KING JESVS Is the Beleevers Prince, Priest, and Law-giver, in things appertaining to the Conscience, Isai. 55. 4. Heb. 7. 17. Iam. 4. 12.

OR, The loyall SPOUSE of Christ hath no Head, nor Husband, but Royall KING IESVS.

Written by Francis Cornwell, a Minister of Jesus Christ, out of the learned workes of Mr. Iohn Fox, in his book of Martyrs, excepting onely some explanations of his owne, for the benefit of the Reader.

Rom. 7. 4. Wherefore my brethren, yee are become dead to the Law by the body of Christ, that yee should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that wee should bring forth fruit unto God.

Mat. 22. 21. Give unto Cesar the things that are Cesars, and unto God the things that are Gods.

London, Printed by I. Dawson. 1645.

To the curteous Reader.

BEloved, my soule having tasted how gracious the Lord was to me, in making known the riches of his free mercy, in acquitting mee from sin, through faith in the bloud of my Christ; when I lay in dolefull deser­tion, in the time of my imprisonment, (for opposing that devised forme of Worship (which the Prelates had corrupted with their Popish innovations, by putting in, and leaving out, what they pleased) contra­ry to the Statute made in the third yeare of Edward the sixth, of happy memory) the first comfort that I received, for the assurance of the pardon of my sinne, and justification in the sight of God, was from reading this excellent Treatise of Mr. Fox, in his Difference betwixt the Law and [Page] the Gospel: Which I could not conceale; but for thy good (curteous Reader) I was bound in conscience to put it forth, for the benefit of others; and to shew that I hold nothing for doctrine, but that which hath been publikely printed, by Authority, seven severall times; excepting onely some ex­planations of the Author, that hee hath put forth on purpose, for to free himselfe from the publike scandall of the Antino­mian heresie; by which many Orthodoxe Teachers now lie vailed.

Thine in the service of King Iesus,
Francis Cornwell
.

Difference between the LAW and the GOSPEL: Taken out of the First Part of the book of Martyrs, written by Mr. Fox. Title, between The true Church of Rome that then was, and the Church of Rome that now is, Pag. 24.

AS there is nothing more ne­cessary and comfortable for troubled consciences, than to be well instructed in the difference betwixt the Law and the Gospel: So is the Church of Rome much to blame in this behalfe; because it confoundeth together those two, being in nature so divers and contrary one from ano­ther: As, threatnings and promises, things temporall with things eternall, sorrowfull things with glad tidings, death with life, bondage with freedome, &c. Teaching the people, that whatsoever the Law saith, the Gospel confirmeth; and whatsoever the [Page 2] Gospel saith, the same is agreeable to the Law; and so make they no difference be­tweene Moses and Christ, save only that Moses (say they) was the giver of the old Law, Christ is the giver of the new, and a more perfect Law: And thus imagine they the Gospel to be nothing else but a new Law, given by Christ, binding to the Pro­mises thereof the condition of our doings and deservings, no otherwise then unto the old Law; and so divide they the whole Law, after this distinction, into three parts, (to wit) the Law of Nature, the Law of Moses, and the Law of Christ: And as for the Gospel (say they) it is revealed for no other cause, but to shew to the world more per­fect precepts and counsels, than were in the old Law: to the fulfilling whereof, they attribute Justification; and so leave the poore conscience of men in perpetuall doubt, and induce other manifold errours; bringing the people into a false opinion of Christ, as though hee were not a remedy a­gainst the Law, but came as another Moses to give a new Law unto the world.

Furthermore, as they make no difference between the nature of the Law and the na­ture of the Gospel, confounding Moses and Christ together; so neither doe they distin­guish; or discerne, the time of the Law and [Page 3] the time of the Gospel asunder. For, where­as Saint Paul bringeth in the Law to be a Schoolmaster, and limiteth him his time, un­to Christ, Gal. 3. 24, 25. and saith, that Christ is the end of the Law, Rom. 10. 4. that is, where the Law ceaseth, there Christ beginneth; and where Christ beginneth, there the Law endeth. They, contrariwise, make the Law to have no end, nor ceasing; but give to it immortall life, and a King­dome, equall with Christ: so that Christ, and the Law together, doe raigne over the soule and conscience of man. Which is un­true. For, either Christ must give place, and the Law stand; or the Law (the condem­nation and malediction of the Law, I mean) must end, and Christ raign; for both these, Christ and the Law, Grace and Malediction, cannot raigne and governe together: But Christ the Sonne of God which once died, can die no more, but must raign for ever: Wherefore the Law with his strength, sting, and curse, must needs cease and have an end.

And this is it that St. Paul, speaking of the triumph of Christ, saith, that hee ascen­ding up led away captivity captive. Ephes. 4.8. and hath set man at liberty (not at li­berty to live as flesh lusteth, neither hath freed him from the use and exercise of the [Page 4] Law, but from the dominion and power of the Law;) so that now there is no condem­nation to them that be in Christ Iesus, which walke not after the flesh, Rom. 8.1. And in another place St. Paul saith, speaking of the same power and dominion of the Law, that Christ hath taken the obligation written a­gainst us in decrees, and hath nailed it up­on the crosse, triumphing openly over all, &c. Col. 2.14, 15. So that as the Kingdome of Christ first began upon the crosse; even so upon the same crosse, and at the same time, the Kingdome of the Law expired, and the malediction of the Law was so crucified up­on the crosse, that it shall never rise againe to have any power against them that be in Christ Jesus. For, like as if a woman be dis­charged from her first husband, being dead, and hath married another man, the first hus­band hath no more power over her; even so, wee now being espoused to Christ our second husband, are discharged utterly from our first husband the Law;Rom. 7. 4. and (as St. Paul in another place saith) are no more under the Law, (that is, under the dominion and malediction of the Law) but under grace; (that is, under perpetuall remission of sins, committed not onely before our baptisme, but as well also after baptisme, and during all our life long.) For therein properly con­sisteth [Page 5] the grace of God, in not imputing sin unto us, so often as the repenting sinner ri­seth up by faith, flyeth unto Christ, and ap­prehendeth Gods mercy and remission pro­mised in him; according to the testimony both of the Psalmist, Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth no sin, &c. Psal. 31. 2. and also of all the Prophets, which (as St. Peter saith) give record to him, that through his Name all that beleeve in him shall receive remission of their sinnes, &c. Acts 10.43. Which being so, (as it cannot be denyed) then what need these private and extraordinary remissions to be brought into the Church, by eare confession, by me­ritorious deeds, and by Popes pardons? Or any other act of humiliations? (which words are inserted by the Writer.) For, if there be no condemnation but by the Law, and if the Law it selfe be captived, crucified, abolished, and departed, (which was the first husband) what condemnation can there be to them that be in Christ Jesus, the be­leevers second husband, or by whom shall it come? If there be no condemnation, but a free and generall deliverance for all men once gotten, by the victory of Christ, from the penalty of the Law, what needeth then any particular remission of sinnes, at sun­dry times bee sought for, at the Priests [Page 6] hands, or the Popes pardons?

Hee that hath a generall pardon, needeth no particular: If remedy for sinne be gene­rall and perpetuall, once gotten for ever to all them that be in Christ Jesus, what need­eth any other remedy by auricular confessi­on? If it be not generall and perpetuall, how is it then true that Saint Paul saith, The Law is crucified, and condemnation abolish­ed? Or, how standeth Redemption per­petuall and generall, if remission of sinnes be not generall? For what is Redemption else, but remission of sinnes, or sins bought out? Or what else, to kill the Law, but to discharge us from condemnation for ever? Hee that delivereth his friend for a time out of his enemies hand, doth him a pleasure; but hee which killeth the enemy out of the way, giveth perpetuall safety: So if remis­on of sinnes, by Christ, were for some sins, and not for all, the Law then must needs live still; but now, the killing and crucify­ing of the Law, importeth full remission of sinnes to be absolutely granted, and our safe­ty to be perpetuall.

Object.But here, percase, will be objected of some; How standeth remission of sins cer­taine and perpetuall, seeing new offences being daily committed, doe daily require new remissions?

[Page 7]Hereunto I answer;Answ. Albeit sinnes doe daily grow, whereby wee need daily to de­sire of God, to forgive us our trespasses, &c. yet notwithstanding, the cause of our remis­sion standeth ever one and perpetuall; nei­ther is the same to be repeated any more, nor any other cause to be sought for besides that alone. This cause, is the sacrificed body of Christ once upon the crosse, Heb. 10.14. for all sinnes, that either have been, or shall be committed: Besides this cause, there is salvation in none other, Act. 4. 12. neither confession, nor Priests prayer, nor mens par­don, nor any qualifications of ours, that re­mitteth sinnes.

Furthermore, as the cause is one, and e­ver perpetuall, which worketh remission of sinnes unto us; so is the promise of God ever one, once made and standeth perpe­tuall, that offereth the same to the faith of the repenting sinner. And because the said promise of God is alwayes sure, and can­not faile, which offereth remission to all that beleeve in Christ, being limited neither to time nor number, therefore we may boldly conclude, that at what time soever a repen­ting sinner beleeveth, and by faith applieth to himselfe the sacrifice of Christ, hee hath, by Gods own free promise, remission of his sinnes, whether they were done before or after Baptisme.

[Page 8]And moreover, for so much as the said promise of God offereth remission of sinne to the repentant sinner, by no other meanes nor condition but onely one, that is, by faith in Christ; therefore excluding all o­ther meanes and conditions of mans work­ing: (Thus Fox: the Writer addes) yea, and marks, and signes, and qualifications, as poverty of spirit, mourning for sinnes, or any other acts of humiliation, to be joyned with faith in Christ, in point of Justifica­tion.

Wee (saith Mr. Fox) say, that what re­penting sinner soever beleeveth in Christ, hath already in himselfe (and needeth not to seeke to any Priest) perpetuall assurance of remission of sinnes; not for this time, or that time onely, but for ever and a day: for the promise saith not, He that beleeveth in Christ shall be pardoned this time, so he sinne no more; neither doth it say, the Law is stayed, or the sentence reprived; but saith plainly, that the Law, with her condemnati­on and sentence, herselfe is condemned and hanged up, and shall never rise again to con­demne them that be in Christ Jesus, Rom. 8. 1. and promiseth indeterminately, without limitation, remission of sinnes to all that be­leeve in his Name, Acts 10.43. And in a­nother place, the Scripture speaking abso­lutely, [Page 9] saith, Sin shall not prevaile over you, and addeth the reason why, saying, because yee are not under the law, but under grace; Rom. 6. 14. adding this lesson withall, (as followeth in the same place) Not that sin­ners should sinne more therefore, because they are under grace; but onely, that weak infirmity might be relieved, broken con­sciences comforted, and repenting sinners holpen from desperation, to the praise of Gods glory; for God forgiveth not sin­ners because they should sinne: So neither doth infirmity of falling diminish the grace of Christ, but doth rather illustrate the same, as it is written, My strength is made perfect in weaknesse, 2 Cor. 12.9. and again, Where sinne abounded, there super aboundeth also grace, Rom. 5. 20.

In remission of sins therefore these foure things must concurre together: First, the cause that worketh it, (which is, the sacri­fice of Christs body.) Secondly, the pro­mise that offereth: Thirdly, Faith that ap­prehendeth: Fourthly, the repenting sinner that receiveth it. Thus farre Mr. Fox. The Writer addes an Objection.

If faith onely justifie a poore sinner in the sight of God,Object. why then is repentance added to faith in point of Justification, saying, The repenting sinner receiveth it?

[Page 10] Answ.If you demand of me, what it is that justi­fieth a soule in the sight of God? I answer, onely faith; Rom. 4. 22. but I adde repen­tance, to declare what is the nature of that faith which justifieth a soule; it is repen­ting faith, working faith: and this faith worketh by love, Gal. 5. 6.

And although sins doe daily grow, which daily provoke us to crave remission of our daily sinnes, yet, as touching the cause that worketh the pardon of our daily sinnes, it is the sacrifice of Christs body, once offered for all upon the crosse; and the means which apprehendeth the said cause unto us, is faith onely; and these remaine alwayes one and perpetuall: besides which, there is none o­ther cause or meanes to be sought of man. So that to them that be repenting sinners, and be in Christ Jesus, there is no Law to condemne them, though they have deserved condemnation; but they are under a perpe­tuall kingdome, and a heaven full of grace and remission, to cover their sins, and not to impute their iniquities, through the pro­mise of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Therefore, wicked and impious is the Do­ctrine of them, First, which seek any other cause of remission of sins, save in the bloud of Christ our Saviour onely: 1 Iohn 1. 7. Ephes. 1.7. Heb. 9.14. & 10.4. Act. 4.12. [Page 11] Secondly, which assigne any other meanes to apply the bloud-shedding of Christ unto us besides onely faith: Iohn 3. 16. God so loved the world, that hee gave his onely be­gotten Son, that whosoever beleeveth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Thirdly, and especially, which so limit and restraine the eternall priviledges of Christs passion, as though it served but only for sins done without and before faith, and that the rest, after baptisme committed, must be done away by confessions, pardons, and sa­tisfactory deeds; or (as the writer addeth, but not Mr. Fox) some qualifications of our owne. And all this ariseth, because the true nature of the Law and the Gospel is not knowne, nor the difference rightly conside­red, between the times of the one and of the other, (as before hath been by Mr. Fox largely discussed.)

Neither againe doe they make any distin­ction between the malediction of the Law, and the true use of the Law; (thus far Mr. Fox; but the Writer inserteth these words) as it is enjoyned a beleever by his Law-giver King Jesus: Iam. 4. 12. There is but one Law-giver, to the beleever, (for to such St. Iames wrote his Epistle) that is able to save and destroy, which is Iesus: who is become a beleevers Head and Husband; [Page 12] who doth not onely shew a beleever what is his will, but giveth him strength to doe his will; and in case there be defects, as who transgresseth not, his bloud pardons all, and his love covers all, Rom. 7.4. Phil. 4.13. 1 Ioh. 2. 1, 2.

Therefore, whensoever they hear us speak of the Law of Moses, that whole rigid yoke, that bound us over to death and damnation for every trespasse and transgression done a­gainst it, to bee to a beleever abolished, (though we hold it in force at this day with all his strength, sting, and curses, to the un­beleever, (to wit) to the lawlesse and diso­bedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murtherers of fa­thers, and murtherers of mothers, for man­slayers: For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for men­stealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 1 Tim. 1. 9, 10.) they maliciously slander us, as though wee gave liberty to the flesh and carnall men, to live as they list: whereas we teach, that though Christ by his death hath freed us from the first husband, the Law, Rom. 7.4. Yee are my brethren become dead to the Law; what Law was this, the Ceremoniall Law? no; for that was the remedy against the rigid yoke [Page 13] of the Law, in case there were sinnes of ig­norance committed, Numb. 15. from the 22. Verse to the 29. Verse; which typified out a Christ, which is the onely sacrifice for sinne, Heb. 10. 14. but the Morall Law, which onely discovereth to man his sinne; Rom. 3. 20. By the deeds of the Law shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the Law cometh the knowledge of sinne. That Law which bindeth the soule over to the curse, for the transgressions against it, is the Morall Law; Gal. 3.10. For as many as are of the workes of the Law, are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the Law, to doe them.

Quest. How are wee freed from this curse, the Morall Law bindeth us over to? Answ. By the body of Christ, Rom. 7.4. (to wit) crucified. Quest. How prove you it? Answ. Gal. 3. 13, 14. Christ hath re­deemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cur­sed is every one that hangeth on the tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Iesus Christ; that wee might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Yet the end why Christ hath freed us by his death from the first and [Page 14] our cruell husband the Law, was not to live as flesh and nature lusteth; but that wee should be married to another, even to the Lord Jesus, that was raised againe from the dead, that he should be our Head, Lord, and Husband; who hath not taken away the equity and true use of the Law, as it is a rule of holinesse for all his justified ones to walke in, so it remaineth in force to this day, and shall for ever; as Christ testifieth, Mat. 5. 21, 22. Yee have heard, that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill: But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgement, &c. So that Christ sheweth, there are more wayes to breake the sixth commandement, then by laying violent hands upon thy brother. And so forward. Christ teacheth his justified ones the spirituality of the Law, from the 21. Verse to the latter end of the Chapter. As Christ now sheweth us what is his Law and will wee should walke in, so hee comman­deth us in love to doe them; Ioh. 14. 15. If yee love mee, keep my commandements. and in case there be defects, his bloud par­dons all our trespasses, and his love covers all. Tell mee then thou beleeving soule, dost thou desire to live under thy first hus­band the Law, which shewed thee onely [Page 15] what to doe, and gave thee no strength to doe it (as thy second husband Christ Jesus doth,) and in case thou failest but in one title of thine obedience, in thought, word, or deed, thou must perish for ever?

But by the Law cometh the knowledge of sinne;Object. for Saint Paul saith, I had not known lust to be sin, except the Law had said, Thou shalt not lust, Rom. 7.7. there­fore the Morall Law is not abrogated.

First, As the Law is the rule of holinesse,Answ. to discover to justified man how to walke holily toward God and man, the equity of that Law remaineth; but the power (by which a beleever walketh according to that rule of holinesse) is Jesus Christ: Gal. 2.20. Neverthelesse, I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. So that a beleever doth not now worke for life, and for heaven and sal­vation, as hee did when hee was under the Law; but from life, (that is to say) from that principle of grace received; Col. 2.6, 7. As yee have received Iesus Christ the Lord, so walke in him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as yee have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Hence Paul saith, 1 Cor. 15. 10. I laboured more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with mee.

[Page 16]Secondly, The rigidnesse of the yoke, that bindeth every observer of the Law under the curse, is taken away by Christ, Gal. 3.13. so that the power and penalty of the Law can bring his soule in bondage no more, Gal. 5. 1. seeing Christ hath set him free.

Thirdly, The Law it selfe did not disco­ver to Paul his sinne; (for hee boastingly said, in his naturall condition, as hee was a Jew, borne of the stock of Abraham, and of the tribe of Benjamin, and circumcised the eighth day, and by the Law a Pharisee; and concerning zeale, persecuting the Church; and concerning the keeping of the Law, blamelesse; Phil. 3. 6.) but by the know­ledge of Christ hee came to know himselfe a sinner; 1 Tim. 1. 15. This is a faithfull saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Iesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chiefe. So that Saint Paul never saw himselfe a sinner, till hee had seen Christ; and the more hee by grace saw the beauty and excellency of Christ, the more hee saw the corruption of his owne evill heart, burning in lust against the Law of God, Rom. 7. from the 14. to the 24. Verse: from which corruption, none could free him but a Christ alone; there­fore breaketh out into praises, I thanke my God through Christ. Rom. 7.25. Thus though the Law [Page 17] be as a rule, to shew a man his evills com­mitted against it, yet it is Christ must give thee eyes to see thy sinne and transgression thou hast done against it, as justified Paul acknowledgeth; I had not known lust to be sinne, except the Law had said,Rom. 7. 7.Thou shalt not lust. Christ must give the light, Ephes. 5. 14. Acts 26. 17, 18. Christ sent Paul to the Gentiles, To open their blind eyes, and to turne them from darknesse to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.

The fourth branch is taken out of the briefe recapitulation of St. Pauls doctrine delivered to the Gentiles, out of Mr. Fox, Tom. 1. pag. 19.

To teach and informe us (to whom the benefits of Christs passion and victory doe appertaine) by what meanes the same is applied, and redoundeth unto us; which meanes is onely one, (that is) onely faith in Christ Jesus, and no other thing; which faith, it pleaseth Almighty God to accept for righteousnesse: and this righteousnesse it is which onely standeth before God, and none other, as wee are plainly taught by the Scriptures, and especially by the doctrine of St. Paul: which righteousnesse, thus ri­sing of faith in Christ, Saint Paul calleth, The righteousnesse of God; where hee speaking of himselfe utterly refusing the other righ­teousnesse, [Page 18] which is of the Law, that hee may be found in him, not having his owne righteousnesse, which is of the Law, but the righteousnesse of Christ, which is of faith, Phil. 3. 9. Again, the said Apostle writing of the Jewes, which sought for righteous­nesse, but found it not; and also of the Gen­tiles, which sought not for it, and yet found it, shewed the reason why, Because (saith hee) the one sought it as by workes, and by Law, and came not to it: Who not know­ing the righteousnesse of God, and seeking to set up their owne righteousnesse, did not submit themselves to the righteousnesse which is of God, Rom. 9. 32. & 10. 3. The other, which were Gentiles, and sought not for it, obtained righteousnesse, even that righteousnesse which is of faith, Rom. 9. 30. Also, in another place, Saint Paul in the same Epistle writing of this righteousnesse, which cometh of faith, calleth it the righ­teousnesse of God, in these words, Whom God (saith hee) hath set forth to be a propi­tiation, through faith in his bloud, to de­clare his righteousnesse for the remission of sinnes that are past through the forbearance of God: To declare, I say, at that time his righteousnesse; that hee might be just, and the justifier of him that beleeveth in Iesus. Rom. 3. 25, 26. By which righteousnesse, it [Page 19] is evident that Saint Paul meaneth the righ­teousnesse of faith, which Almighty God now revealeth, and maketh manifest, by preaching of the Gospel.

Wilt thou see (gentle Reader) yet more plainly this righteousnesse of God, how it is taken in Saint Pauls Epistles for the righteousnesse of faith, and therefore is cal­led the righteousnesse of God; because it is imputed onely of God to faith, and not deserved of man? But now the righteous­nesse of God without the Law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Pro­phets: Even the righteousnesse of God which is by faith of Iesus Christ unto all, and up­on all them that beleeve; for there is no difference: For all have sinned, &c. Rom. 3. 21, 22, 23.

Wherefore whosoever studieth to be ac­cepted with God, and be found righteous in his sight, let him learne diligently, by the doctrine of Saint Paul, to make a difference and a separation, as farre as from heaven and earth, betweene these two; that is, between the righteousnesse of workes, and the righteousnesse of faith: and in any wise let him beware hee bring no other meanes for his justification, and remission of his sins, but onely faith, apprehending the body or person of Jesus Christ crucified. For as [Page 20] there is no way into the house but by the doore, so there is no coming to God the Fa­ther but by Christ alone, which is by faith in him, Ioh. 14. 6. And as the mortall bo­dy without bodily sustenance of bread and wine cannot but perish, so the spirituall part of man hath no other refreshing, but onely by faith in the body and bloud of Christ, whereby hee may be saved; Ioh. 3. 14, 16, 36. & 6. 53, 54. Acts 10. 43. & 26. 18. Gal. 2. 20. Thus apostatized Adam, that had broken the Law by eating the forbidden fruit, and had the earth accursed for his sin, was saved by faith in the free-promise, Gen. 3. 15. Thus Abraham, that was by nature an Idolater, was saved by faith in a Gospel-promise, Gen. 12. 3. Thus Mary Magda­len, the great sinner, was saved by faith in a free-promise, Luke 7.47. Daughter, be of good comfort, thy sinnes are forgiven thee: Thy faith hath saved thee, goe in peace. Verse 50. Thus Cornelius the Captaine of the Italian band, with them that beleeved in his house with him, were saved by faith; Acts 10.47. & 11. 17, 18. Yea, and thus the cruell Jailor (that beat the Apostles) and his houshold, were saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Acts 16. 30, 31, 32, 33, 34.

Thus thou maist see (gentle Reader) that [Page 21] as the death of Jesus Christ on the tree, 1 Pet. 2. 24. is the onely meritorious cause of salvation, so is faith the only instrumen­tall or maine cause that maketh the merits of Christ to us availeable; for as the suffe­rings of Christ on the accursed tree, Gal. 3. 13. serveth to the benefit of none but such as doe beleeve; so neither doth faith (as it is onely a bare quality or action in mans mind) it selfe justifie, unlesse it be directed to the body of Christ crucified, as to his ob­ject, of whom it receiveth all his vertue. And therefore these two must alwayes joyntly concurre together, Faith and Christ Jesus crucified: As for example, When the children of Israel were bid of Moses to look up to the brasen serpent, neither could the serpent have helped them, except they had looked up, nor yet their looking upward have profited them, unlesse they had directed their eye unto the said brasen serpent, as the onely object set up of God for the same purpose, for them to behold; so all poore sinners are commanded in the Gospel to look up to Jesus whom they have pierced, Zech. 12. 10. now a crucified Jesus cannot help them, except they looke up; nor yet their beleeving, or looking upward cannot profit them, unlesse they direct the eye of their faith unto the said crucified Jesus, as [Page 22] the onely object, set up of Gods free grace for them to behold, Iohn 3. 14. Thus our faith, directed (by Gods own Spirit, Zech. 12. 10.) to the body of Jesus crucified, is the onely meanes whereby Christs merits are applied to us, and we now justified be­fore God; according to the doctrine of Paul, who in expresse words defining what this faith is, and how it justifieth, saith, If thou shalt confesse with thy mouth the Lord Iesus, and shalt beleeve in thine heart, that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Rom. 10. 9.

Besides this, what action or quality soe­ver is in man, either hope, charity, or any other kind of faith or beleeving, be it ne­ver so true, except it apprehend this object, (which is) the body of Christ the Sonne of God, that loved us, and gave himselfe for us, it serveth not to justification: And that is the cause why wee adde this particle [onely] to faith, and say, that Faith onely in Christ justifieth us; to exclude all other actions, qualities; (Thus farre Mr. Fox: the Writer addes,) qualifications, marks, signes, evidences of sanctification, as poverty of spirit, mourning for sinne, hungring and thirsting after Christ, love to the brethren, universall obedience, or gifts, or workes of beleevers, as repentance for sinne, or any o­ther [Page 23] acts of humiliation, fasting, praying, weeping, mourning, or reformation, or deed of charity, from the cause of justify­ing.

But you destroy qualifications, markes,Object. signes, and evidences of sanctification.

Doe I destroy qualifications,Answ. &c. because I will not make them causes of my justifi­cation? Markes, signes, and evidences of sanctification flow from faith, and not faith from them; they are the fruits (as I may so speake) of a justifying faith, and de­clare what kind of faith it is that justifieth; namely, repenting faith, working faith: They shall look upon him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourne over him, as one mourneth for an onely sonne, and shall be in bitternesse for him, as one that is in bitternesse for his first-borne, Zech. 12.10. Because nothing can expiate my sinne, but the bloud of my Christ, therefore I re­pent.

But, a good tree is knowne by his fruit.Object. Mat. 7.17.

To others, not to it selfe;Answ. for, if the good tree could speake, it would say, I am not a good tree because I beare good fruit, but by vertue of my union with my good root, I bring forth good fruit: So we are not good men, because wee shew forth [Page 24] to others these markes, signes, qualifica­tions, and evidences of our sanctification, as poverty of spirit, mourning for sinne, hungring and thirsting after Christ, &c. but by vertue of our union with our good root, the Lord Jesus, wee bring forth this good fruit: Iohn 15. 5. I am the Vine, and yee are the branches: hee that abideth in mee, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without mee yee can doe nothing. These Objections and the An­swers were inserted by the Writer, to shew, that though hee deny markes, signes, qualifications, and evidences of sanctifica­tion, as causes of justifying, yea, and he utter­ly denyeth them to be the first evidence of Justification; for that were to robbe faith of his prerogative, Heb. 11. 1. Faith is the evidence of things not seen; though hee deny them à priori, yet hee acknowledgeth them à posteriori, from the effects, as a se­condary witnesse, and as an evidence that the spirit of Jesus dwelleth in you of a truth, which causeth this life and fruit of holinesse so to abound in you. Thus farre the Writer declareth his judgement. Now to Mr. Foxes words againe. For so much as there is no other knowledge, nor gifts of men, given of God to man, be it never so excellent, can stand before the judgement [Page 25] of God, unto justification of a poore sinner, or whereunto any promise of salvation is annexed, but onely this faith, looking up to this spirituall Brasen Serpent; that is, to the body of Christ Jesus for us crucified: Zech. 12. 10. As for example,

When the Turke saith, that hee beleeveth in one living God, that made heaven and earth; his beleefe therein is true, yet it justifieth him not; because it lacketh the right object, which is Christ Jesus cruci­fied.

So when the Jew saith, that he beleeveth in one God, maker of heaven and earth; and beleeveth also the same God to be om­nipotent, mercifull, just, and true of pro­mise, and that hee hath elected the seed of Abraham: true it is that hee beleeveth; and yet all this serveth him not, because Jesus Christ crucified, the Sonne of God, is not joyned with all. And though the said Jew should be never so devout in his prayers, or charitable in his almes, or pre­cise in keeping the Law, and beleeve never so stedfastly that hee is elect to be saved; yet hee is never the nearer to salvation for all this, so long as his faith is not groun­ded upon the head Corner-stone, which is the person and body of Jesus Christ, the true Saviour; seeing there is salvati­on [Page 26] in none other: Acts 4. 12.

After like sort it may be said of the Pa­pist, when hee saith that hee is baptized, and beleeveth in the Father, Sonne, and Holy Ghost, three Persons and one God, and also confesseth that Jesus is the Sonne of God, which died for our sinnes, and rose againe for our righteousnesse, &c. his be­leefe therein is true, and indeed would save him, if hee did stay his salvation in this faith, and upon Christ his Saviour onely, accor­ding to the promise and grace of God, and goe no further: but that hee doth not; for neither doth hee admit Christ onely to be his perfect Saviour, without the help of Patrons, Deeds, Advocates and Mediatours, nor yet permitteth his faith in Christ onely to be the meanes of his justification; but setteth up other by-meanes, as hope, cha­rity, Sacrifice of the Masse, confession, pen­nance, satisfaction, merits, and pardons, sup­posing thereby to worke his justification be­fore God; contrary to the word of pro­mise, Iohn 3.16. and to the Gospel of grace, Gal. 3. 8. Thus farre Mr. Fox. Now the Writer inserteth a few words. Thus the Papists declare from what stock they spring, even from Iezebel of Rome, the mother of all fornication, that hath the true character of an harlot, 1 King. 3. 26. that can be [Page 27] content with a divided Christ: But, the true Spouse of Christ will have a whole Christ or none in point of Justification, or Intercession; for Christ will not give his glory to another: And Saint Paul telleth us, that if wee bring circumcision to adde to Christ, in point of Justifica­tion, (as without which hee were not a perfect Saviour) Christ profits nothing: Gal. 5.2.

Now to Mr. Fox. And thus much of the true causes of our justification; after the doctrine of Saint Paul: Concerning which causes, this distinction furthermore by the way is to be added, that as touch­ing the originall causes of our salvation, which be divers and sundry, some are externall, and without us; some are in­ternall, and within us. Of the externall causes, which are without us, the first and principall is, the mercy and grace of God: Of this followeth Predestination and E­lection, Rom. 9. 11. 12. then Vocation, which is of free grace, nothing in the creature is the cause of it; 1 Cor. 2. 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. 2 Tim. 1.9. The last, and next cause to this, is the death and bloud-shedding of Christ; whereby wee are re­deemed: And all these be externall causes, because they are without us.

[Page 28]Of internall causes that be in man, through the gift of God, Ephes. 2.8. there is but one, and no more in Scripture ap­pointed; that is, our faith in Christ; which is the gift of God in us, Phil. 1.29. Besides this, there is no gift of God given to man; vertue, worke, merit, nor any thing else, that is any part or cause of sal­vation, but onely this gift of faith, to be­leeve in Christ Jesus. And this is the cause why wee hold, that faith onely justifieth; meaning, that amongst all the workes, deeds; actions, labours, and operations whatsoever man doth or can doe, there is nothing in man that worketh salvati­on, but onely his faith, given him of God, to beleeve in Christ Jesus his Sonne, that was crucified for him. Following there­in the trade of Saint Pauls teaching, who in precise words so ascribeth Justification to Faith, that hee excludeth all other actions of man, and workes of the Law: and therefore, in the Epistle to the Ro­manes, Saint Paul reasoning of the glory of justifying, asketh this question, How this glory is excluded? By what law? of workes? Nay; but by the law of faith: Therefore we conclude, that a man is justi­fied by faith without the deeds of the law. Rom. 3.27, 28. Thus farre Mr. Fox. [Page 29] Now the Writer will insert a few words, in explanation of a Text of Scripture, in setting out the dignity of faith, Ioh. 3. 16. To the saving knowledge of the promise of life rendered to a beleever in Jesus Christ, there is required these six parti­culars:

The first is, the freenesse of grace offe­red: It requireth nothing precedent in any man; no qualifications, preparations, dispositions whatsoever; no freedome from any sinne, in one kind or other; no antecedent sorrow or remorse for sinne; but that it is freely and willingly ten­dered by the Lord, to be embraced and beleeved by the most unworthiest of men, as by the worthiest of all.

But is there no qualification in the soule precedent to faith?Object.

If there be any qualification in the soul precedent,Answ. or going before faith, then there may be something pleasing to God in the soule before faith received; But there is nothing pleasing unto God be­fore faith; the reason is, Heb. 11.6. With­out faith it is impossible to please God. Therefore I conclude, there is no quali­fication, preparation, disposition whatso­ever in the soule pleasing unto God before faith received; for, as for poverty of spi­rit, [Page 30] and mourning for sinne,Mat. 5. and hungring and thirsting after Christ and his righte­ousnesse,Luk. 6. these flow from faith; and they are the effects and fruits of that faith that justifieth.

The second is, the fulnesse of this grace: which standeth chiefly in two things:

  • 1. In the extent of it to all sinnes; so that no sinnes whatsoever, or how many soever, or of what continuance soever, can make a man (in his naturall condition) uncapable of this pardon and forgivenesse of them there offered. As for the sinne against the holy Spirit, Mat. 12. 31. that is a sinne against light, and grace received, as appeareth, Heb. 6.6.
  • 2. In the extent unto all persons: there­of, of what ranck or condition soever, or of what number soever; instance, if ten or an hundred, or ten thousand of the greatest and foulest sinners in the world accepting, (that is to say) beleeving the promise of life in Christ, shall be as rea­dily and certainly pardoned, as the smal­lest number of the lightest offenders that ever were. These two things are in the note of the universality, Whosoever be­leeveth in him shall not perish.

The third is, the knowledge of the Gospel; which requireth the apprehen­sion [Page 31] of the way, and of the means of con­veyance, and of the derivation of this grace to the world; and that is, in and by Jesus Christ, as for his sake onely.

The fourth is, the incommunicablenesse of this pardoning and saving grace, ei­ther in whole or in part; in any other way, or by any other meanes whatsoe­ver, then by and through Christ alone. This third and fourth I conceive to bee expressed in these words [in him,] that is, In Christ Jesus; and in Christ Jesus so intirely, that hee joyneth nothing with him to trust on or confide in besides: Gal. 5. 2,3.

The fifth is, that act or condition in the creature, (by which God doth actually instate him in the possession of this grace) which is, faith, or beleeving of the pro­mise of life in Jesus Christ: In this word, [beleeveth.]

The sixth is, the infinite benefit in this grace received by faith, or beleeving; that is, salvation: (clearly expressed in these words) shall not perish, but have ever­lasting life. So much the Author or Wri­ter inserteth.

The last part of this Treatise, that the Author hath taken out of Mr. Foxes wri­tings, is out of the Summary collections [Page 32] of the errours, heresies, absurdities, con­tained in the Popes doctrine; contrary to the rule of Gods word, and the first in­stitution of the Church of Rome. Tome 1. part. pag. 22.

This errour and heresie of the Church of Rome, though it seeme at the first sight, to the naturall reason of man, to be but of small importance; yet if it be earnest­ly considered, it is in very deed the most pernicious heresie that ever (almost) crept into the Church: upon which, as the on­ly foundation, all, or the most part of all the errours, absurdities, and inconve­niences of the Popes Church are groun­ded.

For, this being once admitted, that a man is not justified by his faith in Christ alone, but other meanes (and qualifica­tions, or evidences of sanctification) must be sought, by our owne working and me­rits, to apply the merits of Christs Passi­on unto us, then is there neither any cer­tainty left of our salvation, nor end in set­ting up new meanes (and markes and signes) and merits of our owne devising, for the getting of the assurance of the re­mission of sinnes. Neither hath there been any heresie, that hath either rebelled more presumptuously against the high Majesty of [Page 33] God the Father, nor more perniciously hath injured the soule of the simple, than this doctrine.

The first inconvenience.

It subverteth the Will and Testament of God: For, whereas Almighty God of his mercy hath given us his Sonne Jesus Christ to dye for us, and with him hath given out a full promise, That whosoever beleeveth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life, Joh. 3. 16, 36. by their faith onely; and assigneth no other condition, either of the Law, or any mans workes, but onely faith to be the meane between his Sonne Jesus Christ and us; these men take upon them to alter this Testament, that God hath ratified in the bloud of his Sonne, and adjoyne other conditions, which the Lord in his word never appointed nor knew. To whom the words of Ierome may be well appli­ed, upon the Epistle to the Galathians speaking of such, Qui de Evangelio Christi faciunt hominis, vel quod pejus est, diaboli, &c. That is, Which make of the Gospel of Christ the Gospel of men, or rather, the Gospel of the devill, &c.

The second inconvenience.

Whereas the Christian Reader, in the Gospel, reading of the great grace and [Page 34] sweet promises of God given unto man­kind in Christ Jesus his Sonne, might thereby take much comfort of soule,Rom. 5.1. and bee at rest and peace with the Lord his God, cometh in the pestiferous doctrine of these Heretikes, wherewith they ob­scure this free-grace of God, to choke the sweet comforts of man in the Holy Spirit,Gal. 2.20. and oppresse Christian liberty, and bring us into spirituall bondage, which Christ by his precious death hath freed us from, Gal. 5.1.

The third inconvenience.

As in this their impious doctrine they shew themselves manifest enemies to the grace of God tendered to us in Christ, by interposing their owne righteousnesse of workes with the righteousnesse of faith, and so make the death of Christ of none effect; Gal. 2. 21. If righteousnesse come by the law, then Christ is dead in vaine: So are they no lesse injurious to Christian men, that beleeve in him for life and sal­vation, whom they leave in a doubtfull distrust of Gods favour, and of their sal­vation; contrary to the word and will of God, and right institution of the Apo­stolicall doctrine.

Object.Whereas our new School-men of late, to maintaine this said wicked point of [Page 35] doctrine, doe object unto us, that wee rather leave mens consciences uncertaine; for as much as if life (say they) were not a due reward, it were uncertaine: And now for as much as a due debt is certain, and mercy and favour is uncertain; there­fore (say they) wee leaving mens con­sciences to the mercy of God, doe leave them in a doubtfull uncertainty of their salvation.

To this I answer,Answ. that due debt, if it be proved by the Law duly deserved, it must be certaine; but if the Law shall prove it imperfect, or unsufficiently due, then it is not certaine, neither can there be a­ny thing duly claimed. Now, as touch­ing mercy, so long as it remaineth secret in the Prince of life Christ Jesus, and not knowne to his subjects that beleeve and obey him, so long it is uncertaine; but when this mercy shall be openly pub­lished by proclamation, Esay 55. 1, 2,3. Ioh. 7. 37. Revel. 22. 17. Let him that is athirst, come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely: ra­tified by an oath and a promise, That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lye, we might have a strong consolation, Heb. 6. 17, 18. con­firmed by his last Will and Testament, e­stablished [Page 36] in bloud, that the promise of pardon and forgivenesse of sinne may be sure to all that beleeve; For a mans Te­stament is of force after a man is dead, Heb. 9. 17. and sealed inwardly by the Spirit to the conscience, Rom. 8. 16. and outwardly by the Sacrament of Baptisme, and the Lords Supper; which are to us that beleeve, as the rain-bow was to the old world, a token that God will destroy the world with water no more, Gen. 9. 14, 15, 16, 17. so God hath sworne to us in his Sonne, that hee will not be wroth with us, nor rebuke us; For the mountaines shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindnesse shall not de­part from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee Esay 54. 9, 10. For I will be mercifull to their unrighte­ousnesse, and their sinnes and their ini­quities will I remember no more, Heb. 8. 12. Then this mercy remaineth no more doubtfull, but ought firmly to be beleeved of every faithfull subject to King Jesus. Therefore Saint Paul, to establish our hearts in this assurance, and so to give a full answer to this doubt, in his Epistle to the Romanes doth teach us, saying, And therefore of faith, that it might bee by [Page 37] grace, to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that onely which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, Rom. 4. 16. Now it was not written for his sake a­lone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if wee be­leeve on him that raised up Iesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised againe for our justi­fication, Vers. 23, 24, 25. meaning hereby, that workes have nothing to doe in this case of justifying; and noteth the reason why, for then our salvation should never be cer­taine, but stand in a doubtfull wavering; be­cause, in working, we are never certain whe­ther our workes and deserts be perfect and sufficient in Gods judgement yea or no: and therefore (saith Saint Paul) to the intent our salvation should be out of doubt, and certain, it standeth not of works, in deserving; but of faith, in apprehending; and of Gods free grace, in promising life and salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The fourth inconvenience.

As in this their sinister doctrine they break this Principle of Christian Religion, which saith, that a man is justified by faith without workes, Rom. 3.28. so again it breaketh ano­ther Principle, namely, that to the word of [Page 38] God neither must we adde nor take from it, Deut. 4.2. For this rule being granted, that nothing is to be added to Gods word nor ta­ken from it, then have these men done wickedly, in adding (as they doe) to Gods word; for whereas Gods word limiteth to our justification no condition but faith, (Saint Paul speaking to the cruell Jailor that beat the Apostle, demanding of him in the bitter­nesse of his spirit, Sirs, good Sir, what must I doe to be saved? replied, Beleeve (saith he) on the Lord Iesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thine house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was baptized, hee, and all his straight-way. And when hee had brought them into his house, he set me at before them, and rejoyced, beleeving in God with all his house. Act. 16. 30,31,32, 33,34.) these Justiciaries doe adde thereun­to divers and sundry other conditions be­sides, and such as the word of God precisely excludeth, as hope, charity, works of mercy to the poore needy brethren, the sacrifice of the Masse, the worke of the Priest ex opere operato, auricular confession, satisfactions, meritorious deeds, or any other qualities or qualifications, or acts of humiliations, which are laid down as causes to be annexed unto [Page 39] the bloud of Christ in point of Justification: These things all true beleevers now esteeme them, with St. Paul, filth and dung, that they may gain Christ, and be found in him, not ha­ving their own righteousnesse, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousnesse which is of God by faith. Phil. 3. 8,9.

And thus much concerning the doctrine of Faith and Justification; whereby it may appear, to what horrible blindnesse and blas­phemy the Church of Rome is now fallen, where this kind of doctrine is not onely suf­fered, but also publikely professed, with speak­ing against faith, thus blaspemously dare say, ‘Fides illa, qua quis firmiter credit, & certo statuit propter Christum sibi remissa esse pec­cata, seseque possefsurum vitam aeternam, non fides est, sed temeritas; non Spiritus sancti persuasio, sed humanae audaciae praesumptio:’ That is, That faith whereby a man firmly be­leeveth, and certainly assureth himselfe that for Christs sake his sins be forgiven him, and that he shall possesse eternall life, is not faith, but rashnesse; not the perswasion of the holy Spirit, but presumption of mans boldnesse. Ex Lindano in epitome doctrinae Evangelicae. This Relation, as farre as it is Mr. Foxes, is truly word for word set down, unlesse some doubtfull phrase were explained by the Wri­ter, [Page 40] for the benefit of the curteous Reader, and hath (excepting the explanations) been seven times publikely Printed by Publike Authority.

Mr. Foxes Touchstone, to know Truth from Error, by certaine Prin­ciples and generall Verities, grounded upon the truth of Gods word.

The first Principle.

AS sin and death came originally by the disobedience of one, to all men of his generation by nature; so righteousnesse and life cometh originally by the obedience of one, to all men regenerated of him by faith and baptisme. Rom. 5. chap. Ioh. 3.5.

II. The Promise of God was freely given to our first Parents, without their deserving, that, The seed of the woman should breake the serpents head. Gen. 3.15.

III. The Promise was given freely to A­braham, before hee deserved any thing, that, In his seed all Nations should be blessed. Gen. 12.3. compared with Gal. 3.8.

IV. To the word of God neither must wee adde, nor take from it. Deut. 4.2.

[Page 41]V. Hee that doth the works of the Law, shall live therein. Levit. 18. Gal. 3.12.

VI. Accursed is hee which abideth not in every thing that is written in the book of the Law. Deut. 27. Gal. 3.10.

VII. God onely is to be worshipped. Deut. 6. Luke 4.

VIII. All our righteousnesse is like the defiled or polluted rags. Esay 64. 6.

IX. In all my holy hill they shall not kill nor slay, saith the Lord. Esay 11.9.

X. God loveth mercy and obedience more than sacrifice. Hos. 6.6. 1 Sam. 15.22.

XI. The Law worketh anger, condemn­eth, and openeth sin. Rom. 3.20.

XII. The end of the Law is Christ for righteousnesse to every one that beleeveth. Rom. 10. 4.

XIII. Whosoever beleeveth, and is bap­tized, shall be saved. Mar. 16.16.

XIV. A man is justified by faith, without workes; freely, by grace, not of our selves. Gal. 2.16. Ephes. 2.8.

XV. There is no remission of sins with­out bloud. Heb. 9.22.

XVI. Whatsoever is not of faith is sinne. Rom. 14.23. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Heb. 11.6.

XVII. One Mediatour between God and man, Christ Jesus. 1 Tim. 2. 5. And hee is [Page 42] the propitiation for our sinnes. 1 Ioh. 2.2.

XVIII. Whosoever seeketh in the Law to be justified, is fallen from grace. Gal. 5.4.

XIX. In Christ be all the promises of God Est & Amen. 2 Cor. 1.20.

XX. Let every soule be subject to superi­our Powers. Rom. 13. 1. Giving to Cesar that which is Cesars; and to God, that which is Gods. Mat. 22.21.

These Principles, and infallible rules of the Scripture, as no man can deny, so if they be granted, the doctrine then of the Popes Church must needs be found not to be Ca­tholike, but rather full of Errors and Heresies. Fox, in the book of Martyrs, Tom. 1: pag. 22 these are recorded, and have been seven times publikely imprinted.

Soli Deo Gratia.

FINIS.

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