[Page] [Page] JUSTIFYING FAITH: OR, That Faith BY WHICH The JUST do LIVE, Briefly describ'd In a DISCOURSE on 1 Joh. 5. 12.

By the Author of a late Book, Entitled Summum Bonum, or, An Explication of the Divine Goodness, &c.

[...] S. Basil. in Psal. 115.

To this Discourse is added, an Abstract of some Letters to an Eminent Learned Person, concerning the Excellency of the Book of Common Prayer, &c.

LONDON, Printed for William Crook, at the Sign of the Green Dragon without Temple-Bar. 1679.


AEQuum videtur, ut Linguâ non Vulgari Te Alloquar, Co­lendissime DOMINE, Quem Genii, & Indolis adeo non Vulga­ris esse Expertus sum. [...] Tu­am Verè Coelestem Ego sane Natu­ram potius SERAPHICAM vocarem, quàm HUMANITATEM. Nimirùm hujusmodi in Me contulisti Benefici­um, ut Quale sit Solus DEUS Cog­noverit, nec quisquam poterit Morta­lium Rem aliquam Tot, & tam Mi­ris [Page] Involutam Circumstantiis Anim­quantumvis Perspicacissimo penit [...] Inspicere. Hasce nostras Bonitatis In­finitae Explicationis Nostrae Vindi [...] as, & Liturgiae Anglicanae Laudes T [...] bi Dicatas velim; namque Anim Tuo Gloriosissimum Bonitatis Infinitae seu Divinae Characterem Impressum V [...] disse gestio; ac Tui sanè Me semper Oportebit, in Precationibus Nostr [...] Quotidianis Meminisse, utpote, Q [...] sum, & ero—Dum Spiritus hos r [...] get artus,

Amoris, ac Reverentiae Vinculo Arctissimo Dominationi Tuae Obstrictus E. E.

To the Learned and Pious READERS.

THE more just the Complaint is of the Excessive multitude of Books, so much the greater cause there is for the Publication of such short Dis­courses as This, by which I have contri­buted some assistance to Persons Virtuous­ly dispos'd, to observe that Excellent Pre­cept, [...], Simplifica Teipsum, viz. to draw off their Minds from the Distracting multiplicity of Imaginati­ons concerning the Truth, to the Life and Practice of the Truth it self, which chiefly consists in the Efficacy of this Ap­prehension, That the Divine Essence is [Page] Absolutely One, And that Our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, is the Onely True God He that believes This as he ought, will certainly despise this present World, an [...] love the Lord our God with all his Heart, and with all his Soul, and with all his Strength, and with all his Mind; and his Neighbour as Him­self.

I doubt not but you will readily joyn with me in this Fervent Aspiration,


He that hath the Son hath Life, he that hath not the Son of GOD hath not Life. 1 Joh. 5, 12.

THese words are such a kind of Epitome of the Gospel, as that is of the Law, which is given us by our Saviour, Luke 10. 27. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy Heart, &c. For what is the Subject of the Gospel, but the Good Will of God towards Men, through His beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord, that to Believe in Him is the Way, the onely Way to Life and Sal­vation, which is fully implyed in these words of the Apostle, He that hath the Son hath Life, &c.

Here let us consider first what Life is, as we are to understand it in this place. Secondly what it is to have the Son. Life, I shall define thus: 'Tis a Prin­ciple of Acting according to the Nature of Man. By the Nature of Man I do not understand his Essential Form, That without which he cannot be a Man; but that Course, Mode, or Kind of Acting which he was Made, or Constituted in. Now you know, Moses sayes, that Man was Made after the Image of GOD, and Solomon sayes, that GOD made Man up­right, to wit, He appointed him to Actuate his In­tellectual Faculties Chiefly and Principally upon [Page 2] Himself, the Fountain of all Goodness, Infinite Beau­ty, Infinite Love: and his Senses with his Passions, or Sensitive Affections upon Objects fully Agreeable, and Satisfactory to their several Capacities: In a word, Nature is to abhorre that which is Evil, and to cleave to that which is Good, [...] (sayes the Stoick) [...].

Man may be said to be Alive, or Dead either in re­spect of his Animal, or Sensitive; or of his Rational, or Spiritual Faculties: In respect of the former, eve­ry Man lives till there be a Separation of the Soul and Body: for all the Sensible Motions of any Mans Body in this present World, that tend Directly to the Support, or Conservation of the Sensitive Na­ture, viz. to the keeping of the Soul and Body to­gether, are in some measure Pleasing, or satisfacto­ry. But by reason of those manifold Pains and Dis­eases, anguishes, and dissatisfactions of our Senses External, and Internal, which in this present World we are subject unto, the Church may well say as she doth, In the midst of Life we are in Death. Non est vivere, sed valere Vita, sayes the Epigrammatist. The Rational or Spiritual Life He only Lives, whose Heart is set upon God, as the Principal Object of all his Love, so that all his other Loves flow from and back again into the Love of God, as Lesser Waters from, and into the Ocean.

Even those, who habitually love the Lord their God with all their Heart, and with all their Soul, when they exert any Act of the Will that is not Formally, nor Virtually the Love of God, they are Dead, and they abide in Death, 'till they are Re­new'd [Page 3] by Repentance, 'till the Course of their Souls be turn'd by an Act of Holy Love. Thus a great Number of those that are truly Godly, that live the Rational, Divine Life, by reason of their mani­fold Backslidings may say of themselves, as St. Paul speaks in respect of his temporal Calamities, that they are in Death oft. 2 Corinth. 11, 23.

The best Life Rational, or Sensitive, which most men Live, as to this present World, differs little or nothing more from Death, than a Shadow from Darkness. I conceive the Pen-men of the Holy Ghost have so often compar'd the Life of Man to a Shadow, not only in respect of his Vanishing, Pe­rishable Condition, but also of that Deficiency of Light; or Life, which All of us in this Mortal Body are Subject unto. But that little Portion of Spiri­tual Life (if I may so speak) which He that hath the Son is Partaker of even here upon Earth, is Infi­nitely more worth than the whole World, and as for his Sensible Death, or Dissatisfactions, which he suffers at present, they continually work together for his Good, they are no other than the Instru­ments of the Holy Ghost working upon him, to fit, and prepare him for an Eternal Life of Soul and Body in Heaven. This Notion of Life and Death, which I have endeavour'd to Express unto you, we may easily Demonstrate to be most suitable to the Sense, and Import of several Texts of Scri­pture. She that liveth in Pleasure is Dead while she liveth. 1 Tim. 5. 6. What can be more plain than this, that the Apostle attributes Life and Death, in divers Respects, to the same Person, at the same Time? and whereto are those Respects but to the [Page 4] Animal or Sensitive; And to the Rational or Spiritual Life? She is Dead, i. e. is Separate from God the Fountain of Life, the Fountain of All true Joy, and Comfort: while she Liveth, while her Sou [...] remaineth in Conjunction with her Body: who liveth in Pleasure, i. e. who indulgeth to her self such Pleasures as are either in their own nature unlawful, or else become so, being inordinately i. e. Absolutely desir'd or enjoy'd. i. e. without respect to their due Subserviency to the Spiritual, or Divine Life, which requires them only for this End, that our Bodies being Recreated, Strengthen'd and Refresht by them may become more Vigorous in such Operations, which the Blessed God com­mands us to exercise them in. Let the dead bury their dead, sayes our Saviour, Matthew 8. 22. What can be meant by the Dead in this place but those that embrace this present World, and so Despise the glorious Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: Of whom, sayes St. John, In Him was Life and the Life was the Light of Men. You know, all sinsul Actions are in the Holy Scriptures call'd dea [...] Works, being the Fruits or Effects of Spiritual Death or Separation of the Soul from God.

Thus, you see, that the Scriptures plainly de­monstrate, that Sin, the Separation, or Disunion o [...] the Heart from God, is Death: And as for all Trou­bles, or Disturbances of our Senses External or In­ternal, as such, as they are to the Wicked, that is to say, the Wages of Sin, you know what the Apostle says of them, The Wages of Sin is Death. Death I: but that is Everlasting Death. Indeed we an [...] here to understand chiefly and principally Even [Page 5] lasting Death. Indeed we are here to understand chiefly and principally Everlasting Death, those horrible Gnawings of the Worm that shall never Dye, the Burnings of the Fire that shall never be Quenched: But that All Trouble is the Wages of Sin, who can deny that considers what he sayes? In what we have already deliver'd, it is implyed, that Godli­ness, or a Pure, and Heavenly temper of Mind, is Life, which we shall shew expresly; and then shall proceed by Gods assistance, to declare unto you what it is to have the SON. In testimony of this Truth, we shall produce but one Text of Scripture, that one being so plainly and unquestionably A­greeable to what has been said, Rom. 8, 6. To be Carnally Minded is Death, but to be Spiritually Mind­ed is Life, and Peace.

The former words of this Verse are a further Proof of what we have spoken of Death, To be Carnally Minded is Death; But, to be Spiritually Mind­ed is Life and Peace. And what is it to be Spiritu­ally Minded, but to have our Minds set upon GOD, who calls himself a SPIRIT, and the Father of Spi­rits, as the Principal Object of All our Thoughts and Inclinations? But here it may be Objected, that Life is the Reward of Godliness, or Holiness; and Death the Wages of Sin: How then is Godliness Life it self, and Sin Death? To this I Answer, First, that whatsoever is properly Life of the Body in this present World, is Really Distinct from God­liness: and the Great and Good GOD gives unto All the Godly, All those that have the SON, so much of it, as He in His Infinite Wisdom sees them to stand in need of for the working out of their [Page 6] Salvation, for the preparing of their Souls for Hea­ven. And that Glorious Life of the Body, which they that have the SON shall have for ever and ever in Heaven, this also is Really Distinct from Godliness, of which it is the Reward. But it has indeed a great Affinity therewith, or Conformity thereunto, which we can have but little Know­ledge of at present, but somewhat of it we may ap­prehend by that Saying of the Apostle, 1 Cor. 15. 44. It is rais'd a Spiritual Body. Here it is most Evi­dent, that the Bodies of the Saints after the Re­surrection, shall be throughly Affected with the Temper of their God-like Spirits; as they are in some measure even in this present World. All these several Acts of Godliness, CHARITY, or Di­vine Affection, which the Elect of GOD perform in this Mortal Body, have the Nature of OBEDI­ENCE: But that One Continued Act of the most Intimate, Full, Perfect Adherence to the ONE IN­FINITE GOOD, being by the Free Mercy of GOD in CHRIST made Absolutely for ever and ever Uncapable of the least Defection, is the REWARD of All the Godly, or Holy Actions, which are Per­form'd by Gods Elect, whilst they are in the World. Finally, These Holy Performances are in Divers Respects Acts of Obedience, and the Reward thereof. In Respect of their Conformity to the Will of GOD, they are Acts of Obedience; in Respect of the Joy, and Satisfaction they impart to the Soul of the Doer, they are in a manner their own Re­ward. That Poet had a Glympse of this Truth, who say'd Ipsa quidem Virtus Pretiumsibi, Virtue's its own Reward. But it shines forth most Gloriously in the [Page 7] Holy Scriptures. David sayes Expresly Ps. 19. 11. In keeping of them (viz. the Judgments, or Just Com­mandements of GOD) there is Great Reward. In the three Precedent Verses he does most Pathetical­ly set forth the Great Joy, and Satisfaction they import to the Soules of the Obedient, upon which account he sayes here, In keeping of them there is Great Reward. The Statutes of the Lord are Right, Rejoycing the Heart &c. Her wayes (sayes Solomon Prov. 3. 17. 18.) are ways of pleasantness, and all her Pathes are Peace (this he speaks of the ways of Wis­dome, and what are her wayes but the Wayes of the Commandements of the Onely Wise GOD?) She is a Tree of Life to them that lay hold on her, and happy is every one that retaineth her. We may easily con­ceive how the Service of God, which is the Life of a True CHRISTIAN, is Perfect Freedome, if we consider that a Man's Freedome is to Do What He Would Do, For certainly He onely Does What he Would, that is to say, He onely Satisfies his Will or Intellectual Appetite, who Conforms It to the Divine Will, which we cannot Doe, unless we have the SON. Without Me (sayes the Son John 15. 5.) ye can Do nothing. And John 8. 36. If the Son shall make you Free, ye shall be Free indeed. He that hath the Son (sayes his Beloved Disciple) hath Life, &c. But what is it to have the Son? That we may know what it is as We Ought to Know, Shine upon us O FATHER by the Influences of the HOLY GHOST in the Face of the Son JESUS CHRIST the Bright­ness of Thy Glory, that in Thy Light we may See Light.

To Have the SON is to Believe in Him, which is To have Him Dwelling in Our Hearts by Faith, for [Page 8] so the Apostle phrases it in his Prayer for the Ephesi­ans, that they might syncerely Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, That Christ sayes he, may Dwell in your Hearts by Faith. But, alas, what Stirs, and Petu­lant Controversies have there been, and are still continued amongst those, that joyntly Profess the Christian Religion concerning the Nature of Faith in Christ, of the Faith of GODS ELECT! A man can hardly say any thing by way of Description of it, but presently up starts one, or other, with some Argument to Disprove what we say. I shall do what I can in Declaring my Sense of it to speak Convincingly, and Unexceptionably, and therfore I shall pass by all such Descriptions of it, as I have found to have been Controverted, though I do heartily Approve many of them, as Implying the same Truth, which I shall endeavour to set forth in these words: The Faith, we speak of, Faith by which the Just do Live, Faith that Overcometh the World, Faith that worketh by Love, is Such an ASSENT to the Truths contained in the Holy Scriptures, which in­cludes in its Nature the Trusting in God the Father Almighty Maker of Heaven and Earth, for Grace and for Glory, through the Merits of the Past Suffer­ings, and the Power, and Virtue of the Present In­tercession of Jesus Christ His Only Son, Our Lord.

By Grace I understand Principally All those Mea­sures of Holiness, of Purity of Heart, of Participa­tion of the Divine Nature which are Attainable here upon Earth, and Secondarily whatsoever the Onely Wise God Judges to be the Means of At­taining thereunto: By Glory I understand the Full Perfect, Eternal Enjoyment of the Holy, Blessed [Page 9] and Glorious TRINITY, in the Kingdome of Hea­ven. By Trusting in God for Grace, and for Glo­ry Through the Merits and Incession of Jesus Christ I understand a Syncere Absolute Expectation from God of whatsoever He Knowes to conduce to our Eternal Happiness, that is, a Perfect CONFORMI­TY to Our Blessed Redeemer, both in Body and Soul, Upon the bare Account of His Promise to Give us Freely whatsoever we shall Ask of Him in the Name of His SON, that is to say, in a Syncere Beliefe that the SON, Being Over All, GOD Blessed for Ever, did in Time, for Us Sinful Creatures to Reconcile Us to the Holy Creator of All Things, Take upon Him the Nature of Man, Was conceiv'd by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffer'd under Pontius Pilate, was Crucifyed, Dead, and Bu­ried, he descended into Hell, the third day he rose again from the dead, he ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence he shall come to judge the quick, and the dead.

The Syncerity of this Belief consists in a True, and Real Bent, or Intention of the Heart to Live no longer unto our selves, but unto him that Dyed for us, and Rose again. But here it may be say'd, why do you not mention the Pardon of Our Sins? must we not Trust in God for that also? I Answer, God's Pardoning of our Sins is implyed in the Giving us his Grace, in making us Partakers of the Divine Nature, in shedding abroad his Love in our Hearts by the Holy Ghost: For they that are Partakers of the Divine Nature, they that Love God Above All things, from whence Necessarily flowes the Loving of Every Man as themselves, They are in Christ and [Page 10] Christ in Them: And, you know, the Apostle sayes There is no Condemnation to Them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the Flesh, but after the Spi­rit. Rom. 8. 1.

From the Due Consideration of what has been say'd, This most Important Truth shines forth most evidently, That we cannot Do any thing Accep­table unto God, but only in the Power of the Ho­ly, Blessed, and Glorious TRINITY: and hence it is that the Frequent Repetition of the Gloria Patri, that most Excellent Doxologie, Glory be to the Father, &c. And the like Frequent Mention of the Name, and Merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord, Hence it is, I say, that these Excellent Passages in Our Liturgie, which some Naughty men have call'd Vain Repe­titions, cannot but be exceeding Pleasing, and Satis­factory to All Truly Christian Devout Souls. As for those, who are still so Mad, as to Dislike this Truly CATHOLICK Doxologie, they are more Fit for our Pity, than our Arguments. And let that Pity ever Move us to Pray Our Almighty, and most Merciful Father to Draw them out of those Waters of Strife, those Loose, Variable, Turbulent Opini­ons and to Lead them by His Good Spirit in the Pleasant Wayes of Truth, and Peace.

And now, my Brethren, Let us seriously Exa­mine our own Hearts, and See whether or no we are Spiritually Living or Dead Men. Does the main Stream of our affections Run out not upon the things that are on the Earth, but the things that are Above, where Jesus sitteth on the Right Hand of GOD? Do we find any Rational Contentment, and Satisfaction even in the Objects of our Sensible [Page 11] Sorrows, in our Sicknesses, and Reproaches, in [...]he Sicknesses, and Reproaches of our nearest Friends and Relations, or in any other kind of Affliction? Certainly, he that hath the SON, he that Dwelleth [...]n Love, cannot but Know, and Feel that the LORD Our GOD is as constantly GOOD in All that he Does, as True in All that He Sayes: that [...]her's nothing Absolutely, and in its own Naure EVIL, but only the Aversion of the WILL of the Crea­ture from the Infinite Wise, and Good Creator, that All things work together for the Good of those that [...]ove GOD, and therefore he Rejoyceth in Tribulation, and gives Thanks Always for all Things to God even the Father, in the Name of Jesus Christ.

Do we indeed, and in Truth Resolve, through Christ enabling us, to do Always to All men, as we Would that in the like Case any one should Do un­to Us? If so, then we begin to Live, Then we be­gin to Satisfie our Immortal Soules, which Finite Objects can never in any measure truly Satifie; Then I say we begin to Satisfie our Thirsty Soules with the Participation of the Divine Nature, with the Real En­joyment of the Lord Our God, who calls Himself the Fountain of Living Waters, and He that drinketh of this Water shall never Thirst, but it shall be in him a well of Water springing up into Everlasting Life. Joh. 4. 14.

Here (it may be) some Unsanctifyed man may say in his Heart, but what if I find that I am in a State of Death, what shall I doe? I cannot give Life unto My self. 'Tis true, Thou can'st not, but CHRIST will give thee Life, if Thou wilt not Reject it. Awake thou that sleepest, and Arise from the Dead, and Christ shall give thee Light, the Light of that Glorious Day that [Page 12] shall never End, that Light in which thou shalt for Ever See, and Enjoy Him in whose Presence there is Fullness of Joy, and at whose Right Hand there are Pleasures for ever more. But I am not able to Arise from the Dead: Not, in Thine own Naturall Power, but thou mayst Certainly by the Power of the Lord of Life, that Calls upon Thee to arise: This Call, this Commandement is Life Everlasting. If Thou wilt not Stop thine Ears against it, Thou shalt Live for ever. But I do not yet understand this Mystery, how I should Act in the Power of Christ. Take it for Thine own, Rely upon It in a Sense of Thine Interest, or Propriety in It. How shall I do that? why It is in a manner Thine own already, because It is Freely offer'd unto Thee. So that there can be no other Cause of thy Abiding in Death, but the Perverseness of Thine own Will, Because Thou wilt be a Fool, and Em­brace this Present World, and Despise the Lord of Glory, Because Thou wilt be the Worst of Mad men, a Destroyer of Thy self, a Lover of Death. But oh! why Wilt Thou dye? Receive the Lord Jesus, and He will give thee Power to become one of the Sons of God, to have thy Conversation in Heaven: He will make thee Partaker of Eternal Life, of Joy Unspeak­able, and full of Glory. And, O, that We would All Hearken with the utmost Propensity, and Intention of our Hearts, and Minds to the Voice of the Lord Our God, Calling upon Us in the Words of the Blessed Psalmist, with which I shall Conclude my Discourse: Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye Pe­rish from the way, when his Wrath is Kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their Trust in Him.



[...]. 1 Cor. 8. 1.

LONDON, Printed for William Crook, at the Green Dragon without Temple-Bar, 1679.


I Humbly entreat you to tell me whe­ther you do not Judge it Sinful to stay at home on the Lords Day, ra­ther then go to Church only to hear the Common Prayer. Preaching doubtless is in no wise to be Negle­cted, but this I must say, that I cannot apprehend that that person has any Actings of that Faith which worketh by Love (without which All the Know­ledge we gain by Hearing Sermons does not Edify, but only Puff up the Mind) who when he comes to the Place of God's publick Worship, knowing that he may not expect a Sermon there, is not Con­fident that he shall be as much Edified by the Pray­ers, & Chapters &c. as he should be by never so good a Sermon. But however, by reason of the Ra­rity of the Habit of True Christian Faith (even in that part of the World, which we call Christen­dome) and the frequency of the long Interrupti­ons of its Actings, where it is, Various, & fresh Ex­pressions of Saving Truths (which are apt to Ex­cite the Minds of the Unsanctifyed by the Phantasie to give heed to the Sense they import) are very Necessary. But This is most evident, that People are exceeding apt to take the Sensible Workings of [Page 2] their Soul stir'd up by the Novelty of Expression in Sermons, & the Emphatical Pronunciation of the Preacher &c. for Fervency of SPIRIT; which Sensible Motions I presume you will grant are of no value, otherwise than as they are Subservient to Rational Abhorrence of all Sin, of all Inordinate Affection to Finite Objects; or to a Rational, or Spiritual Inclination to the ONE INFINITE GOOD through JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, the Effectual Notices of which INFINITE GOOD how is it possible but we should be continually stir' [...] up unto in the Hearing of the Common Prayer, we would Apprehend the Free Offers of the Spirit of Truth, which the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ makes unto us in an Unlimited Abundance in the Use of all such Means of Grace, as He calls us unto. Here I could Run out with much Fervor o [...] Indignation against the Despisers of these Means o [...] Grace, & Strong Guards from those Accursed Errors, Socinianism &c. which whilst I liv'd in Oxford, seem'd to me to be coming in like a Mighty Torrent upon this Distracted Kingdom, whil [...] the Frequent Professions of Belief of the TRINITY, Gloria patri, and the Three Creeds were ca [...] out of Our Churches. If it be say'd, what Reformation have we now? &c. I Reply, that one Reason of this Kingdom's Miscarriages, I might say Abominations, is, that some of those that are syncerel [...] Learned, & Pious have not such an Esteem of ou [...] Liturgie, as they Ought to have; And hundreds [...] those that are thought by the Vulgar to be so, [...] themselves Despise it, or Countenance others in doing.

[Page 3] You give me not any punctual Answer to my Question, whether you do not Judge it Sinful to stay at home (though to read Good Books &c.) on the Lords Day, rather than come to Church when nothing is to be heard there, but the Common Pray­er. You say you are more against spending the Lords Day in Idleness or in any thing which is worse, than in Hearing that alone. I thank God I was never so Mad, as to make a question of This: I have nothing to say to it but that I dislike these words, worse than the Common Prayer, which seem to insinuate that It is not Good. I am not guilty of [...]lighting Preaching (as 'tis taken in contradistincti­on to Reading &c.) as you seem to Conceit.

I Affirm, that to Suit, or Proportion our Expe­ctations of Grace, in the Use of All Means whereun­to we are Called, to the Apprehensions of INFI­NITE Bounty, &c. is a Property of Saving Faith.

But, say you, GOD who appointeth several Means, doth usually work according to them; and when he with­draweth them it is a Judgment, which it were not, if he had promis'd as much Grace without them as with them.

I grant, that God who appointeth several Means, doth usually work according to them. But I utter­ly Deny, that when he withdraweth any Particular Means of Grace it is a Judgment to Him who is in the Act of syncere Love to the Blessed Jesus; for such a one is at All Times, and in All Places Under the Gracious Influences of the INFINITY of Light and Love, directing him how (by Submission to the Di­uine Will withdrawing any Particular Means of [Page 4] Grace, and by the Renewing his Resolutions to make a Right Use of all such Means as God shall at any time call him unto, &c.) He may Receive of the Fullness of Christ, in as great Measures, as he could have done in the Use of the Means withdrawn from him. The LORD give us both Understand­ing in all Things.

Now I have found the way by your Letter to discover your Thoughts concerning the Common Prayer, in your Printed Papers; I shall not trouble you with any more Post-Letters on that Subject: but shall stick to the Defence of this Great Truth, that the withdrawing of any particular Means of Grace is not a Judgment to him that is in the Act of Divine Love—Against which you Argue thus: That which tendeth to hinder his continuance in that Act of Love is a Judgment, but such is the withdrawing of some Means of Grace. I Answer, the withdrawing &c. is so far from being Directly, and in its own Nature that which tendeth to hinder &c. that, as It is in its own Nature, viz. the work of the Infinitely Good GOD, It is the Means of Grace, and he takes it for Such that is in the Act of Divine Love, as I endeavour'd to shew you in my last. We question not, say you, Gods bounty, but his Will: shew us a Promise that when a man is deprived of the Preaching of the Gospel, the Communion of the Church, the Company of all good men, and cast amongst impious deceivers, and haere­ticks, he shall have his love continued, and encreas'd as much as if he had better Means. I Answer, This Promise of Our Saviour, Whatsoever ye shall Aske the Father in my Name he will give it you (John 16. 27.) [Page 5] would Ingage the Heart of any one in the Act of Divine Love, if God should put him into such a Condition, as you express, to expect from GOD through Our LORD JESUS, as much Grace or Im­provement of his Divine Temper under that Dispen­sation of Providence, as he knows he could have grounds to Expect in the Use of those Means of Grace which the Only Wise GOD has thought fit to Withdraw from him. But I am ready to say with you, If God should take away the Bible, and Preach­ing from the Land, I would take it for a Judgment, though the Common Prayer were left us: neither did I ever say any thing to the contrary: but I have say'd implicitly, and shall upon all occasions say ex­presly, that nothing retains the Nature of a Judge­ment, or Sign of the Wrath of God, to him that is in the Act of Divine Love, which Essentially implies Rational Complacence in Every thing that proceeds from the Will of the Infinitely Good GOD, I do not Grant (as you may gather from what I have say'd) that any Particular Means of Grace are Better, or more Spiritually advantageous, than the being De­priv'd of them, will certainly be to him that Com­plies with the Divine Will in that Dispensation, Doing whatsoever is his Duty to do in Relation thereunto. If in saying we question not Gods Bounty, but his Will: and Gods bounty giveth Grace according to his Liberty of Will, you imply this Proposition (which I find asserted by a very Ingenious Person E. W. in his NO PRAEEXISTENCE p. 13.) that the Will of God sometimes Obstructs the Effluxes of his Goodness; your meaning is False, as I shall Demon­strate, [Page 6] if you shall call me thereto. 'T would be Absur'd indeed to say that Gods Bounty giveth Grace per modum naturae, quantum in se, but Gods Offers of Grace (as I have formerly exprest my self) are in an unlimited Abundance. Grace is Receiv'd by the Faithful Ad modum Recipientis: 'tis only the Measure, or Non-Ultra of the Recipients Expectancy that Stints its Influence.

I shall not give you, and my selfe the trouble of writing unto you any of my Reflexions on the for­mer part of your Letter, supposing that whatsoever is in it Opposite to my Assertion will be fully Refuted in my Reply to your Direct Answer to my last, beginning thus: But you have a Pro­mise that whatsoever we ask shall be given. Ans. yes; whatsoever you ask according to Gods Will: but it may be his will to punish a cold Love, and other Sins consistent with Love, and not to remove the punishment upon our asking; and indeed why should any man ask i [...] that is of your opinion? But you describe him to be one that wholly complieth with the Divine Will, doing whatsoever is his Duty. You do not well to leave out these words of mine in that Dispensation and in Relation thereunto, for by them I signifyed the pray­ing conditionally for the Restoration of the Lost Means of Grace, and the using of all possible means for the Recovery of them, because it is our Duty so to do; not but that we may have sufficient grounds to Expect from God, in case he Judg'd fit not to Restore them, the same Grace we should Expect by the Restoration of them. This is a full Answer to those words of yours: one part of his Duty is to [Page 7] ament the Judgement of the removal of the Means, and to pray for the restoration (so that here you are self-con­tradictory) and to these words, why should any man ask it that is of your opinion? By an Act of Divine Love I understand such an Act of the Will, or Tendency of the Heart to God, as implies an Aversion [...]. Finite Objects, unless as they stand in [...] Him, or (to speak more Accurately) As they [...] Him. He that is in this Act has all things that are of God, actually Good unto him. And whatso­ever he Asks being Actually in this Divine Temper of Mind (which implies that Faith which Punishes the Heart) is certainly According to the Will of God, which is Our Sanctification (as the Apostle speaks) which certainly implies thus much: that God would have us to Ask nothing of him Prin­cipally and Absolutely but that we may be HOLY as He is HOLY. And that when we ask in Syncerity for Grace or Holiness in the Name of Jesus, It is alwayes the Will of God to supply the Defect of any Particular Means of Grace. But if you mean, say you, that as long as a man is perfect, and never sinneth no want of Means hurteth him, &c. I mean, as I have often say'd, that when a man is in the Act of Divine Love (as I have de­scrib'd it) no want of Means hurteth him, but it does not follow but it is Our Duty, as earnestl [...] [...] Desire any particular Means of Grace when [...] Depriv'd of them, as to make use of them when we have them, but this Desire, as of all things else but Grace, or Holiness, is but [...] Exception [...] (as the Royal Philosopher speaks) the Use of the Truth I Assert in this, and [Page 8] my other Letters, is to cure the Souls of men o [...] this most dangerous Disease, viz. the Conceit tha [...] any thing can be Directly, and in its own Nature the Hindrance of our Attainment to further Degrees of Grace, or Holiness, save only the Naughtiness of Our own Hearts. From hence also it is manifest to those that understand that the Common Prayer is A­greeable to the Scriptures, that no man can be a Loser (as your word is in one of your Letters) by comming to the Place of Gods Publick Worship to Hear those Prayers when there is no Preaching there, unless by the Perverseness of his own Heart. I do not speak this to derogate from frequent Preach­ing; I know it is very Necessary, especially for Un­sanctifyed people. I do not apprehend my self con­cern'd in what you bid me to demonstrate: but this proposition, Gods Will is the Same with Infi­nite Goodness, is a Demonstration of the Falseness of this, that Gods Will sometimes obstructs the Efflu­xes of his Goodness. I say further, that 'tis Essential to God being Infinite in Goodness, to Fill the Capa­cities of his Creatures According to His Infinite Wis­dom. Though the Almighty may not be say'd to give Grace per modum naturae, quantum in se, yet he may rightly be say'd to do it Secundum Naturam Bonitatis Infinitae. You do well to joyn Wisdom with Free-will, for All that the ALMIGHTY Does is According to the Councel, i. e. the Wisdom of his own Will, which imports the Communicativeness of his Goodness to all the Capacities of his Creatures. In Answer to my Saying that Gods Offers of Grace are in an unlimited Abundance, you write thus: Say you so? who made thee to differ? doth God do no [Page 9] more for any but offer them Grace? is the Recipient's [...]xpectancy none of his Gift? can God make no man [...]etter than he is? nor take the Heart out of any man, otherwise than by offer? is not Faith whereby we accept that offer, the Gift of God? doth a clod, or stone so [...]int Gods Influence that he could not make it an An­ [...]el, if he pleas'd? nor make any creature nobler, or o­ther than it is? Doth God give as much Grace to all he Infidel Heathen World, as to Christians? or do they so stint his Influence that he can give them no more? Woe to us, if we have no more than the ge­neral Offers of Grace, and yet I believe not that this offer is unlimited, or equall to all the World. Good Sir, Be not so hasty, do not run on in a conceit that my words import that we make our selves to Differ from the Unsanctified. Doth God [...]o no more, say you, for any, but offer them Grace? I Answer; that Gods Offering of Grace is he making of men presently Capable of Doing [...]is Will, by the Assistance of his Good Spirit; [...]o that All the Acts or Inclinations to Act, of Gra­cious Souls, as such, are the Gift of God. The Re­ [...]ipient's Expectancy is the Gift of God, but the Non-Ultra, or Deficiency of it, is of himself. Can God make no man better than he is? To this, I An­swer; Any mans being Better than he is, is not the Object either of Gods Volition, or Nolition: Not of the former, for then (you know) His Will would be Resisted: Not of the latter, for [...]hen he would be the Direct Cause of the Crea­tures not Doing what He hath Commanded him [...]o Do: the onely Cause then that any man is not [Page 10] what he Ought to be, is the Perverseness of own Will. As to the words following, Nor t [...] &c. If you think fit to continue this Dispute, a express what you mean by them in a plain way Opposition to any thing that I have said, I sh [...] give you an Answer. Doth a Cold or Stone, [...] I Answer; Any such Creature may be Annihila [...] and another Angel Created, but that It shou [...] be made an Angel (if we speak in sensu rigoros [...] implyes a Contradiction. Every Creature is in own Nature Res OPTIMA, though some Creatures are Better to Us than others, because they [...] more Exhibit to us the Notice of the Divine Goodness; and some Creatures are better to themselves than others, because they do more Enjoy It, whi [...] is ALL in them All. God knows, I do not Aff [...] Obscurity of Expression, but such Deep Thin [...] cannot be set forth in Vulgar Phrase. To wh [...] you say of the Heathen World, I shall make other Reply but this, that Gods Judgments are U [...] searchable, and his Wayes past finding out.

But though we cannot shew How Many Trut [...] concerning his Boundless Goodness &c. do co [...] port with what we apprehend of His Wayes in m [...] ny Instances of His Dealings with the Sons of Me [...] it does not follow, that we should thereupon the least Scruple at these Truths.

That Gods Offers of Grace are in an Unlimi [...] Abundance (which you say you do not believe I prove thus: If God cannot be the Direct Cau [...] of Stinting the Influences of His Grace or Goodness into the Hearts of Men, Then his Offers of Gra [...] [Page 11] in an Unlimited Abundance: But God cannot the Direct Cause, &c. The Minor is evident in [...], That the Essence of God is Infinite Goodness.

I shall in this Paper give you my Reflexions but some part of your last Letter, wherein there many things so pertinently Express'd in Op­ [...]sition to what I have written to you, that my [...]flexions, or rather Animadversions thereon, are [...]eeding Advantageous unto me, for the Im­ [...]ovement of my most Satisfactory Speculations [...]cerning the Divine Goodness, whose Infinity we [...]st be ever Careful that we do not derogate [...]m, upon any Pretences of Preserving the Liber­ [...] of the Divine Will. Liberty of Will (so far as [...]mplyes Perfection, must of necessity be implied the Notion of the Infinity of Being. I Declare is to be the Root of all my Apprehensions in [...]eological Matters, EST UNUM SIMPLICI­ [...]R INFINITUM.

[...] shall now betake my self to the Consideration what you say in your last Letter. I think I [...]d not give any other Reply to that you say, man doth use all possible Means for the Recove­ [...] &c. but only to tell you, that by all possible [...]ans, I understand All things which we Know [...]e such Means, being also Assur'd that 'tis possi­ [...] for us to use them as such. On my Explica­ [...] of what I understand by an Act of Divine [...]e, your Animadversion is this: How easie had it [...] for you to have told me, whether you mean a per­ [...] Love, or an Imperfect culpably, and a perfect [Page 12] Aversion, &c. or a culpably Imperfect? I must confess I have observ'd so many Learned men needlesly En­tangling themselves in the hardest Knots of Con­troversie by reason of these words, Perfection, and Imperfection Attributed to the workings of men Hearts, that I have thought it my Duty to do what I can do to avoid the use of them; but since you Urge me to it, I shall Tell you that the Motion, o [...] Tendency of the Heart, which I call an Act of Di­vine Love, does not imply, or include in its Nature any culpable Imperfection, but is as contrary to all Love of Creatures, or Finite Objects (unless only such as arises from their Relation to the First Being) as Light is to Darkness.

To my saying that he who is in the Act of Di­vine Love has All things that are of God, Actually Good unto him, you Answer thus: While he is sin­fully imperfect in this Act, he hath not the perfection which he wants, nor that complacential acceptance with God, nor that perfect freedom from castigatory Pe­nalties internal, or external, nor that Glory which would be good to him; and all this is of God. I An­swer; As to Castigatory Penalties, so far as they import nothing but what may be imputed unto God, as the Author thereof, they are Actually good to Him, viz. they All work together for his Good whilst he is in the Act of Divine Love, and all his Reflexions thereon are the Rejoycing of his Heart The Perfection he wants &c. are not, but only in GOD, the Fullness of All that he Wants: and cer­tainly it is actually Good for him, That there is in God whatsoever is Wanting unto him. By being [Page 13] Actually in this Divine Temper, I mean the exert­ing of an Act of Divine Love, or Adhaerence of the Heart unto God, in which Act there is nothing Culpable, though there may remain Dispositions in the Heart very contrary thereunto, from which it often comes to pass, that many of us who are in some measure Sanctified Sink deep into such Impu­rities of Heart, and Mind, as we sometimes Fancy our selves Elevated so far Above, that there's no Danger of Falling into them. But I can far more easily Describe what it is to be Holy, i. e. to be in the Light, than Discourse accurately, and Clearly of the Works of Darkness. He cannot Ask any thing not Agreeable to the Divine Will, who Desires no­thing, but This, or in Subordination thereunto, that his Will may be Conformable to the Divine Will in All things. Whether he Pray Directly, and Expresly for Things Temporal, or Spiritual, he Actuates his Heart in a way of Conformity to the Will of God, who Prays, as he Ought, viz. Ask­ing in Faith, which worketh by Love. I suppose by what I have already say'd, you will perceive, that [...]n Asking for Holiness we Virtually Ask for Justifi­cation, or Pardon, and the continuance of being &c. And when we expresly Ask for these According to the Mind of Christ, We Virtually Ask for Holiness, or Purity of Heart. The Consummation whereof is the Fullness of Life, and Glory. All Desires of Ho­liness are Acts of Holiness Consider'd with Respect to their Efficacy to make way for further Acts, or Tendencies of Heart unto God. The Free Mercy of GOD in JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD is the [Page 14] Root, and Principle of all that Good which grow­eth in Us, or (if you will) in which We Grow the Sense of which is implyed in all Motions [...] the Heart acceptable unto God. By Absolutely I mean but what we are to understand by Fi [...] in the Gospel, where Our Saviour sayes, Se [...] ye First the Kingdom of God, &c. i. e. Chiefly, an [...] Principally, so as to Ask nothing else but in Su [...] ordination thereunto, and upon Condition, if [...] may conduce to our furtherance in the Way of Holiness, which Lead unto Everlasting G [...] ry. I do still most confidently Averr, that this is most Dangerous Disease of the Soul, to Conce [...] that any thing can be Directly, and in its own Nature, the Hind'rance of Our Attainment to farther Degrees of Grace, save only the Naughtiness o [...] Our own Hearts. But, say you, Must we not care­fully avoid that which Indirectly hinders also? I Answer, We must Avoid, or Set our Heart against nothing but what we find to be the Will of God Reveal'd in his Word, that we should Loath, or b [...] Averse from. Any thing, which for ought w [...] know, God will bring to pass, as to the Deprivin [...] us of any particular Means of Grace, we must endeavour to prevent by all wayes of Duty to God and Man, which we Apprehend probable to prove Successfull for the Prevention thereof. But we must have a Care that our Heart be Mov'd again this, which for ought we know God will effect for the Glory of His Name, [...], with Ex­ception, as I spake in my last.

You say the penal withholding of the Operations [Page 15] the Spirit is a Direct Hindrance, and in its own Na­ture.

If it be True that whatsoever God is the Author [...]f, can never be in any wise Evil to us, but only [...]y our Wrong, or Perverse apprehensions of it, then [...] suppose you will grant that this Proposition of [...]ours bears no Force against me. And whether this be a Truth or no, I shall referr you to Consi­der by taking a Review of what I have already Written of the Divine Goodness. And by your most [...]erious, and unprejudic'd Judgement of what I shall say hereafter in giving my Reflexions on your Animadversions, on my saying that Gods Will is the Same with Infinite Goodness, &c.

The Good Lord Lift up the Light of His Coun­tenance upon Us, that we may at length attain to the Full Enjoyment of the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

I shall here present you some more of my Appre­hensions of the IMMENSE Influence of the Di­vine Goodness upon All, and Every Part of the Cre­ation. I am Conscious to my self of the smalness of my Abilities to Express such a Truth in any way answerable to the Excellency, and Importance thereof. But some Sparklings of that Light, viz. the Notion I have of the IMMENSITY of the Di­vine Goodness, which from my Youth up has given me far greater Satisfactions than I should ever have had in all the Learning in the World without it, some Sparklings, I trust, you will perceive in these following Lines.

[Page 16] You say to these words of mine, Gods Will is the Same with infinite Goodness, Very true: but the Que­stion is, what that Goodness is? I say it is not a Wi [...] to communicate to Creatures as much Good, as he can▪ For then the World had been Eternal &c. I Answer that the Goodness of God is Himself, the INFINI­TY of Goodness, Wisdom, Power, of all Excel­lency, and Perfection. 'Twas not Essential to Him to Create, i. e. not necessary for the INFINITY of Being to Produce out of Himself these Finite Essen­ces, But they being Produc'd by His Power, ac­cording to His Wisdom i. e. the Councell of His IN­FINITELY Good Will, 'tis Essential, or Necessary to His being INFINITE, to be ALL in them All. The Divine Power being INFINITE, such Expres­sions as these, as many Creatures as God can make &c. can in no wise import any Reality to the Un­derstanding. To your saying that All Saints, and Angels would have the same Degree of Glory, I Answer, that there is no Want in Heaven, no Absence, or Privative Not-Being of any Degree of Glory, or Communicated Divine Goodness; there is nothing but Refulgency of the GLORIOUS DIVINE NATURE. That one Creature should be better to It self, and to other Creatures, is most Rational to conceive, it being no way Inconsistent with the Notion of the One Infinite Goodness. As for Damnation, this I say, So far as it imports nothing else but what is of God; It is in its own Nature altogether Good: It becomes Evil only to those to whom the Infinity of Love is a Consuming Fire. There's nothing Absolutely, and in its own Nature Evil but SIN. But of all Instances, [Page 17] say, there's none that confuies me more than the per­ [...]sion of Sin. To this I Answer, that by Permis­ion of Sin we must not conceive any thing of which [...]e may say It is of God, but only His making such [...]eatures, whose Nature implies a Possibility of [...]nning, and the continuing them in Being after [...]ey have Sinned.

There is, say you, an Higher thing in God, which his Goodness, even his Infinite Perfection, and Love himself, which is to be communicated according to [...] Wisdom and Free Will, and not as a natural ne­cessary emanation from his Essence to the utmost of his [...]solute Power. To this I Answer, first, that Utmost [...]ower is in no wise to be spoken of God, whose [...]ower is INFINITE. Secondly, I do conceive [...]at your Notion here is not Contrary to mine, [...]ough it come somewhat short of it. I think your [...]eaning is not Opposite to what I Understand by [...]e Diffusiveness of the Divine Goodness, but only any Conceit of the Limitation of the Divine Pow­ [...] which no Creature is Able to Resist. There can no Impediment to It ab extra &c. but I add nei­ther ab Intra, call it Negative, or Self-Limiting, or [...]hat you please. Therefore I say again, 'tis Essen­ [...]l to Infinite Goodness to fill the Capacities of His creatures &c. which, I think, I shall clearly De­ [...]onstrate thus: That which does not Fill all Cre­ [...]ed Capacities is not Infinite, Therefore &c. But perhaps you will say is not a Sinner Capable of be­ing Sanctified. I Answer, that Sin is the Creatures [...]king It self Uncapable for the present of the [...]ivine Goodness through a false Conceit that the [Page 18] Creator is not All in All. For I hold, yea I know and am perfectly Assur'd, that this Conceit is Virtu­ally, if not Formally implyed in all Sin, or Aver [...] on of the Heart from Our HOLY ONE. My using these words Secundum Naturam Bonitatis Infinit [...] was not (as you say) to hide the Sense, but to pre­vent your Opinion that I should hold such an Ab­surdity as this, that God Acts any thing ad ul [...] ­mum Posse, which words can in no wise be spoke [...] of God: but it seems I had not my Aim. For in the Close of your Letter you tell me that you think m [...] work is to Prove, that God communicateth Goo [...] Naturally to the utmost of his absolute Power, as th [...] Sun doth its influence of Light, Heat and Motion God Forbid that I should undertake to Prove tha [...] God acts like a Finite Agent, as Finite, as having any Utmost, or Limited Power. Whether I misu [...] derstand Goodness (which is another Passage in you [...] Letter) I shall entreat you to Consider, by what shall say of it in my present Reflexions upon the words of yours. His Goodness, even his infinite Per­fection, and Love to Himself. This is GOD Him­self, He is His own infinite Joy, and Life, and Glo­ry. He is All in all Things, and Ecents, Sin only excepted, Enjoying Himself in these small Crea­tures, which are so contemptible in the Sight o [...] Men, no less than in the most Glorious of the Hea­venly Hosts. And the more we Partake of the Di­vine Nature the more we Delight Ourselves in a [...] the Works both of Creation, and Providence.

Here I cannot but tell you, that I Hate as the Gates of Hell the Folly and Madness of some of the [Page 19] Adversaries of Our Liturgie, which prompted them [...]o speak contemptuously (under Pretence forsooth [...]f Zeal for the Pure Service of God) of that Excel­lent Hymn.

O all ye Works of the Lord, Bless ye the Lord, Praise [...]im, and Magnifie Him for Ever.

O all ye Angels of the Lord, Bless ye the Lord &c.

There is, say you, a Negative Limitation which is [...]ot in Gods Power, and you seem to grant it to be in [...]is Wisdom, which you truly call the Councell of his Will. But what Wisdom doth, it doth as the Guide [...]f the Will, and therefore as Wisdom is the reason of [...] [I suppose you mean of a mans not being Actual­ly better than he is; for you say in the next Page, [...]hat our want of Goodness is the consequence of a [...]eer Non Velle] negatione Directionis, so the Will [...]ust needs be the cause of it negatione Volitionis. To [...]his I Answer, that the cause that any man is not [...]etter than he is, is not that God cannot make him Better, i. e. that there is any Defect of Power in God: neither can it be rightly said, that God can make him Better than he is, For I understand those words, as you rightly conjecture in sensu composito. But perhaps you will say God could have made him Better than he is. To this I Answer, that the mak­ing him better than he is was never the Object of the Divine Power, of which there can be no other Object ad Extra, but what is judg'd Fit to be brought to pass by that Wisdom which is Essenti­ally the Same with Infinite Goodness. This deep [...]hing (let me presume to tell you in all Humility) [...]equires your Utmost Attention. Neither are these [Page 20] Negations (if we may put a Periphrasis of Noth [...] in the Plural number) of Wisdom to Direct, Will to Execute the Cause, &c. For of m [...] Negation there is No Issue, or Consequence. [...] that you say, Reflecting upon my words co [...] cerning the Object of Gods Volition or Noliti [...] &c. I do most Affectionately Approve, as i [...] porting very much of the same Truth, for wa [...] of which Dr. Twisse (whom you mention) see [...] to me in many Passages of his Controversial Wr [...] ings, to Rave (and Talk indeed like a Schol [...] but like one out of his Right Wits) rather than Dispute. But you seem to Faulter very much when you come to say, that our want of Goodness the Consequence of a meer Non Velle. For (as I sa [...] but now) of a meer Negation, or Nullity, i. e. Nothing, there is no Issue or Consequence at a [...] I think, say you, that it is not true, that Voli [...] quà Talis efficit ad Extra, sed tantùm quatenus [...] Potentiam Operatur. To this I Answer, Volitio D [...] vina ad Extra, quà Talis, Divina inquam, Efficit [...] Extra, nam Essentialiter includit Sapientiam, & P [...] tentiam Infinitam. To these words, Omnis Volit [...] non est Efficiens (for God willeth himself) much less omnis Nolitio, I Answer thus: Gods Willin [...] of Himself may not properly be term'd Efficien [...] but it is Effectual, or to the Purpose; that i [...] which He Willeth to Be: And every Object o [...] His Volition ad Extra, Is, or Shall be, Throug [...] the Efficacy of His Power, set on work by th [...] Infinite Goodness of the Councel of his Will. As fo [...] the Divine Nolition, this I say: By it we mea [...] [Page 21] not the Negative of Volition, but an Adverse Act the Will, which Essentially implying Infinite [...]sdom and Power, can never be Frustrated, but wayes Effects the Opposite to that, to which it is [...]verse: So that if any man's being Actually Bet­ [...] than he is, were the Object of Divine Nolition it [...]st needs follow that God would be the Direct [...]use of the Opposite thereof, viz. that the man is [...]tually so Bad, as he is. What then is the Cause [...]? I say again, Onely the Perverseness of his [...]n Will: Sin only can be the Cause of Sin. What [...]use than had the first Sin? why (as in effect I we say'd already) none at all. Mans own Perverse­ss of Will, say you, was not the Cause of his First [...]rverting, or Sin. When we speak of Perversness of Will with Reference to the First Sin, we mean [...]thing but the First Sin under that Notion, not at this Perverseness of Will is Really Distinct [...]om the First Act of the Will Perverted. I can­ [...]t translate OPTIMA into any English, so suitable [...] my Conceptions, as these words FULL of Good­ness. I did not retire into Silence (as you speak) at [...]e Instance of the Heathens, but Told you this Cer­ [...]n Truth, That we Ought not to Deny our As­ [...]t to such Evident Propositions, as this, that 'Tis [...]ssential to Infinite Goodness to Fill the Capacities [...] all Creatures; so that properly, and in the strict­ [...] sense there is no Evil, but the Aversion of the [...]ill of the Creature from the Will of the Infinitely [...]ood, and Wise, and Powerful Creator: To this, say, we ought not to Deny our Assent, because we [...]nnot give an account of some Particular Wayes of [Page 22] Providence i. e. of the Modes, or several Kinds the Influence of Infinite Goodness upon some Pa [...] of the Creation. Modes &c. we Attribute only Extrinseco to the Divine Providence, they being only in the Creatures. The Reason, or Proof of the Consequence, if God cannot be the Direct cause [...] Stinting &c. is this, because if He cannot be t [...]Direct Cause of Stinting his Influence &c. It is [...] His Part Unstinted, that is to say, in an Unlimit [...] Abundance. But, say you, God may Non Age [...] without any Stinting Cause: what restrain'd him fr [...] making the World from Eternity? To this I Answe [...] though God may Non Agere without a Cause such a Sense as you Instance in, yet there is a [...] wayes some Cause of his Not-Giving Grace to a [...]man to Do what He Commands him; not that th [...] can be any Impediment put upon God, but th [...] He is ab Extrinseco Denominated Not-Giving Gra [...] for that the Creature does not Receive it from his the Cause of which Non-Reception is only the Pe [...] versness of his own Will, which indeed is nothing else, but his Aversion from the Divine Goodness.

To your Objection against my Description [...] Gods Offering of Grace. viz. Offering is less th [...] making, and making is more than offering &c. I Answer thus: Every Real Offer must needs imp [...] the Presenting of the Object of Reception: wherever there is an Object of Reception, there is a Capaci [...] or Power to Receive: There can be no Power to Receive that which is Good, but only from GOD: Therefore I do again most Confidently [...] ­verr, that Gods Offering of Grace is the making [Page 23] men Presently Capable of Doing His Will, or (as we [...]ay speak) of receiving His Commands, By the Assi­ [...]ance of His Holy Spirit.

From my Description of Gods Offering of Grace here may be an Objection rais'd against what has [...]een so Earnestly insisted on, viz. that the Divine Goodness fills all the Capacities of His Creatures &c. [...]ut the Answer is Easie. viz. that the Present Ca­ [...]acity of Doing the Will of God is Fill'd, i. e. the Will of God is Done According to that Capacity, where the Capacity is not Instanly Nullifyed by the Creatures Sinning, or Averting itself from the Di­ [...]ine Goodness. The Sense whereof that I may more [...]igorously Excite in the Mind of the Learned and Pious Reader I shall here give him my Latine Translation (together with the Original) of an Ex­cellent Prayer compos'd in English Verse by the [...]ncomparable Mrs. K. P. The Same Sense in two Languages seems to me to Condense the Thoughts of the Reader, and to give the greater Strength to their Influence upon His Affections.

ETernal Reason, Glorious Majesty,
* Compar'd to whom what can be say'd to be?
Whose Attributes are Thee, who art alone,
Cause of all various things, and yet but One?
Whose Essence can no more be searcht by man,
Then Heav'n thy Throne, be grasped with a Span.
Yet if this great Creation was design'd,
To sev'ral ends fitted for ev'ry kind;
Sure Man (the Worlds Epitome) must be
Form'd to the best, that is, to Study Thee.
[Page] And as our Dignity 'tis Duty too
Which is summ'd up in this, to Know, and Do.
These comly Rowes of Creatures spell thy Name,
Whereby we grope to find from whence they Came
By thy own Chain of Causes brought to think
There must be one, then find the Highest Link.
Thus all Created Excellence we see
Is a Resemblance faint, and dark of Thee.
Such Shadowes are produc'd by the Moon-Beams
Of Trees, or Houses in the running Streams,
Yet by Impressions born with us we find
How good, great, just Thou art, how unconfin'd
Here we are swallow'd up, and gladly dwell,
Safely Adoring what we cannot Tell.
All we know is, Thou art Supreamly Good,
And dost Delight to be so understood:
A spicy Mountain on the Universe
On which thy Richest Odours do disperse.
But as the Sea to fill a Vessel heaves
More greedily than any Cask receives
Besieging round to find some gap in it,
Which will a new Infusion admit;
So dost Thou covet how Thou mayst dispense
Upon the empty World thy Influence,
Lov'st to disburst thyself in Kindness: thus
The King of Kings Waits to be Gracious.
On this account, O Lord enlarge my Heart
To entertain what Thou would'st fain impart.
Nor let that Soul by sev'ral Titles Thine,
And most Capacious form'd for things Divine,
(So nobly meant that when it most doth miss
'Tis in mistaken pantings after Bliss)
[Page] Degrade it self, in sordid things delight,
[...]r by prophaner mixtures lose its right.
[...], that with fixt, unbroken thoughts it may
[...]dmire the Light which does Obscure the Day.
[...]nd since 'tis Angels Work it hath to do,
[...]ay its Composure be like Angels too.
When shall these clods of Sense, and Phantsy break,
That I may hear the God within me speak?
When with a silent, and retired Art
[...]hall I with all this empty hurry part?
To the Still Voice Above my Soul advance
My Light, and Joy plac'd in his Countenance,
[...]y whose dispense my Soul to such frame brought
May tame each treach'rous, fix each wandring Thought,
With such distinctions all things here behold,
And so to separate each dross from Gold,
That nothing my free Soul may Satisfie
But t' imitate, enjoy, and Study Thee.
O Ratio Omnipotens, Majestas, Gloria Summa,
Cui si * Confertur Quicquam Non Esse probatur,
Cui Quod inest, est Tu, Qui cunct is Rebus habere
Esse suum Varium das Unus Semper, & Idem;
Cujus non magis Explorari Essentia possit
Humano Ingenio, quàm Summi Culmina Coeli
Comprendi Palmo. At fuerint si Cuncta per Orbem
In certos generis diversi condita Fines,
Ipsum Hominem, Mundi Specimen, Quò Maxima Spiret
Nasci constat, idest, Quò se Tibi, MAXIME, Reddat.
[Page] Hoc Nostrum Officium est, haec Nostra est Gloria, Sc [...]
Et Facere usque, Jubet quicquid Divina Voluntas.
Condita quaeque Tuum, quasi Sculpta Vocabula Nome
Designant: Fontem hinc pervestigamus eorum:
Scilicet ostendit Causarum longa Ca [...]ena
Esse Unam Summam, [...] Quâ Pendent Singula, Causa [...]
Naturae quicquid Praeclarae lumina s [...]argit
Hoc levis IMMENSI perhibetur LUMINIS Umbr [...]
Quales in Fluviis Tectorum, aut Arboris Umbras
Producit tenui splendescens Cynthia Cornu.
Idêis tamen Innatis BONITAS Manifesta est
Illa Tua, & nullis Te clausum Finibus esse,
Hîc Alto Absorptos nos LUX IMMENSA recondit
Tutò Admirantes Non Enarrabile Verum.
Novimus hoc solum de Te, BONITATE SUPREM
Gaudentem, Titulo Te Velle Agnoscier Isto.
Mons es Aromaticus: Jucundos Suavis Odores
Divite profluvio totum diffundis in Orbem.
Ut coit Unda aliquod Vas impletura receptum
In Mare, scrutando Rimas, quibus Influat usque
Prosiliens, plus quàm possit Vas accipere urgens:
Ut, Pater Alme, Tuâ possit Bonitate repleri
Sic urges Vacuum Foecundo Numine Mundum.
Ipse Benignus Amas Te Dispensare: Favorem
Exhibet Indignis, condonat Crimina gratis
Rex Regum. Amplifica DEUS O Ter Maxime nostr [...]
Cor: Avidè Arripiat, quod Tu Largir is Amanter.
O, Anima haec Titulis Tibi soli Debita multis
Magna, Tuique Capax (tam purum, nobile cui sit
Ingenium, ut Sitiat Verum, quod Devia linquit)
Ne se Deliciis Pravis illapsa, Minorem
Quàm Quae Facta fuit, Faciat, revoluta deorsum,
[Page] Jus adeo Antiquum potiundi Numine perdens.
[...] utinam certis immotae viribus Ipsa
Mentis in Augustum sit Sacro Rapta Stupore
[...]umen, quo victi vel lucida Tela Diei
[...]n Tenebras abeunt. Quam fungi Munere Oportet
Angelico, Angelicam tandem, Pater OPTIME, reddas
[...]lli Temperiem. Quando ista Repagula, Sensus,
[...]laudentes Animum, penitus Rumpentur, ut Intus
Alloquio DEUS ipse Suo me Personet? Arte
Quando Ego Tranquillâ, Curâ semota Metuque
Despiciam stolidi Bacchantia Gaudia Mundi?
Tu Rape sursum Animam: Lenem super Aethera Vocem
Audiat: in (que) Tuo semper Mea Gaudia Vultu
Ponantur. Nostras Te Disponente Medullas
Nè Superet Fallax, Agitet nec Mobile. Coenum;
Clariùs ut valeam rerum cognoscere causas,
Atque Auro cautè Scoriam distinguere vilem,
Ut ruptis tandem Mens evolet Ignea Vinclis,
Et Tibi se jungens Aeternâ Pace Quiescat.

Page 7. of the Letters, line 12. for Punishes read Purifies.

Books Newly Printed this Year, 1678. for William Crook.

  • 1. THe Wonders of the Peak in Darby-shire, commonly led, the Devils Arse of Peak.
  • 2. Reflections upon Antient and Modern Philosophy, M [...] and Natural; treating of the Philosophers of all Count [...] and Ages. 80.
  • 3. Melpomene, or the Muses Delight; being New Poems Songs, written by several of the great Wits of the pres [...] Age.
  • 4. Decameron Physologicum, or ten Dialogues of Natural losophy. By Tho. Hobbs of Malmsbury. 80.
  • 5. Tunbridge Wells, or a Dayes Court-ship; a Comedy Ac [...] at the Dukes Theatre.
  • 6. The Man of New-Market, a Comedy, Acted at the Thea [...] Royal.
  • 7. A Discourse, Whether it be lawful to take Use for Mon [...] Written by Sir Rob. Filmer, and published by Sir R [...] Twisden. 120.
  • 8. The School of Righteousness: A Sermon Preached before King by Dr. Sandcroft, Arch-bishop of Canterbury. 40.
  • 9. Praxis Curiae Admiralitatis Angliae.

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