The GLORY of Free-Grace DISPLAY'D: Or, The Transcendent Excellency of the Love of God in Christ, unto Believing, Re­penting Sinners, in some measure describ'd. WHEREIN,

  • 1. The Doctrine about Election, and the Cove­nant of Reconciliation is Explained.
  • 2. The Error of the Antinomians, who assert, That the Filth of Sin was laid on Christ, and that the Holiness as well as the Righ­teousness of Christ is made the Elects while in the Womb, &c. With their Abuse of FREE-GRACE particularly detected and confuted.
  • 3. In what sense our Sins were laid on Christ, and Christ's Righteousness made the Believers, ac­cording to the Sacred Scriptures, evinced.
  • 4. The Glory of Irresistible-Grace, as exerted in the Conversion of a Sinner in opposition to the Arminian, cleared.
  • 5. A modest Defence of the sober Dominican, about Physical Predetermination.

London, Printed by T.S. for B. Alsop, at the Angel and Bible against the Stocks-market. 1680.

An Epistle to the well-meaning but weak READER, who is most liable to the being tainted with the Errors which are op­posed in the following Discourse.

THE design of the ensuing Discourse, is to enlighten Thee concerning the true Notion of Free-Grace, which contains in it discoveries of Divine Love to the greatest of Sinners; and, which is then illustrated in its fullest glory, when ex­tended towards such, as are affected with the dreadfulness of their lost estate, as out of Christ: For, whatever some may suggest, none but Con­vinced Sinners, are capable of entertaining right conceptions of Gospel-Grace. An Unconvinced Sinner, cannot in any saving measure understand, much less comprehend the glory of this mystery; for whoever would be savingly acquainted with it, must know, and believe, that so many, and so great are his transgressions, that, unless he be made the object thereof, he is eternally undone. Whence 'tis impossible, that any should discover unto Thee the true Notion of this Grace, and not at the same time shew, who are the proper objects of it: Nor can any shew who are the proper ob­jects of it, unless they acquaint Thee with the state of those persons, that shall be made the actual par­takers thereof, which cannot be without an insist­ing[Page]on the greatness of both the sin and misery of all such: for Grace is to the miserable, to those, who in the sense of sin, labour, and are heavy la­den; and therefore the first work of a Gospel Minister, is to preach up Repentance towards God, and then Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yea, we must first, (if we will be faithful) ac­quaint you with your sin, and your danger, assu­ring you, that although you were from eternity elect­ed, your sins were not actually in God's sight par­doned from eternity, nor from the day of Christ's death, nor from the time you were first conceived in the womb; for every Elect Soul, while under the reigning power of Unbelief, and other Lusts, is unpardoned, and in a state of condemnation; whence notwithstanding your election, if you would receive an actual pardon, you must go to God through Christ for it; yea, you must receive Christ in your hearts by Faith; and that you may, we must beseech you, as in Christ's stead, that you come unto Christ; but come unto Christ with­out Faith and Repentance, you cannot; for our coming unto Christ, is our believing in the Lord Christ, which believing includes Gospel Repentance, which cannot be without conviction of Sin.

The Doctrine of Free-Grace thus rightly sta­ted, is a Point of the highest Concern to all the Children of Fallen Man, leading us unto a due closing with such other Truths, as are also of very [Page]great importance, viz. The necessity of conviction of sin, in order to a right believing; and of that Faith, which includes in it the entire Principle of Gospel Repentance, as antecedent unto our actual justification in God's sight. All which Gospel Truths, how necessary soever to salvation, are sadly neglected by such, as understand not the Scripture Notion of Free-Grace; which being so, I have thought my self the more oblig'd to do my utmost for thy relief, who art in danger of being drawn aside, not only to the contemning the but now mentioned Truths, but moreover to an enter­taining many a Dangerous Error, concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, as if he bore not only the Guilt and Punishment, but also the Filth of our Sin; and as if what the Lord Jesus hath done for the Church, would exempt the Elect from the necessity there is of their Repenting, Believing and Rendring a sincere Obedience to the end of their Lives.

These, and many other Errors, that are but too firmly linkt unto 'em, are of different mischievous influences; some tending to the discountenancing Holiness, as others do to the advancing Prophane­ness, and a gratifying the Papists; all which, be­sides what I have already done, I will, for thy greater Caution, particularly evince.

1. The Errors I oppose greatly discountenance Holiness; for Justification, and a right to Glory, depending meerly upon an eternal, but secret De­cree,[Page]according unto them, the Elect are justified actually in God's sight, at least, as soon as they re­ceive their Beings in the womb; whence the con­viction of Sin, or that Faith, which includes in it the Principle of Gospel Repentance, is no way a necessary antecedent unto this Justification; and consequently, if the Elect be unconcern'd about the knowledge of their Election, they are safe enough, although they mind not Religion in its pu­rity.

2. The Profane are as much encouraged, who, confidently persuading themselves that their sins are pardoned, or, who concluding that their Sentence in the Court of Heaven is already past, their Piety cannot better their state, nor their wicked­ness any way conduce to the making it the worse, and theref [...]re contemn God and true Religion. I knew as great a Debauchee, as these times afford, who, reading Mr. Saltmarshe's Book, had arrived to a strange assurance that his sins were pardoned; and that although he lived under the prevalency of his lusts, and was confessedly a vile wretch, yet, he being so fully persuaded both of his Election, and Justification, knew, as he said, that he should be eternally happy, although he should dye in that state. But,

3. These Errors gratifie the Papists as much, and that on a twofold account.

1. In that some, (to wit, two or three) Pro­testants assert, That the Filth of Sin was laid on [Page]Christ, the Papists judge themselves sufficiently en­abled to reproach all Protestants, as a People, whose Heretical Opinions, are most odious, casting the Lord of Life under the vilest of Calumnies. Thus Bellarmine, de Justif. l. 2. c. 7. lit. H. &c. would prove, That we make Christ a real Sinner.—Ergo poterit Christus dici verè peccator, &, quod horret animus cogitare, Filius Diaboli.—Illy­ricus in confes. Antuerpien. c. 6. & in Apol. ejusd. admits (saith Bellarmine,) that Christ may be said to be most truly a Sinner, by the imputation of the Father, and his own voluntary reception of their sins on himself, to which he adds, But this their Blasphemous and Sacrilegious Impudence contradicts the whole Scripture. Whether this Illyricus were of the Antinomian Opinion, or not, I'll not now enquire; for nothing more sure, than that he embraced Errors of a dangerous tenden­cy. But by this we may see, How the Papists are gratified by such Doctrines as these.

2. The Antinomians, not clearly distinguishing between the Guilt and Filth of Sin, (as I have shewn both in the Body of the Treatise, and in the Appendix) give great advantages unto some Popish Errors.

For these Reasons I have been the more careful in my endeavors, that thou, by coming to the knowledge of the Truth, may'st be freed from the mischiefs thou art liable unto, by a too fixed adhe­ring unto Error. Yea, the saving thy soul from[Page]Errer, and the ruinous consequences thereof, is my aim in this Essay; It being Grievous to consider, that any Well-meaning Professors, in this day, and land of light, should be tempted to abandon so necessary an Article of the Protestant Doctrine, and instead thereof, embrace an Opinion that so much discountenanceth Holiness, that so much en­ [...] Profaness, yea, and so much gratifies the [...]sts, who are the great Enemies to our blessed J [...]; and who are, at this time, attempting our [...]ine, by their bringing us into a strange confusi­ [...], reviving old Errors, setting Protestant against [...]rotestant, and by their scurrilous Pamphlets pre­paring the People to believe, that the greatest Ene­mies to Popery, viz. the Nonconformists, are vile enough to perpetrate such Villanies as are abhorred by none as much as by them.

Reader, That thou may'st not, contrary to the honest inclinations of thy Soul, be drawn unto these destructive Errors, I have written the ensuing Treatise, desiring, that thou wouldest seriously peruse it; and that thou may'st do so, to thine own profit, shall be my Prayer unto the Lord, who is able, and I trust, who will bring thee to the knowledge of the Truth, as it is in Jesus.


[Page 1]The Glory of FREE-GRACE Displayed: OR The Transcendent Excellency of the Love of God in Christ unto Believing, Re­penting Sinners, in some measure de­scribed.


The Introduction. The Method proposed. What the Grace of God is, in short explicated.

THis is a Subject that abounds with its de­lights, affording matter of the greatest comforts, unto such, as are of truly broken, and contrite spirits. A Soul, who has been savingly convinced of sin, and consequently, of its lost[Page 2]condition, while in a State of Nature, cannot but be greatly refreshed at the believing medi­tation of the Fulness and Freeness of the Grace of God in Christ. What is it, that can raise the distressed conscience of him, who doth firmly believe, that he sinned in Adam, and by that, and many another hainous actual iniquity, hath incurr'd Divine displeasure, what, I say, can so much relieve the distressed conscience of such an one, as the knowledge of, and Faith in the free­ness of Grace in Christ unto all such?

'Tis glorious Grace, that alone can prove tru­ly advantagious, and reviving to the humble sin­ner. About which, some lying under great Ig­norance, as others do under dangerous mistakes, I will attempt to speak somwhat, (as the Lord shall help me,) for the inlightening the minds of men concerning it; that so, such, to whom comforts belong, may rejoyce, and glory in God their Sa­viour, even, when unhumbled, bold and pre­sumptuous sinners, may see the greatest reasons, why, they ought to mourn, and be in bitter­ness, for that, while so, they are not actually partakers of this Grace.

But, before I engage in a discourse of this na­ture, 'twill be absolutely necessary, that I cau­tion the the Reader, against any expectations of a full display of this grace, it being far beyond the heart of man to conceive, or the tongue of Angels to express, the full glory thereof. The[Page 3]contrivance is so profound, that though the Angels of God may prie into it, they cannot Fathom its depths, how much less then can Man, to whom it may be said, Canst thou by searching find out this Grace, canst thou find out what is infinite unto perfection? It is as high as Heaven, what canst thou do? the measure there­of is longer than the Earth, and broader than the Sea, what canst thou know? thou mayest cry out; Oh what is the length, and breadth and depth and height of the love of God, which pas­seth knowledg! O how unsearchable are the riches of this Grace! but to comprehend, or compre­hensively to describe it is impossible. For who ever would obtain adequate conceptions of it, must ravel into the eternal counsels of God, and search into that wise invention, which was the product of an eternal consultation, between the Father and the Son, or otherwise he can but stand ga­zing, admiring and wondering at such discove­ries, it hath pleased the Lord in infinite mercy to vouchsafe us. Expect not then a full display of this glory, but in this treatise be satisfied with such hints, as the least of the Lords Servants can give thee, looking into the writings of the more learned, and judicious on this Subject, but especially into the Scriptures, where an inlighte­ned understanding may see more, than he is ca­pable of revealing.

[Page 4]Reader, having given thee this caution, I'le not detain thee any longer, from what I princi­pally design, but will immediately attempt the giving thee in short, the plainest, clearest and most full account I can of this grace, in this fol­lowing method. I'le shew,

1. What the Grace of God is.

2. How or in what respect 'tis magnified and exalted, and in doing so, discover how and in what regards, the Grace of God is turned into wantonness by many, to the great reproach of God and his glory with the due improvement we ought to make of every Instance of Free-Grace.

1. What is the Grace of God?

I answer, The Grace of God may be conside­red after a twofold manner.

1. As 'tis in God, and so tis God himself in­clining to favour, and do good unto the crea­ture, FREELY, without a respect to any merit or desert in him. Or,

2. It may be taken for the good thing it sel [...] freely given unto the creature, which is but th [...] effect of the former, to wit, of that grace tha [...] is in God. Here it must be duly minded,

1. That the Grace, which is now to be displayed, is the Grace which is in God: The Divine Will it self inclining to favour man mo [...] freely, which grace, as 'tis in God, is a prope [...] sion,[Page 5]inclination or disposition of his Will to do good, or God himself thus disposed, and inclined to shew mercy, or 'tis God himself willing, purposing or determining to make known the greatness of his goodness.

2. The Object of this Grace is man. (For I design not to mention the Grace shewn the An­gels, but to Man,) as he is uncapable of meri­ting the least instance of Divine Love, yea Man, as he hath by his sin incurr'd the just displeasure of Almighty God. Grace then is God himself in­clining, or rather purposing and determining to shew favour freely; freely, (i e) because he will, God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, yea, and because he will have mercy. For an act of grace is most Sovereign and free, and God, who is the absolute Lord of all things, doth dispose of all things freely, that is, as he will. But,

3. This Grace, that is in God, is discovered unto us in its effects, even in that the gracious de­signs, purposes and determinations of God, are ac­complished, and the good intended, is actually given out unto the undeserving creature, whence the greate things graciously done, the good things mercifully vouchsafed unto the children of men, at sundry times, in divers ways and manners, do most excellently represent unto us that Grace, [Page 6]that is in God. Which being so, who ever will, in any measure, display the Grace of God, must not only acquaint you, with the eternal designs of grace, but, also with the effects of such designs, the great things done and actually given out unto those, for whom they are prepared*.


In what respects the Grace of God is displayed. Grace to Man in innocency only hinted. Elect­ing Grace the first instance, this Grace explain­ed, confirmed and IMPROVED.

IN shewing how, it hath pleased the Lord to make a Glorious display of his Grace, I shall not speak all, that may be said, nor insist on every particular, which those would, that design large treatises, but resolving to be short, I will confine my self to such things as do in a more especial manner, set forth, and illustrate the Glory of this Grace.

I might insist on that great instance of Grace, which, according to the eternal counsel of God, was given us all in Adam, in that we were cre­ated after Gods own Image, in Knowledge, Righ­teousness and true Holiness, at which time Righ­teousness was not only concreated with us, but created as that which was connatural unto us, whereby, Man was capable without the help of[Page 8]any superadded grace, supernatural to that state of integrity and perfection, to render the requi­red obedience, that was necessary to the obtain­ing a further happiness, when man was also made the Lord and Sovereign of this lower crea­tion, having received a right to all the Glory of this world, in that there was but the propriety unto and use of one only tree denyed him. This is an ad­mirable instance of Free-Grace, in that man was in his first-make, so noble a creature, much a­bove the brutes and all other inferior animals, and but little lower than the Holy Angels them­selves. But I must pass this by and begin with Gods Electing-Grace. (viz.) That the Great God our Absolute Sovereign, who might have exal­ted the Glory of his Dominion in destroying us, assoon as he had made us, or, who as a most Just and Righteous Judge, might have satified him­self in determining to inflict everlasting wrath, on all the Children of Men for their sin in Adam. That this Lord, should from all Eternity purpose, and unalterably determine to glorifie the riches of his Grace, Mercy and Bounty in the actual re­demption, compleat Justification, Sanctification, and Glory of some, is of GraceMy design being to explicate the Glory of Free-Grace. I have ad­ded to the descri­ption of God's Electing Love somewhat concern­ing his Overflowing Goodness even unto all.. But that he should also re­solve to exalt his patience, forbearance, and long-suffering [Page 9]in all, is moreover marvelously astonishing.

About which consider,

1. God from all eternity determined to send the Lord Jesus Christ into the World, purposing within himself, that whosoever did believe should not perish but have everlasting life. This is pro­ved easily in that nothing is done in time, but what was from eternity determined to be done, Christ Jesus then, in time coming into the world, in a way agreable to the Will of the Father, being the Gift of the Father, John 3.16. Deli­vered by the determinate counsel, and fore-know­ledge of God, Acts 2.28. yea, and this Lord Je­sus sending the Ministers into the World to preach to every creature, that whosoever belie­veth should be saved, Mark 16.15,16. 'Tis most certain that God from everlasting did deter­mine to send the Lord Jesus Christ into the World, that whoever believed might not perish but obtain eternal life. Yea,

2. God did determine, and fore-ordain, that much patience and long-suffering should be exercised towards all, yea, even towards such, who, by going on obstinately in their sins, discover themselves to be the vessels of wrath, and a People prepared for destruction, for this, we see confirmed in the exe­cution of the decree, Rom. 9.23. Oh the won­derful instances of Free-Grace vouchsafed the[Page 10]worst of men, and how do the thoughts of abused grace add to the horrour of the damned! that they rejected so many a gracious invitation, and that their destruction is only of themselves.

3. As God from everlasting determined the sal­vation of all the Children of faln man, on their sincere faith and sound repentance, yea, and to bear long with the worst of sinners, even so, such was the superabundance of his infinitely free love, as to purpose the actual giving unto some sincere faith and sound repentance, that so, they might be saved.

God would not, that All should perish, and therefore although the wickedness of all was great, yet, the Lord determined to extend his infinite grace to some, that they might, by recei­ving faith from God, and all those other graces, which are the merits and purchase of Christs blood, &c. and the work of Christ's Spirit, be eternally saved.

The eternal purpose of giving this superabun­dant grace is called Election; about which observe these following particulars.

1. God hath Elected some to life everlasting. This is acknowledged by the Remonstrants, who have corrupted this doctrine in part, and shall be proved in the confirmation of the following par­ticulars

[Page 11]2. The Election, or foreknowledge of God is of a certain select number of particular persons, known unto the Lord from all eternity: whom he foreknew, those he predestinated, Rom. 8.29. The Lord knoweth, who are his, 2 Tim. 2.19. and calleth them by name, John 10.3. Jacob have I loved: Rom. 9.13. Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee, and ordained thee a prophet to the nations, Jer. 1.5. Jeremiah in particular was from eternity known unto the Lord, viz. The great God from everlasting fore­knew, and predestinated this, (and consequently every other) particular elect person to their work here, and glory hereafter.

3. Election being an act of the Divine will, an immanent, and an eternal act 'tis most free, we cannot suppose any thing to precede what is eternal, God's election therefore is according to the good pleasure of his will, Ephes. 1.5. The elect being predestinated, or fore-ordained, according to the purpose of him, who worketh all things, after the counsel of his will, Ephes. 1.11. For, the mystery of Gods will, which is made known unto us, is according to his, good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself ver. 9. 'Twas not the fore­sight of Faith, and good works, that moved God to elect any, the principal cause of election being the will of God, the eternal purpose of God.

[Page 12]4. The select Number of particular persons, who were from eternity most freely fore-ordained to be saved, are ordained to Salvation, in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. According as he hath chosen us in Christ, before the Foundation of the world, having predestinated us unto the Adoption of Children by Jesus Christ, Eph. 1.4,5. Yea, God hath appointed us to Obtain Salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thes. 5.9.

5. The unalterable determination, and pur­pose of God, is, that such as are ordained to be saved through Christ, be regenerated and renewed in their minds by the powerful working of the holy Spirit. According as he hath chosen us in him, that we should be Holy and without blame be­fore him in love. Ephes. 1.4. For, whom he did foreknow he did predestinate to be conformed to the Image of his Son, Rom. 8.29. whence tis said, that we are created in Jesus Christ unto good works, in which, God hath fore-ordained, that we should walk, Ephes. 2.10. For God hath chosen you unto Salvation through the Sanctification of the Spirit, 2 Thessal. 2.13. 1 Pet. 1.2.

The Improvement followeth.

1. That the Lord left not the whole lump[Page 13]of mankind to perish in eternal misery but resolved the Salvation of some, is fully of grace.

2. That the Most High condescendeth so in­finitely, as to regard the Low estate of faln man, affording suitable helps for the effectual engage­ing some to lay hold on eternal life is of grace; The Lord gives Grace and Glory, and every good thing to a Select Number, which is the ture reason why any are saved. But that which is surprizing is this.

3. That the Worst of men, who appear to be vessels of wrath, have been endured with much long-suffering: Surely 'tis not the Decree, that hath any such causality in it, as doth effect mans sin,Detestanda & a­bominanda opinio est, quae Deum cu­jusquam malae vo­luntatis, aut malae actionis credit Au­thorem; cujus prae­destinatio nunquam extra bonitatem, nunquam extra ju­stitiam. Adulteria—non instruere novit sancta Divinitas; sed damnare: nec disponere; sed punire. Aug. resp. ad art. sibi impos. art. l. 10. Posset enim peccatum aliquod ex praede­stinatione Dei esse: Si posset aliquis hominum justè peccare: Nullus autem hominum justè peccat, quamvis eum Deus justè peccare permittat. Fulgent. ad Mon. de praed. lib. 1. Decreta nil ponunt in esse; Man's sin is from himself, and his destruction is but the product of his own ob­stinacy, and rebellion. Oh the many exhortations, sin­cere calls, pressing and Pa­thetical[Page 14]invitations, that are given all to return unto God, that they may live; and how doth the Lord wait to be gracious, exercising the greatest patience in bearing the affronts of vile sinners so long!

4. It must be duly re­membred,Ego hoc dico quod dixi quia quic­quid Deusagit, mi­serecorditer, juste, sanctèque facit.—non potest tantum justus dici Deus aut solùm misericors: sed Justus et misericors. Sic le­gimus, sic credimus. August. Resp. ad ca­lumn. Pelagianor. That the Lord in exalting Free-Grace, regards the glory of his other most excel­lent attributes, viz. his Holiness and Righteousness, and in both, his Infinite Wisdom. I'le only hint, in this place, somewhat con­cerning the glorification of Free-Grace, in a way consistent with his Holiness. Although the Lord hath wonderfully discovered himself to be the Lord God, Gracious, and Mer­ciful, Long-suffering, slow to anger and abundant in goodness, yet, still the Lord is holy, yea, he is the Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts, shewing himself to be so, by his love to holi­ness in the creature; and by his abhorrence unto sin, that is most contrary thereunto; and accor­dingly as the determination is to save some, it is further (as hath been prov'd,) through the sancti­fication of the Spirit: Oh then, let none presume to say, If they are elected, they shall be saved, [Page 15]though they remain wallowing in their sin! No, No, Reader, this is not so, for without holiness no seeing the face of God, 1 Heb. 12.14. Out of Christ no Salvation, and to remain Unsancti­fied, Unholy, and in sin, is to be out of Christ: give therefore all dilligence to make thy election sure, by being savingly Called, to the Leading a new (which is an holy) life. But of this more Hereafter.


A second Instance of grace, Adding light unto the former, shewing how the gracious decree is ac­complished notwithstanding the difficulty. The Covenant between God the Father and the Son which is the Covenant of reconciliation, or the Mediatorial Covenant discovered in some of its particulars. The use shewing how grace is hereby glorified.

THat God might effectually accomplish the Salvation of any, in a way consistent with the glory of his Holiness, Righteousness, Truth and Faithfulness, and accordingly see the Execution of the decree of Grace, 'twas absolutely necessa­ry, that Infinite Wisdom be in exercise; for, the work was stupendious, too great for finite capaci­ties[Page 16]to engage in, a work no way beneath God himself. A Holy Good and just Law, unto which was annexed a severe threatning, is transgressed, mankind is become unholy and unclean, altoge­ther filthy and polluted, liable to to the greatest miseries: the Lord still Just and Righteous, True, and faithful, a God of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, or delight in sin, or in the un­reconciled sinner; Sin must be punished, justice must be satisfied, Holiness and Truth Glorified, but, Man in the circumstances he then was, un­able to do either; He cannot appease Gods Wrath, nor satisfy Justice, nor purifie, or cleanse his own heart to perfection, how then can he become the object of everlasting love: or how is it possible that the Gracious decree be executed? I answer,

Whoever considers these things seriously, can­not but cry out, and say, if this work be accom­plished, it must be the Lords own doing; and marvelous in our eyes. The contrivance must be the effort of infinite wisdome; and the Glory of that Grace, for which such a work must be car­ried on, is Unspeakable: and verily the Lord hath shewn himself to be God, even in that he hath found out a way for the doing this. Wisdom dwelt with Prudence, and found out the know­ledge of this witty invention. Prov. 8.12,30. 3. God the Father, consulted with God the Son, and it rejoyced their soul, that Grace might be[Page 17]magnified, that Justice and Mercy might greet each other. That the Love of God might be made known unto man, without the impeach­ment of the honour of his other Attributes.

But what was the contrivance? 'twas this; God the Father entred into a Covenant with God the Son, in which Covenant there is observable,

  • 1. What the Father required from the Son.
  • 2. What the Father Promised the Son.

1. What the Father required the Son to do, which more generally, was the exalting Free-Grace in the actual Salvation of some, even in a way agreable with the other glorious perfections of God.

But more particularly several things in or­der to the obtaining this end must be done.

1. A body must be prepared for the Son, he must assume humane nature: it being necessary, that he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, should be of one, of one common Parent, Adam; and therefore God the Son took on him the flesh and blood, viz. The nature of the Brethren, the humane (but not corrupt) nature, Heb. 2.11,14,16. And therefore a body was prepared for the Son, Heb. 10.5. &c.

[Page 18]2. In this nature, God the Son must come into the World, Prov. 8.30,31. And suffer f [...] mans sin, Isa. 53.5. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, Gal. 3.13. John 10.18.

3. He must render a sinless, a full, compleat and perfect obedience to Gods Law, being made under the Law, Gal. 4.4. It became him to ful­fil all Righteousness, Math. 3.15. He came not to destroy the Law but to fulfil it, Math. 5.17. In doing which, the end of the Law was answer­ed, the honour of Gods Justice, and governing wisdom conserved, and the door of grace opened to believing, repenting, returning sinners, who were givens to the Lord Jesus.

4. The Lord Christ was obliged to keep and preserve these given him, This is the Fathers Will, that of all that he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but shall raise it up at the last day, John 6.39.

2. God the Father moreover doth make rich promises unto the Son, on the Sons performing the required conditions; The Son shall be great­ly rewarded, he shall be exalted, and made very high, Isa. 52.13. Yea, God highly exalted him, giving him a name above every name, Philip. 2.9. &c. Again God gives him a select number, [Page 19]who shall in process of time be actually with him in the eternal glory: He shall see his seed, and the travel of his soul, and be satisfied, Isa. 53.10.11. yea, a select number among the Hea­then, Psal. 2.8. Nations shall run unto him, Isa. 5.5. Who are called Children, given unto Christ, Heb. 2.13. So John 10.29. The Lord Jesus Christ speaking of his sheep, that is, of those that were ordained to eternal life, doth say my Father which gave them me. Thus you see, the terms of the Covenant, all ordered for the exaltation of infinitely free Grace.


'Tis wonderful that the thoughts of God should from all eternity be concerned for faln man's salvation.

3. That the Lord Christ, God-man, must en­gage in this great work, that he, who was eter­nally in the bosom of the Father, should empty himself of the Glory of God and take upon him the form of a servant, is mightily surprizing. That God should humble himself so infinitely, as to undergo the wrath of the Father! Oh what manner of love, what manner of Grace is this! Read believingly, and considerately the account given in the Scriptures of our Lord Jesus his fulfilling his part of the Covenant in the particulars there­of,[Page 20]and you cannot but see free-grace, highly exalted.

1. God assumes humane nature.

What a wonder is this, and how many mira­cles, were wrought for the effecting it, consider­ing humane nature was by sin Corrupted, and yet, it must be assumed, and united unto the di­vine, without Corruption!

2. God in this nature suffers; not, that the divine nature, as such, is capable of the least sufferings; and therefore, 'tis the humane nature, that is the immediate subject of sufferings; but passions, as well as actions being of persons, we may safely say, That he, who is God, suffered: for, our iniquities were laid on Christ, Isay, 53. Christ was made sin, as 'tis 2 Cor. 5.21. yea, and a curse, that such as do believe might be de­livered from an eternal curse. Gal. 3.13.

But, how was Christ made sin, or in what sense, were the iniquities of any laid on him? was the filth of sin laid on Christ?


The difficulty proposed in the last Chapter spoken unto. Sin with reference unto its FILTH, GUILT and PUNISHMENT distinct­ly considered, and Explained. The punish­ment and Guilt of Sin laid on Christ asserted. Concerning the Filth of Sin. The sense of some Antonomians, reduced to three particulars, pro­posed. Their first Error in saying the Filth of Sin was laid on Christ, detected, and con­futed. That the Filth of Sin be laid on Christ impossible. The consequences of this Error dreadful and unscriptural. The Purity and Ho­liness of Christ asserted and vindicated. The Antinomians abuse of the Grace of God hinted.

IN giving a truely Scriptural, a full, and sa­tisfying answer unto this difficulty, we shall have a fair occasion of shewing, How, and after what manner, Free-Grace is, in its Excellencies, displayed. But, that we may entertain right con­ceptions concerning this thing, we must care­fully distinguish between the Filth, the Guilt and Punishment of sin.

1. There is the Sin it self formally considered[Page 22]which is a transgression of a holy, good, and just Law; and accordingly, regarding sin as it is either contrary to, or different from this Law, tis some­what impure, unclean, and polluting. In Sin there is a dissonancy, or disconformity to the pre­ceptive part of the Law, an irregularity, or a want of conformity unto it, an obliquity, which is, filth, pollution, a blot or stain, the fault it self. In whomsoever there is this fault, or this irregu­larity, or obliquity, there is a deformity, there is filth and defilement, and that person is truly faulty for he hath transgressed the Law; there is so much in him, either contrary unto, or dissonant from the Law, which is sin, whence he may be said to be formally, or in a proper, and strict sense a sinner *

[Page 23]2. There is Guilt, which doth immediately attend this sin where ever it is, so that whoever sinneth, contracts Guilt, which Guilt is a liable­ness to punishment, an Obnoxiousness thereunto for some fault. Guilt, as tis distinguished from the fault it self, is the immediate effect of the Fault, or of the sin, and is not properly or in a strict sense sin; but only Metonymically, and Improperly so. In which sense, as I shall hereaf­ter shew, 'tis frequently in Scripture called sin. It being sins respect unto the threatning part of the Law. For as the inclinations, thoughts, words, and actions, as dissonant from, or discon­form unto the Precept of the Law, are formally sins; even so, as sin regards the threatning part of the same Law, 'tis guilt; Guilt then is sin's extrinsecal respect unto the threatning, the sancti­on of the Law. To be liable to the threatning[Page 24]is to be Guilty. To be judged liable unto it, is to be judged Guilty, or to be judged a sinner: I think not my self obliged to insist on the distinction, inter Reatum culpae & poenae. For where-ever there is the dignitas poenae, there is the obligatio ad poenam; (Whatever Maeratius and others say to the contrary) and there can be no obligatio ad poenam, where there is not Dignitas poenae propter culpam.

3. The punishment is the evil threatned for sin; 'tis an evil or somewhat painful, and grievous, inflicted for sin. 'Tis malum passionis propter ma­lum actionis, or malum naturale propter malum morale, which is also an effect of sin, and fre­quently beareth the name of sin, it's cause. And so the word that signifies Sin is used in the sacred writing to denote punishment, as in Gen. 4.13Note Gen. 47. Where Cain said, my punish­ment is greater than I can bear, that is, in the Hebrew, [...] mine Iniquity or my sin, the like also in Gen. 19.15. Lest thou be consumed in the Iniquity of the City (is) saith Ainsworth in loc. ‘"The Pun­ishment for Iniquity, Hereupon is that usual Phrase of bearing Iniquity, for suffering Punish­ment," Lev. 28.17,19,20. Numb. 14.34.’ To Punish is to inflict evil on the Guilty, as such; for evils inflicted on the Innocent as Innocent, are not punishments. Whence observe, that when 'tis[Page 25]said, our Iniquities were laid on the Lord Christ, we may safely understand it of the punishment and guilt of sin.

1. That the punishment of our sin was laid on Christ, is most evident, in that the Lord Christ, was made a Sacrifice for sin. All his fufferings being Penal, he being wounded, and bruised for our sins, our griefs laid on him, and he made a curse for us.

2. That the Guilt of Sin, was also laid on Christ, is a truth most agreable unto the Scrip­tures.

In order to the confirming which I shall at­tempt to shew (1) That this is Possible; the Guilt may be laid on Christ without the laying any stain on his most pure nature (2) that this was really so.

1. That this may be, viz. That the Guilt of sin may be laid on Christ, and the Lord Christ remain pure and free from the least blemish, appears from this, that the Guilt of sin doth not contain in it, the formal nature of sin that is so Polluting, it be­ing somewhat extrinsecal thereunto, and conse­quently separable from sin, yea, and from the ac­tual sinner: I know that Bellarmine, who, denies the Guilt of sin to have been laid on Christ, doth assert, Guilt to be inseparable from the sin it self, [Page 26]for, saith he, speaking of the Reatus culpae. ‘"Reatus, ut rectè docet Philippus, est Relatio, cujus proximum fundamentum est actus malus, sive iniquitas. Non potest autem Relatio à fundamento proximo separari, quia ex ipso fun­damento naturaliter & necessario sequitur." Bell. de amiss. Grat. & Stat. peccat. l. 5. c. 7.’ But what more evident, than that, although, sin ever contracts Guilt, and Guilt ever attends sin; Which is the whole Bellarmine proves in saying that Relatio ex ipso fundamento, &c. yet Guilt is not an Inseparable Consequent of sin, even according to the sense of the Schoolmen, yea, and of Bel­larmine himself. Do not the Schoolmen generally distinguish between the Guilt and Filth of sin? Malderus in 12 ae. Thomae, q. 85. art. 1.2. men­tions eight different sentiments that the Learned entertain concerning the Macula, the Filth of sin, and 'tis the opinion of but a few, that the Macula and the Reatus is the same; These Schoolmen commonly discoursing of the Fault it self, the Macula, and the Reatus culpae, and Reatus poenae as distinct; so Maeratius the Jesuite disp. in sum. tract. de pec. disp. 13. sect. 5. and Bellarmine: They mostly agreeing in this, That the Reatus culpae, or the Dignitas poenae is not the same with the filth of sin, neither doth this Guilt contain within it the formal nature of sin. For saith Maeratius, ubi supra. ‘"Quare cum ex omni peccato sequatur poenae Dignitas, & dig­nitatem [Page 27]obligatio; si Dignitas haec, & obligatio, sit formaliter peccatum, ex iis altera dignitas, & obligatio sequetur, quae vel erit peccatum, vel non; si secundum, habemus intentum; si pri­mum, dabitur processus in infinitum;"’ yea, and they farther conclude, That the guilt is separable from the fault it self. Dignitas & obligatio luendae poe­nae possunt in eo esse, qui caret peccato; yea, and Bellarmine ubi supra c. 19. asserts that ‘"Reatus culpae non est propriè peccatum, sed effectus necessario consequens, & aliquid manens post ac­tum peccati, non enim homo est dignus odio prae­cisè, quia peccavit, alioqui nunquam talis digni­tas auferri posset, & peccatum esset Irremissi­bile; sicut fieri non potest, ut qui peccavit, non peccaverit; praeterea talis dignitas &c.—non est aliquid recedens à lege—non deformat, vel occidit spiritualiter animam, non est privatio boni, neque habet aliquid aliud eorum, quae propriè peccato conveniunt."’ So plain 'tis, that Guilt, the Guilt of the Fault, is not properly, or formally sin, 'tis somewhat distinct from the Fault, for it doth not pollute, or deform the soul; yea, Guilt is separable from the fault it self, otherwise, the Guilt of Adam's actual sin, could not be made ours, for if his actual sin, and the guilt thereof, had been inseparable, there could have been no passing of the guilt of his sin to us, unless his actual sin had been removed also from him unto us. Again the pardon of sin, which consists in [Page 28]the removing the guilt of sin, would also become an Impossibility to the unspeakable horrour of all the Children of fallen Adam. But that the Guilt is separable from the filth of sin, is easily illustrated, by the Metaphor of a Debtor, Credi­tor, and Surety, according to the Rules of Law. A Debtor is liable to pay one thousand pounds unto his Creditor. This liableness is Guilt. Inde Reus constitutus dicitur, qui se obligavit. Which Guilt may be the product of his own extrava­gancy or Fault: But this debtor becoming Insol­vent, another who voluntarily undertaking the payment, thereby becomes liable to pay the debt, i.e. He becomes Guilty: [For, Interdum Reus Expromissorem significat, i.e. eum, qui alienam in se obligationem, vel novatione, vel delegatione suscepit. Schard. in verb.] but Guilty of ano­thers Fault, [Venia namque digni sunt, qui alie­nâ tenentur Culpâ, cujusmodi sunt Fide-jussores pro alieno debito obligati. Schard. in verb. Fidejuss.] So plain it is, That the Fault, and Guilt are so separable, that the Fault may remain on the one, when the Guilt passeth to the other.

2. But secondly, That the Guilt of our sins passed from us unto Christ, is now to be conside­red. But before I proceed to do so, it must be duly remembred, That, what hath been already said, doth with the greatest clearness shew, That the laying the Guilt of sin on Christ, may be with­out[Page 29]the casting any Filth on the face of this our bles­sed Lord.

But to the Proof.

1. This may be evinced from the consideration, that Jesus Christ suffered for our sins as a surety. The Lord Jesus voluntarily offered up himself, and most freely undertook to pay what sinful man, the Debtor, could not: On which account He was immediately liable to pay the Debt, or undergo the punishment (i.e.) He was Guilty, as has been already intimated: Man was faulty in contracting so great a debt, but Christ was innocently merciful in taking it on himself to sa­tisfy the Father whereby Christ became Guilty of anothers Fault. But,

2. God the Father's inflicting evil on Christ as Penal most righteously, doth necessarily infer this truth; It being unjust to punish any, but the Guilty: to which add those Scriptures, that make mention of the Lords bearing our iniquities, his being wounded for our transgressions, his being made sin, and a curse, Isa. 53.4,5,6. 2 Cor. 5.21. Gal. 3.13.

That which will give light unto these texts, and strength unto my arguments is a truth of great importance concerning the guilt, and[Page 30] punishment of sin, viz. That although the Faul, and the Guilt are separable yet the Guilt and Punish­ment are not; Whence whosoever is found Guilty at the Bar, must be sentenced, yea, and punished as such. If Guilt and Punishment had not been by the unalterable determination of God, as he is a Righteous Lawgiver, so fixedly united unto each other, as never to admit of the least separation, the Justice and Righteousness of God might have been sufficiently glorified in the pardoning sin without any regard unto a sacrifice, yea, it might have been possible, for that bitter cup, to have passed, according unto the Lord Jesus his desire; and man, notwithstanding might have been most happy. But since Laws would ap­pear to be but ludicrous and feeble things, with­out a due execution of the threatned evil, casting the worst of reflections upon the Lawgiver, God, who is Infinitely Wise, Holy, Just, and Righteous giveth most illustrious instances of the Excellency of his Laws, in that there is a day, in which search shall be made after the transgres­sour, and when all such, as are found guilty shall be condemned to the threatned punishment; for God will by no means clear the guilty, Exod. 34.7. They that shall presume to Justifie the wicked, or, condemn the Righteous, even they both are an abomination unto the Lord, Prov. 17.15. Whence 'tis a thing most unjust to punish the Innocent, and permit the Guilty to go free:[Page 31]which being so, it follows, that whoever is justly punished, must be really guilty of his own or of anothers fault; to punish any as not guilty, or as innocent, is as great an act of injustice, as 'tis, not to punish those who at the Judgment-Seat are found Guilty. These truths carry their own evidence with them, proclaiming this other, namely, That if the Lord Jesus Christ did bear the Punishment of our iniquities; it was, because antecedently thereunto, the Guilt of our iniquities was laid on him; And that the Lord did under­go the punishment of our sins can never be denied by any, that believe the fore-mentioned texts, it being so express, That he hath born our griefs, and carryed our sorrows; he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, yea, the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all, he was made sin, and a Curse. But in what sense, if not in this, That at least the punishment of our iniquity was laid on Christ? Is not this so plain that neither Arminian, nor Papist do presume to deny it? Bellarmine, I am sure, asserts it, and if the Punishment of sin be laid on Christ, since 'tis done by the Lord who is Just, it must be because antecedently to the infliction of punish­ment; Guilt was laid on him, for otherwise not only the Innocent would be punished, but more­over as Innocent, which is injustice; for, although an Innocent Person may justly undergo severe punishments; yet not as Innocent, but as guilty of another's Faults.

[Page 32]For the fuller clearing this Truth I'le only attempt to prove, that the bearing sin, or Iniquity, or the being made sin, and a Curse doth signify both the being Guilty and as such the being pun­ished.

That Punishment by a Metonymy, bears the name of sin, I have proved out of Gen. 4.13. ch. 19.15. and which may be further con­firmed, from that in 1 Sam. 28.10. Where Saul sware to the Witch, that there shall no Punishment happen unto her: In the Hebrew 'tis [...] there shall no Sin, or Iniquity happen. So also in Zechar. 14.19. This shall be the Punish­ment of Aegypt and the Punishment of all nations. In the Hebrew 'tis [...] the sin of Aegypt, &c. In like manner to bear sin, is to bear the Guilt or Punishment of sin, Ezek. 18.20. The Son shall not bear the iniquity of the Father, (i.e.) the Son shall not bear the Guilt, nor the Punish­ment of the Fathers sin; but the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him (i.e.) the Guilt and Punishment of the wicked shall be upon him; whence that word which in the Hebrew doth signify Guilt doth also signify Sin; tis [...] Gen. 42.21. we are Guilty [...] the same word is elsewhere translated sins and trespasses; as in Psal. 68.21. God will wound the hairy scalp of such an one, as goeth on still in his trespasses [...] Again to have iniquity laid on us, is the same with the bearing iniquity, that [Page 33]is, the bearing the guilt of sin. In fine, The be­ing made sin, and the being made a curse, are terms much of the same import, denoting the Guilt and Punishment, and (as I humbly con­ceive,) more properly, the guilt of sin, because the wicked, even on their sinning are immediate­ly accursed; are abnoxious, though not immedi­ately Punished, q. d. Since to be obnoxious is to be guilty, to be cursed is to be guilty; but, that the being made a curse doth not, as formerly con­sidered, signify the being made formally sin, is evident, in that, 'tis an evil threatned for what is strictly sin; and therefore, as such, denotes somewhat distinct from sin, taking sin, in a strict sense, for the very fault, or transgression it self.

Thus I have in some weak measure performed, what I engag'd to doe, and have prov'd, That Guilt is separable from Sin, the formal Nature and Filth thereof; and consequently, may pass from us to Christ, even when it must not be con­cluded as if Christ had been for such a reason formally a sinner. I have further shewn, That the Guilt, as well as Punishment of sin, is laid on Christ, These being so inseparable, that a Righte­ous Judge in doing Right, cannot omit the Pun­ishing the Guilty; nor presume to inflict any evil penally on such, as are not in any wise Guilty: But,

3. To consider the Filth of Sin. The Filth of [Page 34]Sin, being of a Polluting and Defiling Nature, was not laid on Christ, as some very boldly have asserted, who not distinctly minding what the Filth of Sin is; how distinguished from Guilt, &c. have under the notion of exalting Free-Grace, faln into Dangerous Errors; which I will essay to demonstrate by shewing the falseness, Absur­dity and Impossibility thereof. But before I do so, 'twill be necessary, that I acquaint you with the sense of those men that assert it, which is this.

‘"God doth not only lay the Punishment and Guilt of Sin on Christ, but simply the very Fault it self, that men commit, that is, The Transgression it self is become the transgression of Christ, so that, in respect of the Reality of being a Transgressor, Christ is as really a Trans­gressor, as the person that did commit the sin.—Yea Christ Jesus by vertue of Gods laying sin on him, is as really a Transgressor, as if he himself, had actually committed Trans­gression. The very Erring, Straying, and Trans­gressing of the Elect is passed from them and laid on Christ.—Hast thou been an Idolater, Blasphemer, &c. If thou hast part in the Lord Christ, all these Transgressions of thine become actually the Transgressions of Christ, and so cease to be thine, and thou ceasest to be a Trans­gressor from that time they were laid on Christ to the last hour of thy life.—Thy Sins being laid on Christ are taken from thee.—If God[Page 35]himself say, thy sins lye upon thee, and with­al say, he did before lay them on Christ, how much is this better than a Contradiction?—The Sin it self or the Filth is removed from the Elect by being laid on Christ, and the soul made Perfect.—God doth not wash them by halves, nor doth he leave some spots and blemi­shes and stains behind.—Christ's holiness is im­puted unto the Elect, as well as his Righteous­ness, otherwise they could not be perfect in this life, since the Spirit's work in their Sancti­fication is but imperfect in this life; 'tis Christ therefore who by bearing our sins carries away all the Abhorrency and loathsomness of sin, otherwise God could take no pleasure in us.—God is a God of so much Purity, that he cannot endure that Person where the least SPOT of Sin is found."’

This, and much more, is asserted by Dr. Crisp in his Sermons on Isaiah. 53.6. as also by some others, which for the greater clearness, I'le sum up in these following particulars.

  • 1. That these men conclude that the Filth of sin is laid on Christ, and made really his Filth.
  • 2. That Christ is our Justification by the Im­putation of his Righteousness, even so, he is our Sanctification by the Imputation of his Holiness.
  • [Page 36]3. That the Filth of sin being laid on Christ, the Elect are thereby totally, and perfectly de­livered from every loathsome Spot and blemish of sin.

To all which I reply distinctly.

1. To the first. That the Filth of sin is laid on Christ, and made really his Filth (as they say) this is Impossible, Absurd and False.

1. Impossible, for by the Filth of sin we must understand, either Irregular, Oblique, and dis­orderly defections, or inclinations, or words, or actions. For sin is a moral relation, which can­not be, but in a subject; and as the Person sin­ning, is the Remote Subject, even so, the Dispo­sition, Thought, Word or Action, or some de­fection must be the nearest Subject; whence then, since sin cannot be, and not be in some Subject, the sin in its filth cannot pass from us to Christ, but in transity, i.e. in its passage from one Sub­ject to another, it must be considered, as in no Subject (i.e.) as what is destroyed. For the Relation must pass without its Subject, which is impossible; or with the nearest Subject it self, that is, All our sinful Defections, Propensions, Words and Actions must pass from us into Christ, but if this be not also impossible, what is? But 2ly. Tis Absurd and false. For,

[Page 37]2. If the Filth of our sin be laid on Christ, then surely, the Lord Christ is thereby made really filthy; for as Guilt is laid on Christ, and thereby Christ is made really guilty that is, really guilty of another mans sin, even so, if the Filth of sin be laid on Christ, then Christ must be really filthy, for in quocunque inest abstractum, de eo dicitur con­cretum, the denomination is à forma denominante: Filth, on whomsoever 'tis, doth give the denomina­tion of filthy; but was our Lord Christ really fil­thy? Was there any sin in any respect in him, who knew no sin, and in whom there was no guile? Guilt is an extrinsecal respect of sin to the threat­ning of the Law, and a man may be guilty of sin, that is of anothers sin, who hath no sin in him of his own; but Filth the fault it self, is so intrin­secal to sin, that in whomsoever the Filth of sin is, in him sin must be; and were it a thing pos­sible, that the sin of the elect should pass from the elect to Christ, it would make the Lord Christ a real sinner, really Unclean, Impure, Fil­thy, and Corrupt, but who can entertain such a thought without abhorrence? For,

1. The Scriptures never assert that the Filth of sin was laid on Christ. Tis true our ini­quities were laid on Christ, that is, the Punish­ment and Guilt of our iniquities, as hath been proved, but not the Filth of our iniquities; nei­ther was it necessary, that any more should be [Page 38]laid on Christ, than the Punishment and Guilt. For the Lord Christ came only to exempt us from wrath, to bring us into a state of Grace, and to purchase a right to glory for us, by his sufferings, and perfect righteousness. But,

2. The Scriptures do most vehemently con­clude, that there was no spot in Christ.

1. As Christ is God, we cannot say, that any Filth was on him without blasphemy surely, that God, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniqui­ty, could never be so in love with the filth, the worst of iniquity, as to take it on himself. Nei­ther (2) Durst we aver that the Lord Christ, with respect to his Humane Nature, had the least Filth of sin, either in, or upon him. For he was born an Holy thing, Luke 1.35. there­fore also that Holy thing, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God. He was born with holy inclinations, and propensions, yea and all his Thoughts, Words and Actions were holy all his lifetime, for he fulfilled all Righteous­ness, Matth. 3.15. ch. 5.17. and at his death, his blood was the pretious blood of him, who was without blemish and without spot, 1 Pet. 1.19. He did not sin, neither was guile found in his mouth, Ch. 2.22. For such an High Priest became us, who is Holy, Harmless, Undefiled, Separate from Sinners, Heb. 7.26. Which could not be,[Page 39]had he the least spot or blemish on him. Note well Isa. 53.9.

3. In what part of Christ was the filth of sin laid, or what was there in Christ, that was either faulty, or filthy? was there any flaw in his understanding, or, were the inclinations of his soul after evil? were his thoughts irregular, or his words, or actions dissonant from Gods Law? The Filth of sin is a spiritual filth, pollu­ting the Soul, but which part of his righteous soul was polluted? was our Ignorance laid on Christ, making Christ Ignorant? or our Pride, Stubbornness, Uncleanness, Sinful anger, and Un­due Passions in Christ? was the Lord Christ, Ignorant, Proud, Passionate, or Unclean? what sound believer doth not tremble at such thoughts as these. But, for the Filth of sin to be laid on Christ, and yet the Filth of no one parti­cular sin to be found on him, is strange. Oh that men, who presume to contradict the Gene­ration of the Just, would shew, what they mean by the filth of sin, as 'tis distinguished, both from Guilt and Punishment, and what they understand by the Fathers laying the Filth of sin on Christ, or what by the words, transacting the filth of sin on Christ! For me­thinks, 'tis impossible, that any truly gracious soul should conclude that the filth of sin, the [Page 40]fault it self, as distinguished from Guilt and Pun­ishment, can in any respect be laid on Christ.

Wherefore then consider, 'tis a great disho­nor to Free-Grace, to say, that the Father laid the filth of sin on Christ, for this is inconsistent with the Holiness and Wisdom of God, and to set up Free-Grace to the reproach of Divine Ho­liness or Wisdom is to abuse it.


  • A second Error of the Antinomians, viz. The Elect made holy by Christ's Holiness.
  • Somewhat concerning Justification premised.
  • Several reasons against the Error.
  • Wherein its tendency to the subversion of a great part of the Christian Religion is evinced. The third error considered, its destructiveness to all Religion proved particularly.

To the Second.

‘"THat, as Christ is our Justification by the imputation of his Righteousness, even so, he is our Sanctification through the imputation of his holiness."’ For 'tis suggested, that they must be perfectly Holy before their en­trance into Heaven, and that they are not made so in this life by the sanctification of the Spirit, therefore it must be by the imputed Holiness of Christ.

That I may be the more clear in considering this, I humbly apprehend it very necessary, that I do acquaint the vulgar, with the true no­tion of Justification, and Sanctification; In order unto which, tis requisite, that we remember[Page 42]the distinction, that is between the guilt, and the filth of sin, Justification respecting the guilt, Sanctification the Filth of sin; Guilt of sin, is an external respect of it with regard unto the sanc­tion of the Law only, and is separable from sin, as the Reverend Dr. Owen also hath shewn of Jus­tification pag. 285. But the Fault it self, or the filth, the transgression of the preceptive part of the Law is the formal nature of sin, and is so intrin­secal thereunto, as to be inseparable from it. Jus­tification then makes only an external relative-change, by removing guilt, and giving us a right to life, and as it regards guilt, it respects the past State; Sanctification imports an internal, and a physical change by introducing new light into the the heart, and new principles, inclinations, and propensions towards God, and regards the future state, weakning the habits of sin, strengthening the habits of infused Grace, and thereby preventing much sin, that otherwise would pollute the soul, whereby the man is in part sanctified; Justification is through the blood, and righteousness of Jesus Christ; Sanctification is through the working of the Spirit of the same Lord Jesus: Christ is our Justification by his blood, and Righteousness; and the same Christ is our sanctification by his Spirit. For God hath chosen you to salvation, through the sanctification of the Spirit, 2 Thes. 2.13. 1 Pet. 1.2.

Thus the filth and guilt of sin are distinguish­ed, and accordingly Justification and Sanctifi­cation: [Page 43]But such as confound the guilt and filth of sin with some'Tis said by one, I do not think, as some do, that Guilt dissers from sin, as that which is an ob­ligation, or a bin­ding over, to the Punishment of sin, rather than sin it self being past and gone, to be guilty, and to commit a sin is all one, they are but two words expres­sing the same thing. Dr. Crisp. on Isaiah. cannot but confound Justification and Sanctification, and conse­quently, fall into the Popish error about this point; for the great error of the Pa­pists in this, lyeth much in their considering Justifi­cation and Sanctification pro­miscuously, as though, the being Justified did import the same with the being sanctified. Whence 'tis, that it must be seriously considered, that Justification doth no way regard the filth of sin, as its object. Neither is the soul cleansed from filth, even in that, 'tis Justified; for Justification, as such, doth not consist in the renewing of our minds, or the making any internal-physical-change on our hearts, for that is the Spirits work in our Sanctifi­cation; and therefore it must be acknowledged, That we are not made holy by Christ's Holiness, by the imputation of it, (i.e.) God doth not judge the elect to be really and perfectly holy, because Christ is really and perfectly so; for Holi­ness, in whomsoever 'tis, imports an inward work on the soul. No one can be really, and perfectly holy, but he, in whom are the habits of holiness. [Page 44]He whose Propensions, Dispositions, and Habits are not holy, cannot be reputed perfect­ly holy; Christ's Holiness therefore cannot be made ours, but by a transfusion of Christs Habits into our souls; 'tis true, Christs Righteousness may be given us, and after the Donation or gift thereof, be truly reputed, and reckoned, as ours, and we may be dealt with accordingly; but there can be no giving the Holiness of Christ unto us, in a way distinct from the imputation of Righteousness, but by transfusing it into us, which is as impossible, as the transfusing of sin from one into anothera.

For the clearing this, remember that as sin, guilt, and Punishment are to be distinctly conside­red, even so Holiness, Righteousness and the Re­ward. But, before I proceed to shew, how Holi­ness, Righteousness, and the Reward are to be distinctly considered, it will be meet I prove, [Page 45]That (although Holiness and inherent Righteous­ness are the same, yet) there is a Righteousness, somewhat distinct from Holiness, which is done by a due observation of the import of the words Righteous and Holy; for if to be Righteous is somewhat distinct from the being Holy, then surely Righteousness is somewhat distinct from Holiness, in that the Denominatives Righteous and Holy, are from Righteousness and Holiness, their Denominating Forms; for which reason, if Righteousness, and Holiness be the same, since Denominativum & Denominans conveniunt in re significatâ, quia significant eandem formam essen­tialiter, to be Righteous and to be Holy must be the same; The same denominating Form, ever giving the same denomination: And if to be Righteous, be not the same with the being Holy, Righteousness and Holiness cannot be the same; But to be Righteous, is somewhat distinct from the being Holy. To be made Righteous, is to be declared, pronounced, judged, esteemed and reputed in the eye of the Law to be just, i.e. to be not guilty, not liable unto the curse due to sin, but to have a right unto the Reward. He is Righteous (that is,) not guilty; He is Righteous (i.e.) He hath a right unto the Reward. But to be made Holy is another thing, it is to be Sanctified, which is by the infusion of Habits into the Soul. To be sanctified, is to be Physically and internally changed, to be inherently Holy. So that 'tis most [Page 46]apparent, that there is a great difference be­tween the being Righteous, and the being Holy; or between the being made Righteous, and the being made Holy; the one being our Justification, the other our Sanctification, which do greatly differ: And therefore Righteousness, as Formally and strictly considered, differs from Holiness, for, otherwise the imputation of Righteousness, would be the same with the imputation of Holiness, or our being made Righteous would be our being Holy, (i.e.) by a Righteousness imputed, we should be sanctified, which is most untrue; it being a confounding, Justification and Sanctification. A thing not to be admitted by sound Protestants; which confusion cannot well be declined but by our distinguishing between Holiness and Righ­teousness as well as between sin and guilt. That there is a difference between these and the Re­ward is no way doubted by any.

This premised, I proceed to the shewing how Holiness, Righteousness and the Reward are distin­guished.

1. Holiness, which is opposed unto the formal nature of sin, consists in the souls conformity to the preceptive part of the Law. When the incli­nations, propensions, thoughts, words and actions are exactly agreeable to Gods most holy Law, then 'tis, that the man is Holy: Formally Holy. Christ's Holiness then consists in the consonancy,[Page 47]agreeableness and conformity of Christ's propensions, dispositions and habits unto that Law given him by the Father, and is subjectively in Christ; The Lord Jesus Christ, exactly answering the whole Law, in his life was perfectly holy.

2. Righteousness, as 'tis condistinguished from Holiness, regards rather the promissory part of the Law, than the preceptive, it being in an especial manner opposed unto Guilt, as Holiness is unto sin; whence as to be Guilty and Unrighteous imports one and the same thing, even so to be Guiltless or Innocent, and to be Righteous. For saith the Apostle, as by one mans disobedience, many are made Sinners (i.e.) guilty, even so by the obe­dience of one shall many be made Righteous, i.e. Guiltless or Innocent, free from wrath, having a Right unto the Reward: Righteousness being holiness's respect unto the promissory part of the Law, and is somewhat extrinsecal unto holiness and therefore can as easily pass from one, unto another, as Guilt can; and as the sin of one can­not be imputed unto another, but in its Guilt, even so the holiness of one, cannot be imputed unto another, but in its Righteousness.

3. The Reward is the good thing promised un­to Holiness, as the Punishment is the evil threat­ned against sin: And the Reward necessarily pre­supposeth a Righteousness, as the Punishment doth [Page 48] Guilt. And as no punishment but for guilt, so no Reward but for Righteousness; for as Reatus is dignitas poenae propter culpam, so Righteousness is dignitas praemii propter obedientiam perfectam, and the Reward is for righteousness. From the whole it must be noted, That as Guilt, which is sins extrinsecal respect unto the threatning of the Law, may pass from the actual sinner, and be made the guilt of him who knew no sin, without a passing of the actual sin; even so Righ­teousness, which is the extrinsecal respect of Holi­ness unto the promissory part of the Law, may pass from Christ, who is perfectly Holy, to ano­ther that is not so.

This being so 'tis easy to conclude,

1. That the Reward of Christs obedience may be actually given out unto all such, as are united unto Christ. As the punishment of mans sin, was laid on Christ, even so the Reward of Christs Holiness shall be given unto the believer. The Reward, considered strictly, and in an eminent manner, is the product of Christs Righ­teousness and Holiness, it being given out, as the great effect of Christs fulfilling the Law of Innocency, and not as the merit of our obe­dience.

2. The Righteousness of the Lord Christ, is [Page 49]given unto all such, as are born of God, as do savingly believe; Even as their guilt is made Christs, so Christs Righteousness is made their Righteousness. In which there is a non-imputation of sin, and an actual imputation of Righteousness, God doth not proceed in Judgment with them, as with guilty sinners; but treats them as Righte­ous, giving them a Right to Impunity and Glory, so that the freedom from Punishment, and the eternal life is the effect of this Righteousness of Christ, which Righteousness is given unto, and reckoned, judged and esteemed to be the Righte­ousness of the believer, which can easily be made theirs, as hath been already shewn. But,

3. The Holiness of Christ, was never design­ed by God the Father, or the Son, for the formal Sanctification of any, For as the being justified or made Righteous by Christ's Righte­ousness, denotes an extrinsecal, an outward and a relative change only, even so the being sanctified by Christs Holiness must import an internal and physical change, which cannot be, but by the transfusion of the acts or habits of Holiness from one unto another; For Sanctification, which most certainly is somewhat distinct from justifi­cation, consists in a real internal physical change, done by the infusion of new habits, dispositions, &c. Whence then it will follow, that if we are Sanctified by Christs Holiness, the Holiness of[Page 50]Christ must be transfused into us, for Holiness is seated in the soul, as in its most proper Subject. Yea, the Holiness of Christ, is seated in the soul of Christ, and if any are truly and perfectly holy by Christs holiness, this holiness must be removed from Christs soul, into the souls of such as are esteemed by the Lord to be Holy by such an Holiness, which is. 1. Impossible, in that the [...]s, that are in Christ cannot migrate, or pass from Christ to us, without their destructi­on. 2. Absurd and false, for. 1. If the habits of Christs Holiness, be removed from Christ, Christ ceaseth to be holy, and consequently can­not remain a Meet Intercessor or Advocate on the behalf of the sincerely humbled soul. 2. The Elect are hereby set up above the Lord Jesus, in that they are perfectly holy, even when the Lord Jesus is void of holiness.That a thing should be taken a­way, and yet be lest behind is a flat Contradiction saith Dr. Crisp.. But if it be said, that the habits of Christs Holi­ness pass from Christ unto the Elect, and yet remain in Christ, then an Acci­dent may in one and the same instant, contrary to the fullest evidence desirable pass from one Subject to another with­out destruction, and remain in two distinct Sub­jects at one and the same time, yea, in a thou­sand, and can continue in being without any Subject, that is, without what is essential to its[Page 51]Being; but if this be once granted 'twill follow that Transubstantiation, Consubstantiation, and the grossest of Errors and plainest of Popish con­tradictions may be easily admitted, as he great­est truths. Moreover what is more dangerous? If the Elect be made perfectly Holy by Christ's Holiness then 'twill follow, that the Sanctification of the Spirit, is an useless things; that conversion, Faith in Christ and repentance towards God are no way necessary to our actual Salvation, for a man may be both holy and happy without them. For consider,

3. The third thing. The Elect are totally de­livered from the filth of sin, no one spot remaining on them. If they were made holy by Christs holiness, and every spot removed by Christ, without the Spirit, what remaineth to be further done by the Spirit? Your Sanctification being al­ready perfected without the Spirit, the Spirit must run over the same work, and actum agere, or set idle, which is gross: what greater des­pight can be done against the Spirit of God? wherein can you offend him more? Oh consi­der it and tremble! 2. If this be true, Our Preaching is in vain, Praying of no use, Ordi­nances unprofitable things, though designed by our Lord Jesus Christ for conversion, and edifi­cation, yea for the helping on, and promoting the work of Holiness on the Heart. But what [Page 52]use can preaching be of, if this be true? must it be for the inlightening you in the knowledg of Christ and for the turning you from the power of Satan unto the most High? how can this be, since, when you were in the Womb, Christs holi­ness was made yours, and can you be perfectly holy or can you be without the spot and filth of sin, even when the spot of Ignorance is on your understandings, and the Filth of obsti­nacy, rebellion and pride on your wills? It must be here remembred, That the Filth of sin remains on us until the habitual blind­ness and stubborn­ness of our hearts be removed; for since this Ignorance on the Understanding and the Depraved habits of the Will, &c. is the Filth of the soul; the Filth, the Spot re­mains, as long as these abide. About this consult Bellar. de justif. lib. 2. c. 16. Who saith Quemad nodum ex aversione à lege Dei orta est Macula, ita ex conversione tollitur. Again, why will you pray, and draw near to the Lords Supper, for strengthening grace, and fuller measures of holiness, even when you are perfect and want no­thing? Remember that it hath been sufficiently pro­ved that we are Sanctified by the Spirit.


  • A digression concerning the actual imputation of Christs Merits, &c. to all the Elect in the Womb.
  • The unsoundness of this notion.
  • The absurd consequences that naturally slow from it.
  • The plain Scripture notion about our actual Justifi­cation declared.
  • Faith in Christ antecedent thereunto.
  • The convinced sinner, the only Subject capable of Justification.
  • A return from the digression, shewing wherein Grace is highly glorified by some, and wherein abused by others.

THus, you see where these errors lead men, and how, such as do entertain one error, do but prepare they way unto many. For that which is remarkable is this, Those persons, who embrace the error, I have now confuted, do assert, that the Elect are actually justified, even in the womb, though they know it not; for saith one ‘"God laies the sins of the Elect on the Lord Jesus Christ by Obligation, Execution and Application; which Application, as done by the Father, is [Page 54] secret and manifest: Secretly unto particular Elect Persons, before they come into the world, even while in the womb, assoon as conceived, for which Reason the Lord hath no more to lay to the charge of an Elect person, yet in the height of iniquity, and in the Excess of Riot, and committing all the Abominations that can be committed, even then, the Lord hath no more to lay to that Persons charge, than he hath to lay to the charge of a Person Triumphant in Glory, though the Elect person knows it not," So Dr. Crisp. on Isaiah.

The Reading which, is enough to engage a tender conscience to abhor it. But to go on, and shew the unsoundness hereof.

If the Elect, assoon as they receive Being, are in the sight of God actually justified by this secret Application of their sins unto Christ, 'tis impossi­ble, that any one Elect soul, can be truly considered as born, or as conceiv'd, in sin; for their concep­tion and this secret application is in one and the same instant. Neither do they need any Sancti­fication by the Spirit, as I shall shew immediately, neither can they be capable of a Pardon; for they are not actually guilty, nor by nature the Children of Wrath: This is plain. For Christs Holiness being made their Holiness, assoon as they received their Being in the Womb, there[Page 55]was no one instant in which they were sinners, without perfect Holiness; whence 'twill follow, that there is no Original sin, no being by nature the Children of wrath, no need of pardon; for a pardon presupposeth Guilt, as Guilt inferreth Sin; where no Sin, their no Guilt, no Pardon, yea, and hereby Repentance, and Faith in the blood of Christ for pardon, is made of none effect. But if it be said that although the Righte­ousness and Holiness of Christ is imputed unto the Elect, assoon as they receive their Being; yet the Elect may remain under the power of sin, filthy, unclean and polluted, full of sinful spots and blemishes. If so, it must be acknowledged. That one and the same person, may be at one and the same time, a Child of God and a Child of the Devil. 1. As Christs Righteousness, and Holiness is imputed unto him, so He is the Child of God, in a state of grace, actually in Gods account justified, having a right unto the Kingdom, the Object of Gods special love and favour; but yet, 2. As he is under the power of sin, and Unclean, so he is the Child of the Devil, and in a state of wrath, actually unjustified in Gods account, li­able to eternal burnings, the Object of Gods hatred, being a worker of iniquity. But how impossible is this? Oh how dangerous to assert! what! can a man be at one and the same time the Child of God, and also of the Devil? He may as well, be in Heaven and Hell at the same[Page 56]time, bathing himself in the Rivers of pleasure, that run at the right hand of God for ever, even when tormented in that lake that burneth with Fire and brimstone. What strange confusion is this? but they say that the sin passing from the Elect, ceaseth to be the sin of the Elect. q. d. The Elect are never in a state of sin, or wrath though under the Power of sin.

The truth then is this.

The Righteousness of Christ is not actually im­puted unto any under the reigning power of unbe­lief, for, he that believeth not, is condemned al­ready, Joh. 3.18. The wrath of God abideth on on him, ver. 36. There is no Communication of any justifying, pardoning grace to any, that are not united unto Christ, and whatever soul is united unto Christ, he is so by Faith, ‘"for, as the Reverend Dr. O. it must be remembred that, we require Evangelical Faith in order of nature antecedently unto our justification by the imputation of the Righteousness of Christ unto us, which justifying Faith, includeth in its nature the entire principle of Evangelical repentance, so as that it is utterly impossible, that a man should be a true believer, and not at the same instant of time, be truly penitent."’ A man that continueth under the power of sin, no way con­vinced of his lost estate out of Christ, (as is the case [Page 57]of many Elect persons, a long time, after they are out of the Womb,) is so far from being actually justified in the sight of God, that he is not, while so, a meet Subject of justification; Conviction of sin, being a necessary antecedent unto that Faith, that in order of nature goes before justification, and therefore it must be considered, that a Con­vinced sinner, (as the same Reverend Dr. hath largely proved,) is the only Subjectum capax justificationis.

But to return.

From what hath been said, we may clearly see, wherein the Grace of God is highly glori­fied, and wherein by some 'tis greatly abused.

1. Tis highly glorified, in that the Son of God, according to the eternal compact between the Fa­ther and the Son, assum'd Humane Nature, made under the Law, voluntarily taking on him the Guilt and Punishment of our sins, where­by poor faln man, may be freed from both, in being pardoned, and in being delivered from the weight of that wrath, which omnipotency was to inflict: Now the Guilty may escape that guilt, which tormenteth the consciences of many here, and which is amongst the damned, as a Gnawing Worm, that continually adds to their insupporta­ble horrors hereafter.


[Page 58]2. Free-Grace is greatly abused by such, as do assert,

1. That the spots, and blemishes of our sins, are laid on Christ; as if he, who is infinitely pure, had been defiled and stained with the Filth of our abominations; as if infinite Wisdom, could not find out a way to make a display of Free-Grace, in the accomplishing faln mans salvation, but by the making Jesus Christ, God-Man, subject unto the Pollution of sin. Oh! How is God dishonour­ed by the bold confidence of Finite mortals! who can presume to deny the Lord to be graci­ous, unless his grace be made known in a way agreeable to their corrupt imaginations!

2. To assert, that the Grace of God is such, as makes the Elect holy by Christs Holiness, even when they are not only subject to much sin, but are under the reigning power of the worst of sins, is to abuse the Grace of God, for these talk as if such as are in themselves impure, unclean, and unholy could, while so, be esteemed by the Father of our blessed Jesus, as clean, pure and holy; or, as if God could not set forth the Excellency of his Grace any other way, than by lying under many a mistake. These notwithstanding their pretence of exulting Free-Grace, denying the Omniscience, or Infinite knowledge of him, who is All-wise; and[Page 59]representing the Infallible God, as liable to error do sadly abuse Free-Grace.

3. To suggest, that Free-Grace is glorified in the actual imputing Christs righteousness unto any, while in unbelief, as if the swearer or Sabbath breaker, the drunkard, or unclean person, that delights in fornication and adultery, might, while so, be an actual partaker of the special blessings of God; or as if the Sanctification of the Spirit, had been no way necessary to our Salvation; is a sad abuse of Grace, tending to the great dishonour of the infinite Holiness, and purity of God. But since God is not only Gracious, but also is most holy, Grace is not, it cannot be re­vealed, but in a way consistent with the glory of Divine Purity and Holiness. But,

4. Some there are, who magnifie the Free-Grace of God, by concealing that glorious discovery God hath made thereof in our Lord Jesus; these are they, who contend for the actual justification of all the Elect from Eternity, as if Jesus Christ died to procure that for the Elect, which they had before the Worlds were made; or as if the decree of God, his electing Will, an Immanent act, had been transient in the actual creating, justi­fying and saving all the Elect from eternity, (that is) as if they had been created millions of years before there was any creature.

[Page 60]Thus men on pretence of lifting up the Free-Grace of God, do not only trouble the Churches with their confusion and variety of contradicti­ons, but morcover do lightly esteem the greatest Instance of Free-Grace, the Elect [...]re capable of receiving, viz. the Love of God in Christ. For hereby God commendeth his Love to us, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, Rom. 5.8. Again God SO loved the World that he gave his only begotten Son, Joh. 3.16. and without blood no Remission.

5. There are others, who in their abuse of Free-Grace, do greatly reproach the Spirit of Christ, and of God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by asserting that the Elect are actually Justified in the womb, even before they do believe, yea, while they are in a state of darkness, and stran­g [...] to the powerful working of Gods holy Spi­rit. These are they who insist on Faith, as ne­cessary only for the procuring the knowledge of that justification, which they actually had before [...]. But how do these men sin against the Spi­rit of God, by reproaching its works, as if the gr [...]s of the Spirit, had been of no esteem; as if our Faith and Repentance, our Love to God and [...] [...]lking according to the Gospel of our [...] Redeemer, had been our sin! Tis true, the [...] doth consider the Righteousness of the [...], and the Apostle concluded,[Page 61]that his righteousness, which was not done in Faith, to be as dung, in comparison of the righte­ousness of Christ: And surely because of the many imperfections that attend our best performances, we have cause to be humbled daily before the Lord and to apply our selves to the blood, and righ­teousness of Christ, for pardoning mercy. But yet it must be still asserted, that there is a difference between those graces, that are the work of God's spirit in us, and the imperfections which proceed from the remains of our old corruption, for that which is the work of God's Spirit, as such, is not dung, nor dross, nor filth, nor stinking rags, much less filthy sins. The Spirit of God is the Author of Faith, and Love, and other graces; but the Spirit of God is not the Author of sin and filth. The giving grace to the soul, is the renewing the Image of God on the soul; but the image of God doth not consist in sin, and filth, and stink­ing rags. The believer, in being a partaker of the graces of God's spirit, is a partaker of the di­vine nature, but the divine nature is not composed of sin, or any filthy thing: 'Tis our duty to believe in Christ, to love God, &c. but, 'tis not our duty to sin, or wallow in any spiritual uncleanness. Whence then, such as do deny the necessity of saith in order to our being actually justified; or such as do reproach the working of Gods holy spirit, calling what is holy, unholy, what is pure, impure; revil­ing, the divine nature, reproaching Gods image, [Page 62]on pretence of exalting free grace, do greatly sin, in abusing a great instance of free grace viz. The holy Spirit's work, unto which we are infi­nitely obliged. For 'tis the Spirit that doth be­gin, carry on, and finish the work of Sanctificati­on on the soul; whence, although, while we are in this life, our Sanctification is but imperfect, yet there is not one soul in Heaven one instant without perfect holiness.

But, it may be, you'l quaery how it can be, that the soul, which, while on earth, is but imperfectly sanc [...]fied, should [...] perfectly purged from the filth of sin when in Heaven? I Answer. There are several sorts of men, who talk, as if they had been fully acquainted with the whole counsel of God, and as if they could give a particular account of the methods of divine operations; hence some are confident enough to assert that the perfect purgati-on of the filth of sin, must be either by the Spirit in this life, or by a purgatory fire in the other. The one asserts perfection, not only of parts, but of degrees attainable here, and consequently denies the necessity of Ordinances, &c. The other viz. the Papists conclude, that as some arrive to per­fection here, others do not, e're they arrive un­to the purgatery sire, but the Antinomian pre­sumes to say, that our perfect Sanctification must. be by Christ's Holiness, even as our compleat Jus­tification is by Christs Righteousness. But I have[Page 63]already shewn, That our perfect Sanctification, which consists in the removal of the filth of eve­ry sin is not done by the Holiness of Christ: Nei­ther is it possible, that any material flames should be adjusted, for the cleansing the soul, which is a Being spiritual and Immaterial: Materiale non agit in immateriale. It is done then by the Spirit; when? not in this life, for until the body of Sin be put off, there will be the remainders of old lusts, Note, 1 King. 8.46. Prov. 20.9. Eccl. 7.20. 1 Joh. 1.8. No meer man since the Fall ever arriv'd unto a state of sinless perfection in this life.. which are inconsistent with a Sanctification, that is per­fect with a perfection of de­grees. Doth it, (you, it may be, will say) enter in­to Heaven with its imper­fections (i.e.) Spots and Filth? Ans. No surely, for no Spot can have an admittance into that holy place. Doth the departed soul make its stay af­ter it passeth from the body, e're it enter Hea­ven? Ans. The stay cannot be long, for said Jesus Christ to the Thief on the Cross, This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise, Who stood in need of as long a stay for a further Sanctification, as any, his conversion being just then; How then is it? I answer, That since 'tis certain, That 'tis the Spirits work to sanctify, which work is not perfected while the soul is in the body, and yet enters into Heaven perfect, we should satisfy our selves with these plain truths, without any fur­ther search into the secrets of the Almighty, espe­cially[Page 64]since the Spirit of God, on the souls par­ting from the body of sin, can in a moment per­fectly Sanctify it.

But for your fuller Satisfaction

Consider, That the Tyrant Sin, hath its usur­ped Throne, in our members, in our body, the flesh (which is the true reason, why the Elect in the body, are not perfectly sanctified) and you will suddenly be engaged to conclude, That our sanctification may be immediately perfected, on the souls freedom from the body. If the body of sin, be the hinderer of our perfect Sanctification, how easily may our perfect Sanctification be ac­complished, when once we are freed from the body of this death? Remember the guilt of sin being removed by the Blood of Christ, a Right to Glory purchased by his Righteousness, and through the Sanctification of the Spirit all the fa­culties and powers of the soul being exactly confor­mable to the Rule given 'em, by the Lord, which is done on the souls leaving the body, casting off its Chains and Fetters, nothing remains but that the soul immediately at death may go to God. Read seriously the 7th. of the Romans.


The Glory of Gods Free-Grace further discovered; in several propositions. Grace how shewn unto mankind in General. The greatness and exten­siveness thereof. Common Grace offered unto more than the Elect. Special Grace to some on­ly. This Irresistible, without the laying any violence on our faculties: Man, though passive in conversion, yet not so passive, as pure mat­ter. Several other Gospel truths evinced. The Uses, &c.

FRom what hath been said, it evidently ap­pears, that although our blessed Redeemer, was never polluted, or any way defiled by the sins of the Elect, yet in order to the glorifying Free-Grace, consistently with the magnifying the Justice, Truth, Faithfulness, and infinite Wisdom of God, it was necessary, that the Lord Jesus should take on him the guilt of our iniquities, which being done 'twas but Righteousness in God the Father, to lay on him all those sorrows he underwent: A particular consideration whereof, cannot but deeply affect the souls of truly, sin­cere, and sound believers. But I must hasten to what I design further on this subject, and in­sist[Page 66]on some of those special Blessings that are the purchase of Christs blood. All which, for the greater clearness, I shall lay down in several pro­positions, passing by those which are most evi­dent, and making my stay only in explicating and confirming such as may seem to some obscure.

Propos. 1.

1. That on the account of Christ's sufferings in humane nature all mankind is, in some sense, so far redeemed from that misery, in which, antecedently unto the Promise of Christ's death, they did lie, that they are now in a much more happy condition than the faln Angels, not only upon the account of their receiving at least a temporarie reprieve from everlasting flames, but also because their Salvation is become possible.


Faln man, antecedently unto the promise of the Messiah, being in as helpless, and as despe­rately miserable condition, as the Devils them­selves, and as unable to satisfie divine justice, any other way, than by remaining in chains of darkness for ever, Christ's sufferings afford that[Page 67]relief unto all mankind, as to deliver them from this misery that is so desperate; for their salvation is not now as impossible, as it was before the pro­mise of the Lord Jesus: For the Lord Christ satis­fying infinite justice, no one man can truly say, that the reason why he perished is because there was not enough in the blood of Christ to ransom him: for whosoever doth sincerely believe, shall be actually redeemed from the wrath to come. Our remaining in our sin is the great reason, why the wrath of God abideth on us; so St. Austin, that great enemie to Pelagianism, so much envied by the Arminians. ‘"Quod ergo ad magnitudinem et potentiam pretii; & quod ad unam pertinet causam generis humani: Sanguis Christi Re­demptio est totius mundi, sed qui hoc seculum, si­ne side Christi, & sine regenerationis sacramen­to, pertranseunt, redemptionis alieni sunt." Aug. lib. ad Artic. sibi imposit. ad Artic. 1.’

Again, ‘"Sed hoc inter malos homines, et Daemones distat: quod hominibus etiam valde malis superest, si Deus misereatur, Reconcilia­tio: Daemonibus nulla servata est conversio." Aust. ubi sup. ad Art. 6.’

2. That what Person soever doth savingly be­lieve, sincerely repent, and is really a sound con­vert, shall actually be saved in the day of the Lord, Isa. 55.1. Mark 16.16. Joh. 3.16. [Page 68]Joh. 7.37. 1 Tim 2.3,4. Rev. 3.20. Rev. 22.17.

3. That the helps vouchsafed unto all for the ena­bling us savingly to believe, and sincerely to re­pent, are such as will leave all those who, believe not, inexcusable. For,

1. They who receive least, receiving one ta­lent, have given them sufficient for the enabling them to do more towards the saving their souls, than they actually do.

2. If those men do actually improve the com­mon helps vouchsafed them, they may, for ought any man can prove to the contrary, receive such further assistances, as may have a special influence in enabling them to turn sincerely unto God, through Jesus Christ.

For, there is in Scripture, as a motive to sin­cere repentance, a who can tell, a may be, or who knoweth but, or a perhaps the Lord may be gracious, Joel 2.13.14. Amos 5.15. Jo­nah 3.8,9. Zeph. 2.3. Acts 8.22. Call these Scrip­tures half-Promises, or not, the encouragement they afford all to improve the received talents, is as great as is given any, to engage in worldly affairs. What greater motive hath the Seeds-man to sow his seed, than a May be he shall meet with a good harvest? what moves the Merchant to send a[Page 69]considerable part of his estate beyond Seas, but a perhaps there may be a good return? what ani­mated Jacob in his great distresses to go on, when he feared that his Brother Esau designed the destroying him, but a peradventure he will ac­cept of me? Gen. 32.26. What was the motive Jeremiah gave Baruch to read in the roll the words of the Lord in the ears of the People, but It may be they will present their supplications before the Lord, and return? or what other encouragement did the Lord him­self give Jeremiah to Preach unto Judah, but It may be the house of Judah will hear all the evil that I purpose to do unto them, that they may return every man from the evil of his way? Jer. 36.2,3,6 & 7. And is a may be, a peradventure, powerful enough to raise the hearts of men to great undertakings, as to the things of this life, and yet not sufficient to oblige us to act for God, and glory? or doth this may be prove a motive sufficient to engage the Ministers of Christ to endeavour the salvation of precious and immortal souls, and yet insufficient for the moving you to the doing any thing for your selves? surely this may be doth not argue only a Possibility, but moreover a great Probability: Thou art there­fore, O man! inexcusable, if thou neglectest thy duty, and wilt not strive to enter in at the strait gate, since by striving, thou mayst have an en­trance into the heavenly glory given thee; 'tis [Page 70] possible, 'tis probable; but if thou wilt not strive for Heaven, nothing more sure, than that Hell will be thy portion. Oh con­sider these things and re­member, Si ergo à Justitia & pietate quis desi­cit, suo in praeceps fertur arbitrio; suâ concupiscentià tra­hitur; sua persua­sione decipitur. Aug. Resp. ad Art. sibi impos. ad Art. 13.That if you die in your sins, your de­struction will be of your selves, you will be found self-condemned sinners, to whom the Lord may say, How often would I have gathered you together, but you would not! Man's sin, and consequently his ruine is from himself, and not from the Lord, so.‘"Quae mala cum homines admittunt, suis concupiscentiis & cu­piditatibus serviunt, quas ab illa prima volun­tariae praevaricationis labe traxerunt."’

4. Such is the corruption of humane nature, since the fall, as engageth all mankind to slight, neglect, scorn, contemn, and obstinately to despise all the common helps offered us.

It must be acknowledged, that man after the fall remains a man, whence whatever is essential unto the humane nature, as such, is to be found in him, (i.e.) man is still a living, rational crea­ture, his soul is still ennobled with the powers or faculties of understanding, and will, he is capable of knowing and willing. These faculties[Page 71]are not totally eradicated, or rooted out of the soul, for that would be to destroy it. Man is still man, but a corrupt man, that is, though the na­tural powers and faculties remain, yet they are sadly vitiated, in that they are become the seat of vicious propensions, dispositions, and habits: For the Understanding hath not only lost its primogeneal, directive light, and become darkness, but the will is also strangely corrupted, not in the Arminian sense alone as the Remonstrants express it,Act. Scrip. Sy­nod. min. Remonst. in Explic. 3. et. 4. art. de Grat. &c. who say, ‘"Quare li­bertatem volendi indiffe­renter tam bonum saluta­re, quam malum in statu lapsûs voluntati adesse negamus, quin potius liberum Arbitrium ad bona istiusmodi non mo­do vulneratum, sauciatum, infirmatum, incli­natum & attenuatum est, sed & Captivatum, perditum, & amissum, vires (que) ejus non modo debi­litatae & cassae nisi restaurentur à gratia, sed & nul."’ Free-will to what is savingly good (say they) is not only wounded, and weakned, but without a gracious restauration altogether lost, (i.e.) the Understanding having lost its directive light, and the will being a blind power, cannot embrace what is savingly good, not because of any weak­ness in the faculty of the will, but for want of a a Guide to direct it. ‘"In lapsu boni salutaris et salvifici cognitione destituta mens, nequaquam illud ut volendum voluntati monstrare potuit, [Page 72]nec voluntas illud velle."’ But this is unsound, for the weakness of the will, is not meerly because of the blindness of the understanding, but, be­cause 'tis so subjected unto vitious, propensions, dispositions, and habits. The heart of man na­turally runneth out after sin, 'tis bent to com­mit evil, 'tis obstinately resolved against what is savingly good, and therefore morally impotent; men sin because they will sin, as appears both from Scripture and experience. You will not come unto me that ye may have life, you will have none of my counsel, you will not return, you are a stiff-neck'd people, obstinate and rebellious, whence the common assistances of Gods Spirit proves ineffectual and if God did not Glorify Free-Grace any further, none, not the Elect would return unto God, for although Common Grace given unto all, is sufficient to leave all men without excuse, their non-improvement be­ing their sin; yet none are thereby effectually en­gaged to turn unto God in Faith, no not the Elect, who, while unregenerate, are as sin­fully obstinate, as any; their souls being as much polluted with Ignorance, sinfull defections, in­clinations and habits, as others, who are by na­ture Children of Wrath, as others, and for the same reason, who are by nature, as sinful and re­bellious as others. Who more vile than Manas­seh in unregeneracy? and who made more havock of the Church of Christ, than Paul did[Page 73]in the days of his Ignorance? Should the Lord leave all the Sons of men to themselves, they would (notwithstanding the Common Grace af­forded them) run on in sin to their eternal ru­ine. Wherefore,

5. As God did from Eternity in himself deter­mine, and by Covenant engage to give unto our Lord Jesus, a Select number, even so, in time God glorifieth the freeness of his grace, and shews himself faithful, in giving some unto Christ.

Whoever duly observes what hath been al­ready said concerning Election, and the Covenant of Reconciliation made between the Father and the Son, cannot believe the Lord to be a God of truth, the faithful one, and not consent unto this.

6. That those who are given to the Lord Jesus Christ, are by SPECIAL grace most powerfully, yet sweetly drawn unto him by the Father. For none cometh unto Christ, but whom the Father draweth.

7. God the Father, giving this Select Number unto Christ, they are by Faith through the Spirit united unto Christ. For God in drawing and giving them unto Christ, gives Christ, the Spi­rit, and Faith unto them. They by being gi­ven[Page 74]unto Christ, are taken into Covenant with Christ, they are Christs, and Christ is theirs; the Union between them and Christ, being a Cove­nant Union, that is real but mystical. That Lord Christ, that is offered unto all upon their believ­ving, is actually given unto these; and as all may have Christ if they believe, these believe that they may have Christ; God, of his infinitely Free-Grace, makes these a willing People in the day of his power. Whence all that do turn from the evil of their ways, they must ascribe the whole glory to God, even to the praise of his Grace *.

8. To assert, That any, while in unregeneracy, may be united unto Christ, or that any, who sa­vingly believe, may not be united unto Christ, is most false, unsound, and dangerously absurd.

[Page 75]1. To be unregenerate, is to abide in a state of sin, altogether Unclean, Filthy and Polluted, at a distance from God and Jesus Christ; how then can these be One? what, is Christ joyned to an Harlot? or can light have any Union or Commu­nion with darkness?

2. A believer doth close with Christ, which cannot be without Union.

9. Tis both unnecessary, and unprofitable to dis­pute about a moment or instant of nature; as to the precedency of Faith unto Union, or of Union unto Faith. e. g. whether Faith, or the Union, is in or­der of nature first; it being evident, that there is no instant supposable, in which, a soul, who hath saving Faith, is not united unto Christ, or in which One united unto Christ hath not sound saving Faith. But

10. This Faith, and this union is in order of nature antecedent to an actual imputation of Christs Righteousness, and consequently, before our actual Justification in the sight of God.

Communion presupposeth Union; and there­fore, Union must precede an actual imputation, which is but the Communication of Christs Righ­teousness unto us. Faith and Union being Simul­tanecus, [Page 76]and at one and the same instant, as Union, even so Faith, must precede the Commu­nication of Christs Righteousness, and our actu­al justification in the sight of God thereby.

11. This Faith, which doth so necessarily pre­cede, and go before the actu­al justification of a sinner, is the Fidem autem ho­minum, Donum Dei esse fateamur; sine enj [...]s Gratiâ [...] currit ad gratiam. Prosper. Aq. Resp. ad Gal. Object. ad Obj. of God, infus'd into the soul by the holy Spi­rit, that doth irresistibly carry on its work.

1. Grace being the gift of God, the first thing which the soul is capable of in the work of Rege­neration, or conversion is the receiving the gift, or infused habit; the soul doth recipere effectum agentis, which is as much as, Pati, whence the soul, the first instant or moment of conversion, must be considered as passive.

2. This Converting Grace is irresistible; which may be evinced to any unprejudiced mind, that will but consider, that antecedently unto conver­sion, the soul is obstinately bent towards sin. The inclinations of the will, are continually evil, averse to what is good, and both actually and habitually determined to vanity, for which rea­son, the Spirit, in carrying on the work of con­version, meets with great opposition from the[Page 77] sinner; yea, with such opposition, as would al­together impede and hinder the Spirits work, had not the power of the Spirit been great enough to conquer and overcome this habitual obstinacy of the will; but the power of God's Spirit being greater than that of the Sinner, the Sinner is o­vercome, and converted. How? but by that Grace that is Irresistible; it being most evident, that 'tis naturally impossible for finite power to pre­vail against what is infinite; So clear 'tis, that converting grace is irresistible: And surely, had it not been so, never one obstinate sinner, no, not one child of Adam (since all are by nature obsti­nately rebellious sinners) would be converted, for such is the nature of our corrupt wills, that they will never yield, until overcome by an overstrong and irresistible power.

12. This infused Irresistible grace is given un­to the Adult, ordinarily in the use of means, as the preaching of the word, &c. Whence man though pas­sive in the first moment of his conversion, yet, not so passive as some suggest.

1. It must be noted, that Man in conversion is not so passive as a Stone when thrown up into the Air: For the infusion of Grace, being into a Soul, that is, active life, to the end the Soul may be the better prepared for action, the Soul must be also active in the great work of conver­sion. The infusion of Grace into the soul, that is, active life, is not like the infusion of the soul[Page 78]into the body, that is, antecedently to its receiv­ing the soul wholly unactive, purely passive; No, the Lord doth consider the nature, he hath giv­en beings, and his actions towards such beings are suitable to their natures. As a meer passive thing is purely passive in its receptions, even so what is essentially active, cannot but be active in its receptions. To insist on niceties concerning the opposition that is between action and passion, and consequently on the seeming inconsistency, some may judge to be, in this expression active reception, q. d. active passion, is but to quibble; since 'tis impossible to suppose an Essentially-active-being to be in every regard, as passive as pure matter is. God carries on the work of conversi­on on man, in a way agreeable unto that nature God hath given him; which is by inlightening the understanding, and by suscitating, and stir­ing up the powers of the soul to their being duly conversant about their proper objects, influencing, and enabling the will to close with what is pro­posed in the word, as good, and accordingly un­derstood and believed to be so. Although we can­not comprehend how, yet nothing more evident, than that God doth irresistibly, and yet most sweet­ly, without laying any violence on our faculties, draw us from sin unto Jèsus Christ *.

2. This Irresistible grace is given ordinarily in the use of means, viz. the preaching of the word whence Paul must go to be instructed by Anani­as, Acts 9. Philip is sent to preach to the Eu­nuch, Peter is sent to Cornelius, Acts 10. to the end, that by the foolishness of Preaching many might be converted, 1 Cor, 1.21.

13. It is therefore the great duty of all men seriously[Page 80]apply themselves to the use of means, that so they may be converted, and turned unto God. For,

1. Our souls are Essentially-active-beings, and therefore should be engag'd for God, and Holi­ness; and not for sin, and the pleasures there­of.

2. We are commanded to prepare our hearts in order to our turning unto the Lord, 1 Sam. 7.3. Ezek. 14.6. ch. 18.31. which Scrip­tures, as they expresly shew it to be our duty to be active in turning unto God, even so, more­over, they imply, that, if we are active in our work, God will be graciously pleased by his bles­sing, abundantly to encourage us therein. All men, even the wicked, must pray, they must attend on the word, and mind the Salvation of their souls, which if they do, who can tell, but that the Lord may be gracious. Thus Peter said unto Simon the Sorcerer, pray God, if perhaps he will forgive the thoughts of thy heart; For when the wicked do pray, and hear the word, although their prayers, &c.—are an abomination unto the Lord, in that they do not pray with that Faith and Love, &c. they ought; yet, even in that they do both pray and hear the word, they are not so [...]minable, as they would be, should they totally neglect these duties. For, he, who pray's with an unsound heart, fails as to[Page 81]the manner of prayer, but he, who prays not at all, fails as to the matter as well as manner, and consequently is the greater transgressor: Again, he who prays and hears the word, is in a fairer way of receiving a blessing from the Lord, than he, who will neither pray, nor hear the word. In the discharge of these duties, we may meet with God, 'tis probable, because frequently it hath been so; but he who lives in the constant neglect of them, is in danger of losing his im­mortal soul eternally. But remember, that 'tis both duty to pray, and hear, yea, and to do so in Faith with hearts sincerely devoted unto God. We must engage in duty, and yet conclude that all the good we receive is of Grace so Fulgentius *.

[Page 82]From the whole that hath been said, 'tis most certain, that the manifold grace of God, hath been diversly extended to mankind in general, and to some in particular. 1. To mankind in general, and that in these following respects.

1. To all mankind, in that, God the Son as­sumed Humane Nature, in which, he suffered, and fulfilled all righteousness, to the end mans Salvation might become possible. The Lord might have left us all in that helpless, and desperately miserable state, in which we with the fallen Angels were once fixed: But, God ex­tended the riches of his grace towards fallen man, even, when the least favour was not shewn the fallen Angels.

2. To all mankind, in that as the Salvation of all is become possible, the Lord moreover affords unto all, such a sufficiency of help, in order to the doing what is necessary unto an actual en­trance into the glories of God as leaves all [Page 83]such as remain in sin most Inexcusable. The worst of men, who received least, receiving more than they improve, must acknowledg, that Grace was afforded them, but they most wretchedly rejected it. But then

2. The Grace of God is infinitely exalted, in that it is extended after an eminent manner to SOME in special; some receive Faith, and all such other graces, as are necessary to their actual Salvation, who must ascribe the glory of their Faith, Repentance and Conversion, their sincere Obedience, and final perseverance to the glory of Free-Grace.

Here I might enlarge, and shew how and in what respect the Grace of God is exalted, in the Supporting, Refreshing and comforting the believer, while in this life diversely exercised; But I, designing to be short, will insist only on what may clear God from the Reproaches are cast on him by the wicked, who assert that, according to the Opinion of many lear­ned Divines both among the Protestants and Papists, it may be soundly argued, That God doth lay men under a Natural necessity, (i.e.) [a necessity of the consequent, or rather of the Effect] of sinning; which Notion, if true, would subvert not only the greatest part of [Page 84]the preceding Discourse, but even the whole of Religion. The Falsness, and Unsoundness of which wretched reflection, as cast on God by the Irrationally-Athestical Debauchees of our times, I will attempt to evince in the following Chapter.


The Grace of God further cleared. Divine Pro­vidence owned and acknowledged by most. God no way the Author of mans sin. The Domini­can notion about Physical Predetermination vindicated from the Absurdities are said to flow from it. The necessity of our being Modest in enquiries of this Nature. Several reasons for this, drawn from the Depths of the Mystery, as well as from the shallowness of Humane Capa­cities, and the General Confusion the Jews, Phi­losophers and Schoolmen run into, when too nice in their Disquisitions. Some Truths of grea­test importance concerning the exalting Free-Grace, the reasonableness of our discharge of Duty notwithstand Predetermination; and of mans inexcusableness if he neglect it. These Truths known to the Heathen; whence Grace appears in its fuller Glory. A Recapitulation of some of the most material things insisted on, as Instances of Free-Grace. The Conclusion with a Caution, that none Presume to sin because the Lord is Gracious.

THus, I have shewn, in many a respect, how the Grace of God, is displayed in it [...] [Page 86]glory; It therefore, now remains only that I evince, That this grace, is so infinitely extended towards all men, that what man soever perisheth eternally, He doth so, because He will.

I have already proved, that the Decree doth lay no causal influence on mans will, in order to the determining it to a commission of this, or the other individuated actual sin, in that, as 'tis ac­knowledged by all, the Decree, being an Imma­nent, and not Transient act as such, nil ponit in esse.

I'le now essay to demonstrate, that such is the Transcendency of Free-grace, that, what influence soever proceeds from the first cause, in an execution of the eternal decree, it is not such as doth lay a man under a Physical necessity of Sinning.

But before I make an entrance, on a Province, so intricate, it will be necessary, that by way of Prologue, I intimate what in this controversy is plain, and what seems obscure and difficult.

1. What is plain and undoubtedly True.

  • 1. That God is the first Being, yea, and the first Efficient, the Holy, Just and Wise disposer of all things, the Author and Conserver of all Beings.
  • 2. That such is the purity of the Divine Na­ture, that 'tis Impossible God should be the Au­thor [Page 87]of Sin, and consequently, have any causal influence on the sinfulness of humane actions.

The Truth of the first Proposition, although denied by Epicurus, and by Ennius, [as Cicero de Divinat. lib. 2. Ego Deûm genus esse semper dixi, & dicam coelitum: Sed eos non curare opinor, quid agat humanum genus.] by Averrois and some other Peripateticks, contrary to the sense of the great Aristotle [as Franc. Patric. discus. perip. tom. 4. l. 9. expresseth it, ‘'Quid ergo Averrois quid Peripatetici caeteri aiunt, Deum in sui con­templatione, in motione primi Coeli contentum, haec nostratia non curare? Id praeterquam quod nefarium & scelestum dogma est, contra prae­ceptoris mentem ac dicta est.]' &c.’—I say, the Truth of this first proposition, notwithstanding it hath been denyed by a few, is so plain, and obvious, as to command the assent of most, so Franc. Patric. ubi supra. tom. 12. l. 3. sanè de providentia vetustissimum est omnium, nedum Sapi­entum, sed Gentium etiam dogma, and the Lear­ned Mornay de verit. Christ. Relig. c. 11. Anti­qui, [...] seu [...] (i.e.) Deum, seu Provi­dentiam promiscue vocabant, quia neutrum sine altero concipi potest. But Lactantius doth suffici­ently evince this, lib. 2. de orig. erroris. where he saith ‘'Nam Divinâ Providentiâ effectum esse mundum, ut taceam de Trismegisto, qui hoc praedicat, taceam de Carminibus Sibyllarum, [Page 88]quae idem nunciant, taceam de Prophetis, qui opus mundi ac opificium Dei uno spiritu ac pari voce testantur; etiam inter Philosophos penè Universos convenit. Idem etiam Phythagorici, Stoici, Peripatetici, qui sunt principes omnis Disciplinae. Denique à primis illis sapientibus, à Socrate usque ad Platonem, pro confesso & in­dubitato habitum est; donec unus multis post seculis extitit delirus Epicurus.' &c.’

And not only the old Philosophers, but among the Jews, the Assarian sect, as well as that of the Muatzali, and the followers of Rambam; and of the Schoolmen not only the Dominican and Jansenist, but the Molinist, yea, and Durandus himself own a Providence.

The Second, is a Truth no less evident, owned even by the worst of Hercticks (excepting the Seleuciani, and the followers of Florinus, who, in opposing the Coluthians, fell into this contra­ry extream. vide Aug. de Haeresibus c. 59.65.66.) This Mar. Scribonius in Pantal. in cos. de pec. act. dis. 18. qu. 5. asserts, ‘'Nefarii quidem, ac Scelesti fuerunt haeretici antiqui, nullus tamen ita vecors, ut Deum totaliter Authorem peccati fecerit. Non tamen Deum astruebant esse pri­marium peccati authorem, ut malum morale est, sed solùm, quia est Creator omnium, vel quia nonnulli illorum duo principia ponebant, unum boni, aliud mali, & sic unum Deum di­cebant[Page 89]bonum, alium malum; nullus autem ausus est Deum asserere verè ac propriè peccati Autho­rem.'’ The same is confessed by Bellarmine de amiss. Grat. et stat. pecc. l. 2. c. 1. Moreover, the Protestants do with the greatest Zeal conclude, that God is of purer eyes, than to behold iniquity. And as Durandus, the Molinists, yea and the Jansenists, who have espoused the sentiments of St. Austine, even so the Dominicans, if not Peter de Aliaco and Abailardus deny God to be the Author of sin; for surely, as the learned Dr. Stillingfleet has prov'd in his Orig. Sacr. lib. 3. c. 3. Whoever believes the Sacred Scrip­tures, cannot entertain the thoughts of Gods be­ing the Author of sin. ‘'Shall not the Judge of all the World do right? will a God of Infinite Justice, Purity and Holiness, punish the sinner for that which himself was the cause of? Far be such unworthy thoughts from our apprehensions of a Deity, much more of that God whom we believe to have declared his mind so much to the contary, that we cannot believe that, and the Scriptures to be true together.'’

From these two uncontroulable Truths there proceeds another, with as much conviction as either of these, viz.

3. That what man soever sinneth, he doth so freely, man being the sole Author of the sinful­ness of those evil actions he committeth.

[Page 90]This is agreeable to the sentiments, both of the Schoolmen, and Philosophers, as hereafter shall be evinced. But

2. To what is Obscure.

Although these things are so, there arise great difficulties in all humane attempts, how to recon­cile the two latter with the first proposition; concerning which, divers men, do diversly des­cant, every particular Sect amongst the learned, insisting on different Hypotheses for the solving these Phaenomena; In doing which, some in or­der to a more secure establishing the two last pro­positions, express themselves so unwarily, as to tempt many to fear, they are not right in the former; again, such as make it their principal design to confirm, and illustrate the first about Divine Providence, &c. have been censur'd, as if their Dogmata, had been attended with the most black and dismal consequences; whence in­stead of a cordial agreement about these three confessed Truths, there are variety of disputes; contentions, animosities, and quarrels concerning the How can these things be.

But I humbly apprehend, that since, these three propositions are so undoubtedly true, that few, or none presume openly, or directly to op­pose them; tis the great interest, as well as duty of all, rather to satisfy themselves in the produ­cing plain, cogent, Scriptural arguments for[Page 91]their confirmation, than to make a too nice in­quiry into the [...], the way and manner how these things are so. For,

1. Is it not concerning the Modes, or Media of Divine Knowledge, and operations, that the great contest is? which, as they are of what more immediately concerns the Divine Nature, must be acknowledged to be infinitely above hu­mane (which are but finite) capacities. Who can by searching find out God? who can know him, or his ways, unto perfection? Methinks, the arguing of Le blank, is admirable. de concord. libert. hum. cum decret. Div. thes. 43. ‘'Itaque cum r [...]m tantam scrutanti, undique se tenebrae offun­dant & occurrant tricae ac pedicae, ex quibus nos non satis extricare valemus, nihil magis tutum & ingenuum puto, quam ignorantiam nostram hic apertè profiteri, & seriò illud Davidis usurpare, Mirabilis facta est scientia tua prae me, & sub­limior, quam ut assequi possim. Ac quanquam aliorum ingenia nolim ex mea tenuitate metiri, & super hac re modestam disquisitionem damna­re, facile tamen adducor, ut credam mysterium hoc ad ea pertinere, de quibus dicit Sapiens, Altiora te ne quaesieris, & fortiora te ne scru­tatus fueris. Nec mirum videri debet, si mens nostra tam angustis limitibus definita, percipere non possit quâ ratione intellectus Divinus, cui planè nulli sunt fines, ea cognoscat, & attin­gat, [Page 92]quae sunt à cognitione nostra remotissi­ma.'’

2. Is there any thing more certain, than that, all our discourses about these things can be but about what is Obscure? But because we cannot comprehend what is Obscure, must we reject what is most plain and obvious? Cajetane, as I find it in Bellarmine, de grat. et lib. arbit. l. 4. c. 14. expresseth himself as to this, most excellently, ‘'Cajetanus in 1. part. q. 22. art. 4 docet concordiam istam liberi Ar­bitrii cum Divina providentia videri inexplica­bilem, & non intelligibilem in hac vita; Et qui­dem si ita se res haberet, non tamen neganda esset, vel Providentia Dei, vel Libertas hominum. Po­test enim facile contingere, ut aliquid ab una parte manifestè constet, ab altera sit maximè du­bium, & obscurum: & tunc non est negandum unum propter alterum: Nunquid (inquit S. Aug. lib. de bono perseverantiae, c. 14.) ideo negandum est quod Apertum est, quia compre­hendi non potest quod occultum est?'’ But

3. 'Tis humbly apprehended, That, what­ever is extorted, and with the greatest violence forced from the Dominican Hypothesis, when laid on the rack by the Molinist and some others; it may be easily evinced, that these Dominicans in giving God the glory of being the only wise orderer, and disposer of all things do no way cast[Page 93]him under the blasphemous reproach, of being the Author of the sinfulness of any of our evil actions; neither, according unto them, is Hu­mane Liberty and Physical predetermination Irre­concilable.

Before I begin to attempt the clearing this, I must crave leave, to do my self the right of as­suring the Reader, that although I do engage my self so far in favour of these Dominicans, 'tis not to discover any Zeal for that faction, who in the Roman Church, are as bloody, as any; nor for the Hypothesis, which is as Metaphysically and obscurely, as boldly worded by some of them, but 'tis to shew, that such is the Grandure of Free-Grace, that notwithstanding the seeming severi­ty of this Doctrine, none shall be able to say, that they following the Dominicans, verily belie­ved that they were so Physically predetermined to the sinfulness of those actions, they committed, that the true reason of their damnation, is their doing what they were by an Omnipotent, Over­strong, and Invincible Force violently compelled to do; for according to the Dominican notion, what sinner soever dieth in his sin, is a self con­demned sinner; which being so, in the sense of these Stoical Schoolmen, there can be no scruple, but that in the sense of most others, such as pe­rish in their iniquity will be found to be [...], condemn'd of themselves. For what more evident, than that the Arminian, and the Moli­nist [Page 94]pretend to oppose the Dominican, principal­ly to clear God from the reproach of being a destroyer of Humane Liberty, and consequent­ly, from the being the Author of mans sin? and 'tis as certain, that for the same reason, Duran­dus rejects not only the notion of the Dominican, but also that of the Molinist, insisting only on a Remote, or mediate concourse of the first cause with the second, espousing that old Dogma of Ori­gen, and the Pelagians, as Bellarmine asserts de Grat. & Lib. Arb. l. 4. c. 4. ‘'Quidam enim do­cuerunt, posse homines, ut etiam res caeteras, opera sua efficere sine ullo Dei auxilio, sive ge­nerali sive speciali. Ita videtur sensisse Origines in lib. 3. de principiis, ut annotavit S. Tho­mas lib. 3. contra Gentiles c. 89. ita etiam sen­serunt Pelagiani, teste S. Hieronymo in Epist. ad Ctesiphontem, & lib. 1. adv [...] Pelag. ita sen­sit ex Scholasticis Theologis Durandus in 2. Sent. dist. 1. q. 5. & dist. 37.1.'’ Whence it appears, that Durandus was not the Author of this Pelagian Hypothesis; Mention being made of it long before him, even by the Master of the Sentences, Albertus, Henricus, and others, yea, and by S. Austin de Gen. ad lit. t. 5. c. 20. as I find in Malderus in 12. Thorn. q. 79. dub. 2. ‘'Meminit hujus sententiae Magister, Albertus Henricus & alii, sunt enim (inquit Aug.) qui arbitrantur tantummodò mundum ipsum factum à Deo, caetera jam fieri ab ipso mundo, sicut [Page 95]ille ordinavit & jussit, Deum autem ipsum ni­hil operari:'’ These things being so, I shall no sooner be able to evince the Physical Predetermi­nant to be one who is so far from casting man under a Physical necessity of sinning, as to con­clude, his destruction to be of himself, but this fol­lowing truth will appear in its splendor, viz. That such is the Infiniteness of Free-Grace towards all, that whoever is for sin condemned to e­ternal flames, is so most Righteously, after the abuse of much patience, and forbearing Love.

In order then, to a more clear, and convin­cing procedure, it must be observed,

1. That the Dominican acknowledge the se­cond cause to be in a proper sense a cause, and con­sequently, Man the proper, though not the Soli­tary Efficient of his own actions: Herein do the Dominicans differ from Peter de Aliaco and Ga­briel his follower, as Molina himself asserts in 1 m. Thom. q. 14. Art. 13. Disp. 5. ‘'Gabriel (inquit Molina) in 4. dist. q. 1. Art. 1. & Art. 3. dub 2. & 3. secutus Petrum de Aliaco, in ea est sententia, ut dicat Causas secundas nihil omnino operari, sed Deum in illis, atque ad earum praesentiam se solo, producere omnes ef­fectus, unde Dub. 3. Citato, ait, Causas secun­das non propriè esse causas, quasi influunt in ef­fectum—Causas vero secundas, dicit appellari[Page 96]Causas sine quibus non, quatenus constitutum habet Deus ad earum praesentiam producere effectus;'’ which opinion of Peter de Aliaco dif­fers not from that of the Sectators of Mahomet; as Bellarmine out of Thom. in q. 3. de potentia, art. 7. doth declare. The clearness then of this Truth is such, that, should I enter on an enume­rating, the many Authorities, which may be easily produced for the evincing it to be the sense of the Dominicans, viz. that the second cause is suo gene­re a proper cause, and that, man, notwithstanding that Physical Efficient predetermination, that doth premove him to those actions he performs, is su­arum actionum Dominus, doing what he doth most Freely, time would fail me; and since, the great contest is, rather about the Reconcilable­ness of these points, than about the Dominicans avouching them, 'tis become unnecessary: I will therefore proceed to a 2d. thing.

2. The Dominicans do also distinguish be­tween the materiale, & formale peccati, and as­sert, that Physical predetermination hath a causal influence only on the materiale, q. d. The Materi­ale seu Substratum peccati est à Deo tanquam à Causa prima, which is but according to the ge­neral sentiment of the Schoolmen, as Mar. Scrib. doth particularly evince, by which they clear God from being the Author of sin. The Mate­riale, seu actio quatenus actio, being quid physicum [Page 97]as such, is ens reale, and consequently, since ens & bonum convertuntur, 'tis somewhat good, & à Deo; for, omne ens est, aut primum, aut à pri­mo ortum. Thus Gabriel and Richard in 2 dist. 37. q. 1. (as Scribonius at large in Pantal. in Cos. de pec. actuali, dis. 18. q. 4.) ‘'asserunt De­um non esse causam malitiae peccati, quae conse­quitur actum positivum; quia quilibet actus pec­cati, potest esse sine malitia; & exemplum potest esse in odio Dei, quod, quamvis maximè omni­um videatur conjunctum cum malitia, potest tamen esse sine illa—& ideo, licet Deus con­currat in omnem actum, non tamen concurrit in actus malitiam.'’ Yea, Sotus li. 1. de nat. & Grat. c. 18. & Canus lib. 2. de locis c. 4. & in lect. de Sacram. p. 4. &c.—‘'dicunt, quod licet Deus concurrat ad actum peccati secundum rationem, & substantiam operis, non tamen dicit causam peccati secundum formalem rationem culpae. Sunt enim, inquiunt, Duo causarum genera, alterum causae naturalis, quales sunt omnes causae Physi­cae, alterum causae moralis, qualis est ille, qui monet, imperat & consulit. Cum igitur Deus con­currat cum nostra voluntate ad actum Peccati, per modum Causae naturalis, non moralis, nulla ratione potest dici Causa Peccati, non enim monet, suadet, consulit ad peccatum, sed solum ad Actum, qui, si naturaliter sumatur, vitiosus non est, sed solum prout moraliter, quia Culpa secundum rationem Culpae, non à Causa naturali, sed à morali procedit.'’


[Page 98]The like Anselm l. de concord praesc. praedest. Grat. & Lib. Arb. c. 1. ‘'Facit, inquit, Deus om­nia, quae justâ, vel injustâ voluntate fiunt, (i.e.) opera bona, & mala. In bonis enim facit quod sunt, & quod bona sunt; in malis facit quod sunt, non quod mala sunt.' So he is quoted by Bellarmine de Grat. & Lib. Arb. l. 4. c. 4.’

Thus, they distinguish between the Materiale and the Formale of sin: which distinction once granted, and added to the foregoing assertion about mans being a proper cause of his own acti­on, the Dominicans will be sufficiently defended from all the Reproaches cast on their Doctrine, about the making God the Author of sin; and real­ly, this distinction (although in other words,) is acknowledged by their adversaries, who say, that the Actus Peccati may be considered as in genere, in which sense 'tis quid distinctum à formâ specificante, of which God, the Fons naturae, is the Universal Cause, and what is this actus pec­cati, condsidered in genere, but the same with the Materiale: 'Tis true, if we consider the acti­on, as a sinful action, and in the action include the obliquity, that action, as such, is not à Deo; yet in that action, there is the Act it self distin­guishable from the obliquity, which Act is ens Physicum, & à Deo, thus Bellarmine de amiss. grat. & stat. pecc. l. 2. c. 18. ‘'Actiones intrin­secè nullas malas esse nisi ut sint determinatae in specie; nam entitas ipsa Odii Dei, si per se con­sideretur,[Page 99]non est mala sed solum ut est talis en­titas.'’ Yea and Durandus himself adknowledg­eth as much lib. 2. dist. 37. Q. 1. which is, Utrum actio peccati secundum quod actio, sit à Deo? which he affirms, with this reason, ‘'Quia illud quod non est causa actus, non est causa effectus producti per actum; sed per actionem peccati aliquid effectus in esse producuntur: ge­nerantur enim homines ex adulteriis. Si ergo talium actionum Deus non esset causa, per con­sequens nec hominum, qui his actionibus gene­rantur, quod est inconveniens.'’ And thence he concludes, ‘'Quod Deus est causa actionis pecca­ti Universalis & prima; for which reason he must distinguish inter actionem peccati & ipsum pec­catum, seu obliquitatem (i.e.) inter materiale, & formale,'’ unless the very sin, as to its forma­lity, or obliquity sit à Deo.

Whence then, according unto the Dominican, the obliquity of a sinful action, is not from God, but from man; who is a Proper cause of all his own actions; and who is the sole cause of the ob­liquity of them, as hath been proved.

I confess that great attempts are made for the reproaching this doctrine, and that the Advantages which some (if not too many) Obscure writers have given, by insisting on a Physical-Efficient-Praemotion, as the cause of the Individuated acti­on, as evil, have been great; but if, notwithstand­ing[Page 100]the unhappiness such have been guilty of, in expressing themselves so unwarily, they mean no more, than what I have said concerning the Materiale peccati, &c. I humbly apprehend, their sense to be defensible; for what more evi­dent than that their several opposers (as hath been prov'd) acknowledging that God is the cause of all Being, and of every Action, as such, do seem to grant the whole, these Moderate Pre­determinants, would be thought to assert? How­ever it must be acknowledged, that the severe and Rigid do assert what is attended with Insupe­rable difficulties, the consequences that are said to flow from their Hypothesis, seeming most gros­ly absurd. And be it so, Yet

1. Since these, do detest the Dogma of Hobbes, and Spinosa, and with the greatest indignation, shew their abhorrence to all such gross, and blasphemous absurdities, why may we not charitably conclude, that the con­fusion, they have plung'd themselves into, is but equal to that of their bold adversaries, occasion'd by a peremptory determining what is too sublime and high, yea, and what is by finite comprehen­sions really indeterminable? Consider what the learned Mr. Baxter in his Cathol. Theolog. part. 1. Sect. 7. hath most excellently evinced in shew­ing, That 'tis impossible Finite Mortals should comprehend the modes or media of Di­vine Knowledge, or of Divine Operations; whence who-ever enters into a dispute [Page 101]about the controversies between the Do­minicans, Jesuites, &c. cannot but run them­selves into such intricate, and perplexing Nice­ties, as will, after the utmost attempts, prove dismally confounding; and therefore what the same Reverend Mr. B. saith in the following Sect. about Fore-knowledge is true as to Physical-Predetermination, viz. ‘'If any particular man­ner therefore offer it self to your minds, as that which probably seemeth to be the Right, it may afford you reason therefore to suspect, that it is not the right: Because it is certain, that the manner is past our reach. And what man can comprehend is infinitely below God.'’

This being the Truth; no wonder, if the bold entangle themselves, and by an unwariness of expression insist on such Notions, as are ac­companied with difficulties most invincible; In order to an escaping which, I humbly apprehend a consulting that most excellently Treatise of the learned and Judicious Dr. Burthogge. viz. his Organon novum, may be of great use. For in that little Tract, there are such Harmonical (which are the most convincing) Arguments, as cannot but oblige the Discreet Reader to satisfy himself in being modest in his inquiries about most things, especially about what is so abstruse, since otherwise looking too near things, instead of obtaining more distinct and full conceptions, he may be abundantly confounded: There must [Page 102]be a due distance between the faculty, (as well as the Organ) and its object; for by our looking too near the Object, we run into the dark, con­tradicting one another even when agreed; or if there be a difference, such, as embrace not the one extreme, must be censured, as Asserters and Abettors of the other; yea, and in the heats of disputation, many fall into the Error they would oppose: Many instances of each particu­lar might easily have been produc'd, but I'le only mention some. As, 1. Alvarez, who repre­sents Calvin as an opposer of the Dominican opi­nion, even when by others the same Calvin is blam'd for espousing it. 2. Victorinus by the learned (but proud) Illyricus is revil'd, as if the denyal of that strange error contended for by Simon Musaeus, and himself, had been Pelagianism. Moreover, 3. In the present dispute, How do the confident, on every side, discover their weaknes­ses by falling into the errors they pretend to re­ject? Thus the Anti-Dominicans, who despise the Predeterminants distinctions, for reasons that are as much against their own, and who in for­cing strange consequences from the Dogmata of the Dominican, do themselves entertain Noti­ons as liable to the same absurdities. How much is said against all those who are onely for an Im­mediate concourse, not by the Dominican only, but also by the Durandists, and what is conside­rable is this, That the Reverend Mr. B. in his [Page 103] Cathol. Theol. li. 1. part. 3. § 4. doth argue most unanswerably against them, in the following words. ‘'It surpasseth my understanding to conceive, what it is for God Physicè influere in actum immediate, & non in potentiam seu vir­tutem agentem: Nor how he can be said to move the faculties to act, that doth cause the act, and not meddle with (and therefore not move) the Faculty. Nor know I how an Act immedi­ately (and not the Agent) can be the terminus of a Physical Motion.'’ But since Durandus is the man who seems to have an advantage above all others, I will instance onely in him: whom Bellarmine has prov'd to assert what necessarily infer's Deum operari omnia peccata. For saith Bellarmine de Grat. & Lib. Arb. l. 4. c. 4. ‘'Post Pelagium Durandus dicit, Deum omnia operari, quia virtutes operatrices rebus attribuit.—But if this should be so, sequeretur Deum omnia pec­cata operari, quia dedit homini & Angelo Liberum Arbitrium, quo peccata omnia fiunt. Et apud Durandū id maximè locum haberet, cum ipse contendat in 2. sentent. dist. 44. Po­tentiam peccati formaliter esse à Deo.'’

Thus the learned may impose on each others infirmities ad infinitum, to the great dishonour of God and of his truths. Oh! what reason then have we to be cautelous in our expressions con­cerning these matters! for, what we speak, since it so nearly concerns the Glory of that God, who[Page 104]is cloth'd with terrible Majesty, and whose name is a Great and a Dreadful Name, we should do it with Fear and Trembling; with an humble mo­desty, dreading the thoughts of being bold in any determinations, about what is so incomprehensible in it self, and so infinitely above the largest cre­ate capacity. But what is further of weight with me is this, viz.

2. That these very things, have been bandied amongst the learned of all ages, not only by the Antichristian (I had almost said the Irreligious and Trifling) Schoolmen; but also by the Jewish Rabbines and Heathen Philosophers, who spent much time in these unsearchably deep mysteries, to no accountable advantage; can we then hope to explicate what by woful experience hath been found inexplicable from the beginning. But,

1. As touching the Jews, whoever consults Rabbi Moses Ben Majemon in his more Nevoch. part. 3. c. 17. as translated by Buxtorf. Fil. may see, that as there are the Dominicans, Molinists, and others amongst the Schoolmen; even so, a­mongst them, there were, not only some who followed Epicurus, but also some of the Judge­ment of Aristotle, qui credunt, quarundam rerum esse providentiam, ita ut ab aliquo regantur & di­rigantur; quaedam verò derelicta, & fortunae[Page 105]esse exposita. But others contrary unto these, as­sert, ‘'omnia esse ex certa voluntate, intentione, & gubernatione. Haec sententia est Sectae Assariae inter Ismaelitas, & sequuntur eam inconvenien­tia & absurda multa: Tollitur secundum eam natura possibilium, quod omnia sunt vel necessa­ria, vel impossibilia. Insuper sequitur, nihil quicquam prodesse leges. &c. Quarta sententia est eorum qui statuunt, Hominem potestatem vel facultatem aliquam habere, &c. Et in hac sententia est Secta Muatzali, licet potestatem homini absolutam non tribuant. Ex hac quo­que sententia, absurda & contradictoria multa sequuntur.'’ And then he comes unto the last, which, he saith, is according to their Law, which is, Quod homo per naturam, Arbitrium, & voluntatem suam faciat, quicquid homo facere potest. Thus they presuming too much on sa­cred mysteries, as some, came near unto the Truth, others, as far from it, but all in an heat, insisting on the absurdities of each others opini­ons.

2. The heathen Philosophers, were entangled with the same perplexities, contradicting each other. So Cicero de Fato, who saith that some of [...]he Old Philosophers. ‘'censerent omnia ita fato fieri, ut id fatum vim necessitatis afferret. In qua sententia Democritus, Heraclitus, Empe­docles, Aristoteles fuit: altera sententia eorum, [Page 106] quibus viderentur sine ullo fato esse animorum motus voluntarii;'’ but Chrysippus, the chief of the Stoicks, would walk in medio, ‘'tanquam ar­biter honorarius, medium se ferre voluisse: Sed applicat se ad eos potius, qui necessitate motus animos liberatos volunt. Dum autem verbis utitur suis, delabitur in eas difficultates, ut ne­cessitatem Fati confirmet invitus.'’ But I hum­bly conceive that this Chrysippus, and all the Stoicks his sectators, had a glimpse of this doc­trine about Physical Predetermination, which, they concluded to be necessarily inferred, from that other about Prescience, as may be easily evin­ced out of Cicero de divinatione, where their no­tion de Fato is explained thus, ‘'Fatum autem id appello, quod Graeci [...] (i.e.) or­dinem, seriemque causarum, cum causa causae nexa rem ex se gignat, Ea est ex omni aeterni­tate fluens veritas sempiterna. Quod cum ita sit, nihil est factum, quod non futurum fuerit [...] codemque modo nihil est futurum cujus no [...] causas id ipsum efficientes, natura contineat. Ex quo intelligitur, ut fatum sit non id quod su­perstitiose, sed id quod Physicè dicitur, Caus [...] aeterna rerum, Cur & ea, quae praeterierunt, fact [...] sint, & quae instant, fiant, & quae sequuntur, futura sint.' &c.—’Whence they consider th [...] Doctrine de Divinatione, & de Fato, to be a [...] 'twere inseparable, the former necessarily i [...] ferring the latter; for in their judgment, nothin [...] [Page 107]can be Foreknown, but what hath a Natural An­teceding cause. This concluded by the Stoicks, they are plunged into as many an intricate per­plexity, as are our Physical Predeterminants; some asserting this to be a dogma attended with the same absurd consequences, that of De­mocritus, &c. is viz. that it introduceth a neces­sity on humane actions; ‘'At qui introducunt causarum seriem sempiternam, ij mentem ho­minis voluntate libera spoliatam necessitate fati devinciunt.'’ But Chrysippus, hath his distincti­ons to clear himself from such smart censures, as is to be seen in Cicero de Fato, Where you will find him to conclude thus: ‘'Non enim si alii ad alia sint propensiores propter causas naturales, & antecedentes, idcirco etiam nostrarum volunta­tum, atque appetitionum, sunt causae naturales & antecedentes, nam nihil esset in nostra pote­state, [...]si res ita se haberet,'’ q. d. Physical prede­termination doth not infer a Physical necessity on humane actions, whence Chrysippus, cum & necessitatem improbaret, & nihil vellet sine prae­positis causis evenire, causarum genera distinguit, ut & necessitatem effugiat, & retineat fatum. His distinction is this. Causarum aliae sumt perfectae & principales, aliae adjuvantes, & proximae: And con­cedes, that if the causae antecedentes had been per­fectae & principales, Humane Liberty had been de­stroyed, but since they are but adjuvantes & proxi­mae, 'tis not so: But they are mightily confounded.[Page 108] Diodorus contradicting Chrysippus, asserting no­thing to be possible, but what is necessary and future: Carneades insisting on a distinction inter causas fortuitò antegressas, & inter causas cohiben­tes in se efficientiam naturalem, and others argu­ing against both prescience and predetermination, as what is impossible. In the apprehension of some the one introduceth the other; and again, 'tis urged, as if one destroyed the other. In Ci­cero de divin. l. 2. 'tis thus disputed;

1. Praesensio seu praedictio [or if you will prae­scientia] non est earum rerum quae sunt fortuitae: For, ‘'Nihil est tam contrarium rationi, & con­stantiae, quam fortuna; ut mihi nè in Deum quidem cadere videatur,'’ ut sciat quid casu, & fortuitò futurum sit; si enim scit, certò illud eveniet; sin certè eveniet—rerum igitur fortuita­rum nulla est praesensio, [q.d.nulla praescientia.] ‘'Aut si negas esse fortunam & omnia quae fiunt,'’ quae­que futura sint, ex omni aeternitate definita dicis esse fataliter; muta definitionem Divinationis, quam dicebas esse praesensionem rerum fortuita­rum, to which I may agreeably enough add [rerum contingentium.] But on the con­trary;

2. Praesensio [seu praescientia] non est rerum futurarum: ‘'Nam si fato omnia fiant, nihil nos d monere potest, ut cautiores simus; quoquo[Page 109]enim modo nos gesserimus, fiet tamen illud quod futurum est; sin autem id potest flecti, nullum est fatum, ita nec Divinatio [seu Prae­scientia] quidem, quoniam ea rerum futura­rum est. Nihil autem est pro certo futurum, quod potest aliqua procuratione accidere ne fiat. Si enim nihil sit extra Fatum, nihil levari re Di­vina potest.'’

Thus many an hundred years have been spent in these inquiries, by such as have been both too curious and confident; and what was the fruit of all their labours, but in some, confusion and much torment; in others, viz. the more judicious and sober, just light enough to see their Ignorance, and the truth of this, viz. that there was a Pro­vidence, a Fate; which in Laertius his Zeno is Ratio per quam mundus administratur; and that notwithstanding this Fate or Providence, man was not so divested of his rational liberty, as to be by force compel'd to a violation of the Laws. From all which, I thus argue. That either we must be modest in our inquiry after these things; or give our weak understandings the liberty of rave­ling into the whole of this Labyrinth; If the Second, then there remaineth nothing but obscu­rity, confusion and torment, if not, through rash­ness, much error, and our time spent in contra­dicting, reviling, and severely censuring each other ad infinitum: But if the First, if we must [Page 110]be modest, then surely, enough may be said even in favour of the Dominicans, to shew, that Physical Predetermination, as Prescience, doth but infer, a Logical necessity, which necessity is consistent enough, in the judgment of all, with Humane Liberty. The product of all which will be this, viz. That such are the transactions of God with men, so infinitely wise, so Just, so Equal, so Holy, and yet so merciful and Graci­ous, that none, no not those who are to be condemned unto Eternal Misery, will have one word to offer against God.

Oh! How Infinite is the Freeness of his Grace!

Thus, I have further shewn, the Grace of God to be so infinitely glorious, that there is nothing in those profound points about Prede­termination, &c.—when modestly asserted, that can in the least blemish it; I say, when modestly asserted, because such as are too confident, and peremptory in their determinations about this point, which is as dark and as mysterious as any in the whole body of Divinity, may suddenly break the bounds, and come too near the Mount to their own hurt.

For although a Predetermination is most clear­ly Revealed in Scripture, yet whether by a Phy­sical efficient-praemotion to this sinful action, ra­ther than to that, is not so obvious. A praedetermina­tion there is; but whether St. Austin, Prosper and Fulgentius had not righter apprehensions of it, [Page 111]than the Dominicans, who differ from St. Austin in several respects as Jansenius in his Augustinus de Grat. Christ. Salvat. lib. 8. c. 1. &c.—hath unanswerably proved, is no impertinent Quaery.

But without any further determination of these incomprehensible difficulties, as I have be­gun, so I'le end both this Chapter and Treatise with most necessary and concerning truths, which as they are so self-evident as to be known to the Heathen, in like manner they are such as add to the illustrating Free-Grace.

1. That, Although God is the great Orderer and Disposer of all things, the Author, and con­server of all beings, and hath eternally predeter­mined, and fore-ordained all things that come to pass in time; yet man is not hereby Physi­cally necessitated to any sin, but doth what he doth most freely, and therefore, must not com­plain on God, nor neglect the performance of Ho­ly duties unto him.

1. Mans Liberty is not destroyed by Predeter­mination; so Seneca Natur. Quaest. l. 2. c. 38. ‘'Ista nobis opponi solent, ut probetur nihil volun­tati nostrae relictum, & omne jus fato traditum. Cum de ista re agitur, dicam, quemadmodum, manente fato, aliquid sit in hominis arbitrio' &c.—’

[Page 112]2. Men must not complain on God, as if they had been compel'd to sin: So Chrysippus in A. Gell. noct. Attic. lib. 6. c. 2. ‘'Propterea Negat opor­tere ferri, audirique homines aut nequam aut ig­navos & nocentes & audaces; qui cum in culpa, & in maleficio revicti sunt, perfugiunt ad Fati necessitatem, tanquam in aliquod Fati asylum; & quae pessimè fecerunt, ea non suae temeritati, sed fato esse attribuenda dicunt.'’

3. We ought not to neglect duty, notwith­standing this Predetermination, but must Pray, and use such means, as are suited to the obtain­ing the desired end. So Seneca ubi supra c. 37. ‘'nos quoque existimamus vota proficere, salvâ vi ac potestate fatorum; quaedam enim à Diis immortalibus ita suspensa relicta sunt ut in bo­num vertant, si admotae Diis preces fuerint; si vota suscepta. Ita non est hoc contra fatum, sed ipsum quoque in Fato est.'’

‘'Aut futurum, inquit, est, aut non. Si futu­rum est, etiam si non susceperis vota, fiet: Si non est futurum, etiam si susceperis vota, non fiet: Falsa est illa interrogatio; quia mediam illam in­ter ista exceptionem praeteris. Futurum, inquam, hoc est, sed si vota suscepta fuerint.'’ So Cicero, de fato. ‘'Sic enim interrogant: Si fatum tibi est ex hoc morbo convalescere; sive medicum adhibu­eris, sive non, convalesces. Item si fatum tibi [Page 113]est, ex hoc morbo non convalescere: sive tu medicum adhibueris, sive non, non convales­ces: & Alterutrum fatum est; medicum ergo adhibere nihil attinet. Rect [...] genus hoc inter­rogationis ignavum atque [...], nominatum est, quod eadem ratione, omn [...] è vita tolle­tur actio. But to the Second self-evident propo­sition."’

2. That although we cannot fully compre­hend HOW these things are reconcilable; yet we have the greatest reason imaginable, to con­clude, that they are most true; yea, and capa­ble of a Reconciliation: What is not possible with men, is possible with God; Gods works do bear the characters of Divinity on them, and conse­quently 'tis become impossible, that any Finite wight, should have any adaequate conceptions of them; We must be satisfied, that we know, what is, though we cannot comprehend How it is.

For the confirming this, consider what is said by Lactantius de Orig. er. l. 2. c. 9. ‘"Adeo nefas existimandum est, ea scrutari quae Deus voluit esse celata.—Quasi verò ex hoc putan­dum sit, non esse haec divinitus facta, quia quo modo facta sunt, non potest pervideri—Opera ipsius videntur oculis: Quomodo autem illa [Page 114]fecerit, ne mente quidem videtur: quia (ut Her­mes ait) mortale immortali, temporale perpetuo, & corruptibile incorrupto propinquare non po­test, id est propius accedere, & intelligentia subsequi.—Denique, cum aperiret homini veritatem Deus, ca sola scire nos voluit, quae interfuit hominem scire ad vitam consequendam; quae verò ad curiosam & profanam cupiditatem pertinebant, reticuit, ut arcana essent. Quid ergo quaeris, quae nec potes scire, nec si scias, beatior fias? perfecta est in homine sapientia, si & Deum esse unum, & ab ipso esse facta universa cognoscat. So Cicero de divinat. l. 1. Hoc sum contentus, quòd etiamsi Quomodo quidque fiat ignorem, Quid fiat, intelligo—sic ventorum & Imbrium signa, quae dixi, rationem quam habeant, non satis perspicio: vim & e­ventum agnosco, scio, approbo. Again, Quid quaeris, Carneades, cur haec ita fiant, aut qua arte perspici possent? nescire me fateor: evenire autem, teipsum dico videre.—Quae est igitur ista calliditas, res vetustate robustas calumniando velle pervertere? Non reperio causam, Latet fortasse obscuritate involuta naturae. Non enim me Deus ista scire, sed his tantummodo uti voluit. Utar igitur," &c.

From these two acknowledged Truths there [...]oth naturally flow this other. viz.

[Page 115]3. That none more Judicious and wise, none more sober and modest, none more regardful of the Dread Majesty of God, than those who, on the strict est inquiry after these things, profess, that what concerns God, so immediately, as these profound Doctrines about the modes, and media of Divine operations, being infinitely beyond us, are more meet for our humble admiration, than proud deter­mination. Placeus is to be applauded, who saith tract. de lib. arb. (as I find in Le blank de con­cil. Arb. Hum. cum div. concurs. ad Thes. 52.) Nos quidem Qua Reverentia erga Infinitam Dei Majestatem ducimur, non Audemus definire quanta sit dependentia causae secundae à prima. Nobis sufficit, modo ne Deo ullam peccatorum nostrorum, vel minimam labem aspergat, non posse Nimiam statui. So Le Blank himself, ubi supra. thes. 55,58,59. ‘"Quantum ad me attinet, horumce Doctissimorum virorum modestiam maximè laudandam censeo: & mo­dum Divini concursus, quo cum causis secundis prima cooperatur, pro certo definire temerarium mihi & nimium audax videtur, quum ingenii nostri tenuitas divinae potentiae & sapientiae abyssum penetrare & scrutari non valeat, nec ea res sit satis ratione percepta, aut sat distincte in sacra Scriptura Revelata," &c.—’Yea, and be­fore them the same was the sense of the Judicious, [Page 116]as I find in Pet. Tartaret. Reportata, in senten. &c. ‘"Tota materia praedestinationis tangit mysterium imperscrutabile intellectui humano. Nam ad Roman. 11. Exclamat Paulus, O altitudo &c. Ne igitur scrutando, de profundo in pro­fundum eatur, ut dicit Magister," &c.

Thus I have gone thorough the Province, I engaged in, and have in some measure, made a Display of this Glorious Grace. I have shewn, That the Election of some unto Grace, and Glory, even when others are passed by, but left as self condemned wretches, is of Grace. That the Covenant transaction, between the Father and the Son from all Eternity, considered in its particu­lars, adds light unto this profound mystery: That God the Son should assume humane nature, and in that nature, lie under both the Guilt and punishment of sin is admirable; and that the Righteousness of Christ should be given the elect believer in order to his actual entrance into to Glories of God is no less surprising. That Grace is offered all, and although rejected by all, yet ac­tually given some, in such circumstances that the honour of all Gods other attributes is set forth with the greater Lustre, is also of Grace. In the doing all which, to the end, I might, according to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, Vindicate God, from those blasphemous, and unworthy[Page 117]abuses are cast on his pure Majesty by the Antino­mian; I have proved, that no spot of sin was ever on the Lord Christ, He never was stained with the filth of any evil, neither are the Elect sancti­fied by an imparting or an imputing the subjective Intrinsecal Holiness of Christ unto them; nor, are they actually justified in God's sight, while under the pravalcncy of unbelief: Moreover, in oppo­sition to the Arminian, I have evinced, That God, in giving Grace unto the Elect, converts them by the Irresistible power of his Holy Spirit, which, although so necessary to our conversion, that none are savingly engaged to believe in Christ without it, yet doth it not lay man under any unnatural violence, but sweetly draws him un­to our blessed Jesus. Whence it follows that al­though mans destruction is of himself, his conver­sion and Salvation is wholly of Free-grace. And in fine, that no Debauchee or Atheist may have the least pretence for the abuses he may cast on God, as if there had been any want of Grace in him, I have prov'd that the Dominican Hypothesis, which seems most liable to exception, if modestly (i.e. Judiciously) look't into, will appear to be Defensible against those reproaches are cast on it: It being most evident, that although God is both our Creator, and Preserver, He, in whom we live, move, and have our being, yet doth he not lay man under a Physical necessity of sinning, for mans[Page 118]sin is from himself; as is asserted by the Stoicks themselves; which being so, I will only add this Caution, viz. That, although, the Grace of God is so infinitely extended, (as hath been fully proved) yet 'tis a sin to expect the being made a partaker of the special instances thereof, unless we sincerely repent; 'Tis the Believing, Repen­ting, Humbled sinner, that is the proper object of this Glorious Grace. Despise not then this Grace, by continuing in thy sin; for, as there are mercies with the Lord, 'tis, that he should be feared: Despisest thou the Riches of his Goodness and Forbearance, and Long-suffering, not knowing that the Goodness of God leadeth to Repentance? Re­member then that if Free-Grace leadeth thee not to Repentance, thou dost but treasure up unto thy self wrath against the day of wrath, and Reve­lation of the Righteous judgment of God.

Think on these things seriously, and by an Holy, Humble life give God the Glory of all this Grace.



SInce the preceding Discourse hath been finished, I have had the advantages of such Remarks on some Particulars therein con­tain'd, as do call for a fuller Explanation of my thoughts concerning them; for which Reason, I must presume on the Candor of the Reader, in adding this following Appendix.

§ 1. I have insisted much on the distinction there is between the Sin itself, and the Guilt of the Fault, which some think to be but one, and the same thing; for Reatus, being à Re, it doth intimate, that the being guilty of Sin, imports no more than that he is a Real Sinner, (i.e.) hath really sinned, or broken the Law; whereas I humbly conceive, it doth moreover import a liableness to Punishment for Sin: But that I may be the more full in the discovering my thoughts, it will be proper to consider,

1. The Impo [...]t of the word Guilt, which in Latine is Reatus, a word not very ancient; for,[Page ii]say the Learned, ‘"Dictio Reatus Ciceroni & aliis antiquis inusitata, primùm à M. Messala con­ficta, ut Fabius autor est lib. 8."’ So Schard. But how novel soever this word is, yet, among the Romans it signified the quality, and state of the Accused; which was represented to be sad and disimal, by the poor, filthy, squalid garments the accused did wear, yea, and by Hair and Beards undressed, ‘"Reatus, status, & conditio Reorum, (h.e.) ut Budaeus ait, Habitus demissus, pan­nosus, squalidus, & misericordiae aucupator,"’ whence Martial. lib. 2. Epigram.

Si det iniqua tibi tristem fortuna reatum
Squalidus haerebo pallidiorque Reo.

The like may be concluded from what is men­tioned by Plinie, lib. 7. ad Suram. And also by Aul. Gell. noct. Attic. lib. 3. c. 4.] All which was done, thereby to engage the Judges to a more compassionate procedure, they being an­ciently considered as Guilty, as soon as Accused, and consequently, before it appear'd, that the Fault, of which they were Accused, was Really committed by them, whence although Reus sit à Re, it is not as if the person had been denomina­ted Guilty meerly because he had really done the Fact; but he is said to Reus à Re, quae ab eo petitur, whence the guilty person is one, qui defen­dit, & propulsat actionem, vel accusationem; yea,[Page iii]and consequently he may be guilty, although he did never really commit the Fault; for to be Ac­cused is to be guilty. For this consult Dr. Owen of Justification.

Again, to be guilty, according to the Ancients, is taken yet more largely, as appears out of Cicero de Orator. lib. 2. who was well acquainted with the word Reus, although not so with Reatus; and who saith, ‘"Reos autem appello, non eos modò qui arguuntur, sed omnes quorum de re dis­ceptatur: sic enim olim loquebantur:"’ And agreeably hereunto Aelius Gallus lib. de signif. verb. ad jus pertinentium, Reum definit, qui cum altero litem contestatam habet, sive is agat, sive cum eo agatur, so Schard. Whence although it be sometimes used for the Crime itself, and again for the punishment inflicted for such a Crime, yet, 'tis certainly somewhat distinct, both from the Crime, and the Punishment; yea, so distinct from the Crime, that, as one, who never committed a Crime, may in the sense of the Ancients be guil­ty; even so, 'twas a wonder to some, that any should conclude the Crime and the Guilt to be the same; for Speigelius, yea, Schardius and Kakl. on the word Reatus do agree in this, take the words of the last, Quapropter omnino fal­luntur scriptores post Accursium existimantes, Ju­ris consultos Reatus verbum pro Crimine usurpari, eorumque sententia refutatur per l. 3. §. quod patet F. de mun. & honor. Non enim Crimen sed [Page iv]habitum illud pannosum, statumque demissum significat. l. fin. F. ad leg. &c. Moreover,

2. If we consider the use of the word, as it doth presuppose a crime, for which reason, to say such an one is guilty, is as if it had been said, he hath done the Fact; yet guilt, as such, is some­what distinct from the Crime, whence although the learned in the exercise of their freedom, may use the word Reatus diversly, yet 'tis absolutely necessary, that we consider the word Guilt, as expressive of somewhat distinct from the Fault itself, or that some other word that is as meet, or more so, be insisted on for such an End: For what more evident, than that as the doing this or the other thing contrary to the preceptive part of the Law is sin, even so, from this sin, as it regards the retributive part of the same Law, there results a liableness to punishment, an ob­noxiousness thereunto, which liableness being but the result of the sin, is not the sin itself, 'tis only somewhat resulting from sin, as it regards the penal part of the Law, which is the thing the learned generally mean by Guilt; and if not fit­ly enough express'd by Guilt, or by Reatus, by what English or Latin term can it be better made known? 'Tis a liableness, or an obnoxiousness unto punishment: To be Guilty, is [...], q. d [...], qui reus est poenae à Judice definitae, or propriè obnoxius è re judicata, obnoxious to the punishment for[Page v]some fault, which as it is a liableness unto punish­ment, may be called Reatus poenae, but as 'tis such a liableness propter culpam, it may be called Reatus culpae; But if any of the learned will say, that there is 1. Reatus Facti. 2. Reatus Culpae. And 3. Reatus Poenae, distinct from each other, and mean 1. That the Fact is done. 2. That this Fact is a breach of the Law. 3. That he that did this Fact is by the Law to be punished; since by Reatus culpae, as much seems to be intended as the sin itself, the breach of the Law, although such learned persons may use their own freedom, yet it must be duly re­membred that in their sense, I do not assert, That Reatus Culpae, (i.e.) the sin itself formally con­sidered, is laid on Christ; but the Reatus Culpae, (i.e.) the Guilt, which is somewhat distinct, and separable from the Fault itself, is laid on Christ; for, I understand by Guilt (call it Guilt of Fault, or Punishment) an obnoxiousness un­to wrath for some fault, which is somewhat di­stinct from the fault itself. But moreover,

3. That Guilt, I mean the Guilt of the Fault, is distinct from the Fault itself, is evident, in that it may be on such as never really committed the actual sin, or did the fault, for thus it was with reference unto the guilt of Adam's sin, which is really the Guilt of his Posterity, who are such as have not actually, and in a proper sense really sinned. We did not actually sin in Adam, [Page vi]and yet the guilt of his actual sin is so much ours, that we are justly punished for it: What more evident than that the corruption of nature, which we receive with our Beings, is penal, a just pu­nishment, which necessarily presupposeth Guilt, which Guilt must be the result of some anteceding sin, but since 'tis impossible it should be the result of any sin that hath been really, and in a proper sense actually committed by us, it must be for the sin of our first Parent; which being so, it fol­lows,

1. That there may be real Guilt on him, who hath not really, in a proper sense sinned, and therefore to say He is guilty, is not as much as to say, He hath really committed the fault.

2. That the Guilt of the Fault, or a liableness to punishment for sin may be on him, in whom the actual sin, the foundation of that Guilt is not: For it must be acknowledged, that 'tis naturally impossible, that Adam's actual sin should pass from him to us, and yet nothing more true than that the guilt of the same actual sin is made our guilt, and we are as liable to punish­ment in the eye of God, the righteous Judge, as if we had actually, and in a proper sense com­mitted the sin.

3. That the guilt of our sin, the guilt of our fault, which I humbly conceive is best express'd by the Latine Reatus Culpae, may pass from us to Christ, even when the sin, or fault itself doth not, or rather cannot.

[Page vii]4. The reason, why I so much insist on this distinction between the formal nature of sin, and guilt, is, because of that light, we may thereby receive in order to our clearer comprehending the fundamental mistakes of the Papists about Justif­cation, who sometime insisting on guilt, as the formal nature of sin, understand by remission of sin, the Mortification thereof, and by Justifica­tion, Sanctification. Whence we may perceive, on what ground that Reverend Bishop Dr. Usher told a person of great worth and learning, from whom I had it, That the Papists did not hold any such thing as the pardon of sin, distinct from the mortification of sin, (if I mistake not.) For if the guilt be the same with the sin itself, remit­tere peccatum, or the removing guilt can be but the destroying the formal nature of sin, the sin itself, and consequently pardon of sin the same with mortification. Again, the Papists, con­sidering guilt as the Formale Peccati, do with the greatest confidence conclude, that Concupis­cence being pardoned in the Regenerate, the guilt thereof removed, the formal nature thereof is gone, and 'tis no more formally sin in them. But since, the sin formally considered is somewhat di­stinct from the guilt thereof, (as I have proved in the preceding discourse) the ground of these Popish mistakes is detected; and that which fol­lows is a great Truth insisted on, viz. The dif­ference there is between Holiness and Righteous­ness; [Page viii]for as sin regards the preceptive part of the Law, even so doth Holiness; the former being a disconformity, the latter a conformity thereunto: And as the immediate result of sin with reference to the retributive part of the Law is Unrigh­teousness, even so contrarily the immediate result of Holiness is Righteousness: the one Dignitas poenae propter inobedientiam, the other Dignitas praemii propter obedientiam; for contrariorum eadem est ratio: Which being so, we easily may see how our sin is imputed unto Christ in its guilt, even when sin formally considered is not laid on him. Yea, and how Christ's obedience is made ours in its Righteousness, when the formal, sub­jective Holiness of Christ is not.

§ 2. I have introduced Maeratius as one, who distinguisheth inter Reatum culpae & poenae, though I have not, as yet, found him to be ex­press in his doing so; but, the reason, which prompted me to single out this Schoolman, is his distinguishing inter dignitatem poenae, & obliga­tionem ad poenam, which is the same that Bellar­mine intends by the Guilt of the Fault, and that of the Punishment.

§ 3. In order to a fuller vindicating the Do­minicans, I humbly conceive it necessary to sug­gest, that they, in their opposing Peter de Aliaco, who judg'd the second cause to be no proper [Page ix]cause, [it not being the fire that burns, but God in the fire, &c.] do assert the second cause to be a proper, though not a solitary cause. This I prove out of Molina himself, who, although he is no way a lover of the Dominican Dogma­ta; yet doth assert, that Aquinas the great Physi­cal Predeterminant, doth regard the notion of Pet. de Aliaco as foolish, and as what contradicts a general experience, and our common sense, it being more absurd than the Notion of Anto­nius Cordubensis and Abailardus, that is followed by some of the Nominals, to which Scotus (as Molina saith) gave too great countenance, even when it cannot be said that the Physical Prede­terminants did so. Molina in primum Th. q. 14. Art. 13. dis. 1,2,3, &c.

§ 4. In this last Chapter I have also insisted on the report the Schoolmen make of things, shewing into what Passions an espoused interest did anciently drive men. For Bellarmine asserts Du­randus to have been a Follower of Pelagius, but how truly, let the learned judge; for, although I have mention'd it, I think my self no way ob­lig'd to believe it. Again, the same Bellarmine doth prove, that Durandus himself makes God to be the Author of Sin; but if so, how is it possible that what Le Blanc saith should be true, when he asserts it to be the sense of all, that if Durandus be in the right, as to this point,[Page x]there will be no difficulty in clearing God from the but-now-mentioned reproach: But what is the more surprizing is this, That Bellarmine hereby doth but revile his own Notion, if the learned Mr. Baxter (who is well acquainted with the Schoolmen) doth not mistake; ‘"For, saith he, I do verily believe that Durandus and his Followers, under the name of support­ing the Natural, and Free Faculties did mean inclusively, that which Bellarmine pleadeth for, A general concourse to the Act as an Act. And that they differ in words, not in sense."’ Thus the Learned spend their time in contradicting themselves as well as one another.

§ 5. I have moreover insisted on the different apprehensions the old Philosophers entertain con­cerning those insuperable difficulties that are about Predetermination, &c. thereby to intimate, that the confident Schoolmen, and their several Sectators, do but actum agere, and consume their strength on needless Controversies, to the great disadvantage of true Religion. These acting in Divinity, as our Virtuosi do in Philosophy, who, by a zealous attempt to establish their new dogmata (as they call them) do not walk in any untrod­den paths; The Copernican Hypothesis about the motion of the Earth, as also the learned Fancies about the Earth, and Inhabitants that are said to be in the Moon, as well as that solid Truth about[Page xi]the Antipodes, so much reproached by Lactantius, were all known in Cicero's, if not in Plato's, or Pythagoras's dayes. For this, consult Cicero. Quaest. Acad. l. 2. ‘"Habitari ait Xenophanes in Luna, eamque esse terram multarum urbi­um, & montium. Portenta videntur: sed ta­men neque ille qui dixit jurare posset ita se rem habere, neque ego. Nonne etiam dicitis, esse è regione nobis, è contraria parte terrae, qui adversis vestigiis stent contra vestigia nostra, quos Antipodas vocatis? Cur mihi magis suc­censetis, qui ista non aspernor, quam eis, qui quum audiunt, desipere vos arbitrantur? Nice­tas Syracusius, ut ait Theophrastus, Coelum, So­lem, Lunam, Stellas, supera denique omnia stare censet, neque praeter terram rem ullam in mundo moveri: quae cùm circum axem se sum­ma celeritate convertat, & torqueat, eâdem effici omnia, quae si stante terra, Coelum moveretur. Atque hoc etiam Platonem in Timaeo dicere quidam arbitrantur, sed paulò obscuriùs."’

Thus both our New Philosophers, and the Old Schoolmen, do but trace the Ancient Heathen in their particular Fancies, concerning things not only unreveal'd, but moreover, too high for vain Mortals to reach unto. The New Philosophers confidently solve, as they say, the insolvable Phae­nomena in the Natural world; and the School­men with no less boldness overcome (at least in their own conceit) the invincible difficulties in[Page xii]the Moral. The New Philosophers can (if you will believe 'em) acquaint you with the parti­cular methods of God in creating and conserving all Beings, shewing How, or after what particu­lar manner every natural effect is produc'd; and the Schoolmen are as express in demonstrating the particular modes of Divine concourse, not only unto every good, but also unto every sinful Action; though still it must be asserted, that the difficulties which occur unto both in these at­tempts, are most certainly uncapable of a clear, distinct, and satisfying Solution; for which rea­son the vanity of each in their Essays, is equally to be neglected; for the Schoolmen are as vain, and consequently as liable unto just rebukes, as are the New Philosophers; Do the New Philoso­phers revive the old Dogmata of the Heathen? so do the Schoolmen: Do the New Philosophers disturb the world with their learned Folly? so do the Schoolmen. And must the New Philoso­pher be severely checkt for his Presumption in Philosophy? then surely, much more so must the Schoolman for his greater confidence in Divinity. For, might Divinity be freed from the perplexing abuses of these Schoolmen, as every other Do­ctrine, even so this of Free-grace in all the great instances thereof, would suddenly appear to the view of the Vulgar, affording them the most sa­tisfying comforts and spiritual advantages desi­rable.

[Page xiii]§ 6. In the Close of all, 'twill be necessary, that in order to the undeceiving the weak, I do evince, that the Doctrines I assert are according to the Holy Scriptures, as most rightly under­stood by the generality of our Protestant Di­vines; not only the Calvinist beyond the Seas, but also the Reformed Divines at home, viz. The Church of England, and the Nonconformist, whether Presbyterian, or Congregational: which, concerning the great Doctrine about our actual justification in the sight of God by Faith in Christ's blood, I'll particularly evince, and the rather, because 'tis the practice of Deceivers to draw Proselytes to their Errors, by representing the Truth they oppose, as what is either Ar­minianism, Socinianism, or Popery; and the Er­ror, they espouse, as what is the true Protestant Doctrine, whereby such as are justly haters of the abovementioned Errors, and lovers of the Protestant Truths, are tempted, for this single reason, to abandon the Truth, and entertain an Error in its stead.

I. That the Church of England (who cer­tainly are truly Scriptural, and Protestant, in this great Doctrine about Justification by Faith) do in their Articles, and Book of Homilies con­cur with me, is evident to any that shall, without prejudice, peruse them. Yea, this Church is so [Page xiv]zealously concern'd for the establishing this Truth, [viz. Our Justification by Faith in Christ's blood, and consequently that none of the Elect are actually in God's sight justified, while under the reigning power of unbelief, &c.] that, whoever will receive any advanta­ges from her, must so chearfully assent and con­sent thereunto, that 'tis become impossible, that any of her Sons honestly recede from it; yea, they must be so express in their profession, that no­thing but a Popish distinction can be subtile enough to extricate their Consciences from the bonds into which by Conformity, they have brought themselves: Whence many sober Con­forming Divines, whose Principles are really Protestant, [or which is the same, truly Scriptu­ral] cannot but be fill'd with a kind of horror and astonishment, to observe, how far some of the zealous Sons of the Church have receded from this Doctrine. The truth of this is to be found in that learned, and once dignified Con­forming Divine Doctor Tully, in his Book de Justif. Paulin. c. 3. p. 23. where he saith—‘"Quippe vehementer non mihi solum, sed aliis quamplurimis mirari subit, quâ vel obscurissi­mâ rationis umbrâ, quâ se defendant vere­cundiâ, qui se Ecclesiae Anglicanae Filios, etiam obsequentissimos dici volunt, quique ut tales, ma­nu, & fide data toties in illius doctrinam con­sensum formaverint, cum eâ nihilominus bel­lum[Page xv]apertè gerant."’ But the Doctors wonder is heightned, when he reflects on the 35th Ar­ticle about Homilies, amongst which, that of Justification is one, assented and consented unto by some, who in their Writings and Discourses fully shew, that they consent to no such thing. But if the Doctor had but call'd to mind the Paraphrase of Francisc. à Sancta Clara on this mention'd 35th Article de Homiliis, the surprize might, at least in some measure, be removed: for that this Popish Casuist assures them, that they may give in both their Assent and Consent unto every Homily, as to what contains both god­ly and wholsom Doctrines, even when they do not consent unto the whole thereof as such: and his reasons are prodigiously strong, [i.e. to such as design an espousing Popery, when 'tis their interest to do so,] it being agreeable to the sentiments of several Popish Doctors, which is sufficient to make the greatest impossibilities be­come Probable. Consider how particular, and express such are, as do Conform, in the giving in their Assent and Consent, and what Francisc. à Sancta Clara's Paraphrase is, and you cannot but be convinced, that as to this I am in the right. The sentiments of Francisc. à Sancta Clara, are as follows—‘"Nec tenentur Protestantes ob haec verba in Articulo statim in singula verba, vel sententias Homiliarum jurare; nam ut olim Turrecremata, cum ipsa Ecclesia Doctorum [Page xvi]aliquorum opuscula probat, non ob id intelli­gendum est, omnia in eis contenta probari. Si­cut in constitutionibus 6 Synodi, aliquorum Doctorum opera probata sunt, quod etiam in decretis legitur, dist. 15. non tamen omnia verba & particulas approbat, ut conveniunt Doctores. Hoc etiam exactissimè tradunt Doctores Parisienses, exponentes Bullam Urba­ni quinti approbantem doctrinam S. Tho­mae, in qua scripsit Tholosanis, ejus doctrinam, ut bene dictam, & catholicam teneri debere. Di­cunt tamen Parisienses, praedictam approbatio­nem non esse universalem, sed tanquam doctri­nae utilis, & in multis probabilis; prudenter igitur quae sanam doctrinam sapiunt, populo legenda, alia, neglectui habenda."’ So far Franc. à Sancta Clara. But to return. It must be ac­knowledged that the Church of England is so Orthodox in this great doctrine about Justifica­tion, that the greatest Sophistry of either her open Enemies, or pretended Friends, who pro­fess themselves to be Her most obedient Sons, can never with the least colour of reason evince the contrary.

II. The Nonconformists also, are as right in this, whence whatever any particular person among them may assert, 'tis the judgment of the generality, whether Presbyterian or Congregatio­nal, That our Justification is by Faith in Christ's[Page xvii]blood: and consequently our actual justification in God's sight, doth not precede, but follow Faith. That the Presbyterians are right in this is acknowledged by some, who assert the Congre­gational (notwithstanding their professed own­ing the Presbyterians Confession of Faith) to be Antinomian, of which I do the rather take some notice, because in an especial manner such, as are of that Error, attempt the countenancing it, by saying, that 'tis embraced by the Congregatio­nal; than which nothing more untrue, as may be evinced by a due perusal of the Declaration of their Faith, agreed and consented unto by their Elders and Messengers in their meeting at the Savoy, Octob. 12. 1658. And might the world be so happy, as to see a very Elaborate Confuta­tion of the Antinomians, written by a very acute and solid Person, a great Disputant, viz. Mr. Stone of New-England, a Congregational Divine, it would easily appear, that the Congregational are not Antinomian. However, although this Ex­cellent MS. hath not seen the light, yet another Treatise, whose worth is much above my Applau­ses, hath, namely; That of the Reverend Doctor Owen, about Justification; which discourse, (al­though in it the same Truths, on which I have insisted are particularly asserted, yet) hath given such satisfaction to the generality of the Congre­gational, that they cannot but judge themselves[Page xviii]greatly indebted unto the learned Author for that special service he hath therein done the Churches; whence 'tis become impossible, that any unprejudiced person should consult the but now mentioned discourse, and believe that in it he finds the sentiments of the Congregational, and yet honestly assert, the Congregational to be Antinomian, and Abettors of the Errors I op­pose: For who, without a running into the con­trary Extreme, can be more express in rejecting the Antinomian Error, than the Doctor is in the mentioned Treatise; for therein he as­serts,

  • 1. The necessity of Faith, as antecedent to our actual Justification in God's sight.
  • 2. That this Faith includeth in its nature the entire principle of Evangelical Repentance, so as that it is utterly impossible, that a man should be a true Believer, and not at the same instant of time be truly penitent.
  • 3. That conviction of sin is a necessary ante­cedent unto this justifying Faith.
  • 4. That nothing but the Guilt and Punish­ment of Sin was laid on Christ, it being im­possible that the Sin itself, formally conside­red, [Page xix]or the Fault itself, as distinct from the Guilt and Punishment of Sin, should be laid on him.

These things being so, nothing more un­doubtedly true, than that, as the Errors I oppose are discountenanced by the generality of the learned and judicious Protestant, even so, it high­ly concerns all such, as would adhere unto the Protestant Doctrines, to beware, how they close with the contrary Errors, concerning which, I would the rather Caution the well-meaning, but weak Christian, for these following Rea­sons.

1. The asserting the Filth of Sin, as 'tis somewhat distinct both from the Guilt and Punishment of Sin, to have been laid on Christ, doth not only expose our blessed Lord and Re­deemer to the worst of Reproaches, but wholly incapacitate him for the accomplishing fallen man's salvation. For if our Faults or Sins be made Christs, then Christ must have suffered for his own Sins, whereby he would have been made uncapable of suffering for ours; yea, and whereby he would have needed daily to have offered for his own Sins first, contrary to that in Hebrews 7.27. But,

[Page xx]2. The concluding the Fault and Guilt to be the same thing, or which is much the same, the Guilt to be the formal nature of Sin, as it is a Notion attended with the Absurdities but now hinted, if it be said to be laid on Christ, even so, it is moreover but in order to the in­troducing several dangerously Popish Errors, viz. the making Justification and Sanctification the same, Remission and Mortification of Sin one thing; from all which 'twill follow, that if Original Sin, or Concupiscence and Lust be pardoned in the Regenerate, the formal nature of Sin is removed; and although there remain the matter, and the name of Sin, yet 'tis not formally Sin. After this manner doth Bellar­mine himself argue de Amiss. grat. & stat. pec. l. 5. c. 7. lit. C. Primum enim si verè crede­rent adversarii Reatum dimitti in Baptismo, fa­teri deberent consequenter, nihil esse in renatis quod habeat veram peccati rationem.—And why, but because this Bellarmme doth with Phil. Melancthon consider Guilt as the For­male Peccati, (i.e.) the Guilt and the Fault itself, or the formal nature of Sin to be the same, whence, saith He, ‘"Sublatâ rei for­mâ, non manet ejus rei ratio, sive natura, cum forma sit praecipua pars naturae, imo sit ipsa ratio & quidditas rei."’ And really Me­lancthon's [Page xxi]Reply is very feeble. Beware then of such, as pretend high for the Protestant Re­ligion, who yet revile Conforming, and Non­conforming Protestants; and, who seem to con­sider the Guilt of Sin, and the formal nature thereof, to be the same, for that, by such an unjust procedure, none but the Papists can be any way advantaged.

3. The asserting the Elect, quatenus, or as Elect, to be pardoned in the womb, and to be freed from the Filth of Sin, by Christ's taking it on himself, is a Doctrine that coun­tenances the worst of Villanies. For if I actually am pardoned, in that I am Elect, al­though I remain under the power of the worst of Sins, what need I be any otherwise con­cerned about the salvation of my Soul? What need I examine my heart, search for sin, mourn over it, pray, and hear the Word, or abstain from any Debaucheries, for that, if I received not a Pardon with my Being, I shall never gain it? But if I then received it, there is no­thing more requisite, than that I confidently per­suade my self that it is so.

For these Reasons, we may easily perceive the necessity there is, that such as design the glory of God in the salvation of their own[Page xxii]souls, Take heed, how they forsake the Pro­testant, which is the Gospel Doctrine, and fol­low two, or three, [an inconsiderable num­ber] in entertaining Notions, which, if practi­cally observ'd in their Principles and Consequen­ces, cannot but prove their eternal Ruine. I say, if practically observed both in their Prin­ciples and Consequences, because I hope, that through a special instance of infinitely FREE GRACE, the Hearts of some, whose heads have been filled with these Principles I oppose, have been so averse from a practical closure with the dismal consequences that attend them, as to be freed from the mischiefs that otherwise they would have fallen into. But, although some, by an astonishing instance of Divine Bounty, may be preserved, and consequently, although a few good men have embraced this Error in the Notion, when they have hated it in the Practice; yet, 'tis unsafe, and really dangerous ventu­ring on such hazards; for, although One may escape the Contagion, yet thou may'st be in­fected to thy greater damage. For the Lord's sake therefore consider what thou doest, and en­deavor, that thou may'st be both sound in thy Notions, and also in thy Practices, for thereby thou wilt be in a better capacity of giving God the greater glory, to the praise of infinitely FREE GRACE.



  • Page 18. line 19. for shal, read should.
  • P. 19. in the uses set before l. 13.1. and l. 16. for 3. r. 2.
  • P. 22. l. 19. for 13. r. 16. for 5. r. 2.
  • P. 27. l. 2. for sit, r. sint. l. 3. after obligatio, r. poenae.
  • P. 28. l. 12. dele who.
  • P. 33. l. 10. for formerly, r. formally.
  • P. 35. l. 26. after that, r. as.
  • P. 72. l. 15. for proves, r. prove.
  • P. 79. l. 18. after pene, r. verbis. l. 19. for q. 4. r. q. 14. and for 9. r. q▪
  • P. 87. l. 19. for 12. r. 2.
  • P. 88. l. 22. for qu. 5. r. qu. 4.
  • P. 97. l. 5. r. art. 3. for lect. r. relect.
  • P. 101. l. 20. for excellently, r. excellent.
  • Pag. 2. line 26. (in the Appendix) after to, r. be.

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