ESSAYS, ABOUT General and Special GRACE: By way of Distinction between; or distinct Consideration of

  • 1. The Object of Divine Faith, or the Truth to be Preached to, and believed by Men. And,
  • 2. Gods Purposes for dispensing. And,
  • 3. His Dispensations of the said Truth, and the Knowledge of it to men. And,
  • 4. The Operations of God with it in men in the Dispensations of it.

By Jo. Horne, late of Lin-Allhallows.

2 Tim. 2.15. Study to shew thy self approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly Dividing the word of Truth.
Eccles. 11.5, 6. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, or how the bones do grow in the womb, &c

Tolle liberum arbitrium non erit quod salvetur: Tolle gra­tiam, non erit unde salvatur: opus hoc sine duobus effici no­potest, uno ei quo fit, altero cui vel in quo fit, Deus Author est salutis: liberum arbitrium tantum capax: nec dare illam nisi Deus, nec capere Valet nisi liberum arbitrium: quod ergo a solo Deo & soli datur libero arbitrio tam abs (que) consensu esse non potest accipientis, quam abs (que) gratia dantis.

Bernard, de Gra. & lib. d [...]bit.

Deus non modo amans, sed amor est. & solam amoris vicem requirit & sidem, quid ni ametur amans?

Id Serm. 83. Sup. Cant
Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.

London, Printed for S. Walsall at the Heart and Bible, on the West-side of the [...]


ZEnophon, in his Second Book of Memorable things, Records this Saying of Socrates, to En­therus: That it is not easie for any man to do such a work, as for which he shall not be subject to blame. For saith he, It's difficult for a man to do any work in which he shall be without Sin, or fault; and it's difficult, when a man doth any thing faultless, not to meet with some unequal Judge that will dislike what [...]s rightly done. I cannot promise my [...]elf freedome in what I have here done: Good Reader, upon either ac­count. For, neither can I imagine, [...]hat in viewing, and speaking of [...]hings so high, and mysterious, there should be nothing, in so much as I have written that might not have [...]een far better spoken to, or in which [Page]there may be nothing wrong, though my weakness happily perceive not wherein. Nor can I think, that the World is grown so good and charita­ble, and so void of its enmity to God, and his goodness, as that there are none in it who will pick quarrels against what is rightly done. I con­fess, the Greatness of the things treat­ed on; as the person and works of Christ; the nature of the Truth: the Faith, Hope, and Obedience of the Gospel, the terrours of the Lord against evil doers, the Purposes, Dis­pensations, and Operations of God, are all of that nature, and height, and weight, that each of them may deserve a Volume worthily to unfold them, and require a far more able head, and heart, to discuss them, then mine be; and more labour, and in­dustry, than I have bestowed, or was able to bestow about them: and on the other side, that such is my weak­ness, and want of exercise of senses, to discern things that differ, and of judgment rightly, and orderly to ex­press them, that I may seem not to have followed the advice of Socrates, given a little after the sayings above reci­ted, [Page] viz. Either to undertake such things as one can grapple with, or for­bear things that one cannot. How­ever I may fear, that men of greater understandings, will find some things defective, and not sufficiently spoken to, and cleared; and other things too often repeated, or too unorder­ly mentioned. I am a man (and a weak one too,) and therefore can­not rationally think it strange, that humane Infirmities should be incident to me; amongst which, it is one to be subject to mistakes; even some­times an Homer, as the Proverb says, may catch a nap; and acute Bernard, yet sees not all things: no great won­der, in a long and tedious business, to see one grow drousie, and sometimes to nod; besides, the Truth lies as it were in the deep, and is not so easily brought to Light. I hope there­fore, that the Ingenuous Readers con­sidering that of the Apostle James 3.1, 2. That in many things we offend all. Will be ready also to take his advice, not to be many Masters; that is, not to be censorious, but will take in good part, what I have endeavou­red, and performed, and will bear [Page]with the infirmities of my stile, and manner of tractation, which are ex­trinsick from the matters handled. But from two sorts of men, I can expect no such candid dealing: that is to say,

1. The proud and rich in conceit of themselves, and their Learning; and such as are seeking after the worldly Wisdome: they I know will find no Sa­vour in what I have written, because nothing to satisfie their curiosity, and please the daintiness of their finer Pa­lates; they will slight what I have writ­ten because I have not strewed the way of my Discourse, with the flowers of quaint and smooth Rhetorications, elegant Phrases, and apt and witty Allusions; nor fenced it with the Testimonies of the Ancient Doctors, and Learned Writers: nor given the Reader here and there the comfit of a pleasant story, to quicken up his dull and tired Spirits, and keep him from fainting: in a word, they will say, Here is neither Artifice, nor any polite learning; the things they look for, with the Ancient Grecians. 1 Cor. 1.22. To whom I say, had it been my design to hunt after applause, that in­deed [Page]had been my direct course to it: Populo ut place­rent quas fe­cisset fabulas Terent. especially, had I turned aside from the Truth, to witty fables, for they are the things the people are too usu­ally pleased with: Yea, had I sought honour with the Leaders of this Age, my way had been to have quitted the Truth, and shewed my self able to maintain the Ortho-Doct Opinions: or at least, to have adorned my dis­course with a rich Coat; for then it may be, so accouter'd, it might have taken some mens more wanton affecti­ons, who would have courted it, not for the Truth, so much as for its or­naments, (like some that love the person, for the gay clothing;) and so they might have given me their good word for a Scholar, or man of Parts: though yet some are so capricious up­on the account of their dislike of the Truth, that nothing will please them, that is hearty for the Truth; be it never so Elegant, but even a Cyprian shall in contempt be Ca­pricianus with them, as Lactantius writes. But my design being to find out, and set forth the Truth; and that for the helpfulness and profit of many, and they of the mean­ner [Page]capacities, and not for the Learn­ed onely. I took it to be best, to be plain; as believing that the Truth is then most beautiful to a chast Eye, when it is most naked of humane varnishing; and that they that like not the Truth, but in a curious dress, love not the Truth but the Dress. 'Tis Origens observation too, Orig. contr. Cels lib. 6. that the ordinary way of Expression, which is common and plain, is the likeliest way to profit the most. And that Plato's and other Philosophers [...] Elegant and exquisite way of speaking, profited but a few, when as the simplicity of the holy men ac­commodating themselves to vulgar capacity both in their Doctrine, and way of delivering it, did profit very many. Thence Epictetus hath more Readers than Plato, because of his plainness, and as that Physitian is most to be esteemed, that prepares meats wholesome, and Medicinable, for the most; and not he that prepares only some more curious Compositions that are fit for none but the delicate Gal­lants; (it's his comparison too:) So are they amongst the Souls Physitians most to be regarded, that by plainer, [Page]and simpler Teaching, seek to Edify the Multitude, rather then by pleasing the Palates, of a few that seek after wisdom of Words to affect, and en­deavour their own admiration. Be­sides, though I am not free from such youthful Lusts of shewing Wit and Learning (if I had them,) which (with the rest of them) the man of God is to flee from, 2 Tim. 2.22. Yet I cannot forget the Apostles inti­mation; That the Wisdome of Words though it procure Applause to the Preacher, yet is unprofitable to the hearer, because it makes the Cross of Christ of no effect to him, 1 Cor. 1.17. While instead of drawing his heart to Christ, and his love, it is lost by the way in the Preachers Learning: and while in stead of Killing, and Crucifying the Affections of the Flesh, which are naturally alive to things of that nature, it doth more animate and inflame them. Well, I have provi­ded what God hath brought to my hand: and though I have done there­in, as plain Jacob at his Mothers advice, taken what I found in the Flock near­er home, prepared by Free-grace the Mother of the Faithful: yet I hope, [Page]it will meet with our Fathers accepta­tion, and obtain Jacob's Blessing; which I esteem far better, than if I should have lost it by hunting more subtly about with Esau for more de­licate Venison that the sickly Palate might have found more relish in. But,

2. They also who seek a Sign will not like the Doctrine this Treatise delivers, but it will prove an offence unto them. I mean, they that believe not the love of God to all men, as testifyed in the Cross of Christ, and declared in the Scriptures to them; that like not to have the ground of their Faith in Gods plain Assertions, nor to have their hope spring from, and be fed by, that which is so com­mon, the Flesh of Christ given for the life of the World: but are slight­ing that as dry Manna, or unsound Doctrine; and are seeking some more appropriate bottom for their Faith, which they may have rejoycing in themselves from, and may serve a na­tural proud desire of conceiving them­selves some-bodies in themselves, or more personally, and as out of Christ respected then other men, that say, [Page] Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. Some private personal ground of hoping in God, to be preferred before what is set on Wisdomes Table, for all to come and feed on. These will some of them be more seriously offended, and cast out my Name, as they have done, amongst the Evil Doers; the main­tainers of corrupt and unwholsom Doctrine: because the grace of God to All, throws down their impropriate Inclosures, and spoils the pride of their Self-rejoycing; whom I shall not seek to satisfie, but shall say, I de­sire so to go, as the Truth may be my leader, and companion: And because I find it said, God is good to All. I dare not think him otherwise to any; tho true it is, That most be bad to them­selves, and abuse his goodness, to their own Destruction. Though yet to take away prejudice from the more sober minded, that differ from me, I have I hope, come as neer them in Expression too, as the Truth would lead me.

I shall Conclude, with some passa­ges of St. Augustine, Aug. de Trin. lib. 1. cap. 3. in his Books of the Trinity; and say, Whosoever shall [Page]vouchsafe to read these things, where he is certain with me, let him go on with me; where he doubts, as I do, let him enquire with me, where he is convinced of his Error let him return to me, (or to the Truth rather with me,) and where he finds me to Erre let him recall me. If he say, This is not well said, because I do not understand it, let him fault my Ex­pression, not my Faith. And possibly it might have been more truly exprest, but none ever so spake, as that in all things he could be understood by All. If there be any that say, the same things more plainly, let him lay me aside, and read what he can better understand: yet let him not conclude, that I should have been silent, because I express not my self so well as those, he better understands: for all things written by all, come not in­to every mans hands; and some may understand these things, who may not meet with what thou better understandest, and therefore it is good, that divers write of the same questions, in a diverse stile, though not in a different Faith, that the Truth may come to many; to some this way, and to others otherwise. But if he that complains, that he understands not these things, never could understand [Page]them, though dilligently discust by others; let him endeavour with himself, by pray­ers, and studies, that he may attain to more ability; and not by complaints and reproaches with me, that I should be silent. But if he that reads these things say, I understand what is said, but it is not Truth that is said, or it is not truly said; let him if he please deliver his own mind, and reprove mine if he can, which if he shall do with charity and verity, and acquaint me with it, if I live, I shall then be a gainer by this my labour, but if he cannot do it to me, let him do it with my good leave, and like­ing, to whom he may, I shall yet medi­tate in the Law of God, if not day and night, yet at what times I can. I fear not to deliver mine Opinion, which I rather desire should be look'd into by those that are right, then I fear to be bitten by those that are perverse,Lib. 2. de Tri [...] in prologo.and I judge it better for me, to be reproved by any one, then either by one that erreth, or that flattereth to be commended; for no re­prover is to be feared by him, that loves the Truth; for he that reproves, is either a Friend, or an Enemy. If an Enemy insult, he is to be born: if a Friend, if he erre, he is to be taught; if he teach, [Page]he is to be heard: but he that praises, if he Erre, confirms the Errour, if he flatter, he allures into Errour: Let the Righteous smite me, it shall be a favour; if he reprove me, it shall be an excellent oyl, it shall not break my head. Yet, as I would not have my Reader,Lib. 3. de Tim. proemio.(as he says) stifly addicted to me; So neither would I have my Corrector, a Correptory Cor­rector, so addicted to himself; let him not love me, more then the Faith: let him not love himself, more than the Truth: as I say to him, equalise not my Writings with the holy Scriptures, but when thou findest in them, what thou didst not believe, believe without delay, or doubting: but in these Writings, what thou art not sure of, be not stiff in, till thou understandest the certain: so I say to him, do not Correct my Writings, ei­ther by thine own Opinion, or out of con­tention, but by the holy Scriptures, and most Solid Reason. In a Word, what I intend thee for thy good and pro­fit do not thou by thy curiosity, or pertinancy turn to thine own hurt: accept my service in what I have been able, and have to my ability done rightly, and let me have thy Prayers for further grace and ability [Page]to him that is the God of all grace; in whom I bid thee Farewel: remain­ing,

Thine to serve thee in the Truth of Christ to his ability, John Horne.


This Treatise lays down, and expli­cates a Distinction between the Object of Faith, or Doctrine to be Preached to men: And the Pur­poses of God about Dispensing the Knowledge thereof to men, and his Dispensations of it accor­dingly to men, and Operations with it in men: in 12 Chapters.

  • Chapter I. THe Distinction propounded, and something of the First Branch or Member consider­ed: in Three Sections p. 1
    • Sect. 1. The usefulness and needfulness of rightly distinguishing things that differ, and particularly, of the Di­stinction here propounded Ibid.
    • [Page]Sect. 2. Of the Doctrine to be Preach­ed to men; its independency upon mens knowledge and faith of it; its Ʋnity in its self, and Truth to all men. p. 4
    • Sect. 3. Two Conclusions drawn from the foresaid Considerations, touching the Heathens, and men dead, and in Hell, before Christ's Passion. p. 6
  • Chap. II. Of the Doctrine, or Faith of the Gospel, both more implicitly, and Generally, and more explicitely, and particularly: in six sections.
    • Sect. 1. Of the faith of the Gospel, more implicitely p. 9
    • Sect. 2. Of the Truths supposed, and implyed in the Gospel; yet not pro­perly, and by themselves Gospel. p. 12
    • Sect. 3. Of Gospel-truths, properly such, touching God's affection, to, and pro­vision of a Saviour, for fallen Man­kind; his person, suffering, and ex­altation. p. 18
    • Sect. 4. Of God's love to fallen Man, in glorifying his Son for him, and of the compleatness, and fitness of Christ for us, as now in Heaven, &c. p. 23
    • [Page]Sect. 5. How Christ hath broken, and is the breaker of the Head of the Ser­pent, in what he hath done, is be­come, and is further to do, for, and to men. p. 32
    • Sect. 6. How Christ is set forth in the Gospel, as the fulfilling, and fulfiller of the Promises, and Prophecies that fore-went of him, and of all the types and shadows. p. 37
  • Chap. III. Of things further contained in the Gospel-Faith, and thence observa­ble, as therein implyed, and signi­fyed, in four sections. p. 44
    • Sect. 1. Of the hope of the Gospel. Ibid.
    • Sect. 2. Of the obedience, and of the faith of the Gospel. p. 53
    • Sect. 3. Of the Terrors of the Gos­pel. p. 57
    • Sect. 4. A digression about the endlesness of the Punishment mentioned in the Gospel-Terrors. p. 62
  • [Page]Chap. IV. Of some Distinctions, signifyed and contained in the Doctrine of the Gospel, in eight sections p. 79
    • Sect. 1. Of the two Adams, the first, and the last; the first, and the second Man. p. 80
    • Sect. 2. Of two Covenants, with respect to the two Adams. p 85
    • Sect. 3. Of two kinds of Righteous­ness. p. 88
    • Sect. 4. Of two kinds of Sins. p. 90
    • Sect. 5. Of two General Judgments; besides particular ones. p. 93
    • Sect. 6. Of two Worlds; the World that now is, and the World to come p. 97
    • Sect. 7. Of two kinds of Life, and two Deaths. p. 100
    • Sect. 8. Of a twofold appearance of Christ, and the proper Works of them, and therein; also of his comings, and of his saving men. p. 104
  • [Page]Chap. V. Enters upon the other Member of the Distinction, and speaks of the Purposes of God, in seven secti­ons. p. 111
    • Sect. 1. Of God's more General Pur­poses, coincident with the Gospel-Doctrine; and therein occasionally of God's permission. p. 112
    • Sect. 2. That the Purposes of God, con­cerning Mens Ends in particular, as to their Salvation, and Damnation; are included in, and result from, the General Purposes. p. 116
    • Sect. 3. That the great difference be­tween the Remonstrants, and Contra-Remonstrants, spring from their different apprehensions of God's Pur­poses of Salvation, and Damnation, to particular persons; and what the said apprehensions be. p. 120
    • Sect. 4. 1 Sam. 2.25. and 2 Chron. 25.16. About Eli's Sons, and Amaziah considered; as also, about Act. 13.48. p. 126
    • Sect. 5. Of the distinction of God's Purposes, into Respective and Irre­spective, p. 132
    • [Page]Sect. 6. Of the Reversibility, or Irre­versibility of God's Purposes, p. 139
    • Sect. 7. Of God's Purposes, as they re­spect the Dispensation of the means of Grace, or truth of God to men, that they might know, and believe it. p. 143
  • Chap. VI. Of God's Dispensations of the know­ledge of himself, and of his Truth to men, in Nine sections. p. 154
    • Sect. 1. Of the means, or mediums made use of by God, and vouchsafed to men, for making known his Truth to them, and leading them to Repen­tance; viz. his Works, and Words. p. 155
    • Sect. 2. That the Dispensation of the Word, or Revelation of his Mind by words, though vouchsafed in all ages, yet was neither so universal, as that by his works; nor was in all age [...] the same, but different to diverse persons. p. 165
    • Sect. 3. Of the Dispensation of the knowledg of God and Christ, by his words in Paradise; and from thence to the Flood. p. 171
    • [Page]Sect. 4. Of the Ages after the Flood, till Moses. p. 179
    • Sect. 5. Of the times of Moses, and after to David. p, 187
    • Sect. 6. Of David's time, and the Ages that followed, till Israels Cap­tivity. p. 190
    • Sect. 7. Of the times of the Prophets to the Restauration of the Temple, and so on, till the Coming of Christ in the Flesh. p. 193
    • Sect. 8. Of the times of Christ, his In­carnation, and being made manifest to men; and so to the Destructi­on of Jerusalem, by Titus; and so on. p. 199
    • Sect. 9. That in the former Ages, and so in all the Four Monarchies, there was something of the Knowledge of God, by his people, and words vouch­safed to the Gentiles. p. 207
  • [Page]Chap. VII. Of the variety of the Dispensations of the knowledge of God, and his Truth; in respect of certain added Appendages to his words in Ordinances, and Miracles in sundry Ages, in ten sections. p. 220
    • Sect. 1. That God did diversly, in sundry ages mind men of, and con­firm them in his Truth by his Or­dinances, and Miracles, and there­in what be the Ordinances, and Mi­racles here to be treated of. Ibid.
    • Sect. 2. That Christ was, and is the Foundation of all Ordinances ap­pointed to Fallen Man, for his wor­ship of God; and that Christ, and the grace in him, are the things main­ly Witnessed to, by, and in them. p. 2 [...]6
    • Sect. 3. Of the Ordinances appointed before Moses, and first of Sacrifice; and therein also of God's clothing man; and of two several times be­fore the Law, in which the Gospel was revealed to all men p. 230
    • [Page]Sect. 4. Of Circumcision given to Abra­ham, and his seed. p. 239
    • Sect. 5. Of the Passover, and how that Typedout Christ. p. 247
    • Sect. 6. Of the Sabbaths Festivals, Pu­rifications, and other Ordinances of the Tabernacle and Temple. p. 256
    • Sect. 7. Of Baptism. p. 270
    • Sect. 8. Of the Lords Supper. p. 277
    • Sect. 9. Of the too general mistake of the mind of God in his Ordinances, and the abuse of them in all ages. 281
    • Sect. 10. Of Miracles confirming the Truth of God. p. 291
  • Chap. VIII. Of God's Operations, and first, of those that are in Mercy, and di­rectly his, in seven sections. p. 296
    • Sect. 1. That the operations of God are many of them very secret, and not to be known, or discerned by us, but by his Word concerning them; and therefore to be soberly treated of, Ibid.
    • [Page]Sect. 2. Of Gods merciful preventing Operations. p. 300
    • Sect. 3. That God afforded them to the Gentiles also, with the lesser means. p. 304
    • Sect. 4. The same were afforded also to the Jews, and those that have the greater means of Grace. p. 309
    • Sect. 5. Of the concomitant, or accom­panying operations. p. 314
    • Sect. 6. Of God's consequent, or subse­quent operations p. 317
    • Sect. 7. The said gracious operations otherwise distinguished into convinc­ing, converting, renewing, &c. p. 320
  • Chap. IX. Of the Operations in Wrath and Judgment Attributed to God; as Hardning, Binding, Deceiving, men, &c.
    • Sect. 1. That the Scriptures attribute these kinds of operations to God; yet, we are to conceive of him in them, and not to think him the Au­thor of mens Sinnings. Ibid.
    • [Page]Sect. 2. That those operations as as­cribed to God, are Judiciary acts, consequent both to God's preventing grace and mens abuse of it. p. 338
    • Sect. 3. What that saying of the Apo­stle, That God handens whom he will: imports, and how it is to be understood by us. p. 343
    • Sect. 4. That God in hardning and blinding men, doth it by degrees, and with such mixture of mercy, that till they be totally hardned, there may be a remedy. p. 357
    • Sect. 5. How, or in what sense the foresaid operations are attributed to God, and how he worketh in, or unto them. Mr. Mollers Judgment therein. p. 362
  • Chap. X. Of the manner of God's working in men, by his Grace, preventing, accompanying, and following them, in Four sections p. 371
    • Sect. 1. That God's gracious operati­ons are according to the counsel of [Page]his own will; and in some sense different, and unlike, Ibid.
    • Sect. 2. That in this diversity of ope­ration, he observeth in some sense, an Ʋniformity, and a likeness with men generally. p. 374
    • Sect. 3. That God's operations in men, are neither properly Physical, nor properly simply Moral; but Superna­tural: having something like either in them. 380
    • Sect. 4. That God so works in men, that they also are rightly said, to work sometimes the same things, though with some formal difference, between what is his, and what their working. p. 387
  • [Page]Chap. XI. Some Scriptures considered, whence some gather, either that God works all things good, and bad in men; or so works, all that's good; as to necessitate mens Willing, and Working irresistibly; and so, as to confound mens Workings, with God's therein, in seven secti­ons. p. 393
    • Sect. 1. Phil. 2.12, 13. Considered, and that God's working in men, the to will, and to do, doth not necessitate the working out exhorted to. Ibid.
    • Sect. 2. How God works by Exhor­tations; and whether the working in men to will, and to do; is by, and through the Exhortation, to work out their Salvation. p. 400
    • Sect. 3. The foresaid Scripture, Phil. 2.12, 13. briefly opened. p. 406
    • Sect. 4. Isa. 43.14. considered, and what some collect therefrom. p. 414
    • [Page]Sect. 5. Psal. 110 3. considered, and what some conclude from it. p. 417
    • Sect. 6. 1 Cor. 4.7. considered, and some mens Collections from it. p. 420
    • Sect. 7. 1 Cor. 12.6. considered, and what some argue from that, in which also is touched, Whether Sin be onely a privation. p. 426
  • Chap. XII. Concludes this Treatise, by way of Conclusions, Positions, and Heads of Uses; briefly laid down in Four Sections. p. 432
    • Sect. 1. Some brief Conclusions drawn from the Premises, in this distincti­on here opened. p. Ibid
    • Sect. 2. Twelve Positions, concerning God's Grace, and Mans Will in the Work of Conversion. p. 441
    • Sect. 3. Some brief hints of Ʋses of the foregoing Treatise; and first of the first member of the Distincti­on. p. 449
    • [Page]Sect. 4. Brief hints of usefulness of the other Branch, or Member about God's Purposes, Dispensations, and Operations; and the Diversity in them p. 459

Laus Deo. Pax & gratia mihi a Deo & a Domino nostro Je­su Christo. Amen.


A Distinction between, or a Distinct consideration of the Object of Divine Faith, or Truth to be Preached unto Men, and Believed by Men. The Dispensations and Di­vine purposes for dispensing the know­ledge and benefits of the said Truth to Men, and the operations of God with it in Men to whom it is dis­pensed.


The Distinction propounded, and something of the first member of it Considered.

SECT. 1.

The usefulness and needfulness of rightly distinguishing things that differ; and par­ticularly of the Distinction here propounded.

RIghtly to Distinguish be­tween things that differ, Qui bene distin­guit bene docet. is one property of a skilful Teacher, commended by the Apostle to Timothy, when he wills him rightly to divide the word of Truth, 2 Tim. 2.15. A Point needful [Page 2]to be duly practised; for as some by di­stinguishing too curiously things that differ not, run themselves into many Errors, and needless, fruitless Disputes: [as the Papists, by their distinction of Douleia and Latreia, Service and Worship, giving this to God; and the other to his, and their own Creatures. And the Dominicans, be­tween their next and remote power:) So by not distinguishing things that do indeed differ, and that too according to the difference between them: others do run into many, no less mistakes, and great confusions; as they that distinguish not between Christs coming in the weakness of the Flesh, or his Spiritual manifestati­ons of himself to mens hearts and consci­ences; and his coming again Personally in the Power and Glory of God. Or the Effects of the one, from the Effects of the other; or between the Salvation wrought by Christ in his Personal Suffer­ings, Death, and Resurrection for all men; as Sinners, and lost without difference: and that Salvation he now worketh for, and in men, which is with difference, more generally for, and on all men; and more especially, for, on, and in those that believe; and the Salvation that he will work in his appearing again, which shall be onely upon those that believe, or that are graciously so reputed, and accepted of him, and the like.

Amongst other things, I have often thought the Right Distinguishing between [Page 3]the Doctrine or Truth-praedicable, or to be Preached to the World, and to be be­lieved by them, for bringing them to God: and the purposes and dispensations of God respecting the said Truth, and his operations in, and with it, might be of good use, if well and rightly explicated. For I apprehend, that the most material differences between those commonly cal­led Remonstrants, Arminians, or Ʋniversa­lists, and those that stile themselves, and one another, the Contra Remonstrants: and Orthodox do mainly spring from a want of duly distinguishing the said particulars, and of right apprehensions about them; and by consequence, that the right distin­guishing between them, and right appre­hensions of them, would expedite and de­liver either the one, or the other, or both of them from such mistakes as cause and maintain the said differences; and tend much to an happy accommodation and agreement in the Truth. It being a ve­ry usual thing with them, to argue either the Truth and extent of Gods love to, and Christs Death for men; from their apprehensions of the said Dispensations, Purposes, and Operations in the said Di­stinction considerable, and to measure the former by the latter: or on the contrary, to measure the latter by the former, and argue them therefrom; which though righter than the other, yet ought not but with good advisement to be done.

Now though I cannot arrogate to my [Page 4]self the Title of a skilful Teacher; being as Agur said of himself, More brutish than man, and one that hath not the under­standing of the man, Prov. 30.2, 3. Yet, according to the Talent given me of God and through his gracious helpfulness, be­lieving every word of God to be true; I have here endeavoured to say something hereabout, if but to give occasion to such as deserve that Title to take it into their consideration, and unfold it better.

SECT. 2.

Of the Doctrine to be Preached to men, its independency upon mens Knowledge and Faith of it; its Ʋnity in it self, and Truth for all men.

THe Doctrine to be preached to, and to be received by men in the Truth of God, or his Word, which is but one in it self for all, true in it self, and so fit to be declared to, and believed by all; whether they do actually know it or not, believe it or not. Its Truth and fitness to be Preached to them, and believed by them, depend not upon the Preaching and Believing of it, but is Praecedaneous to, and in order of Nature and time before them. For it is not therefore true, because declared; or false, because not: but there­fore its fit to be declared, and may as re­vealed and given forth be declared, be­cause its true: as therefore also its meet to be believed, when, where, and as de­clared; [Page 5]and not therefore true, or untrue, because it is believed, or rejected: even as a thing is not, therefore visible, because it is seen; but because its visible, therefore it may be seen. Indeed the benefit the Doctrine brings to men, and good its apt to effect in the believing heart, is not effected or met with where rejected: yet it is a Doctrine worthy to be believed, and apt to effect such good, before it be known, or believe: or whether it be known and believed, or not. I say, it hath an intrin­secal aptitude in it self to do good inde­pendently upon its being known, (or belie­ved; though it cannot actually produce those effects but by being known,) and be­lieved. Even as a good Plaister hath in it self an aptitude to heal, whether it be applied or no; although it cannot actu­ally heal unless applyed: It gets no ver­tue by its application, but the Sore to which it's applyed, gets vertue from it to the healing it; which if not applyed, it could not have had from it.

This Doctrine also is but one in its sub­stance, to, or for All: not one to one, and another, to another; but the same Truth of God, and Object of Divine Faith, which holds forth the ground of Mens believing, and Object to be believed on, is one and the same for All; though this our Truth hath in it many particular bran­ches and Contents, and all of this one Truth hath not been revealed at once to All; nor so much of it to one, as to ano­ther, [Page 6]nor to some at all: yet the same is revealable in it self to all, and true for All. Though this our Truth hath not been at all times so much revealed, or in such form as in some: as not so much, nor in such form before Christs appearing in the Flesh, Suffering for us, and Ascention from us, as since; as to say. It was not true then, nor might be so affirmed, That Jesus Christ was already born of a Virgin, had dyed, and rose again, &c. But that which is true now, and truly declared as done, was then true, and might have been declared in the future, That it should in due time be done, whether it was so de­clared, or not; yea, it was true then, that it was accepted by Christ, to do, and suffer, as in due time he hath; and it was with God as virtually, though not actual­ly done.

SECT. 3.

Two Conclusions drawn from the foresaid Considerations, touching the Heathen, and persons dead, and in Hell, before Christs Passion.

FRom what hath been considered, we may gather these Two Conclusi­ons.

1. From the Independency of the Truth or Doctrine of God upon mens Know­ledge of it, and Faith of it, it follows; That it is no valid or sound Consequence for men to argue, because the Heathen [Page 7]had not, or in some parts have not the things of Christ Published to them; and so had, or have not the Knowledg, or Faith of them, therefore they are not true; for, or concerning them: as that God sent Christ into the World to be the Saviour of them, and that Christ hath now Suffer­ed, and dyed for them, &c. Seeing the truth of these things depend not upon their knowing, or believing them no more than that they were made Righteous in Adam, and sinned, and fell in him: or that Christ is Lord over them, and shall raise, and Judge them: which are no more declared to them, and known, and believed by them, then the other; no more than that God loves no Infants, or that Christ Dyed for, or is the Saviour of none of them that die in Infancy, because they have not the Knowledge, and Faith of these things on this side Death: and what we say of Heathens may be extend­ed to Idiots, and persons born Deaf, &c. It may be said probably, that they have not that good and comfort in their hearts that properly spring from the faith and knowledge of these Truths, (unless by ex­traordinary inward Revelation,) and yet neither can we say, they can have no be­nefit by those things truly asserted to Sal­vation: seeing benefit by them to Salva­tion may accrue to persons; (I say, not that reject the knowledge and faith of them when afforded, or neglected to seek them, having opportunity thereto; but) [Page 8]that by the All-wise Providence of God, are deprived of them; as is plain in the case of Infants, which have both evil and good, by what they never had any capa­city for the Knowledge and Faith of: that is, the Sin of Adam, and the Death of Christ for them.

2. From the Unity of the Doctrine, and its Truth, though under different de­grees and forms of Expression; and the vertuous being of the things with God as sure to be done in time, which in former Ages were not actually done; it follows also, That it's no true, or good consequence to say, Because some were actually Dead, and in Hell, before Christs Incarnation, and Suffering; therefore Christ was not Incarnate, or Dyed not for them. That he Dyed not for them as in Hell may probably be said; but not that he dyed not for them, as persons sometimes living on the Earth, capable of the Truths, be­ing declared to, and received by them: seeing they had the same Truth in sub­stance declarable, or declared to them, as a thing to be done in its time, that we have now declared to us, as a thing already done; but if it was in their days true, That God was so affected towards them, as to appoint his Son, in due time to suffer for them; then was it also certainly in its time performed for them, what ever in the mean time became of them: even as it was true for them that were actually Saved, and in Paradise, or Abraham's bo­some, [Page 9]before Christ came; that Christ when he came, should Dye for them; not as Saved persons, and then in Heaven, but as Sinners in their day, that needed his Death for their Salvation; and according­ly in due time he did suffer for them. The Saved, being saved through, and in belief of, and obedience to the same Truth and Grace, for the contempt of, and dis­obedience to, which the Damned were Condemned: and the Damned Condem­ned for Contempt of the same, by which the Believer was Saved. But let us de­scend to a more full and particular ac­count of the said Doctrine, and see what it is, and what is in it.


Of the Doctrine, or Faith of the Gos­pel, both more implicitely and gene­rally, and more explicitely and par­ticularly.

SECT. 1.

Of the Faith of the Gospel more implicitly.

THe Truth, or the Doctrine to be preached and believed, is the Doctrine or Faith of the Gospel; the sum where­of more implicitly or generally is this. [Page 10]The Being, and goodness of God, both more general to men, and more speci­ally to men seeking after, and trusting in him; as in that of the Apostle. He that cometh to God must believe, that God is, and that he is the Rewarder of them that see [...] him out, or diligently seek him, Heb. 11.6. Or that in 1 Tim. 4.10. That the living God is the Saviour of all men, and especi­ally of those that believe. The Doctrine contained in either of which sayings it's certain, is true Doctrine to be Preached to any, or every man; nor doth the truth of it, or any part of it, depend up­on any mans knowing, or believing it: for whether men know, or believe that there is a God, or not, yet it is true, That God is. Or whether any man do believe, or know, that God is a Rewarder of them, that diligently seek him, or not; yea, and whether these, or those men do seek him, or not? yet this is true, That God is a Rewarder of them that does diligently seek him. It is not indeed true of All, That they do diligently seek him; but true it is to, and for all that, God is a Re­warder of them that so do: the like may be said of the other passage. It is true, That God is the Saviour of all men; es­pecially, of them that Believe; whether any man do believe it or no, know it or no; though men cannot believe in him unless they know him, yet such a one he is in himself, and as such to be represen­ted to men before they know, or believe [Page 11]in him, that they may know and believe in him, and prove the truth of what he is to them that seek, or believe in him, in being rewarded, and specially saved by him. Mens faith or unbelief, knowledge or ignorance of this Doctrine may further, or hinder their believing in God, and seek­ing after him, but neither makes true, nor false the Doctrine it self. It is as true amongst the Indians and Americans, that God is the Saviour of All men; especi­ally of them that Believe in him; and that he is a Rewarder of them that dili­gently seek him, as it is amongst us Chri­stians; and to be proved, by such of them as believe in him, and seek him; as well as it is by such of us, as so do: though those sayings of Truth be not so known amongst them, as amongst us. We know better what is true for them, then they themselves do: but that which is true for them, is as true for them, though they know it not, as for us that know it: even as a seeing man sees, and knows bet­ter what is about a Blind man, than him­self may do, though its nevertheless truly about him for his not seeing it; nor is any thing the more about us, because we see it to be about us, then the same would be if we were blind, and could not see it. But let us see this Doctrine, and what is in it more explicitely: true, for those that have not that Doctrine opened to them, as we have it, though more known to be true by us, and we there through better fur­nished [Page 12]for seeking after the benefit of tha [...] Truth, and for making it known also to others: both in

  • 1. What is supposed, and taken for gran­ted in the Gospel, and by it implyed; tho not properly Gospel, or glad tidings by it self considered. And in
  • 2. What is properly and directly Gospel, and more fully spoken to, and insisted on in it.

SECT. 2.

Of the Truths supposed, and implyed in the Gospel; yet not properly, and by themselves Gospel.

OF the former sort, are these Articles and Heads of Doctrine that follow, viz.

1. That there is a Glorious Divine Pow­er and Being, Psal. 58.11. & [...]6.4, 5. which is God, infinitely above and beyond all other Powers and Beings.

2. That this God is but One in himself, Tim. 2.5. Cor. 8.4, 6. Essence and Being.

3. That in that One God, John 5.7. there is a Tri­nity, in respect of the manner of his sub­sisting, and working; the Father, the Son, or Word, and the Holy Ghost; or in other tearms coming up to the same Truth. [...]th 3.17. & [...] 19. That God even the Father hath a Son and [Page 13]an holy Spirit, the spirit of the Son, and of the Father, one in Essence and Godhead with himself.

4. That this One God is an eternal, 1 Tun. 1.17. 1 King. 8.27. Psal. 135.5, 8. & 139.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. & 147.5. 1 Sam. 2.2. Psal. 100.5. & 36.5, 6, 7. Isa. 44.6. & 59.6. 1 Cor. 8.6. & 2 Cor. 5.18. Mic. 2.7. 1 John 3.8. in­finite, and infinitely wise, powerful, holy, and good Spirit, who hath his Being of himself, and is the Author of all Beings: (Sin excepted, which hath its Being of, and from the Sinner, and Satan) what­soever.

5. That this glorious God is onely per­fectly, and fully knowable by, and known to himself; and cannot be known either perfectly, or in part, by us, or any other Creature, but in his own Light and Ma­nifestation of himself to us, Job. 11.7, 8, 9. Psal. 139.6. and 36.9. John 1.18. Matth. 11.27.

6. That this glorious God, Rev. 4.10.11. Isa. 40.28. Col. 1.16, 17. Heb. 1.2, 3. Job 34.13. did for ma­nifestation of himself, and his own Glo­ry, Make, Create, give Beginning and Be­ing to the World, and all things therein visible and invisible, by his Infinite Power, Wisdom, and Goodness; and is also the Upholder and Governour thereof and of all things therein according to his own wisdom and good-pleasure.

7. That amongst, Gen. 1.25, 26, 27. & 2.7, 21, 22. & 5.2. and after all other things, Man also had his Being, and Be­ginning, of, or from God; and was made by him as his choice visible Creature in one man, made of the Dust of the Earth, and inspired, and inlivened with a living ratio­nal Soul; and in one Woman, made of that Man, to be a Meet-help for him: [Page 14] Male and Female made he them.

8. That man, Gen. 1.26.27. Eccles. 7.29. Ps [...]l. 49.12, 20. Prov. 8.31. Act. 17.27, 28. Gen. 3.22. with 2.17. was in that one Man, and one Woman made very honourable, happy, and glorious in Gods own image and likeness; upright, and without sin, capa­ble of knowing, and having converse with God, and of serving and living to him: (in whom he also lives, moves, and hath his being:) and so of living for ever. The Ruler over the rest of Gods Works, and the subordinate end of their Creation, they being made for Man's use and service, so as nothing was wanting to man that might make for his comfort and happiness: so good and bountiful was God to him; onely man was mutable, and so might if he would be so foolish to Sin and forfeit all. And sure the Gospel supposes this, both as to the goodness of man's conditi­on; otherwise, Sin had not been mans, or chargeable upon him; much less at so high a rate, as to deserve such a Penalty to be in­flicted upon as the Gospel also implies, if man had not been made Righteous, and without Sin; and both in a capacity, and unspeakably obliged to have continued so: as also to the mutability of his Condition, otherwise he could not have sinned, and lost it all.

9. That God made also other intelligent Creatures besides Man, Col. 1.16. invisible Spirits called Angels, made good, and excellent glorious Creatures; 1 Pet. 3.21. of whom some fell from their Principality and glorious stati­on and are become Devils; 2 Pet. 2.4. unclean, and [Page 15]wicked Spirits; Enemies to God and Men, Jude 6. Matth. 8.28, 31. & 12.24, 27, 43, 45. & 25.41. Mark 4.2.12. Gen. 3.1. with Rev. 20.1, 2, 3, 8. with 16.13, 14. and to all goodness, of whom one is chief and Principal; and the rest his Angels, who being for their voluntary sin and defection, thrust down from God: inticed, and still endeavour to entice men, to re­volt from God, and Rebel against him, that they might by incurring his Wrath, become as miserable as themselves: that is, endlesly and irrecoverably miserable: for such they are, being forsaken of God, and bound over in Chains of Darkness to the Judgment of the great Day, to be then for ever Tormented. 2 Pet. 2.4. Matt. 25.41. The rest of the Angels keeping their pla­ces, are happy and glorious Spirits, 1 Tim. 5.21. Mark. 8.38. Psal. 103.20. be­holding God's Face, rejoycing in his Pre­sence, Glory, and Works; always ready prest to do his Commands, employ'd by him as Ministring Spirits for the guard and helpfulness of Mankind; especially, such as are Heirs of his Protection and Salva­tion. Matth. 18.10. Heb. 1.7, 14.

10. That God, as it was but meet, Gen. 2.16, 17. & 3.23. and as seemed good to his own infinite Wis­dom, having made Man so good and happy, and having put so great Ingage­ments upon him, to Love, and Serve him, did also give him a Law very reasonable and easie, being but to abstain from one tree, or fruit; when he had all variety for necessity and delight besides, freely given him; and a tree of life which had vertue in it, to have preserved him from Dying. By which Law, Man had occasion and [Page 16]advantage given him, of testifying his love and obedience to him, and to acknow­ledge his Soveraignty over them: adding withal a Penalty, That in case he brake it, he should surely die.

11. That Man having this Law given him, Gen. 3.1, 2, 6. with Rev. 20.1, 2. Jam. 1.2, 3, 4. Eccles. 7.29. and being wisely permitted of God to be Tempted, by the old Serpent the Devil, and Satan, (that God might try his love and obedience to him, and prove his thankful gratitude for so great good­ness) did foolishly and needlesly, by his own meer will incline to the Tempter, and break the Commandment given him: although, such as might so easily have been obstructed by him.

12. That Man so Sinning, Defiled him­self with the Poyson of Satans Tempta­tion, Rom. 5.12, 18, 19. & 3.23. Gen. 3.22, 23. with Psal. 30.5. Rom. 3.9, 10, 11, 12,—19.23. Gen. 3.10, 11, 16, 17, 18. and incurred the Penalty annexed to the Law, even Death upon Himself, and his whole Posterity, Naturally to descend from him; in as much as they were all in him, and he the publick Head and Repre­sentative of them: what God did to him, and gave to him, he did, and gave to us all in him; therefore also what he did, concerned us all, by, and from him: and so He, and all his, fell under the displea­sure of our Great Creator, and thereby into woful misery; to be cast out of God's favour, and from his presence and fellow­ship, the spring and source of all happiness and blessing, and so to be devested of his Image and Glory: (inward Righteousness and Integrity, and outward Lustre or [Page 17]Sanctity or soundness;) Psal. 14.1, 2, 3, 4. Eph. 2.1, 2. 1 Joh. 3.8. Heb. 2.14. and to be filled with sin, and sinfulness, as a loathsome Disease, apting us to all vanity and wick­edness; and to be filled with pain, Mora­lity and Affection to consume us from off the Earth, out of which he took us: yea, we were hereby made obnoxious to the Wrath of God upon our Souls and Bo­dies; and exposed our selves to the Devils rage and malice, to Tyranize over us.

13. Man being fallen into this misery was altogether helpless, 2 Sam. 14.14. both in respect of himself, and of any, or all other Creatures. He could do nothing to recover himself from it, or from any part of it; Psal. 49.6, 7, 8, 9, 10. nor could any one man help, or redeem his Brother; for tho God might, (as afterward he did,) Gal. 2.21. & 3.10, 21. propound some holy and righteous Law to him, yet could he not be made Righ­teous, and live thereby. Psal. 40.7, 8, 9, 10. For neither could any such Sacrifice be propounded to Man, to offer to God, as might counter­vail the demerit of his Sin and Offence: Heb. 10.1, 2, 6. & 7.19. neither could any work or service be done by him that might be acceptable to God. Isa. 64.6. Rom. 3.10, 11, 19, 20. Psal. 143.2. Rom. 5.12, 18. Ephes. 2.1, 2. John. 5.25. He being fallen under a double Death, one by way of Penalty, as rendring him dead at Law; and another in himself, and his own powers, rendring him like a lifeless, breathless, stinking Carcase; un­able to do, or think any thing holy, spiri­tual, and acceptable unto God: which yet could he have done had been but his du­ty, and could not satisfie for his former sin. Mic. 6.6, 7, 8 Nor could any other creature be [Page 18]able to give a price sufficient for him, be­ing too low and finite to satisfie the justice of an infinite Majesty offended, and good­ness abused.

All these things the Gospel-Faith suppo­ses, and takes for granted, and often in­timately, and sometimes (occasionally) expresly mentions, and every of them is true in it self, and concerns all men, so as they may be propounded as Truths to them whither they be propounded or no) and are meet being propounded, to be believed; being Truths, whether they to whom they are propounded, believe them or no.

SECT. 3.

Of Gospel Truths properly such, touching Gods Affection to, and provision of a Sa­viour for fallen Mankind; and of his Person, and Sufferings for us, and Exal­tation from them.

BUt now these forementioned Truths are not Gospel or Glad tidings: nay, rather taken by themselves, and were there nothing further of Truth to be declared to, or for any men, they would be a ve­ry terrible Doctrine to such men, impor­ting nothing but Ruine and Misery to them. But Gods Doctrine which he hath order­ed to be Preached to every Creature, Mark 16.15. Luke 2.10, 11. 1 Tim. 2.15. or in the whole Creation, is Gospel, or Glad­tidings, tidings of great joy to all the peo­ple; true, and good for every one; and [Page 19]therefore to be believed by every one to whom it is declared, 1 Tim. 4.10. and worthy to be be­lieved by every one to whom it is declara­ble, according to Gods Form and Order; containing other Truths yet, which repre­sent God, the Saviour of all men, especially of them that believe in, and diligently seek him; As these that follow.

1. That God notwithstanding the great folly and Fall of Man, 2 Sam. 14.14. Rom. 3.19, 20, 21, 22. and his own Law and displeasure against him, though such was his Righteousness, Purity, and Holi­ness; such the stedfastness of his Word; and such our sin, sinfulness, and filthiness that he could not admit us fellowship with himself; approve, justifie, or delight in us; but banished us from him, Gen. 3.15. John 3.16, 17. and condemn us to Death and misery: yet, such was his love and mercy, as he did not yet cease to love us, and be graciously affected toward us; but even without our seeking it of him: yea, when we ran from him, 1 Pet. 1.20. & 3.18. he devised and found out (as upon fore-sight hereof, he had fore-provided, and purposed) a way for our recovery, that we might be saved from this so misera­ble a case; and might in listning to him, be brought again into his Presence.

2. That, that way devised by him, Gen. 3.15. Gal. 4.4, 5. 1 John 3.5, 8. & 4.9, 10, 1 [...]. He also revealed and promised from the Be­ginning, and hath now actually manifest­ed to be, The sending forth his own onely begotten Son, made of a Woman; and so the seed of the Woman: and the de­livering him up to suffer and dye for our [Page 20]Sins, Rom. 4.25. 1 Pet. 1.21. Heb. 5.9. & 7.25. Joh. 6.40. and so to ransome and make attone­ment for our Souls, and the raising him up for our Justification: and glorifying him in the Nature of Man, for our Salva­tion to the utmost: so as that whosoever believe in, and obey him, might not pe­rish in that misery, that either hath befaln him, or further may; but have Everlast­ing Life.

3. That Jesus of Nazareth (who was born of the Virgin Mary, Luk. 1.26, 27, 31, 32, 35. Rom. 1.1, 2, 3, 4. Luk. 2.1, 2, 3, 6, 7. Act. 2.22, 23, 24. Luk. 3.1, 2, 21.22, 23, & 4, & 5, & 6, &c. Matth. 27.18. & 16.15, 16. Act. 9.20. John 20.31. 1 Joh. 5.1-4.5. of the Stock and Li­neage of David after the Flesh, in the Town of Beth-lehem in the Land of Judah, in the days of Augustus Caesar, and lived, and conversed among the Jews, Preaching the Word of God his Father, and working many glorious Miracles amongst them, for the manifestation of Himself, and con­firmation of his Doctrine to them; till they being moved with Envy, did accor­ding to God's determinate counsel take him, and Crucify him, in the Days of Ti­berius Caesar) was, and is, that onely Be­gotten Son of God, whom he had pur­posed, and promised before, and did then accordingly in the fullness of time, raise up, and send forth to be the Saviour and Deliverer of poor fallen Man.

4. That, Joh. 1.1, 2, 3, 14 that Jesus of Nazareth, was in the Beginning with God, according to his Divine Being. Heb. 1.1, 2, 3. Col. 1.16, 17. Philip. 2.6, 7. The Word, and God, by whom God made all things in Heaven and Earth Visible, and Invisible, in the Form of God, the brightness of his Glory, and the express character of his Person [Page 21]before he was made man; And that Eter­nal Word was in the fulness of time made Flesh, a very and real Man, Heb. 2.14, 15, 16. 2 Cor. 8.9. Isa. 53.1, 2, 3. Rom. 8.3. Heb. 4.15. in the form of a Servant, a poor and despicable man, that had no worldly form or excellency amongst men to commend him to Men; but was found in the likeness of sinful Flesh, in all points tempted and subject to weaknesses as other men, sin onely ex­cepted, to which low and despicable form out of grace and love to mankind, and obedience to his Father, he did willingly and readily yield, and abase himself: makeing himself who was infinitely rich, to be poor for us, Isa. 1.14. Matth. 1.21. Act 20.28. 1 Joh. 3.16. that we through his poverty might be made rich, being there­by made capable of acting and Suffering for us, so as to procure our Salvation, be­ing God and Man in one person.

5. That in pursuance of our Redemp­tion, he was also made under the Law, Gal. 4.4. & 3.13. Rom. 3.19. both as it was upon, and against all men; and as given to be observed by the Jews; that He might Redeem us from the Law: that is, that being in Bond as it were with us (as a clear man that enters Bond for a grear Debtor) he might be liable to be called forth to the Payment of our Debt, and procure our discharge from it.

6. And accordingly God called him forth to the Judgment, Joh. 12.31. Heb. 10.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. 1 Pet. 2.24. as the onely respon­sible Person, and caused the Judgment of the World to pass upon him: to which also he willingly, and desirously yielded himself, bearing our sins in his own body [Page 22]on the Tree, and so gave himself a Ran­som for all, 1 Tim. 2.6. Rom. 5.12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. 1 Cor. 15.17, 18, 21, 22. Joh. 1.29. Phil. 2.6, 7, 8. with Gen. 3.5, 6. Psal. 69.4. Gal. 3.10, 13. Phil. 2.8, 9. Matth. 26.38, 39. & 27.46. and by the grace of God tasted Death for every man: the Second Adam satisfying for the sins of the First; and all in, and of him, as fallen in him, both for root and Branch: the first Revolt from God in our First Parents, and all that Na­turally and necessarily spring up from it: giving, or laying down to that purpose as much as the First Adam usurped, or aspi­red to, even the Form of God; and en­during all that thereby that the First Adam incurred by way of penalty to himself, and all his Posterity equivolently; even the Curse of the Law, to Death; the Death of the Cross, in which he sustained and en­dured not onely great Pains and Torments in his Body, but also unspeakable Agonies and Afflictions in his Soul, pouring it out to Death, John 12.27. Isa. 53.8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Psal. 22.1, 2, 8, 9; 10-16, &c.

7. That in this his abasement and Death, His obedience and sufferings were so well­pleasing, Isa. 53.10, 11, 12. Rom. 4.25. & 1.3, 4. Act. 2.24. Rom. 14.9. 1 Cor. 15.3, 4, 5. Matth. 12.40. and satisfactory to God, that He in Testimony thereof, raised him up from the Dead the third day, taking him there­in from Prison, and Judgment. Yea, he himself was God-man, and so a person not to be swallowed up of Death (though to manifest, that he was indeed Dead; and to sanctifie the Grave to us, and Redeem us from it; he was pleased to abide in it part of Three Days, and Three Nights; rose again by his Divine Power, and after he had shewed himself by divers infallible [Page 23]proofs to his Disciples, Act. 1.1, 2, 3, 4, 10. & 10.39, 40, 41. Luk. 24.9.10. —50.51. Heb. 9.14. Act. 2.33.36. Heb. 1.3. & 12.2. Act. 2. & 3, & 4, 5. by the space of forty Days after his Resurrection for a mani­festation of the Truth of it, and confirma­tion of their Faith in it. He in their sight, Ascended up visibly into Heaven, and there presented his own Crucified, and raised Bo­dy a spotless Sacrifice to God, being taken up thither, and there received of God his Father, and set down at his Right hand, even upon the Throne of Majesty in the Heavens: as his after sending forth his Spirit upon his Disciples, according to his fore-promise to them, and Working ma­ny notable Miracles by them also, did evidently declare.

SECT. 4.

Of the Love of God to fallen Man, in glo­rifying his Son for him; and of the com­pleatness, and fitness of Christ, as now in Heaven, to be the Saviour of all Men, and especially of such as Believe.

SO that now the same Jesus, Eph. 4.8, 9, 10. with Psal. 68.18. 1 Pet. 3.18, 19. Gal. 3.13. Heb. 2.14. 2 Tim. 1.10. the Son of God, who in love to us, was abased, and Suffered for us in the weakness of the Flesh, and Descended into the lower parts of the Earth to Ransom us from the Sin and Misery fore-come upon us; lives also being ascended up on high, and having led captivity captive (even Sin, Death, Law, Devil, who led us Captive) at Gods Right hand in the Glory and Power of God, thence to succour and Save us in all our [Page 24]Danger, Act. 2.33. & 5, 30, 31. Matth. 28.18, 19, 20. Col. 1.19. & 2.9.10. and from all our Enemies: being made in the Name and Authority of the Father, the Saviour of all Men, and espe­cially of those that Believe, unto which also He is compleatly and fully furnished of the Father, in that He hath there given gifts in the man, for man; even for the Rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell amongst them, for he hath there made him.

1. Lord, Act. 2.36. & 10.36. Phil. 2.10, 11. 1 Pet. 13.21. Eph. 1.20, 21. Isa. 9.6. Joh. 5.22, 23.Lord of all, giving him all power and all authority in Heaven and in Earth: a Name above every Name, That at his Name every knee should bow, both of things in heaven, and in earth, and un­der the earth. Angels, Men, Devils, and all Creatures being given into his hand and dispose; the whole Government laid upon his shoulders, and all Judgment com­mitted into his hand. To inable and fur­nish him, in which in the Nature of Man he is also made.

2. Christ, Act. 2, 36. Isa. 42.1. & 61.1.2. & 11.1, 2, 3. Act. 10.38. the Anointed one of God, filled with the Spirit of God without mea­sure; which Spirit, is an infinite, wise, powerful, and gracious Spirit; inabling and strengthning him to all such Offices, and the Works of them, as he is anointed and designed to and are needful for, our further saving. That is to say,

1. To be the Great Prophet; Act. 3.21, 22. the Light of the World, to give forth the Light, Truth, and Knowledge of God; and what may concern us to know for our peace and welfare, as in his Wisdom he sees fit; [Page 25]that whosoever believes in, Joh. 1.9. & 8.12. & 12.46. Isa. 42.1, 2, 3, 4. & 49.6, 7. 1 Cor. 15.45. John 5.22.23, 25. Isa. 55.2, 3, 5. Psal. 25.8, 9, 12, 14. Matth. 13.11. 1 Pet. 2.25. Joh. 10.2, 11. and follows his Light might not abide in Darkness, but might see the Light of Life. And being a quickning Spirit, he is in the Spirit fitted and able, so to speak, in, and through the means he affords to the spirit of Men, as to cause the Dead in Spirit to hear; and so, as that they, who in hearing, hear or listen to him, may live for ever. He being more peculiarly ordain'd a fur­ther Teacher and Leader to them, to shew them the Mysteries of the Kingdom, the Secrets of the Lord; and as a Shepherd, and Bishop of their Souls to feed them with Knowledge and Understanding unto Eter­nal Life.

2. To be the Great, Psal. 2.1.—6.7, 8, 9. Jer. 10.7. with Rev. 15.4. Isa. 33.22. Matth. 28.18, 19, 20. Psal. 149.2. Rev. 3.21. John 1.49. Rom. 1.7. 1 Cor. 1.3. Matth. 28.20. Heb. 2.18. & 5.10. & 7.1, 2, Ephes. 5.25, 26. Luk. 22.29, 30. (not onely Lord of all Men, and Creatures, but also King of the Nations general, and of the Saints peculiarly; The Law-giver to Men: and to take the care of all, ordering the King­dom of God amongst, and for them, as best stands with his wisdom, and their good, while it is a Day of Salvation to them. But especially, as a King over his Subjects, to take care of, protect, govern, and defend them; supplying all grace to them, who hear his Voice as the Great Prophet, and submit to his Kingdom. Sup­port them in Temptations and Afflictions, Subdue their Enemies, Fight their Battels, hear, and grant their Petitions, subdue their Corruptions, sanctifie them by his Spi­rit, raise them from Death, and give them glorious Kingdom, and Inheritance.

3. To be the Great High Priest; Heb. 2.17. and 3.1. & 7. 1 Tim. 2.5. 1 John 2.2. Luk. 24.46, 47, 48. Act. 17.30, 31. Heb. 10.19, 20, 21. Psa. 68.18, 19, 20. Isa. 53.12. Luk. 23.34. Psal. 119.4. to which, by the offering up of his mo [...] precious Body, a spotless Sacrifice, and by the Oath of God he was Consecrated and therein to be the Great Mediator [...] God and Men: the standing Propitiation for the Sins, both of those that believe [...] him, and of the whole World. That so to the world in general during the day of his Grace and Patience towards them respectively that door of Life opened, and liberty for their Repenting, and going back to God; and opportunity in so do­ing, of finding Mercy and Acceptance with him, with means, mercy, and grace: pre­venting them to inable and lead the [...] thereto, procured by his Death and Sa­crifice for them, might by his presentation of the same unto God his Father, and Me­diation, or Intercession for Transgresson in the Vertues thereof made by him be kept open, and continued to them; so a [...] that they not speedily listening to hi [...] Voice as the Great Prophet, and obeying him as the King; and their sinning against the grace and goodness of God ex­tended to them by him, might not pull down Wrath upon them, to the Repro­bating and destroying of them. But God might yet be patient toward them, and be yet calling, reproving, striving with them by his Spirit; using means, and waiting with much long-suffering, and goodness for their Conversion: with re­spect to which, Psal. 68.18. he is said, having led cap­tivity [Page 27]captive to have received gifts in the man; not onely for men, as men simply considered in their First Fallen Estate, but for the Rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell amongst them. Whence they also are yet laded with Benefits, and meet with manifold Salvations, and Deliveran­ces. He as the Propitiation for them, Gen. 6.3. Eccles. 3.1, 2, 3. 2 Cor. 6.1, 2. Rom. 2.4, 5, 6. Psal. 68.21. co­vering them from the wrath of God, so as their sins are not so minded before him as that he therefore casts them away, and destroys them: which Propitiation I say he is for them so long as he pleases, that a day of Grace should be afforded them, there being for every purpose an appoin­ted time, A time to love, and a time to hate; a day of grace, and a day of vengeance to those that go on still in their trespasses, till the day of grace be expired. As appears in the Parable of the barren Fig-tree, Luk. 13.6, 7, 8, 9, &c. Let it alone, (saith the great Vine-dresser) this year also, till I dig about (with Chastisements,) and dung it (with renewed benefits) and if it bring forth fruit well, but if not, then afterwards thou shalt cut it down. For Believers, 1 John. 2.1, 2. Col. 1.21, 22, 23. Heb. 7.25. Acts 10.43. 1 Pet. 2.5. Rev. 8.3, 4, 5. Heb. 5.1, 2, 3. & 9.15. Eph. 5.25, 26, 27. 1 John 1.7, 9. He is the Propitiation and Advocate to present them in himself, as Righteous, and to make their persons acceptable unto God, ob­taining for them the Dispensation of the Forgiveness of their Sins; and whatever favour or Blessing may be fit and good for them; even Grace and Glory. Per­fuming their Prayers and Praises with the odour of his own Sacrifice, and so offer­ing [Page 28]up, Sanctifying, and making accep­table their Gifts and Sacrifices, taking away the Iniquities of their holy Things▪ so as that through his Mediation, no failings in their Faith and Love; no mix­tures cleaving to their Services; no follies or failings of theirs through Temptation, repented of may deprive them of the pro­mised Inheritance.

4. He is also appointed Judge of Quick, Acts 10.42. 2 Cor. 5.10. John 5.21, 22, 23. Rev. 1.5. & 3.7.19. and Dead. All Authority is given him to Execute Judgment also: both here to Absolve, Acquit, and Justifie from Sin, and Condemnation even due to Men, for, and deserved by such Sins as they have committed against God's grace and good­ness extended to them. He hath power to unloose upon their Repenting; such Bonds, and take off such Punishments as they had brought upon themselves, by their so sinning; as also, to bind, or re­tain their Sins, and order and inflict what Punishments he pleases upon them until they Repent: and that both upon the Un­converted World that Believe not, and upon his own Subjects that Sin against him. Job 33.16, 17, 28, 29. Lam. 2.33. Psa. 75.8. Isa. 1.4, 5. & 9.13. & 27.9. 1 Pet. 4.16, 17. 1 Cor. 11.30, 31. But the Judgments now ordered through, and by him, who is Mediator, are during the day of Grace to all full of Mercy (the cup in his hand is full of mixture) and tend to drive men home to God, and to keep back their Souls from going down to the Pit; by breaking their Enterprises, and hideing Pride from them▪ though yet some of them be smarter and [Page 29]sorer than others; Rev. 21.2. Luke 13.9, 24, 25, 26. 2 Thes. 2 10, 11, 12. Jam. 4.12. Rom. 14.9. John 5.28.29. Matt. 25.31, 34, 41, 46. & 16. 27, 28. 1 Thess. 4.14, 15, 16, 17. 2 Thess. 1.7, 8, 9. Rev. 20.11, 13, 14. & 21. & 22. 1, 6. Matth. 8.29. Jud. 1.6. for he hath power to let loose Satan upon men, to bind, harden, or otherwise, to buffet, or affright, and vex them; and to let out evil men too one against another, or against his Peo­ple that Believe; to judge, exercise, and try them. Yea, he hath Power for mens Rebellions persisted in to cease, media­ting for them, and so to turn the Keys of the Kingdom against them; put an end to his Patience, give them up to strong Delusions, and to Destruction. For he is able to Save, and to Destroy, as seems good to him. And so also Power as Lord and Judge over the Dead too, to raise them up, and finally Judge them at the Last Day; both by Pronouncing Sentence upon them, and Executing it also, when Pronounced. To which purpose he is appointed to, and shall come again from Heaven in the glory of the Father, with all his mighty Angels, to bring all Men, even those that are in their Graves by Land or Sea, before him, and to render to every man accor­ding to their Works: perfectly to free those that here believe on him, and seek after God by him, from all sin, and sor­row; from the malice of Satan, and all his Instruments: and from the Power and Dominion of Death and Grave, and to give them a Glorious Kingdom, and Inheritance with himself; and to execute Vengeance upon the Devil and his Angels, Eternally plaguing and destroy­ing them, and with them, all that have [Page 30]here taken part with them against him▪ and persisted therein, till Reprobated by him; these to go into everlasting Torments, and the Righteous into everlasting happi­ness, Matth. 25.31, to the End.

9. That all this Infinite Power, Isa. 53.11, 12. Phil. 2.9, 10, 11. Rom. 5.16. Heb. 9.14, 15. 1 John 2.1.2. as Lord, and Christ, Prophet, King, Priest▪ and Judge, (which dignity and power of Judge, may also be referred to his Lord­ship, or Kingship, though I have here di­stinctly mentioned it by it self; as Isa. 33.22) And more observeably, his Power to Forgive Sins, and Rebellions, against the goodness and grace of God, extended by, and through him, both to the World, and to his own Servants. He hath obtained, and acquired through the superabundan­cy of the vertues and merits of his Obe­dience, Sufferings, and Sacrifice, above, and beyond the demerit of Adam's Sin, and of our Sin, and Sinfulness, as in, and from him; and the infinite acceptable­ness of them unto God. For he being such, and so glorious a Person, his so loving and ready Obedience, Psa. 130.4, 5, 6, 7. Isa. 55.7. Acts 5.31. Rev. 5.11, 12. and his so great Sufferings, were infinitely well­pleasing unto God, so as to obtain Plen­teousness of Redemption, even Forgive­ness of Sins; the grace going beyond the Offence, which was but of one to Con­demnation; but the grace of many Offen­ces, to Justification; yea, and so as that, both God, and all his Angels, and Holy Ones judge him worthy to receive All Power, and Wisdom, and Riches, and [Page 31]Strength, and Honour, and Glory, and Blessing, as but a due Reward for his fore­said Obedience, and Humiliation: and the shame, sorrow, and Sufferings sustain­ed therein. To which add,

10. That this Jesus Christ our Saviour, Heb. 2.17, 18. & 3.1, 2. & 4.15, 16. Isa. 42.1, 2, 3. with Matth. 12.18, 19. is also a most Merciful, Compassionate, and Faithful High Priest, and Saviour; one that can be touched with our Infirmi­ties; and succour those that are Temp­ted in their temptations; and will not fail either his Father, or us, in any of all those things committed to him, and re­quired of him, but will performe all the Counsel and Pleasure of his Will, in what ever may concern us, or our Salvation.

And all these also are true in them­selves, and of concernment to all, whe­ther they do know them or not, believe them or not, the Truth of them not de­pending upon Mens Knowledge, and Faith of them: but therefore they are worthy to be known and believed of Men, because true for them: and much good and benefit is to be met with, in the hear­ty knowledge and belief of them.

SECT. 5.

How Christ hath broken and is the Breaker of the Head of the Serpent in what he hath done, is become, and is further to do for and to men.

BY what hath been hitherto said, it may appear, How Christ hath in himself Fundamentally broken the Head, overturned the Plot, and overthrown the Principality of Satan the Old Serpent over Man: and how he is fitted further to break his Designes, and destroy his Power against us. For,

1. Gen. 3.1, 2. &c. Whereas it was Satans design (his Head and Plot) to work an Everlasting Seperation between God and Man (whom God hath made as an habitable part of his Earth for Wisdom, Prov. 8.30, 31. Jude 6.2 2 Pet. 2.4. Gen. 2.17. with 3.1. or his Son to de­light in) and to that purpose incited and drew Man to Sin against God; by which He knew (both by what he had proved from God, for his own sin, and by what he heard, and knew was pronounced by God against Man in case of his sinning) he should incur his displeasure to Death; and so he thought he must have been for ever thrust out from God, and seperated to Curse and Misery, as himself is: through what Christ hath done in his Death, Suffe­rings, and Sacrifice for Man, in the Na­ture of Man; Man on the contrary, is more Exalted, Honoured, and brought [Page 33]nearer to God than before: Gen. 3.21. Matth. 28.18, 19.20. 1 Cor. 15.45. Gen. 2.15. 1 Pet. 3.21. Gen. 2, 8, 9, 16, 18. Col. 1.19. & 2.9. Psa. 16.11. Gen. 1.26, 27. Psal. 8.3, 4, 5, 6. Heb. 1.3. & 12.2. Ephes. 1.20, 21. Matth. 28.18. Phil. 2.10.11. Gen. 2.25. Rom. 3.23. John 17.4, 5. Heb. 2.5, 6, 9. Phil. 3.21. Acts 26.13. Gen. 2.7. 1 Cor. 15, 45, 47. John 5.21, 25, 28. Gen. 2.18, 21, 22, 23. Eph. 5.25, 26, 27, 30, 31, 32. for now he is become one with God, as one of the per­sons of the glorious Trinity in the Per­son of Christ glorifyed, and made a quick­ning Spirit for us. Man had before a Pa­radise. Man is now in Heaven, on the Throne of God. Man had all necessa­ries, and delights in that Paradise, and fellowship with God. Man hath now all the delights and satisfactions of God, be­ing the habitation of the fulness of the glory of God: all the fullness of the God­head dwells in him bodily. Man had dominion over all the Visible Creatures, Beasts of the Field, Fowls of the Air, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the Sea. Man is now upon God's Throne of Majesty, and hath all power in Hea­ven and Earth given to him, Angels, Prin­cipallities, and Powers, even the Devils too put under, and made subject to him. Man had great glory and comliness in his Bo­dy, and needed not to have been asha­med though Naked. Man hath the glory of God upon him: yea, is the brightness of his glory, and the express character of his Person; is clothed with Majesty and Honour: his brightness greater than that of the Sun. Man was made a living Soul: but Man is now a quickning Spirit, able to transfuse Life into others, even in­to the Dead. Man had a Meet-help made him there. Man had a Church and Spouse given him here, of his Flesh, and of his Bones, for the Propogation of Children [Page 34]to him an holy Seed for him; a people Espoused and brought to him, Rom. 7.4. Gen. 1.26. Col. 1.14. Heb. 2.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 15. Rev. 20.1, 2, 3, 10. who is raised from the Dead, that they might bring forth Fruit unto God. Man was made in the Image of God there. Man is the Image of the Invisible God here: So that herein the Head and Plot of the Old Serpent is perfectly broken in Christ. He is so far from having Dominion over Man, that now Man hath it over him for ever▪ so as he can never more be able to rise up against him. Yea,

2. His Design is broken for us men; 1 Tim. 2.5. and 2 Tim. 1.10. even for Adam, and all his Posterity; inas­much as through what Christ hath done, and Suffered for us: He hath so abolished Death, (the Death that by that Sin came upon us,) that it notwithstanding we may (or might any man in his proper time du­ring the Day of Grace,) Isa. 55.5, 6, 7. Ezek. 33.11. 2 Sam. 14.14. 2 Pet. 3.9. 1 Cor. 15.20, 21. Rom. 5.18. John 5.28, 29, 25 & 11.25, 26. 2 Cor. 5.10. Rev. 20.12. be Saved, and be brought back again to God; in that Judg­ment and Death, no man shall Everlast­ingly Perish, but in a Second, they that do. Christ is the Resurrection and the Life, out [...] the First; so speaking to the Dead in Spirit, as to cause them to hear, so as they may in hearing and listening to him, Live. And he will so speak to the Bodily Dead, as that out of that Death All shall Live, so as to be brought before him as their Soveraign Lord, and Judge, to be judged by him, according as in their life­times they have accepted, or rejected him. So that notwithstanding their Sin Com­mitted in Adam, or their sinfulness thence [Page 35]contracted, or the Death therefore ordered to them, Prov. 1.22, 23. Psal. 95.7, 8. Isa. 45.22. & 55. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7. Rev. 22.17. Eccles. 7.1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Psal. 90.11. & 39. 4, 5, 6. John 5.24. Prov. 1.23. Rev. 22.17. 2 Pet. 3.13. Rev. 22.3, 4. any man in hearing the Voice of Christ (as while it is called to day, any man may) Maugre, all that Plot of Satan may be brought back to an happy Estate, through Jesus Christ. Yea, this Death as now ordered, through Jesus Christ, affords exceeding great Motive, and is of singular use to awaken men, and provoke them to seek the Lord, that they may live: and being Justified by Christ, (as that is certainly to be met with, in obeying his Voice;) any man may come to the in­joyment of Fellowship with him in the restauration and glory of our Nature in him, so as to have a better Paradise, and Tree of Life, a better Sabbath, a better World, (even new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness, with freedom from temptation, and from danger of falling from it,) then ever Adam had, or we in him.

3. Yea, 1 Pet. 5.8. Ephes. 2.2, 3. Rev. 20.3. Joh. 8.44. with ver. 32, 33, 34, 36. Rom. 10.11, 12, &c. Whereas Satan is yet busily Plotting (though his Head be so broken in Christ, as to his First Plot, and the Ju­risdiction got thereby,) seeking to draw particular persons into new Snares, and to bring them to a new Condemnation, by their personal, voluntary, and unnecessi­tated slightings and refusings of the Light, and Truth, or Voice of the Son of God; even then, when he is calling them, and therein setting them free, and moving them to listen, and adhere to him: and men are generally, being weak in them­selves [Page 36]and through the sweetness they feel, Jam. 3.2. Joh. 3.19, 20. 1 Tim. 2.5. 1 Joh. 2.1, 2. Rom. 5.16. Isa. 53.12. Luk. 13.7, 8, 9. Isa. 55.7. or fancy in their selfish, sinful ways, apt to listen to him; and in many things we sin all: Christ is herein Preached, and represented as the Mediator of God and Men, the Propitiation for the Sins of the World, in the Superabundancy of the vertues of his Death and Sacrifice, in which He infinitely out-did the Sin of Adam, and its demerit: by his Intercession, pleading for, and obtaining patience, and forbearance for men, and forgivness ready to be given them for such Sins: also upon their letting them go, and parting with them: whence its said, Let the wicked for­sake his ways,Ezek. 33.16.and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and turn to the Lord for he is gra­tious, and to our God for he will multiply to pardon. And in the day that a man turneth, all his Iniquities shall be forgiven him, none of them shall be mentioned unto him. Psal. 103. 3, 4, 6. And, with the Lord is plenteousness of Redemption. More then meerly to free from the old Score of Sin that came in upon our First account of our sinning in Adam. So that he is represented by ver­tue of that his Mediation the Forgiver of other Sins also; Joh. 3.18. & 5.24. 1 Thess. 1.9, 10. 1 John 1.9, 10. the Saviour and Deliverer from the Second Death, the Wrath to come. Having also Authority, and Power, and Commission to cleanse us from our un­righteousness, we confessing our Sins be­fore him, and turning to him, so that Iniquity shall not prevail upon us, to bring us into Bondage again, and so to pull up­on [Page 37]on us the second Death: Luke 13.8.9, 25. Matt. 25.31.35, 41. Rev. 20.10, &c. which yet he also hath power to leave men to; and for their Rebellions against his Grace, to Sen­tence them to, and execute upon them; and therein to Destroy them for ever, with the Devil and his Angels. In which his Head shall be forever broken too, both in himself, and all his Seed, as Plotting together against Christ the Seed of the Woman, in himself, and his Members, so as never more to be able to rise up against them.

SECT. 6.

How Christ is set forth in the Gospel, as the Fulfilling, and Fulfiller of the Promises, and Prophecies that fore-went of him; and of all the Types and Shadows.

YET, further to shew, what a com­pleat Saviour Christ is, and how compleat we are in him: We may note, That he is as the Gospel sets him forth, The Accomplishment, and the Accom­plisher in their due time and way of all the other Prophecies and Promises con­cerning our Salvation, Acts 13.32, 33. 1 Cor. 1.20. Col. 2.16. Heb. 10.1. and the body and truth of all Types, Figures, and Repre­sentations of him, mentioned in the Scri­ptures. As He is,

1. That Seed of Abraham, Gen. 18.18, 26. Matth. 1.1, 2. and of Isa­ac, and of Jacob; in whom God Promi­sed, That all the families and nations of the earth should be blessed: which is ac­complished [Page 38]in him: Acts 3.25.26 Gal. 3.8. 1 Tim. 4.10. 1 John 5.11, 12. Matth. 22.4, 5, 8. Luk. 24.19, 23, 24. Dead and Risen for them, and become the Saviour of all men; especially, of those that believe: for God hath in him, given us eternal life, even to us men; so as in having, submitting to, and receiving Christ in his Light and Truth, we may have it. Now in Eter­nal Life, is included, Remission of Sins, Righteousness, and all things. And these are made ready for all, so as any in turn­ing at his Reproofs, may, and shall cer­tainly receive them; none excluded by him, till they exclude themselves: nor but for so doing, Prov. 1.22, 23, 24. and 9.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12.

2. He is the Shiloh or Peace-maker, Gen. 49.10. Eph. 2.13, 14, 15, 16, 17. Isa. 11.10, 11. Rom. 15.6, 10, 11. Matth. 25.31, 32. who hath made Peace, by the Blood of his Cross, and hath Preached Peace to them that were nigh, and to them that were afar off; and is the Peace between God, and Men; and between Men, and Men, to them that accept him, and are found in him; to whom is, and ought to be, the gathering of the People. To him Belie­vers are now gathered by his Grace; and they that are not gathered now, shall hereafter be by his Power gathered to be Judged by him.

3. He is the Great Prophet, Deut. 18, 15, 18. Act. 3.21, 22, 23. raised up out of the Jews; like to Moses: yea, above him, both in immediateness of re­ceipt of his Commands from his Father; and in giving Laws and Doctrines, bind­ing to all people: and in Meekness, Faith­fulness, Miracles, &c. yea, One Greater [Page 39]then He; Numb. 12.6, 7, 8. John 3.34. Matth. 11.27. John 1.18. Heb. 3.1, 2, 3, 4. John 20.30, 31. & 21.25. Act. 2.22. in asmuch as Moses was but a Servant in God's House: but Christ the Son in his own House. To him there­fore all ought to listen, and he that re­fuseth him, shall be destroyed by him.

4. He is the Great King and Shepheard of Israel, that God promised to raise up to David, out of his Seed or Loyns. To whom God hath given the Everlasting Kingdom, both over All Men, and over Israel, or Believing Men in special: which he also is Anointed to Govern and Or­der, till he shall deliver it up to the Fa­ther, and God become all in all. Psal. 2.6, 7. John 10.11. & 1.49. with Psal. 89.2, 3, 19, 20, &c. Luk. 1.33, 34, 35. 1 Cor. 15.24, Matth. 3.17. & 17.5. Acts. 3.22, 23. Isa. 11.1, 10, 11. & 4.2. with Rom. 15.9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Dan. 9.24, 25, 26. John 1.41.45. 25, 26, 27.

5. He is the Root of Jesse. The Branch of the Lord. The Fruit of the Earth. The Ensign for the Nations to flock to, whose Rest is Glorious. The Messias, or Anointed One; who was the Messias in Scripture, is found in him, Luk. 24.27, 44.

6. Yea, all things in Heaven, Ephes. 1.10. Rev. 3.14. Col. 3.8, 9, 10, 16. Eph. 2.10. or Earth by which God represented Himself, his Grace, or Salvation to Men, are gathered together, and sum'd up in him, and in the Spirit of them, are to be met with by men, in, and through him; as to instance. He is the Beginning of the Creation of God: in, and by him, and his Truth, God Creates Men to be a People for him­self, as well as by him: He Created all things at the First, He is the True Sab­bath, [Page 40]bath or Rest, Isa. 28.12. Matth. 11.28. Isa. 42.1. Rom. 15.12, 13, 14. John 1.14, 16. Coll. 1.19. Prov. 3.15, 16, 17. Col. 2.8, 9, 10. Rev. 22.1, 2, 14 1 Pet. 3.20. Acts. 4.11, 12. Isa. 28.14, 15, 16, 17. & 42.6. & 49.6, 7. Col. 2.10, 11. Phil. 3.3. Gall. 5.24. Gen. 17.10, 13. Matth. 16.24, 25. Luke 14.25, 26. Exod. 12.4, 5. with Joh. 1.29. Isa. 55.4. John 6.40. & 14.1, 15, 16, 17, 25. Mat. 21.44. John 8.12. & 12.48. & 1.14. Heb. 9.11, 12. John 14.8, 9, 10. in whom the weary labour­ing Souls have Rest given them, and may in coming to him find it. The Garden of God's, and Man's delight, where man may meet with, and converse with his Maker, and find all variety of Grace, Blessings, and Satisfaction good for him. The Tree of Life giving Immortality to them that Eat of Him. The River of living Waters, affording living Influences to them that come, and Drink of Him, Joh. 4.14. and 7.37, 38. The Ark of safety, where alone we may be preserved in the midst of the over-flowing Deluge of Miseries, that over-top all the Moun­tains of this World, and destroy those that stay thereon. The Governant God hath given to the People, in whom we may have him our God, and become a people to him: in whom also we have the true Circumcision, or cutting off of the fore­skin of the Flesh: i. e. all confidences in the Flesh; with the corrupt Affections, and Lusts thereof: which we must needs submit to, if we will be in Covenant with God through Christ. He is the true Passover slain, and sacrificed for us, 1 Cor. 5.9. The cloud of God's Protecti­on over us, (Isa. 4.4, 5, 6.) in our march­ings after him, (our Leader and Com­mander out of the Spiritual Aegypt of the Worlds state and condition) in him God Protects and guides us, and looks upon the Enemy to disperse and destroy them. The Pillar of Fire to give us Light, in all [Page 41]our Marchings, and consume the Rebels. The Tabernacle which God hath pitched, Isa. 63.9. John 16, 33. Eph. 6.11.14, 15. Heb. 9.14, 15. Rom. 3.25.1 John 2.1, 2. Isa. 56.7, 8, 9. Rev. 8.3, 4, 5.1 Pet. 2.5. John 1.4, 5, 9. & 12.46. & 6.32, 33, 43, 51.35. 1 Cor. 1.30, 31. Ephes. 2.10. Isa. 56.8. with Heb. 10.5, 6, 10. & 2.17. & 5.1, 5, 10. Acts 3.22, 23. Isa. 55.4, 5. Matth. 11.28, 29, 30. Heb. 12, 2. Rev. 1.11. & 22.13. Heb. 3.2, 3, 4, 5, 6. & 5, 4, 5, 10, & 4.6, 8, 9. Isa. 33.22. and in which he dwells, and walks amongst his People. The Ark of his strength and presence, in, and with which, he walks be­fore us, divides the waters of affliction, drives out our Enemies, and brings those that are faithful to him, into the Possessi­on of the Eternal Kingdom. The Mer­cy-seat or Propitiatory through faith in his blood. The Altar of Incense, perfuming the services of those that come to, and worship God by him. The Golden Can­dlestick, in whom the true Light is held forth to us; yea, the true Light it self, lightning every Man that comes into the World: but chiefly, those that believe in him. The Bread of Life: the Laver of Regeneration: the Sanctification and true Washing, by whom believed in, we are cleansed from our Sins. The Altar of Burnt-offerings, and the Sacrifice it self, that makes the Attonement for the Sins of the People, and obtains Peace and Re­conciliation. Yea, the Priest of God: the Great High Priest, that offers up Gifts and Sacrifices for us: especially, for the Worshippers by him. The Prophet, and Leader of the People. The Redeemer out of Bondage, and the Bringer of them into Rest, who faithfully follow him. The Alpha, and Omega. The Beginning, and the End: the Author, and Finisher of the Faith. Greater than Moses, or Aaron, or Joshua. Yea, answering to all of them, [Page 42]being both the true Law-giver, Act. 4.11.12, & 10.42. 1 Cor. 10.1, 2, 3. John 4.10.14. & 7.37, 38, 39. High­priest, Saviour, and Judge; the Delive­rer from Sin, World, and Satan: the Pre­server, Leader, and Guide in the way to Happiness, and the Possessour of us to it. The Heavenly Manna or Bread from Hea­ven, John 6.48. The Water out of the Rock: or rather, the Rock that being smitten for us, gives forth the Living Wa­ters of Life, even the knowledge, grace, and spirit of God to us, to refresh and sa­tisfie us. John 3.14, 15, 16, 17. & 6.40. The Antitipe to the Brazen Ser­pent, in looking, to whom we may be healed: of all our wounds; (even of those also which we have procured by our for­mer slightings of him, as the Spiritual Manna and food of Life: Psal. 2.1.6. with Act. 4.27. & 10.38. John 1.50. & 2.20, 21. Col. 2.9. Luk. 4.18, 19. Isa. 61.1, 2, 3. Zech. 4.6, 7, 9. Eph. 4.5. & 5.25, 26. 1 Pet. 2.5.) lifted up by God's Will, that whosoever believes in him might not perish, but have everlasting life. Yea, He is the Anointed of the Lord, the King. The Temple, the Restorer of our Breaches. The Returner of our Capti­vity. The Builder of the House of God. His hands have laid the Foundation, and his hands shall finish it; bringing up the Top-stone with shootings, and crying, grace, grace, to it. Yea, He is the orderer of God's House and Service. The Ma­ster of the Musick; the tuner of our Hearts, that they might make sweet Melody in the Ears of God, Coll. 3.16. being filled with Grace. In a Word, He is All, and in All in the New Creature.

7. Nay, all the Excellencies of the Creatures, as well as All the Ordinances of [Page 43]the Law, are but shadows to him. Col. 3.9, 10. Mal. 4.2, 3. Rev. 22.16. Psal. 84.11. Rev. 5.5, 6. Gen. 22.8. John 1.29. Psal. 18.1, 2. Deut. 32.4. 1 Pet. 2.4, 5, 6. Isa. 28.16. Zech. 3.2. & Verse 8. & 6.12. Isa. 11.1, 10, 11. Jer. 23.5, 6. Cant. 2.2, 3, 4, 5. John 15.1. Psal. 52.8. & 106.2. He is the Son of Righteousness. The bright, and the Morning Star. A Sun and Shield, that will give Grace and Glory, &c. The Lyon of the Tribe of Judah. The meek and Innocent Lamb, even the Lamb of God, which he hath found, and provided for himself, for a Burnt-offering, to take away the Sins of the World. The Rock, the Fortress, the Stone of Strength graven by the Lord. The one Stone upon which are seven Eyes graven, for the removing of the iniquity of the Earth; and laid as a sure Foundation in Sion. The Branch, The Root of Jesse: and Branch of Righ­teousness: and Plant of Renown. The Apple Tree amongst the Trees of the Wood, full of Fruit, and fragrancy, and pleasant of Shadow. The true Vine. The Olive Tree in the House of God, al­ways green and flourishing, &c. Yea, who can set forth all his Praises? which according to the Gospel, and what it asserts as done, and suffered by him, and received as the reward of his Sufferings to furnish him for our Salvation are to be ascribed to him! Isa. 55.1.2. Rev. 22.17.

Such things the Gospel declares of him as true in themselves, and the benefit of them open and free to, and for all Men; so as that, whoever will, may come, and partake of them, in submitting to, and believing on him.


Of things further contained in the Gospel-Faith, and thence observable as implyed and signifyed therein.

SECT. 1.

Of the Hope of the Gospel.

SUch is the Doctrine, or Faith of the Gospel, as hath been said in the for­mer Chapter: and it is true in it self, and praedicable as truth to all Men. The Everlasting Gospel of God: neither is [...] less true for mens not hearing, or believ­ing of it: nor the more true, for their heat­ing, and believing it. But besides, There is something contained in that Doctrine that is called, the hope of the Gospel, Col. 1.23. As the Covenant and Promises of God, so far as yet future to any man. Indeed, all that is declared in the Gospel, as done, and ac­complished in Christ, in his Personal Ap­pearing, Sufferings, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension was to the Fathers before Christ, as to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Da­vid, (with whom he is said to have made his Covenant;) and so to the Prophets, and Holy Men matter of Hope; because as then not actually performed: but now as accomplished and declared to us, they are to us matter of Faith onely, and the [Page 45]Foundation of the things to be hoped for, which is that of God's Covenant or Pro­mises, as yet unaccomplished to any of us; which (as the Promises) partly concern the time of this Life; partly, and most pro­perly and fully the Life to come. I shall instance God assisting, in either of them briefly.

1. For this Life, The Gospel declares as matter of hope.

1. That God will so hear, and help Christ, and through him his Servants; making him in their faithful Ministration of, and through all means of his appoin­ting, so a Light to the Gentiles, and God's Salvation to the ends of the Earth, that through the dispensations of his Spirit, with the means to Men, they may be put into a capacity of hearing, turning at his reproofs, and seeking after him accor­ding to God's Promise to Christ, Isa. 49.7, 8, 9. And Christ's Prayer for, and Promise to his Disciples, John 17.9, 18, Psal. 95.8. Heb. 3.7. 20, 21, 22, 23. Matth. 28.19.20. Whence it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts: as implying, That during the day of Grace, God in Christ will not be wanting to speak to men, so as they may hear him, if they will not stop their Ears and harden their Hearts. But this is a matter of daily Dispensati­on from Christ, and as well matter of Faith to, as of the hope and expectation [Page 46]of his Servants for men; therefore I wave it, and shall speak to it, under that Head of Gods operations in Men.

2. That whosoever in Christs prevent­ing them with his Grace and Calling do hear and turn at his reproofs, Prov. 1.22, 23. Ezek. 33.16. Act. 10.43, & 13.37, 38, 39. John 1.12. Eph. 2.14, 18, 19, 20. 1 Pet. 2.9. and seek, and close with him; for them the Gos­pel Promises, and accordingly it is mat­ter of hope and expectation, by, and for them, that God will forgive and pardon all former Iniquities and Trespasses to them, and graciously receive and own them, and put them amongst his Chil­dren; give them the priviledges and fa­vour of being a people nigh to him: of his Houshold, yea, his Sons, and Daugh­ters. As the Gospel Preaches, The for­giveness, or not imputation of Sins, through Christ to men, as a thing verily true, and extended to them before their Believing, so far as that them notwith­standing he is Administring his Grace to call and enable them to listen to him, that they might Believe; 2 Cor. 5.19, 20. & 6.1, 2. Luke 24.45, 47. so it also pro­mises and gives well grounded and assured hope of the forgiveness of them, in the further sense above mentioned, so as to the justifying of them, from them, ac­cepting and owning of them, and making them his Sons, and Heirs, the Subjects of his special grace and favour in their re­turning in that grace afforded and believ­ing on him. Yea, and also, that he will have more choice care of theirs, Acts 16.31. Gen. 17.5, 6, 7. than of theirs that reject him, till any of them also do reject him.

3. To the Believer, Prov. 1.23, 33 & 2.1, 5, 6. Matth. 13.11, 12, 13, 15. yet further the Gospel propounds this as matter of hope and expectation. That God in his own­ing him will further teach and lead him, pour out his Spirit to him, make known his Words, shew them the Mysteries of his Kingdom, which are not for People one or other, till they turn at his Reproofs and be in some measure Discipled to him. They that reject him, wink with the Eye, and will not see, stop the Ear least they should hear, and understand, and be con­verted, shall not have his Secrets and Mysteries opened to them: for them Christ prays not the Father to give that Dispensation of Spirit for leading them into all Truth; filling them with his Con­solations, and Satisfactions, and fitting them to be Lights to others, Joh. 17.9. Nor are they yet capable while unturned to him, of receiving it of him, Psal. 25.8, 9, 12, 14, Ezek. 43.10, 11. John 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 23. Joh. 14.17. But his Secret is promised to be with them that fear him, and that he will shew them his Covenant, guide them in Judgment, teach them his ways, give them a farther and more exact knowledge of the Form of his House, and the fashion thereof: the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, even a more distinct and experimental knowledge: for he will manifest himself to them, and give them the Spirit of Truth to abide, 2 Cor. 6.16, 17. John 4.14. and dwell with, and in them: and so will thereby dwell in them, and be a spring of Living Waters by his Spirit, and Spiritual Under­standing [Page 48]given them, 1 Cor. 12.7. springing up in them unto Everlasting life. Filling them with his Vertues, Matth. 5.13, 14, 15, 16. 1 Pet. 2.10, 12. Eph. 4.7, 14, 15. John 10.2, 3, 4. Levit. 26.11, 12. 2 Cor. 2.14, 15, 16. and furnishing them with such useful Gifts as by which they may in some way or other be profitable to others, both in the World and in the Church; as the Salt of the Earth, as the Light of the World, and as Members in the Body of Christ, in their places, and capacities: useful for the glorifying of God, and provoking men to seek and glorifie him too: and for furthering the growth of them that believe, in their exercise of themselves in which gifts with sobriety and faithful­ness, and walking in his vertues, He also will go forth with them; walk in, and amongst them, direct, guide, help, and bless them, in all their out-goings towards God, in seeking him, praying to him, and praising of him, trusting in, and submit­ting to him; and in all their walkings by his grace amongst men: so to bless them, and render them a blessing to, and amongst them.

4. 1 John 1.7, 9. Eph. 5.25, 26, 27. Jer. 31.31, 32, 33, 34. & 32.40, 41, 42. John 8.32, 36. 1 Tim. 4.18. That He will cleanse them from their Corruptions, and Subdue them, in them, so as they shall not have Domini­on over them; nor shall they (unless they wilfully chuse it) Serve, and Obey them. Yea, in following on to seek, and know him, He will so mould their wills into his will, and put his fear into their hearts as to take away their will of sining, and inlarge them to run the ways of righte­ousness with delight, according to the riches [Page 49]of his glorious grace and wisdom, so keeping them to the Inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom.

5. That to that end, Joh. 10.28, 29. Ezek. 34.24, 25. & 37.24, 25, 26. Gen. 15.1. Psal. 84.11. & 48.3, 12, 13, 14. John 16.33. Isa. 43.1, 2. He will take spe­cial care over them as a shepherd over his Flock, lead them into Unity with all his Holy Ones, and therein also nourish and feed them with Knowledge and Un­derstanding; be a Shield to them against Satan and his Temptations; and against the World, its fury, rage, and oppositions, be with them in all Adversities, their God and Guide, to, and in Death: strengthning and supporting them under all their Suffe­rings, and unto all their Services he calls them to, Administring to them sweet and seasonable Consolations and Deliveran­ces.

6. Yea, Matth. 6.33. Psal. 34.9, 10. John 15.1, 3, 7, 2 Cor. 1.8, 9. that He will also feed them with Food convenient for them, even with what he sees good for them in the mat­ters of this Life; and nurture them with seasonable and faithful Reproofs, and Chastisements, and be wanting in no­thing to them, that may make for their good and happiness. Such things the Gospel holds forth, as matter to be ho­ped for, in, and through Christ; in listen­ing to, and obeying him, in this Life.

2. For the Life to come, it holds forth wholly, as matter of Hope.

1. That Christ will himself in due time come again from Heaven, Coll. 3.4. in the Glory [Page 50]of God, and of all his Holy Angels, to compleat their Happiness. To which end,

2. Tit. 2.13. 1 Thess. 4.14, 15, 16. Rom. 8.23. Phil. 3.21. Act. 3.19, 20. 1 Thess. 4.15, 16. That he will raise up all such at his Coming, as have dyed in the Faith of him, and change the then living Believers, fashioning their now vile Body into the likeness of his Glorious Body; free them from all their Sins, Sorrows, Fears, Dan­gers, and Temptations, in a full and per­fect Redemption and Salvation.

3. Rev. 11.17. Luke 22.28, 29, 30. 1 Cor. 6.2. Coll. 3.3, 4. Rev, 5.10. & 20.4, 5, 6. That then he will make to himself his great Power and Reign. The King­doms of this World shall become the Kingdoms of God and Christ: and then also they who have owned, and believed on him, and followed him in Temptati­ons, and Sufferings, shall be glorifyed with him, and Reign in Glory, Judging the World with Christ: and as Kings and Priests Reign with him upon Earth, a Thousand Years, and Minister before him with unspeakable Happiness.

4. Isa. 66.14, 15. a Pet. 3.7, 10, 12. Act. 3.20, 21. Rom. 8.19, 20, 21.22. That to that end of his Coming, He shall destroy all the Wicked of the Earth, take away their Power and Glory from them, and burn up the Earth, with the Works thereof, and make all things New, A new heaven and a new earth in which dwells righteousness, 2 Pet. 3.7, 10, 11, 12, 13. Isa. 65.17. In which Christ, and his Saints, and Servanss, which have been faithful to him, shall Reign together. As in Rev. 21. and 22. 1 Cor. 13.10, 11, 12.

5. That then they shall enjoy Peace, [Page 51]and Joy without mixture of Sorrow, Op­pression, or Trouble, have a perfect Know­ledge of Christ, and God in Christ; so as not to need to be taught by one another: ever injoy the presence, and see the face of Christ, and God in Christ, that Lamb of God that was Slain for them, Rev. 5.9, 10. Exod. 12. Rev. 21.4, 5, 6, 7. Jer. 31.33, 34. Heb. 8.10, 11, 12. 1 Thess. 4.16, 17. Rev. 7.16, 17. & 22.1, 2, 3, 4. and Re­deemed them by his Blood unto God, from the Kindreds of the Earth, by the sprinkling it upon them; also, (as in the Redemption of Israel out of Aegypt) that they might serve him, and be Kings and Priests unto God, and himself. And he shall satisfie them with the fountains of living water, even of even lasting life: pure, unmixed, and everlasting Consolations, which the knowledge, favour, and pre­sence of God and Christ with them, shall uncessantly give them.

6. Rev. 20.5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. Matth. 25.31, 46. 1 Cor. 15.27. That after that Reign of a Thou­sand Years, (whether properly taken, or Figuratively, for a far greater time) the rest of the Dead shall be Raised, and all whose Names are not found Written in the Lambs Book of Life, adjudged to a Second Death: and they that there found, to Eternal Life and Happiness; and Christ shall deliver up the Kingdom to the Fa­ther, and then God shall be All in All, fully, and immediately Reigning in the Son, and in the Saints for ever and ever: in which also Eternal Peace, Joy, Satis­faction, unutterable, and unalterable Glo­ry shall be upon them, and be their Por­tion.

Such the Hope of the Gospel, in which are somethings hard to be understood, Heb. 5.9. & 6.13, 14, 17, 18. Rom. 8.17. Gal. 3.29. Tit. 2.13. Heb. 9.28. and not so clearly to be apprehended, till seen, and enjoyed; and this is good also to be propounded to all, and every man, as we have opportunity, and they capacity of Understanding and bearing it, being true and certain for all that believe in, and obey him; they being the Heirs of the Promises of God, and of the Covenant made with the Fathers; a wonderful great, glorious, sure and blessed Hope, worthy to be considered, and looked af­ter by all men: and sure, and certain to all that do look for him. John 3.16. Isa. 55.4. & 28.16. Rom. 5.10. & 8.32, 33, 34, 35. Heb. 9.15. The Ground Foundation, and sure Pledge, whereof i [...] the love and faithfulness of God, as al­ready testified in Christ, in what he hath done for us, to, and in him: The love and grace of Christ to us. His Death, and Sacrifice, and Mediation for all men, and Mediation of the New Testament more particularly, for the Called that Believe or him; that they might have the Content thereof performed, to, and in them; and the Dispensation and Inhabitation of the holy Spirit of God and Christ, Eph. 1.14, 17, 18. 1 Pet. 1, 3, 4, 5. 2 Cor. 5.5. to, and in all that obey him; to open the said Hope to them, and fill them with the assurance and consolations thereof, and keep them by his Power to the injoy­ment of it in their Believing.

SECT. 2.

Of the Obedience of the Gospel.

WHat we have mentioned about the Faith of the Gospel, implies also, Rom. 1.5. something due from us, which we may call the obedience of the Gospel; or as the Apostle calls it, the Obedience of Faith: which though it be not in the Object of Faith, (otherwise then to believe such Obedience also to be required of us, and due from us, as that in which we may meet with the good prepared for us, and held forth to us in the Gospel, Heb. 5.9. which re­presents Christ through his Sufferings per­fected to be the Author of Eternal Salva­tion, to them that obey him:) yet, for­asmuch as the Gospel-Faith mentions it, 1 Pet. 1.13, 14, 15, 16. Jam. 1.25, 26. and represents it as one Great End of God's calling Men by his Grace, and as the way in which we are to look for, and meet with the further Blessings of the Gospel. We shall take a brief view of some general Heads of it: and so the Gospel holds forth.

1. Prov. 1.20, 21, 22, 23. That as God and Christ are by his Spirit calling Men; and in the manifesta­tions of his Truth and Goodness to them, preventing them with Light and Power; in which he is reproving their ways, hopes, delights: so they ought to listen to, and obey him, in falling down before the power of the said Truth, and in the grace [Page 54]and strength therein afforded, according to the measure thereof; let go such false and evil ways, hopes, and delights, as are discovered to be evil to them, and turn to him that calls them; to the Light that enlightens them, and the Power, and Spi­rit that works therein; seeking to know the Truth more, Luk. 24.47. Heb. 6.2. and so to know God, and Christ, as represented to them there­in; not preferring their own thoughts, and ways before him, and his. This is that which is called Repentance, and Re­pentance from dead works: in which also it is further required;

2. Psal. 100.1, 2. & 62.8. Isa. 55.1, 2, 6, 7. Prov. 2.1, 2, 3. &c. & 3.3, 4, 5. That by the Light and Power of the Truth afforded them therein, and thereunto; they yield up unto God to close with, Hope, Trust in, Worship, and Serve him, according as in the pourings out of his Spirit, further his Words and Mind are made known to them. So lov­ing, and cleaving to God in their Hearts, and Affections, and walking with him in their Conversations, Tit. 2.11, 12, 13, 14. 2 Cor. 5.11, 19, 20, 21. & 6, 1, 2. 1 John 4.8, 11, 12. Gal. 5.22, 23. & 6, 7, 8. as they are there­to directed, and help to perceive they ought: and as the grace brought to them is saving, strengthning, and working in them, to enable and frame them. And so also walking toward Men, with such love, pity, and charity to All; Submissi­on, and other duties towards Superiors, and Relations: such affection toward Delight, in, and cleaving to those, that they discern the Light, the Truth, and the Power of God, in, and with such so­briety, [Page 55]temperance, Psal. 2.11, 12. Luke 16.1, 10, 11. Matth. 16.24, 25. 1 Pet. 2.4, 10, 11, 12, &c. Prov. 4.20, 27. and abstemiousness from the things of the World, and readi­ness to part with them for God and Christ, and to serve God and Men with them; such low thoughts of themselves in all their Wisdom, and Righteousness, Strength, and all injoyments here, as the grace of God, and his Truth appearing to them, doth instruct and strengthen them to; not turning aside therefrom to the Right-hand, or to the Left; but walk­ing in the Integrity of their Hearts before him.

3. 1 John 1.7, 8, 9. 1 Kings 8.33, 35, &c. That wherein at any time they fail, and Sin, upon the appearance of it to them; they acknowledge they said, Fail­ings and Sins: and through the grace of God, and by Jesus Christ their Advocate and Propitiation for their Sins turn back again to God, and keep more close to him, and walk more stedfastly with him.

4. That in all things they acknowledge, Psal. 62.2, 8, 12. John. 1.7, 12. & 3.15, 16, 18. Psal. 2.12. & 96.7, 8, 9, 10. & 105.1, 2, 3. & 50.15. own, look to, and depend upon God, in, and through Christ, according to the manifestations of God and Christ to them, for his help, light, grace, strength, and all things needful for them: ascribing to him by Faith, the Glory of his Name: be­lieving, and holding for true and certain, that he is such a one, so powerful, wise, holy, good, &c. as he manifests, and de­clares himself to be; and so calling upon him in all their wants and needs; ac­knowledging, confessing, and glorifying him in all things, by Jesus Christ; even [Page 56]in all his goodness, 1 Thess. 5.16, 17, 18. Philip. 4.6, 7. Ephes. 5.18, 19, 20. Rom. 6.11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17. 1 Cor. 6.20. and gracious Dispen­sations to, and dealings with them, or others, as manifest to them: yielding up themselves, and all their powers, and mem­bers to walk with, obey, and serve him; as his grace afforded, instructs, and strengthens them.

5. Matth. 28.19, 20. & 26.26, 27, 28. 1 Cor. 11.25, 26, 27, 28. Acts 2.41, 42. Rom. 15.9, 10. Col. 3.16. Heb. 3.12, 13. & 10.25. Ephes. 6.17, 18. Phillip 3.3. John 4.23, 24. Jude 20. Matth. 16.24. Rom. 6.2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Gal. 2.19, 20, 21. & 3.25, 26, 27, 28, 29. That they attend unto, and upon God and Christ in such ways, ordinan­ces, and appointments of his, as He hath made known to them in his Doctrine, to be injoyed and appointed of God for them, in the present Administration of his Grace, and Truth: according to his mind there­in is manifested to them, and perceived by them; As in times past they had the Observations of the New Moons, Sabbaths, Sollemn meetings, appointed of God by Mo­ses, where they had them Revealed to them. So now we have the use of Bap­tism, the Supper, and Assemblies of Be­lievers in the Name of Christ, as may be warrantably injoyed. And such an hear­ty, spiritual and close obedience to God and Christ in the Spirit, denying our Selves, and going out of all knowledge of our Selves, after, and confidence in, and glorying of the Flesh, and being Bap­tized, or Planted into Christ, to seek all our Life, Peace, and Righteousness, Wis­dom, Strength, Salvation in him, is re­quired of us: and is to be held forth by us, as required of all Men, according to their capacities of obeying, in, and by, the Gospel-Doctrine. And this also is [Page 57]good and true in it self, and to be held forth with the Gospel, to All men: not to be first required of men, to prepare them for the Gospel, nor to be their Righteous­ness toward God. But upon, Phil. 3.7, 8, 9, 10. Rom. 10.3. and with the Preaching of the Gospel, this they are to be instructed to, and admonished, That they refuse not the Gospel, taught to, and to be Believed by them; nor refuse to obey it, in what it requireth, and calls for, from them: as the way in which sowing to the Spirit, they shall be more filled with the Spirit, and so be more led into Christ; Gal. 6.7. Col. 2.9, 10. & 3.9, 10. in whom God hath given us a full, per­fect, and abiding Righteousness; and all things pertaining to Life, and Godliness. To further which, also the Gospel further presents.

SECT. 3.

Gospel Terrours.

GOspel Terrours, Arguments of Fear, 2 Cor. 5.11. to awaken, and quicken men to re­ceive, and obey the Truth brought to them, in what it says to, and requires of them. As to give some brief hints, as resulting from, and presented in the Gospel-Faith, or Doctrine.

1. 1 Tim. 1.13, 14, 15. Tit. 2.3, 4. It presents sin very loathsom and displeasing to God; especially willing and careless sinnings against the light, truth and grace brought to men by him. The presentation of what Christ hath done to [Page 58]take away sin, Heb. 2.2, 3, 4. & 10.26, 29. & 7.19. & 9.19. & 9.22. & 10.1,—6, 7. presents sin never a whit the less, but the more loathsom to God; in as much as it was not, nor may be par­doned, but through the sufferings, death and sacrifice of Christ for men. And if sin against God, as a Creator, was so loath­som, how much more is sinning against him willingly, Heb. 10.29. & 12.21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29. Heb. 1. & 2.1, 2, 3, 4. now he hath done so much more for us! and put so much greater in­gagements upon us to be his, and to obey and serve him? The more he hath done for us, the more reason we have to listen to him; and the more heinous our rebel­lions and sins against him: and the more he loves his Son who suffered for us, the more is he provoked by our disobedience to, and rebellions against his Son in his calls and counsels to us for our salvation.

2. Matth. 28.18, 19. Rom. 14.9, 10, 11, 12. 2 Cor. 5.10. Phil. 2.10, 11. Jam. 4.5, 12, 13. It presents God and Christ armed with infinite power and authority to pu­nish the transgressors and rebels against him, all power in Heaven and upon Earth being his, and all creatures at his beck, to be imployed or made use of by him at his pleasure; so as no ability in us by strength or wisdom to shift from him, or from any the least part of the punish­ment or judgment that he will inflict up­on us, if we rebel against him, 1 Cor. 10.22. Ezek. 22.14.

3. Eccles. 9.10. 2 Cor. 6.1, 2. Heb. 3.15. Rev. 1.18, 19. & 3.7. It presents the time of this life, the only time for hearing his voice and obey­ing him, and seeking favour and acquain­tance with him; yea it's his pleasure whi­ther to wait upon us so long; the Keys of [Page 59]Heaven and Hell are in his hands, Luke 13.7, 8, 9, 25, 26, 27. Matth. 10.38. Luke 10.5, 6. and as he can open as he pleases, and keep open [...]he door of life so long as he pleases, so he can shut it when he will too; yea our [...]ives also are in his hand, and not in our own. He can take away our breath and spirit when he pleases, and cast the Transgressors into Hell, and there is no withstanding of him therein. None hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit, neither is there any power in the day of death, Eccles. 8.8.

4. That he can and may, 1 Cor. 10.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. with 9.26, 27. & 11.30. Rev. 2.4, 5, 21, 22. Deut. 28.2 Thess. 2.9, 10. 11, 12. Act. 13.40, 41. and by mens refusing his grace and truth, and therein his Son, and Spirit, and Self, is provoked to inflict heavy judgements upon them here in their souls, or bodies, or both; either denying them, or depriving them of the comfortable injoyments of such outward mercies and liberties, as other­wise he is ready to give them, or else im­bitter his gifts to them filling them with a curse, so as to fill them with vexation and anguish of Spirit; or else to blast them in all, and curse their spirits, as to give them up to delusions, lusts and ways of their own, to run themselves to de­struction.

5. Act. 10.42. & 17.30, 31. Rom. 2.16. & 14.11, 12.2 Cor. 5.10, 11. Rev. 20.12, 13, 14.2 Thess. 1.6, 7, 8, 9. Jude 14, 15. That (however) he hath absolute­ly decreed and appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by Christ Jesus; and then will raise all up out of their graves: no darkness or sha­dow of death shall be able to hide or keep them from his presence: but before him [Page 60]in their raised and immortalised bodies they shall appear, Matth. 13.40, 41, 42, 49, 50. &. 16.26, 27. & 25.41, 46. & 3.12. when he shall appear in flaming fire, to render vengeance; even armed with the power and wrath of God, in unspeakable unconceivable terror, with an innumerable company of mighty An­gels attending on him, ready to execute his commands against them: and then shall he utterly destroy the Rebels; sen­tence them to be everlastingly compani­ons with the Devil and his Angels that seduced them, Rev. 20.10, 12, 13, 14. Isa. 30.33. Mark. 9.44, 45, 46, 47, 48. and whom they chose to adhere and cleave to, rather than to fol­follow the Lamb in his Light and Grace, wherewith he prevented and followed them: And then he shall execute the Doom also upon them, Rev. 14.9, 10, 11, 12. Isa. 66.24. thrusting them down with the Devil and his Angels, in­to an ever-burning Lake of Fire and Brimstone, into the Rivers of the wrath of God, to be perpetually kindled upon them, by the power of that Spirit that came to them and convinced them; and being obeyed, would have saved them: which Spirit being infinite, and eternally wise and powerful, Oh! how infinite, eter­nal, and unbearably great, must needs be the wrath executed upon them, by him, when their bodies being immortal and insepa [...]able from their souls again, they shall be capable of enduring it endlesly: and being separated from God and all his Creature-comforts too, they shall have pure wrath without mixture, no dram of good, or ease, or comfort afforded [Page 61]with it. The fire of his wrath shall tor­ment them perpetually, and the Consci­ence of their own willing sinnings against him, and despising their Saviour and his salvation, when freely offered them, and made attainable to them, shall perpetual­ly grieve and confound them: and as a Worm that dyes not, for ever gnaw them. All the good they had from God, Luk. 16.23, 24, 25. and might have had for ever, had they heark­ned to him, being evermore before them on the one side; and the remembrance of it infinitely dolorous to them; and on the other side the several wickednesses committed, contrived, thought and act­ed by them in word and deed, Jonas 2.8. with the aggravations of them; as for what foo­lish, trivial, sorry and vile things; and against what checks, warnings, faithfull means of preventing them, they have made the forfeiture, and sustain the loss of that eternal glory, that others have, and they might have had in their obey­ing Christ in the light and truth offered them, shall add unconceivably to their everlasting, woe, and horror, and lamen­tation: Rev. 14.8, 10, 11, 12. and yet no ease after inconceivable times or duration, nor no way or possibi­lity of Redemption: such the terror of the Lord in that day, even such as his goodness abused by men in this day, and the good, the grace, the glory trampled under foot by them; the worth of the person and sufferings of Christ sin'd a­gainst, and the greatness of the glory [Page 62]and majesty of God contemned and [...] at nought, 2 Pet. 2.1, 2. Tit. 1.2. & 2.13. Matth. 11.29, 30. 1 Joh. 5.3. 2 Cor. 5.11. and that for vile things in [...] ­nitely below them, deserves to be reve [...] ­ged with. The faith exceeding true and precious. The hope firm and infinitely glorious. The obedience required ex­ceeding reasonable and not grievous, be­cause he is ready at hand to effect it in us; and therefore also the Terror and Torment upon the refusers exceedingly and incomprehensibly Dolorous.

SECT. 4.

A Digression about the Endlesness of the punishments mentioned in the Gospel-Ter­rors.

AGainst this Doctrine of the Terrors of the Gospel, and endlesness of the torments or punishment to which Christ will at the Great Day adjudge his ene­mies. Some may object, that sure it can­not be consistent with his love, mercy and goodness, to adjudge his Creatures, for any cause whatsoever, to such endless misery. Probably Mr. Hobbs. Yea there is an Anonymous Au­thor, that hath put out a Discourse on purpose to prove the the Doctrine of Hell torments false and fabulous. Therefore I shall add some Considerations here briefly for confirmation of the truth alrea­dy said thereabout. Yet not by way of particular Answer to that Book (which I have also otherwise answered to some [Page 63]Friends) for indeed it is so monstrous in its assertion, and so self-contradictory, that I hope none that give credit to God, and are able, in any measure, to judge of things, will be snared by it: for it saith, Sin is only punisht in this life, no greater punishment of it than death; quite con­trary to the words of Christ, that tell us John 5.29. That some shall be raised out of their Graves at the last day to con­demnation, and Dan. 12.2. That some shall rise to shame and everlasting con­tempt; yea that after the Resurrection some shall be adjudged to a second death, a lake that burns with fire and brimstone, Rev. 20.13, 14, 15. True, the said Au­thor also confesses a second death, but he makes it but the same with the first, save only as it is judicially executed: for he asserts that Adam, and all men should have died, had they not sinned; but now the death that should have been other­wise natural, is now judicially executed; and so a man that is hanged for murther or the like, he makes to dye there in the second death. But how cross this is to the Scripture, who is so blind as not to see? Seeing the Scriptures plainly make the second death, to be a death adjudged to some men after their Resurrection from the first, as in Rev. 20. before quoted: yea the same nameless Author would perswade men, that God works in them their sins, wills their sins, and falls before they will them: that Gods will is the [Page 64]womb in which all the actings of men at first conceived; that he was never dis­pleased or unsatisfied with the Being o [...] ­sin, and divers the like monstrous asser­tions, that I suppose none but Atheis [...] or Ranters can easily digest: and which indeed (could they be proved true) would render it unreasonable to conceive, that God can or will inflict any punishment upon men for sin at all, either in this life or after it, much less endless. Though indeed it might as reasonably be thought that God will punish his creature with endless torments, Psal. 5.4, 5. Habbak. 1.12. though their sins de­serve them not; as that he can or will be the Author, Willer and Worker of their sin; seeing sin is more directly contrary to his purity and holiness, then the in­flicting of Pain or Torments upon his Creature, is or can be. But not to trou­ble our selves with the several reasonings of the said Author in the said Book (which also broadly enough contradicts it self, while sometime it represents God as a punisher of sin in this life only, some­times tell us the wicked shall be burnt up with the earth, and that shall be their punishment; and sometimes that God was never unsatisfied with the being of Sin, and so in reason should not punish men for it any where at all) let us see what may be briefly noted for confirma­tion of what we have before delivered about the said Doctrine.

And first let that be noted, Matth. 11.27. 1 Cor. 2.9, 10, 11, 12. That God is not to be known of and by us, and by consequence nor his will concerning us, or purposes for rewarding or punishing us, but by his own discoveries of himself to us. For as no man knows the things of a man, but the spirit of man that is in him: even so the things of God (his na­ture, love, goodness, and the things con­sistent therewith, his rewards and punish­ments that he will adjudge men to) knows no man but the Spirit of God, and they to whom by his Spirit they are revealed: whence it follows, that it is not safe for us, waving his revelations of them to us by his Spirit, to conjecture, and rest in our conjectures concerning them; and measure his love, hatred, re­wards or punishments by our narrow, shallow, finite and corrupt apprehensions about them; Jer. 10.14. especially we being all since our fall by our own knowledge bruitish, and our understandings not fit to be lean­ed upon and trusted to. Now God ha­ving by his Spirit revealed himself and mind, as to these things most fully and plainly in the Scriptures, it behoves us there to seek and receive our knowledge of, and accordingly to believe and judge concerning them. The foresaid Author to take off men from this, would per­swade his Reader that the Scriptures are so corrupted and uncertain, we having not the very Original Copies, written at first by their holy Penmen, and because [Page 66]some Copies in some things, by the ca [...] ­lesness and oversight of some Transcr [...] ­bers, have some misreading in them, that there is no credit in this point to be gi­ven them. But in that, as in all things else almost, he shews, his unreasonableness and Atheism: for by the same argument we should not believe the Scriptures in any thing they say; as that there was such a person as Jesus Christ; that he dyed, rose ascended, shall come again, &c. seeing all Copies may as rationally be conceived to be corrupted in all those matters too as in this in hand. Nay we should not believe that in any Printed Books [...] read their Authors minds, for as much as they be not their original Hand-wri­tings. Matth, 10.29, 30. & 5.17, 18. But who that believes Gods pro­vidence, and his care over the good, and salvation of men, or that considers how many Copies there are of the Scriptures amongst the Churches of Christ in all parts of the world, and how dearly both Jews and Christians, many of them in all ages have loved and carefully kept their Scriptures, so that even those that diso­bey them, John 5.39. have sought life in their respect to, and reverence of the Books of them [...] who, I say, that considers these things, can believe either that God would permit such an universal corruption of all Co­pies; or that it could possibly, or at least probably, be effected, that so many per­sons in all parts of the world should con­spire together to alter the Copies of the [Page 67]Scriptures? especially seeing the things about this point, as about many others, are unanimously, by all Copies that I have either ever read or heard of delive­red to us. Luk. 10.25, 26. John 5.39. Matth. 22.29. 2 Tim. 3.15, 16, 17. 2 Pet. 3.2, 3. Heb. 3.3, 4. To wave that conceit there­fore as openly Atheistical and Impious, let it be held fast by us, that it's out safest way to believe and hold for true in this, [...]nd in all points of faith, what the words and sayings of God delivered in the Scri­ptures, and formerly confirmed by ma­ny Miracles, Signs and Wonders wrought by him to be his, propounds unto us; which being premised, let us nextly see,

1. What God in the Scriptures plainly asserts and implies touching this point, and,

2. By and upon what grounds and rea­sons there also delivered. And so we find,

1. That the Scriptures mention in He­ [...]ew, a Sheol, in Greek, Hades, which [...]metimes we translate Hell, though some­ [...]mes the Grave; because in its largest use comprehends the whole disappearing [...]ace of the dead, good and bad, and the [...]aces of their receptacles, as Bishop Ʋsher [...]d others also have well noted; but [...]ough the Scripture uses those words of­ [...] of the Grave or Common State of [...] Dead, yet sometimes they attribute it sorrows, pains and torments, and [Page 68]those too most exquisite and bitter abo [...] all others, Job 3.12, 13, 14, 15, 16, &c. which cannot agree to [...] Grave and the State of the Body there (which then and there is at rest, bei [...] void of sense) and therefore must need betoken some worse state and place [...] the wicked deceased, as to their foul. That the Scriptures do speak of sorrow and torments in Sheol, Hades, or Hell [...] clear in those passages, Psalm 18.5. and 116.3. where David, either in his ow [...] person, or with respect to Christ, doth [...] express the greatness, bitterness and d [...] ­stressingness of his sorrows, even urgin [...] him in some measure to a kind of despair as in Psalm 116.10, 11. call them th [...] pangs and sorrows of Sheol or Hell: an [...] our Saviour implies the same more ex­presly and significantly of Hades or Hell in Luke 16.22, 23. where he says th [...] wicked rich man after his death was i [...] Hell in torments, where he (though some what parabolically) informs us, that me [...] that live wickedly here in prosperity, shal [...] after death go to torments; of which h [...] implies that Moses and the Prophets hav [...] admonished us in their writings, that w [...] might take heed of them: and surely such an Hell was signified and meant b [...] David, Psalm [...].17. when he saith, That the wicke [...] shall be turned into Hell, end all the na [...] ­ons that forget God. For if there he shoul [...] mean but the Grave, that were to thre [...] ten them with nothing worse than is als [...] the portion of the righteous. The like [Page 69]meant when David blesses God for deli­vering him from the lower Hell, Psalm 86.13. Yet it is to be minded, that the word Hell, as signified by those words Sheol and Hades, is not used in the New Testament to signifie the state of the wick­ed, and place of their punishment after the Resurrection, but of that which is be­tween their Death and Resurrection. 1 Cor. 15.55. Act. 2.27, 31. Rev. 20.14. & 1.18.

2. The Scriptures do evidently speak of a punishment of the wicked, both in bodies and souls after the resurrection, and sets it forth in divers terms, signify­ing the severity and endlesness thereof. As,

1. It is called Gehenna, and Gehenna ignis, translated also Hell, and Hell-fire, or a Hell of Fire. The word Gehenna is given it by way of allusion to the Vally of the Son of Hinnom, a place near to the earthly Jerusalem, where they used to cast out their unburied Carkases, Rubbish and Raggs, and burn them in a fire con­tinually burning. But that it cannot sig­nifie in our Saviours use of it, that very place and fire, or any such external pu­nishment in this life (as the above-men­tioned Author would insinuate) but a per­petual and everlasting punishment of the damned is evident.

1. By our Saviours implying that God only can cast men into it, and that after men have killed the body: whereas if it [Page 70]were that very punishment or such like men might as well cast the body into it, Matth. 10.28. Luke 12.5. Matth. 18.8, 9. Mark 9.44, 45. or the whole man, while alive, as kill the body.

2. And by his saying God is able to cast the soul also after the body is killed, into it, as well as the body. As also,

3. By warning his Disciples and Hear­ers in general, to pluck out the right eye where it offends, &c. rather than to be cast into that fire: but to be cast into that Valley of Hinnom litterally, or into any such like external punishment in this life, we are not in any great danger of by re­taining our lusts and corruptions, Psa. 73.3, 4, 5, 6 Job 21.8, 9, 12, 13. seeing we be very far remote from that place and many that live in their lusts, live and dye in prosperity. No, nor yet doth it signifie any internal punishment here both because it's a punishment after the body is killed, and because it's perpetual and everlasting, as appears by other ex­pressions joyned with it, by which also it's called, as

2. It's called the fire that shall never be quenched, so Mark 9.43. to 49.

3. A Lake burning with fire and brim­stone, which is the second Death. Re [...]. 20.15.

4. Everlasting fire prepared for the De­vil and his Angels, Matth. 25.41. those expressions of the Worm not dying, an [...] Fire that is not quenched, are borrowed from Isa. 66.24. which speaks of the pu­nishment of the wicked in the time [...] [Page 71]the new Heavens and new Earth, ver. 22. which is the time after the Resurrection and the Judgement, Rev. 20. and 21. and it's to be minded, that not only that fire is said to be quenchable, which may be extinguished while the combustable mat­ter lasteth, but also that which goes out of it self for want of matter to feed it, it being all consumed, for so the word [...] that signifies to be quenched, and of the which the word [...] that is translated unquenchable is derived, is used of the lamps of the foolish Virgins which went out for want of Oyl to feed them, Matth. 25.8. And therefore if the fire of Gods wrath, in which the wicked shall be burned, shall end and go out as wanting matter to work upon they being thereby annihilated, and their be­ing totally destroyed (as the said Author evades those sayings) then could it not be called unquenchable. And if the wicked should be annihilated in that Judgement, must not their Worm needs dye, having no subject to subsist in? Those expressions therefore joyned with Gehenna (as the o­thers also which we have mentioned, both signifie the being of such severe tor­ments and punishments after the Resur­rections, as the worst of punishments here imaginable are but shadows of, and also their perpetuity and endless duration, which is also expressed in other phrases. As,

5. Everlasting punishment, Matth. 2.46. and everlasting destruction, 2 The [...] 1.7, 8. That in Matth. 25.41. is with a [...] Emphesis, [...] the everlasting fire. The word [...] translated ever­lasting, is indeed used in the Old Testa­ment to signifie of a long continuance and sometime of an age; but that is not its usual, if ever its signification in the writings of the Evangelists and Apostles but everlasting or never ending; Matth. 25, 46. it's the same word that's used to signifie.

1. The lastingness of the life, glory and happiness of the righteous; and e­verlasting punishment is opposed to ever­lasting life, as signifying a like duration of the one as of the other, even as the fire of the Valley of Hinnom probably burn [...] perpetually so long as the old Jerusalem was standing, so those torments shall be of equal duration with the new Jerusa­lem, the joy and glory of the Righte­ous, even for ever.

2. The duration of the honour and power ascribed to God himself, that [...] too, everlasting, 1 Tim. 6.16. Yea.

3. The everlastingness of the being o [...] God and Christ, Rom. 16.2 [...]. Isa. 9.6. than which what can be more signifi­cant of never ending? And yet not only that word [...] everlasting, is used to this purpose, but,

4. It's said the smoak of their torment ascends up [...] to ages o [...] ages, even for ever and over, Rev. 14 9, 10. [Page 73]an Expression used to, in the Glory and Honour ascribed to God and Christ, and to set forth the Eternity of God, and of his Living, Rev. 1.6, and 4.9. and 5.13, 14. So that the Scriptures are very Preg­nant in laying down this Assertion; and therefore it's to be believed, and dreaded, and diligence is to be given in looking and yielding up to Christ to be accounted worthy to be delivered therefrom.

2. As for the Reasons and Grounds of God's so Punishing, they are by the Scriptures signified to be such as these,

1. The Greatness and Majesty of God sin'd against, and despis'd. Deut. 10.17. Matth. 10.28. Luk. 12.5. Isa. 27.31. Men Punish Traytors against their Life and Majesty, with Bodily Death; but God both Body, and Soul: in a Death as much beyond that of the Body, as He is greater than Man that is sin'd against, and despis'd. Such great Punishment is but answerable to his Greatness, as his other Works be.

2. The Greatness, Unspeakableness, Deut. 32.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 21, 22. Isa. 1.2, 3, 4, 5, 24. Gen. 1.26, 27. Psal. 8.3, 4, 3. & 49.12. and Infiniteness of the Love, and Goodness of God, in, and by Christ toward Men that Rebel against him, it notwithstanding, He not onely inconceivably honoured us, in raising us up at the first out of the Dust of the Earth, and making us in his own Image, Lords of his Works, and capable of knowing, and having Fellow­ship with himself: but also when we were utterly lost, was pleased so to set his [Page 74]heart upon us, Joh. 3.16, 17. Gal. 4.4, 5. & 3.13. 2 Cor. 5.21. Rom 4.25. 1 Pet. 1.21, 24. Philip. 2.6, 7, 8, 9. 1 Tim. 2.6. Isa. 45.22. Psal. 81.9, 10, & 50.1, 2. Prov. 1.20, 21, 22, 23. Joh. 16.7, 8, 9.10, 12, 13, 14, 15. Gen. 6.3. Rom. 2.4, 5. Psal. 68.18, 19, 20. Job. 33.16, 29, Psal 68.21. Rom. 2.5. Heb. 6.6, 7. & 10.26, 29. Jonas 2.8. as not to spare his ow [...] Son, but give him up to the Death; the Death of the Cross, to Redeem us again and impowred him to Save us: and bring us to endless, and infinitely Glorious Hap­piness. His Son that was in his Form in­finitely Glorious with God, his Father was pleased also in Love to abase him­self, and lay aside all that Glory and Happiness, expose himself to, and bear up­on himself for us all that shame, and re­proach, and sorrow, to Death and Curse that was due to us, and needful for his Ransoming and Saving us, without vio­lation to God's Justice, and impeachment of his Holiness; and now is infinitely ready to save Men in their listening to, and obey­ing him, to which he is not wanting to call and impower them. The Holy Spi­rit comes forth in the Name of God, and Christ, to reprove men for their Sins; set before them God and Christ, and in, with, and from them, far greater and better things than they are pursuing after and labouring for, and therewith strives and wrestles with them for their Repentance, and turning to God to seek him and live to him. Yea, God, Father, Son, and Spirit, are exerciseing wonderful forbear­ance, patience, and long-suffering toward Sinners here, and lading them with va­riety of benefits to lead them to Repen­tance; and corrects them in Mercy to break them off from their purposes, and bring them to accept of Eternal Life, and [Page 75]Happiness: and all this love and good­ness Men do obstinately and impenitently Sin, and Rebel against; hateing, and op­posing themselves against God, his Son, and Spirit, Government, Grace, Truth, &c. hardning themselves in their Sins, refusing their own Mercies for lying Vanities, &c. and oh! What short of Eternal, and In­finite Punishment can answer the Deserts of such Ingratitude and Wickedness, against so great love and goodness? If they that sin'd against the despised Mo­ses's Law, Dyed without Mercy: how much sorer Punishment doth the rejecting and despising such a love, and lover; and neglecting such, or so great a Salvation ex­pose us to? Psal. 90.11. According to his fear (both his Greatness, and Dreadfulness; and his Goodness, and Mercy leading and ingage­ing us now to fear him) so will be his Terrour and his Wrath in that day.

3. That the hainousness of Mens sins against a God so Great, so Good, Isa. 1.3, 4, 5. &c. Heb. 1.12. Psal. 5.4, 5. Deutr. 32.5, 6.15.16. Jon. 2.8. Jer. 2.13. Isa. 55.2, 3. Heb. 12.15, 16, 17. & 10.26, Prov. 1.24, 25, & 29.1. Rom. 2.5. Psal. 58.2, 3, 4. Act. 28.27. Matth. 13.14, 15. so Gra­tious, together with his infinite Purity and perfect hatred of the least Iniquity; they are foolish, and ingrateful in neglecting and slighting him; despising his love, fa­vour, and friendship, and preferring base, unworthy Lusts, and Objects of Lust be­fore him, a very morsel of Meat before his love and favour who hath done so much for us, and tenders such infinite love and favour further to us; and therein such unspeakable and infinite happiness. They are willful in Sinning, when no [Page 76]necessity in so doing. Yea, hold fast Sin, with stubbornness, obstinacy, and impe­nitency against all light and warning though often told, and convinced of the emptiness, vanity, and unworthiness of them; and though such sweet charming allurements of Grace be afforded them, as (would they but listen to them) would draw them off from their Sins, and make them willing to part with them, bringing such power with them, as would Conver [...] and heal them: and these wilfully stopt, kept out, and shun'd, lest by the power of God in them they should be Converted, and be healed by him: and this persisted in, Jer. 6.15, 16, 17, 28, 29, 30. & 8.5, 6, 7. Act. 7.51. & 13.40, 41. with resolution to hold their Idols and Vain ways, and not to listen to any coun­sel that should tend to win them off from them, rising up in all their strength as it were, to withstand their own Salvati­on, when so forcibly tendred to, and urged upon them, that they had much to do, to beat it off: even the power of Gods words, reproofs, and Counsels, and the stretch­ings out of his Hand therein, for their Salvation. Dent. 32.21, 22. Matth. 3.12. Heb. 10.29, 30. This, this is that, that is in­finitely offensive to such an infinitely ho­ly, pure, and perfect Majesty, whose Eyes cannot look upon Iniquity: and kindles such a fire of wrath in his Breast against the Sinners as shall burn for ever upon them, and shall not be quenched. It's Mens trampling under foot the Son of God, and therein all God's love, and counting the Blood of the Covenant [Page 77]wherewith they are Sanctifyed, and have all their liberty to God, an unholy com­mon thing; and therein slighting all Christ's Love and Sufferings for them, and doing despight to the Spirit of Grace, that spake graciously to them, and let Gods infinite favour before them: 'tis this lays them open to the Vengeance of the Almighty; and its a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God, without the Mediator to interpose, being rejected by them.

Indeed, those Men that believe not, but deny, That Christ died for any but his Elect, and those that shall be saved: and, That he gives any sufficient grace for their Con­version to him. And so put the stress of their Sining and Suffering, upon Adam's Sin, and that also necessitated by God's Decree, rendring them inthral'd to Sin; so as that, with that help afforded of God, without any intention of their Salvation, they cannot but Sin, and Rebel; and yet Assert an Eternal and Infinite Torment to be their Portion in their Persons (though in their persons never so favoured of God, or indued with any such Grace, as that they were really ingaged to live to him, or had any power or capacity so to do) those men I say, render God exceeding harsh, and such as no Christian heart may indure to think him: Clothing him rather with the Titles, and Colours of Satan the Ab [...]ddon, and Man-slayer, (things not fit to be mentioned,) then with those Titles [Page 78]of Love, and Loveliness, that belong to him. The unreasonableness of their Do­ctrine, and its contrariety to the Scriptures, overthrows the Equity and Justness of such Torments, or Gospel-Terrours; and its likely puts men upon seeking Evasions, to avoid the Belief of such a Doctrine as renders God so unlovely to them. But upon the Considerations we have mentio­ned, there appears so much Equity, as may silence, and vanquish Reason it self, into subjection; and both provoke to Gospel-Obedience, and perswade to be­lieve and judge equitable, and so make Men endeavour to avoid, and flee from the Gospel-Terrours forementioned. And such things also are held forth in the Gos­pel, as true in themselves; and fit, and meet to be propounded to all, and to be believed by them.


Of some Distinctions signified and con­tained in the Doctrine of the Gospel; as before declared.

THere are also divers Distinctions with reference to Things and Persons sig­nified, and contained in the Gospel-Doctrin which we may briefly touch upon, before we pass it, as to say. About Two Adams, or Men mentioned in the Scripture, as opposed one to the other. Two kinds of Covenants, Righteousness, Sins, Judg­ments, Worlds, Lives, and Deaths, A Two-fold appearance of the Person of Christ, with the distinct Works of them. A Two-fold Personal Coming, and Ap­pearing in the World, besides his Spiritual and Providential Comings; all spoken to, in the Doctrine of the Gospel: of which I shall hint something briefly, and seve­ [...]ally, in order; as follows.

SECT. 1.

Of the Two Adams, the First, and La [...] The First and Second Man.

FIrst, 1 Cor. 15.45, 47. we have therein partly, in what it supposes, and takes for granted; and partly, in what it more directly de­clareth, the mention and consideration of Two Adams; The First Adam, and the Last Adam. Gen. 1.26, 27. The First Man, and the Se­cond Man; set over against, and opposed the one, to the other; because, none so answering one the other for Publikene [...] of Concernment to all Men as they. The First Adam, was the First Man; the first and Natural Root of all Men, in whom God Made us, and Honoured us: as [...] said before. Eccles. 7.29. Psalm 49.12. Rom. 3.23. & 5.12, 18. The First Man, both in or­der of Being, as a Man; and in Dignity, and Glory, as to his Appearance, State and Condition in the World; that He was Made and Manifested in. He had [...] All, and our Priviledges in his Hand, and keeping; but he Sin'd and lost himself and us all; with all the Honour, and Pri­viledges given us in him. Jer. 31.22. Gen. 3.15. Gal. 4.4, 5. Heb. 2.14. Rom. 5.18. Heb. 3.1, 2. Therefore God was pleased, to Make, and bring forth another, a Second Adam, to rec [...] ­ver us; who is also the Last Adam, eve [...] Jesus Christ: Called Adam, both because a Man, that pertook with us in Flesh an [...] Blood, and was of the First Adam, as to his Flesh; and because a Publick Man [Page 81]in whom were, and are the Concernments of all Men put again. And He is Faith­ful, and hath not, nor will fail or loose Himself, or any Man. None shall Pe­rish by any defect, or default found in him. 1 Joh. 5.11, 12. Col. 1.29. & 2.9, 10. Matth. 22.4. 2 Cor. 5.14. Rom. 14.9. Eph. 4.8, 9. Psal. 68.18. Mar. 16.15, 16. Isa. 45.22. In him, Man, even all Men, not after a Natural, but in a Spiritual way, and man­ner, are Made as it were, and Provided for again, as fully, as in the First Adam; and more surely as to him: inasmuch as having Dyed for All, He hath Redeemed All into his own dispose, and recovered in­to himself (in the Man for men) what Adam forfeited or lost; or rather, grea­ter, and better things so as for All. Free for All, and to be had by any in coming in to him, in his preventings, and draw­ings, or begettings of them. And he is called the Last Adam, because never was there any other since the First Adam, be­sides him; nor shall be after him, of such publick capacity and concernment to Men: as also, because He was Abased, Phil. 2.7, 8. and made lower than that First Adam in his Innocent Condition: that I say, not then All Men in their present State. Gen. 1.26, 27. & 2.7. For though the First Man was Originally of a far In­feriour and Viler Matter, than the Being of the Second Adam was Originally: yet the First Man was Made, and set in the World, in a far more honourable and glorious Form than the Second. The First Man was something before he was a Man, but what was He? Dust of the Earth. Whence he is Called, the [...] [Page 82]dusty or earthly man; but he was made by Exaltation and Advancement into a better Form, even in the Image, and like­ness of God. God therein shewing forth his great Power, Bounty, and Goodness to him, and to us in him, in making so base a matter, of it self uncapable of know­ing, Prov. 8.29, 30. magnifying God, to be so glorious and honourable, capable of knowing, praising, and having fellowship with his Maker; and to be an Habitable part of Earth, for his word and wisdom to dwell and delight in. The Last Adam too, Joh. 1.1, 2. Phil. 2.6, 7. 1 Cor. 15.47. Coll. 1.15, 16, 17. Heb. 1.2, 3. & 2.7, 8, 9. Rom. 8.3. Heb. 4.16. was before he was made Man, but far better than Man. God with God, in the Form of God. The Lord in Heaven by whom the Father made man and all things, the brightness of God's glory, and the express Character of his Person, and He was made a Man, by way of Diminu­tion made lower than the Angels: yea, in a Form, far below that of the First, Adam, in his Innocent Condition; for He was made in the Image of Man, of fallen Man, in the likeness of sinful Flesh; in all points Tempted like us, except Sin: that so, he that was Originally, and in himself, as incapable of Suffering, and Dying, at the Dust was in it self, of knowing, and praising God, might in the Form of Man Suffer, and Dye for us. Through which also, He the Last, and lowest Adam is now again Exalted to the Glory He had in his own proper Being before with God, Joh. 17.4. Psal. 68, 18. Ephes. 4.8, 9. Phil. 2.10, 11. 1 Cor. 15.45. even the Man, and is become far more Excel­lent, Honourable, and Glorious than the [Page 83]First Adam ever was: Gen. 2.7. Joh. 5.21, 25, 28, 29. and the Nature of Man is more Exalted and richly accommo­dated in him, then ever in the First Adam: [...] we have above shewed. For the First Adam was but a Living Soul that had Life in himself, but could not quicken the Dead: But this last Adam is Made now at God's Right Hand a quickning Spirit.

He is called also The Second Man: Gen. 3.15. both because He was the Second and Last, so immediately Made of God, and in such a publick concernment for man: as also, as I conceive, because he was provided, promised, stept in, and became (as to his [...]gagement and undertaking) the Man for us, before any Second to Adam, John 8.58. Psal. 75.2.3. any Son or Child was born to him. And so even in that respect, He was as to Reve­lation and usefulness to the World, before [...]ain, or any Man was Born of the First Adam: as a new Basis or Foundation to [...]he World, that was meritoriously De­stroy'd by the Sin of Adam. The Earth was Dissolved, and the Inhabitants there­of, but he stepping in, bore up the Pillars thereof. So as in him ever since, Col. 1.17. Heb. 1.3. as the Son of Man, or Second Man, all things consist, and stand together. For he was promised in Paradise to be the Seed of the Woman, and so to bruise the Head of the Serpent, before any doom passed upon either Man or Woman; much more be­fore the Execution of the Sentences after [...]assed. So as all the Providences, Mer­ [...]es, Judgments of God towards, and up­on [Page 84]Men are ordered to us, by, and through him, and with respect to him. Whence Adam, before he was put out of Paradise called his Wife Eve, Gen. 3.20. the Mother of all Living; when as she otherwise, might deservedly have been Named, The Mi­ther of all Dying. Yea, and God, not Ironically, as most understand that, but seriously, and according to Truth, (as Mr. Moor Sen' hath well observed; Vers. 22. and was the first that I have ever heard of in that observation) said: Man was now be­come like one of us, as one of the per­sons in the Trinity, as considered in Christ who had stept in, and vertually was be­come Man: and this to, before Man was turned out of God's Presence, Isa. 28.16. Hab. 2.3, 4. Heb. 10.37. Gen. 3.15, 16, 17, 18, 19. that so [...], and men generally might have him (Christ) in the Faith and Knowledge o [...] him as a Foundation under his Feet, to bear him up; and as a Staff in his han [...] for his support, that he might not sink under any of his after Miseries, Temp­tations, Tryals, or Deaths, that were (through him now) ordered to him, and to be grappled with, and undergone by him. Yea, thence the goodness of God is to All; and his tender Mercies upon a [...] his Works: Psal. 149.8, 9, 10, 17. Col. 1.23. the Gospel Preached in every Creature under Heaven: yea, we may say in the very Devils, in that they have not their will upon Man, to do to him what they please; but are abridged, and bound up by him, Psal. 75.8. though by them (a [...] by many men to) it is not Preached [Page 85]much less it is Preached to them. Yea, thence his Judgments are full of mixture, though often with much severity, and hereafter so infinitely heavy.

SECT. 2.

Of Two Covenants, with respect to the Two Adams.

2. WIth these Two Adams, we may find some hints of Two Cove­nants, or Two kind of Laws: that is to say, With the First Adam, a Covenant of Works both as to him and us, viz. That if He keep perfectly with God, and in nothing Sin'd, or disobey'd him, he should injoy the Earthy Paradise, and the great goodness of God confer'd upon him in his Creation, his Favour and Fel­lowship, &c. and transmit Righteousness, Innocency, and so the same Privileges with himself to his Seed: who also walking in that their Righteousness, and Innocency, should have continued in the same favour; but he Sinning, and Falling, all should be Lost, and Condemned in him; as the Event declared: and as is signified in Rom. 5.12, 15, 16, 18. He being set as it were, to keep Sin out of the World. And of this Nature, in some respect is the Co­venant or Law of Works that finds us all Sinners. Now that the First Adam is Fallen, though as given since, Gal. 3.19, 20, 21. Rom. 7.10. it was given in the Hand of a Mediator, as other of [Page 86]God's Dispensations and dealings now are) and so to gracious ends, Heb. 10.1. even to Life (th [...] in a killing convincing way) and with additions of Types and Shadows, point­ing to Christ, which were not of the Essence of the Covenant, or any part of it as pertaining to Adam, considering in himself, and as the Natural Root of [...] All; nor should have been in such a way given, or with such additions, had not the Mediator stept in. That Covenant as with Adam requiring in him, and from him in us all personal, Gal. 3.10. perfect, and uninterrupted obedience, and cursing Man, even all i [...] Adam, in case of his sinning; and any man in their persons, (had he stood) that should in their persons have sinned as he did.

In the Second Adam, a Covenant of Grace to us is made. Though we may say, it was a Covenant of Greater Works to, and with Christ as to himself, in com­parison of which, the Covenant with Adam was but as a Covenant of Grace, in regard of the easiness of the things required of him, above what was put upon, and re­quired of Christ; the condition of it be­ing as to him, Heb. 10.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Psal. 40.8, 9, 10. Isa. 58.10, 11, 12. & 42.6, 7, 8, 9. & 49.5, 6, 7, 8, 9. That he should be made Flesh Suffer, and Dye for us, bear out Sins, d [...] be made a Curse for us, and offer up him­self a spotless Sacrifice unto God for us: and thereupon he should in the Nature of men, and for men, he Lord and Christ; and have the power of Life, and Death; [...]e the Saviour of all Men, and especially, of the [...] [Page 87]that Believe; have all men in his own dis­pose Saved out of their former Obligation,2 Sam. 23.5. Isa. 49.7. & Perish; and made now capable of further Salvation, Life, and Glory; so as by, and through him. To which end, He should be their Light, and the Salvation of God to the ends of the Earth. And through him there is this Covenant of Grace, to, and with Men, firm, and sure in him; yea, He the very bond of it, given for a Covenant to the People, and to be held forth, to, and by them. Viz. That any of the Race of the Lost, Fallen Adam, (as all are) looking to God by him, and Believing in, and through him, through the Light, Truth, and Grace extended by him, shall be accepted of God, justifi­ed, and have all Grace Administred to them, in and with Christ; for their com­ing to Christ, leading, guiding, and pre­servation in Christ unto Eternal Life. Yea, an Everlasting Kingdom to be given them with him: and that in case they sin against God, after their Believing, yet not continuing in Sin, upon confessing it on convincement, and returning to God from it, by him, they shall be forgiven, cleansed, and healed; and through Christs Mediation of the New Testament, be yet preserved in the grace and favour of God, to the injoyment of the Promised Inheri­tance, to which He hath called them, Heb. 9.15. 1 John 1.9.

SECT. 3.

Of two kinds of Righteousness.

3. SUitable to these two Adams also we have signified to us a twofold Righ­teousness. In the first was a created righ­teousness, spotless and pure, and such as should have been continued in a spotless obedience of works; Eccles. 7.29. and so to have been propagated to his posterity by him, had he stood. But this is now lost; and ac­cording to it, there is none righteous, no not one. In the second Adam is a perfect Righteousness too, not only as to himself, but also for us. To and in himself he had a Divine, Eternal, and Essential Righteousness, as he was God; but be­sides that, 1 Pet. 3.18. & 2.22. 2 Cor. 5.21. Heb. 10.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. as the publick man, he had, and hath a perfect personal Righteousness standing in his performing what God re­quired of him, and perfectly fulfilling and accomplishing his will, not only in his own personal conversation in the course of his life on earth; but also, and more especially in his bearing, suffering and induring the Death and Curse imposed upon him, to the Fathers utmost satisfa­on, testified in his taking him in the Re­surrection from Prison and Judgement, and exalting him to, and at his own Right Hand. His Obedience was his Righ­teousness; and by his presenting himself as one that had so obediently performed [Page 89]his Fathers Will, Rom. 5.18, 19. & 3.22, 23, 24. Jer. 23.6. 1 Cor. 1.30. as a Lamb that was slain for us; he is become the Righteous­ness of God to, and for men; and so is set forth in the Gospel of God, as he is therein declared to be the forgiver of sins, and justifier of them that believe in him, upon the account of the Righteousness wrought and compleated in, and by him. And so he is, or in him is held forth to us men the Righteousness of Faith, or the Righteousness which is of God by Faith, as it's diversly tearmed; that is to say, through, and by vertue of Christ, and the Righteousness performed by him; whosoe­ver gives credit to his Testimony, and be­lieveth (looketh to and stayeth upon) him are accepted for righteous in the presence of God, though in themselves, and with respect to the Righteousness given them in Adam, they be sinful and defiled crea­tures, and shall be dealt with as righteous persons in abiding in him, and shall have the grace and spirit of God administred to them also, both to justifie them in their Consciences, and effect in them righteous frames and affections, conforming them to God, and fitting them for his Kingdom. All which also depend upon the Righte­ousness of Christ, to be performed to, and in them. But this Righteousness comes not to, and upon men as the righ­teousness of the first man should have done, had he stood: for that should have been by Propagation, Rom. 5.17. but this by Spiritu­al Regeneration, free Gift and Imputati­on; [Page 90]and is received by men in coming in to him, and being born to, and of him, of the faith and knowledge of him, and of God as manifested in, and by him. The Righteousness wrought by Christ, [...]om. 3.22, 23, 24, 25. & 5.17, 18, 19, 20, 21. and that is in Christ, is indeed for, and to all men to justification of life, both so as to justifie, exempt, or free them from being held under the first judgement or condemnation, so as to perish therein, and so as to give them life and righteous­ness in Christ, as a thing prepared for them, and ready to be in their closing with him, imparted to them. But it come upon cloaths, and makes righteous, so as to gracious acceptation and title to the Kingdom and Inheritance promised only those who receive and believe in him.

SECT. 4.

Of two kinds of Sin.

4. THere is also a twofold considerati­on of Sin, with reference to these two men, and the Covenants made with men, in, and by them. The one is na­tural to us; the root and original of which was voluntary to Adam, and this stood in the breaking the Law he was un­der; and it is transmitted to us (as his righteousness, had he stood, should have been) by propagation: so as we come sinners into the world, and under the [Page 91]sentence of Death; Rom. 5.13, 14, Rom. 3.9, 10, 19, 23. as is evident in Chil­dren that sin not after the similitude of Adams transgression, and so not by imi­tation, and yet do dye. And this sin al­so brings forth and necessitates men natu­rally to innumerable sins; actual sins that stand in the breach of Gods law, accord­ing to which all have sinned, and as they grow up do sin continually, till, and further then, by grace they be pre­vented and inabled to do better. The second kind of sin was not found in the second man, the Lord Jesus, 1 Pet. 2.22. 2 Cor. 5.21. for he had no sin in him, nor on him, but other mens: he never did sin, nor was guile found in his mouth; but it is found in par­ticular men, against the second man, and against God in him, and the law of grace held forth by him; not in him against the law given to him, and imposed up­on him for making attonement for, and ransoming men from under the judgment of the former kind of sin, which law he fulfilled to perfection. And it is a sin­ning after the similitude of Adams trans­gression, Rom. 5.14. Hos. 6.7. though not simply against the first Covenant, but against the second too, viz. that in Christ for men; hating the light when it comes, John 3.19, 20. & 5.40. & 8.44. Prov. 1.24, 25. Psal. 81.11, 12. and loving dark­ness rather, not coming to Christ for life when called: in a word, the rejecting Christ and putting him away, that's the original and bottom of it; preferring Sa­tan, sin and the world before him, and refusing to be healed and saved by him. [Page 92]And this is the condemning kind of sin; the retaining natural corruption against the light and grace of Christ coming to save men from it, and the chusing to do Satans will rather than Christs. And though this kind of sin comes not to men, from any publick root of mankind as the first doth, but is received from Satan, and committed by men in their particular per­sons (to which through original corrupti­on may apt, yet in the seasons of Gods grace it necessitates not) yea, and though Christ did not primarily and directly in his first stepping in to ransome us, come to take away this kind of sin as the for­mer (it being consequential to his com­ing to ransom us, and to his bringing grace and salvation to us) yet from this sin also he hath by the superabundancy of his Merit, Rom. 5.16. and the worth of his Obedience and righteousness, received power and authority to justifie and save us, and doth forgive it to men, and save them from it, if upon convincement of it, during the day of Gods grace they be prevailed with to own or confess it, and repent of it, turning in to him, with whom there is plenteousness of Redemption for that purpose, as was before shewed.

SECT. 5.

Of two General Judgements, besides Par­ticular ones.

5. NOw answerable to those two kinds of sin we find mentioned too in the Gospel Doctrine, two Ge­neral Judgements passing upon all men, the first passing upon all men in one man, before any man was born to him, of which the Apostle saith: Rom. 5.16, 18. the judge­ment was of one offence to condemnati­on, and was upon all men to condem­nation. And this was for sin of the first kind, Adams sin, and the sin of all men as in him, and as made sinners, and so necessitated to sin by him, and this was the judgement threatned before his sin, separation, and banishment from the pre­sence of God, and there through death in soul and body, though after the fall pronounced, mitigatedly through the interposure of the second man, and it was upon all men the same, not to some one way, to some another way, but to all alike, and to condemnation, as in the Scriptures above quoted. Now the weight of this judgement was executed upon Christ, John 12.31. the judgement of this world was upon him, when he was sorrowful unto death. What is through Christ ordered to men [...], is for testimony of Gods displeasure against sin, indeed but in such a way as none [Page 94]shall perish everlastingly therein, being for nurturing men to look to Christ, and God in Christ; and so to lay hold of the everlasting life, prepared and promised from the beginning of the world in him; and this is executed upon men in their natural infirmities, weakness and death; and out of this judgement all shall be raised and brought to a second: which second is that that shall be pronounced and executed, Heb. 9.27, 28. John 5.22. [...] C [...]. 5.10. after all are dead, in the resurrection of the dead, and that not by God immediately, as the former was, but by the Son of man Jesus Christ. No [...] shall it be upon all in one man, but up­on all in their several persons. Nor shall it be upon all, one and the same, but differently, as men have been found in the day of grace. Some doing good in accepting and submitting to Christ, John 5.28, 29. 2 Pet. 2.1. and so are found in him, who shall be adjudged to life and happiness. And o­thers doing evil in rejecting Christ, and sinning against him; denying him that bought them, and preferring sin and Satan before him; and they shall be adjudged to everlasting con­demnation. There are indeed several judgements in this life and world, upon particular men, but clearly distinct from these two before mentioned, because not ge­neral: they differ also from the first in this, that that was in one, and one upon all, but these are divers upon divers persons, as upon Pharoah and his Host, destructi­on [Page 95]in the Red Sea, after divers judge­ments too before that. Upon Sodom and Gomorrha fire and brimstone from Hea­ven. Upon David, Isa. 27.9. Heb. 12.10, 11. that the sword de­parted not from his House; and that only to testifie displeasure against him for his sin, but also to humble him and cleanse him from sin, as all the judge­ments executed upon Gods House or Peo­ple be: yea, Job 33.28, 29. and those upon the world too, are to occasion their repentance and seeking after God, and to prevent their ruine and destruction; unless those that after the Decree brings forth, and the day of grace is at an end, cuts any off, and seals them up to the eternal judgement. These judgements also differ from the first in this, that that was for the sin of one man, and of us all in him; but these are for mens personal sins against the goodness and grace of God, and the sins of our Fathers, as involving us in them, or as owned and continued by us. And yet from the last judgement they differ too, as in time, and other respects, so chiefly in this, that they are reversible, both the judgements of his mouth, that is the condemnations to death, and the ju­stifications to life, as sententially pronoun­ced upon men by God in his word; as the condemned are led to repentance by their condemnations, or otherwise; Jer. 18.7, 8, 9, 10, 11. or the justified abuse their absolutions, and presume to turn Gods grace into wan­tonness, as is clear in Ezek. 33.12, 13. as [Page 96]also the judgements of his hand, or ex­ecutions of judgement here, are but for a time usually, and such, as men turn­ing from their evil ways, God may, and is ready to turn from them. But that last judgement is eternal and irreversible, Heb. 6.2. Matth. 25.46. Yea, and where­as these judgements are mixed with mer­cy, through the mediation of Christ who is a propitiation for the sins of the whole world, and prays for sparing and forbearance, during the day of Gods grace and patience; Psal. 75.7, 8. whence also they are said to be ordered or poured out of a Cup in Gods hand, whose Wine is red but full of mixture, to signifie that they are distributed in measure, and with much mixture of mercy. That last judg­ment, as to the wrath then to be execu­ted, shall be without mixture of mercy, or abatement of what is deserved (even as the mercy and good awarded to the good, shall be without mixture of sor­row) and therefore is said to be poured out of the Cup of Gods indignation (which is of an incomprehensible capa­city) without mixture, Rev. 14.9, 10, 11.

SECT. 6.

Of two Worlds, the World that now is, and the World to come.

6. MMention also is made of two worlds; the one made for the first Adam and his posterity to live in, and was given to him, and them in him; and that world was, and is very large, great and glorious: and Adam was made, as it were, the Lord-deputy of it: and this world we find too, mentioned, as under a double condition.

1. In its created state, while not subject­ed to bondage, and before any sin in it, or curse came upon the earth, and upon mankind; and this was its case in mans innocensie, and so should have continu­ed, hadnot man sinned: a case of excel­lencie and freedom from curse and cor­ruption.

2. The second is its present state, Rom. 8.21. Gen. 3.17, 18. as sub­jected to vanity for mans sin, and filled with occasions of vexation of spirit to him, being filled with much curse, and appointed (as to its present state at least) to be destroyed and perish, as once already; as to the generality of its Inha­bitants (both men and beasts) it hath, and shall again more fully; with respect to which it's destructions, it is as to its corrupt state also spoken of, as twofold. 1. The old world, or the world that was, [Page 98]2 Pet. 2.5. & 3.6. namely that was be­fore the flood, and was for its wicked­ness destroyed by the flood, except eigh [...] persons left to repeople it. And, 2. The world that now is, which is reserved un­to fire against the judgement of the great day: 2 Pet. 3.7, 8, 10, 13. when the Heavens also, that ar [...] now, shall be wrapt up as a Scrol, be di­solved, and pass away with a great noise, the elements shall melt with fervent heat and the earth, with the works that ar [...] therein shall be burnt up. Though then also, some probably conceive, a Rem­nant shall be left to People the New Earth; and that of them is meant that in Rev. 21.24. The Nations of them that are saved shall walk in the light of the New Jerusalem. Gal. 1.4. 2 Cor. 4.4. 1 Cor. 11.32. Now this present world is an evil and wicked world, having Sa­tan, as to the people of it, and his power with them, the God of it; and thence it is, that all that abide in its state and fel­lowship, and in confederacy with Satan, shall be destroyed. But then there is,

2. A world to come, 2 Pet. 3.13. Act. 3.21, 22. Rom. 8.19, 22. Heb. 2.5. Matth. 12.32. A new Heaven and new Earth, in which shall dwell righteousness; when all things spoken of by the Prophets shall be restored; and the Creature it self shall be freed from its bondage to corruption, into the liberty of the Sons of God, to share of their good according to its capa­city, Heb. 2.5. 1 Cor. 6.2. Rev. 1.5, 6. Isa. 61.7. and be only subject and serviceable to them. And this world shall be more immediately put into subjection to Christ: [Page 99]and he and his people, 1 Thes. 4.16, 17. 1 Cor. 15.23, 24. Rom. 8.20, 21, 22. Luk. 20.35, 36. the Saints shall judge and reign therein, receiving double for all their sufferings here, yea everlasting rost, joy and glory. The Children of the Resurrection who shall arise at Christs appearing, even the just, and they that surviving shall then be changed, shall be counted worthy of it, and shall be equal to the Angels of God, Psal. 49.14, 15. Isa. 66.22, 23, 24. Rev. 20.6, 7. being manifested both in souls and bodies to be his Chil­dren; and they shall have dominion o­ver the wicked, beholding their torments, who here had tormented them; and shall judge the world, (even the Nations of the saved or preserved) being Kings and Priests unto God, beholding his face for evermore, and dwelling in his presence, impassible, immortal, Rev. 21.3, 4, 5, 6, 7. & 22.1, 2, 3, 4. 1 Cor. 15.42, 43, 44. satisfied with joy and glory for ever: where also they shall have their Paradise, their Tree of Life, their River of pure Water, clear as Chrystal, in a Spiritual and Heavenly manner; without any Serpent to tempt them, or curse to afflict and exercise them, being fully and perfectly freed from all sin, sorrow, pain, crying and Death: their rais'd and changed bodies being made spiritual, powerful, nimble, agile, glorious: yea, they shall shine as Stars in the Kingdom of God, ruling with Christ the Nations in righteousness: which Na­tions, probably, shall consist, firstly of the preserved Jews, and then of some remnant of the Gentiles miraculously preserved in that great day of perdition [Page 110]of ungodly men; Isa. 65.17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25. Psal. 67, 4, 5, 6, 7. & 96.10, 11, 12, 13. & 98.7, 8, 9. and those, as so [...] conceive, shall under the Governmen [...] the raised and changed Saints, Till th [...] Earth, build Houses, plant Vineyards beget Children (though the Children [...] the Resurrection shall neither marry no [...] be given in marriage, nor dye any more, and the earth shall yeild its increase i [...] abundance, as it would have done before the curse came upon it. Discourse on the New Hea­vens and New Earth. But because ma­ny things therein are hard to be under­stood, and I have otherwhere more ful­ly delivered my thoughts thereabout, [...] shall say no more here about them.

SECT. 7.

Of two kinds of Lives and Deaths.

THe Gospel-Doctrine also mentions two Lives, 1 Tim. 4.8. and two Deaths, the one in this world, and the other in the world to come. The Life that now is, that which we derive from the first Adam, Gen. 3.6. & 4.1. or which God gives us, as propagated from him, who was made a living soul, and begat in his own likeness; and be­cause it was not propagated till after the fall, Jam. 4.13, 14. Job 14.1. Psal. 75.3. & 68.19, 20. therefore it is a corrupt and sinful life, a vapour, a bubble, uncertain, short, and full of misery: yet as this old world is upheld by Christ and his mediation, that there might be space and opportuni­ty to be born, live, seek after God and glorifie him in it; so is this life given [Page 101]and preserved through him too in a great mixture of mercies, and manifold good things to the same purposes. But the life that is to come is an Heavenly, Spi­ritual, and Eternal Life; and it's said to be to come, because as to the whole man it's not yet come. Joh. 5.24. & 1.13. There is a seed of it here infused and put into the heart and spirit of the Believer, by which he is be­gotten to God and made a spiritual man in some first fruits; 2 Cor. 5.16, 17. Eph. 2.10. a Son and Heir of God, a new creature created in Christ Je­sus to good works, &c. Rom. 8.10. But in as much as this is but the beginning of this life, and that only in part, in the Spirit, the body yet must dye, and the soul be loosed from it, till the resurrection of the just, in which the soul and body shall be reu­nited; and the body be made a living spiritual body, and both live in the favour of, and in fellowship with God: Rev. 21.4, 5. and that is yet wholy to come, therefore it is called, the life to come, an everlasting life in which shall be no affliction, sor­row, decay, or death, but everlasting, un­interrupted health, welfare, prosperity and happiness. 1 Joh. 5.11, 12. This is the life which Christ hath purchased for us, and which in him is given us, to be enjoyed through the faith of him, Col. 3.3, 4. Act. 17.26, 27, 28. 1 Joh. 5.12. and in personal injoy­ment of, and fellowship with him. The first life is common to all men, as born into the world; the second though given in Christ to all, yet is had and injoyed only by them that have Christ; the rest [Page 102]that rejecting him have him not, have not it neither, but incur the sentence of death; the Death opposed to this Eternal Life, the sedond Death. For,

There is also a twofold Death answe­rable to this twofold Life. Rev. 20.13, 14. Rom. 5.12, 14, 18. Heb. 9.27. 2 Tim. 1.10. 2 Cor. 5.14. Gal. 3.13. Psal. 23.4. & 90.12. 2 Cor. 5.8, 9. 1 Tim. 6.18, 19. Eccles. 7.1. Prov. 27.1. Jam. 4.13, 14, 15. 2 Cor. 12.7, 8, 9. Isa. 57.1. Job 3.12, 13, 14, 15, 16. Mat. 25, 41, 46. Rev. 2.11. & [...].6.14. with [...] Cor. 5.10, 11. The first is that which came in by the first Adam, and is common to all in their several times, but is broken and evacuated by Christ (as is before noted) the punish­ment of our sins in Adam being sustained by Christ as to its weight and curse, though some shadow and carcase of it is ordered to us, to be passed through by us, that we might by the consideration of it be stirred up to apply our hearts to wisdom, and seek and lay hold of that Eternal Life given us in Christ, and be kept humble and low in our selves, and always watchful (the time and way of it being secret, and kept from our fore­knowledge, so as that we cannot boast our selves of the morrow, not knowing what a day may bring forth) as also that we might experiment the power and grace of Christ in supporting in it, and raising us up out of it, and be taken from sorrow and oppression by it, and that the wicked might be cut of from doing wick­edly, and from vexing and oppressing the poor and righteous. The second Death is that fearful punishment prepa­red for the Devil and his Angels, foremen­tioned; not prepared properly and in Gods first intention for men, yet shall be [Page 103]the punishment too of these men that persist in their sins, 2 Thes. 1.7, 8. Heb. 9.27, 28. Luke 14.14. 1 Cor. 15.23, 24. 1 Thes. 4.16, 17. Rev. 20.6, 7, 11, 12. for their personal rejections of God and Christ, and persist­ing therein, to prefer their sins before him. But it is not common to all men as the first Death is. It is appointed for all men once to dye, and out of that all shall be raised and brought to judge­ment, though not all at once, but the just at Christs coming, called therefore the resurrection of the Just; and the rest, the wicked, and such as dye in the time of the personal Reign of Christ with his Saints on the Earth, at the end of those thousand years, when he shall deliver up the Kingdom to God his Father. Mat. 3.7, 8. Joh. 3.16, 17, 18, 19, & 6.40. Ezek. 33.11. The se­cond Death, may through the Grace of God be avoided; men are not necessitated of God to run into it; nay, he hath said and sworn, as he lives, he hath no plea­sure that the wicked should dye in it, but that rather they should turn (from their taking part with Satan, and preferring his suggestions before Christ and his Grace, Mat. 16.24, 25, 26, 27. & 25.41.46. Calls, Counsels and Salvation) that they might live. For this is a very dreadful Death, an everlasting punishment, out of which, if men be once cast into it, shall be no release or redemption. But ha­ving spoken of this more fully before, I here pass it with this brief mention of it.

SECT. 8.

Of the various appearances of Christ, and the Proper works of them, and ways of his Saving men.

8. LAstly, there is mention of divers Appearances and Comings of Christ, with their divers Works and Consequences. As there is a twofold Personal Appearance of Christ mention­ed upon Earth, and in Heaven; the for­mer is twofold also, which are his Perso­nal Comings from Heaven, which with their consequents, are distinctly mention­ed in the Gospel-Doctrine; besides some spiritual and providential comings, invi­sible to the eye of man. Of which [...] shall give a brief touch.

1. Heb. 9.26. He came and appeared in the flesh, in infirmity and we [...]kness here upon the earth, being made partaker with us in flesh and blood; made like us, and in all thinks tempted as we are, excepting sin. And this his Appearance was once, in the end of the world, in the last ages, even in the time of the Roman Monarchy, spo­ken of by Daniel the Propet. And the end of this his coming, and appearing in so low and despicable a form; in which also he was poor, and without all world­ly glory and greatness, was that he might be the Saviour of the world, by suffering for it, and by revealing the truth of God [Page 105]to it, for the convincing it, and calling it to himself, that through him it might be saved. Of this coming it is said, This is a faithful saying, 1 Tim. 1.15.and worthy of all ac­ceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; and that he once ap­peared in the end of the world to put a­way sin by the sacrifices of himself, Heb. 9.26. and so he came to be abased a­mongst men, that he might minister to, and give his life a ransome for them: yea in this his appearance, he suffered and di­ed for all, and by the grace of God tast­ed Death for every man, and that with­out limitation or distinction; as to the first and most proper end of his death, Rom. 5.18. & 3.19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24. & 14.9. viz. the ransoming men thereby from the curse and death forecome upon them, and his making an attonement for them: for there was no difference of men, nor distinction in to Righteous and Sinners, Good and Bad Believers and the world, as he eyed them, and came into the world for them in his first undertaking and in­tention. But he found all fallen, sinful, lost and helpless; and as such came to dye for, Col. 2.10. Mat. 28.18, 19, 20. Phil. 2.10, 11. and ransom them from that lost estate, into his own Lordship, and di­spose, as the Mediator and Saviour of them; and obtained a perfect recovery of mans nature in himself; and power and authority for his further saving and judging work appointed to him, and needful for men. And this his coming and appearing, and the work of it is [Page 106]perfectly past and done. 1 Joh. 4.2, 3. Joh. 16.28. Heb. 10.10, 11, 12, 13, 14. & 9.12, 14, 15. & 7.25. He is thus come and gone again, and comes so, and in such a way, and to such ends no more, though the vertues of that his so com­ing and appearing, and of his works or sufferings for us therein, abide in him and with God, and come down to, and upon men, and shall do for ever: for all he doth and will do further for, and to fallen mankind, is in the vertues of what he hath done in that his appearing.

2. He shall come and appear personal­ly again on the earth a second time, Mat. 16.26, 27. & 26.64. 2 Thes. 1.7, 8. as in Heb. 9.28. but then he shall not come and appear in such a mean and despica­ble form as before, nor with sin upon him, imputed to him, and to be suffer­ed for by him; but in Glory and Maje­sty, even in the Power and Glory of his Father, and with all his holy and migh­ty Angels, to raise all men indeed in their times, and so actually to save them out of the first Death and Judgement, and set them free of that, but so as to bring them to a second; 2 Cor. 5.10. Heb. 9.28. Mat. 25.31, 35. & 13.43. in which he who was judged for all, shall judge all. And he that came to save all men from the first judgement, shall not save all men in this, or from the death adjudged to in it: but only those who now believe and look for him, giving them a total and full de­liverance out of, and freedom from all sin, sorrows, dangers, oppressions, death, and making them everlastingly happy and glorious with himself: but shall ex­ecute [Page 107]judgement upon all the ungodly, who throughout the day of grace have abiden so, and shall be then found so. Rev. 21.4, 5, 6, 7. Jude 14.15. 2 Thes. 1.7, 8. Mat. 24.31. Luke 18.8, 9. Col. 3.3, 4.1 John 3.2. Heb. 9.28. That coming and appearing of his, in­deed shall be to save his Elect only, such as here believe in, and obey him. In his his first coming, and as men were the objects of his undertaking to suffer for them, there was no such difference and distinction. And this coming is yet wholy to come, and spoken off as future. He shall appear the second time without sin to salvation to them that look for him. And it shall be in the end of the world, properly so taken. 1 Thes. 4.14, 15, 16. Then he shall descend from Heaven with a shout, and sound of the Trumpet, and the voyce of the Arch-Angel of God. And that his appearing shall be visible to more than his first; Rev. 1.7. for that was but in one Country, but this shall be to all; every eye shall see him, they also that perceived him. In his first appearing he laid the foundation of the faith, in this he will bring up the Head. Zech. 4.7, 9. stone, with shouting, and crying, grace, grace, and finish the building. Heb. 12.2. 1 Thes. 1.9, 10, Tit. 2.12, 13. In that he was the Author, in this the Finisher of the Faith. And therefore this is the Hope of the Gospel, and of the Saints, the thing looked and waited for by them.

2. But between these Two Comings, Joh. 14.19. & 16.16, 17. Heb. 9.24. & 10.12, 13. & 12.2, 3. and Appearings to Men in the World, there is a disappearance here of his Person as to any outward discovery, and visibi­lity of it; but yet in this mean time, He [Page 108]appeareth in Heaven for us, in the pre­sence of his Father, to whom he is gon [...] up, and where He abides, and is set down at his Right Hand; Invested with, and Estated in all his Fullness of Glory and Power. Acts 5.31. And his going up, and appear­ing there, 1 Tim. 4.10. is for Salvation to. He is Ex­alted a Prince and Saviour, to give Re­pentance to Israel, (to Rebellious Ones) and Remission of Sins. And so he is the Saviour of all Men; especially, of them that Believe. He, and God in him, ha­ving saved all Men, out of that Sentence of Condemnation; that by, and through Adam, fell upon All, by his first appear­ing, is now to the Saviour, upholder, preserver of all Men, bringing his Salva­tion near to them; even the tenders of further Saveing them, that so they might be led to Repentance, Psal. 36.6, 7, 8, 9. & 68.19, 20. Rom. 2.4, 5. 2 Pet. 3.9, 15. and to trust under the shadow of his Wings, and be speci­ally Saved. And those that do there­through trust, or believe in him, are Sa­ved by a special Protection; succouring, and delivering them from Sin and Satan; even so, as to fit them for the Salvation ready to be Revealed at his Second Ap­pearing. 1 Pet. 1.6, 7, 8, 9.

He Appears, 1 Tim. 2.5, 6. Isa. 53.12. Luk. 13.7, 8, 9. & 23.34. Joh. 17.21, 23. 2 Pet. 3.15. and Mediates with God, for All Men, for the means and Mercies He sees good; for leading them to Re­pentance, and Faith, and for Patience, and Forbearance, when they have forfeited former means, till He further dig about them, and dung them: which forbear­ance [Page 109]also, is to be accounted Salvation. And these things He obtains for, and dis­penses to them to such ends: but for those that therethrough do Believe, He medi­ates, 1 John 2.1, 2. Heb. 7.25. & 9.15. Psal. 36.8, 9. and 65.4. and obtains the Dispensation of choise Mercies, even the Blessings of Life, and Righteousness; presenting them in him­self, Just, and Righteous, before God: feeds them with the Fat things of his House, even of his Holy Temple. His First Comeing, and Appearing then amongst men, as to its main End, Joh. 3.17. & 12.47. 1 Tim. 2.4, 5, 6. Isa. 28.16. Act. 5.31. 1 Tim. 4.10. was for all Men to Save them, by way of Ransome, with­out limitation, or difference of persons; as also, to obtain into himself Power for further Saving them. His appearing now in Heaven with God, is for all to, and to be the Saviour of All in their several Ages respectively, but with difference, Heb. 9.28. Luk. 19.27. and specialty for Believers. His Second Com­ing, and appearing to Men is, for the ut­most Salvation, not of all Men, but of all his Elect, and that Believe on him: the rest that here rejected him, finally, shall there be rejected of him. 1 Tim. 2.6. In the first, He Saved by price, paid for Men; by which also he obtained his Power of further Saving, in the other Two. In the Second, Luk. 13.7, 8. Heb. 12.24. Phil. 3.21. 2 Thess. 1.8, 9. by his improving the Ver­tues of that Price, (his most Precious Blood,) with his Father, by way of In­tercession, and by his Power, as exercised for, over, and upon Men. In the Third onely, by the exercise of his Power for, and in behalf of those that were his, and [Page 110]looked for him, and so the Gospel teach [...] us to distinguish of his Appearings, and of his Saving.

3. Gen. 6.3. Prov. 1.20, 21, 22. 1 Pet. 3.19. Joh. 1.10, 11. There are other Spiritual, and Pro­vidential Comings of Christ to Men, di­stinct from those his Personal, and Visible Appearances. As,

1. His Addresses of Himself to Men, by his Spirit, in the means; as so He came often to Jerusalem, and would have Ga­thered them: and came to his Own, and they Received him not: even before he was made Flesh. And,

2. In his more gracious discoveries of Himself, to the Hearts of those that Be­lieve on him: of which is meant, Joh. 14.21, 23. He that hath my Commandements and keepeth them, Rev. 3.20.he it is that loveth me [...] and I will love him, and manifest mine own self to him, and we will come unto him, &c. and, If any man hear my voice, and open to me, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me.

3. In his taking more special view of, and executing Judgments upon men in Afflictions and Death. As Repent, (saith he,) Rev. 2.5. & 3.3. and do thy first works, or I will come unto thee and take away thy Candlestick, &c. And if thou watch not, I will come to thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. And so some un­derstand many things spoken about his Coming, in Matth. 24. to aim at, and be meant of his Coming to execute Judg­ment on Jerusalem. But because these [Page 111]things appertain to his Dispensations to Men, and operations in Men, they mind me of applying my self at length, to that other Branch of the Distinction at first mentioned; and therefore I shall not fur­ther inlarge here on them.


Enters upon the other Branch of the Distinction, and speaks briefly of the Purposes of God.

PAss we now to the Second Member of the Distinction. And therein let us first take into Consideration, the Purpo­ses of God; and see how they may be said to agree with, or be distinguished from the Gospel-Doctrine, the Object of Divine Faith to be Preached by us, to Men, that they may Believe, and to be believed by Men, being Preached to them, that they may be Saved. About which purposes this may be premised; That they are in themselves as such secret, incomprehensi­ble, and unknowable by us further, and otherwise, then they be in God's Works, or Words, made manifest, and revealed to us. And therefore they are with the more sobriety to be inquired into, and spoken of, by us: taking heed to the Word of God, as our guid in all things. [Page 112]And because what is said in the W [...] about them, is in somethings more struse and hard to be understood; as a because some others have spoken m [...] largely to them, Tho. Moore Sen' in his Testimóny of Christ. I intend the greater b [...] ­vity in what I shall say of them.

SECT. 1.

Of God's more General Purposes coincid [...] with the Contents of the Gospel, and the [...] in by the way something of his Perm [...] on.

COncerning the Purposes of God, [...] Ephes. 1.9. & 3.11. [...] may say in General: That as Go [...] hath wrought, and done for us, and ha [...] declared, That he will assuredly do so, d [...] he purpose to work and do; as to fa [...] He purposed to make the World in su [...] Space and Form, as he did make it. [...] purposed to make Man Upright, and [...] his own Image, and give to him, as [...] did; and do to him, as he did; and pe [...] ­mit, and suffer him to do, as he did pe­mit, and suffer him. Yet by the way, w [...] may distinguish of Permisson. There [...] a Legal Permission, Gen. 2.16, 17. 1. Cor. 9.5, 6. a giving leave by th [...] Law to do things or not do them. S [...] God permitted Adam, to eat of ever [...] Tree of the Garden, that of the Know­ledge of Good and Evil excepted: an [...] to the Apostles, to Eat and Drink at othe [...] mens cost, and to forbear Working: an [...] nothing so permitted, is Sin and Evil in [...]

Thus God never purposed to per­ [...]t, nor did he permit Adam, To eat of [...]e fruit of the tree of knowledge of good [...]d evil: for then had he not therein Sin­ [...]ed. But there is a Providential Permissi­ [...], a letting Men go at Liberty, free from [...] violent Coaction, or Restraint, to, or [...]om what is Commanded, or Forbidden. [...]s a Magistrate, that gives no leave by [...]is Law to any, to Steal, or commit Adul­try; yet leaves Men at liberty not tying [...]em up in Bonds, or Chains, or setting [...]uards upon them, to forde them to be [...]onest; so as they may have freedom of [...]ction, and be capable of obeying, or [...]obeying those Laws, in which such [...]ings are forbidden: and accordingly of [...]ceiving Reward, or Punishment, for [...]beying, ordisobeying. In this sense, God [...]urposed to give, and did accordingly give [...] Adam liberty of chusing, or refusing; [...]ting well, or ill. And this distinction [...]f Permission is useful, and to be minded, [...]oth in respect of Adams Sinning, and [...]ther Mens. Yea, and the Permission, as [...]od's Act, and the Sinning as Man's Act, [...]e to be distinguished too.

And so (to return to our Discourse about [...]od's Purposes) as they respected Man­ [...]ind, Fallen: We may say, He purposed [...]o do for us, whatsoever the Gospel saith [...]e hath done, and will do for us, accor­ [...]ing as therein is declared. 2 Sam. 14.14. Job. 33.23. And so he purposed to shew us Mercy, and not to [...]eal with us, and leave us helpless, as the [Page 114]Devil, and his Angels: but to save m [...] from the Death he would plunge him [...] into, and call him back to himself agai [...] and that not according to Works of Rig [...] ­teousness to be done by us, but accordi [...] to the good pleasure of his Grace: whi [...] purpose as the Apostle tells us, 2 Tim. 1.9, 10. is manife [...] ­ed what it was, by the appearance [...] Christ Abolishing Death, and bringin [...] Life, and Immortality to light, by th [...] Gospel: that is to say, He purposed [...] Save us by the free and undeserved sen [...] ­ing forth of his Son, and making hi [...] Flesh, the Seed of the Woman, and [...] ­der the Law, and by delivering him [...] to Death for us all, to make an Atton [...] ­ment for our Sin, [...] and so to evacuate, a [...] take away, the Destructive power [...] Death; and by raising him up again [...] our Justification, and giving us Etern [...] Life in him. And so he purposed to [...] Sinners by his Free-Grace, to the Life an [...] Immortality obtained by Christ, for them upon the account, Tit. 3.3, 4, 5. Prov. 1.20.21, 22, 23. Isa. 61.1. & 42.1. Joh. 5.25. not of any good Work­fore-wrought by them: but of his So [...] undertakings, and performances for them [...] and by preventing them, as with the ligh [...] and power of his Spirit, (which to tha [...] end, he purposed to put upon his So [...]) while yet Dead in Sins, and Trespasses so as there-through, they might hear, and obey him. Isa. 49.12. & 53.10, 11. & 55.5. And he purposed so to accom­pany, and bless his Son, in his Callin [...] Men, and so to glorifie him, that many of them should actually, and eventually [Page 115] [...]in after him, and obey him. And that [...]hey (whosoever) that listen to, and obey [...]im, in the grace and power in his Calls [...]fforded them, should be Justified and [...]aved by him: but those that then stop their Ears against him, and reject him, and so persist against all means and grace [...]or their Repenting afforded them, should [...]e left, and given up to themselves, to stumble at him, and fall against him to Destruction. He purposed also, 1 Pet. 2.7.8. That he would not onely Glorifie his Son to call Sinners, and impower, and authorise him [...]o Save the Believers, and to exercise Pa­ [...]ience, and Mercy mixt with Judgment [...]ere toward the disobedient, but also to [...]end him again, to Raise the Dead, and [...]o Judge all Men, Believers, and Unbe­ [...]ievers, according to their Works; accor­ding as in the Gospel-Doctrine is decla­ [...]ed.

And so the Gospel, Eph. 3.11. is a Revelation of the Eternal purposes of God purposed in Christ Jesus, from before the Foundations of the World: and the Preaching of it, is called, the Preaching of the Decree: and his purposes as so Revealed and Preach­ed, are all sure, and certain, and meet, Psal. 2.6, 7. and good, to be known of Men. Yea, and are so far known, as the Gospel is known, and believed by us; there being onely this difference between those his purposes, and the Gospel-Doctrine, as to the matter of them: That the Gospel-Doctrine declares, partly as acted and accomplished; and [Page 116]partly, as certain to be accomplished due time. What as onely purposed and with God, was neither accomplish [...] nor made known; but hid, and secre [...]

SECT. 2.

That the purposes of God concerning Me [...] Ends in particular, as to their Salvat [...] or Damnation; are included in, and [...] sult from God's General purposes for mentioned.

NOW, as to God's purposes of de [...] ­ing with particular Persons as [...] his final dispose of them, they are clea [...] included in, and result from his fore [...] General purposes concerning Mankind Christ Jesus, and are in them onely to sought after, and discerned. As God [...] ­posing to heal by the Brazen Serpent [...] that being Stung would look up tow [...] it: it followed, that it was his purpose, th [...] this, or that particular looking to it, sho [...] be healed; and it being his purpose, not heal any of them otherwise: it follow [...] that it was not his purpose, to heal this, [...] that person that neglected it. So it be [...] the purpose of God in General, so to g [...] his Son in love to the World, that wh [...] ­soever should Believe in him, should ha [...] Eternal Life: it follows, as a thing includ [...] in it, and resulting from it, That Pet [...] James, John, Paul, &c. through God giving his Son to, and lifting him up [...] [Page 117]the Salvation of the World; being pre­vailed with to Believe on him, shall have Everlasting Life. And God having pur­posed, That those, who when Christ is lifted up, and Light, and Grace are brought to them, by, and through him, shall be disobedient and reject him, his Words, and Counsels should be left to stumble at him, and persisting therein, to fall to Perdision. It was therein included, That Judas being then Disobedient, should in, and for so do­ing, be left to take offence at him, and per­sisting therein, against all light and warn­ings, run himself into Perdition. So God having purposed, that those, who when the Grace of God comes to them, bring­ing Salvation to them, do still remain un­godly, and turn it into wantonness; shall as a Punishment, and fruit of that their Wickedness, be given over to oppose the Truth, and exercise the Saints thereby; it follows, as included therein, That Hy­meneus, and Philetus, or any the like par­ticular so doing, was therein fore-written to that Judgment, or Condemnation of so opposing themselves against the Truth, &c. Even, as God ordaining, That it should rain Mannah six days, and not the seventh, on the Camp of Israel in the Wilderness, and that whoever should go out, and ga­ther on the six days, should find enough; and on the sixth day, enough for that, and the seventh day; but on the seventh day none: it followed, That this, or that Person neglecting to gather on the [Page 118]sixth day, for Two days; and going [...] gather on the seventh, should then b [...] vertue of that general Ordination fin [...] none. And all these purposes, as to par­ticular persons are respective purposes, an [...] after a sort Conditional; not absolute [...] determining, and necessitating either th [...] Faith, and Salvation of this, or that Ma [...] precisely; or as a Man, or Sinner simply considered: nor the disobedience, unbe­lief, or condemnation of this, or that man as so precisesly, or simply as a man; or a [...] a Man fallen in Adam, considered: but they respect, Gal. 2.15, 16. Act. 15.11. & 4.11, 12. or take in this, or that Man as under such a condition, or in such a way, as to which God hath generally ap­pointed such Ends or Issues. So as if Peter or Paul had not Believed, they had not been Saved, by force of any other precise purpose of God toward them, as Perso­nally considered. Psal. 109.4, 5. with Act. 1.16, 17, 18. that in ver. 25. To go to his own place, respects not Ju­das but the A­postle to be cho­sen. Act. 16.31. Joh. 6.40. & 3.14, 15. And if Judas had obey­ed Christ, and timely put away his Co­vetousness, he had not taken Offence, and stumbled at Christ, and run himself into Perdition, by force of any precise purpose of God, ordaining him as a Man precise­ly considered, so to have done. And up­on this account, it may be said to any man, If thou wilt Believe on the Son of God, thou shalt be Saved; not as repre­senting therein, the Believing, as a mark and token, That God fore-purposed such a Man's Salvation, precisely considered, as that particular Man; but as representing the Believing in Christ, as the way in [Page 119]which, and condition unto which, he hath absolutely purposed, Joh. 8.24. Ezek. 33.11. 1 Tim. 2.4. 2 Pet. 3.9. Act. 4.11, 12. 1 Joh. 5.11, 12. and promised his Salvation. And upon the like account, it may be said unto any man; If thou wilt not Believe on the Son of God, thou shalt Perish: not as thereby signifying, That such a Man's not Believing, springs from, and is a token of God's precise purpose, to Destroy such a Man, as that Man, per­sonally considered; but because of the General purpose of God; and to signifie, the firmness thereof, That God will Save no man out of Christ, but to Destroy those that wilfully Reject, and Rebel against him. And this apprehension of God's purposes of Salvation, and Damnation, to particular Men, as included in, and spring­ing from his General purposes; and re­specting men, as beheld, or considered, in such conditions, agrees well with the re­nour of the Gospel; which saith, Joh. 3.16. God so loved the world, that he gave his onely be­gotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. And not, That God gave his onely Son, that whosoever should have Everlasting Life, (viz. by force of some fore purpose, pricisely, and irrespectively, Decreeing such particular persons to it,) should Be­lieve in him, and so attain it: as some make the Gospel to speak, making that Phrase (whosoever believe,) nothing but a Collection of the several persons fore-appointed absolutely to Life, and their Faith onely an evidence of their being so [Page 120]fore-appointed; and not any general in­ducement to All, to Believe, or significatio [...] of any desire on God's part that they should believe, and be Saved.

SECT. 3.

That the Great differences between the Re­monstrants, and Contra-Remonstrants spring from their different Apprehensions about God's purposes of Salvation, and Damnation to particular persons, what be their Apprehensions.

UPon this Hinge hangs all the Con­troversie, between the Remon­strants, and Contra-remonstrants, even up­on their Conceptions of God's purposes, Joh. 3.17. 1 Tim. 2.4, 5, 6. 2 Cor. 5.14, 15. Rom. 5.12, 18. 1 Pet. 1.20, 21. with 1 Tim. 4.10. 2 Cor. 5.11. Prov. 1.20.21. & 8.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 31, 32, 33. & 9.1-7. Rom. 2.4, 5. 1 Joh. 5.11, 12. Act. 10.34. about Mens Final Estates. For the Re­monstrants conceive and believe, That God purposed (according as he hath de­clared, he hath done) to send his Son in­to the World, to be the Saviour of the World, to Dye for all Men, and to Ran­some them all thereby from the State of Misery, and Perdition that he fore-see they would come into in Adam: and through Sufferings to glorifie him, to be the Saviour of All, giving Man-kind in general Eternal Life in him; and to afford such means to them through him, as he pleas'd, for their calling back to him, and leading them to Repentance [...] and that any one Believing in him, through the means afforded, and by his Grace therein, and therewith given, should [Page 121]live by him, and that any one finally re­jecting him should perish. Rom. 2.11, 16. 2 Cor. 5.10. Not purposing this or that mans salvation or damnation, that have the means of grace and capa­city to use them, or seek God in them; but as rewards of their works respectively, or of their entertainment, or rejection of that grace afforded them; that is, as they should through grace afforded believe, in, and obey him, or reject the grace afforded, not believing or obeying him.

The contrary Monster on the other side conceive, that God absolutely and peremptorily purposed, that certain par­ticular persons should have Eternal Life and Glory, considered as men simply, or as fallen men; and that the rest of men, particularly and personally consi­dered, should be lest to sin and perish; and no such grace should be afforded to them, as should be sufficient for their sal­vation. And accordingly that he pur­posed to give Christ to dye; as some say, only for those particular persons fore­purposed to Glory, and not for the rest; and that those particular persons should by, and through him be brought infallibly and irresistibly to believe, and be preser­ved in believing, and brought to glory: or as others say, that Christ should dye for all men, to ransom them into his own dis­pose, but not intentionally, that all might be saved by him, but only that those should absolutely and inevitably be saved, to whom he had absolutely and particu­larly [Page 122]purpose life; and that the rest shou [...] be left to themselves, and to the use o [...] the means vouchsafed, and receit of the grace in, and with them insufficiently tendred; or the refusal of it so, as that they cannot come to salvation. Accord­ing to the former, not men as men, or fallen men, simply considered, are the objects of Gods purposes of Life and Glo­ry to be estated upon them, but men as in Christ, or as believing on him through the grace of God afforded to them: much less are men, as men simply considered, or as only fallen in Adam, the object of his purpose of Dereliction, Reprobation, or Destruction, but men considered as re­jecting Christ, or refusing to obey him, unbelieving and impenitent men. But according to the latter, men considered, either as to be made, or as made inno­cent and unfallen, or at most * Super Crea­tarians. Superlapsari­ans. Superlapsari­ans. as fallen, are the objects of Gods purposes, of their eternal ends; however, as to the purpose of Eternal Life, that is, represented as without, or in order of nature before the consideration of a Mediator, much more without, or before the consideration of their believing in him: and as to the pur­pose of Everlasting Death; his purpose of not affording sufficient grace, such as might be effectual to their Salvation is, at least conceived of by them, as, with­out the consideration of their fore-reject­ing Christ that dyed for them, and offe­red his grace to them: and so in effect [Page 123]implies Gods absolute irrespective purpose of leaving them to ineffectual Grace, that could not save them, and if not, the dying of Christ for them rejected as a falshood too, yet made to no purpose for them: with which latter frame of con­ceptions of Gods purposes, many things appear to clash; especially these.

1. That it maketh Gods election of men to be out of Christ, as being in or­der of nature before the consideration of him, and his death, and sufferings for men; for in it Christ is considered after­ward, not as the ground or root of their election, but only as a means ordained to bring about that to which before, and without the consideration of him they were supposed to have been elected, whereas the Scripture speaks of Gods pur­pose of Election, as a thing that was in Christ before the foundations of the world. Ephes. 1.4. And speaks of him in his sufferings and glory, Rom. 8.29. as the Prototype to which God had respect in his predestination of those that were foreknown by him; for they were, saies the Apostle, predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son: which plainly implies, that his Son in that Image or Estate (namely of sufferings and glo­ry) was in Gods eye or consideation, as a thing preordained, and so foreknown of him in his act of predestination.

Object. To that in Eph. 1.4. it may possibly be objected, that the Apostle by chosen in Christ, may mean in Christ, [Page 124]as the eternal word, or God only, as it's said all things were created in, or by him, [...] Col. 1.16. Answ. But to that it's conside­rable, that then we should be blessed too as in him, Ephes. 1.3, 4. as he is God only; for it is said, we are blessed in him according as we were chosen in him: but now evident it is, that we are blessed in him, as he hath redeemed us from the curse, and is risen and ascended, Gal. 3.13, 14. and therefore in him, as so considered, we were elected or purposed to be chosen of God.

2. That frame also as was before hint­ed, infers a manifest change and alterati­on from the Scripture-language, and more especially, as to those of them that deny Christ to have dyed for all, or say that God purposed absolutely to leave the greatest part of men, as fallen in Adam, without any serious desires of vouchsafements of means for their salva­tion, to utter ruine and destruction: for then should it rather have been said, That God so loved a few, or some part of man­kind, that he gave his only begotten Son, that they might absolutely be brought to believe, and have eternal life: or, that those who were precisely appointed to eternal life might believe, and so enjoy it; rather than that he loved the world, and gave his only begotten Son, that whoso­ever believeth in him, should not pe­rish, but have everlasting life. Nay, it might as truly be said, according to [Page 125]their frame of thoughts, that God so ha­ted the world, that he would not have it saved; nor afford any such grace to it, as whereby it might: in as much as they judge so concerning the far greater part of it, which may rather challenge the deno­mination of the whole, than the far lesser, even as they say it doth; when Christ says, I pray not for the world. Whence, John 17.9. say they, sure much less would he dy for the world; and what is that in effect, but that God did not so love the world as to give his Son for, or to it, &c.

3. In that frame also the greatness of Gods mercy to mankind, and the equi­ty of his justice and judgement is more obscured than in the former: while it both carries in the bottom of it, no real­ly merciful design in God towards the most; and implies that he doth, and will eternally punish men for what he never vouchsafed them any sufficient and effica­cious grace for their avoiding of; but or­dered his government over them so, as he knew must needs necessitate their per­dition.

4. It also drives the maintainers there­of inevitably upon making God so to de­sign the destruction of most, as to neces­sitate also their sins; of which they stick not often, either in plain terms, or in words every way equivalent thereto, to pronounce him the Author, Worker, Cause, &c. as Dr. Peirce hath also large­ly, and learnedly proved. Yea they, [Page 126]some of them (the Supralapsarians) n [...] only render him, as one that hath plea­sure in the death of the wicked, rathe [...] than that they should turn, and and live contrary to his own Oath, Ezek. 33.11▪ as all of them do; but also as one tha [...] had pleasure, that the righteous should dye, and therefore sin; for all were righ­teous in innocent Adam, where they re­present God reprobating and purposing the damnation of the most. To say no­thing of their broad contradictions to many plain Scriptures that they oft run into: their patronage of mens slothfulness, in rendring it either needless to strive to enter the strait gate, or impossible to do it to any purpose; with many the like.

SECT. 4.

1 Sam. 2.25. & 2 Chron 25.16. About Elies Sons, and Amaziah, considered: as also something to Act. 13.48.

IT is said in 1 Sam. 2.25. that the Sons of Eli hearkned not to the voyce of their Father, because the Lord would de­stroy them; and in 2 Chron 25.16. The Prophet sent to Amaziah to reprove him for his Idolatry, being refused by him in, and threatned by him for his message; tells him, that he knew God had deter­mined to destroy him, because he had done that, and had not hearkned to his Counsel. Which may haply seem to [Page 127]some to imply, that Gods purposes of mens ends are previous to the considera­tion of their ways; and that therefore some are left to sinful ways, because fore­determined to such an end as destruction, as others are therefore made to believe, because fore-ordained to Life Everlasting, Act. 13.48. And so that mens disobedi­ence, or obedience, are but evidences, be­cause effects, fruits, infallible and neces­sary consequents of those fore-determina­ons of their ends. To which instances it is to be noted, that God indeed, who is the supream Governour and Disposer of all things, is able both to save and to de­stroy: and the power of ordering this Creature to life by a [...]act of mercy, or that to destruction by an act of severity, is only with him as the Soveraign Dispo­ser and Judge of all. And he acts all his Acts of Mercy or Judgement, not accord­ing to any Rule imposed upon him, or proposed to him by any Creature, but according to the counsel of his own Will. And so as he purposed to harden and de­stroy the Angels falling, but to shew mer­cy to fallen man; so to sinners for whom he gave his Son, and to whom he hath made known his Mind and Will in some measure, and they are disobedient there­to, and deserve his anger again; he shews mercy in affording yet more grace for their conversion, thereby incouraging sinners to repentance; or else gives them up to, and hardens them in their sins [Page 128]and corruptions, that they might be admonitions to others to stand in a we him, according to his pleasure; acco [...] ­ing to that in Rom. 9.16, 18. He [...] have mercy, on whom he will have me [...] and whom he will he hardens; and so a cording to his good pleasure he gave [...] and hardned Pharoah, sinning and do [...] evilly against his people, and had mer [...] ­on sinning Israel, when they had ma [...] their molten Calf, and still shewed fu­ther savour to them in the preservation [...] them, or many of them to the land [...] Canaan, So he withdrew his mercy fro [...] Saul, rebelling against him; and yet h [...] mercy on David and Solomon sinning, an [...] left them not to [...]eir hardness, but gav [...] repentance to them. So he hardned th [...] Jews when they had crucified Christ, an [...] rejected his Gospel, and shewed merc [...] to the sinful Gentiles, in opening a do [...] of Repentance and Conversion to them And doubtless, as he did enact in time, [...] he purposed in the Counsel of his Wil [...] to act and do toward them. And so w [...] may say to the instances concerning Eli [...] Sons, and Amaziah, that God willed t [...] destroy them, and therefore gave the [...] up, and hardned them against the re [...] ­proofs given them, that they might go on in the ways of ruine. But then its to be noted too, that that was neither his purpose concerning them, as simply con­sidered, as either his creatures made in Adam, or as only fallen in Adam, but as [Page 129]sinners against the grace of God, shewed [...]em through Christ, as persons that re­ [...]sed to take his yoke upon them; and [...]o Sons of Belial, that knew not the Lord, [...]hough the Lord was so made known a­mongst them, that he might have been made known by them. Yea, that concerning Amaziah may be so read and understood, as rendring the reason not so much of the Prophets, knowing that the Lord had determined to destroy him, as of the de­termination it self; that God therefore determined to destroy him, because he had done that, and had not hearkned to his Counsel. And such he hath purpo­sed according to his pleasure, to give up, and harden, and destroy; and then their refusing good Instructions and Counsels, that tend to their conversion and escape from Judgement, may be, and is a conse­quent to, and sometime to some discerning persons a discovery of Gods purpose to make those persons examples of his Judg­ments and just severity: and so it agrees with what was said above, Sect. 2. though to some such as deserve such judgements, sometimes he may give repentance to the escaping the wiles of Satan, and reco­vering themselves out of his snares, as 2 Tim. 2.25, 26. according to that prero­gative and power in the dispose of his creature, that he keeps in his own hand, and as in his wisdom he sees fitting: for which cause the servants of God, unless they discern the mind of God, as the [Page 130]Prophet did concerning Amaziah, that their sin is unto death, are with meek­ness to instruct such, and patiently to wait to see Gods mind and pleasure con­cerning them.

Those in Acts 13.48. ordained to eter­nal life and believing, were instances of Gods mercy and grace afforded to sinful and undeserving persons after, and not­withstanding their abuse of, and sinnings against former means and mercies to whom yet God afforded such grace in his call of them that they were thereby or­dained, ordered, ranked, marshalled or dis­posed (as the word [...] signifies) unto, or for eternal life; or else as some under­stand, they were worshippers of God be­fore (as such there were scattered up and down amongst the Gentiles) to whom this further grace was therefore now af­forded, that they believed also the ti­dings of the Gospel; but however that says nothing of any ordination of them to, or purpose of eternal life to them Pre­viously to the consideration of Christ appointed to dye for them: as if some were first purposed to life, and then for them Christ was purposed to be sent forth; no, nor of any fore-purpose, of causing them absolutely to believe, or to bestow eternal life upon them infallibly and ine­vitably, considered simply as men, or fallen men: for neither are the words fore-appointed or fore-ordained to eternal life. But speaking of the efficacy the Go­spel [Page 131]had in them, viz. that they believed, Vers. 46. Vers. 48. that is, held fast the word of God in di­stinction from those, that either rejected it as the Jews, or only rejoyced in it for a time, as divers other Gentiles; it shews the reason or ground of it, and says they were ordained, ordered, set or disposed for eternal life; which may also be look­ed upon as the efficacy of the word of God in them, making them as good ground, that therefore received and retained the seed, and brought forth fruit to perfecti­on. And though God doubtless purpo­sed to afford that grace to them, that he did then actually afford for the enabling and bringing them eventually to believe, according to the counsel and good plea­sure of his will; yet that was purposed in, through, and with respect to Christ, and their end, the having eternal life, was no otherwise purposed to them, to be their portion, than as by that grace purposed to be afforded to them, and ac­cordingly in time afforded them they were set for, disposed and ordered to it, and so believed, held fast and retained the message sent them. So that these purposes (or rather dispensations of the Providence and Government of God o­ver, and toward these persons) no ways clasht with his general purposes of mens ends according to their believing and o­beying, or disobedience to God in Christ, before mentioned. The two former be­ing particular purposes, perhaps only of [Page 132]temporal destructions for their pers [...] wickednesses; or at the highest judi [...] purposes of their final estates, upon [...] foresight or consideration of, and with [...] ­spect unto their abuses of Gods grace a [...] goodness, which yet he purposed acco [...] ­ing to the counsel of his Will to the [...] because it was in his Power and Cho [...] whether to make them examples an [...] instances of his severity in resolving the [...] destruction upon the account of their fore­past sins, or to have purposed further pa­tience and grace to them, for the rescu­ing them from the ways of sin unto sal­vation, as the latter may speak of it in­timately: it being not so much a purpose of their end peremptorily and absolute­ly decreed to those persons (I suppose as a purpose, or rather a dispensation o [...] grace to dispose and order them to, o [...] for such an end as he hath purposed to those that believe.

SECT. 5.

Of the distinction of Gods Purposes into Re­spective and Irrespective.

GOds purposes of mens ends then ap­pear to be not irrespective and previous to the consideration of their way and works, but respective to them as re­wards: for of Gods purposes, some a [...] Irrespective, and some Respective. Re­spective, I say, not only to men as their [Page 133]object, nor only to Christ in whom, Gen. 3.15, 16, 17, &c. and with respect to whose undertakings some things, yea all that follow thereupon are purposed: but with respect also to some­thing veiwed or foreseen in men to, Isa. 48.3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. and concerning whom they are purposed: foreseen, I say, and so respected, either as occasions of, or apt dispositions to, or meritorious causes of the things purposed with respect to them. According to this distinction God did absolutely and irre­spectively purpose the Creation of the World, and all things therein. The Creation of man in a good condition; the leaving him to his liberty, to obey, or disobey his Law purposed also to be given him. So the giving forth of Christ, and preparing him to be a meet Saviour for us, and the preventing men with his grace more or less clearly through him, according to his good pleasure were pur­posed in some consideration irrespective­ly; for though they had respect to the sin, and fall, and misery of man there­by, as occasioning a need of those things, yet as to any works of righteousness found in men, or to be found in men as deser­ving them, or as preparing and disposing men to such salvation to be wrought in, and by Christ for them, and for grace to call them, they were irrespective. But then Gods purposes of hardning, reject­ing and condemning this or that man, were respective and lookt upon them as sinning against his grace and truth, reje­cting [Page 134]his Son, and refusing him as dese [...] ­ving, and rendring them worthy su [...] hardning, rejecting and condemning And his purposes of giving more spec [...] favour and salvation to such and such men believing, as are properly consequent to, or rewards of faith respected Christ not only as obtaining such grace, but also a received and believed in by those men and so rendring them worthy, in a Gospe [...] sense, of such grace to be dispensed to them. Unto this branch of respective purposes, clearly appertain purposes of pu­nishing and rewarding as such, though most clearly it is seen in purposes of pu­nishing, either by giving up to sin, or in­flicting destructive vengeance upon men [...] such doubtless was his purpose of casting Adam out of Paradise; it had respect to his sin: sure he did not absolutely pur­pose to cast him out whither he sinned or not; or to necessitate his sin that he might cast him out. The like may be said of his pur­pose of drowning the World, destroying Sodom, establishing the Kingdom to Saul, or taking it from him: and so that such or such a man shall dye of such a death, as their wilfull sinnings bring upon them; in which, though tis true, that their days are determined, yet its true also that they dye before their times, namely before the times they should have lived to, had they not ran into such sins, Eccles. 7.17. As Ahitophel, Haman, Judas, Pharaoh, though they must have dyed had they not sinned [Page 135]in such wicked ways as they did; yet they should not have dyed such deaths, been given up to, and destroyed in such a way of judgement, had they not been wicked, or had they timely thereof re­pented. Such was the purpose of God for hardning Pharaohs heart, it had re­spect to his stubbornness and wickedness foreseen. He see he would oppress his people, and not let them go; Exod. 3.19, 20. & 4.21. and with respect thereto purposed to harden him, that he should not, no not by many mighty Signs and Judgements be willing to let them go. Such also the purpose of God concerning the believers sufferings, of which it's said, 1 Thes. 3.3. That we were thereunto appointed; surely not as this or that man simply considered, but as Believers in, and confessors of Christ, and so all such as such were appointed to sufferings, especially in those times: Such surely was Gods purpose and determinati­on concerning Herod, Pontius Pilate, with the Jews and Gentiles opposing, Acts 4.27, 28. with 2.23. persecu­ting and crucifying, or rather of his deli­vering him up to them, and determining, and fore-bounding ( [...]) what they should do to him: his determining coun­sel therein was joyned with his foreknow­ledge; and with respect to what he fore­knew they would be, he determined to yeild them up to them, and what they should do to him. God did not purpose to make them wicked, and stir them up, or impel them to crucifie him (as some [Page 136]over-rashly speak, making God the Cau [...] Contriver, and Author of their sin) b [...] foreseeing what they would be, and do if permitted; he determined to permit them to do, what he pleased to permit what should be done: Suffering their ma­lice so far to break forth, as might be to his praise, and restraining the remainder thereof, as Psal. 76.10. Not that he needed their crucifying him or Judas be­traying him to work mans redemption by; nor was it his dying, as the effect of their wickedness, that did properly ran­some us: nor did their betraying and cru­cifying him necessarily bring forth his death. No man took his life from him, but he laid it down of himself, Acts 2.23. & 3.15. & 5.30. & 7.52. John 10.18. though yet they are truly and properly chargeable with killing, and slay­ing him, and putting him to death, both as to their desire and intention, and as to the consequent of what they did to him; but he yeilded his life voluntarily to his Father, who made his soul an offering for sin. And his Death as needful for, and ef­fectual to our ransoming and redemption, was that which the Fathers wrath, or curse of the Law inflicted on him, brought him to which began to come upon him to death, before his enemies came near him, as Matth. 26.38. Luke 22.41, 42, 43, 44. John 12.27, 28, 31. yea and that prest him too on the Cross, and brought him to the dust of death, as Matth. 26.46, 50. with Psalm 22.15. seem to signifie: [Page 137]thence also it's observable, that he dy­ed sooner than the Malefactors that were crucified with him; yea so as Pilate wondred that he was so soon dead, Mark 15.44, 45. 1 Pet. 2.21, 22, 23, 24. Doubtless that wrath and curse that caused his so sore agonies might have brought him to death, though his Enemies had had no such hand in it, or though he had had no such Enemies; but to yeild himself a more perfect exem­plary pattern of obedience and patience, and to make it manifest, that he was made a curse for us (according to that Deut. 21.23. He that is hanged is cursed of God) there being such Enemies fore­seen of God, God also foreordained him to be delivered up to them to be so put to death, the death of the Cross by them, accordingly as he was. I might instance in many other particular purposes that appear clearly to have been respective; yea even in purposes of dispensing mer­cies when ever they were purposed as re­wards, there must needs have been an eye to the works purposed to be reward­ed by them. 1 King. 21.29. As the purpose of respiring the judgement on Ahabs Family till his Sons reign, as a reward of Ahabs humili­ation of himself, 2 King. 10.30. and the giving Jehues seed to sit upon the Throne of Israel to the fourth generation, as a reward of his executing judgement on Ahabs Family. For it could not rightly be said that God would do, or did those things to them, because of their so doing (as it is said of [Page 138] Ahab; Because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days; and to Jehu, Because thou hast done well, in executing that which is right in mine eyes, &c. thy Children of the fourth gene­ration shall sit upon the Throne of Israel) if those things were before absolutely and ir­respectively to those things done by them, purposed and doomed to them. As I cannot be properly said to give my Son a new Suit for plying his Book well, which I, without any eye or respect to his so doing, Matth. 19.27, 28, 29. intended absolutely to give him. The like might be said of setting the A­postles on twelve Thrones, to judge the twelve Tribes of Israel, as the reward of their leaving all for him, and following him in the regeneration; the purpose of that reward to them, took in doubtless the foreknowledge and consideration of that their love and faithfulness to him (as also the preparation of the Kingdom for the Sheep, Matth. 25.35, 36, &c. before the foundations of the World, was with respect to them as Sheep, and as so demeaning themselves, as is represented as the reason of the pos­session of it being adjudged to them.) But whereas Judas, one of the then Twelve, to whom Christ promised the forementioned reward, by transgression and unfaithfulness lost his share therein, it might seem as if there were a reversibi­lity too in Gods promises, if not in his purposes therein implyed; let us take that therefore next into consideration.

SECT. 6.

Of the Reversibility or Irreversibleness of God's Purposes.

REversibility of God's purposes, Psa. 33.11. Isa. 14.24. & 46.10.11. Numb. 22.19. 1 Sam. 15.29. I know will sound somewhat harshly in some Mens Ears, as seeming to imply, a changeableness in God; and to contradict such sayings as those: That God purposes, and who can turn it back. And he will do, and perform all his purposes. And, as he hath purposed it shall stand. And, that he is not a Man that he should lye, nor the Son of Man that he should Re­pent. Which Sayings are without con­troversie most true: yet, in some sense and respect, and that also according to the Language of the Scripture, in other passages which are as true, being all the Language of one and the same Holy Spi­rit of Truth, it may be affirmed, That Men do miss, and deprive themselves of what was in some sense purposed of God to them: and that God repents him of his purpose, or of the good, and evil purposed by him: though he Repents not as Men, through any change of his Mind, by rea­son of ignorance, inadvertency, or mu­tability of his Wi'l; but onely changes his work and respects to Men, as Men be­ing Changed fall under different unchan­geable purposes. His irrespective purposes according to their Tenour; and so his [Page 140]Absolute and General purposes mentioned in the Gospel, stand all firm and unalte­rable, as his purposes of what he would do for Men in Christ, and to Christ for Men, as also, That he will Bless the Believer, do good to those that are good, and walk uprightly with him; and reject the Wicked Evil doer, &c. and so those pur­poses against particular Men, or Nations, that are respective when the Decree brings forth, and the day is past, the day of Grace and Patience expired towards any, in any respect they be then irreversible too: As with Saul, 1 Sam. 15.29. when he had disobeyed the Lord's Commandment concerning the Amalekites, with respect to setling the Kingdom on him, and his House. But as to his respective purposes, which respect some condition in Man, which may be changeably in this, or that Person; and before such day past: with respect to the Change made in such Persons, by which they pass from under one General Degree or purpose, to be under another: God may be said to Repent of his purpose to­ward them; or alter, or Reverse his pur­pose as to them: when as yet, the altera­tion is wholly in them, coming under di­verse Irreversible purposes; and not in God's purposes themselves in the General, either as concerning them, or any man; as to give some Instances to make the mat­ter more evident and understandable: when an evil Man or Unbeliever, who as such an Evil Man, is under the General [Page 141] purpose of Evil and Punishment; (for God purposes to hide himself from, and stand against Men that are Evil in their Evil ways, while Evil generally) shall, or doth through the grace of God, mixed with those Punishments, Repent him of, and turn from his Evil way, then God Re­pents of the Evil purposed against him, (that is, which his purpose against Evil Doers, contain'd in it against him, as, and while an Evil Doer,) and doth him good according to his purpose towards Penitents, and well-doers, under which, by his Re­pentance, he is now brought: for he is not the same man now, as to that forma­lity of him, that rendred him an Object of God's purpose, of Evil, but is another, a New Man, a Man in Christ, with whom old things are past away, and all things become new; and so the purposes of God concerning him are new purposes, 2 Cor. 5.17. the pur­poses of blessing, and good, through Je­sus Christ. And so on the other-side, when a Righteous Man, or People (as the Believing Gallatians, while they ran well, Ezek. 33.13. Gal. 3.4. & 4.11. & 5.3.4. with 4.8, 9. and were known of God) were turned from their Righteousness, they miss, and deprive themselves of the good purposed to Righteous Men; under which they were, while Righteous. Christ shall now pro­fit them nothing: God's purpose toward them is Changed, without any Change in the purpose it self, for it is not the same purpose they were under before, that now they are under; but another, the purpose [Page 142]of Evil, which stands unalterably towards Evil Doers, to which they be now chan­ged. They now persisting in their Evil way, to which they have turned, must expect to meet with the Evil, and Death purposed against such as do Evil, and con­tinue therein. Yea, this change of purpose proceeds from the immutability of God's Counsels and purposes; and not from any changeableness in his purposes, as in themselves; even as the unchangeable na­ture of the Sun, in giving forth his Light, produces different Effects in the Eye that's changed, refreshes the same being sound, which it Afflicts being sore: Mens chan­ges from Sin to Grace, or the contrary, bring them under different unchangeable purposes; not God's different purposing towards them, as personally considered, brings them into different States. In this Dialect the Lord speaks, in Jer. 18.7, 8, 9. if that Nation turns from their Evil, I will repent of the Evil [...] which I thought, or purposed to do to them. So Jer. 26.3. If they will hearken and turn every man from his evil way, that I have repented me of the evil that I [...] pur­pose to do to them, because of the evil of their doings. Where both his purpose of Evil against them is expresled, to respect their evil doings, and is represented as re­versible, because not absolutely against those persons, as persons; but against evil doers, generally as such: and against those particular evil Men, in such a particular [Page 143]way, onely as such evil doers. The like is in Jer. 36.3. also. Hitherto we might refer that notable passage of God to Eli, 1 Sam. 2.30. And the Case of Nineveh. Yea, what is herein said, is agreeable to, and confirmed by what is said of writing Mens Names in the Book of Life, and Blotting them out, being but allusive Ex­pressions, signifying the same in substance with what I have here said; which being expresly and plainly spoken to, in the former part, Chap. 5. Sect. 2. I shall thither refer the Reader for it: as also, hither I might refer that Phrase of God's breaking, Numb. 44.34. Which some render breach of Promise, or alteration of purpose: but seeing neither the Word, Promise, nor Purpose, be in the Hebrew Text, I shall pass it.

SECT. 7.

Of God's purposes, as they concern his Dis­pensations of the means of Grace, or Truth of God, to Men, that they might know, and believe it.

WHat we have hitherto said, con­cerns for the most part, the con­tents of the Gospel-Doctrine, and the things Asserted therein; and the Judicia­ry, and Retributive Acts and Works of God. But the purposes of God, as menti­oned in the Distinction, were more pro­perly such, as respect, or concern his Dis­pensations [Page 144]of the knowledge of that Ob­ject, or Truth of God to Men, and h [...] dealings with them, in order to their knowledge and Faith of it, that they might be Saved thereby; and so respect his Distributive Acts, as distinguished from Retributive: and such Distributions too, as pertains to Mens Knowledge of, and Faith in God; which are more clearly distinct from the Faith, Truth, or Doctrine; the Knowledge and Faith whereof, is to be, and is distributed. Though our know­ledge of those purposes too, is to be or­dered, or had, by what is said of them in the Scriptures; (which also declare the Gospel-Doctrine; and by the Gospel-Doctrine it self so as no apprehension of them that clashes with that, can be right. Now those purposes, are more primarily, and properly irrespective, and absolute, in regard of any previous dispositions found, eyed, or considered in the persons, to whom such Dispensations are, or were purposed, except of Sin, or misery, and helplesness; rendring such Dispensations needful to them, in order to their Know­ledge, Faith, Conversion, or usefulness to other Men, except in some cases, when God gives, or dispenses more to them that have, by way of use, or improvement of what was first, and before dispensed, meerly out of Mercy, and irrespectively to any such goodness found in them; and so accordingly purposed to give to such havers, or improvers of Fore-given [Page 145]Talents, according to that. Matth. 13.12. To him that hath shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: and except in other contrary cases when God takes away former Dis­pensations, or with-holds further Dispen­sations: and so purposed to take away, and with-hold in consideration of Neg­lect, to receive, or improve former Dis­pensations according to that; From him that hath not shall be taken away, even what he hath: as God purposed in fore-sight of the Jews, not receiving the Gospel, to take away the Gospel from them. Yea, Matth. 21.43. and what Mercies and Dispensations they in­joyed before the fuller coming forth of the Gospel to them. Rom. 1.21, 28. with 2.4, 5. Act. 14.17. And purposed to give up the Gentiles; for not likeing to retain God in their Knowledge, to a mind void of Judgment, or to walk in their own ways, though yet not without mixture of Mercies, bearing Witness of Himself, his Being, Power, and Goodness; provoking them to grope after Him, and leading them to Repentance, during the day of his Patience, and purposed to send strong delusions amongst Men that had his Gos­pel amongst them, 2 Thess. 2.10, 11, 12. but received not the love of it, that they might be Saved. These purposes for dispensing to men his means of grace, and grace with the means; or with­holding his Dispensations from them, were indeed respective too; being con­cerning Dispensations of a Retributive or rewarding nature. Otherwise, his purposes of first preventing men with his [Page 146]grace, or the means of it, are irrespective as to any good found in them, or evil rewarded, or punished by him; and there­fore are meerly according to his good plea­sure, both as to the manner and measure of his Dispensations. And so are his pur­poses for dispensing and distributing to men grace, or means of grace; together with, and during the time of his Retri­buting Judgments and Punishments for their neglects and abuses of former means and mercies: he usually dispensing (and so surely he purposed to dispense) much mixture of grace and goodness leading to Repentance, Eph. 1.9, 11. even with his Judgments, and with-holdings of some higher Dispensa­tions from them, while he is yet in Mea­sure debating with men, and waiting to be gracious to them. And his purposes concerning these Dispensations, both in the one consideration, and the other, are very different. To some he purposing more and more choise Dispensations; and to some, less and less choise: To some a lon­ger, and to some a shorter time of wait­ing upon them, for their turning to him; with respect to the former of which it is, That the Apostle (as I understand) speaks of some, sometimes as Elect, and chosen Persons, above others; namely, as to God's making choise to dispense more special means and mercies to them, Rom. 9.10, 12, 16. &c. both for their own and others good: and others not so neglected but passed by, as to such an Election, and that meerly according [Page 147]to the good pleasure of his Will without respect to Birth or Works; yea, or of good or evil found or foreseen in them; as also that He hath mercy on whom he will have Mercy, and whom he will he hardens, as to his continuing his gracious Dispensations to them, and Operations in them, and with them after they have sin­ned against former Dispensations, and de­served Wrath from him▪ So we may say, He did graciously purpose to prefer Isaac before Ishmael, as to his Dispensa­tions of choise Priviledges to him for his own and others good; in chusing to have his Son take Flesh of him, and betrusting his choise Oracles with him, and his Seed. And of his Seed he freely purposed to dis­pense more favour and priviledge to Ja­cob, than to Esau, without respect to Good or Evil in them: but according to his free Election of Jacob to be He of whom Christ should come, and so to be exalted to more Honour, Exod. 19.5. Deut. 4.20, 37. & 7.6, 7, 8. & 14.1, 2. Rom. 3.1. & 9.3, 4, 5. Jer. 3.1. Luk. 1.13, 14, 15. He and his Seed with respect to Christ to come of them, that they should be to him a peculiar People betrusted with his Oracles and Ordinan­ces, and so to be as a Kingdom of Priests, to, and amongst all the Nations about them. Yea, to be betrusted with the Blessing of Abraham, that concerned all the Na­tions and Families of the Earth. Thus God fore-knew, and sanctifyed Jeremy in the Womb, and ordained him to be a Prophet to the Nations; and John the Baptist; and its probable that Paul signi­fies [Page 148]the same of himself, in saying, That God seperated him from his Mothers Womb, Gall. 1.15. God in Christ as Lord and Governour of his Creatures ha­ving that Power and Priviledge to appoint and Design them, some to more honou­rable uses, and imployments, and others to less honourable or dishonourable Ser­vices as pleases him, without any other reason, but because so it seems good to his Wisdom. Isa. 45.9, 10. Even as the Potter hath power over the clay, (as the Apostle says, Rom. 9.21.) of the same, to make one a vessel of dishonour, and another a vessel of honour, though this he doth in, and through Christ; and in subordination to his Great Design by Christ, of Glorifying himself to, and amongst men, and prosecuting their good and Salvation. Even as a Lord or Master of a great houshold, who purposes one to Office of Honour, near himself, and another to be in a lower Rank, a Scullion, or Stable-Groom, and yet designs the publick welfare of them all, and reserves to himself a liberty of advancing the lowest higher, as he shall judge fit; or of putting down the high­est lower, Rom. 9.15. 2 Tim. 2.19, 20, 21. as he may find him demeaning himself unworthily in his greater honour: for this is to be minded, That though God's purposes of dispensing his Grace and favour to men, as to his honouring some above others, is altogether free, and may be irrespective to good, or evil in them; yet neither is that Honour and Ex­cellency, [Page 149]to which he chuses them in his purpose, (and according to his choise of them, to which he purposes to call them, and dispense to them;) for themselves alone, but for the Publick good and be­hoof of others, from amongst whom he chuses them, and that are not so chosen by him. As Israel freely chosen from other Nations, and so, as no other Nati­on was chosen, and in due time called to be honoured with the Blessings of God that pertained not to him alone, but to all Nations, also even those not so chosen: both Christ who was to come of him, and the Oracles concerning him, being not sent, nor speaking good concerning them onely, but for, and to all Men: thence that Prayer, God be Merciful to us, Psal. 67.1, 2, 3, 4.and bless us, and cause thy face to shine upon us, that thy way may be known upon earth, and thy saving health unto all Nations. Let the people praise thee, O God, yea, let all the people praise thee; O let the Na­tions be glad and sing for joy, &c. Even as Josiah singled out from the rest, to Ex­ecute Judgment on the Idolaters: And Cyrus to restore Israel: And John Baptist, and Jeremy, and Paul, to Preach the Truth of God to others, were not singled out for some private Personal good to them­selves onely, but for the Publick good and benefit of all others; amongst whom, and for whom, they were so singled out. Such purposes for Dispensation, and so the Dis­pensations according to those purposes be­ing [Page 150]not to prejudice, but to promote the Publick good of Persons, Isa. 49.7, 8. Luk. 2.30, 31. not so chosen as they; even as Christ was chosen, out of, and from all other men, so as none but He was chosen; yet not for the prejudice, but for the good of all other Men, so a [...] they might have good by him, did they not willingly refuse, and put it from them. Nor was the good and honour purposed to them, [as to Israel, Jeremy, John the Baptist, &c.] purposed to be so dispensed to them and estated on them, as that they be Personally thereby necessitated to Eternal Life; or to such use of them, as that they might not possibly forfeit them by abusing them: but God left himself at liberty, to reject even those so purposed to honour, they dishonouring him, and wax­ing wanton against him; and exalt to honour those purposed to dishonourable stations, they therein submitting to him, or otherwise as he pleased, to assay to bring them to submission to him, by shewing them more Mercy; as Jeremy fore-known, and Ordained to be a Pro­phet, held that honour upon termes of Obedience, and Faithfulness to God; to which also God prevented him, and afforded him sufficient Grace and Incou­ragement; Jer. 1.5, 17. & 15.19, 20. otherwise, he might be con­founded before the People, and rejected of God; as for some time, it seems, he was in way to have been. And Paul understood the same concerning himself, that though a chosen Vessel to carry the [Page 151]name of Christ amongst the Gentiles, yet unless faithful to God and Christ there­in, woe to him, God would reject him; as he implys, 1 Cor. 9.16.27. proving the righteousness of his Apprehension therein from God's dealing, with the Fathers ho­noured by him; and yet with many of them abusing God's goodness: God not well pleased, but they were destroyed from before him. 1 Cor. 10.1,—12. Accor­ding to that in Exod. 32.33. Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my Book. And that general Assersion to Israel, Ezod. 19.5, 6. If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my Covenant &c. ye shall be a peculiar treasure to me, a Kingdom of Priests, an holy Nation, &c. And that in Deut. 7.6, 12, 13. and 8. 19, 20. The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people to himself, &c. there­fore thou shalt keep the Commandments, and the Statutes; and if ye harken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, the Lord thy God shall keep with thee the Covenant and the mercy he sware to thy Fathers; and he will love thee, and bless thee, &c. but if thou at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other Gods, &c. I testifie against you this day, that ye shall surely perish, as the Nations which the Lord destroyed before your face, &c. And so we find Israel Re­belling against God and Christ, and nor submitting to him (not seeking righteous­ness by faith) after much striving of God with them, and long-suffering toward [Page 152]them cast off from being his People, Rom. 11.20, 21, 22. Matth. 21.41, 42, 43, 44. as to the body of them: the Kingdom ta­ken from them and given to the Nations that were Vessels of dishonour compa­ratively to them. The vessels of disho­nour being made vessels of Mercy; and the vessels of Honour, vessels of Wrath. Such the Soveraignty of God, over both the Honoured, and Dishonoured; not­withstanding his purposes of honouring the one above the other, and dispensing that Honour freely to them according to his purpose: onely in this, the purpose of God toward them, (the Jews) seems Absolute, Rom. 11.25, 28, 29. Jer. 30.11. & 33.25, 26. & 46.27, 28. and not to be Repented off; that a remnant of them shall be reserved in all Ages from Perishing from off the Earth, by any, or all the Judgments that shall befall them; who also, shall at length see, and be convinced of their Evil way, and return to God again: though that, and the Promise to David, of a perpetual Seed, may be accomplish'd in Christ, the Seed of Jacob and David, after the Flesh; and a Seed, or Church to be always, through the grace of God reserved to him: which yet may, and will be, through this, or that particular person, abusing the grace and honour he is chosen to, may be re­jected, and hardened by him; and that also for the Publick good, and warning of others; not to presume to Sin against God, because of any such Honour chosen to; even as his more Exemplary mixing of Mercies with his Judgments, having [Page 153]Mercy on whom he pleases, Act. 9.3, 4, 5, 6. with Gall. 1.16, 17. and Act. 26.19. when he might harden, and destroy them: as on Paul, when he Judged him, and smote him down upon the Earth, and might have destroyed him; yet humbling him­self in that Judgment, and being not Dis­obedient to the Heavenly Vision, he shew­ed such Mercy, as not onely to forgive, and spare him, but upon his Submission, to take him into special Favour and Honour, that he might be a Pattern of his Mer­cy, and Long-suffering, and readiness to Save Sinners, in submitting to him; and so might be an Incouragement to others, As [...] Act. 22.16. is, Why tarryest, or delayest thou? to Believe, that do ( [...].) de­lay to Believe on him, 1 Tim. 1.15, 16. Such Dispensations of Mercy are for the Publick Good, and incurragement of all others to betake themselves to Christ, in whom there is such Mercy. But I have spoken to these things before, Part. 1. Chap. 1. Sect. 3. And am fallen upon God's Dispensations; to which it remains, that I nextly speak.


Of God's Dispensations of the know­ledge of himself and of his Truth to Men.

The Preface.

HItherto we have considered of the Pur­poses of God; touching which, it is safer I conceive thus to understand, and speak with sobriety, as I hope I have done, then to climb Metaphorically into the nature of God's Willing, Knowing, and Purposeing so, as to Clash with his Declarations of himself, and Pervert the Truth of his Heavenly Doctrine, to Mens Destruction; making them believe, That what ever God says, yet he hath purposed Mens Sin and Misery, so, and up­on such termes, as they could not possibly avoid them: And that they were never their own Mercies that they miss, and deprive them­selves of; never had any thing afforded to them, conducing to their Peace, &c.

But now let us come to view the Dis­pensations of God to Men, as briefly as we may; not to speak of all his Dispensations, which are various, yea innumerable, not possibly to be comprehended, or conceived by us; though all according to his good plea­sure in Christ Jesus, and none of them clash­ing with the Truth of his Doctrine, but onely [Page 155]of the Dispesations of the Knowledge of Himself, his Truth and Doctrine to men; and so such means and mercies as tend to their Repentance and Salvation, as conside­red in some general heads of them.

SECT. 1.

Of the Means or Mediums made use of by God, and vouchsafed to men for making known his truth to them, and leading them to Repentance.

GOd vouchsafeth unto men divers Me­diums of dispensing or holding forth the knowledge of himself, and truth in Christ to them; Joh. 1.18. Exod. 33.20. who is not to be known immediately, or by any direct sight of his essence and being, by us mor­tals; but by some Mediums declaring him to us: and those are of two kinds general­ly; by one, or both of which he hath always declared his Being and Mind to men, viz.

1. By his works of Creation and Pro­vidence upheld by Christ, Psal. 75.1, 2, 3. and ordered through him for, and about sinners since the fall; which though they speak not distinctly and audibly who this God is, or that Jesus is the Christ, or that there hath been such a sacrifice offered up for us, as the Scriptures mention; yet they do in the wisdom of God, more confusedly, Psal. 19.2, 3, 4. & 145, 10. but always truly and righteously (though by reason of our great ignorance and dark­ness, less intelligibly to us) hold forth the substance of the doctrine to be belie­ved [Page 156]by us, 1 Cor. 1.21. Job. 1.4, 5. Psal. 19.1. Rom. 1.19, 20, 21. Job 5.8, 9. Act. 14.15, 17. & 17.26, 27. Rom. 1.32. & 2.4, 5, 14. Psal. 36.7. & 145.9, 16, 17, 18. and of the obedience re­quired of us: namely, that there is a glo­rious God, the Maker and Orderer of all things, and that he is Eternal, Almigh­ty, Infinitely Wise, Good, &c. That he is to be sought after, loved, worship­ped and cleaved to by us; that we are sin­ners against him and deserve death and wrath, and yet that God is Gracious and Good to sinners, loath to destroy them: in a word, that God is, and that he is the rewarder of them that seek him out, or diligently seek him; the Saviour of all men, especially of them that believe in him. And to this the Scriptures bear witness, telling us, that therein (even in the works of God) God and his truth are held forth to men, to their very Hearts and Consciences, even that which is to be known of God, his Being, Power, Eternity, Goodness, so as leading to re­pentance, and to glorifie him as God, and be thankful to him, feel after him; yea, and so as affording argument and motive to trust in him in our miseries and dangers, as may be seen, Rom. 1.18, 19, 20, 21, 28. & 2.4, 5. Job 5.7, 8, 9. So that even they that have but them, and what God by his Spirit is manifesting in men through them, if they be not led to repentance by them, and if they do not glo­rifie him as God and become thankful to him, are without excuse; which glori­fying him as God must needs be to have such honourable apprehensions of him, [Page 157]and affections towards him as become him, according to the measure of the manifestation afforded by him: [...]. and their being without excuse, must needs with reference to that signifie, that they can plead no just excuse for their not so think­ing of him and affecting him, and so de­meaning themselves towards him, as be­comes the Majesty and Goodness of God; they cannot plead ignorance, or want of sufficient power and grace afforded to have led them thereunto: the things of God being not only outwardly set before them in his Works, but also so shined into them, as that ( [...]) being considered or minded, they may be evidently seen. 'Tis true, they do not distinct­ly discover Christ as made man, and suf­fering, and dying for us; but that glory, goodness and mercy of God, which by means of Christ is streamed forth more generally to men, is in great measure manifested in them. Joh. 1.1, 2, 3. Col. 1.16, 17. Heb. 1.3. And the God they witness and lead to is Christ, and God in him; inasmuch as it is Christ and the Father in, and by Christ who was the Creator, Upholder, and Orderer of them; the heavens declare the glory of God (his Greatness, Power, Majesty and Good­ness, &c.) and the Firmament sheweth his handy work, who made them; day to day teacheth knowledge, and night to night uttereth Speech, Psal. 19.1, 2. yea they declare that his name is near (so as it may in some measure be seen, known, [Page 158]and understood of men,) Psal. 75. [...] All his Works praise, commend, and set him forth, even him who is God o [...] Saviour, God in Jesus Christ, in, by and through whom he only ordere [...] and disposeth of them, Psal. 145.1 [...] Now concerning this way of eviden­cing himself and truth, let these thing [...] further be minded.

1. That this is an universal Medium of manifesting himself and truth to men; both in respect of times and places, in all ages, and to all People and Nations he affordeth this discovery of himself, as Psal. 19.3. there is no Speech or Language where their voyce is not heard; their lin [...] is gone out into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world, so as that by these Preachers or Declarers of his Name, to be called upon by men, it is truly said they have all heard, Rom. 10.18. and upon whom doth not his light arise? Job 25.3. in this Medium Christ, the Word, with the Father, even that word that was made flesh, is the true light, lighting every man coming into the world, Joh. 1.9.

2. That it is not good to argue from what men perceive in, and by them to what they speak or hold forth to men, no more than its from a blind or purblind mans sight to the things pre­sented by way of object to him: they speak forth as much of God as any do rightly discern by them, yea, and more. [Page 159]But all that they speak or signifie it to, do not perceive or see what they signifie. Something may, and oft is set before men that they do not see, and often more than they see, who see something: 1 Cor. 1.21. they set forth God, in the wisdom of God, though man in his wisdom discerns, or knows, or approves it not; the light shines in the darkness, Jo [...]. 1.5. though the darkness in which it shines comprehends it not: we may not say there is not so much held forth to all Gods Works, as some wi­ser Philosophers and Poets see, because all did not see so much as they (though pro­bably some see more and better) but ra­ther argue there was so much held forth to all, because some did see so much to be held forth; the difference was in the sight, not in the object; nay we that have more light, see by that light, that they testifie by way of interpretation and intimation of the Ransom and Mediati­on of Christ; and sure they do so, and did so always, and to all since the sall, else the light could not disco­ver that they do so. The Object is the same in it self in the light, and in the dark, in more light and in less, though it is not so seen in the dark, or in a less light as in a greater: yea and the light is one in it self to a quicker and duller sight, though a duller sight see not so well by it as a quicker.

3. That much less are we to confound with the testimony of God in his Works [Page 160](or that his Works give of him) the collections and conceptions of men which they have gathered from his Works in their corrupt wisdom, while lifting up themselves in their thoughts, and boast­ing themselves to be wise, they have be­come fools; and their foolish hearts were darkned in them, Rom. 1.21, 22, 23. as the Apostle speaks plainly, distinguishing between what God manifested by his Works to, and in men, and what they, becoming vain in their imaginations (and much more, when for that vanity they were gi­ven up of God to a reprobate mind) concluded from them, and traditionally laid down for truth concerning him, as about the plurality of Gods, the accepta­bleness of Image-worship to him; things clearly discovered to be false, even by the light of God shining in those Works, as by that Paul reproved them, Act. 17.24, 25, 26, 27. The Philosophers conceived and taught many things from what they see in Gods Works, which yet his Works did not signifie to them; even as many now do collect and gather many things from the words of God perverted by them, and set up forms of faith and wor­ship, which yet were never therein taught by him.

4. That without question God that is no respecter of persons, Act. 10.34. Rom. 2.11. accepts all in eve­ry Nation, who by such means as he af­fords them, sincerely grope after him, and seek him, and therethrough are brought [Page 161]to fear him and work righteousness, up­on the account of, and through Christ the Saviour of the World and Mediator of God and men, even before, and though they attain not a distinct knowledge of him: yea, and for his sake passes by such infirmities and mixtures, as through ig­norance and weakness, and the prevail­ing customs of places not seen by them to be evil, may cleave to them: they that by nature do the things contained in the Law or written Doctrine, their uncir­cumcision shall be counted to them for circumcision, and glory, honour and peace shall be to every one that doth good, not only to the Jew that had Instruction and the Law, but to the Gentile also that was without Law, and had not that In­struction the Jew had, Rom. 2.7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 26, 27, 28, 29. and therefore are said to do it by nature, not as corrupted, but as prevented only with that goodness and truth of God manifested in men by, and through his works, without the writ­ten and vocal Instruction to the Jews su­peradded. And of such as these proba­bly our Saviour meant inclusively, when he said, Many shall come from the East, Matth. 8.12.and from the West, &c. and shall sit down in the Kingdom of God, when the Chil­dren of the Kingdom (born and brought up in Gods Church, and under the na­ture of his Instructions and Ordinances) should be thrust out: for though there can be no salvation but by Christ, yet there may be salvation through him, to [Page 162]them that distinctly hear not of him; [...] in the case of Infants, dying in their [...] ­fancy, may be seen. This then is o [...] Medium of Gods making known the Ob­ject of Divine Faith, or his truth to me [...] in part, with reference to their salva­tion.

2. The other way is by his Word, a [...] distinguished from that silent language of his Works, an express speaking forth, by intelligible and vocal sayings, or visiona­ry representations, to mens Spirits, the truths to be believed by men. And this also he did, and thus dispensed the know­ledge of himself to men divers and sun­dry ways, and at divers and several times, Heb. 1.1, 2. which dispensations, as to the acts of dispensing, both by Works and Words are to be distinquished from the thing or object dispensed, that being but one in it self, these very different and divers; as in this latter way.

1. To some he dispensed the know­ledge of himself and truth in some mea­sure by more immediate revelations of himself, as to Adam in Paradise, Gen. 2.16, E [...]od. 20. 17. & 3.8, 9. and to Moses, and the People at Mount Sinai in the Wilderness, but fully and most immediately to Jesus Christ.

2. To some by Angels ministring the knowledge of God to them, and that ei­ther waking as to Abraham, Gen. 18.1, 2, 3. & 22.11, 15, 16. Jacob, Gen. 32.1, 2. Moses, Exod. 3. Zachary the Fa­ther [Page 163]of the Baptist, Luke 1.9, 10, 11. Ma­ [...]y the Mother of our Lord, vers. 28, 30, and divers others; or in dreams and visi­ons, as to Nathan, Psal. 89.19. Dan. 7. & 8. & 10. Joseph, Matth. 1.20. & 2.12. and divers others.

3. To some by his Spirit more secret­ly, insinuating it self into their hearts with the knowledge of God, as to the Prophets and Apostles more ganerally, 2 Sam. 23.2. Ephes. 3.5.

4. In these last days by the personal ap­pearance, and vocal ministration of Je­sus Christ himself, both to his Disciples, and to the World, Heb. 1.1, 2, 3. & 2, 3.

5. To some he more mediately di­spensed the knowledge of his Truth, by the ministration of those to whom he had more immediately first declared it; and that either,

1. By their vocal preaching of it, as by the preaching of the Prophets and A­postles to the People amongst whom they were sent; 2 Pet. 3.2, 3. Rom. 16.25, 26. Epes. 4.11, 12. and so by the vocal Preach­ing of the Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, though but secondary Ministers of it: a­mongst all which, the Preaching of Jesus Christ our Lord, in his personal mini­stration, may be reckoned as prime and chief; he being both a more or most immediate, and also a mediate Revealer of it in divers respects: Joh. 1.18. most immediate as the Eternal Word, the Son of God, in the Bosom of the Father: mediate as he [Page 164]was also Man, Matth. 4.17. and as the Manhood [...] imployed in the making out the Wi [...] the Father, brought down by the Wo [...]

2. By their Writings the Scriptures [...] Truth, 2 Pet. 1.19, 20, 21. & 3.2, 3. 2 Tim. 3.15, 16, 17. Joh. 5.39. indited by the instinct and direc [...] on of the Holy Ghost, and left upon re­cord, for the instruction and helpfulne [...] of after ages also, and of all people [...] whom they are by providence ordered even such as to, and amongst whom [...] Prophets, Apostles, and the rest of th [...] heavenly Pen-men never vocally Preach­ed. Now this Preaching by Word, [...] ­ther as spoken or written, added to [...] former the works of God, gives a mo [...] distinct sound and signification to p [...] ­dull creatures, and brings the knowledg [...] of God, as to the declaration of it, near [...] to us: yet speaks the same things that [...] Works speak; The Book of Ecclesiastes. both agree to praise an [...] commend God to men, Joh. 1.4, 5, 6, 7 1 Cor. 1.21, 22, 23. Psal. 145.9, 10. an [...] to cry all flesh is grass; and so in debasi [...] of man, and all other things, as to ma [...] happiness, that he may be made to enqui [...] after God, look to, and acquaint himse [...] with him, and imbrace his grace and fa­vation through Christ brought to them But the Revelation by word is (and mu [...] more as added to the former) more fo [...] and significant, and speaks out more a [...] more distinctly what the other did b [...] darkly hint and signifie; and therefor [...] also more is required and expected fro [...] those which have this latter also, tha [...] [Page 165]from those that had, or have the former only.

SECT. 2.

That the Dispensation of the Word or Ora­cles of God, was neither so Ʋniversal as that of his Works, nor to all Ages the same, as to clearness and fulness, but different to divers Ages, and to divers Persons in the same Ages.

QUestionless there hath been no Age of the World, in which God did not reveal his Mind by his Words unto men, Tit. 1.2. from the very Creation and Fall to this day we live in; yea, we may say, there hath scarce been any person (if any) capable of understanding to whom the Word, even Christ, as the Light of the World, hath not by some means, and in some measure of his Light and Truth addrest himself, as is signified, Joh. 1.4, 5, 9. yet we may say, that in many Ages the words of Truth, Psal. 147.19, 20. Act. 14.16, 17. or more express sig­nifications of his Mind by Law and Do­ctrine have not been generally afforded to all men, nor in all Ages alike to any men. It pleased God in that matter (as we have seen in what we said of his pur­poses) to discriminate some people from other, Rom. 3.1, 2. & 9.3, 4, 9 [...] Cant. [...] 16. & [...] 7. [...] and Elect and Chuse some out from amongst the rest, whom he herein preferred in Honour and Dignity above the rest. Some he was pleased to inclose [Page 166]and dress as his Garden from the rest, Isa. 5.1, 2,—6. & 32.15, 16. & 35.1, 2,—6. Act. 14.16, 17. Deut. 32. who comparatively were left as the open F [...]ild; and to make them as his Vine­yard, when the rest were comparatively but like the Wilderness; when he left o­ther People to walk after their own ways (though not without continual witnes­ses of himself vouchsafed them generally in his Works, in which was his goodness leading them to Repentance.) He took Israel as a more choise People, and Porti­on for himself: he made known his ways to Moses, his Acts to the Children of Is­rael, Psal. 103.7. He shewed his Word unto Jacob, his Statutes and his Judge­ments to Israel. He dealt not so with any Nation; and as for his Judgements (Ordinances and Government in his Church) they did not know them; as is said, Psal. 147.19, 20. though yet wis­dom in the mean time, even the Wis­dom of God, ceased not to cry to them without, even to them without the House she had builded, the Church or City of God, and to utter her Voice in the Streets to call men to Repentance, as Prov. 1 20, 21. & 8.1, 2, 3, 4. though in respect of such outward, verbal and written Instru­ctions as the Jews. Had the Gentiles were a People distinguished from them: the Jews a People under Law, or that had the Law, and the Gentiles a People without the Law, Eph. 2.11, 12, 71. Act. 2.38, 39. as Rom. 2.12, 14. yet they were not wholy without Law; they were a Law to themselves. The Jews [Page 167]were a People nearer to God in that re­spect; the Gentiles a People far off, that had not God and his Covenant, and Promises Lodged and Tabernacled a­mongst them, if we may so say, as the Jews had. Eph. 2.19, 20. The Jews were as Gods Hou­should, and houshold Servants to whom he opened his mind more expresly and plainly, Psal. 145.9. & 148.11, 12, 13. when the Gentiles were as Te­nants, dwelling at a distance from him; though he a good gracious Lord to them all, and his tender mercies upon, or over all his Works: but they stood not so hear him, nor had such advantages of hearing his more glorious Discoveries of his mind as the other had. Only as we shewed above, they (the Jews) were not so priviledged, meerly for themselves, but to be means of making known Gods mind to others, Exod. 19.5, 6. Ezek. 5.5, 6, 7, 8. as a Royal Priesthood before him; which because they did not in their Prosperity as they ought, but ra­ther turned aside to the ways of the Hea­then, than endeavoured to turn in the Heathen to him, therefore he dispersed and scattered them and their Books, and Do­ctrine amongst the Heathen. Matth. 10.1, 2. & 21.43, 44. & 28.19, 20, Psal. 72.16. And at length chose out a handful of them, whom he made, and found faithful be­fore him, and ordered them to do that great Work, of making known his Mind among the Nations; taking in his remo­ter Tenants into his House and Houshold, Rom. 11.20, 21, 22. Mat. 8.12. to be a People near to him; and turning his former Houshold Servants and Children, [Page 168]born in his House, out of doors, beca [...] or their pride and stubborness aga [...] him.

Nor did he only take, and use this [...] ­berty in revealing his Words and Judge­ments to one People, and not to other (though to that one, that they might spread the knowledge of God among [...] others, Rom. 16.25, 26. Col. 1.25, 26, 27 Eph. 3.4, 5, 6. Psal. 17, 67.) but also to reveal [...] Words more fully to some persons, and more immediately than to others; yea in some Ages more fully than in others. He more immediate Discoveries of his mind, were not given to all men, no nor to all Israel, nor to all that feared God in Is­rael, as to the immediateness of their Dis­covery; Psal. 25.8, 9, 12, 13, 14. Mat. 13.11, 12. Prov. 22.23. & 2.1, & 2.6. — (though they that fear him have, and had in all Ages an understanding given them into the mysteries of God, and secrets of his Kingdom, above any that fear him, not as to the manner, ef­ficatiousness, and usefulness of their per­ception) but to some certain select per­sons from amongst those that feared him, whom he was pleased at his pleasure to make use of, for the meadiate revealing, and making him known to the rest, both fearers and not fearers of God as was meet for them. As to Enoch and No­ah before the Flood, in the separation of the family of Seth from the rest; after­ward to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and the following Prophets and Apostles, and above all, to his only Son our Lord Jesus Christ; who immediately in the [Page 169]Manhood received the knowledge of God from the Word, or God himself, and diffused it abroad into his Apostles and Disciples, to divulge it to others. Now as we may not from that election of them (with respect to whom, and the committing of the faith to them, it is called the faith of Gods Elect, Tit. 1.1.) conclude that all others of Israel were re­jected of God, or left without sufficient means of Salvation, because not so Ele­cted of God to that honour of so imme­diate Revelation as they: no more may we conclude from Gods Electing Jacob and his Posterity to have the more full means of Grace, and clearer knowledge of God manifested and committed to them, and not so chusing the other Na­tions; but passing them by as to that, Rom. 2.7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 25, 26, 27. that therefore the other Nations were rejected of God from any possibility to, and left without sufficient means of their Salvati­on. This liberty and exercise of the So­verainty of God in honouring some above others, and that with reference too, to the good of others, nothing prejudiceth the good of all, but rather proclaims God the prosecutor and promoter of it, though such vouchsafements of choise pri­viledges, were choise favours to those, they were vouchsafed to, and put the greater ingagements of thankfulness and service to God upon them. The like may be said about his different Dispensa­tions in, and unto former Ages, hiding [Page 170]comparatively from them, what he was pleased to reserve for, and reveal to, and in these last Ages, as is said, Rom. 16.25, 26. Col. 1.26. Ephes. 3.5. viz. that his hiding the mistery from those forme [...] Ages, doth not imply his rejection of them to destruction, it being but a com­parative hiding thereof: it was not so made known then as now, says Ephes. 3.5. For as we said in the beginning of this Section, it was made known more or less in every Age of the World, as to the substance of it, as holding forth the way of mans salvation, as may be made evi­dent by Induction.

1. In the Ages before the Flood.

2. And from the Flood to Moses. And

3. From Moses to David.

4. From David to the Captivity of Is­rael.

5. From Israel's Captivity to the com­ing of Christ in the Flesh, and so on.

6. From thence to these times. In which too, this will be evidenced, that all the said Revelations of God, as to the way of mens salvation, have either expresly; or implyedly spoken of Christ, and of his appearance in the Flesh, as may be seen in the following Sections of that Induction.

SECT. 3.

Of the Dispensation of the knowledge of God and Christ, by his words in Paradise, and from thence to the Flood.

NO sooner had our First Parents, Tempted of the Serpent, Fallen from God, and was Convicted thereof by the Voice of God; but God in the greatness of his Mercy in threatning De­struction to the Serpent, and his Works Preached Grace and Redemption to Man­kind, and intimately made Promise of a Saviour to us; in that expression, Gen. 3.15. I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between her seed, and thy seed. He (that is her Seed) shall bruise thy Head, and thou shalt bruise his Heel. Indeed, these Expressions were somewhat Mysti­cal; yet contained, in a manner, Isa. 7.9. & 9.15. the whole Gospel: for, surely by the Serpent, was primely signifyed, That old Serpent the Devil, and Satan, Rev. 20.1, 2. And by his Head, his Plot, Device, and Project; and the Principallity, and Power, he there­by got over Mankind. His Plot was, to separate between us and God, to our ut­ter ruine, by inticeing us to Sin against him, whom he knew to be so perfect a hater of Sin; and to have so solemnly threatned Death to Man, in case of his sinning, as that he might rationally expect, that in case he would draw him to Sin, his Ru­ine [Page 172]would inevitably follow thereupon▪ and that being cast off by God, He should be left to his (the Serpent) Power and Malice, to do what He pleas'd with him. The bruising of his Head, Heb. 2.14. Coll. 2.16. Luk. 11.22. 2 Tim. 1.10. Luk. 1.74, 75. 1 Pet. 3.18. then could signifie no less, then the spoiling of his Plot, and devesting him of his Power, by destroying his Works, and abolishing their Fruit; taking away his Armour, Sin, and the sentence, and curse of the Law upon Man for Sin; and so evacuating Death, the Wages of Sin, and setting Man at liberty from Satan, so as he may return to God again: all which, God intimate­ly promised, should be done; not imme­diately by himself, for he said, I will break thy head: no, God would have Satan know he disdained to match himself with him, as it were, in the Combat; he would do it by a Man, one in that nature, that he had got Victory over, and which was spoiled by him; even a Seed to be born to, and to come forth of the Woman. And so he signifyed, both that Man should be Ransomed from that his Fall, and from the jurisdiction of the Serpent the Devil, thereby obtained: And that the Saviour should be a Man; nor Adam himself, nor Eve, but one to descend from them, the Seed of the Woman; with respect to which, Adam hearing, and believing it, called his Wife by a new Name; for whereas before he called her Ishah a Wo­man, Gen. 2.23. with 3.20. or Manness, because one with, and taken out of Man; now he calls her Cha­vah, [Page 173]or Evah; because by this gracious ap­pointment of God, she was made the Mo­ther of all Living; the bringer forth of a Seed remotely, that should remedy dead, and destroyed Man: and remove the Curse come upon the Creation by Man's Sin, and so bring in Life and Immortality to Man? but for which, She might ra­ther have been called, the Mother of all Dying. This Promise God was pleased to put, as a Foundation sure and firm, Isa. 28.16. under Man's Feet, to support, and bear him up in all his following Griefs and Sorrows, Labours and Turmoyles, even to Death, that now were to come upon him, be­cause of his Sin, that he might not despair, and sink under them. And this before God proceeded to denounce any of those things upon him, or to take away Para­dise, and the Tree of Life from him: that so yet the Woman might thence­forth conceive, and bear in hope; And the Man labour, and eat his Bread, though in the sweat of his brows, yet in Hope; and both Man and Woman both live and dye in Hope, even in the hope of Eternal Life, through this Faith of the Promised Seed, or Messiah; which is the Faith that the Just have had, to live by, and to dye in, in all Ages: So much was implyedly Revealed then to Man, even to all Man­kind then Being. Yea sure, and God fur­ther implyed, That that Seed should be one with himself; and so, God-man: when he after added ver. 22. Behold Man [Page 174]is become as one of us, to know good and evil not by way of Irony or Derision, but by way of Prediction, with respect to his former appointment, That Man's Na­ture should be in the Promised Seed, as one of the Persons in the Trinity, taken up into Unity with God, and to his glo­ry and throne of Dignity; to have in­deed a knowledge of Good and Evil, such as the Devil little thought of: not such as Adam got by Sin, to know the difference between his former good, and his present bad Condition; but both an Experimental Knowledge of the Depth of Man's Misery, to be born by him; and of the height of Good, in the injoyment of God's Glory, to be injoyed of him: and such a knowledg of them, as is with, and is given forth by the Divine Majesty: as also thereby may be implyed, his Pow­er and Authority over Men, in the Person of Christ, to Save, and enliven Fallen Man, and to help him against Satan, and all adverse Power, being as one of the Persons in the Trinity, Isa. 11.2, 3. & 42.1. the Spirit of Might, Counsel, Judgment upon him, &c. Thence also God took away that Tree of Life, that might have preserved him Immor­tal in his Fall, that he might be forced to look to the Promised Seed, and live by the Faith of him, in a Mortal Dying condition. By the Faith of whom Preach­ed, and held forth doubtless by Adam and Eve, to their Posterity, as they came into the world. Abel afterwards offer'd up to God [Page 175]a more acceptable Sacrifice, than Cain. Heb. 11.4. with Gen. 4.4. Yea, doubtless the very Law, and practise of Sacrificing mentioned all along after the Fall, and propagated to all Nations, and places of the world, had its rise and spring from the Promise of Christ; and was an outward Testimony, of their ac­knowledging themselves Sinners; and that they needed by some Ransome, or shedding of Blood to have Attonement made for them; and that there-through onely they might have access to, and liber­ty to Worship God: though all that offer­ed understood not, or believed so much. and that seems rather the meaning of their Bloody Sacrifices, such as Abel brought then, of such dry ones as Cain Offered. Cain by his Offering, seemed onely to acknowledge God, Lord of the World, the giver of the Creatures to Men, and not to think there would be a Sacri­fice propitiatory needful to take away Mens Sins, which Abels Bloody Sacrifice, or Sacrifice of Living Creatures, seemed to have signified his Faith of, by vertue of which, his Sacrifice was respected, and accepted; when as Cain coming in him­self, Gen. 4.7. without such respect to Faith in the Mediator, was not accepted; though to him God declared himself gracious, ready to Pardon, and accept him too, upon his Repentance, and doing better. If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? (namely with God, who is no respecter of persons) and if thou dost ill, Sin (or as [Page 176]some read, or understand, is a Sin-offering lyeth at the door; Gen. 4.10, 11, 12, 14. (through which, name­ly, thou mayst obtain pardon, and grace to do better: but Cain persisting in his Sin, and adding Murder to his Envy, was ba­nished from the presence of the Lord surely, from the society and fellowship of those, who walked with God, and unto whom God was shewing forth his Face, and gracious Presence; implying that to men then, and to the rest of men, besides Cain, God was manifesting his kindness and Truth; and Revealing himself gra­ciously to, Ver. 26. and amongst them. Yea, and after that, when Enos was born to Seth, its said, Then began men to call upon the Name of the Lord. Which may imply, that then they began to gather together to more publick and solemn Worshiping of him, according to the Revelation of himself to, and amongst them, signified by his Name. Some render it, Then be­gan the Name of the Lord to be Propha­ned by Men: and if so, then it signifies, That men did not generally turn aside from the Name of God. Though Cain had walked unworthily of it, to Idolatries, and Prophaness till Enos was born; which was in the Year of the World, Two hun­dred thirty five; as appears, Gen. 5.3, 6. Nor did their so doing then, (if then) hin­der, but that God was vouchsafing the knowledge of his Name to them: nay, else they could not have Prophaned it, (as not called upon it) if they had had [Page 177]to knowledge of it vouchsafed of God to them: but it's clear, without exception, That God did Dispense the Knowledge of Himself, and goodness to them: all those Ages before the Flood, however ma­ny then, (as now, also many do,) did not receive it, or walk therein. For though I am not convinced, that all those Patriarks from Adam to Noah, mentioned Gen. 5. were Prophets, and Teachers, as some probably conceive, and as may possi­bly have been true; yet its clear, Gen. 5.21, 22, 24. that Enoch that lived many Years before Adam dyed, was a Holy Man, and a Prophet; for we find, not onely that he walked with God, but also, That he Prophecyed of the Coming of Christ in the last Judgment, Jude 14. Enoch, the Seventh from Adam, Prohecyed of these Sayings, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his Saints, &c. And Enoch lived above an Hundred years after Lamech's Birth, who seems to have been an Holy Man, and a Prophet, and to have lived in the Faith of the Messi­ah, or Promised Seed; as appears in the reason he gave of his calling his Son Noah, Gen. 5.29. Saying, This shall comfort us concerning our work, and the toyl of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord had cursed. Which, though some conceive he spake by way of mistake, as being over-hasty in expecting the Messiah, or in Calculating the time of its perfor­mance, hoping Noah was the Man, (as many good Men have been mistaken in [Page 178]their over-short Calculating the time of Christs Second Appearing.) Yet I rather think, he spake it by way of Prophecy, as fore-knowing, that in his (Noahs) Loyns that Comforter of Mankind, concerning their works and toyl, lay as it were hid and that of him he was to descend and spring forth in his Season. Which No­ah also was a Preacher of Righteousnes both before, and after the Flood; and ceased not to Testifie against the World and its Wickedness; and to Reprove, and Condemn it, both by his Preaching, and upright Living: And though it's true. That in his time the whole Earth had cor­rupted its way before God to the pro­voking him to sweep them all away with a Deluge: Gen. 6.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,—11, 12, 13. yet both then its evident, there were Sons of God amongst them, holding forth, and professing the Name of God; (though by turning aside, to Ido­latrous Daughters, they also corrupted themselves by degrees;) and also, that even in the worst of the Worlds Apo­stacy; both Noah Preached to them; and God, and Christ by his Spirit, Preached to their Spirits, and strove in, and with them, Reproving and Judging them and God was waiting for them, with much long-suffering all the time that the Ark was preparing, Gen. 6.3. 1 Pet. 3.19. Luk. 17.26, 27. Heb. 11.7. even till the day that Noah entred into it, and the Flood came upon them: which Ark also, was a sig­nification and Type of Christ; and while Noah was preparing it, he was according [Page 179]to the manifestation of Christ then vouch­safed, preaching Christ too, and as well entring into him by Faith, and bringing his Family what he could in to him, as entring and bringing them bodily into the Ark: But the World rejected them both together till the Floud came, and then it was too late to seck help in either, when the Decree brought forth, and the De­struction came upon them. Thus to those first Ages was God dealing with, and di­spensing the knowledge of himself and his Truth to the World, which Ages con­tained the space of 1656 years.

SECT. 4.

Of the Ages after the Floud till Moses.

AFter the Floud Noah lived as a Pro­phet to, Gen. 9.29. and among his Children by the space of three hundred and fifty years, even untill within two years of the birth of Abraham; and Shem his Son lived a­mong them five hundred years, till Isaac was fifty years of age; and both he and Japheth appear to have been good men, as might also Arphaxad, Salah, Gen. 10.25.Eber and the rest of them. It appears that Eber was a Prophet by the name he gave his Son Peleg, signifying Division, because in his dayes the Earth was divided; and he lived nine and twenty years after Shem, even till Isaac was seventy and nine years old, and by consequence till Jacob [Page 180]and Esau was nineteen. True it is that in those times, notwithstanding these good Men living then in that little World, men quickly degenerated again. And sometime within the space of three hun­dred years or less (possibly two hundred) in Peleg's days they forgetting God and his Judgments and Mercies both, fell to build a Tower to get themselves a Name, and probably to secure themselves against an after Deluge, not believing the word of God, nor walking perfectly with him. Yea, Josh. 24.1, 2. and before Abraham's removing out of Haran (if not before he came into it) Superstition and Idolatry began to over­spread the Earth, so as that Terah Abra­ham's Father was not free from it; though both Noah and Shem (and divers other good Men it's likely) were then living but that is to be attributed to Mens cor­rupting themselves. God nevertheless was dispensing the knowledge of his word to, and amongst them; but more fully yea more fully than to the Holy men in former Ages was he pleased to dispense and give it forth to Abraham, with Isaac and Jacob and their Children. Abraham he called and chose and brought out [...] Ʋr of the Chaldees, and made known him self more familiarly and clearly to him by way of Covenant with him, finding his heart faithfull, Gen. 12.3. & 18.18. & 22.18. & 26.4. & 28.14. Gal. 3.8, 9. as Neh. 9.7, 8. with Gen. 12.1. Heb. 11.8. To him he revealed. That of him should the promised Seed be, and so to Isaac and Jacob after him [Page 181]and that in that Seed all the Families of the Earth should be blessed; there blessing should be prepared for them, and given unto them; with respect to which he called his name Abraham, as ordaining him a Father of the many Nations, that they might be directed thither to look for blessing. To him therefore Melchise­deck also the Priest of the most High God, and King of Salem, Gen. 14.19, 20. gave a most solemn blessing after his return from the slaughter of the Kings, Rom. 4.11, 12. by which his name was made famous doubtless in all those Nati­ons. To him God gave the word of Faith, even the promise of blessing in his Seed to all the Families of the Earth, to propagate a Spiritual Seed to God by, of whom Abraham Ministerially should be the Father; and added to it the sign of Circumcision, a Seal of the Righteousness of the Faith which he had (both as it sig­nifies a gracious believing, and as it sig­nifies the Word and Doctrine to be held forth to his Children and Servants, and in the World as he had opportunity) be­fore he was Circumcised, for the Sealing unto men the truth of that Faith that was given to him and held forth by him; that therein they that received it might be justified and accepted of God as righte­ous, even they that believed God's Re­velation to him of blessing in his Seed to all the Nations, and there sought it: Which blessing what could it signifie, but that in, and by his Seed sin should be sa­tisfied [Page 182]for and taken away, Rom. 4.6, 7. 2 Cor. 5.19, 20. and the Curse and Death removed, and that access to God and Grace, and a fvour with God might through him be had, even by them all; which same blessing and promise was also given to Isaac and Jacob, as may be seen in the Scriptures fore quoted; yea to them all also was given further the pro­mise of another Inheritance, an Heaven­ly Countrey, figured too by the promise of the Land of Canaan, which they be­lieved and hoped for, and sought after, and plainly declared their Faith and ex­pectation of, Heb. 11.9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16. Something sure was in this beyond what the former Fathers had revealed to them, by vertue of which he obtained the honour of being called the Friend of God, and the Father of all that believe. 2 Chron. 20.7. Jam. 2.21, 23. Rom. 4.16. Gen. 49.10. To and by Jacob also was yet further revealed that the promised Seed should be of his son Judah, whom also he calls the Shiloh or Peace-maker, as implying his work should be to make peace between God and Men, and between Men and Men, for unto him should be the gathering of the People or their obedience; yea and this famous hint was further given him of the time of Christ's coming, that it should be before the Scepter or Tribe should depart from Judah, and a Law­giver should cease from between his feet; that is, they should be continued a Tribe, and have the form of a Commonwealth and Government amongst them (though [Page 183]for sometime interrupted as to the power with them, yet not taken or removed wholly from them) till Shiloh should come or be born to him. Now this ma­nifestation of God, and of the knowledge of himself and Son vouchsafed to those Patriarchs they transmitted to their Chil­dren, and it was kept by, and with them in Egypt till the time of their delivery; Heb. 11.25, 26. thence by Joseph and his Brethren during their lives, and after that by the Fathers that succeeded them, though the gene­rality of them declined from walking with God perfectly, and defiled them­selves with the Idols of the Egyptians (e­ven as the Children of Ishmael, Abraham's Son by Hagar, and his Sons by Keturah; and Esau and his posterity too, to whom yet their Fathers Abraham and Isaac were not wanting to transmit the knowledge of God they had received from him too, generally had done.) And yet we may not think that because those Worthies onely had the honour and priviledge to be chosen to have such further dispensa­tions of the Mystery of God opened to them, and be trusted with them, and no others so as they; that therefore there were no other holy Men in those times but they, or no knowledge of God and means of Salvation afforded to other Na­tions. For beside what we have said Sect. 1. it is evident as we noted above, that Shem, and Arphaxad, and Heber were living a good part of those times; yea, and there was Lot too, and Melchi­sedech [Page 184](if a man) in the days of Abraham and Lot is called a Righteous man; 2 Pet. 2.7, 8. yea evident it is that amongst the Children of the East there were Job and his Friends good men, Job. 1.1, 5, 8. & 17.8, 9. yea, Job highly commended as not inferiour to any for the fear of God and uprightness of his heart, and they spoke of Righteous and Innocent men in their discourses, as supposing there were such then to be found amongst them, and they are probably conceived to have lived about the time of Israel's sojourning in * Colligimus ex libro ejus tertia generatione po­steriorem fuisse (Jobum) quam Israel Aug. de Civit. Dei lib. 18. cap. 47. Egypt. And at the time of Israels deli­verance out of Egypt, God did marvellous­ly make bare his Arm amongst the Na [...] ­ons, that they might know and seek him, especially to Israel by the hand of Moses and Aaron. Now the Ages spoken to in this Section contain at least eight or nine hundred years; according to Bishop Ʋsher, eight hundred fifty seven, beginning the 430 years which it is said the sojour­ning of the Children of Israel in the Land of Egypt continued, from Abra­ham's coming out of his own Countrey into the Land, and so from his, and his Seeds becoming sojourners, and the pro­mise being made to him of Blessing in his Seed for all the Families of the Earth, men­tioned by the Apostle, Gal. 3.8, 16, 17. which promise, he says, was confirmed with him four hundred and thirty years before the Law. And indeed it is to be minded, that the Scripture Exod. 12.40. doth not say that the Children of Israel sojourned in Egypt four hundred and thir­ty [Page 185]years; but the sojourning of the Chil­dren of Israel (who dwelt in Egypt) was four hundred and thirty years; and possibly the Fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob may be included in that phrase the Children of Israel, though they were their Fathers and not Children of Israel, by such a manner of speaking as is used Ezek. 23.2, 3, 4. where Samaria and Je­rusalem, Aholah and Aholibah are said to have been two Women that committed Whoredoms in Egypt in their youth, whereas they were neither Samaria not Jerusalem, nor distinguished into two Peoples or Churches, or Common­wealths, Heb. 7.9, 10. till many hundreds of years after their coming out of Egypt; or as Levi might be said to pay Tithes in Abraham's Loins, so the Children of Israel might bs said to sojourn in their Fathers Loins. But according to some that reckon the beginning of those four hundred and thir­ty years at Jacob's or Joseph's going into Egypt, and understand the confirming the promise to take in all the often re­newings of it with Isaac and Jacob, as well as the making of it with Abraham, and confirming it once and again to him, grounding their so reckoning upon that saying Exod. 12.40. which they under­stand to be the number of years that they were in Egypt, it must be much longer, viz. one thousand seventy two, against which latter account this seems conside­rable that Kohath Levi's Son was born be­fore [Page 186] Jacob went down into Egypt; and he lived but one hundred thirty three years; and Amram Kohath's Son, and Moses's Father lived but one hundred thir­ty and seven years, and Moses was but 80 years old at their departure thence, all which summs put together make but 350 years; though Kohath should beget Am­ram in the last year of his life; and like­wise Amram Moses in his last, which is not probable. And whereas it might be suspected that some one Generation or two might be left out of their Genealogy, as in Matth. 1.8. for some wickedness of theirs, there is not only no other Scri­pture witnessing such a thing as in the other case in Matthew; but also there is another thing seems to take that away too, that Jochabed Moses's Mother, and Am­ram's Wife is said to have been the Daughter of Levi, born to him in Egypt, Exod. 6.20. with Numb. 26.19. now sup­pose her born 100 years after Levi went into Egypt, and longer it could not be; and suppose her as old as Sarah when Moses was born of her, yet the time between their going in and coming out, could not be 300 years, for 100 of Levi's, 90 of Jochabed's and 80 of Moses, make but in all 270 years. Others conceive the beginning of the account of the 430 years at Abram's going down into Egypt, and sojourning there; and others at the mocking of Isaac by the Egyptians Son Ishmael, but the matter being intri­cate, [Page 187]and besides my business, I shall leave it, as I must do, undetermined, and pass on to the next Ages.

SECT. 5.

Of the times from Israels going out of Egypt, to the times of David.

THat God made known his ways un­to Moses, and his Acts unto the Children of Israel is the express saying of the Holy Ghost, Psalm 103.7. Yea, Numb. 12. in a more full and familiar way did he mani­fest himself to Moses than to any other of the Holy Men or Prophets, till the ap­pearance of Christ. Exod. 3.2. To him the Lord ap­peared by his Angel in a Bush, and gave him commission to bring out Israel from Egypt; and by his hand he wrought ma­ny notable and famous wonders in the Land of Egypt upon Phuroah, Chap. 7. & 8. & 9. & 10. & 11. & 14. and his Land and People; and at the Read Sea, in his bringing Israel out: and after they were brought forth he led them to Mount Sinai, where the Lord came down and spake unto the People with an audible voice, with thundrings, lightnings, Exod. 20. and great terror, causing them to hear his voice out of Heaven; and he gave to them the Law of ten Words or Com­mandments, to shew them what was their duty, and to convince them of sin, Deut. 5.23, 24, 25, 26. & 18, 15, 16, 17, 18. and of the greatness of his terror against trangressors. And when they cryed out, [Page 188]as not able to hear the voice of God and live; he graciously promised them to raise them up a Prophet out of themselves, like unto Moses in all things (even Jesus Christ the Lord) to whom he willed them in all things to listen. And by the hand of Moses he gave forth many typi­cal representations of him, Heb. 8.5. and of the grace and blessing to be brought in by him; shewing him the pattern of the mysteries in the Mount, according to which he was to make all things: Psal. 68.18. and so he set up his Tabernacle amongst them, which with all its Rites and Ordinances typified out Christ by, and in whom he would dwell amongst men. The Ark of Testimony was a type of Christ to be incarnate and made flesh, with whom the power and presence of God should be put forth for the good and helpfulness of men that would obey and walk with him. The Mercy Seat was a type of Christ the Propitiatory through faith in his blood, for the forgiveness of sins that are past, through his forbearance, Rom. 3.25. through whom he also keeps Covenant and Mercy for ever with them that fear him. The Altar, both that for burnt Sa­crifice, and that for Incense were types of him also, as also the Offerings made up­on the one, and the Incense burnt upon the other, types of his Sacrifice and Inter­cession. Yea the Redemption of Israel out of Egypt by the blood of sprinkling, Rom. 5.9. 1 Cor. 5.7. was a type of the Redemption of men in [Page 189]their Spirits and Consciences from the power of sin and Satan, through the blood of Christ believed in, and sprinkled upon them: the Manna also and Cloud and Pil­lar of Fire, the Rock, the Sabboths, Feasts, and divers purifications in the Law injoyn­ed; and the brazen Serpent, all figures of him, and he the substance of all, as was shewed above, Chap. 2. Sect. 6. Now what God revealed to, and by Moses was left and committed to the People by him, and was kept with, and amongst them. And though often times, both in the time of Moses, Judg. 2.12, 14, —19. Deut. 31.29. and of the Judges they did ma­ny of them rebell against God, and cor­rupt themselves from the faith and true worship of him [as Moses also foretold they would;] yet so great was Gods good­ness, that he often raised them up Judges and Saviours, and called them back again to himself, and so preserved the know­ledge of his ways amongst them, till the time of Samuel the Prophet; 1 Sam. 2.8, 9, 10, 11, 12. whose Mo­ther Hannah also most sweetly prophesied of Christ, as the King, and the Anoint­ed one of God, by whom God raising him up out of the dust, and exalting him, would lift up and exalt his Servants also, and judge the world righteously. And then by Samuel God began to reveal his word more familiarly again, 1 Sam. 3. and to teach the knowledge of his Son, and of his ways till after David was anointed by him, yea till within a little of his reign. So that in all those times of the Judges, which as [Page 190]the Apostle tells us, Act. 13.20. According to Bishop Ʋsher, 443. years. was about 450. years, the knowledge of God was vouchsafed to, and continued with his People of Is­rael, though through manifold calamities, and sometime some eclipsings of it, yet it was never quite lost from amongst them.

SECT. 6.

Of the times from David, to the Captivi­ty of Israel.

UNto David God yet further and more clearly opened his mysterie, Psal. 89.1, 2, 3, 19, 20, &c. & 132. over and above what was before so plain­ly opened; giving him the Covenant of an everlasting Kingdom, to be possessed by his Seed, even Christ for ever: of whose Kingdom, the Kingdom setled on his natural seed, was a Type and Pledge. Yea, & 110.3, 4. to and by him it was declared, that Christ should be both a Priest and King; a Priest after the Order of Melchisedeck: & 22. that he should offer up, yea himself be the per­petual mighty Sacrifice; & 2.1, 2, 6, 7. & 16.9, 10, 11. and through ma­nifold oppositions of Jews and Gentiles, the Kings and Rulers, and generality of Mankind; yea, through Sufferings and Death attain, and enter into his Glory, and manage his Kingdom for the good of Mankind, so as that Nations should have cause to sing aloud to God for his Good­ness through him, Psal. 87. & 88. & 100. & 117. & 145.9, 17. to them, to serve him with gladness, and come before him with rejoycing, to enter into his Gates with [Page 191]Thransgiving, and his Courts with Prai­ses, &c. 2 Sam. 23.3, 4. He being through him good to all, and his tender Mercies over all his Works, and all the ends of the Earth seeing his Salvation. But indeed the knowledge of Christ flowed in so abun­dantly to, and by him, the Spirit of the Lord speaking by him, and his Word be­ing in his Tongue, that to mention all that was dispensed to, and by him would require the writing out of a great part of the Psalms; yea, and many Volumes in explication of them. The knowledge of the Lord growing now as a River, as to the fuller and more abundant revelation of it; which in the first Ages was but like a Spring: the light grew more and more full and bright, as to its shining; as the day of Christs coming in the Flesh, and accomplishing therein the Prophecies con­cerning him, grew nearer. And this re­velation also was continued and held forth in the days of Solomon, and in the suc­ceeding Ages: Prov. 1.20, 21, 22, 23. & 8.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,— 32, 33, 34, 35. & 9.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Solomon speaking many things most divinely of the preparation made by wisdom for men, and her gra­cious invitations and calls of men to the participation thereof, with much desire of their good, and great longsufferings to­wards them: yea, her universal good­will to the sons of men, the simple and void of understanding, the Scorners and Fools that hate knowledge, &c. a great torrent of Wisdom flowed forth to, and by him, much too full to be here parti­cularly [Page 192]mentioned. 1 King. 11.1, 2, —13, 14, &c. 'Tis true, he grew loose and degenerate in his latter times, through the love of strange women, and provoked God to rend away ten Tribes from his Kingdom in his Sons days; and so to eclipse the Glory of Davids out­ward Kingdom, leaving him and his po­sterity only two Trides; that so it might the more appear, that the Promise and Covenant made to David, was touching Christ and his Kingdom, rather than touching any wordly Kingdom to be here inj [...]d by his natural Seed. 2 King. 4. Solomon also bui [...] stately Temple for Gods Worship, which was a Type too of Christ, and what was prayed for, and promised in be­half of people repenting of their sins, and praying in, [...] 8. and towards that Temple, respected Christ as the truth of it, and is to be met with in looking to him. But both that Temple, with the worship of God therein, together with the House of David, the ten Tribes rejected; setting up through their carnal policy, another way and form of worship in other places, in which they did immediately reject Christ, and so their own mercy and salvation: till persisting therein for about two hun­dred and sixty years space (notwith­standing divers Prophets raised up of God, and sent unto them, as Elias, Elisha, Ahi­jah, Hosea, Amos and divers others, by whom God abundantly held forth the knowledge of himself and his truth unto them, to reclaim them to the right way [Page 193]of worshipping God) they were at last carried captive by Salmanester King of As­syria, in the beginning of the reign of Hezekiah King of Judah. All which time the knowledge of God was more purely retained with Judah and Benja­min who clave to the House of David, and to the Temple, and Worship of God ordered therein (as also did many from the other ten Tribes.) And though they were not without many imperfecti­ons, and sometimes great miscarriages and evils, yet still the Promise and Cove­nant made with David, and the order for worship setled by him with Gods ap­pointment and approbation, was retained by them: and those Ages contained about the space of 330. years, from the begin­ning of Davids reign to Israels Captivity, according to Bishop Ʋsher, 327.

SECT. 7.

Of the times of the Prophets, from about the Captivity of Israel, to the Restaura­tion of the Temple, and so on, till the coming of Christ in the Flesh.

ABout the time of Israels Captivity, or somewhat before, God raised up, and sent more Prophets, and with more dear and full discoveries still of his mind concerning them, and concerning the mysterie of Christ, and the right wor­ship of God through him; with more [Page 194]full and sharp rebukes and denunciation of judgements against them, for their cas [...] ­ing off God and his Worship, as appoint­ed in his Temple, as the ten Tribes, o [...] also for their carnal apprehensions of the Seed of David, and Kingdom promised him, and of the Temple-worship ap­pointed to them (as Judah) neglecting Christ the vision of all signified and aim­ed at in them, Isa. 28.14, 15. & 66.1, 2, 3, 4. Mica. 5. Jer. 7.3, 4, 7, &c. & 22.5, 6, &c. and foolishly promising themselves mercy and blessing in their ad­hering to Davids carnal and natural Seed, and worshiping in that material Temple, neglecting the grace of God in Christ, and not yeilding up themselves to obey, and walk with him, as is abundantly to be seen in the Prophecies of Isaiah, Micha, and Jeremiah: for which cause also be gave up the Temple and City to destru­ction, and both their People and Prince of the Seed of David to Captivity for the space of seventy years. Yet was he very gracious, in the midst of his judgements to remember mercy: and both before, and in, and after the Captivity he gave them Prophets and Holy Men, to, and by whom he poured forth the knowledge of Himself and Son for their Eternal Sal­vation, as well as for support under, and instruction to profit by all the Calami­ties that then, and in after Ages were to befall them: which Calamities also upon them, both involving their Kingdom in the Line of David (none of his Seed, af­ter that Calamity, ever sitting any more [Page 195]upon his Throne) and their Temple, and Temple-worship (never restored to its first glory again, as to their external form of Worship, and testimony of Gods pre­sence with them in it) were both order­ed as means and helps to make them more spiritual in the understanding of their for­mer promises concerning Davids Seed and the Temple, and to look upon the Mes­siah, as the compleatment and fulfilling of both, mainly pointed to in both; who al­so with the grace brought in by him, was very much insisted upon, and more lively set before them, together with the mercy of God through him for the gathering them back again to himself (after that for their often and constant rejecting him, both in the more mystical and typical ten­ders of him, and in his addresses to them by his Spirit by the Prophets, and in his personal appearing, they should be cast off, and given up to spoil and misery, and the Gentiles taken into their place and prividges to provoke them to jealousie) by the several Prophets in that time sent them. As before their Captivity by Isaiah, Micha, and Jeremy in their captivity by Ezekiel and Daniel, and after their captivi­ty by Haggai, Zecchary and Malachy; who all spake of Jesus Christ, the Messiah very clearly and plainly to them, and in ma­ny things more plainly than had been be­fore spoken. Isa. 11.1, 2, 10, 11. & 42.1, 2, 3, 4. & 49.5, 6, 7, 8. Especially Isaiah had that great grace poured forth to him, as to in­struct him into, and furnish him to set [Page 196]forth the whole tenure of the Gospel [...] amply; particularly that the Me [...] should not only be of the Seed of Da [...] a root of Jesse that should arise and re [...] over the Gentiles, upon whom Gods Spi­rit should gloriously rest, so as that the [...] by he should bring forth judgement [...] the Gentiles, Chap. 7.14. be the light of them, [...] Gods salvation to the ends of the earth which was also in substance shewed [...] and by David: but also that he should born of a Virgin, should be despised of [...] Jews, Chap. 53. should suffer death, should be [...] sed or live again, and justifie many by knowledge, having borne their sins; a [...] many things of like import: yea, spake of the New Heavens and the N [...] Earth, Chap. 65. & 66. and New Jerusalem; the Gl [...] of the Righteous therein, and the ev [...] lasting punishment of the Wicked. A [...] in many things the Prophet Micha, w [...] prophesied in the same times spake [...] very same things, and almost in [...] same words with him, as appears, Mi [...]. & 5. Joel also prophesied of the p [...] ­ring out of the Spirit in the last days: [...] ­remy and Ezekiel indeed were much take up about the Sins of the people, Jer. 3.16, 17. & 31. & 32. Ezek. 11. & 33. & 34. & 36. & 37, &c. and the Captivities; yet not without intermix [...] very clear prophesies of Christ, and [...] goodness of God through him to all me [...] especially to them in their returning aga [...] Of the new Covenant, and the restaurat [...] of the Church to a fuller Glory by him his appearing. To Daniel also in the Ca [...] ­tivity, [Page 197]was shewed and signified the time [...] the Messiah's coming; Dan. 9.25, 26, 27, &c. his being cut off, but not for himself; that he should make an end of sin, make reconciliation for ini­quity, bring in everlasting righteousness, seal up the Vision and Prophecie (con­firm and perfect it) and anoint the most holy; yea to, Dan. 2. & 7. & 8. & 10. & 11. &. 12. and by him were shewed the afflictions and persecutions which that peo­ple should be exposed to, and tried with, till the time of the end; and their restau­ration afterward, with the Resurrection of the Dead, the Kingdom of Christ and its greatness and glory: very plainly also spake the other Prophets of him; Hag. 2.5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Hagai that he should come into that Second Temple which was then building, and fill it with the Glory of his Presence: Lachary that he should come meek and lowly, riding upon an Ass, Zech. 9.9, 10, 11. & 12.10, 11, 12. and upon a Colt the Foal of an Ass, into Jerusalem; should be peirced by them, should cut off their worldly Props, the Chariot from Ephraim, and the Horse from Jerusalem: should speak peace to the Heathen, Chap. 4. & 6. & 14. have a large or universal Dominion; calls him the Branch, speaks of him under the name of Zerubbabel (as he was then in his loins, as pertaining to the flesh) as the Author and Finisher of the Faith, the Layer of the Foundation, the Builder and Bringer up to Perfection of the Spiritual Temple or House of God. Yea, speaks of the de­struction of Jerusalem; Mal. 3.1, 2, 3, 4. &. 4. the coming again of Christ with his Saints, and of the times [Page 198]of the restauration of the things pr [...] ­sed. Malachy also spake of Christ as [...] nigh at hand to come, but not to be en­dured by them when he came; and [...] the coming of his Messenger or forerun­ner to come before his face (even Jo [...] the Baptist) and of his coming again to execute vengeance on the proud, and save them that look for him, and of the coming of Elias before that great day. To say nothing of those other Holy Men Ezra and Nehemiah, with many others, during the times of those Prophets, pro­moting the Knowledge and Worship of God; or of the writings of other Good Men, though not Prophets, who draw­ing from the words of the Prophets abun­dance of understanding, imployed them­selves amongst the people to instruct them such discoveries of God and his truth, with manifold Instructions, Counsels and Reproofs they had in those Ages: yea, all those Writings of their Holy Men and Prophets contained in the Scriptures, they had the help of till the coming of Christ, though under many and great Changes and Afflictions under the Monarchies of the Persians and Grecians often times. And though from Malachy to about Christs birth, they had no more Prophets sent them, vet they had all those discove­ries given forth, both by Moses and the Prophets in former times to instruct and help them, and to furnish them with the truth for the Instruction of others amongst [Page 199]whom they had dealings, and began to be dispersed more than in former times: and these Ages contained about the space 700. years, according to Bishop Ʋsher 717.

SECT. 8.

Of the Age of Christ, his Incarnation, and Manifestation in the Flesh to men, and thenceforth to the Destruction of Jerusa­lem by Titus, and so on.

WHat should I need to speak of the times of Christs appearance and since, when the day-spring looked down from on high, and visited us more glo­riously than ever; and what was all a­long pointed to before, as to come, was it self brought forth, and as to the works of his coming in the Flesh accomplished? Surely then God gave forth the truth yet more abundantly. And yet we may con­sider some diversity in his Dispensations then, with reference to divers times.

1. Immediately before the appearing of Christ, his Birth and manifesting a­mongst men, there was given certain no­tice to some, that he was about to come; as also by the Writings of the Prophets, there was ground to expect him, and he was expected about that time; but more particularly notice was given to Simeon, Luk. 2.26. an holy and devout man (and as some write, one of Sanhedrim or Great Coun­cil [Page 200]of the Nation) that he should not [...] before he had seen the Lords Christ. [...] Zachary (the Father of the Baptist) [...] revealed that he should have a Son [...] his Wife Elizabeth, Luk. 1.13, 14, 17. that should be [...] forerunner, and go before his face, ac­cording to what was prophesied by Mala­chy. Luk. 1. To the Virgin also, that she should conceive and bring him forth. And both by the Virgin, and Zachary, and Eliza­beth was he witnessed to before his Birth After his Birth he was made known to, & 2.10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 27, 28, 29, 30, 36, 37, 38. and by the Shepheards; by Simeon also and Anna a Prophetess; as also to, and by certain Wise Men or Magi that came out of the East Country to seek and wor­ship him, Matth. 2. Before his being ma­nifested by way of ministration to the peo­ple, John the Baptist was sent of God to bear witness to him, who also did clear­ly testifie of him, and point to him as a person then born, and amongst them. Behold, John 1.5, 6, 7, 15, 16, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34. Matt. 3.16, 17. saith he to them, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the World; witnessing that he had seen the heavens open upon him, when he was baptized by him, and that the Holy Ghost in a visible form like a Dove (as it was fore­given him of God as a sign to know him by) descended and sat upon him; and God himself out of Heaven witnessed to him that he was his well-beloved Son, in whom he was well-pleased: so that God vouchsafed to John, and by him to the people a clearer discovery of him, than [Page 201] [...], or by any of the Prophets that went before him; with respect to which, it is said, That amongst those that were born of women, there had not arisen a greater then John the Baptist, Matth. 11.12.

2. In the time of Christ's Personal Ap­pearing and Manifesting Himself to, and amongst Men, from the time of his Bap­tisme, to his Ascention; he Ministred the Knowledge of God to Men by his Perso­nal Preaching, and Miracles; and gave himself a Ransom for many, accomplish­ing by his Death and Resurrection, the Prophecies in that behalf going before concerning him. Therein both by Words and Works he made manifest the way of Life, both to the World, and to his Dis­clples more especially; to whom it was given to know, The Mysteries of the Kingdom: even such Mysteries as many wise Men, and Prophets had desired to see, and saw not; and to hear, but heard not they being blessed with a sight, and knowledge of these things which were peculiar to that Age, even to be Eye­witnesses of the Sufferings, and Glory of Christ, and to have familiar Converse with him: their Eyes feeing, and their Ears hearing, and their Hands handling of the Word of Life, that was before Promised from the Beginning, but then was Manifest in the Flesh, and Conversed therein with them; of which, the wise and prudent of the Jews, and the greatest part of the People deprived themselves, [Page 202]by not seeing, what they see; and [...] hearing, what they heard: but closeing the Eye, least they should see; and stop­ping the Ear, lest they should hear, and understand with their Hearts, and be Converted, and Healed by him, Matt. 13.11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. For be­fore them also, his Doctrine and Miracles were such, as might have convinced them, that he was the Christ. But to his Dis­cipls he opened all things, they see and followed him in his Temptations; see his Sufferings, and Eat and Drank with him after his Resurrection, till he was taken up into Heaven; of which also they, (the Apostles especially) were Eye-witnesses But yet,

3. In the times after his Ascension was the clearest manifestation of the Mystery that ever was vouchsafed, by his pouring forth his Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, and power into, and up­on those his Apostles and Disciples, giving them to see into, and understand the My­story of his Will, even the ends and ver­tues of, and the grace of God to Man­kind in, all those things of Christ done and suffered by him: and the mean­ing of his Words and Doctrine delivered to them by him, by which also they were furnished (being thereto before his Ascen­tion Commissionated) to open the Myste­ries and grace of God to all Men, to Jews and Gentiles according to the utmost op­portunities thereto given them. And they [Page 203]also during their continuance upon Earth reased not faithfully and fully to declare the mind and Testimony of God to men, and to endeavour to make them see the fellowship of the Mystery. God migh­tily bearing Witness to them by many Signes and Wonders, and Gifts of the Holy Ghost to the filling the Earth with the Knowledg of him, and of his Salvation: so as that, by that time Jerusalem was De­stroyed, and their Nation dispersed, and carried Captive, they had sounded forth the word of Truth in, and unto most, if not all Nations; so as that though they were but an handful of Corn in the top of the Mountains, yea, their Fruit shaked like Lebanon, as was fore-told, Psal. 72.16. Yea, and afterwards too; the word they had sowed up and down the world took Root, and sprang up, and filled the world with Fruit, till through many Persecutions and Cruelties endured by those that Believed, and by the Blood of the Lamb, and Word of their Testimo­ny they leavened the face of the World, so as that the Emperours and Rulers of it imbraced the Profession of it also: and their Word and Doctrine, they (the Apo­stles also delivered in Writing to be trans­mitted to Posterity; which even to these times yet remaineth with us. Though it is true, that

4. In the succeeding times the Watch­men being not so Vigelant as Satan, the envious One, the Tares of false Positions, [Page 204]or Doctrines, and of loose and evil Live [...] too, presently began to be sown in the World, after the departure of the Apostles; (nay, they began to be sown before, but by reason of their Vigilancy, they took not such place in the Churches, as after­ward they did,) till they even over­topped the good Seed, and its Fruit: Ig­norance, 2 Thess. 2.10, 11, 12. Errour, Superstition, and Pro­phaneness; sprouting up apace through Mens not receiving the love of the Truth, that they might be Saved: till God, as he threatned, gave up the World again to the over-spreadings of Deceit; permit­ting the False Prophet Mahomet, to Intro­duce a false, and wicked Religion, to the drawing away Multitudes, from the Be­lief of the Truth planted amongst them. And the Roman Bishops, with their Cler­gy, to Usurp Dominion over the rest; and living like Beasts, or Monsters, to fill the Churches that yet retained the Pro­fession of Christ, and the Scriptures amongst them, with all manner of Er­rour, Superstition, and Prophaness, which continued Universally over the face of the World, where the most Famous Churches of Christ had been Planted, (though not without mixture of continual Testimonies of God, and his Truth, and Goodness, both by Works and Word; especially, as to the most Essential parts of his Doctrine more, or less; and more, or less purely held forth:) till

5. In these latter times, God in his mer­cy [Page 205]again, stirred up a Spirit of Reforma­tion in some of his Servants, who through their constancy in Preaching forth, and suffering for the Testimony of God, ac­cording to those measures of Understand­ing they had of it, became successful In­struments in his hand, of reviving the Light of the Truth that was almost damp­ed; so as that it shines forth again in, and by the Scriptures of Truth, and the faithful Preachers of them: (though alas now again too much clouded with the glosles and interpretations of Men, that subject not their own wisdoms to God's words;) much more clearly than in some former Ages.

So that in this that hath been said, in this large running over the times, it ap­pears, That the Dispensations of God in giving forth unto Men the Knowledge of his Words, have been both in several Ages, and to several Men in the same Ages, very diverse; for even in all, and every of those Ages, when it was fulliest given forth also, all had it not alike im­mediatly, or fully opened to them; some were dispensers of it to others who re­ceived it by them, or from their Mouth. All were not Apostles, nor all Prophets, nor all Teachers, that were in the Church of God: though as he that follows a light carried by others, may see, and go as well as those that carry it; and other men may eat as heartily, and be as thri­ving, that buy their Bread by the Loaf, [Page 206]as they that carry it out, and sell it [...] basket fulls: so also those that were no [...] so honoured, as to be the Dispensers of the Mysteries of God to others, either Jews or Gentiles, in an humble following [...] and feeding upon that Truth of God dis­pensed by others, might walk, and live as well, and attain to Eternal Life; as certainly, and happily as they that dis­pense it to them: yea, a Judas might prove a Son of Perdition, though a Preacher of it: and Jeremy, and Paul too, had they not returned to, and walked with God themselves, keeping down their Bodies, and bringing them into sub­jection, might have done so too: while many of their weaker Hearers, attained to Happiness, by what they Preached. It may be said of Prophets, Apostles, Evan­gelists, Pastors, Teachers, in respect of their carrying out of the Word to others; as was said of the Virgins Conceiving, and bringing forth Christ: Blessed the Womb that bare thee, and the Paps that gave thee suck. So Blessed they that were betrusted, and came forth with such Mysteries to Men, in the Name of the Lord; yet so, as the same Answer of our Saviour would also fit, with respect to the hearing, and obeying that Doctrine. Yea rather, Blessed is every one that hears the word of God and keeps it. We might also shew, that there is, and ever was great diversity and diffe­rence in the several Gifts, and Administra­tions of those Gifts of those betrusted with [Page 207]the Word, and the Dispensation of it, and service of God in it. Some Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, some Pastors and Teachers, some workers of Miracles &c. and of the Apostles and Teachers, some Administred more elo­quently, and some with weaker Language; some more plainly, and powerfully than others; some in one Stile, and others in another; yet all one and the same Truth, and by one and the same Spirit; as in 1 Cor. 12. But it suffices, but to hint that to avoid further tediousness.

SECT. 9.

That in the former Ages, and so in all the Four Monarchies there was something of the knowledge of God, by his People, and Words vouchsafed also to the Gen­tiles.

ONely this we may further Note, That though the discovery of the Truth, and Mystery of God, was vouchsafed most peculiarly, and properly to the Jews, be­fore the Ascension of Christ: yet, not so hidden with them, but that something of it, and so means to know more of it, was in all former Ages vouchsafed in some measure, (over and above the Manifesta­tions of God in his Works) to the Gen­tiles, or divers of them also; as might be shewed, from what we find in the Scriptures, and by other Writers.

In Abraham's time, while Shem was y [...] living, (to omit some things fore-mentio­ned, Sect. 4.) His over-throw of [...] Four Kings, (Types perhaps of the fut [...] Monarchies after to succeed: Shinar [...] ­ing Babilon; Ellasar, some take for Syri [...] Elam is Persia; and, the Nations, mig [...] hint, to the other Nations subject to the Roman Monarchy;) made him famous doubtless in those times. And after that the advancement of Joseph in Egypt, when all Nations or Countries thereabout pinch with a Famine, came thither for Bread­corn, might afford probably some oppor­tunity for spreading some knowledge of God from him, his Father and Brethren then brought into, and living in Egypt [...] but especially, and certainly, (to omit the Patriarchs, Psal. 105.13, 14. Travellers into, and sojourn­ing in divers Lands, and Countries:) the great Judgments of God upon Egypt and Pharaoh; The Miraculous Deliverance of Israel thence; and the mighty Works then done, for, and amongst them, spread the Name of God amongst the Countries, as is implyed, Exod. 9.16. That I might shew in thee, in my power, and that my Name might be declared in all the earth. And it appears by Rahabs confession afterward That they had heard of the mighty work [...] God for Israel in those Countries of Can [...] an, Josh. 2.10, 11. And then, his drying up the red Sea, and Jordan, and driving ou [...] the Canaunites so miraculously. The stand­ing still of the Sun and Moon, &c. These [Page 209]yet further famed him, and his People among the Nations. 1 King 10. with Matth. 12.43. As afterwards the Wars and Successes of David, and the Wisdom of Solomon that was famous to the Ends of the Earth; to Aethiopia, and those far Countries: and Solomon positive­ly Asserts in his Paper, That the Nations far off should hear of his Name, so as that they might come, (some of them at least) while the Temple yet stood, to in­quire after God: What else signifie those Expressions, 1 King. 8.41. Moreover, con­cerving a stranger that is not of thy people Israel, but comes out of a far country for thy Names-sake. For they shall hear of by Great Name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm. And so we find, that in all the Four Monarchies, Israel was so known of them, and had such dealings with them, that they had opportunity by them, to hear of the Great Name of God, and his Works; with the Syrians, and Assyrians we find they had sometimes Wars, sometimes Peace and Leagues: and the Miracles done by Elias and Elisha; and the healing of Na­ [...]man might spread his Fame with them: We find the Ten Tribes, were at length carryed Captive by the Assyrians, and pla­ [...]d in the Cities of the Medes and other places; and that some of them had the knowledge and fear of God in them, may most probably be conceived; though [...] generality of them, while in heir own and were corrupted; yea, and the Histo­ry [Page 210]of Tobit, being one of the Captives [...] Israel makes it evident. In that Monar­chy Preached Jonas to Niniveh the Gr [...] City, and Head then of that Empire; and by his Preaching, it was Converted, and spared. And the Storm that be [...] in his running from God, and what the Marriners see, and heard of him; and his deliverance out of the Whales Belly; and his Preaching to Nineveh, and their Repentance, could not but spread the [...] ­mour of God's Name far, and near [...] those times. Afterwards, then the Em­pire was Translated to Babilon, God made known his People, and Himself then to them. Isa. 38. and 39. Hezekiah's sickness, and recovery, and the Sign given him, and the Shad­dows going back in Ahaz Dyal, was there declared: insomuch, that thereupon they sent Embassadors to Jerusalem, to Con­gratulate Hezekiah about it: and after that, Manasseth was thither carried Cap­tive, and there Repented; and no doubt but by those Wars with Israel, and Con­quest got, they had some opportunity gi­ven them of hearing of their God, and his Great Name, and Works: yea, those two Kingdoms of Aegypt and Babilon, and all the Kingdoms between them, had then Commerse with them, and could not but hear much of them, and of the Name of God amongst them; as also the Captivity of Jehoiakim, and Jeconiab and especially, the great Piety and W [...] ­dom of Daniel, and the Three Worth [...] [Page 211]then in Babilon, and therewith many good Jews, for divers years living, spread the knowledge and fame of God amongst them. Yea, the Interpretations of Ne­buchadnezzars Dreams; the Deliverance of the Three Worthies from the fiery Furnace; the turning out of Nebuchad­nezzar, and restoring him again, were very famous, and begat very publick and notorious Proclamations of the Name of God amongst, or to all Peoples, Nations, and Languages that dwelt in the Earth, that they should reverence, and acknow­ledge him, Dan. 3. and 4. In the Persian Monarchy also Daniel was in great re­pute with Cyrus, and Darius. The Jews, Ezr. 1.1, 2, 3, 4. and their Cause was known to them. Cyrus made a Decree in favour of them, for re-edifying the House of the Lord, whom he acknowledged to be God; The Lord God of heaven. Darius also exceed­ingly loved and favoured Daniel, and his Religion was famously known to the other Governours and Rulers: and both it, and the God whom he worshipped, was exceedingly glorifyed in his Delive­rance from the Lyons, when cast into their Denn upon that account: so as that Darius also publickly Proclaimed, or De­creed, That in every Nation men should tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, Dan. 6.25, 26, 27. as being the Living God, and stedfast for ever, and his Kingdome, that which should never be destroyed, &c. And after Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, Mordecai, and Esther, [Page 212]were of great Note, and well known to the Persion Court, and Empire, in several Kings Reigns. And God got himself a Name, and discovered himself gloriously by his prospering, and helping them, and appearing miraculously for their help, and for the Confusion of their Enemies: as the Books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther testifie. Where also it is evidenced, That the Jews, the Worshippers of God, were scattered up and down, and seated amongst the Nations, and Professing God's Reli­gion; Est. 3.8. both in the Imperial City of Susa, and in all the many Provinces of that large Empire: as is clear in that of Haman, where he informes the King of them, That they were scattered abroad, and dispersed among the People in all the Provinces of his Kingdom, and their Laws divers from all People, &c. And commandment was given to the Jews, in every Province, to stand upon their own Defence: and to the Rulers and Lieutenants in the Provinces to Assist them; and doubtless, that great Delive­rance did mightily fame them, and their Religion: yea, it's expresly Noted, That thereupon many of the People of the Land became Jews. Est. 8.17. And those Disper­sions of the Jews continued to, and in the days of the Grecian, or Macedonian Monarchy too: to the beginning of which the Records in Nehemiah reach, or to times immediately preceding it; for men­tion is made, Neh. 12.22. of the Priest [...] [Page 213]that were, to the Reign of Darius the Persian? Probably, the last Darius, that was subdued by Alexander: for Jaddua, (and Jaddua was High Priests in the time of Alexander the Great,) is there menti­oned. And how God made known Him­self, his People, and Truth, in that Mo­narchy; may be in part seen, in what Jo­sephus Records, Of God's appearing in a Vision to Alezander, in the form, or habit of the High-Priest of the Jews; and his acknowledging it, and doing Ho­mage to the High Priest, upon the sight of him, when he went in his Priestly Ha­bit to meet him, and his Army Marching against them, with a purpose to have De­stroyed them: his publick owning of whom, and relating his Vision, and the Immunities given to the Jews thereupon, could not but give advantage of inquiring into their Religion, and of being instructed into the Knowledge of God, worshipped by them: yea, we may find in the Histo­ries of Josephus, Polybius and others, That the Jews were not onely dispersed here and there in the Countries, but also Served in their Wars. And in the Reign of Ptolomy Philadelphus, their Law, or Books of the Scriptures, were by Seventy and two Interpreters, Translated into the Greek Language, and deposited in his Library; which was a great advantage for the dispersing the Knowledge of God, and his Word amongst the Nations. What should I speak of the many, and [Page 214]marvelous Victories, and great help [...] Streights afforded to them in the times of the Macchabees; Heb. 11.34, 35, 36, 37. their constancy in their Religion, even to Sufferings and Death in the times of Antiochus, Epiphanes, and Ptolomy, Philopastor and others, Recorded both in the Books of the Maccabees, and alluded to, in Heb. 11. Did they not more brightly sparkle forth the Knowledge of God, and notifie him, and his Truth pro­fessed by them, amongst, and unto their adverse Nations? And as for the Roman Monarchy, the Jews were soon known un­to them, sending to them, and entring a League with them, as in the Book of the Macchabees is also mentioned. They had Wars also with Pompey, who took their City Jerusalem, their Kings, Herod, Aristo­bulus, and others, held their Kingdoms of them: and the Jews and Romans had much converse upon many occasions, they had their Synagogues dispersed up and down throughout their Dominions. Un­der that Monarchy was Christ born, lived, and wrought his Miracles; suffered, dyed, rose, ascended, sent abroad his Disciples into all Nations: yea, and beside their going abroad, Pilate is said, to have cer­tified Tiberius, of the Acts of Christ, and his Famous Miracles; and that Tiberius moved it to the Senate, to receive him for a god: as Tertullian in his Apology for the Christians, Chap. 5. and 21. relates And the Jews having Synagogues all over there were Proselytes and fearers of God [Page 215]also scattered up and down the World as is clearly implyed; Joh. 12.20. both by what is re­lated of the Greeks, that coming to Wor­ship desired to see Jesus; and more plain­ly by what is said Act. 2. Dr. Hammond on the places Act. 2.5, 9, 10, 11. Of Jews devout men out of every Nation under Heaven, abiding at Jerusalem at the feast of Pente­cost; Parthians, Medes, Elamites or Per­sians, dwellers in Mesopotamia, Judea, Cap­padocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphi­dia, Egypt, and the parts about Lybia, a­bout Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and Proselytes, Cretes and Arabians. And in Act. 13.21. it's said that Moses of old time hath in every City them that Preach him, Act. 10.1, 2. & 11.19, 20. & & 14.1. & 16.12, 13, 14. & 17.1, 10. & 18.2, 4, 7, 8, 12, 19. & 19.8. & 28.17, &c. being read in the Synagogues every Sabbath day; whence also so frequent mention of the Jews, and of devout Men and Women, worshippers and fearers of God, where the Apostle went in his Tra­vels to Preach the Gospel found by him before his Preaching to them. So that it appears that in all Ages many of the Gentiles too had some rumors of the God of Israel, and opportunities given them to enquire after, and acquaint them­selves with his Word, Oracles and Wor­ship. To which we might add (if we shall give credit thereto) what is recorded of the Sybils and their Prophesies, August also, De Civitat. Dei, lib. 18. cap. 23. men­tioned both by the ancient Christians, and before them by Heathens, as by Varro, Cicero, Virgil, Aul. Gellius. Amongst the Christians of the first Ages Justin Mar­tyr mentions his sight of one of their places [Page 216]of Resid [...]nce in his Exhortation to [...] Gentiles; and Lactantius is very large [...] reciting divers of their Verses, in wh [...] they speak very distinctly of the Unity [...] Oneness of God, vanity of Idols, of the coming of the Son of God, his Birth of a Virgin, his taking away Sin and every evil thing; To say nothing [...]f Hydaspes, Trismegistus, Orpheus and others mention­oned in Lactan­tius and Euse­bius his Prae­par. Evaugel. the Destruction of Rome, the Resurrection of the Dead, and the Great Judgment, &c. which whoso pleases, may, if they can Read him, see more of in the Works or Writings of Lactantius, especially in his Fourth and Seventh Books. And indeed the fulness and clear­ness of the Testimony given to Christ in them (as his being the Son of God, and God, his Healing, and working Miracles by his Word, his Sufferings and Death and Re­surrection, and the like) hath caused ma­ny to suspect their Verses to have been framed by some Primitive Christians out of a Pious Fraud, as they call it, to draw in the Heathens more to Christ, which to me seems an uncharitable thought of those first Christians, abundantly spoken to by way of confutation, by the Reve­rend Bistop Montague in his Acts and Mo­numents; I should rather say with Austin, Quisquis Alienigena, De Civit. Dei, lib. 18. cap. 47.&c. If any Strang [...] that is not descended of Israel, nor received by that People in the Canon of the Holy Scriptures, is read to have Prophesied any thing of Christ, he may be cited by us over and above, not because there is need of him, if he were not mentioned, but because [Page 217]it is not easily believed that there were also in other Nations some Men to whom this Mystery was revealed, and that they were carried out by a certain impulse to foretell it, whether they themselves were partakers of the same Grace they spake of, or were void of it, or were taught it by evil Angels, as we know they did profess Christ when he was present, whom the Jews acknowledged not; nor do I think that the Jews durst deny that some pertained to God besides the Israelites since the time that Esau being rejected Israel gan to propagate and encrease in the World. Indeed there was no other people called the People of God properly but they, but that there were certain Men, Citizens of the Heavenly Countrey, and pertaining to the true Israelites, not by an Earthy but a Hea­venly Society in other Nations, also they cannot deny as in the Holy man Job, &c. Certain it is that the Sybils were made mention of as Prophetesses of great note amongst the Gentiles, and their Writings sought for, and laid up at Rome by the Senate, before the time of Christ's birth, what we read in Virgil as uttered by the Cumaean Sybil, though applied by him to Augustus Cesar and his times, savours of what might be said of them concerning Christ, and can be applied to none but him, for therein is mention made of Purging away our Sins, bring­ing in Peace and Prosperity, renewing the World into its Golden or Paradise Estate. And the Acrosticks mentioned [Page 218]in Austin, are to the same purpose, the initial Letters thereof composing this sen­tence, Jesus Christ the Son of God the Sa­viour; and why might not the Lord re­veal something of Christ to them, and suffer them to utter it, as well as to Ba­laam, who though a false Prophet, yet prophesied of Christ as is to be seen Numb. 24.17. But enough is said before to shew the truth of our Assertion laid down in the title of this Section viz. That in all Ages, and in the times of every of the four Monarchies of the World, some Beams at least of the Revelation of God and his Truth, as by Words and Oracles have shined forth to, and amongst the Gentiles, so as they have had some op­portunities and advantages of hearing of them, and seeking the knowledge of him by them.

The Summ and Conclusion of this Chapter is, That though the Truth of God, in it self practicable to men, be but one and the same; yet the Revelations, Manife-stations, and Dispensations of it have been very divers and different; some Persons have had nothing of it as to their know­ledge and perception knowable to us, as Infants dying in Infancy; some have had only some darker significations of some things of it by the Works and Providen­ces of God, as many of the Heathen; some have also had some rumour of the words of God revealed to, and in his Churches, and opportunities to seek it out [Page 219]and know it as there revealed, as many of the Gentiles in all Ages; Some have had it more directly in the words of it given to them, to some more immedi­ately for themselves and others, to some more mediately by others onely, as in all Ages amongst the Jews till after Christ's Ascension, though in some Ages more darkly, and in others more plainly; yea, and amongst the Churches of God and the holy Men themselves, there is and hath been as we have noted diversity of Dispensations and Administrations. And it is a certain Rule, that as the Lord being good and upright, teaches Sinners the way that they might Fear him; Psal. 25.8, 9▪ 12, 13, 14. Matt. 13.11, Pr [...]. 1.23. so he more especially and in further dispensations of his Truth teaches those that Fear him; shews them his secret, and makes known to them his Covenant, opens to them the Mysteries of his Kingdom, pouring out his holy Spirit upon them. And this ap­pears clearly as touching the Revelation or Dispensation of the knowledge of the Truth in the more direct and substan­tial ways of revealing it; besides which, we may observe that there were in several Ages certain appendages to the Revela­tion of it by Word or Oracle, in and a­mongst his Churches, though so as in the view and sight of the World, in which also we may observe great diversity, as we shall, God-willing, shew in the following Chapter.


Of the variety of the Dispensations of the knowledge of God and his truth, in respect of certain added Appen­dages to his Word in Ordinances and Miracles in sundry Ages,

SECT. 1.

That God did divers [...]y in sundry Ages, mind Men of, and confirm them in his Truth by his Ordinances and Miracles; and therein what be the Ordinances and Miracles here to be treated of.

THat there were over and besides the General Works of God, and the distinct Revelation of Christ, by the Words and Oracles of God, other ad­ditional means by which he furthered the knowledge of himself and of his good will to men amongst them, partly by visible Acts and Rites enjoyned to Men to observe and practice in their worship of him (and accordingly either more purely according to appointment, or more [...]orruptly in swerving from his ap­appointment, practised by Men in their several Ages) to instruct them in, and [Page 221] [...]ind them of his Truth otherwise re­vealed to them, and these we call Ordi­nances; and partly by visible Works of his own e [...]traordinarily wrought to rati­ [...]e and confirm the Truth revealed, which we call Miracles; the Scriptures also every where do testifie; which be­cause they were added to the Words and Oracles of God aforesaid, we do not make a distinct way of discovery of Truth; but rather Appendages to that way of discovery of it by Words and Oracles, rending to confirm it to, and pre­serve it with them; which though some­ [...]ing of them have occasionally been men­tioned before, yet because they require and deserve a more full consideration, we shall here speak to more distinctly, and yet as briefly and succinctly as with con­Venience we may: concerning which, let this first be noted, that it may be first sta­ted what Ordinances and Miracles we have to speak of; that I do not speak of them in the largest extent that those words will reach to; as to say, I do not by Ordinances mean all Rites and Acts of Worship practifed by any People, for there were many Heathenish Rites insti­tuted by evil men at the motion and in­ [...]inct of unclean and wicked Spirits, such [...] their Plays and Interludes, their strew­ing of Beds, and Purifications of their [...]ies, Sacrifices to Infernal Spirits, their detestable and abominable Rites of Bac­chus, Ceres, and others, which can no [Page 222]way be within the compass of wh [...] have to speak of, those being Ordinan [...] of Satan and not of God; Job. 38.33. Jer. 31.35, 36. & 33.25. neither [...] intend, or shall I speak to all that [...] called, or were God's Ordinances; [...] we read of the Ordinances of Heave [...] as for the rising and setting of the S [...] the making Winter and Summer, Se [...] ­time and Harvest, Heb. 9.27. Arcturus and Pleiad [...] &c. which belong to the works of God before spoken of. Yea, and Death is an Ordinance of God in a large sense, since it is appointed for men to die; but this [...] not to be practised, but submitted to and suffered by us. Eph. 5.30, 31. So Marriage too is an Ordinance of God, and so was the Sab­bath, and the Tree of Life in Paradise be­fore the fall. And indeed Marriage ( [...] ­cially the forming of the Woman out of the Man, and bringing her to him at the first) hath in it a very great and apt re­semblance of the conjunction and commu­nion of the two natures of God and Man in Christ, and of Christ and his Church; and so gives fit occasion of minding us of Christ's great love in descending to se [...] a Wife amongst men (as Jacob of old wh [...] went down into Syria, Matth. 22.1, 4. and for a Wi [...] [...]ept Sheep) both in his taking into un [...] ­on with himself the nature of Man espo [...] ­sing and wedding it, as it were to the eternal word; at the wedding where [...] God also made a Feast, Isa. 25.6, 7. the Feast of F [...] things full of Marrow made for all Peo­ple, and set forth to us in the Gospel, [...] [Page 223]the fruit and consequent of that Royal union of our nature with God, consum­mated in the Ascension of Christ into Heaven, when the new married Bride, as it were, was taken home to his Fathers house, and adorned and glorified with all the Majesty and Royalty of Heaven; the Delicates of which Feast are pardon of Sins, Peace with, and liberty to God by Christ, and welcome through him, preached to us in the Gospel; As also in his seeking for himself and by the Gospel and its Ordinances, and by his Spirit with both, espousing men in their particular Persons and Spirits, and so the Church as the company of persons so espoused to himself. The Marriage of whom with Christ God-man, is to be consummated or accomplished at the coming of Christ again, and Resurrection of the just when they shall be made partakers of the Glory of Christ, and be as a new married Wife altogether brought home to Christ and God in Christ, and be cloathed with his Majesty and Glory, and be fed and sa­tisfied for ever with his blessed presence, and the consolation thereof, But though this Ordinance of Marriage aptly minds us of, and leads us to consider and press after the further understanding and enjoy­ment of these things; yet it being at first Instituted in Paradise before the promise of Christ, and as now continued through Christ, it being a civil Ordinancee, or an Ordinance pertaining to the things of this [Page 224]life: I do not take it here into con [...] ration, but only those Ordinances of Go [...] which more directly were appointed [...] and pertain to the Religious Worship [...] him. Out of which too I exclude tha [...] [...] the Sabbath, and that of the Tree of Life (if it might be so called) as institute [...] and given in Paradise before the fall, be­cause before the promise of Christ, and such as should have been, had man nev [...] fallen, nor Christ been sent forth for him. That of that Tree of Life, being now al­so expired and gone, together with the integrity and innocency, in which God made man. The Sabbath, as since [...] newed, through Christ, or by him con­tinued, we shall in fit place take in [...] consideration. And so only these Ord [...] nances which pertain to his worship, and were since the fall injoyned by him to be observed, are those we shall speak to.

Again, by Miracles I mean not all the monstrous or unusual providences, o [...] things that have happened in the world, for there have been, not only through Gods Providence many miscarriages, as it were of nature, but also through hi [...] permission and sufferance, many grea [...] and stupendious things wrought by the power of evil Spirits, for confirming the minds of Idolaters (through Gods just and severe judgements) in their impietie [...] which they (having rejected the light of his truth) had given themselves up to Such as the going or removing of certain [Page 225]mages, which Aeneas is said to have [...]rought from Troy and Ascanius, to have hurried from Lavinium to Alba, from which place it's recorded in the Heathen Histories, that they went twice of them­ [...]ves, without any visible appearing hand of man to carry them. Such also was that in Tarquinius Priseus his time, that Actius Naevius the Augur, cut a Whet­stone in two with a Rasor, and that one of the Vestal Virgins, suspected for un­chastity, to clear her self, carryed water from Tyber in a Seive; and the like men­tioned by Lyvy, and out of him by Au­gustine de Civit. Dei, lib. 10. cap. 16. which were all doubtless wrought by Di­abolical power. Matth. 24.24. 2 Thess. 2.9, 10, 11, 12. As Magicians and Witches may be found by their help to do some such lying wonders, to further their de­signs upon men; as it was also foretold by our Saviour and his Apostles, that An­tichrist should do such things for hard­ning his followers, that they might be damned that believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But I shall speak only of those far greater, cer­tainer and more glorious Miracles wrought of God, for the confirmation of the truth of his Doctrine. And first I shall begin with his Ordinances.

SECT. 2.

That Christ was, and is the foundation all Ordinances appointed to fallen [...] for his Worship of God; and that Ch [...] and the grace in him, are the th [...] mainly witnessed to by them.

LEt me say this in general of all these Ordinances of God, which he ha [...] given to man since his fall, that Ch [...] was, and is both the foundation of them, and the matter chiefly signified and [...] forth in, and by them, they stood, and stand upon Christ, and all look and po [...] towards, or unto Christ, like the Che [...] ­bims of old that stood upon the M [...] Seat, and looked toward it; figuring the Angels peeping down into that gr [...] mysterie figured by it. 2. Pet. 1.12. Those Ordina [...] ­ces mentioned above, as given in Par [...] ­dise before the fall, might be some re­semblance too of Christ, either as he was the word, and should have been the [...] and life of man as so, had he stood, [...] else as he was in the Divine foreknowled [...] of God to come in the flesh for fall [...] man: but certainly they were not found [...] upon any promise of Christ to come, an [...] suffer for us, man as then not having sinn [...] Nor were they therefore ordained of God to mind us of him, and stir us up to lo [...] and wait for him, but they were appoin [...] to other ends and uses: as the Sabbath [...] mans rest from his labours, and to mi [...] him of Gods resting therein from all [...] [Page 227]works, and to give him a more devoted opportunity to contemplate the truth and works of God in, and to mind him of the more blessed rest, he should attain in obey­ing him. The tree of life was for pre­ [...]ving the life of man, immortal and free from Diseases, and the woman for the comfort, society, and multiplacation of mankind. But the Ordinances given to sinful fallen mankind, instituted as exter­nal means for, or ways of our approach­ing to God, and entring, or holding com­munion with him, must needs stand up­ [...] Christ, either first as promised, or else also as actually come in the flesh: for we could not be in Covenant, or have Com­munion with God having sinned, and being therefore sentenced to death, accur­ [...]ed, and banished from his presence, but through a Mediator, and therefore always appointed for us thereunto, must needs have dependance on him, and so both witness of, and lead us to him. If than had stood in his innocency, doubt­less he should have worshipped God, and that not only inwardly in his heart, but also outwardly in bodily actions; but sure those should have been more simple, and such as in which the Power, Wis­dom; Goodness of God his Maker, should have been acknowledged, and his bles­sings sought, as in Praisings of him, [...]hansgivings, Invocations, &c. in which also he might have been in the power of God, and his Word, and Spirit, the im­mediate [Page 228]Offerer and Priest himself, a [...] should not have had need of a Mediato [...] but being fallen, the case was, and is al­tered. Now no access or acceptance b [...] by another, a person holy and harml [...] in himself, and that makes, or hath mad [...] peace and attonement for us, and hath thereby power and authority to present our suits and services, and to be our Righ­teousness; and therefore also it was good and meet, that we should in all Ordi­nances have thereof some apt significati­on and remembrance.

Verily the promises of Christ, as the seed of the woman to bruise the head of the Serpent; and as the Seed of Abraham to bring in blessing to all the Nations and Families of the Earth (or rather Christ as so promised) was the ground and foundation of those Ordinances, appoint­ed in those first Ages before his coming▪ And the exhibition and actual appearance of him, the ground and basis of those we have since: so as all stand upon his said coming, and the things accomplished therein by him; and witness to him, and to his said coming; only differently ac­cording to the different times and dispen­sations of the knowledge of his coming those that were before his coming, repre­sented him as then yet to come, and [...] one that should in his coming mak [...] attonement for us by his blood; and therefore had something in them general­ly of blood-shedding: but those since w [...] ness [Page 229]to him, as one already come, and that hath given already suffi [...] satisfa­ction for us, and therefore are without blood-shedding; as signifying that there is nothing of that nature further needful to be done for us, but only to partake of the benefits of what is already done, and live to God therein. They were none of them appointed to us, upon the account of any goodness of ours, found in us, or done by us; nor to signifie or set forth our own righteousness or goodness; [...]ay ra­ther in pointing to, or witnessing of Christ, they all restifie of us, and against us, that we are sinners and condemned creatures [...] our selves, and so altogether without [...]ength or worth, that there is no help [...] our selves for us; all our righteousness [...]d goodness too weak and worthless to [...]eliver us: yea our fall and misery so [...]reat, and our case so desperate, that all [...]he creatures in Heaven and Earth too, were too weak and worthless to releive us: so as that it was necessary that the Son of God should come and suffer for [...], and become our Righteousness to [...]ve us. Yea this, in both branches of it, might be yet further confirmed.

That all the Ordinances have Christ [...] their foundation (Christ, I say, as to [...]me, or already come in the Flesh) is [...]ident in this, that the promise of him was the first thing preached to men, when [...]victed of their sin, as the ground and [...]dation of their hope, and by conse­quence [Page 230]the ground of all their worship the future, before any Ordinance for th [...] Worship was mentioned to them as fal [...] as also we usually find some renewed [...] mise, or performance of the Promise p [...] ceeding the injunction of any new Or [...] nance of Worship: yea, this first is co [...] ­firmed too by the second, viz. 2. That the all witness to Christ and the grace of G [...] in him, which appears in the very na [...] of the Rites and Acts of Worship req [...] red in them, intimatoly preaching ( [...] signifying an acknowledgement of) m [...] fall and misery, and the free grace of G [...] in Christ toward him for his restaur [...] and recoverry again, and leading to m [...] and abide in the faith and expectati [...] thereof, as may best be seen, if we [...] a brief view of them by induction.

SECT. 3.

Of the Ordinances appointed before Mos [...] and first of Sacrifices: therein also [...] Gods Cloathing man, and prohibiting [...] eating of Blood; and of [...] several tim [...] before the Law, in which the Gospel [...] revealed to all men.

SAcrifice is the most Ancient and [...] Religious Act or Institution, in whi [...] men did approach to God and wor [...] him that we read of. I do not say it [...] the first visible Act wherein God [...] mind man of his sin and fall, and ob [...] [Page 231] [...]edy provided for him: for I conceive [...]at Gods cloathing Adam and Eve with [...]e skins of Beasts, might not only m [...]nifest [...] them, and us in them, his [...] of us [...]ough the promised Seed, to provide for [...]ese our now frail and mortal bodies, not only for Food, but Raiment also, to shell [...] us from the inconveniences of the heat [...] cold, to which our bodies become weak and frail, and turned ou [...] of [...] life are exposed; and to cover the sham [...] of our Nakednes [...] that for hath brought upon us; and that we might be instruct­ [...] to acknowledg him the Preserver of us, and the Provider and Giver of [...]our Ray­ [...]ent also, for which he would have us, [...] serving his providence, depend upon him; but also it might be to mind them, and us in them, both of their sin and fall­ [...] that their [...] should now stand in [...]eed of [...]l [...]athing, for the ends above [...]entioned; as also of their dese [...] of death, and of the way [...], by which man must [...] cloathed, and presented [...]vely in the sight of God. For the death of those Beasts (probably slain too by way of Sacrifice at Gods appointment; for we find not the eating of flesh allow­ [...]d before the Flood) might at once both mind them of their own desert of death, and that it must be through the death of the promised Seed, that they must have all their cloathing and comliness in Gods presence, and be presented just and righte­ous with him, and enjoy all their mer­cies [Page 232]and good things from him: and [...] a consideration in their cloathing, wo [...] at once both tend to keep them lowly [...] their own eyes (contrary to that p [...] in Apparel that Satan and sin hath n [...] filled the world with, glorying in [...] badges of our sin and shame, and turn [...] that into wantonness, that should keep [...] lowly, in mindfulness of our fall and [...] of Innocensie) and also raise up th [...] hearts to thankfulness, and to hope in [...] through the promised Seed, and the [...] of Gods care of them through him. B [...] I say, Sacrifice was the first Religi [...] Rite, and way of Worship that we [...] instituted for, and practised by men [...] we read not of any external act of W [...] ship performed by men, till we read [...] the Sacrifice of Cain and Abel, Gen. 4. [...] not that they were the first Sacrifices th [...] were offered, because the first mention [...] doubtless they had been accustomed, b [...] Adam and Eve, and whoever else was [...] to them, and grown up with them in [...] world (as it appears many were before [...] time) before that fell out that is there [...] lated, to Sacrifice unto God: but th [...] Sacrificings are mentioned by occasion, a [...] because occasions of what followed th [...] upon. And that they also were appo [...] ­ed of God to Sacrifice, may appear in th [...] that Abel is said by saith to have offe [...] up a more acceptable Sacrifice than C [...] But had not Sacrifice been before appoi [...] ­ed of God, and the grounds thereof ( [...] [Page 233] [...]omised Messiah, and the grace of God [...] mankind in, and by him, and Gods [...]acious mind concerning men, through him) been before revealed, what ground could Abel have had of faith to offer in? nor would an Offering upon his own head, or in imitation of Cam only, have been accepted of God, who requires us to do according to his appointing, in mat­ters of his Worship especially, and not according to our own imaginations. Both Abels faith then, and Gods acceptance, im­ply that Sacrifice was Gods Ordinance, and that it was instituted to be an outward solemn profession and exercise of faith; a believing acknowledgement of Gods goodness to man in, and by the promi­sed Seed, and in expectation of blessing through him. Yea, and that God also appointed Sacrifices, as well as approved them, when rightly done, may be gather­ed from his after appointing Noah, to pre­serve of clean Beasts and [...]owls by sevens. Doubtless the distinction of Clean and Un­clean, had reference to Sacrificing first. For we find not that God gave men liberty (as we said before) to eat of them till af­ter the Flood, though possibly it might be otherwise: however that appears one end of his bidding Noah preserve them by se­vens, Gen. 9.2, 3, 4, with 1.29. that he might Sacrifice of them to God, as afterwards we read he did; and that God smelled a sweet savour of rest therein; and why a sweet savour of rest? Gen. 7.2, 3. & 8.20, 21. Seeing God himself after testifies, that he [Page 234]had no pleasure in Burnt Offerings [...] Sacrifices, the blood of Goats or the [...] of Rams, P [...]l. 40.7, 8, 10 & 50.8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. Act. 17.25, 26, 27. Heb. 10.2, 3, 4. &c. It could not be, because God wanted, or had any refreshing [...] them, for he [...]eeds them not; nor is he worshipped with mens hands, as if he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life and breath, and all things: nor was it because they could take away, or make satisfaction for their sins; for it's no [...] pos [...] sible the blood of such Creatures should do any such things: but surely it was be­cause he had appointed them as a me [...] ­rial of his Son, and as types and figures of him, and because of the faith of the Sacrificer in him. Sen. 9. with Levit. 17. As with reference to the blood of Christ, to be shed for us, he gave them the blood of those Creatures to make attonement on the Alter for their Souls, and therefore also when he allow­ed men the eating of flesh, he forbad the eating of blood to them. Yea that they were appointed of God, and to such ends too, may yet further appear, both by the practice of all the Patriarchs, and in that when God had bid Abraham offer up his Son Isado for a Burnt Offering; Ab [...] ­bam said to Isaac, inquiring where the Sacrifice was, Psal. 105.15. Gen. 22.8. God will provide himself a Lamb for a Burnt Offering; which he be­ing a Prophet, might speak of the seed promised him, as believing that he should be the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world, and bring in blessings to all Nations: and yet more clearly, in that [Page 235]God afterward by Law, more fully ap­pointed them by Moses, Heb. 11.10, 1, 5. and as the Apo­ [...]le tells us, to be shadows of good things to come. 'Tis true, there might be di­vers ends and reasons of Gods appointing them; as,

1. That men might thereby acknow­ledge him the Lord, the Author and Gi­ver of all good things to them; which they testified by giving some of them to him by Sacrifice, as also by giving him, in his Preists, the Tenths or Tithes of them.

2. That men might therein joyn toge­ther in their worship and acknowledge­ment of God, and so that a publick wor­ship of him might be kept up in the world, by which men might be instruct­ed to own and acknowledge him succes­sively, and not attribute things to other causes, and take, and use them as their own, at their pleasures; and so fall to Atheism and Irreligion: but seeing though God was the maker of all things before the fall, yet his continuing and giving those good things to man kind since the fall; for which he is continually to be acknowledged, and blessed by fallen man­kind, is through Christ, and his death fo [...]en.

3. The great reason therefore of such alway of acknowledging him and his bounty, was the promise and interposure of Christ, and that he and his love might therein be signified to, and acknowledg­ed [Page 236]and remembred by men; which w [...] fitly represented in the shedding the bloo [...] of the living Sacrifices, and in the offer­ing them generally by fire unto God; [...] therein was both a remembrance of [...] and of death deserved by sin, and also [...] fore-signifying of the Death and Sacrific [...] of the Messiah, instead of men, to take away mans sin, and by destoying Death, to be his Resurrection, and Life there­from: and that through him, and his Death and Sacrifice, men might have, and had their access to God, to worship him, and might receive favour and bles­sing from him. Surely this was the main ground of all their Sacrificing, in its first institution; and so there was therein a [...] more full teaching, by way of represen­tation, of the meaning of the foregoing Oracle about the promised Seed, and how he should bruise the Serpents Head. And to such ends was it delivered over traditionally from Father to Son, to be practised by all Nations, who retained this way of worship till the Messias came, and till the Preaching of him, as come, put an end thereto: as well the Gentiles a [...] the Jews had their Sacrifices, Atonements, Expiations for sin, &c. though they be­ing degenerated, and gone from the faith of the true God, and the right way of wor­shipping him, lost also the right end and manner of Sacrificing: and as they mul­tiplied gods to themselves, so they invent­ed, and brought in new Rites and Cere­monies [Page 237]to those devised or supposed gods, according as their own fancies and Satan [...]ed them; which thing also in great mea­sure befel the Jews, notwithstanding that God took more peculiar care of them, and to keep them from such degenerati­on, gave them Laws and Statues in writing, prescribing to them, both to Sacrifice to himself only, and when, and where, and what to Sacrifice: for he appointed them many kinds of Offerings, all pointing to Christ, and to continue till the time of Reformation, by his appearing himself to put away sin by the Sacrifice of Him­self for us. Yet they also casting his Law behind their backs, and desiring to be, and do like other Nations, fell into abo­minable Superstitions and Idolatries; and even in their Sacrificing to God, and ac­cording to his Rules prescribed, as to ex­ternal form, lost the right end and use of it, putting it in the place of Christ, and seeking to establish a righteousness to them­selves in so doing; or conceiting that there­by they should obtain and have Gods fa­vour, and be justified and saved in, and notwithstanding their prophane and wick­ed living; so as that God often pronounced against them, that he obhorred and loath­ed them, and esteemed their Sacrificing an Ox, no better than the killing a Man, or cutting off a Dogs neck, &c. even then things unlawful and forbidden by him.

This also we might further note by the way, that at two several times the [Page 238]Gospel was given forth by Word, [...] Sealed by outward Ordinance to [...] whole world universally, before the [...] ving of the Law; and so there was a [...] [...]ouchsafed for preserving and witne [...] it to, and with all men. Namely, [...]

1. To Adam and his Family, who [...] by Word and Ordinance (namely [...] curfice) was to deliver it to his Poste [...] and they thereby to keep the public [...] knowledgement of it from Father to [...] successively: from which Cain and his Fa­mily swerving, and making a Re [...] Schism, and by degrees the sounder [...] of the Church too, even the Sons of God by mixing themselves with Cains Fami­ly, and receiving their corruption [...] proving Nephisms and Apostates from God, the whole World became cor­rupt from the true Faith and right Worship, so as that only Noah was fou [...] perfect in his Generations; and God swept them all away with the Flood, pre­serving only that Preacher of Righteous­ness with his Family alive to new people the World.

2. By him (even Noah) was the right way of faith and worship again pro [...] ­gated to all men by Word and Sacri [...] so as it might have been received and re­tained by them successively. But thou [...] Noah himself, and Shem his Son lived long time; yet before Abrahams time less than four hundred years, they had ve­ry generally turned aside from the fa [...] [Page 239] [...] sincerity of worship again, and made themselves Gods of their own devising, [...] offered their Sacrifices to them. But God in great mercy, that his Truth [...] the Witnesses of it, and way of Wor­ship might not be quite lost out of the world, took pitty on it, and called and chose out Abraham and his Family, and gave to them both the further revelation of the Faith, with its Ordinance, and added also, as further promises; so another out­ward Ordinance too, for witnessing and [...]aling the same, viz. the Ordinance of Circumcision.

SECT. 4.

Of Circumcision given to Abraham and his Seed.

CIrcumcision which was a Religious cutting off the Foreskin of the Flesh, or member of Generation, was the next outward Ordinance then appointed of God to men. And it began to be an Or­dinance of God in Abrahams time, and so was not of so early a beginning, nor of that Universal extent as the Law for Sa­crificing, nor so universally received and practised by men; but given to, and pra­ [...]ised by Abrahams family, and those that were willing to joyn themselves with them. And it was given to him, not only to be given to him, not only to be practised on himself and his [Page 240]Family, but to be delivered by him them as an Ordinance to be observed them in their generations. Gal. 3.8. After God [...] made his promise of blessing all Nation in him and his Seed: (In his Seed as [...] person in whom the blessing should [...] and in him, as he with whom the righ [...] way of faith and worship was deposited) and after he had promised tomultiply his Seed, Heb. 11.13, 14, 15, 16. both Spiritual and Carnal, and had promised him, not only an Earthly but a Heavenly Country; that it might be evident, that Christ, and the grace brought in by him, was the founda­tion of this Ordinance also. Though this Ordinance had some further and o­ther significations, than that of Sacrifice: for though the Death and Bloodshed of Christ might be implied in it, in that by Bloodshed men were admitted into the Church of God in Abrahams Family; yet it was given also further, Rom. 4.11. as the Apostle says, as a si [...]n and seal of the righteous­ness of the faith that Abraham had, being yet uncircumcised. And so it was,

1. A sign in their flesh, both of Gods Covenant made with Abraham and his Seed, concerning the blessing all Nati­ons in him, and of his owning and taking Abrahams Family for his Church and Peo­ple; and so to be as a Sign or Mark of the People, with whom the right Faith and Worship was deposited, as also a Sign of the way of right believing, and coming to be of Abrahams spiritual Seed [Page 241]under the promise of righteousness and [...]ing, viz. that the way thereto, [...] by attending to, and receiving his faith or doctrine concerning the promised Seed, singly cleaving to him, and letting go all confidence in their natural birth (and what they thereby were) as cor­rupt and lothsom; and so all fleshly pri­viledges to be cut off and cast away, so as to confidence for blessing or life to be placed therein, nor in any fleshly thing, a Parts, Wisdom, Goodness, Righte­ousness of their own, &c. which should all be let go for Christ, the promised Seed, that they might by believing the testimony of God concerning him, be made in him, and so of the Seed of Abra­ham after the Spirit, and inherit the bles­sing; as also that the way for Abraham and his Seed to beget Children to God, to be heirs with him, is not to consult with the Wisdom, or use the weapons of the Flesh, nor by natural and carnal generation, but by the word of God, the simplicity of the faith of Christ to be held forth by him. Nor was it only his natu­ral Seed that might come into Christ, and have this blessing, but any man; and therefore he was to instruct (and disciple as it were) all that were under his power and dispose, to circumcise all born in his house, or bought with his mony: nor were any to be accounted of that society of external Worshippers, but those that had, of received that sign or badge of the [Page 242]Covenant; as none are of the Spi [...] Seed, but those that suffer the Spiritu [...] Circumcision in Christ to pass upon the [...] and so rejecting all fleshly glorying and confidence, do worship God in the Spirit and Truth according to his Faith or Do­ctrine. It was also,

2. A Seal or Confirmation of the Righ­teousness of the faith, which he had while uncircumcised: by which faith may be mean [...], either

1. That Object of Faith, that Truth or Doctrine he believed and preached which was both; Rom. 4.11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. That in him and in h [...] Seed all the Nations should be blessed Gal. 3.8. and that God would give hi [...] a numerous Seed, especially as to his Spi­ritual Seed, that should be heirs of the world (the world to come in its renew­ed state) with him; and then the Righ­teousness of the Faith, so taken, signifieth either,

The righteousness of it, that it is the right and true faith, that men ought to imbrace and believe, as pertaining to Christ, and the blessing in him for all Nations, and the blessedness of his Spriti­tual Seed, and their enjoyment of the▪ world to come; or else also,

2. The righteousness prepared for all Nations, contained in the word Blessing, that is the forgiveness of sins, and the justification preached in that Faith and Doctrine; even as David describeth the blessedness of the man to whom the Lord [Page 243] [...]tes righteousness without works, say­ [...], Blessed is the man whose iniquities are [...]ven, and whose sins are covered, Rom. 6, 7. or else,

[...] By Faith is meant, that believing of that Doctrine, and so in God, that was [...]nd in Abraham before he received that Ordinance of Circumsicion, for it was [...]fied of him before, that he believed [...]ording to what was said to him, and that was accounted to him for righteous­ness: and so the righteousness of his faith, also taken, may either signifie the right­ness and truth of his so believing, or also his righteous account he had with God therethrough; Gods justification and ac­ceptation of him: (but I think the former [...] of Faith, and its Righteousness, is [...]ant rather by the Apostle) So that by this Ordinance was Sealed both, that that was the Faith and Truth to be believed, by whosoever would come in to them, yea by [...]ll men as it might be to them declared: and that therein is held forth the true Righteousness, and way to Righteousness [...] all Nations, viz. that in so believing God as Abraham did, according to what [...] said of God to us, and not accord­ing to our sight and carnal reasons, we [...]all be justified with him. This was [...]ealed by Circumcision: and so that righ­teousness should be imputed to such also, though not Circumcised in the flesh, (as Abraham then was not, when his Faith [...] imputed to him for righteousness) [Page 244]that so he might be the Father of th [...] also, as Heirs with him of the promi [...] made to him in Christ; and the Father too of the Circiumcision, not because of their being outwardly Circumcised (for Circumcision did not feal its self, or i [...] own Righteousness, as to say, that men should be justified, and imputed righteous, and so be Heirs of Abraham, and his bles­sing in Christ for, and by being Circum­cised; but the righteousness of the Faith which he had, being yet uncircumcised) but if they walked in the steps of the Faith of Abraham, which he had before he was Circumcised, as the Apostle says Rom. 4.11, 12. This Ordinance then wit­nessed and sealed, and the promise o [...] Christ, and of Righteousness and Bles­sing in him for all Nations; and that th [...] Faith was committed to, and left in the Family of Abraham, through which th [...] blessing might be met with, and so di­rected and sealed the way to that blessing And this Ordinance was practised from Fathers to Children by Abraham and [...] Seed, both that of the Bond-woman, an [...] that of the Free, and by the Edomites also though both the Israelites, and the Edo­mites degenerated from the Faith witne­sed to by it: yea and the Israelites also, th [...] generality of them, resting in the ou [...] ward Circumcision, and neglecting th [...] inward of the Spirit, witnessed and di [...] ­ed to by it: and because it was a badge [...] distinction of them from other People [Page 245]and a sign of their being Children of the Covenant of God, calling themselves, and [...]ing called there after the Circumcision (as before the Church, in distinction from others, Gen. 6.2. Rom. 2.17, to the end. & 3.1, 2, 9, 10, &c. were called the Sons of God) they lifted up themselves by it, and despised the uncircumcised in the flesh; as if there was no grace or blessing in, and through the Messias for them, if not so Circumcised, not understanding the right end of it, [...]nd Gods mind and meaning in it.

With reference to this Ordinance, we read of a Circumcision or Uncircumcisi­on of the Heart, of [...]ar, and of the Lips; Lev. 26.41. the heart is uncirumcised, 2 Cor. 3.16. Deut. 30.6. Jer. 6.10. 2 Tim. 4.3. Exod. 6.12, 30. while the car­ [...]ality of it, the fleshly wisdom and affecti­on in it obstructs and hinders its percepti­on and reception of Gods grace and truth, and so keep it off from trusting in, and loving the Lord. And the taking away that carnality in its turning to the Lord, is the Circumcising it to love the Lord. The Ear is Uncircumcised while men can­not endure sound Doctrine, or to hear the reproofs of it. And the Lip, while a man cannot speak distinctly of, or to God in prayers to, or confessions of him. And the taking away that carnality, or flesh­ly frame of Spirit, that renders the word offensive and burdensom, or that hinders a man from speaking aright and profitably to God and men, is the Circumcising of the Ear and Lip; and the Circumcision of these parts by the Grace and Spirit of God, are exceeding necessary for us, that we [Page 246]may hear and understand, and so b [...] and love the Lord, and his Doctrine, a [...] utter them rightly and profitably: and [...] attending unto Christ, this also is to be met with by us.

This I may further add, that that Ordinance, though it sealed the Righte­ousness of Faith, Rom. 3.25. yet it also obliged to the observation of all such other Laws or Or­dinances as were, or should be after gi­ven them of God, in their waiting for the promised Seed: thence though it was long before the Law, yet it is said by the Apostle to oblige to keep the Law, Gal. 5.3. and therefore when the Seed came to which the Law witnessed, and [...] the faith of whom they were kept, [...] under a Schoolmaster, then it, with the observation of the Law ceased, being swallowed up in Christ, the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth. But in the mean while God, as he see good and needful, ceased not to mind them of Christ thereby; and to that purpose also, to add still other out­ward Rites and Ordinances, that by ma­ny Witnesses they might be more con­firmed, and kept to the faith of him, from which, through their carnality, they were apt to be departing. And indeed within four hundred years, or little more after this Ordinance of Circumcision, be­ing in Egypt, they there much corrupted themselves from Gods true Faith and Worship, learning the ways of the Egy­ptians, [Page 247]and defiling themselves with the [...]minations of their Eyes, and with [...] Idols, so as to provoke God to have consumed them there, as Ezekiel testifies: Ezek. 20.7, 8, 9. & 23.8. there they exercised their Spiritual Whore­doms, and the Teats of their Virginity were bruised, so as God lifted up his hand to have destroyed them; yet for his Names sake wrought their deliverance; that so his Name committed to, and call­ed upon by them, might yet have its Ta­bernacle amongst them, and might not be polluted amongst the Nations, as if of [...]o profit to them that received it, and re­tained it with them. Yea he greatly glo­rified his Name in his returning to them, to take them from the heavy bondage which their sins had brought upon them: so as that he made it famous to all the people about them. And then also re­newing his Covenant made with Abra­ham concerning them: He added another Ordinance called the Passover, to be ob­served by them.

SECT. 5.

Of the Passover, and how that Typed out Christ.

PEsech, or the Passover (of which, and of its Institution we read Exo. 12.) [...]as the next outward and publick Ordi­nance appointed of God, to be observed [...] them that worshipped him in the Fa­mily [Page 248]of Abraham: and that was In [...] ­ted upon their Deliverance out of [...] to be Annually, or every Year obser [...] on the same Evening; both in remem­brance of that their great Deliver [...] from so heavy a Bondage; and as a T [...] and signification of that far greater [...] liverance and Redem [...]tion promised to Mankind, in, and by the Promised Seed: and especially, and peculiarly by the [...] Israel of God, to be enjoyed: and so [...] the way whereby men might, and the Is­rael of God shall actually escape Sin, and Eternal Death, by, and through him. That it was a Type of Christ, and his Death and Sacrifice, and Mens Redemp­tion thereby from Sin and Satan, the Apo­stle warrants us to believe, in saying 1 Cor. 5. [...]. Christ our [...]ssover is sacrific [...] for us. And indeed, almost every thing in that Ordinance fitly represents Christ, and the grace in him, and the way to pertake thereof. As to instance;

They were to take every man a Lam [...] for his Family, Exod. 12.3. aptly signi­fying, Joh. 1.2 [...]. That Lamb of God; which God, (as Abraham said Gen. 22.8.) would find out for himself, for a Burnt-offering: and representing his innocency, harm­lesness, meekness, profitableness, and fit­ness, to be a Sacrifice for us; as also, the in him, is Blessing for all the Families [...] the Earth, which each of them should accept, and seek for.

2. Their Lambs were to be perfect, of [Page 249] [...] First Year, a Male, without blemish, Ver [...]. 5. 1 Pet. 1.18, 19. & 2.22. [...] spot, scab, or defect in him; repre­senting the acceptableness of the Person of Christ to God, and fitness for the Work of our Redemption, as being with­out fault, or spot of Sin before him: no­thing defective in him, for making satis­faction and attonement for us; nothing superfluous, or that might be spared; of a Masculine Spirit, fervent in the business undertook by him, in our behalf, and of excellent sweetness, and nourishment, Vers. 3. for us.

3. Psal. 89.19, 20. Heb. 4.15. Isa. 53.9. They were to take it out of the Flock, of the Sheep, or of the Goats, or Kids; to signify, That Christ should be one with us, of the common Nature of Mankind that is found in good and bad; one chosen out of the People, and in all points made like unto us: yea, that he should be numbred with the Transgressors, and make his Grave with the Wicked, and with the Rich in his Death; yet without Sin in him.

4. They were to keep it up, Vers. 6. till the Fourth day after their taking it; perhaps to signifie, that not till the Four thousandth Year, or fourth time of the World, Heb. 9.25, 26. Christ was to be Manifest, and brought forth to his death, and Sufferings, though set apart thereto, in the beginning thereof.

5. They were to kill it, to signifie, Vers. 6. Luk. 24.26. Heb. 9.22, 26. That the Messias must dye for our Sins; no Re­mission of Sins but by his Blood-shed.

6. They were to Kill it in the Evening, [Page 250]or between the two Evenings; between the declining and setting of the Sun; [...] signify, That in the End of the World, or last Ages of it, he should appear once to put away Sin by the Sacrifice of him­self, Heh. 9.26.

7. The whole Congregation was to kill it: to signifie, That we all had a hand in the Death of Christ. It was the Ini­quity of us All, that God laid upon him, and so in some sense, he Dyed by (that is, by occasion of) us all, and for All, Isa. 53.5, 6. 2 Cor. 5.14, 15. 1 Tim. 2.6.

8. Vers. 9. They were to rost the Flesh of it: to signifie, As the great Sufferings they had endured in Aegypt, so much more the great and fiery Afflictions that should be­fall Christ, in his Soul and Body: yea, it might note, That He, not onely should be killed or put to Death in the Flesh; but also, That his Soul should be in Hell for a time, though not left there: That he might as well endure the Miseries, which our Souls in their seperate State from their Bodies should have endured; as what we must have endured before in the Body, Math. 26.38, 39. and 27.46. Luk. 22.44. Act. 2.31.

9. Vers. 7. They were to sprinkle its Blood up­on the Posts of their Doors; the upper Post, and the two side Posts; but not upon the Threshold. Heb. 10.22, 29. & 12.24. To signifie, That he should be the Propitiotory or Recon­conciliation for us through Faith in his. [Page 251]Blood; 1 Pet. 1.1, 2. & 2.5, 9, 1 [...]. which being sprinkled upon our Consciences, should be as a defence over, and about us; but must not be trod un­der foot, or counted as a common thing by us, and that in such obedience to, and sprinkling of it, being sanctifyed thereby God would spare us; yea, bring us out from the power of Sin and Satan, and chuse us to be a People to himself, to shew forth his praises.

10. It was to be eaten by every Family; Vers. 4. & [...]. To signifie, That the way for us to be made partakers of the Death and Sacri­fice of Christ, and to live by him, and be strengthned for our departure from Sin and Satan, and walking after God in the Wilderness of this World, is by a parti­cular receipt and application of him, to us, or exercise of Faith in him, as Cruci­ [...]yed for us: as Gal. 2.20. Joh. 6.51.53. &c.

11. It might not be eaten raw, Vers. 9. or sod in water, but rosted; To signifie, (per­haps) that Christ not nakedly considered, either as the Eternal Word; or simply, as made Flesh, and giving himself as an Example to us in his Life, or Suffering as an ordinary Man, or any ways as the wisdom of the Flesh might represent him to us; but as made an Offering for our Sins, Christ as Crucified and therethrough prepared and made a meek Sacrifice for us: yea, and as lifted up, and glorified by the Spirit of God to us is to be believed in, and fed upon, by us. 1 Cor. 2.2. 2 Cor. 5.14, 15, 16. Joh. 6.51.

12. They were to Eat it whole, Joh. 6.35, 48, [...]. 53, 54, 55. its He [...] with its Legs, and the appurrenances there­of: To signifie, That whole Christ was given for us, and is given to us; and no­thing of him is to be neglected by us. His Deity, his Humanity, his Walking, Words, Actions, Sufferings, all good to be received, meditated, and fed upon by us: all that appertained to him, as Cru­cified for us. He is altogether delectable. Cant. 5.16.

13. They were to Eat it that Night, [...]rs. 10. not to leave of it till the Morning: To signifie. That in this World, or dark time of this Life, we are to live by the Faith of Christ, and exercise Faith in his Death: there will be no need of that in the Morning of the Resurrection; Heb. 10.38. Gall. 3.25. as also it might signifie, That the Ordinance, and the rest of those shadows of the Law, were but to continue till the day dawn­ed, till Christ appeared, and was Dead, and Raised; and then no further need of those observations.

They were to Eat it with their Loyns Girt, [...]ers. 12. their Shooes on their Feet, their Staves in their Hands, and in haste; in a Posture ready to walk, or travel out of Aegypt: To imply, That in minding, and exercising Faith in Christ Crucifyed, for us, we are to gird up the Loyns of our Minds, not to let them be seattered abroad upon vain things, but to set them upon Christ and Heaven, the true and heaven­ly Canaan, and our Journey, or March [Page 253]thither; and to have the hope God's Sal­vation, his Word, as a Staff for our Sup­port; and so to have our Feet shod, with the preparations of the Gospel of Peace; ready in haste to follow after Christ, out of this World, from the Power and Do­minion of Sin, and Satan, under Christ's Kingdom, Government, and Guidance unto the Glory to which He will carry us.

15. vers. 8. They were to Eat it with Unlea­vened Bread, and bitter Herbs; as to mind them of their hasty departure from Aegypt, that they could not stay till their Bread was Leavened; and of the bitter Afflictions they there sustained: so also to signifie, That we ought to keep the remembrance of the Grace of God in Christ, without retaining our Corruptions, either the Corruption of our Natures, 1 Cor. 5.7, 8, 9. which we are to be putting off, and lay­ing aside, as our old Leaven; or much less, the Leaven of Wickedness, Guile, and Malice; contracted by a wilfull, or wil­ling Disobedience to Christ; but to walk in the Truth, and in truth, and sincerity of love to Christ, and one another, even as he hath sincerely loved us; but yet to re­member the grace of Christ, Zech. 12.10, 11 Ezek. 16.61. & 20.43. with a mind­fullness of our own Sin, and sinfullness, and bewailing our piercings of him, with our unkindness; as also, with a taking down, what ever bitter Reproofs or Afflictions attend the Preaching of, or Believing on, Christ Crucified.

16. [...]ers. 43.45. No Stranger might Eat of it, o [...] Servant bought with Money, till Circum­ciled: the Foreiner and hired Servant might not eat of it. Which might sig­nifie, and instruct us, That as Men can­not be in Covenant with God, or be in Christ, 1 Cor. 6.9, 10, 11. Ezek. 14.3, 6, 7. & 20.3. whom he hath given for a Cove­nant to the People, &c. but they must thereto put off their confidence in the Flesh, and its Priviledges: so neither may, or can any feed upon Christ, live by the Faith of him, and enjoy his Consolations, (though in Service, or Office in the Church,) but in, and by Suffering, that grace brought in by him to Crucifie him to himself: and that none may expect free­dom from the Wrath to come, that abuse this grace of God, and turn it into wan­tonness, not suffering it to Circumcise their Hearts, and conform them to him; no Stranger to the grace of God, nor Mer­cenary Professor of it, while such may be made partaker of his Consolation.

17. vers. 46. It was to be Eaten in one House: To signifie, That God loves, and requires Unity, and agreement in Faith, and Con­fession in them that Communicate with, and live by the Faith of his Son; Psal. 133. Eph. 4.3, 4, 5. that they should not make rents and schisms amongst themselves, and one from ano­ther; but endeavour to keep the Unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, and that out of that Unity, we cannot be per­takers of Christ.

18. vers. 46. Not a bone thereof was to be bro­ken: [Page 255]which was fullfilled in Christ, even in his Sufferings, Joh. 19.36. As also to imply, God's care of the Members of Christ, that Believe in him, Psal. 34.20.

19. vers. 47. All the Congregation were to keep that Ordinance: To signifie, That all that are drawn to God, by Christ; are to have their spiritual Life, and feeding, in, and upon Christ, and therefore are to mind him: None of them thinking them­selves too bad, nor none too high, or good to have their Life by the Faith and Re­rembrance of him, and his Sufferings for them.

20. If any Stranger would keep it, vers. 48. All his Males must be Circumcised, and so he might Eat of it: Which may sur­ther hin [...], That God likes, and requires it, that not onely we our selves should submit to Christ; but also, indeavour what in us lies, to subject and disciple all under our care and dispose; else come we not so heartily to him, or with so good allowance, nor can expect such Blessing from him.

Such was this Ordinance of the Passo­ver, and the Ordinances and Rites apper­taining to it; and it was the First Instituted of God by Moses; and though a little be­fore the giving of the Law, yet was one of those Laws given by Moses; and was Confirmed again afterward, Exod. 23. [...]vit. 23.5. &c. And therefore may be counted an Ordinance of the Law, and [...] was of continuance in the Church of [Page 256]the Jews; holding forth to them Chris [...] and the Grace promised, and prepared [...] Christ, and the way of partaking of th [...] Grace, and living by it, till the time [...] the Actual Sufferings of Christ: when in the Night, in which he was betrayed, ha­ving desirously eaten it with his Disciples he Instituted another, bearing great Ana­logy and Proportion with it: Of which afterward, when we shall have considere [...] other Ordinances that intervened. For,

SECT. 6.

Of the Sabbaths, Festivals, Purifications; and other Ordinances of the Tabernac [...] and Temple.

OVer and above the Ordinance of the Passover, we find many more gi­ven to the Jews, all Types of Christ, and Instructing to him, as the Apostle plainly says, Coll. 2.15, 16. Heb. 10.1, 2. We cannot look into them all particularly. I shall here together briefly mention the chief of them. As,

1. They had divers Sabbaths, and days of Rest appointed them; as their Se­venth Day, or Weekly Sabbath, their Yearly Sabbath, Seventh Year Sabbath and their Seventh Seventh year, or Year of Jubilee. Of which briefly.

1. The Seventh-day Sabbath, was first Instituted in Paradise; unless Moses spea [...] of it, by way of Prolepsis, or Anticipa [...] [Page 257] [...]. That the Sabbath was afterward ap­pointed for that cause or reason amongst [...]hers, because God on the Seventh-day [...]ted from all his Works that he had [...]ade: but however, as it was appointed before the Fall, so it falls not under our Consideration; but as it was anew, re­newed by Moses; for from the Creation to Moses, we read nothing of the Observa­tion of it. But as so given, it had in it, and that too in common, with the rest two things considerable. The matter of [...], (as it were;) and the Form of it: That is, it may be looked upon as it was, a certain, seperate time; and as it was, a time seperate to some peculiar use.

1. As a time of God's Worship, and had in it, the Number of Seven, The seventh-day; as in others, the seventh-year, and seventh seventh: So it with those other Sabbaths, signified and appointed out Christ the Perfection and Fulness of Time; or that in the fulness of Time, after many Labours and Changes, he should bring in the Grace promised, as to the open Revelation, and Dispensation of it: yea, and as some think, the per­lect Rest from Misery, Labour and Toyl brought in by Sin; to be brought in by him, in the Seventh thousand Year, (or seventh-day, a thousand Years for a Day) of the World: or upon the Sounding of the seventh Trumpet, Rev. 10.

2. As to its Use; It, with others, was ap­pointed for Rest, (as the Word Sabath also [Page 258]signifies, The seventh-day sabbath, that [...] and Beasts might Rest from their Labo [...] The Seventh year, and year of Jub [...] was for the Resting of the Land: And so they Typed out Christ, to be, and [...] bring in the true Rest from Labour a [...] Sorrow, to the spirits of men, now through the grace of his first Appearing, Matth. 11.28. Heb. 4.9. Isa. 28.12. and to both Bodies and Spirits, in his Se­cond Appearing; according to that of our Saviour, Come to me all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give [...] rest. And there remaineth yet a Rest for the People of God: and so Christ is cal­led too the Rest, wherewith the weary should be made to Rest. And by the Apostle, Christ is said to be, the substance or body of the Sabbaths, Col. 2.16.

But more particularly: The Seventh-days Sabbath was appointed to be a Sign between the Lord, and the Children of Israel, for ever: That it is the Lord that doth Sanctifie them: as Exod. 31, 13, 14 17. And so it might signifie, and be a Sign, that in, and by ceasing from all our Workings and Labours, to get Life and Righteousness, Rom. 4.5. Act. 26.18. 1 Cor. 1.30. to, and by our selves; and in attending to Christ, and God in Christ, so God would sanctify us according to that. To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the Ungodly, [...] Faith is imputed to him for Righteous­ness: And Sanctified (says Christ) by faith that is in me. And Christ is made [...] us of God, Sanctification: as if he should [Page 259]say. The Sabbath I injoyn you, as a per­pernal Covenant, to signifie to you, and instruct you. That you are not you own Sanctifyers; or Sanctified by your own Works and Labours, but by me in Christ, your resting place, in a quiet ceasing from your own Thoughts, and Words, and Works; and resting in, and upon Christ, I shall ye be holy to me. Isa. 58.13.

2. The Anoual or Yearly Sabbath I [...]all that day of Expiation, 1 Levit. 16.31. & 23.27, 28, 31, 32. the tenth Day of the seventh Month; in which besides their resting from their labours, they were all of them to afflict their Souls and Fast, and the High Priest was by Sacri­fice and by entning into the Holy of Ho­lios with the bloud of the Sacrifice to make an atonement for himself and for all the People, and to lay their Sins upon a Scape-Goat to be carried by him into a desert place: The most lively and clear [...]ype of Christ the great High Priest, and the Atonement made by him for all men by his own bloud and sufferings, first en­dured by him, and then in the vertues of them presented before the Father in Hea­ven for the taking away our Sins there, that so mercy might be extended by him to us. Both the Bullock for a Sin-offer­ing for Aaron, and the Goats for the Peo­ple signified Christ bearing and suffering for the sins of those that are Priests to God, the Israel. of God, our Sins, and for the Sins of the People, even of the whole World, 1 Joh. 2.2. the Goat that was [Page 260]slain a Type of him dying for all m [...] and bearing their Sins in his own B [...] on the Tree; and the Scape Goat [...] was sent away, having the Sins of [...] Congregation confessed upon him, ano­ther Type of Christ removing and carry­ing away our Sins by the vertues of his Sa­crifice, and remitting them to the World, so as not to impute to them, or charge them upon them: Yet so as if any man rested not on that day, 2 Cor. 5.19, 21. and afflicted [...] his Soul, he was cut off from his People, deprived of the benefit of that geners▪ Atonement or Expiation, Lev. 23.29, 30. as signifying that the way for men to enjoy the bene [...]t of the general Atonement or Purgation of Sins made by Christ, Act. 10.43. & 13.38, 39, 40. 1. Joh. 1.8, 9, 10. is to own and con­fess their Sins, and be afflicted for them in the sense and acknowledgment [...] them, and to rest upon and believe in him, otherwise they must perish. In­deed there was in this (as in all other Types) many differences between the Type and the Truth by reason of the im­perfection of the Types, and perfection [...] the Truth not to be reached fully by them here the day the Priest, the Sacrifice we [...] different things, but all pointed out Chri [...] here the High Priest first offered for [...] own sins, and then for the Sins of [...] People. But Christ had no Sins proper [...] his own, none as a Priest, for he kn [...] or did no sin, Heb. 7.26, 27. neither was guile found [...] his mouth; He was holy, harmless, unde­defiled, separated from sinners, made [...] [Page 261] [...]han the Heavens. Who needed not to do [...] those Priests did, daily to offer, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. But this (the hithermost, the offering for the Sins of the People) he did at once; or what sins might in any sence be called his, as imputed to him and owned by him, and so undertaken to be satisfied for, and removed (as the sin of Adam, and all as in him, and what na­turally and necessarily springs up there­from; for which, he in the first place, and most properly undertook, to ransom men from the judgment due to them; or also the sins of his Members, as such that are owned by him as parts of himself, the sins of Believers) for these, and for sins of the People (sins of another nature com­mitted willingly by Men in their own persons against the Grace and goodness of God extended to them through him; Rom. 5.14. sins after the similitude of Adam's trans­gression) that he might obtain power to forgive them also, Rom. 5.18. for all these he did offer up himself once, so as that by that one Offering, he hath both obtained a [...]ease of that first Judgment, in which all stood condemned, so as no man shall perish therein; and he hath obtained po­wer to forgive those other offences after the similitude of Adam's transgression up­on their confession of, and turning from them. Yea, Heb. 10.14. he hath for ever per­ [...]ed the sanctified ones, provided them [...] a perfect purgation, so as there needs [Page 262]no more Sacrifice for sin to their perfe [...] saving: Yea, so perfect was that his one Offering, that there-through he ha [...] obtained eternal redemption, power of forgiving sins, and setting free from S [...] and Death for ever; and therefore stand not to offer any more, but is gone into Heaven it self, there to appear in the pre­sence of God for us; and having as it were sprinkled his Bloud upon the Mercy­seat (appearing in Heaven as a Lamb that was slain) he is set down on the Right hand of God, Rev. 5.6. expecting till all his Foes be made his footstool, Heb. 9.10, 11, 12, 25, 26. and 10.10, 11, 12, 13, 14. Indeed if any man refuse now in the day of Grace and Atonement to own himself the Sinner, and fall down before God to seek and accept his pardon in Christ, he goes without its benefit, and is cut off from the Congregation, for which yet the Atonement was made. This indeed belongs to the Ordinance of Sacrificing, yet as appropriated to such a peculiar day, and joyned with this appoint­ment of rest, I think it falls fitly to be spoken to amongst the Sabbaths enjoyned them.

3. Their Seventh year Sabbath was appointed for rest to the Land, and for release and liberty to Servants and Bond­men as it were a year of rest, Levit. 25.3, 4, 5, 6. Exod. 21.2, 3, 4, 5, 6. so it Typed out the Rest and release from Labour and Sorrow, to be brought in by Christ as be­fore. But as it was a year of Release for [Page 263]Servants, so it Typed out the Liberty to be brought in by Christ from Sin, Sa­tan, and the Paedagogy of the Law, procured by his Death, and offered in the preaching of the Gospel, and to be effected by the Spirit of God in the be­lief thereof: But as there, he that accep­ted of it, had and enjoyed it; but he that said, Nay, he loved his old Master better, and so would not go out from him; he was to be brought to the door, and his Master was to bore his Ear through with an Awl, and he was to serve him for ever: So here, he that em­braces the Grace of God in Christ, in the accepted time and day of Salvation, he shall be set free; but he that refusing it prefers the service of Sin, Satan, and Mo­saical Law above it, shall be given over to serve and perish in his corruptions and le­gal bondage.

4. The like was Typified, but more fully in the great Sabbatical Year, or Year of Jubile, when on the day of A­tonement the Trumpet of the Jubile was to be sounded through all the Land, and they were to proclaim liberty through all the land, to all the Inhabitants thereof; and every man was to return to his possession, and every man to his Family, Le [...]. 25.8, 9, 10, 11, &c. for therein was prefigured.

1. The general Release of Men from Thraldom to Curse and Wrath (to which in Adam they were sold, and by their own actual sins, were further im­bondaged, [Page 264]many of them) procured [...] the Sacrifice of Christ and the Ato [...] ­ment thereby made, and proclaimed [...] the Gospel; which like the Jubilee Trum­pet, Isa. 61.1, 2. being founded, proclaims the accep­table year of the Lord, the day of the vengeance of our God (even the venge­ance executed upon Christ, or upon out enemies by Christ) to comfort all that mourn; Blessed are the people that know (mind, own, and so take hold of, and prove) that joyfull sound, they shall walk in the light of God's countenance. &c. Psal. 89.15, 16.

2. The general actual Release of all from under the first Death and Judgment to be presented before the Tribunal sear of Christ to be judged anew; and the full and total release of all the Israel of God, that have here believed in Christ, from all their terrours, sufferings, and thraldoms to Sin and Death, into the quiet and full possession of all the King­dom and Glory promised, and this to be effected at the great Day of the Lord, When the Lord Jesus shall descend again from heaven with the voice of a Trumpet, and of the the Arch-Angel of God; when the seventh Angel sounding the mystery of God, shall be fulfilled, 1 Thess. 4.16. Rev. 10.7.

3. The general restitution of all things spoken of by the Prophets, Acts 3.20, 21. Rom. 8.19, 20, 21, 22. when the Creature it self shall be delivered from the bondage of Corruption, into the liberty [Page 265]of the Glory of the Sons of God, at the [...]d Great day of Christ's appearing: all which are signified to be the effects of the Atoning Sacrifice of Christ, in that that Jubilee Trumpet was to be sounded, and the said Liberty, Release, and Restituti­on proclaimed on the day of Expiation or Atonement.

2. They had also divers Feasts appoin­ted them Monthly and Yearly: as,

1. They had (Monthly) New Moons, which appear to have been Festivals, 1 Sam. 20.5. times appointed for Sacri­ficing and gladness, and for the blowing of Trumpets over their Sacrifices, Numb. 10.10. Psal. 81.1, 2, 3. 2 Cor. 5.17. Typifying the re­novation of the creature in and by Christ through his vertuous Sacrifice; He that is in Christ is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold, all things are be­come new; as also the Reformation and change of Worship to be brought in by him; in the faith of which they were to blow their Trumpets, and sing aloud to him with Thanksgiving, thereby also fi­guring the joy and gladness, the renova­tion made by Christ, should bring in, Psal. 40.1, 2, 3, 4. Rev. 14.1, 2, 3. Heb. 9 9, 10, 11, 12. Yearly Festivals were their Feast of Passover, First-fruits, and Tabernacles; in which besides the Rests required in them (by vertue of which they were also Sabbaths, some days be­ [...]nging to them) and the abundance of [...]crifices then to be offered (which ap­pertained [Page 266]to the Ordinance of Sacrificing, they did solemnly appear and feast before the Lord, rejoycing in the abundance of his goodness, Prov. 9.12.3, 4, 5, 6. Matth. 22.12, 3, 4. Isa. 25.6. Joh. 4.14. & 6.35, 48, 51, 55, &c. and in the remembrance of the great things he had done for them, providing for, and feasting their poor Brethren also with them, Neh. 8.10, 11. Exod. 23.14, 15, 16. Levit. 23. which in general led them to behold by Faith the abundance of the Grace to be procured and brought in by Christ, the Feast of Fat things full of Marrow, to be made in Christ for all People. For Christ is himself the Feast or matter of it; the meat indeed, and the drink indeed, which whosoever eateth shall find satisfaction in, so as not to hunger after other dainties; and whoso drinks of, shall not thirst for ever after other Waters: Yea, they might mind them of the great joy and de­light to be brought in by his Incarnation, or making his Tabernacle amongst us, his sufferings for us, and pouring down of his Spirit upon us; but more fully at the harvest and full income of all the promi­ses, when the Tabernacle of God shall be with men for ever, Rev. 21.4.5, so that these also had their foundation in Christ, and poined at Christ to come.

3. Besides which, they had also other Ordinances yet under the Tabernacle and Temple, and pertaining thereto, poin­ting out Christ; Levit. 12. & 13. & 14. & 15. in which they were to exercise themselves till his actual appe [...] ­ting, as diverse Washings and Puri [...] ­ons, [Page 267]cleansings from uncleanness, Heb. 9.12, 13, 14. as is­sues, Leprosies, &c. all Typing out the cleansing away of our Sins by the Bloud and Spirit of Christ; especially that, Num. 10. of the ashes of the red Heifer, is most significant: For there God appointed that a red Heifer should be burnt, and the ashes of it preserved and laid up in a clean place, and then to be mixed with clean Water, and by a clean Person, with Hyssop, to be sprinkled upon the unclean for the cleansing of him, &c. which Wa­ter and way of Purification was prepared for all the Congregation; yet so as he that refused to be cleansed thereby, was to re­main in his unclearness, and to be cut off from the Congregation, vers. 9.20, 21. and evident Type and instruction, that in and by Christ his sufferings and Sa­crifice, there is provided for men gene­rally a way of cleansing their Consciences and Spirits from sin, both guilt and filth of it, namely the Faith of the Son of God, the truth concerning him, as given forth by him in his Spirit in the opening and bringing to mind his Death and Suffer­ings for us, and the love therein testified to us; there, through men may find cleansing from all their uncleanesses of Flesh and Spirit. But he that will retain his filthiness, or seek some other way of deansing than by the Bloud of sprinkling, and will not obey the Gospel to be purifi­ed thereby, shall be cut off from part or fel­lowship in Christ and with his Congregati­on, [Page 268] Heb. 9.13, 14, & 10.22, 29. & 12.24, 25. Joh. 13.8.

4. Yea, and to add no more, the ve­ry Tabernacle and Temple themselves, the places appointed for the Worship of God, as for offering Sacrifices and burn­ing Incense (which burning of Incense was also a Type of Christ's Meditation by way of Intercession) were clearly Types of Christ, Col. 1.19. & 2, 9. as the Spiritual place of our Worship, and of the Church in Union with him; for he is the Place or Person where God hath placed all his fulness; the fulness of the God-head dwells Bodi­ly in him; Isa, 53.10. & 56.7. Heb. 17, 10, 13. he is both the Altar of Burnt, offering, and Burnt offering it self; his Soul being made an Offering for our sin­and upon him are all our Offerings to be laid; He is the door into the House of God, the way by which we may enter into the Holy place, to have fellowship with him and his people; yea the way into the holy of Holies; Joh. 10.9. Heb. 10.20. yea, the Molten Sea, and Layer for the Priests and Sacri­fices to be wash'd in, Typified him the Sacrificer and Cleanser of us and our Offe­rings; the Golden Candlest, and Ta­ble of Shew-bread, figured him the light and food of the Soul. The Altar of In­cense shewed him to be the perfumer of our Prayers and Services, as he appears for us within the Vail even in Heaven, where also he is the Propitiatory, or Mer­cy Seat, and obtaining pardon for, and covering our sins, mediates the New [Page 269]Testainent, and obtains a keeping of Co­venant and Mercy with all that Worship God in and by him, presenting them ac­ceptable in himself: Yea, he is the High Priest in the Holy of Holies with the Names of the Tribes of Israel upon his shoulders, bearing and presenting them before God for ever; the house of Prayer for all people, Isa. 56.7. and the looking toward the Temple of old in their Prayers, or their praying in it, instructed them to look to Christ in all their services, as also their orders of Porters, Singers, &c. Ty­ped out the Spiritual Worship and Wor­shippers of God in Christ, who is, as is said, both the door to be opened, and kept open, or shut in and by the Gospel upon men as they are mere to enter or be excluded. Yea, he also, he is great Door-keeper, that hath the Keys of Da­vid, that opens and no man shuts, and shuts and no man opens, the matter and Ground of all our Songs and Praises; and the great Master of the Musick, tuning the heart by his word and Spirit put there­into, so as they may make melody unto God; but of most of these things we spake above: Christ then was the end and ground of all these Ordinances, in which the People were to exercise themselves till his personal appearance, and offering up the acceptable Sacrifice, when he swal­lowed them all up in himself; being the substance of those many shadows which all vanished at his appearing, when he [Page 270]propounded himself in the Gospel to [...] as the truth of all, and the Spirit of them, in which now God, without these sh [...] dows, w [...]ll be worshipped by us. Thought yet he hath also appointed us some [...] outward Ordinances of Worship, to [...] ­serve to and amongst ourselves and others, a lively remembrance of Gods grace in him towards us: Of which it remains that we say something also, before we con­clude this Discourse, about Gods Ordi­nances.

SECT. 7.

Of Baptism.

QUestionless Christs Ordinances ap­pointed by himself at, and since his coming, must needs have their ground in him, and bear witness to him: they are but few in stead of the many before injoyned and practised; namely Buptism and the Lords Supper, of which in or­der.

Baptism, as to the outward act of it, is a dipping or plunging into, Matth. 3.17, 18. & 28, 19, 20. or washing with water into the Name, that is to the belief and confession of the Doctrine of Christ, and so into, or unto the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, who were distinctly made manifest in the Ba­ptism of Christ, and are distinctly menti­oned in the Commission given by Christ for Baptism after his Resurrection.

The outward act of Baptising was pra­ [...]ed before amongst the Jews upon di­ [...]ers occasions; whence we read, [...]. Heb. 9.10. that [...]ere were in the Law divers Baptisms or, Washings: but it was first appointed of God, as an Ordinance for manifesting and witnessing to Christ come in the flesh, to John the Son of Zachary, forerunner of Christ, called thence John the Baptist, Luke 3.2, 3. or Baptizer, who was not that Light of men, nor witnessed of himself or men, as directing them to themselves or him, John 1.6, 7, 29. but came to bear witness to the Light in all his Ministration; and so did witness both by Word and Baptism, that Jesus was the Christ, the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world; endeavouring to reduce men to him by calling them to repent of their former mistakes and mis­carriages, in which they had wandred from him; either lifting up themselves by their birth of Abraham, or by their having and observing the Law and Or­dinances of God, in the outward acts of them: or else by growing altogether prophane, and casting Gods Law and Do­ctrine behind them. He therefore pul­ling down their Mountains, or high Thoughts of themselves, because of such fleshly priviledges, and filling up the Val­sies by elevating mens minds to higher thoughts of God and his goodness to them that were ready to fink in fight of their own sinfulness and worthlesness, preached Jesus to them, and the Kingdom of God [Page 272]brought nigh to them in him: and [...] further instruction of them in his Doctrin [...] washed them in Water unto repentance, saying they should believe in him that came after him, in whom they should find forgiveness of their sins, and the Spi­ritual Baptism, washing them from their sins, and so should meet with Gods grace and blessing in him. So that that Ordi­nance did not witness men to be holy, righteous, penitent, believers or the like (though men in coming to it, desiring or yeilding to it, did (at least intimate­ly) profess some desire after God, be­lief of the Doctrine Preached, and de­sire to repent and do better; yea, and were ingaged thereby so to do: whence we find some confessing their sins, and others professing their faith) nay, on the contrary, it intimately testified of men, that they are naturally, or as in them­selves sinners, and so unclean, filthy, un­fit for fellowship with God; and there­fore need to be washed and cleansed by his grace in Christ: but it directly wit­nesseth to, and of Christ, and God in Christ; that he hath provided a Laver and Fountain of Grace in Christ for us to be washed in: John 1.31. thence it's said also that John, in his Baptizing, was sent that Christ might be made manifest to Israel, not that Israel might be made manifest to Christ, Matth. 28, 19. or to John. Yes, thence also Christ after his Resurrection, appointed it as a medium for discipling [Page 273]all the Nations, or Gentiles unto him, and bids them baptize men into, or unto the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (which name is but one, and is all included in the name of Christ) neither limiting it to Disciples really already such as believe: for he said not, go ye disciple the Nations, bapti­zing those of them that believe; but dis­ciple all the Nations or Gentiles, bapti­zing them, namely in, or as a means of discipling them, nor much less did he bid them baptize them in the name of, or by vertue of their Faith, Repentance good­ness; as sealing or bearing testimony to them, but in, or unto the Name (Au­thority, Government, Doctrine) of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, as witnes­sing that to men therein, and engaging them thereto, to seek all forgiveness, cleansing, grace and blessing therein, and assuring them that therein is to be met with by them, whatsoever may con­duce unto their salvation: thence they that are baptized into Christ, Gal. 3.26, 27. have put on Christ, are engaged to let go all other con­sidences and grounds of expecting favour and blessing from God, and to seek and ex­pect all in Christ in believing in, and ob [...]y­ing him; and so in the main end of it, it [...] ­grees with Circumcision, sealing the righ­teousness of the faith of Abraham, which he had when Uncircumcised; that is to say, that in believing the word and do­ctrine of God concerning Jesus Christ, [Page 274]they do rightly and truly, and are the [...] in justified and accepted with God: [...] and rather, that there is forgiveness, [...] ­stification and cleansing from sin, freely prepared in Christ for men, and held forth or given in him to them, and that therefore God requires and approves of it in men, that they come to him for it. Thence also we no where find that John, or Christ, or his Apostles did either will it, or did practice it, to turn away any that came to be baptised by them, and so to be received into Gods Church or Kingdom: we read indeed that some Pharisees refused to sub­mit to that Ordinance, as not owning [...] or their need of it; and that John admo­nished and warned others not to rest in any conceits of their fleshly priviledge as their being descended of Abraham, or in their being baptised by him; for in [...] much as he tells them, that he baptised them with Water, he would rather have them but wash away such carnal rests, and look directly to the end of his baptisms namely, to Jesus the Lamb of God, that takes away the Sin of the World, and Baptizes with the holy Ghost, and Fire But we find none of Christs Servants turn­ing any way from it, Matth. 13.47. young or old, but on the contrary; That they gathered to­gether so many as they found: (i.e. [...] the gracious Providence of God ordered to come to them) good and bad, Mat. 21.10. We find them turning out some for time, or giving them over to Satan, [...] [Page 275]some scandalous or enormous Disorderg, after they had joyned themselves to the Church of God; but never keeping out any Man, Woman, or Child, that desi­red, or were brought to them for admisi­on; except we shall reckon as such, their rebuking some that brought little Chil­dren to Christ, for the laying on of hands; for which Christ, Mark. 10.13, 14. to shew his great dislike thereof, and admonish them to do no more so for the future; sharply rebuked them, and instructed them, that of such is the Kingdom of God; and what King­dom, but that in which were such out­ward Administrations to men, and of which, he gave the Keys to them? And the reason of it, surely is, because the grace of God in Christ brings Salvation to all Men. There is in Christ help, healing, and blessing, for all the Families of the Earth; and therefore, all are cal­led and invited to come to him; his Church being, as a great and publick Hospital, whereunto all Sinners are called, that they might be healed by him. Indeed, it is not the outward Baptism, or Baptizing that Saves. It is not the servants washing, or Baptizing the outward man: and there­fore did they not Preach, or lift up their Baptisme, as that which was sufficient, or much less Baptize men into, their Baptis [...], but unto Christ. Nay they told them, they Baptized, that they admitted into the floor of the Church one and other both Wheat and Chaff: but Christ would in [Page 276]his due time make a Separation. But yet inasmuch as Christ hath ordained this Or­dinance, to witness to himself, and oblige, and ingage the Baptized to seek their Help and Salvation in him; and so in the Name of the Father, Son, and holy Ghost, we may expect Christ's Presence, and Blessing upon, and unto the Baptized therein, who hath not said to the Seed of Jacob, that they seek him in any of his Ordinances in vain.

Lastly, This Ordinance, though not at all times appointed to the Church, or ob­served in it, not till the actual coming of Christ in the flesh, as now it is, though the Fathers passing through the Red Sea, had something of like nature and use (af­ter a sort with it, 1 Cor. 10.2, 3.) yet it is to continue to the Worlds end, or to the appearance of Christ again, as appears Matth. 28.19, 20. in that enjoyning his Disciples to Disciple, Baptizing, &c. he promises his Presence with them to the end of the World. True, there is no ex­press mention there of Water, but yet that being the known way of baptizing, which the servants of Christ were capa­ble of baptizing in; and that being also afterward practised by them, both upon Jews and Gentiles, though the pouring out the Name or Doctrine of Christ, and the instructing the Nations thereinto, was their main and principal work, no doubt but the baptizing with water was inclu­ded therein: so that this is one of the Or­dinances [Page 277]of Christ, now in force with us, to witness to him, besides which we have another: namely the Supper of the Lord: of which nextly.

SECT. 8.

Of the Lords Supper.

DOubt cannot be made of this Ordi­nance, but that Christ is the ground and end of it, seeing he himself did insti­tute it in the Night in which he was be­trayed, after He with his Disciples had observed the Passover, in remembrance of their deliverance out of Egypt, and as a type of his own suffering, presently to follow, and of the Redemption of man­kind thereby. The matter and outward rites of it, namely the taking, blessing, breaking and giving Bread to his Disci­ples, bidding them to take and eat it, and telling them it was his Body broken for them; as likewise his taking and blessing the Cup (or Wine) and bidding them drink it, telling them that Cup was the New Testament in his Blood) being also dear significations of his Body broken for [...], and his Blood shed for us, as he also himself informeth us: and the end of it being by himself expressed to be the re­membrance of him: what more clear than that our Lord and Saviour hereby, sets before us, that he (Christ) as come in [...]he flesh, and his Body as broken with [Page 278]sorrows, and sufferings for our sins to the Death, is the true Bread of Life; and that the believing mindfulness thereof, and of the love testified therein, is the way for us to be nourished up in the hope of, Eternal Life, and to be strengthned to serve God by him, and suffer with, and for him: And also that his blood as shed, his Sufferings and Sacrifice, as in­dured and presented unto God for us, and hath obtained for us the remission of our sins, and confirmed the promises of God, for giving us forgiveness, the Holy Spirit and Eternal Life; and the love and grace of God, and Christ therein testified towards us, is Drink indeed, fit to exhi­lerate and chear the heart more than the choisest Wine, and to fill it with Spiritu­al Consolations. As also that he would hereby instrict us to love one another as Brethren, and as he hath loved us, walk­ing together as partakers of the same grace, and laying down our selves for the good of one another, as he hath given us ex­ample.

Neither doth this Ordinance witness to any goodness in us (though we in eating and drinking together in remembrance of Christ, do therein profess our belief of those things therein set before us, and ob­lige our selves to cleave to him, and one another) but rather of our want and sit­ter inability to live in the favour and ser­vice of God, but by the faith of Jesus and so by him, as yielding therein con [...] ­ [...]al [Page 279]nourishment and strength to us. And therefore also though it behoves men to come and Eat and Drink worthily (meetly, and so as becomes the grace in the Ordinance set before us, even Com­munion with the Body and Blood of Christ) that is to say, to have our hearts minding the grace set before us, and to consider and owne our own vileness and unworthiness, as therein discovered to us; that we may neither be puft up in our selves, or Eat by virtue of any goodness or worthiness found in us, or be puft up one against another; yet it is to be expo­sed to, and pertook of by all that profess the Name of Christ, and that seek salva­tion by him, being capable of discerning the Lords Body, and the grace therein set before them in some measure, and so of examining themselves according there­unto. Yea the Baptised and Professors of Christs Name, are to be instructed and called upon to remember the grace of God in Christ towards them, and not be­cause of weakness to be kept there from, for which we have no president to war­rant us; only in case any after profession of Christ, and desire to seek him, do walk scandalously, such are to be with­drawn from, and may be secluded for a time, till they be ashamed and confess their fault, and at least profess repentance of the same; as well for their amend­mendment, as also to vindicate the Soci­ety of Worshippers from the scandal of a­lowing, [Page 280]and tolerating evil doers in their prophaness and evil living.

This Ordinance also instituted but the night before Christs suffering, is to be con­tinued till his coming again, even till he come in the Clouds of Heaven to raise the Dead, and to take his Servants into fellowship with himself, in his Glorious Kingdom, in which they shall be ever with him, and eat and drink of his Con­solations with him for ever. Till then his Death never to be forgotten (nor then neither) because of the great Testi­mony of His, and his Fathers Love, and the great Procurer of all our good and happiness; but till then it is in this Or­dinance to be remembred and shewed forth by us.

And these two Ordinances, Baptism, and the Supper, are what he hath ap­pointed to us, since his coming in the flesh, to be generally observed and practised by us: his Death and Resurrection having put a period (at least as to us Gentiles) to all the rest before observed by the Jews. As for prayer and thanksgiving, and the like, they were in force at all times, and so will be at least till Christs coming again, if not after also, its sure thanksgiving will. And its clear they have, as now to be performed, their foundation in Christ, and what he hath done, and is become for us, and are to be offered up through him un­to God in, and by his Spirit: but because these are not instituted with any visi­ble [Page 281]Rites to signifie the Grace of Christ to us (except kneeling and lifting up our hands and eyes to Heaven be judged such which yet are not commanded, though commendably practised, implying our [...]se of our own vileness, and our hum­bling of our selves before God, and hope in his mercy) but rather are exercises that the sense of our own wants, and be­lief of Gods goodness and grace leads us (as it were) naturally to, I shall not say any thing more to them: but after I have a little digressed to take notice of the ra­buses of these Ordinances, too generally through mistake observable in all ages, I shall speak a little of the other way of Gods witnessing to his truth, and so conclude this Chapter also.

SECT. 9.

Of the too General mistake of the mind of God in his Ordinances, and mens abuse of them in all Ages.

ZEal is good if it be ordered with dis­cretion, and guided by right judge­ment and understanding, otherwise it is very hurtful, it being like fire which kept within its bounds, and discreetly ordered is very useful, but out of its due place is often very damageable; kept within the Hearth it's serviceable, but in the Thatch destructive. Now zeal is then right and profitable when it springs from, and is [Page 282]ordered by the knowledge of God [...] and Christ, and so is mainly for, and [...] bout the great matters of his Law, Jud [...] ­ment and the Love of God, as Luke. 11. [...] but when those things are not known regarded, but the eagerness of the Spi [...] is exercised, and spends it self about th [...] superstructures and matters of lesser m [...] ­ment, it produces no good Fruit, but ten [...] to much Confusion onely. And yet he [...] generally hath this been, and yet is th [...] way of the World, even of those that w [...] be, or seem to be some bodies in [...] Profession of Religion? to exercise them­selves about, and be very eager and zea­lous for the outside and Form of Religi­on and Godliness; (the outward Dut [...] Ordinances, and ways of Worship) with an ignorance and neglect of the botto [...] and foundation of all right Worship and the very heart, life, and end of [...] Ordinances. The Vision of all, the preaching and believing of the Cross of Christ, and the great grace and love of God in him, pointed out in and by, and the very foundation and end of all [...] Ordinances, Isa. 29.10, 11, 12. 1 Cor. 1.22, 23. men have not, nor yet [...] make any great account of; but it is sealed Book to them, as the Prophet Isa [...] saith, or as a stumbling block and offen [...] or else as foolishness to them as the A [...] ­stle complains; while men are either a [...] ­lously pursuing after, or priding the [...] ­selves in their riches of other sciences knowledge falsely so called, or indu [...] ­ [...]ly [Page 283]earnest for outward Observances. [...]ough yet it is the knowledge of Christ, Col. 2.2, 3. [...] of God, and his love to Mankind in [...]st, which is the onely true Science in [...]ich all the Treasures of Wisdom and knowledge are contained; and which [...]oth renews and frames the Heart aright to Worship God in Spirit, and Truth; and so gives the inward, and true Cir­cumcision, and Baptism; yea, and Sacri­fice to be offered up by man, and Supper, and Communion with God; and also, instructs, and leads rightly to look upon, and use all outward Ordinances required of, and to be observed by them. A very dangerous mistake, and yet the common­ness of it may be seen in what is noted in the Scriptures, touching the former Ages, and in what is agreeable thereto; observable concerning the Men of our own time.

Thus we find the Prophets faulting Isra­el of old, for rejecting God's Rest, where­with he would have had them cause the the weary to Rest, and in which he had provided refreshing for them: the Foun­dation he had laid in Sion, the Vision of all: and instead thereof Preaching, and urging precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, Isa. 28.12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. & 29.9, 10, 11. here a little, and there a little, till they went back and stumbled, and fell; for which God threatned them; also, that it should be so to them, precept upon pre­cept, &c. as is to be seen, Isa. 28. makeing [Page 284]much to do, and priding themselve [...] their building Temples and Altars; Jer. 7.4, 5. [...] ­pecially the Temple at Jerusalem;) [...] offering many Sacrifices, burning Inc [...] and observing the other Ordinances, w [...] as in all this, the grace of God in Ch [...] was not so seen, believed, and yielded [...] as to be thereby renewed in their he [...] and conversations otherwise: as is to [...] seen Isa. 1, 10-10. and 65, 1. 2-6. a [...] 66.1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Hos. 8.12. Which [...] is more evidently to be noted in the J [...] and Pharisees in Christs, and the Apost [...] time: for they spent their zeal and hea [...] for, and about keeping Sabbaths, offe [...] Sacrifices, Tithing, Mint, and Rue, a [...] Annise, and so in Fasting, Praying, [...] and so in an external holy Walking knowing themselves thereby, and lift [...] up themselves therein, as if they wereth godly People, holyer than their Neig [...] ­bours, the chosen people of God; desp [...] ­ing others, in comparison of themselve while in the mean time, they neglect [...] the weighty things of the Law, the K [...] of Knowledge, Judgment, and the [...] of God, And where to profited, then their said Zeal and Religiousness; but make themselves and others the m [...] Children of Hell; even to fill them w [...] proud conceits of themselves, and [...] tempt of others, to the very Opposi [...] Persecuting, and Crucifying of the [...] Glory; and Murdering both him [...] [...] that bare Witness of him; [...] [Page 285] [...] they sought Righteousness, by, [...] so rested in their Works, about God's [...]ward Ordinances and Precepts, not [...]itting themselves to receive the grace God in Christ; the Righteousness of [...]d, that they might have been renewed [...] yet, they ascribed both all Gods [...] abundant Dispensations of Means [...] Ordinances to them, then to others; [...] their Zeal and observances to some [...] special grace, Electing and Destina­ [...] them before time, and by some kind Irresistible Operation in time, bringing [...]m thereto: for as Josephus Notes, Luk. 18.10, 11. They [...]ed all to a kind of Destiny: thence [...], God I thank thee, that I am not other men are,—or as this Publican, &c. [...] up a conceit of special Grace to [...]selves, against the true Grace of God, restified in the Gospel; and begetting [...] indeed to God. And who sees not [...] be the too common way of the [...]orld, [...]even the professing part of it at [...] both Papists and Protestants are [...]up, and wrangling about the Borm [...] ship, and Godliness, neglecting the [...] few receiving the love of the [...] amongst us, so as to be saved [...]ere­ [...] so, as to experiment the inward [...]ersion of the heart; cutting off, [...] confidences, and rejoycings in, [...] of our selves; the in ward [...] washing the cheart and conscien­ [...] dead Wo [...]ks; and the inward [...] or Communion with Christ, and [Page 286]one another, in the Spirit, and its [...] ­lations. But the great Zeal about [...] ­gion is spent about the External part as the form, and way of Baptizing the way of administring, and receiving Supper; the form and way of Prayer, regulating men in their demeanours, conversations thereunto; The way Churching, or imbodying into Socie [...] and so the Frames and Formes of K [...] ­ledge propounded or gathered, by [...] men at the best too generally Preach Precept upon Precept; not knowing, lieving, or laying the foundation [...] Precepts, the Son of God, the Savio [...] the World, and the grace that brings, [...] ­vation to all Men: by which, men [...] have the fear of God taught, and b [...] and nourished in them: and indeed, [...] fear of God men have otherwise, they [...] it but by the precepts of Men, they [...] otherwise daring to believe, or pra [...] but as warranted thereunto by t [...] But besides, while they believe, or [...] not Gods good will in Christ [...] World; and have not that as the K [...] Knowledge, to guide them in their a [...] ­hensions about, and use of Ordinance Precepts; they also run into many [...] ­ditions of their own, as the Jews, about their Sabbath-keeping, and wa [...] their Hands, &c. according to wh [...] they teach men to Worship God, [...] ­ditions in Doctrine, False Doctrin [...] opposition to the Testimony of God [Page 287] [...]ing Jesus Christ; and Traditions in [...]actise, about mens coming to, and ob­ [...]ying of Ordinances; making those [...]ings the badges and characters of their [...]ood condition; and laying them as the [...]oundation, or fundamental givers of their [...]ope towards God; and that Christ came and dyed for them; and of their expect­ing Blessing from him, which are not so much as right Superstructures; how great their mistake herein. Is not the great business of the World now, to measure the outward Court, and to regulate that which is thrown out, and given to the Gentiles? Do not men by their outward demeanours, and zeal for Ordinances, [...]dge themselves God's peculiar Portion, [...] well as the Pharisees of old? and are [...]ot these the things, about which they [...]wrangle and Fight, and run into Divisions and Factions? And are not the fruits of this misplaced Zeal, high conceits of Mens selves, despising of others, and band­ing against the Doctrine of Jesus Christ; against the gracious good will of God, to Men? Instead of Preaching of which [...] all, that they might see, and believe, [...]nd be renewed by it; and of making all [...]en see, what is the fellowship of the [...]ystery; calling and inviting all to [...]ait upon God in Christ, for the know­ledge of Himself in his ways and Ordi­ances; Do they not deny, both the Do­ [...]ine of his Grace, and his Ordinances; [...]nessing it to all that are not so regula­ted, [Page 288]as their Traditions exact? And th [...] same folly and deceit is in mens Zeal, John 8.32. for and knowing themselves by Opinion [...] of Truth, or Contentious for them [...] (though the Truth indeed is earnestly [...] be contended for, against all that would corrupt it; because that's it, which being indeed known, frees, and saves men; when men wrest in their Acts, about Truth; and much more, in their Opin [...] ­ons, which are not Truth: and reject the love of the Truth, by which they should be Saved; so as they are not Renewed, and Saved by it. All their Zeal, Contention and Acting, will be but in vain to them [...] they live yet in the Flesh, as others t [...] that spend their Strength and Zeal abou [...] outward Observations. The ground [...] all which mistaken Zeal, is the Heart blindness about, and Enmity against th [...] grace of God in Christ; and desire to hav [...] their rejoycing in themselves; yea, [...] Natural desire to be, as God; not in con­formity to him, and his will in Christ but to be our own Saviours, and to [...] great in our own, and others Eyes; whic [...] things the Carnal Eye, and Heart co [...] ­ceives it may attain to, in its earnest pre [...] after, and observing outward Acts of [...] ­ligion, and Worship; they being also m [...] obvious to the Carnal Eye; and being [...] esteem too, because of the Name of G [...] upon them, and godliness supposedly p [...] ­ced in them; whence the power of g [...] ­liness, (the Cross of Christ, Crucifying [...] [Page 289] [...]o our selves, and the World, and the World to us,) it sees no beauty, Rom. 2.29. nor finds [...]o relish in it, being of that Nature, as wholly to lead a man out of himself, [...]o depend upon God in Christ, and [...]ory in him; laying by, and making no­ [...]ing of Man: nor doth it render him [...]orious to the World, as Zeal for out­ward matters doth, as the Apostle signi­ [...]es, Rom. 2.29. He is a Jew, who is one [...]wardly; and Circumcision is that of the [...]eart, in the Spirit, and not in the Letter; whose Praise is not of men, but of God: [...]plying, That the Circumcision, and [...] the Religion, or Worship; that is in the outward, is respected, or praised by Men, which the Natural Self-loving Spi­ [...]t likes: or however, to find the Life of [...]s own hands, that it may have something [...]hereof to glory in it self. Not but that [...]he Ordinances of God and Christ are di­ [...]ently to be observed; but in their place: [...]ot as the Foundation of the Building, but [...]s things to be Built thereupon, and helps [...]r the more close cleaving to it. Neither [...]ey, nor our observations of them, are [...] be put in the place and stead of Christ, [...] whole, or in part; but to be referred [...] Christ, and he to be eyed in them, [...] the substance and end of them; thence [...]at of our Saviour: these things ought ye [...] have done, but not to leave the other [...]done, Matth. 23.23. But as men too commonly look [...]pon them, and use them, they are en­deavouring to heal themselves, by their [Page 290]Acts and Exercises about them; and make themselves Righteous by them: seeking Righteousness as it were, by Works. Ma­king Christ in effect, nothing but an in­joyner and a rewarder of such works; Rom. 9.31, 32, 33. & 10.2, 3. or at most also, a mender, and maker up of Mens defects in their works; setting up those Acts and Works of theirs, instead of the Faith of Christ, which they should live by: yea, and their supposed Acts of Faith, are too often nothing but a kind of work of theirs, a believing through works that is to say, to which they are animated and strengthned, through the sight o [...] conceit of some good things done by them, or found in them; not a believing through grace, as theirs in Act. 18.27. That is to say, begot, and sprung up through the hearing and receit of the Free Grace of God to Mankind, and so to themselves, as, and while Sinners, without any good thing found in them, to difference them from others, and give boldness to them, to be­lieve in him: whence they are the Chil­dren of the Bond-woman, born of and living in their Works, Frames, irregulati­ties, and Observances, &c. And not of the Free-woman, the Free-grace and love of God to Mankind, and by Christ Jesus: and no marvel then, if what they have their Birth and Life in, they be also Prin­cipally Zealous, and Contentious, for, turn­ing that which was appointed as a means of their welfare into a snare to themselves and others, and what in their right place [Page 291]was a Table, upon which Christ and his [...]race was set, into a Trap while they take them for their Meat. But I shall no fur­ther digress about this much to be bewail­ed Mistake, but proceed to the other Branch, Of God's Witnessing to his Truth by Miracles, and so conclude this Chapter also.

SECT. 10.

Of Miracles confirming the Truths of God.

MIracles I call those Works and Effects of the power of God, which are beyond, or contrary to the ordinary course of his Providences, in which God [...]ath at any time more expresly and sig­nally Evidenced, his Presence with his People, and born Witness to his Truth with them. Of which,

1. Some were onely signs for Unbe­lievers, to draw them to believe the Truth without any Figure of the thing to be believed: Such were the mighty things wrought by Moses, before Pharaoh, and he Aegyptians; and many things wrought [...]y Elias and Elisha, and those mentioned [...] Dan. 3. & 6. and the generality of those [...]ings wrought by Christs Apostles.

2. Others had in them something Ty­ [...]al or Figurative of Christ, and the grace [...] him, such was the healing the Israelites [...]ng with Fiery Serpents, by the Brazen [...]pent. And the deliverance of Jonah [...] the Whales belly, a signification of the [...]th and Resurrection of Christ. Such [Page 292]also I conceive, Numb. 21.9, 10. with Joh. 3.14, 15. Joh. 1.17. with Matth. 16.4. Joh. 9.7. Joh. 20.31. Act. 2.22. was the curing of Naamans Leprosie, by his washing in Jordan, 2 King. 5. Christs turning Water into Wine, at the Wedding; Joh. 2. And the opening the Eyes of the man born Blind, by the Pool of Siloam; which is by Interpretation, Sent. Yea, the most of the Miracles wrought by him, as they were confirmations of him, and his Doctrine; so they had also some signifi­cant intimation of the grace brought in by him, As the spiritual healing, enlivening, and saving of men. But this was the General and first end of all God's Mira­cles to demonstrate himself, his Truth, and People to Men: touching which Mi­racles, I note,

1. That they were not at all times, nor ordinarily wrought; for then would they not have been taken for Miracles, but up­on some special times, or upon special oc­casions. As

1. When God brought Israel out of Aegypt, to manifest himself to be the true God; and Israel his People; and to pre­pare them for his Law, and evidence it to be his: and so in his Call in them to be, and setting them up for his Church, with whom his Truth and Worship should be deposited; that the residue of the Nations all about might know, which was the true God, and which his Church; and [...] where to seek, and find him, and hi [...] Truth: Therefore he set his signes in Aegypt, and in the Wilderness, to get him­self [Page 293]a glorious Name, or an everlasting Name, as Isaias says; and to make his Name known in all the Earth, as he said by Moses, Isa. 63.12, 14. Exod. 9.16. We read of few Miracles before, ex­cept we account the preservation of Noah in the Ark, and the Destruction of Sodom, for such; and surely there might be less need, then because of the long Lives of the Patriarks, and first Fathers, amongst men to hold forth the truth to them.

2. In the time of the Apostacy of Is­rael, to manifest to the halting People, who was the true God, and which his Worship; and so to turn their hearts back again, as in the times of Elias, and Elisha. 1 King 18.36, 37. 2 King. 2. and 3. and 4. and 5. and 6. and 7. &c.

3. In the time of the Captivity, Jonas 1. & 2. & 3. Dan. 3. & 3. & 6. Isa. 38. & 39. Job. 20.31. and a little before in Jonah's time, for making known himself, and his people amongst the Heathen, to prepare them to receive his Message, and confirm his poor Cap­tives that waited upon him, and give them favour amongst their Enemies.

4. At the coming of Christ in the Flesh, and his Actual Preaching the Kingdom of God, and accomplishing the things of our Salvation, to make him manifest to be the Christ; and that to be the truth that was Preached by Him, and his Apo­stles, in his Name; Mat. 11.5, 6. Heb. 2.3, 4. [...] In seting up, or taking to himself from a­ [...]ong the Gentiles, a people to be his church, [...] which the residue of men might resort [Page 294]to seek him, Dent. 4. Act. 15.3, 4, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17.

2. That though God wrought many of his Miracles, so as they were conspicu­ous to, and amongst the Gentiles; yet, Israel were Witnesses of more of them then the Gentiles, till after Christ's As­cention: Israel had the preheminence too in this Dispensation.

3. That it was not God's mind, that people should look for Miracles to be the foundation and ground of their Faith, but that they should believe, and have their Faith grounded upon his Doctrine, to which he bare Testimony by those Mira­cles and gifts of the holy Ghost; as, and when he pleased: especially, after he had by such Miracles evidenced the Truth, and therefore he faulted it as an evil, and un­believing, and adulterous frame of heart, to be requiring signs after he had suffici­ently evidenced Himself, Psal. 44.1.2, 3. & 77.11. 12. Isa. 63.7, 8, 9, &c. Psal. 78.3, 4, 5, 6, 7, & 105.5, 6, 7, 8. Joh. 20.29, & 7.37, 38. Rom. 4.17, 18. Heb. 4.2. and his Truth to men: as Matth. 16.1, 2, 3, 4. Joh. [...].48. Directing them to the Wonders and Miracles formerly wrought by him: and to acquiesce and rest in his Authority and Truth, as Witnessed thereby and not to be doting upon new Signes, to satisfie th [...] vanity of their Minde; thence we fin [...] David, and other holy Men of God, ofte [...] mentioning, and looking back to [...] Works and Wonders of old: and Go [...] ordering men so to do: they that believ [...] because they see, being not so happy, no [...] their Faith usually so firm, as they th [...] believe and see not, but believe accordi [...] [Page 295]to what is spoken; and as the Scripture saith.

4. That God having given a full Testi­mony to his Truth, and to the Revelati­on of his Truth in these Last Days, by his Son, and confirming it also by divers Signes, Miracles, and Gifts of the holy Ghost would have us henceforth acquiesce in them; and not either look after more Miracles to perswade us to believe, nor receive any, because they may work them, for he hath fore-warned us, that he will suffer Antichrist to come with Power, and Signes, and lying Wonders: yea, to shew great Signes and Wonders, to try whither we will, and do heartily love his Son, and the Truth Revealed to us, by, and con­cerning him; that so such as love him not, nor acquiesce in his Truth, as already witnessed and confirmed, might be de­ceived by him, and go to destruction. Matth. 24.22, 23, 24. 2 Thess. 2.9, 10, 11, 12.

5. That though the generality of these Miracles wrought of God, were wrought by his servants and people; yet he gave not to all his People, either to have the sight of them, or much less power to work them; but onely to some few, and in some Ages as he pleased. So that in these additional Dispensations also, both of Ordinances and Miracles, God hath used his own liberty; and there hath been both as to Persons, Peoples, and Ages, great diversity. But we have been large enough upon this Branch of the Distinction as to God's Dispensations. Let us now proceed [Page 296]to his Operations, in, and upon Men, in and with these his Dispensations.


Of Gods Operations, and first of those of them that are in Mercy, and Directly his.

SECT. 1.

That the Operations of God are many of them very secret, and not to be known or discerned, but by his Word concerning them; and therefore to be soberly treat­ed of.

GOds Operations in, and with the Dispensations of his Truth, and the means thereof are certainly very intricate, secret, and incomprehensible as to the manner of them; and therefore also great sobriety is to be used in our assertions con­cerning them, taking the word of Truth altogether for our guide therein: yea, it is better soberly hereabout to profess our weakness and ignorance, than to be rash and presumptuous; for, (though its evi­dent by the Scriptures, that God and his Spirit accompany the means he affords to men; Gen. 6.3. whence that, My spirit shall not al­ways [Page 297]strive with man: implying, that du­ring the day of his patience, He is striving, as it is also asserted, in 1 Pet. 3.19. That Christ by his Spirit, preached to the Spi­rits of men now in prison: and in Prov. 9.3. That Wisdom cries with, and as well as her maidens unto men, to call them to Christ; yea, and Christ promised his Spi­ritual presence with his Servants in their faithful Ministration, always to the end of the World, Matth. 28.20. Yet, it is truly said too, That as God hath his way in the Seas, and his path in the great deep where none can trace him; so his foot­steps in his operations are not known, Psal. 77.19. That of Solomon in Eccles. 11.5. being true; where having exhor­ted men to disperse, or scatter abroad their gifts, or abilities, either in outward things, as riches for the relief of the Poor: the bread that perishes, or the word and know­ledge of God; the bread that endures to everlasting Life; though it be as upon the Waters (through difficulties, and with un­likeliness, as to our sense and reason, of reaping any fruit of it; as also, upon ma­ny) having used Arguments thereto, both from the future recompence of Re­ward, or proof of fruit brought forth to God thereby, [after many days thou shalt find it:] and from the uncertainty of the opportunity for doing good; requiring more diligence in doing it, [Give a por­tion to seven, and also to eight, for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.] [Page 298]And from the manner of other things [...] which God teaches us, [If the Clouds [...] full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth.] And men that have gifts of know­ledg and understanding, are compared to Clouds full of Rain; as men that seem to be some body, and are no body; but boast of a false gift, are like to Clouds, and Wind without Rain, Prov. 25.14. And from the fixedness of mens states af­ter death they are like Trees, that lye as they fall; and having warned of con­sulting with carnal Reason, flesh and blood in imploying our Talents, or of minding and poring upon things that may discou­rage us: [He that observes the wind shall not sow, and he that regards the clouds shall not reap.] He lays down this following Aphorism or Assertion, answering to a secret discouragement of our not seeing, or perceiving any good, done by out dispensing our Gifts. As thou knowest not what is the way of the Spirit, or Wind; nor how the bones are, or grow in the Womb of her that is with Child [...] even so thou knowest not the Works of God, who maketh all. And therefore counsells, In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening with-hold not thine hand, for thou knowest not which shall prosper, or be right, either this or that; or whither they shall be both alike good. By all which, and especially, by that following Verse, it appears to me; that in the Fifth Verse forementioned, he speaks of God's Work­ings [Page 299]in, and with the Word dispensed; that they are as secret, hidden, and un­knowable, so as to comprehend, fathom, and declare punctually every thing there­in, as it is to know the way of the wind, or growing of the bones in the womb of a woman with Child. To which agrees that of our Saviour. Joh. 3.8. The wind bloweth where it listeth; and thou hearest the sound of it, but canst not tell whence it cometh, or whither it goeth: So is every one that is born of the Spirit. And that in Mark 4.26. So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast Seed into the ground, and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the Seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how; for the earth bringeth forth fruit of her self, &c. Such knowledge then is too won­derful for man to attain, and comprehend; and therefore we have need of sobriety, lest we rashly puft up with a fleshly mind, as thinking our selves, by our wit, and parts, and sciences, sufficient to dive to the bottom of this depth; pry into things that we have not seen, too secret and deep for us. Surely it may admonish us, not to be peremptory in our thoughts about them, that may clash with his Revealed Doctrine, the Gospel-truth, which is cer­tainly to be believed as truth by us, and not upon presumptions of our knowing the abstruse Secrets of Gods knowing, willing, and working in men, to be con­tradicted by our conceptions. Yet some things with sobriety as the Scriptures of [Page 300]truth instruct, and inform us, we may con­sider, and conceive, and so holding us close to that Clue, or Thread, let us consider them in,

  • 1. The Distinct kinds of operations, Attributed to God.
  • 2. The manner of his Working, in those kinds of operations.

SECT. 2.

Of Gods merciful Operations in men by his Grace, preventing them, or his preventing Operations.

KInds of Gods Operations, or Work­ings in Men, in the Scriptures At­tributed to him, are more generally Two, for they are such, as are either more di­rectly and properly God's, and so Attribu­ted to him, as the operations of his mercy towards men, or such as are not altoge­ther, or not always so properly God's, though after some sort Attributed to him, as the operation of his Wrath, or his hardning operations.

1. The operations of God in grace and mercy are such, as his mercy to men leads him to effect, and work in them by his Power and Spirit, in, and with the means afforded, for the inlightning, softning, converting, and leading men to himself. Though its true, he is in some sense [...] gracious in all his works, Psal. 145.17. [Page 301]Either to those, he works in, and upon, or to others whose good and glory he makes them subservient to. Psal. 136.1 [...], 18, 19. As he slew mighty Kings, for his mercy endureth for ever. Og the King of Bashan, for his mercy endureth for ever, &c. But in this Distinction, we intend by gracious operations, or opera­tions in mercy; operations of the first: so such as directly tend to the good and welfare of those in whom they are. And so he works,

1. By way of prevention of men, in, and with his gracious means and mani­festations of himself to them, vouchsafed them, while altogether in themselves dead, blind, ignorant, helpless, and before they know, or can by themselves know, or do any thing that is good. And so generally the operations wherewith he prevents men, capacitating men for the good to which he calls and moves them; such as Christs first inlightnings of men, pre­venting them, with his light, truth, good­ness; and therein giving them capacity to see them; and so speaking to them in his Calls, as to give them a capacity of hear­ing him; though otherwise deaf, and dead in themselves: and then in that ca­pacity of seeing, and hearing, he requires them to see, and hear; that is, Exercise those capacities and abilities brought to them by him. Of which we read, Isa. 42.18, 19. Isa. 42. Hear ye deaf, and look ye blind that ye may see. And Joh. 5.25. The deaf hear the voice of the Son of Man. And they that [Page 302]hear, (that is listen, or exercise the hear­ing faculty given them by him, in his pre­venting them) do live, this is Christs standing at the door of mens hearts, and knocking so as men may hear; upon which he promises, That if any man hear his Voice, and open to him, He will come in to him, and sup with him. Rev. 3.20. Concerning which prevent­ing Operations, we may find, That they are afforded in, and with the means to all men, according to the means afforded them: Jews and Gentiles, one and other capable of them. Christ being the true Light, inlightning (by way of prevention of them) every man coming into the World; though by way of consequen­tial, or more special, lightning not all, but them that believe in the Light, and follow him, Joh. 1.9. with 8.12. & 12.46.47. He was in the world. (by spiritual influences dispensations, and operations;) and the World was made by him, (both at first, and in its present Being, suppor­ted, ordered, and enriched:) as the same Word is rendred, to advance, 1 Sam. 12.6. And the world knew (minded, received, owned) him not. He came to his own, (both to all men, made, and ransomed by him, and therefore also his; as Exod. 19.5. And more peculiarly to the Jews, more choicely his; and this also by Spiri­tual Influences and Operations, in the mercies and means afforded them; even before his being made flesh, spoken to after­ward, [Page 303] ver. 14. Though if any contend, that that includes his coming to the World, and to the Jews, in the Flesh; and in his Gospel more plainly Preached, I will not strive with him; yet I think it speaks more directly to what was before,) and his own received him not: But to those that received him, (in those preventing Ope­rations) to them he gave the dignity of being the Sons of God, even to those that believed in his Name: who were borne, (or begotten to God,) not of Bloods, nor of the will of the Flesh, nor of the will of Man, but of God; even of the knowledge of, and by the power of God, as working upon them, in, and through that knowledge: yea, manifesting that knowledge, and making it powerful, to beget them to him. But that God vouch­safes those Operations for bringing in men to himself through, or upon the account of Christ, unto all men I shall make it evident; first, by considering it, with respect to the Gentiles, that had lesser means; and then to the Jews, and such as had the fuller means amongst the Gen­tiles.

SECT. 3.

That God afforded those merciful preven­ting Operations to the Gentiles, with the lesser means afforded them.

FIrst for the Gentiles, that had the first and lowest Dispensations before spo­ken of. We find, that the Truth was manifested in them, and wrought in their hearts, in some hints of it, towards their confessing and glorifying God, but was smothered, or held down by them, Rom. 1.18, 19, 20, 21. Which last Phrase, as it signifies their Wickedness, so it also im­plys, the Truths Operativeness; other­wise, no need or place for their holding it down in unrighteousness, to prevent its force: and that God was not onely ex­ternally propounding it to them, but also internally working in them, to cause them to discern it; is clear, in that it's said, He manifested it in them; so as what he shewed being minded, or heeded; they might understand the invisible things of God, [...]. his eternal Power and God-head. Yea they are said to have known God in some measure; the knowledge of God was as it were put into them, in, and through Gods preventing Operations in them, manifesting it in them, so as that they are rendred faulty, yea, inexcusable in that they did not glorify him as God, not were thankful: not inexcusable, because [Page 305] Adam, and they in Adam might have glo­rified him, having the knowledge of him there, but upon the account of what God had shewed them, and they personally knew and imprisoned in unrighteousness, they shall be silenced and have nothing to say for their own excuse why they did not glorifie God as God, and were not thankful; they shall not be able to plead that they had no sufficient means or ope­ration of God in the means to have ina­bled them so to have glorified him and been thankful, as was expected of them: yea, when he saies their foolish hearts were darkned, it implies that they were first in some measure inlightned, and that it was their own folly not regarding the light or understanding, but letting it go, [...]at exposed them to darkness; as the foolishness of a man perverts his way, and then his heart frets against the Lord; not a meer inability to understand, but a heart refusing or letting go that Light and Grace that brings understanding: Prov. 19.2. as the feed sown in them that understood not, was said to be sown in their hearts, and was thence taken by Satan, through their not regarding to understand; 'tis such a foolishness, Matth. 13.19. or foolish careless heart that perverts men, and brings darkness on them, [...] is yet further cleared in vers. 28. where it's said they liked not to have God in their knowledge, and therefore God de­livered them up to a reprobate or injudi­cious mind, to do things not convenient; [Page 306]where it's plain that God so prevented them with some measure of his truth, and such manifestations of himself, Job 20.14. & 22.17. as gave them opportunity and capacity of receiving, having, or retaining it in their knowledge or acknowledgement; and that their folly was a wilful folly, not liking or approving it; a saying to God, depart from us, we will not have (or desire not) the knowledge of the Al­mighty, or of thy ways, that rendred them worthy reprobation, or delivering up to an injudicious mind. In which say­ings also is implyed, that God did come, and offer, and prevent them with the knowledge of himself, so as that till they did reject and thrust him from them (and that likely for some space of time, God being patient and slow to anger, and to reprobate men) there was something of judgement vouchsafed or set up, as it were in them; or something tending to make them judicious. And that was more sure than what was yet with them after they were so delivered or given up, when yet so much was in them as to know that they who do such things as they did, were worthy of death, vers. 32. yea and in Chap. 2.4, 5. It is said, knowest thou not O man (art thou a man and canst be ig­norant) that the goodness of God leadeth thee to Repentance. Is it not there impli­ed that the goodness of God hath such preventing operations in it, as not only to deserve of men that they should repent, [Page 307]but also to lead them to Repentance; even those who yet through their hardness and impenitency, treasure up wrath to them­selves; [ [...]] it acts men to it, and in vers. 14. it's said to have such operation in them, as to accuse or excuse them in themselves; and that the effect of the Law or Doctrine otherwise published to the Jews, was in some measure written in their hearts, though not the Law it self, so as their hearts were framed to confor­mity to it, yet the opperations of it, yea so as that the Apostle supposes that some of them did or might do by nature (that is without such verbal or written instructi­on as was afforded to the Jews, for nature seems to be there plainly opposed not to grace, but to outward instruction by Law or Doctrine) the things contained in the Law of the Jews, as to render them in Gods acceptance as Circumcised. Rom. 2.25, 26, 27, 28, 29. And so as our Saviour signifie, Matth. 8.12. ad­mittable to sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Gods Kingdom, when ma­ny of the Jews that had the Law and Cir­cumcision, and so were Children of the Kingdom in its outward then administra­tion, by breaking of the Law should be accounted as Uncircumcised, and be cast out of the Kingdom. Deut 30 11, 12, 13, 14. Rom. 10.7, 8, 9. To which passa­ges of the Apostle we might add that in Act. 17.26, 27. signifying Gods nearness to all, that they might feel after him and find him (in some lower degree answer­ing to that of the word, being near to [Page 308]the Jews, and to others to whom [...] brought in the more plain declarations, in the heart, and in the mouth, that they may believe and do it) and that of the working of Gods Spirit in the old world, where its said the Spirit of God was striving judging, or reproving in them, Prov. 1.20, 21, 22. Gen. 6.3. compared with 1 Pet. 3.19. where the Spirit of Christ is said to have preached to their spirits, while the long suffering of God waited for them; and that in Prov. 1. where wisdom cries to them without, and in the streets, as well to those in the City, and reproves them, and withall stretches forth her hand, puts forth her power to them, so as to render them capable of choosing the fear of the Lord, vers. 24.28. or why else condemnable for not choosing it? To say that they were so, because in Adam they had that power, is to blind mens selves, or shew their blindness and want of un­derstanding; for how was Adam without, or they now without, capable in Adam of turning at reproofs, when as that con­dition was not capable of reproof, or needed not to turn, but abide what it was? Who sees not that this is the voice of Wisdom, and the working of her power (who is Christ) and her addresses unto men as fallen, simple, scorners, and so not speaking to them as in Adam stand­ing, and therefore also not to continue in, but to choose the fear of the Lord brought to them by her that calls them to Repen­tance, [Page 309]in the light and truth wherewith [...]he prevents them? What power had Adam standing, to rise from his fall when fallen? Even as much as a living man to rise from the dead when dead; so that it's clear that this speaks of Christs ad­dresses to fallen men, and condemning them for not choosing what he brought to them, and made chooseable by them in his calls and stretchings out of his hand to them, in his preventing them; which may be also inferred from all the rebukes and condemnations every where in the Scriptures denounced against the Hea­then; not for what they did in Adam, but in their own persons, and in their re­spective generations: as also from the A­postles assertion concerning all, that they shall at the last day receive according to what is now done, he saies not in Adams body, but in the body, namely by them, personally every one in his own body, while here living.

SECT. 4.

The same shewed with respect to the Jews, and those that have the greater means of grace.

EVident things need less of demonstra­tion to make them manifest, and therefore on the operations and workings of God in the hearts and consciences of men that have more means (such as the [Page 310]Law, Doctrine and Gospel of God) we shall not need much to insist to prove Gods vouchsafement of them, that in the Proverbs above quoted reaches to such also, and includes them principally; and Isa. 5. speaks of such more directly, in which God is said to have done so much in his Vineyard (the House of Israel, and the men of Judah) that he looked it should have brought forth Grapes; and challenges them to judge between him and themselves, and to say what could have been done to his Vineyard, that he had not done in it, and why then they had not brought forth fruits by vertue of what he had done to, or in them (not in Adam where there was no need of the Wine­press of afflictions, nor of gathering out the stones but) in themselves to be expected from them? And so in Ezek. 24. the o­perations of the Word and Spirit of God preventing men, are fitly resembled by those of the Fire boyling the Water, and making the Scum to come aloft, so as that the Servant might throw it off; and in that sense God is said (vers. 13.) to have purged them, as the Fire may be said to have purged the Water when it hath wrought up the Scum, and separa­ted it from the Liquor: but they like slothful Servants, not then casting off the [...]perfluity or overflowings of naught­ness, suffering the filthy Soum to boil in, and unite with the Water again, expo­sed themselves to rejection, never to [...] [Page 311] [...]urged more, till his wrath rested upon them. The like is implied in Isai. 48.16, 17. that God teaches men, and leads them to profit (as all his teachings and leadings tend to profit) and yet they are not taught and led by him; hearken not to his Commandments, and so meet not with the profit, the peace and righteous­ness his teachings lead to. And in Jer. 6.28, 29, 30. the operations of God pre­vented them, and were like the operati­ons of Fire melting and refining the Me [...] ­ [...]ls, yet the dross being not separated or purged away. Reprobate Silver, saies he, shall men call them, &c. The like is to be seen in Hos. 11.3. where God saies, He was to Ephraim as one that draws with the Cords of Love, and Bands of a Man (discoveries of love, and draw­ing motives suited to the nature of man, and extended through the Man Jesus Christ, Mediator of God and Man) yea and was as one that took off the Yoke from their Jaws, and laid meat before them: thus he prevented them with his gracious operations; yea, and healed them; yet they refused to return, knew not, or took no notice of his healing them, vers. 2.5. they went back, and brake his Bands in peices, and threw his Cords from them: as in Jer. 5.5, 6. & Isal. 2.3. Such Gods preventing opera­tions, and so generally extended, that we may conclude that saying of Esdras true, in 2 Esdr. 7.21. That God hath shewed to [Page 312]men, certainly as they came into the world, what they should do that they might have life; and what they should observe that they might escape punishment; but these being not perswaded, contradicted him, and pro­posed to themselves vain imaginations, and compassing themselves about with a multi­tude of sins, said of the Almighty, that he is not, and acknowledged not his ways, but despised his Law, and brake their ingage­ments to him, and not believing his Ordinan­ces, fulfilled not his works, &c. Yea, and Ste­phen saies they always resisted the Holy Ghost, that did not obey and submit to him: they resisted not man only, but al­so God, who is therein implyed to have wrought in, and upon them for their O­bedience; would have gathered Jerusa­lem, but they would not. As for those that are brought in to God, seeing it's ex­presly said, that no man can come to Christ, except the Father, who sent him, draw them; (as we have shewed, Joh. 6.44. he also draws them that refuse to return) and that of his own will he begat us with the word of truth, Jam. 1.18. Eph. 2.1, 4, 5. Joh. 1.12, 13.quickned us when before dead in sin [...] and trespasses; that they are not born of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God: there is no question to be made of them, but that God prevents them before they come to him; inlightens, quickens, or so speaks to them, as to make them capable of hearing; moves and works in them to look to him and be saved before they do any of those things, [Page 313] [...] which of themselves, as of themselves none are sufficient: and therefore I need not inlarge my Discourse about them: not will I inlarge to insist upon any particular branching out of Gods preventing ope­rations into the several streams that may be in them; only this I may say that there is in them,

1. A giving forth, or bringing to men some discovery of light or truth to the heart, witnessing the being and goodness of God more or less to men; and the em­ptiness and vanity in Men, and in the Creature, in sin and sinful ways, &c. And therewith

2. Some discerning of, or capacity to see, perceive or be sensible of the light and truth discovered, And

3. In that is also, some reproof of the simplicity, folly, and evil of man in af­fecting, seeking after, and cleaving to such vain things; with

4. Some secret drawing to inquire, feel after, or seek God, a better object that can satisfie, &c.

5. With all this, some strength and ability, both to behold and mind what is presented to it, and to listen to the secret whispers of truth to the heart, and also to choose the good it draws to, and refuse the evil discovered to be so vain and empty. And all this might be di­stinctly shewed from Prov. 1.20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28. with Matth. 13.14, 15. but I forbear to inlarge growing too volumi­nous.

SECT. 5.

Of the Concomitant, or accompanying Ope­rations.

NOw though all Operations follow­ing after these preventing Opera­tions that come upon a man, as in a sleep, to awake and rouse him up, or as dead to inliven him before he can see, or hear, or work, may be with respect to them called subsequent or following Operati­ons: as we have also elsewhere distin­guished them; yet because some of them accompany men in their closing with, and obeying the grace that prevents them, and others follow after their having so closed with, and obeyed it, or else refused to close with it; we shall here a little briefly consider them distinctly, and so in the next place say,

2. There are also Concomitant Ope­rations that accompany men in their choices, works or ways, upon their be­ing prevented as before, as not only Gods considering or minding what men w [...], or do; for that is no Operation of his in them, but also moving and strength­ [...]ing, them to, and in their willing and doing what he moves them to, even fra­ming and putting forward their will, and so working in them both the to will and desire, and the to do, or be effectual, as that what he moves to, may be acted [Page 315]and affected, and they not be carried a­way by violence, either of Satan or cor­ruption therefrom; but that they may, (them notwithstanding,) both will and do, and so work out what he is working in them, by a sweet and gracious compli­ance with, or rather putting forward their wills, begun to be inclined by his grace preventing them; thence that, 2 Cor. 6.1, 2. we beseech you receive not the grace of God in vain; for in an accepted time I have heard thee, in the day of salvation I have succoured thee or helped thee: his pre­venting grace brings a day of salvation, an accepted time through Christs media­ting for them, whom God hears and helps in his work and business of Media­tion, and extends his grace to men, help­ing his Servants that are his Instruments in their Ministration, and so concurring with the means afforded men: and he is also present with men in their receiving his grace, assisting and helping them therein against what opposes them, that so they may receive it effectually, and not in vain; otherwise they must receive it in vain, and could not avoid it: but now he admonishes them, as there is good ground for it, not to receive it in vain. It might be illustrated by the case of Israel in the Wilderness; God prevented them with his goodness, making a way and liberty for them to depart out of Egypt, and fol­low him in the Wilderness, exhorting, directing and inciting them to follow hi [...] [Page 316]against all enemies and discouragements, and in their obeying he was with them to animate and strengthen them, and make their way plain and prosperous to them: yea he is strengthning to obey that grace that prevents them, and capacitates and excites them to obey, doth also run along with them, and help and carry them on in their obeying, as is implyed in those Sayings of Paul, Phil. 4.13. 1 C [...]r. 15.10.I can do all things through Christ, that strengthneth me: and I labour­ed more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me; which being but yeilded up to by him, flowed in upon him, made use of him, as it were, R [...]. 6.12, 13, 14, 16. Gal. 5.16. and acted, carryed, and wrought with him, yea wrought him to will and to do of good pleasure; whence also those counsels of yeilding up the Members as Weapons or Instruments of Righteous­ness to Holiness, and those assertions, that if we walk in Spirit, we shall not fulfil the lusts of the Flesh: the Spirit yeilded to shall act and strengthen men against sin; so sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the Law, but under Grace, even to be acted and carried on by grace. Whereas God withdraws his concurrence with men, and reproves, and secretly nips them when they neglect the advantages given them by, and rebel against his grace, preventing them. But those pertain ra­ther partly to his preventing Grace, and partly to his Operations in Wrath and Judgements upon men, and therefore I shall not insist here on them.

SECT. 6.

Of God's Confequent, or Subsequent Work­ings or Operations in men.

THere be also consequent, or subsequent Operations in men, upon, and after their obeying, closing, and complying with his grace: as not onely his approv­ing the heart and conscience, but also, blessing the Soul, pouring out his Spirit into it, and thereby making known his words; giving it more light and truth, and lead­ing it into more good: inabling it to go on yet further, and follow after God still in his good ways, and giving in comfor­table encouragements thereunto; in which the Soul still closing with, and following after the Spirit, receives more of its pre­sence, concomitancy, strength, and help­fulness; and is followed still with more grace, peace, blessing, goodness, &c. the holy Spirit entring into it, and taking up his abode therein, in his light, life, vertues, operations, grace, as an indwelling Prin­ciple, as a spring of living water, bubling, or springing up to everlasting Life; Joh. 4.14. fil­ling it with Lustings after God, and against the Flesh, and its evil and carnal operations. For all the operations and workings in the believer, Gal. 5.17, 19. Rom. 7.20, 21, 22, 23, 24. are not the ope­rations of God and his Spirit: there is also in him, while here the flesh, and corrupt Nature, and bent lusting and working [Page 318]in him, against the Spirit; being so far from being of it, that it is altogether con­trary thereunto. But all the fruits of the Spirit, as love, joy, peace, patience, &c, are the Spirits, and so God's workings in the Soul; yea, they are the consequents of the Souls entertainment of, and obe­dience to, Gods gracious preventing ope­rations, and of its walking in his accom­panying Influences. Now these conse­quent operations, are every where menti­oned, where God promises more Grace to men, upon their listening to, and obey­ing of him: Prov. 1.23, 35. Chap. 2.1, 2, 4, 5, 6. as, Turn at my reproofs. Be­hold, I will pour out my spirit to you, I will make known my words. And again, Whosh hearkneth to me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from the fear of evil. And, My son, if thou receive my sayings, so that thy heart keep my commandments, so that thou incline thine ear to wisdome, and apply thine heart to understanding, &c. then thou shalt understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God:—then thou shalt un­derstand righteousness, judgment, equity, and every good path. Of the same nature are those sayings in John 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 23. And Psal. 25.8, 9, 12, 14. Good and upright is the Lord, therefore (by way of preventing operation) he will teach sinners the way: and then upon their being meekned by those first Teachings, to which they tend, it follows, as a con­sequent work, or operation. The meek will he guide in judgment, the meek will he [Page 319]teach, (that is, further teach,) in his way. All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth to them that keep his Covenant, and his Testi­monies. What man is he that feareth the Lord, him shall he teach in the way that he shall chuse; his soul shall dwell at ease: The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he shall shew them his Cove­nant, &c. But why should I multiply Expressions here, about seeing all the Pro­mises of more Grace and Blessings, al­most are significations of the said opera­tions; onely this I may add, That Gods operations of this nature, are, (though not universal as to all men, because all close not with his grace, in his preventing operati­ons; yet,) universal and uniform, in a sort to All that believe, and obey the grace of God in every Nation and People, and under every Dispensation of the means of Grace and Knowledge of God afforded to men: for in every Nation, he that feareth God, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of him; there being no respect of persons with him: though as to the measure of what he worketh, consequent­ly to mens faith and obedience, there is, and may be great difference; yea, and as to the things, the gifts, or graces thereby effected: but in the main substance, there is an unity, and uniformity in his said workings. All that follow on to know the Lord, shall know him. All that with meekness receive his Teachings, shall be further taught, and guided in judgment. [Page 320]All that turn at his Reproof, he will pou [...] out his Spirit to, and make known his words to, more or less: his Promises to that purpose, being general or univer­sal to all such; and He true, and righteous in the performance of his Pro­mises. A great encouragement to All, to close with, and obey his Truth and Grace. Thus to that distinction of his gracious operations into, preventing, ac­companying, and following operations.


The said gracious operations, otherwise distinguished.

BUt the said gracious Operations may be also otherwise distinguished, and are in the Scriptures distinctly mentioned under other Names, as convincing, con­verting, regenerating, or renewing; heal­ing, comforting, strengthning, conform­ing, and the like. Of which briefly,

1. God, in, and by his words and works, and by his Spirit, is convincing the hearts and consciences of men; of his Being, Goodness, Truths; of their own sinful­ness and misery, the vanity and worth­lesness of their own works and righte­ousness; the emptiness and fadingness of all Creature-injoyments, the uncertainty of their lives, the vanity and brutishness of their own thoughts, and imaginations, the evil and sinfulness of their ways, &c. [Page 321]according to the means afforded them, and manifestations of his Truth, in, and by those means to, and in them. This kind of operation is often spoken of in the Scriptures: as, Prov. 1.23. Turnye at my reproofs, my arguings, or convinements of you. Implying, That Wisdom is, ar­guing, reproving, and convincing men. Again, ver. 25.30. John 16.7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Ye set at nought all my counsels, and would none of my reproofs. So our Saviour tells his Disciples, That the Spirit which he would send them, should reprove, argue, or convince the World of Sin, of Righteousness, and of Judgment. Of Sin, because they. believe not on him, &c. And this is that which is called the Spirit, striving with, or judging in men, Gen. 6.3. Gods standing in the Con­gregation of the Mighty,Rev. 3.20.and judging among the Gods, How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked, Psal. 82.1, 2. Christs standing at the door and knock­ing. And in this operation, is,

1. A manifesting, and evidencing his Truth more or less to men, shining it in­to their Consciences, and shewing it them. As, Rom. 1.19. 2 Cor. 4.2. Yea and

2. An opening the Eye of the Mind, or Conscience, to see, and discern it, so, as [...]hey in some measure know, or perceive [...] both which are implyed, in that we [...]ake to above, Of his preventing opera­ [...]ons, Rom. 1.19, 20, 21. Act. 26.18. John 1.9. Joh. 5.25. and 6.63. Open­ing the eyes of the blind, inlightning men [...]at come into the World: which may [Page 322]be also represented under another Meta­phor, of speaking to the Dead, and cau­sing them to hear, or perceive what is spo­ken, his words being Spirit and Life.

3. As also, a discovery of other Ob­jects, in, and by that light; as God, Self, Sin, or the like. And,

4. A causing the Mind or Spirit of a man, to view, or reflect upon the Objects discovered, as upon the sinfulness, weak­ness, worthlesness discovered in them­selves, in, and by that light, or truth dis­cerned: the sinfulness of their ways, and works; the bootlesness or unprofitable­ness of their righteousness, the unsafety of their conditions, &c. which are more properly his judgings, and reprovings of them, in, and by that Light. The Light at once, both representing, or discovering the Nature of things, and passing judg­ment, or causing the Mind to pass judg­ment, the judgment of Truth upon them: either by way of approving what is com­mendable and excellent, or of reproving what it discovers, as empty and evil: whence it's said, The Gentiles not ha­ving the law, are a law to themselves: which shew, the work of the Law writ­ten in their hearts; their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or excusing one ano­ther, Rom. 2.14, 15.

2. In and by the same light, truth, and spirit, judging, and reproving, or con­vincing men; God is also affording his [Page 323] [...]erting operations: yea, those con­ [...]cements tend to Conversion, and are [...]ered to that end, that men might be [...]verted from the Evils they are con­ [...]ced of, and reproved for, to God; [...] those good things they are convinced [...] and that are evidenced, and commend­ [...] to them; as may be seen, in what our [...]iour, and the Apostle Paul say of men, [...] smother those convincements. They [...] closed, or winked with their Eyes, Matth. 13.15. Act. 28.27. [...] they should see with their eyes, and hear [...] their ears,—and be converted, &c. [...]plying, That the things presented to [...]m, in those convincements, and re­ [...]oss, the Grace set before them, which [...] had some capacity afforded them to [...]re seen, and heard, and to have under­ [...], would have converted them: it [...] to such ends and Purposes, and they [...]d some perception of it, and fearing [...]h a thing, least it should draw them [...] from their Lusts, and Idols, they sup­ [...]st it, turned from it, and refused to See, [...], and Understand it: which also is [...]plyed, in that wisdome in her reprov­ [...] adds; Turn ye in, or at my reproofs, [...] 1.23. The goodness of God there­ [...] evidenced, leading to Repentance, [...] 2.4. And this is joyned in Act. 26. [...] With the opening of the eyes of [...] blind, viz. the turning them from dark­ [...] to light, and from the power of Satan, [...] God. And it hath in it over and [...] what is mentioned, in his convinc­ings, [Page 324]though in them, this always too [...] vouchsafed, viz.

1. A more intimate, or express hintin [...] or discovering some better Object, tha [...] what our hearts are set upon, and posse [...] with: some better good to be sought, o [...] imbraced, than we are imbracing, or seek­ing after, as God, or Christ; & some righ­ter way to walk in, for seeking them then that in which men walk, Prov. 1.2 [...] Joh. 15.26, 27. with 16.7, 12, 13, 14, 15.

2. An exerting some Divine Power or stretching forth the hand, thereby draw­ing the Heart and Soul off from those [...] ­nities, discovered and reproved to, or [...] ­ter that better Object represented: and [...] the representation whereof, the other va [...] and evil things are reproved. Prov. 1.2 [...] Hos. 11.3. Yea, and often a kind [...] driving men off from what is reprove [...] to what is [...]ommended, even from the Idols, to the living and true God, by hed [...] ­ing up as it were, the way of the So [...] with Thornes, so as not to suffer it to fi [...] any thing but rentings, and prickings, a [...] pains; convincements and horrors in [...] following after, Prov. 23.29, 33. Luk. 15.16. pursuing, or retaining own thoughts, ways, and enterprises; in Hos. 2.6, 7. and 6.5. and therewith al [...]

3. A bending, bowing, and inclin [...] the heart to let go the vanities discov [...] and reproved, Hos. 5.15. and 6.1. Act. 26.18, 28. Matth. 21.30. and to turn to God Christ exalted and commended, Psal. 1 [...].36. Though oftentimes the heart [...] sulting with flesh and blood recoyls ag [...] [Page 325]and withdraws, like him that said, I go Sir, and yet went not: thence that com­plaint of Ephraim, that was brought to [...]ay, Come let us return to the Lord, &c. [...] Ephraim, what shall I do to thee,—thy goodness is as the morning cloud, and as the [...]arly dew it goeth away, Hos. 6.1, 2, 3, 4. And, I drew them with the cords of a man, with the bands of love—but,—they refused [...] return. Hos. 11.3, 4, 5. But then,

4. In the bowing, and inclining of the [...]art God-ward; there is also, a strength­ing, helping, incouraging, and further­ing of it: as in the Father of the Prodigal, being him afar off, and running and meet­ing him, and bringing him home to him­self, even to his House, Luk. 15.20, 25. And as is asserted, 2 Cor. 6.1, 2. In the excepted time I have heard, In the day of [...]ation I have helped thee. Of which [...]ore, in Sect. 5. Such his Converting perations.

3. Then there are Renewing, Rege­ [...]rating Operations, which though they [...] initially in the converting operations, [...]nd the convincing operations tend to [...]em too, yet are more properly found [...] the Converted Soul; though it may be [...]uly said too, That the Soul is further [...]onverted in them: and they may be im­ [...]ed, in that sanctifying by Faith in [...]rist; mentioned, in Act. 26.18. As a [...]nsequent of the being turned unto God: [...] very effecting the Faith in Christ, and [...] sanctifying therethrough, may be (as [Page 326]I conceive) included therein: for the Soul wrought upon in the Converting Operations, to look toward God and Christ, as presented to the Soul, in that beholding him; (to which, in the Con­verting Operations also, it is moved and begotten) by the power of the same grace it is strengthned, begot, and framed, to close with, believe in, and depend on God, in Christ, in which its made a New Creature; as to its State with God, and as to its receipt of new Principles of Spi­ritual Life, in which it lives, and acts from, to, and for God; being acted by the Grace and Spirit of God that takes Possessi­on of it. Indeed, Regeneration fully is the begetting and bringing forth the whole Man to God, by the Spirit and Power of God, and so is a continued work, in which men go on gradatim, step, by step, and is not compleated, till the Adoption be in the Redemption of the Body, in the Resurrection of the Dead. As ap­pears in Matth. 19.28. Ye that have follow­ed me in the Regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit upon the throne of his glory, shall sit on twelve thrones, &c. Where those words, [in the Regeneration,] are so placed, as they may either be referred to the words before, Ye that have followed me in the Regeneration; and so it signifies, That Regeneration is a progressive work; as the following of Christ also is: a thing as daily in doing, a thing in which Christ is to be followed, that it may be don [...] [Page 327]more, and more in us: even, as also see­ing, and entring his Kingdom here in its Spiritual State is: We cannot enter his Kingdom, but by being born of God; nor further enter into it, to be under the Regi­ment, Power, and Priviledges of it, then as we are born of God: namely, of God, as objectively discovered to us, and look­ed to, or known by us, (they that know thy Name will trust in thee;) and as efficiently and efficaciously working by his Power, and Spirit in us: And so Regeneration contains in it, Healing, Confirming, and Conforming too: or they may in the place above quoted, be referred to the words after it, and denote the time, when they should receive their Honour, and Reward: viz. In the Regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory: that is, In the time of the Resur­rection: and so it signifies, That the Re­generation is not compleated, till the Re­surrection; when the Body also shall be changed, and be found in the Spirit and Glory of Christ. But here I do, (as usual­ly men do) in speaking of Regeneration, speak of its First Acts, Of making a man in Christ. The overcoming of the Heart to close with, and believe in God and Christ; and depend on him: and so the infusing the Spirit and Principles of new and heavenly Life into him. And so I distinguish it from healing conforming Operations: and it's sometime included, in Conversion; as the end, or ultimate [Page 328]acts in it: (as Conversion is usually meant, of the Souls first turning to God; for other­wise, Souls after Regeneration falling into actual Sins, or sinful frames, must be Con­verted from them:) but as I said before, it properly follows, upon the heart turn­ed to behold, or look upon God and Christ; as presented in his Gospel: and it stands, in the framing, strengthning, and overcoming the heart to close with, rest in, and rely on God in Christ; in, and through which, his Spirit and Power, Framing and Creating it in Christ, doth enter into it, possess and act it, for, and towards Christ. Ephes. 2.10. Numb. 21.9. 2 King. 5.14. And this is by a certain creative Power: whence that Phrase, We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works. Somewhat like the healing of the Israelites, in their looking to the Serpent of Brass; or the healing of Naa­man, washing in the waters of Jordan. and it hath in it,

1. A Spiritual quickening, or inlivening of the Soul, Psal. 36.8. in its listening, and looking to Christ, to living affection to, and like­ment of him, and so desire after him, through the presentation of the excellen­cy of him, as made known to, and ap­prehended by the Soul; as Phil. 3.7.

2. A Spiritual quickning and strength­ening of the Soul, through the same Seed of the knowledge, or word of Christ, cast into the heart, to a fleeing, or betaking it self for refuge and rest to him; and so to close with, and hope in him, and in God [Page 329]through him. Heb. 6, 18, 19. Psal. 9.10.

3. A certain Spiritual inlivening of the Soul in him, and upon him, his mercy, Gal. 2.20. goodness, power, faithfulness, love, &c. and so to an acting in that life, infused and put into it, both towards God, and to­wards man: which the grace seen, and believed by it operates, works, and begets; yea, and preserves, and carries on in it, and it unto, and in. It is set forth in Ezekiel 36.25, 26. By the making the Heart and Spirit new, by his Spirit, and then putting in his Spirit, into the Spirit made new; the begetting a new judgment, bent and disposition in the Soul, and a new heart, desire, love, affection toward God and Christ? a new will, purpose, and resoluti­on for him; and then a putting his Word, Power, and Spirit, into that Heart and Spi­rit, renewed to live in it, feed, act, and animate it, in, and for God, according to his mind.

4. His healing operations, are a kin to those Regenerating operations, and may be co-incident with his comforting ope­rations too in part; they are spoken of as fruits, and consequents to Conversion, Matth. 13.15. Least they should be conver­ted, and I should heal them: but by com­paring that with Mark 4.12. It includes, or stands in the Remission of Sins; at least, as the necessary mean to it, or womb put of which it proceeds: for there for healing it is, and their sins should be forgiven them: Which by way of Metonomy, may [Page 330]signifie, and take in the consequents of forgiveness also: such as,

1. The speaking peace to them, &c. so the quieting, pacifying, and comforting of the Heart and Conscience, in the sight and view of his goodness, and knowledge of his love and favour towards it, and of the forgiveness of Sins, and hope of Happiness; in which the heart-broken, and disquieted with convincements, re­proofs, and fears is healed.

2. A renewing and rectifying the whole man in mind, & judgment, will, and affecti­ons, and conversation; sanctifying of him throughout, filling him with right & whol­some apprehensions, and thoughts of God and Christ, and himself, and all things: with right affections to God, healing those distempers before in his heart and affections; in their out-running after ya­nities, and doting upon Idols; taking offence at God, and his Truth, hateing what should be loved, and loving what should either absolutely, or compara­tively be hated: and so healing the passions, fears, cares, anxieties, and griefs of mind, &c.

3. A removing and taking off Wrath and Judgments, that might formerly be inflicted on them for their rebellions or stubbornness against him: yea, and by degrees, and in due time, taking off al­together the Disease, and Judgment, that came upon us in Adam, and through his Fall; the power of natural Corruption [Page 331] [...]nd dominion of Sin: and the bodily in­firmities and Death too in the Resur­rection.

5. Comforting Operations, are in, and through his Word or Truth, as it is in Christ, and by his hand, power, and spi­rit working therein, and therewith, in shewing help and remedy in Christ, and in God, and causing the Soul to appre­hend, and see it; even suitable helps to all its needs, and Exercises; and by beget­ting lively hope in God and Christ, for the receipt of that help, both under its afflicti­ons, and in due time out of them all; and by shewing the gracious and good end of God, in his afflicting, denying, crossing, suffering or ordering evils to it: the lifting up, reviving, and chearing of the heart, and spirit; and maintaining the chearful­ness and comfort of it in God: as in John 14. He comforted the hearts of his Disciples, by, and through, presenting to them God, and his goodness towards them, as an object, therefore worthy to be be­lieved in, by them: and himself, as a con­stant lover of them, that as well went away from them for their good, as came and staid with them, even for their helpful­ness and salvation: that he would send them another Comforter, who also, and more fully should comfort them, by lead­ing them into the Truth, (causing them to understand the Truths he now spake to them,) and giving them to know his Pre­sence with them, even while to appear­ance, [Page 332]and in his body absent from them, &c.

His comforting Operations may be many, or fewer, according as he pleases, and as he sees good to give, and the con­ditions of his people require, and they are meet for, but they are all in, and through his goodness, and grace in Christ disco­vered; as all his other gracious Operati­ons be: while he by his Spirit minds men of, and opens to them his Love, Power, Wisdom, Faithfulness, his undertakings for them, promises to them, examples of his goodness, and faithfulness to others in like cases; and therein also sets before them, the inconsiderableness of their Ene­mies, Dangers, Sufferings; the lightness and momentaniss of them, in compari­son of the good afforded, and promised them; he raises up, and incourages their hearts, and fills them with assured hope, and consolation. 2 Thess. 2.16, 17. 2 Cor. 4.15, 16, 17, &c.

6. His strengthning and confirming Operations are many of them of the same import, and from the same spring, with his comforting and healing Operations: they are spoken of 1 Cor. 1 Cor. 1.6, 7, 8. 16.7. 8. Eph. 3.15, 16. 1 Pet. 5.10. And they differ lit­tle the one from the other, and therefore I put them both together as under one Head; onely his confirming Operations be such efficacies of his grace, and work­ings of his Spirit, as in, and by which he opening his Truth more clearly to the [Page 333]heart, and therein discovering the weak­ness of all opposite Principles; or other­wise, also evidencing his Presence with his Truth, People, and Ways, doth make the heart more firm in belief of his Truth, and so in resolution to cleave, and adhere to it, and to him in it, and to his people and ways according to it; begetting in the heart more assurance of their Right­ness, and of good success therein. His strengthening Operations, (besides what hath been hinted of them, in the forego­ing Operations,) more respect oppositi­ons, resistances, and assaults against men, in Gods way; either by Sin in men, or by Satan, and men from without them; as also Afflictions, Pressures and the like from the hand of God: to stand under which, and against all assaults, the grace of God in Christ, as it is sufficient to strengthen men, so it doth it also, by presenting such Motives from, Rom. 5.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. and considerations of Gods love and goodness, Christ's faithfulness to them, and care and watchfulness over them, and power and promises to save them; the good and gracious ends of God in them, and assurance of a good Issue out of them; with other Arguments as the Gospel, or Truth Revealed affords: therethrough putting courage and resolu­tion, virtue and man-hood as it were, in­to them, so as to stand it out with pati­ence and magnanimity to the end.

7. His conforming Operations, are of the like nature with his Renewing and healing, [Page 334]and by the same means or mediums, even the beholding the glory of Christ, and of God in Christ, as opened to men, and by his Spirit effectually, and by a certain creative force, or power working therein; as also, by the same Spirit he will conform the body, to his own glori­ous body, at his coming: onely there is this difference, that in conforming the Soul, Mind, and Spirit to himself, he works upon men, in a way suitable to men living; voluntary agents, and in their exercise of themselves in the ways in which he leads them, as in beholding his Glory, presented by him before them; and therefore men are capable of hindring themselves of their own good in that, by turning away their minds from him, un­to vanity. As Naaman might have hin­dred the healing of his Leprosie, by com­ing out of the Waters of Jordan too soon, viz. before he had washed the Seventh time, though in continuing so to wash, he could not hinder it, God effecting it in him by a creative power. But in the Resurrection, and conforming of the Bo­dy to Christs glorious Body: Christ will work purely, Physically, (or Hyperphy­sically rather,) and irresistably, as he wrought in creating things that had no voluntary agency in themselves; at least, none before he had made them: or as he works upon natural agents or things, as to make the Earth to Bud, or the Corn to grow: or more irresistibly then [Page 335]so to; even as in making Heaven and [...]arth. But this pertains to the manner [...] God's operation in these his gratious Workings: before we speak to which, we shall as we propounded, consider the other kind of operations attributed to God, and see what the Scriptures signifie to us con­cerning them.


Of Operations in Wrath and Judg­ment, attributed to God, as Hard­ning, Blinding, Deceiving Men, &c.

SECT. 1.

That the Scriptures Attribute these kind of Operations to God, and that yet we are so to conceive of him in them, as not to make him the Author of mens Sin­nings.

GOd is said in the Scriptures to har­den, blind, and deceive men; and therefore that such Operations or Work­ings as tend to these things, are Attribu­ted to him is evident, both in the Wri­tings of the Prophets, and Apostles; for God is said by Moses, to have hardned [Page 336] Pharaoh's heart; and he said to Mo [...] when he sent him, to him that he wou [...] harden his heart, so as he would n [...] let the people go, Exod. 4.21. and 7.3. a [...] 9.12. And so he is said to have hardn [...] Sihons Spirit, and to have made his he [...] obstinate, that he might deliver him in [...] Israels hand, Deut. 2.30. And Isai [...] says, by way of Expostulation; Lor [...] why hast thou made us to erre from thy way [...] and hardned our hearts from thy fe [...] And Paul saith of God, whom he will [...] hardneth. And the Prophet Isaiah, [...] quoted by the Evangelist, said, God ha [...] blinded their eyes, and hardned their heart [...] Joh. 12.40. It being God, who bade th [...] Prophet go, and make the heart of th [...] people fat, and their ears heavy, and sh [...] their eyes, lest they see with their eyes, an [...] hear with their ears, and understand wit [...] their hearts, and be converted and healed [...] Isa. Zeph. 3.5. Jam. 1.13, 17. 6.10. And God said to Ezekiel [...] If the Prophet be deceived, I the Lord have [...] deceived that Prophet, Ezek. 14.9. But [...] how may these things be looked upon a [...] the works and doings of God? seeing the [...] just Lord, will not, nor can do iniquity [...] Let no man say when he is tempted, [...] am tempted of God: for God cannot be [...] tempted with evil, neither tempteth h [...] any man: every good gift, and ever [...] perfect giving is from above, and comet [...] down from the Father of Lights, with [...] whom is no variableness, nor shadow o [...] turning. Surely, those things to deceive [...] [Page] [Page] [Page 337] [...]nd harden, and make men obstinate, and [...]o blind men, are the works of Satan; [...]nd how then can they be ascribed to God, [...]e most holy God, who is of purer eyes [...]en to behold iniquity; much less then [...]ay he make, or impel, or stir men up [...]o do evil: Surely therefore they are not [...]s works, or doings, in a proper way [...] speaking, or in a direct or proper way [...] operation, no more then darkness, can [...] properly ascribed to the Sun: how [...]uld so holy a Tree bring forth fruit so [...]trary to his Holiness? Or how should [...] punish men for their Iniquities, if he [...]o work, incite, or frame men unto wick­ [...]ness? It would be great iniquity in a [...]dge or Magistrate, to provoke, incite to, [...]uch more, to necessitate men to things [...]idden by the Law, (and yet more, if [...] be a Law, whereof he was Law giver [...].) and then to hang and draw him, [...]r what he was so the cause himself of: [...]nd shall God be like to such unjust Per­ [...]ns? God forbid: yet after some manner [...]f speaking, and in some way suitable to [...]s holiness, those things also are ascribed [...] him; which remains with sobriety to [...]e inquired into by us.

SECT. 2.

That those Operations as ascribed to God are Judiciary Acts, consequential, both to Gods preventing grace, and mens abuse of it.

DOubtless, this first may be Asserted. That these kind of Acts or Opera­tions, as ascribed to God, are ever Judici­ary acts, and ordered to men by way [...] Punishment and Judgment for their abu­ses of, and Rebellions against his good­ness, and gracious Operations first prevent­ing them. These are none of his first ope­rations, in, and with men; but he first ex­tends his goodness and mercy, leading to Repentance: (yea, mixeth such too, with these sadder operations:) and for mens hardning, and blinding themselves there against, hardens and blinds them; ac­cording to that in Isa. 66.3.4. They have chosen their own ways, and their soul de­lighteth in their abominations: I also will chuse their delusions, and will bring the [...] fear upon them. Because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. And that in Rom. 1.21, 26, 28. [...]use when they knew God, they did not [...] him as God, neither were thankful, &c. For this cause God gave them up to vile affections, &c. And even as they did not like to retain [Page 339]God in their Knowledge, God gave them up to a Reprobate mind. This also may be seen in those instances of Gods hard­ning and blinding before mentioned. For certain it is, That Pharaoh was a proud, Tyrannical Oppressor of Israel, See Exod. 3.14. with 4.21. before God hardned his heart; God says of him, That he knew surely, that the King of Aegypt would not let them go, but by, (or no not by) a mighty hand; before he spake of hardning his heart. And we and, that upon Moses's first speaking to him, in the Name of the Lord, to let the people go, to Worship, or hold a Feast to the Lord, in the Wilderness; Chap. 5.1, 2, 3. which was but a reasonable demand: yet, he behav'd himself proudly against the Lord, and said, Who is the Lord, that I should they his voice, to let Israel go. I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go. Yea, and after Moses had told him, who the Lord was, even the God of the Hebrews, and had used Arguments to perswade him to let them go; yet, Vers. 6, 7, 8, 9. he was so far from hearkning to them, that he increased their burdens, and oppressions, exacting their [...]umber of Brick, but denying them ne­cessary Materials, to be brought to them as before, to the greater imbittering of their Spirits, and to the exposing them to their Taskmasters rage and cruelty: yea, and after God had bid Moses work Miracles before him, and the Aegyptians, and shew them some Signes, that God had [...]t him to him, on that Message; yet, [Page 340]it's said, Chap. 7.13. That Pharaohs heart hardned, as Ainsworth reads it, suitable to the He­brew. Vers. 14. Or, Pharaoh hardned his heart; as the Greek reads it. And God says of him, Pharaohs heart is hardned, Vers. 23.he refuses to let the people go. And after their Waters were turned into Blood, Pharaoh turned, and went into his house: and it's said, Neither set he his heart to this also. And after God had smitten him with the Plague of the Frogs, and his heart began to yield; so that he promised, upon God's removal of that Plague, Chap. 8.8. to let the people go: yet, when God had at Moses's request, remov­ed it, it's said, That, when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, 15 he hardned his heart, and hearkned not to them, as the Lord had said: (namely, that he would do; Chap. 3.10.) Yea, and when God had sent the Third Plague, 19 the Plague of Lice, in which the Magicians could not do so▪ but confessed it to be the Finger of God; yet it's said, That Pharaohs heart was hard­ned, and he hearkned not unto them, as the Lord had said. Yea, and yet again, when God had threatned him with the Judg­ment of Flies, Vers. 28. and inflicted it, because he would not by the threatning, be admo­nished; and that also made his heart to bow again, and yield so, as to promise, upon the removal thereof, they should go, and worship God in the Wilderness. Yet, after that Judgment was removed, Vers. 32. it is said, Pharaoh hardned his heart at this time also▪ neither would he let the people go. Yea, [Page 341]and after the Fifth Judgment upon their Cattle, in which, as in the former, Chap. 9.7. God severed between the Aegyptians, and the Israelites; smiting the Aegyptians Cattel onely, and not Israels: yet it's said, Pha­raohs heart was hardned: (remained in that stiffness, and obstinacy, of purpose, to which he had set it upon the former re­spite:) and not all this while is it said, That the Lord had hardned his heart. Till after the Sixth Judgment, Chap. 9.12. And then is it said, The Lord hardned Pha­raohs heart. And yet after, and in the Seventh Judgment, he made it yield again, so, as to confess his Sin, and justifie the Lord; and intreat their Prayers for him, with promise thereupon, of letting them go, and they should stay no longer: yet, Chap. 10.1. after it was over, it is said, His heart was hardned. And God says, Chap. 10.1. Go in unto Pharaoh, for I have hardned his heart, and the heart of his servants, &c. So that it ap­pears, that Pharaoh was proud and wick­ed, and hardned his heart against the Lord: before, God is said to have hard­ned his heart. Aud the like we may say of Sihon King of Heshbon, and the Cana­anites, Josh. 11.20. The measure of their Iniquity was now full, so as it was not in Abrahams time; Gen. 15.16. And yet more plain it is, in that of Israel, in Isa. 6.10. To which that in Joh. 12.40. Isa. 1, 2, 3, [...] 5. hath reference; it is, Go make the heart of this people fat. And it was such a people, whose eyes he blinded; as of whom he [Page 342]had said, I have nourished, and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me: a sinful Nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil doers; children that were cor­rupters, that had forsaken the Lord; pro­voked the holy one of Israel to anger, and had gone backward: A people of whom he says, Why should ye be smitten any more? ye will revolt more and more; whose Rulers were as the Rulers of Sodom, and their people, people of Gomorrah. Yea, of whom he says, What could have been done more then I have done in my vineyard? Chap. 5.1, 4, 5, 6.Wherefore then, when I looked for grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And concerning whom therefore he resolved, to take away the hedge, that it might be eaten up, and to break down the fence, that it might be troden down, and to lay it waste, &c. And such a people also were they, of whom he says in Jer. 6.30. Reprobate Silver, shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them: They were such, as would not hear the Word, nor obey the will of the Lord; but said, We will not hear, we will not walk in thy ways. They were all grievous re­volters, walking with slanders, brass, and iron; all corrupters. Such as with whom all means had been used, and pains taken to no purpose: the bellows were burnt, the lead consumed in the fire, the founder me [...] ­ed in vain; the wicked were not pluckt away Jer. 6.16, 17, 28, 29. And the like may be seen in, Psal. 81.10, 11, 14. Prov. 1.22, 23, 24, 25, &c. Thess. 2.9.10, 11, 12. by an [...] that will read them.

SECT. 3.

What that saying of the Apostle, [That God har lens whom he will;] imports, and how it is to be understood, by us.

EXceeding clear it is then, That God Exerciseth those his hardning Ope­rations, onely by way of Judgment and Punishment for former goodness abused, and sinned against: yet some reading, [...]hat God said to Pharaoh, That for this cause He raised him up, to shew in him, his Power, and that his Name might be declared in all the Earth; and that the Apostle thereupon, adds, So then he will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardens: Thence conceive, That God Created Pharaoh, and made him King, on purpose to harden, and destroy him. And so that he purposed to harden some, whom he pleased, meer­ly because he pleased, and without respect to any thing, good, or evil in them: and so accordingly in time, hardens them, irre­spectively, meerly because he will; and to shew his power, and wrath, in their Destruction. But they that thence, thus conceive, and conclude, do greatly mistake, and wrest the Apostles sayings, and in­ferr more from them than they afford any colourable ground for. For,

1. Neither doth the Apostle say, That God created, or made Pharaoh King, with [Page 344]a purpose, to harden and destroy him; nor speaks of his creating him, or mak­ing him King; but speaks of his raising him up; which compared with the He­brew Text, that uses the Word [...] signifying, to make to stand. Or with the Greek Septuagint, that says, [...], I have preserved thee: clearly speaks, but of Gods upholding him in, and raising him up, out of former Judgments, so as he was not Destroyed by them; nor says he, That he might harden and destroy him, but that he might show in him his Power, and make his Name known in all the Earth; which he might, and could have done, had Pharaoh humbled himself be­fore him, as he required of him; in shew­ing mercy upon him, and making him an instance of the efficacy of his grace; but he not so doing, he did it in hardning and judging him.

2. Nor are the following words infer­red, and concluded by the Apostle there­upon. Either,

1. Whom he willed, he hardneth; as speak­ing of Gods eternal purpose, to harden some, as signifyed by the word Will. Or,

2. He hardens any man, meerly be­cause he will, without respect to any fore­provocation on their part: indeed, his shewing mercy may be, and is without any respect to any fore-going goodness to de­serve it: and so his distribution of Ta­lents, Places, Prerogatives; and so his [Page 345]comparative hating in that respect some over others, as in the case of Jacob and Esau, nationally considered, forementio­ned by the Apostle, may be so irrespective is we shewed before, and might be so determined by him before the objects of such determination were born, or had done good or evil; but we never find any such thing asserted about his hard­ning men, much less doth the Apostle here say such a thing: but,

3. He says he will have mercy, on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardens; thereby signifying.

1. That God is not ordered or direct­ed by any of his Creatures, askes or re­ceives counsel from none of them what to act or do in any of his dispensations of mercy or judgement; but is the sole & sove­raign orderer of his own actions: accord­ing to that in Isai. 40.13, 14. Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his Counsellor, hath taught him? with whom took he counsel, and who instructed him and taught him in the path of judgement, or taught him knowledge, or shewed him the way of understanding? Behold the Nations are as the drop of a Rucket, &c. or as the Apostle, with allusion to the Prophet; who hath known the mind of God? or who hath been his Counsellor? Or who hath first even to him, and it shall be recompensed to him again? For of him, and through him, and to him are all things, to whom be glo­ry for ever Amen. Shall any teach God [Page 346]knowledge, seeing he judgeth them that [...] on high? as Job saith, No, He doth a [...] things, not according to others pleasures [...] thoughts, but according to the counsel of [...] own will, Rom. 11.34, 35, 36. Job 21.22. Ephes. 1.11.

2. That he hath, and exercises an ab­solute soveraignty over his Creatures, in judging them in mercy or wrath; so a [...] that his hands are not tied from doing good to whom he pleases, be they never so vile or unworthy of mercy: nor is he by any birth, heigth, works, priviledges conferred upon them, so ingaged to them, that in case of their sinning presumptu­ously, and abusing his goodness, he may not harden and destroy them: as he is not ruled or ordered by his creatures; they can give no law to him: so such is his power over them, Gen. 18.25. Zeph. 3.5. Tit. 1.2. he can do what he pleases to, and with them: only he can­not lye or do iniquity: whosoever hath sinned against him, be they what they will, King or Peasant, Jew or Gentile, yea, Exod. 32.33. or a Prophet, Apostle or an Angel, he can and may blot them out of his Book: nothing conferred upon them by him, or done formerly by them to, or for him, can abridge his power of so deal­ing with them. As again, no vileness of birth or condition, sinfulness of life and conversation, or punishment fore-inflict­ed on them, can take away his power over, for shewing mercy and compassion to them if he pleases, especially to the pe­nient [Page 347]and humbled soul that seeks mer­cy of him, and submits to him. Thus [...]ot only Pharaoh and Sihon mighty Kings, notwithstanding their greatness, were hardned and destroyed by him; but also the Jews the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Israel despising his Law, and rebelling against his counsels and commands, and refusing to walk in his ways, &c. were not only punisht with many sore and heavy Judgements, but also, notwith­standing all their priviledges (Gods choise of them, love to them, and honour con­ferred upon them) yea, and notwith­standing all their Temple-building, Sa­crifices and Services done to him, and works of righteousness of their own wrought by them, were at length for their refusals of Christ and his Doctrine, and despite done to him, and his Servants broken off, (except a remnant by grace, or meer mercy reserved) and unpeopled by him: being hardned, blindned and gi­ven up to their own imaginations and delusions, to stumble and fall in them. And on the other side, not only Rahah, Ruth, and some other poor Sinners a­mongst the Gentiles obtained mercy, but even the Gentiles more generally after, and notwithstanding their long going astray, and walking in their own ways, Ephes. 2.11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20. and their many and great abominations, Idolatries, Adulteries, and all manner of open and heinous wickednesses, had the Gospel and Kingdom of God sent unto them; and [Page 348]therein pardon of their sins, and peace from God was tendred and preached to them, through, and in the name of Christ, and whosoever accepted the tenders and terms thereof, were admitted into the kingdom and Church of God and Christ, and received into nighness to them. Matth. 11.25, 26. So also the mysteries of the Kingdom of God were hid from the richer, learned and prudent persons of the Jews, that were there through lifted up against God, their riches, prudence, yea or self-righteous­ness notwithstanding; and revealed to the poor and simple Disciples, though despicable in the eyes of the other; and but as Babes and Sucklings in respect of their parts and capacities, and this because it so pleased God. It seemed good and meet to him to deal so with them. Yea, the Angels that sinned, though high and glorious Spirits, yet God did not because of their height, power or greatness spare them, but plunged them down into de­struction: when as poor, fallen, con­temptible man, of a far meaner constitu­tion and condition, being made of the dust, was pitied by him, and found mer­cy with him. And therefore in the be­lief and apprehension of this Soveraign­ty of God over his Creatures, and liber­ty to dispose of them, in shewing them mercy, or withdrawing it from them, and hardning, and blinding them as he pleases, as also of his infinite purity, and perfect hatred of sin where ever he finds [Page 349]it: the Apostle Paul beat down his body, 1 Cor. 9.27. with Act. 9.15. 1 Cor. 10.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, &c. [...]d brought it into subjection, least ha­ving preached to others, he should him­self yet, notwithstanding a chosen Vessel, and an Apostle, be a cast away; as Judas, [...]ough a chosen Apostle, was before him; and as he tells (and would not have us ignorant of it) many of the Fathers that were highly honoured and priviledged, God was that notwithstanding, so far dis­pleased with for their sins against him, that he destroyed them. As the Apostle Jude also minds us, that the Lord having [...]ed his people out of Egypt; yet after­ward destroyed those that believed, not that is, did not abide believing, as Psal. 106.12, 13. though they were his people, and sometime believed, yet that exempt­ [...] them not from destruction: yea, Mo­ses himself, though a Prophet, and greater than the rest of the Prophets; yet not believing to sanctifie the Lord before the people at one time, was cut off from en­tring into the good Land of Promise [...] his being such a Prophet, yea and in all other things faithful, would not privi­ledge him from such a judgement upon him, having but that one time so failed before him. And Jeremy, Jer. 1.5. with 15.19, 20, 21. though a Pro­phet and sanctified in the womb thereunto; yet turning out some way it seems, stood [...] upon his returning again; otherwise [...] had been rejected, his first ordination [...] notwithstanding. Psal. 51.1, 2. Thence David also [...]ing sinned in the matter of Ʋriah, [Page 350]could not, nor durst plead any engagements upon God, to continue his favour to hi [...] or restore him to it, as if God was by any thing fore-done to him, or by him ing [...] ­ged to save him, but only pleads and [...] for mercy, according to the multitude of his mercies, as intimately acknowledging therein that he had so broken Covenan [...] that nothing of his former priviledges of services could plead an exemption from Gods judgement: but that God might justly cast him out of his sight, and depsive him of his presence and spirit. He lay at Gods mercy and good pleasure there­in, whether to cast him away or re [...] him; and could challenge nothing of favour as due debt upon any account to him.

And this Prerogative God hath, and ex­erciseth over his Creature, that so no flesh might presume to sin against him and a­buse his grace, or turn it into wanton­ness, thinking to plead an exemption from those forest judgements (as the Jews were very often apt through mistake to do) be­cause they are his people, and he had chose, and called, and saved them; of because they have formerly believed, o­beyed and served him, built him Tem­ples, offered Sacrifices, preached or pray­ed in his Name, &c. But that all might learn to tremble before him, and stand [...] awe of him, and work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, with all lowliness of mind, depending on hi [...] [Page 351]mercy and grace for their salvation; not [...]ing high minded, or pust up with pride or there priviledges, or services, or any excellencies found in them, or received [...] God by them. And that the poor [...]nd humble sinners, yea the vilest and most wretched might be perswaded and [...]couraged to flee to him for mercy, and [...]eg it of him; who notwithstanding their unworthiness, can extend it to them, and [...]oth, and will to all, that in due time [...]ble themselves under him, and seek mercy and grace of him in Christ Jesus. To these purposes he both admonished Israel, when first taken into favour, and [...]ghly honoured of him to be his choise people, after being redeemed miraculously [...]om Egypt, they had heard his voice from Heaven, out of the midst of the [...], as no people under Heaven had: [...] though he had so loved and chosen them, and would keep mercy and covenant with them if they loved and obeyed him; yet if they, after all this, should forget him, and serve other Gods, they should perish, even as the other Nati­ons driven out from before them. Rom. 2.8, 9, 10, 11. He would [...]ut no difference between them therein, except it might be in destroying them with a more grievous destruction, as they had been more honoured of him: whence [...]s [...] those serious cautions in Deut. 6. & 8. [...] be ware of being lifted up, to forget, [...]d sin against him; and that Deut. 29.18, 19, 20. left there should be amongst them [Page 352]man or woman, family or tribe, that shou [...] turn away, &c. and bless himself in [...] heart and say Tush, I shall have peace (God will not curse me because I am such [...] such a one, and have done such or su [...] things) though I walk after mine own in [...] ginations; The Lord will not spare him (whatever he be) but his wrath and [...] ­ger shall smoak against him, till he h [...] utterly destroyed him. And of the same Israel, when they were broken o [...] through unbelief, and were blinded and hardned, it is said by the Apostle Pa [...] that they, if they continued not in un [...] lief ( [...] rejection of the Gospel) sho [...] be grafted in again; for God is able graft them in again (Rom. 11.23.) [...] unworthiness, and Gods present judg [...] ­ments upon them notwithstanding [...] which purpose also the same Apostle pr [...] ­ed for, even those of Israel, wh [...] stumbled at the stumbling stone, and [...] his heaves desire was, that they might [...] saved, yea, and to that purpose prov [...] ­ked them by his writing, to jealousi [...] Rom. 9.32. with 10.1, 2. & 11.16. [...] seems then that he knew, that it was [...] Gods power to save or destroy them [...] he pleased. True it is that the gifts an [...] calling of God, are without repentance Rom. 11.29. But that was such a gift an [...] calling them in their Fathers, and out [...] love to them, as that a seed of them sh [...] not fail of the blessing: which God co [...] have performed to the Fathers in Mose [...] [Page 353]and a generation to have been brought [...]t of him, though he had destroyed the [...]hole Congregation besides, Exod. 32.10. [...]a, the Baptist told them, that God is [...]le of stones to raise up Children unto A­raham, Matth. 3.8, 9, in, and upon [...]hom the promises made to him, should [...] accomplished. Let these considerati­ [...]s move us then to stand in awe, and [...]e heed of presuming upon the account any favours, priviledges, choice of us, [...] promises to us, or righteousness done [...] us, to sin against him, least we fall and [...] hardned and cut off, as they, through [...]h presumption sinning also were; we [...]nd by faith, be we not high-minded [...] fear: yea, let him that thinks he [...]nds most surely, and that God is so in­ [...]ed to him, that no sin of his can pos­ [...]ly make him fail of the Kingdom, take [...]ed least he fall remembring that which [...]poken by the Lord in the Prophet [...]el, Chap. 33.13. when I say to a [...]hteous man, thou shalt surely live (as [...] will say so to none but those which [...]e in Christ, and so truly righteous) yet that righteous man (so under the pro­ [...]se of life) trust in his righteousness (in [...]s believing, loving, and being accepted God) and so commit iniquity, he shall [...]ely dye. Nor let us listen to those that [...]ing led aside with that errour of the [...]ws, shall say, when the righteous man [...]th so, ay but when's that, as if it was [...] impossible supposition; for that is to [Page 354]render vain the sayings of God, as the Devil would have us, that we might look upon the serious Cautions and exhortati­ons grounded thereupon, as ridiculous such as theirs would be, that telling us, [...] Noahs Flood come again we shall all b [...] drowned unless in such an Ark as his was should exhort to get us such Arks, whe [...] as the foresaid supposition in it self, is of [...] thing not to be feared, nor possible to fa [...] out, considering Gods absolute promise to the contrary: they might as well to tha [...] supposition in Ezek. 33.14. when a wicked man turneth from his wickedness, &c. [...] shall live; reply & say, true but when's that How can that be, that a wicked ma [...] should do so gracious an act, as to turn to God from his iniquity? Seeing a ba [...] tree (as every wicked man is) can bring forth no such good fruit as repentance and turning to God is. Besides that righ­teous men may turn from their righte­ousness to commit iniquity, is actually proved to be too often true, as is eviden [...] in David, Solomon and others: now to say God cannot in such a case leave and giv [...] over, and harden such a one, is all on [...] in effect, as to contradict the Apostle, and say God cannot harden whom he will and to contradict David, who by cryin [...] for mercy, and not to be cast out of God sight, implyed it to be mercy to him, & n [...] engagement towards him, not then [...] cast him away and destroy him. But [...] wave such frivolous cavils; take we h [...] [Page 355]of sinning presumptuously, or having sinned, of challenging the favour of God upon the score of our former righteous­ness or services, but let us rather, as Da­vid, in such a case beg for mercy from God, not to cast us away, or take his holy Spi­rit from us, whereby our hearts might be hardened from his fear; acknowledging Gods power, (our former believing or doing righteousness notwithstanding) for our rebellions or departures from the way of righteousness, to harden and destroy us. He will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardens: in which is yet again implyed further,

3. The Power, Force and Irresistible­ness of Gods Will and Decree when it comes, or is brought forth, by any thing that man can do there against. As he will have compassion on whom he will have com­passion, whoever say against it, or are dis­contented at it, and endeavour to hin­der it. As the Father of the Prodigal would have mercy upon his repenting Prodigal Son, shew him respect, pass by his former miscarriages, and with glad­ness entertain him with the highest de­monstrations of his love, however the Elder Brother murmured at it, and was displeased with it, signifying that so God will extend mercy to the Publicans and Sinners in calling them to repentance when he will, and accepting those of them that obey the call, forgiving all their for­mer more notorious sinnings, for all the [Page 356]Pharisees discontents and murmurings at it; and would call in mercy the Gentiles, and justifie the obeyers of his call, though the Jews murmured at it, and opposed it, persecuting the Apostles who were instru­ments imployed thereto: by him so when he will harden & blind any persons it shall prevail; whom he will he hardens, how­ever the persons hardned by him might suppose themselves priviledged there a­gainst, or might think by their wisdom or strength to prevent or hinder it. And so in both those senses God might be said to raise up (or as the Hebrew word sig­nifies, cause to stand, preserve and raise out of former judgements) Pharaoh, to shew in him, his power, (his liberty and power to harden, and destroy the greatest and mightiest that sin against him, and the power and force of his hardning ope­rations, when and so far as he will harden) and so to make his Name to be declared in all the earth for the admonishing all others to fear and tremble before him, and take heed of provoking him to these kind of judiciary proceedings against them; such is the import of those sayings, worthy our diligent consideration.

SECT. 4.

That God in hardning and blinding men, doth it by degrees, and with such mix­ture of mercy, that till they be totally hardned, there may be remedy.

YEt it's to be minded too, that this hardning and blinding men, is not done at once usually, but by degrees, and till it be fully done there is hope for mer­cy: yea, the hardning men in part, so as that they run upon their own ways and counsels, is ordered of God, who is slow to wrath, and ready to fongive, and delights not in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn and live, as a means to bring men upon such rocks and diffi­culties, as by which they may be forced to cry to God for, and accept of his mer­cy; and so it's said, Israel is in part blinded, Rom. 11. [...]5 32. or blindness is in part happened to them, till the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, and that God hath shut them all up in unbelief, that he might have mercy up­on them all; and so in Isa. 63.17. when through their hardness they have run themselves upon miseries, and then be­gin to see the error of their ways, they are put upon crying mightily to God; look down from Heaven, and behold the habitation of thy Holiness, and of thy Glory; where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels, and [Page 358]of thy mercy towards me? are they re­strained? and, O Lord, why hast thou madeus to err from thy ways, and hard­ned our hearts from thy fear? Return for thy Servants sake, the tribes of thine Inheritance: yea, we may see that Gods hardning Pharaoh, occasion'd him to rush himself upon such judgements, as some­what softened him, and made him cry for mercy and forgiveness, and upon cry­ing for it he had it: so rich in mercy is God, even to his enemies, when by his judgements they are moved to repen­tance, and to relent from their purposes, Exod. 9.27, 28. yea, and had he not then hardened his heart again, he and his Ser­vants, and so provoked God to harden it too, vers. 33.34. Chap. 10.1. he might have escaped further judgements. But he there again hardening his heart, God hard­ned it more, or gave him up to greater hardness, even to his surther misery and destruction: but we may see how long it was before God came to that with him; he had before that hardened his own heart, as we noted before. Harden­ing himself after the judgment of the Frogs, Exod. 8.8.12. his heart was or remained harden­ed, so as not to take notice of the follow­ing judgments, tho confessed by his Ma­gicians to be by the finger of God, and not by any such arts as they practised; and that rushed him upon a another judgment, in and by which his heart was some what softened, and made [...] [Page 359]yield so as to promise to let the people go; and to intreat Moses to cry to God for him. Who also readily heard him, yet then also hardening his own heart a­gain; he provoked the Lord to harden it too, till he threatens him to send all his Plagues upon his Heart; and upon his Servants, and upon all his People, to make him know that there was none like Him in all the Earth. And sure that might have such tendency as in Psal. 83.16. That knowing him to be such a one he might seek his Name; and indeed (adds the Lord) for this cause or purpose have I raised thee up (made thee to stand, or as the septuagint reads it, preserved thee namely from perishing in the former plagues, from which he was raised up or out of) that I might shew in thee my power, and that my Name may be declared in all the Earth; which might have been all accomplished too without his ruin, had he by that forbearance and long suffering in which God yet endured him though a Vessel of wrath, madeup or fitted to de­struction: been led to repentance (as his long suffering and goodness doth lead to that, Rom. 9.21. with 2.4, 5.) God says, not as some rashly from that conclude that he raised him up, much less created him, that he might destroy him. But he pre­served and endured him yet that he might shew his power in him, and that his Name might be declared; which might have been also in his overcoming his ob­stinacy [Page 360]and making him yield to seek him, as at length he did make him yield to let Israel go upon their own terms; and had he then also submitted to have sought Gods Name; his power had appeared, and his Name might have been declared by him; or by occasion of him throughout the Earth, with his safety and welfare; as it was by Nebuchadnezzer after wand humbling himself before God after judg­ment executed upon him. Dan. 4.1.2, 3.34.35, 36, 37. But he then also yet retaining his wickedness and not seeking the Lord, who had so clearly and notoriously made known himself both in the power of his wrath, and readiness, to shew mercy in his humbling himself before him; Exod. 14.3, 4. provoked God to harden him further, even to give him up to a total hardness to run himself into utter ruin (and so accomplish Gods purpose that ways) by opposing him. And yet that also even his total bardning men to Destruction (as destruction follows there­upon) and his destroying men when ful­ly hardened, as it is a judgment that he is slow in passing and bringing upon men, (he had) rather the issues of their own ways in and upon his hardening them in part might a waken them to repentance▪ Ezek. 33.11. & 18.32. and that they would thereupon turn to him and live) so when he is provoked to it and doth it, it is in mercy to other men, and for their admonition and warn­ing to listen to him, not rebelling and hardening their hearts against him: or [Page 361]upon sight of former Rebellions and Self- [...]dnings which hath provoked God to [...]rden, or blind them in part, to return to God, and put away their iniquities, that he may have mercy upon them, and not [...]ave them, and give them up also to [...]ter ruine: So it's said, That God would harden Pharaohs heart at the last, to pur­sue after Israel, when he had let them goe; and when his heart, and the heart o [...] his Servants turned against Israel, to lay. Why have we done this, that we have [...] Israel go from serving us; yea, Exod. 14.3, 4, 5, 8. he did also accordingly after their so recoyling, actually harden it, to this end, That the [...]gyptians might know him to be the Lord; even that the remainder of them might know him; and so as in Psal. 83.6. Seek his Name: as also is implyed in the last Verses of that Psalm; That the [...]ter and everlasting shame, trouble, con­fusion, and perishing of the obstinate Enemies, is ordered to this end, That men may know, that he whose Name is Jehovah is most high over all the Earth. But,

SECT. 5.

How and in what sense the foresaid opera­tions of hardning, blinding, &c. are At­tributed unto God, and how he worketh in, and unto them.

LEt us view now, how, or after what manner God may be said to harden blind, deceive men, and turn their heart to hate his people; as Psal. 105.25. (tho that might be rendred, their heart returned to hate his people: [...] as in Exod. 14.5. Their heart was turned against the People:) Seeing it is said, That God is not a God that hath pleasure in iniquity, he hates the worke [...] of it; Psal. 5.4, 5. Ezek. 33.11. and he himself swears, that he hath no pleasure in the Death of the wicked (namely, that they should continue in their Sins, and dye;) but rather, that they should turn, and live: Surely, they are not his operations properly, and directly, a [...] those of his mercy, in drawing men to himself, and framing them to his mind [...] but by a kind of indirect, permissive, ac­cidental operation; as the Sun may be said to cause darkness, by leaving the Ho­rizon; or to make men blind that look against it, and not by it; or the like [...] yet they are ascribed to God, because against his will, setting it self to hind [...] them effectively, they could not be wrought: or because also it is with [...] will, as a just and righteous thing; that such things as hardness, blindness, dece [...] should befal them, for their punishment [Page 363]by running therethrough upon their own Calamities: and because they are occasi­oned by something properly and directly wrought and done by him: we may say, that by such ways as these, God may be said to do them.

1. By permitting, leaving, and giving to men to themselves, and to their own imaginations and lusts, to be hardned by them, not giving forth his grace any fur­ther, as to such and such a particular (or in a total hardning not at all) to hin­der and keep them back from such hard­ness and blindness, but letting them have their wills and liberty to follow after their [...]wn devices and purposes, and so to run themselves into desperate stiffness of heart against God and his counsels, as in Psal. 81.11.14. Israel would none of me. So I gave them up to their own hearts lusts, and they walked in their own counsels. And so the Gentiles becoming vain in their own ima­ginations, and not likeing to retain, or have God in their Knowledge; God give them up to vile affections, and to a mind void of Judgment, Rom. 1.21, 25, 26, 28. And so as the Sun going from us, causes darkness; so Christ, who is the Light of the World, hiding himself from a people, it follows upon it, Joh. 12.39, 40, 42. that their [...]ryes are blinded, and he hath blinded their eyes; namely, by taking away his Light from them: not by imparting, or [...]utting malice into them, but by with­drawing his mercy from them: as Au­gustine [Page 364]well says, Non impartiendo maliti­am, sed non impertiendo misericordiam.

2. By giving leave and commission per­missively to Satan, to enter into them, as it were, and possess them, with lying, and false imaginations, hopes and fears; and so to deceive, Job. 1. and blind, and harden them. So the Lord took away all that Job had, by permitting, 2 Sam. 24.11. with 1 Chron. 21.1. 1 King. 22.20, 21, 22, 23. and giving leave to Satan to do it. And he is said, to have moved David against Israel, to say, Go number the people, in letting Satan provoke David to it. So he hardned Ahabs heart, by giv­ing leave, or commission to a lying Spirit, to intice him to go to Ramoth Gilead, by promising him, by the mouth of his false Prophets success and prosperity in his so doing. And he may be said, to have deceived those Prophets, not by his Spirit dictating any deceit to them: (far be it from us, so to Blaspheme him:) but by giving way, and leave to the False Spirit to enter into them, and deceive them: as in the same way, he is said, to send men strong Delusions, that they may be­lieve a lye, &c. namely, by letting Satan, who is forward to such work, 2 Thess. 2.10, 11, 12. if permit­ted, bring strong Delusions to men, and insinuate them into their sancies: as he might be said to * Mark. 5.12, 13. with Math. 8.31, 32. Luk. 8.32, 33. send the unclean Spirit into the Herd of Swine; when, upon their desire of it, he gave them leave to go.

3. By ordering such good and holy Providences to men, as by which their [Page 365]hearts, (especially, if left to themselves, and Satan,) will take occasion to harden, [...]lind, and stiffen themselves in their re­solutions for Sin, and against God. So his very suffering the Magicians to do such [...]ings by their Inchantments, as Moses and [...]aron did by his Finger; or ordering Mo­ses and Aaron to do such things, as they could do the like, occasion'd Pharaoh to [...] light by those Judgments; yea, his gra­dous readiness to remove the Judgment, and give respite to Pharaoh so easily at his promise of doing better, and intrea­ty of Moses to pray for him, hardned [...]baraoh' heart: or rather, as the Apostle says, Rom. 2.4, 5. He after his hardness and impeniten­cy, despising or looking overly upon God's easiness to be intreated, and so up­on his goodness, and long-suffering which should have moved him to Repentance, hardned his heart against God, and trea­ [...]red up wrath to himself, against a day of Wrath: according to that in Psal. 50.21. These things hast thou done and I kept silence, thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a me as thy self, &c. And that in Eccles. 8.11. Because sentence against an evil doer is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the Sons of Men, is fully set, (that is, is hardned and made obstinate,) in them to do evil. So that accidentally, and eventually, God's goodness, and for­bearance to them, hardens them, and blinds them, because they take boldness thence-through their wickedness to pre­sume [Page 366]to Sin yet more, and becoming [...] in their imaginations, blind themselves and are made uncertain, whither God dislike their ways or not; or whither there be any God, or providence of God, be­cause he doth not punish the evil of their ways. Again, by ordering Israel to march through the Wilderness, where according to probability, it might be thought they would be intangled: and so by ordering a kind of Tryal to Pharaoh, whether by all his fore-past Judgments, he would yet stand in awe of him; seeing he would yet hold fast his covetous design of en­riching himself, by their bondage: He also permitted Satan to put into his heart such a thought, that now he might have a good advantage, to force them back; and so he was strengthned, and animated to pursue after them, to his Destruction. And so God turned the hearts of the Aegyptians, to hate his people, by order­ing such blessings, and multiplication to his People, as provoked them, being evil, to envy and fear them; and then per­mitting them to Satan, and their own hearts, to stir up envy and hatred against them. Thus we find too, God threat­ning obstinate people that refuse to walk in his ways, or be warned by the sound of his Trumpet, that he will lay stumb­ling blocks before them; and the Father and Son shall fall together upon them, Jer. 6.17, Isa. 8.13, 14. Rom. 9.33. 18,—21. Such was Christ's weak­ness, Cross, and abasement; and the Fa­thers [Page 367]withdrawing from him, 1 Cor. 1.2 [...]. on the Cross, to the Jews and Pharisees, who out of envy put him to Death; and the Preach­ing of the Cross to the generality of them.

4. Yea, we may add (if we can con­ceive otherwise of it, then as included in what is said) By cursing his Blessings and even his own Ordinances to Men, as Mal. 2.1, 2. That they should be made as snares and traps to them for their abuse of them: as in Psal. 69.22, 23, 24, 25. Let their table become a snare, and that which was for their welfare a trap, &c. Yet this is so, accidentally as it were, by rea­son of their pride, covetousness, &c. which apts them to take offence, and boggle at the Word of God, which altogether speaks in such was against them, vexing, gal­ling, and inraging them, (they loving their deeds that are evil,) and so becoming a Savour of Death, unto Death to them: Yea, the very Spirit of God may work such Discoveries of their resisting and rejecting them to their very hearts, as may occasion the heart, retaining its love to iniquity to exert its wickedness, and so occasionally harden it, to desperate Re­bellion, and so may his Judgment too: as in Rev. 16, 8, 9. And thus I conceive of God's hardening Operations; or such Operations as attributed to him.

I shall close up this Chapter with Mr. Mallers Exposition of those Words, in Psal. 105.25. He turned their hearts to [Page 368]hate his people. ‘Not that God, (saith he) was the Author of Pharaohs, and the Aegyptians evil Counsels; or that he put, those crafty and wicked counsels, into their minds: For God is a God that wills not Iniquity, &c. Which sentence is re­peared often in the Scriptures; as in Deut. 32. Hos. 11. Psal. 92. Ezek. 33. Which with both hands, or rather with our whole Soul is to be held fast by us; that we may know, that God is not the cause of any Sin; nor doth he will, effect, or approve of the wickedness, and obstinacy of the Wicked: but the cause of Sin is the corrupt will of Man; and the suggestion of the Devil; but God is said to have perverted, or turned Phara­ [...]hs, and the Aegyptians hearts, in that he forsaking them; left their preverse hearts such as they were naturally, that they might pour out their hatred conceived against Israel: which hatred was not of God, but of their inbred malice, pride, covetuousness; which because God did not correct, or take away by his Grace, he is said to have perverted, or turned their hearts, that the Godly might un­derstand, that those things (which hap­pen to them, from such evil men) come not unto them, without his will. This (says he,) is the most sincere meaning of it, and most consonant to the Scrip­tures: To which agrees, Aug. Tom. 2. contra Pelag. p. 300. God hardens, not by putting Malice into men, but by with­drawing [Page 369]his mercy from them. And in his First Book, against the 2 Epist. of Pelag. chap. 18. No man is compelled by the power of God against his will, either to good or evil; but God for­saking men deservedly, they go into evil, and helping them undeservedly, they are converted to good. That Phrase of per­verting them, and hardning them, used sixteen times in Exodus, is not to be un­derstood of any efficacious action of God, but of his permission, and forsaking; as Aust. Lib. 5. contrae Julianum. For it is usual in the Hebrew Tongue, that Verbs, or words signifying Actions, are put for the causes of Actions; either truly such, or such, as without which, they would not be; which seeing they are the Will, Pow­er, Permission, it often falls out, that they are to be expounded by, I will, I can, I suffer, or permit; and by their own in­finitive; as, Gal. 5. So many as are justified by the Law; that is, desire to be justified. 1 Cor. 10. I please all men; that is, desire or endeavour it. Luk. 8. Hearing, they bear not; that is, will not hear: Why hast thou made us to erre from thy ways, and hardned our hearts from thy fear? that is, Why hast thou left us, and suffered us to erre, &c. And not rather drawn us back, and governed us by thy Spirit, that by our negligence, malice, or wickedness, we rush not into evil, &c. Thus he, which soberly construed, and looked upon as the Judicial acts of God, [Page 370]after Grace extended and rejected, I con­ceive, to be very right and Orthodox. For which cause I have thus noted, and transcribed it, as worthy to be credited and received. And thus much for the kinds of God's operations: in which also we have shewed the manner of God's working in operations of this latter kind, which respect the working of men to Sin; or rather, in what sense such operations may be Attributed to God. I might have noted also, That the same sentence of Truth, or providence of God may have diverse operations in divers men: as that saying of Christ, to the Jews, Joh. 8.32. If ye continue in my words, then are ye my Disciples indeed; and Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. As it occasionally offended, and inraged those Jews; so it might comfort others, and in­struct others in the way, to obtain free­dome; and admonish others of, and cause them to fear, departing from his words; and as the same cloud that protected the Israelites, blew the Aegyptians into the Sea, But I pass it, and come to what remains, viz. The manner of God's working in his Gracious Operations, which are more properly, directly, and effectively his.


Of the manner of God's working in Men by his grace, preventing accompanying and following them.

SECT. 1.

That God's gracious operations are accor­ding to the counsel of his will, and in some sense different and unlike.

IT is most certain, that God, (as the Apostle says Ephes. 1.11.) worketh all things according to the counsel of his will. All things namely, that he worketh: or we may not say, That he worketh [...]ens Sins, and Evils in them, or the works of the Devil, which he came to destroy: [...] all things that he worketh, he work­eth according as his most infinitely wise [...]nderstanding directeth, and his will [...]herein determineth, without asking ad­vice of, or submitting himself to the gui­ [...]ance of any Creature whatsoever: [...]hough yet heither doth the Apostle there­ [...] mean that he worketh nothing with respect to our wills, and works: for sure­ [...]y that is not so, but in all his punishments, [Page 372]and rewards, as properly such, he hath respect to the wills, and workings of Men, and so the counsel of his will is pleased to order: for even in those his works, (his punishing Pharaoh for his Cruelty, Sup­pose: And Judas for his Covetousness: And approving Cornelius his Sincerity: And David's Zeal for his House.) He wrought according as the counsel of his will ordered, and not otherwise. And we may say, that according to that most perfect Counsel of his most holy will, he may, and doth work differently in di­vers, or in the same man at divers times, as he pleases, Psal. 14.5, 17. though always holily and graciously, both in his preventing, and following operations; as well as in his dispensations of means; there may be di­vers measures afforded, and what he doth afford, he may afford it diversly; as God may prevent some sooner, than others, as John Baptist in the Womb; or present­ly after, as Timothy from a Child, &c. Some he may call into his Vineyard at the Third hour, when others may stand idle till the Ninth, or Eleventh. Yea, and some more strongly than others, using more and more powerful means to inforce them: as the Lord is said to have instruct­ed Isaiah with a strong hand; and he hedged up the way of swerving Israel as with Thornes; so as not to let her find her Lovers, and so in a manner for­ced them by afflictions and convincements, to return to him again: though some, [Page 373]even so forced as it were, Isa. 8.11. Hos. 2.6, 7. Isa. 1.4, 5. Hos. 5.15. with 6.1, 2, 3, 4. yet revolt or soon recoile. Yea, and Christ implies, that where God afforded more glorious means, he also put forth more power, in, and with them; Matth. 11.20, 21, 22, 23, 24. & 12.40.41, 42, &c. so as had others had those means, they would by the power put forth in them, have done better than they did, with what they had, or then others did that had those greater means, in which his operations, as well as in his dispensations, we ascribe to him his own glorious liberty; and acknowledge, That he will have mercy, on whom he will have mery; and whom he will, he hardens: as we shewed in the foregoing Chapter. Let me add,

1. That he is not prescribed by man, or any other Creature, but by the coun­sels of his own will, hath ordered, both whom to prevent with his mercy and grace; and that we have seen, is general­ly all men in their seasons, and according to capacities given them: moved thereto by no mans merit, but by his own mere good will, and pleasure; and whom he will, he after such grace afforded, striving with them, and softning them, abused by them, hardens; no man hath prescribed that to him, and upon whom to order it; as we have noted: but as himself pleas­eth.

2. After men having abused grace, are in some measure hardned by him, it's meerly in his good pleasure, on whom to shew such mercy, as to prevent them again [Page 374]and follow them longer, that he may overcome their Evils, with more good­ness: and on whom he will, and when for such abuses give up, and cease striving with them.

3. With reference to following Grace; He will have mercy, on whom he will have mercy: even to justifie, accent, and receive them as his chosen ones. No man hath prescribed him his way, or set him a Law in this; nor will he be letted from shew­ing mercy on them whom he pleaseth thus to shew it to: namely, those that hearing, and learning of him come to Christ, &c. And again, whom he will, what man­ner of persons he pleaseth, and not whom men prescribe to him; he hardneth and rejecteth, even those that rebel, and are disobedient 50 his Son, whether Jews, or Gentiles, zealous and devout observers of the Law, or prophane and loose livers: Yea, or what ever else they be, or may have been, as was before s [...]ewed.

SECT. 2.

That in this diversity of operation, he ob­serveth in some sense an uniformity and a likeness with men Generally. Psal. 33.12. to 16. Considered.

YE [...] it appeareth, That the dealings of God with men are uniform too: [Page 375]whether he give greater, or lesser means to lead to know him, and to Repentance, yet in, and with those means, his prevent­ing operations are alike afforded to them that have the lesser as the greater means, alike, I say, not in measure, as neither is the measure of what is required of them alike; to whom more is given of them is more expected and required; nor is the very matter of the operations formerly the same, or alike; for in that respect too there are diversity of operations, though the same Lord: but alike as to analogy, or resemblance in God's dealings; where­fore also, his proceedings with them in Judgment, is, or will be alike, onely to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile, Rom. 2.7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Both are reproved, and faulted, for putting God, and his Truth from them, and imprisoning it in unrigh­teousness, &c. As on the other side, the obeyer of God's Voice, the fearer of God, and worker of Righteousness in every Na­tion: (I say, not in the practise of every Religion, for that stands not with the fear of God,) is accepted of him: the un­circumcision of the uncircumcised. (And by way of Analogy, the want of outward Baptisme, in the outwardly unbaptised, that have not opportunity thereunto) shall not prejudice their acceptation with God, they doing the Truth, Rom. 2.25, 26, 27, 28, 29. revealed of God to them: nor on the other side, shall the outward Circumcision, or Baptisme, and Profession help the disobedient: So [Page 376]that the Equity of Gods ways, and uni­formity of his dealings with men appears in his diversities of dispensations and ope­rations: that he walks in one way with men for approvement, or disapprove­ment, justification, or condemnation. And with respect to the equity, and in that sense, likeness of his dealings with men in his gracious operations, as laying the foundation of it in his judging them, is that excellent passage in the Psalmist, very pregnant, Psal. 33.12, 13, &c. Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord: (who own and worship God in Christ, and whose protection, and defence he is:) the people he hath chosen for an inheri­tance to himself, as in some sort and sense, the Nation of Israel to have his Statutes, Judgments, and Oracles, betrusted with them: so more choicely, the Worshipers of God in Truth, in every Nation; the Nation that own him for their God, and cleave unto him. Or, as Psal. 4.3. The man, and so the people, that is godly, or, gracious; those that hearing and learning of the Father come to Christ, and so are built upon him; for they are the chosen, generation, the royal priesthood, the holy Nation, 1 Pet. 2.4, 5, 9. But then least we should think Gods goodness to be bound up to some few onely precisely chosen, as most take the sense to be, it follows, The Lord looketh [...] hath look­ed down, or with care and consideration, looked) from heaven: He beholdeth [...] [Page 377]he hath beheld, or seen; yea, providing­ly seen, and beheld) all the sons of men even so beheld, and looked upon them with an eye of pitty and compassion, as that he hath looked out for himself a Lamb for a burnt-offering, to take away their Sin, and so bring in Grace and Sal­vation to them: (as the same Word is used, Gen. 22.8. [...] Where it is ren­dred, So to look, as to provide; and thence the Name of that place Jehovah Iireh, Vers. 14) and then it follows, from the place of his habitation or dwelling, (which is properly, and in the truth of it, Christ as having Dyed for all men, he is raised again, ascended, and glorified, he as so considered, as one that hath performed his will, in Suffering for us, is the habitation of God's holiness; his beloved one in whom his Soul delighteth, and where it hath pleaseth him, that all fulness should dwell; even all the fulness of the God­head, bodily: from thence, (even in, and through him, as having done his will,) he looketh [...] he hath consideratively looked, or set his heart to take care of, and for them, upon all the inhabitants of the Earth. As he looked down with pity upon them at first, to consider their misery, and provide them a Savi­our: so now having taken up his rest, and dwelling in him, he through him yet again, beholds them to take care of them, and to extend his goodness and favour to them, to load them [Page 378]with his benefits, and afford them disco [...] veries of his Truth: and then He fash [...] oneth ( [...] He is fashioning, or is th [...] fashioner of) their hearts together: o [...] alike [...] in his beholding them, & dispen [...] ­sing his goodness and truth to them; di [...] ­covering his Being, Power, Goodness, th [...] vanity of the World, and of their Lives and all things here below, &c. He is se­cretly convincing them, and by his good­ness, leading and drawing them, to, and after, or toward himself in his Son, to re­pent, to grope and feel after him, and seek him who is not far from any one o [...] us: and so is in like manner, or toge­ther one with another, and one as well as another, framing, and fashioning their hearts, even towards himself, who is one, and in meeting with, or coming to whom, they would be together; and then it fol­lows: He considers, [...] mindeth, under­standingly takes notice of) all their work. When he hath framed, or frames their hearts, even the heart of all the Sons of men, or Inhabitants of the Earth in their several times together to one object, him­self as in Christ his dwelling place; or ali [...]e as to the manner of his framing them, then, and not till then, he considers their Works, and minds how they work; whether they yield up to him in his fram­ings of them, to work, and walk in them or in that truth, and goodness, by which he is working, and framing them; or else to rebel against him: and then it follow▪ [Page 379] No King is saved by the multitude of an Host, a mighty man is not delivered by much strength, an Horse is a vain thing for safe­ty, neither shall be deliver any by his great strength; Behold the eye of the Lord is up­on them that fear him, upon them that hope in his Mercy, to deliver their Soul from Death, &c. As if he should say, upon the Lords framing their hearts a like or together, though he leads and draws all men one way, yet minding their works there is there great difference; some of them withdrawing, rebelling, or resist­ing his grace and Spirit and smothering the truth in unrighteousness are chusing their own ways and running to Hosts and Horses, and Chariots; and to their own strength: to creatures, Idols which are vain, and therein are disallowed of God, and meet with disapprovement and de­struction, but others in his framing their hearts chuse the fear of the Lord, [...]nd hearkning to his voice do betake them­selves to him, and to his Mercy to home therein, and make him their stay and refuge, to own and accept him for their God and Saviour. And upon these his eyes are in a further sense, to own and take special care of them as his Por­tion, People and inheritance: to chuse them to himself and bless them, and stand by them in all Conditions; 10 deliver their Souls from Death, and to keep them alive in Famine, when others want and Perish, as Isa. 65.13, 14. Ac­cording [Page 380]to that in Prov. 1.31.32, 33. The refusers of the Lord and of his fear, that despise his counsels, and set at naught all his Reproofs, shall eate the fruit of their own ways, and be filled with their own inventions, the turning aside of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of Fools destroy them: when who soever hearkneth unto Wis­dom (in any or every Nation) shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from the fear of evil.

SECT. 3.

That Gods operations in Men are neither properly Phisical, or properly and simply Moral, but supernatural having some thing like either in them.

THere is great contest amongst Men, wither God do work Phisically, or as a natural. Agent; or only Morally, by swasion and counsel in Men for the con­verting and regenerating of them. That I may cast in my verdeit amongst others towards the deciding that controversy, upon which men on both sides lay a great part of the weight of their apprehensions they that are for the Physicalness of them thence argueing their irresistibility, and they that are for the Morality of them thence arguing the contrary. I shall briefly say.

1. That I conceive those terms are not apt and proper to be applyed to Gods Operations, for Phisical signifying natu­ral, it should imply that they that say he works Physically, say he works natural­ly which must, mean either by, or ac­cording to the nature of the things in which he works; but nature being his work, and corrupted too since the fall, his workings must needs be both distinct from and far above the workings of it; or else that he works naturally as oppo­sed to voluntarily, or by free Election and choise in himself, which is not true neither, for though in all his works he according to his own glorious nature, and so naturally works most holily, righte­ously, wisely, &c. And it is not possible for him to work otherwise; yet in re­spect of the work it self, the matter of it and way of carrying it on he works freely, and according to the counsel of his own will as was noted above. And again, Morally signifies properly, after some manner and custome habituated in the subject by often exercise, which is not competible with Gods nature and essence. But I conceive the mind of that distincti­on, is, either as God wrought in his making and giving beings and natures to things, or as men work upon one ano­ther by arguments, and motives, per­swading to better or other manners in a word, whether creatively by introduc­ing by almighty power new species, na­ture, [Page 382]principles, or the like; or whethe [...] only by arguments and motives provok­ing and moving men to what he would work, in them or have them work, &c.

2. And so understanding it, I conceive his workings which are all Supernatural, are neither simply of the one kind, nor of the other but of a mixed Nature; for as I apprehend.

1. His framing of the heart by his pre­venting Operations, are more of a Phy­sical nature in the sence last mentioned, then of a Moral; some what like a mans awakning another out of a Dead Sleep; not by arguing and reasoning him, awake, but by some so loud noise, or some so forcible action as somewhat opens his senses, and removes the obstructions of them, and give him a capacity to hea [...] and speak, or like the putting life into a Dead Man, so as he is capable of Stir­ring, Moving, Hearing, Seeing. The Dead hear the voice of the Son of God: this is somewhat a kin to a Physical, yea, is that they understand by that phrase of a Physical. Operation; God in his pre­ven [...]ing men by his grace, so stretches out his hand, or puts forth his power as to ef­fect or create in men Capacities of hear­ing, seeing and minding the things h [...] sees before them; whence its compared to an opening the blind Eye, or unstop­ping the deaf Ear, as is implyed Ezek. 1 [...], 2, 3. Rebellious people are said to have eyes to see, and yet see not, ears to hear and yet he or not.

2. But then having thus prevented men, and given them such capacities by his creative power. He by his Light, Truth, and Grace, is reproving, counsel­ling, exhorting, allureing, and by di­verse arguments, and motives is perswad­ing or moving men to see, and hear and awake, and exercise themselves to such things as he is propounding to them, as to behold him, behold him, Isa. 65.1. To listen to his Son, and turn at his reproofs in the power and strength and ability, that he withall gives them supernaturally, and so as it were to feed and soment, and use meanes; to preserve (even by the meanes he gives them too) the life or quick­ning, or senses he had infused into them. And this is evident in all the Scriptures: God shall perswade Japheth, and he shall dwell in the Tents of Shem, Gen. 9.27. Incline your ears and come unto me, hear and your soul shall live, Isa. 55.2, 3. And he that bears (namely, when made to heal, listens) shall live, John. 5.25. Turn ye at my re­proofs, behold I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words. Ye set at nought all my counsels, ye set at nought all my reproofs; ye did not chuse the fear of the Lord; the turning away of the simple slays them; but whoso hearkens to me shall dwell safely, &c. Prov. 1.23, 25, 31, 32.33. All which, and multitudes more imply Gods counselling, exhorting, mourning, by ar­guments, and so inclining the will made in some measure at liberty to obey, and [Page 384]follow him. And thence it is, that men [...] may resist the Holy Ghost, and vex, and grieve him, and rebell against him, as also they are capable of listening, obey­ing, inclining to him; and so God works as a man would do upon one awakened by him, he may perswade him, jog him, stir him, and perswade him by arguments to awaken more and listen to him, and as such a one seeing such a person so a­waked wilful, in stopping his Ear and re­susing to hear him, yea using all means to compose himself to sleep again, may be provoked by such Rebellion and Ob­stinacy, not to exercise or use all the pow­er he hath to make him keep awake and hear him; or seeing a man inlived by him (if such a thing might be) wilfull in refusing means to preserve, or foment his life unto a more perfect state of living, might be provoked to leave him and let him die; so do men by their Rebellious refusings of life, provoke God not to exercise all his power, or more power for their good, but to leave them to their own will and ways and so to ruine, But,

3. Men in the power of the grace, they are prevented with, & by the power of that grace set before them, and striving with them; being willing to look upon or list­en to God in Christ in what he sets before them; or not obstinately and rebellious­ly refusing and turning from him, he then further exerts his creature power, and [Page 385]infuses into and begets in them, not new substances; but new Principles, dispositi­ons, yea, his divine seed, or word and Spirit, and so creates them in Christ Je­ [...]s, to good works to walk in them; re­ [...]enerates, renews them and makes them [...]e before him. Which proceeds not [...]om their willing and listening to him, [...] from him and his grace speaking to and working in them, whence they are [...]d to be born of God; and of water and of the Spirit, the word knowledge, [...] grace of God and his power working therein, and we are said beholding as [...] a glass the glory of God to be chang [...] [...] into the same image, from glory to [...]ory as by his Spirit; and to be begot­ [...] by his will in the word of truth, &c. which may be illustrated by the healing of the strung Israelites, and Naaman, and the blind man at the Poole of Siloam, on­ly whereas they had eyes and legs by the [...]eative work of God in the womb, and [...] by natural birth, we here say the spi­ [...]ual or inward faculties and capacities of seeing, hearing and discerning Spiritual things, and so of coming to them by willing, chusing, and loving them are given by the preventing grace of God coming to and upon them. But as their power of looking, going, washing be­ing given of God by a certain power, and then he affording and presenting to them objects, to look to go to and wash in, wrought upon their wills by moral [Page 386]perswasions, which were resistible; and some of the stung Israelites, possibly might resist or disobey; but then they by them being perswaded, and obeying, look­ing, going, and washing, as was pre­scribed, and continuing so to do, God by his creative power gave them heal­ing, cleansing, and sight. Even so is it here as hath been expressed; I need not inla [...]g [...] to add that God in some mea­sure having created in Christ, regene­rated and renewed men, affords still means of preserving and maintaining what he hath created and renewed, and gives Moral arguments and Motives, to make use of them. And in their so doing goes on yo [...] further to c [...]eat [...] them in Christ, renew and reg [...]ate them till they be made complear and perfect, in the day of Jesus Christ, as is also [...] illustrated by Naamans washing seven times in Jordan, that he might have perfect healing, of which had he sailed in doing that he would have missed. Search the Scriptures and see if what is here said suit not with them.

SECT. 4.

That God so works in Men, that they also are said rightly to work sometimes the same things, though with some formal difference between what is his, and what their working.

FUrthermore, we may find that the same acts or actions are in Scripture ascribed to God and to Man; as to purg­ing, cleansing, making the heart new, &c. tho yet differently and upon diverse accounts. One Scripture saies, Circum­ [...]se your selves to the Lord, and take away the foreskin of the heart, Jer. 4.4. Ano­ther saies, The Lord will Circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed to love the Lord thy God, &c. Deut. 30.6. One say­ing, Cast away all your transgressions and [...]ake you a new Heart, and a new Spirit, for why will ye die, &c. Ezek. 38.31. Ano­ther saies, A new heart will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put into you, &c. Ezek. 36.26, 27. Some Scriptures say, God and Christ purify and purge Men, Acts 15.9. Tit. 2.14. Ephes. 5.25, 26. And others exhort men to purify and cleanse them­selves, and say, that believers have puri­fied their own hearts by the Spirit in o­beying the truth, as 2 Cor. 7.1. 1 Pet. 1.22. The reason of which may be seen in what hath been said, for therein it ap­pears how both work, and that there is [Page 388]an evident distinction between the man­ner of their workings to the same effect, and so distint grounds for the attributions of the same works to both. as

1. God is said to do those things and most properly, in asmuch as he both pre­vents men with his grace, in and by which he capacitates and inables; and then also incites and stirs men up to do those things, to cleanse, purge, and wa [...] themselves, &c. and men yielding up themselves to him in the grace given them in his calls and counsels; then his grace and God in and by it works also in & with them, yea, acts in them the things re­quired of them; and produces the effects renews their hearts, purifies their Spirit; &c. and yet,

2. Men are said to do the same things inasmuch as through his grace the [...] yield up themselves to God and his grace, to do those things in them, in listening to him; looking to and waiting upon him in the strength and motion of hi [...] grace, preventing and accompanying them; and in the meanes he vouchsafes them. And so, in acting forth by their powers and members the things which grace yielded to, worket [...] in them to will and to do of good pleasure, as that in Deut. 30 may clear it, in that it renders the circumcising work of God to love and obey him, as a consequent work to their being brought in the strength of his preventing grace (in and with his afflict­ing [Page 389]them, and again, returning to them to call and subdue them) afforded to them to listen to his voice and turn to him. And so also doth that in 1 Pet. 1.22. and that in Rom. 6.12, 13. and 8.13. Which speaks of yielding up our Mem­bers Weapons and Instruments of Righ­teousness to Holiness; of mortifying the deeds of the body by the Spirit: and pu­rifying our souls by the Spirit in obeying the Truth; clearly implying that both the Man and the Spirit are Agents diffe­rently working together in the same Works. Much what like as a Scholar and his Master, when the Master guides the Scholars hand, and by it frames a Letter, the Master doth it by the Scho­lars hand, as an Instrument or Subordi­nate Agent; and the Scholar by the Ma­ster as the Principal Agent, Director, Framer, &c. The Scholar yields his hand, and the Master uses it; even so the Spirit doth those things in us by our Faculties and in our Obedience; and we in obey­ing the Spirit do them by the strength, power, and guidance of the Spirit. So as that neither doth the Spirit those things in us, without our compliance and obedience; nor do we no [...] can we do them in and of our selves, but by the Spi­rit yielded to by us, and leading, strength­ning, and governing of us. Thence the Scripture also represents the believing Man, or Man called of God, as a third person between two others, calling for [Page 390]his subjection and obedience, the new Man and the Old; the flesh and the Spi­rit, the flesh moves him to give up his mind and members unto it and its moti­ons; and the Spirit on the contrary chal­lengeth them for his and moves, excites and provokes to his service. If the man yield up to the Flesh, it becomes his Master, and He its servant framed more into its mind; and if the man through the grace of God yield up himself to the Spirit, then the Spirit in and by him as his Ma­ster works the works of God; creates him in Christ Jesus to good works, and renews him more and more by his Di­vine Power and influence, as is to be seen, Rom. 6.11.12, 13, 14. &c. and, 13. Gal. 5.16.17, 18. Ephes. 4.17, 18.20, 21. But yet let this be also minded, that that which God requires of man is not properly and formally Gods working or operation, no more then the Childs yielding his hand to his Master, and moving it in his Motion, is proper­ly and formally his Masters holding and guiding his hand, and framing the Letter with it. And so neither doth God fault men for not doing that of and by them­selves, which is properly the work of his power to do, nor for not doing that that is properly his operation; but for not do­ing that which is theirs to do by his grace afforded them. That is, their not yield­ing themselves to him and moving in his Motion; for their two operations are so [Page 391]distinct, Ezek. 24.13. Isa. 48.17, 18. Jer. 13.10, 11. Rom. 2.4, 5. as that they may be also seperat­ed, and the withdrawing of the one, pre­vent or hinder the other; whence God is said to have purged Men and yet they not purged, to teach Men and yet they not taught by him, to make Men cleave to him, and yet they not cleave to him, but refuse to hear him: to lead Men to repentance, and yet they not led of him, inasmuch as God prevented and followed them with his grace to have moved and provoked them to those things, which yet they refusing to yield themselves to him in, were not done, the effects of Gods grace and profit of his teachings missed by them. Which stubbornness of Men in refusing him and his operations, pro­vokes him to leave them, and then the things he offers to work, and in some sence is working in them (as the fire burneth under the Pot that purges the Scum from the Water, Ezek. 24.3.4, 5.13. that it might be cast off by the Servant) are never effect­ed nor can be, but they perish in their Sins. For as God worketh not such ef­fects in Men, without their Members and Powers yielded to him, and working in­strumentally and subordinatly under him: So neither can Men work or effect those things in themselves without God and his Spirit; or he withdrawing from them, which should provoke us to diligence in listening, and yielding our selves as obe­dient Children to him, not quenching his Operations in us, nor provoking him [Page 392]to wrath against us, least in his wrath he swear against us, Psal. 95.7.8, 9, 10, 11. that we shall not enter into his Rest. Or to say as Ezek. 24.13. Be­cause I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, therefore thou shalt be purged no more till I cause my fury to rest upon thee; needful it is that we be instructed, or re­ceive his instructions that his Soul leave us not, Jer. 6.8. Joh. 15.5. for then, wo to us; For without him we can do nothing.


Some Scriptures considered whence some gather, either that God works all things good and bad in Men; or so works all thats good, as to Neces­sitate mens well-working irresistibly, or so as to confound mens workings with Gods in them.


Philip. 2.12, 13. Considered, and that Gods working in Men the to will, and to do doth not necessitate the working out ex­horted to.

VErily, what we have said of Gods Operations, might be of use to take the Apostles counsel, Philip. 2.12, 13. To work out our own Salvation with fear and trembling, seeing it is God that is the work­er in us of the to will, and to do of good plea­sure. The meaning of the Apostle in which also may be understood (both how God works in us to will, and to do; and how it behoves us therefore to work out our own Salvation with fear and trembling) by what is already written. Yet because some do make use of this [Page 394]Scripture, that God so works the to will, and the to do as to inforce and necessi­tate the whole working out of their Sal­vation in Gods working in them; God working all in them that he requires of them, so as there is nothing required of them, distinct from his Operations in them, contrary to what was noted above, I shall therefore take it into particular con­sideration. And say.

1. That conceit cannot stand with the Apostles scope in writing, nor the things implyed therein, nor with other Scrip­ture expressions. For,

1. If God so work the to will, and the to do or to be Operative as necessari­ly to include the whole working out exhorted to, then was there no need for Paul to take any care about it, either that they might be blameless or harmless; or that they might shine as lights, hold­ing forth the word of life: or least he should run in vain, or labour in vain, concern­ing them (which seems to be this scope in thus writing to them, and exhorting them, to lead and help them forward to such blamelesness, and that he might have fruit in his labours for them) for none of those things he exhorts to or mentions, as the end of that his exhor­tation could possibly be wanting in them, if God so wrought in them the to will, and the to do as necessarily to effect the [...] nor could the thing he would not have happen come to pass, except God [Page 395]should cease working in them, and in that case, all his care and writing could do them no good, nor contribute any the least furtherance to them: nor could they possibly provoke God to leave them, and withdraw from them his working in them: forasmuch as during the time of his working in them, the to will, and the to do; they must, according to that con­ception of it, both will, and do, and work out their Salvation; and so there could be nothing to displease him, except the very inhaerency of corruption in them, and its proper lustings against him, and his grace; which yet, while God so works, could not hinder God's so working; and so by consequence, not their working out, he working that also effectually, and ne­cessarily in his working in them. And therefore why should it, or how can it be conceived it should move him to cease his working in them? Seeing also that he im­putes it not to men that Sin, is in them, and wars against them; or what they do by meer force of that; so as it is not they, but Sin that dwels in them; as is implyed, Rom. 7.16, 17, 20. and 8.1, 2. Nay, then the Apostles Exhortation to them had been needless, seeing they could not do otherwise, though he had not ex­horted them, it being supposed. That God did work in them, the to will, and the to do, what his grace believed moved them to, before this Epistle came to them much less should he have exhorted them; [Page 396]To have wrought out their Salvation with fear and trembling; and that upon that ac­count, that God works in them to will, and do; if his so working in them contain in it, and necessarily include their working out their own Salvation. For,

2. In so exhorting them, there is imply­ed by him, both that there was something for them to do, which they had liberty, and power given them to do, and which was needful for them to do; and also, that there was some possibility, either by not doing it, or by not doing it so, as they ought; they might provoke God to dis­pleasure against them, and so to with­draw his workings in them: Why else should they work out their Salvation with fear and trembling. But if God's work­ing in them to will and do; do include, and contain within his proper operati­on, their very working out to; then is there nothing for them to be exhorted to; the ground of the Exhortation contain­ing in it, the matter exhorted to: much less could there be any room for fear or trembling, least they should grieve him: the possibility of that, being taken away by the manner of God's working in them, according to that conception; he should according to that have rather said, Ye must work it out, and cannot but work with much assurance, and rejoycing; yea, without all fear of any possibility of offending.

3. Nor is it consistent with other Scrip­ture [Page 397]sayings, which mention, the man­ner of his operations, or imply it, as that Rom. 6.12. Let not sin reign in your mor­tal bodies, that ye should fulfil the lusts thereof: neither yeild your selves instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but yeild your selves unto God, for sin shall not have dominion over you, &c. Where the Apostle plainly implys, That God by his Grace, so takes away the Dominion of Sin, where his grace is not put away; that sin cannot command and inforce obedience from men; but yet neither doth it so necessitate obedience to it self, and the resistance of Sin, but that its yet in mens power, (not­withstanding grace, and so Gods working in them, to will, and to do;) to yeild their members to Sin, which is also work­ing in them, and being yeilded to, by them will work in them, to will and to do, what they ought not: yea, and by so yeilding their Members to it, they become subject to it, and give it dominion or rule over them; and it is put upon them, as strength­ned, and furnished by grace, to resist Sin, and not to yield to it: whence such say­ings, Abstain from fleshly lusts, have no fel­lowship with the unfruitful works of dark­ness, but rather reprove them: If ye walk after the flesh ye shall dye, but if by the spi­rit, ye mortifie the Deeds of the body, ye shall live, &c. Which all imply, the workings of God in the Believer, to be such as do not so take in, and necessitate mens working, but that they may possibly Sin [Page 398]against him, and work evil. Yea, why else says he, Grieve not the holy Spirit of God: if God's workings so included, and necessitated our workings in his working, that we cannot grieve him. Beside that, it's an evident case, that the holy men, in whom God by his Grace and Spirit, did work the to will, and the to do; yet did sin against him: and that not meerly of infirmity, or for defect of his work­ing, but against, and contrary to his working in them, grieving, and quench­ing him that wrought in them, Isa. 63, 10. as in the case of Davids sinning. The Scrip­ture speaks, of the condition of the Be­liever in this matter, so, as may be fitly represented by the case of Israel of old, in respect of the Canaanites, when brought into Canaan; they had the presen [...] of God with them, and such furniture of strength, and defence afforded them there­by, so as they might have kept them un­der; and it was their own great neglect of improving the advantage of God's presence and help with them, who, sub­dued their Enemies under them, both giv­ing them will and courage to fight them, and in their Fight, efficacy of subduing them; if they let, or suffered them to Reign over them: as well as it was great imprudence, in respect of themselves: yet, they might possibly make Leagues, and confederate with them; and so pro­voke God to withdraw from them, and leave them to their power, so as to be­come [Page 399]Servants, and Tributaries to them. So it is with the Believer, God works in him the to will, and the to do, in his listening to him, and in his strength, and furniture of grace given, he may mortify Sin, and not let it reign in his mortal Bo­dy; yet this grace doth not work so com­pulsively, and irresistibly, or so to inforce, and work his obedience to it, as that he cannot neglect it; and by neglecting it, confederate with Sin, and provoke God to withdraw himself, and leave him to Sins Dominion. God indeed gives more grace; yea, more than there is naturally power in envy, or other lusts, in the Car­nal Spirit, to make us serve them; such as by which we might deny them service, and resist them; yea mortifie, and keep them under, though not be without mo­lestation from them, as we would; and therefore God faults and resists men that yet lift up themselves, and will serve their proud, or envious humours, Jam. 4.5, 6, 7. So that it seems, notwithstanding more grace given them, men may possi­bly yield themselves servants to their Cor­ruptions, that have less power in them, to enforce their obedience: yea, and thats' the reason God is displeased with men, that they serve them; was there not more power in God's grace to help them against them, then in their corruptions, to inslave them; they would not be so obnoxious to, or worthy of Wrath from God; but rather would be pitied, and helped by [Page 400]him: except where having put away more grace, they are inslaved again by their Corruption, God withdrawing from them. But if God so wrought in men, their wil­lings, and doings as in the Conception at first mentioned, there could be no possibi­lity of any believer to fail of doing God's will, but by God's meer voluntary first-leaving him; no possibility of letting Sin have dominion over them, or grieving the Spirit; and so neither ground, or need of any of these, or the like Exhortations.

SECT. 2.

How God works by exhortations, and whether his working in men to will, and to do is by and through the exhortation to [...]k out their Salvation?

Object. EXception is hereunto made, That though God work so as above to necessitate mens workings out too, yet exhortations to work out our Salvation with fear and trembling, and not to grieve the Spirit; and the like are nevertheless needful, because God worketh those things in men by his exhortations. But neither will that stand with the scope of the Scripture above propounded, to con­sideration. For.

Answ. 1. God uses not to principle men by Exhortations, but by the discovery of his grace, with which he prevents them, [Page 401]and puts in principles seeds or capacitates for Operation. Psal. 9.10. He begets in men a will to trust, not by exhorting them meerly to trust, but by declaring his Name and causing them to know it; and then, when he hath so principled them to work or walk, &c. he uses to exhort men in that power and strength brought to them, and given them, to work or walk and act forth, and by those exhortations fur­ther excites and stirs up and puts forward the will or the man, to act in those ca­pacities foregiven. And in such exhorta­tions, he works after the nature of di­vinely Moral working; that is, by pre­senting that to the understanding and judgment which affords rational ground for the willing and doing what he ex­hor [...] [...]o; and therefore also usually be­fore, or however with those exhortati­ons lays down those grounds and adds such motives which presented to the un­derstanding, are as proper means to con­vey motion to the Soul and excite it to will and do what is exhorted. But now the ground or motive here used and pre­sented is such, as being interpreted and represented in the sense objected, de­stroys the exhortation, and takes away all the motive to it and ground thereof; so as that the exhortation can be no means to produce the things exhorted to; upon the account of the ground and mo­tive used to inforce it as so understood. The exhortation is that they would be [Page 402]always obedient, and now much more in the Apostles absence, working out their Salvation with fear and trembling, which may indeed be a meanes to excite and stir them up to such diligence and obedience with fear and trembling, i [...] with all they are made to apprehend need, cause and ground for so doing, as to say, that it being God that works in them to will and to do of good pleasure, there is danger least by their negligence and carelessness, he may be provoked to withdraw his operations without which they can do nothing, and so they may fail of his grace. But to represent such a thing as this to the understanding reason and judgment, that God doth absolutely and infallibly work so in them to will and to do, that he therein also works their working out compleatly and ina­voidably, so as to leave no room for, or possibility of their disobedience or mis­carriage in what he requires their work­ing out of, is such a ground of security, certainty, and impossibility of danger o [...] miscarriage, as both takes away from the understanding all conception of any need of their diligence, and renders it incon­ceiveable how they should be negligent or disobedient; and so leaves no room for their fear and trembling, otherwise then as unavoidably it may be wrought in them. Again,

2. That in the ground and motive [That it is God that worketh in you [Page 403] &c.] being used and laid down as the ground and motive to inforce the exhor­tation, as rendring a reason why they ought to be so careful, is as represented by the Apostle rather the means of mak­ing them obedient to the exhortation (as also it was a means by way of motive to induce the Apostle so to exhort them) then the exhortation any meanes by which God works what is asserted in the motive. It is not God works in you to will and to do by my exhorting you, or because or for he exhorts you by me to be Obedient. But because its he that works in you to will and to do, there­fore be ye Obedient, and therefore I ex­hort you work out your Salvation with fear and trembling; The exhortation might be a means to excite them to work out, not a means of Gods working in them asserted in the motive, where­with he urgeth the exhortation; the ground of the exhortation is true in it self, and so asserted and laid down as a thing to be apprehended by them as true in it self: not depending for its truth up­on his exhortation as to be made true by it (as it must do if the exhortation be the means of it) but as giving ground for the exhortation and affording motive to obey it because of its absolute truth. As the foundation of a house is firm be­fore the superstructure be built upon it; and neither depends upon that, nor is laid by it, but the superstructure is laid [Page 404]upon it; and it is rather as a way or means to further the laying of the super­structure, and not the laying of the su­perstructure a means of laying the Foun­dation.

3. If Gods working in them the to will & to do the thing exhorted was by the ex­hortation, then not before the exhortati­on and so not till the Epistle came to them, and so not in the time when Paul wrote it, and so he wrote false in saying in the then present time; It is God that worketh, &c. But if God did work in them to will and to do of his good pleasure before the Epistle came to them (as is most unquestionable) then this superad­ded exhortation was needless to them, if his working in them was such as infallibly included in it their working out also; seeing they did it all before and could not but do so, so long as God continu­ed his working: Which was neither made longer nor shorter by the Epistle writing (according to that sense espect­ly) nor depended thereupon, but was meerly of his good pleasure. And if it should be his good pleasure to cease working in them without their provoking him to it (as to it they could not by that interpre­tation provoke him) then was it not possible that they should work out their Salvation, much less upon the ground propounded by the Apostle, the truth thereof then failing and without that as­serted [Page 405]in the ground (viz, Gods work­ing in them) his exhortation would a­vaile them nothing; So that that inter­pretation renders the exhortation need­less both in respect of God, and in re­spect of them; in respect of God, for he wrought so before and of good pleasure. And therefore also in respect of them, seeing he working their working out so as to effect infallibly their whole operation, they could not want any exciting there­unto.

4. Yea if God so wrought in them by this Exhortation, the working out their Salvation would not all the other Ex­hortations be needless, seeing all that they exhort to are included herein? Or how ever.

5. Then must this and all other Ex­hortations be obeyed necessarily, and no faultiness in believers for not working out their Salvation with fear and trem­bling, unless that God first failing, they were left in an incapacity of so doing (which failing of his also consists not with that interpretation) which is cross to the Scriptures, as we have seen; These and other like reasons might be urged against such a sense of the foresaid saying, and against the objection of Gods so working by the exhortation, let us see then how we are to understand it.

SECT. 3.

The aforesaid Scripture, viz. Philip. 2.12. Briefly opened.

THe Apostle having after diverse exhor­tations (as to let their Conversation be such as becomes the Gospel of Christ, to be like minded, or, to mind the same thing to have the same love to be of one accord, and of one mind; to do no­thing out of strife, and vain glory; but in lowliness of mind to esteem each other above themselves, not to mind their own commodity, but each to mind the good of others, &c.) to provoke them there­unto the more, propounded to them the example of Christ, his self abasement for our sake, and the great glory he had thereupon received of and with God; afterward returns again to exhort them further, even in the consideration of Christs sufferings for them, and the great honour & dignity that God had thereupon exalted him to; making him Lord of all, as they had always obeyed, not on­ly in his presence with them, but now much more in his absence to work out (or accomplish) their Salvation with fear and trembling; pressing that exhortation further with this reason or motive, which seems to have special respect to their work­ing out with fear and trembling. For it [Page 407]is God that worketh (or God is the in­worker or effectual worker) in you both of the to will, and to do of good plea­sure, or of his good pleasure; to which he adds, do all things without murmur­ing and disputing, &c. So that those words. For it is God, &c. are used as a motive and argument, to inforce an ex­hortation given to believers who had al­ready closed with the grace of God, wherewith he had prevented them, which grace of God may also be understood by their Salvation: (as sometimes it is called in Act. 28.28. and the word of it, the word of Salvation. Act. 13.26. Ephes. 1.13.) to be wrought out by them for that received and believed in their hearts, was operative and was framing or working in their hearts, to frame them in heart and Conversation unto God, to which therefore he exhorts them to yield them­selves to work, in its working both to will, and to do; so working out and fi­nishing what that effected, and gave them power and motion to in its Ope­ration, and this with fear and trembling; least they should by neglect or restraint of it grieve, that good Spirit of Grace working by and in it, or mix something of their own with it; or work out their corruption with or instead of it. And that upon this account, because, what the Salvation or grace of God is work­ing in men, it is God that works it, who [Page 408]is greatly to be feared and reverenced; and with fear and trembling, to be obey­ed and served. And the phrase, it is God that worketh in you to will (or to be willing as [...] is rendred 2 Cor. 8.10, 11.) and to do (or to be operative and effectual) of good (or of his good) pleasure may be thus understood, viz.

1. With reference to his preventing Operations, if we should apply it also to them (as there are Operations prevent­ing believers, in what they are) to do, as well as to other men, to bring them to believe; but to oary it even to those that respect mens first closing with Christ al­so, though the Apostle writs not to such here, as were yet first to close with him, we might understand such a saying applica­ble to such persons.) Thus,

1. God by his preventing grace in the means afforded, is operating and work­ing or drawing your hearts to mind and listen to him, and to Christ as set forth by him, and to be not only willing but actual and effectual doers of his word, in yielding up to attend upon him; in the means vouchsafed. Therefore seeing it is God that is moving and working in you to will, and to do those things, and he doth so work of Good-pleasure; its his love to you leads him so to work, and he is at liberty to cease so to work, and may do it if provoked by your resistan­ces; and then you can do nothing to [Page 409]purpose, therefore in his inclining your wills to himself, do you yield up to him; and in his exciting, stirring, and inward­ly working you to do and walk forth in his ways, in which he is waiting to be gracious to you, do ye yield up your Members to obey him. And this with fear and trembling, least you provoke him that worketh in you these things, to withdraw his Operations, and then ye can do nothing that will avail you. Or,

2. Its God that is working or works in you the to will, and to be operative or to do. Its he that frames the heart to believe and love, and to be full of Spi­ritual inward Motions, and efficacies, and to walk forth in them; Men can do none of these things of themselves, but God doth work these things in mens hearing and learning of him, in such means as he doth afford in his Church, or Sion; every one that hears and learns of the of the Father comes to Christ, to him he gives the [...] the power and act of believing, frames the heart to trust in him, and fills him with effectual ope­rations; but he doth it in their attention to God, in the means directed to by him, such as is listening to the Apostles Do­ctrine, and obeying their wholesome Counsels. Therefore be ye obedient to those outward instructions, and yield up to follow him in such ways as in which he so works; Be swift to hear, Slow to speak, Jam. 1.18, 1 [...]. [Page 410]&c. seeing God willing begets men by the word of Truth. And as our Savi­our says, Murmur not, lift not up your­selves in your own Wisdom and strength of reason to oppose him or to wave and wind out from his teachings; seeing no man can come to Christ but by the Fathers drawing him, in and by his teachings afforded in the Ordinances, and ways of instruction vouchsafed in Sion (especial­ly) he that hears and learns comes to him. So the Apostle afterward, do all things without murmuring or disputing, vers. 14. and this with fear and trembling, least ye fail of the grace of God and de­prive you selves of that work of Rege­neration, without which no Salvation, and so I labour in vain in respect of you, as vers. 16. But,

2. With reference to his working in believers, already in some measure per­takers of his grace, and so that have it working in them (as it is as I said before properly directed to such.) The Apo­stle then instructs them, that what that Grace or Salvation working in them wrought, it was God that wrought it, either for making them willing, or ope­rative and effectual, and therefore he would have them act that forth with fear and trembling, and so work out their Salvation. As if ye should say quench not, nor grieve the Spirit of God that is working in you the will to do good; [Page 411]and then assisting and working the act when ye are willing, withdraw not your selves or members from it, for it is God who is a consuming fire, and working of good pleasure is so much the more to be awfully obeyed, least his love pro­voked to anger and jealousie, it go ill with you. He that hath made his Son Lord of all is of his good pleasure work­ing in you to be obedient willingly to this Lord, even by that Grace received and believed by you. See then that with re­verence and trembling ye submit to him, and work out your salvation.

The Apostle in all this implies, that God so works in men the will and deed, as that the men may put a stop to his working by withdrawing or consulting with their car­nal reason and affections, and so grieving of him. As also the Apostle John sup­poses the same in 1 John 3.17. He that hath this Worlds Goods, and seeth his Brother have need, and shall shut up the bowels of his compassion, how dwells the love of God in him? where he im­plies, that the love of God dwelling in the heart, will upon sight of a Brothers need, move the bowels of compassion, and open them in a man that hath where­with to relieve him; will be working up­on his will to be willing, and put him for­ward to do what it moves to, i. e. to re­lieve him; yet that man imprisoning that love of God; and not letting it dwell [Page 412]richly in him, and as the ruler over him, may shut up the bowels of his compassi­on; and do little or nothing for him; contrary to which the Apostle exhorts here to work out and do what that sal­vation and grace leads to, because it's God that moves and works in its operati­ons.

Object. But now some stand much upon the Article the [...], and [...], that it signifies properly the very act of the will, and the outward work as effectual­ly and inavoidably wrought of God. But he that will consider what the Apostle writes to the Corinthians, in 2 Cor. 8.10, 11, &c. Answ. will see little force in that, for there the Apostle says, that they had begun [...] not only the to do, then, but also the [...] the to will about a year before, and [...]et writes to them to finish the [...], the to do; was it not God that wrought in them the to will, and the do there as much as is supposed here? and yet he so wrought it in them, that they themselves are said to have begun them, and are exhorted to finish them; yea, and the Apostle sent a Letter to them to stir them up to it; yea, and intreated Titus too to come with it to them to pro­voke and further them in it; and as he had begun so to finish in them the same Grace, vers. 6. yea, and another Bro­ther with him, lest he should be ashamed of what he had boasted of them in Ma­cedonia, [Page 413]touching their forwardness, and uses divers arguments to stir them up to go on with what they had begun, and to do it cheerfully in that and the following Chapter. By which it appears that God so works the will and the deed, that men themselves may be said to begin and finish them in his operation. Yea, and not on­ly the men themselves that will and do, but others also may by way of instrumen­tality and motive be said to begin and finish the same too, by divers kinds of efficiencies and operations. But how could either the one or the other be said to begin and finish the to will, and the to do, if they were only patients in them, and God wrought and effected the whole business in them, and that so irresistably as that they could not but be effected in them; yea, and what need of taking care lest they should be backward in ef­fecting what God absolutely effects and works wholly in them, and out by them too, as the conception I oppose herein conceiveth of him. God then hath so his efficiency and operation in men to move and act them to will and to do as that men also have a subordinate efficien­cy too; yea, and so as they may so listen to corruption and temptation as to hinder and not work out the intendment of Gods operation in them. He may purge and yet they not be purged, as was before shewed; So that need, notwithstanding Gods working in us to will and to do, [Page 414]yea therefore the rather to be exhorted to work out their own Salvation with fear and trembling.

SECT. 4.

Isa. 43.14. Considered, and what some collect there from.

AGainst what I have here said, touching the resistibility of Gods working in Men, and mens stopping or smothering it, some oppose that in Isa. 43.14. where God says, I will work, and who shall let it, whence they draw a general conclu­sion, that whatsoever God works in an [...] man, cannot be letted or hindred. But to that I say, its good to mind the scope of the Scriptures we alledge and hold to what they properly speak of, and there­in we cannot so easily miscarry. Now its evident that that place in Isa. 43. speaks not of his working in men by his gracious operations we are speaking of, but of his delivering his people Israel, who were precious in his sight, and ho­nourable, out from their temporal bon­dages under their enemies as the Chaldees and Babylonians, and so from the people of the North and South, &c. as both the Verses before and after shew; and of that he says, He will so work and effect it, that none shall let or hinder it, but mau­gre all oppositions of Men and Devils, he would accomplish it. Even as he did bring them out of Egypt, mangre the ma­lice [Page 415]of Pharoah and the Egyptians to hin­der it: but what is this to the business in hand? the operations of the grace and truth of God in men, and so of God in and by them. We deny not but that what ever God will work and effect ab­solutely engaging thereto his omnipotency and power to effect it, be it in men or about men, it shall not, nor can be let­ted. The things that fall under his ab­solute Decrees, and in and to which he is resolved to ingage his omnipotency ab­solutely, there is no letting or hindring thereof; but that I deny to be the way of Gods working by his grace and truth, ordinarily in Men: but upon condition, by the failings or obstinancy rather of men in not yielding to which, that which God conditionally offered to work, and that he was in such ways working may be and often is hindred, and men become as vessels broken upon the wheel, as God is framing or working of them, as in Jer. 18.3, 4. he prevents with grace, and moves and excites men to hear and listen to him, and in so doing would work in them all his good work, and in that way he would so work too as none should let him; as he wrought so upon Naaman in his washing in Jordan: but men may (and often do) not hear nor listen to him, or having begun in the Spi­rit, they abide not therein, but turn away from him; and so by observing lying vanities forsake their own mercies, as is [Page 416]evident, Psal. 81.10, 11, 12, &c. where God bids them, having set them at liber­ty, open their mouths wide and he would fill them; in which he was moving them to listen to him, but they refusing de­prived themselves of what he would have done for them; for he would (he says) have subdued their enemies and sed them with the finest of the Wheat, had they hearkened to him; which, be­cause they did not hearken, they had not effected for and in them; so in Jer. 13.11. he says, he had caused Israel to cleave to him as the girdle cleaves to the loyn [...] of a man, even the whole House of Israel, and the whole House of Judah, that they might be to him for a people, and for a name, and for a praise; and yet they refusing to hear, never attained thereto, but became as a girdle marred [...] good for nothing. So that tho so far as God worketh absolutely in men is wrought, nor can any man hinder its being so, yet men may provoke him to undo what he hath wrought in many things, and to take away what he hath given them, and may hinder themselves of what he tenders to work further, and would cer­tainly work so as none should hinder it, did they hearken to him, and walk in his way prescribed to them by him; of this I say, men may hinder themselves by their refusing to hearken to him, as the forecited Scriptures clearly hold forth, as may be seen by any that can understand them.

SECT. 5.

Psal. 110.3. Considered, and what some conclude from it.

MAny alledge that of the Psalmist, in Psal. 110.3. to prove God's irre­sistible and infrustrable manner of work­ing in bringing in some to God: the words are, Thy people shall be a willing people in the day of thy power in the beauties of holiness, &c. The words may rather be read, Thy people free-will offerings in the d [...]y of thy power in the beauties of holiness, &c. [...]mely, shall bring, or shall be or yield themselves free-will offerings; there is no mention there of any compulsive irre­sistible bringing them in, but rather of a free, willing running to him, and offering themselves to him in the beauties of holi­ness, the Sanctuary, that is, Christ ac­cording to the truth, this the posture of [...]s people in the day of his power or ar­ [...]es. Now most certain it is, that those who are Christ's people, given to him of the Father, (that is, that hear and learn of him in his teaching them and glori­fying Christ to them, as those two are put for the same thing in substance, in Joh. 6.37, 40, 45, 65.) they come volun­tarily, willingly, and freely to Christ, and offer free-will offerings to him in the day of his power or armies: that is of his being glorified at God's right hand and in the Gospel, which is the power of [Page 418]God to the salvation of those that believe or credit it; and to the making them free and willing to serve him, Rom. 1.16. and so in the day of his armies and companies going forth to propagate his Name and fight the good fight of Faith, his people, those that stand on his side and for him offer themselves freely. Nay further, it's granted, that no man makes himself wil­ling to serve Christ, but they that come to him; his people are made free by his power working in his Gospel published to them, his truth set before them and abi­ding by them, as in that of John 8.30, 31, 32. If ye continue in my words, (that is, hearing and receiving or minding them) then are ye my disciples (that is, his people) indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free: (set you at liberty from the love of sin and the world, &c. to serve and walk with God in holiness and righteousness, and so offer up your selves free-will offerings to God.) Which place fitly expounds the other; and yet clearly shews, that that is a consequent operation of God following upon mens receiving and continuing in the truth, preventing them, and so becoming his people, in which they are more made his or given up to him, and so is propounded conditionally to such as do but begin to credit the truth and listen to it, agree­ing with that in John 6.44, 45. No man can come to me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him. As it is written in the [Page 419]Prophets, And they (that is, Sion's children, the waiters upon God in the Doctrine given forth in Sion, Isa. 54.13.) shall all be taught of God. Every one therefore that heareth and learneth of the Father (that is, thy people) shall come to me, shall be a wil­ling people. Agreeable also to that, is Hos. 6.3. Then shall we know if we follow on to know, &c. And Isa. 55.5, 6. Thou shalt call a Nation that thou knewest not, and a Nation that knew not thee, shall run after thee, (shall be willing or voluntaries) be­cause of the Lord thy God, and for the holy one of Israel, for he shall glorifie thee. Seek ye the Lord, while he maybe found, and call upon him, while he is nigh, &c. As if he should say, The glory of Christ discove­red in his calls, by the Father's teaching, being beheld, shall make people willing and free to follow Christ; they that know or take notice of his Name, will trust in him; seek therefore to know that Name or discern that Glory, &c. This may indeed shew what we have noted be­fore, that they that yield up to the coun­sels and calls of God, afforded with his preventing operations, and so look or listen to Christ, and God in Christ, shall find the creative power of God framing their hearts to the love of Christ, and causing them to run freely after him; yea that hinders not but that men to whom those preventing operations are afforded, may resist and wind out from the coun­sels and teachings of God therewith given [Page 420]them, and so frustrate themselves of the creative operations that follow upon mens not so resisting. Isa. 53.1. They that believe not the report, prove not the arm of the Lord; that is, to be met with therein by men. Naaman not washing in Jordan, had not felt the power of God to heal him. Some I know urge that of Luke 14.23. Compel them to come in. But that being spoken to the servants, as to be their act, can sig­nifie no more than a more earnest urgency with men on their parts, and cannot in­force the signification of any compulsive, irresistible working of God, and there­fore I shall not further insist upon it.

SECT. 6.

1 Cor. 4.7. Considered, and Mens Col­lections from it.

SOme, from that saying of the Apostle, Who maketh thee to differ, 1 Cor. 4.7.or what hast thou that thou hast not received? And if thou hast received it, why dost thou then boast? argue, that it is and must be some more special irresistible grace of God afforded to some men more than to others, that working irresistibly differences them, in point of believing, from others, upon whom God doth not so irresistibly work; and that they received from God their very doing better, as to hearing and learning, than others; which if God had given to others as well as to them, the [...] would have done, yea must necessari [...] [Page 421]have done as well as they. But here again, Men mind not that they swerve from the Apostles scope and business, and wrest or carry his words from the thing he treats about: which is not of mens hearing the Word of God, and giving heed to him in the means of Grace, (though that also is of God) but of be­lievers difference in their gifts and receipts of Gifts from God; by occasion of which some were apt to be puffed up above others; and some for one, who had greater Gifts, against another, who had less, as appears clearly in the former Verse. To these he saith, even to them who had more excellent Gifts, Who made thee to differ or excel? What hast thou? What Gift or Excellency, that thy Brother hath not, which thou hast not received? And if thou hast received it, why dost thou then boast or pride thy self of it, as at­tributing it to thy self, and lifting up thy self above thy brother by it? This is clearly and evidently the scope of the Apostle in that place; which being kept to, we cannot err by occasion of his words. But if we will take his words and carry them from their scope, we may perchance through our reason fall into mistakes; as if we should thence argue, that we have no cause or ground any of us to commend one mans diligence in the use of his talent, and fault another mans slothfulness; or that the slothful ought in like manner to be excused or not blamed [Page 422]as the other that hath less Gifts, though diligent in them; because as the one mans less Gifts proceed from God's good pleasure to give him less, (as but two talents when another hath five) so the other mans slothfulness in like manner proceeded from God's good pleasure too, that pleased not to give him such dili­gence as another hath. Surely he that minds the Scriptures, would see such an use of those words as so to argue from them to be but an abuse of them. And so If we should thence conclude, that God made Adam to differ from himself by fal­ling from his created innocency; or sup­pose there had been another man every way as perfect as Adam, and no more free and able to stand than Adam, and every way alike tempted and assisted as he, must he needs have fallen as Adam did? if so, then how had Adam power to have stood? and how was his fall meerly wilful and voluntary? nay how can it be looked upon otherwise than as necessitated by defect of Grace on God's part, or by his providence ordering a temptation to him above his strength, and against which he could not stand? which would certainly involve God as the necessary cause of his sinning, and much take off from the clear equity of his Justice in so severely punish­ing him and us in him. But if we say such a man, so supposed, might by the same Grace that Adam had have stood, a [...] Adam also himself might; then who i [...] [Page 423]that case had made the difference, the one standing, and the other falling, had it not been meerly Adam abusing the Grace given and listening to the tempter that should have made himself differ both from the other and from what himself was before? It seems clear to me too, that men in the same state may act differently, and in their different acting God may make the better acter differ in his state: As of two men equally wounded, and equally every way assisted and furnished, and mo­ved to look to the brazen Serpent, the one might do better than the other; as suppose by the same power, that one abu­sed running from the brazen Serpent, the other yielding to the same motive and motion afforded to both might have look­ed to it, and then the brazen Serpent, or God in and by it might make the difference between them as to their state, healing the looker to it, when as the other run­ning away was not healed: without which healing act of God their different actings had done nothing to the differen­cing one from the other as to their con­dition. Sure it's better walking in God's way, than in our own: for in God's way we may expect to find God making us to differ both from our selves and others that refuse his way to walk in their own, though yet neither can we walk in God's way, the use of his means in any right manner, without his preventing Grace inabling a [...]d moving us thereunto, and his as­sisting [Page 424]Grace helping us therein.

As for the other part of the collection that men receive from God their doing better, the Scripture mentioned gives no ground for it, because it says not, What dost thou, that thou hast not received; though in a sound sense, speaking of good actions, it may be truly so said, according to that in the Philippians, before spoken to. It is God that worketh in you to will and to do; the strength, vertue, power, motive, motion to do what is good, and assistance in doing it we have from God, without which we could not do it; yet so as it may be mans voluntary, unnecessitated act, at least as to some kind of acts as to the means of Grace. Nor may such a volun­tary acting in the strength of God's Grace, give him any ground of boasting, no more than a poor man hath cause to boast, that when a rich man offered him Gold, and moved him to receive it, yea, took him by the lame, dead hand, and brought it to receive it; he did not wil­fully pluck it from him, or by some un­worthy shew of his reluctancy against him, provoke him to let go his hand, and so to deprive himself of the Gift he gave him; or that after divers attempts to pluck away his hand; yet at length, through his perswasion, yielded it to him. Such a man might say, he did better than another that threw it away, or persisted in his obstinacy so to do, but no cause to boast of himself, either that he hath more [Page 425]than another that received something as well as he, what it pleas'd the same rich man to give him, though not so much, be­cause he had his more, not from his better act of receiving, but meerly from the rich mans gift, who, if he had pleased, might have given him less, and the other more, (which is the case the Apostle there speaks to) or that he hath what another threw away and might have had, would he have received it and not been so obsti­nate: He may say, he did better indeed, and so he did; and so do they that hear and learn of the Father, better than they who like the deaf Adder, stop their ears and will not hear; but that he did it, he may thank the Donor, who would have him accept his kindness, and persuaded him to it: and that the other did not so, [...]e may fault himself, and may worthily be faulted both by the Donor and by others that did better; who also shall rise up in judgment with him and condemn him, for that oft-times with less persua­sion and motive they did better than he that refused to do well, though upon more persuasion and stronger motive, as Matth. 12.40, 41, 42, 43. Though yet that God may and doth prevent some with more Grace than others, and more power­fully than others, yea more early, and with more absoluteness of bringing off from and drawing over all oppositions from them than others, may, for ought I perceive, be true and truly granted, it [Page 426]being at least possible and probable, God being at liberty to distribute the dispen­sations of his Grace and gracious Opera­tion as he pleases. Yea, I conceive, we may see evident difference between his dealings in that respect with Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Paul, and some others, ordained by him to be choice Instruments in his hand for others good, and many other believers. But though that be so, yet that that's his ordinary, constant man­ner of working in all that are prevail'd with to believe, is not thereby proved or evidenced, much less do any of the Scrip­tures mentioned evince it.

SECT. 7.

1 Cor. 12.6. Considered, and what some argue from that, and therein, whether sin be meerly a privation.

LAstly, Some from that saying of the Apostle in 1 Cor. 12.6. That it is the same God that worketh all in all, infer, That God not only worketh and effecteth in men all their good actions, so as necessa­rily to include, and by way of necessita­tion; to effect and produce all their ope­rations in them too, but also some further carry it to all the actions of all creatures good and bad, even to the very works of the Devil and the flesh in men; saying, that all actions, even the actions of sin too are wrought in men by God, and so are of God: which Error in both branches [Page 427]of it they run into by running from the scope of the Apostle, in the said Chapter, in which he is not speaking of all Crea­tures, much less of all the Actions of all Creatures, but of Spiritual Things and Persons: whence the Title of the Chap­ter is, [...]: Concerning the Spirituals; Spiritual Persons, or Persons indued with the Spirit, and Spiritual Gifts. Concerning these, he saith, There are differences of operations, ( [...]) of miraculous workings, as after it signifies in Verse 10. or efficacious workings of God, in and with his Gifts and Admini­strations: which operations, though dif­ferent, yet he saith are of one God, who worketh all (or all those things, [...]) in all; namely, in all those Spiritual Per­sons and Gifts, and Administrations, or also in all toward and unto whom those Gifts and Administrations and Operations are vouchsafed; as there are in and by his Gifts, and in the exercise and administra­tion of them in some, operations of con­vincement in others of conversion, in others of comfort, &c. all which things one and the same God works in all, in whom they are wrought: that seems to be plainly the sense of the Apostle, and not that God worketh necessitatingly all the good things men act forth, so as neces­sarily to cause them, as their going to the places of his Worship, their hearing, read­ing, &c. but all those things effected and wrought in their attending on him in his [Page 428]administrations, and by his operations effected in them; much less, that he works all mens evils, evil Thoughts, Lusts, Blasphemies, Adulteries, &c. as some thence strain; which is plain Blasphemy, and directly opposite to that of the Apostle James, James 1.13. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God, for he is not to be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. And to that in Psalm 5.4. Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness; or, Thou are a God that wil­lest not iniquity. I know that such men, as so wrest that passage, seek to justifie or excuse God again, (or themselves for their Blasphemy rather) by saying, that sin is nothing but a privation. Which if so, then is it not properly a Work or Opera­tion, but rather a ceasing to operate, or a removal of his operations; as darkness is properly no operation, but a removal or bare absence of the operation of the light inlightning; nor doth darkness operate any thing, though by occasion thereof Creatures may operate amiss, or operate something upon themselves, as by imagination, fears, &c. but surely sins are more than meer privations, yea, sins of omission are not simply the not doing, but the omitting or willing neglect to do what ought, or when a thing ought to be done: much more are actual sins of commission, operations, entities, and beings; such as the setting the heart upon covetuousness, loving the World; in [Page 429]which is not only a privation of the love of God, but a position of the affections due to God upon the World; and so in Adultery, Murther, Blasphemy, which if they be not operations positively, than are there no workers of iniquity, much less can God be the worker or operator of them: but not to insist upon the con­futation of a thing so openly repugnant to the Scriptures, and to Sense and Ex­perience, and of so great a Blasphemy, as the making God the Author and Worker of those things the workers where of he hates: which affection, or disaffection rather, is not imaginably possible to be in him towards himself, as it must needs be, if he be a worker; yea, the great worker of them all, in all Men and Devils too; he working all their workings of them, as that Blasphemy, abominable to be conceived or uttered, implies. The foresaid passage speaks evidently of the workings of God in all the Members of Christ, who are therefore afterward compared to the natural body, animated and acted by one spirit of life; and it speaks of the spiritual operations in them all, that they are wrought of God, and not of operations sinful and Diabolical, though if we do carry it to all natural and animal operations, rightly, simply, and as regularly such, it may truly also be ex­tended so far in a sober sense, that they are wrougth by and in the strength, power and motion given them of him; [Page 430]yet so as that they are either natural or voluntary operations of the creatures too, according to the natures that he hath given them; and as touching voluntary operations are such and so upon the will of the rational creature, as not to ne­cessitate its action, or divest it of the power he hath given it and preserves in it, for chusing or refusing freely, objects propounded to it, without his necessita­ting its determination: so as that it's commendable in its choice, and faulty in its refusal of such good objects as are propounded to its choice and election. But I shall proceed no further in this Discourse about God's Operations.

The sum of it is, That all the good that is wrought in us, it is of God, in and by such means and ways as he pleases to afford us, and in such a way as seems good to him and to the counsel of his own will; yea, and all the good wrought by us, it is of and in and from him, yet so as we are therein acters with and under him; free and voluntary agents. And all the evil wrought in us is of Sathan and our own Wills, contrary to the approve­ment or likement of God, though not without his sufferance, which his suffe­rance is also approved by him: and so we may say of all the evil wrought or acted by us; yea, and that oft-times he doth not only suffer men to do evil, and and to have evil things wrought in them; but also doth wisely and holily deliver or [Page 331]yield up men to Sathan and their own Lusts, either in part for their own corre­ction and others admonition, or else wholly to their own destruction and other mens warning. And lastly, That the good he worketh in us, he worketh it di­versly, according to his good pleasure, both as to means and power exercised with and by the means for working it, as hath more largely been explicated; so as in many he certainly and effectually over­cometh their hearts to believe in him and abide with him in the Faith, when others are not so overcome by his Grace; yet so as he neither offers violence or force to the wills of the one, nor is defective or want­ing to the other; but that as the salvation of the one is of him in a way of their willing and free obedience, so the destru­ction of the other is of themselves, in, and as the just reward of, their own vo­luntary, unnecessitated disobedience.

To which I shall add nothing further, but only some brief Conclusions from the whole distinction, as thus largely in the several Branches of it spoken to, with some Positions about the Grace of God and Freedom of Will in the Conversion of Men; And last of all, Some brief hints of some Uses naturally resulting from the whole Treatise, and the several Heads of Considerations therein, which may offer the profit of it to our Minds and Meditations.


Concludes this Treatise,

  • Byway of
    • 1. Conclusions,
    • 2. Positions,
    • 3. Heads of Ʋses,
  • briefly laid down there­in.


Some brief Conclusions drawn from the Pre­mises in this Distinction as hitherto opened.

COnclude we at length this large Di­scourse, Conclus. 1. and to that purpose first.

From what we have said about this Di­stinction and the several Branches of it, we shall lay down these following Conclu­sions.

1. That the Truth of the Gospel, Do­ctrine or Object of Faith praedicable to all men, is not to be measured or judged of by the diversity of the Dispensations of it, and operations or things effected with or by it; or of the purposes of God for such dispensing it, and working with and by it: or thought there be difference, as to manner or measure or both in them, yet the Doctrine in it self is neverthe­less as to the Object or Medicine prepared for men and the fulness in him the same for all men; and so is God's love in pre­paring him one the same: so as no ground [Page 433]for questioning of, or much less conclu­ding against God's love to all, or the object or remedy being for all, because all have not the same dispensations and operations therethrough afforded them. For,

1. Some that have no dispensations of revelation here of it, nor any operation discernable to, or affirmable by us, may be and shall be saved by vertue of the Ob­ject or Medicine prepared for them, as Infants dying in their infancy, 2 Sam. 12.13. Jer. 31.29, 30. Matth. 19.14. and I think no body will conclude Idiolism or Deaf­ness from the Cradle, a sign of Reproba­tion, but rather, that where Christ speaks nothing to men, or doth nothing amongst them, he will not impute sin to them, Joh. 15.22, 24. though yet he may do more to those kind of persons than we wot on.

2. If some that have none, than much more such as have less dispensation and operation than others may be saved; even when they that have much more, abusing them, shall perish, as the Apostle says, If the umcircumcised do by nature, (that is, without added instrustion from the Law) the things contained in the Law, (the Doctrine of God) shall not his uncir­cumcision be counted circumcision? And on the contrary, the man to whom more was purposed and dispensed, both for means and operations in the means, breaking the Law, (not obeying and yielding up [Page 434]to these more instructions and operations) his more shall not profit him, but aggra­vate his condemnation; for God is no respecter of persons, but in every Nation he that feareth God and worketh righ­teousness (have he more or less dispensa­tions or operations) shall be accepted of him. His distributions may be unequal or not alike, and yet he deals equally and according to one rule in his Retributions, respecting or accepting men, not accord­ing to what they had or received from him and he did to and in them, but according to their receipt and improvement of what he gave them, Rom. 2.25, 26, 27. Acts 10.34. 2 Cor. 5.10. Yea,

3. Many first shall be last, and the last first. Many first in means, least in their acceptance of Gods grace in and through those means, and so by consequence, in Gods gracious ac­ceptance. And many last or least in means, first in acceptance both of the grace of God in their hearts, and so in their being accepted of and by God in their persons. A Prophet is not without honour, but in his own Country, where they may have most of him. Naaman seeks out and ac­cepts the Prophet Elisha, though a stran­ger to him, and was healed by him; and the poor Widow of Zarepta believes and entertains Eliah as a man of God, and was sustained she and her family by him, when the generality of the Leapers and Widows of Israel scarce regarded them: the Gen­tiles will often hear acceptably, what the [Page 435] Jews, to whom the salvation of God was first and chiefly sent, reject and make nothing of, Acts 28.28. Matth. 8.10, 11, 12. Luke 4.24, 25, 26, 27. Matth. 19.30. and 20.16.

2. Diversities of dispensation and ope­ration, Conclus. 2. and so of purpose for dispensa­tions, are divers testifications of the same love that wrought in God, to prepare the object or remedy therein testified of. Some do more fully and eminently testifie it than others, and the fuller do more abundantly priviledge, honour and en­gage to obedience those to whom they are vouchsafed, than the less do; yet that diversity clashes not with, but diversly flows from and testifies to the universality of the love and grace of God, even the same grace that the Doctrine of the Go­spel (the object of Faith mediately) speaks forth unto men; yet so as those that have the fuller means of the testification of that grace may be said to be more loved and honoured (as well as (yea therefore) more engaged to Faith and Obedience) as to the streamings forth of that love, and thereby vouchsafement of advanta­ges for salvation, than other men. As God's peculiar purposes to Jacob, Jere­miah, and John Baptist, yea and to the Jews, and the vouchsafements according­ly given them, argued them more loved than other people to whom such vouch­safements were not given, not as love signifies either God's approvement of them [Page 436]in their personal consideration in them­selves, or provision of a remedy for them as falled, or good will to save them more than others in their submission to him; but as to the giving forth more clear demonstrations of his love and therein choicer honour, and means to be brought to know and submit to him, and to be instruments of bringing in others thereto also, Luke 12.48. Mal. 1.1, 2, 3. Psal. 78.67, 68. and 87.2. Exod. 19.4, 5, 6. Deut. 4.23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 37. and 7.6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, &c. but then as he gave the more to them, he required the more again of them; nor stood their justifica­tion in their having or doing more, but in one and the same Righteousness provi­ded for and given to all men, Rom. 3.22. and 5.18. in whom any other believing, though not so peculiarly honoured and priviledged, and in that sense loved as they, should and might be equally ac­cepted and justified with them; and out of whom none of them could be justified more than any other men out of him. The like may be said of diversities of dispensations of gifts and operations to believers after their believing, as the making some Apostles, some Prophets some Evangelists, &c. they might be sai [...] to be more loved, as to the addition [...] dispensation of honour and priviledg [...] and yet but alike and on the same ter [...] accepted with others not so lifted up as [...] their approbation in the same Beloved.

3. Conclus 3. That though some men were more peculiarly favoured and priviledged as to dispensations and operations for bring­ing them in to God, and fitting them to his mind, that they might be made more choice instruments for the publick good of others, by a stronger and more effica­cious and unresistible way of working (as without all controversie, Jesus Christ, as Man of the Seed of David, was in a peculiar way, above all flesh, dignified for the good of all men, and so John the Baptist, his fore-runner, Jeremiah, and some others, in a more eminent way than the generality of other men, as called and chosen to be choice instruments of good to many others) yet nevertheless it follows not, that the generality of God's people or chosen ones, were people so fore-known and purposed to be by some more special, irresistible way brought in to God and preserved with him, by such grace as for the want of which the rest must needs perish because denied to them.

4. That though the Universalists, Conclus. 4. so called, do deny the foresaid apprehension of the Particularists or Limiters of the Grace of God, as in the close of the fore­going Conclusion is rejected, yet it fol­ [...]ows not, that they must needs be Aequa­ [...]ists, as to matter of dispensation, or ope­ [...]ation, or purpose thereabouts, accord­ing to Arithmetical proportion or even­ [...]ess, for they grant, as hath been shewed, That,

1. There are diversities of dispensa­tions to and operations in and upon Un­believers to bring them to believe, not all so openly called by the Gospel as some, not all Persecutors so struck down as Saul, not so strangely and strongly prevented; yea, it's remarkable, as to this, that there is difference between the first setting up the Name and Church of God amongst people, and his after-drawings thereto. In the first setting up a place for his Name, or making known his Truth and Worship, God went forth with stronger hand and stranger works for evidencing his Truth and manifesting Himself, that people might more clearly know where to seek him and wait upon him, than after­wards, when he had made such discove­ries of himself and of the places and people where his Name more gloriously dwelt. As in bringing in Israel to him­self at first, and taking them for to be a peculiar people for his Name, he went forth more gloriously with Signs and Wonders and mighty Works, confirming his Truth and manifesting his Church and himself in it than afterward; as ex­pecting, that when he had set up a Church, and discovered, as it were, the place of his residence, people should after ward resort to him upon the account [...] his first discoveries, though all und [...] those dispensations and mighty operation in and amongst them, received not hi [...] Grace alike. So also when he first glori­fied [Page 439]his Son Jesus, as come in the flesh, and upon the Jews rejecting him, took out of the Nations a people for his Name, that so (and there) the residue of men might seek him, he bare witness to his truth and people by more glorious evidences and demonstrations from Heaven by many Signs and Wonders and Gifts of the Holy Ghost, than since he hath done, (as Acts 2.22, 23. and 15.14, 15, 16, 17. with Verse 12. Heb. 2.4, 5.) as expecting, that all after-ages, his truth and people being so discovered, should resort and cleave to those truths and ordinances to which he hath given so clear testimony that they be his, though neither did all under those dispensations receive his Grace alike.

2. It is dispensations to and operations in believers are not all in that sense equal or alike; to some even of them is more given, to some less, and in some he works more and otherwise than in others, di­stributing to and working in every one according to his good will, 1 Cor. 12.4, 5, 6, 7. yea, and as Christ on earth was pleased to manifest more love and endea­redness in more choice ways to some of his Disciples than others; as it's said Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Laza­rus with a kind of intimated emphati­calness, John 11.5. and John is called his beloved Disciple, John 13.23. so he yet pleases to love some believers more than others as to manifestations of love and [Page 440]love-secrets to them and to the making them of or fitting them for more usefulness to men; Though,

3. His dispensations to and operations in all believers as such, are of more spe­cial and choice favour (though perhaps not with so great outward means and priviledges in means as to some) than to and in other men not believing. His ope­rations in them may be with less strife and wrastling with them than in those that believe not, because he finds less reluctan­cy usually. The more grace is got into and is retained by any one with the more facility he is usually led; as Prov. 2.10, 11. Psal. 119.32. I will run the ways of thy Com­mandments (says David) when thou shalt have enlarged my heart; but yet his dispen­sations and operations are of a more own­ing, approving and justifying nature and of more sweet and comfortable concern­ment to them than to any others.

4. Yea, we assert his liberty in general to make of the same lump one Vessel to honour and another to dishonour, as in the case of Jacob and Esau, one to be high­ly priviledged, and another of the same lump to be for meaner imployment and service, and yet so as may stand with real love to both; so as that he is ready to accept the vessels of dishonour in their submission to his government and seeking him as Grace is afforded; as an Edomit [...] might find room in the third generation to be admitted into the Lord's Congrega­tion, [Page 441]to be united with the honoured Na­tion, Deut. 23.7, 8. Yea, if any man cleanse himself from pollution by the Grace afforded him, he shall be a vessel of honour fitted for the Master's use, 2 Tim. 2.20, 21. Vessels of dishonour may be made vessels of mercy and honour too, Jer. 18.4, 5, 10, 11. When as vessels of honour lifting up and abusing themselves in their honour may be made vessels of wrath and dishonour, as in the Angels that fell, and as in Jer. 9.25, 26. and and 22.24. Though Coniah were a signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck him thence, &c. Such our apprehension and judgment, according, as we conceive, to the Scriptures alledged. So that though we be Universalists in asserting God's grace in Christ for and to all, and Equa­lists in asserting the equity of his dealings with all, yet we be not Equalists in as­serting like Dispensations and Opera­tions as to measure, manner or conti­nuance afforded to all. Thus for the Con­clusions.

SECT. 2.

Positions touching God's Grace and Mans Will in the Work of Conversion.

I Shall add some few Positions about the working of God's Grace and the Will of Man, in, or in tendency to Mans Conver­sions: Positions that I had sometime in­tended for a Neighbour Minister, had [Page 442]providence so ordered, and he accepted. They are these that follow.

1. Position 1. That the Will or Soul of Man is by nature wholly bond and thrall as to any Spiritual motion or action, so as it hath no liberty from sin to move Godward, Eph. 2.1, 2, 3. Joh. 8.32, 33, 34.

2 2. That the Will (or Soul as capable of willing) is at liberty naturally to chuse or refuse civil and moral actions and ex­ternal and natural objects, as to go to the Church or Ale-house, to read the Bible or a Play-book, though naturally much readier to the worse than to the better, John 21.18. Acts 5.4. 1 Cor. 7.36, 37.

3 3. That God in and by his calling and preventing men with his Grace in Christ, doth effect in them some freedom and liberty beyond what they have naturally in themselves before such his calling and preventing them, even to Spiritual things or actions; as to see, behold and mind the Grace discovered by him, to listen to and attend upon him in the means of Grace, and seek God in them, though not spiritually, till or further than the Grace of God complied with or received into the heart doth spiritualizeit, Isa. 5.3, 4, 5. & 50.1, 2. Ezek. 24.13. Hos. 11.3, 4. Matth. 22.12. Prov. 1.22, 23, 29. Matth. 13, 14, 15. 2 Cor. 6.1, 2. Rom. 1.18, 19, 20, 21.

4. That God gives men such liberty by his said preventing Grace, to the end that men might listen to obey and seek [Page 443]him with it, and not abuse it to their own hurt and his dishonour, Jer. 7.9, 10. and therefore bids, counsels, and excites them with his following operations, to use it well, chusing the good and refusing the evil, and apply themselves to the means of his appointment, made known by him to them, and wait upon and seek him therein, according to the power and li­berty thereto given them, Isa. 5.3, 4. Hos. 11.3, 4. Prove. 1.20, 21, 22, 23, 29. Deut. 30.11, 12, 13, 14, 19. Rom. 10.7, 8, 9. Isa. 55.1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7. reproving them for the contrary both by words and chastisements, Jer. 2.13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22. Hos. 7.13, 14, 15. Prov. 17.16.

5 5. That men having such liberty effe­cted in them by God's grace and to such ends may possibly use it better or worse, and one man better or worse than ano­ther, Prov. 17.16. Matth. 11.21, 23. & 12.40, 41, 42. Ezek. 3.5, 6, 7. & 5. [...], 6, 7. Prov. 1.5, 7.

6 6. That where men in the power and liberty given them of God do improve or use it well in seeking after or listening unto God, hearing and learning of him, God will more inlarge them and set them at liberty. He will be found of them that seek him, and by degrees open their under­standings and work upon their hearts to renue and spiritualize them and bring them to himself, Prov. 1.23. and 8.17, 32, 33, 34. and 9.12. Isa. 55.2, 3, 4. Hos. 6.3. Psal 25.8, 9. John 8.31, 32, 36. [Page 444]and 7.17. Matth. 13.11, 12. 2 Chron. 15.2.

7 7. That where and when men neglect God in the liberty given them by him and improve it not to seek after him, but love darkness and vanity rather, and will hold them fast; winking with the eye, lest they should see, and stopping the ear, like the deaf Adder, refusing to hear, lest they should hear, and hardening their hearts while it is called to day and they might hear his voice, lest they should under­stand with their hearts and be converted to him and healed by him, they greatly thereby provoke him to wrath against them, even to harden them also and give them up to their own delusive choices and ways that they might run themselves into destruction [...] free for this Psal. 81.9, 10, 11, 14, &c. [...] 5.6, 7, 8, 11. Prov. 1.23, 24, 29, 30, 31, 32. Isa. 5.1, to 7. & 6.10, 11. Jer. 6.16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 28, 29, 30. Ezek. 24.13. Ho [...] 1.3, 4, 5. Matth. 13.12, 13, 14, 15. with [...] 12.40. Rom. 1.18.21, 26, 28. Thess. 2.9, 10, 11, 12.

8 8. That through the mediation of Christ, God is gracious and long-suffering to such also not ready, to leave and give them up, but waits often long upon them, and renews his preventing operations and means for their good. And if at any time while he is striving with them they listen to him and return from their evil ways in the strength and force of his light and grace he gives them, he is ready to pass [Page 445]by their rebellions and be gracious to them. Psal. 68.18, 19, 20. Luke. 13.6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Prov. 1.22, 23. Ezek. 33.11. 15, 16. Isa. 55.6, 7. and 30. 18. Hos. 11.8. Jer. Luke 15.17.18, 19, 20, 21, 22.2 Pet. 3.9. Yet here­in God uses his liberty for hardning or shewing mercy, giving up sooner or stri­ving longer, and with what means he plea­ses, as. Rom. 9.18, 19. Jer. 6.29, 3. Gen. 6.3. Luke 13.3, 4, 5. Rev. 3.7. He can rise up and shut to the door, Luke 13.25, 26. and turn the key against men when he pleases.

9 9. That those who through his Grace preventing and assisting them do obey his voice, and with Mary chuse the better part, the fear of the Lord; yet the whole work of their Renovation, new cre­ation, bringing into and [...]ing with Christ, and conforming to [...] their co­ming to Christ and trusting [...] him, &c. is the effect and product o [...] Gods Grace in them, wholly and solely [...]ed there­by, even as Naamans cle [...]g, and the blind mans restoring to hi [...]ght was, so as that their Regeneration, and yet much more clearly their justification, is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth (although in such willing and running as the Grace of God moveth to and effecteth) but of God that sheweth mercy, nor are they born of bloods, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man (though in such use of their liberty effected in them as grace leads to) but of God, even as [Page 446] Naamans cleansing was not of his own or other mens wills, though in his willingly abeying the voyce of the Prophet and per­swasion of his servants to wash in Jordan. John 1.12, 13. and 3.3, 5. Jam. 1.18.19, 20, 21. Ephes. 2.8, 10. Rom. 9,16. 1 Cor. 9.24, 25. with 2 Kings 5. and John 9.

10 10. That as Christ in working Mira­cles for the cure of men did prevent some as he pleased with healing them before they asked it of him, that they might be as means to divulge his fame, and draw others to him, whom he did not so heal but as upon their hearing of him they came to him, turning away none that came to him, and not healing miraculously those that upo [...] [...]ch hearsay of him not beles­ving re [...] or despised his healing, re­fusing th [...] [...] their pride to come or be brought [...]; so God may and probab­ly doth p [...]nt some more especially and signally [...] pleases and draws them to himself [...] extraordinarily (as also when draw [...] [...]ore extraordinarily gifts and furnishes some) that they might be as more choice means to divulge him to others, that they by more ordinary means might be drawn to him and in an ordina­ry way, none of which so ordinarily drawn to him, coming to him he casts away or rejects, but the generallity of those that neglect by such ways to come to him and that through pride and unper­swasibleness persists rejecting him, he gives [Page 447]up and justly suffers to perish in their sins. Mark 1.23.24, 25, 26, 27, 28. and and, 18, 19, 20. and 6.4, 5, 6. Luke 4.23, 24, 25, 26, 27. John 5.5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Math. 13.57, 58. Jer. 1.5, 6. Luk 1.13, 14, 15, 16. and 5.27, 28. Math. 11.25, 26, 27, 28, 29, John 6, 36. 37. Mark 16.15, 16. 1 Pet. 2.5, 6. 7, 8. &c. These be the positions I inten­ded for my sometime Neighbour Minister, to which let me add one or two more, viz.

11 11. That the main and general ordina­ry way or Medium in and with which the power of God is put forth and operates, both for bringing in men to himself, and keeping them with himself, unto eternal life is the discovery or maki [...] [...]own of his Name, Power, goodne [...] [...]. And this in the more clear mean [...] [...] making known his Son distinctly, [...] love in him to mankind, or to the w [...] and so to those souls that he works up [...] [...] To which the Law convincing of sin [...] [...]ching the knowledg of it, with all rep [...]s, and cha­stisements and judgments are but subordi­nate, and superadded means, to drive the Soul to take a more ready view of his fore­said Love, Goodness, Name. &c. And all the ordinances and commands of duties but either appointments of and injunctions to ways in which his Name and Son are to be sought, and soon that being brought in to him he might justify us and be our righteousness, or else to witness to and [Page 448]glorify his Name in word or conversation. 1 John 4.19. Rom. 1.16, 17. and 2.4, 5. Psal. 9, 10. and 36.7, 8, 9. Rom. 10.17. and 15.9, 10, 11, 12. John, 15, 16, 17. and 1.12, 13. Tit. 2.11, 12, 13, 14. Philip 1.27. And therefore they that darken and render doubtfull to men the love, pity and good will of God in Christ towards them and readiness to save them through him, and put men to seek to find it out by their endeavours after works and frames, serve not God therein nor do they profit men but are instru­ments rather in the hand of Sathan to hurt and hinder them. Nor are such rightly begotten to or born of God who not be­lieving but neglecting the name of God and his [...]ve and good will in Christ to mankin [...] [...] so towards themselves, have their h [...] [...]wards God begot and Sprung up and [...]ed in them from the con­ceit and [...]deration of any frames, chan­ges, act [...] [...] and endeavours of their own but are [...]dren of the Bondwoman. Acts 2 8. [...] Rom. 9.8. Jam. 1.18, 19. Gal. 4.22, 23, 24. &c. Luke 18.10, 11, 12. Math. 23.13. Isa. 28.12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. and 29. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Psal. 118.22. 2 Cor. 4.4. 1 Thes. 2.16. with 2.4, 5, 6, 7. Rom. 9.30, 31. and 10.1, 2, 3.

12 12. That those who are begotten and born to God in and by the discoveries of himself his Name and goodness in Christ to mankind, so as that through his love [Page 449]to them while sinners and ungodly their hearts are overcome to hope in him and love him and so to yield up themselves to him to be his and to live to him, they are the Children of God and of the promise, the called according to his purpose, the Elect and fore known ones, whom he hath praedestinated or fore-ordained in Christ and through him, to be conformed to him and his image, in sufferings and in glory. And accordingly such he hath used to call forth to service and sufferings for him, and in their faithfulness therein hath justi­fyed and approved them and afterwards glorifyed them, and so he will yet do, which may animate such lovers of him for his love to hold them fast by him in all their sufferings either from o [...] [...] him as knowing they are ordained o [...] [...] thereto for their conforming to him [...] 1.12, 13. and, 15, 16. [...] 3.7, 8.9.26, 27, 28, 29. Rom. 9. [...] 8.28, 29, 30, 31, 32. &c. 1 Thes. [...] 1 Pet. 2.21. Isa. 50.8.9. Jam. 5. [...]. Heb. 11.39, 40. and 12.1, 2, [...] Thus for the positions.

SECT. 3.

Some brief hints of uses of the foregoing Trea­tise and first of the first branch thereof.

WHat we have hitherto say'd in this treatise may be diversly use­full. And first that which we have noted [...]bout the Gospel doctrine as to the faith, [Page 450]hope, obedience, and terrours of it may serve.

Ʋse 1 1. First to inform us of and instruct us into,

1. The great love, mercy, pity and good will, of God to us, and to all men, both as men made by him, and more abun­dantly as and notwithstanding fallen from him in Adam and so become in our selves mi­serable, corrupt & loathsom, and the great grace of our Lord Jesus towards us, in so a­basing himself at the will and appointment of the Father for us; the great price he hath set upon us, and provision made for us for our Salvation and happiness. In this was manifested the love of God to us that he sent his only begotten Son into the [...]wo [...] that we might live through him: In [...] do men waving this demon­stration [...] seek to know it some other way by [...]ing into themselves and in­deavour [...] [...] to frame themselves to love him. [...] is love, not that we lo­ved him, [...] [...]he loved us, and sent his only bego [...] Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4.9, 10. And ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that he being rich became poor that we through his poverty might be made rich. 2 Cor. 8.9. So that therein also is disco­vered to us good ground given us in him of looking to and hoping in him, and of loving, of and living to him, that hath done, prepared and set before us so grea [...] things as the word of truth speaks of, hav­ing [Page 451]not spared his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things? Rom. 8.32. He dyed for all, that they that live should not henceforth live to themselves, but to him that dyed for them and rose again. 2 Cor. 5.15. God was in Christ reconci­ling the world to himself; not imputing their trespasses to them; we pray you in Christs stead therefore be ye reconciled unto God. ver. 19, 20. See also Rom. 12.1.

2. The wretchedness and misery of our condition by nature who needed such a remedy to be made and provided for us, and so the odiousness of our sins, both of that sin of Adam and of us all in him, and the sinfulness thence contracted, and much more yet of continuing in sin against him, after and notwithstanding such mercy and kindness shewed us for our re­demption, and so also the deadness of us through sin, both as to the sentence of the law pronouncing us dead and condemned men, and the utter deadness of our selves in our powers to help and remedy our selves and one another, yea such deadness as no creature power in our selves, or in Heaven or Earth could raise us out of it, which is clearly seen in the cross of Christ, in that he dyed for us all to save and revive us. The love of Christ constraineth us because we thus judge, that if one dyed for all, then were all dead. That we were all sentenced to death appears in this, that [Page 452]he that came to succour us was fain to dye for us. And that we were so wholly lost and dead in our selves as to our helping our selves from under that sentence, is seen in this that such a one as Christ was fain to undertake it and perform the Re­demption of us even by his own Death and sufferings, which concludes against all flesh, yea against the ability of all creatures to have helpt us much more against our own sufficiency to have helped our selves, for if there had been a law that could have gi­ven life then doubtless God would have spared his Son, and righteousness should have been by that Law, if either our sins had not been infinitely displeasing unto God, but that he could have passed them by without any great satisfaction to his truth and holiness, and to his righteous law: Or if we or any other creature for us could have helpt us or given the satis­faction requisite, he would not have taken such a course for our deliverance. But in this glass i [...] seen at once, both sins hai­nousness and mans helplesness, yea Gods infinite power, love and goodness toward us, yea and further, our deadness in our selves to help or animate our selves, and so the falseness of that conception, that man hath free will by nature, to any Spi­ritual good, or that such a conceit or opi­nion springeth from the bowels of such a doctrine as makes Gods good will to be to­wards all men and Christs Death for all is hereby plainly discovered also; for if we [Page 453]by nature had or have any such sparks or principes of life and liberty, to what purpose was it that Christ dyed for us to procure into himself for us in the nature of man the power and Spirit of God, that living therein he might call and quicken us and cause the dead to hear his voyce that in hearing they might live. John 5 25. So that no doctrine so clearly bears witness against man that he is dead in sins and trespasses by nature and hath no suffi­ciency of himself, as of himself so much as to think a good thought, as that doth upon, which the odium of the contrary con­ception is usually but falsely fastened, we thus judge, not as the denyers of those truths infer that if one dyed for all, then all must needs be eternally saved, but with the Apostles, that if one dyed for all then were all de [...]d. 2 Cor. 5.14.

3. The unspeakableness and certainty both of the happiness of all those that ac­cept of this Grace of God; Submit to him, and seek their Righteousness and Salvation in and through Christ; seeing he hath done so much for all, while Sin­ners, that men through him might be Saved. And his Son is such a Mighty, Merciful and Compleat Saviour (as hath been shewed) set up on purpose that who­soever Believes in him might assuredly be saved and have everlasting Life, John 3.14, 15, 16, 17. and 6.40. Rom. 5.9, 10. and 8.32, 33, 34, &c. And also, of the Misery and Destruction of all, that after [Page 454]all this done for them, reject and rebel against him, and persist so doing till the day of Grace be out with them. In as much as they despise the riches of God's goodness and forbearance, that is, leading men to repentance, and after their impe­nitent hearts, treasure up to themselves wrath against the day of wrath, &c. Yea, are guilty of treading under foot the Son of God, counting the Blood of the Cove­nant, shed for their sanctifying, an un­holy thing, and do despite to the Spirit of Grace. And therefore, as on the one hand, if being enemies, he hath recon­ciled us to himself, by the death of his Son, Faith leads us to reason, or infer, how shall we not much more be saved by his life: so on the other hand, it leads to say, How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? And of how much forer punishment, (than Death without mercy, as the Law inflicted on the despi­sers of it) shall he be counted worthy of, who hath trampled under foot Christ, and done such indignities to God and to his Grace, as were before mentioned? Rom. 2.4, 5. and 5.9, 10. Psal. 68.19, 20, 21. Heb. 2.3, 4. and 10.26, 27, 28, 29. and 12.25. &c.

Ʋse 2 2. Again, It may move, provoke, and incourage us to many things; As,

1. With thankfulness and gladness of heart to receive the tydings of so great Grace, and acknowledge it and bless God for it, and for all procured for us and [Page 455]streamed forth to us, Acts 8.8. Psal. 100. and 117. 1 Tim. 1.15.

2. To betake our selves to him in Christ, to seek him, wait upon him, hope in him, yeild up our selves to him in the obedience of faith, and love required of us by him. Be reconciled to him. Deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, living so­berly, righteously, godly in this present evil World, living to him that dyed for us and rose again, both in our bodies and spirits, which are his, being bought with so great a price, as the Death and Blood of his Son, to glorifie and serve him with all chearfulness and faithfulness, pressing after the hope set before us in him, and taking heed that we incur not those ter­rors or terrible judgments of the Lord prepared for scorners, that that Doctrin presents us with, to warn us of sin and arm us against and deter us from sin, Isa. 55.1. to the 7th. Psal. 100. 2 Cor. 5.10, 11, 15, 19, 20, 21. and 6.1, 2. Tit. 2.11, 12, 13, 14. Heb. 12.15, 16, 17, 25, 28, 29.

3. To exercise Love and Charity to others, both as it evidenceth such love and goodness in God towards our selves, more unworthy of it from him, than any others can be of love from us, and as it evidences them loved and pitied of him (even when yet sinners and unconverted) and in a possibility of salvation. So it leads us to be followers of God, pitying the ignorant and those out of the way, and indeavouring their helpfulness, as he [Page 456]hath and doth pity & help us, and hath pro­vided help for them, and is graciously ex­tending means of it unto them also; embra­cing and owning those that embrace and own him, as we our selves, and they are em­braced by him; doing good to all, but chiefly to those of the houshold of Faith; and not to retain such a selfish and Cainish disposition, as to say, Am I my Brothers keeper? So be it I know Christ dyed for me, what need I care for knowing whether he dyed for my neighbour? as if my neighbours welfare pertained nothing to me: yea, and furnisheth us with matter of truth and goodness to propound to them in all cases, both for instructing them in know­ledge, what to believe, and how to walk; and for incouraging them in the way of faith and obedience, by minding them, what they may expect and shall meet with therein; and for comforting them in di­stress; and admonishing and warning them of, and reproving them for sin and wickedness, propounding Gospel Ter­rours to them, without turning them to the Law of Works, 1 Joh. 4.9, 10, 11, 12. Eph. 5.1, 2. 2 Cor. 5.10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21. Prov. 22.17, 18, 19, 20. And so,

Ʋse 3 3. It is also a good Directory to Preachers, what to hold forth to the People, both for matter of and motive to Faith, and ground and matter of Hope; to beget them to God, and nourish them up in God; and what to require of them for Obedience, and with what Arguments [Page 457](in part) to provoke them thereto and deter them from Sin and Disobedience. And,

Ʋse 4 4. It discovers and reproves many false and evil Opinions men have of God and Christ, and Traditions and Documents of men, too commonly preached for Truths; as if God had only sent his Son for a part of mankind personally fore-purposed to eternal life, and either made the rest to destroy them, or left them in the fall of Adam, without remedy suffi­cient to save them; Principles tending to beget evil thoughts of God in the hearts of men and to make them give him the lye, and throw away the foundation of Repentance and Faith and Hope and of Baptism and all Ordinances and Du­ties, that he hath laid for them and sets forth to them; and either to live care­lesly and desperately, as if sure already either of salvation or damnation inevi­tably, or to establish to themselves a righteousness of their own, and build upon foundations of Frames and Qualifications in themselves, which are sandy and slippe­ry and not of God's laying. As also it re­proves that evil way of too many Preach­ers, who laying aside God's coner stone and foundation, and neither daring to believe themselves, nor hold forth to others, the good will of God, testified in the Gift and Death of his Son, for all, (the true and right and clear bottom, foundation of and medium for begetting all right Repen­tance, [Page 458]Faith, Hope, Love and Obedience) do teach men to lay such frames and con­ceipts of them for their bottom founda­tion of believing the Gospel. And for the Vision of all, the Rest wherewith the God would have the wearied Soul to rest and be refreshed, and the foundation upon which all Precepts, Reproofs, Consola­tions, &c. are to be laid, and by it sup­ported; for or instead hereof, I say, they lay Precept upon Precept, Precept upon Precept. Line upon Line, Line upon Line, here a little and there a little to mens de­struction, and making them have their fear towards God spring from and be or­dered by the precepts of men; bidding them believe, repent, hope, love God, and giving them directions and grounds of their own for so doing, when they have taken away or made doubtful God's sure and certain ground for them, even the Gift and Death of his Son and the Grace in his Son for them; making the people also be­lieve and look upon that as God's gra­cious will towards them, which indeed was the false Prophets sin, and God's judg­ment upon them, as may be seen, Isa. 28.9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16. and 29.9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Many more evil Principles and Practices the Gospel-Doctrine reproves; but this in brief from the first Branch of the Distinction, leaving the rest to judicious Observation.

SECT. 4.

Brief Hints of Ʋsefulness from the other Branch about God's Purposes, Dispensa­tions, and Operations, and the diversity in them.

WHat we have noted about God's various Purposes, Distributions, and Operations, may be also of good use upon divers accounts; As,

Ʋse 1 First, To stir us up to adore the manifold Wisdom and unsearcheable Counsels of God, and with sobriety to acquiesce in what he hath revealed, as being certain and sure Revelations of them, and what was in them; as also to acquiesce and rest in the equity and righteousness of God in all he saith and doth, believed by us even in things we cannot fathom.

Ʋse 2 2. To admonish us not to judge of the Truth of the Gospel by what we see of the variety of God's Dispensations and Re­ceipts of his Operations, either with our selves or others; seeing that the truth of the Gospel neither dependeth on them, nor may be measured by them, but to be­lieve, as Abraham did, upon the Authority of God, whose it is, according to what is spoken, and as the Scripture hath said, Gal. 5.22. that so we may experience the Opera­tions of God in our selves therethrough, both towards God, our selves, and others, such as the truth believed, will work in us in all Godliness, Sobriety, Righteousness, [Page 460]Peace, Joy, &c. Rom. 4.17. Joh. 7.37.3.

Ʋse 3 3. To admire and bless God for his more abundant bounty, goodness, and ma­nifestations of his love and mercy in his Dispensations to us than to many other Nations, and to take heed to make a right use and improvement thereof: So as,

1. Not to judge our selves thereby ju­stified or accepted with God, more than they, because we have more; for that is no good ground for so judging, as appears, Rom. 3.1, 9, 10, 19.

2. Nor condemning and despising them, as if because they have less, therefore they are rejected of God, and no hope of their salvation; for neither is that true, as hath been shewed, and as appears, Matth. 8.12. Rom. 2.25, 26, 27. Acts 10.34. But,

3. Knowing that God requires more of us to whom he gives more. 2 Cor. 6.1, 2. Luke 12.48. see that we take heed that we receive not his grace in vain, but walk more humblily and holily and suitably to God and his good­ness, least they rise up in judgment against us; and while they appear many of them on the right hand of Christ admitted to fellowship with Abraham Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom of God, we our selves be cast out. Math. 8.12. and 12.40, 41, 42. but walking in the grace bestowed upon us, see that we pity and pray for them that God would give forth the clearer and revelations of his truth and of himself to them also; that having means for more in [...]ged knowledge of him, they may be [Page 461]also in more open way for obtaining his Salvation and render more full and ample praises to him generally then any of them now can or are capable of, yea and endea­vour we so to glorify God and his Name before and amongst them, and carry it forth as we have opportunity to them, that they may by us as good Stewards of the Graces of God and dispensers of his Mysteries to them be occasioned to glorify God for his mercy toward them, for so much doubtless is required of us, as of Israel of old toward us. Psal. 67. Exod. 19.5, 6. 1 Pet. 2.9, 10, 11, 12. Rom. 11.30, 31. But truly we have great cause to fear, that God hath a very great controversie upon that account with us; because instead of receiving his grace effectually, so as both by word and conversation to shine forth as lights to the residue of men, that they might be drawn to seek God with us, (as was the end of God in taking us to be for a people to him, Acts 15.16) and instead of seeking his Kingdom, to promote it and inlarge it among the Nations, and to all the ends of the Earth, and his righteousness by declaring it and holding it forth to them, we are walking in darkness, pro­phaneness, uncleanness, covetuousness, wickedness, seeking to inrich our selves and inlarge our Kingdoms, even with the spoils of them and to the stumbling and hardening of them, withholding the light of the truth of God as with us from them, and not minding to carry it amongst them, [Page 462]or so to walk amongst our selves and in our trafficking and commerce with them, as might manifest the favour of God to and amongst them or draw them unto us to seek God with us. It were much to be wished, that the Nations that are called Christian, did more heartily believe and adorn the Gospel-truths that are held forth in the Scriptures amongst them, and lea­ving off their pride, ambition, covetuous­ness and so their corruptings of the truth, and contentions with each other for the Earth, and all of us too much against Hea­ven, they would set themselves and make it their design to indeavour the calling in and conversion of others that lie yet without the Scriptures and Oracles and Ways of God therein expressed, to the more clear means of the knowledge of God and his Christ, and so to their own happiness and endless bliss. But by reason of the contra­ry, found generally with us, we have great cause to fear, that reproof and judgment sometimes for the like miscarriages pro­nounced against Jerusalem, in Ezek. 5.5, 6, 7. Thus faith the Lord God: This Jerusalem, I have set it in the midst of the Nations and Coun­tries round about her, and she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the Na­tions, and my statutes more than the Countries that are round about her; for they have refu­sed my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, because ye have multiplied more than the Nations that are round about you, and have [Page 463]not walked n [...]wy Statutes, nor kept my Judge­ments, neither have done according to the judg­ment of the Nations that are round about th [...], [...]erefore th [...] saith the Lord God behold, I eve [...] [...] am against hee, and will execute judgments [...]n the midst of thee, in the sight of the Nations, &c. That so the Nations might be taught to fear God by his judgments on us, that have neglecte [...] to teach them to fear God by his judgments or Ordinance; of truth deposited withus.

Ʋse 4 4. To warn us [...]ot to sin presumptuously against God, or neglect to receive his Grace effectually in the Dispensations of it, and operations therein and therewith afforded in, upon pretence of our need of some Irresistible operations; and waiting for them in such a way as we fancy to our selves, lest we do as Naaman, in such a like misprision, 2 Kings 5.11, 12. or as saying [...] hearts, that we can do nothing to­ward our o [...] [...]ful [...]ess or hinderance in the way of salvation; if God purpose to save us, we shall be saved, and cannot fail of it, none can hinder his ope­rations or workings to that purpose; and if not so purposed to be saved, it's in vain to strive for it. But minding what hath been said about his purposes of Salvation and Damnation, and the way of his ope­ration and working, receive the Grace brought to us, and yield up our selves to God in it, to be saved by it; not hardening our hearts against him, while it is called to day, but hearkening to his Voice, such as it is, in and with the Dispensations vouchsafed us; and so working out our Salvation with fear and trembling, as he by his Grace is working in us of his good pleasure, lest by grieving and quenching his good Spirit in the workings of it, in and with us, and sinning presumptuously against him, we provoke him to withdraw from us, leave us to our selves, and so harden and blind us, and give us up to sin and Sathan, to our utter ruin, 2 Cor. 6.1, 2. Heb. 3.7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15. Psal. 95.7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Isa [...] 1.3, 4, 5, 6. & 5.1, to 6. & 6.9, 10, 11. Jer. 6.16, 17, 18, 28, 29, 30.

5. To bless God for such as he either [...] a­ges or now more especially and signally [...]th preven­ted with his grace so as more extraordinarily and [...]ly to frame them to himself and rai [...] them up to [...] instruments of declaring to us [...]is Salvation [...]ing his grace by them as instruments brought [...] us. But not to limit God to deal with us or all his Saints just as he dealt with them, but in what he vouch­safes us, wait we upon him, seek after him and serve him.

Ʋse 6 These and such like uses the foresaid Considerati­ons might be of to us; As also.

6. Lastly to provoke others to examine and try these things whether they be so or not, by the Scrip­tures of truth, and not by mens traditions and Phy­losophy rules. And to give occasion to them to help my shortness, or correct my mistakes in these things where any such appeareth and i [...] evident to any. But let none out of pride, arrogarcy or strife, because these things clash with their thoughts therefore rash­ly lift up themselves against them but in Sobriety consider them, and in meekness i [...] [...]e, if in any thing I be out of the way, as knowing that the wrath, pride, passion, arrogance and larshness of man, against what he apprehends wrong, doth not accomplish the righteousness of God.

And so I shall conclude, leaving these my Conside­rations and Endeavours to find out and propound the Truth, as also my self to the merciful judgment, prote­ction, blessing, and disposal of the All-wise and Glori­ous God, the Creator of all things, and the Father o [...] ­mercies to us lost Creatures. And of Jesus Christ our only Lord and Saviour, the Son of the Father in Grac [...] and Truth. To whom with, by and in his holy Spirit be everlasting honour and glory and thanksgiving throughout all ages and in all places of his Domi­nions for ever and ever. Amen. Amen.


Laus Deo.

The former Copy was finished, March 10. 1658. This, November 18. 1663.

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