us he was given, He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, he was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification; He endured the mulct, and we reap the benefit. 3. We confesse that it is the work of Christ that we enjoy a being in covenant, as it is his gift that we enjoy the blessing of Ordinances. But when all these are yeelded, the truth must be asserted, that there is a co­venant to which Scripture constantly speaks, which is entred of God with man, and not with Christ, which me thinks with much ease might be made to appear.

1. There are frequent testimonies of Gods entry of covenant with his people. 1. With the leading persons in the covenant, which stand as the root of many thousand branches, which are their off-spring in covenant. He entred covenant with Abraham, Gen. 15. 18. Gen. 17. 2. The like he enters with Isaac, Gen. 26. 3. with Jacob, Gen. 35. 11. and therefore he is so frequently called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And the covenant of God is alike known by the name of the covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 2. He enters covenant with the whole body of the people of Israel, Deut. 5. 1, 2. Hear O Israel, the statutes, and judge­ments, which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep them, and do them. The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb, the Lord made not this covenant with our fa­thers, but with us, even us who are all of us alive this day; And this whole visible body of Israel was not Christ.

2. There are testimonies of Israels entrance into covenant with God, Deut. 29. 10, 11, 12. Ye stand this day, all of you before the Lord your God; your Captaines of your Tribes, your Elders, and your Officers, with all the men of Israel, your little ones, your wives, and the stranger that is in thy Camp, from the hewer of thy wood, unto the drawer of thy water, that thou shouldest enter into covenant with the Lord thy God, and into his oath which the Lord thy God ma­keth with thee this day, Psalme 50. 5. Gather my Saints together unto me, those that have made a Covenant with me by sacrifice, Deut. 26. 17. Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways.

3. The particular time, and place of Gods entrance into cove­nant with his people, is, in Seripture noted likewise. In Horeb as [Page 16] we have heard, which was the first yeare of their coming out of Egypt, the third moneth, Exod 19. 1. Again, in the fourth year, the eleventh moneth, the first day, Deut. 1. 3. Deut. 29. 10, 11, 12. compared. This day saith the text. Now, there was no day, in which the covenant of God, with Christ, was entred, no day, when it was not entred, but it was from all eternity, as, all the works of the Trinity are, ad intra.

4. Covenant duties are imposed, to walk before the Lord, to be perfect, to be an holy, peculiar people, Gen. 17. 1. Exod. 19. 6. These are not imposed upon Christ, but upon Christians.

5. The people of God have the praise of keeping, and are un­der the blame of covenant-breaking, which praise of faithfulness, and blame of perfidiousnesse is ascribed to them, and not to Christ Jesus.

6. They that have the seals of the covenant given them, are in covenant; but man receives the Seales, both of Baptisme and the Lords Supper; as, the people of God of old, did Circumcision, and the Passeover, therefore, man is in covenant.

7. If the covenant were made, with Christ, and not with man, then he is a Mediatour between God and himself, and not between God and man. This is plain, in that he is the Mediatour of the covenant, viz. between persons in covenant; But he is not a Mediatiour between God and himself, which were absurd to ima­gine, but between God and man, There is one Mediatour between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 1 Tim. 2. 5.

There is only I think that one difficult text of the Apostle to be objected against this thing, Gal. 3. 16. Now to Abraham and his seed, were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ, from whence some conclude, that the covenant was entred of God, with no other of Abrahams seed, but with Christ, consequently not with man, but with Christ only. As this was not in my thoughts in my first Edition, so, I shall not now (as I soon might) weary my self, and reader, in wading into all the difficulties about it, being such as have occasioned, not onely the Jewes to insult, as Calvin observes but Hierom (the greatest Linguist among the ancients) to speak words unworthy of such an Apostle, which I shall spare [Page 17] to repeat, and, all, upon the occasion of the Apostles words, That the promises, were not made to Abraham, and his seeds, as of many, but his seed, as of one, on which the forenamed father says, Running over the whole Scripture, both with his eye, and memory; he doth not finde the word seed ever used in the plural number, but alwayes in the singular, whether it be in the better, or worse sense. But Gomarus on the words takes him up as being too short in his memory, and quotes Samuels speech, 1. Sam. 8. 15. to the contrary, where the word is used plurally, Rivet indeed, Exercit 108. in Genes. seemes to help him out, though he do not mention him, affirming, that the word [seed] is never used in the plural number, for the posterity of men; but always collectively used in the sin­gular number. The place objected in Samuel speaking of the seed of the earth, but Ravanellus on the Apostles behalf, pleads, That it is uncertain, whether the word be only used of the Hebrews in the singular number, for though it be not used plurally, in the Hebrew Text of the Old Testament, yet it cannot thence be gathered, that the word hath onely the singular number, and wants the plural; when it is without all doubt, that all the words which have been in use with the Hebrews, are not to be found in the Old Testament. Howsoever, I am not the man, from whom a satisfying Com­ment on these words may be expected; others more able, that have travelled in it, may be consulted, yet I doubt not, but enough may be easily said, to vindicate it from this glosse that is here put upon it, and to make it appear that this text will not bear this doctrine, that the covenant of grace is not entred with fallen man, but with Christ only, which may appear by these following Reasons. 1. There is no safe opposing any one difficult text (a­bout which Expositors are at so much difference among them­selves) against, so many that are full, and clear against it. The texts that are against it are (as I may say) without number, and this, I think, stands alone, with any colour for it. Thus the Pa­pists have adventured to fasten their purgatory on 1 Cor. 3. 13, 14 and some few like difficult places. 2. The word covenant is not in the text, neither under the more proper word [...], nor yet [...], but [...]; promises, in the plural number, re­peated again, verse 19. in the singular, and a promise, and a covenant (as Paraeus on the words observes) much differ. 3. If they will needs understand by promises to, a covenant with, as [Page 18] every covenant is a promise, though every promise be not a co­venant, they differ as the Genus and the Species, yet there is that in the text, (as Master Bulkley in his Treatise of the covenant observes) which makes against them, they say this covenant is made with Christ, and with none but Christ; but in the text, it is otherwise, Abraham is made a party in the covenant, as well as Christ, which serves to overthrow their exclusive particle. 4. [Christ] here in this place may be taken collectively, as [seed] is usually taken, and so the word is taken, 1 Cor. 12. 12. As the body is one, and hath many members, & all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. And so Mr. Bulkely, Diodati, Ri­vet, Gomarus, and our last Annotations upon the words expound it. 5. Being understood of Christ personally (which with submission to better judgements, I confesse most satisfies me) it must not be understood of Christ, as a party in Covenant, for blessednesse; but as a Mediatour making blessed. There are many promises in Scripture made to Abraham, and the seed of Abraham, and there is much difference among interpreters, to which of these promises this text refers; The Reader, if he please, may consult Paraeus on the words, and Junius in his parallels, but to what text soever it is, that these words do refer, I am confident that the Apostle speaks not, of any blessednesse received by covenant; but a promise of making Nations blessed, and this is not indeed to [seeds] as of many, but to [seed] as of one, which is Christ; which I gather by comparing the words in hand with v. 8. of the same chapter, and the Scripture foreseeing that God would justifie the Heathen, through faith, preached before the Gospel to Abraham, say­ing, In thee shall all Nations be blessed. This is the promise that this Text holds out, which is not a covenant for blessednesse, but a promise to make blessed repeated againe, verse 19. The Law was added, because of transgressions till the seed should come, to whom the promise was made, which is not Christ, collectively, or mystical­ly, but personally considered, not entring covenant but as Medi­atour of the covenant. So that this text serves nothing for this purpose. A learned Writer indeed sayes, It is beyond my brain to conceive that God should immediately make a Covenant with us, who were children of disobedience, and of wrath, who could not be ca­pable of any such covenant and conditions. That Christ hath a hand to bring us into covenant, before was yeelded, and how far [Page 19] he hath a hand further to carry on; the covenant may be yet fur­ther considered, but man is a party in covenant, and as God may make promises, and give good things to fallen man, so he may enter covenant with him likewise.

The outward, and not the inward Covenant, is a covenant, properly so called.

WHereas there is an usual distinction (almost in all that write or speak of the covenant) of a double covenant between God and his people, one external, and the other internal; one pas­sing outwardly, and the other inwardly kept and observed. Or (as Dr. Preston expresseth it) a single and double covenant, which I shall forbear to examine, seeing I know there is a right meaning; though I much doubt whether there be in the Reader a right understanding. My second Proposition shall be, that it is the external Covenant, not the inward, that exactly and properly is cal­led by the name of a Covenant: and to which priviledges of Ordi­nances and title to Sacraments are annext. This Proposition, oc­casioned by this received distinction, is, of three heads, which in case the Reader please, he may subdivide into three distinct Positions.

1. The outward, The outward and not the inward Cove­nant, is pro­perly a Cove­nant. and not the inward Covenant, is, most exactly and properly called by the name of a Covenant, which I thus make good: 1. That covenant to which the definition of a covenant doth belong, hath exactly and properly the nature of a cove­nant, this none can deny: The definition sets out the nature of the thing defined; But the definition most actly belongs, to the outward covenant, not to the inward; This is plain; An agree­ment of parties, on tearms and Propositions is the definition of a covenant: Now the outward covenant, is an agreement on tearmes and Propositions, as I have abundantly declared, in that covenant God engages himself to man for his happi­nesse; and man engages to faith and obedience. The inward covenant hath no tearmes or Propositions at all, for man to make good, upon account of his covenanting: seeing the per­formance [Page 20] of the conditions of the Scripture-covenant, is his very entrance into the inward covenant. He that believes and repents keeps covenant, nothing more is expected of God, or promised by man: But beleeving, and repenting, is the first closing with God in covenant, according to them that speak of an inward covenant. 2. A covenant to perform conditions is a covenant properly so called; But the outward covenant, not the inward, is a covenant to perform conditions, This is plain: The conditions in the inward covenant, are the covenant. 3. That which confounds entrance into covenant, and keeping of covenant, is no covenant properly so called; In a covenant properly so called these are di­stinct: But the inward covenant confounds entrance into cove­nant and keeping of covenant, and therefore in exact propriety of speech is no covenant.

2. The outward, The outward Covenant is most usually in Scripture called by the name of Cove­nant. and not the inward Covenant, is, most usually in Scripture, called by the name of a Covenant; which is plaine, in that, they that have no part, or portion, in the inward cove­nant, are, yet still spoken of, in Scripture, as people in covenant; God calls all Israel his people, and that upon covenant termes; Deut. 29. 10▪ 11, 12, 13. Al of those, that thus covenanted with God, were not in the inward covenant. This people at their worst, and the wrost among them, are called the people of God, as by those that were strangers to this covenant: These are the people of the Lord, (say the men of Babylon) and are gone forth out of his land, Ezek. 36. 20. so, also by the Lord himself Jer. 2. 32. Can a Bride forget her attire? yet my people have forgotten me dayes without number. How often doth God own Israel as his people, when he yet brands them as a rebellious, revolting, stiff-necked, treacherous, and adulte­rous people. They that forsake the covenant of God, that break covenant, that deale falsely in it, upon whom God brings a sword to avenge the quarrel of his covenant, are in the outward, not in the inward covenant: But such there be among Gods covenant-people, as he frequently complaines, that break cove­nant, &c. These, are not then, in his inward, but outward cove­nant.

The great objection is, (and all that carries colour against this) Jer. 31. 32, 33. where the Lord differencing the Old and New covenant, saith, This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, and the house of Judah: not according to [Page 21] the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, which my Covenant they brake, although I was an husband to them, saith the Lord: But this shall be my Covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, After those dayes, saith the Lord, I will put my Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people. That is alone the in­ward covenant, and the elect regenerate are alone within it. The inward covenant then is called in Scripture a covenant, and is in ex­act propriety of speech a covenant.

For answer, I shall have further occasion to speak to this Text. In this place I shall only put some Que­ries.

1. Whether those that carry this Text to an unconditionate covenant, and restrain it alone to that which they call the inward covenant, do not make the covenant in the time of the Law, and that in Gospel-times essentially different, and consequently, either make two covenants of grace, distinct, in kind; or thrust all that were under the Old covenant, out of all hope of salvation, contra­ry to all Interpreters, who make these covenants, one in substance? See the last larger Annotations on the words.

2. Whether such an Interpretation, do not utterly contra­dict, New-Testament-light, which holds out the New covenant in like latitude with the former, in which many are called, but few are chosen; and where conditions are as explicitely, and fully re­quired, as in Old Testament dispensations?

3. Whether, when Scripture speaks of things, in opposition to mens erroneous conceits, (for a further Explanation of them, and rectifying mens judgements in them) it do usually lay down a full, compleat, and formal definition, to which nothing is to be added? or whether it doth not, usually supply that, in which men through mistake were defective and short? And whether those Texts, Esay 58 6, 7. Is not this the fast that I have chosen, to loose the bands of wickednesse, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoak? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out into thy house, when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thy self from thy own flesh? Jer. 22. 15, 16. Did not thy father eat and drink, and do justice and judgement, [Page 22] and then it was well with him? He judged the cause of the poor and needy, and then it was well with him; was not this to know me, saith the Lord? Jam. 1. 27. Pure Religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherlesse and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world, are not parallel to this text in their way of delivery. And in case we cannot finde a full definition of a religious Fast in that of Esay, nor the whole of it that makes up saving knowledge in that of Jeremy, nor the whole that makes Religion compleat in that of James; why is it that we should earnestly contend, that the full nature of a covenant is in this text exprest, being fully parallel in the way of delivery to those other texts. Men enjoy pri­viledges of or­dinances and interest in Sa­craments upon account of the outward Cove­nant.

Thirdly, it is upon the account of the outward Covenant, and not the inward, that men enjoy priviledges of Ordinances, and interest in Sacraments; Men that are so far honoured as to enjoy an outward covenant, have just title to these priviledges. It is in behalf of the Jew outwardly that the Apostle having so decryed his con­dition, respective to the approbation of God, puts the question, What advantage hath the Jew? what profit is there of Circumcision? Rom. 3. 1. The Jew and Circumcision are there one; A Jew outwardly, and circumcision in the flesh, go there in equal latitude. He that by nature is a Jew (as Paul speaks, Gal. 2. 15.) is of the circumcision; And to these, the Oracles of God are com­mitted; The instruments, deeds and evidences of the covenants, say the last Annotations. It was the priviledge of Israel, Psal. 147. 19. Rom. 3. and then, the priviledg of no other Nation; Now it is, the priviledg of all, ingraffed in their stead. This is confest, even by a great part of those, that understand the inward covenant, (or covenant keeping to acceptation,) almost whensoever they mention a covenant, in that, they baptize infants, upon covenant grounds, even all their infants that make a covenant profession, and that upon just warranty. It is further plaine in reason, The outward covenant must have priviledges suitable to it self, other­wise there is no manner of benefit, or advantage of it. This pri­viledge of the Sacrament is suitable, being outward, as the cove­nant is outward; This is elsewhere spoken to at large, and there­fore I shall hear forbear.

I have indeed been challenged for this distinction of an outward and inward covenant, as though I had been the sole Authour of [Page 23] it, when all know that it is a distinction, that of a long time, a­mong Divines hath been in common use; and in case it had not been commonly received, I should have forborne the use of it. As, I heard Mr. Ball, once in discourse, say, that he denyed any such distinction, of an outward, and an inward call to the Mi­nistery, all calling being external, unlesse the man called were a Prophet, that which men terme, an inward call, being one­ly qualifications fitting for the work: So that I deny, in exact pro­priety of speech, the inward covenant, is any covenant, but the answer of the soul, unto that which the covenant requires. And whereas it is said of me by way of conjecture. It is probable that he thus distributes them, from the blessings promised, whereof some are inward, and some outward; for though he explain not himself fully, yet I know no other sense that it will bear. To this I say, that I thus distinguish them, to apply my self to the Readers understand­ing, that hath been accumstomed, so to call them; and further I say, that men, that barely covenant, and keep not covenant, have onely priviledges that are outward, They are visible Church-members, and they have visible Church-priviledges, and those, who answer to covenant engagements (which usually is called the inward covenant) have priviledges both outward and in­ward. A Jew outwardly had outward priviledges, A Jew inward­ly (that is, he that answered to his outward profession, that wor­shipped God in spirit) hath both those that were outward and inward. It is further said, It is evident that his outward Cove­nant hath no seal; for it is a Covenant de sigillis conferendis; If there­fore it have a seal, it is either the same which is promised, or some other. What this Authour means, when he says, it is a covenant de sigillis conferendis, I am to learn; If he mean that the seal follows the co­venant, and is put to, after the covenant, so it is in all covenants whatsoever. He sayes, they no where tell us, what is the seal of their outward covenant; me thinks, we had no need to tell, what the seal of that covenant was, that the Jew entered; was it not circumcisi­on? and did there not another follow, viz. the Passeover? Now I tell him that Circumcision and the Passeover, were, and Baptisme and the Lords Supper, are, seales of this covenant. The Nation of the Jewes were in covenant, as our Authour (though he would, yet) must not deny; They were not all in the inward co­venant; and yet they had these seales. He says, we are bound to [Page 24] give the seals to such, Vocation which is effectual only to bring men to an outward profession of saving faith, is larger then election, and makes men such, whom we are bound to baptize; And such we say have right to them. And to help him a little further. Those men, that he sayes the Church must baptize, though without right, we say, are truely in covenant, and have right; when he knows, what a childe he is to baptize, he knows, who we say, are in co­venant, and have covenant-right to baptisme; so that a second covenant, of which he speaks, to give right to a first, is a strange fancy. But seeing I am no better understood, I shall endeavour (if it may be) to clear my meaning in certain positions which here follow.

Positions tending to clear the thing in question.

1. THose that take upon themselves a Christian profession, being separate for God, calling him by the Name of Lord, that have Ordinances of God as their inheritance, that acknowledge a Deity, and no other but the true Deity; a necessity of worship, and none but the Christian worship, these with me are in Covenant with God, as was the whole state of the Church of the Jews, and the whole face of the visible Church of the Gentiles, that were ingraffed in their stead. This to me is plain, in that they are the Church or Churches of God, Act. 7. 8. Gal. 1. 2. The called of God, Matth. 22. 14. The people of God, Isa. 1. 2. Psal. 90. 7. They sacrific'd to the true God, Psal. 50. 7. Are the sons of God, Gen. 6. 1. Deut. 14. 1. Rom. 9. 4. Are a people nigh unto the Lord, Deut. 4. 7. Psal. 148. ult. God professing himself to be their God, Psal. 90. 7. Are children of the Covenant, Acts 3. 35. Saints, Psalme 90. 5. Acts 26. 10. 1 Cor. 14. 33. Believers, Act. 8. 12, 13. Acts 21. 20. Luke 8. 13. Disciples, Matth. 10. 1, 4. Acts 9. 1. & 15. 10. Christians, Acts 11. 26. That all of these imply a covenant-state; and that unregenerate men, have in Scripture, all this honour, is clear; These therefore with me are in covenant. I know, that [Page 25] as to all of these elogies, it is answered in a word, that they are equivocal. An answer that I can scarce take into my thoughts without horrour; as though Gods Oracles were all over, from one end of the Bible to the other, like those of Apollo, and there were no reality, either in their separation for God, or gifts that they receive from God, (as illumination, conviction, faith) or priviledges that they enjoy; When there can be no plain denial, that all of this here mentioned, argues a covenant-state, yet ex­ceptions are taken. It seemes (saith one) he takes all to be in Covenant that bear the name, [Christian.] And then questions; What? Though they know not what Christ or Christianity is? Is taking a name, entring into Cevenant? The poore Indians that by thousands are forced by the Spaniard to be baptized, are said to know so little what they do, that some of them forget the name of [a Chri­stian] which they assumed. And does not our Authour think that a man may take as plausible exceptions against his words, (where he saith, The rule is, That a serious professour of the faith is to be taken for a true beleever, if he would travel as far as India for it,) as he doth here against Gods Word? Do not we know, that force may make, these poor Indians, to appear serious in their profession? And it is wonder, that it should be so strange with him, that ta­king a name, should be entring covenant, or at least that it should imply a covenant-state: Let him consult Isa. 4. 1. In that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, we will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; onely let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach; and those manifold Scripture-Texts, which expresse the relation of Gods covenant-people to him, in these words, A people called by his Name; or on whom the Name of God is called. Distinction should be put, between chil­dren of the covenant, by descent from parents in covenant, whe­ther Jews or Christians, (who continue their covenant-relation, till they professedly cast it off, notwithstanding their ignorance) and such that of meer aliens are to be received, having no other title then their own present qualification. This ought to be vo­luntary, as well, in renouncing their old false way, as embracing the present, as we see it was, in those coverts through the Acts of the Apostles, and, is not to be, without some competency of know­ledge, discerning the evil of their former course, and the happinesse attainable in the present. And, I am easily induced to believe, [Page 26] that more knowledge by the industry of teachers, is now required, then was in the primitive times, seeing there is not so much of God, by miracle to perswade, and as it were to over-rule: So that it is not a naked taking of a name that is intended, but that which toge­ther with it still attends upon it: As a wife is called by her husbands name, and withall, makes her abode in his house; so it is with a Co­venant people, and was with Israel; They bore the name of God, and they made abode in the Church of God, enjoying his Ordinances as their inheritance. It is objected, God oft bestowes his Word on Infidels, and in England there are men that de­ride the truth of Scripture, and esteem it a fiction, and yet for credit of men come ordinarily to the Congregation. These have the Word given, and so have other unregenerate men, but not by Covenant that I know of, That God doth bestow his Word on Infidels, to me is strange: It is true that he often tenders it to them, but in case they remain Infidels, they put it away from them, and bestowing implies not only a tender but an acceptance. It was the great advantage of Israel, above other Nations, that to them was committed the O­racles of God, when others had not that honour. And to speak, of Gods giving his Word by Covenant, is a most improper speech, seeing the Word is the very Covenant draughts; as though we should say, he gives his Word, by his Word. And these sure are no open deriders that for the credit ofmen, make such a publique profession: this would work restraint, on the one hand, as it puts upon profession on the other. And in case any such thing be, though the Covenant is perfidiously broke, yet (as I conceive) it is not totally cast off, as long as an open profession is continued. What shall we say of those, that take their sons, and daughters, to give them to Moloch? this can be no low crime, and is an high departure from the true God, yet these bring forth chil­dren unto God; and they are Gods children, that they thus sa­crifice, Ezek. 16. 20, 21. So also, Psal. 106. 35, &c. Israel was mingled among the Heathen, and learned their works, and they ser­ved their Idols, which were a snare to them; yea, they sacrificed their sons and daughters unto Devils, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and daughters; Yet this, as appears cast them not out of Covenant; God notwithstanding remembred for them his Cavenant, ver. 45. This was therefore doubtlesse but a par­tial apostasie; Taking in the worship of Idols, they did not to­tally [Page 27] cast off the worship of God: God was not totally cast off in Judah, neither did God cast off Judah: Ahaz was of the worst of Kings, and yet his posterity was reckoned among the people of the Lord. Had the Jews at that time been, as se­vere disputants against a covenant-state, as are risen up now, the Church of God had wanted an Hezekiah, He had never lived, (much lesse wrought so happy a Reformation) in the Church of God.

2. Those that are lookt upon by men, Posit. 2. as in Covenant with God, and so ordinarily judged (as the people of Israel were) by the Name that they bear, their abode in the Church, the profession that they make, and so accordingly stiled, are truely, and really in Cove­nant. A man may know a man, to appertain to such, or such a person, because he sees him in his family, hears him call him Master, sees him, sometimes at least, in his work, and knows, him to have the repute of his servant; Though to know him to be a faithful servant, requires more diligence of enquiry, and a stricter scrutiny: So, a man may be as easily known, to apper­taine to Jesus Christ; The same Characters make him known, all that is required, to being in covenant, is, visible, open, evi­dent: but sincerity of heart in covenanting is invisible, and se­cret. And therefore the Jew outwardly, Rom. 2. 28. is called by the Vulgar, Vatablus, Tremelius, Arias Montanus, and Casta­lio, Judaeus in manifesto; by Calvin, Judaeus in aperto; by Beza, Judaeus in propatulo: The Jew inwardly, is called Judaeus in abscon­dito, or occulto: Their Church, or covenant-station, giving them those great advantages after mentioned, was open and manifest. Those that say, Lord, Lord, as, Mat. 7. 21. are of those that a­vouch God to be their God, and God avoucheth them to be his people. And therefore when they come with their sacrifices, though in their sinnes, and God upon that account testifies against them; yet he sayes, I am God, even thy God. It is confess'd by an e­minent adversary, that we must judge those that make profession, to be in Covenant with God: we must give them the name of Christians, and men in covenant with God, and we must use them as Christians in works of Charity and Ordinances, and Church-communion, and so must use their children as Christians children. And seeing reason to judge so, according to Scripture-character of men in cove­nant, they are so. Either in this we judge right, or else we pro­ceed [Page 28] upon mistake, If we judge aright, then all is well: If we mistake, then, all in these proceedings is null. Water hath been applyed to the child of such an one, but no Sacrament dispens'd; and according to a mans hopes, thoughts or feares of his fathers regeneration, are his hopes, thoughts and feares of his own bap­tisme, and consequently of his interest in Church-communion; for this, stands, or falls according to his fathers interest, or non­interest in the covenant. A grand Rule is laid down by the said Authour, That a serious Professour of the faith is to be taken for a true Beleever: and this being laid down, more are added. If this Proposition were a Scripture-Maxime then it would have borne a farther superstruction, but, being neither found there, nor any proof made, that it is any way deduced thence, mother and daugh­ters, may all justly be called into question, and seeing he can­not but know, that very many (as to the thing for which it is pro­duc'd (which in order to admission to Ordinances) will utterly deny it, he might have dome well to have made some essay to have proved it. I do yeeld that charity is to hope the best, but but that we should put our charity to it, or our reason either, for probability or certainty, when we no where so taught, and have a more sure rule for our proceeding, I see no reason. I can scarce meet with a Minister that sayes, (and I have put the question to many of the most eminent that I know) that he baptizeth any infant upon this ground of hope that the parent is regenerate, but still with earnest vehemence professes the contrary. I desire the Reader to consider Master Cobbets third and fourth Conclusions in his just Vindication, page 46. 52. There is a bare external being in the Covenant of Grace, saith he, of persons who possibly never shall be saved. Concl. 3d. The Church in dispensing [...]n enjoyned initiatory seal of the Co­venant of Grace lo [...]keth unto visibility of interest in the Covenant, to guide her in the application thereof. Nor is it the saving inte­rest, of the persons in view, which is her rule, by which she is therein to proceed. Concl. 4th. Visibility of interest, and sa­ving interest are there oppos'd. See also Master Huds [...]n, pag. 249. John Baptist did not in his conscience think they had all actually, really and compleatly repented and reformed themselves, whom he baptized, but he baptized them unto repentance, Matth. 3. 11. and they by receiving the same bound themselves to endeavour [Page 29] the practise thereof. It were a sad case for Ministers, if they were bound to admit none, or administer the Lords Supper to none, but such as were truly godly; or that they judged in their conscience to be so, or were bound to eject all that they judged were not so.

3. Mans obligation of himself in covenant unto God, Posit. 3. upon the termes by him proposed, necessarily implies Gods obligation to man. Where God makes tender of the Gospel, by his Ministers to any one out of covenant, there he makes tender of the Covenant; and where a person, or people, professedly accept, that is, engage themselves, (as myriads of thousands did through the Acts of the Apostles) this person, this people, each man of them is in covenant. As Scripture calls them by the name of Saints, Dis­ciples, Beleevers, Christians, so we may call them Covenanters. They have all a sanctity of separation, which Camero sayes, is real, and arguments are drawn from thence to a right in Baptisme, There is in most of them, if not in all, some graces that are real; either common or saving, and a covenant doth not wait, till the termes be kept, and the conditions made good, before it hath the being of a covenant. And whether these be every way sincere, or a­ny way dissembling, yet it is acknowledged, that they really oblige themselves: And God howsoever dissembles not, but is bound by himself, upon his own terms, which they profedly accept, to confer all that the covenant holds forth, so that, wheresoever man is ob­liged, there a compleat covenant is made up, for Gods tender goes before, and man is the last party, and compleats the Cove­nant.

4. Sinceri [...]y, Posit. 4. and integrity of heart; or fully reality, in a mans intentions, to stand to the whole of a Covenant, is not of the offence, and being of it. Both parties stand engaged, upon their respective termes, though one part should have unsincere intentions. A wife is a wise, and the marriage is compleat, when both parties have publickly express'd consent though she hold a resolution to be stubborn, refractory, profuse, &c. A man consenting to serve, whether in bare words, or taking earnest, as is most usual, or by hand and seal, as in the case of apprentices, is a servant although he intend with Onesimus to purloyn, or take his oppor­tunity to be gone. Some thinks it makes for their advantage, to say, that unregenerate men are unsincere in covenant; but that [Page 30] concession, utterly destroys them. If they be unsincere, or as the Psalmist speaks, not stedfast in covenant, then they are in covenant, A propositione secundi adjacentis, ad propositionem primi adjacentis, valet argumentum. If it be true that Catiline is a se­ditious man, then it is true, that he is a man: that Peribomius is a vicious man, then he is a man; that Judas is treacherous and perfidious in covenant, then he is in covenant: A mans conviction, that he is an unjust steward, or an unfaithful servant, doth not conclude him to be no servant, or no steward, but the contrary. And whereas it is said, The differences must be taken notice of, be­tween humane Covenants, and ours with God; or else all will be marred. Men know not one another hearts, and therefore make not laws for hearts, nor impose conditions on hearts: and therefore if both parties do confesse consent, though dissembledly, they are both obliged, & the Cove­nant is mutual. But God offers to consent only on condition that our hearts consent to his terms, and therfore if we profess, consent, & do not consent, God consenteth not, nor is, as it were, obliged. This were somewhat to purpose, in case it could be made to appear that Scripture de­nies all being of a covenant between God and man, where the all-seeing eye of God sees not all integrity and sincerity. But Scripture-language which is the fasest for us to follow, being (as we have heard) far otherwise, there is nothing marr'd in non­observance of any such supposed difference; See Psal. 78. 34, 35, 36. When he slew them, then they sought him; and they returned, and enquired early after God. And they remembred that God was their Rock, and the High God their Redeemer. Neverthelesse they did flatter him with their mouth: and they lied unto him with their tongues.

5. There is a real and serious purpose in many unregenerate per­sons to serve the Lord, Posit. 5. and to come up to as much as they think he in covenant requires, though with Austin they have a great mind to delay, and often to put off, the thought of, their more exact, and serious service; and too ordinarily think that they keep cove­nant, when they break it, having not as yet any right know­ledge, either of their own hearts, or Gods commands, and in this posture, in which they thus stand, before they come up any higher, yea, though they never come higher, they reach unto graces in themselves real, true, and good, and all do, the works which God commands; There is a common grace which is not sa­ving, [Page 31] yet real, and so true, and good, and so true grace, as well as special grace which is saving, saith Master Baxter Saints everlast­ing Rest, Part. 3. Sect. 6. Which may be a faire answer to that which is objected against me, that in my explication of Dogmatical faith, I adde by way of exclusion [though not affecting the heart to a full choice of Christ] where he seems (saith my adversary) to imply, though he expresse it not, that the faith that he meaneth doth affect the heart to a choice of Christ which is not full. But if so, then, 1. It is much more then assent, or a meer Historical, Dogmatical Faith. 2. But is the choice, which he intimateth real as to the act, and suited to the object? That is, the real choice of such a Christ as is offered, and on such termes? If so, it is justifying faith: If not, either it is counterfeit, as to the act, or but nominal, as to the object, and is indeed no choosing of Christ. That which is real and true, is neither coun­terfeit nor meerly nominal, so far as they know, either Christ or their own hearts, they undissembledly choose, and take to him, as expecting to be happy in him, and not in any other object; though too often it is upon mis-information, and when they come to a right understanding of the termes, they are in danger to quit the way in which they might enjoy him. It is further said That, I think that there may be an undissembled profession, which yet may not be of a saving faith; But then I conceive, saith one, it is not an entire profession of the whole essential object of Christian faith, viz. of assent and consent. In which he doth but cast dust in his Readers eyes, in confounding the intirenesse of the object, and the integrity of the subject. There may be an entire profession of the whole essential object of faith, where the will is brought in to make no more full choice, or consent then hath been said, and the desired integrity of the subject wanting; I am told, It will be an hard saying to many honest Chri­stians, to say that a man not justified may believe every fundamen­tal article, and withal truly professe repentance of all his sinnes, and to take God for his Sovereign to rule him, and his chief good to be enjoyed to his happinesse, and to take Christ for his Lord, and only Saviour, and his Word for his Law and Rule, and the Holy Ghost for his guide and Sanctifer, and the rest which is essen­tial to Christianity. I think it will be nothing hard for any ho­nest Christian to say, that a man not justified, may believe every fundamental article, as to assent, and that he may be convinc'd [Page 32] of the necessity of such repentance, and accordingly to make profession of it, as Johns converts (who were not all justifi'd) did, and were baptiz'd into it, or that such an one may free­ly yeeld, that God hath right of Sovereignty and rule, and that he is the chief good to be enjoyed for happinesse, and that he ought to take Christ for his Lord, and Saviour, &c. and that this may be done truly, not only as to reality of assent, but as to reality of purpose to make this choice, so farre as the man knows his own heart, or the minde of God in this work, though there be not that integrity, to yeeld up himself wholly, which yet by the power of Ordinances through the Spirit, in Gods time may be done, and through grace per­fected.

Lastly, Posit. 6. God setting up a visible Church upon earth, in order to that which is invisible, will have those admitted, that give assent to Scri­pture-doctrine, and accordingly wake profession: And this, of it self in fero Dei, brings them into covenant-right, and visible Church-membership. And therefore according to the minde of God (and, as Apollonius speaks, jure Dei in this estate) are to be received, Though they shall hit, or misse of the mercy of the covenant, accordingly, as by grace they come up to, or by sin fall short of the Propositions contained in it. A Scholar (saith Mr. Hudson) that is admitted into a School, is not admitted because he is doctus, but, ut sit doctus; and if he will submit to the rules of the Schoole, and apply himself to learne, it is enough for his ad­mission. The like may be said of the Church-visible which is Christs School; Vindicat. pag. 248. The door of the visible Church, (saith Master Baxter, Saints Rest. Part. 4. Sect. 3.) is in­comparably wider then the door of heaven; and Christ is so tender, so bountiful, and forward to convey his grace, and the Gospel so free an offer, and invitation to all, that surely Christ will keep no man off: if they will come quite over in spirit to Christ, they shall be welcome: if they will come but onely to a visible profession, he will not deny them admittance. This seems to me to speak the mind of Jesus Christ for their admittance, and that in foro Dei, as well as in foro Ecclesiae, they stand in covenant-relation, and have title to Church-member­ship. Thus the Reader may see my thoughts in this thing; and though I doubt not, but that some will question much that I have said; yet now at last, I hope, my meaning may be understood.

The Covenant of Grace calls for Conditions from Man.

A Third Proposition which I shall here lay down,The Covenant of Grace calls for conditions from man. is, that Gods covenant with man hath its restipulation from man, when God engages to man, to conferre happinesse upon him, he requires con­ditions from him. This I know hath strong opposition by men of two sorts, and they of different stamps, and for different ends. The first deny all Gospel-conditions, all covenant-termes on mans part, to the end they may assert justification be­fore, and without Faith, Salvation without Repentance, and Obe­dience, which though it be contradicted by abundant testimonies of Scripture (placing unbeleeving, impenitent and disobedient ones in hell: under the wrath of God, yea such unbeleeving, im­penitent ones that have laid highest claime to Christ, Matth. 7. 23.) yet it seems wholly to follow, and necessarily to be evinced from this absolute unconditionate covenant. If Christ have whol­ly finished, not only the work of mans redemption, but also of his salvation upon the crosse, without farther work of applica­tion (as one in a distinct Treatise hath made it his endeavour to prove) then we may, as he there doth, decry, both our faith in Christ, and Christs intercession for us. Herein one of late (ac­cording to his wonted weaknesse) is very industrious, and whereas the Scripture tells us, Christ dwells in our hearts by Faith, Ephes. 3. 17. he would prove, that Christ enters into us, without us, dwells in the unbeleeving, and in reference to this opinion of his, he makes it his businesse, as, to deny Faith, in reference to Justificati­on, so, all Gospel-covenant-conditions. All other covenants besides this were (saith he) upon a stipulation, and the pro­mise was altogether upon conditions on both sides. But in this cove­nant of Grace, viz. the new covenant, it is far otherwise, there is not any condition in this covenant, I say the new covenant is without any condition whatsoever. And he further tells his hearers, that he is on a nice point, Faith is not the condition of the covenant. O­thers, [Page 34] utterly distasting the aforenamed opinions, of Justification without faith, or salvation without obedience, or repentance (which seeme to be the natural issue and necessary consequents of an unconditional covenant,) yet, with great resolution do affirme; the covenant to be without conditions, joyning in the premisses with these heterodox teachers, but peremptorily denying the con­clusion.Arguments for a conditional Covenant. Against both of these that oppose it, either more despe­rately, or more innocently, I affirm (and might quote a cloud of witnesses) that the covenant of grace hath its conditions; which to me is clear.

First, by the definition of a covenant, given in, by the Authour before named, a few pages before his assertion before mentioned. It is a mutual agreement, between parties, upon certaine Articles or Propositions, on both sides, so that each party is bound and tyed to perform his own conditions. It is in the definition and of the essence of a covenant in general (according to him) to have conditions, yet this covenant in particular, with him, is without condition; Here is a species, that partakes not of the nature of the genus, a particular covenant that wants the essence of a covenant, which is the same as though he should finde us a man that is no living creature, a Vine or Fig-tree that is no plant, a piece of scarlet of no colour; such a thing is this unconditional covenant. If the essence of a covenant require it, then this covenant is not with­out it.

Secondly by the expresse Texts of Scripture, which lay down conditions of the covenant, either in expresse words, or those that of necessity imply a condition. See John 8. 51. Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. Who sees not there; First, a Priviledge granted by way of co­venant. Secondly, the condition on which it is to be obtained. John 8. 24. If ye beleeve not that I am he, ye shall die in your sinnes. Heb. 3. 6. Whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence, and the rejoycing of the hope firme unto the end. Who knows not, If, to be a conditional particle? All pardon and justification (if Scri­pture may be heard) is suspended on mens not beleeving, John 3. 16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever beleeveth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Mar. 16. 16. He that beleeveth, and is baptized, shall be saved; and he that beleeveth not, shall be damned.

[Page 35] Thirdly, by Analogy with the covenant of Works, entred of God with Adam in innocency, Gen. 2. 17. This, on all hands that (I know), is granted to have been conditional, and who sees not in the Texts mentioned, conditions as ex­presse in the Gospel, as not eating of the tree of knowledge of good and euil, to man in Paradise? either, both, or neither, must be conditional.

Fourthly, from the nature of conditions in covenants. A condition in a covenant, is somewhat agreed upon by the Parties in covenant, upon performance of which the benefit of the cove­nant is obtained, and upon the failing of it, the whole benefit is lost, and the penalty, whatsoever it is, incurred. In covenants be­tween equals, either indent, and article what those conditions shall be upon defaylance of which the benefit is lost, and the penalty incurred. In covenants between superiour and inferiour, the superiour doth prescribe, and the inferiour doth yeeld. In all covenants there are such conditions, that upon performance or failing of them, the covenant doth stand or fall: such there are in the Gospel-covenant. There we are enjoyned to believe and re­pent, upon obedience to and performance of these, we reap the benefit of the covenant. Upon failing in them the benefit is lost, and the penalty incurred. He that beleeveth not, shall be damned. Ex­cept ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. There are then conditions in this covenant.

Fifthly, from the absurdities that will follow upon the denial of conditions on mans part in the covenant. First, then man is out of danger of being faulty in the covenant, he can be no co­venant-breaker▪ He cannot be charged that his heart is unsteady in it. This of it self is plaine, He that is tyed to nothing, fails in nothing; he that is engaged to no servce, neglects no service; As God hath that glory that he keeps covenant, so man hath that Priviledge, that he is not in a capacity of breaking of it. The Church might have spared that Apology for themselves, that they had not dealt falsely in the covenant, Psal. 44. 17. seeing they were under no such engagement, that they could falsifie, or in any such capacity of being false; but we finde God complaining against his People for breach of covenant, Jerem. 11. 10. Isa. 24. 5. Psal. 78. 10, 37. we finde him giving out his threats to avenge the quarrel of his covenant, Levit. 26. 25. Master Baxters [Page 36] Questionist (who seems contrarily minded) thought it an excepti­on of validity, That it follows from his doctrine, that the New cove­nant is never violated by any. I am sure it follows from this do­ctrine, that it is not in any capacity of violation. Secondly, then we may say (as the Apostle in another case) Our preaching is in vain, at least to salvation vaine, the Gospel in mans mouth is no power of God to salvation. In faith or unbelief, in a pe­nitent or unrepentant condition, in holinesse or disobedience, God will save; he looks neither at faith, uprightnesse, or any qualification, when in a covenant-way he engages himselfe to conferre salvation. In case God doth not regard it, to what end is there any paines to work a people to it? This I know some Assertours of this doctrine will disclaime, but let them shew how they will avoid it.

A grand Objection against this doctrine answered.

HEre an objection of weight; A grand obje­ction against the conditio­nality of the Covenant of Grace answer­ed. by reason of the difficulty of some Scripture-Texts, on which it is grounded, is to be taken into consideration, It is true (saith one) that in cove­venants usually there is a mutual contract, and there are mutual per­formances, to which persons are engaged thereby. But for the thing it is certaine, that however the words of foedus pactum, in Latine, [...] in Greek, covenant in English be used, the Hebrew Be­rith, and the Greek [...], used in the Old and New Testament, do not alwayes import a mutual contract and mutual performances. God is said to establish a Covenant with all living, Gen. 9. 9, 10. between whom and God, there neither is, nor can be a mutual con­tract and performance. And the term rendred covenant, is not on­ly rendred Testament; but also the holy Writers do illustrate the New covenant, rather by the metaphor of a Testament, then of a covenant, 1 Corinth. 11. 25. Gal. 3. 15. Heb. 9. 16, 17. and where the Promises are set down without any reciprocal contract or duty exprest, Heb. 8. 10, 11, 12. and 10. 16, 17. Rom. 11. 26, 27.

[Page 37] This argument, is against all being of covenants, as well as the conditionality of them, as indeed, if conditions be denied, all be­ing of a covenant is destroyed, and therefore it might have been well brought in, where the covenant it self was asserted, as militating against the very being of it. But it cannot conveni­ently be held out in both places, and therefore it must be con­sidered here, and for answer, let us first take what is granted, that usually in covenants there is a mutual contract, and that these words, Latine, and Greek, be used to imply such covenants, in which there are mutual contracts, and mutual performances, and to which persons are engaged on both sides; and then let us exa­mine what is affirmed concerning those two words, Berith and [...], for the contrary.

And for the first, who does not know, that the word is some­times used for a covenant improperly so called? A bare command, Jer. 34. 13. A bare Seal, Gen. 17. 10. is (as we have heard) called a covenant. And, so a bare promise here in the place quoted is cal­led a covenant likewise; Not that beasts and birds can covenant, but they shall be as secure from the judgement there mentioned, as though there had past a mutual contract in the strongest en­gagements, Eliphaz shewing the priviledges of the godly, saith; Job 5. 23. They shall be in league with the stones of the field, the same word is in both places; shall we now say, that a league or cove­nant is no act of reason, because man is in league and covenant with stones, which are unreasonable creatures? or rather shall we say with Master Caryl in his Exposition, To be in League with stones is an improper and allusive speech, stones are not capable of the formalities of a League? So we say, for God to make a covenant with unrea­sonable creatures, with beasts, birds, and creeping things, is an im­proper and allusive speech likewise. Birds, Beasts, and creeping things are in an incapacity of covenant. Gomarus handling that question of Universal Redemption in his Com­ment on Gal. 1. (a Patron of the Lutherans, as he calls him, disputing for it from the form of the covenant of Grace as that Disputant stiles it, Gen. 3. 17. where the seed of the woman is promised to break the Serpents head,Antecedens falsâ [...]ititur hypothesi, qu [...]si verbis illis formula foederis gratiae contineretur.—Contrà verò foedus propriè obligation [...] dua [...]um partium certis utrinque conditionibus complecti certum est, qualem hoc loco extare pro­bare non potest: ideoque nec foedus propriè est.) de­nies that those words containe the forme of a covenant; because it is certain (as he sayes) [Page 38] that a Covenant properly so called, containes an obligation of two parties, with conditions on both sides; which cannot be proved (saith he) in those words, and therefore it is not a covenant properly so cal­led. From which learned hand we see 1. That a covenant properly so called is of two parties. 2. That both parts have their condi­tions. 3. That there is a covenant between God and man pro­perly so called, in which God and man are both obliged. 4. That no Scripture-expression holds out this covenant▪ that holds not out these conditions.

This is the proper acception for which we contend, and im­proper acceptions as they do not hold forth the nature of a cove­nant, so we confesse they do not imply mutual contracts, or mu­tual performances. So that the Argument is brought to this, A covenant sometimes in an improper sense is said to be made with those that cannot make mutual contracts; therefore a cove­nant is no mutal contract, nor hath any mutual engagements. We might as well argue, that because a stone is called a witnesse, Josh. 24. 27. a heap of stones is so called, Gen. 31. 48. (which have neither eyes, nor ears, to see or hear, what is done or said, nor yet a tongue to utter it) therefore there is no use of eyes, or ears, or of a tongue, in any one that is brought for a witnesse. As the He­brew word Berith is improperly used, or at least used in a sense, more large then to denote a covenant, wheresoever it doth not hold out an agreement of two parties with engagements on both hands. So the word [...], whensoever it is used in that sense, seemes to be taken improperly, Seeing in its received signification (according to good Interpreters) it doth denote not a covenant, but a mans last Will and Testament, which never is of force, but by the death of the Testator, Heb. 9. 16, 17. which is not true of a Co­venanter, his death is not required to make the covenant valid. Testamentum Grace [...] su­mitur, 1. Propriè, pro suprema animi seu vo­luntatis nostrae [...] de eo, quod post mortem nostram fieri cupimus, sic Testa­mentum morte testatoris ratum est, nondum enim valet cum [...] testa­tor. 2 Impropriè, pr [...] paectione [...] foederè, quod viventes inter seiuire solent. So Ravanellus, Testament (saith he) in Greek [...] is taken, 1. Proper­ly, for the declaration of a mans Will concerning that which he would have done after his death, and is ratified by the death of the Testator; for it is not of force while the Testator liveth, Heb. 9. 16, 17. 2. Improperly, for a covenant, which li­ving men enter among themselves. Rivet, also Exercit. 103. in Gen. speaking of those words [Page 39] of the Apostle, Gal. 4. 24. These are two Testaments.Nomen Testamenti, sumi non debet i [...] proprie [...], pro eo quod fit ab [...] sed pro foedere, [...], ut bene animad­vertis Pererius. Testament there (he saith) is not to be taken, in a proper signification for that which is done by a dying man, and ratified by his death, but, for a covenant-agreement, or order as Pe­rerius hath well observed. Alsted in his Le­xicon Theologicum having spoken to the sense in which translatours of the Bible sometimes use it, as the same with [...], resolves, Aliquid dandum est consuetudini. Testamentum propriè justam volunta­tis [...], de eo, quod quis post mortem de [...] suis fieri velit, Graeci propriè [...] vocant. We must yeeld somewhat to custome. After saith. Testament properly signifies a just declaration of a mans Will, concerning that which he would have done with his goods after his death. The Greeks properly call it [...]. Estius is very Quamvi [...] enim [...], si vocis e [...]ymo [...] attendas, non plus sonet quàm dispositionem & apud authores Graecos, Baeudaeo teste in commentariis Gracae linguae, significet in genere pactum, con­ventum, pollicitationem: consta [...] tamen vulgarem & [...] ejus signi­ficationem esse, quâ denotes idem quòd apud Latinos Testamentum, id est, voluntatis decretum, de co quod quis post mortem sua [...]fier [...] velit. full, setting out the Original denotation of the word, together with the received significa­tion of it. For though [...] (saith he) if you look to the Etymologie of the word, holds out no more then a disposing, and with Greek Authours (as Budaeus witnesseth in his Com­me [...]t on the Greek tongue), signifies in general a covenant-agree­ment or promise; yet the common and most received signification is the same, as Testamentum in the Latine, which is the declaration of a mans Will concerning that whith he would have done after his death. The Apostles Application of a Testament properly so called to the covenant of God, Heb. 9. 16, 17. hath troubled ma­ny Interpreters. Erasmus on this acount questions the Authors skill in the Hebrew tongue, and Cajetan calls into question the authority of the Epistle. Most conclude from hence, that the Original of the Epistle was Greek, in that there is not Hebrew words to hold out such expressions, and the Syriack translator was put to it, to keep the Greek word, and put it into a Syriack Character. For the clearing of this doubt, it is not enough to say, that these words are sometimes promi [...]u­ously used. Berith for a Testament, [...] for a Cove­nant, as Camerarius notes out of Aristophanes, a Greek Poet, as Rivet observes, Seeing the Apostle applies a [Testament] in the proper received sense to that which signifies a mutu­al agreement. For the salving of which Estius reckons up [Page 40] several opinions which he rejects, some of which, others of good note follow, and afterwards acquaints the Reader with his own thoughts, in words drawn out to such a length, that I shall refer the Reader (if he please) to the Authour himself. Dixon on the words, saith, The Articles of the covenant also evince it to be a Testament, and the promiser bound to make his word good, and so to die. For Jer. 31. The Lord Christ promiseth to reconcile his people to God, to take away their sinnes, and to be their God. Justice required satisfaction of them before they could be reconciled, satisfaction they could not make themselves, therefore he who promised to make the re­conciliation with God, was found to make the satisfaction for them to God: and if satisfaction for them, then to under-lie the curse of the Law for them, and so to die.Foedus N. T. & foedus est, (quia est mutu­um inter Deum, & homines salutis promissae, & obedientiae fidei ab homi­nibus debitae pactum) & si­mul Testamen­tum est; quia hoc foedus promissa filii Dei morte, & per eam haere­ditate crelesti à Deo sancitum est: adeo ut non i [...]merio ut foedus Testamentarium, & Testamentum foederis ob concur­sum utriusque queat appellari. Indè constat simpliciter quidem esse foedus, ratione pacti mutui Dei & fidelium, sed secundùm quid esse Testamentum, ratione modi, partis ac potioris in foedere nempe promissionis gratiae, quâ Deus nobis promittit se fore Deum nostrum propitium & vitam aeternam daturum tanquam haeredita [...]em, merito obedicntiae mortis Filii sui. Gomarus says, The covenant of the New Te­stament, is both a covenant and a Testament. It is a covenant because it is an agreement between God and man concerning salvation promi­sed, and faith owing by man: And a Testament, because it is established upon the promised death of the Son of God, and an heavenly inheritance by it, so that it may not unworthily be called a Testamentary covenant, or a Testament-covenant, by reason of the concurrence of both in one. And after concludes, Simply it is a covenant by reason of the mutual agreement between God and beleevers; Respectively a Testament, by reason of the way, and manner of the chief and most eminent part in the covenant, that is the promise of grace, whereby God promiseth to be our God propitious to us, and to give us everlasting life, as an inheri­tance by the death of his Son.

Circumscrip­tionem hujus nominis ex typis at (que) umbraculis legis demonstrat paulò pùst, ver. 15. & sequentibus Apostolus. Cùm omnino statuit, Dei gratiam eo luculentiorem heminibus explicatam esse: quòd suis non foedus, sed Testamentum dederit: Quia foedus conditiones mutuas fuisset habiturum, quas si altera pars non praestet, foedus est irritum: Testamentum verò, libe­ralitatis & gratiae citra ullam conditionem instrumentum est, ex quo hoeredes vocantur & instituu [...]tur citra contemplationem ullius officii quod ab ipsis proficisci possit▪ Junius in his parallels undertaking to give satisfaction, hath a remedy (with me) worse then the disease, though learned Mr. Grayle endeavours his Vindication. After a large discourse in what latitude the word Berith is taken: The Apostle (he saith) shewes [Page 41] the limitation of it out of the Types and shadows of the Law in the fifteenth, and following verses when he shews that the grace of God, was herein more eminent and conspicuous, in that he gave unto his, not a covenant, but a Testament, giving in his reasons; because a cove­nant must have contained mutual conditions, which if either part did not performe, the covenant were void; but a Testament is an in­strument of liberality and bounty, by which men are called and made heirs without eying of any duty that is to be done by them. Here by the way we see that in case it be a covenant (according to him) it hath mutual conditions, and therefore he is (together with Ravanellus, Gomarus, Vrsinus before quoted, to whom may be added Peter Martyr on Judg. 2. giving the like definition) wholly against those who make this inference; That it cannot be proved to be of the general nature of covenants, that there should be such a convertibility, as that both must seal or contract or perform. But for his position that God hath not given a covenant to his people, I wonder how it slipt from him; Such unwary expressions (in a seeming tendency to advance grace from pious persons) have made way for strange superstructions. He might have said, that those Types and Shadows of the Law, did argue it to be more then a bare and common covenant, being ratified by blood, which led to the blood of the Mediatour. And so Rivet (as I un­derstand him) answers,Non hoc vo­luit Paulus in Epistola ad He­braeos, cap. 9. ex simplici vocis significatione arguere, sed ex ipsius foederis circumstantiis. Paul in his Epistle to the Hebr. (saith he) chap. 9. doth not argue from the simple signification of the word, but from the circumstances of the covenant. But his denying it to be a covenant, is that which I must oppose. He is large indeed to shew in what latitude the word Berith in some Old Testa­ment Texts is used, as also the Latine word Foedus in prophane Authors; All of which, shews no more but that the word in the exact denotation and largest sense of it imports no more then an ordination or disposition, yet that hinders not, but that as, Interpreters generally render it, so, the received and accustomed use of it, is, to hold out a covenant, bargaine, or agreement. As the word [...], in its largest sense, comprizes any Assembly, even for civil uses, Acts 19. 39. yea, rude congregated routs, verse 41. yet in the generally received sense, it is taken for holy Assemblies; So, it is with Berith; the word may admit of a large sense, but the received sense is with more restriction. The Jews had their covenants, man with man, Abraham with Abi­melech, [Page 42] Gen. 21. 72. Isaac with Abimelech, Gen. 26. 28. Laban with Jacob, Gen. 31. 44. And this was the word whereby they did expresse their covenants, And as, the word Church is some­times used improperly, for Church Members that make not up a whole Church, The Church in Aquila and Priscilla's house, Rom. 16. 5. Sometimes for Church-officers, Matth. 18. 17. Tell it to the Church, who could not be the whole Church whereof in­fants are a part, or (as all must confesse) women, who yet are no competent judges: so, there are improper acceptions of the word covenant, when the proper sense is that, which hath been held out, which is a mutual compact or agreement on terms and Propositions. The learned observe that [...] properly answers to the word Berith; Ravanellus observes out of Hierome, that Aquila and Symmachus, did so translate it; and Rivet on Genes. Exercit. 135. saith,Quod Lxx. & Theodotio [...] dix­erunt Symma­chus [...], hoc est pactum, vel foedus ver­tit, quae est pro­pria significatio Hebraicae vocis Berith. Quae vox non legitur in V. T [...] pro dis­positione Testa­mentariâ. That which the Septuagint and Theodotio call [...], that, Symmachus translates [...], pactum, foedus, which (saith he) is the proper signification of the Hebrew word Berith, which word is not read in the Old Testament, for the ordering of a mans Will or Testament. Now it is not denyed, but the word foedus and pactum in Latine, [...] in Greek, covenant in English, do signifie mutual contracts, in which there are mu­tual performances; and so the Hebrew word Berith in like manner; this being according to the learned the genuine signification of it. And if this were not the received signifi­cation of it, how did the Objection before mentioned ever come into any mans head, that the Apostle did bewray ignorance in the Scripture-use of the word, in applying it to a mans Will or Testament, and what needed so much pains for his defence in it? Hierome on those words, Gal 3. 17. This I say, that the Testa­ment confirmed of God, saith, If any compare the Hebrew volumes and other Editions with the translation of the Septuagint, he shall find, that, where Testament is written, it doth not signifie a Testa­ment, but a Covenant, which in the Hebrew tongue is called Berith. And in case Gods whole dispensations and Gospel-communicati­ons (as Junius would have it) be a Testament onely, and no co­venant; why is the world so abused with the word foedus, pactum in Latine, covenant in English? By which all men understand that which we call a covenant, no man understands a Testament; why do we say covenant of Works, covenant of grace, if the [Page 43] former onely were a covenant properly, and the other a Testament? as though we should cal, an Eagle, and a Lion both by the common name of a bird, perswading that a Lion were a bird, as well as an Ea­gle? yet if it were a Testament properly so called, it would not over­throw the conditionality, as Mr. Grayl out of Swynborn shews. Te­staments have their conditions, How comes it to pass that Scripture holds out so frequently that similitude of a marriage, Is. 54. 5. Hos. 2. 19. 2 Cor. 11. 2. Eph. 5. 32. to set out this transaction? A marriage contract is not a mans Testament: hath a wife barely a Legacie, and doth she enter no covenant with her husband? How comes it to passe that turning aside from God, after other lovers, is called in Scripture by the name of whoredomes, adulteries, which is the breach of a marriage-covenant? and how is sin against God, called a dealing falsely with God? we cannot deale falsely in the covenant, if it be not a covenant, but a Testament; men may carry themselves unthankfully, but falsehood argues an engage­ment. How is it that we finde, in Old and New Testament-Scrip­tures, mutuall engagements, between God and his people; of God to them, of them to him, in case God hath vouchsafed them a Legacie by Testament, in the death of his Son, and left them out of covenant? And how is that, without Covenant, without Christ, without God, without Hope, with the Apostle are one and the same, when yet all people that have hope in Christ are out of covenant? There be that say, The holy Writers do illustrate the New covenant, rather by the Metaphor of a Testament, then a covenant. These seeme to make it neither a Covenant nor a Testament. E­very one knows that a Metaphor is a figure, whereby a word is carried out of its proper signification into some other that carries resemblance with it. In case there be a metaphor in that expres­sion, then it is not proper, but borrowed; But as I beleeve that Abra­ham spake not by a Metaphor to God, when he said, Gen. 18. 25. Shall not the Judge of all the world do right? God absolving and and condemning the sons of men, giving rewards, and inflict­ing penalties, is a Judge properly so called; so I do not think that God spake in any Metaphor to Abraham, when in the chapter before, Gen. 17. 7. he saith, I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee. God is a Judge of all the earth, properly so called, and he hath entred a covenant with his people, properly so called likewise. It is true, that we un­derstand, [Page 44] that relation of God to his people, more clearly by the Analogy that it bears to Judges, that are set up among men, for absolution of the innocent, & condemning of the guilty, And so we are holpen in our understandings of the covenant of God entred with his people, by Analogy with the covenants, that are among men; but, in neither of both of these, is the word taken out of its proper sense, and applyed to any other, that it will not properly bear. I finde indeed an eminent Divine affirming, That a covenant is not so properly said, to be with God and man, as between man and man, not denying the duty, which man owes to God, nor the en­gagement by which he is obliged, but freely yeelding both; and sticking only at the consent on mans part, which among men (he sayes) is requisite, and doth mutually concur to make the covenant va­lid. But neither in the covenant of nature, or grace, is this consent an­teceding the validity of the covenant required in man. This I confesse I am not able to reach. Nothing with me is more plain, then that, consent is pre-required in both these covenants: Adam, I confesse, (as it is objected) was bound to consent, yea, I will yeeld more, that it is no more possible to conceive Adam to deny consent, then the Sunne to be without light; seeing in his natural motion he was carried in that way of full conformity to God, that the Sun may as well be dark, as Adam averse from the will or tender of God; yet if we could conceive a dark Sunne; it could not be a light to rule the day; so if we could conceive Adam denying consent to God, in the tender of covenant, Adam had not been in covenant. For fallen man it is clear; what held the Pharisees out of the New covenant, but their non-consent? rejecting the counsel of God a­gainst themselves, Luk 7. 30. as also those Jews, Act. 13. who contra­dicting and blaspheming, judged themselves unworthy of eternal life.

The covenant was tendered to all those Gentile Nations, and Cities where the Gospel was preached, and all were bound to yeeld assent, but where there was assent of faith, there the cove­nant was entered; where assent is denied, there they remained, strangers from the covenants of promise; in the same way of Gentilisme, as though the Gospel had never been tendered, or the Name of Christ held forth. So that these things considered, I doubt not but I have made it appear, That there is a mutual contract, and mutual performances to which persons are engaged, not only usually in covenants, but in all covenants. And that it is of the general na­ture [Page 45] of covenants, that there should be such a convertibility, as that both must, if not seal, (some contracts are without seals) yet contract, or performe, and where a seal is vouchsafed, must accept of it: and that the definition of the covenant in the general is vindicated, That God hath entred a covenant properly so called, with man, with fallen man, in which there is a contract of this nature, and engage­ments to mutual performances, God condescending to it of grace, and man obliged to it by duty, yet accepting voluntarily. Which (as the former) might be confirmed by the authority of Divines of e­minency. Mr. Ball speaking of the covenant of God in the gene­ral entred with man, saith, It may be thus described. A mutual compact or agreement betwixt God and man, whereby God promiseth all good things, specially eternal happinesse unto man, upon just, equal, and favourable conditions: and man doth promise to walk before God in all acceptable, free, and willing obedience, expecting all good from God, and happinesse in God, according to his promise, for the praise and glory of his great Name. And Vrsin in his Catechisme, page 91. defining a covenant in the general nature of it as before, he saith, it is Foedus Dei est mutua pactio inter Deum & homines, quâ Deus confirmat hominibus se futurum eis propitium, re­missurum pec­cata, donaturum justitiam no­vam, Spiritum Sanctum, & vitam aeternam per & propter Filium Media­torem; vicissim homines se obligant Deo ad fidem & poenetentiam, hoc est, ad recepiendum verâ fide hoc tantum be­neficium, & ad praestandam Deo veram obedientiam. A mutual agreement between God and man, whereby God confirmes to man that he will be merciful, forgive their sinnes, give them a new righteousnesse, his holy Spirit and everlasting life, in and by his son the Mediatour: In like manner men tie themselves to God for faith and repentance, that is, by a lively faith to receive this mercy alone, and to yeeld true obedience to God. And Lucas Trelca­tius in loco de foedere thus defines it. Foedus est pactum Dei cum homine, de foelicitate aeterna, certâ conditione ci communicanda ad Dei gloriam. Pactum cùm dicimus, intelligimus mutuam Dei & hominis obligationem, ex stipulatione intervenientem, ut utrimque reddatur quod promissum est. Duae ergo sunt partes foederis. 1. Promissio Dei de vita aeterna. 2. Obligatio hominis ad observationem conditionis a Deo praescriptae. Prima est libera; secunda est necessaria. The covenant is an agreement to God with man, concerning eternal happinesse to be communica­ted to man, upon a certain condition, to the glory of God. And then explaining himself he says, When we say an agreement, we un­derstand a mutual obligation of God and man, by a stipulation inter­vening, that what is promised on both parts, may be performed. And farther saith, There are two parties of the covenant. 1. The promise of God concerning everlasting life. 2. The obligation of man [Page 46] for performance of the condition prescribed of God; the first is free, the second is necessary. And in conclusion, such a bottome I be­lieve is laid in the Introduction, that will bear the whole fabrick that follows after. Junius and Gomarus, are as opposite as may be, one to the other in this dispute about the covenant, as may be seen in the Appendix to the first chapter: But they both agree in this, that every covenant of necessity is to have mutual engage­ments and performances. Gomarus denies that the promise, Gen. 3. 15. containes the covenant of grace, because no conditions are there mentioned. And Junius to avoid conditions, denies that there is any such thing as a covenant between God and man, for if it were a covenant, he sayes it must have conditions. Therefore ac­cording to them both, if we grant a covenant, we must grant con­ditions, and the full nature of the covenant, is in no Scripture laid down, where we have not these engagements, or conditions, laid down likewise. Some think to reconcile all this by the various ac­ception of the word. Sometimes it is soused in Scripture, that the free promise of God is thereby signified, and the restipulation of our du­ty withit, God requiring man to engage by covenant to that which he might require, did there no promise intervene; yet sometimes in Scripture, covenant doth signifie the absolute promise of God, with­out any restipulation, and of this kinde is that covenant in which God promiseth to give to his elect faith and perseverance, to which promise there cannot be conceived any condition to be annexed, which is not comprehended in the promise it self. So Learned Camero de triplici foedere, Thes. 1. 2. For this absolute covenant here spoke to, I desire the Reader to observe what the same learned Au­thour hath farther in his third Thesis. This distinction of the Covenant, doth depend upon the distinction of the love of God; for there is a love of God to the Creature, from whence every thing that is good in the creature hath wholly flowed; and there is the acquiescent love of God in the creature, and this the creature hath re­ceived, not for any thing from it self, but from God, as it was loved with that first love of God: that love, for better understanding, we call Gods primary or antecedent; this Gods secondary or consequent love: from that we say, doth depend both the paction, and fulfilling of the absolute covenant, from this depends the fulfilling of that covenant; to which is annexed a restipulation, not so the paction, for that we say depends on the first love. This antecedent love is wont to be [Page 47] called Amor benevolentiae, which can be no more then a purpose or resolution in God for good to man. The second is wont to be cal­led Amor complacentiae, a love of delight, or content. How the for­mer can be a covenant, or any covenant properly so called depend upon it, as preceding the latter, I do not see.

First, this goes before the giving of Christ; the gift of Christ is an effect of it, Joh. 3. 16. Now God covenants not with man, with­out the Mediator as Camero himself acknowledges; and therefore this that precedes, can be no covenant made.

Secondly, a covenant plainly argues an agreement, at least in tender from one, and professed acceptation from the other party. A covenant of parties at a distance, either party holding his di­stance, respective to that where the distance is held, is the greatest absurdity. Now in this absolute covenant (as it is called) there is not so much as a tender from God, much lesse an acceptance from man, and so, as yet a distance held, and therefore no cove­nant or agreement.

Thirdly, this supposed absolute covenant, Jer. 31, 33. Heb. 8. 10. hath mercies of two sorts; graces, priviledges; And though men contend that the promise of grace is absolute, seeing there is no­thing pre-required of us, for the writing of this Law in our hearts, yet the priviledge of remission of sins hath its conditions, Act. 10. 43. Act. 13. 38, 39. Act. 3. 19.

Fourthly, none can claim any interest in, or take any comfort from, this absolute covenant, depending on the antecedent love of God, preceding the conditional covenant, depending on the con­sequent love of God: before he hath entered the second which is conditional, and performed the conditions, and knows that he hath performed them. This is clear, it is made, all say, with the Elect; now none can claime his interest till he knows his Election, which is made sure only, by our saith, and new obedience, by the know­ledge that we have of our faith and new obedience. But it is enough to me that a covenant comprizing a restipulation of our duty, is here confest, which is the Gospel way to salvation, without which, the acquiescent love of God is not attained. As to that Text, Heb. 8. 10. the Reader may see more elsewhere.

Further Objections against the former doctrine Answered.

THe covenant of grace entred with fallen man (saith one) is called an everlasting covenant,Further ob­ctions against the conditio­nality of the Covenant answered. and Heb. 8. 12. God saith, I will be merciful to your iniquities, and your sinnes will I remem­ber no more. Now suppose there were conditions for man to performe, and man did faile in those conditions, what were become of the covenant?

Ans. The conditions failing of the covenant is broke, the everlast­ing covenant is broke, which though it seeme a contradiction to some, yet it is not so to the Prophet, Is. 24. 5. They have transgressed the Law, changed the Ordinances, and broken the everlasting Cove­nant. It is said to be everlasting, because it shall not be antiqua­ted for another to succeed it, or at least that man is not to put a period to it, so Circumcision and the Passeover are Ordinances for ever, not that non-entring into it never break or transgresse it; The Elect of God Regenerate, do indeed keep covenant; so do not all that enter into it. There are frequent Scripture-complaints of Breach of covenant.

Secondly, It is said, Man hath no tie upon him, to perform any thing whatsoever with covenant, as, a condition that must be obser­ved on his part, let the covenant it self be judge in this case; mark it in Jeremy, Ezekiel, or in Heb. 8.

Answ. In those Texts there are graces mentioned; as Gods work on the soule, and priviledges promised to be enjoyed. Whatsoever is there set forth, as Gods work upon the soul, is also required of man as duty, namely to be renued in the spirit of his mind, Eph. 4. 23. To make him a new heart, and a new spirit, Ezek. 18. 31. That the Word of Christ dwell in him richly in all wisdome, Col. 3. 16. It will be hard for any to point out a pro­mise of this nature, but it may be answered with a command, as an obligation unto duty; As the precepts must not thrust out the promise, nor duty shoulder out free grace, So, [Page 49] the promise must not destroy the precept; In that of Jeremy, conditions on mans part are included, so as by the assistance of grace to be performed. The tie lies upon us, on pain of losse of all that the covenant promiseth, and bearing all that-it threat­neth.

Thirdly, Suppose (saith one) there should be a fault, of performing in this Covenant, whose were the fault?

Answ. The fault is his; who is chidden in Scripture, and beaten for it, namely those that did flatter God with their mouth, and lied unto him with their tongues, whose heart was not right with him, nor were sledfast in his covenant, Ps. 78. 36, 37. They, upon whom he will bring a sword to avenge the quarrel of his covenant, Lev. 26. 25. are in the fault.

Fourthly, if there be conditions, then the covenant is not free, gifts must be of absolute grace and bounty, if a condition be required, the freedome of the gift is destroyed.

Answ. This is true of such conditions, where there is merit in the condition, whereby benefit accrues to him, that engages by promise, holding proportion with the reward; But, here is nothing indented by way of covenant, but that homage which is natural­ly due, which God may challenge from us as creatures; without either engagement unto, or exhibition of any reward at all for their paines, and what he may require without reward, when he covenants for it, the reward is free. If Abraham had made Eliezer of Damascus his heir, upon his faithful service, the inheritance had yet been a free gift, and of grace conferr'd upon him. Make the Proposition universal, All conditions in promises destroy the na­ture of a gift in the thing promised, and then it is to be denied, A covenant of grace would then be a contradiction, seeing it is no covenant, (as hath been demonstrated) without a condition. Then the Prophet doth contradict himself in the tender of a covenant, in the most free manner as is possible, Isa. 55. 1, 2. Ho, every one that thirsteth, &c. even their conditions are required; Incline your ear, and come unto me, Hear and your soul shall live; Let the wicked for sake his way, the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and unto our God, for he will abundantly pardon, Here are free promises with conditions; Men, who have not that sovereignty, account their gifts free, and yet require conditions from them on whom they [Page 50] are conferred. An Alms-house is founded, and endowed with re­venue, conditions are put upon the Almes-people, to reside in such an house assigned, to wear clothes of the colour and forme prescribed, or whatsoever else the Founder please, and yet the gift is free. Finally, God cannot covenant with man, and keep up his sovereignty, if we leave out obedience in the Articles of the covenant. The covenant is upon equal termes, if subjection be excluded; to be a God in covenant, and not require subjection, is the highest of contradictions.

A Learned Writer, after a large discourse held of the right that Redeemed ones have to the death of Christ before beleeving, saith, Here may be observed the mistake of those, who winde up the merit of Christ, as affecting God (as I may so speak;) unto a conditi­onal engagement, viz. that we shall be made partakers of the fruits of it, upon such and such conditions to be by us fulfilled▪ It will be worth our labour to enquire what is meant by the conditional engagement, unto which he says some winde up the merit of Christ, as affecting God with it; doth he mean such conditions, that as causes or impulsive motives take with God to enter such engagement? If this be the meaning, I shall freely yeeld that there is no such conditional covenant, that there is no such condition in any Covenant of God with man. In this sense Master Culverwell in his Treatise of Faith, page 143. takes it, Having mentioned several conditional promises, (in which faith is expressely required, and such wherein it is necessarily understood) he saith, In all which, faith is necessarily understood, for the obtaining of the benefit promised. But yet in all these, faith, is no condition properly so called, moving God to promise life. But ta­king it, in this restrained sense, as moving God to promise life, he much mistakes himself, where he saith, That it confounds the Law and the Gospel, taking away a chief difference between the covenant of works and the covenant of grace, page 141. Seeing there was no condition, thus understood in the covenant of works; There was not any such good, accruing to God by any thing that Adam was to do, that upon it, or for it, God should make the promise of life. God hath no motives out of himself, to confer his rewards, Conditions taken in such a sense; will make the covenant of grace, and the covenant of works all unconditi­onal. But taking the word [condition] in the sense, as, it is in [Page 51] ordinary use, and as it properly signifies, for duty in covenant in­dented, agreed upon, and assented to, on performance, or neglect of which, the promise stands or falls, it is plain that there are such conditions in both covenants, equally, in one as the other. The necessity of the concurrence of grace to the work of faith, will as soon make it no duty as no condition, and many denying the one, have learnt to deny either of both, as well duties, as condi­tions. Mr. Culverwel therefore consesseth, that, faith in some sort may be called a condition, because the promise of life is made to persons qualified with faith, page 143. and this conditional pro­mise well understood (saith he) page 141. may be born. And if understood, with such a restraint as the word will not suffer (we confesse) Christians must not acknowledge it. This being premised, let us look into the reasons brought to back the former asser­tion.

First, All such conditions, if spiritual blessings, are part of the pur­chase of the death of Christ, and if not, are no way fit to be conditions of such an attainment.

Answ. They are so parts of his purchase, that they are also our act, The act of man by the power of God; God gives faith and gives repentance, yet we beleeve and we repent, we may as easily reconcile Christs purchase, with the nature of a condition, as Gods free gift of grace with our duty, If the gift were of grace and no duty required, then there were force in the argu­ment. This ridgidly followed, will disingage man from all obe­dience to God, seeing all power to obey, is part of the purchase of Christ.

Secondly, It cannot be made apparent, how any such conditional sti­pulation can be ascribed to God.

Answ. We finde such a one in Scripture ascribed to God, no condition can in more plain terms be held our. In case we cannot see how it can be, it were safer to lay our hands on our mouths; and acknowledge our weaknesse, then to withstand so clear evidence. He is pleased to give his Reasons.

First, saith he, It leaves no proper place for he merit of Christ.

Answ. This reason I can by no means reach. Christ may merit, and upon what terms he pleases, confer what he hath merited; Du­ty in us excludes merit in Christ, as well as conditions imposed upon u [...]. See Ball on the covenant, page 133.

[Page 52] Secondly, It is very improperly ascribed to God, &c. Stipulation, or engagements upon conditions, that are properly so, do suppose him that makes the engagement, to be altogether uncertain of the event thereof, for which the authority of Lawyers is quoted.

If conditions among men be of such uncertainty, it doth not thence follow, that it is so in those conditions which God impo­ses, on performance of which he conferres the mercies which he gives in promise. If there be so much difference between moral hope, and that Christian grace which is wrought by the Spirit, that the one is only possible, conjectural, uncertain and doubtful, the other assured and never failing; The one often ending in shame, The other never making ashamed; Then there may be a like dif­ference in the conditions assigned by man, and those assigned by God, Men may be still uncertain, yet God may be assured, the e­vent being not left to contingency or the freedome of mans will, (which is supposed to stand in aequilibrio,) but determined by the act of grace which is not hid from him, whose hand works it in the hearts of his people. This might seem to carry far rather force against all conditions in the first covenant, which is yet granted to be conditional, which for performance was meerly suspended on mans will, but hath no colour against the conditions of the second covenant, which God works of grace as he requires of so­vereignty.

One is pleased to say, Surely they are wide (if not very wilde) who affirm that all the stipulations on the part of God, upon the death of Christ are upon a condition, which himself knows to be impossible for them to perform, to whom they are made, which among Wise men are always accounted nugatory and null. And may not the like be said of exhortations, promises, threats, commands? God as well knows our disability to answer these, as to fulfil conditions, yet they are neither wide, nor wilde, that acknowledge such exhorta­tions, promises, threats, commands, without abilities in fallen man to answer them, farther then the concurrence of grace that is in Christ Jesus strengthens them; There are many more Objections raised by others which the Reader may see brought in, by Mr. Grayl and Mr. Woodbridge, and fully answered.

God in the dayes of the Gospel keeps up the power and au­thority of his Law, The obligation of it is still in force to binde the consciences of beleevers.

THe last Position that I shall premise, is, That God in his entry of covenant with man in sinne, doth so manifest his free grace, that he still keeps up his Sovereignty; so exalts mercy, that he loseth nothing of his rule and authority; His chief aime is to ex­alt the glory of his free grace, and to set out the riches of his great mercy, that so noble a species, as that of mankinde might not for ever perish, yet he quits not man of his subjection and obedi­ence. When the Angels fell, some stood, (whether the fallen or persevering number be greater, cannot be determined) but when man fell, mankinde wholly was lost, and unlesse grace save, must everlastingly perish. As some, with the lost Angels must be ob­jects on whom God will glorifie his justice, Matth. 25. 41. So o­thers, must be vessels of mercy, on whom his free grace shall be seen, to make them as the Angels of heaven. Therefore love is assigned as the alone impulsory motive; God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten sonne, John 3. 16. God who is rich in mercy, according to the great love, wherewith he loved us, when we were dead in sinne, Eph. 2. 5. Of this,Mans fall by sin was no dis­obligation to obedience. all that expect to be saved by grace, must be tender, that it be not obscured; Gods designe be­ing to advance it, our care must be that it be not lessened. In this exercise of free grace, God yet keeps up authority and rule, power and dominion still is his. Man was made of God subject to a Law and under dominion, having the law written in his heart from the Creation, and he was not divested of it by Adams fall, nor yet de­livered from it by Christs Redemption. Corvinus indeed in his Reply to Moulin (cap. 8. sect. 7.) saith,Cùm itaque homo jaceret sub maledicti­one, ad obedien­tiam amplius non obligabatur quia coli ab eo Deus ampliù [...] non volebat. That men under an obli­gation to punishment are not under any obligation to obedience. God will not be served by that man that hath violated his Covenant, giving his reason of this assertion, To Nam quòd coli à creature sua De [...] vult fav [...]r [...]is est. be admitted to serve is a to token of favour, which is not vouchsafed (as he sayes) to menun­der [Page 54] guilt and wrath. But this is a manifest errour, Mans guilt can never rob God of his Sovereignty, nor yet disingage man from his duty, Standing right with God, he is bound to homage; Under guilt, he is bound both to homage and punishment; and to be admitted to serve is not meerly of favour, but of dominion and power. It was no great favour, that Israel in Egypt found, in the service of Pharaoh; to serve with acceptance is indeed a favour; but necessity, and duty ties all that are under Sovereignty. As man fallen, in right is a subject, though in his demeanour a rebel; So in his regenerate estate still he ows subjection. When God became a Saviour to the Elect of mankind, he did not cease to be a So­vereigne. The children of a King and Emperour know their fa­ther to be their Sovereign, as by one is well observed. The child of God knows God in Christ to be his Lord; We are redeemed not to licentiousnesse, not to a state of manumission from the com­mand of God, but to serve in righteousnesse and true holinesse all the dayes of our life, Luke 1. 74. It can be no part of our Christian freedome to be from under the Sovereignty of heaven.The Sovereign­ty of God is held up. This So­vereignty of God is two wayes held forth unto us. First, in keep­ing up his commandments, the power and vigour of his precepts. Secondly,1. In keeping up his com­mandments. in his exercise of discipline in chastisement, and corre­ction. Here I shall assert three things; First, God in the days of the Gospel, keeps up the power and authority of his Law; the Obliga­tion of it is still in force to binde the consciences of beleevers. Se­condly, That this Law which God thus keeps up in force, is a per­fect and compleat rule to those to whom it is given. Thirdly, That this Law binds, as given by the hand of Moses. As to the first, when I speak thus, of the Obligation of the Law, I hope I scarce need to tell in what sense; I do take the Law, Not in the largest sense, for any doctrine, instruction, or Ordinance of any kinde whatsoever, Men have their Laws and Directories: but I have to deal with the Law of God: Neither do I take it for the whole of the Word of God, all his will revealed in his Word, as it is taken, Isa. 2. 3. The Law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. Nor yet as it is taken for all the Scripture of the Old Testament, as in that Text of the Apostle, In the Law it is written by men of other tongues, and by other languages I will speak to this people, 1 Cor. 14. 21. Nor yet for the five books of Moses, as it is taken in the words of Christ, All must be fulfilled [Page 55] that was written in the Law of Moses, Luke 24. 44. Neither do I here understand the Ceremonial Law, which stood up as a partition between Jew and Gentile, Ephes. 2. 14. All that did binde the Jews, and was not of force from God with the Gentiles, is taken off from Christians; There was a confession of guilt; a beast needed not to have been slain, if they had been innocent; this held them under hopes that there was sacrifice to take away sinne, imposed on the Jewes till the time of reformation, Heb. 9. 10. as an Appendix to the first Table; fitted to the Jewes state and condition, as a shadow of good things to come, Heb. 10. 1. Nor yet the judicial Law, given to order the Common-wealth or State of that people, farther then so much of it, as was of nature, and then did bind the Gentiles. It is the Moral-Law that I meane, that Law which was obligatory, not only to the Jews, but Gen­tiles, for breach of which they suffered, Levit. 18. 27, 28. Neither do I understand the Moral Law, as a covenant, upon observation of which life was expected and might be claimed. This is utterly inconsistent with the Gospel. If there had been a Law that could have given life, verily righteousnesse had been by the Law, Gal. 3. 21. And this righteousnesse giving life, utterly overthrows the Gospel. If righteousnesse come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain, Gal. 2. 21. In which sense I deny that the Jewes were ever under the Law. The Law was not given as such a covenant as shall God willing be shewn. So the Moral Law and Ceremonial Law should militate one against another. The Moral Law holding them in themselves, looking for a righteousnesse of works, and the Cere­monial Law leading them out of themselves, unto a sacrifice for remission of sinne.The Law hath a commanding power over beleeevers. Abraham was under no such covenant, he had the Gospel preached to him, Gal. 3. 8. and so had the seed of Abraham. But it still hath the nature of a Law binding to obe­dience, it is for ever a rule, for the guide of our wayes. That it was once of force, is without question; and above all contra­diction, and therefore I need not to multiply Old Testament [...] Scriptures for it; There is no repeale of it, it was never anti­quated and abolished; therefore it is of force; Though a Law be urged, yet if a repeal may be pleaded, there is a discharge. That it is not repealed, I shall shew, and further that it is not capable of any repeal. If it be repealed, then either by Christ, at his coming in the flesh; or else by his Apostles, by commission [Page 56] from him, after the Spirit was given; But neither Christ in per­son, nor the Apostles by any commission from him did repeal it; but instead of a repeale, did put a new sanction upon it; Christ indeed as soon as he publickly appeared in the work of redempti­on, was charged that he came to destroy the Law; But this he did utterly disavow, and men of faith in Christ should believe him, professing that he came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfil it. Yea, that there is a greater stability in the Law in every tittle of it in regard of the permanency, then is in heaven and earth, then is in the whole frabrick of the world; And whereas the Scribes and Pharisees were then thought to be the only strict observers of the rule of the Law, and the alone men that kept up the honour of it, Christ asserts a necessity of a higher degree of obedience then the Scribes and Pharisees ever taught or practised, Except your righteousnesse exceed the righteousnesse of the Scribes and Pha­risees, &c. which must be understood of righteousnesse inhe­rent, in conformity to the Law, as appeares in the precedent words, where Christ holds discourse about the Law, and is more fully confirmed in the words that follow; Christ on this occasi­on openeth the commandments of the Law, shewing how farre Scribes and Pharisees went in their righteousnesse, how farre we must transcend them if ever we come to the Kingdome of heaven. Neither did the Apostles by any Commission from Christ repeal it, but they add the same sanction to it. Paul foreseeing that this very thing would be charged upon him, as it was upon Christ, saith, Do we make void the Law through faith? yea, we establish (saith he) the Law, Rom 3. 31. Our doctrine is a confirmation, and no abolition of it. And both he, and other Apostles frequently in their Epistles, urge precepts of the Moral Law, as in force, and having power and command over men in covenant. Paul laying a charge upon children to obey their parents, Ephes. 6. 1. urges it from the fifth Commandment; which he there sets out with a mark of honour, as the first Commandment with promise, and paraphraseth upon the promise, annexed to it, against which children might enter their challenge, if in Gospel-times the Law had lost its commanding power. And requiring obedi­ence from wives to husbands, the Law is quoted for it, 1 Cor. 14. 34. Having proved the equity of Ministers maintenance by an argument drawn from civil right, and common rules of equity in [Page 57] three particulars, he adds, Say I these things, or saith not the Law, also the same? And so quotes a Text of the Law, the Law as delivered by Moses, for it is written in the Law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the Oxe that treadeth out the corn, 1 Cor. 9. 9. and then cleareth it from an exception that might be taken against it. So James 2. 8. If ye fulfil the royal Law, Thou shalt love thy neigh­bour as thy self, ye do well. The Law is of force in that grand du­ty, so in other precepts there mentioned, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, verse 11. yea, it is of force in the least duties, ver. 10. He that shall keep the whole Law, and yet offend in one point, is guilty of all, 1 Thes. 47, 8. We have the seventh and eighth Command­ment quoted as of force with Christians. As also, Rom. 12. 19. Avenge not your selves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord, quoting the Law, Deut. 32. 35.

Neither is it capable of any repeal, being the Law of nature written in the hearts of heathens, Rom. 2. 15. more clearly there­fore in the heart of Adam. These are of those things that are prohibita, quia mala; The transgression of them was forbidden, because evil of their own nature, The Creation standing, the Law could be no other: If no Law had ever been promulged, or given of God to man, yet murder and adultery had been sinne, Christ not changing the Law of Creation, but taking to himself the nature of man, (the same as it was first created) when he came to save man, must of necessity keep on foot that law that was from the beginning stampt upon him; So that we see it is not abolished, but ratified, neither is it in a capacity of abolition. It is confest by a great party, of those, that in this appeare as adversaries, that there is no liberty to sinne in the dayes of the Gospel. There be not many that will avouch the contrary, if they do, they must know that they have the Gospel against them, that hath in a readi­nesse to avenge all disobedience, 2 Cor. 6. 10. The Apostle writes to beleevers, that they sinne not, 1 John 2. 1. And this is the de­finition of sinne, 1 John 3. 4. Sinne is a transgression of the Law. As for those that [...] beleevers have no sinne, cannot sinne, it is to little purpose to speak to them, or having any thing to deale with them. If they believe not John, they will not beleeve me telling them that that there is no truth in them, 1 John 1. 8. He that pleaseth may see a large confirmation of this truth in [Page 58] Mr. Burg, Vindiciae Legis, and Master Boltons Treatise of the true bounds of Christian freedome, page 77. to 88. Therefore one much forgets himselfe, who in a Treatise of the two covenants, bespeaks his Reader in these words: Consider this seriously, that if you be beleevers, and married to Christ, the Law hath no more power over you then a dead husband hath over his relict and living wife, which he presently interprets of a commanding power, and denies, that the Law hath any commanding power over a be­leever. Which assertion of his, that it may be the more observed, he puts into his Index: The Law hath no commanding power over a beleever.

The same Authour yet says, that the Law is a discoverer of, and convincer of sinne to beleevers, It is a curb to the pride and pre­sumption of beleevers as well as of unbeleevers; But if a husband cannot by reason of death command his wife, how can be con­vince her of her faults, or be a curb or restraint to her? Job was in right of command over his wife, as long as he had power of reproof, to tell her of her folly, and to endavour to put a stop to it. In his answer of an objection he yeelds, that though the Law should be dead to a beleever, and a beleever dead to the Law, yet it doth not thence follow that they should sinne, must sinne, or will sinne; Upon this supposition I say, there is not in them a capa­city of sinne, or possibility of sinning. He further sayes, There would be no sinne (were it not for a Law) for the Law gives (if I may so terme it) a being to sinne, and therefore is called the strength of sinne, for if a man should swear, covet, or kill, and there should be no Law prohibiting the same, doubtlesse it would not be evil, for the Law makes it evil. And if the Law hath lost its commanding power, then it can give sinne no more being, yea, it hath lost its own being, power of command being of the essence of it. If the Law, Thou shalt not kill, have no power of command, then, I sin not, if I kill. If that Law, Sweare not at all, have no power of commanding, then, our RANTERS high oaths, are no more sinnes, then our eating of swines flesh, or [...] not observing the Feast of the Passeover, Where there is [...], there is no trans­gression: and a Law antiquated and repealed, that the power of command is gone (as in the Laws before mentioned) is no Law. If he still pr [...]sse that similitude of the Apostle, that a dead hus­band hath now power of command, But the Law to a beleever [Page 59] is a dead husband. First, I say, if he will be pleased to informe me, how a dead husband rips up his wives faults, how he curbs and keeps her in, (which he confesses is the Laws office to a beleever) then I shall speedily give an account, how this dead husband retaines power of command. The Argument is as well of force, The dead husband hath no power to discover his wives faults, to restraine, curb, or keep her in: But the Law is a dead husband to beleevers; Therefore the Law hath no such power. It lies upon him to answer this argument to free him­self from self-contradiction. And I would faine see this an­swered, and the other maintained. Secondly, for more full sa­tisfaction,Rom. 7. 1, &c. vindicated. I say that some learned Expositors make the hus­band in that similitude not to be the Law, but sinne, which hath its power from the Law. So Diodati in his Notes upon the place. Man signifieth sinne, which hath power from the Law, the woman is our humane nature, and of these two, are begotten the depraved errours of sinne; So also Doctor Reynolds in his Treatise of Divorce, page 37. setting out the scope of this similitude, thus expresseth it, As a wife her husband being dead, doth lawfully take another, and is not an adulteresse; in having his company, to bring forth fruit of her body to him; so regenerate persons, their natural corruption (provoked by the Law to sin) and flesh being mortified, and joyned to Christ as to a second husband. Master Burges Vindiciae Degis, page 218. saith, Sinne which by the Law doth irritate and provoke our corruption, that is the former husband the soul had, and lusts they are the children thereof, and this the rather is to be received, because the Apostle in his reddition doth not say the Law is dead, but we are dead. But if he will still contend that the Law is the husband in that place; which by reason of corruption hath so much power for irritation and condemnation over an unregene­rate man; I shall onely give him that advice which Doctor Rey­nolds in the place quoted, gives Bellarmine, upon occasion of his in­terpretation of this similitude. Let Bellarmine acknowledge that similitudes must [...] be set on the rack, nor the drift thereof be streched in such sort [...] [...]f they ought, just in length, breadth, and depth, to match and sit that whereunto they are [...]mbled And when he confesseth power in the Law notwithstanding this death to performe diverse offices in the souls of beleever [...] [...] cannot af­firme that the law is wholly dead, nor deny but that it may have [Page 60] this office of command likewise. The power which the Law lo­seth, is that which corruption gave it, which is irritation and condemnation; Corruption never gave command to the Law, and the death of corruption, through the Spirit, can never exempt the soul from obedience, or take the power of command from it. Let it be granted that the Law is the husband here mentioned, the si­militude is this. That as the Law through our corruption was fruitful in mans nature to the bringing forth of sinne and condem­nation, So Christ by the Spirit is to be fruitful in our nature to bring forth works of grace to salvation, and so the death of the Law is meerly in respect of irritation, or inflaming to sinne; and binding over to condemnation, not in respect of command. That this is the full and clear scope of this similitude, beyond which it must not be stretched, plainly appeares, verse 5. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sinnes which were by the Law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. So that here is nothing against the commanding power of the Law: God still keeps up his Sovereignty, and by this Law he rules the regene­rate. I wish our Authour would sadly reflect upon that rea­son of his, The Law is not authorized by Christ to reigne and rule in the consciences of his people, For his Fathers peace, his own righteousnesse, and his Spirits joy. There is none that speaks of the reigne of the Law in the consciences of the people of God, but God in Christ reigns, and by his Moral Law rules, for all these reasons, So farre are these from excluding his rule, by his Law in his peoples hearts. If this rule of the Law be destructive to Christs righteousnesse, then Christs coming for righteous­nesse must needs be to destroy the Law, which Christ dis­claimes. And the rule of the peace of God in our hearts, is so farre from excluding his rule by his Law, that without it, it can never be attained, Great peace have they that love thy Law, and nothing shall offend them, Psalme 119. 165. This is the confidence that we have in God, that whatsoever we ask according to his will, we shall receive, because we keep his commandments, 1 John 3. 22. A Commandment hath a command [...] power, and only they that keep them have this peace ruling in their hearts. The Spirits joy, and the power of the Law to command, are so farre from opposing one the other, that the Spirit gives testimony of Gods abode in no other but such as confesse and yeeld to this [Page 61] power. He that keepeth his Commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him: and hereby we know that be abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us, 1 John 3. 24. And of like nature is that which he further hath, Though the Law (the former husband) be dead to a beleever, yet a beleever is no widow, much lesse an harlot; for he is married to Christ, and is under the Law of Christ, which is love. If the moral Law respective to the power of command be dead, then love is dead with it. Jesus Christ reduces the ten Command­ments into two: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self. If then the Law be dead, this love from the heart is dead, and so a belee­ver is either a widow or an harlot. Master Burges, Vindiciae Legis, page 12. shews at large that to do a thing out of obedience to the Law, and yet by love and delight, do not oppose one another, which if the Reader consult with his enlargement of it, he shall need to go no farther for refutation, nor his own satisfaction. Men are wont to expect in children and servants (much more in wives) both love and obedience: If this rule hold, they must quit the one, and cleave to the other; Either they must take to love, without obedience, or obedience without love. These two which cannot be severed (if ye love and keep my Command­ments) this Divinity makes inconsistent. God gave Laws (saith our Authour) to man to declare his own Sovereignty, and his crea­tures duty. And we must tell him, that to keep up his Sovereign­ty, and his creatures duty, he continues his Law. They that take power of command from it, divest him of his Sovereignty, and exempt the creature from duty. I know there are many evasi­ons, if it might be to shuffle off, and evade this doctrine; if not wholly denying the Law, yet weakening the power of it in Gos­pel-time.

Some say, that it bindes us as creatures, but not as Christi­ans. And then it is to be feared, that they taking themselves to be above creatures in that they are Christians, being raised in a neerer relation to God, then meer creatures, they will take themselves to be disobliged▪ But if the creature be cast into hell, for transgression; as a drunkard, an adulterer, a covetous person, what will become of the Christian? But it bindes both as creatures and Christians, Christ having put his sanction up­on it.

[Page 62] Others say,The Law bindes the whole of man. that it bindes the unregenerate part of man, but not the regenerate part, that is free. Paul delighted in the Law of God after the inward man, Rom. 7. 22. That is, as Interpreters understand, so f [...]rre as regenerate; How could he delight in it as a Law, and not subject to it? It seems these think that only wick­ed ones are bound, or rather wickednesse to be alone obliged; It will shortly be a mark of unregeneration (as it seemes it is with some already) to be subject to it; They that urge it upon men, and presse it as their duty, have the name of legal Preachers, and stranger, from Gospel-mysteries put upon them. It is a weari­some thing to rake further in this puddle; I hope it is plain in that which hath been said, that God holds up this part of his So­vereignty in keeping up his commandment, the authority of his Moral Precepts in the hearts of his people.

The Moral Law is a perfect Rule of Righteousnesse.

AS God keeps up his Law for a Rule to his people, so it is a perfect and a compleat Rule to those to whom it is given. This is a doctrine unanimously, heretofore maintained by Pro­testant Writers, but opposed by Papists, Arminians, and Socini­ans. Papists have their traditions, added as well to the Law, as to the Gospel, which is an accusation of the written Law, as imperfect: They have also their Evangelical counsels, which though they are not commanded, yet (as Bellarmine speaks) are commended, as raising Christians to an higher perfection, then e­ver the Law required. Socimans (with whom many Arminians joyne) affirme, that Christ hath instituted new precepts of obedi­ence in the Gospel; and added them to the commands of the Law, such as transcend and exceed all that were delivered in Old Testament times. Gerrard having disputed for the perfection of the Law against Papists, cap. 14. De Evangelio, saith, The [Page 63] Popish opinion of new Laws promulgated by Christ, the Pho [...]inians (which is an other name of Socinians) greedily embrace; making a fair way for Mahometisme, seeing that in the Alcoran it is in like manner said, That Moses gave a Law, lesse perfect, Christ more per­fect, and Mahomet most perfect of all. Gerrard quotes this passage out of the Cracovian Chatechisme in the same chapter. Christ came not only to fulfil the Law for us, but added new precepts to it. These new precepts, (the same Authour saith) they make twofold [...] Some of which do appertain to manners, some to ceremonies, or outward rites in worship. He names three that appertaine to manners: To deny a mans self; take up his Crosse, and follow Christ: Which three precepts my Authour in way of opposition saith, belong to the first commandment. Peltius in his Harmony of Arminians and Socinians, chap. 4, 5, 6. sheweth their combination against the Or­thodox party, as in many other things, so in this proposition now controverted. He there quotes from Socinians these positions: That Christ in the New Testament did not only abrogate the Cere­monial and Judicial Law, but did much encrease and adde unto the Moral Law: That he came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfil it; which fulfilling (saith he) is nothing else but a perfecting of it, and addition of what was wanting: That we ought not only to observe those things that are given us of God, and not abrogated by Christ, but those precepts in like manner that are added by Christ. Much more from many Socinians, and Arminians, may be seen in that Authour to that purpose. Dr. Hammond in his Practical Cate­chisme, speaking of Christs Sermon in the Mount, agrees indeed with the Papists, against the Protestants, That Christ doth not here expound Moses, and vindicate the Law from false glosses, but that he addes to the Law, and names many additions to the sixth, seventh, and other Commandments, but dissents from them, in that they make these Evangelical Counsels, and makes them precepts, not precepts of Moses, but of Christ, added by him to the Law: but, this with much modesty, as though he would not be peremptory in his opinion. So that Authorities vouchsafed for the perfection of the Moral Law as a Rule. Mr. Burges, page 166. handling con­troversies about the Law, saith, I shall now handle the perfection of it, and labour to shew that Christ hath instituted no new duty, which was not commanded before by the Law of Moses. And this question, (saith he) will be profitable, partly against the Arminians, partly the Papists, and lastly, the Socinians. He further saith, page 169. [Page 64] That Christ did not adde, new duties which were not commanded in the Law, because the Law is perfect, and they were bound not to add to it, or detract from it, Therefore we are not to conceive a more excellent way of duty, then that prescribed. Further, if we speak of holy and spiritual duties, there cannot be a more excellent way of holinesse this being an Idaea, and representation of the glorious nature of God. Dr. Ames in his Sciagraphia, handling the Decalogue, makes this, his first doctrine, Lex ista Dei quae in Decalogo contine­tur est perfe­ctissima regula ad vitam homi­nis dirigendam. The Law of God contained in the Decalogue is a most perfect Rule for guidance of the life of man. He gives foure reasons, with an use of information, Ut legem istam Dei eo loco habeamus quo debemus, i.e. ut non aliter de eadem cogi­temus quam ut de vitae nostra unica forma & tanquam de illa norma quae nullum habet defectum sed perfecta est in sese & perfe­ctionem omnem à nobis requirit That we esteem this Law as it ought to be esteemed, and that, as the only Rule of our lives, and such a Rule that hath no defect, but is perfect in it self, and re­quires all perfection in it. Davenant de Justit. actual. cap. 40. pag. 463. saith, Ipsa lex Christi est ex­actissima & perfectissima regula Sancti­tatis & justitiae The Law of God it self, is a most exact and perfect Rule of Holinesse and Righteousnesse: And in the proof of it saith, Passim in Scripturis confirmatur quae perfectionem legis divinae mirificè extollunt. This is every where confirmed in Scripture, which won­derfully extols the perfection of the divine Law. Downham in the preface of his Tables of the Commandments saith, that, The Law of God is perfect, requiring perfect obedience both inward and outward, not only in respect of the parts, but of the degrees. The Ley­den Professours say, Tam perfecta est haec lex ut nihil ei in praeceptis moralibus aut à Christo aut ab Apostolis ipsius additum fuerit quoad exactionem bonorum operum normam sub novo Testamento sit adducta. The Law is so perfect, that nothing in Mo­ral precepts, either by Christ or his Apostles, as any more exact rule of good works hath been added under the New Testament. Disp. 18. §. 39. Vrsinus in his definition of the Moral Law inserts this, Obligans omnes creaturas rationales ad perfectam obedientiam internam & externam. Binding all reasonable creatures to perfect obedience both inward and outward, page 681. Chemnitius entitles his third Chapter de Lege,De perfect â obe­dientiâ quam Lex requirit. Of the perfect obedience which the Law requires, and presently layes down these words, Variis autem corruptelis omnibus temporibus, & olim, & nunc depravata est doctrina de perfect â obedientia, quam Lex Dei requirit. This Doctrine of the per­fect obedience which the Law requires, in all ages past hath been, and is now depraved. Bucan in his common places, page 188. thus defines the Moral Law; Est praeceptio divina continens piè justeque coram Deo vivendi regulam, requirens ab omni homine perfectam & perpetu­am obedientiam. A divine injunction, containing [Page 65] a rule to live piously and justly before God, requiring of all men perfect and perpetual obedience towards God. I shall conclude with the Confession presented to both houses of Parliament, by the Assembly of Divines, chap. 19. 2. The Law after his (i.e. Adams) fall, continued to be a perfect Rule of Righteousnesse, and as such was delivered by God on mount Sinai in ten Command­ments; To these more might be added, but these are sufficient to shew the great consent of Protestant Wri­ters.

But I shall not rest barely upon the authority of these testi­monies, but also offer to consideration these following Rea­sons.Arguments e­vincing the perfection of the Moral Law.

1. If the Law be not a fully perfect, and compleat Rule of our lives, then there is some sinne against God which is not con­demned in the Law, This is clear; Deviation from any rule given of God, is a sin: Deviation from that, supposed additional rule, is a sin; But there is no sin which the Law doth not condemn; Sin is a transgression of the Law, 1 John 3, 4. He that sins, transgresseth the Law.

2. If the Law alone discovers and makes sinne known, then it is a perfect, full, and compleat Rule; this is plain: Omne rectum index est obliqui. But the Law alone discovers sinne, Rom. 3. 20. This office is ascribed there to the Law, which is no other but the Moral Law. Had not the light of that Rule guided the Apostle in this work, he had never made any such discovery: And it is the moral Law written in the decalogue that he means, as appears in the quotation; I had not known lust, except the Law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

3. That which alone works wrath, is the alone Rule and guide of our lives. This is clear, in what sense soever it is, that we take working of wrath: whether we understand it of working of wrath in man against God, as some do; Mans heart being apt to rise against him that will exercise Sovereignty over him, Or of the wrath of God kindled against man; upon transgression of the Law. But it is the Law that works wrath: it is ascribed to it, and it alone, Rom. 4. 15.

4. That which being removed will take away all possibili­ty of sinning, that is alone the Rule of our obedience: This is plain; were there any Rule, the transgression of it would be [Page 96] still our sinne. But the Law being removed, all possibility of sin is taken away: Where there is no Law, there is no transgression, Rom. 4. 15.

5. If the Law only addes strength to sinne, viz. for condem­nation, then the Law is the alone rule of obedience: This is plaine; Any other Rule whatsoever addes like strength to sinne, and upon transgression will condemne. But the Law only addes strength to sinne, 1 Cor. 15. 56. The strength of sin is the Law.

6. Either the epithite [moral] is not justly given to the Law; or else it is a perfect Rule of manners, that is, of obedience: This is plaine, for moral denotes, as Amesius observes, that use of it. But this epithite given to the Law, and appropriated to it, was never (as I think) upon any such account challenged. Ergo.

7. Either this new Rule doth transcend the old Rule of the Moral Law; requiring a more exact degree of perfection, as Papists speak of their evangelical counsels, and Socinians of their additional Gospel precepts, or else it falls short and admits of obedience in a degree more low. If it require obedience more high, then even the doers of the Law, in the greatest height and possible supposed perfection; though equal to the Angels, are sinners: The Law might be fulfilled, and yet disobedience charged. If it fall short of the old Rule (which it seemes is the opinion of some who confesse an imperfection in our personal righteousnesse, as it refers to the old Rule; and assert a perfecti­on, as it relates to the new Rule) then the new Rule allows that which the old Rule condemnes, and so they bring in a discrepancy between them and finde an allowance for transgression. So that I think, I have sufficient authourity, divine and humane, with rea­sons that are cogent, to conclude that which I have asserted, That the old Rule, the Rule of the Moral Law, is a perfect Rule, and the only Rule.

Six several exceptions are taken against theExceptions taken against the perfection of the Law. perfecti­on of this Law, or singularity of it, as a rule by a learned hand.

1. It is demanded, What say you for matter of duty, to the positive 1. Excepti­on. precepts for the Gospel? of Baptism; the Lords day; the Of­ficers and government of the Church, &c? Is the Law of nature: the only rule for those? And foreseeing what would be answered as [Page 67] well he might, he addes, If you say, they are reducible to the se­cond commandment, I demand, 1. What is the second command­ment, for the affirmative part, but a general precept to worship God, according to his positive institution? 2. Do ye take the pre­cept de genere to be equivalent to the precepts de speciebus? &c. To this I think I may answer out of his own mouth, where he sayes, The neglect of Sacraments is a breach of the second com­mandment. In case we break the commandments in the neglect of them, then the commandment requires the observation of them. For which Master Burges Vindiciae Legis page 149. Balls Catechisme, Amesius his Sciographia, Dod on the command­ments, Downhams Tables, Zanchy, each of them on this com­mandment; and Cawdry and Palmer on the Sabbath, Part. 2. Pag. 176. may be consulted. For further clearing of this point, we must consider of the preceptive part of the Moral Law, which alone in this place is our businesse to enquire af­ter, 1. As it is epitomized in the Decalogue, those ten words, as Moses calls them, Exod. 34. 28. Or else, as commented upon, and more amply delivered in the whole Book of the Law, Prophets, and Scriptures of the New Testament. 2. We must distinguish of the manner how the Law prescribes, or commands any thing as duty, which is either expresly, or Synecdochically, ei­ther directly, or else interpretatively, virtually, and reductively; I very well know, that the Law is not in all particulars so ex­plicitely, and expresly delivered, but that, 1. The use, and best improvement of reason is required to know, what pro hic & nunc is called for at our hands for duty. The Law layes down rules in affirmative precepts, in an indefinite way, which we must bring home by particular application, discerning by gene­ral Scripture Rules, with the help of reason (which sometimes is not so easie to be done) when it speaks to us in a way of con­cernment, as to present practical observation. 2. That hints of providence are to be observed, to know what in present is duty, as to the affirmative part of the commandment of God. If that man, that fell among theeves, between Jerusalem and Jericho, had sate by the way, on the green grasse, without any appearance of harme, or present need of help, the Samaritane that passed that way, had not offended, in case he had taken no more notice, then the Priest and Levite did: But discerning [Page 68] him that case, as he then was, the sixth commandment called for that, which he then did, as a present office of love to his neighbour, according to the interpretation of this command­ment given by our Saviour, Mark 3. 4. When the Pharisees watched him, whether he would heale the man with the wither­ed hand on the Sabbath day, He demands of them, Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath day, or to do evil, To save life, or to destroy? It was not their minde that Christ should kill the man, onely they would not have had him, then to have cur'd him: But not to cure when it is in our power, according to Christs interpretation, is to kill. If diligent observation be not made, the commandment may be soone transgress'd. 3. Skill in Sciences, and professions is to be improved by men of skill, that the commandment may be kept. The Samaritane poured wine and oyle into the travellers wounds, knowing that to be of use, to supple and refresh them. Had he known any other thing more sovereigne, which might have been had, at hand; he was to have used it. As skill in medicines is to be used for preservation of mens lives, so also skill in the Laws, by those that are vers'd in them, for the help of their neighbour, in exigents; concerning his estate and livelihood. 4. We must listen to Gods mouth, to learne when he shall be pleased at any time further to manifest his minde for the clearing of our way in any of his precepts. There was a command, concerning the place of publick, and solemn worship, Deut. 12. 5. Vnto the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your Tribes to put his Name there, even to his habitation shall ye seek, and thi­ther shalt thou come, Now thou must depend on the mouth of God, to observe what place in any of the Tribes; he would choose for his habitation. When God commands, that all instituted worship shall be according to his prescript; This is a perfect Rule implicite, and virtual; tying us to heed the Lord at any time, more particularly discovering his will, and clear­ing this duty to us. Was not the Law of worship perfect, to Abraham, unlesse it explicitely told him that he must sacrifice his Sonne? And if any take themselves to be so acute, as to set up a new Rule, as some are pleased to stile it, then they antiquate and abolish the old Rule, and singularly gratifie the An­tinomian party. Two Rules will no more stand together [Page 69] then two covenants; calling it a new Rule, men make the first old: Now that which decayeth and waxeth old, is ready to vanish away, Heb. 8. 17. It is added moreover, doth not the Scripture call Christ our Lawgiver, and say the Law shall go out of Zion, &c. Isa. 2. 3. And was not the old Law his? Saint Paul, I am sure, quotes that which belongs to the preceptive part of the Moral Law, and calls it the Law of Christ, Gal. 6. 2. His Laws were de­livered in the wildernesse, whom the people of Israel there tempt­ed and provoked; This is plain, for they sinn'd against the Law­giver, and from his hands they suffered. And who they tempted in the wildernesse, see from the Apostles hand, 1 Cor. 10. 9. And as to the Scripture quoted, the words are exegetically set down in those that follow them. The Law shall go out of Zion, and the Word of the Lord out of Jerusalem: Which is no more, but that the Name of the Lord, which was then known in Judah, shall be great from the rising of the Sun, to the going down thereof. It is further demand­ed, And is he not the anointed King of the Church, and therfore hath le­gislative power? For answer, I desire to know what King the Church had, when the old Law was, before Christ came in the flesh? The Kingdom was one and the same, and the King one and the same then, and now, as I take it. Many shall come from the East, and West, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in the king­dom of heaven. The Gentiles coming in at the Gospel-call, are un­der the same King, and in the same Kingdom. And if all this were granted which is here pleaded for, it is no more then a change in some positive, circumstantial Rites, and what is this to the question handled by our Authour; That our righteousnesse which is imper­fect according to the old Rule, is perfect according to the new? when old and new in that which is naturally Moral, is one and the same. When the Law required heart-service, and love with the whole heart, upon spiritual ends and motives, upon which account all fell short in their obedience, and performance, shall we say that Christ did dispense with any of this, that so the Rule being lower, our obedience now may answer. Others that make Moses and Christ two distinct Law-givers and agents for God, in holding out distinct precepts, give the pre-eminence to Christ, and account his Law to be of more eminent perfection. This Authour on the con­trary seems to make the Laws of Christ to stoop far beneath those of Moses.

[Page 70] 2. For Justification of this accusation of the Moral Law of imperfection, 2. Exception. it is added, the Moral, taken either for the Law given to Adam, or written in Tables of stone, is not a sufficient rule for us now, for beleeving in Jesus Christ, no nor the same Law of nature as still in force under Christ. For a general command of beleeving all that God revealeth, is not the only rule of our faith, but the particular revelation and precept are part, &c. To this I say,

1. As before, I think I may answer out of his own mouth, where he says, Neglect of Sacraments is a breach of the second com­mandment, and unbelief is a breach of the first. If we break the commandment in unbelief, then the Commandment bindes us to believe.

2. Much of that which I have spoke by way of answer to the former, may be applied to this likewise.

3. I shall hereafter speak to this, that faith is a duty of the Mo­ral Law, where the Reader may have further satisfaction.

4. If Adam had no command for faith, then he was not in any capacity to believe, and by his fall lost not power of beleeving: And consequently it will not stand with the Justice of God to ex­act it at our hands, having never had power for the performance of it.

5. I say, there was power in Adam, for that faith that justified, but not to act for justification. Adam had that habit, and the Law calls for it, from all that are under the command of it: But the Gospel discovers the object by which a sinner through faith is justified.

3. The same answer may serve to the third exception, which indeed is the same with the former,3. Exception. only a great deal of flourishing is be­stowed, in discourse of the understanding and will, paralleling them with the Prefaces, grounds and occasions of Laws, not need­ful to be repeated. And at last bringing all to the Articles of the Creed, to which enough already is spoken.

4. It is said,4, Exception. But what if all this had been left out, and you had proved the Moral Law the only Rule of duty? doth it follow therefore that it is the only Rule? Answ. If the Moral Law be the only Rule of duty, then I take it to be the only Rule; for I enquire after no­thing but duty, and I take righteousnesse to be matter of duty, and then the only Rule of duty, is the only Rule of righteousnesse. It is further said, Sure it is not the only Rule of rewarding. And I say, [Page 71] Rewarding is none of our work, but Gods, and I look for a Rule of that work which is ours, and that we are to make our businesse, I confesse an imperfection in it, to give life, but assert a perfection as the Rule of our lives, It justifies no man, but it orders and regu­lates every justified man.

5. It is further said,5. Exception. The same I may say of the Rule of punishment. To which I give the same answer: It is not our work, but Gods, either to reward or punish. And here he speaks of a part of the penalty of the new Law, And I know no penalty properly distinct from the penalty of the old. He is wont to compare it to an Act of Oblivion, and Acts of Oblivion are not wont to inflict penalties, but serve to remove them when another Law imposes them. That of the Parable is instanced, None of them that were bidden shall taste of the Supper; when the sin for which they there suffer is a breach of a Moral command.

6. It is said,6. Exception. The principal thing intended is, that the Moral Law is not the only Rule, what shall be the condition of Life or Death, and therefore not the only Rule according to which we must now be denomi­nated, and hereafter sentenced, Just or Vnjust. To this I have already given a sufficient answer, and if I had not, our Authour answers fully for me, where he says, The precepts of the Covenant, as meer precepts, must be distinguished from the same precepts considered as conditions, upon performance of which we must live, or die for non-per­formance? And I speak of them as meer precepts, and so they are our Rule of righteousness, & not as they are conditions either of the covenant of works or grace. And a man may be denominated righ­teous, by the Laws Rule, when he cannot stand before the sentence of it as a covenant, of which we have heard sufficient. After a long discourse against all possibility of justification by the Law of works, as though I were therein an adversary; or that the Anti­nomian fancy were above all answer; that a man cannot make the Law his Rule, but he makes it withal his Justification, he goes about to prevent an objection, and says, If you should say, this is the cove­nant and not the Law, he will reply. 1. Then the Law is not the on­ly Rule. To which I say, When my work is to make it good, that the Law is our only Rule, I marvel that he will so much as imagine, that I will say that which makes it not the only Rule. But perhaps, he thinks I do not see, how it cannot follow, as in­deed I do not, neither can I see any colour for it. 2. He replies, It [Page 72] is the same thing in several respects, that we call a Law and a Covenant (except you mean it of our covenant-act to God, of which we speak not) who knows not that praemiare, and punire are Acts of a Law? And that an Act of Oblivion or general pardon on certaine termes is a Law, and that the promise is the principal part of the Law of Grace. To which I say, that praemiare and punire are essential in a Law. Some have power of command, so that their words in just things is to be a Law, where most deny any power of punish­ment; as an Husband over the Wife. Some parents have Autho­rity to command children, (children remaining under the obliga­tion of the fifth commandment as long as the relation of a childe continueth) when they have neither power to reward or punish. Jacob took himself to be in power, to command Joseph (among the rest of his Sons, as appears in the charge concerning his burial, Gen. 47. 29, 30. and chap. 49. 29. So compared) and yet he was not in power either to reward or punish him. And though they be acts of a law where he that gives the Law is in power; Yet they are no parts of a Rule, nor any directory of life to him to whom they are proposed. I know that an Act of Oblivion or general par­don may be called a Law, as many other things are, catachresticè and abusivè; but that it should be a Law properly so called, I know not. The Romanes defined a Law, whilest that a Democratie was in force among them, to be Generale jussum populi, aut plebis rogante magistratu. Afterwards when the State was changed, and the Legislative power was in other hands, they defined it to be, Jussum Regis aut Imperatoris. And Tully's definition of a Law is, that it is, Ratio summa insita in natura, quae recta suadet, pro­hibetque contraria. Here jussio, suasio, and prohibitio are express'd, which are not found in Acts of Oblivion. That every man, who is within the verge of such an Act, may be said to be acquit by Law, I willingly grant; seeing that act takes off the force of the Law condemning him: But that it is a Law, strictly so taken, I know not.

The Moral Law bindes, as it was delivered by the hand of Moses.

A Third branch of the general Proposition before delivered follows, which is, that the Moral Law, as delivered by the hand of Moses, is obligatory to Christians; This I confesse is more disputable, then either of the former before spoken to; In those, we had to deale with Antinomians, on the one hand; Papists, Arminians, Socinians, on the other hand, with some few others that are pleased in those points alone to strike in, with Arminians and Socinians, and in other things to oppose them: But in this Papists agree not among themselves, but one is against an­other; neither is there that agreement amongst Protestant Writers that might be desired, which must not be concealed; some are for the affirmative, and some for the negative, and some seem to stand in a neutral indifferency. Bellarmine among the Papists, is for the affirmative, lib. 4. de justificatione, cap. 6. and takes up Soto for the contrary tenent, who affirmes (as he quotes him) that Christians are not only delivered from the Ceremonial Law, and the guilt and terror, of the moral Law, but from the whole Law, as written in the books of Moses, with this caution (as he reports him) that we are to keep the Law of Moses as it is natural, and as it is in the Gospel, and in the Epistles of the Apostles, but not as it was written by Moses; for Moses (saith he) could not binde us, but it is Christ that bindes us, for we are Christians and not Jews. Soto hath Suarez, and Medina (as Master Burges observes) with him, and a­mong the Protestants, Zanchius de redemptione lib. 1. cap. 12. and Musculus in his common places go the same way, affirming, that the Moral Lawes which go under the name of the decalogue, as they were delivered by Moses to the Israelites, do not concerne Chri­stians, but as they are agreeable to the Law of nature, and confirmed by Christ. Paraeus (as is observed by Rivet in his Explication, of the Decalogue, page 11.) giving in his judgement of the dif­fering opinions of Bellarmine and Soto, affirms that the opinion [Page 74] of Bellarmine is most safe to be followed. Rivet himself, in the place quoted, takes it to be a strife of words, and the difference to be inconsiderable; and in case the authority be granted, there seemes indeed lesse danger, though the Minister be waved. The Antinomian (as others have observed) is by both parties op­posed; Some may think, that the Law, thus gaines in its autho­rity, in as much, as Christ is, of much more excellency then Mo­ses, when the Master of the Vineyard, saw his servant neglected; he said, They will reverence my Sonne, Mat. 21. 37. But if the servant be once despised, and set so light by, as we read from some hands, Away with stammering Moses, it may be feared, that the Sonne will not long remaine in honour, when servants fared so ill, we finde that the Sonne had little better entertainment; And, in my thoughts, there is scarce a readier way then this, to strip us of the whole of the Law of God. Keeping up to their own principles, they can look on no more, of the Law, as binding Christians, then that which is held out to us, in New Testament-Scriptures. If this be granted, we must have a New Testament Text, for every Moral duty; yet to gratifie adversaries in this particular, we may safely yeeld, that the Law concernes not Christians, as it was delivered by Moses, only to the Israelites, and so Zanchy's Position, keeping strictly to the termes may happily be defended. The Moral Laws as delivered by Moses to the Israelites do not appertain to Christians; so, neither doth Lukes Gospel, or the history of the Acts, as from him to Theophilus, nor yet, any of Pauls Epistles, as from him, to any particular Church, or to Timothy, Titus, or Philemon. But looking on Moses as employed of God, with his Church, with which he was in the Wildernesse, Acts 7. 38. and upon his writings as a deposi­tum, left with the Church, they are of equal concernment, to us, as they were to the Jews, if we be as the Church of the Jewes was, a Church of God. This to me is plaine, not only by those Texts of Moses quoted in New Testament-Scriptures, as we heard before, but quoted also as from Moses. The Apostle pleading for Ministers maintenance, saith, For it is written in the Law of Mo­ses, 1 Cor. 9. 9. How were this argument of force, if Moses his writings were not of use? That of Peter is convincing, 1 Pet. 1. 15, 16. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, be ye holy for I [Page 75] am holy; This was written by Moses, Lev. 11. 44. Lev. 19. 2. Lev. 20. 7. and why should we be engaged to holinesse, eo no­mine, because Moses writ it, and gave it in charge, in case Moses his writings do not binde Christians? This also to me is plaine, in reason, Christ was King then, as now, his Church is the same, now, as then, we, and they make up one Kingdome, Matth. 8. 11. The Lawes of Christ therefore (unlesse they appear to be repealed) are now, in force as in former times. There is not a temporal Obligation (saith Master Burges Vindiciae Legis, page 162.) laid upon a perpetual duty. The duties are confessed, to be perpetual, why should Moses then deliver them to be only of temporal permanency? Neither is there any thing brought by Soto, or any other hand to evince the contrary. In the close of the words already quoted, he sayes, Mose-could not binde us, but Christ, for we are not Jews, but Christians, To this we say, He could not binde us, authoritatively, but ministerially, and because Christ bindes, therefore Moses bindes; seeing, Moses was a ser­vant, in that house, where Christ was a Sonne, Christ was King of his Church, in Moses his dayes, Israel tempted Christ in diso­beying Moses, 1 Cor. 10. 9. He commanded for Christ, when he gave command to the Israelites, and these commands are of con­cernment unto Christians, who are their fellow subjects. The Arguments produced by Soto are satisfyingly answered by Bel­larmine. Soto saith, that the Preface of the law leads to the Israelites onely, I am the Lord thy God, that brought thee out of the land of Egypt, and out of the house of bondage. But it was the Jews, and not Christians, that were in Egypt. This is false, as one of these Je­suites truly answers the other, we were in Egypt as well as the Na­tion of the Jews; They were our fathers, and we their children, 1 Cor. 10. 1. It was once indeed otherwise with us, being branches of the wilde Olive; But the natural branches, being cut off, we are grafted into their stead, that mercy of deliverance from Egypt, being a Church-mercy, is our mercy. He further objects that of Luke 16. 16. The Law and the Prophets were until John, and is answered, that, that is understood of the Law, prophecying by fi­gures, and not instructing in manners, which is further explained, Matth. 11. 13. For all the Prophets and the Law prophecyed until John, that is, all the prophesies of the Messiah to come, whether delivered in words by the Prophets, or by signes and Law-cere­monies [Page 76] did not reach beyond John, who was the last of the Pro­phets, who did bear witnesse of Christ. Some say, that in case the Law bind, as it was delivered by Moses; then all that Moses did deliver, is obligatory to Christians, Quâtale, is, omne, and so the ce­remonial Law, bindes, as doth the Moral, and we shall bring our necks under that yoke. To this answer, all that Moses did deliver doth binde, unlesse we have a release, or discharge from the same authority, by which he spake, and hence an argument is drawn, for proof of that which we have in hand, If the ceremonial Law had bound Christians to this day, had it not been revoked, and abolished, then the moral Law, which is no where revoked, or a­bolished (as hath been shewn) doth still bind Christians. This is plaine, there is no reason, that the ceremonial Law should be obli­gatory, above the Moral; But the ceremonial Law had bound Christians to this day, had it not been revoked and abolished; This is as plain, when the great question was, in the primitive times, whether the ceremonial Law did binde Christians, whether they were to circumcise their children, after the manner of Moses; and consequently to observe other Rites. This is decided, in making it appear, that these were abolished, as being shadows of good things to come, and an end put to their obligation. It may be further objected, that if all be of force, that Moses wrote, as from him, then that of divorce of the wife, on any cause is of force like­wise. That was commanded by Moses, as the Pharisees, Mat. 19. 7. tell the Lord Christ from Deut. 24. 1. To this Chemnitius hath an­swered, that Moses delivered this, Tanquam legislator, as one, that gave orders to that people, as, to their political estate; not, Tanquam Theologus, as a Prophet, raised up to deliver the minde and will of God unto them. Moses his writings therefore are in force, not onely ratione materiae, as containing such precepts up­on which Christ in the New Testament hath put a divine sanction; but by vertue of a sanction from heaven put upon them, as deli­vered by him, and the obligation still remaining. If Moses once be neglected, I shall fear, that Peter and Paul will not long be ho­noured, Moses being a servant in the same house, with them, and the rest of the Apostles, and pen-men of New Testament-Scrip­tures.

God entring a Covenant of Grace with his people, keeps up his Sovereignty in exercise of discipline, in the correction and chastisement of his people for sinne.

AS God holds up his Sovereignty, under the covenant of grace; in keeping on foot his commandments; so, also in his exercise of discipline, upon those, with whom he is in cove­nant. He neither suffers them to be without Law, nor to go on in transgression of his Law, with impunity and freedome. As they have his precept, to keep from sinne, so they are in danger, of his hand, in case of sinne; Those that are against us in the for­mer, are our adversaries in this likewise. As they plead a ma­numission, of Christians from the mandatory power of the Law, so, they will also have them exempted from all chastisement or cor­rection. Against these we maintaine that the people of God in covenant, even those, whose hearts are stedfast, in covenant; do suffer under the covenant of grace, in case of sinne, and that for sinne; For proofe of this, I shall bring Scripture of three sorts.

1. Giving instances, of the Church and people of God; un­der sore and great afflictions for sinne, and these places are even without number, Esay 42. 24. Lam. 1. 8. 3. 39. 5. 16. Micah 1. 5. Yea, they lie under sufferings, till they acknowledge sin, till their stomacks are brought down, and they humble themselves for sin, Lev. 26. 41. Against this, is objected, that among these afflicted ones, there were reprobates, as well as elected ones; and Elect ones in the state of unconversion, and they might suffer for sinne, which the childe of God does not, nor can not; To this I an­swer; 1. There were true converts among these, or else the whole world had no converts in it. 2. These, in their confessions, and humiliations, involved themselves among the rest; and make themselves, of the number of those, that by sinne draw down sufferings; as we have Ezra, Daniel, and others for examples.

[Page 78] 2. Instances of the most precious Saints sinning and suffering for sinne; 1. Moses and Aaron, Numb. 20. 12. The Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, because, ye beleeved me not, to sanctifie me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this Con­gregation into the land which I have given them; Both their sinne and their sufferings, are noted there, which Moses seems never to have done with, Deut. 1. 37. Deut. 3 26. Deut. 4. 21. Deut. 34. 4. 2. David, his sinne we finde, 1 Sam. 11. at large related, his sufferings, in the next chapter, he suffers in all his relations, 1. As, a father, his childe dies. 2. As, an husband, his bed is defiled. 3. As, a Prince, the sword is brought upon his land. 3. Solomon, 1 Kings 11. 11. For as much, as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my Covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the Kingdom from thee, and I will give it to thy servant. 4. Hezekiah, 2 Chron. 32. 25. 26. But Hezekiah rendred not again according to the benefit done unto him, for his heart was lifted up, therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem. Notwithstanding, Hezekiah humbled him­self, for the pride of his heart, both, he, and the inhabitants of Je­rusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord, came not upon them, in the dayes of Hezekiah. In which words we see, his sinne, his suffer­ing for sinne, and his humiliation upon account of his sinne. Here also exception is taken; These here mentioned say some, lived under Old Testament dispentations; To this I answer. 1. We may take up Pauls words in behalf of these, 2. Cor. 10. 7. If any man trust to himself, that he is Christs, let him of himself, think this again, that, as he is Christs, so they were Christs. Moses, that suffered (as we have heard) upon the account of sinne, esteem­ed the reproach of Christ greater riches, then the treasures of E­gypt, Heb. 11. 26. And David that suffered in like sort, in spi­rit called him Lord, Matth. 22. 43. 2. That we may not lose Old Testament-Scriptures, for if we lose them here, we shall hold them no where, let us look upon Prov. 3. 11, 12. My sonne, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his cor­rection, for, whom the Lord loveth, he correcteth, even as the father the sonne, in whom he delighteth. In which words we see, 1. The sufferings of the people of God thrice repeated. 2. The impul­sive cause, implyed in the word [chastisement] which ever is for some fault, Psalme 39. 11. 3. The hand that inflicts [Page 79] [the Lord] 4. His way of dealing as a [Father] in love and not in vengeance. Now turne to Heb. 12. 5, 6, 7. and there we shall see the Apostle. 1. Quoting this Scripture. 2. Checking them for not heeding it. 3. Commenting upon it; Ye have for­gotten the exhortation, which speaketh unto you, as unto children, My sonne despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth; If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you, as with sonnes, for what sonne is he whom the Father chasteneth not? These words of the Apostle, confirm all the Old Testament proofs before mentioned, give a shrewd check, to all those that would cast them off, and are a full New Testament-proof of the point in hand, our aversaries tell us, that the children of God, in New Testament-times, have that great and happy priviledge, to be free from all chastisements for sinne, The Apostle, on the other hand sayes, that, it is their happinesse to be chastised, and would be their sorrow, if they were without chastisement. For this cause (saith the Apostle) many are weak, and sickly among you, and many sleep, 1 Cor. 11. 30. There, we see, judgements inflicted, the persons suffering, and the cause of suf­fering assigned. The judgements are set out. 1. By the qua­lity or kinde, such as were visible on the outward man; as, their sinne was open, so was their suffering. 2. By their several de­grees, in which they suffered; some weak, languishing, under in­firmities; some sick, taken with diseases; some fallen asleep, sur­prised with death. The persons suffering are set out. 1. By their multitude [many]. 2. By the application of the stroke, Corinthians had sinned, and Corinthians suffered. The cause is implyed in the illative particle [For] and exprest in the forego­ing words, their unworthy addresses unto the Lords Table, sin­fully eating and drinking, they eat and drink their own judgement, and though it cannot be said, that all were in grace, that thus suffered, yet there were some at least in grace among them, in that the Lord chastened them in the world, that they might not be condemned with the world. The Lord Christ speaks fully to this in his letter from heaven to Laodicea the Church of, Rev. 3. 19. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.

As Scripture, expresly holds out this truth, so, it is also clear in reason, if God should not hold up his Sovereignty, in this way [Page 80] of exercise of discipline; upon his children, his love could not be continued to them, but would be withdrawn from them, as we see in Christs words but now mentioned, Rev. 3. 19. as, al­so in those words of Solomon and the Apostle, Pro. 3. 11. Heb. 12. 5, 6, 7. The love of God is such to his children, and such a league of friendship is past between them (say our adversaries) that it will not suffer him to strike them. We say, his love is such, that he cannot forbear to strike, and will not suffer that they should sinne, and carry it with impunity. There are in­deed some such parents, that are so indulgent, that, children must neither have, check, nor stroke from them, what course soever they take, they scarce hear words, much lesse do they suffer stripes. These, call this love, but a wiser then they, calls it by the name of hatred, Prov. 13. 24. He that spareth the rod, hateth his sonne, but he that loveth him, chasteneth him betimes. Pity, will not suf­fer, to make children smart; But it is greater pity, that the want of smart, should bring them to the condemnation of hell, Prov. 23. 13, 14. With-hold not correction from the childe, for, if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die; Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. A childe in sinne, must either be beaten, or spared; Beating will not be his death, but sparing tends to his condemnation. The simili­tude is not ours, but the Holy Ghosts. One of the most terrible texts in all the Bible may be found (as one sayes) Hoses 4. 14. I will not punish your daughters, when they commit whoredome, nor your spouses when they commit adultery, He spares not some, that he may for ever spare them, chastening them in the world, that he may not condemn them with the world; He spares some, and everlastingly destroys them.

2. Otherwise, God would be reconciled to the sinne of his people, and in league, not only with their persons, but with their wickednesse, which is most abhorrent to his holinesse. We read of Gods reconciliation to the world, but never to the wicked­nesse of the world; God may be at peace with those that have sinned, not imputing their trespasses, but he will never be at peace with sin.

3. It will not stand with his honour to suffer his to go on in impunity in these ways. Their wickednesse will be said to be by his allowance. Men in sin, are ready to say (as the Psalmist ob­serve) [Page 81] that God is such a one as themselves; Psalme 50. 21. and that because they sinne, and he keeps silence. And men of the world will say the same, if his people go on in sinne, and prosper. This, the Lord sees and takes care, this way to prevent, Ezek. 39. 23. And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them. He will make it appear, that he is no patron to them in that which is evil.

4. God hath given in charge, to Magistrates, his vice-gerents for to punish. They are revengers to execute wrath upon them that do evil, Rom. 13. 4. they are sent of God for the punishment of evil doers, 1. Pet. 2. 14. They have no commission to spare, upon supposal of any interest, in God or grace, when they are found in any acts that are wicked. What they do, God does, they acting by his command, and by vertue of his commis­sion.

For further clearing of this point, and, if it may be, to work a right understanding, I shall lay down severall Posi­tions.

1. God considered in his absolute Sovereignty, may inflict suf­ferings, without injustice on his innocent creatures, there is no absolute necessity, that sinne should go before all manner of trouble; Punishment cannot be without a fault; that, alwayes implies guilt, where justice is followed. Yet, such is Gods Sove­reignty, that he may lay affliction where there is no transgression. We do it upon our fellow-creatures, we tread upon wormes that never did offend us; God may much more do it upon his creatures, yea, God does it. How much do bruit creatures suffer in the world, and unwillingly suffer? as the Apostle speaks, Rom. 8. 20. and that from Gods hand, that hath made them subject to these suffering; that, which God doth unto one creature, he may do unto any creature; that which he doth to the meanest, he may do to the most noble creature. As a potter may make vessels, some to honour, and some to dishonour; so God ha­ving more transcendent Sovereignty, may make some crea­tures, ever blessed; and others during pleasure, to remaine in misery.

2. It stands not yet with Gods ordinate justice, to strike his people, where there is no fault. The termes of the covenant [Page 82] being pre-supposed; none can suffer that have not offended. every one, upon engagement from God, must be happy, that is innocent. This is plainly implyed in those words, In the day that thou eatest, thou shalt surely die, sinne not, and suffer not, and more explicitely held out in those words, do this, and live, under death is comprized all evil, from which man upon covenant is free, that doth not sinne: Under life is comprised, all blisse, which, upon covenant, all are to enjoy that yeeld full obedience; So; that the inlet of suffering, is from sinne, Rom. 5. 12. God ha­ving, (as I may say) tyed himself, not out of Sovereignty, to af­flict, when man hath not offended.

3. When way is made by sinne, to divine justice, to bring evil upon man, yet the reason why, this, or that evil, is inflicted, on this or that man; is not alwayes mans provocation by sinne; All afflictions are not punishments; nor yet corrections, or chastise­ments. There are often other ends and motives. Sometimes, God looks solely at himselfe, alone at his own glory, in his strokes; of this we have many instances, John 9. 1, 2. John 11. 4. The same we may say of the viper upon Pauls hand, Acts 28. 4, 5. Sometimes he looks at his people in the sufferings that he in­flicts.

1. The patients themselves, laying afflictions upon them, not as corrections respecting by-past faults, but tryals for discovery of their graces. That which God laid upon Job, was not for his sinne, but to make it appeare, that Satan had formed a false charge against him, that his whole service of God, was upon by­ends, and base accounts, and that sufferings (God appearing a­gainst him in contrary providences) would presently draw him into all wickednesses. It was a sore affliction to Abraham, to leave his countrey, and his fathers house, to offer up his sonne Isaac, yet these were no corrections, or chastisements, that we know, but temptations.

2. He looks upon others, that are no sufferers, to bring about mercy to one, by the sufferings of another; so it was in Josephs sufferings, Gen. 50. 20.

4. The corrections that God lays upon the godly, are far differ­ent from those that he layes upon the wicked. His hand upon his own children, differs much from his hand upon his enemies. God deales otherwise with a Nation, that is a stranger to him, [Page 83] then he deals with a people that are his own, Jerem. 30. 11. Though I make a full end of all Nations whither I have scattered thee; yet will I not make a full end of thee, but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished. Though both suffer, yet they do not equally, and alike suffer. So, it is with the Elect, and reprobate, both suffer from the hand of God; but there is great difference in their sufferings. 1. They differ in the cause from whence their sufferings respectively do arise: The sufferings of the wicked, are out of pure wrath, wicked men, being under a state of wrath. The sufferings of the people of God, are out of present displeasure, but yet out of love, Prov. 13. 11. Heb. 12. 6, 7. 2. They differ in the end of their sufferings. A piece of silver is trode upon, with the feet to scoure and brighten it, but a worme or spider, to crush or spoile it. 3. They differ in the respective improvement, that either make of them, the godly are are bettered by their afflictions, their sufferings are their purges, and purifications, Psalme 119. 67. Their eares are thereby opened for discipline, Job 36. 10. the wicked are more and more hardened by them, and grow more and more wicked under them, Esay 1. 5. 2 Chron. 28. 22. The Sunne hardens the earth, but softens the butter and the wax.

The sufferings of the people of God many times proceed from as high displeasure in God, as can stand with love, and the more high the sinne is, the greater and sorer is his displeasure: They work in God as great a dislike as can stand with his purpose, not utterly to leave and cast them off. When David had sinned, in that high manner as he did, the Text saith, The thing that Da­vid did displeased the Lord, 2 Sam. 11. ult. Few men have had more of Gods heart then he, yet we see, his heart rises in sore displeasure, against his wickednesse. We may see how he takes him up for it, we can scarce see, in all the Scriptures, a man so chidden. The Prophet reckons up the courtesies and high favours that he had received from God, I anointed thee King over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul, and I gave thee thy Masters house, and thy Masters wives into thy bosome, and g [...]ve thee the house of Israel, and of Judah, and if that had been too little, I would more-over have given thee such and such things. And as he had before aggravated his wickednesse, in a parable; [Page 84] so in expresse termes, he further layes it open. Wherefore hast thou despised the Commandment of the Lord; in doing evil in his sight, thou hast killed Vriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast ta­ken his wife to be thy wife. Then he falls to threatnings, three great evils (as we may there see) follow upon this evil; yet, all this while that the Lord thus chides him, that he thus threatens and beats him, he doth not cease to love him, as appears in Na­thans words, verse 13. The Lord hath put away thy sinne; some will have love and anger to be inconsistent, hatred and wrath in­separable; God is angry, as they say, with none, but those that he hates, and when anger appears, love is no more; But all know that this is false among men, a father is many times angry with his child, that he would be loath to hate; It is as false with God, he was wrath with Moses, but he never hated Moses, he owns his with much love, when he manifests much dislike and distaste of their present actions.

6. These sufferings of the godly must by no means be account­ed satisfactions of divine justice, as coming from vindicative wrath, nor any part of the curse, that is due from vindicative justice for sin. Having a tendency not to harme, but to reforme; not to destroy, but amend; they are only fatherly corrections, and chastisements, not properly (at least as some rigidly understand the word) punishments; satisfaction was the work of Christ, and the whole of the curse was divolved upon him, Gal. 3. 13. Papists do distinguish between the friendship that is lost by sinne; and the justice that is deserved. The friendship that is lost, is made up again, as they confesse, of free grace; but the justice de­served, must by the offender be satisfied, which how impossible it is, for man to do, and how injurious to the sufferings of Christ, to attempt the doing of it, let us guesse by the definition that Bellarmine gives of it, Lib. quart. de peniten. cap. 1. Actio, quâ is, qui alierum laesit, tantum facit, quantum satis est, ad injuriam compensandam, sive, is qui laesus est, justè exigit. All that we can suffer, can never satisfie, the wrong that our sinnes have done to the divine Majesty, God may justly exact more, then either on earth, or in their imaginary purgatory; any man can discharge. As the sufferings of this life, are not worthy of the glory that shall be revealed; so, neither do they match the evil that justly might be inflicted. They are all just, but not from Gods reveng­ing [Page 85] justice. In themselves they have the nature of curses, but they are no part of the curse, which upon the breach of the co­venant of works, and upon the transgression of the Law, is me­naced. As a skilful Physician, makes poison up into a medicine, so doth God turne curses into blessings; they serve not to kill, but to cure his people.

7. These sufferings, are not yet barely as some use to speak from sinne, but chastisements for sinne, not only to prevent sin, that it may not be committed; but because men have allready sinned. The Corinthians were chastened, not alone, least they should prophane the Lords Supper; but because they had pro­phaned it. God afflicted David, not onely lest he should commit adultery, but because he had committed adultery: He threatens Eli, and punisheth him, not only, lest he should be too indulgent to his sons; but because he had been too indulgent to them. It cannot be conceived, how afflictions should prevent sin to come, if they do not correct sin already past, why are men afraid to sinne upon account of sufferings, but because upon sin they have suffer­ed? Smart for sinne, makes a childe of God watchful against sin. The childe, that hath seen his fathers frowne is afraid lest he should frowne againe; that hath beene scourged▪ knows what a father thinks of a fault, and is afraid of a se­cond.

It is here objected, that it stands not with justice, in this way, to afflict beleevers, seeing Christ in their stead hath made satis­faction, and to punish one sinne twice, is injurious. Answ. 1. These know, that Socinians deny, that Christ hath made any satis­faction, and if these two cannot stand together, viz. Christs sa­tisfaction, and beleevers correction, they will soone assume that beleevers do suffer, (for which the Scripture is very full) and therefore Christ hath not satisfied, and so their dangerous errour will be supported. 2. One truth must not be produced to the o­verthrow of another, Christ satisfaction, takes us out of the hand of condemnation, and delivers from revengeful wrath, but not out of the hand of discipline; when God becomes a Saviour, he doth not cease to be a Sovereign; a father, that is a Judge, may lash his childe, that he never intends to sentence. If any will see further Objections raised and answered, let him consult Mr. Burges of justification. Part. 1. Lecture 5. pag. 33.

Agreement between the Covenant of works and the Cove­nant of grace.

HAving asserted a covenant of grace, and premised such things that may contribute some light, towards a right understanding of it, I must proceed to enquire into the respective agreement, and differences between these covenants. The for­mer is an easie work, there being no controversie or dispute raised about it, and therefore I shall briefly passe it over. They a­gree, 1. In the general nature of a covenant, both are cove­nants strictly so called, as hath already been demonstrated. 2. They have one and the same authour, that is God. He proposed the termes of the covenant, to Adam, for himself, and all of his poste­rity, and he enters covenant with the posterity of Adam, in their fallen condition. 3. The parties in covenant, are in both of them, God and man, God propounding, man accepting, though there be (as we have heard) that would have it otherwise. 4. In either of both, there is a tendency to mans happinesse, Life is gi­ven in promise in both, as we see Rom. 10▪ 5, 6, &c. where both covenants are distinctly considered, what difference or agreement there may be in the life promised, will after be spoke unto. 5. In both of them there is a restipulation from man as there is an en­gagement from God; as, God engageth himself for reward, so man is engaged to duty; the former was never doubted, the la­ter hath been largely proved. 6. In either of both, righteous­ness is called for from those that enter covenant. For the first it is not questioned, in that it is a covenant of Works. Failing in doing was death. Interest in perfect righteousnesse is required in the latter, which is called, the righteousnesse of faith, and is the righteousnesse of the Law, performed, not by our selves, but by another, Christ is the end of the Law for righteousnesse to every one that beleeveth, Rom. 10. 4. Sincerity, in inherent righteousnesse is required likewise, both of these will be morefully demonstrated. 7. Either of both are indispensable, the conditions being not [Page 87] performed, the penalty of the covenant in both is inflicted, Adams posterity had experience of the one, and all unbeleevers, and im­penitent ones, will bear the other; not believing, not repenting brings death, as sometimes not perfectly obeying. That di­stinction, of the covenant of grace, calling for one thing, and accepting of another, afterwards will be considered. 8. Neither of both covenants are personal, as entered with any single person, or persons, and determined in him or them, but both of them, include posterity. In the covenant of works, it is not so expres­sly delivered, but not to be doubted. That covenant was en­tred with Adam, for all his, the latter is more expresse, to the covenanters and their seed, both in Old and New Testament-Scrip­tures, which by a party is questioned, but remaines largely to be confirmed.

Differences between the Covenants of Works and the Cove­nant of Grace.

HAving spoken to the agreement between these two Cove­nants, I must now more largely enquire into the differences, which will prove a work of greater difficulty, there being so much opposition. The first and leading difference is, that being both of them between God and man,The Covenant of Works was entred into in mans state of integrity. they were entred into in a different estate and condition of man. The first was entered in statu insti­tuto, in mans integrity, when man had not at all, by sinne incur­red the displeasure of God, or weakened his abilities for obedience; Man then stood as he came out of Gods hand, bearing in himselfe a lively resemblance of God.The Covenant of Grace was entered into in mans fallen condition. The second was in statu destituto, in mans fallen estate, now in sinne, under wrath, dead in sinne, and wholly disabled from yeelding obedience, of this there is no con­troversie, and therefore I need not make more words about it. And from hence all other differences which I shall observe; or which (as I suppose) are observable, have their rise, which are these following.

[Page 88] The covenant of Works,The Covenant of Works was to mans preser­vation. or (as learned Camero calls it) the covenant of Nature, was for preservation of man in life, that is, in present blisse and happinesse, to hold him in the condition in which it found him, which is implyed in the penalty threatned, as was before noted; man must not die till sinne enter, and exprest in that promise of God, Do this and live; His life must be continued as long as his obedience lasted, his happinesse must have been per­petuated, (though not necessarily in the same degree, God might have translated him from a life on earth to a life in heaven) had he kept to the terms of the covenant. The covenant of grace is for mans restitution,The Covenant of Grace was to mans resti­tution. reconciliation and recovery; He was before in blisse, and if he had so abode, he might with good reason have ta­ken up Peters words, It is good for us to be here. Now he is in mise­ry, and must be restored, if ever he be blessed, and so a farther differ­ence doth arise.

The covenant of works had its precedency,The Covenant of Works was first in time. The Covenant of Grace in or­der of time followed after. was first in time; The covenant of grace in order of time follows after; This must needs follow, Mans estate in integrity being before his fall, the covenant made in his integrity, must needs precede the cove­nant entred into in his fallen condition, unlesse we will place the third of Genesis before the first, the fall of man before his creation; And therefore that is utterly a mistake in one, who in the very entrance upon his Treatise of the two covenants, gives the covenant of grace the precedency in time, giving this as his rea­son, why he places the covenant of Grace before the covenant of Works, because the covenant of Grace was in being before the co­venant of Works, quoting for proof, Gal. 3. 17. The covenant which was made before of God in Christ, the Law which was four hun­dred and thirty years after cannot disanul. But this can by no means serve his purpose, unlesse we should conclude that the covenant of Works had its beginning in Mount Sinai at the giving of the Law by Moses, and the covenant of Grace, of only four hundred and thirty yeares more ancient standing. And that, will as little serve his purpose which he after brings in, that there was an agreement and covenant between God the Father, and his Sonne Jesus Christ about the salvation of man before Adam sinned, yea, before the world began; Seeing that covenant between the first and second person of the Trinity, was not the covenant, which he hath in hand to treat upon, namely the covenant which God entred with [Page 89] man, as he himself confesses; No covenant can be made with man before man be in being, A no [...]ens can be no party in a covenant. And whereas we are told that the same covenant which was made with Jesus Christ before time, was afterwards made with man. I desire that all would observe what is laid down in that Trea­tise concerning that covenant. Christ for his part was by cove­nant to become a Mediatour, Surety, and Saviour; for all those that his Father should give him. And must we become such Mediatours Sureties and Saviours also? God the Father did pro­mise to Christ, as is further said, all the things that did belong to his Mediatourship, and things to gratifie and satisfie him for his Mediatourship. May we by covenant expect such things from the Father likewise? If we are neither tied to the same work, to which Christ by covenant was tied, nor are to receive the like gifts, as he by covenant was to expect, we are not in the same co­venant that past between the Father and Christ. And though these two were one, which must not be yeelded, (the covenants ad intra, which the persons of the Trinity make with themse [...]es, and those ad extra with the creature may not be confounded) yet that would evince no such precedence in time, seeing there was alike agreement in the whole Trinity for the creation of man, and Gods covenant with him in his integrity, as is fully assented to in the same Treatise, to the utter overthrow of all that which upon the former supposition he had built. To that question, To what end should the covenant of Grace be made before man stood in need of Grace? he answers, Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world; And he had all things then as present and real before the eyes of his glory, as now he hath, viz. Mans Creation, Fall, Recovery, and in this sense there was no precedency of time in regard of any of Gods Counsels or secret actions. And then there can be no precedency of one of his covenants before an­other, we must finde then a sense according to which there is a precedency, which is not found in any covenants of the Tri­nity among themselves (which in exact propriety of speech are purposes rather then covenants, and were before all time) but in the actual entrance and assent by the creature given, which is in time, and admits precedency; In which considera­tion the covenant of works hath its precedency before that of [Page 90] Grace, as the state of integrity was before the fall.

Whence farther yet follows that the covenant of works,The Covenant of Works was a small time in force. was but a small time in force, at least but a small time of use, only during the space of mans integrity, which some say was only one day, in all probability not long, in that man en­joyed no fruit of that blessing in Paradise, Increase and multi­ply. The Covenant of Grace is of everlasting continuance. But this second, is, of everlasting continuance, when the first Covenant was violated by our first parents, and so made uselesse, that of grace succeeded, which is our only planck after ship­wrack, but none shall ever succeed this second. Adam failing of salvation by the covenant of Works (which he entred in the first place) is saved by the covenant of grace, into which after his fall he entred, and into which he was of grace admitted; but he that is not saved by the second, must everlastingly perish, and so I understand that text, Heb. 10. 26. If we sinne wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, then there remaineth no more sacrifice for sinnes, but a fearful looking for of judgement and fiery indignation; where, by sinning wilfully, I understand an utter rejection of Gods tender of this sacrifice of Christs blood, which I gather from the Apostle in the words that follow, the proof that he brings of that sad assertion, He that despised Mo­ses Law, died without mercy under two or three witnesses, of how much sorer punishment shall he be thought worthy that hath trodden under foot the blood of the Sonne of God, and counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing? This is that wilful sinne of which there is no expiation. When man had cast off the yoke, a sacrifice was found, Christ made his soul an offering for sinne; but when Christ is rejected, there is no other sacrifice to be looked for. In the covenant of grace God hath made known his whole minde concerning mans salvation, by what means, and upon what termes man shall be saved.

A further difference between the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace.

ANother difference of great importance between these co­venants,The Covenant of Works had no Mediatour. and which necessarily (as the two former) flows from the first, is, That the first covenant between God and man was immediate, no Mediatour intervening, no dayes-man stand­ing between them, to make them one; But for the second, man being fallen by sinne, a Mediatour was necessary that God and man now in that distance, should be reconciled. I know some have contended, that not only man in integrity, but the Angels them­selves, stood in need of Christs mediation, producing their grounds for their assertion, and then this difference between these cove­nants, falls, neither of both are immediate, both standing in need of a Mediatour. The grounds are,

First,Obj. That the obedience of man and Angels was imperfect, and stood in need of pardon, and for the righteousnesse of Christ which he performed to the Father, was accounted perfect, quoting that place of Eliphaz in his speech to Job, Job 4. 18. Even his An­gels he charged with folly. If Angels stood thus in Gods eye, under such a charge, then much more man, as Eliphas there ar­gues.Sol. But I would demand of these, concerning this supposed im­perfection in man and Angels, thus supplied by Christs perfecti­on, whether it were properly, and of its own nature a sinne? If not, then there is no place for pardon; If it were, then it must be divolved on Christ, and laid upon him to expiate, and so man fell,Cujus enim par­ticipatione justi sunt, ejus com­paratione nec justi sunt. Aug. ad Orosium contra Priscil. cap. 10 (or at least lay down groveling) before his fall; and the good Angels by reason of sin, are evil as well as those that are fallen; but these are absurd. In that of Eliphaz therefore (if it must be under­stood of Angels of glory) sin, is not charged or implied, but only defect, standing in comparison or competition with God, an im­perfection negative is yeelded, they match not God in perfecti­on, but in his presence cover their faces with their wings, Isa. 6. 2. but no imperfection privative, they want no perfection of which they are in any capacity, and whereof they have any necessity; [Page 92] God made no creature in such a necessity of sinning, or in such a being that needed pardon.

A second ground is,Obj. That though a Mediator was not necessary by way of reconciliation, yet he was necessary by way of preservation in righteousnesse. Sol. The second fully overthrows the first, in that which it grants, and I know not how that can be proved that it affirms, Man was not preserved, and therefore it appears, that he had no such Mediatour appointed for his preservation. And it seems (ac­cording to this opinion) man could not have stood, unlesse Christ had been incarnate, and so his fall was not, from the freedome of his will, but the principles of his creation, For the Angels, how they can be said, to stand by grace received from Christ, a Me­diatour; I know not, they being no fellow-members with us, though fellow-servants; And howsoever accidental benefits come to the Angels, by Christ, in their joy to see lost man restored, and reconciled; as to God, so also to their fellowship and communion; (according to that of the Apostle, Ephes. 1. 10. Col. 1. 20. in their experimental knowledge also, of the wisdome of God in this great mystery, 1 Pet. 1. 12. Ephes. 3. 10.) yet, I doubt not that it was for man, whose nature he assumed, that Christ was incarnate, and that he is a Mediatour between God and man, 2 Tim. 2. 5. and not between God and Angels, and that for fallen man, and not for man in his integrity; Therefore I conclude the first cove­nant was immediate; no Mediatour intervening, all the bles­sings of the first covenant flowed from the whole Trinity, as the Creation it self, without respect to Christ incarnate, there was no revelation of that high mystery to man in innocency, In which the Reader may consult G [...]marus in Colos. 1▪ 20.

The covenant of grace is by a Mediatour;The Covenant of grace is by a Mediatour. mans fallen condi­tion in so great a distance from God, necessarily calling for it. Two cannot walk together unlesse they be agreed, Amos 3. 3. That fallen man may walk in covenant with God; it is necessary that a way of agreement be found, This the second person of the Trinity, by covenant with the Father hath undertaken, and therefore he is stiled The Mediatour of the New Testament, Heb. 9. 15. A Me­diatour of a better Covenant, Heb. 8. 6. The Mediatour of the New Covenant, Heb. 12. 24. Many obstacles were in the way of mans covenanting with God; and attaiment of the mercies and grace of the covenant, all of which lay on the Mediatour, to remove, [Page 93] that God and man might once more be at one; All of these Christ undertakes and effects, and so is the Meditatour in this work.

Works incumbent upon the Mediatour of the Cove­nant of Grace.

THis work of Christ in his Mediatourship, I suppose may fitly be reduced to these heads.

First, to bring man into a capacity of covenanting with God.

Secondly, to bring man into the bond of the covenant; profes­sedly to accept it.

Thirdly, to enable those whom he brings to glory; to perform the duties of the covenant, to be steady and upright in it.

Fourthly, to crown those with glory; whom by grace be brings up to the terms of the covenant.

1. He is to bring man into a capacity of covenanting,Christ brings man into a ca­pacity of cove­nanting with God. of which sinne had made mankinde uncapable, for though it should be granted, that God in absolute justice, is not bound to punish sinne wheresoever he findes it; and that it is not against his Essence (as some would have it) to pardon sin without satisfaction, yet his or­dinate justice is thus bound, That law of his, being presupposed, The day that thou eatest, thou shalt surely die, he cannot recede from it; the penalty of this Law must be born; in order to recon­ciliation, and justice satisfied for mans transgression, which must be done by such a one, that can answer the claime of divine justice. The beasts of the Forrests, and cattel of a thousand hills (which were yet often given to God in sacrifice) could not do it. The A­postle tells us, that it is impossible that the blood of Bulls and Goats should take away sinne, Heb. 10. 4. They were never guilty, and they are no valuable consideration, nor yet the Angels who are above mankinde, as the bruit creatures are below. Man had sin­ned, and a sacrifice from among man-kinde, is to be found, Neither can man in sin, and under the taint of it be accepted, all that he can [Page 94] suffer is due for himself, and therefore can be no other mans dis­charge. In the payment of my own debt, I set free no other debtor; Neither can any, that is meer man go thorow with it, here is pure justice without relaxation, as to the value, confest by those who yet contend whether idem or tantundem be paid by Christ, the same in kinde, as was owing by man, or the like in value and estimate; He that is brought under a divine attachment, must not come out till he have paid the uttermost farthing, which man in torments is ever in discharging, and never can discharge; It is as easie to make a world, as by way of ransome to deliver a soul. Christ there­fore that knew no sin, is made sinne, that is, an offering for sinne. God manifest in the flesh, he that was God and man, hath undertaken the work, man to suffer, and God to satisfie in suffering, and so God is in Christ reconciling the world to himself, 2 Corinth. 5. 19. The immediate effect or result of this price of mans redempti­on, (I suppose) is the putting of man into a capacity of a cove­nant with God, yet when this is done, till more be done, by Christ in the way of his Mediatourship for man, men are not yet in cove­nant, not the Elect among men. This is evident in those Ephe­sians, that were raised up together, and made sit together in heaven­ly places in Christ Jesus, Ephes. 2. 6. There was no time in which Christ had not paid the price of their ransome, yet there was a time, and then but lately over, that they were without Christ, be­ing aliens from the Common-wealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world, Ephes. 2. 12. Elect Infidels are not till their call, in cove­nant, they stand not actually reconciled, and one with God be­fore Faith, for then there needed no Ministery of reconciliation to follow. If this were granted, then Christ did the whole for mans salvation on the crosse by himself, and doth nothing now in heaven, by way of intercession, nor any thing by his agents in a ministerial way upon earth, neither could man before faith, be underwrath, in which he is yet concluded by our Saviour himself, John 3. 36. A state of wrath, and an actual reconciled estate can­not stand together. There is a price paid, and (as I may say) in the Fathers hand, but to be applyed according to the good pleasure of the Father and the Sonne; A man may purchase a prisoners liberty; so that he hath it in his just and legal power to set him free; and yet take what time he pleaseth in discretion to impart it [Page 95] to him, and actually deliver him. In this work there are three parties; God the Father, as Creditor, Christ Jesus, the Surety Man, the Debtor. The Father might have refused this discharge from the hand of Christ, and exacted it of the principal; Christ might have refused to have made such payment, he was not in the Obligation; There was a relaxation of the person, as is a­greed on all parties; Man must come in and manifest his accept­ance, Till he is content to leave his old master, sin and Satan; This new Lord gives him no entertainment, he must be con­tent to come out of bondage, or else he can enjoy no free­dome.

2. The next work of Christ,Christ brings man within the verge of the Covenant. 1. By his tender of it. is to bring man within the bond of the covenant professedly to accept it, for which there is yet a double work. First, to make tender of it, this hath been Christs work as the Prophet of his Church in all ages. In what latitude in was carried in the dayes of the fathers before the flood, it is ra­ther obscurely pointed at; then plainly shewed; yet there was then a distinction, between the posterity of Seth, and that of Cain, and so contiued till the dayes of Noah, when the sonnes of God saw the daughters of men; children of the covenant, saw those out of the covenant; Men within the visible Church, saw women without the Pale, and joyned themselves in marriage with them. From Abrahams dayes it was confined to his posterity, and held within his line, and those few that as proselytes joyned themselves unto them. In Gospel times it is enlarged, the tender is made not to Jewes only, but also to every Nation under hea­ven, the Commission being to preach the Gospel to every crea­ture, none by Nation so contemptible, that is to be excluded. In Christ Jesus there is neither Barbarian, 2. By shaping the heart for it. nor Scythian, Jew or Gentile, Col. 3. 11. And, as there is to be a tender; so also it is his work to shape the heart for acceptation of it, to embrace the terms, and enter into it. God shall perswade▪ Japhet, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem, Gen. 9. 27. The inhabitants of the Isles peo­pled by Japhets posterity shall become the Israel of God, shall succeed the Jewes in a Church-state, and vissible profession of the name of God, The hand of the Lord was with them, namely, those that preacht at Antioch, and a great number beleeved, Acts 11. 21. where beleeving (after the manner of the History in the Acts) is no other then embracing the Doctrine of Faith, they [Page 96] were made Disciples; many of which after fell off, even from their profession.

A third work is to enable those whom he brings to glory (those among them in covenant that are called according to his purpose) to performe the duties of the covenant,Christ brings up to the terms of the Cove­nant. to be stedfast and upright in it, and this is by Circumcising their heart giving them a new heart, writing his Law in their hearts, putting it into their inward parts, keeping them by his mighty power through faith unto salvation; of which more hereafter.Christ crowns those that come up to the terms of the covenant

The last work is to crown with glory those that by grace he raises up, to the termes of the covenant, thus qualifying them, he crowns them, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousnesse, which the Lord, the righteous Judge shall give me at that day, 2 Tim. 4. 7, 8. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to my self, John 14. 2, 3.

Here some difficulties offer themselves, If the covenant of works (past between God and man in his integrity) were imme­diate,Difficulties removed. and the transactions of it without reference to Christ, then if follows that faith in Christ is not commanded in that Law,Obj. which was given to man for a rule, There being no possibility of it, there could be no command for it, and there was no possibi­lity of Adams beleeving it,Faith is a duty of the moral Law. seeing Christ was not revealed, and was not as Mediatour of any use. This opinion is strongly main­tained by Arminians. Armin. in resp. ad artic. decimum nonum. Corvinus Contr. Molin. cap. 11. And to this end, that they may make it good, that God cannot in justice require faith in Christ, from man in his fallen condition, unlesse he withal confer upon him abilities to believe, seeing he never had that power from him in his integrity, and state of purity, and upon this supposition the argument seems of force. We vindicate Gods justice in com­manding works; though to us now impossible, seeing once we had power to reach the highest of his precepts, and his command, is no rule of our empaired strength, but of our duty. But if men never had that power, and the Law never required it, it is inju­stice (according to all parties) to exact it.Answ. Let those that fall to the Arminians in this tenent, (that they may make the Law an imperfect rule, and an insufficient direction) see how they can [Page 97] avoid it, how they can vindicate Gods justice thus impeached. But the Orthodox party have still maintained that Adam had, in his integrity that faith that doth justifie, though then it per­formed not that office of justification, as he had that faculty whereby we see dead bodies; though then there was no possibi­lity of such sight, there being no dead bodies to be seen. And that faith in Christ is commanded in the first precept of the Law is manifest. There we are commanded to have God for our God, no Interpreter will deny, that the affirmative is contained in that negative: Thou shalt have none other gods but me. Now God is the God of beleevers, Heb. 11. 16. No man can have any communion with God, but by faith in Christ. And so conse­quently this faith is there required; what Expositor of the Law doth not put trust and affiance in God, within the affirmative part of the first commandment, as well as fear, love, and obedience? And without Christ there can be no affiance or trust. If we con­ceive the moral Law, to reach no farther then the duties expresse­ly there named, or the evils forbidden, we shall make it very scant and narrow, we shall see small reason, of that of the Psal­mist, Thy Commandment is exceeding broad, Psalme 119. 96. But in case we take in all that by necessary consequence may be inferred, according to the approved rules of interpretation, then scarce any duty is more clearly laid down then this of faith in Christ. And whereas one faith, A man cannot preach Faith in Christ out of the Moral Law, I say, a man out of the Moral Law, may evince the necessity of Faith in Christ; unto every one that lives in Gospel-light, to whom Christ is tendred; The Law requires the duty, and the Gospel discovers the object, no man out of the Law could have evinced Abraham that he must offer his sonne, nor that he must have left his countrey, but when Gods minde was made known to him, the Moral Law did binde him to obedience, and he had sinned against the Moral Law, in case he had refused. There is no command given of God to any man, at any time, of an nature whatsoever, but the Moral Law ties him to the observation of it, not immediately, explicitely, but upon supposition of such a command intervening. Therefore ye shall observe all my Statutes, and all my judgements, and do them, I am the Lord, Levit. 19. 37. Faith in Christ being com­manded of God, I John 3. 23. the Moral Law obliges to o­bedience [Page 98] of it. See Molin. Anatom. Arminianis. cap. 11. Respons. Wallaei. ad Censuram Johannis Arnol. Corvini cap. 11. Ball on the covenant, page 105. Burges Vindiciae legis. page 117.

A farther difficulty here offers it selfe,Obj. and an obstruction laid against that which in this Treatise is after intended. If the covenant, or second covenant (as opposite to that of works) be in Christ, and grounded on the work of reconciliation, then it is commensurate with it,The Covenant of grace not commensurate with election. and of no greater latitude, and only the elect and chosen in Christ, the called according to Gods purpose, being reconciled, only these are in covenant; when the Scripture (as shall be, God willing, made good) confines not this covenant within the limits of the invisible Church, known only to God. But it is as large as the Church vi­sible.

To this I answer,Answ. that the Prophetical office of Christ, as Shep­herd and Bishop of our souls, and so much of his Kingly office as consists in a legislative power, hath its foundation (as well as the covenant) in this work of reconciliation. Had not this been undertaken by Christ for mankinde, man had never enjoyed that light, man had never had an Oracle, or an Ordinance as the fruit of his Prophetick office, yet, these Ordinances are not com­mensurate with reconciliation, nor of equal latitude with ele­ction, So neither is the covenant, but either of both in order towards it. As Ordinances therefore are Christs gift from heaven, as the fruit of his death and resurrection, when yet all that par­take of these Ordinances do not yet die or rise with Christ; So, is the covenant, when yet all in covenant are not stedfast in it, nor obtaine the graces of it. Therefore I know not how to admit that which a Divine singularly eminent hath laid down; That all the effects of Christs death are spiritual, distinguishing and saving; Seeing gifts of Christ; from his Fathers right hand are fruits of his death, yet not spiritual, distinguishing and saving. That they are in some sort spiritual, I dare grant that is, in ordine ad spiritua­lia, (if I may so speak) they have a tendency to a spiritual work. That they are distinguishing from the world, (as it is taken in op­position to the Church visible) I yeeld, for I do not enlarge the fruit of Christs death to all man-kinde, assenting to Master Owen and Master Stalham in the grounds that they lay, of Gods respite of the execution of the whole penalty on man, with the continu­ance [Page 99] of outward favours not to be upon the account of Christ, but for other reasons; yet I know not how to affirme, that Ordinan­ces which yet are fruits of his death, are all saving, spiritual and distinguishing, seeing they neither conferre salvation nor saving grace on all that partake of them, So that Christ, is a Mediatour of this covenant; and yet those enter into it that have not reconciliation by Christ Jesus; The Ephesians that were afar off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ, Ephes. 2. 13. that is, brought into a visible Church-state in the fruition of Ordinan­ces, made free of that city whose name is, The Lord is here, Ezek. 48. 35.

Farther differences between the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace.

A Farther difference of importance, between these covenants, is, in the conditions annext unto either of them, and here the difference is brought to the height. This alone so diversi­fies them; that they are not barely, in circumstance and way of administration; but in substance two distinct covenants; The least difference in conditions, diversifies bargains and agreements on what part soever the difference is.Conditions in the Covenant of works and the covenant of grace of Gods part seem to be the same. Conditions of the cove­nant between God and man are of two sorts, either such in which God engages himselfe, or in which man is engaged; either the stipulation on Gods part, or else the restipulation on the part of man. The former unto which God is engaged, are, either re­wards in case of covenant-keeping, or, punishments in case of covenant-breaking; The one the Lord promises, The other he threatens. I finde no material difference in the conditions on Gods part in these covenants. Life is promised in both, in case of covenant-keeping; and death is threatned in both, in case of covenant-breaking. Some indeed have endeavoured to finde a great difference in the life promised in the covenant of works, and the life that is promised in the covenant of grace; [Page 100] as also in the death that is threatned in the one, and the other, and thereupon move many, and indeed inextricable difficulties, What life man should have enjoyed, in case Adam had not fallen? And what death man should have died, in case Christ had not been promised? From which two, endlessely more, by way of con­sectary may be drawn; by those that want neither wit, nor lei­sure to debate them. In which the best way of satisfaction and avoidance of such puzling mazes; is to enquire what Scripture means by Life, which is the good in the covenant promised; and what by Death, which is the evil threatned? Now for the first, Life containes all whatsoever, that conduces to true happinesse, to make man blessed in soul and body. All good that Christ pur­chases, and heaven enjoys, is comprised under it, in Gospel-ex­pressions. I am come that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly, John 10. 10. He that hath the Son, hath life, and he that hath not the Sonne, hath not life, 1 John 5. 12. On the contrary, under Death is comprised, all that is in­jurious to man or mankinde, that tends to his misery in soul and body. The damnation of Hell being called death, the uttermost of evils being the separation of soul and body from God, John 8. 51. 1 John 3. 14. Sinne which leads to it, and is the cause of it, is called death in like manner; Ephes. 2. 1. And the separation of soul from the body, being called death, sicknesses, plagues, are so called in like manner,Life promised in the Cove­nant of Works and the Cove­nant of Grace is one and the same. Ex [...]d. 10. 17. Now happinesse being promised to man in covenant, only indefinitely under that noti­on of life, without limit to this or that way of happinesse, in this or that place, God is still at liberty, so that he make man happy, where, or how he pleaseth to continue happinesse to him, and is not tied up in his engagement either for earth or heaven. And therefore though learned Camero in his Treatise de triplici foe­dere, Thes. 9. with others, makes this difference between the cove­nant of works and the covenant of grace. In the covenant of Works, (which he calls nature) life was promised, and a most blessed life, but an animal life in Paradise, in the covenant of Grace a life in Heaven and spiritual. And Master Baxter in his Aphoris. of Justification, page 5. saith, that this life premised was only the continuance of that state that Adam was then in, Paradise, is the opinion of most Divines. Yet with submission to better judge­ments I see not grounds for it; seeing Scripture no way deter­mines [Page 101] the way and kinde of this happinesse promised, and in case that we take liberty to say, that when long life is promised upon earth (in many texts of Scripture) that the promise is made good though it faile on earth, in case it be supplied in heaven, life being the marrow of the promise, much more then is it made good, when it is indefinitely promised, without limit to a man whil'st on earth, in case it be made good by his translati­on into heaven. And indeed there are strong probabilities, hea­ven being set out by the name of Paradise in Christs speech to the thief on the crosse; and in Pauls vision in that rapture, 2 Cor. 12. if we may make such a supposition of mans standing, now he is fallen, that he should not have continued a life of immor­tality on earth, but have been translated into heaven. He had that blessing from God as other living creatures, to be fruitfull and multiply, Gen. 1. 28. and how the world could have con­tained all those individuals at once; which to eternity man should propagate, cannot be imagined. And to conceive, that an end in time should be put to propagation; when an animal life in the use of the creature should be continued, is scarce consist­ent with reason. But a thousand of these God can expedite when we are at a stand; He promised life, and he could have made it good,Death threat­ned in the Co­venent of Works and in the Covenant of Grace is one and the same. and we see he limited not himself, where, or how to conferre it. And what I have said of life promised, the same I say of death threatned, in case man upon sinne be brought into a state of misery, Justice is done, and the threat takes hold, where, and howsoever this misery be suffered, whether it had been in sorrows, and horrours on earth, in separation of the soul first, for torments and the body to follow, or in a speedy dispatch of soul and body to hell. Gods way of execution after the sinne com­mitted, (on those that are not by Christ ransomed) does not ar­gue that the penalty in the covenant necessitated him to it, might not he at once have poured out the whole of his venge­ance on vessels of wrath, when yet we know, that he takes time for the execution of it? A Learned Writer enquiring into this death that was here threatned, saith, that the same damnation that followed the breach of the second covenant, it could not be; When I suppose it rather should be said, that in substance and kind, it can be no other; Infidels that were never under any other covenant then that of works; and covenant-breaking Christians are in the [Page 102] same condemnation, there is not two hells but one and the same, for those that know not God, and those that obey not the Gospel of Christ, 2 Thes. 1. 8. Neither is there any Limbus, or distinct place for infants in original sinne, and out of the covenant of grace. Neither can I assent to that speech, To say that Adam should have gone quick to hell, if Christ had not been promised, or sinne pardoned, is to contradict the Scriptures, that makes death temporal the wages of sinne. It were I confesse to presume above Scripture, but I cannot see it a contradiction of Scripture; A burning Feaver, a Consumption, Leprosie, Pestilence, &c. are in Scripture made the wages of sinne, yet many go to hell and misse those diseases. And if it be said Scripture so makes death the wages of sin, that all must suffer it, I answer, Those Scriptures are all of them leges post latae, appointed of God, as his way upon mans fall, neither absolute justice, nor yet the penalty threatned ne­cessitating him to that way of proceeding. He takes the same way where his justice hath already satisfaction, Those that are priviledged from death as the wages of sinne, thus die; God tied not up his own hands, as States do their Judges, and ministerial officers, to one way of execution; and this his way with the unbe­leeving is voluntary, and not necessitated, Upon these grounds it is, that I finde no reason to widen the differences between these promises and priviledges in either covenants.

The identity of conditions, in the covenant of Works and Grace, on Gods part we have seen; The great diversity in the conditions called for from man comes to be spo­ken to.

And in the first place this difference offers it self. The conditions of the covenant of Works were in mans power,The conditi­ons in the Co­venāt of works were in mans power. being left to the freedom of his will; he had abilities in himself without seeking out for further assistance then a meer general concurrence to perform them. This abili­ty in man to answer whatsoever was called for at his hands from God, appears

First, in the integrity of his nature; Being made like God, his principles must needs carry him to a conformity with God, and these principles were connatural to man, in his first being and beginning. Man being made of God to contemplate his glo­ry, and to enjoy communion with himself, he made him not de­fective in any of those noble qualifications that serve for it, or [Page 103] have a tendency to it. Papists indeed will have this to be a su­pernaturall gift of grace,Quā veluti au­reo quodam frae­no pars inferior parti superiori, & pars superior Deo facile sub­jecta continere­tur. Bellar. De. Grat. primi ho­minis, cap. 5. and above the glory of mans first creati­on. Bellarmine compares it to a bridle given to curb that lust which riseth against reason in us. That rebellion of lusts in man, they conceit, would have been, if man had not fallen; which, as it layes a high charge upon God; in such an aspersion of his pure work drawn after such a patterne; so, it makes way for other opinions, that the first motions without consent are no sins, and that lust in the regenerate, is not sin. But as the bottom is rotten, so, also the building that is raised upon it is ruinous. There was an happy agreement in man, as well with himself, as with his Cre­atour: The fall brought in a necessity of support and supply of Grace.

Secondly, this appears from the equity which must be granted to be in the command of God; which requires that the work given in charge be not above his abilities, that is charged with it. The Arminian argument from a command, to abilities to keep the com­mand, from a threat to conclude a power to keep off from the thing threatned, is of force, as long as the person under command keeps himself in the same station, and strength, as when the com­mand was given. But applying this to man in his fallen estate (who had sinned away his abilities,) the strength of it is wholly lost. The command of God retains its perfection; when we are under the power of corruption. The Law is nothing abated, though we be weakened.

3. It appears in the work it self which was charged upon man upon performance of which he was to expect happinesse. There is no more explicitely mentioned, then that negative precert: Of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat; the day that thou eatest, thou shalt surely die. This, all may yeeld might easily have been kept if the command had been heeded, or the menace observed. The Jews at their worst could observe the commands of non-licet meats, and this was a command of like nature, yet this was not all unto which man was tied, Being made in the image of God; he had clear light to discern good from evil, and as all yet retaine, darkly and obseurely; so he had the Law written in his heart, clearly; Adultery, Murder (though no otherwise con­demned, then by that light which he had by creation) in that e­state had been sin. The former positive Law was evil because [Page 104] forbidden, take away the prohibition, and there had been no sin in eating. These are forbidden, because evil: The Law imprint­ed by creation, being presupposed, there needed no further Law to make them sinful. They that never had the written Law, are condemned for these practices, by that Law which by nature is written in their hearts. But against these, there was in nature an Antipathy; Mans pure nature had them in abhorrency. As now there needs no Law more then nature doth suggest, to for­bid the eating of poyson, feeding on dust, or carrion: So then there needed no more Law to condemne these practices; so that obedience in that state was in mans power must necessarily be yeelded.

The conditions of the covenant of Grace are not performed,The conditi­ons in the Co­venant of Grace are not performed without special assistance. but by special grace; a power from God must concurre for their work in man; Man hath no abilities in himself to answer what God requires, and if he rise not up to the terms of this covenant, till he raise himselfe, he will for ever fall short of it. As the covenant was vouchsafed of grace, so grace must make us meet to partake of the benefits of it.

This appears.Reasons. 1. In the state and condition in which God findes man, when he first enters covenant with him; yea, after covenant entred, till a change be wrought, and abilities confer­red to answer that which God in covenant requires. This state of man the Apostle expresses, Ephes. 2. 1. Dead in trespasses and sins, alive, and in power for nothing at all, but sinne. This was the condition of Heathens, never in covenant; and so of the Jews who were a people in actual covenant, and owned of God as his inheritance, as God willing shall be shewn. Their con­versation was the same as the Apostle there confesseth; Among whom we also had our conversation in times past, in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the minde, and were by nature the children of wrath as well as others. This in abundant other expressions in Scripture is discovered, holding forth the same thing, Rom. 5. 6. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. That infant, Ezek. 16. 4, 5. had no more possibilities of life, then is to be found even in the state of death.

Reas. 2. It appears in that power which is exercised by God, in the change of those in covenant with him, whom he fits for him­self [Page 105] for Eternity. This power in Scripture is set out, in several ex­pressions. First, Creation, Ephes. 2. 10. We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. All ability to good is from the frame into which grace puts us; As there is a power out of man, which gives him Being, So also there is an answerable power, for his new Being; He that is begotten of God, keepeth him­self, and the evil one toucheth him not, 1 John 5. 18. Secondly, Quickning. The dead have not power to raise them­selves, without a further power for their Resurrection; Neither is it in the power of man, Who is dead in trespasses and sinnes, Eph. 2. 1. Thirdly, Taking away the heart of stone, and giving an heart of flesh, Ezek. 36. 26. To change the nature of things, which is here done, is the work of an Omnipotence, which was Satans argument not denied by Christ, If thou be the Son of God, command these stones to be made bread, Mat. 4. 3. Fourthly, Causing to walk in Gods statutes, Ezek. 36. 27. A work as of authority, so of power. Fifthly, Plucking out of the power of Satan, an act of the free grace and power of God, 2 Tim. 2. 26. Sixthly, Drawing, A work of power in him that draws, weaknesse in him that is drawn. Joh. 6. 44. No man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him. And therefore the Spouse prayeth, Draw me, and we will run after thee, Cant. 1. 4. There must be more power in God for conversion, than in Satan for the souls ruine. Grace must have advantage of temptation, but Satan can allure, perswade; Our first parents had woful expe­rience of his faculty this way, He hath his moral perswasions, If God make use of nothing more, they are even; yea, Satan hath the advantage, by so much as we are more apt for sinne than obe­dience. And, as these metaphorical expressions hold it forth; So in plain termes it is exprest in Scripture. The Apostle prayes for the Ephesians, that the eyes of their understanding being enlightened, they may know what is the exceeding greatnesse of Gods power, to those that beleeve, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, Ephes. 1. 19. And by way of simile makes Application, ch. 2. verse 1. &c. Even when we were dead in sins, hath he quickned us together with Christ, and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Ephes. 2. 5. Lest any should say the former Me­taphors are stretched above their line; when they are brought in to hold forth that for which they have been produced; the Apo­stle [Page 106] here makes application, and shews that the like mighty pow­er, which was exercised of God, in raising Christ, dead in the grave, and setting him up above all principalities and powers, is exercised in raising those who are dead in sin, to sit in heavenly places with Christ. The Apostle entring a similitude, chap. 1. 19. makes not an end of it till, chap. 2. v. 8. Only having named the exaltation of Christ upon his Resurrection, does not leave till he have shewed how high he is exalted; and having named mans low ebbe in sin; does not leave till he hath set out how low; which drawes out the similitude to such length, in which this truth is set forth unto us, which comparison with the application, leaves the necessity of an Omnipotent concurrence in this work without exception.

Reas. 3. This further appears in that inability which is in man, to accept that which God of grace doth tender, unlesse God cure the faculties by his power. He is wanting, 1. In power to under­stand, or to discerne the glory of that grace which is offered: The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishnesse unto him; neither can be know them, because they are spiritually discerned, 1 Cor. 2. 14. This native blindnesse in man; with the necessity of an Omnipotency for cure, is plain, not only in the Heathens, who (wanting the light of Revelation,) are, as St. Paul speaks, darknesse; But also in those to whom light is brought, and the word preacht; that stand in actual covenant with God, as appears▪ Deut. 29. 1. & 4. Compared, The Lord hath not given you a heart to perceive, (speaking to men in cove­nant) and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. 2. In will to desire, and heart to embrace any such tender; but on the con­trary there is a readinesse still to oppose, which is plain, not one­ly by the stirres that are raised wheresoever the word is preach't, as we see through the History of the Acts, So that it is grown into a Proverb, Evangelicum ciet bellum, But also by the strug­lings to withstand any motion or conviction which the Word works; what Stephen tells the Jews that they did, that each man by nature is apt to do, to resist the Holy Ghost. Acts 7. 51. There is much resistance in the heart, which grace by power does not ut­terly take away, but overcome and subdue.

4ly This appears in Gods indication, and full declaration of him­self, what his work is, & what is to be expected from his hand in the [Page 107] covenant-conditions which he requires of us, which we finde from his mouth in several Texts of Scripture. The Lord thy God will cir­cumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed to love the Lord thy God. Deut. 30. 6. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, Ezek. 36. 25, 26, 27. But especially in that Text, Jer. 31. 31, 32, 33, 34. The dayes come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt (which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband to them, saith the Lord:) But this shall be the Covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days (saith the Lord) I will put my Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people, and they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying; Know the Lord; for they shall all know me from the least of them to the greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. In which Texts, a necessity of super­natural grace,Jer. 31. 33. cleared. for the ends mentioned, is abundantly set out unto us: Had man power left in nature for this work, or nature so re­paired in all, that abilities were universally conferred, this de­claration needed not. No reason can be given of these engage­ments, by those that deny any necessity of an Omnipotent con­currence. These are usually called Promises, and they runne in­deed, in the nature of Promises; so that they deserve not blame, that so conceive of them. Generally taken also to be absolute Promises, saith Mr Baxter, Aph. of Just. page 9. and being Pro­mises, they must indeed be absolute ones, we bring not the con­dition of faith to accept of them; Here is nothing prerequired, as in Promises that are conditional; Being Promises, (if Promises) of Grace, as some have distinguished, and not Promises to Grace; they are spoken to those that are in their unbelief and un­regenerate condition; Yet that which is necessarily required to make up a full Promise here is wanting; In Promises (properly so called) some may claim their interest, and know themselves to be within their verge, and conclude the thing in Promise (upon termes at least) to be theirs, which here none can do. This indeed [Page 108] concernes the Elect; but being in unregeneration, they know not their Election, it is not as yet made sure by them. So that as to us it is without any determinate object; None can say, my interest is in this Promise. These were delivered to the whole body of Israel; when not one in many, did reap the benefit of them. Mr. Baxter therefore makes them Prophecies, De eventu, Prophecies of what shall happen. I suppose they may be fitly called, the declaration or indication of Gods work, in the conditions to which he engages, and of the necessary concurrence, of the power of his grace, in that which he requires: As Austin and others have interpreted, that which is affirmed of our Saviour, That he is the true light, which enlightneth every man that comes into the world, John 1. 9. not to be so understood, that all in the world are enlightned by him, for many are in darknesse; but that all that are enlightned, have light by his light, explaining it with this similitude: Such a School­master teacheth all the children in a Town; that is, all that are taught, he teacheth. Some go to no School at all, so, these Pro­mises, I will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed; All of their seed that are circumcised in heart, he circumcises, and so in all the other, none of all these are done without his special work. This was little heeded by the generality of the people of the Jews; if they minded duty, it was well, they little thought of assistance through grace; Tugging it out by their own strength, and looking for no more from heaven, than that which they had in hand; Therefore entring Covenant; and walking in their own strength; they brake Covenant, and were never able to rise to the duties of it, as is hinted in that of Jeremy. Therefore God promises a new covenant, in which there shall be a full discovery, and right understanding, of the meaning of the Covenant; I will write my Law in their hearts, I will put it into their inward parts. So that as the commandment of love was a new commandment; so this covenant was a new covenant, both given of old, both a new clear­ed, for a right understanding. There was nothing wrong (saith Mr. Dixon) in the former Covenant, but it was imperfect, and all things in it were not expressed clearly. Annot. on Heb. 8. 7. That which was chiefly defective (as it seems) was this here mentioned, and therefore Mr. Baxter sayes well, that this place doth com­prize but part of the covenant, not the whole, though he be ta­ken up by another for it in these words, God saying expressely, this [Page 109] is my Covenant; to say it is not, is not to interpret the Word, but to deny it; God sayes to the People of Israel, Is not this the fast that I have chosen, to loose the bands of wickednesse, to undo every burden? If any one should interpret that Text, would he say the whole of a Religious Fast, is there exprest, and a full definition of a Fast laid down? or would he instead of interpreting, deny that Scrip­ture? So also that of James, Jam. 1. 26. Pure religion and un­defiled before God the Father, is this; To visit the fatherlesse and the widow, and to keep a man unspotted of the world. Will any say, that the whole of Religion is set out in that Scripture, or will he be put to it, to deny the Scripture? I suppose he would rather say, that that which those Jews (to whom Isay speaks) did in & use to do Re­ligious Fasts with supply of that which Isay calls for (in which they were defective) makes up a Religious Fast compleat. That which the scattered Tribes did in Religion; with what James further calls for, would render a man entirely Religious: So also that of Je­remy 22. 15, 16. Shalt thou reigne, because thou closest thy self in Cedar? Did not thy father, eat and drink and do justice and judg­ment, and then it was well with him? He judged the cause of the poor and needy, and then it was well with him; was not this to know me, saith the Lord? Will any say, that that was all the knowledge that Josiah had of God? or will he say rather, that this was an evi­dent proof of the sincerity of it; so I say, that which the Jews already understood to be in the covenant, together with that which those places of Jeremy and the Hebrews further hold forth, set out the entire nature of a covenant; and so in all of them, Scri­pture is interpreted, not denied. And whereas one affirmes, that there is no condition on mans part, in those texts in question, an adversary of all conditions on mans part in the covenant replyes. If you mean such conditions that God requireth of us; yet worketh in us; it is there punctually exprest. As Gods work, it is there in­deed exprest; but not as our duty, which lame understanding of the covenant, hath wrought as much mischief in our age; (set­ting up free grace, without any eye upon his sovereignty, look­ing at Gods work, and not at all on mans duty) as their looking at duty in that age without eye had to the power of grace, to en­able for it. Hence are those desperate counsels; Sit still, do no­thing; doing undoes you: and that not toward Dilemma. Art thou out of Christ, thou mayst break thy heart in working, and profit no­thing: [Page 110] Art thou in Christ, then all is wrought to thy hands. And so doing still is vain; and Mr. Baxters Questionists like demands. How can you make it appear that according to the new Covenant▪ we must act for life, and not only from life; or that a man may make his at­taining of life, the end of his work, and not rather obey it out of thankful­ness and love? To which I suppose he hath received a satisfying, and (if throughly weighed,) a sadning answer, Appendix, p. 78. 79, &c.

Fifthly, This appears in that differencing work, which is seen among men here in the flesh. There is a great difference between those that are of God, and those that are in the world, that lies in wickednesse. This is from the power of grace, enabling to an­swer to that unto which God in covenant calls, and not from the different improvement of any power of man, or the exercise of that freedome of will, which together with the whole species of mankind he hath received. The Apostle puts the question, Who hath made thee to differ? 1 Cor. 4. 7. In which he intends to stop all mouths from boasting, as appears in the next words; If any therefore shall answer in Grevenchovius his words (as I have seen them quoted, or in any words that hold out or inferre the same thing,) I make my self to differ: The Apostle will not sit down by it, He expressely tells us; It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth; but of God that sheweth mercy. Rom 9. 16. If grace makes the difference and not man; then grace enables man to go higher than his own power, and to go higher than any power that can be in any other. Seclude this differencing grace, and the praise will be wholly mans. That any have power and possibi­lity for good, (according to these Divines) may be of God; but that any is better than another it is from self that makes to differ.

Bradwardine hath to this purpose a notable similitude, Si filius mi­les acceptis à patre naturali­bus, ordine atque armis strenuè militaret sicque forsit an in superbia erigeretur inflatus; quomodo in ipso cradicaretur superbia, & plantaretur humilitas? Si ei ab aliquo diceretur, Non glorietur omnis mile: in conspectu patris sui; Ex ipso enim est in militia. ut qui gloriatur i [...] patre suc glorietur, & quid habes quod non accepisti? Si autem accepisti, quid gloriaris quasi non acceperis? Posset enim rationaliter respondere dicendo, quare non deberem de mea militia gl [...]riari? Accepi quidem à patre meo natural a mea, quia nullus generat semetipsum, accepi & ordinem, quia nulli conceditur infig nire semetipsum; accepi & arma, qui a similitur & caeteri militum non nascebar armatus, nec sum fa­bor armorum: debitum tamen usum istorum, qui omnibus praevalet non accepi ab alio, sed habeo me ex meipso, crebas victorias fama celebri di [...]lugatas non accepi ab alio, sed [...]abeo ex m [...]ipso. Pro hujusmodi igitur in me ipso merito gloriabor, in alio autem nihil▪ sic & de quolibet milite Jesu Christi. If a son (saith he) being a souldier, should receive from his father a com­mission and armes, together with natural abilities for war, and [Page 111] fighting stoutly should be puffed up and grow proud: How may this pride, saith he, be beaten down, and humility planted? If any one should say to him, Let not any souldier glory in the sight of his father; for what he is in armes, he is from him: So that he that glorieth, let him glory in his father; for what hast thou that thou hast not recei­ved? He might very well and rationally answer (saith our learned Authour,) why should not I glory of my atcheivments in armes? I have received natural abilities indeed from my father, for none doth beget himself; I have received a oommission from him, for none may put himself into any such power; I have received also armes from him, for neither I, nor any other souldier was born armed; neither am I any armourer. But the right use of all these which is above all, I had from none but my self, and not in any other; and so every souldier of Jesus Christ. Brad. De causa Dei. lib. 2, cap. 23. ad finem. That is, he may vapour against God, upon such supposal as this soul­dier vapours against his father. If acts of grace make to differ and stop the mouth of all boasting; then it is grace that enables unto these covenant-duties and engagements.

Sixthly, This appears by the absurdities that will follow upon denial of this doctrine of the concurrence of grace in the work of mans salvation. 1. Man being left to the power of his own will,Necessity of the concur­rence of grace. to answer to the termes of the covenant (so that all shall be sus­pended according to mans improvement to will or nill, to be active or idle, willing or disobedient,) when the event in all, e­ven in the Elect must rest doubtful; when Christ hath done all in the work of mans salvation, it might (notwithstanding all such work of his) so fall out, that he had effected nothing. He might have been a Saviour, and not one man in the world have been sa­ved; He might have been a Head, without any one member; a Shepherd, and not a sheep in his flock; a Lord, and never a one to have done him any service. It might have so fallen out, that he might never have been able to have said to the Father; I, and the children that thou hast given, &c. This is evident; As some have withstood, so might others; As the most withstand, so might all. Yea, it would have been no otherwise, If Gods Ministers should go forth, and the hand of the Lord not with them to work men to beleeve, Acts. 11. 21. But this is full a­gainst Gods covenant with Christ, which must stand firme and in­violably remain. He shall see his seed, he shall prolong his dayes; [Page 112] the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand, Isa. 53. 10, 11 Therefore it is of grace, that it may be sure; not of man, that it should be doubtful. 2. Then it will also follow, the work of mans salvation begins in an act; not in an habit; in somewhat that a man does respective to God, and not in any thing that God does in and upon man. The first beginning work will be as­cribed to him that wills and runs, not to him that shews mercy. But this is contrary to all Gospel-Revelations, concerning the way of our change: I will circumcise thy heart, that thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart, &c. Deut. 30. 6. I will write my Law in their hearts, and put it into their inward parts, as Jer 31. 33. No man can come to me, except the Father draw him, Joh. 6. 44. I will take away their hearts of stone, and give them hearts of flesh, Ezek 36. 26. If man were alone in the work, or had the priorety before any power infused, there had been none of these undertakings. 3. This will make vain and void the prayers of the people of God, which in the Scripture is put into their mouths; Draw me, and we will runne, Cant. 1. 4. Turn thou us, O Lord, and so shall we be turned, Lament. 5. 21. Create in me a clean heart, and renue a right spirit; acknowledging their own weaknesse to do, and a neces­sity of grace to effect, what in order to their salvation is called for.

7ly. If the Apostle may be heard, his authority will put it out of question, Exhorting to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, which is done no other way than in coming up to that which God calls for in covenant, he gives in his reason for encouragement; It is God that works in us the will and the deed. The special hand and power of God concurring in this works, is our encouragement from the Apostle to set upon it. How can he encourage to this work upon this account that God works in us, to will and to do, if there were not a work of God upon us before there be any such work done by us? We work, but he sets us on working; We will, but he sets us on willing; Let all the glos­ses that have ever been put upon these words to promote the will and work of man; and enervate the free grace of God, in the great concernments of salvation, be examined, and they will all fall of themselves before this Text of the Apostle. See Dr. Ward in his Sermon called Gratia discriminans.

Objections against the former doctrine answered.

BUt some say, Absurdities, and those not a few follow upon this Doctrine. Object. 1 Then salvation in this new Covenant, is as impossible for a man, as in the old, had he still remained under a Covenant of Works. If we can no more rise up to the termes of the Covenant of grace than we can to the Covenant of works, where then is the difference?

To which I answer; Answ. that a man void of grace can no more be saved by the Covenant of Grace, than a man under an impossibi­lity to work can be saved by the Covenant of Works, will easily be granted. By grace we are saved, Ephes. 2. 8. not of our selves. It is still equally impossible in both to be self-savours. Here is the difference. Grace raises us, unto that to which the Gos­pel calls us, in a self-denying way through faith; but works us not to that self perfection in those degrees of inherent righte­ousnesse, as to be saved by works.

Secondly, This doctrine layes man as low as a stock or a stone; a dead carcasse, nothing is done by him but what is done in him, and so must needs be injurious to man. Object. 2 To this I answer. First, it layes him no low­er than sin hath cast him, nor doth it make him worse than sin hath made him,Answ. and the Word of God doth discover him, and that is dead till grace quicken and raise him. His heart is of stone till grace, take it from him, and in enmity against God, till grace circumcise and work that change, to love the Lord with all the heart, &c. Secondly, This is not an absolute death, in which man is, through sin, and therefore the similitude holds not, that equals a stock, stone, or dead carcasse with him; It is only a death respective, as to spiritual obedience he is dead, There is in him a life natural, able for all actions and motions of the life of man as man, There is in him also a moral life, able to improve naturals to a civilized con­versation. That to which feare or hope can work a man, thither he may raise himself by the freedome of will, this puts no new life into him, nor works any chang of nature in him. He is also able for those works which God sanctifies as his instrument, for the work of a spiritual life, He [...] read and hear the Word, hath power to know much in it, and retain it. Thirdly, he is a subject suscep­tible, [Page 114] slands in a capacity of a life of grace, of spiritual actions and motions: having an understanding, will, affections, wanting not any faculties in their substance. The new man attaines not a new soul, but only renewed qualifications, which yet are of more glory, than the faculties themselves, carrying such a glorious re­semblance of God. Better know nothing than not know God, to desire nothing, than not to desire good. The want of this, turned Angels into Devils, and so man stands in a vast difference from stocks, stones and those to whom he is thus injuriously compa­red. This doctrine is not injurious to man, as it is tradu­ced.Object. 3

Thirdly, some say, This will render preaching vaine, all mans-paines for Conversion of soules will then prove uselesse, and to no pur­pose; we may let men alone till God work; and when he hath begun his work, they will set on working. This indeed speaks hard to a sort of men in our times; that deny any previous working in the soul for regeneration, or any preparatory work to conversion, So that all uncoverted, stand equally distant from the grace of it, in so much that it can be said of no one rather than another, which Christ said to the Scribe, Thou art not far from the Kingdome of God, Mar. 12. 34. I see not how these can make the preaching of the word of any use; Our Brethren that went into America, and offer the Gospel to savage Indians there, may as well finde Christ there, as bring him thither. The dark places of the earth may be equally happy, with those, where light is in most glory, if light contribute nothing to the work of change, and the happy frame of Christ in us. But those that have learnt, that infused ha­bits are wrought in the soul in the same manner,Habitus infusi infunduntur ad m [...]dum acquisi­torum. as those that are acquired, may easily return a satisfying answer. That opinion▪ that the soul is by an immediate creation infused, how generally soever it is received, yet never was thought of force to render the way of marriage uselesse for procreation; God infuses not a soul by creation into any, but an organized body, an Embryo fitted to receive it. Neither can this opinion of the power of grace in the work of Conversion, render in vain the labours of those that are spiritual Parents. Conviction is in order before Conversion, and men must see themselves necessitated to do what they do, before ever they enter upon it. The soule knoweth what it doth, when it first beleeves, and sees a necessity to accept Christ before it re­ceives [Page 115] him, which is the work of the Word in the soules, of those that are brought to Christ Jesus. It is not in vaine for God to send his Ministers to shew the mysteries of the Kingdome of hea­ven to those that are blinde, when this is the way of God to open their eyes and give them sight. It is not in vain that he sends them to those that are without strength, when this is his way to enable them with power. It is not in vain that Paul plants, and Apollos waters, when yet it is God that gives the in­crease, when God will use Paul and Apollos for the increase that he gives. Ministers should perswade, and people improve en­deavours as though they were Pelagians, and no help of grace affor­ded, They should pray and beleeve, and rest on grace as though they were Antinomians, nothing of endeavour to be looked after; So the injury that the Pelagian doth to grace, and the Antinomian to our endeavours, will be on both hands a­voided.

Farther differences in the conditions in the Covenant of Works, and the conditions in the Covenant of Grace.

2ly. THe conditions, on mans part in the Covenant of Works, kept man within him self for righteousnesse.The conditi­ons in the Co­venant of Works kept man within himself for righteousnesse. That righ­teousnesse in which he was to stand in Gods sight, was inhe­rent, wrought by himself; co-natural to him, flowing from the principles of his creation, in conformity to God. And therefore properly his own; as now a mans reason, will and affections are properly his, He needed no other, nor no more righteousnesse than that in which he stood. Though he had that faith which now serves to justifie; yet it needed not, nor could be improved to take in any other righteousnesse without himself for justification. Man stood then on his own bottome. His dependance was on God for being, but that being, which God pleased to communicate, was in that integrity and purity, that he needed not any far­ther. But the conditions of the Covenant of Grace, carry man out [Page 116] of himself,The conditi­ons in the Co­venant of Grace, carry a man out of himself to be righteous by anothers righ­teousnesse. He must be righteous with a righteousness extrinsecal, or else he will never be able to stand in judgment. Paul was as high, as he that was highest, in that righteousnesse, which he could lay claime to, as his own, wrought by himself, as well before con­version as after. Before conversion he was as high, as a Pharisee, or a Jew according to the letter could reach, either in priviledges, or duties; as we may see in that gradation of his, Phil. 3. Cir­cumcised, and therefore of the body of the people of God, and no alien from the Common-wealth of Israel; Circumcised the eighth day, and therefore born of Parents in the same Church-communion; Of the stock of Israel, and so the seed of Abraham, and not descended of ancestors that had been Proselytes; Of the Tribe of Benjamin, of that part of Israel that held the truth of worship; of whom was salvation, and not of the Apostated tribes; An Hebrew of the Hebrews, and therefore had not forgotten the language of Canaan; As touching the Law, a Pharisee, a man of no vulgar account, but of the most exquisite Sect; Concerning zeal, persecuting the Church, therefore not luke-warme or cold in the faith; As touching the righteousnesse that is of the Law blamelesse, therefore of a conversation exact, walk up to his principles. After conversion, he knew nothing by him­self, 1 Cor. 4. 4. His heart condemned him not, He exercised himself continually to have a conscience void of offence, both to God and man, Acts 24. 16. Yet he durst rest, in none of these, I am not (saith he) hereby justified, 1 Cor. 4. 4. What things were gain to me, those I counted losse for Christ; yea, doubtlesse, and I count all things but losse for the excellency of the knowledg of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the losse of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having my own righteousnesse, which is of the Law; but that which is through faith of Christ, the righteousnesse which is of God by faith, Philip. 3. 7, 8, 9. The ignorance of this, was the bane of the body of the Jewish Nation. The Gentiles which followed not after righteousnesse, have attained to righteousnesse, even the righteous­nesse which is of faith. But Israel which followed after the Law of righteousnesse, hath not attained to the Law of righteousnesse; wherefore? because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the Law, Rom. 9. 30, 31, 32. For they being ignorant of Gods righteousnesse, and going about to establish their own righteous­nesse, [Page 117] have not submitted themselves unto the righteousnesse of God, Rom. 10. 3. And still, it is the undoing of a great part of the world; Man being naturally inclined, to look after a righteous­nesse of his own, and extreamely opposite to this righteousnesse, which in the covenant of grace is tendered, and by which in a Gospel-way he must be saved. The righteousnesse of the former covenant, was wrote in the heart by nature; and such remain­ders left, that the man that minds any righteousnesse, alone looks after it. But this, is onely of Revelation, He must have light without him to lead to this righteousnesse, which is not his own, nor inherent in him: What naturally he did not know, he is naturally ready to oppose and refuse. Men know not how, till they be taught of God, to see a reason of it; or to un­derstand that it is of any use. A man may be wise with an­other mans wit, strong with another mans strength, learn­ed by another mans knowledge, as well as righteous (as they conceive) by another mans righteousnesse: Hence are the scornes that are put upon it, and the Treatises that are wrote against it; Vain man would faine be somewhat, as wise, Job 11. 12. so also righteous. This takes all from man, strips him of all in, which he may glory, as Romans 3. 27. This which man so opposeth, the covenant of grace establish­eth; And that which he so advanceth, the covenant of grace disclaimes.The conditi­ons in the Co­venant of works were for mans pre­servation in present happi­nesse.

3. The conditions on mans part in the covenant of works were for mans preservation in statu quo; in that condition in which he was created, To hold him in communion with God, which was his happinesse; he expected not to be bettered by his obedience, either respective to happinesse (no more is promised than in present he had,) nor yet in his qualifications respective to his conformity to God in righteousnesse and true holinesse. What improvement he might have made of the habit infused, by the exercise of obedience;The conditi­ons in the Co­venant of grace are for mans reparation. I shall not determine, But no change in qualifications was looked after, or given in pro­mise.

The conditions of the covenant of grace are serviceable to man in his return to God, for his recovery, as to his state of happinesse lost; so to the repaire or new frame of his qualifications depraved and spoiled. This is plain of it self, and will be further ex­plained [Page 118] in that which follows, Other differences there are as­signed by Divines to difference these two covenants; some of which fall in with these that I have mentioned, and some to which I cannot in all things consent. See Camero de triplici foedere, 1 Thes. 9. * These I thought to be most material, and with these I shall rest satisfied.

Faith is a condition of the Covenant of Grace.

HAVING asserted conditions, in the covenant of grace, and held forth several differences between the conditions, in the covenant of works, and in the covenant of grace, we are now further to enquire, what these conditions are, that are cal­led for in this covenant, on which we treat: Those Divines, that with concurrent judgments, acknowledge this covenant to be conditional, are not yet, so unanimous, in their assignation of them. For a full discovery, some things are to be premised, as truths taken for granted, rather than disputed 1. That God covenants with man, and engages himself to him, not onely for justification, but also for salvation. Not onely for pardon of sinne, but everlasting life and glory. Not onely to be reconciled to him; but to conferre eternal happinesse upon him. 2. What­soever God requires of man, in order, either to his justification, or salvation, without which he is not justified, or saved, and man engages unto, in order to his justification, or salvation, this is a covenant condition. This I take to be clear, in case there be any such thing, as a condition in any covenant, and it is also granted by a professed adversary of all conditions in the covenant of grace, faith and repentance are (saith he) means, of our enjoying the comforts of the covenant, but not conditions going out of the nature of a covenant; for every means, is not a condition, though every condition be a means; but, when a means is by stipulation, and contract appointed; for the acquiring of any thing, then it is a con­dition. Whatsoever then we can finde, thus required of God, in this way of contract, and stipulation; is a condition by the con­fession of our adversaries. 3. Whatsoever is required of man, [Page 119] in order to his justification, is a condition of his justification, and all that is required, in order to his eternal salvation, is, a con­dition of salvation, God making tender of both, and man enga­ging himself to seek both, whatsoever is required in order to ei­ther, respective to that, is a condition. 4. That, which is a con­dition of justification, is also a condition of salvation, in that, sal­vation presupposes a justified estate, but, it holds not on the contrary, that, which is, a condition of salvation, is not there­fore a condition of justification. More is required, to hold us up, in constant communion with God, then to bring us into a state of actual reconcilement to God. This being premised, the work will be more easie, to assigne conditions in this covenant. The condition, immediately serviceable, for mans return to a reconci­led state with God; and consequently of his justification, is faith, which almost all acknowledge to be a condition, and Camero, with several others, makes it to be, the sole condition of the covenant. A condition it is, as, is above contradiction, John. 3. 15, 16. God so loved the world, that he gave his onely begotten Son, that, whoso­ever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life, Mark 16. 16. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but, he that beleeveth not, shall be damned. Acts 10. 43. To him, give all the Prophets witnesse, that thorough his name; whosoever be­lieveth in him, shall receive remission of sinnes, Acts 13. 38, 39. Be it known unto you therefore men, and brethren; that through this man, is preached unto you forgivenesse of sinnes. And by him, all that beleeve, are justified from all things from which, ye could, not be justified, by the Law of Moses, Acts 16. 31. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy whole house, Rom. 3. 25. Whom God hath set forth, to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, Rom. 10. 4. Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness, to every one that believeth. In all these texts, and several others, faith is required of men, in covenant, and if men did not engage to beleeve, they could not be so much as professed covenanters. This is in reason further evident.

1. That which gives us interest in the Mediator of the covenant, without which we have no title to him,Reasons con­vincing Faith to be a condi­tion of the Covenant of grace. or portion in him; is a con­dition of the covenant: This is plain of it self, without interest in the Mediator of the covenant, we are as though no covenant were entred, and the former distance held up. But it is faith that gives us [Page 120] interest in Christ the Mediatour, He dwells in us by faith, Ephes. 3. 17. He is set forth a propitiation through Faith in his blood; They that believe receive him, John 1. 12. Others hold a distance from him; To as many as received him, to them he gave power to be the sonnes of God, even to those that beleeve in his Name.

2. That which receives all that grace gives, must needs be a con­dition of the covenant of grace; This is as plain, to be under a covenant of grace, and void of the gifts of grace is a vain entrance upon it, and the reception of the gift is a condition necessarily requisite. But Faith receives all that grace gives; It is of Fath that it might be of grace, Rom. 4. 16. God gives nothing, at least tending to eternity, but he puts it into the hands of Christ; He is the Fathers treasury and store-house, Col. 1. 19. It pleased the Father that in him all fulnesse should dwell. And that of his fulnesse we should all receive, Joh. 1. 16. And faith receives al from him, He that believeth, out of his belly flowes rivers of living water. Joh. 7. 38.

3. That which interest us in, and gives title to all priviledges, of a people in covenant with God through Christ, is a condition of the covenant: This is plaine, the end of the covenant being to conferre those priviledges upon us; But Faith interests us in, and gives title to all these priviledges, Paul is sent to the Gentiles, to turne them from Satan to God, to bring them out of Satans kingdome, and to bring them in a covenant-way into Christs Kingdome, That they may receive forgivenesse of sins, and an inhe­ritance among them that are sanctified (saith Christ) by faith that is in me. Christ is the object of a Christians faith, on whom it is terminated; Faith which is in Christ, receives that leading priviledg, forgivenesse of sins; without this priviledge we are strangers to all other priviledges; Being under sinne, we are heires of wrath, and in no capacity of mercy. Faith interests us in this. Acts 10. 43. To him give all the Prophets witnesse, that through his Name, whosoever believeth in him, shall receive remission of sins. Acts 13. 39. And by him, all that beleeve are justified, from all things from which ye could not be justified by the Law of Moses. Rom. 3. 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousnesse for the remission of sinnes that are past, through the forbearance of God. Faith interests us in the consum­mating [Page 101] priviledge, an inheritance among them that are sanctified. He that believeth hath everlasting life, John 6. 40. Faith interests us in all intermediate priviledges, which a man in covenant can en­joy in the way to this inheritance. Adoption of sonnes is this way obtained, John 1. 12. Gal. 3. 26. Pacification of Spirit, Serenity and tranquility of minde, Isa. 26. 3. Rom. 5. 1. Boldnesse at the throne of grace, Ephes. 3. 12. There is no priviledge bot­tomed on Christ, that hath foundation in him, but Faith receives, Faith then must be a condition of the cove­nant.

4. That which puts into a capacity to receive the mercies of the covenant; held forth in Promise, is a condition of the covenant, and the want of it strips off all hope and expectation of it; But Faith puts into a capacity to receive all the graces of the covenant given in promise; Said I not unto thee, if thou wilt beleeve, thou shalt see the glory of God? John 11. 40. God exerts and glorifies his power in great things for good unto those that exercise the grace of Faith. Paul saw the Creeple had faith to be healed, Acts 14. 9. Sure if there be such a thing as a condition in any cove­nant, in the world any such thing as a conditional covenant, then sure faith is a condition of the covenant of grace; Some conceive an absolute covenant made of God for grace, as Jer. 31. 33. This with me is very disputable, and I have given my reasons. But the covenant made to grace, must needs suppose grace. There is no covenant for happinesse made with any creature, but upon termes and conditions.

For further clearing of this point,In what sense faith is here taken. we must know that faith is considered under a double notion. First, as an instrument, or (if that word will not be allowed) as the way of our interest in Christ, and priviledges by Christ. Secondly, as an inherent grace or Christian duty to which both the Law and the Gospel call. The radical grace from which others flow, though not in their being, yet in their farther growth and en­crease. I speak of Faith now in the first acception. Neither as a part, or any way a working cause, of the farther progresse in inhe­rent righteousnesse, so it will come in the second place, but as interesting us in another righteousnesse, and so I say it is a con­dition in the covenant of grace, immediately serviceable for our returne to God, and reconciliation in Christ. For clear­ring [Page 102] of which,Propositions tending to clear the point in hand. I shall clear it in some propositions.

First, God will by no means justifie a wicked person, no man in sin shall stand and live in his sight. He that hath made a Law to forbid it, ordained hell for the punishment of it, will not justifie the person that is convinced and found guilty of it. Some say it is against his essence. The justice of God (which is God) ties him to take vengeance, sure I am it is against his declaration of himself, Exod. 34. 7. when he sets out his name in several parti­culars, this is one, by no means clearing the guilty. Some indeed have said (conceiting with themselves thereby to promote free grace,) that God justifies sinners as sinners, which, as it must needs, if true, bring in the salvation of all, à quatenus ad omne valet argumentum, then a man need no more but sinne, to conclude his salvation, and the more sinne, the stronger evidence; so, it is utterly destructive to the Gospel, and overthrows the whole work of Christs merit, as the Apostle saith, If righteousnesse be by the Law, then, Christ is dead in vaine. Galatians 2. 21. So we may safely say, If a man be justified as a sinner without a righteousnesse. So that the truth is, God justifies as righteous, what he esteems as an abomi­nation in man, that he doth not himself; but this in man is an a­bomination to him; He that justifieth the wicked, and condemneth the just, even they both are an abomination to the Lord, Proverbs 17. 15.

Secondly, Man hath no righteousnesse of his owne, to bring in plea for his justification, in which he can appeare before God in judgment. This will be plaine if we consider the wayes of ac­quital where proceedings are just and legal. This must be, ei­ther as innocent, when a man can plead not guilty to that which is given in charge; So did David when Cush, the Benjamite did traduce him, Psalm. 7. 3. If I have done this, if there be iniquity in my hands. And so did Paul to the charge of Tertullus, Acts 24. 13. Upon this account Pilate was willing to have acquitted Christ, I finde no fault in this man, Luke 23. 4. Or else by way of satisfaction or discharge of the penalty which the Law impo­seth, so in all penal Lawes, when the penalty is borne, the delin­quent is discharged. Man cannot be acquitted as innocent, his guilt is too palpable. There is no men that sinneth n [...]t, (saith Solomon) 1 Kings 8. 4, 6. The Scripture hath concluded all under sinne, [Page 103] Gal. 3. 22. The Law speaks that language, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God, Rom. 3. 19. Man is under that guilt that he is wholly silenced; which renders the way of salvation by works impossible. Neither can he be acquitted by way of satisfaction; where the way of pure justice is held, the debtor under charge can never come out till he hath paid the uttermost farthing, Mat. 5. 26. Which here amounts to such an heighth, that man may be ever paying, but never able to satisfie: Our guilt is according to the majesty of him, whose Law is transgressed, and wrath incurred. This is seen in Devils and damned souls, who bear in their own persons the reward due to their sinnes. That man, that must suffer it in his own person, may well say with Cain, My punishment is greater then I can bear, Gen. 4. 13.

Thirdly, Man in this sad and perplexed estate, hath yet a righteousnesse of grace tendered him, a righteousnesse without the Law, but witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, Rom. 3. 21. And this is by way of discharge of his guilt by anothers suffering; Our name was in the Obligation in case of sinne to suffer death, Christ was pleased (by consent and covenant with the Father) to put in his; and as he was thus obliged, so he suffered, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, 1 Pet. 3. 18. We brake the Law, and he bore the penalty, whether idem or tantundem, the same in specie, or the same in value, is scarce worth dispute, So that it be yeelded that justice was answered, and the Father sa­tisfied, and that we come out not on our own, but our sureties account. And this (as I yet conceive) is by Christs passive obe­dience; His suffering in the flesh is our freedom, his death is our ransome. There needs no more than innocency not to die, and when guilt is taken away, we stand as innocent, no crime then can be charged upon us. But to reign in life (as the Apostle speaks) to in­herit a crown, there is farther expected, which we not reaching, Christs active obedience imputed to us (not adding to ours (but being in it self compleat) is accounted ours, and we are dischar­ged.

And whereas some say, Object. that being freed from death, upon that very account we reigne in life, and therefore in case his sufferings, deliver us from death, they necessarily confer upon us life, there is not, nor can there be conceived any medium between them.

[Page 104] I answer,Answ. It is true of our natural life and death, A man not dead, is alive. But taking [death] in Scripture-sense, for the wages, of sin, which comprizes (as we have heard) all misery, and [life] for an immarcessible crown of glory, there may be a medium con­ceived between them, and is not onely conceived, but assigned by Papists in their Limbus infantum. Neither will it serve to say that Christs active obedience, served onely for a qualification to fit him for the work of suffering; none but innocent man free from sin, could be a sacrifice for sinne, seeing Christ had been in­nocent, though he had never come under the Law, to have yeeld­ed that obedience. His person had not been, as ours, under the Law, unlesse of his own accord he had been made under the Law, Gal. 4. 4. Somewhat might be said for the subjection of the hu­mane nature in Christ, the manhood of Christ, which was a crea­ture, but the person of Christ God-man, seemes to be above sub­jection, Much may be said for the subjection of the Sonne of David, so considered, he may say with David, I am thy servant, and the sonne of thy handmaid, but not so of the Lord of David, had he not for our sakes made himself a servant; We know the mortality of the humane nature, yet Christ had never died, un­lesse he had made himself obedient unto death, neither needed he to have served unlesse he had humbled himself, Phil. 2. to take upon him the forme of a servant. See the confession of Faith, agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines, chap. 8. sect 5. and Dr. Featlies speeches upon it.

Fourthly, This righteousnesse of Christ, whether passive or active, or both passive and active, is made ours by faith. This is our way of interest and appropriation of it to our selves, Faith and no o­ther grace, this grace and no other Gospel-work, gives us title; and therefore, as it is called the righteousnesse of God, so, also the righteousnesse of faith; These two, are promiscuously used and taken, for one another, Rom. 10. 3, 4. Phil 3. 8. Called the righteous­nesse of God, being the free gift of God, wrought by Christ who is God, denied to be our own righteousnesse, being neither wrought by us, or inherent in us, called the righteousnesse of faith, not of works, not of love, not of patience, or meekness. It is alone faith, and none of these graces that puts out it selfe to receive it; love in a graciously disposed soul, cleaves to Christ for communion, but receives him not for justification. These [Page 105] two stand as relatives, there is no soul entituled to this righteous­nesse, but by faith; and faith is it that entitles to it, & the beleeving soul hath interest in it, Therefore justification in Scripture is ascri­bed to faith, and denied to works, when neither faith, nor works can beare us out of themselves before the tribunal of God; but faith takes hold, and the soul by faith rests on this righteousnesse of grace, which the Gospel tenders. It is true, that faith receives the Spirit as well as it receives the blood of Christ, Joh. 7. 39. Gal. 3. 14. But this is for another use, for the work of sanctifica­tion inherent,The acceptati­on of Christ as a Lord, doth not justifie. not justification by righteousnesse imputed. And it is also true, that faith accepts Christ as a Lord, as well as a Sa­viour: But it is the acceptation of him as a Saviour, not as a Lord that justifies; Christ rules his people as a King, teacheth them as a Prophet, but makes atonement for them onely as a Priest, by giving himself in sacrifice; his blood for remission of sins; These must be distinguished, but not divided, Faith hath an eye at all, the blood of Christ, the command of Christ, the Doctrine of Christ, but as it eyes and fastens on his blood, so it justifies. He is set out a propitiation through faith in his blood, Romans 3. 24. not through faith in his command, It is the blood of Christ that cleanseth all sin, and not the Sovereignty of Christ. These con­fusions of the distinct parts of Christs Mediatourship; and the several offices of faith may not be suffered. Scripture assignes each its particular place and work. Sovereignty doth not cleanse us, nor doth blood command us; faith in his blood, not faith yeelding to his Sovereignty doth justifie us. There are several acts or fruits of justifying faith, Heb. 11. But all are not justifying; It is not Abrahams obedience, Moses self-denial, Gideon or Sampsons valour that was their justification, but his blood (in which faith a­lone gives interest) who did enable them in these duties, by his Spirit. Paul went in these duties as high as they, living in more clear light, and under more abundant grace, I doubt not but he out-topt them, and yet he was not thereby justified, as 1 Cor. 4. 4. James indeed saith, that Abraham was justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son on the Altar, James 2. 21. But either there we must under­stand a working faith with Piscator, Paraeus, Pemble, and others, and confesse that Paul and James handle two distinct questi­ons; The one, whether faith alone justifies without works; which he concludes in the affirmative. The other, what faith justifies, [Page 106] whether a working faith onely, and not a faith that is dead and idle; or else I know not how to make sense of the Apostle, who streight inferres from Abrahams justification by the offer of his sonne. And the Scripture was fulfilled, that saith, Abraham be­leeved God, and it was accounted to him for righteousnesse. How otherwise do these accord? He was justified by works, and the Scripture was fulfilled, that saith, he was justified by faith; Nei­ther can I reconcile what he saith, if this be denied, with the whole current of the Gospel. The Rhemists indeed understand those texts of the Apostle, where he excludes works from justifi­cation, to be meant of mans moral works, done before faith and conversion; The works of the Law done without Christ, Annot. in Rom. 3. 20, 28. As though the Law did not command those duties, unto which Christ through faith strengthens a Christian converted by grace; And when the Apostle concludes the im­possibility of being justified by the works of the Law, his mean­ing should be unlesse grace assist the Law, that it may justifie: This could not be, the Apostle calls it a righteousnesse of God with­out the Law, not a righteousnesse of the Law, with addition of strength from the Gospel; All works before or after conversion inherent in us, or wrought by us, are excluded from justification. See Ravanellus in verbum, Justificatio. Num. 3. page 867. This ju­stification wrought freely by grace through faith, Rom. 3. 24. is no way consistent with justification by works. And what the Apostle speaks of election, we may well apply to justification, the same medium equally proves the truth of both, If by grace, then it is no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more of grace, otherwise works were no more works, Rom 11. 6. And these things considered▪ I am truly sorry that faith should now be denied to have the office or place of an instrument in our justification;Faith justifies as an instru­ment. nay, scarce allowed to be called the instrument of receiving Christ, that justifies us be­cause the act of faith (which is that which justifies us) is, our actual receiving Christ, and therefore cannot be the instrument of receiving. This is too subtile a notion: we use to speak other­wise of Faith; Faith is the eye of the soul whereby we see Christ, and the eye is not sight. Faith is the hand of the soul whereby it receives Christ, and the hand is not receiving, And Scripture speaks otherwise, We receive remission of sinnes by Faith, and an in­heritance [Page 107] among them that are sanctified is received by Faith, Acts 18. 26. Why else is this righteousnesse sometimes called the righteousnesse of Faith, and sometimes the righteousnesse of God which is by Faith, but that it is a righteousnesse which Faith re­ceives; Christ dwells in us by Faith, Ephes. 3. 17. By Faith we take him in and give him entertaintment We receive the promise of the Spirit through Faith, Gal. 3. 14. These Scriptures speak of Faith as the souls instrument, to receive Christ Jesus, to receive the Spirit from Christ Jesus. The instrumentality of it in the work of justification is denied, because the nature of an instrument (as considered in Physical operations) doth not exactly belong to it, which if it must be alwayes rigidly followed, will often put us to a stand in the assignation of causes of any kind in Moral acti­ons, The material and formal causes in justification are scarce agreed upon, and no marvel then, in case men mind to contend about it, that some question is raised about the instrument. But in case we shall consider the nature and kinde of this work, about which Faith is implied, and examine the reason and ground upon which Faith is disabled from the office of an instrument in our justification, and withall look into that which is brought in as an instrument in this work in the stead of it; I do not doubt but it will easily appear that those Divines, that with a concurrent judgment (without almost a dissenting voice have made Faith an instrument in this work) speak most aptly and most agreeably to the nature of an instrument. The work about which Faith is implied, is not an absolute, but a relative work, a work of God towards man, not without the actual concurrence of man, such, in which neither God nor man are sole efficients, nor any act of God or man can be sole instruments, but there must be a mutual concurrence of both; This must needs be granted, un­lesse we will bring in Doctor Crispes passive recipiency of Christ, Christs abode in man without man, in spight of man, and suppose him to be justified in unbelief; And hereupon faith is disabled from this office in justification by this argument. If Faith be an instru­ment, it is the instrument of God, or man. 1. Not of man, for man is not the principal efficient, he doth not justifie himself. 2. Not of God. For (1) It is not God that beleeveth, though it is true, God is the first cause of all actions. (2.) Man is the causa secun­da, between God and the action, and so still man should be said [Page 108] to justifie himself. (3.) For (as Aquinas) the action of the princi­pal cause, and of the instrument is one action; and who dare say, that faith is so Gods instrument? (4.) The instrument must have an in­flux to the producing of the effect of the principal cause, by a proper causality; & who dare say that faith hath such an influx into our justi­fication.

I answer, It is the instrument of man; and though man do not justifie himself, yet he concurres as a willing, ready agent with God in it; God is a justifier of those that beleeve in Jesus, Rom. 3. 26. God hath set Christ forth a propitiation through faith, Rom. 3. 25. It is one God which shall justifie the circumcision by faith, and the un­circumcision through faith, Rom. 3. 30. And because it is the instru­ment of man in a work of this nature, it is also an instrument of God. As some have observed a communication of Titles between Christ and his Church: (the Church being called by his Name,) so there is a communication of actions in these relative works; Christ dwells in our hearts by faith, Eph. 3. 17. We believe, and not Christ, and yet faith there is Christs instrument, whereby he takes up his abode; God purifies the hearts of the Gentiles by faith, Acts 15. 17. They beleeved, and not God, yet faith is Gods instrument in the work of their purification; so on the other side, the Spirit is Gods work, yet we by the Spirit do mortifie the deeds of the flesh, Rom. 8. 13. Man neither justifies nor sanctifies himself, yet by faith he is raised to close with God in both;Fides percipit justificationem, efficit sanctifi­cationem. and so Faith as an instrument receives righteousness to justification, and therefore is called the righteous­ness of faith which is our justification, and works sanctification; pro­vided you understand not the first work, which is properly rege­neration, and precedent to faith, but the farther progresse and in­crease of it; The Spirit working faith, faith takes in a larger mea­sure of the Spirit, John 7. 37. He that beleeveth on me, as the Scri­pture saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water; but this he spake of the Spirit, which they that beleeve on him, should receive. The Spirit will do nothing without our faith, and our faith can do nothing without the Spirit; Man cannot justifie himselfe by beleeving without God, and God will not justifie an unbeleeving man. Faith then is the act of man; man beleeves, yet the instru­ment of God, that justifies onely beleevers; so that what is here spoken by way of exception against faith as an instrument, holds of efficients, and instruments sole and absolute in their work, [Page 109] and causality. But where there is a concurrence of agents, and one makes use of the act of another to produce the effect; that in such causality is wrought, it will not hold.

The promise or grant of the new Covenant in the Gospel, is (insted of faith) made the instrument in the work of justification. This is in­deed Gods, and not mans. It is the covenant of God, the Promise of God, the Gospel of God; but of it selfunable to raise man up to justi­fication. It is often tendred, and justification not always wrought; & so disabled from the office of an instrument by Ke [...]ker. in his Com upon his first Canon, concerning an instrument.Quàm pri­mum ergo in­strumentum, principali agenti non subser­vit, instrumen­ti naturam a mittit. Assoon as the instru­ment servs not the principal agent, so soon it loses the nature of an instru­ment. He instanceth in an horse that obeys not the reins of his rider, but grows refractory, then he ceaseth to be an instrument for tra­vel. A sword is not an instrument of slaughter, where it slays not; nor an axe an instrument to hew, where it cuts not: neither is the Gospel an instrument of justification, where it justifies not, & with­out our faith, it never justifies. Where the Minister is a Minister of condemnation, the savour of death to death, there the Gospel be­comes an instrument of condemnation and of death. The efficacy that is in the Gospel for justification, it receives by their faith to whom it is tendred. Heb. 4. 2. Vnto us was the Gospel preached as well as unto them, but the Word preached did not profit them, not being mix­ed with faith in them that heard it. 1 Thes. 2. 2, 13. You received not the Word of God (which you heard of us) as the word of men, but (as it is in truth) the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that be­leeve. So that the Gospel in it self considered, is wanting in that ho­nour assigned to an instrument, to have influx to the producing of the effect of the principal cause by a proper causality; If none dare say, faith hath such an influx, they may much lesse say, that the Word hath such an influx. The Gospel is an outward instrument, saith Ravanellus, Faith an inward; They both making up one instru­ment, full and compleat, yet Faith is more aptly and fitly called an instrument, Seeing that faith gives efficacy as an instrument to the Word, the Word may be without Faith, and so no instrument at all; but Faith always presupposeth the Word of Promise, & is not with­out its object. Therefore to wind up this whole dispute, in which I have studied to be brief, though I fear some will think I have been too tedious, Seeing that those that make Faith the instrument in ju­stification, make the Gospel an instrument likewise, and dare not [Page 130] go about to strip it of its honour. I hope that they that make the Gospel an instrument, will acknowledge Faith to be an instru­ment in like manner; being in their efficacy as instruments so inse­parably joyned, and so all the controversie may be fairely ended and concluded.

Objections against the conditionality of Faith answered.

AGAINST this which hath been said, it is objected by one, that Vnbelief is not a barre hindring one,Objections. from having part in Christ; God bestowes Christ without any regard to our belief or un­belief: Which words how high soever against the Gospel, yet he undertakes to salve with a distinction. There is a twofold recei­ving of Christ, saith he, (1) There is a passive receiving of Christ, You will say, (saith my Authour) what is passive receiving of Christ? I answer, (saith he) A passive receiving of Christ, is just such a receiving of him, as when a froward Patient takes a purge, or some bitter physick▪ he shuts his teeth against it; but the Physician forceth his mouth open, and poures it downe his throat, and so it works against his will, by the ever-ruling power of one over him, that knows it is good for him: Thus I say, there is a passive recipiency or receiving of Christ, which is the first receiving of him; when Christ comes by the gift of the Father, to a person whilest he is in the stubornesse of his own heart. (2) There is an active receiving of him, &c.

This distinction carries a full contradiction in it self, There can­not be in the same subject, a meere passive and active recipie cy of the same thing, as appeares in the similitude brought to illustrate it; This froward Patient that hath a medicine forced into him, in which he is meerly passive, cannot again afterward receive that me­dicine. If Christ be th [...]s forced, and enters against our will, then we cannot actively at any time after receive him, And could it be reconciled unto it self, yet it stands in full opposition to Scripture; Christ stands at the door and knocks, Re [...]. 3. 20. He waites till his locks are wet with the dew of the night, as Cant. 5. 2. [Page 131] But he makes no forcible entry; we read of Gods power in chang­ing the will that it freely accepts, but not forcing gifts of grace upon any against their wills: Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, Psal. 110. 3. He works a will, Philip. 2. 13. Christ dwells in none that rise in hostility against him, and the positio [...], which the distinction is brought to assert, (That unbelief is no bar hindring one from having Christ) is no better; If unbeliefe be no barre to our receiving of Christ; then it is no barre to salvation; where the Saviour enters, he brings salvation, He that hath the Son, hath life, 1 John 5. 12. But we finde it evi­dently a barre to salvation, according to Scripture, Joh. 3. 36. He that beleeveth not the Sonne, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. He that beleeveth not shall be damned, Mark 16. 16. Yea, according to the Author himself, There is no person un­der heaven shall be saved (saith he) till he have beleeved; which is a truth according to Scripture. They could not enter into the rest of Canaan, that did lie in their unbelief, Neither can they en­ter into the rest of heaven, Heb. 4. 1. Then Christ dwells not in our hearts by Faith, Ephes. 3. 17. But also in a state of unbelief; Then God is not a justifier of those that beleeve in Jesus, as Rom. 3. 26. but equally justifies men without Faith in Jesus; Then Christ is not set out a propitiation through Faith in his blood, but without any Faith in it; Then they that beleeve are not only justi­fied from all things from which they could not be justified by the Law of Moses, but they that beleeve not. And God gave his Sonne, that he that beleeves not on him should have everlasting life. This doctrine layes all the honour of Faith in the dust; Then Habakkuk might have spared this speech, that the just shall live by Faith, Habbakuk 2. 4. and Paul might have found another way of life in the flesh than by Faith in the Son of God.

Secondly,Object. It is said that the justification of a sinner was with God from eternity; It was in his purpose before all time to discharge his Elect, and to lay nothing to their charge; So then this is, as election it selfe, uncon­ditional.

To which I answer,Answ. That this ovethrows the redemption wrought by Christ, and the price paid by his sufferings, as well as the necessity of Faith; What need Christ to be at all that pains, to [Page 132] undergo all those sorrows, as to be a man of sorrows, to do that which from all eternity was done? Then, as Paul sayes in another case, Christ is dead in vain: This, some have seene, yet rather than leave their opinion, have chosen to swallow it down, and the absurdity with it, and do maintaine that Christ did not purchase, procure, or work any love from God for man, but only published and declared that he was from eternity beloved; A fit conclusi­on drawn from such premisses: Then Christ was no Authour of eternal salvation, as Heb. 5 9. but only the publisher, He was a messenger from God, in the dayes of his flesh, but no Saviour of man; He did not redeeme us with a price, but only made known that we were so farre in the love of God from eternity that no redemption needs. Secondly, I say, Gods purpose of a thing doth no put it in being; He takes his own way, to bring about in time, that which he purposed before all time; All that is done, even every work under the Sunne, was alike from eternity in the purpose of God, Known unto God are all his works from the be­ginning of the world, Acts 15. 18. So the house that was built this day, was built from eternity; The childe that was born this day, was borne from eternity; We may as well say that the Elect were glorified from eternity, so that they need to look after no o­ther glorification, as to say they are justified from eternity. All the works of God were in his purpose from ever, who sees all things at once; and not as we can comprehend them in their re­spective succession? But we enquire after things as they are in themselves and not as they are in Gods purpose.

Thirdly,Object. Some say justification can be no other, than an act of God from eternity, being an immanent act, and not a transient. Transient acts are in time done, in the juncture of time when God pleases to do them, but immanent acts of God are from e­ternity.Answ. To which I first answer, that it is not without danger for us to bring the actions of God under our examination, and then to fix School-notions upon them, according to which they must be bounded, When (as Master Burges well observes) we are here in meere darknesse, and not able to comprehend how God is said to act or work. Treatise of Justification, page 166. How much more safe were it for us to learne à posteriore, from the mouth of God in Scriptures, what his actions are, and the order how he works, than à pri [...]re, to conclude that they are thus and [Page 133] thus, and therefore thus of necessity he must work? Yet if we may be so bold as to look into this act of his, and take it into consideration,Quae real [...]m & evidentem mu­tationem ex­trinsecus nul­lam infert. Transiens actio est quae revera mutationem infert. according to this notion; we may farre rather con­clude that justification is an action transient, not immanent. An immanent action (as the Schooles tell us) is terminated within the subject, and works no real nor evident change out of it: and they instance in our conceptions of, and resolutions about things, Kek [...]rman, p. 107. A transient act is not terminated within the subject, but hath its effect, and is terminated upon some other object. Now, if by way of analogy we may apply these to God, for we otherwise can reach none of his actions; it is easie to con­clude that justification of a sinner is a transient, and no im­manent act; It works man from a state of wrath to a state of friendship and love, of a vessel of wrath, brings man into favour and esteeme, which though it work no Physical change in man, yet the whole effect is terminated in him; That act of Pharaoh, had as real an effect upon Joseph, and was terminated in him in his advancement out of prison, for rule in Egypt, as though a Physi­cian in case of sicknesse, had wrought a cure upon him. Though I were not able to hold it our, that justification were a transient act, but according to our conception of the actions of man, it should rather appear to be an action immanent in God, so in him that it had no effect out of him, yet I must follow the Scriptures that make justification an act in time, not from eternity. Paul having mentioned a state of sinne under which the Corinthians were, saith, such were some of you, but ye are washed, but ye are san­ctified, but ye are justified, 1. Corinth. 6. 11. Once they were not, but now they are in a state of justification; It hath its [...], in which it is acted, a season in which it is vouchsafed. It is affixed to faith. Acts 13. 38. Now faith is not from eternity, it comes by hearing; A Ministery is continually employed for reconciliation and pardon of sinne, 1 Cor. 5. 19. John 20. Which were in vain if justification were as election, from before the foundation of the world; They work them not to election, but only call upon them to make their calling and election sure; There are seniors and juniors in this priviledge, one obtains it before another; Andro­nicus and J [...]nia were in Christ before the Apostle, Rom. 16. 7. These evident proofs would take with my faith, above a thousand such subtilties. But herein the Schools, in their application of [Page 134] these acts to God, speak according (as to the point in hand) to the minde of Scriptures.

Fourthly,Object. It is farther objected that Christ is the Lamb slaine from the beginning of the world. His death hath been of efficacy in the Church through all ages, And he bore our sinnes in his body, 1 Pet. 2. 24. All our sinnes did meet in him, Isa. 53. 6. and therefore from the beginning we were justified.

I answer,Answ. it profited all those, and only those in each age to whom it was revealed, and by whom it was applied, and not those that have no interest in him. Over and above the Decree of God for mans salvation, there was a necessity of the death of Christ for our redemption, which Christ in the fulnesse of time paid on the Crosse. And over and above the death of Christ, there is a like necessary of the application of it to our soules for life; The work of redemption was finished on the Crosse, when Christ triumphed over principalities and powers. But much of the work of our salvation was behinde; Election did not overthrow Christs redemption, but did establish it; Redemption doth not o­verthrow our application, but doth establish it likewise. There is a farther work of Christs to be done, his intercession in heaven being one part of his Priest-hood, which he is gone to discharge as the High Priest into the holiest of holies; A farther work to be done by man through believing. Not to have interest in Christs death, is all one as though he had not died; He that beleeves in him shall not perish. See Baxter of Justification, Aphorisme 15. Davenant de morte Christi, cap. 5. p. 58, &c.

Lastly, it is said by another, If Faith be a condition of the Co­venant of Grace,Object. then it can be no instrument of our justification; If it be a condition in this Covenant, it justifies as a condition, and then it cannot justifie as an instrument, and so I pul down what I build, and run upon contradictions.

I answer,Answ. I should rather judge on the contrary, that because it is a condition of the covenant, in the way as it is before exprest, that it is therefore an instrument in our justification; God tenders the gift of righteousnesse to be received by Faith. He covenants for this Faith, for acceptation of this righteousnesse. By beleeving then we keep covenant, and receive Christ for justification, We as well do what God requires, as receive what he tenders; We do our duty, and take Gods gift, and thereby keep covenant, [Page 135] and receive life, and so Faith is both a condition and an instru­ment.

Here I might by way of just corollary infer,A justified man is fitted for e­very duty, to which God is pleased for to call. that a justified man reconciled to God in Christ, is a man fitted for every duty unto which God calls, which he is pleased to require; Faith is his ju­stification, the instrumental work of his reconciliation to God; and all things are possible to him that beleeveth, Mark 9. 23. There is not a duty commanded, but a beleeving man through Christ is strengthned for it; The Word works effectually in th [...]se that believe, as 1 Thes. 2. 13. We see the great works that were atchieved by those of ancient time, both in doing and suffering, Heb. 11. and all of those are ascribed to Faith, what Christ can do as in reference to duty, that they can do to acceptation; They can do all things through Christ that strengthens them, Phil. 4. 13. Christ overcomes the world, John 16 33. And this is their victory whereby they overcome the world, 1 John 5. 4. Christ treads down Satan, Rom. 16 20. And they resist him strong in the Faith, 1 Pet. 5. 9. A man of Faith is for universal obedience; He is a man for dependance on God for the fruition of all promises. A word from God is enough for Faith. He knows how to rest upon him, for the good things of the earth, he is above anxious thoughts, what he should eate, what he should drink, or where­with he should he clothed, knowing that godlinesse hath the promise of this life, 1 Tim. 4. 8. and therefore, Though the fig-tree shall not blossome, neither shall fruit be in the Vines, the labour of the Olive shall faile, and the fields shall yeeld no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no heard in the stalls, yet he will rejoyce in the Lord, he will joy in the God of his salvation, Hab 3. 17, 18. he knows how to rest upon him for spiritual priviledges, for adoption of sonnes, for evelasting salvation; He rests upon this, that he that liveth and beleeveth in Christ shall not die for ever. He knows how to manage all states and conditions, he knows how to be full, and how to be hungry; he can beare pro­sperity, and not be puffed up; He can be under adversity, and not be cast down; In the worst of times, the just lives by faith, Hab. 2. 4. He can make use of every Ordinance for his spiritual advan­tage. The word preach is for his benefit, Being mixt with faith when he receives it, Heb. 4▪ 2. He knows how to improve the Sacra­ments for his spiritual growth, those seales of the righteousnesse of [Page 136] Faith, Rom. 4. 11. Abel by Faith exceeded Cain in sacrifices, Heb. 11. 4. and so do these exceed all unbeleevers in their perfor­mances. All of these might be farther and more fully enlarged, but that it is done at large by better hands; Master Ward in his Life of Faith, Master Culverwel, especially Master Ball in his ela­borate treatise on that subject.

Repentance is a condition of the Covenant of grace.

THe condition immediately serviceable for mans reconciliati­on to God, we have seen; that which respects his reparation in his qualifications, to hold up communion with God, follows, which is, Repentance. The end of Christs coming in the flesh be­ing to save sinners: He saves them not in their sins; but from their sins; and therefore calls them to repentance, and engages all to it, that he receives into covenant. As God will have a self-outed, and beleeving people, So, he will have an humble and an holy peo­ple. So John Baptist the forerunner of the Mediatour, began his Ministery, Repent, giving in this, as his reason, The Kingdome of heaven is at hand, that is, a New Testament-state, in which the covenant of Grace was to be opened, and the glorious privi­ledges of it made manifest, Matth. 3. 2. With the self-same words, Jesus, the Mediatour of the covenant, begins his Mini­stery, Matth. 4. 12, 17. verses compared. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent, for the Kingdome of Heaven is at hand. To this he resolves to engage those that he receives. So it was with the twelve, that were men employed to bring Nations into covenant. They thus began their Mini­stery,Faith and Re­pentance are distinct graces, and not one and the same. Mark 6. 12. They went out, and preached that men should repent. Neither let any make these two (Faith and Repentance, or Faith and Obedience, which is comprised under Repent­ance) one and the same, and old project to introduce ju­stification by works. The Scriptures evidently distinguish them, Paul makes them two distinct heads in the Ministery, when he preached either to the Jews or Gentiles, Acts 20. 21. Testify­ing [Page 137] both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. They are two distinct heads, of Catechisme in the Apostles times, Repentance from dead works, and Faith towards God, Heb. 6. Repent ye, and beleeve the Gospel, Mark 1. 15. There are those acts in Scripture attributed to Faith, that will by no means be ascribed to love or obedience, as the ta­king in of the priviledges before mentioned. If Faith work by love, as the Apostle speaks, Gal. 5. 6. And love be the end of the commandment, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and faith unfeigned, 1 Tim. 1. 5. then faith is a distinct thing from love. If by Faith the Worthies of old wrought righteousnesse, then righ­teousnesse may be distinguished from it, Heb. 11. 33. As Faith and Hope make two Graces, so Love a third, 1 Cor. 13. 13. It is not the Gospel way to confound them together, They must not be divided, but they are to be distinguished. In this of repentance which is a Gospel-grace and condition of the covenant, we may observe

  • First, A necessary pre-requisite to it.
  • Secondly, The essential parts of it.

A necessary pre-requisite to this of repentance (as to the other of Faith) is Conviction,Godly sorrow is a prerequisite to repentance. Compunction, Remorse, Unto which the name of repentance is often given, though it be of farre more narrow comprehension than the whole work; yea, it reacheth not unto any thing which is of the essence of it, Called repent­ance (as some say) by a Synechdoche, the part for the whole; but I rather take it to be a Metonimy; Sorrow is rather an adjunct than a part of it, yet such an adjunct that still accompanies it, and makes way for it, as the needle (as the Ancients use to expresse it) enters the cloth, not to stay, but to let in the thread. An Of­ficer enters an house, to throw out one inhabitant, and to let in another, but not to stay himself. It hath its name from paine, grief, or trouble, which affects the soul for sin, which must needs follow, when once we look upon it with shame and wearisomnesse. Who can imagine a man to have his eyes opened, to see that through his whole life, he hath risen up in hostility, and oppositi­on against God? hath taken off that stamp, which God in crea­tion put upon him? run his soul upon everlasting hazard, and all of this without sense of shame, fear, or trouble? Who can ima­gine [Page 138] that the soul can leave so ugly a path, as that of sin formerly so pleasant, and desired, without any grief or trouble of minde that he hath so long held it? Or that any will make out for help in a Saviour, till they see themselves through sinne in a lost and undone condition? I speak not of infants (who neither act faith nor repentance) but of those of growth, whom God works for himself by his Ministers,Some degree of soul-shaking by the Law ne­cessary. As they have their call by the Word, So the Word hath its efficacy in some measure of soul-shaking, by the Lawes discovery, by which is the knowledge of sinne, as Rom. 3. 20. Evangelical allurements (on which by some the whole of the work is laid) can never (I suppose) work on the soule with­out Law-convictions. If these Gospel allurements draw to Christ, they must draw from sinne, and how shall any be drawn from what he does not know; nor ever understood either to be evil, or dangerous? It is with me no lesse a Paradox, that a man may be drawn from sin, without the discovery of the Law, as to be drawn to Christ without the light of the Gospel, And to say the Gospel discovers sin, as well as the Law; taking the Gospel in opposition to the moral precepts, (as here it must be taken) is the greatest absurdity. Exem. gr. If it be questioned whether to take up armes be a sin? whether to fight a duel be a sinne? whether usury be sin? or to marry within the Levitical degrees forbidden be sin, shall I determine this out of a Gospel-promise? That Jesus Christ came to save sinners. That the blood of Christ takes away all sin. That in him all that beleeve are justified. A thousand of these will contribute nothing to the expediting of these or like questions; or the conviction of any under guilt; The work must be brought to the rule, the action to the line for discovery; Upon the Laws convictions there may follow Gospel-aggravations; But conviction is the work of the Law, as an in­strument of the Spirit. This conviction unto change is hardly without compunction, remorse, and terrours in the soul. It was not the single case of the Corinthians, but common with other Christians, as the natural work of godly sorrow, that it worketh re­pentance not to be repented of, 2 Cor. 7. 10. I will not stand to di­ [...] whether any, ever are exempted from this preparatory work. I question not Gods prerogative, I am upon enquiry after his usual method. I know some instance in Matthew, who being called, suddenly, followed Christ, and we heare nothing of any work [Page 139] upon his spirit to trouble; But who knows whether Matthew, a Jew, were not called by grace, before this call to an Apostleship? and if not in grace, whether it necessarily followed in that instant? The like is objected of Lydia, The Lord opened her heart, that she attended to the things that were spoken of Paul, Acts 16. 14. without any sorrow or trouble in spirit is mentioned; Nei­ther is there mention of any joy,Limits put to this doctrine of godly sor­row. or rejoycing in spirit, and she by many is believed also to have been a Proselyte. Yet this of godly sorrow, must be understood with some limit.

1. An equal degree of sorrow, and preparative work, is not ne­cessary in all; One mans terrours and heart-breakings, are no ne­cessary precedent, for all others to reach.

2. An high degree is not necessarily required of any; God can come sooner in, with Gospel-cordials, after Law-convictions, unto one than another.

3. No man hath reason to quarrel his conversion; because his sorrow hath not been like some others; each man hath not like paine in cure of a like malady.

4. None should beg of God overwhelming and amazing sha­kings; and humiliations of Spirit, God better knows their frame than they understand themselves.

5. None can judge of the truth of their repentance by the greatnesse of their trouble; It may possibly end in horrour and work nothing better than it self; It may only have its present work to cast hell in the face, and then the person returne to his old byasse, to his sinful pleasures, his worldly advantages, as Saul to his Musick, Cain to his building of Cities; yet when God thus plowes, it is a hopeful signe he intends sowing, and men in this case must not reason themselves to be such soyle, on whom no good can be done, as though they were past all husbandry of the Lord, He can take away a heart of stone, and turne a rock into a fruitful field. This is Gods method, do not dispute, but believe.

6. Then it is in a degree sufficient, when it effects the work for which it serves; when it brings the soul out of love with sin, takes it out of the paths of sinne, when it so works to an apprehension of dangers, that it works the soul to cast it self on Christ Jesus. When horrours work desires; not of ease, but of grace, of Christ and of whole Christ, of pardon of sin, and power against sin, there is a true work.

[Page 140] For the essential parts of this grace, which I make a Gospel-engagement and condition of the covenant, they are privative, or positive. Privative, is the destruction of what hath been. Po­sitive is the introduction of what is not. Every change hath two termes. The one is terminus ad quem; which is endeavoured. The other is terminus à quo, which is left; and so in this change which grace works,The essentials in repentance are, 1. Privative Cessation from sinne. and to which the covenant of grace doth en­gage. The privative part which we are to leave, is, sin, the work of Satan. The positive part which we are to endeavour, is that which stands in full opposition; Forsaking of sin, we must follow after righteousnesse, and turning from Satan, we must turne to God; and therefore the Ministery which findes men out of co­venant, and works them into it, is to bring them from darknesse to light, from the power of Satan to God, Acts 26. 18. The privative part is frequently enjoyned, as that which bindes at all times, and to all times. A man in covenant with God, is to have no more to do with sin; Cease to do evil, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes, Isa. 1. 16. Be ye separate, touch no unclean thing, 2 Cor. 6. 17. Mortifie therefore your members which are upon the earth, fornication, uncleannesse, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousnesse, which is idolatry; for which things sake, the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobe­dience. In the which ye also walked sometimes when ye lived in them, But now you also put off all these, anger, wrath, malice, blas­phemy, filthy communication out of your mouth; lie not one to another, seeing ye have put off the old man with his deeds, Col. 3. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Old things with Christians are to be done away; This is the duty of all those that pretend to Christ; Let every one that na­meth the Name of Christ depart from iniquity, 2 Tim. 2. 19. All that is in Christ, is wholly against it; His Prophetick office leads us from it, and gives us light to avoid it; In his Kingly office, his Law is against it; and his Priestly office is to redeem from it. They that are in Christ, and learn him as the truth is in Christ Jesus, attaine to it, Ephes. 4. 22. That ye put off concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceit­ful lusts. It is the character of a man in Christ, Gal. 5. 24. They that are Christs, have crucified the flesh with the affecti­ons and lusts. And this upon peril of bearing their sinne, Ezek. 18. 30, 31. Repent and turne your selves from all your transgressions, [Page 141] so iniquity shall not be your ruine: Cast away from you all your trans­gressions, whereby you have transgressed, and make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? No man in sinne is for glory, 1 Cor. 6. 9. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? The works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleannesse, lasciviousnesse, ido­latry, witchcraft, hatred, varience, emulation, wrath, strife, se­ditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkennesse, revellings and such like, of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdome of God, Gal. 5. 19, 20, 21. Upon these termes it is that they obtaine pardon of sinne, Isa. 55. 7. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him returne unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundant­ly pardon. Grace is no where more freely tendred than there: Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not; hearken diligently unto me, and eat you that which is good, and let your soul delight it self in fastnesse. Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting Co­venant with you, even the sure mercies of David, verse 1, 2, 3. And yet we see upon what termes it is tendered. That which keeps from us the mercies, and brings upon us the curses of the cove­nant, is upon covenant-condition, to be shunned; This is true of all covenants made where any good is hoped, and evil feared. That sinne against God keeps us from the mercies, and brings upon us the curses of the covenant, is clear in what hath been spoke: What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou should'st take my covenant in thy mouth, seeing thou hast instruction, and cast­est my words behinde thee? Psal. 50. 16, 17. A people that keep to their termes of covenant, are in communion with God; but sinne separates between a people and God; that is the ground of quarrel, Hos. 4. 1. between earth, and heaven. Men entring and keeping covenant with God, are of God, and not of the Devil; They are turned from the Devil to God, from fellowship with Belial, to fellowship with God; But he that committeth sin, is of the Devil, 1 John 3. 8. Christ that carries on the covenant [Page 142] (as you have heard) will never cast off those that walk up to the termes of the covenant; but he casts off, with a dreadful sentence all those that work iniquity; Mat. 7. 23. As for those Anti­nomian spirits, and ranting wretches, that do contend that sinne is no barre to their communion with God; That God is as well pleased with man in the greatest heighth of sinne, as the most holy duties; That this doctrine charges a change upon God, to be now pleased, and presently in wrath and displeasure; they do but deceive themselves, and make it their work to deceive others. They nei­ther know sin, nor the direful guilt of it, nor yet God, nor his direful displeasure against it. The Apostle makes it his businesse to undeceive them, as Ephes. 5. 6. having reckoned up a catalogue of sins, he thus speaks; Be not deceived with vaine words, for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedi­ence. Neither is there any change (according to this doctrine) sup­posed in God. The change is in them that covenant against it, and walk in it. Did they know the terrour of it, they would tremble at the thought of running upon it, and by heaping up sin to trea­sure up wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgements of God, Rom. 2. 5. They will finde this an aggregate of all miseries, and let them take beed that they call not to the rocks and mountains to hide them from it.

The Positive part is to be followed,2. Positive. A returne to God, and an holy walking with him. as the Privative part to be shunned. As Timothy must flee covetousnesse, so he must follow after righteousnesse, godlinesse, faith, love, patience, meeknesse, 1 Tim. 6. 11. Faith in the former place as an instrument service­able for our accesse to God, makes up (as we heard) a conditi­on of it self, As a work or inherent grace, it is here comprised in this covenant-condition, together with others, to hold up our communion with God. As we must cease to do evil, so we must learne to do well; As we must put off the old man with his deeds, so we must put on the new man. It is not enough, not to bring evil fruit, wilde grapes; but we must be fruitful in every good work. God hath a quarrel with his people upon a charge of negatives, as well as affirmatives, omissions, as well as commissions. She obeyed not the voice, she received not correction, she trusted not in the Lord, she drew not neer to her God, Zeph. 3. 2. We must not alone, be free, from that charge of Christ upon the Jews, of doing the work of the Devil, John 8. 44. but we must abound in the work of the [Page 143] Lord, 1 Cor. 15. 58. And this upon the penalty mentioned in the former branch; Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be hewen down and cast into the fire, Matth. 3. 10. Upon these termes it is, that we avoid the curse of the covenant. Those on whom no condemnation is charged, walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; and the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentlenesse, goodnesse, faith, meeknesse, temperance, Gal. 5. 21, 22. Upon those termes, salvation, the mercy of the covenant is obtained, Christ is the Authour of everlasting salva­tion to them that obey him, Heb. 5. 9. When the Apostle makes light of outward priviledges, he puts the whole stresse upon mans faith and obedience, Gal. 5. 6. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision a­vaileth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the Commandments of God, 1. Cor. 7. 19. That which is so mightily available with God in covenant, is the walking up to the terms and observance of the conditions of the covenant; But faith and the keeping of the Commandments of God, are as we see) thus available and prevalent. These two are distinguished, but never severed. That faith which looks at Christs blood as a Saviour, ac­cepts him as a Sovereign, and the latter about which there is most dispute, is an evidence to conclude the former; Hereby we know that we know him, if we keep his Commandments, where knowledge is put for faith, as appears in the context, 1 Joh. 2. 3. These are heard of God in prayer, Joh. 9. 32. If any man be a worshipper of God, and doth his will, him he heareth. Whatsoever we aske, we receive of him, because we keep his Commandment, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight, 1 John 3. 22. These are sealed of God by his Spirit, 1 John 3. 24. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. These great mercies are for men in covenant, that keep covenant: But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteous­nesse unto childrens children. To such as keep his Covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them, Ps. 103. 17, 18.

Objections against the conditionality of Repentance answered.

HEre Objections must be removed; Object. First, joyntly against faith and repentance, some making challenge of both as no cove­nant-conditions. So Mr. Baxters questionist, How do you make faith and repentance, to be conditions of the Covenant on our part, seeing the bestowing of them, is part of the condition on Gods part; can they be our conditions and Gods too?

In case these two cannot stand together,The Objection retorted. that they should be conditions both Gods and ours; we may answer by way of re­tortion,Answ. and I am sure we have the better end of the staffe, that they are our conditions; They are conditions on our part, and therefore they cannot be Gods: That they are ours, is made known of God, as by the beame of the Sun in his Word. And I shall not stand to distinguish of an absolute and conditional covenant, that so making the whole in the absolute covenant to be Gods, and in the conditional covenant, this part to be ours, which I know not whether exactly understood,Faith and re­pentance are our conditi­ons, not Gods. the Scripture will beare, but in plaine terms deny that they are Gods conditions, and affirm them to be ours. I know what God speaks in his Word concerning these works; That he will write his Law in our hearts, and put it into our inward parts; That he will take away the heart of stone, and give an heart of flesh; which implies this work of which we speak. I know likewise what in particular is affirmed of Christ, that he is the authour and finisher of our faith, Heb. 12. 2. that he gives repentance, Acts 5. 31. that God grants to the Gentiles repentance to life, Acts 11. 18. And I have not forgot what I have said before of the concurrence of grace in the performance of every Gospel-work; Yet all this rises not up hither to make them formally Gods act, & not ours. Whose acts they be, his conditions they are; this is evident: But they are our acts. We beleeve, We repent, It is not God that believes; It is not God that repents: That is an absurdity which Arminians have laboured to charge upon us, to render that which we hold of the necessity of the concurrence of grace in these works odious; But it is that which the Orthodox party have still disclaimed. The Apostle calls upon the Philippians, Phil. 2. 12. To work out their own sal­vation; [Page 145] the work is their own, as the salvation. They are a Be­leevers own act, and not barely a spontaneous act, (on which he is carried, as a Bird in preparing a nest for her young, and Bees in preparing honey for their subsistence, in which Phylosophy tells us, that they aime at no end) but they are voluntary actions of choice, done out of choice, aiming at salvation as his end. The mercy in the Covenant being on these termes tendred, With the heart man beleeveth unto righteousnesse, Rom. 10. 10. The just lives by his faith, Hab. 2. 4. They to turne to the Lord with all their heart, Joel 2. 13. They obey from the heart the form of Do­ctrine whereunto they are delivered, Rom. 6. 17. They do the will of God from the heart, Ephes. 6. 6. Faith and Repentance are mans work, which man in covenant does, respective to salva­tion, in the covenant tendered,Object. not Gods. But the Apostle, some may say, in the next words tells us, that it is God that works the will and the deed, vers. 13. There he seems to take them from us, and ascribe the formality of them to God.Sol. In this co-operation of God, whether they be formally our works, or Gods, let Esay determine, Isa. 26. 12. Thou hast wrought all our works in us; When God hath wrought it, the work is ours, we have the re­ward of it, and we shall beare our sinne in case it be neglected, and let the Apostle explaine himselfe, Ephes. 2. 10. We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. God hath or­dained good works as a Christians way and walk.Via ad regnum non causa reg­nandi. They are charged upon man as is plain in the context, in order to salvation; They are the way that we hold in our passage on to that salva­tion which God of grace vouchsafes; and we are Gods work­manship created in Christ Jesus for these ends. Our dexterity in holy duties,is from the frame into which grace put us; So still the work is ours, though power for action is vouchsafed of God, And the conditions are ours, for discharge of which we have yet di­vine assistance:Arguments e­vincing that Faith and Re­pentance are our conditions, and not Gods, in the proper conditional covenant. That faith and repentance are our conditions, and not Gods, take these arguments.

1. Those conditions that are not mentioned in the proper con­ditional covenant, as from God, but required of God, from us, are not Gods conditions, but ours, in that Covenant. This is cleare; Being there expresly required of us, and not so much as mentioned, as from God; they cannot be his engagement, but [Page 146] ours to performe. But Faith and Repentance are not mentioned as from God, in the proper conditional covenant, but required of God from us. Therefore Faith, and Repentance are not Gods conditions in the proper conditionall Covenant, but ours.

2. The conditions of a covenant are his that performeth, and not his that imposeth. This proposition is cleare in reason, and confessed by the adversary. But we perform, and God imposeth Faith and Repentance. They are therefore our conditions, and not Gods, in this covenant.

3. Covenant-conditions are theirs, that are charg'd with falshood in case of failing in them, and non-performance of them. This is plaine in all covenants: To make conditions, and to faile in them, is to be false to them. But in case of failing in Faith and Repentance, man is charged, and not God. God fails not, but man deals falsly. Therefore, they are mans conditions, and not Gods.

4. Covenant-conditions are theirs, who upon failing in them, and not performance of them, suffer as covenant-breakers. This is clear, Israel covenanted to dismisse their Hebrew servants, and dismissed them not, and Israel suffered for it, Jer. 34. But upon failing in Faith and Repentance, God suffers not, so much as in his Name, as a covenant-breaker. He is not charged with mens unbelief and impenitence: Men themselves suffer. Therefore Faith and Repentance are mans conditions, not Gods.

2. There are objections peculiarly against repentance, as it comprises the whole frame of obedience,Object. as before held forth to disable it from being any Gospel-condition.In what man­ner Works are called for in the Covenant of Grace.

By this means the covenant of Grace will be (say some) a cove­nant of works; Repentance in this latitude (to which we have spo­ken) containes the whole of obedience, and being made a condition of the Covenant of Grace, Works are introduced, and a Covenant of Works re-established.

As there was grace in the first covenant,Answ. as you have heard, which we call a covenant of Works; So works are not wholly excluded from this covenant, which we call a covenant of Grace. God still keeps up his Sovereignty, as you have heard, and how this can be done when he leaves man, at that wilde free­dome, not so much as to call for homage from him, cannot be [Page 147] conceived, his rule even in this covenant, is to reward men ac­cording to their works. Behold I come quickly, and my reward it with me; to give every man according as his work shall be, Rev. 22. 12. Works then are not excluded from this covenant; yea, Christ the Mediatour of the covenant aforehand tells us, Except our righteousnesse exceed the righteousnesse of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdome of heaven, Matth. 5. 20. They had their righteousnesse, and (as was supposed) they made a great progresse in the way of righteousnesse; yet we must have an exceeding righteousnesse, above that which they taught, and practised, or else there is no salvation in this cove­nant. These two covenants notwithstanding remaine distinct, and not confounded together. There is a legal righteousnesse; such as the Law in the highest extremity of it requires, without the least indulgence in case of failing; This the covenant of Works calls for, and in this we fall short; but Christ answers, and there­fore He is the end of the Law for righteousnesse, Rom. 10. 3. and by this, we are saved. There is a righteousnesse of the Gospel which God in covenant calls for, to which it is his Spirit enables, and in this we are saved.

2. Gospel-obedience is called for in the Covenant,Repentance necessarily flowing from Faith, is not thereby disab­led from being a condition in the Covenant of Grace. but not as any condition of the Covenant; Faith is the alone condition, obedience ne­cessarily flows from it, and follows upon it when once we believe; it need not to be conditioned, or indented for; seeing when we are in Christ by faith, we can then do no other than obey.

I answer. This position here laid down, that obedience neces­sarily follows, and flows from Faith, is a position indeed main­tained by the reformed Churches against Papists, Arminians, Socinians, and other opposites of it, from which position of ours, they inferre as by necessary consequence that all commands, requiring obedience, are then needlesse, and all exhortations, reproofs, motives and promises to no purpose. None either com­mands or perswades the Heavens to move, the Sunne to give light, the Fire to give heat, or the water to give moisture; That which necessarily works is let alone to work, and to take its course in working. And this Objection (taking away this Gospel-con­dition on this ground) is of the same stamp; Obedience neces­sarily flowing from Faith, includes Gospel-commands, exhorta­tions, reproofs, as well as Gospel-conditions. If God need [Page 148] not, to condition, and engage for obedience, from Beleevers, because they thus necessarily obey, then he needs not give com­mands, or presse obedience for the same reason, when yet the Gospel is full of exhortations, commands, menaces, promises, with application to Beleevers, to men professing Faith, to men in Christ by Faith.

For satisfaction then of this Popish-Arminian objection, we must distinguish of consequents which necessarily flow from their principles. Some are natural, which of themselves have their effects, as those in the objection mentioned; Here is neither command imposed, condition required, nor promise held forth: They are not in any capacity of acting or working o­therwise than they do. Others are moral, who work not by way of Physical necessity, but are kept in their way by the power of grace upholding; which does not exclude, but necessarily takes in mans endeavour in the use of meanes, to yeeld obedience, and to hold on, in all patience and perseverance. This argument follow­ed home will be of equal force, against Faith (as a condition) as, against sincerity; seeing Gods Elect shall beleeve, as they that be­leeve shall yeeld obedience. There is a like necessity of faith, flow­ing from election, as there is of obedience, to flow from Faith, as Faith therefore, so obedience, either of both in their places are covenant-conditions.

What degree of obedience the Covenant of grace calls for from Christians.

HEre is seasonably moved, and is not without some difficulty answered; what degree of obedience, this new covenant calls for from us, that so we may endeavor it, and understand our selves when we have by grace attained to it, that having entred covenant with God, we may not be found of those that have wickedly departed; and dealt falsely in the covenant. In this there are several opinions, which are to come under exami­nation.

[Page 149] First,Perfection of degrees is not so called for of God in Cove­nant, that upon failing it, the mercies promi­sed in Cove­nant are lost. some say that it is required of Christians in an exact way, in a full perfection, as, of parts, so of degrees, answering to the perfection of the Law, as written in the heart, and given on Mount Sinai; And so required that obedience in a more low degree, will not be accepted, or the mercies promised in the covenant ob­tained; which doctrine of theirs (rigidly followed) stands as that two edged sword, Gen. 3. 24. keeping the way of the tree of Life, and making the way to salvation unpassable. Thus the Councel of Trent, Si quis dixerit, baptizatos per ba­ptisimum ipsum solius tantùm debitores fidei fieri, non autem universa legis Christi servandae; anathema fit. Sess. Sept. Canon. Sex. If any man shall say, that by Ba­ptisme, men are obliged to Faith only, and not to the observation of the whole Law, let him be accursed; which Chemnitius in his Examen confesses in a qualified sense, might be ad­mitted, seeing persons baptised, owe subjecti­on, but not in the sense, which that Canon holds forth, being an allusion to that of the Apostle, Gal. 5. 3. I testifie again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor of the whole Law; By which Glosse, Baptisme makes Christ of none effect, as well as Circumcision, as it was taken, in the sense of those false Teachers among the Galatians, viz. as a lead­ing ceremony of the Law, binding to the ob­servation of the whole. And so also Bellar. lib. 1. de Baptis. cap. 15.Baptismus non id efficit, ut homo solius fidei debitor [...]it, non autem im­plendae universae legis. Duobus modis intelligi posse hominem baptizatum dici liberum à lege divina servanda; uno modo ut facere contra eam legem non fit injustum nec peccatum, quasi lex abro­gata esset; de hoc sensu non est contro­versia: altero modo intelligi potest ut fa­cere contra legem fit quidem peccatum, tamen non imputetur iis qui fidem ha­bent, nec pendeat justificatio aut salus ab impletione legis, sed à sola misericordia quae per fidem apprehenditur. Baptisme doth not make us debtors to Faith only, but to keep the whole Law, and there explaines himself, that to deny a man to be a debtor to keep the whole Law, may be taken two wayes, ei­ther so, as that to do things against the Law were no sinne, as though the Law were abrogated. This he confesses Protestants do not say, and in that, he saith there is no controversie, or else so, that justification or salvation doth not depend on the fulfilling of the Law, but only on the mercy of God by faith applied, this he makes the Protestants errour, and so brings in justification by the Law, and utterly confounds the covenant of works and grace together, onely I confesse the businesse seemes much mollified by the explanations, that they give of those words, fulfilling of the Law. First, curtelling the Law, in taking off, the first fomes, and motions of actual sinne, yea even all that goes before con­sent [Page 150] of will, making it no sinne at all, as also multitudes of actions, some of them foule enough, as not within this verge, such, which they call by the name of venial sinnes, which are besides the Law, but not against it, bending, (as some merrily speak) but not breaking the Commandments, though they would never give us a catalogue of sins, mortal, or venial, nor any certaine mark or character, whereby they might be distinguished. All these are pared off, as no breaches of the Law, nor (in their own nature) deserving, the sentence of eternal death, and the temporal pu­nishments due to them after death is holpen out, by their Indul­gences. Secondly so helping themselves out with distinctions, at least some among them, that keeping the Law with them is no o­ther than the grace of sanctification, in the very sense as the Orthodox hold it forth; He that pleases may read what Jansenius hath, chap. 81. of his Harmony, Opposing Luther for his denial, that the first and great Commandment in the Law in this life can be fulfilled; and charging it with blasphemy, Luther having Au­stins authority in several places, (as Jansenius confesses) for to se­cond him (affirming with him, that this Commandment in this life cannot be perfected or fulfilled, but it is to be fulfilled in the life to come, giving his reasonNam cum est aliquid carnalis concupiscentiae quod vel conti­nendo foenetur, nam omninò ex tota anima diligitur Deus. As long as there is any thing of carnal concupiscence to be restrained, God is not with the whole heart loved.) The good Bishop knows how by distinction, to salve Au­stin, and maintaine his doctrine to be good divinity, and de­nying Luther that favour, to leave him under the brand of blasphemy, so that the result of all with him, is this,Diligitur tunc Deus ex toto corde; cum quis ex intima & sincera erga Deum affectione occupatur potissimùm in his quae Dei sunt, prae omnibus illi placere studens, ac sollicitus ut non tantum quae­dam Dei mandata perficiat, sed cuncta idque non seniter & ex tristi animo, sed gnaviter & hilariter, dolens ex animo si quid vel ab alliis vel à se per carnis infirmitatem admittatur contrium divi­nae voluntati. Jansenii Harmon. c. 81. God is then loved with the whole heart, when any one, out of inward and sincere affection to God, is principally exercised in those things which are of God; studying above all things to please him, and carefully to observe not one, but all his Commandments, and that not slothfully, and against heart, but diligently, and cheerfully, grieving from the heart if any thing by others or himself through infirmity of the flesh be admitted contrary to the will of God. So that some might think, all controversie in this point, may cease; and that the difference between us, were no more than a strife of words, seeing we do not only confesse that this ought [Page 151] to be done, but also urge a necessity of doing of it, and they say the Law is fulfilled when it is done,The Law a rule of our du­ty, not of our strength. But here, 1. Much wrong is done to the Law (as though it were a rule of our strength, not of our duty, that it answered, and might be applied to each mans impaired strength, and weakened abilities, or that the Gospel-grace of godly sorrow for sin against the Law, were the keeping of the Law, making repentance a satisfactory discharge, for dis­obedience; When these men cannot bring up mans nature to the streight line of the Law, they bring down the Law to the crooked nature of man. 2. It is injurious to man, puffing him up with conceit of answering the Law, setting him up as high as he should be laid low, ready to say with the young man in the Gospel, All these have I kept from my youth, when holding out the Law in its just latitude, (as it was happily brought home to the Apostles conscience) sin would revive, and he would see himselfe in a lost condition.

A second opinion is,The Covenant of Grace doth not cal for per­fection, and ac­cept sincerity. that the covenant of grace requires per­fection in the exactest way, without help of these mens distincti­ons in an equal degree with the covenant of works, but with this difference; In the covenant of works there is no indulgence or dispensation in case of failing, but the penalty takes hold the curse follows upon it; But the covenant of grace, though it call for perfection, such is the exactnesse of it, yet it accepts of sin­cerity, such is the qualification of it through grace, or the mer­cy in it. If I should take up any opinion in the world for the Authours sake, or those that have appeared as Patrons of it, then I should embrace this; The reverence deservedly due to him that (I suppose) first manisted himself in it, hath caused it to finde great entertainment, but upon more than twenty yeares thoughts about it; I finde it labouring under manifold incon­veniences.

1. It establishes the former opinion opposed by Protestants, and but now refuted, as to the obedience and the degree, called for in covenant; And if I should be indulgent to my affections, to cause my judgement to stoop, Dislike of the one, would make me as averse from it; as an opinion of the other would make me prone to receive it. Judgement therefore must lead, and affections be waved.

2. If this opinion stand, then God accepts of Covenant-breakers, [Page 152] of those that deale falsely in it, whereas Scripture charges it only upon the wicked, upon those of whom God com­plaines, as rebellious, Deut. 29. 25. Josh. 7. 15. Jeremy 11. 10. Jeremy 22. 8, 9. Yea, it may be charged on the best, the most holy in the world lying under the guilt of it, according to this tenent.

3. Then it will follow, that, as none can say, that they have so answered the commands of the Law, that they have never failed, they have not (if put to answer in the greatest rigour) once transgressed, so, neither can they with the Church make ap­peale to God, That they have not dealt falsely in the Covenant, nor wickedly departed from their God, Psal. 44. 17. Every sinne (ac­cording to this opinion) being a breach of it, and a dealing falsely in it.

4. Then that great promise of mercy from everlasting to ever­lasting, upon them that fear him, and his righteousnesse, unto chil­drens children to such as keep his Covenant, and to those that remem­ber his Commandments to do them, Psalme 103. 17, 18. only apper­taines to those that so keep the Law, that they sinne not at all a­gainst it.

5. Then our Baptism-vow is never to sin against God, and as often as we renew our covenant, we do not only humble our selves that we have sinned, but we afresh binde our selves, never more to admit the least infirmity, and so live and die in the breach of it.

6. Then the distinction between those that entered covenant and broke it, as Jerem. 31, 32, 33. and those that have the Law written in their hearts, and put into their inward parts to ob­serve it, falls, all standing equally guilty of the breach of it, no help of grace being of power to enable to keep Covenant. Each of these five last arguments are replyed to, by a distinction of the precept, and conditions of the Covenant. Men that are sincere, break the precept, (as is said) but not the conditions. But I know no precepts in covenants, which are not conditions. Faith and Repentance are Precepts, and I think, the alone Precepts, and I know not, neither do I heare of, any other Con­ditions.

7. Then it follows that, Sincerity is never called for as a duty, or required as a grace; but only dispensed with as a failing, in­dulged [Page 153] as a want. It is not so much a Christians honour or cha­racter, as his blemish or failing, rather his defect than praise. But we finde the contrary in Noah, Job, Asa, Hezekiah, Zachary and Elizabeth, Nathaniel, an Israelite indeed that entered cove­nant, and kept covenant. Sincerity is a degree towards perfe­ction in obedience, and if the command looks no lower than per­fection in degree, the imperfect degree is not commanded, though it be indulged. And therefore I conclude, that, as in the Law, there was pure justice as well in the command given, as the penalty threatened, without any condescension or indul­gence. So, in the covenant there is mercy, and condescension, as well in the condition required, as in the acceptance through grace. The Covenant requires no more than it ac­cepts.

The alone Argument,Object. so farre as ever I could learn, that hath brought some of reverend esteeme heretofore into this opinion, is That if the covenant requires not exact perfection, in the same height as the Law calls for it, then a Christian may fall short of the Law in his obedience, and not sin, perfection being not call'd for from him, nor any more called for from him, than through grace he doth performe, he rises as high as his rule, and so sins not through any imperfection, therefore to make it out that a belee­vers imperfections are his sins, it must needs be, that the covenant requires perfection, as to make good that he may be saved in his imperfections; it must be maintained that it accepts sincerity. But this argument is not of weight, Christ entering a Gospel-co­venant with man,Sol. findes him under the command of the Law, which command, the Law still holds, the Gospel being a confir­mation, not a destruction of it. All imperfection then is a sinne upon that account, that it is a transgression of the Law, though (being done against heart, and laboured against) it is no breach of covenant; We are under the Law as men, we are taken into covenant as Christians, Retaining the humane nature, the Law still commands us, though the covenant in Christ, through the abundant grace of it, (upon the termes that it requires and ac­cepts) frees us from the sentence of it.

Here is objected, What shall we think of those Texts in the New Testament, which require us to be perfect, 2 Cor. 13. 11. James 1. 4. Yea, perfect as God is perfect, Matth. 5. 48. reproving weaknesse and [Page 154] infirmity, and commanding a going on to perfection. Answ. We are to think of them as Protestant D [...]vines, ordinarily do in their commenting upon them; We deny, saith Rivet, that the perfection of which Scripture speaks, either when it commands us to be perfect, or gives testimony of perfection, or integrity to some, consists in a freedome from sinne, Exercit. 52. in Genes. pag. 267. The Text quoted out of James, serves well to explaine the rest, Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing, whence we may argue, 1. That perfection which Christians may attaine, is the perfection that the Apostle calls unto, This is plaine in the text, He calls for perfection, that we may be perfect: But Christians can reach no further a degree in perfection than sincerity; Therefore the Apostle calls onely to sincerity. 2. That is the Apostles meaning, where he speaks of perfection, that himself gives in as his meaning; This is cleare, he is the best interpreter of himself; But he expresses himselfe by perfect there to mean entire, or lacking nothing. A perfection of entirenesse, or integrality then he meanes, a perfection of parts, and not of degrees. For that text of Paul, 2 Cor. 13. 11. Finally brethren, farewell, be perfect, &c. let us compare with it, that which he testifies of some in Corinth, 1 Cor. 2. 6. Howbeit we speak wisdome among them that are perfect, that is, those that have a right, and more full understanding of Gospel mysteries, put in opposition to the weaknesse of novices, which perfection is, (according to the Apostle) the way to unity of judgement. As for the Text, Mat. 5. 48. Be ye therefore perfect, as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect, If it be streined to the highest, it calls for a divine increated perfection, our adversaries then must yeeld, that there is a sicut similitudinis, non aequalitatis, in that place. And if the context be consulted, we shall finde, that it is opposed to that half hypocritical-righteousnesse, which was found in Scribes and Pharisees; which all must exceed that enter into the Kingdome of heaven. In Heb. 6. 1. a novice-like imperfection in knowledge, is reproved; and a further growth to­wards perfection is called for; It is further objected, If perfection were not the duty of a Christian, and unperfectnesse, and infirmity his sinne, why doth the Apostle groane, and grieve under the remain­der of his natural infirmities, and presse on to perfection, Rom. 7. 14. to the 24. Phil. 3. 12, 14? The conclusion here is granted; [Page 155] The one is a duty, the other is a sinne, and because of failing in the one, and the burden of the other, the Apostle groanes. Foreseeing that this would be yeelded him, there is added by way of objecti­on, Or is such unperfectnesse a sinne, onely in reference to the rule of the Law, and not the rule of the Gospel, or that the Law doth, but the Gospel doth not call for perfection? Answ. There is not one rule of the Law, as I have demonstrated at large, and another of the Gospel, seeing the Gospel establishes the Law; Onely the Gos­pel-covenant, calls for those sincere desires, which grace works, to conform us in our measure of the rule of the Law.

There is yet a third opinion, which I may well doubt whether I understand; but so farre as I do understand, I am as farre from assent to it, as, either of the former, and that is of those who do not only assert a personal inherent righteousnesse, as well as im­puted against the Antinomians; But also affirm that this righte­ousnesse is compleat and perfect, which if it were meant onely of the perfection of the subject;Our Evangeli­cal righteous­nesse is imper­fect. as opposed to hypocrisie, dis­simulation, or doublenesse, implying that they do not only pre­tend for God; but are really for him, that they do not turne to him feignedly (as Israel was sometimes charged, Jerem. 3. 10.) but with an upright heart, or of the perfection, or entirenesse of the object, respecting not one, or only some, but all command­ments, which is called a perfection of parts, we might readily assent to it. The covenant calls for such perfection, Gen. 17. 1. Walk before me, and be thou perfect, and many have their wit­nesse in Scripture, that they have attained to it, as Noah, Gen. 7. 9. Job, Job 1. 1. Hezekiah, Esay 38. 3. But a perfection above these is maintained, a perfection compleat and full, Righteousnesse sig­nifies (as is said) a conformity to the Rule; and a conformity with a quatenus, or an imperfect rectitude, is not a true conformity or re­ctitude at all: imperfect righteousnesse is not righteousnesse, but un­righteousnesse. It is a contradiction in adjecto, though holinesse be acknowledged to be imperfect in all respects, where perfe­ction is expected, in reference to the degree that it should obtaine, or the degree which it shall obtaine, or in reference to the excel­lent object, about which it is exercised, or in reference to the old covenant, or the directive, and in some sense the preceptive part of the new Covenant, in all these respects it is imperfect, and righteous­nesse materially considered is holinesse, and therefore thus imper­fect, [Page 156] but formally considered, it is perfect righteousnesse, or none, this not in relation to the old rule, but the new Covenant; Upon this account, they are charged to discover grosse ignorance, that use and understand the word righteous, and righteousnesse, as they relate to the old rule, as if the godly were called righteous (besides their imputed righteousnesse) only because their sancti­fication and good works have some imperfect agreement with the Law of Works; This, and much more to assert, a personal perfect inherent righteousnesse, as is said; all which as it is here held out to me, is new, and I must confesse my self in ignorance all over; I never took imperfect righteousnesse to imply any such contradiction, no more than imperfect holinesse. Isaiah, I am sure, saith, All our righteousnesse are as filthy rags, Esay 64. 6. No greater charge of imperfection can lie against the most imperfect holinesse, than the Prophet lays upon our righteousnesse. Neither do I understand, how holinesse should be imperfect, taken mate­rially, and righteousnesse perfect, taken formally in reference to a rule. We may (for ought I know) as well make holinesse formal, and refer it to a rule, and righteousnesse material, in an absolute consideration, without reference to any rule at all. And in such consideration I do not know how there can be perfection or im­perfection either in holinesse or righteousnesse; it is as they come up to, or fall short of the rule that they have, the denomination of perfection or imperfection. Pauls Gospel-frame, whether you will call it righteousnesse, or holinesse, is set out, Rom. 7. full of imperfection, yet all this, as in reference to the rule, as it answered or fell short in conformity to it, verse 22. I delight in the Law of God after the inward man. And whereas a charge of ignorance, is laid even upon learned Teachers; that commonly understand the word righteousnesse, and righteous as it referres to the old rule, I professe my self to have little of their learning, but I am wholly theirs in this ignorance. I know no other rule but the old rule; the rule of the Moral Law that is with me, a rule, a perfect rule, and the only rule. The perfection of this holiness and righteousness in mans integrity, stood in the per­fect conformity to this Law, and the reparation of this in our regenerate estate (in which the Apostle places the image of God) must have reference as to God for a patterne, so to his Law as a rule. As an image carrying an imperfect resemblance of its [Page 157] samplar, is an image, So conformity imperfectly answering the rule is conformity likewise. A perfection of sufficiency to at­taine the end I willingly grant, God condescending through rich grace to crown weak obedience, in this sense our imper­fection hath its perfectnesse; otherwise I must say that our in­herent righteousnesse is an imperfect righteousnesse, in an im­perfect conformity to the rule of righteousnesse, and without thir reference to the rule there is neither perfection nor imper­fection in any action. See Doctor Davenant disputing against justification by inherent righteousnesse upon the account of the imperfection of it de justitia habituali, pag. 349 and how fully he was perswaded of the imperfection of this righteousnesse ap­pears in sentences prefixt before two Treatises as may be seen in the margent.Omnis humana justitia injusti­tia esse de­prebendi [...]ur, si divinitus districtè judicatur. G [...]egor. Moral. lib. 21. Cap. 15. Nostra fiqua est humilis justitia, rect [...] forsitan, sed non pura, nisi fortè meliores nos esse cre­dimus quàm patres nostros, qui non minùs veraciter, quam humiliter ajebant, Omnes justitiae nostrae tanquam pannus me [...]st [...]utae m [...]lie [...]is. Quo modo enim pura justitia, ubi adhuc non potest culp [...] deesse? Bern. in Serm. 5. de verbis Esajae p [...]ophetae.

In the last place I shall conclude that sincerity, in the way and work of God, (which Scripture also calls by the name of truth, integrity, simplicity, uprightnesse, perfectnesse, an heart in the work of God,The Covenant of grace re­quires and acc­cepts sincerity. whole and unfeigned) is that which the covenant of grace doth require, and that which it accepteth; This God in covenant gives in charge, and this he rewards and crownes. The Law stands as a rule, and the charge in it, is, the highest top of perfection, without the least indulgence in any case of failing, suitable to the abilities that once were put into our hands, God in Gospel-condescensions, will have this rule eyed; with a single and upright heart universally eyed, and observed, both in our re­turnes from sin, and in our application to God in new obedience. This doing of the will of God from the heart, with good will-doing service, Eph. 6. 6, 7. Serving with a willing minde, 1 Chron. 28. 9. This preparing the heart to seek the Lord God of our fathers. Ezra 7. 10. This delight in the Law of God in the inward man, Rom. 7. 22. though it be in much weaknesse, and with strength that is little, Rev. 3. 8. by reason of inward corruptions, Rom. 7. 23. Gal. 5. 17. enemies without, Ephes. 6. 12. is required of [Page 158] God in covenant, and through grace accepted. And as faith (which as we have heard is the other new covenant-condition) brings us into communion with God; So this of a sincere heart and walk, holds in communion, Faith gives accesse to God in grace, and through sincerity we walk with God in grace, to glory; Both of them are called for of God, both accepted with God, and both of them crowned with glory. That in this degree obedience is both required, and accepted, in the Gospel is evident. This where oever it is, God observes and eyes. 2 Chron. 16. 9. For the eyes of the Lord runne to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is, perfect towards him: Herein thou hast done foolishly; therefore, from henceforth thou shalt have warres. These have letters testimonial from heaven, Job 1. 8. Hast thou not considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth? a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Gen. 7. 1. Thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. According to the de­gree of this, higher or lower they have praise, 2 Chron. 29. 34. The Levites were more upright in heart to sanctifie themselves than the Priests: yea, where there is integrity in a single act, this God notes, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thine heart, Gen. 20. 6. These God protects, & with his omnipotence preserves; 2 Chron. 16. 9. The eyes of the Lord runne to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards him. He is a buckler to them that walk uprightly, Prov. 2. 7. In these God takes pleasure; I know, my God, that thou triest the reines, and hast pleasure in uprightnesse, 1 Chron. 29. 17. Unto these God speaks peace; Do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly? Mich. 2. 7. This the peo­ple of God plead with God, as an argument to finde favour in his eyes, Psalme 26. 1. Judge me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, 1 Chron. 29. 17. As for me in the uprightnesse of my heart, I have willingly offered those things, Psalme 18. 23. I was also upright before him, &c. This hath been the high ambi­tion of the servants of God in their most sad troubles to reach. David begging mercy, saith to God, Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts, Psal. 51. 6. This hath upheld the souls of the Saints in their greatest difficulties, with all joy and consolation, 2 Cor. 1. 12. For our rejoycing is this, the testimony of our consci­ence, [Page 159] that in simplici [...]y and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdome, but by the grace of God we have had our conversation in the world. Yea, this is a mark of him who is entirely the Lords, professed­ly, and really his. When the question is put, Who shall dwell in Gods holy hill, Who shall abide in his Tabernacle? an­swer is returned, He that walks uprightly, and worketh righteous­nesse, Psal. 15 1, 2. And when a like question is put, Isa. 33. 14. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who a­mongst us shall dwell with everlasting burning? We have the like answer returned in the words that follow; He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly. And Jesus seeing Nathanael, saith, John 1. 47. Behold an Israelite indeed. There are many Isra­elites in name, but here was an Israelite indeed, and this is his character, in whom there is no guile; His inside was the same with that without. In the discharge of this, the Saints of God have promised to themselves upon good grounds, all happinesse, Psal. 119. 6. Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. The want of this renders all that is done, void and vaine, as to the acceptation of God, when the heart glances aside, and is not right with God, in worshipping him, doth not seek him. Math. 15. 8. This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is farre from me. Israel is an empty Vine, he bringeth forth fruit to himself, Hos. 10. 1. Their heart is divided, therefore shall they be found faulty, verse 2. Amaziah did that which was good in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart, 2 Chron. 25. 2. Judah hath not turned unto me with their whole heart, but feignedly, Jerem. 3. 10. Psal. 78. 34, 35, 36, 37. When he slew them, then they sought him, and they returned and enquired early after God, and they remembred that God was their rock, and the high God their redee­mer; neverthelesse they did flatter him with their mouths, and they lied unto him with their tongues, for their hearts were not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his Covenant. By all which I suppose it is evident that God in covenant calls for obedience, re­quires integrity of heart in it, will not accept where sincerity of heart is wanting, and where it is, he crowns it with happinesse and glory. And from what hath been spoken, a full definition of the new covenant may be thus given. The Covenant of Grace de­fined. A gracious Covenant of God with fallen man, whereby God engages himself upon faith in Christ, [Page 160] and returne to God in sincere obedience, to confer on man remission of sinnes, and all whatsoever that tends to everlasting happinesse. They that professe to beleeve and returne to God are in Cove­nant; They that do beleeve and sincerely returne, enjoy the blessings and mercies of the covenant. This Arminians make the decree of God, and will have no other than such condition­al Election, not an Election unto faith and obedience; but be­cause it is foreseene that men will beleeve and persevere in sincere obedience; in which they are opposed by the Orthodox. See Moulins Anatomy of Arminianisme, chap. 12. Sect. 10. This is the covenant of grace published and promised in the Gospel, which Arminians would make one with Election, confounding the Will of Gods Decree with the Will of his Command, and Promise. He that would see more into the nature of sincerity, that he may answer to that which God in covenant doth require may peruse Ball on the Covenant, chap. 11. and Doctor Preston on Gen. 17. 1.

The necessity of a Ministery, to bring men into Covenant with God, and to bring them up to the termes of the Covenant.

FRom hence several Corollaries may be drawn, and Inferences made. 1. Of the necessity of a Ministery a constant standing Ministery, as, to bring men into covenant with God▪ so, to bring them also up to the termes of the covenant, to a lively saving faith, and sincere obedience; God works not man into covenant by immediate voice, Neither doth he use the Ministery of An­gels, in his ordinary way of working of it. But when he would take in, the Nations of the world, into covenant with himself, he sends out his Ministers for that work, giving them a Commission with gifts and abilities suitable to disciple all Nations, Matth 28. 19.Where a Mini­stery is not, there is no Co­venant-people. Where a Ministery comes not, there that people remaine out of covenant, in the state of the Ephesians before their call, as it is set out by the Apostle, Ephes. 2. 12. without [Page 161] Christ, aliens from the Common-wealth of Israel, and strangers from the Covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Where the Go­spel is tendered and refused there is no Covenant. And where the Gospel-covenant is tendered, and not received, there that people continue out of covenant, rejecting the councel of God against themselves, Luke 7. 30. and rendering themselves unworthy of everlasting life, Acts 13. 46. This was the case of the people of Athens, There Paul preacht, yet there he setled (for ought we read) no Church of beleevers, though he had there some particular Converts, Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, Where the Go­spel is tendred, there is a peo­ple in Cove­nant. with others, Acts 17 34. Where the word was delivered, and there received, there was a people in co­venant with God, as at Ephesus, Corinth, Philippi, Thessalonica, &c. Those Ministers had the honour of planting, of laying the first foundation, of preaching where Christ before had not been na­med, Rom. 15. 20. A people thus brought into covenant, do not alwayes come up to the termes of the covenant; All covenanters keep not covenant, their hearts are not steady in it; Therefore there is no lesse necessity of a Ministery, in established Churches, to keep up a people in Covenant with God, through the termes of the covenant to bring them to the happinesse promised, Theirs is the work of watering, of building on anothers foundation, of preaching Christ, where Christ before, at least was known by name, and in some sort professed. That there was such a Mi­nistery in the Church of the Jews, to teach Jacob his Laws, and Is­rael his judgements, to require what God in covenant called for, is not denyed that a Ministery was necessary in the Primitive Apo­stolique times, to work men into covenant, and for the planta­tion of Churches, is confest likewise. But when the Apostles left the world, then this order (as some say) sell with them, all Mini­sterial power died with them. We are made to beleeve (saith one) because the Apostles were ordained by God to be Teachers of the people, and endued with gifts for that end, that therefore there is a like divine, though secret Ordination from God in the making of our Ministers. Compassionate Samaritane, page 24, 25. But if the Scriptures may be heard, this may soone be decided: I shall there­fore by arguments make it appear.

First, that God hath established a Ministery, and appointed it through all the ages of the world to be perpetuated.

Secondly, I shall give reasons to manifest the necessity of such [Page 162] a Ministery to be thus established and continued.

That such a one is established, appears

First,Reasons pro­ving the esta­blishment of a Ministery to be perpe [...]uated through all ages. By the work that they have to do, given them in commis­sion, by Christ Jesus, Matth. 28. 19 20. Go, Disciple all Nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Sonne, and the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have com­manded you. Here is commission given for the dispensation of the Word and Sacraments. That of the Word, is either for lay­ing the first foundation, or for the superstruction, either for their work of planting, preaching where Christ was never known by name; or else for watering, to carry on that happy beginning. Their first work in laying the first foundation, is given in charge in these words, Disciple all Nations, which was not the work of one age. Though Egesippus (as he is quoted by Doctor Andrews, Preface to the Decalogue, page 7.) saith, That there was no known Common-wealth in any part of the world inhabited, but within fourty years after Christs passion received a great shaking off of Heathenish Religion; yet the whole work after so many Centuries of yeeres, is not yet done; Those that are learned in Geography say, that there is not above the nineteenth part of the inhabited world, that beares the name of Christian, and a great part of those so over-runne with Barbarisme, that they have little more than a name that they live; when yet we beleeve the work shall be more universal, that as God was once knowne in Jury, his Name great in Israel; So it shall be from the rising of the Sunne to the going down thereof, Mal. 1. 11. And that the Kingdomes of the world shall become the Kingdomes of our Lord and of his Christ, Revel. 11. 15. Their work of superstruction or building up of Disciples, is given them in charge in these words, teaching them to observe all whatsoever I have commanded you. As long as homage is due to Christ, so long a Ministery is to be continued to call for it, and give directions in it, which we finde farther held out, Ephes. 4. 11, 13, 14, 15. There is an enumeration of Ministerial functi­ons, extraordinary and ordinary, as there is an appointment of A­postles, Prophets, Evangelists; So, also of Pastors and Teach­ers, their work is there pointed out, for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministery, for the edifying of the body of Christ; as also their duration and continuance, till we all come in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Sonne of God, unto [Page 163] a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulnesse of Christ. When in the world all are Saints, and no imperfection can be found in these Saints, nor any thing wanting in the My­stical body of Christ, when there is not an errour to be found, either in judgement or practice, nor a seducer, or false teacher feared, then, and not before, a Ministery may be spared; This will not be, as long as there is a Devil in Hell, and a man with cor­ruption upon earth. There is not a man that opposeth a Ministe­ry, but the being of that man is an unanswerable argument for the establishment of it. Their work for dispensation of the Sacra­ments is given in charge explicitely in those words, Baptizing them, &c. as implicitely in that charge, Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded. This of Baptisme answers in duration to that other Sacrament of the Lords Supper, 1 Cor. 11. 26. As oft as you eat of this bread, and drink of this cup, you shew forth the Lords death till he come.

Secondly, It appears in the promise of Christ Jesus, annext by way of encouragement in this work, verse 20. Lo, I am with you alwayes, even unto the end of the world. This is we see to the ut­termost extent of time, alwayes, even all dayes, to the worlds end. And howsoever some quarrel may be raised about the phrase [...], Saeculi being taken in so various an acception in the holy Scriptures; yet the subject matter whereon it is spoken, is a work of more lasting (as hath been observed) than one age, to­gether with the phrase annext; The consummation or finishing, plain­ly signifies that this promise is for perpetuity till Christs coming at the end of agesThere was an end of ages at Christs first coming, Heb. 9. 26. There shall be an end of ages at his second coming. See Gomarus Tom. 2. p. 530.. That which puts a period to the Lords Supper, must alone put a period to this work; And for any to make a promise to a dying man, ready to yeeld up the ghost, for help for many years, who is but to live few yeares, were a strange promise; And to settle a function of the Ministery with a promise of assistance through all ages, when it must be extinct in that age, were as strange a promise. A promise to a Non-entity, or meere Chimara. Ministers then are in the Church as Starres, not as Meteors; they grow as Plants, not as Mushromes, their du­ration is not for a yeare, for an age, but through all ages.

Thirdly, this appeares by the Apostles care for a succession, Being not suffered to continue by reason of death, they took care [Page 164] for others to fill up their places; in the Churches which they had planted. Therefore Paul (called, not by man, but by a vision and voice from heaven) gives order for a Ministerial call by Ordina­tion, Giving charge to Titus, Tit. 1. 5. to ordaine Elders in every City, and this by laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, 1 Tim. 4. 14. to whom the care of Church-inspection was by him committed, Acts 20. 17. compared with verse 28. And Paul and Barnabas in their journal, Acts 14. 23. Ordained Elders in every Church, and recommended them to God with prayer and fasting, of which more afterwards.

Fourthly, this appears in the setled Pastors, which were found in constituted, established Churches. Epaphroditus in Philippi, Philip. 2. 25. Archippus in Colesses, Col. 4. 17. Those of Ephesus, which gave the Apostles meeting at Miletum, Acts 20. 17. John who lived longest of the Apostles, and wrote his Revelati­on towards the ending of his dayes in the Issle of Pathmos, Rev. 1. 9. in his banishment there for the testimony of Jesus Christ; writes several Epistles to the Angels, of the several respective Churches in Asia, which Angels were to be his survivors, and are not denied by any, to be Ministers of those several City-churches there mentioned, Whether these Churches were such as have been called Diocesan, Presbyterial, or Congregational, is not here to be questioned, but that they were Ministers appointed over their several charges, is out of question.

Fifthly, This appeares by the charge given for respect and e­steeme to be given to those who thus stood up in succession in such established Churches, 1 Thes. 5. 12, 13. We beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you, and to esteeme them very highly in love for their works sake. Phil. 2 29. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladnesse, and hold such in reputation. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit your selves; for they watch for your souls, as they that must give an account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief, for that is unprofitable for you, Heb. 13. 17. These were not to be reviled, railed upon; but reverenced, honoured and obeyed; and an Order not in being, is not to be thus ho­noured.

Sixthly, it appeares by the Ordinance of the Lord Jesus for their liveli-hood and subsistence, 1 Cor. 9. 13, 14. Do ye not know [Page 165] that they which Minister about holy things, live of the things of the Temple? and they which wait at the Altar, are partakers with the Altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained, that they which preach the Gospel; should live of the Gospel. Here we finde three things implied. 1. That there was a particular order of men in the time of the Law, separated by God for the Ministerial work, and designed by his especial appointment for that businesse. 2. That there is a proportionable Ordinance of Christ in Gospel-times of select men for that businesse. 3. That maintenance by Gods ap­pointment was designed, as for one, so for both in their respective times and succession.

Seventhly, It is farther cleared, by that hand of Providence, that hath answerably provided in all ages, men for this work, in a constant succession. No age since the Apostles, have wanted them, I say not that there was a Ministery in every age, in equal purity and lustre, yet all ages held up that order, and Papacy, when the Minstery was laid most low, found out those that were faithful to Christ Iesus. Some set Providence so high, that they make it a rule of life, as well, as, Scriptures; Me thinks it may be con­fest, that it gives some light to doubtful Scriptures, The analogy of faith being held firme, somewhat may be gathered from it. To give instance in those Scriptures which seeme to beare witnesse of a glorious call of the Iewes, which most receive, and some que­stion, God so ordering by providence, that in the revoluti­on of so many ages, they still continue a distinct people, sepa­rate from others not joyning in their worship, but retaining still their own; and keeping up the Scriptures of the Old Testa­ment, when no such thing can be said of any captivated disper­sed people, it seemes to speak that they wait for, and as it were, expect when the vaile may be taken off; that they may returne to the Lord. But here, providence seconding such clear Texts of Scripture, such that leave not a doubt behinde them unlesse men shut their eyes against the Sunne, may sure be acknowledged to be an additional demonstration.

For reasons of the necessity of such an established Ministery to be continued in constituted Churches.Reasons evin­cing a necessity of such an esta­blished Mini­stery.

1. The Church of God is to continue, and have its abode through all ages of the world; as long as a world is to continue, so long a Church is to continue, in which God may have glory [Page 166] by Christ Jesus, Ephes. 3. 21. and therefore compared to a moun­taine, as for eminence, so for continuance, Psalme 125. 1. to an house built by Christ himself on a rock, against which the gates of hell shall not prevaile. Now a Ministery and a Church can­not be separated; It is of the integrality, if not of the essence of it. A Church setled by a Ministery, may continue being for some time, though in much imperfection, without a Ministery, but will soon be without being. This is confest of all that would hold up a Church in being; whether Episcopal, Independent, or Presby­terial. They that would level a Ministery (which is the work of many) would level all Churches upon earth also. They would drive God from off the earth, and lay his glory in the dust.

2. There must be intercourse between God and his people, between earth and heaven in all ages. It shall at no time be truly said with those Apostates, Ezek. 8. 12. The Lord hath for­saken the earth. Now there must be men designed, Embassa­dours appointed to carry on this work. As the Priests in the Law were ordained for men in things appertaining to God, as Heb. 5. 1. So the Ministers of the Gospel have a parallel institution in suc­cession, 1 Cor. 9. 14. God in no age carries it on in an immediate way and manner.

3. Take away this Ordinance of a Ministerial function, and all spiritual miseries to an utter confused Chaos will presently and ne­cessarily follow. First, Ignorance, all spiritual darknesse and blind­nesse. As the setting of the Sunne brings darknesse upon the Ho­rizon, so the absence of a Ministery brings darknesse upon the Church. They are the light of the world, Matth. 5. 14. John Bap­tist was a burning light, John 5. 35. Paul was sent to bring a peo­ple from darknesse to light, as Acts 26. 18. Their Ministery is called a Vision, without them men are without light. It is the highest of contradictions to cry up light, and cry down a Mini­sterial function. Secondly, Wickednesse; this follows from the for­mer. If a man walk in the night he stumbleth, (saith our Saviour) because there is no light in him, John 11. 10. An ignorant man can­not be above a wicked man, Ephes. 4. 18. Alienated from the life of God by reason of their ignorance that is in them: As that Prodi­gal (which the wise man brings in complaining, that he had not obeyed the voice of his Teachers) was almost in all the evil in the midst of the [Page 167] Assembly, Prov 5. 12. So, they may say that want Teachers; Blinde places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty, Psal. 74. 20. Thirdly, Errour, Heresie, Blasphemy. This is evident. 1. In Reason. Men that want a guide must needs go astray, Sheep without a Shepherd, cannot long hold their walk. The Apostle knew, that after his departure, ravening wolves would a­rise, not sparing the flock, Acts 20 29. What a Wolf is to the flock, that a seducer is to the Church. These waited the opportunity of the Apostles absence; Smite the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; when there is no shepherd in Israel, every man does that which is right in his own eyes, as when there is no King in Israel. 2. By Experience, What grosse opinions in worship did the Is­raelites entertaine in Moses his fourty days absence from them? Let us go no further than our selves, Since a Ministery in England was blasted, and men made it their honour to revile and reproach it; how fruitful have we been in those monsters, from the lowest step of Semiseparation, to the highest pitch of Rantisme? which hath occasioned all those attestations to the truth of Christ Jesus against Errours, Heresies, and Blasphemies of this time, from the Ministers of Christ, in most parts of this Nation. Jesus Christ leaving not himself without witnesse, In which we may see lists of them unto trembling amazement. But if we cannot see it at home, let us heare of it from abroad, from the penne of a Protestant Divine, making observation of the state of the Church in England, gives this sad, and too true report unto the world: Anglia bis 4. annis facta est collu [...]ies & lerna omnium errotum & se­ctarum: nulla à condito orbe provincia tam parvo spa [...]io tot manstrosas hae­reses protulit, atque haec. Referunt. The­o [...] Cestrens. in attestatione sua excusa. Anno Domini. 648. That England in foure yeares space is become an [...]eap and sink of all Errours and Sects, No Province from the beginning of the world, ever brought forth, in so little a space, so many monstrous Heresies, as this. Honor. Reggus Comment de statu Ecclesiae in Anglia, pag. 1. Hath Christ any thing that he may enjoy unquestioned among us? As he may not have an Embassadour, so he must not enjoy a Day, or an Ordinance, not so much as his Deity among us. 3. If neither Reason nor experience, will serve to convince us, let the Apostle be heard, Ephes. 4. 11, 14. He gave gifts un­to men, some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors, and some teachers, that we be not as children [...]ost to and fro, with every winde of Doctrine. One end of the Ministery is establishment of Saints against Errours. And it is not the least of the cunning sleights of men to throw down a Ministery, [Page 168] that errour may be introduced, and Heresies planted, we must not look to be secure from Seducers, longer than a Ministery ballasts us.

It is objected that in New Testament-times, Objections against a Mini­sterial Ordi­nance answered Joel 2. 28, 29. vindicated. there is a Promise, that God will poure out his Spirit on all flesh, sonnes and daughters shall prophecy; your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also upon the servants, and upon the handmaids, in those dayes will I poure out my Spirit, Ioel 2. 28, 29 So that now this office is not with limit to some, but promiscuously in all.

First,Answ. Old Testament-prophecies must be understood accord­ing to New Testament-Interpretations, Not alwayes, as in the let­ter they may seem to hold things out, but as the Spirit of God there unfolds them; and as the event to those that live in after­ages in the Church, cleares them. The rigid adhering to the letter of mystical prophecies, hath brought many into dangerous snares. This holds the Jews in blindnesse, Looking after a Messiah, with a temporal rule and power, they will re­ceive no other. This caused many in Christs time, to expect Eli­jah in person, and not to regard John, who came in the power and Spirit of Elijah. This holds those of the Church of Rome, that they see not that Antichrist, who opposeth Christ in a mystery, but expect one that opposeth Christ openly. And let others take heed, that it do not deceive them, while they look after a personal reigne of Christ upon earth, which some mysterious Scriptures seeme to imply, when open cleare Texts do manifestly con­tradict.

Secondly, when in New Testament-times, this prophecy was first fulfilled, observe what way was taken for the fulfilling of it, The Spirit comes in the forme of tongues, fiery and cloven, and sate upon each of the Apostles, and this Peter sayes, was that which was fore­told by Joel the Prophet, Acts 2. 16. There is a singular analogy between Scripture-signes, and the thing signified; whether ordinary in Sacraments, or extraordinary in Visions. This shews in what manner, and way, the Spirit is communicated, in all Lan­guages, and Nations, and that the Spirit is received by the hearing of Faith; If Peter may interpret Joel, a Ministery is established, and not overthrown.

Thirdly, those high expressions there, serve only to set out the [Page 169] abundance of knowledge which men by the Ministerial work should reach in Gospel-times; what Prophets then saw, and those that saw visions, and dreamed dreames knew, that men of all ranks should see, What the Prophets diligently enquired af­ter, 1 Pet. 1. 12. they should understand.

Fourthly, I could wish that these men would compare another prophecie of New Testament-times, Zach. 13. 2. where the Lord promises to cause the Prophets, and the unclean spirits to passe out of the land. Prophets there, are men of unclean spirits; those false spirits that are gone out into the world. These shall be brought to a serious conviction, and shall be ashamed every one of his Vision, of the spirit of the which they use to speak, the revelation of which they were wont to boast; and shall no longer weare a rough garment to deceive, sh [...]l relinquish that calling, function or practice, giving in this reason; I am no Prophet, man taught me to keep cat­tel from my youth. Because they were bred for husbandry, man ano­ther way, therefore they are not for this function; In the case of extraordinary inspiration, this indeed holds not; Amos pleads, Amos 7. 14. I was no Prophet, nor a Prophets son, but I was an herd­man, and a gatherer of Sycamore fruit; He was thus trained up, and therefore lived in this calling, in which he was trained, till God gave him an extraordinary call; and this he pleads, The Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, pro­phesie to my people Israel, verse 15. Robinson the learnedst Penne (I suppose) of that party, undertaking to defend the liberty of all, promiscuously to preach the Gospel, and that it is no proper work of a Select Ministery, instances in Christ and his Apostles, who preacht (saith he) in the Jewish Church without contradi­ction: And whereas we except against this; that they were ex­traordinarily called, and qualified, he answers, that the excepti­on, though true, yet is not of force, for their argument is not that they preached (which their extraordinary call would warrant,) but that they preached and were not excepted against by the Jewes; who did not beleeve any extraordinary immediate call of theirs, yet never excepted against them; but received them, upon the account of private men, and therefore it appears that it was their ordinary course, that any gifted man might preach with­out control.

Ans. It is wonder,Answ. so quick-sighted a man, could not see that Christ [Page 170] himself was excepted against by the Jewish Elders, and that upon this very point, how often we know not, but we see it up­on record, in three several Evangelists that the excepted against him. The chief Priests and the Elders of [...] to him as he was teaching, and said, by what authority [...] thou these things, and who gave thee this authority? Luke 20. 21. Matth. 21. 23. Mark 11. 7. Their argument runs thus: They that preach the Gospel must have their authority for it. Thou undertakest this work, produce thy authority, let us see thy warrant? Christ an­swers not, that it was each mans l [...]berty, and duty, who had gifts, as he must have done, else he was wanting in his defence of the truth, in case their proposition had been false, but puts a question, in which he clearly holds out his extraordinary call; The ba­ptisme of John, whence was it, from heaven, or of men? As John Baptized, so I preach. He baptized not, neither do I preach without authority, whence we may collect that he that may pre­sume to set up a new Sacrament, without farther authority, may with the same liberty, undertake to be a Gospel-Preacher.

2. That Prophecy is objected, Object. Jerem. 31. 31, 32, 33. 34. This shall be the Covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; Jerem. 31. 31, 32, 33, 34. vindicated. After those dayes, saith the Lord, I will put my Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for they shall all know me from the least of them, even unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord, for I will forgive their inquity, and remember their sin no more.

This Text is frequently produced for several purposes,Answ. as to assert an unconditional covenant, (that all lies on Gods hand, and we are engaged to nothing) so to decry all Gospel-Ordinan­ces, all use of a Ministery to teach the good knowledge of the Lord; Some make use of it for one of these ends, and confesse it will not serve for both; It will set up an unconditional covenant, but it will not destroy New Testament-Ordinances; Others will have it serve both, when the truth is aright understood, it serves for neither.

The two first branches of the former answer will give satisfacti­on here; If Old Testament-Prophecies are to be understood ac­cording to New Testament-Interpretations, then no unconditi­onal [Page 171] covenant will here be established, nor yet Gospel-Ordinan­ces decryed; seeing in the New Testament, covenant-conditions are clearly and undeniably held out, and a Gospel-Ministery esta­blished, which already in both parts is fully cleared. A Ministery is set up with instructions to require faith and repentance, and that upon those termes, that without them there is no remission of sins, no salvation.

2. As to that, for which it is here produced, it rather serves for overthrow of mutual conferences, Christian communion for mu­tual edification, than the Ministerial power. The Text is, not that ye shall have no more Teachers in publick; But they shall teach no more every man his brother, and every man his neighbour; for every one shall know him, &c. The Apostles charge, Col. 3. 16. flies full in the face of this Interpretation, Let the Word of Christ dwell in you plenteously in all wisdome, speaking to one another, This Prophecie is so streined, that there is no need of such admonition, nor any use of brotherly exhortations. Certainly neither of these inferences from this Prophecie, were in the Apostles thoughts, when he exhorted the Thessalonians, 1 Thes. 5. 11. Comfort your selves together, and edifie one another, even as also ye do, adding in the next verses: And we beseech you brethren to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their works sake, &c. The councel had been more sutable, to have bid them to have ceased this mutual consolation, and edification; And, as for th [...]se that were over them, that distinction of over, and under, was An­tichristian, that they must cease to honour, and make it their busi­nesse to level them. But above all, it is wonder, how those that are high, in setting up, all for Teachers, and will have liberty of prophecie promiscuous, can with face urge this Text, The letter of it being against, brother and brother, neighbour and neighbour, teaching one another, and not against a Ministerial way for edifi­cation.

3. For the full interpretation of the words, that of King James must be acknowledged; In mystical prophecies, it is farre more easie to confute an absurd interpretation; than finde out a true one. One that joynes in the former part, to establish an uncon­ditional covenant, against New Testament-light, yet leaves them in the latter, and says, The not teaching one another, there spoken [Page 172] of, is meant of that obscure teaching which was under the Law. I wish that his party would here heed him, and that himself would consi­der, that when he would have them to recede from the rigid adhe­ring to the letter of this part of the prophecie, for overthrow of all helps for knowledge, whether he have not equal cause to recede from that which he, would with like rigour fasten upon it; I shall undertake as clearly from the New Testament, to hold out con­ditions in the covenant of Grace; as any other man shall finde either warrant, or Ordinance for publick, or private admonition or exhortation; They shall not have so much need of teaching as for­merly, say the Annotations on that place, and it is plaine, that, that is often spoken in Scripture negatively; that is meant comparative­ly; I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, Hos. 6. 6. When he would have both mercy and sacrifice, though mercy preferred above sacri­fice. Calvin hath fully spoken to this objecti­on, satisfying both his Adversary and his Rea­der, giving them a full refutation, and the Text a good interpretation:Quòd autem fanatici homines hinc occasionem arripiunt, abolendae exterrae praedicationis, acsi sub Christi regno esset superuacua, facilè corum insania rejell [...] ­tur. Haec corum est objectio Post Christi adventum non debet quis (que); proximum suum docere; sacessat ig [...]tur externum Ministerium, ut internae Dei inspirationi detur locus. Atqui praeter [...]unt quod in primis animadversione dignum erat. Ne­que enim in totum Propheta negat quin docturi sint alii alios, sed haec sunt ver­b [...], non doccbunt, dicendo, Cognosce Do­minum, acsi diceret, non amplius oc­cupabit hominum mentes igneratia qualis antehac, ut nesciant quis sit Deus Sci­mus autem duplicem esse Doctrinae usum Primò, ut qui poenitus rades sunt a primis elementis incipiant deinde ut qui jam sunt initiati majores faciant progres­sus. Quum ergo Christianis quam [...]u vivunt proficiendum sit, certum est, ne minem usquo adeò satere. qaiu [...]oceri opus habeat utpars non postremae sapieriae nostrae sit docilitas; Quae autem profi­ciendi sit ratio si velimus esse Christi discipuli, Ptulus ostendit ad E [...]es. cap. 4. 11. Constituit Pastores & Doctores, &c. Hinc apparet nihil minùs Prophetae venisse in mentem, quàm spoliari Eccle­siam tam necessario bono. In that some phantastick spirits, (saith he,) take occa­sion from hence to abolish all outward preaching of the Word, as though in the Kingdom of Christ it were superfluous, their madnesse may easily be answered. This is their objection: (saith he) After the coming of Christ a man ought not to teach his neighbour; let an outward Ministery then be gone, and give way to an inward in pira­tion. But they passe that by (saith our Author) that in the Prophet which is chiefly worthy of ob­servation; The Prophet doth not deny that one should teach another, but these are his words; They shall not teach one another, saying, Know the Lord; as though he should say, such ignorance should not possesse the minds of men as heretofore, that they should not know who the Lord is, for we know there is a twofold use of teaching. First, That those that were altogether ignorant, may begin with the first elements; and afterwards that they that are thus entered, may make a far­ther [Page 173] progresse. Therefore when Christians as long as they live ought to learn, there is none so wise, but need to be taught, so that a teach­able disposition is not the least part of wisdome, and what our way to profit is, if we will be Christs Disciples, Paul sheweth in his Epistle to the Ephesians, chap. 4. 11. He gave gifts unto men; some Pastours, some Teachers, &c. Whence it appears that nothing else came into the Prophets thoughts, than to spoile the Church of so great a benefit. Thus far judicious Calvin on Heb. 8. verse 8, 9, 10, 11. In case these words [not only] might be supplied as some would have it, men shall not only teach one another, Know the Lord, but all shall know me; giving instances of the like, of neces­sity to be supplyed in other Scriptures, then the whole scope of the place were cleared: For the Jews as they did make use of the teaching of men, so, for the generality they rested in it; Here they are taught that which they never minded, the necessity of the concurrence, of Gods teaching with mans, that when man disco­vers the object, God should put in frame the Organ. Certain it is, that when other prophecies foretell in New Testament-times, mens zeal, to stirre up one another in the knowledge of God, (as Isa. 2. 3. Zech. 8. 21, 22, 23. yea, the very Chapter whence this prophecie is taken, ver. 6. and the Apostles in the New Testament call upon men for the mutual help of each other for edificati­on) this Prophecie does not stand alone for the destructi­on of it.

Schooles and Nurseries of Learning, in order to a gifted Ministery necessary.

AS a Ministery is to be established, to bring men into Cove­nant, and to bring them up, to the termes of the covenant, so all that necessarily conduces to it, is necessarily to be provided. First, Nurseries, Seminaries, Seed-plots, for gifts and abilities fit­ting for it, and sutable to it. Qui vult finem, vult media, is a cer­tain rule; the end ever supposes the way to it. He that will be a workman, must have tools; He that will fight a battel, must have [Page 174] armes; He that will make a Purchase, must have moneys; As, other things, so, the Ministery must have its due preparations. Christ ha­ving commissioned the twelve, for the work of discipling Nations, they must not set upon it, till they were enpoured for it. We have not inspiration; that is to be supplied by education, the way that Paul gave in charge to Timothy, Give attendance to reading, 1 Tim. 4. 13. Meditate wholly on these things, that thy profitting may appear to all, verse 15. As he had not health by miracle, but in the use of means, 1 Tim. 5. 23. so, neither had he gifts for the Ministery, but by study. A way for the advancement of study is therefore necessary, and though neither Law nor Gospel, do in the letter expressely appoint them; no more than they did Synagogues for the Jewes, and the like places of Assembly for Christians, yet by way of necessary consequence, both Law, and Gospel call for them, seeing they expressely call for that, which without these cannot be effected. A School to teach letters, with the Art of spel­ling, that we may be able to read, is not any where appointed, The Holy Ghost speaking to men of the light of Reason; and re­quiring knowledge of the Law by searching the Scriptures, and meditation in it, knew, this was needlesse: As petty Schooles for private Christians, so are Schooles of a higher nature, for the Mi­nisterial Function; Therefore, as all Sects whatsoever had their Schooles, to advance their way; Stephen met with some of them at Jerusalem, Universities of necessary use. Paul at Athens, so, we finde the like for the propagation of the knowledge of the Law of God, The Sonnes of the Prophets say to Elisha, 2 King. 6. 1. Behold, the place where we dwell is too strait for us. Sonnes of Prophets, were no other than Pupils, or Scholars of the Prophets, and we see, that they made their abode together, and their number encreased; To this Solomon alludes in the Proverbs, in the Person of Wisdom, My sonne, receive my instruction; and our Saviour also, Wisdom is justifi­ed of all her children, Mat. 11. 19. Such a place there was at Naioth in Ramah, whither David fled, and Saul followed him, 1 Sam. 19. 20. There was Samuel, and a company of Prophets. Naicthum ve­nerunt, &c. They came to Naioth, which was the dwelling of the Pro­phets, who exercised themselves in the Law of God, that the do­ctrine of salvation might be propagaed throughout the whole region of Israel. So Calvin on the place, Naioth habitatio quaedam, &c. Naioth was the dwelling of the Prophets in Ramah, where the be­leevers [Page 175] gave themselves up to the study of Gods Law, and were called the sonnes of the Prophets. Pellican in locum, pag. 200 And from these wor [...]s Willer on the place (out of Peter Martyr) concludes, that The noble foundation of Vniversities, and Schools of Learn­ing, is grounded upon the example of the Prophets. To this end there was a Colledge in Jerusalem, where Huldah the Prophetesse did live, 2 Chron. 34. 22. And Jeremy who lived in the same time, speaks of the Prophets of Jerusalem, as of the Prophets of Sa­maria, Jerem. 23. 13, 14. In either places they had, as appeares, Schooles of the Prophets. After the destruction of Jerusalem, Schooles for learning were still held up by the Jewes. They had their University in Tiberias, as Weemes observes, Christian Syna­gogue, page 148. In Babylon, saith he, there were three famous Vniversities, Neharda, Sora and Pambeditha. He farther saith, Colledges were appointed to receive strangers, and were called Labro­thenu, which is corruptly read Libertines, Acts 6. 9. By the same providence, on like warranty in the dayes of the Gospel, they have been set up at Alexandria, Antioch, where many famous men taught publickly (saith Wille [...] further out of Martyr,) as Pentia­nus, Origen, Clemens. These through Gods goodnesse are conti­nued; wheresoever the Gospel is preached, so that the use of Schools, the necessitie of Universities, is evident as well in Scripture as the light of Reason.Objections answered.

Object. But the Vniversities of Europe are a cause of vnivers [...]l sines and plagues, Object. we wa [...]t the Vniversities. the S [...] and Seed plots of all Piety. But have not those fountaines, ever sent what streames the times liked, and ever changed their [...], ac­cording to the Princes eye and palate? Bloody tenent, page 173. Answ. Answ. So from the Prophets of Jerusalem (as Jeremy complaines) profanenesse went into all the land, Their Universities (it seemes) were as foul as ours which the Prophet bewailed, and had a zeal to purge but not to destroy and wholly ruinate. The streams from thence (blessed be God) have not run in one channel. We have from thence sweet waters (as well as bitter streams) that have made glad the Cities of God.

Object.Object. I honour Schooles for Tongues and Arts, but the institu­tion of Europes Vniversities, devoting Persons, for Schollars in a Mo­nastical way, forbidding marriage and labour too, I hold (saith one) as farre from the minde of Jesus Christ, as it is from the propagating [Page 176] of his name and worship. Sol. Bloody Tenent. page 173. Answ. I am of your minde, They very well agree to both, as may sufficiently appeare in that which hath been said They that propagate his Name and worship, must know it; and this is the way to attaine to knowledge, For the forbidding of labour, I know no such ex­presse statute, but the very being of Schools, of this kinde is incon­sistent with it. A School for Tongues, and Arts, cannot be a shop for Trades, Can we think, those Sons of the Prophets that stu­died under Elisha, or those Prophets under Samuel, had their em­ployments of manufactures or tillage? If they had been men of labour, they would sure have had an Axe among them, and not have been put to borrow. To be a Prophet and an Husbandman, as Zach. 13. 5. taught from youth to keep cattel; cannot stand to­gether, as hath been shewn. The Levites had no land for tillage, nor yet do we read that they drove any trades, Their work we finde prescribed them, Deut. 33. 10. They shall teach Jacob thy judgements, and Israel thy Laws, they shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt-offering before the Altar. So for Ministers of the Gospel, we hear of their labour in Word and Doctrine, their charge to preach in season and out of season. For the forbidding of marriage; there is no such thing, who hath not known men, in that state in the Universities, and Resident in Colledges? It is true that those Students, that have their maintenance from the Founders do­nation, upon marriage lose their place, but do not incurre expul­sion. And the thing is very equal, seeing those places are not in­tended for a setled abode, (as some abuse them) but for Preparati­on for publick employment, whether in Church or State, and who blames those ties of Apprentices from marriage, for the terme of their service to know their trades? If wives and families should be taken in, they would soon finde the inconvenience that the sonnes of the Prophets complained of, their dwellings would be too strait for them.

Object.Object. Have not the Vniversities sacrilegionsly stole this blessed name of Christs Scholars from his People? Is not the very Scripture-language it self bec [...]me absurd, to wit, to call Gods People, especially women (as Dorcas) Scholars? Answ. Bloody tenent, ibid. And was it not an equal sacriledge, for some peculiar men to take the title of the Sons of the Prophets, who (as it is plain) were not their chil­dren, but their Scholars, and therefore the Prophets, (under [Page 177] whose tuition they were) were called by them, as, by the name of Father, 2 King. 2. 12. so, also by the name of Master, 2 King. 6. 5. being those Masters of the Assemblies that the Wise man speaks of, Eccles. 12. Others heard the doctrine, and as sons received the in­structions of the Prophets as well as they, yet the title is given pe­culiarly to some, who in a peculiar way were separate for that work, not common to all men, much lesse to women. Besides, the word Scholler is plainly in relation to Schooles, men may learn Christ and be his disciples, is confest, though they be not Scholars in this way.

I know no Schooles of the Prophets in the New Testament, Object. but the particular Congregation of Christ Jesus. And I question whether it be any thing but sinne that hath dried up this current of the Spirit, in those rare gifts of tongues, to Gods sonnes and daughters, ser­ving so admirably, both for the understanding of the Original Scri­ptures, and also for the propagating of the Name of Christ. Who knows but that it may please the Lord, again to cloath his People, with a Spirit of zeal, and courage for the Name of Christ, yea and poure forth those fiery streames again of tongues, and prophecy in the restauration of Zi­on? Bloody tenent page 174. I am glad to here it confessed, that sinne is displeasing to God, and that any judgement on the Church is confest to be let in at this gate; I am glad farther to hear that tongues serve, so admirably to propagate the Name of Christ, whence I infer, that while this judgement for sin continues, there is a necessity of other courses to attaine this, that is acknowledged to be of this excellency. Since the judgement was laid on the earth for sin, men have got their bread with labour, and so must as long as the judgement remaines. The like paines must be for learning as for a living; When God shall please to poure out again these fiery streames, we then shall confesse the unusefulnesse of Schools to this purpose, in the mean space their use is evident. And seeing it is acknowledged that men must digge with daily study, and labour to come at the Original fountaines; let none be like Pharaoh to urge a tale of brick, and deny straw. If they must thus digge, let them not be necessitated to go to the Papists to sharpen their spades, as sometimes Israel to the Philistines, with their goads and mattocks, which yet necessarily will be, if their Schools be kept up, and ours cried down. Mr. Ainsworth is brought in for an instance, who (as is said) had scarce his peer, among a thousand [Page 178] Academians for the Scripture-Originals, and yet he scarce set foot within a Colledge walls. His abilities in the tongues is evident (which was his Master-piece) but his education I know not but one Swallow makes not a Spring. I have known a man excellent, in the most exquisite manual trade, who yet never served a Master to learn it, yet this never took men off the way of Apprentiships If Mr. Ainsworth scarce set foot in a Colledge walls, yet he reaped the fruit of their labours that were studied, and thi [...] way excelled. Is this the honour that you professe to give to Schools for Tongues and Arts, to perswade men not to set their foot within them?

Another goes yet here farther, Object. not only to put down Schooles, and demolish Academies for learning but to deny any necessity or use of learning at all, yea, any necessity of a Ministery for inter­pretation of Scripture, as the Compassionate Samaritane, page 29, 30, 31. One interest (among others by him named) of Mini­sters, is to perswade the people, that the Scriptures, though we have them in our tongue, are not yet to be understood by us, without their help, and interpretation, so that in effect we are in the same condition with those we have so long pitied, that are forbid to have the Scriptures in their own tongue; for it is alone, not to have them in our own tongue, and to be made beleeve that we cannot understand them, though we have them in our own. Is the cabinet open to us? and do we yet want a key? has so much labour been spent? so many translations extant, and are we yet to seek? Let us argue a little with them; either the Scriptures are not rightly translated, or else they are; if they are not, why have we not been told so all this while? why have we been cheated into er­rours? if they are rightly translated, why should not English men under­stand them? The idiomes and proprieties of the Hebrew and Greek languages, which some say, cannot word for word be exprest in English, might all this while have been translated into as many English words, as will carry the sense thereof.

For the dilemma concerning the Scriptures rightly translated, or not rightly; I may apply that of Job, chap. 6. verse 15. How forcible are right words, but what doth your arguing reprove? and answer in a word, that they are rightly translated according to the reach of a humane work, and more rightly than the trans­lation followed so much by the Evangelists and Apostles. I sup­pose, all will yeeld that ours is more exact after the Original, than [Page 179] was that of the Seventy; And yet there was no cheat in those translations; if there had, those witnesses of Christ had not been silent; and yet not such a perfection that will bear no amendment. There is still use of examination of them, of asserting and de­fending them; But be it granted that the translation is every way exact and full, does it follow that there needs no help or inter­pretation? The people of the Jewes had the Original it self, and spake the language in which Scripture was written; yet the Priests lips were then to preserve knowledge, and the people were to seek the law at his mouth, Mal. 2 6. The cabinet was open to them, as it is to us; yet there needed a key for farther opening. Those two Disciples, with whom Christ had to deale with, upon the way, had the Scriptures, either in the translation, or Original, as is evident from Christs own words, reproving them for not be­leeving all that the Prophets had written, and yet a key of interpre­tation was needful, and useful; Christ opened unto them the Scriptures, Luke 24. 32. If this Compassionate Samaritane were questioned (as the Eunuch was by Philip) understandest thou what thou readest? he would not have given his answer, How shall I understand without an Interpreter? But would streight have an­swered, Yes, as well as any linguist in the world; I have no need of your help for interpretation. The cabinet is open, spare your key. This was one of the Arts, that some Prelates made use of, to keep up a reading Ministery, to perswade, that Scripture were so plaine distinctly read in our own tongue, that they might be understood without any interpretation. But the plainnesse and easinesse of a rule, and the use of means for understanding of it stand together; We maintaine a plainnesse in Scripture for the simple to understand, but not sitting idle, and lazy; but search­ing the Scriptures, and making use of those gifts of Christ, which he shed forth from the right hand of the Father, for the edifying of his body, till we come into the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Sonne of God, unto a perfect man. That we might not henceforth be as children, tossed to and fro with every winde of doctrine, by the sleight of men and cunning craftinesse of those that lie in waite to de­ceive, Ephes. 4. 12, 13. We may soone see their artifice that labour to beare them down, Thus they know their cun­ning sleight may be carried in the dark, and their impostures lie undiscovered. Our compassionate man, pretending to avoid a [Page 180] cheat; acts the part of the most notable cheater. The Prophet stood for that office of the Priests, that their lips should preserve knowledge, even when they had corrupted the covenant of Levi, Whatsoever their way was, yet this was their duty, so must we for the Stewards of the mysteries of God, It is their work to dispense them, and the people are to seek at their mouthes for them. But enough I hope hath been spoke for a Ministery, for a knowing Ministery, and objections against it fully satis­fied.

An orderly way of admission of men, into the Mini­nisterial function necessary.

AS men for the Ministery are to be trained up for the work, So there must be an orderly way of admittance to it,Self-consecra­tion to the Mi­nisterial work unwarrantable. the way which Scripture traces out to us. Self-consecration is alone be­seeming the Priests of Jeroboam, 2 Chron. 13 9 the lowest of the people that have neither inspiration, nor education, that have been taught of men (not any thing that may conduce to the dividing of the Word aright; but) how to keep cattel, Zach. 13. 5. or some answerable employment, in its due place commendable, but no introduction to the Ministerial honour. These run, and stay not for sending, and going without commission, they go without assistance, and soon runne themselves into those bogges, in which without special grace, they are irrecoverably plunged; they want home-reproofs, the wounds of friends, Zach. 13. 6. that they may no longer wear a rough garment to deceive; When the Apostle layes down the greatest necessitie of preaching, he puts the question, How shall they preach, unlesse they be sent? Men that go upon this work, must be able to make good their call. The Ministery of the Gospel being of divine institution, as well as the Priesthood of the Law; there must be a call from God for the one as for the the other; Heb. 5. 4. No man taketh this honour un­to himselfe, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. There is none that expect not a call from God in this work, but have their [Page 181] brand in the Scripture, Jerem. 14. 14. The Lord said unto me, The Prophets prophesie lies in my name, and I sent them not; yet they say, sword and famine shall not be in this land: by sword and famine shall those Prophets be consumed, Jerem. 27. 15. For I have not sent them, saith the Lord, yet they prophesie a lie in my name, that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, and the Prophets that pro­phesie unto you. A call from God to the Ministerial work must be expected. And as they runne on their own heads, so they vent their own tenents, and prophesie out of the deceit of their owne hearts, Jerem. 23. 26. Those shall never finde comfort in the work, that are not able to say with the Apostle, Christ sent me to preach the Gospel, 1 Cor. 1. 17.

1. The work is Gods, the advancement and setting up of his Kingdome, the ruine and demolition of the Kingdome of Satan, Acts 26. 18. The whole of all that they do is of high concern­ment to him; Each man will see to his own businesse, and finde la­bourers for his own work; God hath no lesse care, Jesus Christ is no lesse mindful, Harvest-Masters provide harvest-labourers; The Master of this harvest provides labourers for his work, and gives them commission, Mat. 9 38.

2. All necessaries for the work, inward, outward, are to be supplied from him. They must have livelihood and provision from heaven, they must receive instruction from heaven, They must be taught of God, that they may teach; God must protect; he must encourage and embolden, he must command successe, and give encrease. They are agents in his hand, and must be appoint­ed by him; it is no marvel, if they that be not sent of him, be left destitue of all

3. He is a God of Order, and he will have Order observed, and in no way is Order seene so comely, as when all know their places, and stations; When in a great house or a mighty Ar­my, each man will do what work he pleases; undertake what place of trust and command he pleases; each Souldier in an army will be a Commander, each servant in a family a Stew­ard, there must needs be high and great confusion. The mani­fold absurdities that will unavoidably follow, in case each man may thrust himself into this work, and so drive on his own inte­rests, see in Master Hall his Pulpit guarded, Argument. 5. This power of putting men into this work, equally concernes the whole Trinity, Each one of the persons hath his hand in the se­paration [Page 182] of men for it; Jesus Christ in a vision, sent Paul upon this errand, Acts 26. 18. see further, 1 Cor. 1. 17. Eph. 4. 11. He is, an Apostle by the will of God, Col. 1. 1. which is understood of the Father. God set in the Church, first Apostles, secondarily Pro­phets, 1 Cor. 12. 28. The Holy Ghost hath here an hand, Acts 13. 2. The holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul, for the work whereunto I have called them, Acts 20. 28. Take heed therefore unto your selves, and to all the flock over which the holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. And this sending or authorizing, is, as their gifting,The call of God is either extraordinary and immediate, or ordinary and mediate by the Ministe­ry of men. or fitting, either extraordinary and immediate, nothing of man intervening; or else mediate by mans Ministery and his approbation. Paul had both an immediate way; both his authority, and ability for the work; he professes that he is an Apostle; not of man, nor by man; he owes it not to man as the Authour, so may any Minister of Christ say, he owes it not to man as an instrument; so only Prophets and Apostles can say: As his Calling was thus immediate, so in like sort was his instructions for it, Gal. 1. 12. For I neither received if of man, neither was I taught it; but by the Revelation of Jesus Christ. They that divide these, are exceedingly to blame; assuming authority without man, but confessing that for abilities, as they must look up to God, so they must make use of man, must apply themselves to reading, and make use of the helps of others.

The immediate Call is by Vision,The immedi­ate call is by vision, revela­tion, &c. Revelation, or whatsoever otherway God pleases to manifest himself. Thus in a vision Paul was called; where that is not, the mediate Call only remains, which is the way of all that attaine to gifts by education, study, and the blessing of heaven on their endeavours. This is called, as in Scripture,The mediate and ordinary call is by Or­dination. so in Church-writers, by the name of Ordination, and the whole work (containing as well that which is essential to it, as the adjuncts of it) may be thus described. An act of men in a Ministerial function, Ordination described, and in the several parts of it ex­plained. associated in a Presbytery; setting some apart upon proof and examination, as Presbyters and Elders in the Church, by fasting and praying with imposition of hands. We find no other, but men in Ministerial function, in all the holy Scriptures acting in it.Men in Mini­sterial functi­on are to act in it. Paul and Barnabas ordaine Elders in every Church, which in their journal they visite, Acts 14. 23. Timothy is di­rected in the way of it. 1 Tim. 5. 22. Lay hands suddenly on no man. [Page 183] Titus is enjoyned to ordaine Elders in every City in Creet, Tit. 1. 5. He is named alone, but the naming of one excludes not others, and therefore it appears, that in Timothies Ordination, a Presby­tery, or a combination of Presbyters did joyne, 1 Tim. 4. 14. which way in our Church hath ever been held. The Bishop (sup­posed by some, to be vested in the whole power of Ordination) never had authority to ordaine alone; but grave Presbyters ac­cording to the Canon, were to joyn with him, though by reason of greatnesse, his vote ordinarily did overmuch sway in it. Some would have the people here to have their hand, in that the word [...] in that place of the Acts, chap. 14. 23. implies a lifting up of the hand. But whatsoever the word in its Etymolo­gy may imply, the use is not such, as is plaine by comparing Acts 10. 41. where the immediate Ordination of God, by the same word is held forth unto us. They know the weight of the Mini­sterial function, and they are best able to judge of requisite a­bilities. One that is willing to give as much to the people, as may be, yet confesses that in Grammatical construction, the word [...] can agree with no other but Paul and Barnabas, and that it was only their act; and therefore he would finde it in the word [...], which (saith he) doth not signifie in every Church, as it is translated, but according to the Church instancing in the Orators phrase, Faciam secundumte; I will do it according to thy minde: So they (viz. Paul and Barnabas) ordained them Elders, according to the Church, that is, according to the minde and will of the Church. If this were granted, it would only conclude an acquiescency in the people, and that they had satisfaction in that Ordination, carryed on by Paul and Barnabas. Yet this phrase here, can no where prove that the Church or people; made choise of them, then we man prove from that injunction of the Apo­stle, Titus 1. 5. to ordaine Elders in every City, that the whole City had there their vote in Elections; As much stresse may be laid upon [...] in every City, or according to the minde of the City, in this of Paul to Titus, as upon [...] in e­very Church, or according to the minde of the Church, in that of Luke in the History of the Acts. What power the people or the faithful may have in Election, and how farre it may be conveni­ent that they may be overborne for their good, I will not here dispute. I only conclude, that we finde not the people any [Page 184] where ordaining we read of Ordination in Churches, for the Churches use, not Ordination by Churches, taking it in that sense, for the whole community of Beleevers.

These,This Ordina­tion is of Pres­byters and Elders. in a Ministerial function in this act of Ordination, set select men apart for Presbyters, or Elders; so Acts 14. 23. Titus 1. 5. Titus is enjoyned to ordaine Elders in every City in Creet, who are the same with Bishops, as appeares in Titus 1. verse 5. 7. compared.These Elders are the same with Bishops. The qualification of Elders is there pre­scribed; and the reason is given, for a Bishop must be blame­lesse, which will hold no congruity, if an Elder be not the same with a Bishop, Which also may be seen, Acts 20. comparing ver. 17. and the 28. together. The Apostle there speaks to the Elders of Ephesus, and he gives them a charge, to take heed to all the fl [...]ck, over which the Holy Ghost had made them Overseers; that is, had given them an Episcopal charge, as the word signifies. Elders must set apart men for Elders, and Presbyters are to be set apart by a Presbytery.

This Ordination of Elders is to be in the Church,They are El­ders of the Church uni­versal. or for the Church, which may be taken either for the universal Church vi­sible, or for some particular Church, and that either congrega­tional or classical. Ministerial functions are appointed of God, for the Church universal visible. God hath set some in the Church, first Apostles, secundarily Prophets, thirdly Teachers, &c. 1 Cor. 12▪ 28. No one particular Church, congregational or clas­sical, enjoys all the particular kindes there enumerated, yet so as the exercise of this function, is to be with limit to one particular only. They are Ministers of the Church universal; yet so as or­derly to exercise their function, only there, where God by his pro­vidence shall designe them. There are some functions (as I may say) Catholick, what such a one doth any where in his function, is good every where, as a publick Notary, or Master of the Chan­cery, that which they do any where, is every where valid, within the limit of that power under which they act; It is of force through the whole Nation. Some functions are topical or local, as Justices of Peace, a chief officer in a Corporation, Sheriff, or Constable, who are without power out of their own limits. A Minister or Presbyter is a Catholick or Universal Officer, he hath jus in re, in the whole Church visible, for all Ministerial actions, whether of Word or Sacraments, he hath jus ad rem, in the place assigned [Page 185] and appointed him, where alone he is regularly to officiate, and so, hath the title of an Aggel, or Elder of such a particular Church to which he is called, Rev. 2. 1, 7, &c. Acts 20. 17. He hath a first right every where, a second right only where he is order­ly placed.

This is to be done by examination or tryal,Ordination is to be past on examination or trial. if no word of Scri­pture did mention it, yet the thing it self evinces the necessity of it; Scripture layes down the requisites or qualifications in Mini­sters. First, for years, not a novice, 1 Tim. 3. 6. Some are old young, which may answer some want of years, more fit at twenty foure, then others at thirty. Secondly, for conversation; Blamelesse, as the Steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate, Titus 1. 7, 8. Third­ly, for parts and gifts; 2 Tim. 2. 15. A workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of Truth, Tit. 1. 9. Hold­ing fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convince gain-sayers. Fourthly, for graces of the Spirit, they should be as Barnabas, full of the Holy Ghost and of Faith, Acts 11. 24. From which gifts of nature must not be excluded, as strength of body in its mea­sure, that the body may in some sort keep pace with the soule. The gift of utterance, that not only his head, but his lips may preserve knowledge, that he may be able to speak, to edification, exhortation, and doctrine; of these such that act in Ordination, should have knoweldge, of each of them so far, as they may come to cognizance, of some of these by letters of commendation from faithful persons, 2 Cor. 3. 1. of others by proof and examination, 1 Tim. 3. 10. The Apostle having laid down the qualifications of Bishops, and proceeding to that of Deacons; hath these words, Let these also be proved, and then let them use the office of a Deacon; both Bishops and Deacon must undergo examination. Timothy must lay hands suddenly on none, 1 Tim. 1. 22. He must then lay on his hands no otherwise, but upon proof and trial, which the context (speaking of sins, some open going before to judge­ment, others following after) seems to evince, such cautiousness cannot stand; without all possible wayes and means of proof and trial

All this is to be solemnized by fasting and prayer; in which we [Page 186] have Scripture-precedents,To be solem­nized with fasting and praye [...]s. Act. 13. 2. When they had fasted and pray­ed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away, Acts 14. 23. When they had ordained them Elders in every Church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they beleeved. This I take not, to be of the essence of Ordination; not necessary to the very being; but the better being of it in imploring Gods assistance and blessing. It is a great work, a work of glorius concernment; it is a work above our strength to manage, more weighty than our shoulders can bear, there is more than parts, gifts and endowments, (whether natural or acquired) required in it. All supplies being (as before we heard) to be expected from heaven, heaven must be implored, God must be earnestly sought in it. Fasting should add wings to our prayers, that our voice may be heard on high. A shadow of this still remained in the Church, as appers, by those Jejunia quatuor temporum at the times of Ordination; which indeed, was almost brought to a meer shadow.

The last thing mentioned in the Definition,Imposition of hands to be used in Ordi­nation. is imposition of hands; A rite or usage in practice before the Law, Gen. 48. 14. held in the time of the Law, Levit. 1. 4. and continued in the dayes of the Gospel, as consisting with the simplicity of it. It was used in blessing, Gen. 48. 14. Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraims head in his blessing of them. Matth. 19 13. They brought children to Christ, that he should put his hands on them and pray; which accordingly he did, Mark 10. 16. He put his hands upon them, and blessed them. It was used in Offerings, Levit. 1. 4. If any man bring an Offering unto the Lord, he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering, and it shall be accept­ed for him, to make atonement for him. It was used in bearing wit­nesse, as Levit. 24. 14. Where the Lord gives charge concerning the blasphemer; Bring forth him that hath cursed, without the Camp, and let all that have heard him, lay their hands upon his head. It was used in conferring extraordinary gifts, Acts 8. 17. Peter and John laid their hands, on those that beleeved in Samaria, and they received the Holy Ghost. It was used in miraculous cures, Mark 6. 5. Christ could do there no mighty works, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folke, and healed them, Acts 28. 8. It was used in designing men for office, and that either civil, for the work of the Magistracy. Deut. 34. 9. Joshua the son of Nun was [Page 187] full of the Spirit of wisdome; for Moses had laid his hands upon him, and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as Lord commanded Moses. Or Ecclesiastical, and that for the work of the Lord in the time of the Law, Levit. 8. 10. and also in the dayes of the Gospel, Acts. 13. 3. And from this rite of impositi­on of hands, (in use in this work of Ordination) the whole work hath sometimes its denomination, 1 Tim. 5 22. Lay hands suddenly on no man; An Objection answered. where imposition of hands is put for the whole work. Some I know would take all this off, as to Ordination by laying on of hands, by the objection of extraordinary gifts, which were this way conferred, as was before confessed, of which they will have that Text understood, 2 Tim. 1. 6. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance, that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. But this is too weak to avoid, it for though we have already said; that when the Holy Ghost was given in those extraordinary endowments, hands were imposed, yet whole Presbyteries cannot ordinarily be conceived, to be vested with that power, yet they joyntly in this work laid on their hands, 1 Tim. 4. 14. And that ad­vice of Paul to Timothy, 1 Tim. 5. 22. plainly contradicts it, lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other mens sins. In case Ti­mothy had had that power to have conferred with the calling, qua­lifications for the calling, he had no need to have been in that way advised, to use such circumspection. Why should he be so careful to see them first fit, in case his laying on of hands would fit them? There need not such trial whether they were gifted in case a touch of the hand would be the gifting of them. And for Timothies Ordi­nation in the place quoted, 2 Tim. 1. 6. it followes not from our grant; that extraordinary gifts are there specified, that authority for the Ministerial work is denied. It is plain that Moses authorized Joshua, for succession in his place; by laying on of hands, Deut. 34. 9. The people upon that took him for his successor, yet it is as plain in the Text, that the Spirit of wisdom was then conferred upon him: Authority and power are sometimes given at once, yet all that are in power to authorize, cannot impower for this busi­nesse, he that will see more, may read Dr. Seamans Treatise on this subject, and jus divinum Ministerii Ecclesiastici.

Ministers of Christ must bring their people up to the termes of the Covenant, pressing the neccessity of Faith and Repentance.

THen it farther yet follows; that the Ministers of Christ are to call their people unto these duties, before mentioned as conditions. They must urge and presse the necessity of Faith and Repentance. These are the termes of the covenant, and stipulation, to which God in covenant doth engage, in which the Apostles of Christ spent their paines, Testifying both to Jews and Gentiles, repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, Acts 20. 21. And this must be the businesse of those that make it their businesse to preach the Gospel in all ages. Men must be taught to observe what Christ commands and teaches, Matth. 28. 20. These Christ teaches, and gives in charge; Thus he begun his Ministery, Mark 1. 15. Repent ye, and beleeve the Gospel. They must so preach that men may not perish; that they may not be the savour of death, But they only that beleeve, shall not perish, John 3. 16. They that repent not, must perish, Luke 13. 1. They must so preach Christ, that men may have their in­terest in Christ, that they may not be cast off by Christ, But Faith gives this interest: He dwells in our hearts by Faith, Ephes. 3. 17. Workers of iniquity must be cast off, Mat. 7. 23. Depart from me all ye that work iniquity. It is no plain dealing in any of the Ministers of Christ to make tender of promises, to hold forth priviledges, and conceale the termes, upon which they may be obtained; to speak of salvation to men in sinne, without so much as the name of sanctification, or application to God in a way of Repentance; to tell men in the Prodigals course, of the Fathers bowels, and readinesse to meet them with kisses; without men­tion of the Prodigals humiliation or coming in, to tell them of the many sinnes forgiven to the woman in the Gospel, Luk 7. 47. without once mention of those many tears, that were shed in evidence of her repentance.An Objection answered. They say, that these are the strong­est motives to work men from sin. This I gladly yeeld when the [Page 189] promise is tendered, and with it repentance urged. I know it was the way of the Prophet,The danger of severing the promise from the duty. Esay 55. 7. and therefore a prevalent way; Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him returne unto the Lord, and he will have mer­cy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. The way also of the Apostle, 2 Cor. 6. 17. Be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you. But the se­vering of the promise from the duty, so that Christ is heard on­ly in a promise, not at all in a precept, when they heare that Christ will save; but are never told that they must repent. These are but delusions; Promise-Preachers, and no duty-Preachers; grace-Preachers, and not repentance-Preachers, do but (as the Apostle hath long since given warning) deceive with vain words, Ephes. 5. 6. This will never work men from sinne, but strengthen men in sin, Ezek. 13. 22. Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad, and strenthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not returne from his wicked way, by pro­mising life. These promises of life thus tendered, we see are lies, for men in sinne, are men for death, Ezek. 18. 31. These pro­mises, strengthen the hands of men in sinne, that they return not from it. It is the observation of many, that the false Prophets so branded in the Old Testament, vented no errours in Faith, but only misapplications of truths. They promised peace, where the Lord had promised no peace; and therefore a false Prophet among the Jews is distinguished from a false Teacher among Christians, 2 Pet. 2. 1. These latter bring in damnable heresies, and so did not the former; But as ours outstrip them, in that they bring in errours in faith, so they joyne with them in misap­plications of truths. If thou be a whoremonger, a blasphemer, a drunkard, a mad man in iniquity (saith one, or words to that pur­pose) and there be no manner of change wrought in thee, yet come and take Christ, &c. Does any Gospel-Text, speak of such a mans taking of Christ, without any manner of change wrought? Are not those the enemies of Christ, that rise in hostile rebellion? Psal 68. 21. And while they despise him, can they receive him? We would not have such a sinner (if we can possibly imagine a great sinner) kept from Christ Jesus; but he must come in at the Gospel-door, He must come in the way of his call, He must come to receive whole Christ in each function of his, He must [Page 190] come for every gift,Whole Christ must be re­ceived, and all of his gifts embraced. which Christ poures out, He must come for repentance from Christ, as a Prince, as well as remission of sins as a Saviour, Acts 5. 31. God hath exalted him with his right hand to be a Prince, and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgivenesse of sinnes. He must come by the way of Faith for for­givenesse, This both Prophets and Apostles, Old Testament and New Testament-Gospel calls for, Acts 10. 43. To him give all the Prophets witnesse, that through his Name, whosoever beleeveth in him shall receive remission of sinnes. They must come by re­pentance and conversion in order to forgivenesse, Acts 3. 19. Re­pent ye therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. I do not say that there is no promise in Scripture made to a wicked man, that is the greatest Gospel-paradox; But I say, they are not made good, to wicked persons. They are made to the wicked, made good,Promises are made to the wicked, made good only to the beleeving and penitent. that is, performed, to the beleeving and penitent. To finde a promise made, and made good, that is, tendered and per­formed to a man unbeleeving, impenitent is indeed a labour. One replying to this question, What, if I have not those conditions in me, as to feel my self hungry, thirsty and heavy-laden? answers, If you finde not these or such conditions in you; Objections answered. then you are not to apply your self to those promises, that are made to such as have those conditions in them; But you are to seek out for other (and more suitable) promi­ses, which are absolute and without condition. It is worth asking where those suitable promises are to a man void of faith? For that before by the Authour was mentioned, or to a man impenient, and not so much as hungring after them, such a one I meane, that upon good grounds, is able to charge the want of these up­on his soul, I am sure they are under heavy Scripture-woes, even Gospel-menaces, and can they at the same time be fitted to re­ceive the mercy of a promise? Where are his promises that hun­gers and thirsts not, when Christ saith, Wo to you that are full, for you shall hunger? Where is his promise that mourns not, but goes on frolick in his way, When Christ saith, Woe unto you that laugh now, for ye shall weep and lament, Luke 6. 25. Where is the unbeleevers promise, when the Lord sayes, He that be­leeveth not, is condemned, already; because he hath not beleeved in the name of the only begotten Son of God, John 3. 18. Where is the im­penitent mans promise, when the Psalmist saith, The wicked [Page 191] shall be turned into hell, Psalme 9. 17. and the Apostle, That no un­righteous person shall enter into the Kingdome of heaven, 1 Cor. 6. 9. But instance is given, Isa. 43. 25. I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own name sake. But this is not the unbe­leeving, the impenitent mans transgressions, they still stand on record, and the bond uncancelled. This excludes motives from us, not graces wrought in us, when God justifies a beleever, it's for his own name sake, or else he is a loser in his glory, when he justifies those that beleeve in Jesus, Rom. 3. 26. and Faith gives not glory to God, as Rom. 4. 20. but takes glory from him. As Peter said of the creeple that was cured; His name, through faith in his name, hath made this man strong, Acts 3. 16. So we may say of every sinner, justified and pardoned, His Name, through faith in his Name, hath acquit and freed him. When God pardons a penitent man, it is not for the merit of his returne that he par­dons him; if this were so, Peter who is so zealous, to advance his name in the place quoted; had not presently urged; Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of re­freshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, Acts 3. 19. It is not for his honour to pardon any other. This is with him a rule which he will for ever follow, Those that honour me, I will honour, and they that despise me, shall be lightly esteemed, 1 Sam. 3. 30. The same Author saith, Conditions and qualifications are mentioned in some promises; and therefore we may safely inferre, are under­stood in all promises of life and salvation, unlesse God deny himself, He hath threatned death and condemnation against an unqualified man; namely the unbeleeving and impenitent; and therefore hath not promised them life and salvation. Beleeving penitent ones, have the promises of life to be made good to them, exclusively to all others. To lead the sinner to Christ for the gain­ing of the qualifications of grace in the way of his Ordinances, is to lead him right; He is the Author of our faith, and he is a Prince to give repentance. But to perswade a sinner to look for life, in the want of all these, or to tell him of Assurance of life without sense of these, is to deceive him. That happy Doctrine of free grace, so timely abused, even as soon as clearly preached, is now no lesse abused; Then, inferences were made from it, for encouragement to abound in sin, Rom. 6. 1. Now inferences are drawn to cry down duty, Righteousnesse imputed must overthrow [Page 192] righteousnesse inherent. The Apostle would not suffer the former; the Ministers of Christ must not bear the latter.

A people in covenant must come up to the termes of the covenant, being engaged to God, they must answer their engagements.

HEnce farther follows,The evil of breach of Co­venant with man. that all people in covenant must come up to the termes and propositions of the covenant, Entring covenant they must see that their hearts art upright in it. How do we aggravate their wickednesse, and hold in detestation all those persons that break covenant with men, that having past a promise, (especially having put upon it the sanction of an Oath) yet violate and transgresse it. These first involve themselves in the guilt of lying, which every where in Scripture is followed with judgements, an Art which they learne of the Devil, who is a liar, and the father of lies, John 8. 44. And therefore with him have their doome in the lake that burnes with fire and brimstome, Revel. 21. 8. Secondly, in the pollution of Gods Name, which we should have in fear and dread, Deut. 28. 5, 8. Taking it in vaine, in falsehood, and deceit into their mouths, endeavouring to bring in that God, whom they pretend to serve; in whom is all their expectation, as a party in their falsehood, and ungodli­nesse. This high crime is charged upon Israel in taking to them­selves again those servants that according to covenant they had dismissed, Jerem. 34. 15, 16. Ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servaut, and every man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty, at their pleasure to returne, and brought them into subjection to be unto you for servants and for handmaids; Therein is the overthrow of all bonds of humane society, of all converse and commerce, whether in more publick, or private negotiations. Truth is the upholding, and perfidiousnesse is the bane and utter destruction of it. When Papists have maintained that Faith, or covenant is not to be kept with Hereticks; reformed Churches have concluded upon it, that there is no safety of any, league or [Page 193] intercourse of dealing with them. The example of John Husse is a sufficient warning. Those that hold no such principles, yet be­ing such in their practices; are equally dangerous. We look upon these, as given up to a very Spirit of Atheism, if not wholly in their judgements to deny a Deity, and to utter with their mouths that which the Psalmists foole sayes in his heart, yet utterly slighting his Sovereignty, and disregarding his judge­ments. They have arrived at that dedolency that the Apostle mentions, Ephes. 4. 19. and therefore rankt by him with the worst of Heathens, Rom. 1. 31. and put into that black bill of un­godly persons, that will be found in the last and most perillous times,Breach of Co­venant with God, is a great­er evil. 2 Tim. 3. 3. How much more then will God and man have in detestation those; that have entred covenant in an immediate way with God, for faith and obedience and to stand out in oppo­sition to sinne, and Satan, yet (making defection from God by sinne and unbeliefe) stand up in rebellion against him. Is the dreadful Majesty of the great God of no more regard, than to pretend to him, engage with him, and then stand up in hostility against him? Is there any thing so lovely, or honourable in sin, to allure men to run upon the wrath of God, that they may welter in it? or any thing so unpleasing in the wayes of God, that nei­ther the dread of his name, nor the blisse, held forth in promise, can perswade to embrace them? A viler thing cannot be named, than a Christian in sinne, a Christian in wayes of unbeliefe and wickednesse. Were the name of a Christian off, and no cove­nant bonds engaging to the Lord; then there were no more than a creature in rebellion, and that were bad enough, the work of Gods hand to strive with its Maker. But standing vested in this covenant-relation, honoured with this glorious Name, here is an addition of Hypocrisie, Apostasie and defection. We hate none more than those that are false to us; and we may well con­clude that God hates none more than those that are false to him, and therefore challenges his people, whether they have found any iniquity in him, Jerem. 2 5. What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone farre from me, and have walked af­ter vanity, and are become vain? A servant doth not use to quit one Master, and betake himself to another, but he gives some reason of his change. One that hath been engaged for the ways of God (as all are that are called by the Name of God, and dignified [Page 194] with the title of a Christian) would be hard put to it, to give a reason of his revolt from God. When God and vanity are set in competition, that God should be refused, and vanity chosen, when the fountaine of living waters, that never can be drawn dry, is left, and cisternes, broken cisternes chosen, that are alwayes running dry. How does the holy Ghost, set out these, 2 Pet. 2. 22. The dog is turned to his own vomit again [...], and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. Can the sow find no other place than filth? nor the dogge no other food than his vomit? A returne to sinne is more loathsome than these, and such are all the wayes of all men in sinne, of all of a Christian profession, that are seen in ungodly ways; Nothing so glorious as a Christian that holds to his principles, that answers in conver­sation to his profession, Nothing so inglorious as a Christian in sin. A Jew outwardly, and a Heathen inwardly, a face for God, and a heart for iniquity. When such as these came out of the holy land for Babylon, they, there said in way of reproach of their God, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of his land, Ezek. 36. 20. Rom. 2. 24. Insomuch that God is put to it for his vindication, not to suffer them to carry their sin with impu­nity, Ezek. 39. 23, 24. And the heathen shall know, that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they trespassed a­gainst me; therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies; so fell they all by the sword according to their uncleannesse, and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them. This falsehood in covenant draws present sufferings, National plagues: I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant, Levit. 26. 25. Every Christian Nation under sufferings;It brings Na­tional plagues. may sadly reflect upon all that they groan under, and say their iniquities have procured these things unto them.

But this breach of covenant with God hath greater evils, even unto eternity following upon it;It brings evil to eternity. Men of sinne and unbeliefe, that lie in distrust and disobedience, can claime no interest in the grace and mercy of the covenant. God in covenant engages to Faith and Repentance, these as we have seen are his termes, when men come not up to them, they dis-interest themselves, and disengage God from any tye of conferring blisse and savation upon them. Their own folly and madnesse, puts a barre to their own happi­nesse [Page 195] and glory. They cannot be self-saviours, yet they will not go out of themselves for salvation by another, when they have received the sentence of death in themselves, they will not come to Christ, that they may have life. He may worthily bear his own debt, that in pride of spirit, refuses anothers bounty; Christ offers himself as a Surety in our stead, to make payment for us in his own person. The unbeleever will stand on his owu bottome, and make pay out of his own store, or perish; Having heaven and hell set before them; the tender of the one, and the terrour of the other, quitting heaven and all the glory of it, and happinesse in it; they make choice of that fire, that is prepared for the Devil and his Angels,No Assurance of happinesse, but in per­formance of the termes of the Covenant. covenant-breaking having the cer­taine doome of destruction fastened upon it. Assurance of sal­vation cannot be gained, but in a way of covenant-keeping; yea, the conditions of the covenant are the basis, and never failing bottome of our Evidence and Assurance. It is gathered thus: He that believes and repents, shall be saved. This is evidently laid down in Scriptures; A man void of saving faith, and impenitent, may give his assent to it. Then the sould is to assume to it selfe, but I beleeve and repent, therefore I shall be saved. These two (as at large hath been shewn) are the conditions of the covenant; these we must finde wrought in our souls, or else all Evidence is wanting, and when these are concluded, an undeceiving interest in salvation follows.

There is a twofold work to be done on the soul that is in sin in order to bring it to salvation; There is a third to be done for assu­rance of salvation.

The first work is to set the soul free from Hell, to deliver it from the sentence of Death; to which by the rule of justice, man stands condemned. A man must be fetched out of prison, before he can be for any preferment, or place of honour. This is done by the blood of Christ, Ephes. 1. 7. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgivenesse of sinnes, according to the riches of his grace. This is the price of our ransom, Being redeemed, not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, 1 Pet. 1 18.

Secondly, to make a man meet for heaven, A man so vile as sinne makes, is a man fit for nothing but hell, and must have a change wrought before he be meet for heaven. Upon this ground [Page 196] the Apostle is so large, in returning praise for the Colossians: Gi­ving thanks unto the Father, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in light, Col. 1. 12. As alone, the blood of Christ sets free from hell; so alone, the Spirit of Christ makes fit for heaven. This is done by a double work. 1. Of regenera­tion or first implantation of grace, which is called the birth of the Spirit, John 3. 5, 6. 2. By acting, improving, carrying on this work of grace; which is properly sanctification, so that when the Spirit is gone thus farre, here is a certainty of the object. It is sure, nothing more sure than this; that a regenerate sanctified man shall be saved. But here is more required for a certainty of the subject. Here is certitudo de re; but more is required to attaine certitudinem de se. If Peter do beleeve and repent, he shall be sa­ved, is out of controversie; But that Peter doth beleeve and re­pent, is not alwayes so soone discovered, And this is the Spirits work as the former It is not my businesse now to hold out what is the Spirits whole office in concluding our Assurance, but to shew that the conditions of the covenant are the bottom ground, not of salvation, but of our evidence of interest in salvation. We must know that we do beleeve and repent, before we have assurance, and we must first beleeve and repent, before we know that we be­leeve and repent. If before faith and repentance there can be no salvation; then before we know we beleeve and repent, we can­not be assured of salvation: But without faith and repentance there is no salvation, Mark 16. 16. He that beleeveth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that beleeveth not, shall be damned. Luke 13. 3. 5. I tell you, may, but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish; Therefore before we beleeve and repent, we can­not be assured of salvation. And how assurance can be gained without a practical syllogisme, and how a syllogisme can be fra­med with any other medium, than the conditions of the covenant, is above my understanding Man is so far from abilities to conclude salvation, without faith and repentance, that be must conclude him­self to be in faith, and that he doth repent, before he can conclude any interest in it. The covenant of God is the ground of our salvation; if that be waved, all is lost, and we must make good our part in the Covenant, Grace must assist to answer what the covenant requires, or no salvation. How is it a covenant, if nothing be required? and why is it required, if it must [Page 197] not be performed? To gather up assurance from the conditions of the covenant is a businesse of greater consequence, even the highest pitch of Christianity. It is a great work to beleeve and re­pent, a greater work to know that we savingly beleeve and repent. The work it selfe is difficult, no businesse of a lazy soul, but to know, that the work is aright done, is a greater difficulty; but that it must be gathered from the conditions, is easie to resolve. I know some finding the seal of the Spirit,The office of the Spirit in the work of Assurance. and the witnesse of the Spirit mentioned in Scripture in order to assurance, will have the whole of the work of Assurance to be carryed on alone by the Spirit, and that all is done in us without us. They expect a secret whisper from God, that we are Gods, and no more. This witnesse, they say, must be heeded, and our faith and repentance in the work not at all regarded, But I would know of those if the Spirit be a seale; whether the soul doth not bear the impresse? and what this impresse is, but the graces of the Spirit? The Seale sealing, and the impresse made, fully answer one the other, Sometimes it may dimmely answer, where the wax or clay, (or whatso­ever is sealed) takes not a full impression; but if it answer not, it is no Seale. The graces that the Spirit works, are its impresse▪ and these are the conditions of the covenant, and so instead of an objection, we have a proofe. For the witnesse of the Spirit, I desire to know whether it be a single witnesse, gi­ving testimony to us without us, or a witnesse concurring with our spirits? The Text is cleare, Rom. 8. 16. The Spirit it self beareth witnesse with our spirits, that we are the children of God. Our spirits bearing witnesse, are our consciences, Rom. 2. 5. Their consciences also bearing them witnesse; and therefore Master Baxter rightly affirmes, That the testimony of the Spirit, and the testimony of our consciences are two concurrent testimonies, or causes, to produce one and the same effect. But every conscience cannot witnesse thus with the Spirit, or joyne in a concurrent testi­mony. It is the witnesse of a good conscience, 1 Pet. 3. 21. Baptism saves (saith the Apostle) by the resurrection of Christ; Explaining himself, not the putting away the filth of the flesh, not the bare outward act of administration (which is worthily set out by the most undervaluing termes, when it is put in opposition to the inward work) but the answer of a good conscience towards God. Ba­ptisme [Page 198] is a seal of the covenant, and it engages to what the covenant requires, which (as we have been still catechized) is to beleeve in God, and to forsake our sins, and when conscience answers that this is done, Baptisme is a seale that Christ saves. The seale of the Spirit is an impresse of those graces; and the witnesse of the Spirit is a clearingup of these graces, and giving in te­stimony to the truth of them, opening our eyes to read the characters, which it selfe hath made, 1 Corinth. 2. 12. We have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. So that in vaine do men talk of the Spirit; that have not on their own hearts the impresse of it, or of the wit­nesse of the Spirit, when a renewed conscience cannot con­curre,The immediate teste of the Spirits exami­ned. in testimony that these engagements are answered in faith and repentance; let that Text of the Apostle be con­sidered, 1 John 3. 24. He that keepeth his commandments, dwel­leth in him, and he in him; and hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. I know there are some that admit of all this, and freely yeeld, that this is a safe way to conclude Assurance from Sanctification, Confessing that the Spirit never witnesseth with an unsanctified heart, yet they contend for a farther and immediate teste of the Spirit, without any consideration had, of inherent gra­ces wrought, or any reflection made, by the the soule upon it selfe, in review of any gracious qualifications. Yet here they confesse danger; and limit this doctrine of theirs with diverse cautions, as I have met with some, from an eminent hand, in a manuscript. 1. This is extraordinary (as they say) very seldome seene or known, it is no common way of the Spirits wit­nesse. 2. It is for the most part in, or upon performance of some duties, or conscientious employment of a mans selfe in the way of his calling. 3. After some great abasement of a mans spirit, and more than ordinary soul-humiliations and self-denials. 4. After some great adventures made for God, and the advance­ment of his Name. 5. After some great combate, and conflict with temptation, in which God gives in his Spirit, as an honorarium, or glorious reward upon victory obtained. First, by way of con­cession, it is not to be denied, that God in a more than or­dinary measure, doth many times manifest the gift of his Spi­rit [Page 199] for this work of Assurance, and that upon these occasions here laid down, the soule hath many cheering consolations nigh unto raptures. The Spouse hath not like converse with the Bridegroome at all times; Sometimes she walks with him in the Galleries; Sometimes she is with him in the wine-sellers; Some­times she can say in a way of exultation, My beloved is mine, and I am his. But these limits in the instances before laid down, seem to me to be a full denial, instead of proof, that it is thus imme­diate, without all reflex upon our graces. These being means san­ctified of God, to stir up the habit of grace by his Spirit wrought within us, and to bring them forth into action, which God then farther honours with a greater measure of light, to discerne his own work wrought in us. Our spirits being got into such a posture, are in an aptitude to witnesse with us; and God is then pleased, to come in by his Spirit, to joyn in Evidence; So that still the conditional promises, are not only a safe, but the alone way, in which through the help of the Spirit we get Assurance that we shall be saved. They that go about to assert an imme­diate teste, will never secure the soule from delusion, Satan will soon finde an artifice, to counterfeit this testimony, and bear witnesse, in the Spirits stead, and when we think we have the Spirit of truth to assure, we shall have the father of lies to deceive. A gappe will be opened to all licentious presumption, Children of disobedience will soone heed vain words, Object. that the wrath of God shall not come upon them; Neither will it be to purpose to demand, how the Prophets were assured that it was the word of the Lord that came to them, and no delusion, and to affirme that the same way we have assurance of the truth of the Spirits witnesse, seeing Gods extraordinary way of discovery of himself in visions, dreams, or what other way himself pleased to chuse, is not the same with his ordinary way of discovery unto us, we no more understand that way of discovery than we do the way in which by power received, they wrought miracles. As for Doctrines, which men are apt to obtrude upon the Spirit; so, for testimonies, in order to our adopti­on and salvation, we must go to the Law, and to the Testimony. The Law and Testimony lead us, for Assurance to our own hearts, excusing or condemning in the particulars mentioned; And if our hearts condemne us not, then have we confidence towards God; and whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his com­mandments, [Page 200] and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his Commandment, that we should beleeve on the Name of his Son Jesus-Christ, and love one another as he gave us commandment, 1 John 3. 21, 22, 23. And if the stresse of all had not lien here, Christ had never compared the Professor, that hears and does not, to the foolish builder that raises his hopes of salvation on a san­dy foundation, upon a bare title of an empty profession, without any well grounded interest, and the Professor that heares and does, to the man that builds on a rock, and so layes his hopes of salvation on a foundation, that never will deceive: Nei­ther would the Psalmist have concluded that, he shall not be ashamed, (his hope would not make him ashamed) when he had respect unto all Gods Commandments, Psalme 119. 6. And howsoever our doing does nothing by way of merit; yet our doing through grace (in which beleeving is comprized, which is the command of God, 1 John 3. 23.) does all; taking in the Spirits help to cleare the integrity of these works, by way of Assurance. And though it be no foundation of our subsistence in grace; and therefore the Apostle durst not rest on that bottome, nor will be found in his own righteousnesse; yet it is the foundation of our evidence. The Apostle gives it in command to Timothy, Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertaine riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distri­bute, willing to communicate, giving this in as the end of all, Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life, 1 Tim. 6. 17, 18, 19. God hath ordained these, that we should walk in them, Ephes. 2. 10. and walking in them; we are pronounced bles­sed, Psalme 11 9. 1, 2. The efficient cause of our happinesse is grace, the free favour and good will of God towards man, Being justified freely by his grace, Rom. 3. 24. The for­mal cause, is, the imputation of Christs righteousnesse with­out ours, when we fall short of the righteousnesse of the Law; Christ is the end of the Law for righteousnesse, Rom. 10. 3. Therefore the Apostle observes, that David describes the bles­sednesse of the man to whom the Lord imputeth righteousnesse without works, (that is, wherein his blessednesse doth consist,) saying▪ [Page 201] Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sinnes are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin, Rom. 4. 6, 7, 8. The instrument or hand applying, is Faith: Being justi­fied freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ, whom God hath set forth for propitiation through faith in his blood, Rom. 3. 24, 25. But the subject on whom this blessednesse rests, is the godly righteous man: The Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself, Psalme 4. 3. The man that hath clean hands, and a pure heart, who hath not lift up his soul unto vanity, nor sworne de­ceitfully; he shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation, Psal. 24. 4, 5. There is a concurrence of sundry causes in mans happinesse, but all falls upon the head of him that is stedfast with God in covenant, that comes up to the termes and conditions of it. He is pronounced, and shall re­maine for ever blessed, and without holinesse no man shall see the Lord. It is questioned by some, whether it be the truth, or the degree of these graces, which are conditions of the Gospel cove­nant, upon performance of which we may conclude our Assu­rance of happinesse; but the determination of that (being thus put) is easie, No man in true grace shall go to hell, or misse of heaven, God doth not adorne man with that glory to reject him. The Apostle exhorts to love, not in word, nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth; and for a motive adds; Hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him, 1 Joh. 3. 18, 19. But the minimum quod sic, when it is that grace may be accounted true, is not so easie, to determine. It is not every faintish de­sire that is the work on which all this glory rests. It must be a work of farther power and efficacy on the soul, for satisfaction of which I shall referre the Reader to the learned labours of my much honoured neighbour, Master Anthony Burgesse in his spiritual refining.

The distribution of the Covenant of Grace into the Old and New Covenant with the harmony and agreement that is found between them.

BY Gods assistance we have been thus farre carried on in the work in hand, to finde out the nature of a covenant, and Gods way of entring covenant with man. And for the more clear discovery of both, we have held forth the agreement which is found, between the covenant of Works; which God entred with man in his state of integrity; and the covenant of Grace entred of God with man, in his fallen condition, as also their respective differences, So that all that is essential in this covenant, (and necessarily required to the attainment of the priviledges and mer­cies promised in it) hath been made known, and a compleat de­finition given, with such corolaries and inferences that have been judged necessary.

Now this covenant thus entred with man in his lapsed estate, and hitherto cleared,The Old and New Covenant admits of distinction; and is distinguished in Scripture by the names of the Old and New Covenant, Heb. 8. 13. The first and second covenant, Heb. 8. 7. The first some call, and not unfitly, a covenant of Promise; under that covenant Christ was known in promises only, and not manifested in the flesh; Others call it a subservient covenant, being to lead in the second, in its full lustre and glory, which alone they call a covenant of Grace, and make it a third covenant But I shall content my self with the Scri­pture-termes, calling the first, Old, not because it was first in being; but because it is to be abolished, and another to succeed, the later New, because it is never to be antiquated, as the Apostle, Heb. 8. 13. explains himself. Now, it must needs contribute much to the clear understanding of the covenant; as well of the termes of it, as the mercies in it and be a great advantage for the better under­standing of sundry, both Old and New Testament-Scripture; in case the agreement between this Old and New covenant, together with their true differences be rightly assigned, and those ima­ginary differences assigned by some (erroneous on either hand [Page 203] to the great prejudice of either of the covenants) be throughly examined.The method followed in the ensuing part of the Treatise. A work of difficulty, but (were it well followed) of singular profit. On this by the help of Gods grace I shall adven­ture, and in the first place lay down their agreement, afterwards their respective true and real differences, and then proceed to exa­mination of such differences which some have assigned, which I re­serve to the last place, seeing in the two first I shall be brief. The last will be found a businesse full of tedious difficulty, and trouble. In several things there is a full agreement between these cove­nants.Agreement be­tween the Old and New co­venant in six particulars.

1. In the Authour propounding, God is the Authour of them both; God is the God, not of the Jews only, (who were in the first cove­nant) but of the Gentiles also, taken through grace into the second covenant, Rom. 3. 29.

2. In the party accepting, as specifically considered, they are both entred with man; Neither Angels, nor any other creature articles, or is articled with in it; and hitherto there is an agreement of both with the covenant of works.

3. In the motive or impulsive cause; Both of these are of singular grace, entred with fallen man in his lost condition; there was no hint of this grace before the fall, nor any need, or use of it, being not for mans preservation, but his restitution.

4. In the Mediatour Christ Jesus, who was one and the same in both: For though Moses have the name of Mediatour, Gal. 3 19. Receiving the lively oracles, and giving them to the people, Acts 17. 38. as the Judges in Israel had the name of Saviours, Nehem. 9. 27. and thereupon Camero makes this difference be­tween the Old and the New covenant, That Moses was Media­tour in one, Christ in the other, Thes. 68. yet he confesses, that that mediation, by the benefit whereof men are truly and effectu­ally united to God, belongs only unto Christ. De trip. foedere. Thes. Moses work was only to deliver the way of the worship of God in those times, and that not in his own name, but as a servant, Heb. 3. 5. He that Moses did serve, of whom he wrote, Joh. 5. 46. that Prophet like unto Moses, whom God promised to raise, Deut. 18. 15. in all ages was Mediatour.

5. They agree in the conditions annext. Both these covenants have one, and the same conditions, on Gods part, Remission of sins, and everlasting happinesse, as after shall be shewed more fully; [Page 204] They are the same on mans part, Faith and Repentance. The just then did live by faith, Heb. 2. 4. And without faith it was then impos­sible to please God, Heb. 11. 6. Acts 10. 43. To him give all the Prophets witnesse, that through his name, whosoever beleeveth in him shall receive remission of sins. God then called for returne to him­self, and sincerity in our returnes, accepting those that were sin­cere, Ezek. 18. 31. The eyes of the Lord run to and fro through the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of those whose hearts are perfect before him, 2 Chron 26. 9.

6. They agree in the unity of Church-felloship, constituting one and the same Church of Christ. The Church in those dayes in which the Fathers lived, is one and the same Church with this in Gospel-times. In Gospel-times men come from the East, and West, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdome of heaven, Matth. 8. 11. One and the same Kingdome receives both. Their Faith was terminated upon Christ as well as ours; Abraham saw his day and rejoyced, John 8. 56. Moses bore his reproach, and esteemed it greater then the treasures in Egypt, Heb. 11. 26. They did eat the same spiritual meat, and did drink the same spiritual drink; they drank of the Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ, 1 Cor. 10. 3. The same, not among themselves, but the same with us. They are saved by the same free grace and mercy as we; Jews by nature, are justified by the same faith in Jesus, as sinners of the Gentiles, Gal. 2. 15, 16. All these identities evidence one and the same Church, ours and theirs; Therefore say I unto you, the Kingdome of God shall be taken from you, and given to a Nation bringing forth the fruits thereof, Matth. 21. 43. The same Kingdom was taken from them and given to us, was taken from the Jewes, and given to the Gentiles; where Sem left, there Japhet took pos­session, Gen. 9. 27. Sems Tents are Japhets. These speak the cove­nants,The Old and New Cove­nant in sub­stance one. into which we have successively entred, to be one and the same in substance. A covenant entred by the same parties, upon the same termes and propositions on either hand, is the same covenant; Such is the Old covenant entred with the Jewes, and the New covenant entred with Christians, they are therefore one and the same in substance.

Differences assigned between the Old and New covenant.

THese covenants, are not in that manner, fully and entirely one, but there is difference in the way of administration. They are one in substance, constituting one Church, one Kingdome; but different in circumstances. Upon which account, they are distin­guished, by the names of the Old and New, the first and second Covenant. Some have made it their ambition to rise as high as may be, in the number of differences, and have assigned several, where there is a full accord and perfect agreement: I shall lay down such where the difference is clear; and afterward take view, of those imaginary differences upon which any controversie of moment hangs.

1. They differ in the agents employed, Differences between the Old and New Covenant. in administration of these respective covenants entred of God, and upheld and continued with his people. The Old covenant was administred and held forth by Servants only, Prophets, Priests, and such as God pleased to appoint, whether by ordinary call, as those of the Tribe of Levi, who were appointed among men in things appertaining to God. Or, ex­traordinary, to whom he spake in visions and dreams; God in sun­dry wayes and manners (as the Apostle to the Hebrews observes) then speaking to his people, Heb. 1. 1. The New covenant is held forth by the Son, as in the same place the Apostle witnesseth. He was the Angel or Messenger of the covenant, Upon that errand he came from the Father, clothed with our flesh. This is that great salvation, which first began to be spoken to us by the Lord, Heb. 2. 3. And this he carries on, by his delegates and deputies, whom from the right hand of the Father he gifts and qualifies.

2. They differ in their extent and latitude, as to the Nations ta­ken into covenant. The Old covenant received only the Jews; To them appertained the Adoption, the Glory, and the Covenants, Rom. 9. 4. Circumcision, the Seale of the covenant, was proper to them, with some few of other Nations, that forgetting their own people, and their fathers house, joyned themseves to them, [Page 206] whilest other Nations were known by the name of uncircumcision being without title to that Seale; and were without Christ, aliens to the common-wealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of Promise, Eph. 2. 12. Therefore the Apostles, before the vaile was taken away, had that restraint upon them, Matth. 10. 5. Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any City of the Samaritans enter ye not. The lost sheep of the house of Israel (being in covenant) onely were in their commission. That was a valley of vision, All other people were in darknesse. They were a people of God, O­thers were no people. The New covenant takes in all Nations, re­spective to the covenant, no Nation hath any barre put to it, but in every Nation he that feareth God, and worketh righteousnesse, is accepted with him, Act. 10. 35. Christ having taken away the partition wall; the Apostles have a commission for the discipling of all Nations, so that in Christ Jesus, There is neither Jew nor Greek, Scythian nor Barbarian, Col. 3. 11.

3. They differ in their duration or continuance. The Old co­venant had but its date of time, which being expired, it must give way for the New to succeed. Thus the Apostle reasons from the Prophets prediction, of a New covenant, Heb. 8. 13. In that he saith, A New covenant, he hath made void the Old; now that which decayeth and waxeth old, is ready to vanish away. This was to stand till times of reformation, Heb. 9 10. This second cove­nant must remaine till the end of time. These are called the last dayes, in that, after these there must be no change of Ordi­nances. The Ministery now established, is to remaine to the end of the world, Matth. 28. 20. and the Sacraments, until Christs second coming unto judgement.

4. They differ in the way of dedication or consecration. The Old covenant was dedicated, and purified with the blood of Bulls and Goats, and other Sacrifices, which according to the Law were slaine and offered, as the Apostle to the Hebrews observes from Exod. 24. 7, 8. Heb. 9. 19, 20, 21. When Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and Scarlet-wool and hysope, and sprinkled both the book and all the people; saying, This is the blood of the Testa­ment which God hath enjoyned you. Moreover, he sprinkled with blood both the Tabernacle and all the vessels of the Ministery But in the New Testament, the dedication is in the blood of Christ. [Page 207] This is my blood in the New Testament shed for you, and for many for the remission of sins: Where we see, 1. An agreement, Either of both are Testaments and covenants, Either of both have their de­dication, Either of both are dedicated in blood; 2. An answer­able difference and opposition. The first was the Old Testa­ment to be antiquated. The second the New, to succeed in place of the Old. The first was dedicated in the blood of Bulls and Calves. The second in the blood of the Mediatour; in my blood, saith Christ. The first had no possible power to take away sinne, as the Apostle presently shews, chap. 10. 4. But this is shed for many for the remission of sins. The Apostle in the words immediate­ly before these quoted, gives the covenant the name of a Testa­ment, though a covenant, and a mans last Will and Testament really differ, seeing herein they agree, that the covenant had its va­lidility, as a Testament, by the death of him that made the cove­nant, Heb. 9. 16, 17.

5. They differ in the way of exhibition of Christ, the glory and grace of the covenant, And upon a threefold account here, there is a difference. 1. In the Old covenant we have Christ only in a Promise; to be incarnate, to suffer, and to rise again, and to be received unto glory. Under that covenant, light was by way of prophecie; In the New covenant he is evidently set forth as come in the flesh; Having been dead and now alive, Rev. 1. 18. Having suffered in the flesh, risen again and entred into glory. To us, it is not a prophecie, but a Gospel. 2. In the Old covenant, all was held out to the people under types, figures, shadows; All about the Tabernacle and Temple, Persons, U [...]ensils, Sacrifices, did lead to Christ; all of these, darkly holding him forth. They had a shadow of good things to come, and not the image of the things themselves, Heb. 10. 1. a little of reality in a great bulk of cere­mony. In the New Testament, the truth of it, is clearly, and ma­nifestly (without figure or type) held forth unto us. 3. In the Old Testament, knowledge was dim and obscure.The Jews were in a state of light compara­tive to Hea­thens. It could be no other, when it was wrapt up in prophecies and types. A prophecie is a riddle till it be unfolden, and little is known of a man by his shadow, comparative to that which is seen in the man himselfe.In a state of darkne [...]s com­parative to Christi [...]ns. Therefore though the state of the Jewes in Old Testament times was a state of light, comparative to the darknesse that was with other people, and their land was called [Page 208] a valley of visions, Isa. 22. 1. yet it was little more than dark­nesse, comparative to that light which in Gospel times is reveal­ed. Christ was a Minister of circumcision, and when he began his Ministery in the land of Zebulon and Nepthali; the Text says, The people that sate in darknesse saw a great light, Mat. 4. 16. Circumcision therfore, in different respects, was both a Priviledge, and a Bondage, A Priviledge, Rom. 3. 1. It was a great mercy to have light let in at any crevice, promises any way sealed and rati­fied to us. A Bondage, Acts 15. 10. To live in so dim a light, and to be laden in so burdensome a way, was a heavy yoke; So that, as the Apostle putting the question, What advantage the Jew had, and what priviledge there was of circumcision, above and before the Gentile? Rom. 3. 1. answers, Much every way, and gives in his reason of the preheminence; So, in case the question should be put What advantage hath the Christian, and what priviledge there is of Baptisme, above and before the Jew? Answer may be made Much every way, and the reason given of the preheminence in Gospel-times, in the particulars above mentioned; So that, the New co­venant, is a better covenant, established upon better promises, Heb. 8. 6. Promises are more full and clear. Though it must be confest, that a Christians preheminence above the Iewes, doth not equal a Iewes preheminence above the Gentile. The Iew was in co­venant with God, and was heire of the Promise. The Gentiles were aliens from the Common-wealth of Israel, strangers from the co­venant of Promise; having no hope, and without God in the world, Ephes. 2. 12. The Iew was in the same covenant in his time, as Christians are in Gospel-times. There is not a promise in the New covenant, whether it be for priviledges, conferred upon us, or graces wrought in us, but by the help of that light, we may finde in the Old covenant, the same held out, as after will be more clearly manifested. The betternesse is, in the greater ease being freed from that bondage, of the ceremonial yoke, and in their more distinct clearnesse. The glory of all, that the covenant doth tender, being in so clear, and full a way held out in Gospel-times, that he that is least in the Kingdom of God, under the glory of the New Testament-revelation, is greater in the way of Gospel-My­steries, then John Baptist, who was the greatest of Prophets, greater than a Prophet. Those Prophets that did foresee, and fore­shew the Birth, Life, Death, Resurrection, Ascension of Christ, [Page 209] the triumphant conquest of his enemies, his glory at the right hand of his Father, the spreading of the Gospel, the call of the Gen­tiles, did not themselves see it; as now the meanest that are in Christ do understand it, no more than they who now preach through Christ the Resurrection of the dead, the everlasting blisse of glorified Saints, in their eternal fruition of Gods presence, are able to understand it in that measure, as the meanest that then shall have the happinesse to enjoy it.

6. They differ in the Seales annext for either of their ratification and confirmation; for howsoever they are of the same use, leading to one, and the same thing signified, the Jewes had Christ in their Sacraments, 1 Cor. 10. 4 1 Cor. 5. 7. and we have no more in ours; yet they differ in the outward stamp or effigies, as I may so speak, as well that, of initiation, as that of corroboration: The initiating Sacrament of the Jewes (which gave them the de­nomination of the people of God) was that painful circumcision in the flesh, signum vile, & incivile, yet, those that would be the Lords, did, and must submit unto it. All of Abrahams seed with him, received that signe; And all of those, that with him would joyne unto the Lord. This was to be the leading Sacrament; He that was not circumcised in the flesh, might not eat of the Passe­over, Exod 12. 48. And when a stranger shall sojourne with thee, and will keep the Passeover unto the Lord, let all his males be circum­cised, and then let him come neer and keep it; and he shall be as one that is borne in the land, for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. A full Text against all that plead for unbaptized persons admis­sion to the Lords Table, God will not suffer that disorder, that the leading Sacrament should come after. The initia­ting Sacrament with Christians is that of Baptisme, no sooner was a man brought into covenant, but he was streight baptized; assoon as he made profession, he had this sealing engaging signe, the application of water, which is of an abstersive cleansing na­ture, implying our staine and guilt, and leading us thither, where purification and freedome is found, the Spirit and blood of Jesus Christ. The following Sacrament in the Old covenant, was that of the Passeover; a Lamp without blemish to be eaten in the place and way that God prescribed. That in the New Testa­ment, is the Supper of the Lord, in ordinary, common, useful, and necessary elements, Bread and Wine, which are of a strengthning & [Page 210] cheering nature, Ps. 104. 15. Implying our fainting, feeble estate, our disconsolate and sad condition, and leading us, where we may find both strength and consolation.

Positions tending to clear the first covenant, under Old Testament-dispensations.

BEfore I proceed to the examination of those supposed differ­ences; which some have brought in, to the prejudice of both covenants; I shall lay down certain positions, to give some light for the more clear understanding, especially of the Old covenant, and to help us (if it may be) in our judgements of them both; as well in their agreement, as their severall differ­ences.

First Position, God delivered unto Adam in Paradise, not only a Law or Rule of life,Moses delivered a Covenant from God to Israel in Mount Sinai. but also a Covenant, (as was before shew­ed;) So, Moses in Mount Sinai delivered unto the people of the Jews, not a Law or rule only, but a covenant likewise. This might be con­firmed at large, but that others have fully done it; and I know not that there is any adversary that appears in it. The name of a covenant is frequently given to it, Deut. 4. 13. He declared unto you the covenant, which he commanded you to performe, even ten Commandments. See 2 Kings 18. 12. 2 Chron. 6. 11. All the essentials of a covenant before mentioned, Parties, Consent, Con­ditions, are found in it, as we may see in that one Text, Deut. 26. 17, 18. Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, to walk in his wayes, and the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his pecu­liar people, as he hath promised thee. Yea, the solemnities of a cove­nant, as before hath been largely shewne, are found in it.

Secondly,M [...]ses delivered a Covenant of Grace to Israel This covenant delivered by Moses to the people of Israel, was a covenant of Grace, the same in substance with this, under which, we live in Gospel-times. This is so largely proved to my hand by Master Ball in his Treatise of the covenant, page 102, 103, 104. and Master Burges in his Vindiciae legis, page 224, 225. [Page 211] that I may spare my paines; yet in brief, That covenant which teacheth Christ, in which men attaine salvation, that accepts men upon repentance, in which there is pardon of sinne, and in which the heart is circumcised of God; that is a covenant of grace. One of these single will evince it, much more in their joynt strength will they conclude it; But the covenant deliver­ed by Moses, was such a covenant. In that covenant Christ was taught, John 5. 46, 47. Had ye beleved Moses, ye would have beleeved me; but if ye beleeve not Moses, how will ye beleeve my words? Whence the collection is plaine, Beleevers of Moses, are Beleevers of Christ; and Rejecters of Moses, are Rejecters of Christ: See Luke 24. 25, 26. with 44, 45, 46. John 1. 45. Acts 26. 22, 23. Rom. 3. 21, 22. The Prophecies, Promises, Types, Genealogies, Sacraments under that covenant (whether ordinary or extraordinary) all held forth Christ as might be easily shewn in their several particulars. In that covenant the people of the Jews attained salvation, and were not only fed with temporal Promises, and a covenant meerly carnal; not looking above or beyond the land of Canaan, as shall be shewen: In this covenant men are accepted, and received into mercy and favour upon repentance; When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee in the later dayes, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient to his voice, (for the Lord thy God is a merciful God) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them, Deut. 4. 30, 31. In this covenant there is pardon of sinne, (the great priviledge of the New covenant, Heb. 8. 12.) The Lord proclaimes himself to Moses; The Lord, the Lord God, merciful, and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodnesse and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin, Exod. 34. 6, 7. See Exod. 32. 31, 32. 2 Chron. 7. 14. Psal. 25. 11. Psal. 51. 12. 7. 9. 14. In this covenant the heart is circumcised (another great priviledge of the New covenant, Heb. 8.) And the Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God. The ten Com­mandments delivered by Moses. were of this Covenant of Grace. All of these, any of these hold out a covenant of Grace.

Thirdly, the ten commandments, which are called the co­venant of God, Deut. 4. 13. 2 Chron. 6. 11. (all that Moses de­livered to Israel, being there epitomized) holds forth a covenant [Page 212] of Grace, and not of Works. This appears in the Preface, in­timating, Gods grace and goodnesse to that people, bringing them out of the land of Egypt, and the house of Bondage. Which deliverance had more in it than a bare temporal mercy; other­wise their passage through the red Sea could have been no Bap­tisme as the Apostle calls it, 1 Cor. 10. 1. Neither had it been any act of justifying faith in Moses to observe the Passeover, which yet the Apostle observes, Heb. 11. 28. Then their Rock and Manna had been a viaticum in the way, but no Sacrament. There God avoucheth himself to be the God of that people; I am the Lord thy God, and he was a God in covenant to none of man-kinde fallen, but by an act of grace. It appears in the first commandment, where God requires them to accept him, and cleave unto him, which cannot be done but through Christ. It appears in the se­cond commandment; in the preceptive part of it, which contains the whole ceremonial Law, in which, pardon of sinne was found through Christ. Thither Interpreters reduce all the Sacrifices, Types, Sacraments of the Jewes. It appeares in the reasons an­next to that precept, which, as it threatens judgement on trans­gressours of the Law; so, mercy to those that observe it. Mercy is an act of Grace, and not vouchsafed but in Christ. It appears in the fifth commandment, in the promise there annext, and fastened to it; So that this covenant (or this summe or epitome of the covenant between God and his people) which was put into the Arke, and the Mercy-seat or propitiatory set upon it, in the most holy place, Exod. 26. 34. was a covenant of Grace.

Fourthly,Being a Cove­nant of Grace, it could by no means be a Covenant of Works. this covenant (delivered by Moses and epitomized in the Decalogue) being a covenant of Grace, it could by no meanes be, in the whole and entire nature of it, a covenant of Works. This is plaine, God doth not at once, with the same people enter covenant upon so opposite termes. These are [...], either of them destructive to the other, We may argue concerning the covenant, as the Apostle doth concerning E­lection, If by grace, then it is no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace; but if it be of works, then it is no more grace, other­wise work is no more work. This I speak as for their sakes, that make it a mixt covenant, such a one as Pauls adversaries preacht in the Churches of Galatia; so also for their sakes, that assert it to [Page 213] be a covenant of Works, never undertaking any answer to those arguments, which so clearly conclude it to be a covenant of Grace.

Fifthly,What this Co­venant is to any, it is to all. What this covenant is to any, that it is to all, whether it be of works or of grace; what it is in it selfe in the tender and termes of it, that is the denomination of it. This is plaine, Mens faith or unbelief, Mens obedience or transgression, cannot diversifie the nature of that which God doth tender; And what God spake to the people, he spake to all the people, the same to all, that he spake to any, Exodus 19. 25. Exodus 20. 18. compared, and therefore that is a mistake in some that say, That the Law is, doubtlesse a pure covenant of Works to some men, but not to all. It is a covenant of works, occasionally and accidentally, and not only to those which are not related to, comprehended in, or made partakers of the covenant of Grace. He should rather have said, that the ten commandments had been a covenant of Grace, but sometimes by an accident or especial occasion had become a covenant of Works, which yet could not have held. The covenant of Grace and the covenant of Works are two distinct and opposite Species, They have one and the same univocal Genus, of whose nature they e­qually partake. Therefore as an Oxe can by no occasion or accident, be a Horse, or a Horse a Sheep, or a Sheep a Lion, or a Lion a man; so a covenant of Grace, can by no occasion or accident be a covenant of Works; one and the same thing in­tended for one end, may occasionally and accidentally have a­nother event; as the Ministery intending salvation, may prove an aggravat on of condemnation; but no occasion or accident can change the nature of any thing, into that which is of a kind opposite to it, and different from it. And, in such cases where the event is hindred, and another happens; the denomination is, and must be, from the primary intention. The Apostle calls the Gospel the power of God to salvation, Under Moses his administra­tion, com­mands were frequent and full, spiritual promises were rare and more obscure. Rom. 1. 16. The word is cal­led the word of Life, though to some through their obstinacy, it turns to condemnation, and to death. If our author in this que­stion, take liberty to differ from all (as himself professeth) I hope he will not be displeased, if all differ from him, Hanc veniam peti­musque, damusque, vicissim.

Sixthly, In Moses time, and under his administration, commands were frequent and full, as well ceremonial, as moral, as also menaces. [Page 214] The directive, and maledictive part of the Law; were clear and open, for discovery of sinne, to work to a sense of danger, to put them in a posture to look for and long after the Messiah; But the promises more obscure, (I mean the promises of eternity) scarce known, any other­wise then as they were shadowed out in temporal things. This (as the Apostle shews) was figured by that vaile, which was before Moses his face, when he spake with the people upon the renu­ing of the Tables, Moses his face upon his converse with God in the Mount, shone with that glory, that Aaron and all the chil­dren of Israel were afraid to come nigh, Exod. 34. 30. Afterwards he speaks to the people, and talks with them; And till he had done speaking with them, he put a vaile before his face, verse 33. Whereupon the Apostle having entred comparison between the Ministers of the Law, and the Ministers of the Gospel, alludes to this vaile before Moses his face, 2 Cor. 3. 12, 13, 14. in these words, Seeing then we have such hope, (saith he) we use great plainnesse of speech, and not as Moses which put a vaile over his face, that the chil­dren of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abo­lished, but their mindes were blinded; Upon which Diodati saith; Mo­ses Ministry kept the people under the shadows of ceremonies, without contemplating the mysteries which were figured by them to the bottom, which was reserved for the time of the Gospel, Heb. 10. 4. Whereof was a figure that vaile on Moses his face; Not (saith he) that, that was the end of that act of Moses, but of that which the Apostle saith, may be allegorically understood thereby, namely of the obscure dispensa­tion of the Law; Which obscure dispensation meeting with that blindnesse that was in the judgements of that people, held them in such ignorance, that they saw little of Grace in that co­venant, but rather through their blinde mistake, looked upon it (the generality of them) as a covenant of Works. And this the Apostle signifies in the place before quoted, as also, Rom. 10. 3. They being ignorant of Gods righteousnesse, and going about to establish their own righteousnesse, have not submitted themselves to the righteousnesse of God. This caused them so tenaciously to hold to the precepts of the Law (especially to the ceremonial part, which though more burdensome, yet was easilier fitted to their corruption) that they refused Christ the end of the Law for righteousnesse sake, to every one that beleeveth, Rom. 10. 3.

[Page 215] Seventhly,There was so much of Grace and Christ held out in the Old Covenant to leave them without excuse. There was yet so much of grace, and Christ held out in this covenant, that they were not only left without excuse, that were under it; but convinced of sin, if they saw not Christ and the grace of the covenant in it. Christ in his contest with the Jewes (who would not receive him, but stood in opposition, and raised persecution against him,) appeales to the Scriptures, Old Testa­ment-Scriptures; Search the Scriptures, for they testifie of me, and in them you think to have eternal life, Iohn 5. 39. Where we see a double encomium of the Scriptures. 1. From the Iewes own ac­knowledgement, In them eternal life may be found. 2. From the testimony they give of Christ, In them, upon search, Christ may be found; There are such discoveries there, that hold him out, and eternal life in him, to those that search them. And they suspecting, by that intimacy of communion that he profest to have with the Father, and the heavy charge that he laid upon them, that he was about to accuse them to the Father; Christ puts it off from himself, and puts it upon one that they had least in suspi­tion, even Moses, Moses in whom they trusted, in whom they pretended to repose confidence; It is he that is ready to accuse them, not of breach of the Law, or transgression of any command of his, (which they could easilier have beleeved) but of unbeliefe of Moses; You have one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom you trust; for had ye beleeved Moses, ye would have beleeved me, for he wrote of me. Unbelief in Christ, set forth in Moses, is a sinne, which Moses his writings shall charge upon them. So also in that speech of Christ to the two disciples in the way to Emmaus, O ye fools and slow of heart, to beleeve all that the Prophets have spoken; ought not Christ to have suffered those things, & to enter into his glory? where we see them charged with sin, in that they understood not Christ in the Prophets,Many phrases in use under the Old Cove­nant-admini­stration seem­ingly holding out a Cove­nant of Works, according to Scripture use hold out a Co­venant of Grace. Christ in Moses, as follows there in the next words; Beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he ex­pounded unto them all the Scriptures the things concerning himselfe, Luke 24 25, 26, 27. They that dwell at Jerusalem and their Ru­lers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath day, they fulfilled them in condemning him, Acts 13. 27.

Eightly, There are those phrases in Moses, which are ordinarily quoted, as holding out a covenant of Works, and in a rigid interpre­tation are no other; yet in a qualified sense, in a Gespel-sense, and ac­cording [Page 216] to Scripture-use of the phrase, they hold out a covenant of Grace, and the termes and conditions of it; To instance in some few, Deut. 4. 1. Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes, and unto the judgements which I teach you to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possesse the land which the Lord God of your fathers gi­veth you, Deut. 5. 33. You shall walk in all the wayes which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you; and that ye may prolong your dayes in the land which ye shall possesse, Deut. 30. 16. In that I command this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his wayes and to keep his com­mandments, and his statutes, and his judgements, that thou mayest live and multiply, and the Lord thy God shall blesse thee in the land whither thou goest to possesse it. Deut. 6. 24, 25. And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God for our good always, that he might preserve us alive as it is this day. And it shall be our righteousnesse if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us. We may so interpret those Scriptures (and the Jewes, as it appears for a great part, did so interpret them) that they hold out a covenant of Works, when Grace was not at all acknowledged to assist in doing, nor Christ known at all to satisfie for failing, and to expiate for transgres­sion. These seeing nothing but a reward upon labour, and punish­ment in case of transgression. They may yet be so interpreted as taking Grace, in the Work for change of the heart, and putting it into a posture for obedience, according to that even in Moses, Deut. 306. I will circumcise thy heart, and the heart if thy [...]eed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live, and so these duties are only Gospel qualifications of truth and sincerity of obedience. In this sense (which they may well bear, and I take to be their native sense) here is no more than what we finde in the Gospel, from Christ and the Apostles. They that have done good, shall rise unto the resurr [...]ction of life, John 5. 28. To them that by patient continuing in well-doing, seek for glo­ry and immortality, eternal life, Rom 2. 5. Where (as in many other places) we may see, that according to the New covenant, a man may make the attaining of life, the end of his work, and the Read­er may see phrases of his nature, to be New covenant, New Te­stament, and Gospel-language; unlesse they will charge Christ and the Apostles to have Old Testament-spirits. To save a mans [Page 217] self may be so understood as to bear a sense, purely legal, anti-Evangelical, and opposite to Grace or Faith in Christ, and so it is used by the Apostle, or a phrase very near it; For by Grace ye are saved through Faith, not of your selves, it is the gift of God, Eph. 2. 8. Not obscurely shewing, that if we are saved of our selves, it is not of Grace, not of Faith, and not the gift of God. Yet the phrase may be understood in a Gospel-sense, as requiring and implying no more than our endeavour in a state of grace, through the assistance of the Spirit, to walk in Salvation-way, To strive to enter in at the strait gate, and to seek the Kingdome of God, and the righteousnesse of it, and so we finde it used, and that more than once in Scriptures, 1 Tim. 4. 16. Take heed unto thy self, and unto the doctrine; in so doing thou wilt save thy self, and them that hear thee. Ministers taking heed to doctrine, save hearers, and yet are no saviours, in opposition, but in subor­dination to the Lord Jesus; Ministers and others taking heed to themselves, save themselves, and yet are no self-saviours in oppo­sition to free grace, the merit of, or faith in Christ Jesus; Peter in his first Sermon after receiving of the holy Ghost pre [...]cht the Gospel, yet he urg'd this, which some will have to be no other than a covenant of Works; Save your selves from this untoward generation, Act. 2. 40. And the Apostle preacht no other thing than Christ and him crucified, when he called on the Philippians, to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, Phil. 2. 12. To be found in our own righteousnesse, in that sense that Paul uses it, Phil. 3. 8. doth exclude the righteousnesse of faith, that was no bottom on which he durst stand; yet in the sense that Ezekiel uses it, the soul is delivered by it, Though Noah, Daniel, and Job stood before me, they would but deliver their own soules by their righteousness, Ezek. 14. 14. so Ezek. 18. 22. In his righte­ousness that he hath done he shall live; Noah was an heir of the righ­teousness of faith, Heb. 11. 7. as the Holy Ghost himself witnesseth; yet the same Holy Ghost tells us, that his own righteousness delivers his soul. So Solomon saith, Righteousnesse delivers from death; he doth not only say, it would deliver, were it exact and compleat, but (such as it is) it doth deliver, Prov. 20.2. David (as Paul observes) de­scribeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteous­ness without works, Rom. 4. 6. Yet the same David puts blessed­nesse upon works, Psal. 112. 1. Blessed is the man that feareth the [Page 218] Lord that delighteth greatly in his commandments. Psalme 119. 12. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the Law of the Lord; Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, that seek him with the whole heart. Ps. 128. 1. Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord, that walketh in his wayes. And so also the Apostle James, Who so looketh into the perfect Law of Liberty, and continueth therein, not being a forget­ful hearer, but a doer of the word, that man shall be blessed in his deed, James 1. 25. The Apostle Peter tells us, We are kept by the migh­ty power of God through faith unto salvation, 1 Pet. 1 5. Our salva­tion is not in our own keeping, It is not our own care, that frees us from destruction; yet John saith, He that is begotten of God sinneth not, and keepeth himself, that the wicked one toucheth him not, 1 John 5. 18. Here are the same words affirmed, and denied, and both from one and the same mouth of truth; a different sense therefore is to be enquired after. A righteousnesse, which is the condition of the covenant of Works; out of our own inherent strength and abilities, in an exact perfection, is denied, a righte­ousnesse, not of us, but through grace wrought in us, in sinceri­ty, which the covenant of Grace calls for, is asserted and re­quired.

Ninthly,Though Mo­ses delivered a Covenant of Grace to Israel, yet the Law is sometime ta­ken in that re­strained sense as to hold forth a Covenant of Works. Though the whole Law that Moses delivered from God on Mount Sinai to the people (and is among the sacred Oracles of God for posterity) do containe a covenant of Grace, yet the Law is taken sometime in that strict sense, as containing a covenant of Works, and holding forth life upon condition of perfect obedi­ence. So the Apostle, Rom. 10. 5, 6. puts an opposition between the righteousnesse of the Law, and the righteousness of Faith; So also Gal. 3. 18. If righteousnesse be by the Law, it is no more of Promise, So that, there is a necessity of distinguishing, between the Law, abstracted from the Promise, the Promise of Christ, I meane the Evangelical Promise, and the Law, including this Promise, and writing of Christ Jesus, so that the works of the Law, considered in the bare mandatory part of it, can save none; If righteousnesse come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vaine; yet the righteousness witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousnesse of God which is by Faith of Jesus Christ, Rom. 3. 21, 22. is, our justification, and brings salvation, Rom. 3. 21, 22. And no marvel, that Moses, and the Law delivered by Moses, should be taken in Scripture in so different an acception; when circumcision, that leading ceremony [Page 219] of the Law, is sometimes looked upon as a Priviledge, as hath been shewed, and a saving Ordinance, Rom. 3. 1. Rom. 4. 11. And sometimes as a yoke, A yoke that neither our fathers nor we were a­ble to bear; Acts 15. 10. yea, as a deadly ceremony, dividing and cutting off from Christ. I Paul say unto you, if you be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing, Gal. 5. 2. So that the Law abstracted from Christ, as the greater part of the Jews took it) was a Ministry of condemnation, 2 Cor. 3. 9. It could never reach so high as sal­vation, but including Christ, it wa [...] perfect, and saves the soule, Psal. 19. 7. The Apostles thinks he can never sufficiently vilifie the ceremonial Fabrick, looked upon, as absolute of it self, without far­ther relation; We see what titles he gives those Ordinances, Weak and beggarly elements, Gal. 4. 9. Rudiments of this world, Col. 2. 8. But being taken in their relative consideration, as a School-master to Christ, they are an attonement, a sweet savour, they are so cal­led, times without end; The honour due to Christ (who was an Offering and a Sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour, Eph. 5. 2. and by whom we receive the attonement, Rom. 5. 11.) with­out derogation from Christ, is given to them; not by way of op­position, but subordination; and not by mans device, but Gods appointment not holding the soul from him, but ministerially serviceable to lead to him.

The Old covenant was not made up of meer carnal and tempo­ral Promises, but contained New covenant-promises that were spiritual and saving.

THese Positions premised, to clear our way in a farther pro­gresse in this thing: I should now look into those differ­ences; which several parties; have not found, but made be­tween these covenants; and to reckon up all, which some have at least hinted and touched upon, I should weary both my self and the Reader. He that pleases may finde them numerously reckoned up, by Master Ball in his Treatise of the Covenant, page [Page 220] 94, 95, 96. with his general censure and dislike of the most of them, though sparing a particular refutation which I also shall forbear. So many of them as are differences indeed, will fall in with those before delivered, and the other will fall before that which hath, and (God willing) may be spoken. There are only foure, of which I shall (by Gods assistance) take notice, upon which much controversie depends. The two former being injuri­ous to the Old covenant laying it too low; The two latter putting too great a limit to the New covenant in respect of its latitude and extent.

First, The first ima­ginary differ­ence between the Old and New Cove­nant. The Old covenant, under which the fathers lived, and which circumcision sealed (say some) was a carnal covenant, and con­tained only earthly promises, the mercies of the land of Canaan, such as were in this life to be enjoyed: But the New covenant under which we live in Gospel-times, and which Baptisme seales, contains spiritual mercies and priviledges,Ad literam non fuisse promissio­nem remissionis peccatorum, sed peculiaris pro­tectionis & gubernationis & terrenae foelicitatis. hath promises of everlasting sal­vation. In the device of this difference Papists have led the way, and Socinians and Anabaptists follow. Bellar. 1. l. 1. De Baptismo, cap. 4. saith, and referres to what he had said before upon the question of the difference of the Sacraments of the Old and New covenant, that the promise of God to Abraham, I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed, was not in the letter of it, any promise of for­givenesse of sinnes, but of special protection, providence, and worldly happinesse, with whom Stapleton and Becan the Jesuits joyne hands, Promissio terr [...]na erat annexa carnali Circumcissioni, & hac sola ad vetus Testamentum pertinebat; & contrarium asserere, quod facit Calvinus, nihil est aliud, quam ex lege Evangelium facere, & omnia confundere Bellar, lib. 2. de es [...]ec. Sac. Cap. 17. as they are quoted by Chamier, lib. 5. de Baptismo, cap. 11. sec. 11. though Vasquez one of their fraternity dissents; And Master Blackwood in his Storme of Antichrists Garrison, saith, That these are two covenants essentially differing. The first was carnal, typical; and shewing the difference between Baptisme and circumcision, he saith, cir­cumcision signed a right to Canaan, The several interests for which the assignation of this difference serves. Baptism signes a right to the death and satisfaction of Christ. page 32.

This difference of the covenants (however the reality of it will appeare in the Scriptures) serves for severall in­terests.

1. It is this high way to bring down all the honour and esteeme of Old Testament-Scriptures,1. To decry all Old Testa­ment-Scri­ptures. If the promises there mentioned [Page 221] be (as those of the Turkish Alcoran) sensual and carnal, yea, in­feriour to them, and determine with this life; who can put such an estimate upon them? especially having at hand by them, in the New Covenant, Promises lasting to eternity. This doctrine hath produced those Atheistical jeers and blasphemies, Old Te­stament-men, Old Testament-spirits; yea, by inevitable conse­quence, if it may stand, it will bring the bane and ruine of New Testament-Scriptures along with it. The Old and New Testa­ment-Scriptures, as couples in ancient buildings, so answer one the other, that, neither can stand, if either fall; It is the Go­spel of Jesus Christ that we seek in New Testament-Scriptures. Now that is defined to be, that which God before promised by his Prophets concerning his Son Christ Jesus, Rom. 1. 2. In the promise of the Prophets then, this must be found. A righteousness of faith we there seek; now this righteousnesse is witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, Rom. 3. 21. They must then be heard witnessing, Christ is the All that in the Gospel we look after; he must be an Old Testament-Christ, whom the Law and Prophets hold out to us or else he is not the Christ of God; All the vili­fying reproaches which are fastened on the Old Testament, fall upon the head of the New Testament; yea, upon Christ Jesus.

2. It wholly takes Infants out of all Covenant with God;2. To take all Infants out of Covenant. If that great Charter, I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed, con­tain only carnal promises, and those proper to that people, it is determined, and now no covenant for the seed remains. Hence Papists and Antipaedobaptists have their respective advantages, The Papists hence conclude Infants damnation, dying before they are taken of God into covenant by Baptisme, and Antipaedoba­ptists joyning with them in the premisses; will they, nill they, they must be enforced to yield the Conclusion. They may fret and storme about the charge of it, and dip their pen as deep in gall as it can reach, yet they shall never wipe it off. That all out of Covenant with God, being no Church-Members, having no title to Church-Membership, are in a perishing condition, is a Scripture-Position above all exceptions. In case they will sub­scribe, as they do, to the Popish Tenent, that Infants in their first birth state, are out of covenant, and in no better condition than the children of Heathens, except the hope of better edu­cation, [Page 222] then they must agree, in Infants condemnation.

3. Antipaedobaptists,3. To keep In­fants from Baptisme. hence finde a way to keep Infants from Baptisme; Being out of Covenant, they have no right to any seale of the Covenant. These several interests make them all to joyne in one, to conclude that the first was a Covenant car­nal, and raising the men in Covenant, no higher than earthly expectations. But if truth may be heard, none of these interests will hold;Testimonies evincing the spirituality of Old Test [...] ­ment-promises. certain it is, that those that were in the Old Cove­nant had better thoughts of it. The Apostle, speaking of the Pa­triarchs confession, that they were strangers and pilgrims on earth; makes his observation upon it; They that say these things, plainly declare that they seek a Countrey. A stranger, or pilgrim, is a man not at his home, but seeks a countrey. Now this countrey must ei­ther be Earthly, or Heavenly, there is not a third which men could have in desire. That it was not an earthly countrey that they sought; he makes good, in that they had opportunity of return, they might have gone back to Ur of the Chaldees at pleasure. Then it follows, as he inferres, that they sought a better countrey, that is, an Heavenly, Heb. 11. 16. Men of this opinion have not only the Apostles authority against them, but (putting himself on in a Lo­gical dispute with them) his reasons likewise, yea, those that were most carnal, and earthly-minded among them, were taught to judge better of the Promises, that they lived under; Christ gives that testimony of the Jewes, with whom he had contest, that in the Scriptures they thought to have everlasting life, John 5. 39. They had no Scriptures but Old Covenant-Scri­ptures, and of them, they had this opinion, which was no errour of theirs corrected by Christ, but were by him confirmed in it, Christ justifies them in their opinion, that in Scripture they thought to have everlasting life, and rectifies them in the way of finding everlasting life in it. A great part of the dispute is a­bout those words of God to Abraham, in which the foundati­on of the Covenant stands, I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed, whether in them there be promises, only of earth, or of hea­ven likewise? And this Christ himself determines in his answer to the Sadduces about the Resurrection, where he applies that speech of God to Moses at the bush: I am the God of Abra­ham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; for proof that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob live for ever, Mat. 22. 33. How [Page 223] injurious are they to the Covenant of God with his people, that put such unworthy limits upon it: Other people that were without Covenant had temporal mercies from God, they were protected, and provided for by him; Leave thy fatherlesse chil­dren unto me, and let thy widows trust in me (saith the Lord to the people of Edom,) I will keep them alive, Jer. 49. 11. The wo­man of Canaan thought it a priviledge for dogs to eat of the crumbs that fall from the childrens table; for Gentiles, who were with­out Covenant, to partake of any little of the mercy that the people of God in Covenant did enjoy; But if this glosse of the Covenant may stand, the dogs crumbs, are beyond all the chil­drens provision. They will not leave their crumbs, for all that is set on the childrens table. It may seem a high speech of Lu­ther after his manner,Imperium Tur­cicum quantum quantum est, mi­ca est quam pater familias projicit canibus that the Turkish Empire how great soever, is but a crumb that the great Master of the family casts to the dogs; yet this is above all that Israel had in Canaan, if we look at no more, than a temporal possession. Ishmael the son of the bond-woman must be cast out, not to be heire with the son of the free-woman, Gen. 21. 10. he and his posterity must be cast out of Covenant, and in Isaac the seed must be called. But if there were no more in Isaacs grant than the possession of Canaan, the son of the bond-woman had had the better of the bargain: Ishmaelites in earthly possessions exceeded Israelites; And Esau had not need to have complained so much of the losse of his birth right, and his brothers supplantation of him; if Jacob had gained no more than a possession for his posterity in Canaan, having that blessing both promised and performed; That his dwelling should be the fatnesse of the earth, and the dew of Heaven from above, Gen. 27. 39. he had small cause of envie of his brothers felicity. How did the Saints of those times boast of God, exult and triumph in him, proclaiming his goodnesse, That there was no Rock [...] their God? If their portion did reach (with the men of this world) only to this life, none can be able to give a reason of such tri­umphant exultations. And the Psalmist had never spoken of it as the worlds portion, in case himself had looked for no better an inheritance. Providence was, indeed, singularly eminent over that people, yet considering their great afflictions which they still bore, and heavy chastisements wherewith they were exercised; if that special care of God, had not had an influence upon eter­nity, [Page 224] that blasphemous conclusion of the Oratour, that a man might see how much the gods esteemed the Nation of the Iewes, in that they were so often carried into captivity, would hardly receive a satisfying refutation. Certainly their sufferings were above any other Nation, Amos 3. 2. You only have I known of all the families of the earth, therefore I will punish you for all your iniqui­ties, if then they had their hope only in this life, and were not chastened in the world, that they might not be condemned with the world; as the Apostle speaks of Christians, so we might say of the Nation of the Jewes; Of all Nations in the world they were the most miserable. See Chamier, lib. 5. de Baptism, cap. 11. sect. 11. Whitakers praelectiones de Sacramentis contra Bellar. pag. 125. Rivet. in Gen. 17. Exercitat. 87.

The Old Covenant was a pure Gospel-Covenant, and not mixt.

2ly. OThers that rise not so high against the first covenant, as to make it a covenant meerly carnal; yet loth to yield to so much truth, as to confesse it to be a covenant Evangelical; have found out a middle way; which yet they think may carry on their interests, and say, It is not a pure Gospel-covenant, but mixt; and therein differs from the second covenant, which is wholly Evangelical: In which they seem to go, but one half of the way with their old friends the Jesuites, from whom in this contro­versie they so much glean, yet, far enough to sit down with Ana­baptists, to cast Infants (as they hope) out of the covenant and Church-membership, and so exclude them from Baptisme. Here I shall undertake to make good these foure particu­lars.

1. That this expression of theirs is very untoward;That expressi­on of a mixt Covenant un­der which the Fathers are supposed to live untoward. and such that will bear no fair sense, without the utter overthrow, even of that difference between the Covenants, which they would build on this distinction.

2. That the proof that they bring of this mixture of the first covenant is very weak, and not at all cogent.

3. That they are not constant to themselves, but give and take, and know not what to determine.

[Page 225] 4. In case all were granted, yet they know not how to bring any thing home, of all that they say, to serve their own inter­ests. Their expressions, I say, are untoward, in denying purity of Gospel in the first Covenant, and affirming a mixture. That which is not pure, but mixt, is a compound of pure and impure; such that hath some ingredients, such as they ought, and others such that make all adulterate: As silver mingled with dresse, or wine with water, Isa. 1. 22. The false teachers (Saint Pauls adversaries) preach such a mixt Gospel, when they urged with such vehemency a mixture of works, which caused the Apostle to stand in such feare of the Corinthians, lest they should be drawn away from the simplicity that is in Christ, 2 Cor. 11. 2. They do not beleeve that the Gospel which Paul tells us was preached to Abraham, Gal. 3. 8. was any such impure Gospel, this sure is not their meaning, they dare not say that Abraham was under any such delusion; What then can be the meaning, but that he had promises, not only of blisse, and in reference to eternal sal­vation; but also promises of earthly concernment, as that of the land of Canaan, and his plantation there? The Covenant takes its denomination from the Promises, (saith one of them) but the Promises are mixt; some Evangelical, belonging to those to whom the Gospel belongeth; some are domestick or civil Promises, specially respecting the house of Abraham, and the policie of Israel. To this I readily agree, and then the distinction falls to nothing; Seeing in Gospel times, in New Testament-dayes, this will deno­minate a not pure, but mixt Gospel as well as in those times, we our selves are under such a Gospel as well as the Jewes. I know not how we could pray in faith, Give us this day our daily bread; in case we were without a promise of these things, or how man could live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, in case we had no word from God. The Apostle tells us, Godlinesse hath the promise of this life, and that which is to come, 1 Tim. 4. 8. It would trouble many a perplexed man in case he could not make good, that those words, Verily thou shalt be fed, Psal. 37. 3. did not at all belong to him. There is no believing man in any relati­on, but he hath Gospel-Promises in concernment to that relati­on, as appears in that speech of Pauls encouragement of ser­vants, Epes 6. 8. Knowing whatsoever for good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. It [Page 226] It were ill with all sorts, had not they their domestick relation-promises, which these speak of, as making a mixture.

2. As their expressions are untoward, so taking them at the best, their proof is weak, That the Covenant takes its denomination from the Promises; but the Promises are mixt, say these men. The most eminent Promises, which contain the marrow of all, give the denomination, and not such that are annext as Appen­dants to them. The Promise of the land of Canaan, is an ap­pendant to the great covenant made of God with Abraham, as Chamier with good warrant from the text, Gen. 17. 7, 8. calls it, lib. de baptis. cap. sec. The Covenant being made of God, to be the God of Abraham and his seed, which might have been made good wheresoever they had inhabited or sojourned, the promise of Canaan is over and above added to it. The reason given in by one for his dislike of Chamiers expression, calling it an Appendix to the covenant, is little to purpose, Psal. 105. 10, 11. The gift of the land of Canaan is called a Covenant, saith he, and therefore is not an appendant to it. By the same rea­son Circumcision must be the Covenant, and not a Seal appen­dant to it; seeing Circumcision is called a Covenant, Gen. 17. 10. they are not ignorant of these Scripture-metonymies.

3. As the proof is weak, to make the Covenant not a pure Gospel-covenant, but mixt; so, they are not constant to themselves, pointing that out, which makes pure Gospel, Gen. 17. 5. Gen. 15. 5. Gen. 12. 3. Gen. 18. 18. illustrated by some New Testament-Scriptures, Rom. 4. 17, 18. Gal. 3. 8, 9, 16. Acts 3. 25. one observes, it is to be noted, that those Promises, which were Evangelical, according to the more in­ward sense of the Holy Ghost, do point at the priviledges of Abrahams house in the outward face of the words, and thereupon raises a doubt, whether any covenant made with Abraham be simply E­vangelical? And so he findes out Evangelical-Promises in the inwards of that covenant, which is non-Evangelical in the out­ward face; So Bellarmine, with whom he so much (to speak in his own language) symbolizeth, finds out spiritual Evangelical Promises, in that which he concludes to be of another nature; denying that the Promise made to Abraham in the letter, was any Promise of forgivenesse of sins, but of special protection and government, and earthly happinesse; yet confesseth that in a my­stical [Page 227] sense they were spiritual Promises, [...] quodam sensu fuisse e [...]i­am [...] promissiones & remissionis pee­c [...]m ac vita [...]ternae & ad nos pertinere. both of pardon of sin, and life eternal, and that they belong to us, Bellar. de Sacr. Bapt. lib. 1. cap. 4. whereupon Chamier observes, That which is promised mystically, God in covenant doth promise, but hea­ven is here promised mystically; therefore in this covenant here is a Promise of heaven; so the inward, and outward face, will be all Evangelical.

Lastly, they yet know not how to bring any thing home (were all granted) to serve their interest, they seem to contend that the Evangelical Promises are vested in the persons of true Belevers. The other which are civil, or domestick, serving to make up the mixture, were priviledges descendable, and tradu­cible to posterity, and upon this account, circumcision of the na­tural seed of Abraham came in for confirmation and seale of that which alone was civil, domestical, and non-Evangelical; and being not considered, as a leading Sacrament of the whole Church, as Baptisme is now, but only of the Jewish Church, as such, proper to Abraham and his posterity, and much differing from Baptisme, it is no argument that we in Gospel-times trans­mit any such priviledge to posterity,Circumcision was a Seal of spiritual mer­cies of the same that Baptisme sealeth. or that our seed before actual faith, have any title to the covenant. This seems to be their meaning, to which we have many things to say.

First, that Orthodox Divines, both ancient and moderne have made circumcision to be of the same signification and use as Baptism, and till Anabaptists closed, they had no adversaries but Papists, who to advance their [...]pus operatum in the Sacraments of the New Testament, will have them, as far to exceed the Old, as heaven doth earth, and the substance doth the shadow; This is observed by Chamier Panstrat. Cathol. Tom. 4. lib. 2. cap. 19. sect. 58. having reckoned up several testimonies to this purpose, he addes,Plurima sunt ejusdem te­stimonia exqui­bus constat per­suasum olim fuisse Christia­nis, non fuisse admodum diver­san circumci­sionis rationem & Baptismi. Cur bodie mu­tatum▪ & qui­dem in Papista­rum gratiam & [...]idem ad ar­bitrium Jesu­narum. There are very many like testimonies, by which it ap­pears, that Christians were heretofore perswaded that there was no so great difference between circumcision and baptisme; and why, saith he, is it now changed? Truly in favour of the Papists, and ac­cording to the pleasure of the Iesuites.

Secondly, if circumcision have respect to those Promises that were no Gospel mercies, but civil, domestical, restrained to Jews, and not appertaining to Christians; How could it be a distinction between Jew and Gentile respective to Religion? it might have [Page 228] made a civil distinction, and the want of it have been an evi­dence against other Nations, that they had been none of the mul­tiplied seed of Abraham according to the flesh, and that their interest had not been in Canaan. But how it could have con­cluded them to have been without Christ, strangers from the cove­nant of Promise, having no hope, and without God in the world, as the Apostle determines upon their uncircumcision, Eph. 2. 11, 12. cannot be imagined.

Thirdly, How is it that we hear so much in Scripture of circum­cision of the heare Jer. 4. 4. Rom. 2. 28. Deut. 10. 16. Deut. 30. 6. Ezek. 44. 9. and the circumcised to have this character, that they worship God in Spirit and in Truth; if circumcision have not relation to Promises that are spiritual? When complaint is made of uncircumcision in heart, is it not (as it is ordinarily un­derstood) that their [...]ndes were carnal, and not taken up with spi­ritual things or is it that they were not fixt on their civil and do­mestick interests? when they are said to be uncircumcised, as Ier. 6. 10. is it not upon that account that Ieremy there gives, that they could not hear the Word of the Lord, that they had no delight in it, that it was a reproach to them; or is it because they could not suck in Promises of meer civil, home, and self-interests? So it must need be if circumcision be such a Seale, when they em­proved it for the use to which it was instituted, they kept the right use of it, and were not worthy of reproof concern­ing it.

Fourthly, what Sacraments had the Jewes of any Gospel-rela­tion, if this respected alone their civil interests? There might be more spoken to that of the Passeover, to carry it to peculiar National mercies, than to this of circumcision. See Exod. 13. 14, 15. And it shall be when thy sinne asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the [...] of B [...]ndage. And it came to passe when Pharao [...] would hardly let us go, that the Lord slew all the first-borne in the land of Egypt; both the first borne of man, and the first-borne of beasts; therefore I sacrifice unto the Lord all that openeth the Matrix, being males; but all the first-born of my children, I redeem. I am sure far lesse can be said to carry it to that which is spiritual, and of common concernment both to Jews and Christians.

[Page 239] Fifthly, how is it that the Apostle giving a definition of cir­cumcision, refers it to nothing national, civil, or domestick; but only to that which is purely spiritual, Speaking of Abraham, he saith; He received the signe of Circumcision, a seale of the righteousnesse of the faith which he had, yet being uncircumcised? The righteousnesse of faith, is a Promise purely Evangelical, Romanes 3. 22. Romanes 3. 30. Romanes 10. 3. Philippians 3. 8. and this Circumcision sealed, the self-same thing that our Sacraments seale; So that as their extraordinary Sacra­ments are expressely affirmed to be the same with ours, by the Apostle, 1 Cor. 10. 3 They eat all the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink, so are their ap­pointed established Sacraments, Circumcision, and the Passe­over. Will they with Bellarmine, lib. 1. cap. 17. de Sacra­mentis in genere, deny, that Circumcision was an universal seale of faith, and affirme that it was only an individual seale of the in­dividual faith of Abraham, that so all may fall to the ground which is spoken from that Text of the use of Circumcision to the Jewes, all that is there spoken, having reference only to Abraham in person; I answer, 1. This Popish shift is flat against the Apostle; He brings it as an argument for proof of the way, of our Justification to be by faith alone, which were a meer inconsequence, if proper to him, and not be­longing to others. 2. It is flat against Moses, who referres this of circumcision to the covenant there mentioned, Gene­sis 17. 7. But the covenant is not with Abraham alone, but his seed also together with him, as is there plaine. 3. It carries several absurdities with it. (1.) By this meanes Gods covenant with Abraham in person, and his covenant with Christians in Gospel-times is indeed the same; but his covenant with all beleevers in the Old Testament and with beleevers in the New Testament are essentially differing. A­braham, and New-Testament beleevers, are under one cove­nant; Old Testament-beleevers are under a covenant essen­tially differing. (2.) Then Zachary, Luke 1. 72. inter­preting the covenant made with Abraham of salvation by Christ should have limited it to Abraham, and not extended it to the Fathers; But we see all are there, under one and the same mercy; our father Abraham; and all that followed [Page 230] him, even all that came out of Egypt, and were for Canaan, are called Fathers, 1 Corinth. 10. 1. All our Fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all these had the same mercy in promise with Abraham. To performe the mercy (saith Zachary) promised to our Fathers, and to remember his holy covenant, the Oath which he sware to our father Abraham. (3.) Then Abraham himself in person, and Christians in the dayes of the Gospel are interessed in Christ, and all other beleevers in the Law were without Christ; but the contrary is plain. Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater than the treasures of Egypt, Heb. 11. 26. (4.) Then Abraham and Christians have from God the Kingdom of hea­ven and salvation; but the rest of the Jewes have nothing bet­ter than the land of Canaan. They have no more than the co­venant reaches unto, and the seale of the covenant did con­firm; But the covenant reaches only temporal Promises, as the land of Canaan, in their opinion. These evasions Bellarmine is put to, and Anabaptists are glad to follow, both of them wil­ling to say any thing rather than confesse a truth.

But they say,Object. This was a seale to Abraham, of the righteousnesse of faith, that he might be the Father of all them that beleeve, &c. But only Abraham is such a father.Sol. Answ. This priority of re­ceiving the Faith, and the signe and seale, is proper to Abraham; each one could not be first, but father and childe, both received it, and both had the righteousnesse of Faith sealed in it. If Bellar­mine please so well, I shall referre to Bellarmines opposites, Chamier de Sacramentis in genere, lib. 2. cap. 9. Ames. Tom. 3. more especially Whittaker praelectiones de Sacramentis page 22 23. H [...]c desperationis, &c. So that which way soever they take truth fastens upon them, and the friends of truth flie in their face; and all to make it appear that a pure Gospel was preach't to Abraham, and that the first covenant was not mixt, but truly Evangelical.

The Covenant of Grace in Gospel-times admits Christians, in a state of unregeneration, and is not limited in the bounds of it to the Elect regenerate.

THe two former supposed differences did lay the first cove­nant too low, not vouchsafing it the honour of a Gospel-co­venant, or at the best, a mixt Gospel; Two others follow, which will hold us longer, that put too great a limit to the se­cond covenant,A third suppo­sed difference between the Old and New Covenant. in respect of the latitude and extent of it. A third difference therefore assigned by some, is, that the first covenant took in all the seed of Abraham, by Isaac and Jacob, as many as professed themselves to be of the Faith, and that were willing to joyne in the worship of the God of Abraham. The New Covenant, they affirm, admits no more than Elect Regenerate persons. The Gospel strips us of all relative Covenant holinesse, of all holi­nesse that is not real, and intrinsecal, and God ownes none, as his Covenant-people, but Elect regenerate persons. In the first place we shall take what is yielded, or at least not gain-sayed, and after proceed to the examination of what is affirmed.

In Old Testament-times the covenant was made with Israel in the uttermost latitude and extent,All of Israel were in Cove­nant in Old Testament-times. with all that bore the name of Israel, as we may see, Deut. 29. at large held forth. There is a covenant entred, and the words of it exprest, 1. With Israel, verse 1. 2. With all Israel, verse 2. 3. With them to whom God had not given an heart to perceive, eyes to see, and eares to hear, ver. 4. viz. with unregenerate persons. 4. It is made with Captaines of Tribes, Elders, Officers, little Ones, Wives, Strangers, Hewers of wood, Drawers of water, vers. 10, 11. 5. With them that were present, and with them that were absent, verse 14, 15. All this clearly shews in how great a latitude this covenant is entred; No Israelite of any Sex, Age, Rank, nor any that joyned themselves to that body are exempted▪ Which also farther appears in those innumerable places of Scripture, where God owns that people generally, promiscuously as his people, professing himself to be their God, and he is the God of none, but a covenant-people, of his own covenant-people, others are without God, Eph. 2. 12. He was the God of all that came out of Egypt, Exod. 20. 2. [Page 232] I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of Bondage; Of all that whole family, Amos 3. 1. Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against thee, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I have brought up from the land of Egypt. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, Deut. 6. 4. Yea, Isreal at the very worst is thus owned as Gods in covenant; Hear, O my people, and I will testifie unto thee, O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me: but my people would not hearken to my voice, Israel would have none of me, Psal. 8 8, 11. The Oxe knows his Owner, the Asse his Masters crib, but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider, Isa. 1. 3. Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge, Isa. 5. 13. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, Hos. 4. 6. And when they entred into the Heathen, whither they went, they prophaned my holy Name; when they said unto them, These are the people of the Lord, Ezek. 36. 20. This is brought as a motive to withhold Israel from sin; Ye are the children of the Lord your God, ye shall not cut your selves, nor make any baldnesse between your eyes for the dead, for thou art an holy people to the Lord thy God, Deut. 14. 1, 2. This is plead­ed as an aggravation of sin; You have I known of all the Nations of the earth, and therfore you will I punish for all your iniquities, Amos 3. 2. This is brought as a motive to prevail with God under mi­sery for mercy; Behold we bese [...]ch thee, we are all thy people; Isa. 64. 9. Yea, this covenant takes with God for national mercies: The whole of the Nation then is in covenant. Then will I remem­ber my covenant with Jacob, and my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember, and will remember the land, Levit. 26. 42. The Apostles authority puts it out of question, Reckoning up the priviledges of Israel according to the flesh, nine in number, Rom. 9. 4. This is one, The covenants, Israel then after the flesh was in covenant; All Israel were the covenant-people of God. There were many not Elect, not Regenerate; but there was not a man not in covenant, not owned of God as visibly his; Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God.—And the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his people, Deut. 26. 17, 18. This was the state of the Church of old. But now, as is affirmed, it is far otherwise. God is not so large in his priviledges, nor so ample in his munificence, none have honour to be in covenant in Gospel-times, but real beleevers, men truly [Page 233] sanctified and regenerate.Some Divines seem to put too great a restraint upon the Cove­nant in New Testament. [...]im. [...]. And here it cannot be denied, but there are many expressions, ordinarily found in many Orthodox Wri­ters, and like passages frequently heard in Sermons from godly Ministers, seemingly implying, if not asserting it, and restraining the covenant onely to the elect and regenerate. As when they give Marks and signes of mens being in covenant with God, this must needs imply that some professing Christians are in covenant with God, and some without, which is yet farther evidenced, when they conclude, that in case a man be in covenant with God, then happinesse and salvation follows; But when these men fully explain themselves, they yeeld up again to us, that which seemingly they had taken from us, and ordinarily do distinguish of an outward, and inward covenant, acknowledging the outward covenant to be made with every member of the Church and the Parents, with that hear and professedly accept the promises, and their children, But the inward covenant as they say, belongs to them onely, that receive the benefits of it, and are upright in it. An eminent Divine putting the Question, and returning answer, How a man may know himself to be in covenant with God; presently foresees an Objection against any such Quaere. As Saul and all the people of Israel were in covenant with God, so all professing Chri­stians are covenanters likewise; and hereby all distinguish­ing notes of Professors, some in covenant, and some without must needs fall to the ground, one member then of the distincti­on, having no being for solution of the doubt, he layes down a distinction.Distinctions holding forth the meaning of these Divines in these expres­sions. There is (saith he) a twofold covenant. 1. A sin­gle Covenant which God makes with his children when they are bap­tized, which is this; if ye will believe, repent, and walk in my ways, ye shall be saved, now if they break this condition, God is freed. 2. A double covenant to performe both parts, which is this, if you will repent and beleeve, ye shall be saved, and I will give you an heart, and you shall repent, believe, and be saved: So Preston on Attri­butes, part 2. page 85. 86. These distinctions, plainly yeeld that there is a covenant between God and man, in this lati­tude, of which we speak, and which here is exprest, and that all professed Christians so called, are in an outward and single covenant, which puts them into a capacity of Sacraments, and their children, which is a covenant properly so called, and which Scripture holds out for the covenant of God with his [Page 234] people. These Divines yeelding so much, and their meaning be­ing so Orthodox, there is no reason of contraversie with them, or contention about words; Yet I should choose rather to ex­presse my self in Pareus his words against Stapleton the Jesuite, on 1 Cor. 7. 14. objecting against this doctrine,Esse in foedere dicitur duplici­ter, vel quoad jus foederis, vel quoad foederis beneficia. Est in foedere, vel qui obtinet be­neficia foederis, quae sunt remis­sio peccatorum, adoptio, regene­ratio, salus, vel qui tantum ha­bet jus, vel symbolum foede­ris externum, ut socius foede­ris, non alienus censeatur. for it is a do­ctrine which Antipaedobaptists, and Independents have bor­rowed from Jesuites, and we have them all in this, as in many other things our Adversaries, To be in covenant, saith he, is taken two ways, either according to tiole to the covenant, or to the benefits of the covenant. He is said to be in covenant, that either obtaines the benefits of the covenant, which are remission of sinnes, adoption, &c. Or else that hath onely the title, and outward badge of the cove­nant, so that he is repute to have interest in it, and is not an alien from it. The right of covenant belongs to all that externally make profession. These engage themselves upon Gods termes. The benefit of the covenant, remission of sinnes, justification, adopti­on, &c. belongs only to the Elect regenerate. Or farther we may distinguish of the covenant of grace, and the grace fol­lowing the covenant, The covenant of grace is in the lati­tude before mentioned, the grace following the covenant in that restriction that some contend for, or else we may distin­guish of entring covenant, and stedfastnesse and faithfulnesse in the covenant; All enter that are visible professors, onely the elect and faithful are steady in it. This distinction is evidently ground­ed on Psal. 78. 34. They remembred that God was their rock, the high God their Redeemer, nevertheless their heart was not right in them, neither were they stedfast in his covenant. All covenant-enterers, are not covenant-keepers. To take off this restricti­on, and for overthrow of this imaginary difference, it were e­nough to require of these Asserters of this covenant-restriction, and limit, where God hath put any such restraint, for affirmanti incumbit probatio, and to require some reason, why men in na­ture, in Old Testament-times, should be honoured with that neare relation to God, as to be of the Common-wealth of this people, enjoying not barely civil and domestick Priviledges, but saving Ordinances, and under the Gospel, must stand shut out of all such visible relations, why unregenerate men in order to regene­ration, may not come under the discipline of God under the Gospel, as well as under Old Testament-dispensations? Why [Page 235] poore sinners that confesse with their mouth with the Eunuch, that Jesus Christ is the Sonne of God, Acts 8. 37. may not be indulged those proviledges (now Christ is come in the flesh to save sinners) whereby they may be brought to be beleeve with the heart that they may be saved? To those that would make such a distance between the covenants, as to throw out of the cove­nant of God, and visible communion, all that are unregene­rate, we may speak in Christs words, From the beginning it was not so, and either we must see some good ground, that in this there is by the will of God, this great change, or else we shall be­leeve, as it was then, so it now. But I shall deale more liberally, and make it appear, that the Gospel doth not only not quit us of it, but establishes it; doth not only not abolish it (as it doth the Types of the Law) but holds it forth, and gives testi­mony of the continuance of it.

New Testament-Scriptures asserting the latitude of the covenant of Grace in Gos­pel-times.

LEt that Text Matth. 28. 19. in the first place be weighed Go, New Testa­ment-Scrip­tures holding out the Cove­nant of Grace in its full and just latitude. teach all Nations, &c. which our adversaries in this cause willingly consent to have translated, Disciple all Nations, and therefore there needs no words nor stir to be made about it, and that a Disciple of Christ is in covenant with God, is as freely confest, he takes God in Christ to be his God, he layes claime to salvation by him;Matth. 28. 19 this ground being laid, in which I think I have not an adversary, I draw from hence a twofold Ar­gument.

First, that covenant between God and man, which is commit­ted to the Ministry of man to work, to judge of being wrought, and to put to a Seale for confirmation of it, is a covenant one­ly visibly entred, and doth not require any inward real change, or work upon the soule to the being of it. This Proposition is [Page 236] clear, man can judge no farther than of that which is outward and visible, Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord look­eth on the heart. If none but a regenerate elect person be in covenant, then none but God knowes who are in covenant. Then we may apply that of the Apostle spoken of the Seal of E­lection, The Lord knoweth them that are his, 2 Tim. 2. 19. unto every one that as a Church-member, is to be received into visible fellowship; A Church-member, and an elect person, according to this tenent are termini convertibiles; and the seale of the Spirit, and the seale of the Sacrament are in equal latitude; To baptize an unregenerate person is to put a seal to a blank, as high an abuse of that sacred Ordinance, as the circumcision of the Sichemites, Gen. 34. 24. That this covenant is such, appears in that Text, It is com­mitted to man to work, and to judge of it being wrought, to put a seal for ratification and confirmation of it. The Apostles were to make Disciples, to bring men into covenant with God, and be­ing discipled, to baptise them, sealing them, as Gods in cove­nant; So John 4. 1, 2. When the Lord know that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples then John, though Jesus baptized not, but his Disciples. Here John made Disciples, and baptized them being made; The Disciples of Iesus made Disciples, and baptized them being made; An outward work then to make profession of the faith, is sufficient to make one a Disciple, and to bring him within the verge of the covenant.

Secondly, That which a whole Nation, in Gods ordinary way of administration is in a capacity to attaine, and enter in­to, is a covenant onely professed, visibly entred upon, and doth not require any inward change, or work upon the soule to the being of it; this is plaine, It cannot be expected in Gods ordi­nary way, that a Nation should be brought forth at once, all really holy and sanctified, Such a field hath not been seen with­out tares, Such a floore without chaffe, Such a draw-net without any fish that is bad; Such a Feast and no one without a wed­ding garment; But whole Nations are in a capacity, in Gods ordinary way of working, to enter into this covenant, as is plaine in the Text; The whole of the Nation, is, in their commission, where they come, and in many Nations it hath had happy suc­cesse, Whole Nations without exceptions (unlesse strangers [Page 237] so journing) have been brought within covenant. One would faine fasten another interpretation on those words,The literal grammatical sense of the words vindi­cated. and make the commission to sound, not according to the letter of the words, nor yet according to the successe by grace attained, but to his li­king, and therefore is put to it to change the word [...], into [...], and then [all Nations] must either be put by apposition, [...], or with the Pre­position [...], and so instead of disciple all Nations, it will be, make disciples in all Nations. This he thinks is very tolerable, because to disciple, and to make disciples is all one. But though they may be one in themselves, yet it makes a maine difference in the phrase, and with the addition of his preposition, inverts the whole meaning of the words, as to the thing in controversie, which is such a violence offered to the Text, as is not to be endured in him, that is about to draw a Lo­gical argument for his advantage against an adversary. And as it is against the letter of the Text, so it is plainly against our Sa­viours scope,Confirmed by the relation that this more enlarged Com­mission hath to that which was restrained to Israel onely. and end in giving this commission. This enlarge­ment unto all Nations in this place was in opposition to the restriction, Matth. 10. 5. as by the adversary is confest. Now in that Nation, to which there they were limitted, the whole of the Nation was in covenant, all the land was the land of Immanuel, Esay 8. 8. and consequently so it was to be in other Nations, by vertue of this happy enlargement, or else the opposition is utter­ly taken away, the meaning of the words clouded, and the Apostles at a losse for the understanding of them; Ha­ving before spent their paines in a Nation, all Disciples, and now having a commission for the discipling of all Nati­ons,By Old Testa­ment-prophe­cies. how shall they understand the words, unlesse the whole of the Nation, where they come are to be discipled? And here­to accord the prophecies of Scripture, for the calling of the Nations of the Gentiles, God shall enlarge Japhet, and he shall dwell in the tents of Sem, Gen. 9. 27. Sem was wholly in covenant, not by pieces and parcels, but universally in covenant; Japhet is to come in succession into covenant in like latitude, Psalme 2. 8. Ask of me, and I will give thee the Heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. It is not some among the Nations of the Heathen that are to be the inheritance [...]f Christ, but the Heathen, To which agrees, Rev. 11. 15. The [Page 238] Kingdomes of the earth, shall become the Kingdomes of the Lord, and of his Christ; Immanuel of old had one, now he shall have more Kingdomes, and they become his, no other way, than by discipling; Gods Ministers are his men of warre, for subduing and captivating them, 2 Cor. 10. 4, 5. and Kingdoms are promi­sed them, not some onely in Kingdoms. Alexander would not sit down with such a conquest, neither will Christ Jesus. If to possesse some in a Kingdome, be to possesse a Kingdome, then Antichrist of long hath had this Kingdome; All Kings shall bow down before him, all Nations shall serve him, Psal. 72. 11. All Na­tions whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord, and shall glorifie thy Name, Psal. 86. 9. Thou shalt call a Nation which thou knowest not, and Nations that knew not thee, shall run unto thee, Esay 55. 5. There God calls the Nation, and the Nation doth answer Gods call. In that day Is­rael shall he a third with Egypt, and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the Lord of Hosts shall blesse, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance. There, Egypt and Assyria are in equipage with Israel, all three sister-Churches, Israel without any pre­heminence; Either Israel then was not a Nation of Disciples, a Nation wholly within covenant, or else these are to be Nati­onal Churches; the whole of the Nation to be discipled and brought into covenant. Passing by other Scriptures in silence, one tells me, that he marvels that I am not ashamed to produce, Psalme 72. 11. Psalme 86. 9. to prove that the whole of the Nati­on, even infants must be included, Matth. 28. 19. As if (saith he) it were foretold that the whole Nation, even Infants should come before God and worship. But it is strange, if he be ignorant, that prop [...]ecies in the Od Testament; of the glory of New Testa­ment-times, are in Old Testament-phrases by way of allusion to the worship of those times, set forth to us. It was the pra­ctice of the people of the Jewes, for their males of growth and strength to appear before the Lord, and neither females nor Infants, as Ainsworth on Exod. 23. 17. observes, yet they appear­ed in the name of females and children, and their females and children, were in covenant, together with them, Deut. 29. 11. so that, as the rest of the prophecies, to which he hath no­thing to say, so, these two prophecies (against which he ex­cepts) [Page 239] speak fully for the discipling of Nations in New Testa­ment-times.By the happy successe that in many Nation hath followed upon it. The successe of these Prophecies hath happily answered in many Nations, which may well serve, as a cleare Comment both of these Prophecies, and the commission grant­ed by the Lord Jesus, though by the working of the man of Sinne, and other Hereticks, the glory hath been much dazeled, yet, in most of the Nations of Europe, it hath been happily ef­fected. Let any man finde equal Reasons for the variation of the words, as I have done for keeping to the letter of the Text, then I shall hearken to him, in the meane time all indifferent men may well challenge their reason that heed him.

A second Text holding out the covenant in its ancient la­titude,2. Mat. 22. 14. we have from our Saviour Christ,Mat. 20. 16 Matth. 20. 16. and 22. 14. Many are called, but few chosen. The close of two several Parables: The one of the labourers hired into the Vineyard, where some claimed a more large pay upon merit: The other, of the Parable of the Wedding-feast, where one intruded with­out a Wedding garment; whence our Saviour inferres, Ma­ny are called, are of the number of guests at the wedding feast, are of the labourers in the Vineyard, but few are chosen; from whence I thus argue; If there be a call from God in the times of the New Testament in a farre greater latitude than the grace of E­lection, that, of many called, few only are elected; then the covenant in New Testament-times, is not to be restrained to the elect and regenerate, but containes all that professedly ac­cept the termes of the covenant, and visibly appear a people of God. This is evident, seeing the call is, into covenant, all at the Feast were called ones, all the hired labourers were covenant-servants. To conceive men to be called of God, and not to be in covenant with God, is a full contradiction. The call hath its terminus à quo, and its terminus ad quem; a state which upon call they leave; and a new state on which they enter. They are up­on this call in a nearer relation to God, than the rest of the world, otherwise they were the same as ever, and not called at all, they are not in so neare a relation, as men borne of the Spirit, so they were elected. They have a call by the Word, and ministerial outward Ordinances, to which they yeeld a profes­sed subjection. They have not attained the inward working of [Page 240] the Spirit to a real Sanctification. Now for the Assumption, that there is a call in New Testament-times in this latitude, in a far greater latitude than the grace of Election, our Saviour e­vidently shews in the Text quoted; There are those at the feast that are not accepted; There are those that are taken into the Vineyard, that at the evening of the day do displease, there are those therefore that are called into covenant with God, and yet are rejected of God, a full, and a clear Text for covenant-ho­linesse.

This is farther evident in those Parables of our Saviour Christ, of the field with Wheat and Tares,3. Those sever­al Parables. Matth. 13. 24, 25. of the draw-net with fishes good and bad,Mat. 13. 24, 25 Matth. 13. 47. of the floore with chaffe and Wheat,Mat. 13. 47. Matth. 3. 12. of the great house, where there are not only vessels of gold and silver,Mat. 3. 12. but also of wood,2 Tim. 2. 20. and earth, and stone; some to honour, and some to dis­honour, 2 Tim. 2. 20. In which parables by the floore, the field (expressely compared to the Kingdome of Heaven, and the great house) the Church is understood, which stands in covenant-relation to God, and containes those that are in covenant with God. A man in the Kingdome of Heaven is a man in covenant with God, unlesse he stood in a covenant-relation, he could have no standing there; and the comparison were very strangely drawn, if this Kingdome thus set out, had all that were good, none bad in it. But of this more, when I shall speake to some Corolaries that follow from this Assertion.

Another Scripture, in which the covenant, in the ancient la­titude is held out, is Rom. 11. thoroughout a great part of the chapter. There is (as all know) a large discourse of the Apostasie of the Jews, and the call of the Gentiles, of the rejection and breaking off of the one; and the taking in, and ingraffing of the other, which I shall presently have a further occasion to open, when I shall speak to another pretended difference between the covenant, as it stood then, and as it stands now. In the meane time this is clear, into the same Church-state, and covenant-la­titude from which the Jews fell, Gentiles were taken in, and do still continue. This cannot be denied, we being graffed in their stead, come in upon like termes as they left. They fell from a visible Church state, and that latitude of covenant which did re­ceive regenerate and unregenerate, justified and unjustified. That [Page 241] covenant-latitude then still remaines in the Churches of the Gen­tiles in Gospel-times. Nothing here that I can see can with any co­lour be objected, unlesse any will say, that the invisible Church is there spoken to, and not the visible, that the Jews fell from the invisible body, and that the Gentiles in their call are generally taken in, into the same fellowship. Which (as I think) few will affirme; so I shall have presently occasion to examine. If any shall further say, that they have this title, in Foro Ecclesiae, and not in Foro Dei; as to men they have so far right, that Ministers may not refuse them, or in their administrations deny them admit­tance; but in the sight of God, who knows their unregenerate & un­justified condition, they have no title at all, I shall refer them to the whole tenor of that chapter, where they shall see, this engraffing of theirs ascribed to the power of God, that it is done by the election of God, and mentioned as his gift, and choice mercy to that people. All of which speak the mind of God in it, and his approbation of it.

This is farther clear in that Text of the Apostle, Heb. 10 29. Of how much sorer punishment suppose ye, 4. Heb. 10. 29 shall he be thought worthy, who hath troden under foot the Sonne of God, and hath counted the blood of the Covenant wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despight unto the Spirit of Grace? Where we see those that are sanctified with the blood of the covenant, do tread under foot the Son of God, and count his blood an unholy thing, have an esteeme of it, as that which is common, and ne­ver devoted at all to God. These must needs be granted to be wicked, ye cannot be denied to be in covenant, being sancti­fied with the blood of the Covenant.A threefold interpretation of the Text. There is indeed a threefold interpretation of this Text; One of the Arminians, and those of that party, enemies to perseverance in Grace, and they understand by sanctification in this place, an internal change and renovation of the soul, from whence by Apostasie such persons fall. They that will embrace this tenent, may indeed say, that in the state of sanctification, they were in covenant, but falling from sanctification, they fall from covenant. But this is not af­firmed by those with whom I have to deale, and therefore I shall not lanch out into this controversie. Two other interpretations are given by those that are adversaries to this way, and make it their work to vindicate this text from these mens glosses; The first refers sanctification, not to those delinquents, that tread under [Page 242] foot the Sonne of God, and do despite unto the Spirit of grace, but unto Christ himself: Christ was sanctified (they say) with this blood. This indeed clearly takes this Text out of their hands, that would from thence inferre the Apostasie of sanctified, that is, regenerate persons. And if this hold, it as little serves our purpose, Here is Christ in covenant, but no reprobate or wic­ked person in covenant. But this reference of the words and the interpretation which is grounded on it, hath (I suppose) come into the thoughts of few Interpreters, and it seemes to be very much strained, the scope of the place being for aggravation of their sinne, that set themselves against the Sonne of God and the holy Spirit. The common interpretation (which is obvious, and clearly held out in the Text) fully vindicates it from any favour shew'd to the doctrine of Apostasie of the Saints, and fully con­firmes the point in hand. There is a sanctification by separati­on for God, and dedication to him, as there is by inhesion and infusion. Master Dixon on the words having so fully spoke my thoughts, I had rather expresse my selfe in his words, than my own, putting the Question, How the reprobate can be said to be sanctified by the blood of the covenant? answers; There is a sanctification to the purifying of the flesh, and a sanctifica­tion to the purifying of the conscience from dead works, to serve the living God, Heb 9. 13, 14. The sanctification external to the pu­rifying of the flesh consisteth in the mans separation from the world, and dedication unto Gods service, by calling and Covenant, common to all the members of the visible Church, and it is forcible thus farre, as to bring a man into credit and estimati­on as a Saint before men, and unto the common priviledges of the Church, whereupon, as men, so God also speaketh unto him, and of him as one of his people, and dealeth with him in his external dispensation as with one of his own people. In this sense all the Congregation of Israel, and every one of them is called holy, yea Core also and his fol­lowers, Num. 16. 3. The sanctification internall by renovation consisteth in a mans separation from the state of nature, to the state of grace, from his old conditions to be a new creature indeed; by this latter sort a re­probate cannot be called sanctified, but by the former he may be called sanctified, and that by vertue of the blood of the covenant, albeit he should not get any farther good thereby; for as the blood of Christ hath vertue to cleanse the conscience, and [...]nue the soul which cometh un­to [Page 243] it truely and spiritually, so it must have force to do that which is lesse, that is, purifie the flesh, and external condition of the man who cometh unto it, outwardly only as the types did under the Law, where­upon an hypocrite in the Christian Church, must be accounted one of the congregation of the Saints, as well as an hypocrite under the Law was so called, because Christs blood cannot be inferiour to the Types, which were of this force to sanctifie men to the purifying of the flesh: Or we may say more shortly, There is a sanctification by consecration, when any thing is devoted or dedicated unto God, and a sanctification by inhabitation of the holy Spirit, 2 Cor. 6. 17. 18. Of the former sort the Censeres of Corah, Dathan, and Abiram, are called holy, and the reason is given, Because they offered them before the Lord, there­fore they are hallowed, Num. 16. 38. And in this sedse all the mem­bers of the visible Church, even such as afterwards do prove Apo­states are sanctified, because they offered, and offer themselves un­to the Lord. But the inhabitation of the holy Spirit, is proper onely to the elect, and Gods children. To the same purpose Paraeus on the words, Erat sanctifi­catio apostata­rum non inter­na sed externa professione fidei et participatione Sacramentorum externa consi­stens. Erant sanctificati, hoc est, à Judais & Paganus profes­sione segregati & pro veris Christianis habiti. The sanctification of Apostates was not internal, (saith he) but external, consisting in the profession of Faith and participation of the Sacraments. They were sanctified, that is, separate from the Jews and Pagans in profession, and accounted for true Christians. In the same sense as men are ordinarily called Saints, as after we shall hear, so, those that are turned Apostates, were sancti­fied by the blood of the covenant, and therefore were men in co­venant.

Neither can all the noise that hath been made about that Text, 1 Pet. 2. 9. adversaries take it off, but that it speaks fully to hold up a covenant in this latitude,5. 1 Pet. 2. 9. and from thence I thus ar­gue: If those phrases, a chosen generation, a royal Priesthood, an holy Nation, a peculiar people, be applied to Christians; as to Jewes, in an equal latitude, to one as to other, then it must needs follow that there is a covenant in Gospel-times in like latitude, as in the time of the Law, including all that accept the termes of the covenant, and visibly appeare as the people of God, and is not restrained onely to the Elect regenerate. The conse­quence is evident, seeing the termes plainly imply a covenant. Here is a covnant-people or no where. But these termes, a chosen Generation, a royal Priesthood, an holy Nation, a peculiar People, are applied to Christians, as well as to Jewes, to one, in as great a [Page 244] latitude, as to the other. That which God speaks to Israel in the wildernesse, that Peter speaks to the Church to which he writes, All Israelites in Moses dayes, all Christians professing in Peters time, had those titles, when only those that kept covenant, were at any time worthy of them, and had the comforts of them. Here 'tis objected that this Text is meant of the Church, as it is invisible; and so it follows not, that it is spoken by the Apostle in that latitude, as it was by Moses to the Israelites, but in as great a difference as the Church visible, stands from the Church, as it is invisible; but I would wish that it might be taken into more serious consideration.

First,Arguments carrying this Text to the Church as vi­sible. whether the first Verse of this second Chapter, be meant only of invisible members? Whether the Apostle perswades Re­generate men, and only Regenerate men, to lay aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and evil speakings?

Secondly, whether the third verse be to be thus limited, whether the Apostle makes doubt in that manner, whether invisible mem­bers had tasted that the Lord is gracious? and yet the words in both those verses must needs be understood of the same men, and under the same notion as these, ver. 9. The Apostle brings his speech to no full period till ver. 11. Those that must lay aside all malice, guile, &c. and those of whom he makes question, whether they had tasted that the Lord were gracious; are this chosen Generation, this royal Priest-hood.

Thirdly, let us more seriously consider the Apostles farther en­largement of this honour of these Christians, Which in times past were not a people of God; words borrowed from Hos. 1. 10. Hos 2. 23 and spoken of the call of the ten revolted Tribes, and in Deut. 32. 21. of the call of the Gentiles into a visible Church-state and profession, and so applied by the Apostle, Rom. 9. 24, 25, 26. Whence I argue, The call of the ten revolted Tribes, and of the Gentiles into a visible Church-way, is not to be meant of the Church, as it is invisible onely. This one hath already taken in­to consideration, and answered. Howsoever it be in the places in which the allusion is, yet it is certaine that here it is meant of such a calling as is from darknesse to marvellous light. Taking it, it seems, for granted, that there is no marvelous light in visible Churches, that in the land of Zebulon and Nepthali, where they saw a great light, there were, only invisible members, Mat. 4. 15, 16.

[Page 245] Fourthly, as honourable titles as these are frequently given in Scripture, as shall be shewn to visible professours, why should then these be limitted to invisible Members?

Fifthly, this Text by adversaries is made to be parallel with those Texts, Gal. 6. 10. 1 Tim. 3. 15. 1 Pet. 2. 20. And those Texts I have demonstrated to be meant of visible Churches. To which nothing is replyed. Arguments to evince it, to be meant of the Church, as it is invisible, come to be consi­dered.

(1.) I argue (saith one) from the termes, chosen Generation, royal Priesthood, Objections answered. and holy Nation, a peculiar people. This is by Christs death, which can be understood of no other than Elect and true Beleevers Tit. 2. 14.

Answ. 1. Such a way of arguing would not passe with him in his Adversary. As [peculiar people] is taken in one place of Scripture, so it must be taken in all places; but in one place it is taken for the Elect regenerate. If this would hold, much labour might be spared in finding out the various acception of words in Scripture.

2. These termes and others equipollent to these, are given to the Israelites, Deut. 14. 1, 2. Deut. 9. 6. Deut. 32. 9. not as a Church invisible, but as visible Members. Their qualifications are often as low as their appellations by reason of their relation to God, raise them high. And setting apart Christs death, I would know how the Israelites came to this honour.

3. The gift of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastours and Teachers were the gift of Christ, and the purchase of his death. These are for constitution of visible Churches, and visible members, enjoy these priviledges in common with regenerate persons, to which more is already spoken.

(2.) An Objection is raised from that which is said of them, They are called of God by his power, and vertue into his marvelous light; and verse 10. Which now had obtained mercy, which they had not before, which cannot be affirmed of any but true Beleevers and Elect persons.

Answ. Men brought into a visible Church-state, are brought into a marvelous light. The seven golden Candlesticks, Rev. 1. 20. had a marvelous light in their lamps, and yet in some of those there were onely a few names that had not defiled their gar­ments; [Page 246] And this light is a mercy, the fruition of it is a great mer­cy, Psalme 147. 19, 20. Yea, it is applied by the Prophet, Hos. 2. 23. whence the Apostle gathers it unto the mercy enjoyed in a visible Church-communion, which is not denied by the adver­sary.

(3.) It is said, that those persons did beleeve contra-distinguish­ed to them that were disobedient, and stumbled at the word; but such are onely the Elect. Ergo.

Answ. So did all they that made shipwrack of the faith, 1 Tim. 1. 19. So did Simon Magus, Acts 8. 13. So did the hearers com­pared to the rocky ground, Luke 8. 13. And whereas it is said, these Beleevers are contra-distinguished to them that were diso­bedient and stumbled at the Word, it fully makes against this in­terpretation. Those disobedient ones are, those that disallow Christ, as we see verse 7. that reject Christ upon tender, that persist in Judaisme or Gentilisme. All others, not professed Jewes nor Gentiles, are in that place Beleevers, and in all other Scriptures respective to visible prerogative, all which are visible Church-members.

(4.) They are said to be built, as living stones, &c. which can a­gree to none, but Elect persons, and true Beleevers.

Answ. That is left out, in the Quotation of this Text, which would wholly spoile the argument, and carry it on the other hand; namely those words, To whom coming as unto a living stone. The Apostle shews them the way, and points out the condition called for, which being done, they are then built as living stones. And this implies that it was so, with some, but not with others. Here is that which was done by some and neglected by others, and their happinesse upon discharge of their duty de­clared. I am told by one, that he hardly beleeves, that any ap­proved Writer joyns with me in this Interpretation; But though I were alone in it, yet I might learne of him to adventure, not bare­ly on the interpretation of one single-Scripture-Text, but on a con­clusion in Theology, against all Protestant Writers, and here­in I should have the advantage, in that few comparatively (I think) have started this question, much lesse have they seri­ously handled it, minding more what those titles engage us to be (in which there is an agreement of all parties) than to whom they are given, when some of my opposites, dare affront the whole bo­dy [Page 247] of Protestant Writers, in that, in which ex professo, they have to deale against Papists. Estius indeed upon examination of the thing in question, appeares to be of a contrary minde, and cen­sures those that set out this holinesse by Religion, doctrine, Sacra­ments, which Authours by him thus censured, may be (for ought I know) as approved as himself, and they, as we see, limit it not to the Church invisible, I doubt not, but that holinesse, which is intrinsecal, is here aimed at, yet all those have these titles, that do make profession of the way of it, and are of the number of those that engage themselves to it. Gerrard also on the words, puts it to the question, and determines the same way, but tells us of others, that understand it of common and general election, His name (I suppose) is waved in that his Arguments are borrowed, and have been answered. But on the other hand Master Ball (who if authorities must carry it, will sway with me as much as ei­ther) treating on those words, Hos. 2. 19, 20. I will betroth thee unto me for ever, &c. saith, The external betrothing, by outward co­venant, so as God betroths himselfe to all professing the true faith, may be broken, for though God offer them mercy if they will believe, yet he gives not not faith to them, and quotes for proof, Rom. 9. 24, 25. 1 Pet. 2. 8, 9. And Zanchius de perseverantia sanctorum cap. 1. Tit. de Sanctis, hath these words, Hear now what I un­derstand by the name of [Saints] This name [Saint] when it is spoken of men, is, 1, Generally taken, for all those that have con­secrated themselves to the true God, and given their name to Christ, and do professe him and his Religion, whether it be done before God truely, and sincerely, or only before men, so the people of Israel, al­though they were not all truely holy, yet they are all called holy, so Paul calls all those Saints, who had given their names to Christ; so Peter, 1 Pet. 2 calls all those Christians to whom he writes a ho­ly Nation, and a royal Priesthood. And Laurentius, 1 Pet. 1. 1. page 6. distinguishing of a threefold election. 1. To any functi­on, civil or ecclesiastical. 2. To the external communion of divine worship, or the outward Church or people of God. 3. To salvation and eternal life, brings for proof of the second acceptation, Deut. 7. 6. 1 Pet. 2. 9. both which Texts, with him there, are parallel; and taken in the same sense that I understand them. Ravanellus in verbum [election] quotes divers Texts of Scripture, in which e­lection is taken for the adoption of any Nation, and puts this of [Page 248] 1 Pet. 2. 9. in the last place, adding these words, And this election is general as hath been said, nor are all that are made partakers of it, necessarily saved, Rom. 9. 6. but respective to this general e­lection, he is said to be chosen of God, who is called to the participation of his free covenant, or a people whom God adopts to himself for a peo­ple. So also in verbum [Sanctus,] which he sayes is taken three wayes. 1. By separation or segregation. 2. By imputation. 3. By inchoation of holinesse in this life. He there gives many instances of the first acception, of holinesse by separation, distinct from the two other, and 1 Pet 2. 9. for one. So Salmero, as I finde him quoted to my hand, understands it of election, distinct from that which is to eternal life; and calls it an election to faith, and all know that they mean no more than their Catholick faith, which (according to them) doth not necessarily entitle to eternal life, A Lapide, with whom my adversaries in these controversies, fre­quently joyn, is also wholly on my part, in his Comment on these words, so that it needed not to have been said, that no approved authour joynes with me, Let the Reader judge as the strength of reasons given will perswade.

Arguments evincing the Covenant of Grace in Gospel-times in that latitude as before is asserted.

THe first Argument shall be borrowed from those titles, which undoubtedly and undisputably imply a covenant,1. Titles given to men in co­venant, and in Scripture ap­plied to unre­generate men, prove it. and yet in Scripture, are still attributed to all that professedly accept the termes of the covenant, and professedly appear as the people of God. Those titles before mentioned by Peter from Moses, are confessed to be such that argue a people in cove­nant, and therefore adversaries are so shie to confesse them to be­long to visible Professours; But titles as high as these, and as undeniably implying a covenant, are given to visible Pro­fessours; those then (even according to them) are on this ac­count in covenant with God. And these are all of those titles wher­with the people of God are honoured. In New Testament-Scriptures, [Page 249] which are especially foure, Beleevers, Saints, Dis­ciples, Christians. He that is a Beleever, a Saint, a Disciple, a Christian; he is a man in covenant with God. But all visible Professors that accept the termes of the covenant are Beleevers, Saints, Disciples, Christians; so they are still stiled in New Testament-Scriptures, Beleevers from the Faith that they pro­fesse, Saints from the Holinesse to which they stand engaged, or from the holy God to whose service they are separated, Disciples from the Doctrine which they professe to learne, and Christians from him whose they are, whom they serve, and from whom they expect salvation. I know some have inured themselves to that language, that those that are thus dignified, are necessarily concluded by them to be Elect, Regenerate persons; It is grown, I know the Dialect of the times, but not of the Scriptures.

To begin with Beleevers. Unregenerate persons, as to the name and outward privi­ledges, are Beleevers. He is in Scripture a Beleever, that is, a visible Professour, that puts himself into the number of those that expect salvation by Christ Jesus, So it is through the History of the Acts, where account is given of the Converts made by the Apostles Ministry, Acts 4. 4. Many of them which heard the Word believed, and the number of the men was about five thousand. They that are thus numbred by the poll, are visible Professours, that outwardly embraced the Doctrine of Faith; This might be seene and the names of such taken. They are not all Elect, regenerate Christians, such could not be visibly known: The generality of men and women in Samaria beleeved, Acts 8. 12. But that they were Elect & Regenerate in that universality cannot be conceived; Simon Magus is an example to the contrary, of whom the Text sayes, that he did beleeve, vers. 13. and yet his heart not right in the sight of God, vers. 21. He was with those Israelites, Psalme 78. 34. in covenant; yet his heart was not stedfast in Covenant. A great number of the Grecians beleeved, upon the preaching of those that were scattered, upon the persecution raised about Stephen, Acts 11. 21. yet Barnabas (whom the Church of Jerusalem sent to them) well enough knew, that there was no certainty, little hopes that all of these were Regenerate persons; therefore he exhorts them, that with purpose of heart they would cleave to the Lord. He was afraid that the work might be overly and superficial, of which the Church in every age hath sad experience; he desires and en­deavour [Page 250] that they may be rooted and established. Only those hearers which are compared to the good ground, are Regenerate persons, But those compared to bad ground, beleeve, Luke 8. 13. Regenerate men, who alone are invisible Church-Members, have their hearts more right with God, than to love the praise of men, more than the praise of God; but many beleevers are thus censured, as we see, John 12. 42, 43. Regenerate persons make no shipwrack of Faith; They are borne of incorruptible seed, the seed of God abideth in them; Yet there are beleevers that thus suffer shipwrack, 1 Tim. 1. 19. Myriads of thousand of Jews beleeve, Acts 21. 20. yet not all Regenerate. The Apostle, 1 Cor. 7. sa­tisfies a case of conscience put to him by the Corinthians, that if any brother hath a wife that beleeveth not; if she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. If the beleeving bro­ther, here be only a Regenerate man, then the unbeleeving wife is an unregenerate woman; So the question will be, whether a Regenerate, sanctified man, joyned in marriage to a Professour of the true faith, not of those hopes for the truth of sanctification may dwell with her? A case that never yet was disputed or doubt­ed: The unbeleever is a worshipper of idols, one that sacrifices to devils, and not to God. The Beleever is a Professor of the Faith, one in name a Christian and not a Heathen.

Saint is taken in the same latitude as Beleever, and is the most common appellation in the New Testament,Unregenerate persons, as to the name and outward privi­ledges are Saints. for all that are se­parate for God, and dedicated to him. The distinguishing name for professing Christians, as the title of People of God, Circumcision, was for the people of Israel; some do not hear of the word Saint, but presently they understand a Saint in glory, and will not en­dure that any man should be a Saint upon earth; Others will have none Saints, but those that are really such, and shall be for heaven. They will have no denomination of a Saint, from a holy profession: But if we look into the Scriptures, and may be suffered to speak in that language, we shall finde, Saint for the most part, taken for men upon the earth. The psalmist profes­sedly names Saints upon earth, Psal. 16. 3. And those Saints not of­ten taken for other, than a Saint by profession. He is a Saint that makes a Christian profession. We read of Colle­ctions for the Saints, 1 Cor. 16. 1. Administration to the Saints, Heb. 6. 10. which can reach no higher than visible Professours, and [Page 251] can by no means be limited to Elect, Regenerate ones. When Paul shut up many of the Saints in prison, and did much evil against them, Acts 26. 10. he knew no other way of distiction; then an outward profession, and so he explaines himself, those of that way, Act. 9. 2. We read of Churches of the Saints, 1 Cor. 14. 33. and they were taken in, to be Church-members assoon as they made profession; that is assoon as they ceased to be Jews or Pagans, and took them to the way of Christianity. As we see in those three thousand, Acts 2. The Samaritans, The Eunuch, Simon Magus, as­soon as they were taken off from Heathenisme, Judaisme for Christianity, they had that name of Saints. The Epistles wrote to particular visible Churchs, are inscribed to Saints, among which, what some are, read both the Epistles to the Corinthians; yea, what almost all are in some Churches, read the Epistle to the Church of Sardis. Amesius judged by some to be of the opposite party) hath these words; It is most probable, that there is no particular Church, in which the profession of the true faith flourisheth, but in the same we may finde some truly Beleevers, Medul. lib. 1. cap. 32. sect. 8. The Apostle tells us of the Faith once delivered to the Saints. Jude 3. the Doctrine of Faith, as is agreed on all hands is there understood; All that professe that Doctrine are Saints: no other Comment can be put upon it, than upon the A­postles words, Rom. 3. 1. To the Jews were committed the Oracles of God; Saint then is a name of distinction, to set out those that take the way, not of Jews, or Heathens, but the way of Christians and Saints are men in covenant.

For the terme Disciple, Unregenerate persons, as to the name and outward privi­ledges, are Disciples. enough hath been spoken before. This argues an interest in the covenant, as well as the former of Saints, and Beleevers, and whole Nations are in capacity to be Disciples, Matth. 28. 19. that is, to be put into a way of salvation, as some­times the Nation of the Jews was, in the fruition of saving Ordinan­ces; And the Kingdomes of the earth, being made the Kingdoms of the Lord and his Christs, by a visible profession are Discipled. Judas is called a Disciple, Matth. 10. 1, 4. as well as Simon Ma­gus is called a Beleever. Saul breathed out threatnings against the Disciples of the Lord, Acts 9. 1. In case you will know who the holy Ghost there means, see verse 2. all that Saul could finde of that way. He made it not his work to enquire after their Regeneration, or inward work of Sanctification; we may well [Page 252] think he understood as little of that as Nicodemus, It was enough to him that they made such a profession. Complaint is made, Acts 15. 10. that those that urged the necessity of circumcision, put a yoke on the necks of the Disciples, which neither they nor their fa­thers were able to bear; and they urged it upon all in visible profes­sion, and not upon regenerate ones alone. Let that one Text speak for all, in what latitude the word Disciple is taken, and in how large comprehension it is used, John 6. 66. From that time many of his Disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

For the last of these termes,Unregenerate persons, as to the name and outward privi­ledges are Christians. Christians, it stands in the same lati­tude as the other, where we first heare of it, we finde it the same with Disciples, Acts 11. 26. The Disciples were first called Christi­ans in Antioch. And in what acception through all ages it hath past, is also manifest. All of these imply an interest in the covenant, and these are given to unregenerate persons.

Here that of our Saviour is objected,Object. Luke 14. 27, 33. If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters; yea, and his own life also, he can­not be my Disciple. These qualifications are signes of Regeneration, and these only that are thus qualified, Sol. are Disciples of Christ; Rege­nerate men then onely have that honour of Disciples. I answer, They only do the duty of Disciples, they onely are worthy of that title as Christ explaines himself, Mat. 10. 37. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; Yet others have the name, as we have heard, and the outward priviledges, in order to bring them to the duty of true Disciples. There are Disciples as to the fruition of visible priviledges, and those are they that make vi­sible professions. There are Disciples for glory and life, and those onely are Regenerate ones, John 3. 3. Except a man be borne again, he cannot see the Kingdome of God. Ordinances are granted in a greater latitude than Regeneration. All that enjoy the priviledges of Or­dinances are Disciples, and therefore it is no honour proper to Re­generate persons.The absurdi­ties that follow upon the re­striction of the Covenant to the Elect Re­generate do evince it.

Secondly, as these titles argue a covenant-interest, when the parties are yet short of Regeneration; so the manifold absurdities that will follow upon this restraint of the covenant, alone to Re­generate, plainly evince that it is to be taken in a larger extent, and that it takes in unregenerate Professours.

1. This restriction of the covenant, to out shut all non-Rege­nerate, [Page 253] makes an utter confusion between the covenant it selfe, and the conditions of it; or (if that expression do not please) the covenant it self; and the duties required in it, between our entrance into covenant, and our observation of it, or walking up in faithfulnesse to it. All know that a bargaine for a summe of money, and the payment of that summe, the covenant with a servant for labour, and the labour according to this covenant, are different things. Faithful men that make a bargaine, keep it, enter covenant, and stand to it; But the making and keeping, the entring and observing are not the same, many enter and transgresse, covenant for much, and performe nothing; So it is in the covenants of men, and so Scripture speaks of those cove­nants which God enters with man. There are those that enter covenant, and keep covenant, Psal. 44. 17, 18. All this is come upon us, yet we have not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant; our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way. These have mercy promised; All to which God enegages himself, is theirs, Psalme 103. 17, 18. The meecy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, upon them that fear him; and his righteousnesse unto childrens children, to such as keep his co­venant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. There are those that break covenant, Psal. 78. 10, 37. They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his Law. Their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant. And these are threatned with a curse, Jer. 34. 18, 19, 20. And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant, which they had made before me, when they cut the calfe in twaine, and passed between the parts thereof. The Princes of Judah, and the Princes of Jerusalem, the Eu­nuches and the Priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf: I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life; and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowles of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth. The Lord brings a sword that avenges the quarrel of his covenant, Levit. 26. 25. When the heaviest of judgements is mentioned, and a large list enumera­ted, as Esay 24. Behold the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. And it shall be as with the People, so with the [Page 254] Priest; as with the Servant, so with his Master; as with the Maid, so with her Mistresse; as with the Buyer, so with the Seller; as with the Lender, so with the Borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury; to him the land shall be utterly empited, and ut­terly spoiled, for the Lord hath spoken this word. The earth mourn­eth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish, the earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burnt, and few men left; the new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merry-hearted do sigh. The myrth of Tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoyce endeth, the joy of the Harp ceaseth; They shal not drink wine with a song, strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. The city of confusion is broken down, every house is shut up, that no man may come in. There is a crying for wine in the streets, all joy is darkned, the mirth of the land is gone: In the City is left desolation, and the Gate is smitten with destruction. The reason of all this is given in the close of verse 5. Because they have transgressed the Laws, changed the Or­dinances, broken the everlasting Covenant. Now according to this opinion, Regeneration is our entrance into covenant, and Rege­neration is our keeping of covenant; before regeneration we make no covenant, after Regeneration we break no covenant, there is no such thing as covenant-breaking. All this makes an utter con­fusion in the covenant.

2. Then there is no such thing as an hypocrite in the world, as in reference towards God; no such thing as an hypocrite in the Church as in reference to Religion, and wayes of godlinesse. An hypocrite is one that personates the man that he is not, with Jero­boams wife, feignes himself to be another person, 1 Kings 14. 6. He that acts Tarquin or Lucretia in the Tragedy, is not Tarquin or Lucretia, that acts a King is many times a peasant. Now an hy­pocrite respective to Religion, and in Scripture use of the phrase, is one that pretends for God, and is not Gods; pretends to be whol­ly his, and is some others; of these God frequently complaines, These in the Scriptures are menaced with heavy judgements. Now according to this opinion, that only Regenerate men are in co­venant, there is no such thing as an hypocrite, No such sinne as hypocrisie; Where the Gospel is preached, God makes tender of himself in covenant; and in case none but Regenerate enter Co­venant, [Page 255] then only they take upon them the persons of people in relation to him, onely they strike hands with him, and these, as they professe, so in sincerity and reality they are; as they cove­nant with him, so in the uprightnesse of their hearts they walk before him, and so all of Israel, are Israel. There cannot be found a man in Israel that is not a Nathaniel; Men out of covenant, are without, and aliens to the Common-wealth of Israel, Ephes. 2. 12. And if they be in covenant, then according to this opinion, they are men sincere, and upright-hearted in it. But you will say, They pretend to the covenant, and are not in covenant, and so are hy­pocrites. Object. To this I say. (1.) It is plain against the Scriptures, that makes hypocrites false in the covenant, men whose hearts were not stedfast in it, as Psalme 78. 8, 10 a stubborne and rebel­lious generation, a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God. They kept not the cove­nant of God, and refused to walk in his Law. More fully, verse 36, 37. They did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues, for their hearts were not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant. Therefore they pretend not bare­ly to a covenant, but the covenant which they enter, is their pre­tence for God, and their breach of covenant argues them guilty of hypocrisie before the Lord. (2) According to these such pretend to the stage, but are never admitted on it. They pretend to act the part of a Servant of God, but never act in it; so we may say, they pretend to hypocrisie, but never are in the honour to be in any ca­pacity of it.

3. If the covenant be with this limit, only to Regenerate per­sons, then no Minister in any Church, no Church-Officer, nor any other Church-member, in case you will make it to be their work, may baptize any person. That Disciples are to be baptized, is out of question with all that acknowledge such a standing Ordi­nance as Baptisme; It being in the Apostles commission, to disci­ple Nations, and baptize them. These are brought into the bond of the covenant, as Ezek. 20. 37. But those only, passing for Di­sciples, and men in covenant that are Regenerate, they can by no eye of any Minister, Church-Officer, or member be discerned. This is that work that cometh not with observation, or outward shew, that men should say, so here, or so there, Luke 17. 20, 21. Christ might indeed have baptized in his own person at pleasure, seeing he [Page 256] knew what was in man, John 2. 2. He could have distinguished a Beleever from an unbeleever, a Saint from an unsanctified man, a Christian from him that is no Christian, a Disciple from one that is no Disciple, taking these titles in the sense of these persons. So can no other man. It is the Prerogative Royal of God to search the heart; If Paul could have discerned false Brethren by a spirit of infallibility, he had never been in that danger, 2 Cor. 11. 26. But Christ baptized none, but left all to his Disciples, John 4. 2. And they being thus tied up, to baptize none, till they be discipled; of which according to this Tenent they could be no competent Judges, it must needs follow that none at all must be baptized. If any say, those are to be baptized, that in the judgement of charity we judge to be Disciples, on whom we have grounds of hope that this work is wrought, as I know it is said by many, I shall give heed to them when they can shew that Christ hath said it, that he hath made known that the inward work, is alone the true ground, on which this privi­ledge is granted, and charity is our rule in judging of it; But I finde Christ giving charge to Disciple Nations, and to baptize them; But I finde him not giving commission, that when in the judgement of charity, men have cause to conceive them to be Di­sciples, then to baptize them; We finde the Apostles and others in the Primitive-times, making that haste to baptize upon profes­sion, that they stayed not for observation of those signes that might in a well-grounded charity perswade that they were Re­generate persons. And those that fix it here, too ordinarily, make interests the chief ground to carry their charity to a more favour­able construction; charity (according to the Proverb) begin­ning at home, they that are most like to make a party with them, or drive on an interest their way, will be judged persons meet for Baptisme; Of this in a short time we have large experience. As for those that gather up Churches, and initiate them by Ba­ptisme, the way of the Apostles, I confesse, in case that they would make good that they have to deale with Heathens, and therefore a way of more colour than theirs, that set up new Churches, and retaine the old Baptisme, we see what manner of Saints are received among them▪ such that civil persons (respective to so­briety, chastity, or upright dealing with men) cannot without staine of their reputation, make their companions. And congre­gations [Page 257] of Saints have just cause to say, that they have lost none of their gold, but much of their filth and drosse by such Saint-separation; That I speak the truth, and lie not, I need not to appeal to my conscience bearing witnesse, (which alone is satisfa­ction to my self) but to thousands of witnesses which may give satisfaction to others.

Objections against this latitude of the Covenant answered.

IT is here objected, that in Old Testament-times, God speaks to all in visible profession, in that way of compellation as his people, as appears in those places that alreadie have been quoted; but in New Testament-times, we finde not that title in such generality, only the Regenerate, those that yield ready and loyal subjection to God, are honoured with the name of the people of God, they therefore onlie are in Covenant. The title is restrained peculiarly to them, and so also the mercy. To this much may be said.

First, if this were granted, that this way of compellation, or speech of God to man, is not found in all the New Testament, in this latitude, as to take in men of Christian Profession, not yet re­generate, yet there is little gained, seeing as we have found, there are termes equivalent. Beleevers are the people of God, so are Saints, Disciples, and Christians. But those that are yet unregenerate have these titles, as we have heard at large, and therefore it argues the Covenant to be as large, as when that terme was so frequent.

Secondly, it is not often, that that phrase is found in New Te­stament-Scriptures, with such restriction, only to regenerate persons, Tit. 2. 14. is the most pregnant place, where it is said, that Jesus Christ gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquitie, and purifie unto himself a peculiar people, zeal­ous of good works. But if it be granted, that it is sometimes taken for a people separate by grace out of the state of nature, it will [Page 258] not follow that it is never taken for a people separate for God by Profession; I know that Text, Revelation 21. 3. will be urged, I heard a great voice out of Heaven, saying, Behold, the Ta­bernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. But this will hardly serve for their purpose, There is no small dispute whether this be to be fulfilled on Earth, or in Heaven; if in Heaven, as learned Interpreters contend, then it is nothing to our purpose; if on Earth, then it sets out a sin­gular glory in the Church through Ordinances in purity; no­thing that offends being suffered, yet such a one in which yet there is a mixture of close hypocrites: As for those that interpret it of Christs personal reigne upon earth, when he in person shall manage all, and work nothing by his Agents, I leave them to enjoy their own opinion, how they shall be qualified on earth that do attend him. But if we may make conjecture by a considerable party of those that publish it, and receive it, we shall have strong cause of doubt, that all will not be found re­generate.

Thirdly, I say, the expression mentioned of my people, or people of God, is used more frequently in the New Testament in the Old Testament-latitude, than with restriction to the Elect Regenerate. That in 2 Cor. 6. 16. with me is plain; I will dwell with them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people, quoted out of an Old Testament-Scri­pture, Levit. 26. 16. and there it is a National Promise, and here, to be understood of Gods visible abode in Ordinances, as may be made out from the context, being tendered to those that were over-busie to meddle with idols, from which he disswades with this Argument, that they were the Temple of the Lord, se­parate of God for his worship and service, and the Promise is no more than is made good to visible Churches; Christ walks in the midst of the seven golden Candlesticks, Revel. 2. 1. and some of them (witnesse that of Sardis) had not all their Members Regenerate persons. That of the Apostle, Rom. 9. 25. I will call them my people, which were not my people, and her beloved, which was not beloved, is to be understood no o­therwise; That of the Prophet of the call of the ten Tribes, from Hosea 1. 10. Hos. 2. 23. is there applied to the call [Page 259] of the Gentiles into a Church-state and condition. Neither is that of force against it, that is objected from verse 23. where the Apostle saith, That he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory. God sets up visible Ordinances, and calls to a Church-state as is there prophecied, that he may there work to himselfe a people of invisible relation, that thereby he may make them vessels of mercy, having afore prepared them unto glory; So likewise, Rev. 18. 4. Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sinnes, and that ye re­ceive not of her plagues. All Professours of faith, and wor­shippers of the true God, are there included in that ex­hortation to quit Babylon; so all Ministers of Christ are to urge and presse it; Men therefore of visible Professi­on, have this title in compellation from GOD of my people.

It is yet objected, Jeremiah 31. 31, 32, 33. Behold the dayes come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new Covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, not ac­cording to the Covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my Covenant they brake, although I was an husband to them, saith the Lord. But this shall be my Covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those dayes saith the Lord, I will put my Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. Here is a third purpose or interest for which this Text is produced to serve. The first was to assert an unconditionate Covenant in the dayes of the Gospel, (which we examined chapter 25.) when the Gospel expressely holds out Covenant-conditions, more expressely than the Covenant of Works, which is confest to be conditional. The second to overthrow a pub­lick Ministery, and all private mutual exhortation (which we spake to chapter 26) when the New Testament doth establish both. And to set up this Prophecie in a third particular, a­gainst all New Testament-light; none must be of the called of God into Covenant, for fruition of Church-priviledges, but those that are regenerate: Men in Old Testament-Covenant, broke Covenant as is there exprest; Men in the New Covenant [Page 260] shall keep covenant, and these are only the Elect and Regene­rate. To this I might have many things to say.

No such sense must be put upon this one single Text, as to re­strain the covenant only to those that are stedfast in it, and care­fully observe it when other New-Testament-Scriptures clearly and unanimously hold it out in that latitude to comprehend those that are transgressours of it, no more than it must be brought (though there be like colour for both) to overthrow Gospel-Or­dinances private and publick exhortations, when in the New Te­stament there is a clear and full establishment of them. There are those that are in the faith, so farre as to enter Covenant, that make shipwrack of the faith, 1 Tim 1. 19. Dis­ciples of Christ, that go back and walk no more with him▪ Joh. 6. Men sanctified by the blood of the Covenant, that tread under foot the blood of the Son of God, and do despight to the Spirit of grace, Heb. 10. 29. There are that escape the pollution of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and are again entangled and overcome. Those that have known the way of righteousnesse, that turne from the holy Commandment. To whom it happens according to the true Proverb, The dogge is turned to his own vomit again, and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire, 2 Pet. 2 22. It is farre easier to returne answer to this Scripture held out by way of Prophe­cie what shall be, than to give answer to all these Scriptures, and far more than these, setting out what is in New Testament-times.

2. That we may interpret, and not commit Scriptures, finde out the sense of all, and not create differences in any; we may observe that though it be granted, that those that have the Law written in their hearts, and put into their inward parts, do enter covenant, and not break it; yet it is not said, none shall enter covenant and transgresse it. There may still be an outward covenant, according to Interpreters, that may be broken, as well as an inward covenant that shall be observed. If it be said, that these are two distinct covenants, one succeeding the other; one abolished when the other takes place, according to that of the Apostle, Heb. 8. 13. In that he saith, a New Covenant, he hath made the first Old; now that which decayeth and waxeth Old, is ready to vanish a­way; [Page 261] then it will follow (this being the characteristical dif­ference) that, as none in New Testament-times enter cove­nant, but they keep covenant; so none in Old Testament-times were in covenant, but they did transgresse it; at least that the covenant that then was, was wholly transgresse­able; and the covenant that now is, is not in any possibi­lity to be transgrest. But the contrary is evident, there were those that kept covenant in Old Testament-times, Psal. 44. 17. All this is come upon us, yet have we not forgotton thee, neither have we dealt falsely in the covenant, Psal. 103. 17. And also there are those that break covenant in New Testament-times, 1 Tim. 5. 12. Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. The Law was written in mens hearts, and put into their inward parts in the dayes of the Old Testament, and some were (as it is called) in an inward Covenant, Deut. 30. 6. The Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed; to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soule, that thou mayest live, Psal. 37. 31. The Law of his God is in his heart, none of his steps shall slide, Psal. 119. 11. Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sinne against thee. Encline your eare, and come unto me, hear, and your soule shall live, and I will make an everlasting Covenant with you, even the sure mercies of D [...]id, Isa. 55. 3. And so by consequence it fairly holds, notwithstanding this Text that there is (as hath been proved) an outward covenant in the dayes of the Gospel. The oldnesse to be abolished is only in circumstances, wherewith one and the same covenant that now is, was then clothed.

3. The covenant then spoken to by Jeremy in the place quoted, is not a covenant properly so called, or at least, as Master Baxter observes, not the whole of the covenant. So there must be two distinct covenants, one in being when the Prophet wrote, and another to have its being in the time of which he prophesied; one covenant made with the Jewes, and another covenant distinct from it made with Christians, and so of necessity there must be two distinct Gospels. If that spoken of by Jeremy be a covenant properly so called, holding out the whole nature of the Gospel-covenant, and that New distinct from the former, then the old covenant must needs in the whole nature of it be a distinct covenant likewise. In what [Page 262] sense Jeremy is to be understood according to the genuine mean­ing of the Text, I have endeavoured to clear▪ as in my answer, page 105. 106, 107. So also chap. 26. of this Treatise, and whether I have answered the objection, which some divine that I cannot, without enervating the Argument, for effectual grace and perseverance in it, I must appeal to the impartial Reader. I am sure none can build effectual grace, and perseverance on that Text (making it a distinct Covenant from the first) without the overthrow of effectual grace and perseverance in Old Testament-times.

Professed believers, are under a Covenant of Grace, and not a Covenant of Works.

IT necessarily follows,First Corollary by way of Corollary, from that which hath been delivered, that no professed believer, that is a mem­ber of the Church visible, is under a Covenant of Works, but eo nomine, that he, professedly, gives his name to Christ, he is un­der a Covenant of grace. That a man cannnot be under two Covenants, respective to the same thing, I suppose, is agreed up­on, on all hands. A man that holds by one title, if he accept a second, makes void the first; whether his former title were better, or worse; whether it tends to his prejudice, or benefit, thus to make change of it; As it is with covenants among men, so it is in the Covenant between God and man. If the New Covenant make void the Old, where both Old and New are substantially the same; and the difference only circumstantial, as the Apostle sheweth that it does Heb. 8. 13. much more then, in those covenants, which are essentially differing, as are the Covenant of Works, and the Covenant of grace. Some, that would limit the Cove­nant, only to the regenerate, and men of justifying faith, as to the just latitude of it, make use of this Maxime, that the same man cannot be under two Covenants; which is, indeed, a right way of arguing; from principles granted on both parts. Now [Page 263] they assume, that all unregenerate, and persons not justified, are under a Covenant of Works. This, they take for granted, when it rests to be proved; and so conclude that these are under no Covenant of Grace, but a Covenant of Works. I assume, on the other hand, that so many of them as are Christians, though, not Regenerati, but, Regenerandi, as Pareus speaks, are under a Co­venant of Grace, and therefore, they are not under a Covenant of Works. Here to avoid mistakes some things are to be premi­sed, 1. That many of them have not any explicit knowledge of either Covenant, either that, under which originally they were, or that, under which, through grace, they are. They are the peo­ple of God (and therefore under a saving Covenant with God though not emproved for salvation) that perish for lack of know­ledge, Hos. 4. 6. all that bear the name of believers in primitive times, were not got up in knowledge to the first principles. 2. As to their present qualification and condition, they are in no better an estate, than if the obligation of the Covenant of Works, were still upon them. A man, dealing falsely in the Covenant of grace, is in as sad a condition, as he that is under that hopelesse, and destructive Covenant of Works, yea, his condition admits of many sad aggravations, in that treachery is above rebellion, and perfidiousnesse exceeds bare disobedience. They were a people in Covenant, that God owned as his, to whom he said, Ezek. 16. 48. As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she, nor her daughters as thou hast done, thou, and thy daughters. Blessednesse, is no where in Scripture said to be on the head of all those that are in covenant, unlesse it be meant comparatively, or respectively only, but, on such as keep his covenant, and remember his commandments to do them, Psal. 103. 18. And, if all that were in covenant, did keep covenant, there would not be so much complaint as there is in Scripture, of breach of covenant, nor could men be under that charge, that their hearts are not stedfast in co­venant. 3. They are yet in a more desirable estate, and in fairer way towards happinesse, than those, that are as the Apostle speaks, strangers from the covenant of promise, Eph. 2. 12. As the Jewes were a people nigh to the Lord, Psal. 148. 14. So they are, Eph. 2. 13. Salvation is of these, though they be not as yet, by a thorough work of grace in a saving state. There are of these that shall be saved, Acts 2. 47. and so there is not, for ought [Page 264] that Scripture speaks among those that are without covenant, such are, in Scripture-language, without God, without hope, Eph. 2. 12. under the wrath and indignation of God, Jerem. 10. 25. Psal. 79. 6. When the Apostle therefore, had spoken much a­gainst the Jew outwardly, and the circumcision of the flesh. (that is, men circumcised in flesh and not in heart) Rom. 2. upon the question put, yet concludes, that these Jewes have; This circumci­sion hath much profit, every way much advantage, and the ad­vantage is, as he expresses it, especially, the Oracles of God, which are the covenant-draughts, and if they were utterly out of covenant, I would desire any to shew, where the advantage lies. That they are in covenant with God and in a covenant of grace appears therefore.

1. In that they have the Oracles of God. To them, that is, to the Jew outwardly, these Oracles were committed, as the Apostle tells us, Rom. 3. 1. They were committed to them as their inhe­ritance, Deut. 33. 4. They were possest of them, in order to e­verlasting life, John 5. 39. And these Oracles, being Covenant-tables, Covenant-draughts, the professed believer, that by fa­vour from God, stands possest of them, is in Covenant with God.

2. They have the seals of the covenant. Covenant, and right to the seale, where seals are appointed, cannot be severed as shall be shewen. They are in covenant, as Abraham was, and, they have the seales of the covenant, as Abraham and his seed had, Those were circumcised, and these are baptised; and, that it may appear, that they had not this honour barely from man, without approbation from God (as some seem to hint, in their di­stinction of Forum Dei, and Forum Ecclesiae, as though the Church received them, when in the sight of God they had no right to be received) we finde, 1. That the Spirit of God, in the Scripture, still calls them, in way of honour, by the name of circumcision, and men may, but God will not thus give, an equi­vocal or nick-name to them. As they were circumcised in the flesh, so it was the minde of God, that they should beare in their flesh, this signe and seale of the Covenant. 2. Upon it, they had many and great priviledges, yea, all Church priviledges, follow­ed upon this leading priviledge, though otherwise, strangers to the Common-weale of Israel, now they were look't upon as of Israel.

[Page 265] 3. Answering unto, and in sincerity making good, that unto which they do actually engage, the whole blessing of the Covenant is theirs. They that undertake the termes, on which covenant-sal­vation according to the Gospel is had, are actually vested in a a saving covenant; but they undertake the termes, on which covenant-salvation according to the Gospel is had, they are there­fore in a saving covenant.

4. In case unbelief and impenitence in them, be not only Law-transgressions, but also Gospel-sins, and breaches of a Gospel-covenant, then these professed believers are under a Gospel-cove­nant. This is evident; They sin not against the Gospel that are not under the Gospel, they break not covenant that were never in covenant, but their unbelief and impenitence are above Law-transgressions, they are Gospel-sins, and breaches of covenant, as I think, need not to be proved, and therefore it is plain that they are in covenant.

Upon this account, I confesse, I have often marvelled why ma­ny eminent and godly Divines do earnestly perswade their people to whom they speak, to enter covenant with God, giving dire­ctions what way they are to take to come into covenant with him; telling them that it is of great concernment to them to know un­der what covenant they are, whether under a covenant of Works, or a covenant of grace; when the same men expressely say that we all entred covenant in baptisme; and that unbelief and impe­nitence at least, if not every sin, is a breach of our baptism, vow and covenant. Might not any think that these did perswade to be baptised? and that they tell their people that it is of great con­cernment, to know what covenant it is that baptisme seales, whe­ther it seales the covenant of Works, or the covenant of Grace. If we enter in covenant in our baptisme, as they truly say, that we did, as to the Jus in re, then how comes it to passe that any that are baptised are out of it, and being already actually in it, how are they perswaded to enter into it. These perswasions therefore, and motives to enter covenant, I think should be to presse men on to keep covenant, and so the directions which they lay down are indeed of divine and excellent use. And when they say it so much concernes men to know what covenant they are under, I conceive it should rather be to let them know of how great concernment it is to them to see that they have their interest in the mercies of [Page 266] the covenant through grace answering to the termes of it, and re­quisites in it, and so the entring of covenant, which is done, as these say, in baptisme, and keeping of covenaut, or obtaining the mercies of the covenant, would not be confounded but distin­guished. Their labours would likewise be of excellent use which otherwise scarce suit either with their own words or the Scri­ptures. It may be objected, that in case they are from under the covenant of Works, and under the covenant of Grace, then they are exempted from the curse, and acquitted from the condemnati­on which is annext to that covenant, which cannot be affirmed of any meer Professour of Christianity in unbelief and impenitence, and enough is spoken in this Treatise it self against it. To this I answer, 1. The curse may follow upon the transgression of the Law, as a Law, without consideration of any covenant at all, whe­ther of Works or Grace, and it is not interest in Covenant, but interest in Christ, (which these, supposedly such, have not) that frees from condemnation. 2. What if it be yielded that they beare no more than the penalty annext to the breach of the Co­venant of grace. If the Gospel be consulted that is sufficiently sad and heavy. If they be put to beare that, nothing more needs to be added to the burden, and indeed with submission to better judgments, not resolvedly determining any thing, it is my thoughts, that professed Christians in unbelief and impenitence, suffer not upon account of the penalty annext to the breach of the cove­nant of Works, but upon account of the penalty annext to the breach of the covenant of Grace; and let not any here object that the transgression of the Law shall not then be laid to their charge, for the Gospel bindes us to the obedience of the Law, though not in exact perfection, yet in sincerity and truth. And this, I suppose, receives strength from that of the Apostle, 2 Thes. 1, 7, 8. The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty Angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Je­sus Christ, which character therof [not knowing God] Interpre­ters (saith Dr. Slater upon the words) generally take to be a descri­ption of the Gentiles, who though they know God by his Works, yet they know him not by his Word, and to this he subscribes. The other character of [not obeying the Gospel of Jesus Christ] is, as he saith, a circumscription of Christians, according to In­terpreters; [Page 267] Gospel-disobedience is then their guilt, and upon ac­count of this they suffer. Had they believed and yielded sincere obedience which they professed, and to which they engaged them­selves, they had not perished, and the want of this appears to be their destruction.

Interest in a Church-state is of equal latitude with the Covenant.

THen it follows by way of necessary corollary,2. Corollary. that Church-membership, interest in a Church-state, is of equal latitude; not only the elect and regenerate, but all in covenant (as before spoken to) have their right, stand entitled to Church-priviledges. And here lest I should be mistaken, let me explaine my selfe, that my meaning is not, ipso facto, because in covenant with God, and called by his name, to entitle them to the Church invisible, and so to suppose them lively members, living in grace, by influence of the Spirit from Christ; This would clearly enough contradict, that which before I have spoken, and were indeed a contradiction in the adject, I mean it of a visible Church-state, and interest in visible priviledges. If any quar­rel at the distinction, as some have done on either hand, en­deavouring to take off both members. The Church of Rome not admitting any Church invisible, and others not brooking any Church, but such as consists of invisible members, as may appear in their definitions of a particular Church, putting in those clauses, that belong only to the Church invisible: I shall refer them to Doctor John Reynolds, in his second Thesis, ful­ly bottoming it on that Text, Mat. 22. 14. Many are called, but few chosen, which yet, must be confest with judicious Master Hudson, that it is not a division into two distinct Churches, or species of Churches, but a distribution of the subject by the adjuncts, viz. à duplici modo communionis, externo, & interno, Vindi­cation, page 4. One, and the same Church, hath members of a visible, and invisible notion, a more full explanation may there [Page 268] be seen. This being premised, I affirm, that interest in Church-membership, in a visible Church-state, is theirs, and may be claimed by all those that have interest in the covenant before named, an external interest, or, an interest in the external covenant, as usually it hath been called This is a sure rule,Ubi foedus, ibi ecclesia. Where the Covenant is, there the Church is; and in what latitude soever men are ta­ken into covenant, they are received into the Church. Lawes tendred by a Prince, and received by a people (whether they be tendred immediately by himself, or by his Heraulds or Embas­sadours) make up the relation of King and people: A marriage-covenant tendred by a man (as by Abrahams servant in the name of Isaac to Rebecca, Gen. 24.) and accepted by a Virgin, makes up the relation of husband and wife: covenant-draughts between man and man for service, (as an apprentice his inden­tures) make up the relation of Master and servant, now the Gospel-covenant is all of these, between God and a people; where God tenders it, and a people receive it, there God hath his Spouse, his Subjects, his Servants. These are his people, and all of these are Church-members. The Word preached and re­ceived hath ever been assigned by Orthodox Divines, as the characteristical note of a Church of God; a Church stands and falls with it; where it is professedly received, there is a Church-interest. Let one man apart receive it, as was the case of the Eunuch, he forthwith becomes a Church-member, and is to have (as we see he had) his present matriculation, and to be ad­mitted by baptism a member (not of this or that Congregation, but) of the Church universal visible: and upon this account wheresoever he comes, is a Saint, a Disciple, a Christian, a Be­leever, and so to be received and acknowledged; This is abundantly confirmed in those parables of our Saviour Christ, of the floore, where there is both chaffe and wheat, Mat. 3. 12. of the field, where there is both wheat and tares; of [...] draught-net, where are fishes good and bad, Mat. 13. 24, 47. As also in that of the Apostle, 2 Tim. 2. 20. In a great house there are not only vessels of gold, and of silver, but also of wood and of earth, and some to honour, and some to dishonour. The Church is this floore, this field, this draught-net, this great house, in which there is chaffe, tares, fish unfit for use, and vessels of dis­honour, to which may be added, the parables of the wedding [Page 269] feast, in which there is a mixture, of, some without a wed­ding garment. Mat. 22. of the sheepfold with kids and goats. These parables are brought by Bellarmine for proof, that the Church doth not consist only of the elect, lib 3. de Eccl. Mil. cap. 7 to whichDebuit Bellarminus pro­bare in Ecclesia Ca [...]holica quae est corpus Ch [...]isti, esse tam malos quàm bonos, tam reprobos, quàm electos. Hoc ut probaret affert hanc parabolam de area inqua & triticum & palea est. At per aream hoc in loco non Catholica, sed particularis quae que ecclesia intelligitur, in qua nos fatemur tam malos quàm bonos esse, & plerunque plures malos quàm bonos. Whitaker Controv secundâ, quaest. primà cap 7. answers by distinction. Bellarmine (saith he) ought to prove, that in the Catholick Church (which is the body of Christ) there are both good and bad, repro­bate as well as elect, and for proof of this (saith he) he brings the parable of the floore, in which there is wheat and chaffe; but by the floore in this place is not meant (saith he) the Catholick Church, but each particular Church, in which (we confesse) there are bad as well as good, and for the most part more bad than good. And though he makes some exceptions against some of the Para­bles, yet he applies the same answer to others. Concerning that of the draw-net he saith, The sense of the parable is manifest Sensus parabolae manifestus est sic in Ecclesia evenire solere cùm Evangelium praedicatur, ut cùm verriculum in mare projicitur ad pisces capiendos. Primò non omnes pisces qui sunt in mori capiuntur. Secundò non omnes boni sunt qui capiun­tur, sed multi inutiles. Tertiò, non se­parantur mali pisces à bonis donec verri­culum ad terram extractum fuerit. Sic in Ecclesia cum Evangelium praedicatur, non omnes homines accedunt, non omnes qui accedunt sunt boni, non separantur bo­ni à malis ante finem mundi. It happens in the Church when the Gospel is preached, as in the sea, when the draught-net is cast to take fish. 1. All the fishes that are in the sea are not enclosed in the net. 2. All are not good that are inclosed, but some are unfit for use. 3. The bad fish are not separate from the good, till the net be drawn to land: so when the Gospel is preached, all men do not come in, all are not good that come, and the good and bad are not separate till the end of the world. And Doctor Reynolds maintaining that position, That the holy Ca­tholick Church, which we believe is the whole company of Gods elect and chosen, saith, The wicked must needs be a part of the Church, if the name of Church did signifie the visible Church, as we call it, consisting of the good and bad. A­mesius who (as we heard) judges it very probable that there is no visible Church where the Word is truly preached, in which there are not some that are godl [...], and therefore is farre from concluding the godlinesse of all;Falsum esse in­ternas virtutes requiri à nobis▪ ut aliquis sit in ecclesia quoad visibilem ejus statum. saith, in his Bellar. Ener­vatus, lib. 2. de Eccles. cap. 1. It is false, that inward graces are re­quired [Page 270] of us, to a mans being in the Church as to the visible state of it: see Apollonius Syllog. pag. 8. Professores Leyden disput. 40. pag. 3. If any man judge it to be absurd, that Christ should have wicked men (who are limbs of Satan) to be of his mysti­cal body, carnal wicked men to be members of such a gracious and glorious head. Christ is the head of his Church, say they; if such be Church-members, then Christ is their head; I shall referre them to a full and satisfying answer to Master Hudsons Vindication, page 6, 7, 8. And for those that deny any being of a Church universal visible as Master Blackwood in his Storme, page 65. who saith, the objector, is overtaken in a grosse absurdity, to think there is some universal Church visible be­gun in Abraham, into which upon the rejection of the Jewes, the believers among the Gentiles, and their seed are to be re­ceived; for besides the invisible Church, the body of Christ mystical, there are only particular Churches under the Gospel. I would learn of them, into what particular Church the Eunuch was received, and by baptisme actually and solemnly admit­ted, or whether he was still no Church-member, but an alien and stranger to the Common-wealth of Israel, not added to the Church. To what particular Congregation, the Apostles, Pro­phets, and Evangelists joyned themselves by covenant; and to save farther labour, leave them to Master Hudsons Vindication of the essence and unity of the Church Catholick visible, which will receive a satisfactory answer when the Sun hath no more be­ing in the Heavens.

A man in Covenant with God, and received into the universal Church visible, needs no more to give him accesse to, and interest in, particular vi­sible Churches.

2ly. IT farther followes that a man by vertue of covenant,2. Coroll. being thus enrighted to membership, in the Church uni­versal visible, and baptized into this body, there needs no far­ther [Page 271] covenant to give him accesse to, and interest in, particular visible Churches. What the Apostle gives in charge to the Church at Rome, concerning those that are weak in the faith, that they must receive them, giving this reason, for God hath re­ceived them, Rom. 14. 1, 3. we may apply to those that make profession of the faith, being able to make application of his rea­son, God takes them into communion, unto visible fellowship, we are not then to reject them. Is the necessary qualification of a member of the visible Church universal one thing, and the necessary of a member of this or that particular congregation another? and may one be fit to be a member of the universal visible Church, and yet not qualified to be a member of a particular congregation, saith Master Wood, Append. p. 169, 170. If I should enlarge this to heathens brought to a profession of the faith, and argue their right to ba­ptisme, upon profession, and by baptisme their right to Church-fellowship in any visible Church-society. I should finde the Scri­ptures abundantly to favour it. Of so many thousands, myriads of thousands of converts. Acts 21. 20. which were added to the Church, and received by baptisme, (baptized the same day for a great part, sometimes as appears the very houre of their conver­sion) there is not one, that we reade, refused, but all received; yea, not a scruple raised, save of one only, as I remember, which was Saul, when he offered himself into Church-fellowship, and that not upon this account that we are now upon, but good A­nanias fearing that he came, not to joyne with them, but to seise upon them, knowing that at that time, he had authority from the chief Priests, to binde all that call on Christs name, Acts 9. 14. If the competentes, as they were stiled in the primitive times, (viz. men that offered themselves for Church-fellowship) had then entred at so strait a door, as now in some places they are put to passe, where a glib tongue is in a farre fairer way to take, than an upright heart, we should have heard of no small bustle about it; When we finde murmurings of Grecians against the Hebrews, be­cause their widows were neglected in the daily ministration, Acts 6. 1. we should sure have heard of it, had they been neglected in Church-fellowship and communion; But when no such thing can be found in the practice of the Church, after the Holy Ghost was given, which is called by way of eminence the Kingdom of Christ, or the Kingdom of Heaven; yet they think they finde [Page 272] exceptions taken, and some refused by the forerunner of Christ, John Baptist. One laying down this Proposition,Competentes non sunt admit­tendi in ecclesi­am, quia compe­tunt sine ulteri­ore satisfacti­one. That men seeking admission into the Church, are not to be received without far­ther satisfaction, gives instance, in no other but John Baptist, and saith, The Baptist did not admit all that sought it, unto baptism, and proves it from no Text▪ either of Matthew or Luke, which give us the narrative, but by the authority of Pareus; Phariseos baptismum pe­tentes ad ba­ptismum indig­nos nonadmisit, inquit Paraeus. The Pharisees (saith he) did seek baptisme, but John did not ad­mit them, being unworthy; to whom he addsBaptismum pe­tierunt, inquit Aretius, at baptizatos fu­isse nullo modo videtur judica­re. Aretius, who sayes, They sought baptisme, but he seems to think (saith our Au­thour,) that they were not by any means baptized. But how emi­nent soever their authorities are, their reasons are very weak. The Baptist reproved them, called them to repentance, and there­fore did not baptize them; when the text seems to speak the con­trary. For, as soon as his reproof with his exhortation is end­ed, there follows, I indeed baptize you with water, verse 11. And it seems by Saint Luke, that those Pharisees and Lawyers that were not baptized of John, were not refused, but did refuse, Luke 7. 30. But the Lawyers and Pharisees rejected the Councel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. When the same learned Authour cannot instance any precedent, or produce any Scripture-Ordinance for it, he endeavours by arguments drawn from the forme of a particular Church, the way of reformation of Churches, the relation of inferiority and superiority among those that are free, and such like reasons to evince it; To which (but that I will not here make it my businesse) an easie an­swer might be given, it is more than strange, that when the Apostles had by Commission from Christ planted Churches, and were to leave them to be propagated in future Ages, and knowing a covenant to be essential to the constitution, as now by some is asserted; would yet wholly be silent in it, especially when no such thing was known in Old Testament-Scriptures, that we might gather it by analogy, and through all Ages, till this last Age, had lien hid and never discovered, and leave us, by our reason to discover it, In which we are in danger to set our thresh­old by Gods threshold, of which he so sadly complains, Ezek. 43. 8. or rather justle out his threshold with ours, denying ba­ptisme to be any door for admission, at which the primitive Saints entred▪ and setting up a covenant, of which Scripture [Page 273] speaks nothing;Positions con­cerning particu­lar visible Churches, where nothing is want­ing to the being of a Church, yet much more may be required for the well order­ing and regula­ting of it. and Master John Goodwin was sometimes as confident as confidence could make him, that it had no ground in the holy Scriptures. But to leave heathens, haply called by Gospel Ordinances, to speak a word or two to our own case, who are a discipled Nation, a Kingdom subjugated to the yoke of Christ Jesus, enjoying saving Ordinances, and therefore have a Church of Christ fixt among us. Here we might lay down divers positions for the regulating of our judgements.

First, where nothing is wanting to the being of a Church, God having a people owning him in covenant, yet much more may be required for the well ordering and regulating of it; where a people accept of a King, and receive his Lawes, there he hath a Kingdom, and is a Monarch, yet much more is required for the ordering of such a Monarchy, for the publick weale and safety; so it is, where there is a Church of God, accepting the Lawes of heaven, there the Lord Christ reigns as a Mo­narch, yet farther care must be used for the right regulating of it according to his Will, and the Lawes tendred by him, and received by them.

Secondly,A people in a vicinity or neighbourhood ought to associ­ate according to their best convenience, for participation of Ordinances. a people in a vicinity, or neighbourhood, dwel­ling together, ought to associate themselves and joyne with those of that neighbourhood, according to their best conveni­ence, for the participation of Ordinances. As it is against all dictates of reason, that a people scattered at a great distance should combine themselves in a Church-way, for Ordinances, in which God rules, so it is as clear against the Scriptures. You read of a Church of God, at Ephesus, at Corinth, at Philippi, at Thessalonica, at Laodicea, But you reade not of any one Church made up of members, residing at all those places, or in any places at like distance. That cohabitation or dwelling together, makes not up a Church congregational, will be easily granted; Infidels, Turks, Pagans may cohabit, they may make an idol-church, but not a Church of God, but co-habitation or dwelling together, is one ingredient; Saints cohabiting, that is, in New Testament-language, men separate for God, not Jewes, nor Infidels, but Christians, and joyning in Ordinances, as in duty they ought, are a congregational Church. A Pastour ought to watch over his people, and a people ought to attend to their Pastour, which how it can be, when the Pastour makes his residence at Ephesus, the [Page 274] people, some at Ephesus, some at Corinth, some at Philippi, and so scattered, it cannot be imagined. We finde seven several Epistles, written from heaven to seven several Churches, all which had their abode at the place, whence the Church bore its name; these are Scripture-Churches. Now, if any one Church be made up of Christians, some inhabiting at one of those places, some at another, a third at a third place, scarce three of one Town, no more than of one minde; here is not Scripture-order, which is of God, but an Apocryphal confusion; Exceptions may be ta­ken at the over-large extent and disordered situation of divers Parochial Congregations, which calls for Reformation, coming too near the inconvenience before mentioned, but Parochial Assemblies, not the name, but the thing; viz. a people inhabit­ing at convenient distance, and joyning together under Officers, according to Scripture, is the way that comes up, both to the light of reason, and the Presidents of primitive times. Our dis­senting Brethren will have the limit of a particular Church, to be within that number of persons, that may congregate in one place for Ordinances, if this be yielded (as it must be for Churches meerly Congregational,) then it will easily be proved, that Pa­rish-congregations, that is, congregations of men dwelling in a vicinity, are of divine institution; Saints that made up a Church were still Saints in cohabitation, such convenient numbers as are fit to make up a Church, did not live divided in place, and scattered, some here, some there, but were, as in faith, so in ha­bitation joyned together.

Thirdly,Professing Christians up­on tender of themselves ought to be e­steemed mem­bers in the places where they inhabit. all professing Christians in such cohabitation (especi­ally the civil power authorizing) are to be esteemed and judg­ed members, and not to be refused, when they offer themselves as members; where there is a holinesse of separation for God, and a professed engagement to real holinesse, there is no Scri­pture-warrant for repulse; Those that offer themselves to learn, are taken into the School, and not those only that have made a good progresse in knowledge, and fit for the uppermost forme. Me thinks this should be a Proposition agreed upon between us, and our dissenting brethren, seeing reverend Master Cotton lay­ing down certain Propositions consented to on both sides, in his Treatise of the holinesse of Church-members, page 1. saith, That such, as are borne of Christian Parents, and baptized in their [Page 275] Infancy into the fellowship of the Church, are initiated members of the same Church, though des [...]itute of spiritual grace, until they just­ly deprive themselves of the priviledge of that fellowship. For e­ven of such is the Kingdome of God, as Mar. 10. 14. This was the case as we conceive of those that have gone from us into those parts of America, Here they were, in infancy baptized, here they have joyned in Communion at the Lords Table. If they say, they were not baptized here into such Church-fellowship, then they must say that here is no Church of God amongst us (which as we abhorre to speak, or think of them, so we must not yield con­cerning our selves) and farther conclude their baptism here a meer nullity, and no more than an application of a little common water. They whose baptisme is valid, are baptized into one body, 1 Cor. 12. 13. and therefore in a baptized estate, cannot be out of fellow­ship with that body. The late Confession of Faith agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines, not excepted against in that particular by our brethren that I know, define baptisme to be a Sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, not only for the admis­sion of the party baptized into the visible Church, but, &c. Admis­sion into Church-membership they then lay down as a thing never doubted, which reverend Master Cotton seems to affirm likewise, and I know no Orthodox Writer that questions, Assoon as any were discipled through the Acts of the Apostles, according to Christs commission, Mat. 28. 19. they were thus received. I have often marvelled what men mean, when they speak of admissi­on of members into Churches, when the parties of whom they speak have already equal right with themselves to membership, Have they any other, or better right than title to the covenant, and admission by the seal of baptism? if they have, let them produce it, and then submit it to Scripture-trial. I know none other that will abide the teste; If they confesse baptism to be an admissi­on, then their title is as good, that were thus before admitted, as theirs that give them admission. Their plea in both is one, viz. birth of Christian parents, and baptism. For those that they passe by, either forbearing to give them admittance desiring, or that through scruple cannot joyne themselves, not seeing warrant for such a way, varying from the way of all the Churches of the Saints heretofore, what do they judge of them? Do they look upon them as men without, and unworthy of their Communion? Then [Page 276] they leave them without hope, without God in the world, Eph. 2. 12. yea, they put them into an incapacity, according to Gods ordinary way of salvation. Acts 2. 47. All were not saved, that were added, nor saved in the judgement of charity; that is a comment, as strange as new, but all were added, and none refused that would enter themselves into salvation-way, which they might do out of affection of novelty, at that time possest with amazement by reason of the miracles, under great present convictions, through Peters powerful Scripture-applications, and upon twenty other accounts which might be but fits, flashings, or present workings, yet all that were to be saved were added. All the maids that were brought to Ahashuerus and offered for purification, Esther 2. 3, 4. Were not made Queens, but none was made Queen that was not thus offered and purified. If it be said, they are within, as many passages from several hands would seem to imply, as well concerning such that are refused, as those that do refuse, the modesty of many is such, that they are loth to unchurch all but themselves, then they are heires of the same promise with themselves, and all the essentials of a Church of God are with those that in this way of Communion are none of theirs, and consequently their covenant or separate way, is not of necessity to Church-constitution, whether it be at all according to Scripture-pattern, rests farther to be enqui­red and debated.

Fourthly,Reformation of abuses in Churches is much rather the work of Christians in Churches, than separation from Churches. men by Providence seated among those that are thus in Covenant by a visible Profession, and joyning in Ordinances, as before, must, much rather make it their businesse to reform and redresse abuses, that are found in the respective Societies on which they are cast, than by any means withdraw and separate from them. We finde frequent advice in Scripture of considering one another, provoking to love and to good works, Hebrews 10. 24. of exhortation one of another, Heb. 3. 13. of comforting of themselves together, edifying one another, 1 Thes 5. 11. of warning them that are unruly, and comforting th feeble-minded, supporting the weak, 1 Thes. 5. 14. of converting sinners from the errour of their wayes, Jam 5. 20. which argues a well-ordered zeal for God, and hatred of sin, bowels of compassion towards a brother, we finde their praise that have followed this councel, 1 Thes. 5. 11. we reade of separation from ways of sin, and fleshly defilements, 2 Cor. 6. 17. [Page 277] James 1. 27. but we reade not of any separation from Church-communion, and fellowship in Ordinances thus given in charge, nor in this way approved, nor any presidents to go before us in it, but we reade of an heavy brand laid upon it, Jude 19. These be they who separated themselves, sensual, not having the Spirit; yet, seeing things may be so carried in societies that be a [...] the Name of Christ, and Christian Professors brought to those straits, that there is no abiding for such as would keep their garments unspotted, it will be of use here, to deliver certain rules for our help and guidance.

1. A Church in covenant with God,A Church is pure where the pollutions and taints are not soule. as before, and keeping up communion in Ordinances, is to be accounted pure, where the pollutions or taints are not great, nor many, it is to be accounted a right beleeving Church, notwithstanding some few lesser Errors. We account a corne-field clean where some few tares and weeds are found, a body health­ful that is not without grudgings, Christ from heaven gives commendations to those Churches which yet he taxes, Rev. 2. 3. for failings. There is that light in which Errors may be seen and shunned, and rules for discerning things that differ. If custom, education, conceit of Teachers, or the like so dazle the judgement, that the errour is swallow­ed; howsoever that be a detriment, a blemish, as the A­postle shews of the wood, hay and stubble, built upon the foundation, 1 Cor. 3. 12. yet it prejudices not salvation. There is power of truth remaining, to forme and frame Christ in the heart, to direct the soul in a sanctified way to salvation.

2. Where the Word is received and profest,Foully polluted and defaced, it is a Church, re [...]ains a being though pollu­ted and erro­neous. though polluted and defaced with additions and false glosses, there is a Church, though polluted and erroneous; Where the essen­tial parts of a man are in being, there is a man, though sick and diseased; where corne is sowen▪ and comes up, there is a corn-field, though over-run with tares and weeds. The Churches of Galatia have the name of Churches, though miserably defiled; we deny not the Church of Rome the be­ing of a Church, having the Scriptures and several funda­mental truths from thence, as the Church in Christs time from the hand of the Scribes and Pharisees, though the [Page 278] worst deserving the name of a Church of any people with whom the Word is continued; No Church, some have avouched, But do her the most right, and the being of a Church granted, she is a hurch certainly miserably defa­ced, monstrously polluted: I will not rake in her sores, it were easie to name many and loathsome ones. I will only point at the causes. Where food is scarce, and that pollu­ted and unclean, there must needs be bodies diseased, and distempered; but so it fares with the Church of Rome, when the Word should dwell in us in all plenteousnesse, Col. 3. 16. they will have theirs dieted, the Word kept in an unknown language, as under lock and key, that the children can­not come near it. That on which they feed, is not the sin­cere milk, which only nourishes to growth, 1 Pet. 2. 2. But they have their unwritten word, to stand in equipage with the Scriptures, mens Traditions made doctrines; how many doctrines do we there finde, by necessary conse­quence undermining those fundamental truths that are there profest? where food is in no more plenty, and no better, it is no wonder to see diseases follow.

3. That which especially denominates a Church pure or im­pure,Purity or im­purity in do­ctrine, espe­cially gives Churches d [...]n [...] ­mination. sound or tainted; is the doctrine which they drink in, the principles by which they are carried. Where these are right, this is an high praise; where these are tainted, this is the greatest blemish. That which advances a Nation a­bove all other Nations, so that no Nation is so great as they, that brings them nigh unto God, is that which is their greatest honour, and the pollution the greatest ble­mish, where all is right in doctrine, it can hardly be con­ceived, but that there are at least a few names, that defile not their garments, though the more the greater glory. This was the case of Sardis, and therefore hath the honour to be one of the golden Candlesticks where Christ kept re­sidence.

4. Doctrines,Errours in do­ctrine, are ei­ther in the foundati [...]u or superst [...]uction. which are as the covenant-draughts between God and a people, have their taints or crazes in the founda­tion, or in the superstruction; A breach in the foundation is the buildings speedy ruine, while that stands, somewhat of a building remains, when that falls, all falls, and therefore [Page 279] Jerusalems enemies that thirsted after her total ruine, say, Raze it, raze it, even to the foundation thereof, Psal. 137. 7. These foundation-breaches in buildings may be either cra­zes threatning danger, but repairable, taken betimes may be holpen, though a failing there is soonest helplesse, or else, it is a ruine or rottennesse that is irremediable, irrepair­able. Truths doubted, disputed, questioned, I call a craze in the foundation wonderfully dangerous, not alwayes damnable; the case of the Galatians, of whom the A­postle stood in feare, and was jealous over them, through a godly jealousie, even of their revolt from Christianity to Judaism, from Christ to Moses, from the Gospel to the Law: These, he calls Churches, the members brethren, though in a way to be no Churches, entertaining those do­ctrines, that cut off from Christ, Gal. 5. 2. Here, all those that are builders in Christs work, that are pil­lars, or any part of his house, must be zealous, as we see Saint Paul was, in this Epistle quoted; who will see the foundation of the house where he lives so undermined, as every day to threaten ruine? much lesse may we suffer the foundation in Christs house to be thus used. This faith once delivered to the Saints is the common salvation, for this we must earnestly contend, Jude 3. for this we must strive together, Phil. 1. 27. Truths denied, abjured, and resolved against (as it was with Hymeneus and Philetus, and the Apostle saw the Churches in Galatia in danger) is a ru­ine, and rottennesse, that is irremediable, and irreparable. Besides breaches in fundamentals, there are breaches in super­structions, and these either more neer to the foundation, or at a greater distance. The nearer the foundation, the more danger; a breach is more sufferable near the top, than at the bottome of a tower, or castle. There are errours of more affinity with those that overthrow bottom-truths, and there are those that are not so nigh, and therefore not so dangerous; Such crept into the Latine Church before Anti­christ was raised to his height and strength in his delusions, and Antichrist still holds them of all sorts and sizes; Ei­ther of both of these, may [...]e Negative, or Positive. Nega­tive, are such where the doctrine of faith is not laid, Posi­tive, [Page 280] where it is mis-laid; where edifying doctrines are not preached, and where they are mis-preacht, both tend to the Churches danger; a house never compleat or built up entire, but defective in several parts, little differs from that which is ruinous: The Apostle, who is worthily sti­led a wise Master-builder, 1 Cor. 3. 10. makes known the whole counsel of God, Acts 20. 27. and builds not up de­fective Churches.

5. All errors being against Christ,Errours have their estimate accordingly as they rise up a­gainst Christ and obscure his glory. who is the foundation to bear up, and carrie on the whole work, accordingly as they dash upon Christ, and obscure his glory, whether more, or lesse, the estimate of the danger is to be taken. These are either such that render Christ in an uncapacity to be our Mediatour and Saviour, or such that are inconsistent, in whole or in part with his Mediatourship; of the former kinde are those that are against his person. 1. Those that impugne the Godhead of Christ, such, that though they give him the glory, to be above Angels, yet will make him no more than a creature; a God in title and place, as are Magistrates, not in nature or power; An opinion that in­volves the Apostolick Church, and all Churches in successi­on in idolatry, giving the honour of God, the worship due to God, unto him who by nature is no God; A doctrine that will make Christ an impotent, and not an omnipotent head, too weak for his work, to govern the world, and bring under his enemies. 2. Those that deny his man­hood, as having not taken our flesh, and so, no suitable head, but a phantastick or seeming body. Those that are against his Mediatourship; are, either such that obscure, or some way eclipse it, as every errour doth that is any way considerable, or such that raze, if not utterly over­throw it, in some of the necessary parts of it, his King­dome, Priesthood, or Prophetical Office. These are over­thrown, either directly, in termes of full opposition, or else by consequence, and this such, that is either immediate and evident, the truth being confest, these cannot be denied, or else the consequence more remote, and not so easily discern­ed.Separation in some cases ne­cessary. These things being premised, we must bring it home to our purpose. 1. Where fundamental truths are not only [Page 281] questioned, doubted and disputed, but abjured and deny­ed, errours directly or by immedate clear consequence intro­duced so, that the truth cannot be known, but the errour must be seen, and this declared by publick confession, and generally held, Christians are to be gone, here are not sufficient edifying truths, nor yet antidotes to preserve from danger, when they would have healed Babylon, and she would not be healed, then it is time to forsake. If any man come unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not in­to your house, neither bid him God speed, 2 John 10. saith John, much lesse then, may we hold such communion with them It is said of Mice, that when the house, through ruines is falling, they will be gone, shall nature teach them to pro­vide for their safety, and shall nothing teach Christians to see to their own salvation? When Jerusalem was to be destroyed according to Christs prediction, and not one stone to be left upon another; a voice is said to be heard cry­ing, Get out to Pella. Foundation-breaches seen, and suf­fered, are, as this voice to be gone, such a Jerusalems walls are falling▪ There is a flight too soon, when care might keep up the buildings, when with the poore man we may save and deliver the City, Eccles. 9. 15. They that preach­ed Christ in those Churches of Galatia, and preached down Circumcision, and other points of Judaisme, pleased the Apostle better, then they that without such endeavour should desert it; so those that had preached the resurrecti­on in Corinth, had better pleased then those that had left the place for their sakes that denyed it. A Church may not onely degenerate, but apostatize; may not onely languish, but lose her vital spirits, may not onely displease her Bride­groom, but suffer a divorce; perhaps keep the title of a wife, and indeed be a strumpet, and want all evidence of re­lation to the Bridegroome. 2. In the case of pollutions of a more inferior alloy, a Christian may be necessitated to leave. 1. When the food of life, knowledge in the word or means to compasse it, cannot be had. In such a case it must be sought, They must resolve with the Lepers, 2 King. 7. 3. not to sit still and die. When the Priests and Levites left their suburbs and pessessions, under Jeroboams government [Page 282] being cast out of their employment, and the lowest of the people, men of self-consecration, set up in their stead af­ter them out of all the tribes of Israel, such as set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord God of their fathers, 2. Ch [...]n. 11. 16. Being without a teaching Priest, they were (as the Prophet tells Asa, 2 Chron. 15. 3.) without the Law, and without God, and there was no staying there. 2. When a man by compulsion is necessitated to give approbation to such pollutions, in any such way that speaks his compliance, whether it be by the civil power, through unsufferable fines, [...]ulcts, im­prisonments unavoidable, or peril of life, Or by the Eccle­siastical power in excommunications, when men are dri­ven out, or necessitated for soul-subsistence to go out, there is full liberty and warranty to leave, But when Or­dinances in a saving way, may be enjoyed, with liberty and safety, no Laws being enacted for their so heavy persecuti­on, or through indulgence or connivence not put into ex­ecution, there the Churches good calls for good mens stay, not their secession or separation There was not a little leaven in the Churches doctrine, in Christs time, errour was advanced into Moses chaire, yet Christ himself, with many o­ther that waited for redemption in Jerusalem, held com­munion as Church-members. All was not right in every Church of the Saints to whom Christ wrote, Revel. 2. 3. and to whom Paul sent Epistles, yet as they retained still the honour of Churches, and the happinesse of Christs presence, so we hear nothing of separation enj [...]ned, or practised. The condition of Beleevers in the Synagogue of Rome was otherwise, The key of knowledge is there taken away, the people not allowed to read it, in private, or to heare it in publick, but kept reserved in an unknown lan­guage, neither could they without capital danger keep themselves from compliances in their sinne, so that reformed Churches did not in any unwarrantable way of Schisme leave, but rather were left, They forsook not the Church, but the botches and corruptions in it, though we were never forbidden to partake of their truths, yet we are for­bidden to partake of their sins, lest we partake of their plagues, [Page 283] Rev. 18. 4. and therefore to depart and be gone, when their truths could not be enjoyed, but their guilt through sinne contracted, and it is onely their sinne that we relinquish. It is their Schisme, in that or any other Church, that obtrude these Heterogeneal things, and not theirs that do refuse them.

6. Corruptions in conversation scarce admit of separation,Corruption in conversation hardly admit of separation. provided that doctrine be such, in which men may have com­munion for edification; If we look upon the people of Israel through the revolution of all times, after they were a vi­sible body come out from Abrahams loines, we may finde high titles given them of singular glory by reason of privi­ledges, which they enjoyed by their call into Church-fellowship, children of God, holy people, Gods peculiar ones, his portion, his heritage. The apple of his eye, Deut. 14. 1, 2. and 32. 9. Zach 2. 8. and abundant the like Elogies in sundry other texts of Scripture, A people near unto God, Psal. 148. 14. the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the Law; and the service, and the promises did ap­pertaine to them, Rom. 9. 4. Therefore Prophets and righteous persons, kept their residence among them, held communion with them, and saw no ground of separation from them, the words of eternal life being with them, as Christ testifies in his speech to the Samaritan woman, John 4. 22. when in the meane time their qualifications were as low, as their titles high, their conversation no way answering their calling, but branded to be stiffe­necked, of an iron sinew, adulterous, a sinful Nation, a people foolish and unwise, as Sodom and Gomorrah to the Lord, Deut 9. 6. Isa. 48. 4. Ezek. 16 32. Isa. 1. 4. Deut. 32. 6. Isa. 1. 10. It is a great contradiction with some men, to name men at all Saints, beleevers, professours, when their lives evidence an unsuitablenesse to such a glory, yet we know the Churches to whom Epistles are directed in Scri­ptures, are so honoured as we may see in their frontispieces, and among them the choicest, and most upright-hearted, had converse and communion, when yet they did wrong, defraud, contended aud disputed for Idol pollutions and defilements, prophaned the Lords Table, were fornicators, [Page 284] unclean, lascivious, luke-warm, having onely a name to live, when they were dead, 1 Cor. 3. 3. 1 Cor. 6. 7. 1 Cor. 8. 10. 1 Cor. 11. 20. 2 Cor. 12. 20. Rev. 3. 16. Rev. 3. 1. So that Calvin on 1 Cor. 1. 2. puts a question how Paul could give the name of a Church to them. If we would know what the Prophets and Apostles held concerning lawfulnesse of com­munion in such Churches, we may enquire what was their practice, They did not leave them, but made it their busi­nesse, by all ways in their power to reclaim them, to work a change and conversion among them. The advice that was sometimes given to a maid,Aut de fatuis virgiuibus es aut de or [...]den­tibus si de [...]a­tuis Con [...]regatio tibi necessaria est, si de prudentibus tu congregationi Corruption in discipline hardly admits of separation. that for religions sake would re­tire her self to a solitary life: if she were bad, she needed the City to better her; if good, the City needed her: may be given to these persons, either they stand in need of the Church, or the necessities of the Church call for their help and assist­ance.

7. The same that I have said of corruption in conversation, I may affirme of neglects in discipline. Reverend Master Cotton judges, that the many notorious scandalous Persons, that were found in the Church of Israel, did argue the neg­lect of Church-discipline, in the toleration of such publick scan­dals in the Church. Holinesse of Church-members, pag. 21. And yet none of the Prophets or men of God, who could not be ignorant of the Churches duty, and their sinne in such neglects, ever made attempt of setting up purer se­lect Churches nor made separation from that which was in this sort (as is said) faulty. All was not right in exercise of discipline, in the Churches planted by the Apostles some are censured as foully faulty. The Church of Corinth, 1 Cor. 5 2. The Church of Smyrna, Rev 2 14. The Church of Thyatira, Rev. 2. 20. Neither could the [...]hurch of Sardis be free, seeing that the greatest part, as it appeares, were openly bad there being but few that had not defiled their garments, Rev. 3. 4. and yet nothing is heard by way of advise for any to make separation, nor reproof for their holding up communion▪ nor any one instance of a separa­tist given. Those that for many years together, during the Reigne of the three last Princes, denyed to come up to a full conformity to this Church, had a low opinion of the dis­cipline [Page 285] then exercised, of which they have left behinde them large evidences, yet how tender were they of the Churches honour to keep Christians in Communion? How zealous were they against separation? As may ap­peare in the labours of Master Parker, though distasted by him that prefaced before his work of Ecclesiastical Po­licy, Master Paget, Master Ball, Master Brightman laid us low enough, when he did not onely parallel us with luke­warme Laodicea, but made that Church the type, and us the antitype, Our state, as we stood at that time by reason of our discipline, (according to him) being rather aimed at by Jesus Christ in his Epistle, then the Laodicean State in A­sia, then existent; yet how zealous is he against separation from these Assemblies? Having largely set out a double and singular honour in that Church, (as he stiles it) viz Christs entrance into those that open to him, and his sweet residence and abode being entred with them, he breaks out into these words.Scelestus igitur & blasphemus eorum error est, qui sic ab hac ecclesia desiciunt, quasi Christus hinc pro [...]sus exularet nec ulla spes salutis manentibus esse posset. Cogitent hîc Christum convivantem cum suis. An pu [...]bit eos illic dis­cu [...]bere, ubi vident Christum non pudere An illo sanctores & mun­diores er [...]t? Sed quare se non co [...]vincunt suo ipsorum usu [...] Non possunt i [...]ficiari quin p [...]iùt in Chri­stum crediderint qu [...]m fecerunt no­bis divortium? unde haec illi fides? Annon expraedicatione in nostra ec­clesia? Nu [...]quid autem praedicare quis potest nisi mittatur? Rom. 10. 13 Quid [...]go verbum propter la­bem [...]liquam externae vocationis tam pervesè r [...]puunt cujus vim divinam in [...]or [...]ibus senti [...]? Quamobrem redite ad unitatem ecclesiae quae vos genuit & aluis; si fugiatis hunc Christum, quì cum electis in nostris coetibus coenat, ac eos vicissim excipit, profecto nusquam inve­nietis. Therefore their er­rour is wicked and blasphemous, who so for­sake the Church, as if Christ were altoge­ther banished thence, & no hope of salvation left for those that do remain. Let them think upon Christ, as feasting here with his. Will they be ashamed to sit down where they see Christ is not ashamed? Will they be more holy and pure then he? wherfore do they not convince themselves in their own pra­ctice? they cannot deny but they beleeved in [...]hrist, before they made a divorce from us? whence [...]ad they this faith; came it not by the preaching in our Church? and can any one preach unlesse he be sent? Rom. 10▪ 13. Wherefore then do they so pervers­ly nause [...] the word upon any pretence of blot in an external calling, when they are sensible of its divine power in their hearts? Wherefore returne to the unity of the Church, which hath begotten and hath nourished you; if you flie from Christ [...] [Page 286] feasts with his elect in our Congregation, entertaining them mu­tually, truly you will finde him no where. How doth Reverend Master Cotton in his preface to Master Hildersams work upon the fourth of John (whom without honour I cannot mention) set forth his renoune for this work of opposing separation? of which he still appeares to be tender though he seeme page 13. of his Treatise of holinesse of Church-members to be over indulgent to it, Speaking in excuse of those that withdraw from communion in publick Ordi­nances of Christ, when Church-Officers receive in, for mem­bers of the Church, those that are most scandalous and wic­ked, and not such Saints as Paul writeth to at Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, Colosse, and defending them against Mr. Rutherford, he saith, But if private members be perswaded in conscience from the word of God, that themselves have due right and interest as well in the admission of members as in excommunication of offenders or in election of officers, how shall they keep themselves from partaking in the sinnes of their Of­ficers, if they suffer them to go on in such a manifest breach of rule without due proceeding against them for their refor­mation? and after some caution given he concludes, It is essential to Community to have power to admit unto commu­nion, and to withdraw from communion. To which I say. 1. We have not a full account, of the Saints in those Churches, respective to scandals, it seems by divers passages, that many in Colosse, were none of the soundest in faith, as ap­pears by the Apostles reproof, chap. 2 20. I am sure, that if any Church, have such as were to be found in Corinth, for igno­rance, Idolatry, faction, oppression, adultery, lasciviousness, prophanation of the Lords Table, they will be judged suffici­ently scandalous. 2. If such a perswasion in conscience, would warrant a separation, it would be worth enquiry to know what separation is not warrantable? The error that Mr. Brightman brands, as wicked and blasphemous, is here abun­dantly justified; Church-guides (at least in some places) were then, so far at least, guilty in their admissions. 3. What war­ranty is there, for any mans withdrawing himself, from publick Communion in the Ordinances of Jesus Christ, when he may with freedome enjoy that glorious priviledge, up­on [Page 287] that account that he cannot enjoy the whole of those priviledges, or actual exercise of them, in which he takes himself to have any interest. Sure I am Ministers of Christ, in many reformed Churches in the world, have judged themselves to be overmuch coopt up, in several particulars, when yet they judged the very thought of separation in this case, to be the greatest p [...]aculum. 4 This right or interest in every particular member to vote in this way for admission or ejection, may well be questioned; If there had been this freedome in primitive times claimed, and exercise, there had not been so much, in so short a space dispatched, as was done in Jerusalem and Samaria, Acts 2. Acts 8. If all must vote, in businesse of so high concernment, as in proceeding against officers, and to give definitive sentence concerning their proceed­ings, either many a meet member will be kept without, or else many an incompetent judge, must be taken in, ma­ny a poor soul weak in the faith is fit for the Lords Table, who is not yet fit to judge of the abilities of his Pastour. All, that I know, that is produced with any colour, is that direction of Paul to the Church of Corinth, 1 Cor. 5. 4, 5. When ye are gathered together with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the Spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. But if it be considered, that Corinth had more then one Congregation (as several Dissenting brethren have yeelded, and as to other Churches may easily be proved) then, it must follow, that this meeting was only of officers, and not of all Members. And how this power is essential to a community, I cannot conceive. The English Nation have judged themselves a community, and yet there is ma­ny a free-borne Subject, that never had a thought of inter­essing himself by way of vote; to naturalize strangers, or to make them free Denizons, nor yet to expulse them in case of intrusion. The [...]orporations of England are commu­nities, yet every Member hath not his interest, for vote to re­ceive into their body. When the chief Captaine bought his Freedome in Rome, Acts 22 28 I scarce think, every Free­man of that society was consulted in it, neither did Paul [Page 288] when he heard of it, enter his exception, because his interest was infringed. The several companies in London, are so many several communities; yet every one of the members of those Companies, doth not claime an interest, in recei­ving in, men, as free of their respective mysteries; an opinion of such a Liberty, will soon bring Church Members under an heavy yoke, taking themselves to be so farre interessed in every publick act of their Officers, that they may not without open opposition (which is seldome borne) or actual separation, keep themselves from guilt in their aber­rations.

Fifthly,To gather Churches out of Churches to make up one Congregation out of many is unwarrantable. to gather Churches out of Churches; to make up one congregation of Members appertaining to, and locally seated in many, is most anti-Scriptural. It were easie to bring abundant arguments against this practice. The disorderly confusion, which of necessity it doth occasion; The weakening of the work of God in the place where providence hath seated them, and con­ferred many mercies upon them: The robbing of Pastours of their flock, spiritual Parents of their children, who, they confesse are of use to fit men, for such a new congregated way, that is, to beget them by the Gospel to Christ Jesus; but unfit to instruct or build them: The animosity of Spirit that is wrought in these separating ones, judging them whom they leave as no Ministers of Christ, nor their congregations any Churches of Christ with­drawing from thence, where Christ is pleased to keep residence. But letting these passe, I shall onely urge this, that it is without all Scripture-president, or example, to gather up one Church (as these pretend) out of the cream and quintescence of many Church­es. There was much amisse, in several of the Churches, of Asia; Philadelphia it appears was the soundest, yet Saints they left not, but held communion with the several Churches, where by pro­vidence they were placed, and did not pick up one out of all, as a Church in eminence of purity and glory; neither there or elsewhere hath there been found any such practice.Object. I know but one instance of this kinde, that is pretended, that is John Baptist, who while the Church of the Jews stood a Church of God, gathered a Church out of them, as is objected, and did embody them. To this I might have much to answer.

1. John Baptist set up no new Church,Sol. distinct from the Church [Page 289] of the Jewes; Christ and his Apostles submitting to that which John did introduce, yet still held communion with the Church of the Jews; They were not Members at once of two distinct Churches; of the new, because more refined, and of the old tainted and corrupted.

2. If John Baptist according to duty, set up a new gathered Church in a Church of Christ; then all the Prophets from Samuel to John the Baptist, fell short of duty. If they follow John in what he did, we follow all the Prophets and Apostles in what they did, All the Prophets till John, did prophesie in the same Church of Christ and not any of them did set up new Churches.

3. The old Church-way of administration among the Jewes was then to fall, that present administration to be taken down by Gods appointment, and a new one to be set up according to his prescript.

4. John set up a new Sacrament, in a new way which after his days was the alone Church-way. If any can shew (as our seekers look after) that Jesus Christ, shall now put an end to this way, and that, they have a Commission, for a new Sacrament of initiation, then they speak somewhat, for setting up new Churches, in like manner.

A dogmatical Faith entitles to Baptisme.

3. IT farther follows by way of consectary,3. Corollary. that a dogmati­call Faith (ordinarily called by the name of Faith histo­rical, such that assents to Gospel-truths, though not affecting the heart to a full choice of Christ, and therefore was short of Faith which is justifying and saving) gives title to baptisme. The Covenant is the ground on which baptisme is bottomed, otherwise Church-Membership would evince no title either in Infants, or in men of years to Baptisme; But the Covenant (as we have proved) is entred with men of Faith; not saving, and there­fore to them Baptisme is to be administred. How the consequent [Page 290] can be denyed by those that grant the Antecedent; Baptisme de­nied in foro Dei, to men short of saving faith, when they are in covenant, I cannot imagine; yet some that have confessed their interest in the covenant,Arguments evincing the title of men professing faith to Baptisme. now deny their title to Baptisme; and affirme, If men be once taught that it is a faith, that is short of justi­fying and saving Faith, which admitteth men to Baptisme; it will make foule work in the Church.

(1.) All that hath been said for the latitude of the covenant, may fitly be applyed in opposition to this tenent, for the like la­titude of Baptisme.

(2) All the absurdities following the restraint of the cove­nant to the Elect, to men of Faith saving and justifying, follow upon this restraint of interest in Baptisme.

(3.) To make the visible seale of Baptisme which is the privi­ledge of the Church visible, to be of equal latitude with the seale of the Spirit which is peculiar to invisible members, is a Para­dox.

4. The great condition to which Baptisme engages, is not a prerequisite in baptisme. This is plaine, to man is bound to make good his covenant conditions before his engagements to conditi­ons; no servant is tyed to do his work, to gaine admission into service; no souldier to fight in order to get himself listed under command. But Faith, that is justifying, is the condition to which baptisme engages, and no condition necessarily required to vest him in it.

5. That Faith upon which Simon Magus in Primitive times was baptized, is that which admitteth to baptisme; Simon him­self beleeved, and was baptized, Act. 8. 13. But Simons faith fell short of saving and justifying.

(6.) In case only justifying faith give admission to baptisme, then none is able to baptize; seeing this by none is discerned; and to leave it to our charity, affirming that we may admit upon presumption of a title when God denies, I have spoken some­what, chap. 38. and I refer to Master Hudson in his Vindication, whom learned Master Baxter so highly commends to shew the un­reasonablenesse of it. Here it is objected.

First, Objections answered. When Christ saith, make me Disciples of all Nations, bapti­zing them; he means sincere Disciples, though we cannot ever know them to be sincere.Object.

[Page 291] I answer. Answ. In case I make this first objection brought against me, my seventh and last argument for me; it will fully discover the weaknesse of it, and thus I forme it. All that are Disciples unto Christ, and made disciples for Christ, are to be baptized; but some are made Disciples to Christ, that are short of faith saving and justifying, as hath been proved at large. This Disciple­ship that Christ there mentions, is such, of which whole Nations are in capacity, as is plaine in the Commission, to which this Nation (with others) hath happily attained according to the manifold prophecies before cited; of these the whole universal visible Church consists as is irrefragably proved by Mr. Hudson in his Treatise of that subject, and his Vindication; and most amply spoken to by Mr. Baxter in his plaine Scripture-proof of Infants Church-membership and baptisme, page 279, 280. Sir, if you were my father, I would tell you that when you say [Christ makes no one City, Countrey, Tribe his Disciples] you speak most malig­nantly and wickedly against the Kingdome and dignity of my Lord Jesus. Hath he not commanded to disciple Nations? Hath not the Father promised to give him the Heathen or Nations for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession? Psalme 2. And that Nations shall serve him? And that the Kingdomes of the world shall be become the Kingdomes of the Lord and his Christ? and do you not see it fulfilled before your eyes? Are not Bew [...]ly, Keder Minsters, &c. and England (till of late) as full Christs disciples, and so Church-members, as the Jewes were in covenant with God, and so Church-members? We are not all sincere: True no more were they for with many of them God was not well pleased, but shut out all that Nation of covenanters from his rest, save Caleb and Joshuah. We may have Pagans and infidels lurk amongst us unknown; but they had many amongst them known. In the mean time we as generally professe Christianity, as they did to serve the true God. And are you sure there is never a City or Town that are all sincere? I think you be not; or at least is there never a godly family as Abrahams was? you cannot be ignorant that the terme [Disciples] in Scri­pture is given to more to the sincerely-godly. And if whole Na­tions; yea, the whole Universal visible Church (consisting of discipled Nations) were all beleevers, it were a happinesse, then election would be as large as Vocation; when Christ saith, many are called, but few chosen.

[Page 292] Secondly, Object. When he saith he that beleeveth and is baptized shall be saved; here faith goes before baptism, and that not a common, but a sa­ving faith: for here is but one faith spoken of, and that is before baptism.

1. This is the weakest of all arguments, to reason for a pre­cedency of one before another,Answ. from the order in which they are placed in Scripture. So we may say, John baptized before he preach­ed the baptisme of Repentance; for his baptizing is put before his preaching of baptisme, Mark 1. 4. and that those that he baptized did confesse their sinnes after their baptisme, seeing it is mentioned after that it is said, that they were baptized, Mat. 3. 6. and both of these with a farre greater probability of reason, seeing in both there is a narrative of the thing by the Evangelists, and in the place in hand there is neither commission given for the work of baptizing, nor yet any narrative of the work, but onely doctrine given in charge which they were to de­liver, which least of all speaks the order in which the duties spe­cified must necessarily be practised. All that can be collected, is that we must in Gods ordinary way of conferring salvation, have both Faith and baptisme; though there be not the like ab­solute necessity of baptisme as of Faith; baptisme being necessary, necessitate precepti; Jesus Christ having instituted it, and com­manded it; but Faith is necessary both necessitate medii, and prae­cepti; seeing Christ not only commanded it, but salvation at no hand can be obtained (by men in capacity of it) without it; And therefore it hath been well observed that in the words following, the like stresse is not laid on Baptisme as on Faith; not he that is not baptized, but he that beleeveth not, shall be damned.

2. Let Peter where he speaks of salvation by baptisme, inter­pret these words; Baptisme doth now also (saith he) save us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. 3. 21. and then explaines himselfe; Not the pntting away the filth of the flesh, but the an­swer of a good conscience towards God. This answer or restipula­tion, unto the outward administration of baptisme, is that which follows upon baptisme; but justifying Faith is that restipulati­on (at least a principal branch of it), and therefore there is no necessity that it go before, but a necessity that it must follow after baptisme. It is true that in men of yeares, justifying faith sometimes goes before baptisme, as in Abraham it went before Circumcision, but it is not of necessity required to interest us in a [Page 293] right, neither of baptisme, nor circumcision.

Thirdly, Object. That faith to which the promise of Remission and Justi­cation is made, it must also be sealed to (or that faith which is the condition of the Promise, is the condition in foro Dei of the title to the seal;) But it is onely solid true faith, which is the condition of the promise (of Remission; Therefore it is that onely that gives right in foro Dei to the seal.

Here is an Argument first proposed,Answ. secondly in a parenthesis paraphrased, for the proposition I say faith is not sealed to, but remission of sinnes or salvation upon condition of faith. A profes­sour of Faith that goes no farther, may engage himself to a lively working faith, and upon those termes God engages for, and puts his seale for Remission and Salvation. For the parenthesis, That faith which is the condition of the Promise, is the condition in foro Dei of the title to the seale, I judge the contrary to be unde­niable. That faith which is the condition of the Promise, is not the condition in foro Dei of title to the seale. An acknowledge­ment of the necessity of such faith with engagement to it, is sufficient for a title to the seale, and the performance of the con­dition of like necessity to attaine the thing sealed. To promise service and fidelity in war is enough to get listed, as to do service is of necessity to be rewarded.

Fourthly, as for the Argument ad hominem framed against those who make initial or common faith sufficient to entitle to Ba­ptisme, and yet affixe remission of sins to all Baptisme, even so received without any performance of farther engagement; I leave to them to defend who maintaine such doctrine, and to speak to the absurdities that follow upon it.

Fifthly, that of Philip to the Eunuch seems to carry most colour. The Eunuch must beleeve with all his heart before he be baptized, and I have known it troublesome that are fully convinced that a dogmatical faith gives title to Baptisme, satisfying themselves with this answer, That howsoever Philip called for such a faith which leads to salvation, yet did not expresse himself so far that no Faith short of this gives title to baptisme.

It may be answered that a dogmatical faith is true faith, suo genere, as well as that which justifies; therefore I know not why men should give it the terme of false faith, seeing Scripture calls it faith, and such as those beleevers, and the heart in such a [Page 294] Faith (as to an entire assent) is required. If we look into the Eunuchs answer on which Philip did rest satisfied, and proceeded upon it to baptisme, it will take away all scruple; his answer is, I beleeve that Jesus Christ is the Sonne of God. There is no more in that then a common faith, this is beleeved by men not justified; yet this faith entitles to baptisme, and upon this confession of faith, the Eunuch is baptized.

Impenitence and unbelief in professed Christians, is breach of Covenant.

4. IT yet follows by way of consectary,4. Corolary. that men in impeni­tence and unbelief, that lie in sin, and live in neglect of the sacrifice of the blood of Christ, live in a continual breach of co­venant. They engage by covenant to believe in Christ, and forsake their sin; when yet they lie in unbelief & impenitence, are convinced that they are Fornicators, Idolaters, Adulterers, Effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankinde, thieves, covetous, drunkards, re­vellers, and extortioners, These do not only transgresse the Law (which on the severest penalty forbids these wayes) but break covenant with God, and so are shut out of the Kingdome of Heaven; the reward upon covenant, to those whose hearts are upright. For howsoever, I fully assent to learned Master Baxter, that all weaknesses are not covenant-breaches, and therefore with him, judge it to be their mistake, who in their confessions ac­knowledge that we break covenant all that we do; yet those men in the list mentioned, having given their names to God, and entred covenant with him, walking in these forbidden wayes, are found covenant-breakers; and therefore the Psal­mist deservedly sayes to them, Psalme 50 16, 17. What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my Co­venant in thy mouth; seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behinde thee? that is to claime any mercy or favour by vertue of Gods grant in covenant, as appeares in the con­text▪ Engaging to him, and thus flying off from him, they desert [Page 295] the mercies which they might receive from him. As a wife by a­dultery, so they by sin forsake the covenant by which they stand betrothed, and by consequence it must needs follow, that Christ died for breach of the covenant of Grace, as well as for breach of the covenant of Works; unlesse we will say that all men by name Christian, and found in any of these sinnes, are in a lost and unrecoverable condition; joyning with them that have said, that there is no grace or pardon for those that fall into sinne after baptisme. That he died not for their sinnes that live and die in final impenitence and unbelief, may be easily granted, and that rises to no more then that he died not for those, that finally and unrecoverably break covenant with him. It is granted by a learned adversary that final unbelief and impeni­tence, are violations of this covenant, but no other impenitence or unbelief; but that which is final, and for this, as is affirmed Christ never died; To this I say, If unbelief and impenitence be not breaches or violations of covenant properly so called, then final unbelief and impenitence is no breach or violation of cove­nant properly so called. This is clear, Final perseverance in un­belief and impenitence is no more, then a continuance of the same posture or state of Soul God ward, in which they before stood, in impenitence or unbelief; As Perseverance in faith and repentance, is the continuance of faith and repentance. If then final unbelief and impenitence be a breach of the covenant of grace, then all unbelief and impenitence, denominating a man, an unbeleeving and impenitent person, is a breach of covenant likewise.

The question stated concerning the Birth-Priviledge of the issue of Beleevers.

A Fourth difference supposed to be (and assigned by some) between the first and second covenant is,The fourth supposed differ­ence between the Old and New covenant. That the first Covenant was in that latitude to comprize, not alone unregenerate men professing the worship of the true God, but the whole of the seed [Page 296] of those that made such profession. But the second covenant is entred personally, and so vested in them that make actually profession of it, that it is terminated in them, and none of their seed are taken in with them. Here I cannot be so clear in my method as in the former, some have so mudded the way, that it is not easie to proceed in any faire and cleare order; As to the latter branch (concerning the New Covenant) their opinion is fully and clearly enough held out. All beleevers according to them are in covenant, and onely those that actually beleeve; They entitle themselves, but cannot interest their seed in any title to it. But as to the first Covenant some make it to consist meerly of carnal promises, and Circumcision they answerably make a carnal badge, and so their opinion is clear, that the first descends to posterity, but not the second. The seed is included in the first carnal covenant, but ex­cluded from the second. But one undertaking a full Comment upon those words of the Covenant, Gen. 17. 7. I will be a God to thee and thy seed, distinguishes of the seed of Abraham, and saith it is many wayes so called, and by his distinction instead of clearing much darkens the thing in question.

1. Christ is called the seed of Abraham by excellency,Distinction of the seed of Abraham examined. Gal. 3. 16.

2. All the Elect, Rom. 9. 7. all Beleevers, Rom. 4. 11, 12, 16, 17, 18. are called the seed of Abraham, that is, the spiritual seed.

3. There was a natural seed of Abraham to whom the inheritance did accrue, this was Isaac, Gen 21. 12.

4. A natural seed, whether lawful, as the sons of Keturah, or base, as Ishmael to whom the inheritance belonged not, Gen. 15. 5. Here by the way he much mistakes himself.

(1.) In casting Ishmael out of Covenant, in that manner that all the time of his Circumcision he had not any title to it; as afterwards he more fully explaines himself, to that end that he might make (were it possible) the Covenant and the Seale di­stinct of themselves, without any relation one to the other, Con­ceiving some to be sealed, that were never in Covenant; and some to be in Covenant that were never sealed. But Ishmael was in covenant, as was Esau also at his Circumcision, and his circum­cision (were there no more arguments) doth witnesse it, Gen. 17. 11. Ye shall Circumcise the flesh of your fore-skin, and it shall be a [Page 297] token of the Covenant between me and you. Circumcision was bot­tomed on the Command, we grant, had there been no institution, no man might have presumed to have signed it with such a Seale, but the Command had relation to the Covenant; Men in Cove­nant were the adequate subject of Circumcision, and are of Ba­ptisme; Gen. 17. 9, 10. God said to Abraham, Thou shalt keep my Covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their genera­tions. This is my Covenant which you shall keep between me and you, and thy seed after thee, every man-childe among you shall be circumcised. He was indeed after cast out, with his seed, as was Esau; not by a Church-censure, as Master Cotton affirmes, Holi­nesse of Church-Members, Church-censures, fall not so heavy as to reach all posterity; but by divine prerogative as the Apostle, Rom. 9. abundantly declares. His casting out sufficiently argues that he was once in, and when he received the token of the co­venant, he was in covenant.

(2.) He does ill, in laying upon Ishmael the brand of ba­stardy, as though he were a sonne of whoredomes to faithful Abraham; Concubines in Scripture have the name of wives, and their seed was ever accounted legitimate; neither will this serve his purpose at all to argue Ishmael out of Covenant. It was the case of Dan and Nepthali, Gad and Asher, (out of whose loines a considerable part of Gods Covenant-people did issue) as well as Ishmaels. And could he fasten that ignominy on Abraham, and Ishmael, to make it an illegitimate issue; yet this would not cast Ishmael out of covenant. It was the case of Pharez, Zarah, Jephthah, and yet they were all in Covenant with God. 2. He makes applicat on of this distinction, and saith, Of the three former kinds of Abrahams seed the promise recited is meant, but in a different manner thus: That God promiseth he will be a God to Christ, im­parting in him blessings to all the Nations of the earth, to the spiritu­al seed of Abraham in Evangelical benefits to the natural seed in­heriting in domestick and political benefits. So that it evidently appeares, that he casts out all the natural seed of Abraham, (legi­timate or base, as he calls them, inheriting or not inheriting) from any title to that Covenant, save in domestick and political be­nefits. Here I shall undertake a Position in full opposition, that that Covenant in those words exprest; I will establish my Cove­nant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee in their generati­ons [Page 298] for an everlasting Covenant, to be a God unto thee and to they seed after thee, Gen. 17. 7. in their fullest latitude, as they are there spoken, in the largest comprehension (which according to Scripture they can be taken) are entred with all the natural seed of Abraham, by Isaac and Jacob. But before I come to the confirmation of it (which is a matter of ease, if any) give me leave, (as well for the help of the Reader, as satisfaction of the Adversary,) to pre­mise some things to avoid all misunderstandings being necessitated to it by the foul miscarriage of some in their stating of this question.

First,Positions pre­mised for a right under­standing of the question. we take not in all the natural seed of Abraham, as the Position plainly expresseth, but the seed by promise which I un­derstand not of the Elect, or Regenerate seed; but of that seed which God by miracle (according to promise) gave to Abraham by Sarah, All the natural seed of Abraham is not in Covenant, but onely the seed by promise. when she was past years of child-bearing. The natu­ral posterity (which was the birth by Promise) we only under­stand; And so the Apostle explaines it, Rom. 9. 7, 8. Neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children; but in Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the Promise are counted for the seed: Where [children of God] is taken in the same latitude as [Adoption] ver. 4 comprizing all the visible body of the Jewes, as it is also taken, Deut. 14. 1. Only those that are borne by Promise are included, and all the sonnes of Ishmael and Keturah, (though their parents were once in Covenant) are by Gods special command shut out▪ Neither are all these included; for as God cast off Ishmael and his seed, so he also cast out Esau, and his posterity, Therfore the A­postle having brought the former distinction of seeds, rests not there, but addes, verse 10, 11, 12, 13. And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our Father Isaac; for the children being not yet borne, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to Election might stand; not of works, but of him that calleth. It was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger, as it is written; Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. And therefore the denomination of the seed, is, in Jacob, sirnamed Israel; Therefore when the head, or if you will, the root of the covenant, is mentioned in Scripture, it is not barely Abra­ham, but Abraham and Isaac, to exclude all Abrahams seed of any [Page 299] other line; not barely Abraham and Isaac, but Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The natural seed of Jacob, then (not according to ours, but Gods own limits) is included in that covenant, in the full latitude and extent of it.

Secondly,The Covenant w [...]s entred of God with Abraham as accepting the termes of it for himself and his natural issue. we do not say that this covenant was entred with Abraham as a natural Father, nor his seed comprehended as na­tural children, we well know that quâ tale is omne, then all natn­ral parents were in Covenant, in that they had natural chil­dren, and all natural children were in Covenant, because they were the natural issue of their parents. Abrahams Father was a natural father, and Abraham was his natural son, yet neither of them, upon that account were in covenant, we say it was entred with Abraham, accepting the termes of it from God, for himself, and his natural issue, all his natural issue, not by God himself ex­cluded were in covenant, He that made the covenant (according to his good pleasure) might put limits to it; Abraham may be con­sidered, 1. As a man, the Son of Terah, of the race of Adam. 2. As accepting of Gods call, and receiving his tender for him and his. 3. As a faithful and an upright man, regenerate and stedfast in covenant. It is not as man that God enters covenant in this la­titude, for Abraham himself was not thus in covenant, If he had been in covenant, as a man, then no man had been out of cove­nant: Neither is it as an upright man before God, and keep­ing covenant, for those of his posterity, whose hearts were not stedfast, were in covenant, and did hand it over to their seed, But as a professour of the Faith accepting the covenant, taking God for his God, in contradistinction to false gods, he accepted it for himself and for his seed, his natural posterity. And all that professe the faith hold in the like tenure, are in covenant, and have the covenant; not vested in their own persons only, but en­larged to posterity.

Thirdly,The Covenant entitles to spi­ritual mercies, and life eternal upon Gods termes and condition. we entitle the seed of Abraham, as before, to spiritual mercies, and so the seed of all that hold in the tenure of Abraham to saving grace and life eternal; not by an absolute conveyance, infallibly to inherit, we know, though Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant only shall be saved, Rom. 9. 27. but upon Gods termes, and conditions in the Gospel held out of God to his peo­ple. Salvation is made over by vertue of covenant, to all thus in covenant, in that sense, as Christ speaks, John 4. 22. Salvation [Page 300] is of the Jews. In that sense as Christ useth it of Zacheus family; This day is salvation come this house, Luke 19. 9. In that sense as the Apostle to the Hebrews speaks of it, where he sets out the danger of neglecting so great salvation, Heb. 2. 3. In that sense (as I conceive) the Apostle speaks of it, where he saith, that upon the cal of the Jews, All Israel shall be saved, Rom. 11. 26 They shall enjoy those priviledges, in which salvation upon Gods terms may be obtained, and this is all that can by any means be squeezed out of their words, that say, the covenant of Grace was made of God, with Abraham and his natural seed, or with beleevers and their seed. It is even irksome to read the large businesse that is made, to find out our meaning about the covenant of God made with Abraham and his seed; and we must per force confesse that we mean it of a covenant, infallibly, absolutely, to conferre grace, and consequently salvation. To be so in Covenant, as that a man cannot fall from it. To this end, words of mine are pro­duced, that I never uttered, and several arguments produced, a­gainst this supposed tenent and authorities multiplied out of Pro­testant Writers, Beza, Twisse, Wallaeus, The Annotations on the Bible, Ames, Paraeus, Downham. I am content that all these Wor­thies shall still stand up in their honour, and that this shadow should fall with shame, as well as I am that Bellarmine, Stapleton, a Lapide, Becanus, Estius should fall with it, whose arguments in this controversie one after other have been brought against me. To draw all up towards a conclusion, All that is ne­cessarily included in Gods entrance of covenant with a people, engaging to be their God, and taking them for his people; is here by this grand Charter of Heaven made over to Abraham and his natural issue by Isaac and Jacob. All their posterity are branches of this root by nature simply considered, and they are holy branches by vertue of this covenant, which necessarily im­plies priviledge of Ordinances, the fruition of Gods Oracles, which are his covenant-draughts; without which no people are in Covenant, but all are strangers: And this priviledge of Or­dinances implies also all Priviledges, leading to, and accompany­ing salvation, and salvation it self upon Gods terms, in his word revealed: and so before the disputation, the Reader hath my supposition.

Arguments concluding the natural issue of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to be taken into Covenant.

MY first Argument is taken from the addition annext to this covenant in the words immediately following.The natural issue of Abra­ham possest the land of Canaan The Lord having made a covenant in full words with Abraham and his seed, he addes, and I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God. That seed of Abra­ham that had possession of the land of Canaan, through the gift, and by vertue of the promise of God, is the seed here taken into co­venant, to have the Lord for their God. This is so plaine, that nothing can be plainer to any that read the words. But the na­tural seed of Abraham, all the seed of Jacob in their several Tribes, (according as God set them their bounds) inherited the land of Canaan, which is called the land of their inheritance, and not onely the spiritual seed Regenerate. Look into the History of of Scripture, who those were that inherited Canaan, and you may see who were in this covenant; The natural seed were there, and not only the spiritual, Even those of Abrahams posterity that died, not having obtained the promises, Heb. 11. 13. that only so journed in Canaan, and were never possest of it, had title to it. It was theirs in reversion, though they never came into actual possession.

My next Argument is drawn from the Seale that is annext in the words immediately following this additional promise,Had the seal of Circumcision. ver. 9, 10, 11. And God said unto Abraham, thou shalt keep my covenant ther­fore, thou, a [...]d thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my Covenant which you shall keep between me and you, and thy seed after thee; every man-childe among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your fore-skin, and it shall be a token of the Covenant betwixt me and you. They that had the signe and seale of the covenant, that had it by divine appointment, were a people in Covenant. This is so plaine, that nothing can be more plaine; God doth not enter covenant with one, and give [Page 302] the signe and seal to another: but all the natural seed of Abra­ham by Isaac and Jacob, had the seal, viz. all the males, all those that were in a capacity of it, it was not limitted to the spiritual seed. There had been no place for that distinction of Circum­cision in the flesh, and Circumcision of the heart; if none must be circumcised in flesh, but those that are circumcised in heart.

My third Argument is drawn from the Comment that God himself makes of this covenant,Were owned of God as his people. in the whole Series of Scripture-history, holding it out every where in this way of tenure, to A­braham and his natural issue, as before; Where God himself speaks to the whole body of Israel when they were newly come up out of the land of Egypt, he sayes, I am the Lord your God, Exod. 20 2. Deut. 5. 6. God owned all of that whole people as his, all of them being Abrahams natural issue, yet all of them were not spiritual▪ and while they were in Egypt, God speaks of them all in community as his; Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wildernesse, Exod. 5. 1. We see the titles that he gives them, Children of the Lord your God, an holy People, a pecu­liar People above all Nations, Deut. 14. 1, 2. That speech of the Lord to Israel, Amos 3. 1, 2. is very full to our purpose: Heare ye the Word of the Lord that he hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth, therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. Eve­ry one that descended from Jacob, the whole of the family that came out of Egypt, were a select people to God in covenant; He was according to the termes of that Covenant, their God. There is not a place, where God calls them by the name of his people (which are almost endlesse;) but there we have this confirmed, that that people were the Lords by vertue of this grant made to Abraham and his seed.

In the fourth place,Pleaded their interest in the Covenant for obtaining of mercy. I argue from the practice of the people of God, making this Covenant of God entred with Abraham and his seed, a plea to obtaine mercy from God for all Israel, the worst of Israel, in their lowest state and condition, Deut. 9 26, 27. O Lord God, destroy not thy people and thine in heritance, which thou hast redeemed through thy greatnesse, which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember thy servants A­braham, [Page 303] Isaac and Jacob, look not unto the stubbornnesse of this peo­ple, nor to their wickednesse, nor to their sinne. If this Divinity had been then known, Moses might have been sent away with this answer; That he spake for dogges, and not for children; not for Is­rael, but for aliens and strangers to the Common-wealth of Israel. But as this and the like requests of the people of God were made in faith, so they prevailed with God; Moses there urges, They are thy people, and thine inheritance, verse 29. as doth the Church, Isa. 64. 9. Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember ini­quity for ever; behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people; and Moses petition takes as the History shews, Exod. 32. 14. And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people; yea, when God vouchsafes mercy to his people thus in covenant, Levit. 26. 42. it is upon this account of the Covenant; Then will I remember my Covenant with Jacob, and also my Covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember, and I will remember the land, Lev. 26. 42. And appearing for the deli­verance of Israel out of their hard and pressing bondage; he saith to Moses, I am the God of thy Father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, Exod. 3. 6. and that to stay up his faith in confidence of deliverance.

To this here in this place delivered one replies, Object. The Covenant (saith he) with Abraham and his seed I finde, Gen. 17. 7. and the urging of this covenant I deny not, Exod. 32. 13. Deut. 9. 27. Lev. 26. 42. Exod. 3. 6. And though I say not that it contained only the promise of Canaan, but grant it contained the Promise of Redemption by Christ, Luke 1. 17. yet I like not Chamiers say­ing, to call the Promise of Canaan an appendant to the covenant, sith the Holy Ghost me thinks speaks otherwise, Psalme 105. 8, 9. 10, 11.

I shall say no more,Sol. but leave it to the Reader, whether this be any answer, only for his censure of Chamiers calling the pro­mise of the land of Canaan an appendant to this covenant; the thing is so clear in the narrative of it, Gen. 17. that nothing can be more evident. The Covenant is full, vers. 7. To be a God to Abraham and to his seed, and this he might have been had he pleased, in the land of Vr of the Caldees, or in any land what­soever where Abrahams seed had been planted: But when the co­venant is thus made, there is added; And I will give unto thee, and to [Page 304] thy seed after thee the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession. As for that of the Psal­mist, where he thinks the holy Ghost speaks otherwise; the force of this Argument must needs be this. That which is any where called a Covenant, that is not an appendant to a covenant; but the giving of the land of Canaan to the seed of Abraham, is there called by the name of a Covenant. He will not, I think, say, that Circumcision is the Covenant between God and his peo­ple, he will not deny, but it is a signe and seale annext to the co­venant; and yet, Gen. 17. 10. it is called a Covenant, This is my Covenant which she shall keep between me and you, and thy seed after thee, every man-childe among you shall be circumcised. Me­tonimies of the adjunct are well enough known, and the common use of them in Scripture; but that it is his wisdome for his advan­tage to conceale it.

My fifth and last argument is drawn from those several Texts in the New Testament,New Testa­ment Scri­ptures conclu­ding Abrahams natural seed to be in Cove­nant. which interpret this Covenant thus en­tred with Abraham, in that latitude; as extending to his natu­ral issue, and not with limit to his spiritual seed; and that not barely in domestick or civil, but in spiritual promises; so that this one hath many in the bowels of it.

First,Rom 9 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Rom. 9. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. verses. The Apostle aggravating in the highest and saddest way, that great heavinesse, aud conti­nual sorrow of heart, that he had for Israel; (not respective to civil or domestick, but higher concernments,) even for the whole body of Israel; his brethren and kinsmen according to the flesh, as he expresseth himself, v. 3. For amplification of the real grounds of his trouble, that such a people should be cast off; he reckons up their priviledges, the priviledges of all that according to the flesh were Israelites; Priviledges formerly enjoyed, but now lost, nine in number: Who are Israelites, to whom appertaines the A­doption, and the Glory, and the Covenants, and the giving of the Law, and the service of God, and the Promises? Whose are the Fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever, Amen. Here sure is enough to con­clude them of the seed thus in covenant, to be of Gods adopted seed under the Promises.

Secondly,Rom. 11. Throughout. Rom. 11. Throughout the whole body of the chap­ter, the Apostle speaks of the casting off of Gods people. [Page 305] Those that are cast off from being a people of God, were once his people; those that are put out of covenant, were a people in Covenant; but the natural issue of Abraham (called natural branches, verse 21. being by right of birth of that Olive) are there broken off, cast off; therefore the natural issue was the seed in co­venant.

Thirdly,Mat. 8. 11, 12 Mat. 8. 11, 12. Upon occasion of the Faith of the Centurion, which Christ so magnifies, and preferres before the faith of any in Israel; he prophecies of the call of the Gentiles, and the rejection of the Jewes, I say unto you, that many shall come from the East, and West, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdome of heaven: But the children of the Kingdome shall be cast out into utter darknesse, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Nations from all quarters of the world, every point of the Heavens shall embrace the Faith, and be received visible members of the Kingdom of God; when the children of the Kingdome that are now in it, and enjoy it, shall be cast out of it; children of the Kingdome that are to be cast out, are in the Kingdome only upon an interest of birth, for the fruition of the priviledges of Ordinances, and not upon any spiri­tual title, infallibly giving interest in Salvation: But the chil­dren of the Kingdome were upon our Saviours sentence to be cast out, therefore they were in the Kingdome only on an interest of Birth.

Fourthly,Gal. 2. 15 Gal 2. 15. In that chapter among other things we have a narrative from the Apostle, of his dealing by way of reproof with Peter at Antioch. In which we may observe.

(1.) The occasion given by Peter, vers. 12. Before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles; but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself.

(2.) The issue which followed upon this carriage of his, And the other Jewes dissembled likewise with him, insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimula­tion.

(3.) Arguments brought for conviction of Peter of this error, which are two. The first in the 14. vers. If thou being a Jew livest after the manner of the Gentiles, and not as do the Jewes, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jewes? Thus the Argument runnes; It is unreasonable to draw others into a [Page 306] practice that thou thy self purposely forbearest; But thou thy self keepest not the Jewish Rites and Ordinances, and therefore it is an unreasonable and blame-worthy practice, by thy example to compel others to their observation; yea, thou being a Jew, takest thy self to have freedome unreasonably, then dost thou draw on others, who were never under any such obligation. The second Argument is in the 15. and 16. verses, We who are Jewes by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles; knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the Law; for by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified, which is thus enforced. In that way wherein we who are Jews, with all our birth-priviledges cannot at­tain to righteousness, we may not teach the Gentiles to attain to it. But we who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, cannot this way attaine to righteousnesse. We know that a man is justified by faith; we are compelled to quit the Law, and to cleave to Faith without works, for justification. These words which come up to our present purpose, containe. (1.) The priviledge of Peter, Paul, Barnabas with the rest of the Jewes. (2.) The character of the Gentiles in opposition to the Jewes▪ As to the full purpose for which these words are brought by the Apostle, they have for the sense of them their dependance on the words that follow; but so farre as they containe the priviledge of the Jewes, in opposition to, and above the Gentiles, (to which we are to speak) so farre they are full of themselves; shewing, First, Positively, what himself and Peter were, Jewes by nature. Second­ly, Negatively, what they were not, sinners of the Gentiles. Where [nature] is taken, not in the proper, but vulgar acceptation, for birth or descent from Ancestours, as usually in our common phrase of speech we say, men are naturally Dutch, French, Spanish, Irish, when they are such borne and bred; This Scripture therefore Ca­mero cites for one, in which the Apostle speaks after the vulgar manner. We have a Scripture parallel with this. Rom. 11. 24. wher [nature] and [natural] is only by birth and off spring, Peter, Paul, Barnabas were all naturally Jewes, borne of Jewish Pa­rents, and bred up in the way and Religion of the Jewes; such onely Christ chose for Apostles, being himself a Minister of the Circumcision. Peter therefore being one of the twelve must ne­cessarily [Page 307] be such, Paul was such▪ as we know from his own mouth, a Jew, and of the Tribe of Benjamine Barnabas was such, of the Tribe of Levi. And being such they enjoyed a priviledge which the Gentiles wanted, they were by birth and off-spring of a Na­tion that is holy. No Nation was so great as they, who had God so nigh unto them, who had statutes and judgements so righte­ous. The Jew had every way prerogatives and advantages, but chiefly the Oracles of God. God had not dealt so with every Nation; when other Nations were without God, they had God nigh unto them; when others were uncleane, they were holy. This great priviledge of Birth, Gentiles wanted, and so were by off-spring sinners; as Birth renders all, so they remaine unholy and uncleane, among the unholy and unclean without any such title to the Covenant of God, that thereby they might obtaine any other denomination; they are dogs, while the people in Co­venant are children. And by this means the seeming opposition which is between this text and that of the Apostle, Ephes. 2. 3. is easily reconciled. Here the Apostle makes an opposition na­ture, between Jews and Gentiles; Jewes by nature had privi­ledge above Gentiles. There he makes Jewes and Gentiles in nature equal? We (saith he) were by nature children of wrath as well as others, as well as Heathens, that have no Birrh privi­ledge [Nature] in that Text is not the same as nature in this [Na­ture] there is taken for the qualification of nature, which is equal­ly defiled in Jewes and Gentiles, which is there evidenced in the conversation of the Jewes, being (before convertion by grace) the very same with the Gentiles. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the minde, and were by nature children of wrath, even as others. [Nature] here is taken for a Birth-priviledge, and so the Jews (though in themselves sinners) are reputed an holy people a people by covenant holy to the Lord. Nature simpl considered, is stained, and renders Jewes and Gen­tiles equally sinners and obnoxious to Gods wrath; of which, Justification by faith is an acknowledgement, as the Apostle here shews, verse 17. But birth of Jewish Ancestors, of the stock of Israel puts them into a select condition, into the number of a people holy to the Lord. Neither is this any contradiction; common things dedicated for holy service and use, are holy: A [Page 308] people by nature sinners dedicated to the Lord, are for holy ser­vice and use, for the service of the Lord, when others are for ser­vice of idols. Therefore jerusalem a City, none of the holiest for any transcendent manners of the inhabitants thereof, is yet called by the Evangelist, the holy City, by reason of the Temple and wor­ship there, that were holy.

That which is a priviledge of nature or birth, belongs to the natural issue, that cannot be denied: But to be incovenant with God as a people holy and exceeding others that are without as sinners, is a priviledge of nature or birth; therefore this priviledge belongs to the natural issue. This Argument, as it is cleare of it selfe, so it hath this advantage, that for interpretation of the word [Nature] it hath approbation from profest adversaries; one saith, I grant his sense of the word Nature, and that the Apostle there speaks of himself and other Jewes, as in reputation more holy then the Gentiles, because of their interest in Circumcision, and observance of Moses Law; And this grant involves him not in a few contradictions. 1. That this was a Birth-priviledge as he here acknowledges, being the Jews priviledge by birth of nature, and therefore belonged to the natural seed; when [...] elsewhere he saith, they inherit onely domestick and civil benefits. 2. This inter­est in Circumcision, and observance of Moses Law, was a privi­ledge of Ordinances, and he is wont to deny, that birth entitles any to such priviledges. 3. This is spiritual mercy which the Jews here had in Circumcision, and Moses Law. Circumcision by his confession seales Gospei-mercies, the same that Baptism seal­eth. And Moses in the Law wrote of Christ John 1 45. John 5. 46. and yet he denies the natural seed any Promise of spiritual mercies. Any one of these arguments severally, much more all joyntly make good this Position, that all the natural seed of Abraham by Isaac and Jacob are in that great Charter (vouchsafed of God) taken into covenant, so as to be the people of God, and to enjoy all priviled­ges of his people, in order (upon Gods termes) to everlasting sal­vation.

ROM. 9. 6, 7, 8. Vindicated.

THough I hear of none that have much to say to all these Scri­ptures, as indeed little, rather nothing can be said; they hold forth with so clear a light a covenant in that latitude, and with those prerogatives, as you have heard; yet one hath a Text of Scripture, not to clear any one, but to silence and overthrow them all, and that is the words of the Apostle, Rom. 9. 6, 7, 8. where the Apostle (having sufficiently hinted to them the reje­ction of a great part of the Jews, in his profession of that great heavinesse and sorrow of heart in their behalf, and that he could wish that himself were accursed from Christ for them) undertakes to answer an objection. If Israel be cast off then the Word of God will be of none effect, his promise will faile; But the promise of God made with his people cannot faile, therefore Israel in such a considerable num­ber is not cast off. In which place (saith One) this very Text, that now is the apple of our contention, was brought into question. This Ar­gument thus held out in behalf of the Anaba­ptists is borrowed from Stapleton the Jesuite, at least Stapleton hath gone before him in it, and he hath learned to a haire to follow him. Dicit Calvinus totam Abrahae pro­geniem esse sauctam, quia foedus vitae Deus cum illo pepigerat his viz. verbis: Ero Deus tibi & semini tuo, id est, ut Calvinus vult omnibus ab Abrahamo oriundis, omnibus ex secundum car­nem nat [...], sicut nun [...], dirutâ mace iâ omnibus Christianerum parentum liberis ab illis secundùm carnem natis. Addit, Deum omnes filios suos vocare, qui ex Israele sunt progeniti, Atqui Apostolu [...] dissertissimè contrarium dicit, non omnes qui ex Israele, ii sunt Israelitae; neque qui semen sunt Abrahae omnes filii, sed in Is [...]ac vocabitur tibi semen, id est, non qui filii carnis, bi sunt filii Dei sed qui filii sunt promissionis, asti­maxtur in semine Filii autem promis­sionis sunt filii secundùm Spiritum sive ex Abraham & Isaac carn [...]liter ori­undi, sive non. Stapleton in his antidote, undertaking to make good that Calvin contradicts the Apost. (which he puts into his Marg.) saith, Calvin says, that the whole progeny of Abraham is holy, because God entred the covenant of life with him in these words; I will be a God to thee and thy seed, that is according to Calvin, to all that shall descend from him, to all that according to the flesh are borne to him, as also now (the partition-wall being taken away) to all the children of Christians, which according to the flesh shal be born to them; And Calvin addeth (saith he) that God calls all of the off-spring of Israel his children; But (saith he) the Apostle speaks the contrary expressely. They are not all Israel that are of [Page 310] Israel, neither because they are the seed of Abraham are they all child­ren, but in Isaac shal thy seed be caled; that is, they that are the children of the flesh, those are not the children of God, but the children of the pro­mise are counted for the seed. But (saith he) the children of the pro­mise are children born after the Spirit, whether they descended from Abraham and Isaac, or no, with much more to this purpose. We have drunk up the Protestants poison, and their great care is, to preserve their party by the Jesuites antidote; They are whol­ly beholding to them for the receipt; what probatum est they can write upon it, must be examined. And that they may not deny, but in the examination of this triumphing Argument, they have square dealing, I shall give you the Authours words at length. I deny not (saith he) but there was some other promise in­cluded in that objection, to wit, some promise made to Israel, or the house of Israel, probably that, Jerem. 31. 33, 36, 37. For so the words, verse 6. They are not all Israel which are of Israel, do intimate. But without question the promise made to Abraham, Gen. 17. 7. was one which was included in that objection; Beza, Twisse, Ames, and others answering Arminius, call it the Covenant of God with Abraham, which was that, Gen. 17. 7. and the very phrase of Abrahams seed (in Isaac shall thy seed be called, verse 7. The chil­dren of the promise are counted for the seed, verse 8. Sarah shall have a sonne, as verse 9.) do evidently shew, that the promise (objected to prove, that if the Jews were rejected from being Gods people, then God failed in making good his word) was that promise to Abraham; I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed; whereto I may adde that the an­swerers of Arminius, and the cited Remonstrants, to wit, Baine, and Ames, do say it was the word of promise, not of the Law as Arminius conceived; for the word of promise saith Ames, Animadv in Remon­stran. Script. Synod. de praedest. Cap. 8. Sect. 4. is distinguished and opposed to the words of the Law, Gal. 3. 17, 18. Now the word of the promise there is to Abraham and his seed, verse 16. and this is there called by him verbum foederis, the word of the Covenant; now let us consider how the Apostle answers it. He denies that Gods Word made to Abraham did fall, though the Jews were rejected; because that promise, I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed; as it compre­hended saving grace, was never meant by God of all Abraham poste­rity, or of any barely as they were descended from Abraham by na­tural generation; but of the Elect, whether descended by natural gene­ration [Page 311] from Abraham or not. And this is apparent, both from the words, vers. 7. Neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children, but in Isaac shall thy seed be called, vers. 8. It is expounded thus; that is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. Whence it is apparent, that the same are not always the seed by calling, which are the seed of Abraham by natural generati­on; and that the children of the flesh are not the same with the chil­dren of the promise, and that the Apostle conceived this the right may of answering those that objected the falling of Gods word; upon the rejection of the Jews, by restraining the promise of being God to Abrahams seed, only to the Elect, whether of Abrahams natural posterity or not; with so little respect to any birth-right-priviledge, that he not onely rejected Ishmael, and took Isaac, but also loved Jacob, and hated Esau; by prophecie declaring his minde, The elder shall serve the younger, and in this, the Apostle acquits God from unrighteousnesse, in that he hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardens; notwithstanding his promise made to Abraham and Israel, or any Birth-priviledge they could claime. Yeelding that this Text in that place is brought into question by the Apostle: Before I come to the Apostles words themselves, I have divers Queres to put.

1. How Baine and Ames come to the name of Remonstrants? I had thought they had been on the party that are called Contra-Remonstrants?

2. Where it appears that Arminius conceived that the covenant there spoken to, was the word of the Law, and not of Promise; I am sure in his Analysis on this Chapter to the Romans he speaks in another manner, even in our authours own Dialect, as though the ones Comment had been spit out of the mouth of the other. Filii carnis Apostolo hoc loco sunt qui per o era legis justitiam & salutem consect­antur. Filii verò promissionis sunt illi qui fide in Christum justitiam & salutem quarunt. The sons of the flesh, with the Apostle, (saith he) are those that by the works of the Law, follow after righteousnesse and salvation. The sinnes of the promise are those that seek after righ­teousnesse and salvation by faith in Christ, and he thus frames the principal Syllogism of the Apostle, for confutation of the Jews ar­guing from the rejection of the Jews, Gods failing in his promise. Si verbum Dei solos filios comprehendit, exclusis filiis carnis, [...]um s [...]quitur verbum Dei non ex idere, etiamsi filii carnis reji [...]iantur imò exidere si admitterentur isti qui [...]riptione ipsa conditionis foederis ex [...]lu [...]luntur, t [...]ue [...]bum Dei [...]los filios promissionis comprehendit, exclusis filiis. carnis. Ergo verbum Dei non excidit, etiam filii carnis r [...]jiciantur. If the word of God comprehend only the sonnes of the promise, shut­ting [Page 312] out the sons of the flesh; then it follows that the word of God doth not faile though the sons of the flesh be rejected: But the word of God comprehends only the sons of promise, shutting out the sonnes of the flesh: Therefore the word of God doth not faile, though the sons of the flesh be rejected. Armin. Anal. Cap. 9. ad Ro. p. 781. Let any now judge whether he can interpret this of the Law and not of the promise.

3. When he affirmes that to be borne after the flesh is all one with the Apostle, with legal justiciaries, as he doth (which is Ar­minius his Interpretation) how then can he by that distinction of children of the flesh, and children of the promise, shut out the na­tural seed of Abraham? are the natural seed of Abraham, and legal justiciaries one and the same?

4. If the Apostle exclude all the natural seed of Abraham from this Covenant of God (as Stapleton argues, and from him the Anabaptists) and takes in only his spiritual seed, how can he be reconciled to himself? in the words immediately before this objection, he speaks of the Jewes (as his kinsmen according to the flesh, which were the natural seed of Abraham) and saith, To them pertaine the Adoption, the Glory, and the Covenants, &c. How then can his distinction be interpreted to throw them out of Covenant, when in expresse termes he had affirmed that they were in covenant? How can he deny that these are children, vers. 7. when he had affirmed that to them pertaineth the Adopti­on, vers. 4. Which may be confirmed by abundant other Texts of Scripture; Ye are the children of the Lord your God, Deut. 14. 1. Out of Egypt have I called my Sonne, Hosea. 11. 1. It is not meet to take the childrens bread, and cast it unto Dogges, Matth. 15. 26. where all that were not Gentiles, all to whom Christ was sent, are called children; Ye are the children of the Prophets, and of the Covenant which God made with your Fathers, Acts 3. 20. Doth the Covenant appertaine to them, and they stiled the children of the Covenant, and yet are they out of Covenant? Are they children to whom the Adoption pertaines, and yet no children? When they have given any faire answer to these Quere's, espe­cially the two last: we shall conceive some probability of truth in their Glosse on the Apostles words; in the meane time we cannot but look upon it in full opposition and contradiction to that which the Apostle expressely delivers. For the Text of [Page 313] the Apostle, it will be besides my purpose to make any full Com­ment upon it; it will be sufficient to take it out of their hands, and vindicate it from that which they would assert from it, and to let the Reader know the Apostles scope in that place, which is not to make a full Comment on those words, Gen. 17. 7. but only to free it from an objection which the unbeleeving Jews might raise from it. God hath made a Covenant with them, to be their God, and the God of their seed. If he now cast them off as the Apostle doth affirme, the Covenant then is broke, and the word of God is of none effect. The Apostle denies that this follows, and shews that the terme [Israel,] or [children of Abraham.] admits of distinction, and produces a Scripture, vers. 7. where one di­stinction is implied, viz. Gen. 21. 12. In Isaac shall thy seed be cal­led, and so a numerous company by Ishmael is excluded (who were Abrahams seed after the flesh) and only the sons of promise by Isaac are accounted the seed, vers. 8. that come from Isaac, borne by miracle. And verse 10, 11, 12, 13. seconds it with o­thers concerning the children of Isaac, Esau and Jacob. As then there was a distinction of seed; so also now, one member he had laid down before, viz. Israelites according to the flesh vested in all those priviledges there reckoned up, ver. 4, 5. These they pleaded, and the Apostle yeelds them; And these men (accord­ing to the discovery of these times) deny them. The second member he after falls upon, the eternally beloved and chosen of God, and largely amplifies. In these Abrahams seed may continue, though the other be cast off; to whom yet God hath continued (in successive generations) a God in covenant, and continued to them the priviledges of being his people, though now he was upon the rejection of them: And that it may appear that I go not alone, I shall give an Exposition of this Text from a more able Penne, above the suspition of an Arminian, which is here char­ged, namely Gomarus, who (having in his Analysis on that Chapter, spoken to the Jews objection, and the Apostles answer) makes this inference;Unde perspi­cua est Apostoli sententia quâ negatur excide­re seu irritum reddi Sermonem de foedere cum Abrahamo & semine ill us, deque benedictione & salute per promissum Messiam, Gal 3. 7 uamvis Judaeorum maxima pars a Christo & benedictione exclusa sit Anathema, Idque probat distinctione Israelitarum & seminis Abrahami; [...]áque ratione ostendit promissionem Dei ratione efficaciae illius esse indefinitam ac sensu particularem, non autem universalem, ac proptere [...] universalim perperam indè constitui; [...]am quamvis Israelitae plerique pereant promissionem tamen Dei minimà reddi irritam inde constat, quia in elect is est efficax, Now enim omnes, ut v. 6. ait, qui sunt ex Israele patre prognati secundùm carnem, sunt veri illi Israelitae; ad quos foederis gratiae Dei non solum oblatio cum conditione officii praestandi; sed etiam collatio & hareditas coelestis reipsâ pertineat. ut ver. 7. exponitur clariùs, & Rom. 2. 28. & 19. Ne­que quia semen Abraham [...] sunt, ideo omnes sunt filii seu haeredes benedictionis illius & [...]jusdem gratiae gloriaeque participes, Rom. 4. 12. Gal. 4. 28. Quamvis enim hac videantur & inter se & cum superioribus puguare quibus d [...]cuit Apost [...]los Judae [...] incredulos esse Is [...]aelita [...] & Abrahamit [...]s, non solum origine carnis, sed etiam ratione foederum & promissionum acceptarum; nulla est dissentio. Etsi enim ad omnes Israelta [...] & patres & Adoptio & foederaac promissiones pertineant; non prop [...]e rea tamen sunt omnes verè filii & haeredes salutis. Illa enim quae objectantur. Judaeis infidelibus ab Apostolo tribuuntur, quidem ratione vocationis externae (quia salus iis sub conditione obedientia annunciats & oblata est, & oblatio illius Circumcisione obsig [...]ata; unde omnes Israelitae filii foederis dicuntu [...] communiter, Act [...]r. 3. 25.) Sed non ratione vocationis, internae & efficacis secundùm propositum electionit, qua salus non solùm exterius cum conditione fidei vivae annunciata & oblata est verbo ac signota Sacramentis, sed etiam interiùs efficaciter donata conditione seu fide confertura Spiritu sancto. Hoc enim solùm genuinis filiis & verè electis Israelitis convenit non autem promis­ [...]uè omnibus. From whence (saith he) the Apostles conclusion (in which he denies that Gods word concerning the Cove­nant [Page 314] with Abraham and his seed, and the blessing and salvation by the promised Messiah, Gal. 3. 17. did fall, or become void) is mani­fest, though the greatest part of the Jews be shut out from Christ, and accursed. And this he proves by distinguishing Israelites and the seed of Abraham; and thereby shews that the promise of God, respe­ctive to the efficacy of it, is indefinite, and therefore particular, not universal, and so an universal promise cannot rightly from thence be concluded: for though the Israelites for a great part perish, yet that the promise of God is not thereby made void appeares, in that it hath its efficacy in the Elect; for as he saith, verse 6. All which are of Israel (borne according to the flesh) are not true Israelites, to whom not only the tender of the Covenant of Grace, with condition of duty to be performed; but the heavenly possession and inheritance only belongs, as in ver. 7. and Rom 2. 28, 29. is more fully shewn; Nei­ther because they are the seed of Abraham, are they therefore all chil­dren, or heirs of that blessing, and partakers of the same grace and glory, as Rom. 4. 12. Gal. 4. 28. For though these things seem con­tradictory to themselves, and to that also which was delivered be­fore, where the Apostle affirmes that the unbeleeving Jews are A­brahamites, and Israelites; not only by reason of their birth after the flesh, but also by reason of acceptance of the Covenants, and promises, yet there is no contradiction; For though the Fathers, and Adoption, and Covenants, and Promises belong to all the Israelites, yet all [Page 315] are not therefore true children, and heirs of salvation. For these things which are objected, viz. The Jewes great priviledges, are attributed by the Apostle to the unbeleeving Jewes, by vertue of their outward call, because salvation is revealed and offered to them under condition of obedience, and that offer sealed with Circumcision, from whence all Israelites are promiscuously called children of the covenant, as Acts 3. 25.) and not by reason of their inward call according to the purpose of Election effectual, because salvation is not only outward­ly under condition of a lively faith revealed and offered in the word, and sealed in the Sacrament; but also inwardly and efficaciously, (the condition, that is, faith being given them) is conferred by the Holy Ghost. For this belongs not indifferently to all, but only to the ge­nuine Sonnes and true elect Israelites. Thus farre Gomarus, in which we have these three things. 1. This objection wholly s [...]lved. 2. The Apostle reconciled to himself. And, 3. The Doctrine of Covenant-holinesse from the Apostle fully establish­ed, which when they have well considered, with that which was spoke before, (having the whole current of Scripture against them) they will have little list to make this one Scripture their asylum.

It is farther said,Object. that when the Pharisees and Sadduces came to Johns Baptisme, and were about to plead this Birth-priviledge; John beats them off it, and takes that plea out of their mouths: Think not to say within your selves, we have Abraham to our father, Matth. 3. 9. that plea could not stand when the men were carnal.

I answer,Sol. First, when those that were no better than these, make the same plea, John 8. 33. We be Abrahams seed, and were never in bondage to any; Christ yeelds it, vers. 37. I know that ye are Abrahams seed; he allows them all that upon this account they can claime. And for Pharisees he doth not barely yeeld them to be Church-Members, but also Church-Teachers, Matth. 23. 2. 2. I say John Baptist doth not deny what Christ yeelds, but lets them know, that this plea, will not serve to avoid wrath, while they live in impenitence; They may perish notwithstanding this plea, and yet Gods Covenant with Abraham hold; be­ing able of stones to raise up children unto Abraham, to make good what in Covenant he had said. He no where sayes that they are not entitled to priviledges of Ordinances, and thereby [Page 316] interessed in the prerogatives of Gods visible people. What Paul, Rom. 9. 4, 5. so largely yeelds them, John Baptist in that place doth not deny them, which also now they had in visible possessi­on. All sorts of men, fare better by priviledge of birth in civil things, Prov. 19. 14. House and riches are the inheritance of fa­thers. The Jews fared better respective to Religious things, Rom. 3. 1. VVhat advantage then hath the Jew, or what profit is there of Cir­cumcision? Much every way▪ Priviledge of Ordinances in the Church of God, is a Birth-inheritance.

The Covenant in New Testament-times takes in pa­rents with their children.

BUt in case all this be yeelded in Old Testament-times, that the Covenant entred was in this latitude, that the whole of Abrahams seed were taken with him into Covenant, and that then it ran in a race by carnal descent, yet it is otherwise at least in New Testament-times. No childe fares now the better respective to any visible Church-interest, for the Faith or Reli­gion of their Ancestours. And here is a fourth difference be­tween the first and second, the Old and New Covenant accord­ing to some. The first Covenant was entred in that latitude, to take in Children with their parents, Posterity with their Ance­stours, according to the Charter so long infisted upon: But in New Testament-times, the Covenant reaches no farther then the person that actually enters; He covenants for himself, his seed have no more or farther interest then the seed of Heathens and Pagans. When I first published my Birth-priviledge, I here ex­pected opposition, and did look▪ that some would appeare to put this limit to the Covenant in New Testament-times▪ but for the state of the Church under the first covenant I thought I should not have found an opposite, and therefore was lesse mindful of the confirmation of it, which I hope is now done to the Readers full satisfaction. As to those that plead such a change of things in New Testament-times, we might interrogate them in sundry par­ticulars.

[Page 317] First,Quere's pre­mised. when God by free Charter, did once vouchsafe such a grant to his people, how it can be made appear that it was ever re­versed; or any such limit put to it, when the Church of God hath held it in see from Abraham to this present hour, they may well look that they should produce some plaine word from God (revoking his grant) that challenge them for usurpation. It is true that Gods Sovereignty is such that he may contract his grace at pleasure; As he may wholly strike a people out of covenant, so he may put what termes he pleases to it; but such that affirme it should make it appear, in which hitherto they have been silent. They that will eject us out of so long a possession, had need to make their plea firm for our eviction.

Secondly, we might demand the reasons why the Covenant should run in so narrow a limit now, being vouchsafed in so great a latitude then▪ being once made of God as with men of yeares, so with little ones, Deut. 29. Why should little ones be now ex­cluded, and onely men of growth admitted? when it is granted on all hands that God continues a people to himself, how comes it to passe that he admits them on such new termes? That his fa­vours are now thus shortened, that as a lease for terme of life, differs from a fee-simple for inheritance, so the Covenant in New Testament-times differs from the Covenant vouchsafed of God to our fathers? Where the absurdity lies that Baptisme should be administred to those that do not actually beleeve, when yet Circumcision was administred to infants in as great an inca­pacity.

Thirdly, we might demand how they can avoid that great scan­dall that must needs by this meanes be given to the beleeving Jewes, (who waved the old way of the administration of the cove­nant, and embraced the new) to have their infants upon this new admission struck out of Covenant, A man that should be sei­zed on an inheritance for ever, will hardly be brought to quit that tenure and accept with limit for terme of life, God was their God, and the God of their seed, Gen. 17. 7. They did bring forth children to God, Ezek. 16. 20. Now they bring forth children without God. They have a seed, but no holy seed; a world replenished, but not a Church or people to God continued; The savage Indi­ans in a married condition have this priviledge▪ that their issue are not bastards, and this is all that can be claimed by Christians.

[Page 318] Fourthly, we might demand if so great a change were made and held in the Apostolique Primitive times, how it comes to passe that there was such silence, no man moving a question about it? The pomp of worship and observation of places formerly in use, was laid aside in Gospel-times, but this we hear of, and the reason of it, John▪ 4. 22. The initiating Sacrament of Circumcision had a period put to it, of this we hear, and many complaints about it? Psalteries, Harps, Organs, Cymbals, and such instruments of mu­sick, in use in the time of the Law, were laid aside in Gospel-times, and not known in the westerne Churches till after Thomas Aqui­nas his dayes; As this was done, so it was not past in silence, but spoken of, (as elsewhere I have shewn, and given reasons of it) by Justin Martyr, [or at least one that beares his name,] Chrysostome, Isidore, Thomas Aquinas. When none of these changes can passe, but observati