A Peaceable Enquiry INTO THE NATUR.E OF THE Present Controversie Among our United Brethren ABOUT Justification.


By STEPHEN LOBB, A Lover of Peace and Truth.

Phil. 2.3.

Let nothing be done through strife, or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.

LONDON, Printed for John Dunton at the Raven in the Poultrey. 1693.



BE not surprized, or wonder, that some Controversie is risen among our United Brethren: For when such a Subject as this is started, it is no fault to be striving, who shall be most con­cerned in it.

It hath been observed of the Chri­stians, that when they were freed from Heathenish Persecution, they fell in­to pieces among Themselves: And when were there greater stirs about the Religion now ours, than at the beginning of the Reformation?

It hath pleased God, at this time, to open a Door to the Dissenters, for Liberty: And it hath pleased the same good God also, we hope, to give us that Grace, to make a better use of it, than they under Constantine; seeing the great advantage, or fruit, which we have made our business to reap from it, is, an open published Concord; a Concord, which some of the wisest, both of Presbyterian and Independent have sought formerly un­der divers Conjunctures of Provi­dence, and could not obtain: A be­nefit, which the strength in Union, the beauty in Truth, the life in Love, the interest in Number, the comfort in Fellowship do proclaim: A Blessing, which none of us are worthy of, and none can sufficiently prize, but by a suitable endeavour to preserve it.

As for the Difference between some [Page]of us (which I would rather call a Contention only who shall be most Orthodox,) it is no Bone cast among the Brethren (as some would suggest) to break our Union; for the Rise of the Controversie was before the Union. It was (we know) upon the Printing over again Dr. Crisps Works the Offence was given, or taken. The Dr. being a holy good man, there are several of our Bre­thren were willing to have them can­didly received: When Gataker, and others abroad, have branded them for Antinomianism.

The truth is, that freedom which England hath had (those Disputes a while lying dead) for some late Years from being exercised in Pole­mical Divinity, hath given occasion to our Divines for their attending of Practical, which is much for our Ad­vantage, seeing this Nation is, here­in, [Page]allowed, above any, to excel: Nevertheless, while these Controver­sies have slept, there are some, who think, the Enemy hath come, and sowed Arminian, Socinian, and An­tinomian TARES, and we by dis­use are hard put to it to discern be­tween them, and the Wheat; and consequently by mistake are loading one another with Charge of Errour.

I do not like (I must confess) this Censorious Spirit, wheresoever I meet it: But the Zeal I find in our Brethren generally for the Re­formed Doctrines according to the Articles of the Church of England, the Assemblies Confession of Faith, and the like, against each of these Errours mentioned, (which we look on, really, as dangerous to mens Souls; and therefore are so shy of them) I do own and approve. And it is the very design therefore of my Writing, to [Page]Vindicate them herein, that howso­ever they differ in their Conceptions or Explications of the same Do­ctrines, there are none of them truly chargeable with such Errour, when they would fasten it one upon the other.

I begin with Antinomianism in these first Sheets, because that gave the Occasion; and the very same Method which you see me take in that, and I need not tell it, I in­tend to take also with Arminianism, and Socinianism.

I feel no delight in filling my Mar­gin with Quotations; but such is the Nature of the Discourse, that the many Authorities used for my Rea­ders satisfaction, became necessary, and must be my Apology.

S. L.


PAge 24. line 6. dele the; p. 26. l. 4. dele and; p. 48. Marg. l. 14. r. Apol; p. 90. l. 4. r. Jurists; p. 110. l. 1. r. Notion; p. 115. l. 30. r. two.

A Peaceable Enquiry INTO THE Nature of the Present Controversie among our United Brethren about JUSTIFICATION.


The Excellency of Peace and Love. Luther's Opinion of it. The Mischief of Strifes and Contentions in the Church, Instanced in the Rise, and Progress of the Meletians, and Arians; The Cure Difficult, yet Necessary to be Endeavor'd.

THE Churches Peace is a Blessing so very Great, and Valuable, that he, who sets but a Right Estimate on its Real Worth, cannot think much to hazard even his own Private Quiet, Particular Interests, and Good Name, (which it is like to cost him) to Obtain, or Defend it.

By Peace, I do not mean only a Freedom from Persecution, which is a Mercy, for which we should not cease Praising God; but the [Page 2]Peace of Christians between themselves, so oft mentioned in the Holy Scriptures, Com­manded, and Encouraged. Be of one Mind, Live in Peace, and the God of Peace shall be with you. The Lord of Peace himself give you Peace,2 Thess. 3.16. always by all means.

As Christians are United unto Christ their Head by Faith, so should they be by Love United to one another, Endeavoring to keep the Ʋnity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace.Ephes. 4.3. Love, Concord, and Peace are the support of all So­cieties of what kind soever. The Heathen Philosophers were sensible of it.Jamb. Vit. Pyth. Id. Protropt. c. 19. Pythagoras esteemed Amity, Love, Friendship to be the most effectual Bond, that Cemented his Fol­lowers. And many amongst the most Barba­rous have zealously expos'd themselves to great Calamity out of officiousness to their Particu­lar Communion.G [...]ial. Dier. lib. 7. c. 26. Alexander ab Alexandro gives several Instances hereof. He begins with the Arvall Fraternity, who were Joyn'd by such a Bond of Friendship together, that neither Pro­sperity, nor Adversity nor any other thing but Death could Dissolve it; and tells us of some others, that were so link'd in Love, that they would not only Mourn with such as were in Adversity, and Rejoyce with those in Pro­sperity, but Die for One another, and fre­quently would Die with them that Died, for which reason they were called COMMO­RIENTES.

Peace among Christians, as it is the Support of Societies; so, it sets forth the Beauty and Glory of Christian Religion to all Observers, and by Uniting us in our Affections, Prayers, [Page 3]Counsels and Practices too (so far as Agreed) enables us the more successfully to serve our Lord Jesus; Whence it is, that the most Emi­nent for Learning and Piety, have in all Ages of the Church strenuously Contended for it: Among the Reformed Luther himself, tho' a Man of a hot Temper, and much Imbroyl'd, not only by the Papists, but the Zuinglian and Calvinistical Reformers, at last with much Fer­vour in a Letter to the Helvetian Churches Pleads thus for Peace and Concord. ‘I have, (saith he) Perused your Letters with the Greatest Pleasure and Delight, Rejoycing to Understand by them, that your Ministers have, not only most heartily Resolved to lay by their Jealousies, and Bitter Invectives, but to do what in them lyeth for Peace, and Concord. The God and Father of all Peace and Love, give a Happy Issue to those Pious Resolutions, according to that Promise, When a Man's ways please the Lord, he will make even his Enemies to be at Peace with him.— We must count upon it, that some on both sides, will Dislike our Endeavors for Con­cord, and entertain hard thoughts and suspi­cions of us: But, if we, who are Cordial and Sincere in our Desires, do with Constancy, and Diligence Prosecute this Design,Certe quic­quid ad pro­movendam concordiam faciet, id pro virili ita agam, ut ne quid in me possi­tis desiderare, novit hoc Deus quem testem invoco per animae salutem, Epist. Luth Consul. Hel­veti [...]e, Tiguri, &c. A.D. 1537. Our Gracious God and Father will soon give us his Assistance, and in a little time the Remaining Heats will be over—I humbly beseech you to believe, that I shall do whatever may be expected from One, that is serious and [Page 4]Hearty in this Matter, that in this Cause of Promoting Concord, I will to the utmost of my Abilities satissie your Desires and Expe­ctations, The Truth of this God knows; whom I call for a Record upon my Soul. For these Dissentions have neither Profited me, nor any body else, but have been Pre­judicial to many, so that not the least good could have been, or can be hoped for from them.’

Thus far Luther, who gives me a fair Occa­sion to Consider the Mischievous Effects, of Dis­cord, and Contentions among Christians, How the Ignorance, Rash Zeal and Peevishness of some; the Selfish Designs, Private Interests, Pride and Malice of others have given the De­vil opportunity to turn the Churches into Dis­order, and Confusion.

I will instance in the Quarrel between Peter of Alexandria, and Miletius; and touch the Rise and Progress of Arianism.

The Contest between these two, tho' diffe­rently Reported by those, who liv'd nearest these Times, was in the esteem of all managed with that Indiscretion and Heat, as brought on them all that Mischief they endured.

That they were both sound in the Faith, and their chief difference about the time to be given for the Tryal of the Repentance of such as under the Persecution Revolted from the Truth cannot be denied.Socr. Hist. Eccles. l. 1. c. 3. 6. Nic [...]h. Caliist. Hist. Ecclis. lib. 8. c. 5. T [...]d [...]r. Hist. lib. 1. c. 9. & H [...]ret. Fa [...]ul. lib. 4. de Me­ [...]is. S [...]om. Hist Eccl. l. 1. c. 23. Aust de Haeris. And although Asha­nasius, Socrates, and Nicephorus Cal­listus report, that Meletius aposta­tiz'd, and Epiphanius, with whom [Page 5]St. Austin seems to agree, represents the Mat­ter quire otherwise, yet it's past doubt, that the Different Opinions of these Orthodox Guides of the Church, in the one Grounded on a Zeal for Truth, in the other on Compassion to the Souls of the Weak, occasioned a very wide Breach amongst those Christians when they were Groaning under the Violence of a Bloody Persecution. For whilst in Prison the Fire brake out to that Degree, as to issue in an angry Separation, no wonder if it con­tinued after, Peter's Martyrdom, and when Constantine gave Liberty, was much En­creased.

It's true, Alexander, who succeeded Achil­las, Peter's immediate Successor, did, during Meletius his life time, carry it kindly to the Meletians; but after Meletius his Death, he violently Persecuted them, who were thereby provoked to send some of their Bishops with a Petition to the Emperor for Liberty, which being Rejected, they apply themselves to Eu­sebius of Nicomedia, then great at Court, and a Favorer of Arius. Eusebius refuseth to help them on any terms, short of their admitting the Arians to their Communion; to which, that they might Escape the Cruel Persecu­tion of their Orthodox Brethren, they yield­ed, and had the Grant of Liberty. By this means the Arians gain'd so great an Advan­tage, and grew so Strong, that in some Years after, they spread themselves so far as to Cover almost all the Christian Churches in the World.

It is amazing to consider from what a small spark the Arian Fire, that turned the whole Christian World into a flame, had its rise, 'twas only from the subtil and over curious Discourse of Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria, the undue Suspicion of Arius, and the Indis­creet Heat of Both;Hist. Eccles. lib. 1. c. 3. for, saith Socrates, Alex­ander enjoying much Peace at Alexandria, calls together his Priests, and with them did so very nicely and subtilly Discourse of the Uni­ty in the Trinity, that Arius, one of the Priests, a Man of great Learning Suspecting him to be a Favorer of Sabellius, who held, that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost were but Three Names of one and the same Person, did in opposition to him affirm, the Son to be so Distinct from the Father, as to have a Be­ginning. From whence it follows, that he had his Subsistence from Nothing; that he was a Creature, not Coeternal, nor Consubstantial with the Father. This Controversie was ma­naged with so much Bitterness, that, to use Socrates his own words, [...], Soc. Hist. Eccl. lib. 1. c. 3. from a very little Spark a great Fire broke out, disturbing the Peace of all Egypt, Lybia, the Upper Thebais, and many other places.

The Flame having thus got head, Alex­ander with the utmost Vehemence Endea­vors the suppressing it. He Excommunicates Arius, writes to the Bishop of Constantinople, complaining of his Pride and Covetousness, prayeth him not to suffer Arius, nor any of his Followers to Preace within his Jurisdi­ction. He calls in the Help of his Col­leagues, who Approv'd of what he had done [Page 7]against the Arians. [...], &c. Arius pro­vok'd hereby, doth also write to several Bishops, giving them an account of his Faith in words so very like the Orthodox Confes­sions,Cum Alexander literas ejus­modi ad Episcopos passim in sin­eulis [...]ivitatibus scripsisset, La­tius Propterea serpevat malum, quòd hi qui erant illis literis certiores facti, consentionis & Discordiae incendiis inter ip­sos conflagrare caeperunt, nam alii literis suffragari, iisdem (que) subscribere, alii penitus adver­sari. Socr. ubi sup. that he is by some Grave and Judicious Bishops esteem'd sound in the Faith. This nettles Alexander, who sends forth his Circular Letters throughout the whole Catholick Church, with a Catalogue of the Arian Errors, and the Names of those, who ad­her'd unto them, by which means Arianism (saith the Historian) was strangely Propagated all the World over.

Constantine, observing how the Contentions spread from one Part to another of his Empire, and how much, Violent Methods contributed hereunto, makes use of more calm ones. He writes a Letter to Alexander, and Arius, which he sent by Hosius Bishop of Cordovia, Declaring it to be his Opinion, ‘That the Controversie being about what was Incomprehensible to both Parties, and, in which, if they both un­derstood one another, 'twould appear, they agreed in the main, did not well to contend so violently and Break the Churches Peace. Not that he would oblige them in every Particular to be of the same Mind: But he thought they might honourably enough, and without disturbing the Peace, entertain dif­ferent Apprehensions about lesser Matters. A Regard must be had to the different Abi­lities, Tempers, and Constitutions of Men. [Page 8]Thus it was with the Philosophers, who, not­withstanding some different Opinions amongst themselves, lived Peaceably together. How much rather should Christians, Men of the same Heavenly Family, tho' they differ in some things, cherish, Love, Peace, and Con­cord one with another.’

So far Constantine, who, you see, apprehen­ded the Controversie at first to have been about Matters of Less Importance. But it soon came to be about Greater Points, and the Heats too high to be composed by the Emperor's single Endeavors, or Authority. He therefore calls a Council, which sate at Nice in Bythinia. This Council drew up a Confession of Faith, to be Subscribed by all; and Excommunicated and Banished Arius, for not Subscribing it. They also deposed and drove those Bishops into Exile, who, tho' they Subscribed the Confession, Refused to consent to Arius's Con­demnation; because, as they Protested, he was not in their Judgment, Guilty of the Er­rors charged on Him. However, in a little time Arius by some means was Recalled, Eu­sebius of Nicomedea, and Theognis of Nice, ma­king Application to the Emperor, were Re­stored to their Bishopricks; the Controversie seemingly at an End, and all Agreed. But notwithstanding this appearance of Agreement, and the Protestations of Sincerity in their Sub­scriptions, the Quarrel was only for a while covered, not quenched, it soon brake out a­gain. The Arians grew strong, Prevailed, and most barbarously Persecuted, Tormented, and Murthered Multitudes for abiding faith­ful to the Truth.

From these Intimations, it doth appear what a Mother this want of Candour is to Contro­versie. It is these Prejudices Undue Suspitions, and Evil Surmizings, ensnaring Good Men to fasten an ill sense upon the words, and Pra­ctices of one another, and Charging each others Notions with Unseen and Disclaimed Conse­quences; which does Drive men to Opinions, beyond what they before were inclined to, if not make such: Impressions on their Minds as to Provoke them to Embrace those they De­tested. Besides, these Contentions being ma­naged with so much Heat and Violence, did at that time fill the Jews with Joy, [...]. Socr. Hist. Eccl. lib. 1. c. 3. and expo­sed the Christians to the Contempt and Scorn of the Heathen. From whence it ariseth, that Peace among Christians is not so Great a Blessing, but Divisions, Strifes, Contentions and Broils are as Pernicious and Hurtful.

To Prevent the Breach, or Heal it, when made, to procure Peace, and preserve it when got, is a work attended with unaccountable Difficulties. There are such Remainders of Pride and other Lusts in the Hearts of the best, that Satan no sooner throws before them a Hurtful Temptation, but they catch at it. And it is so Natural for Learned and Pious Men to be Assuming and Dogmatical, that they can neither bear a Reproof, nor a Dis­senter; and others so full of Suspition and Jealousie, that Healing Attempts cannot escape the Censure of being Trick and Ill Design. There is such a narrowness in the Minds of most, that they can't see any thing to be True or Good, but what falls within a very small [Page 10]compass. What is not agreeable to their own confined Thoughts and Expressions is Unsound and Heretical, and whoever endeavours to convince them of their Mistake is their Enemy, and shall be treated accordingly; whence in all Ages it hath been the Lot of Peace-makers to suffer Reproach: Tho' they are sincerely concerned for the Glory of God, and the Defence of Truth, as well as the Churches Peace; yet because they cannot be within the same Circle with them, but are more Charitable and speak favourably of their Adversaries, they must be of the number of such as betray the Truth. He that will deal uprightly with all, and flatter none, must count on the being neglected by all. None more in danger of being Scorched by the Flames, than they who most heartily labour to quench the Raging Fire.Nazian. in Orat. 14. Nazianzen, long ago obser­ved, That whoever, studious of Peace, do undertake to mediate between Contending Parties, are sure to be ill treated by both.

However Peace is so Excellent a Thing, that we must be content to give the utmost, (next Truth,) for its Purchase. Gain it we must, or the Church, the Souls of Men and Christ himself will be the Losers, but Gain it we never can, unless we be more Merci­ful and Compassionate in Judging One ano­ther. We shall never find the Right way to Peace, until we Cast off Inveterate Prejudi­ces, Unjust Suspicions, Jealousies, Surmi­zings, and Put on that Charity which envveth not, but is kind, suffereth long, hopeth all things, endureth all things: We must Judge [Page 11]others with that Candor we would they should Judge us, and in all Doubtful Cases take the most Benign Interpretation, In dubiis Be­nignior In­terpretatio accipienda semper; fa­vendum Reo. and Favour the Ac­cused Party.

A Regard to these Rules in Conjunction with a Just Care to Secure and Defend Truth, will Reduce the many Controversies in Mat­ters of Religion among Protestants to a smal­ler Number, without giving Countenance to the least Error.


The Improvement to be made of former Divisions. An Enquiry into the Present Controversie, whether about the Substance of Truth, or the Manner only of Decla­ring it. That Great Divisions have been among such as have agreed in the same Principles. This the present Case among our Brethren Proved.

THE Excellency of Peace, the Mischief of Divisions, and what hindereth the one, and cherisheth the other being well considered, we may see good Reason to Advance this Conclusion, viz. That a Temperate weighing the Points at this time Controverted, and the Manner of Handling them with an Impartial Enquiry after Truth, variously and in Dif­ferent ways Delivered is absolutely Neces­sary.

As 'tis our Advantage to come into the World in a time, wherein we have an Op­portunity of Understanding How Divisions have Arisen, how Carried on, and Maintain'd, Age after Age; so it's our Duty and Interest to do our Part, that we split not on the same Rocks our Fathers have done. Have too strict Adherences to a Peculiar way of Delivering a Doctrine, Undue Suspitions and Jealousies, and Inordinate Passions, been a great Occasion of the Rise and Progress of Contentions heretofore? Let us then take heed we fall not into the like Evils now. Have many Orthodox Divines, and Christians, such as the Meletians, Audaeani, and the like; faln under the Unjust, as well as Rash Cen­sure of being Hereticks, merely through the Extravagant Heats of some Leading Men? Let us beware lest it be so again.

The Present Controversie being about the Great and Important Doctrines of the Gospel, and managed as it hath been; Not only ma­ny Weak, but some Wise and Judicious Chri­stians have been tempted to think our Diffe­rences to be Fundamental; and, that it's not easie to arrive to a Certainty about the Truths most Necessary to Salvation. I will there­fore lay by all Prejudices, and in my Search observe the Christian Rules but now mention­ed, if possible to Understand, whether the Differences be so Momentous as by some Ap­prehended? whether they be about the Sub­stance of the Doctrines in Controversie, or only about the Way and Manner of their De­claration?

It's very clear to me, as well as to Men of Great Learning and Judgment. That tho' it hath Pleased God very Plainly to Reveal un­to us, those Doctrines, that are necessary to Salvation; yet such hath been the Industry, and Craft of the Tempter, and such the Dark­ness and Infirmity of our Minds, that they who Consent unto their Truth, have faln into Divers Mistakes about the most Proper, and Exact way of Stating them. Thus it hath been amongst Protestants, touching Justifica­tion it self, who therefore have been Repre­sented by Bellarmine out of Osiander, to hold no less than Fourteen, or Twenty Distinct Opinions about it, as if the many Different ways of Declaring the same Doctrine had been as many Different Doctrines.Dr. O. Of Justis. p. 77, 78, 79. But it hath been some time ago observ'd by a late Reverend and Leading Divine, ‘That as to the Way, and Manner of the Declaration of this Doctrine, [viz. Of Justification] among Protestants themselves, there Ever was some Variety, and Difference in Expressions. Nor will it other­wise be, whilst the Abilities and Capacities of Men, whether in the Conceiving of things of this Nature, or in the Expression of their Conceptions, are so various, as they are And it is acknowledged, That these Diffe­rences of late have had as much Weight, laid upon them as the very Substance of the Doctrine generally agreed in hath had;P. 293, 294. such is the humour of some.’ In another Page, the same Author very judiciously gives this Suf­frage, ‘That tho' Protestants have Differ'd in the Way, Manner, and Methods of the Decla­ration [Page 14]of this Doctrine, and too many Private Men were Addicted unto Definitions and Descriptions of their own, under Pretence of Logical Accuracy in Teaching, which gave an Appearance of some Contradiction among them, yet they generally agreed in the Substance of the Doctrine.’ So far this Good Dr. unto which I add, That there hath not been so much Variety among us in the Terms and Expressions used in the Stating our Doctrine, but there is much greater among the Papists themselves about the same Points, and their Greatest Doctors mis-represented by one or another of themselves.

Vasquez is Positive that Merit in a strict sense is not, held by the most Learned of the Roman Church, but Arriaga, in Express Oppo­sition to him will have it,Arriag Disp Th [...]ol. in 1. Tho. Tract. de Just. Disp. 1, 31. Sect. 2, &c. that the most Learned of their Communion, are for the Meritorious­ness of Good Works by the Rules of Commu­tative Justice. Alfonsus à Castro, who calls the Doctrine of the Reformed about Justifying Faith, a Pestiferous, and most Pestilential Hae­resie, affirms,A Cast, ad­vers. Haeris. lib. 7. Verb. Gratia. Hae­res. 3. & lib. 12. Verb. Preadestina­tio. Haeres. 2. Cassand. Consult. Ar­tic. IV. that 'twas embraced only by Claudius Guilliandus, and One, or Two more in the Council of Trent: On the other hand George Cassander Proves, that the same Notion Protestants have of Faith, was generally owned by Men of the Greatest Learning in their Church. That 'twas approv'd of by a Provin­cial Council at Colon, as appears by their Pub­lishing the Enchiridion of Christian Religion, in which this Doctrine is asserted, with the De­crees of that Council, and highly applauded by their most Learned Divines throughout Italy, and France.

Differences about Religious Matters have not been Confin'd to any one Party of Chri­stians, but have stretch'd themselves to the utmost Bounds of Christendom, so that no one Party can Upbraid the other with their Divisions. We are so much in the Dark, that wherein we are Agreed de Re, we can't always Perceive it, so that many a time, when a Con­troversie, only de nomine, arises, we Pursue it as vehemently as if it had been Real. Men of the same Particular Denomination, are so Un­reasonably suspitious of one another, as to take it for granted, That every Obscure or Unplea­sing Phrase is Heterodox; whereas were we more Exact in our Disquisitions, more mindful of Humane Frailty, and more Compassionate and Charitable, we should with Greater Tem­per, and more Justice Judge both of Persons and Things, and find an Agreement much Greater than now we can Imagine it to be.

To come more close to the Controversie before us, I am very sensible, that our Con­tending Brethren, and some others, esteem the Differences among us, being about the weightiest Matters indeed of the Gospel, to be such that the Two Poles may as soon meet, as their Doctrines be found in Substance the same. The Noise, I confess, is, That the most Important Doctrines of the Christian Faith, have receiv'd a Wound almost, if not altogether Incurable; But I must humbly crave leave to whisper to the Reader, that I think otherwise, and do hold my self in Cha­rity oblig'd to believe they mean the same thing for the Substance of it. In my closest [Page 16]Converses with each Brother, He who seems to be most for the Exaltation of Free Grace, abhors nothing more than to give the Least Encouragement to an Elect Person's Living in Sin, or Expecting an Enjoyment of the Fu­ture Glory, tho' he die under the Reigning Power of his Lusts, Unregenerate and finally Impenitent: And the other Brother, who so much presses the Necessity of Faith, Repen­tance and a Holy Life, detests nothing so much as in any one Instance to Diminish the Glory of Free Grace, or to add any thing of our own to Christ's Righteousness in our Justi­fication.

Besides, They have both Subscrib'd the same Propositions, which do not only contain in them the Truths, about which the Contest hath been, but are so framed, as to Provide fully against the Errors, they have been supposed to Embrace. The Errors about which many have been Apprehensive are the Antinomian, Armi­nian, Popish, and Socinian Errors; all which, with the greatest Caution Imaginable, are Really Renounced by the Subscribers. Their Renunciation is so full, that there is no Room left them for coming off with that Distinction of Subscribing them as Articles of Peace, and not of Faith.

The words of the Agreement are these, namely,P. 2, 3. ‘That in order to the more effe­ctual Composing of Matters in Controversie, we all of us, having Referr'd our selves to the Holy Scriptures, and the Doctrinal Articles of the Church of England, the Westminster, and Savoy Confessions, the Larger, and Shor­ter [Page 17]Catechisms, do Subscribe These follow­ing Propositions, as what do most fully Pro­vide against the Arminian, Antinomian, Soci­nian and Popish Errors; and shall always be Content, that any Sermons, or Books of ours be Interpreted by the said Articles and Con­fessions; Desiring all others, if they meet with any Expressions that are to them of Doubtful Signification, they would Iudge of them, and Interpret them by the Holy Scrip­tures, the said Articles, and Confessions. It is further Declared, That they Subscribe to all the main Parts of Doctrine contain'd in the fore-mention'd Articles, Confessions and Cate­chisms, as Iudging them Agreeable to the Word of God.

The Import therefore of the Subscription to this Agreement can't be less than to the Do­ctrines contained in these Propositions as ex­actly true, according to the Word of God; and so Providing most fully against Antinomian, Arminian, Socinian and Popish Errors; and that even as a Rule, by which Our Sermons and Books are to be Iudged, and Interpreted, which is enough to Evince, that whatever Doctrines may be found in any of our Writings or Ser­mons Contrary unto, or Dissonant from the main Doctrines contain'd in these Proposi­tions, are really Disown'd, Renounc'd and Ex­ploded.

For this Reason, altho' it cannot be Denied but that many in their Opposition to Antino­mianism, have faln in with the Arminian, &c. and that Divers in running from Arminia­nism, &c. have plung'd themselves into the [Page 18] Antinomian Gulph, and that they who bend their Strength against the one Error, are in danger of being accused for Inclining too much towards the other; yet in the Case before us, we are bound in Justice, according to the De­sire of our Brethren, to Judge and Interpret their Writings by the Subscribed Proposi­tions. Tho' it may be Difficult to Conciliat some Expressions with these Articles, yet we must not charge them for holding Do­ctrines Contradictory unto them. The Allow­ance, that is to be made for the Different Abilities, Educations, and Peculiar ways of Expression, which some Men Use, will suffi­ciently Vindicate our Charity from being too Extensive in this Matter.

It is undoubtedly our Duty to forbear se­vere Reflections, and hard Charges; to Lament our many weaknesses, which make it very near an Impossibility for us to understand one another, and at the same time Adore the Wis­dom and Grace of God, that our Worthy Brethren, who have not been able to Agree, about the sense of one anothers Writings, can Joyn in Subscribing the same Doctrines, as Deliver'd by others.


Intelligent, and sincere Subscribers, to the above-mentioned Propositions, cannot be Antinomians. What Antinomians are, Their Principles laid down out of Melchior Adamus, Lucas Osiander, and Luther. Luther's Disputations against them A­bridg'd. The Perniciousness of Antinomi­anism Detected. Its Agreement with Libertinism. Hoonbeeck's Account of English Antinomianism Its Mischievous Consequences. Its Inconsistency with the Subscribed Propositions. What is not Antinomianism, yet branded with that Odious Name.

TO make this the more clear, and Evince not only the Possibility, but Certainty of an Agreement in all the Substantials of the Gospel, I will, with the greatest Plainess I can, show, what the Antinomian, Socinian, Arminian, and Popish Errors are, and how inconsistent with the Sub­scribed Propositions.

In the first place then to begin with Antino­mianism, which, because commonly Joyn'd with the Libertine Notions▪ I will consider as Agree­ing, and Differing from them, and lest any who are really tainted with this Poisonous Er­ror, think me Partial, and too much inclin'd to [Page 18] [...] [Page 19] [...] [Page 20]the Arminian Party, &c. I will deliver nothing but what is Reported by such as have been the most Opposers of the Arminian, Socinian, and Popish Notions; such as Calvin, Luther, and their Admirers, about the Doctrine of Justi­fication.

In the Year 1538.See Sleidan, Comm lib. 12. p. 312. Johannes Agricola Islebius, an Intimate Friend of Luther, was the first, that after the beginning of the Reformation, did in Germany broach the Antinomian Errors, of which Melchior Adamus, in the Lives of Lu­ther and Agricola, give this short Account: ‘The Antinomians, (saith he) held, that Re­pentance was not to be Preached from the Law, oppugning those, who were for awakening Mens Consciences by the Law, before they would Publish the Gospel unto them, and affirm'd, that How wicked, and Impure soever the Life of any Man was; yet, if he believ'd the Promises of the Gospel, he was Justified. He was also for the Restoring Unction, saying, That if it might be, he doubted not but that the Gift of Healing would accompany it, for since his Return from Augusta, he had by it Recover'd Four from Death to Life.’

Hornbeck in his Summa Controversiarum is more full,Lib. 7. de Brownistis. speaking distinctly of them, ‘as di­stributed into three Periods of time, to wit, the Primitive in the Fourth Century; the Be­ginning of the Reformation in Germany; and since amongst us in England. That in Germany Agricola was against the Preaching of the Law in this Gospel Day; That we were not now under the Law, as a School-Master to be [Page 21]frightned by it's Threatnings; But under Grace; That the Gospel only is to be Preached. We must believe, that tho' a Man be a Fornicator, an Adulterer, or the like, yet he is in the Way to Salvation, if he doth but lay hold on Christ. That we must indeed beware of Sin, and work Righteousness; Not in Obedience to the Law, but as Exercising our Christian Li­berty, and notwithstanding our Living in Sin, must Apply Christ, and his Promises, as be­longing unto us.’

Lucas Osiander in his Epitome, saith,Hist. Eccles. Cent. XVI. lib. 11. c. 39. ‘That Johannes Agricola Islebius, who A. 1530. did with Melancthon, and Brentius, Defend the Augustane Confession; and after the Smal Kal­dican War with Julius Pflugg, and Michael Sydonius Framed that Unhappy Book, in which there was a Composition of the Popish, and Protestant Religion, as a mean for Ac­commodation, until a General Council should be Indicted, and therefore called the Interim; This Agricola, (as Osiander expresses it) was in the Year 1538. stirr'd up by the Devil to broach a New Heresie, affirming, That the Law of Moses (to wit the Decalogue) was not to be Taught in the Church; That the Do­ctrine of the Law doth not work Repentance in the Hearts of Men, but the Holy Ghost doth it by the Preaching of the Gospel, which showeth us the Filthiness of Sin, that the Gospel Pro­perly is the Preaching of Repentance. That by Schlasselburgius many other horrid Errors are charged upon the Antinomians, viz. That the Law is not worthy to be called the Word of God, If a Whore, a Fornicator, Adulterer, [Page 22]or any other such wicked Person, doth only Believe, they are in the way to Eternal Life. The Law teacheth not Good Works, nor is it to be Preached, that we may do them and many others of a like Nature.’

‘Against these Errors the Famous Dr. Lu­ther did at Wittiberge Publish Six Disputations, which are Extant in the first Tome of his Works. Islebius being by Luther's Endeavors convinc'd of his Error, makes his Recanta­tion in a Publick Auditory at Wittiberge, and Prints it: However after Luther's Death, he Returns to his Vomit, reassumes his old Er­rors, and drew some Learned Men to close with them. Labouring to get Countenance to them by wresting some Passages in Lu­ther's Writings; so that, whereas Luther had in his Commentary, on the Galatians, said, That the Penitent Sinner ought not to hear Mo­ses, by the Law, accusing him of Sin; but should rather cast his Eye on Jesus Christ his Saviour, who by the Gospel heals the Broken and Contrite heart; Islebius, and his Followers, would from hence infer, That the Law was not at all to be Taught; and thus would they Palliate their Own Errors by fathering them on Luther. So far Lucas Osiander.

Luther, on Genesis, doth in several Places show what the Antinomians are,Cap. 19.21. affirming, ‘That they throw the Law out of the Church, and will have it that Repentance is to be taught by the Gospel; That they Darken Paul's Doctrine about the Remission of Sin, and so magnifie Grace as utterly to Extinguish it, and expose Men to the Wrath of God [Page 23]by Perswading them to such a Security con­cerning the Divine Displeasure and Judge­ment as if there had been no Sin, no fear of Death and Hell.’

‘These Antinomians seem to be the follow­ers of Muntzer, who teach, that all Sin is wholly taken away, nor are we to Endeavor the convincing any of Sin, or terrifie them by the Law. They, like the Ishmaelites, who because the Thigh of their Father Abraham was Holy, believe Every thing to to be Holy. Tho' they carefully endeavor to conceal thus much, yet are they not afraid to entertain such Monstrous Opinions. Sin being forgiven, there is in them nothing Damnable, Sin therefore is nothing or at least 'tis taken from them.’

‘This Error they would fasten on the Do­ctrines of the Apostles. He that is born of God sinneth not. I believe the Remission of Sin, In Gen. c. 24. by which they understand the taking away of all Sin.’

‘The Papists Preach nothing but Terror,In Gen c. 19. and these false Prophets will have nothing taught but the Gospel, and the Promises; which Error of theirs is much more hurtful than that of the Papists.

In the First Tome of Luther's Works, to which Osiander directed me, I have not only met with Luther's Six Disputations, but with a Paper containing the Particulars of the Antino­mian Errors, drawn up by One of themselves, as was then Generally believed; which for the Reader's greater Satisfaction I will faith­fully Transcribe, and add unto it, an Abridg­ment [Page 24]of Luther's Disputations against them.

Unto the Antinomian Positions, Luther sets this Preface.

Martin Luther to the Pious Reader. ‘There came to my hands Certain Positions (so is the the Title) of an Unknown Author, scattered among the Brethren; which, lest I be thought to approve of them, I would so Publish as to give the fullest Testimony of my Abhorring them, which God willing I will soon do by my Disputations.

A. D. 1538. The Positions of a Certain Antinomian.

REpentance is not to be Taught from the Decalogue or any Law of Moses, but [Ex Violatione filii per Evangelium, which I presume thus to Render] from the Sufferings of Christ by the Gospel.

2. For Christ saith, Thus it behoved him to suffer, and Rise again from the Dead, that Repentance, and Remission of Sins should be Preached in his Name among all Nations.

3. And Christ in the Gospel of John, saith, that the Spirit shall convince the World of Sin; Not the Law.

4. The same is Taught in the Last Ser­mon of Christ, Go Preach the Gospel to Eve­ry Creature.

5. Paul to the Philippians saith, Let the same mind be in you, which is in Christ Je­sus, that with Fear and Trembling ye may work out your Salvation, which words do [Page 25]fully establish this Truth, viz. That Repen­tance, (which he calls Fear, and Trembling) is to be taught from the Mind of Christ, not from the Law.

6. From the Discourses of Paul, and Bar­nabas, it sufficiently appears, that, there is no need of the Law, for any One part of Justification.

7. That without which, the Holy Spirit is given and Men are justified; is not necessary to be Taught, either for the Beginning, Mid­dle, or End of Justification.

8. But the Holy Ghost of Old was given, and still is, that Men might be Justified with­out the Law, by the Gospel of Christ alone.

9. Therefore it's not necessary to Teach the Law of Moses, either for the Beginning, Middle, or End of Justification.

10. The Major is evident from the Expe­rience, which Paul and Barnabas mention.

11. And we must Judge the Minor to be true,11. Idem Judicabi­mus de Mi­nore, nam Spiritus San­ctus cecidio visibili specie super Gentes. because the Holy Ghost in a visible shape fell on the Gentiles.

12. What shall we then say of some who without the Word, yea, Contrary to it, and the Example of the Apostles, do make the Law the first Part, yea, a Necessary one to the Doctrine of Justification.

13. For which reason, that we may main­tain the Purity of Doctrine, we must oppose them, who Teach, That the Gospel must not be Preached, but to those, who are convin­ced by the Law.

14. For they, that put on the words of Christ an Improper sence, and say, that first the Law, then the Gospel is to be taught, and do Pervert the words of Christ, nor is their Interpretation consistent with the Sim­plicity of Christ.

15. As we are to adhere unto the simple sence of Christ's word, when he saith, [This is my Body] so must we abide by the Simpli­city city of those words. [Go Preach the Gospel, Baptizing] &c.

16. The Law doth only convince of Sin, and that without the Holy Spirit, and there­fore convinceth to Damnation.

17. But there is need of that Doctrine, which is Efficacious, not only to Condemn, but also to Save. Thus the Gospel doth con­junctly Teach Repentance, and Pardon of Sin.

18. For the Gospel of Christ doth make known the Wrath of God, from Heaven, to­gether with the Righteousness of God, Rom. 1. for it is the Preaching of Repentance in Con­junction with the Promise, which our Reason doth not Naturally, but by Divine Revelation Receive.

These are the Antinomian Positions, unto which Luther in his Disputations has a respect.

The first Disputation of D. Martin Luther, against the Antinomians about Repen­tance.

1. Repentance, by the Testimony of all, and by what is undoubtedly True, is a Grief for Sin, with an adjoyned Purpose of a better Life.

2. This Grief, Properly, is not, nor can it be any thing else, than a deep sence of the Law in the Heart or Conscience.

3. For, tho' many hear the Law, yet be­cause they have not that sense, nor feel the force of the Law, they Grieve not, nor Repent.

4. The first Part of Repentance, to wit, Grief is Only from the Law; The other part, namely, a Good Purpose, cannot be from the Law.

5. For a man Terrified at the Sight of Sin, cannot, in his own Strength Purpose any good thing; for he is neither at Peace nor Safe:

6. But confounded▪ and over-whelm'd by the Power of Sin, falls into Desperation, and Hatred of God; or, (as the Holy Scriptures have it) Descends into Hell.

7. To the Law therefore the Promise, or Gospel is to be added, which do quiet and re­vive the terrified Conscience, and broken Heart, that it may Purpose what is Good.

8. That Repentance, which is Only from the Law, is but the half, or Beginning of Re­pentance, or Repentance by a Synecdoche, be­cause there is wanting the good Purpose.

9. If it be Persevered in, it becomes the Repentance of a Cain, a Saul, a Judas, and of all such as Distrust of the Mercy of God, and Despair; that is to say, who Perish.

10. These Sophists learn't their Definition of Repentance, viz. That it is a Sorrow, and Pur­pose, &c. out of the Fathers.

11. But they understand not the Terms of this their Definition, [Sorrow, Sin, Purpose] &c.

19. Nor need we wonder at this their Ig­norance, for they neglecting and slighting the Scriptures, can't be thought to know, what is Law, or what Gospel.

20. Indeed quite bound up in Humane Com­mands and Injunctions, they only Dream, when they Judge of Sacred, and Divine Things.

21. But the Gospel teaches us in Opposition to these Masters of Despair, that Repen­tance ought not to be a meer Horror and Despair.

22. But that Penitents must hope and trust, and hate Sin out of love to God, which is the only Good Temper and Purpose of Mind.

23. This some, Unmindful of any Proofs or Reason, and indeed Heedless of the Mat­ter in Hand, assert to be contrary to the Law of God:

24. And very erroneously teach▪ that the Law of God is totally, and without any Di­stinctions or Limitations to be taken out of the Church: which is Blasphemous, and Sa­crilegious.

25. But the Scriptures throughout inform us, that Repentance must be begun by the Law, which likewise, the Order and Nature of the thing it self requires, and common Ex­perience proves.

26. They (viz. the Scriptures) say, Let all them be turned into Hell who forget God: and, Set, O Lord, a Law-giver over them, that Men may know, &c.

27. Fill their Faces with Shame, that they may seek thy Name, O Lord: and the Sinner is caught in the Works of his Hands.

28. And this is the Stated Order, that Death and Sin are in us before Life and Holi­ness.

29. Nor are we now Righteous and Alive, to be delivered over to Sin and Death, but actually and in our Present State Sinners and Dead in Adam, to be Justified and made alive by Christ.

30. Wherefore we must be first taught the first Adam (i. e. Sin and Death) who is the Figure of him who was to come, i. e. Christ, now in the second Place to be Preach'd un­to us.

31. Sin and Death must of Necessity be shown us out of the Law, and not by the Word of Grace, and Comfort.

32. And experience clears it: Adam first stood convicted a Transgressor of the Law; was afterwards Restored to Hopes by the Pro­mised Seed of the Woman.

33. And David, was first struck dead by the Law, telling Him by Nathan, [Thou art he] is afterwards Saved by the Grace of the Gospel, saying, [Thou shalt not Die.]

34. Paul trembling under Law-Stroaks, first heard, [Why Persecutest thou me?] then was Enlivened and Quickned by the Gospel, Arise, &c.

35. And Christ Himself says, Mark 1. Re­pent and Believe the Gospel, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand.

36. Likewise, it behoved that Repentance and Remission of Sins should be Preached in his Name.

37. Thus the Holy Spirit convinces the World first of Sin, that it may teach Faith in Christ, (i. e. Forgiveness of Sins.)

38. Paul in the Epistle to the Romans ob­serves this Method, he teaches first, that all are Sinners, to be Justified by Christ.

39. Luke, in the Acts, informs us of the same thing, that Paul taught both Fews, and Gentiles, that no man can be Justified but by Christ.

The Second Disputation of M. Luther against the Antinomians.
'Of the Law'.

1. The Law is not only Not-necessary to Justification, but also manifestly Unprofitable and altogether Impossible.

2. And to them who keep the Law with a Respect to be Justified by it, it becomes as Poison and most Pernicious.

3. When we discourse of Justification, we cannot say too much of the Weakness of the Law, and against a most Dangerous Confidence in the Law.

4. Neither is the Law given that it may Justifie, or give Life, or any way to Help unto a Righteousness.

5. But to shew us Our sin, work Wrath, and convince the Conscience of our Guilt.

8. In short, Heaven is not more distant from the Earth, than the Law must be separate from Justification.

9. Nothing is to be taught, said, or thought on in the Matter of Justification, but only the Word of Grace exhibited in Christ:

10. And yet nevertheless it doth not fol­low, that the Law is to be abolished, and not to be Preached in the Church.

11. But it is the more needful it should be taught, by being Useless, nay, Impossible for Justification.

12. That so, Proud Man, confident of his Abilities may be instructed that he cannot be Justified by the Law.

13. For Sin and Death are therefore to be shown us; not that they are Necessary for Life and Innocence.

14. But that Man may be sensible of his Unrighteousness, and lost State, and so be humbled.

15. If we see not our Sin, we conceit our selves Innocent: as is visible in the Heathen, and Pelagians.

16. If Death were unknown to us, this Life would be the only Life to us, nor should we look for a future one.

17. But since both are taught us only by the Law, it is evident, that the Law is very Ne­cessary, and Profitable.

18. Whatever shews us Sin, Wrath, or Death, that belongs to the Law, whether it be in the Old, or New Testament.

19. A Discovery of Sin cannot be but by the Law, and is its proper Effect and Force.

20. The Law, Manifestation of Sin, and Revelation of Wrath are Reciprocal Terms, [Page 32]as much as Man, and Risible, or Ra­tional.

21. To take away the Law, and Retain the Revelation of Wrath, is as if one should Deny Peter to be a Man, and yet affirm Him to be a Risible, Rational Creature.

22. After the same sort, do they Reason, who take away the Law, and then hold that Sin remains to be forgiven.

23. Whereas the Holy Spirit in the Scrip­tures teach, that Sin is Dead without the Law; and where there is no Law, there is no Trans­gression.

24. So that it is Impossible, that Sin should either be, or be known, without the Law either Written, or Ʋnwritten.

25. Whence it follows, that seeing on the taking away of the Law there Remains no Sin, there can be no Christ, to Redeem from Sin: for Christ Himself saith, they that are whole need not a Physician.

26. And seeing Christ came, not to destroy, but to fulfil the Law, he came in vain, if there be no Law to be fulfill'd in us.

27. And it being the Law of God, that Re­quires our Obedience towards Him, those [...], those Fighters against the Law, do thereby take away that Obedience, which is due to God.

28. From whence it is manifest, that Satan by these his Instruments doth but Verbally teach, that there is Sin, Repentance, or a Christ.

29. But in good Earnest, they deny Christ, Repentance, Sin, all the Scriptures together with God their Author.

30. And do more effectually than ever Epi­curus Himself, settle Men in a most Pestilen­tial Security, Contempt of God, Confidence of Impunity, and in Perpetual Impenitence.

36. Take away therefore but the Law, and we are free from Sin, and need not a Me­diator.

39. To hold that it is not the Work of the Law to Convince of Sin to Condemnation, is Notorious Madness.

40. For this is the Strength of Sin (as Paul affirms) That Sin is the Sting of Death, and the Law, the Strength of Sin.

41. Let us therefore Eat and Drink, and, according to the Doctrine of these Men, say, Let him Perish, that careth for the things of to Morrow.

42. For, Take away the Law, the Strength of Sin, Death and Hell will cease to be.

44. All therefore that they [viz. the Anti­nomians] say of Sin, Repentance, Christ, and Pardon are Abominable Lies, worthy of none so much, as of the Devil himself.

The Third Disputation of D. M. Luther against the Antinomians.
'Of Repentance.

17. The Lord's Prayer, Delivered to the Saints by Christ himself— is full of the Doctrine of the Law.

27. This very Prayer doth Teach us, That the Law was before, under, &c. the Gospel, and that Repentance hath its beginning from the Law.

28. For he that Prayeth for any thing, doth first confess, that he hath it not, and expects that it be given him.

30. The Enemies therefore of the Law must at the same time Vacate the Law, and lay aside the Lord's Prayer too.

The Fourth Disputation of D. M. Luther against the Antinomians.
We must beware of the Popish Doctrine of Pe­nance, But be more afraid of the Antinomians, who leave no Repentance in the Church.

14. They are against the Preaching of the Law in the Church, and really, and in Truth cannot be for any Repentance.

15. That Argument, viz. Whatsoever is not necessary to Justification, neither in the Begin­ning, the Middle, nor End, is not to be Prea­ched, signifieth Nothing.

16. If you ask, what they mean by these words [Beginning, Middle, and End;] you'll find, that they themselves do know nothing of it.

'The Sixth Disputation of D. M. Luther a­gainst the Antinomians, 1540.

1. That Consequence of St. Paul, where there is no Law, there no Transgression, is not only Theologically; but Politically, and Na­turally Good.

2. In like manner, so are these Consequen­ces, where no Sin, there no Punishment, no Pardon.

3. Where no Punishment nor Pardon, there no Wrath, nor Grace.

4. Where no Wrath nor Grace; there no Divine, nor Humane Government.

5. Where nor Divine, nor Humane Go­vernment; there nor God, nor Man.

6. Where nor God, nor Man, there nothing unless perhaps the Devil.

7. Whence it is, That the Antinomians, the Enemies of the Law, are plainly either Devils or the Cosen-Germans unto Devils.

8. Nor will it help them, that they make their Boast of God, of Christ, of Grace, of the Law, and the like.

9. It's no New, nor Infrequent thing, for the Name of God to be taken in Vain, even by the Devils themselves.

10. The Confession of the Antinomians is like to that of the Devils, who cried out, [Thou art the Son of the Living God] Luk. 4. and 8.

19. Wherefore they are to be abandoned, and forsaken, as the most Pestilential Guides to Licentiousness, and all manner of Wick­edness.

20. For they Serve not our Lord Jesus, but their own Belly, seeking Glory, and Praise from Men Only.

Thus Luther, the first Reformer, that most Gospel Preacher and Admirer of Free-Grace; who in his day excell'd in the Explicating the Do­ctrine of Justification by Christ's Righteousness receiv'd by Faith in Opposition unto that by Works; This Luther, observing, how much [Page 36]some Endeavour'd to wrest his words, that they might, if possible, give Reputation to Amino­mianism, doth with the greatest Zeal Express his Abhorrence of that Error, discovering the Poison covered with the Glorious Titles of Free, and Gospel Grace.

The Antinomian Cry was against the Law and Legal Preaching, and for Free Grace, and Pure Gospel: but their Error, according to Lu­ther, Subverts the Gospel of our Lord Jesus, even all Religion, Natural, as well as what Depends on Positive Revelation, setting up in its room and stead nothing but Diabolism.

The Vitals of Antinomianism lye in these Particulars:

  • 1o. The Vacating the Law.
  • 2o. The Suppressing all Preaching of Repentance from the Law.
  • 3o. The Confining the Doctrine of Repentance, and Revelation of Wrath to the Gospel.
  • 4o. The Extending the Grace of the Gospel to all manner of Sinners, who can but Confidently Perswade themselves, that Christ is theirs.

The Mischievous Tendency and Poison of these Errors, Luther doth thus Detect.

If there be no Law (saith he) seeing the very Nature of Sin lyeth in its being the Trans­gression of a Law, there can be no Sin; If there be no Sin, there can be no Wrath due for Sin, nor no Guilt, for that lyeth in an Ob­ligation to Wrath for Sin; Nor Pardon, for Pardon is the Dissolving the Obligation to Wrath, and where no Obligation, there can be [Page 37]no Dissolving it; nor no Redemption from Wrath, because no Wrath to be Redeemed from.

If there be no Redemption there can be no Redeemer.

If no Law, no Sin, then no Repentance for Sin; if no Christ, then no Faith in Christ.

Thus, by laying aside the Law, the Chri­stian Religion▪ is made void, for there is hereby no Sin, no Wrath, no Guilt, no Pardon, no Re­demption, no Redeemer, no Christ, no Repentance, no Faith.

Again; If no Law, as no Sin, so no Duty, no Obedience, for that is to a Law, no Govern­ment, for that is by Law, and, If no Govern­ment, no Governor; If no Rewards, nor Punishment, nor Heaven, nor Hell; No Providence with the Epicure, no God with the Athiest.

Thus by laying aside the Law, not only Christianity, but all Religion is made void: for there is hereby, no Sin, no Duty, no Reward, no Punishment; no Heaven, no Hell, no Provi­dence, no God, no Religion; Nothing therefore remains, saith Luther, but the Devil.

The Reins (you see) are let loose, and En­couragement given to all manner of Licentious­ness, and Debauchery, which hath not been only in the Notion, but wofully in the Practice; which is the True Reason why the Antinomian and Libertine have been by Godly Judicious Divines put together. Antinomian Principles produce Libertine Practices. If it had not been too Notorious to admit the least doubt, I would never have Pressed it. But the Reproach it brought on the Reformation, and the Ruine, Destruction, Havock, and Devastation it made [Page 38]on the Souls of Men, as it was enough to a­waken Luther, Calvin, and the other first Re­formers; so it may well Provoke any Man, fearing God, that hath known what are the Dismal Effects of Antinomianism, to caution the Unwary against it, especially considering, how apt well meaning People, are to be taken with the vilest Errors, when cloath'd with the Beautiful and Splendid Names of Free Grace, and Gospel Truths.

Hieronymus Kromayer, Artic. 13. De Lege. in his Theologia Positivo-Polemica, assures us, that the Libertines are very near a kin to the Antinomians; and are Exactly Described by the Learned Calvin, in a Particular Discourse against them.

The History Calvin gives of them is to this Effect; namely, ‘that Coppinus, a Man born at Lisle in Flanders; an Illiterate, but bold Fel­low, did first Publish the Libertine Errors in his own City: But Quintinus, of Hainault, soon after excelling him, Gain'd the Reputation of being Head of the Sect in France, to which Country he went, when driven from his own for some Misdemeanors, (as Stephen a Fabrica told Calvin). Claudianus Persival, and Anthony Pocquius, Joyning themselves unto Quintinus, in a little time they spread their Errors throughout a great part of that Kingdom.’

‘Their Error tho' covered with the Taking-Pretence of Spirituality and Gospel-Liberty, yet was, in its Nature and Tendency very Perni­cious. Some of their Principles were.’

  • 1. ‘'That the whole Law is abo­lished, Sublatâ omni Distinctione, to­tam Legem abolere [...] ulunt Calv. instruct. advers. Libertinos, c. 19. and no further to be Regar­ded by us.’
  • 2. ‘'That every one ought to fol­low his own Inclination, Ʋnumquemq oportere natu­ralem Inclinationem sequi. Cal. ubi sup. c. 20. and do what is Right in his own Eyes; And yet they Confess,’
  • 3. ‘That we cannot be the Children of God, except we be born again,Vid. Cap. 18. And after a very Magnificent and Splendid manner, they extoll Regeneration; affirming, That if we be the Sons of God, the Old man must be Crucified in us, our Flesh mortified, The World Destroyed and Sin Reign no more in us: However, when they ex­plain themselves, the Poison appears; For, they hold,’
    • 1. That Regeneration is the Restoring that Innocency, in which Adam was before the Fall.
    • 2. That the State of Innocency consisted in Knowing Nothing; in not being able to Discern between Black, and White, it being, Adam's Sin to Eat of the Tree of Knowledge, of Good, and Evil.
    • 3. That to mortifie the Old Adam, is nothing but to be Ʋnable to Discern, or know what is Evil; That we must be, as little Children, who cannot Discern between Good, and Evil; but follow their Senses, and Natural Inclination.’

‘If therefore any be troubled in Conscience for Sin, they thus express themselves. O Adam, Do'st thou yet Discern between Good, and Evil? Is not the Old man yet Crucified?

‘If, they find any One to Tremble for Fear of God's Judgments, They say, As yet the Taste of the Apple remains, Beware lest it choak thee.’

‘If Sin be Grievous to any, They say, That Sin as yet Reigns in them, and they are held Captive by the Lusts of the Flesh’

4. Sin. the Flesh, the Old man are nothing with them, but an Opinion, a Thought, or Ima­gination: Let 'em forbear to think it is, and it is not. Whence it is, That in the Last Result. Regeneration with them is a laying aside the Sense of all things, and a living according to their own Inclination, and Lust. And they that have no Sense of Sin, taking it to be Nothing, are New Creatures.

In a word, the Libertines do really Defend the Absurd and Blasphemous Consequences, with which Luther chargeth the Antinomian Principles, Differing from them in this, That they are more Free Openly to Avow what the other wants Courage to Divulge, or Sense to Understand.

The Libertines seem to see through the whole of their Notions. How one Part is Link'd unto the other: What's their Connection, and De­pendance, and How one Point necessarily flow­eth from the other, and so go on to Embrace the last, tho' a very Absurd Consequence, and frame their Practices accordingly.

The Antinomians, tho' some of them, yet all do not so, they neither see what naturally fol­lows from their Principles, nor are their Practices so Gross as are their Doctrines. And yet the Agreement in many thing is so Exact and Full, that it's Probable enough, they are but the Ef­fort of one and the same Contrivance.

The Methods, which Quintinus, Persivall, and Pocquius, took to Insinuate their Errors into [Page 41]the Minds of others, compared with what some Practical Antinomians have done, do make thus much very clear.

'Twas the way of both for a while to conceal the Licentious Part of their Opinions, and make a strict Profession of Gospel Purity. They would carry it so fairly as to get into the Con­versation of the most Eminent Reformers, and other Professors of the Truth. Pocquius, who, at Geneva, was acquainted with Calvin, would fain have got a Testimonial from Him, of which, tho' he failed, yet obtained one from the excellent Martin Bucer, by which means he gained great Reputation amongst many Ho­nest and Well-meaning Protestants.

Quintinus ejus (que) Socius exsartoribus Doctores fa­cti. Calv. Ʋb. Sup. cap. 4. ‘Their Teachers were such as had been Tay­lors, and Shoemakers. Quintinus Himself and his Companion were such.’ [A great Snare to Weak and Talkative Men, who from an Itch after Preaching are Tempted to do their utmost for the support of them, who will en­courage their Hasty Entrance into the Mi­nistry.]

Totus Eorum Sermo de spiritis est, Ideomate quodam adeo Pere­grino Lequuntur ut qui ipsos audiant, primâ facie stupe­siant. ‘Their Sermons were about high and lofty Matters, full of Pecu­liar and Uncommon Phrases, delivered with so much eager­ness and fervor, that oft-times their Hearers would be transported into Ama­zing Extasies.’

Obsirvandum est cum istos au­dire cap [...]ris parum absuturum quin Ecstasi aliquan [...]o supra nubes raptos fuisse putes, c. [...]. ‘They were much for 'Allego­rick Interpretations of Scripture, and New Revelations. They pretended to more than ordina­ry Measures of the Spirit,In Allegorias Scripturam con­verterent, c. 3. and to [Page 42]such Raptures, as if their Converse had been with Angels.

By these Arts they seduced many Sober Pro­testants, leading them into a most dissolute way of Living, and to as Pernicious a Se­curity.

Besides Agricolas Islebius, who in the Year 1537, Subscrib'd the Articles, drawn up by Lu­ther at Smalcald, in which the necessity of the Law to true Repentance is expresly asserted, did A. D. 1538. start Antinomianism in Germa­ny, but, on Luther's Endeavour, publickly re­canted,Michael Si­donius was a Rigid Pa­pist, Pflugg, neither severe for Popery, nor much a­gainst Pro­testancy. Osiand. Epit. Hist. Eccles. Cent. XVI. lib. 2. c. 68. tho' soon after Luther's Death. which was 1546. return'd to his old Antinomian Vo­mit, and in 1548. ran to the other Extream, joyning with some Papists in composing the In­terim, in which the Doctrine of Justification is fram'd according to the Popish Model; which yet he would have Bucer subscribe unto, and was a great Stickler for miracu­lous Cures by Anointing with Oyl.

Thus the Reader may see from what Man­ner of Men these Errors have had their Rise, by what Methods propagated, and how Per­nicious their Tendency is to the Souls of Men.

The Antinomians, that got into New-England, are so fully set forth in their proper Colours by Mr. Welde, that I need do no more than Recommend that Account given of it. And go on to consider what Errors have been held by them in this Kingdom.

And because the Learned Hoornbeeck, in his Summa Controversiarum, doth with much Respect unto them, make his Enquiry after their Prin­ciples, [Page 43]being a great Enemy to Arminianism. I will lay down the State, he gives of their Notions, which he Reduceth to these Six Heads.

1. ‘That Christ in Suffering for our Sins, did not only bear their Punishment, and Guilt, but moreover had our Sins themselves Imputed to Him.

2. ‘That Christ did Redeem all and every Man.’

3. ‘That the Soul is United to Christ, and in Covenant with Him, before any good Qua­lity be wrought in it, and can equally apply the Promises of Grace unto it self, whilst un­regenerate as when a Believer.’

4. ‘That a Man Believeth after he is justi­fied, his Faith following his Justification.’

5. ‘That in order to our being Comforted by the Promises of Christ and our making them sure, we ought not to Grieve, and Re­pent of the Sins we have committed from sights of the transgressed Law, and of the de­served Punishment, and so to be humbled in Heart.’

6. ‘That the Moral Law must not be Preached to Believers and Regenerate Per­sons.’

This is the Account Hoornbeek gives of the English Antinomian: who, in the first Question, is more Kind to them, than Just to the Truth, in saying, they hold, That Christ in Suffering for our Sins, did not only bear the Punishment, and Guilt; but moreover had our Sins themselves Imputed to him: whereas the Imputation of Sin, and otherwise than in its Guilt is Impossible; and the Author whom he chiefly consulted, is [Page 44]Positive, That tho' he had diligently searched the Holy Scriptures, could not in any one Place find, Trat Sin was laid on Christ by Imputation, farther affirming. That Guilt is not only insepara­ble from sin; but is the sin it self, the Fault, the [...], simply sin In answer to an Obje­ction laid down in these words, For that Obje­ction about Guilt, that the Lord lays the Guilt and Punish­ment, but not Simply, the Sin it self: It is replied, For ought that I can see, it is a Simple Ob­jection — I do not think as some do, that Guilt differs from Sin..

In this Assertion, there is a Complication of Errors of divers Kinds, even Popish, Socinian and Libertine. Not that I dare charge every one, that holds this Principle with the mischie­vous Consequences that too easily flow from it: That is nor fair, nor just, for they may not see the Connection, there is between the one and the other; and may Renounce and Disclaim the more offensive Part. However, in the Oppug­ning an Error, and Defence of Truth, for the sake of the Unwary, It is necessary, to show in the Point before us, How Error of one kind is link'd to that of another; which is thus:

By making Guilt to be, not only Inseparable from the Sin it self; but to be the same thing with it, the [...], the Fault it self, as it re­spects the Command, 'twill unavoidably fol­low.

1. That the Pardon of Sin is the same with Mortification; and that in Justification there is more than an External, and Relative; there is an Internal, and Physical Change wrought on the Justified Person, whereby it is, as the Papist would have it, confounded with Sanctification.

To clear this, we must observe▪ That Sin es­sentially Relates to a Law, it being a Trans­gression of it. The Law hath its Preceptive and Threatning Parts. And Sin, Properly, and For­mally consider'd, is a Transgression of the Pre­cept, [Page 45]and whatever is a Transgression of the Precept, or the [...], 'tis formally, and Pro­perly Sin.

To Understand yet more fully wherein lyeth the True Nature of Sin, it being a Relation, our Enquiry must be after its Subject, Founda­tion, and Term.

The Inclinations, Propensions, Dispositions, Acts, Habits, Thoughts, Words, and Works of a Ratio­nal Being are the Subject. The Term is the Preceptive Part of the Law, under whose Regu­lation the Inclinations, &c. do fall. The Ratio fundandi, or Foundation, from whence the Relation Immediately Results is the Contrariety, Disconformity, Deviation, or Dissonancy of our In­clinations, Propensions, Dispositions, Acts, Ha­bits, Thoughts, Words, Or, Works to the Preceptive Part of the Law. When either our Inclinations, Propensions, &c. are contrary unto, or Dissonant from the Precept, which is Pure and Holy, we Sin, are Ʋnclean, Filthy, and Impure. The Contrariety, Dissonancy, or Obliquity is the Uncleanness, the Filth and Impurity; It is Sin Properly, and Formally.

To Distinguish therefore between the Filth of Sin, and the Sin it self, and at the same time make Guilt to be the Sin it self the [...], or Dissonancy to the Command, is too Intolle­rably Gross, and Absurd, to admit of a fair Construction; It is to Confound the Precept with the Threatning, to Change the Natures of things, and Pervert the Plainest Truths, it is to call Light Darkness and Darkness Light.

For the Filth of Sin is Contrary to the Pre­cept, Intrinsick to the Sin, Inseparable from it, [Page 46]it is an [...]. But Guilt is Extrinsick to the Sin, it's only an External respect of it to the Threatning of the Law; It's not [...]. it's not contrary to the Command, but it is God's Will, and Pleasing unto him that he who Commits the Sin, be liable unto Wrath, that is, be Guilty; But the Filth of Sin, is in no sense Pleasing unto him. Besides, Guilt is separable from the Sin.

On this Distinction, between the Sin, and its Guilt, the Reformed do found that other be­tween Justification, and Sanctification, holding, that Justification imports only an Outward and Relative Change, whereby the Soul is freed from Guilt, &c. That Sanctification Denotes an Inward Physical Change by which the Filth of Sin is taken away, and the Sin it-self mor­tified. But by making Sin, and Guilt the same, Pardon of Sin, also, and its Mortification must be the same too; and that in Justification an Inward and Physical Change is wrought on the Soul. In a word, in that Great Controversie, the most Important One, agitated between Us and the Papist, even touching the Glorious Do­ctrine of Justification, the Cause is in Fact given up by the Antinomian unto the Papist. Thus in running from Popery, they continue their flight so long till they return to that very Point from whence they did at first set out, and Unwarily give Life to the Error they seem mostly to abhor.

Again, if Guilt be Inseparable from the Sin, there can be no taking away the Guilt by Par­don, but the Sin it self, the Fault ceaseth to be, and consequently, if the Sin of our Nature, [Page 47]with those Inclinations and Lustings after Evil be Pardoned, they cease to be sinful, a Notion that will exceedingly Please the Roman Catho­licks, who deny Concupiscence to be Sin, in those that Believe.

2. The Imputation of Sin is made Impossible, either from Adam unto Us; or from us unto Christ. A Notion no way ungrateful unto the Arminian Party, who hold, ‘That Adam's Sin was in no other sense Imputed unto his Posterity,Fatentur (vid. Remonstran­tes) Peccatum Adami Impu­tatum Dici Posse Posteris ejus, quatenus Deus Posteros Ada­mo Eidem malo cui Adamus per Peccatum obnoxium se red­didit, obnoxios nasci voluit, sive quatenus Deus malum, quod in Paenam Adamo In­flictum fuerat, in Posteros E­jus dimanare & transire per­misit. At nihil cogit Eos di­cere, Peccatum Adami Poste­ris ejus sic fuisse à Deo Impu­tatum, quasi Deus Posteros Adami [...]verâ censulsset Ejus­dem cum Adamo peccati & cul­p [...]e quam Adamus commiserat REOS. Imo nec scriptura, nec Veritas, nec Sapientia, nec Bo­nitas Divina, nec Peccati Na­tura, &c. permittunt ut sic Im­putatum peccatum, Adami, &c Malum Culpae non est, quia nasci plant Involuntarium est, ergo & nasci cum hâc vel Illâ labe, &c. Si malum Culpae non est, nec malum Paenae, quia Culpa & Paena sunt Relata. Rem. Apol▪ ad Censur. c. 7. § 4. then as they are by Birth made subject to the same Calamities with A­dam. An Imputation of the Guilt of Sin they deny, as contrary to the Holy Scriptures, the Di­vine Truth, Wisdom, and Good­ness, the Nature of Sin, as well as the Formal Reason of Righte­ousness, Although we are born without an Original Righteousness, yet there is not (say they) either the malum Culpae; nor the malum paena, the Evil of the Fault, nor of the Punishment, on any of Adam's Offspring by Birth: Not the Evil of the Fault, because not Voluntary; and if not the Evil of the Fault, it cannot be the Evil of Punishment; the Fault, and Punishment being Re­lata, and Inseparable. That those Acts, which follow the Privation of Original Righte­ousness, are not formally Sins, or, [Page 48]what is the same,Nam Remonstr. negant actus illos, qui sequuntur Destitutio­nem, sive Privationem illam divinam, esse Formaliter Pec­cata, i. e. illos valide Obligare ad Poenam. Eos, qui actus istos patrant. Non negant qui­dem actus illos Materialiter Peccata dici posse, quatenus actus sunt Dissormes volunta­ti Divinae, at negant eos for­maliter esse Peccata, quae sc. ad Paenam obligent eos, à qui­bus fiunt Sitpol. Ʋbi sup. are not such acts, as oblige to Punishment. That they are materially Sins, that is, Disconform to the Divine Will, they do not Deny, but formally, they are not Sins, for they Ob­lige not to Punishment. Whereby it is evident, they make Guilt, which is the Obligation to Pu­nishment, to be Formally the Sin, and therefore Inseparable from it. What Differences soever there may be between the Antinomian, and Arminian in the Method taken to advance the Notion, of Guilt's being Inseparable from Sin, yet they agree in the Assertion, that Guilt, and Sin are Inseparable.

But Dr. Owen gives a truer Account of this Matter,Dr. O. Of Justificat. p. 284, 285. when he tells us, ‘That there is in Sin a Transgression of the Preceptive part of the Law, and there is an Obnoxiousness unto the Punishment from the Sanction of it.— Sin under this Consideration, as a Transgression of the Preceptive Part of the Law, cannot be com­municated from One unto another, unless it be by the Propagation of a vitiated Principle, or Habit. But yet neither so will the Personal Sin of one, as Inherent in him, ever come to be the Personal Sin of Another.’ To which I add, That as the Sin it self cannot Pass from one to Another; in like manner, if the Guilt cannot be separated from the Sin, then the Guilt of Adam's Sin could not pass from Him to us. It could in no sense be made Ours; Not the Sin it self, for that is Impossible; nor the Sin in [Page 49]its Guilt, because, as they affirm, it's Inseparable from the Sin it self.

Socinus, Smalcius and Ostorodius, in Peltius his Harmony, deliver themselves to the same Pur­pose, giving us Light enough a­bout the True Reason,Commentum illud de Pecca­to Originis, seu Parentum Cul­pae, fabula est Judaica, & ab Anti-C [...]risto in Ecclesiam In­troductum, ad stabiliendum Perniciosa Dogmata, nempe Dei Incarnationem, Infan­tium Baptismum. Socin. Dial. Justif. f. 11. Pelti Har. Remonst. & So­cin. Artic. 8. Parag. 4. f. 69. why they Deny Original Sin; For, (say they) ‘the Doctrine of Original Sin is a Jewish Fable, brought into the Church by Antichrist, to esta­blish (as Socinus blasphemously expresses it) these Pernicious Dogmata, viz. The Incarnation of God, & Infant Baptism. And in Peltius they Declare, That if the Question be; Whether, seeing our Des­cent is from Adam, we are by Birth obnoxious to any Punishment, or Fault for Adam's Sin? The Answer is, That to the being Faulty, it's necessary there be some voluntary Act done by him, who is Faulty; And Punishment there cannot be, where there is no such Anteceding Fault, we are not therefore born, either Faul­ty or Obnoxious to Punishment.’

This Agreement between the Antinomian, Ar­minian, and Socinian about the Inseparableness of the Sin it self, and Guilt, is not only Inconsistent with the Doctrine of Original Sin, but strikes at the very Root of Christ's Satisfaction. A Phy­sical Translation or Transfusion of Sin from One to another, being Naturally and Spiritually Impossible, there can be no Imputing the Guilt, nor Inflicting the Punishment of our Sins on Christ. The Links of the Chain lye thus: If Christ did not endure the Punishment, and suf­fer [Page 50]for our Sins, he could not make Satisfaction for them; If the Guilt of Sin was not Imputed, the Punishment could not be Justly inflicted; If the Guilt be Inseparable from the Sin it self, and that Impossible to Pass from us to Christ (as really it is) the Guilt cannot be Imputed. Thus if no Guilt be Imputed, no Punishment can be by a Righteous God Inflicted; if no Pu­nishment Inflicted, nor Suffering for our Sins, no Satisfaction can be made. And if Salvation may be without Satisfaction, what need of the Incar­nation of the Son of God?

This Assertion then, that the Sin it self, and Guilt are Inseparable, doth not only give Ad­vantage to the Papist by confounding Justifica­tion with Sanctification; but to the Arminian, in making it Impossible for the Guilt of Adam's Sin to be Imputed unto his Posterity; and to the Socinian by subverting Christ's Satisfaction, necessarily driving Men, either into the Horror of Despair, or into Libertine Practices.

If Guilt be Inseparable from the Sin it self,The Guilt of Sin is an Ex­ternal Respect of it, with re­gard to the Sanction of the Law only. This is SEPA­RABLE from Sin, if IT WERE NOT SO, no One Sinner could either be Par­doned, or Saved. Dr. O. of Justif. ub. sup. so long as Sin Re­mains in us, a Pardon, which lyeth in the Removing Guilt, cannot possibly be obtain'd, which Fills many with Despair.

But if on the other hand, we suppose, the Pardon of Sin Possi­ble, notwithstanding Guilt is made Inseparable from the Sin, it must then be Granted, that when ever the Guilt is Removed, and the Sin Pardoned, the Sin it self is De­stroyed, It's formal Nature is taken away and what Leudness soever they Commit, there is [Page 51]no Sin in them. All Sin, Past, Present, and to Come, being (as they hold) forgiven them, there is no Sin in their Drunkenness, Murder, or Adultery. They may do what they list, they may Rob, Plunder, Oppress the Fatherless and Widow, commit Sodomy and all the Outrages Imaginable; but according to this Principle, Sin they cannot, than which what Greater En­couragement can there be given to Liberti­nism?

By this little, we may see, what Poison is within the Compass of this first Antinomian Error, to wit, Their making the Sin it self, the [...], the Obliquity or the Fault; and Guilt to be Inseparable, if not the same thing. And af­firming, that not only the Punishment and Guilt of Sin, but moreover the Sin it self, was laid on Christ; the worst of Popery, Arminianism, So­cinianism, and the Libertine Abominations flow from it; And, the other Parts of their Scheme are of the same kind, as I will endeavor Parti­cularly to Evince.

The Second is for Ʋniversal Redemption; which they are Unawares led into, by their holding Justification to be before Faith, and their ma­king the Preaching the Gospel necessary for the Relief of Distressed Consciences. If Justi­fication be before Faith; then, nor Unbelief, nor any other obstinate Reigning Sin, can be a Bar unto it. The Absence of what follows Justifi­cation cannot hinder your being Justified; for your being Justified before it, necessarily infers your Justification in the Absence thereof, which therefore can be no Impediment, or Hindrance unto it. And if, on the Absence of Faith, [Page 52]Justification is not suspended, But notwith­standing the Reigning Power of Unbelief and other Lusts the Sinner is Justified, what need of Preaching the Gospel; Or, of what Use can Gospel-Promises be to any? Whether the Elect be troubled for Sin, or not, they are by these Men placed in a very safe State, as free from Wrath, as the Saint in Glory; But if any such be troubled, what is there in the Promise for their Comfort? or, what Right, what Title, what Interest hath any Man of a Troubled or Distressed Conscience, in a Promise? He knows not to whom the Promise doth belong, and therefore can't say, he hath any Title to it. If it be said, It belongs to the Elect, as such, this can't help him, nor remove the Cause of his Sorrow. He Believes it shall be well with the Elect, but knows not that he is Elected. He is rather afraid he is not, what then must he do for Comfort? Must he look into his own heart, and try himself by marks, and signs? Must he Enquire, whether he hath been con­vinced of Sin, humbled in the sence of the Evils thereof, sensible of his Lost Estate out of Christ, and of a Necessity of closing with him on his own Terms? No, This is too much, for it's, Legale, and disposes Men to make a Christ of their own Righteousness. Must they Repent, and Believe, that they may be Par­doned? There are many Elect Persons who can't see they have Repented, or Believed. They have no Faith they are sure, and how shall they be Comforted? For the Comfort of these, the Antinomian Declares, The want of Faith can be no Bar to their Justification, or Pardon, [Page 53]that the Promise is made to Sinners, as such, as they are Sinners, and that no one Sin, or many Sins, how Obstinate soever, can hinder their Interest in the Promise. Are they Sinners? that can't be denied; It's then, (they say) suf­ficient. Let them come to Christ, Let them Come, tho' under the Reigning Power of Blas­phemy, and Unbelief; Let them come to Christ, and be Comforted; Let them be but perswaded that their Sins are Pardoned, and it is so; for the Promise is to Sinners as Sinners, and therefore to all and every Sinner.

This is the Duty (they say) of every Man to look on the Promise, as made unto them, that is, All must believe, that their Sins are Pardoned, because the Promise is unto all, which cannot be, Unless All be Redeemed. The Par­don of Sin is not given to any but such as are Redeemed. If all must believe, that their Sins are Pardoned, because the Promise of Par­don is to all Sinners, as such, then all are Par­doned, then all are Redeemed.

Thus you have the Reason, why Hoornbeek charges the English Antinomian, with holding Ʋniversal Redemption; to which their Third Principle is Conform.

3. That the Soul is Ʋnited to Christ, and in Covenant with him before any Good Quality be wrought in the Heart, and that it can Apply the Promise of Grace, as well whilst Unregene­rate, as when a Believer.

The Promise, being made to the Sinner, as he is a Sinner, and therefore to every Sinner, he may, whilst he is a Sinner, apply the Promise, as well as when a Believer, or indeed rather bet­ter, [Page 54]because the Promise belongs not to him, as he is a Believer; but, as he is a Sinner, and yet the Promise belonging to him as he is a Sinner, he must be in Covenant, for the Extent of the Promise is not, nor can be any larger than that of the Covenant, and being in Covenant, par­taking of Saving Benefits, they must be United unto Christ whilst Sinners. None so in Cove­nant with God, as to be actually Interested in the special Blessings of it, but such as are Uni­ted unto Christ, which according to this Anti­nomian Principle, Men may be many Years before they aright believe, or are Regenerated: For, (as in their Fourth Assertion)

4. Their Justification is before their Faith, and their Faith followeth their Justification.

Thus much must be asserted, or all that had been formerly said, would have signified no­thing, as is obvious to a Common Capacity, and that which is as necessary a Link in this Chain, as the other is; The Fifth viz.

5. That in order to our being Comforted by the Promises of Christ, and making them sure, and certain to us; To Grieve and Repent of the Sins we have Committed, from Sights of the transgressed Law; and the Deserved Punish­ment, is not necessary.

The Reason is manifest. The Promise be­ing made to Sinners, as Sinners, their Comforts, and Assurances must arise from the Considera­tion of their being Sinners; and not from their Grief for Sin, their Repentance, or Humilia­tions. To them as Penitent, and Humbled, the Promise is not, but as Impenitent, Un­humbled, and Unbelievers; and the Promise [Page 55]being unto them, as such, their Comforts, and Assurances must arise from them.

But of what use then is the Law? It is of none, especially unto Believers, or Regenerate Persons, as is held by them in their Sixth As­sertion.

6. The Moral Law must not be Preached to Be­lievers, and Regenerate Persons.

It might have been added by them, that the Preaching of the Law is of no use at all unto any; For Sin, and Guilt being made by them Inseparable from One another, the Guilt being, in Pardon, Removed, whil'st Unregenerate, and under the Power of Unbelief. there is no Sin left in them; No formal Sins to Repent of, which makes the Preaching of the Law to be altogether Useless unto Ʋnbelievers.

Thus, Sin, and Guilt, being made Insepa­rable, not only the Guilt, but the Sin it self, was laid on Christ and taken from the Elect, and the Promise being to Sinners, as Sinners; all Sinners are Redeemed, actually Redeemed from the Wrath to Come, United unto Christ, and in Covenant with him, their Sins Pardoned and they Justified, and may apply the Promi­ses to themselves, whil'st under the Reigning Power of Sin, as well as when Believers; and therefore Sorrow for Sin and Repentance arising from sights of the Law, and of Deser­ved Punishment is not Necessary to their Com­fort, and that therefore the Preaching of the Moral Law, is not to be allowed.’

This is the English Antinomianism as full of Horrid Consequences, naturally flowing from it, as is the German, and as near a kin to Liber­tinism, [Page 56]as I have shown in my Remarks on their first Principle.

This Particular Account of the Antinomian Errors, which is taken from the Reports made of them by the Greatest Adversaries to Armi­nianism, Popery, or Socinianism, is (as every body may see) directly opposite to the Doctrinal Ar­ticles of the Church of England, the Westmin­ster, and Savoy Confessions, the Larger, and Shor­ter Catechisms, and Undoubtedly nothing more Detested by our Reverend Brethren, than these Abominations. They are far from making Sin and Guilt the same, the one Inseparable from the other; Or, of holding, that the Promise of Justification, or Pardon; Adoption and Glory belong to Sinners as such; or, that all Sinners are actually in the sight of God Pardoned, and Re­deemed; Or, that the Elect, quâ Elect, have a secret Hidden Right to the Heavenly Inheritance, for this would be to vacate the Satisfaction and Merit of Christ, which is the only foundation of their Right. And this they have, not, mere­ly as Elect; but as Christ's Seed, in which sense the Covenant of Grace is made with them. Besides, the Right, Resulting from Christ's Righteousness, and made theirs, as they are Christ's Seed, is theirs, and no otherwise, than as they themselves are Christs, which is after a Twofold manner, Virtually, or Actually. All the Elect being given to Christ their Head, are Christ's Virtually, ever since Christ was set up to be a Head or second Adam; and as such can only have a Virtual Right. But, when Born again. Spirit of Spirit, and are actual Descen­dents from Christ's Loins: United to him by [Page 57]Faith, then, and not till then, have they an actual Right to the Heavenly Inheritance. This, I am perswaded, is the utmost our Brethren mean, and is the same Truth asserted in the subscribed Pro­positions, where it's express.

1. ‘That the Covenant of Grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in him with all the Elect, as his Seed.

2. ‘That in this Covenant of Grace, Salva­tion by Jesus Christ is Freely offered to Sin­ners, He requiring of them Faith, as the Con­dition to Interest them in Himself.’

3. ‘That tho' God did from all Eternity Decree to Justifie all the Elect, and Christ did in the Fulness of time die for their Sins, and Rise again for their Justification; yet never­theless they are not Iustified, until the Holy Spirit doth in Due time actually apply Christ unto them, and the Spirit Applieth to us the Redemption Purchased by Christ, by work­ing Faith in us, and thereby Ʋniting us to Christ in our Effectual Calling.’

4. ‘That we may Escape the Wrath, and Curse of God, Due to Vs by reason of the Transgression of the Law, He Requireth of us Repentance towards God, Faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. That Repentance unto Life is an Evangelical Grace, the Doctrine whereof is to be Preached by every Minister of the Gospel, as well as that of Faith in Christ. That it is of such Necessity to all Sinners, that none can Expect Pardon with­out it.’

5. ‘That the Moral Law doth for ever bind all, as well Justified Persons, as others, to the [Page 58] Obedience thereof; and that not only in Re­gard of the Matter contained in it; But also in respect of the Authority of God the Creator, who gave it; neither doth Christ in the Gospel any way Dissolve, but much Strengthen this Obligation. That this Law is of great Use to Believers as well as others, in that, as a Rule of Life, informing them of the Will of God, and their Duty, it Directs, and Binds them to walk accordingly; Discovering also the sinful Pollutions of their Nature, Hearts and Lives; so as Examining themselves thereby, they may come to further Conviction of, Humiliation for, and Hatred against Sin; together with a a clearer sight of the Need they have of Christ, and the Perfection of his Obedience. It is likewise of Use to the Regenerate, to Restrain their Corruptions, in that it Forbids Sin, and the Threatnings of it serve to show, what even their Sins Deserve, and what Afflictions, in this Life, they may expect for them, altho' Freed from the Curse thereof Threatned in the Law. The Promises of it in like manner shew them God's Approbation of Obedience, and what Blessings they may Expect, upon the Performance thereof, altho' not as Due to them by the Law, as a Covenant of Works; so as a Man's Doing Good, and Refraining from Evil, because the Law Encourageth to the one, and Deterreth from the other, is no Evidence of his being under the Law, and not under Grace.

These Propositions are so directly opposite un­to the Antinomian Doctrines, that it's Im­possible for an Intelligent, and sincere Subscri­ber to Approve of Autinomianism. The [Page 59]vacating the Law, and making the Preaching thereof Ʋseless, the actual Justification of a Sin­ner in the sight of God before Faith, and the like, are in words expresly Exploded by the Assembly, and ought to be witnessed against by Sound and Faithful Ministers.

Thus much may suffice for the clearing our Brethren from the Charge of Antinomianism, whose Principles are to be Judged by their Subscriptions; and not by an Inaccurate, Obscure or Perplex'd Passage in a Sermon, or Polemical Discourse.

What Antinomianism is, and How Inconsistent with the Subscribed Articles, and Confessions, hath been Particularly Declared, and yet it's further necessary, before I Proceed to the Con­sideration of the Socinian, and those other Er­rors in Controversie, that I do my Part to clear some Important Truths from the Reproach of Antinomianism, and Vindicate the First Refor­mers from the Unjust Charge of Espousing so Gross an Heresie, which that I may the more Convincingly do, I will in several Instances shew what is not Antinomianism.

First then, 'It is Not Antinomianism to As­sert, ‘That Jesus Christ is a Second Adam, a Publick Representative of a Spiritual Seed; and, that the Covenant of Grace was made with Christ, as a Second Adam; and with the Elect, as his Seed.

This is a Notion expresly affirm'd by the West­minster Assembly, and not only so, but directly Opposite to several main Branches of that Anti­nomian Error, Supplying us with Invincible Ar­guments against it.

If Jesus Christ be a Second-Adam, it must be granted, that there is a Similitude, a Resemblance, and Agreement in some Third between him and the First-Adam. That this Agreement lyeth in these Particulars, namely, As the One is a Father of an Off-spring; so the other: And, as the Off-spring of the One bears the Image of their Father; so is it with the Off-spring of the other; And as the Posterity of the First Adam derive any thing from him, after the same manner do the Poste­rity of the Second from him.

Thus the First Adam is a Type, or Figure of the Second, Rom. 5.19. who was to come. And, as we have born the Image of the Earthy Adam; so shall we bear the Image of the Heavenly: 1 Cor. 15. And, as by the Disobedience of one many are made Sinners; so by the Obedience of another, are many made Righteous. Whence it follows,

  • 1. That as Guilt, the Immediate Result of Adam's Sin (and not his Personal Sin) was made the Guilt of all his Posterity, descending from him by Ordinary Generation: So the Righteousness, the Immediate Result of Christ's Personal Holiness; and not the Personal Holi­ness it self, is made the Righteousness of Christ's Spiritual Off-spring.
  • 2. As the Seed of the First Adam may be be considered either as Virtually, and Semi­nally in him; or as Actually Descended from him; and as Seminally in him, they are only Virtually Guilty; As Actually born of him are actually Guilty: In like manner the Seed of the second Adam must be look'd on as Virtually, and Seminally in him; or as Actually born of him. In the first sence, they can be but Virtually [Page 61]Justified, and not Actually till actually born of him by a Spiritual Regeneration.
  • 3. As the Imputation of Adam's Guilt to all his Off-spring is founded on a Natural, and Fae­deral Union between Adam, and his Posterity; so the Imputation of Christ's Righteousness to his Spiritual Off-spring, is grounded on a Spiri­tual, and Faederal, or Covenant-Union between him, and them. Whence it follows,

That no Elect Person, merely as Elect, can be, either Actually or Virtually, Justified, That Justification, which is by Christ's Righteousness Imputed and by Faith Receiv'd, doth Imme­diately flow from the Elect Persons being Christ's Seed.

The Covenant of Grace being made with Christ as Head; and with the Elect; not meerly as Elect, but as Christ's Seed; Justifica­tion, the Great Covenant-Blessing belongs to none, but as they are in Covenant with Christ, that is, as they are Christ's Seed.

A Decretive Justification belongs to the Elect as such: But this gives no Right to the Hea­venly Inheritance, The utmost Import of i [...] is, that God did from all Eternity [...]urpose in himself, that such and such Particular Souls should be Christ's Seed, and as such be Justified. This Inward and Etern [...] [...]urpose, tho', it be a Topick from whence the certainty of the Justification of the Elect in the Way, and manner Ordained of God, is clearly Inferr'd: Yet doth it not give any Being thereunto. So that notwithstanding the Decree, which nihil ponit in esse, an Elect Person may be so far from having any Right, secret and hidden; manifest, [Page 62]or known, that he may be the Child of the first Adam, and as such, Really Guilty, that is, ob­noxious, and liable to the Curse, which is wholly incompatible with a Real Right to Im­punity; or the Reward. Nothing more ma­nifest than that a Right to an Estate results not from an Internal Purpose of giving it. It is not the Purpose, but the Promise, that gives Right, and the Promise is not to the Elect, as such, but to the Elect, as Christ's Seed.

That all the Elect are given unto Christ, is manifestly True, but their Right Results from their being Christ's, who as such have the Pro­mise made unto them.2 Tim. 1.9. According to the Eternal Purpose,Tit. 1.2. was the Promise given us in Christ be­fore the World began.

The Decree not giving Being to what is Purposed, it doth not hinder the Execution of that Part of the Counsel of God, according un­to which the Elect are the Off-spring, both of the First, and Second Adam, which cannot be at the same time, but successively it is. Tho' Virtually and Seminally, in different Respects, an Elect Person may be considered, as the Seed of the First, and Second Adam; and when actually a Descendant from the First Adam, he may be look'd on as Virtually the Seed of the Second: yet Actually, he cannot be at the same time the Seed of both. On his being born of Christ he ceaseth to be a Child of the first Adam, and of Wrath, but not till then; He must be actually a Descendant from the second Adam, and be by Faith United unto Christ, before he can be actually Justified, which is a Truth, that strikes at the very Sinews of Antinomianism, and there­fore [Page 63]whatever the Arminian or Socinian may affirm of it; Or how much soever the Antino­mian may Abuse it; 'tis most Opposite unto Er­ror, 'Tis Orthodox, and Sound.

Secondly, To affirm, ‘That not only the Pu­nishment, but the Guilt of Sin was laid on Christ, is not Antinomianism.

The Papists will have it, that Christ bore the Punishment of our Sin, but not the Guilt. The Socinians, who see the Connection there is be­tween Guilt and Punishment, how that where­ever Punishment is Justly laid, there Guilt must be, are Positive, that nor the Guilt nor the Pu­nishment of Sin was on Christ. The Guilt, and Punishment are Relatives,Relative enim sunt Paena & Delictum: ita ut ubi delictum non est, ibi poena esse nullomoda possit. Socin. de Servat. Part 3. c. 10. so that where no Guilt, there (saith Socinus) no Punishment can be. And it must be yielded. That Punishment hath an Essential respect unto Sin, it must be for Sin, or it cannot be Punishment; and it cannot be for Sin on whom no Sin is, either Inhaerently; Or, by Imputation. Sin Inherently could not be in him, who knew no Sin. Nor can there be the Imputation of Sin, but by transferring its Guilt unto him.

That Christ suffer'd, was wounded, and bruised for our Sins is in too many Places, throughout the Holy Scriptures, asserted, to admit of a De­nial. But Christ could not justly suffer for our Sins, unless in a sound sence, he bore the Guilt of them. To Punish the Innocent as Innocent, is Injustice. Jesus Christ therefore tho' Inno­cent in himself, voluntarily becoming our Sure­ty, took on him the Guilt of Sin, and suffer'd Justly; because as being Guilty.

To clear this, is the Difficulty, and many, in the Attempt, fall into dangerous Mistakes. They who make Sin and Guilt the same thing, by asserting the Guilt to be laid on Christ, Quantum in se, do make Christ Inherently a Sin­ner, which is Antinomianism; and they, who say the Punishment of Sin was laid on Christ, but not the Guilt, give up the Cause to the Soci­cinian; For if not the Guilt, then nor the Pu­nishment; whence no Satisfaction.

The Guilt lyeth between the Sin and its Pu­nishment. It is an Obnoxiousness unto Punish­ment for Sin; which, as it Results from the Sin, or Fault, is called the Guilt of the Fault; But, as it respects the Punishment, being an Obligation thereunto 'tis Guilt of Punishment.

This Guilt is not Intrinsick to the Sin; The Sin is Entire without it; It is only an External respect of it to the Sanction of the Law, and Separable from the Sin it self, the [...], so that tho' the Sin Remain in us, the Guilt Passeth from us to Christ.

The Entire Nature of Sin lyeth in a Respect unto the Preceptive Part of the Law, being (as hath been already Observed) a Transgression, or a Want of Conformity unto it. The Sin, is in its Formal Nature, Entire, without any Re­gard to the Sanction. From this Sin, as it re­spects the Threatning, Results Guilt; which is an Obnoxiousness unto Punishment; or, the Dig­nitas Paenae propter Culpam, and is Extrinsick to the Sin, separable from it, and may be laid on him, who never transgress'd the Command­ment. Nor can it morally Defile, or Pollute the Person on whom it is laid.

Christ therefore, tho' in him there was no Sin, might bear the Guilt of our Sins, and ne­vertheless remain Pure, Harmless, Ʋndefiled, and without Spot; which is sufficient to Vindicate this Doctrine from Antinomianism, and those other Absurdities that flow from the making Sin, and Guilt the same thing, and yet hold it to have been laid on Christ.

What I have here deliver'd amounts to no more than what is carried in that Common Distinction of our Sins being laid on Christ, not Inherently, but by Imputation. If the Sin, in its formal Nature, had been on Christ, there would have been Ground enough for that Charge of Blasphemous Consequences, which Bellarmine, and the Socinians load us with. That would, indeed, be to make Christ Inherently a Sinner, [...]ay, Filius Diaboli. But to deny this; and affirm, that Christ was made Sin, Duly by Imputation, that is, by the laying the Guilt of our Sins, not only the Punishment, but the Guilt on him, is consistent with his Freedom from all Moral Filth, or Defilement; and is necessary to Defend the Gospel Doctrine of Christ's Satisfa­ction against the Socinian; for,Kromayer. Theol. Pol. Pos. Art. xi. De Justif. p. 631. as KROMAY­ERUS well expresses it, Abs (que) Peccatorum Im­putatione, & Paenarum Perpessione, Satisfactio­nem hic nullam cogitariposse.


What Antinomianism is not, in some other Instances Cleared, To Deny the Conditio­nality of the Covenant of Grace, not Anti­nomian. The State of this Controversie, as managed by the Papists, and First Refor­mers. The sence of the Arminians, and Socinians about Condition. Faith a Con­dition, Asserted. In what sence.

IT is not Antinomianism to Deny the Condi­tionality of the Covenant of Grace.

There is not, it may be, any one Point in the Body of Divinity of greater Difficulty than this about the Covenant of Grace, and its Condi­tionality. They that search deeply into the ma­ny Controversies agitated between us, the Pa­pist. Arminian, Socinian, and Antinomian; will find that the most Important Parts of it Turn on this Hinge. The Papist, Arminian, and Soci­nian cannot see, how the Covenant of Grace could be made with Jesus Christ, as a Second Adam; and with the Elect, as his Seed, which is One Reason of their many Mistakes. And the Antinomian fixeth his thoughts so very much on the Covenant of Grace's being made with Christ, that there is no Room left him to Con­sider, how it can be made also with his Seed; which occasions their Asserting, That Christ perform'd the whole requir'd of us in order to our [Page 67]being actually Interested in him, and his Bene­fits; as well as make Satisfaction by his Suffe­rings; and Merit by his Righteousness for them that Believe: That Christ Believed, and Re­pented for us, as if there had been no other Reason for our Doing either, than to Obtain the Knowledge of our having what actually was ours, whilst under the Power of Unbelief, and Impenitency.

But, it not being my Province to enter on a Large Debate of these things, I will only show, that there are such Senses, in which the word [Condition] is used by the Papists, Arminian, and Socinian, as do Confound Gospel Grace with the Law of Works, and establish Merit; Destroy the Doctrine of the Spirits working the First Grace; and subvert Christ's satisfaction, and so make it Evident, That One, who Detests Antinomianism, may yet Deny the Conditionality of the Covenant of Grace.

If the word [Condition] when spoken of the Two Covenants, namely, of Works, and Grace, be taken in the same sence in both, the one will be Confounded with the other.

To Evince thus much, I will show the Im­port of the Condition of the Covenant of Works, and how it agrees with the Popish Doctrine of Merit, and leave it to the Judgment of the Im­partial Reader to consider the Truth of my Assertion.

The Condition of the Covenant of Works is ea res, quae Praestita, dat Jus ad Praemium. It is that Obedience, to which the Promise was made; and from the Performance of which, a Right to the Reward immediately Re­sults, [Page 68]and for which, in Justice, it is due.

This Condition, being Perfect Obedience, was to a Law, enforc'd with Rewards and Pu­nishments, which Obedience, the Reward be­coming due to it, ex Justitia, is Meritorious. And as, on the Rendring the Required Obedi­ence, the Reward is Justly Due; so, seeing the Performance of the Condition, is the same with the Render of Perfect Obedience, the Blessing Promised is thereon Justly due unto it; and the Performing the Condition is meritorious, for Merit is nothing but that Actio quâ Justum est, ut Agenti aliquid Detur.

There is much, much variety (I must confess) amongst the Papists in stating their Doctrine of Merit, but the Prevailing Opinion is,Meritum & Merc [...]s ad I­dem referuntur, Tho. 1 a, 2. e. Q. 114. Art. 1. That Merit, and Reward, Es­sentially Respect one another. That Merit is a Good Work freely done,Exhibitio at MERITI & Redditio MERCEDIS, actus ad alterum, sunt secundum aqualitatem Rei ad Rem, scil. Meriti ad Mercedem, & è converso, Cajet. in Loc. to which some Re­ward as a certain Price is Justly Due, that between the Merit and the Reward there is some sort of Equality.Meritum est opus bonum li­berum cui ex-justitia Merces Debetur. Medin. in Loc. Thus Aquinas, Cajetan, Medina, and Gregory de Valentia.

The Reward,Gregory de Valentia hath it thus, — Per aliquem Justi­tiae modum, aliquo munere Com­pensari à Deo deveat. In Tho. Disp. 8. Quaest. 6. Punct. 1. being made ex justitia, Due, Merit of Congruity is denied to be Merit in a Proper sence. So Gregory de Valentia, Merit of Congruity is but Im­properly Merit.Meritum improprie dictum —vocatur Meritum de Con­gruo Val. ubi sup. ‘The Distin­ction of Merit into that of Con­gruity, Aliqui Scholasticorum Me­ritum de Congruo prorsus Reji­ciunt, tanquam id, quod Me­ritum dici nequaquam meretur: Propterea, quod idi ne (que) ex dignitate sua, ne (que) ex Lège debetur Praemium, sed ex sola congruitate, gratis acceptatur ad Praemium. Alfons. à Ca­stro de Haeresib. Lib. XI. in Verb. Opera. Haeres. 4. and Condignity, is not (saith Alfonsus à Castro) held by all the Schoolmen, for some Re­ject [Page 69] Merit of Congruity, as what can by no means be truly called Merit, because in this instance the Reward is not Due, either from any worth in the Work it self; nor made Due by the Law: but only from a mere Congrui­ty or Condecence,Alterum Meritum de Con­gruo Proprie non habet ratio­nem Meriti, sid tantum cujus­dem Congruentiae, ac proinde non est necesse de to Disputare. Nihil enim ceril de eo affirmare possumus. Sic enim videri po­test NOBIS congruum, & con­veniens, ut Deus hoc vel illud praeslet huic vel ini homini; Ita è contrario non defunt DEO Ra­tiones congruentes, cur id nolit Praestare, quod alioqui apparet Congruum, ut Praestet. Becan. Opusc. Theol. Opusc. 7. cap. 3. P. inibi 203. a Reward is freely given. Becanus affirms the same, for (as he words it) The Reward doth not certainly belong to him, who is said thus to Merit; for tho' it appears to Ʋs very Congruous for God to Reward this or the other Per­son, for this or the other thing, yet on the contrary there are Reasons Congruous to God for his Not Rewarding them.’

But that the Work may be Properly Meri­torious, and the Reward be Justly due to it, It must be Eree, not Forced; Forced acts being more Brutal, than Rational can't Please God: It must be a Work done in Obe­dience to God's Law; by One that is in via, and Reconcil'd unto God. All others being full of Sin can Merit nothing but Punish­ment, whence the Meritorious Work must flow from Grace, which is freely bestowed, and not merely from the Intrinsick virtue of the Work it self, but from the Ordination and Promise of God.

The Schoolmen Generally Distinguish Me­rit ex Justitia into that which is, De Ri­gore Justitiae, and what is ex Condigno. Sanctae [Page 70] Clara, Scio enim viros Theologos Eckium, Marsilium apud Ve­gam Q 4. Et Bellarminum, & alios negare Omne metitum de Condigno, licet concedant de Digno, respectu Beatitu­dinis, Sancta. Clar. Dues Nat. & Grat. Prob. 18. de Merit. p. 113. indeed saith, That Eckius, and Marsilius, in Vega, as also Bel­larmine, with some others, Deny Merit, de Condigno, holding a Me­rit only ex Digno. Not to trou­ble our selves with these Niceties, I must observe, that (whatever Arriaga suggests to the contrary) Merit, ex rigore Justitiae, is what ariseth from the Work it self,Meritum de Rigore Justitiae est quod non innititur gratiae, aut Miserecordiae sed habet va­lorem ex sese, & ex Persona offerente, quale est Meritum Christi, Medin. in Prim. Sec. Q 114. Art. 3. and Worth of the Person, that doth it, and not from God's Gracious and Merciful Acceptance. This They Assign to Christ alone. So Medina.

Sancta Clara, who gives us the sense of the Scotists, speaks much to the same purpose,Meritum quidem Christi po­test dici Meritum ex Justitia, ratione Personae offerentis, & sic non innitebatur Gratiae accep­tantis, sed dignitati suae per­sonae, & rei Oblatae, secus au­tem valde est in nobis, ubi ex parte personae, & rei Oblatae, SƲMMA PAƲPERTAS, si excludas Dei Promissionem acceptationis, vel Pactionem Retributionis. Santc. Clar. U­bi sup. ‘The Merit of Christ (says he) may be cal­led Merit Ex Justitia, because of the Excellency of the Person, of­fering it, whereby, it doth not Depend so much on the Grace of God accepting it, as on the worth of his Person. It's much otherwise with us, whose Per­sons, and Works, considered in themselves, abstract from the Promise of a Gracious Acceptance, and the Covenant of Retribution, are Poverty it self.

Alfonsus de Castro, and Gregory de Valentia de­livering the Sense of the Church of Rome with much Clearness, and Candor, I will, to find out their Genuine sense, if possible, Give what they write of it.

Si Lutherus accipit meri­tum pro tali opere quod ex sua natura, & ex se ipso aequale est Praemio, certe illius sententia non est de errore notanda, quo­niam non est aliquod opus no­strum ex se tal [...] quod aequari possit Gloriae aeternae. Alfon. à Castro. Avers. Haeres. Lib. X. p. 23. ‘If Luther (saith Alfonsus) takes Merit for such a Work, as in its own Nature, and of it self is E­qual with the Reward, and in that sense Denies it, He is not to be blamed. For there is no Work of ours, that can thus be Equal with the Eternal Glory. For, as the Apostle, I Reckon, Si nostra opera sint ex se in­digna Gloria, & nos per illa nullum ius habere poteramus ad Gloriam Aeternam— tamen quia Misericors Deus Promisit servanti mandata sua—post ta­lem Promissionem DEBET De­us dare gloriam — Quod Dé­bitum in Deo non Oritur ex nostris Operibus, sed ex Be­nignâ ejus voluntate, qui Pro­mittens nobis, seipsum obligare voluit— non dicimus Deum Ob­ligari aut esse Debitorem no­stris Operibus, sed cum Obligari EX PROMISSIONE SƲA, & esse DEBITOREM PRO­MISSIONI SƲAE. Quod a. Promisit ipse, simpliciter, & absolute Tribuendum est GRATIAE. De Cast. ub. sup. that the Sufferings of this Present Life are not to be compared with the Glory, which shall be Revealed in us. But Merit is not always ta­ken to Import such an Equality and Natural Obligation. In the case before us, it Denotes only such an Equality, as arises from an Agreement, Compact, or Cove­nant; on which account that Work, which before was not Equal with the Reward, now is made so: And what was not a Debt before, is made a Debt; which Debt, in God, doth not arise from our Works, from a­ny Dignity in them: But from the Benignity of God, who making Gracious Promises Obligeth himself, whereby he is in­debted, not to us, but to his Promise. —This Pro­mise is Simply, and Absolutely, to be Ascribed to his Grace.

Satis est ut Praemium De­bitum sit EX LEGE. Nam Lex potest facere paria, quae ex naturâ suâ erant Imparia. Lex naturae docet, ut omne Promissum fit Debitum. ‘The Reward is not always made a Debt by the Nature of the Works, it being sufficient if [Page 72]made Due by the Law. And the Law can make those things Equal, which in their own Nature, were not so. The Law of Nature teacheth us, that Every Promise is a Debt, whence it comes to pass, that by the Promise, those things, which were in themselves Un­equal, are made Equal.

‘We are not so Ignorant, nor so much Ela­ted in our Conceit,Data hâc Promissione, & sacta nobiscum Conventione, O­pera hona hominis cum Adjuto­rio Gratiae Dei siunt Digna vi­tae aeternae, & illi aequilia, quae seclusa illa Dei promissione, fuissent tanto Praemio Indigna. Et haec fuit, illa suprema Dei Misericordia, à qua pendet to­tum meritum nostrum, &c. De Castro ubi sup. in Verb. Opera. Lib. XI. as to Equa­lize the Intrinsick Value of our Works, which are most Incon­siderable, with the Transcen­ding Excellency, and Immense Worth of the Heavenly Glory. It is from the Promise and the Covenant made with us that our Works which we are Enabled through the Grace of God to Perform, that makes them wor­thy of Eternal Life, which sepa­rated from the Promise, would be altoge­ther Unworthy. We are therefore wholly owing to the Unspeakable Mercy of God for our Merit, that he hath made so Glo­rious a Display of his Grace in this, That when he Owed us nothing, he did of his a­bundant Goodness to Enrich us, make himself a Debter.— Nor let any calumniate us, as if we Detracted from the Merit of our Blessed Redeemer:Quod a homines & bona il­lorum Opera sint Deo Grata, & ad vitam aeternam acceptata, hoc habent ex MERITO CHRI­STI, qui pro illis Passionem, & mortem suam. Deo Patri Obtulit, & pro illis om­nibus quos scivit esse ad gloriam Praedestinatos, oravit. Ʋb. sup. None but they who understand not our Doctrine, can talk after this Rate. We have oft Declared, [Page 73]It is not of our selves, that our Good Works Merit Eternal Life: But we, and our Works, are Rais'd to this Dignity merely through the Divine Clemency, by which he Promises to them, who Obey him, Eternal Life.—And that they are thus Rais'd, is through the Merit of Christ, who offered himself a Sacrifice, and Prayed Earnestly for all them he knew were Predestinated to Eternal Life. From this therefore, as from the Chief and Principal Merit, all Grace and Glory is Derived, and from this, it is, that Just Men, and their Works are freely Ordinated to Eternal Life.’ De solo Me­rito ex Con­digno lequi­mur. Alfons. de Cast. Ʋb. sup. This and much more hath Alfonsus de Castro about Merit de Condigno, which is highly applauded by Gregory de Valentia, whose Endeavours are to Raise it to a Merit by the Rule of Commuta­tive Justice. Not that he thinks our Good Works have any such Intrinsick worth in them, as Equalizes them with Eternal Glory, for he grounds that on the Gracious Ordination and Promise of God, (as the Papists generally do) and illustrates it thus.Ac possumus hoc totum Ex­emplo facili declarare. Nam si Pecunia jussis Principis, fiat ex vili aliqu [...] [...]ateria, quae Vid. ex Naturâ sua considerata non tantum valeat, quantum Res quae pro illa sunt Com­mutandae, tunc quidem si Pe­cunia haec, absolute sint Respe­ctu ad Principis Constitutio­nem Consideretur, certum est, Eam secundum justitiae Commu­tativae Rationem, non esse Equa­lèm iis Rebus, quas potest ali­quis pro Eâ Cons [...]qui: bene au­tem si Consideretur, ut substat Constitutioni & Legi Princi­pis, qua decretum est, ut qui hujusmodi Pecuniam exhibu [...]rit, Consequatur Res Necessarias se­cundum factam Pecuniae taxam Nam si hac Ratione Considere­tur hujusmodi Pecunia, tanti merito aestimabitur, quanti Res ipsae quae pen Eam Comparari possunt. Ita prorsus se habet Res in proposito. Nam sibonum opus Justi consideres praecisè ex se, non est aequale Gloriae; Si autem ut substat divinae Pro­nissioni ob quam per illud certo potest Comparari Gloria, tanti potest aestimari, quanti illa at (que) eatenus est aequale Gloriae. Greg. de Valen. p. 1275. Sup­pose a Prince by his Ordinance puts an Extraordinary Value on Money of a base Alloy, by this means, tho' the Money in it self, and abstract from the Regal Con­stitution, falls very short of the thing, for which 'tis Commuted; yet, by Virtue of the Royal Or­dinance it's made of Equal Price with it; and so it must pass in Bargains by the Rules of Commu­tative Justice. The same he saith [Page 74]of Good Works, which, consi­dered in themselves separate from the Divine Ordination, and Pro­mise, are not to be compared with the Glory, yet having so great a Value put upon them by God's Ordi­nation, they are after a sort made Equal with Eternal Life, and Merit according to Commutative Justice.

To Improve what is taken out of these Popish Writers, about Me­rit of Condignity, it must be ob­serv'd;

  • 1. That altho' the Reward In­finitely excel the Work in its own Nature considered; and that the Promise be simply and absolutely Free, and it is Impossible for a Just Man to do the good Work, without the Help of God's Grace; yet the Work thus done may be Meritorious ex Condigno. All these things they allow, and yet make good Works Meritorious.
  • 2. That this Merit lying in a Duness of the Reward to the good Work ex Justitia, it is founded in the Promise. We are, say they, un­der a Law, which has, not only a Preceptive, but a Promisory Part, whence because of the Connexion there is between Obedience to the Precept, and the Promise, a Right to the Re­ward immediately Results from the Obedience, or good Work. The good Work gives Right to the Reward, that is, it Merits the Re­ward, and the Reward is justly due for that Obedience.

But here they are at a Plunge, how to state this Matter so as to make the Reward due ex Justitia, the Promise as a single Promise be­ing insufficient for their Purpose.

Dices, si Actus Meritorius est talis solum Promissione Di­vine seu ejus acceptatione, ergo non ex justitia, sed ex fideli­tate praemiabitur. Quod est Con­tra Definitionem Meriti de Con­digno. Respondeo quod adim­pletio Promissionis nudae est so­lum Actus Fidelitatis; adim­pletio vero Promissionis, quae habet Naturam Pacti, id est ubi à Promissario exigitur Condi­tio, ficut inter Dominum & servum, ubi Dominus promittit stipendium ex Conditione servi­tutis adimpleuio illius Promissi est ex justitia. Sic in Cas [...]. Sancta Clar. Deus. Nat. Grat. p. 111.The Objection that lyeth against them is this, If the Meritorious Act be so, only from the Divine Promise, or God's Gracious Ac­ceptation, then the Reward can­not be ex Justitiâ, the good Work may be done, and God not ob­lig'd in Justice to give the Re­ward. The utmost that can be said is this, God in Faithfulness is bound by his Promise to Reward the Doer, but not in Justice; and yet unless God be in Justice bound, the Work cannot be me­ritorious ex Condigno. To this Objection their Answer (as I find it in Sancta Clara) is, that the fulfilling a Naked Promise, is only an Act of Fidelity and Faithfulness: But, the fulfilling a Covenant Pro­mise, which is made on Condition, as between a Master and Servant, where the Master Pro­mises a Reward on Condition of such a Service, here, for the Master to fulfil the Promise to his Servant on his Performing the Condition, is an Act of Justice, which is (say they) our Case.

Thus to make good Works meritorious, they assert a Law, with a Promise; making the Dignity of the Work to lean on the Pro­mise: And that the Reward may be Due ex ju­stitia, the Law is turn'd into a Covenant, where [Page 76]Obedience to the Preceptive Part is made the Condition, that giveth Right to the Reward. So that it is that Conditionality of the Covenant, on which the Merit of Condignity is Founded. All which is undoubtedly true of the Covenant given Adam. For if he had but rendred the Perfect Obedience required by the Preceptive Part of the Law; or, which is the same, if he had Perform'd the Condition of that Covenant made with him; it would have given him a Right to the Reward, it would have been in Justice due to him, that is, he would have me­rited it Ex Condigno.

Tho' his Temporary Obedience fell infinitely short of the Reward of Eternal Life; yet be­cause of the Promise made on a Covenant-Condi­tion, giving Right; the Reward, on his per­forming the Condition, would have been Due to him ex justitia (i. e.) he would have merited it Ex Condigno.

In like manner, if the word [Condition] when assign'd to the Covenant of Grace, be taken in this sense, viz. for that thing, which, being Perform'd, gives Right to the Reward, the Covenant of Grace is Confounded with that of Works, and Merit of Condignity effectually established.

'Tis Confounded with the Covenant of Works, and made a Covenant of the same kind with it, for in both, as there is a Precept enjoyning Duty, and a Promise of Reward; even so, notwith­standing the Work falls infinitely short of the Reward, yet the Reward being Promised on a Condition, giving Right; A Right unto it Re­sults from the Performance of the Condition, and the Reward is due ex justitia, and so Merit of Condignity is also established.

Nor can it signifie any thing to say, we ex­clude all Merit from our Good Works, by ascri­bing all to the Grace of God, enabling us; and nothing to our own Strength, making their Re­wardableness to Lean on the Or­dination, and Promise of God,That Grace is necessary to Merit the Papists indu­striously endeavor to Prove. Gertum ex side est (saith Gre­gory de Valentia) Meritum Condignum esse Proprium effe­ctum Gratiae. Probatur. 1. ex Script. ad Rom. 6. Gratia Dei vita aeterna. Ʋbi non est sensus, Vitam aeternam dari GRA­TIS, sed dari eam pro meritis, quae contulit GRATIA-Sine me nihil potestis facere. Possemus enim sine aliquid fa­cere, si vitam aeternam promereri valeremus, non insiti per gra­tiam Christo, tanquam viti Palmites, ut ipse ibi Loquitur. Valent. ubi sup. Suu [...]ma igitur est, quod actus me [...]is dicitur meritorius, quia elicitus, seu Imperatus à Gra­tia, ex Pactione Divina accep­tatus ad Praemium, unde ipsa acceptatio est Intrins [...]a actui. Sanct. Clar. ub [...] sup. For the Papists make all these Ne­cessary to Merit ex Condigno; affirming, That unless the Work proceed from Grace▪ it cannot be meritorious of Eternal Life, and that they give not any Dig­nity to their Good Works, but acknowledge that in themselves considered and Precise; as sepa­rate from the Ordination of God they are of no worth, that their Rewardableness is founded on the Promise.

In these things lye the very Nature of Merit; for which rea­son, to deny our Works to be meritorious because their Re­wardableness is founded on the Promise, it is as if, you would deny Peter to be a Man, because he is a Rational Creature.

This being the Doctrine held by the Papists about Merit, one Great Point Controverted be­tween them, and first Reformers, Si quis hominem Justifica­tum— dixerit non teneri ad Observatiam mandatorum Dei, & Ecclesiae: sed tantum ad Credendum, quasi vero Evan­gethum sit nuda & absoluta Promissio vitae aeternae, sine Conditione Observatio­nis Mandatorum: Anathema sit. Concil. Trid. S [...]ss. 6. Can. 20. was about Our Works being a Condition of Eternal Life, and accordingly in the Council of Trent [Page 78]it's Decreed with an Anathema, ‘That if any hold—we are not bound to Observe the Laws of God, and the Church, but only to Believe, as if the Gospel was but a Naked, and Absolute Promise of Eternal Life without a Con­dition of Observing the Commands. Let him be Accursed.

In the Scholia of the Reformed, on this Ca­non, as Lucas Osiander Represents it,Epit. Hist. Eccles. ub. sup. their sense is manifest, for say they, ‘The Assertion of the Council, that the Gospel is a Promise of Eter­nal Life on Condition of keeping the Com­mands, is altogether False, the Gospel Promise of Eternal Life leans not on a Condition of keeping the Commands, But Requires Faith, whereby we lay hold on the Mercy of God offered to us. If that Promise lean on such a Condition, no Christian can be certain of his Salvation.

Calvin, on this very Canon is Positive, ‘That the Apostles Placing the Difference between the Law and the Gospel is this,Antidotum in Conc. Trid. that the Gospel doth not Promise Eternal Life on the Condition of Works, as the Law did, but to Faith; is a standing Truth, that can never be shaken. What can be more clear than this Antithesis? The Righteousness of the Law is such, That the man that doeth these things shall live in them: Rom. 10.5. But the Righteousness of Faith is after this manner,Rom. 4.14. He that Believeth, &c. To the same Purpose is that other place. If the Inheritance be of the Law, then is your Faith Vain, and the Promise of no Effect, therefore it is of Faith, that of Grace, the Promise may abide Firm to every one, who believeth.’

I might give many Authorities more, but these are enough to make it Evident, that the First Reformers denied the Gospel to be a Pro­mise of Eternal Life on Condition of our keep­ing the Commandments, which must be Un­derstood to be in that sence, in which the Pa­pists held it; that is, they denied our Good Works to be such a Condition of Eternal Life, as gave Right unto it, as a Reward, which may be done by them who are not Antinomians, which is very clear from the Scholia of the Reformed on the Nineteenth Canon of the Council, which is to this effect. Let him be accursed, who holds, that nothing is Commanded in the Law, but Faith; That all other things are Indifferent; and, that the Ten Commandments be­long not to Christians. To which they Answer, ‘That there is no such Dogma held by the Di­vines, who Subscrib'd the Augustane Confession, that none but one Islebius was tainted with this False and Wicked Opinion, that Luther oppugned and confuted this Error, and brought its Author to a Recantation, and that the other Divines rejected it.’

2. The word [Condition] is also taken in this very sense by the Arminians, who argue so very Plausibly from the Grant of it, against some Important Doctrines of the Christian Faith, that many Orthodox, and Judicious Di­vines are afraid to Use it.

They make it (If I may use the word) a Legal Condition, that is, Obedience to the Preceptive Part of a Law, giving Right to the Reward. ‘It is that thing, which being Performed, gives Right to the Blessing Pro­mised. [Page 80]Or,Conditio, quatenus praestita est, aliquomodo Medium sieri dici potest, quo Consequimur Rem quae sub Conditione Promittitur. Exam. Censur. Cap. 10. P. 112. Conditio, cujus Praestatio Medium sive causa salutis ali­quomodo dici potest, non modò est Gratiosa per se; sed & Gra­tia ad Eam praestandam perpe­tim necessaria est, & Praemium Praestanti promissum extra & supra omnem Comparationem est. Ʋb. sup. Cap. 8. P. 95. it is that which be­ing Perform'd, is a means by which we attain to what was on Condition promised. Again, Condition, whose Performance may be called a Mean, or Cause of Salvation, is, not only in it self full of Grace; but Grace is always necessary for the Ena­bling us to perform it, and the Reward Promised thereunto In­finitely exceeds it.

However, from the Grant, that our Faith is such a Condition of Eternal Life, they trium­phantly oppugn some Important Truths. Par­ticularly,Si enim Christus nobis meri­tus dicatur Fidem & Regene­rationem tum Fides, Conditio esse non poterit, quam à Pecca­toribus Deus sub Comminatione Mortis exigeret; imo tum Pa­ter ex vi meriti istius obligatus fuisse dicatur necesse est, ad Con­ferendum nobis Fidem, & Essi­ciendum in nobis omnia, quae nobis sub Comminatione Mortis praescribit, quo nihil absurdius Cogitari potest. Exam. Cens. Cap. 8. P. 59. they thus argue against Christ's Meriting Faith and Rege­neration for the Elect. ‘If Christ merited Faith, and Regenera­tion for us, (say they) then Faith cannot be a Condition, which God exacts from Sinners, under the Commination of E­ternal Death. They go Higher, affirming, That if Christ pur­chased the First Grace for Us, then the Father by virtue there­of, is obliged to give us Faith, and work all these things in us, which are pre­scribed under the Threatning of Death. Than which nothing can be more absurd. Such a Collation of Faith, flowing from Christ's Me­rit, doth effectually destroy the Divine Con­stitution, by which Faith is enjoyned Sinners, with a Promise of Life and Threatning of [Page 81]Death. Thus much from the very Nature of the thing is most apparent—If Christ be in this way our Saviour, he can't be our Law-giver, nor can our Faith, or Obedience be Acts of Duty, they can be but Effects of Christ's Merit. Again they add, That the Prescription of a Condition, and an Efficacious working it in them to whom it is prescrib'd, are Incompatible. That Condi­tion, is not a Condition, Conditio non est Conditio, quae ab Eo, qui Eam praescri­bit, in Eo cui praescribitur, effi­citur. Merus Effectus Praescri­bentis non potest esse Conditio Praescripta, nedum Praestita. Exam. ub. sup. P. 106. which is wrought in Him to whom it is prescribed, even by the Pre­scriber. The mere Effect of a Prescriber cannot be a prescri­bed, much less, a Performed Condition. He that gives a Condition to ano­ther, will, that it be performed by that other. If it be wrought in Him. Haec Actio ludicra tota & vix Scae­na digna est. it ceaseth to be a Condition; and he that wrought it, doth by that very Act null it's being a Condition, because he will not have it done by that other, but will Himself work it in Him. Right Reason dictates thus much unto us— No Wise Man will act thus,Legislator serius, totam su­am Legislationem ludibrio ex­ponit, cum Conditionem Praescri­bit, iis quos irrevocabiliter Prae­mio afficere & in quibus, quam Praescribit Conditionem, ipse efficere vult. nor can any thing be more ludicrous, these things are scarce fit for a Play. That Law-giver, who prescribes a Condition to them, whom he has Irrevocably Design [...]d for a Reward, will expose his Legislation to the utmost Con­tempt.’

They carry it yet further, asserting, ‘This Condition to be Inconsistent with the Parti­cular Election of a Select Number of Per­sons. [Page 82]A Condition, Conditio omnis Stulte & Ri­dicule Proponitur iis, qui nomi­natim & praecise jam ante de­stinati sunt saluti. Exam. Cens. c. 9. p 102. Destinatio Irrevocabilis ad vitam, & Promissio vitae sub Conditione, non nisi Stulte Con­junguntur. Exam. Ʋoi sup. p. 104. say they, is Foolishly, yea, Ridiculously Proposed to them, who are Particularly and by Name Or­dain'd to Salvation. An Irre­vocable Decree of Salvation, and the Promise of Life on Condition, are most weakly Put together.’

A Condition, they say, is that which when Performed, gives Right unto a Reward, That there is Grace glorified, in that the Reward Excels, Infinitely excels what is Requir'd of us as a Condition; and that help is vouchsafed for the Enabling us to Perform it. But then they add, That what is a Condition of our Interest in Christ's Merits, must be what was not me­rited for us by Christ. To make that a Condi­tion of our Interest in the Benefits merited by Christ, that was merited by Christ is an Incon­sistence; Or, to Affirm that to be a Condition Requir'd of us, which is not Performed by us, but wrought in us by him that Prescribes it, is the Greatest Folly; Or, to make the Salvation of any to Depend upon a Condition, that may, or may not be Performed, and yet assert the certainty of their Salvation flowing from the Unalterable Decree, is Ridiculous.

This is the Improvement the Arminians make of the Gospels being a Promise of Eternal Life, on Condition, namely, the denying Christ's me­riting the first Grace, and the Spirits working it, and the Doctrine of Particular Election.

What Strength there is in their Arguments; or how Naturally these Consequences flow [Page 83]from the Assertion, [That Eternal Life is Promi­sed us on a Condition of our own Performance; and, that it is the Result of our Obedience,] is not my Business at this time to Enquire: Only thus much is Clear; That they, who run not to the Antinomian Extreme, may, to Avoid these Ar­minian Rocks, Deny the Conditionality of the Covenant of Grace, at least in the sence the Arminians use the word [Condition]: Especi­ally, considering, the Plausibleness of their Rea­soning. Undoubtedly Men, Orthodox in the Faith, may be Influenced to Conclude, That the making Faith the Condition of an Interest in the Merits of Christ, and yet a Part of the Me­rit are so Inconsistent, that they cannot be both True; and that therefore, being Convinced, that Faith is merited by Christ, they cannot but Deny it's being a Condition. Besides, they may think, that this sort of Condition must have so much of our own in it, as interferes with the Spirits working the First Grace in us, and they Believing the First Grace to be Abso­lutely Bestowed on us, and effectually wrought in us, by the Spirit must necessarily Deny its being such a Condition, as this, we are Dis­coursing of. In fine, Condition, as Explained by them, and, as by some Jealous and Over­wary Persons, suppos'd to be held by all, that Use that word, cannot stand with the Doctrine of Particular Election. For their Condition doth necessarily Infer Salvation to be Undetermined and Uncertain, it may be, or it may not be, Just as we our selves De­termine.

The Socinians do not strive a little to subvert Christ's Satisfaction, from this very Considera­tion, That the Remission of Sin is offer'd on Con­dition. A Zeal for the Advancement of Holi­ness, and the Checking Debauchery, Provokes them (as they tell us) to Insist on the Conditio­nality of our Faith and Repentance, and Oppugn the Doctrine of Satisfaction.

‘This, among others, is one Cause, why (saith Smalcius) we Reject the Dogma about Satisfaction, Et heac una est inter alias Causa, ob quam, Dogma satis­factionis prorsus sit Repudian­dum. Quia scilicet hominibus Persuadere possit, non esse opus ullâ Resipiscentiâ, si quidem pro peccatis plane satisfactum est. Smalc. contra. Smeglec. c. xi. p. 286. viz. Because Men are apt to Con­clude, That if a Full Satisfaction be made for their Sins, there is no Need of their Repentance. Be­sides, they Pressing Repentance, as a Condition of Pardon, find themselves under a Necessity of Denying Satisfaction.

To evince thus much, 'twill be sufficient to consult once morce Smalcius, who having af­firm'd; That to Require Repentance of them, for whose Sins full Satisfaction had been made, was Unnecessary, Smiglecius replies, That Sa­tisfaction doth not exclude Conditions from him, for whom Satisfaction was Offer'd. For (saith he) who will Accept of Satisfaction for an In­jury; if he, who did it, Persists in his Enmity. To this Smalcius Rejoinds; Assuring us, ‘That Smiglecius doth not Prove, nor is it Probable, that Conditions may be Prescribed to him, for whom a full Satisfaction is made. In this case the Creditor is bound to Discharge his Debter, without any Regard to his Future Demeanour. Of this, Smiglecius, being aware, [Page 85]changes the Terms, saying, Satisfaction doth not interfere with the Imposing a Condition on him, for whom Satisfaction is Offer'd, whereas, in the present Case Satisfaction is not only offer'd, but said to be Really made and Finish'd. Whence it's manifest, That seeing Conditions and such a full Satisfaction are In­compatible, and yet Conditions, for the Ob­taining the Remission of Sins are strictly In­joyned, there can be no True, Real Satisfa­ction, There can be only a Free forgiveness of Sin without any Anteceding Satisfaction. This Assertion excludes not; but necessarily Infers Conditions. God freely offering us the Forgiveness of Sins, we must Repent and be Servants to our Lusts no longer; for, if we Repent not, the Offer'd Pardon will not be Given us.’ So far Smalcius, whose Argument can be of no force, unless the Condition Im­port somewhat that Gives Right to Pardon. If the Pardon of Sin be not the Immediate Re­sult of Christ's Satisfaction only, but some­what in us is moreover necessary to Give Right unto it, the Satisfaction is not Full, and if not full, it's none at all. If it be Adequate and Full, the Right Results only from it, and not from any thing [...]n us, not from our Faith, Re­pentance, or any other Good Works. The Right [...]o Impunity must Result from Christ's Satisfaction only; or not at all. If there be somewhat else from which it must Result, then hath not Christ made Full Satisfaction: a Con­dition therefore giving Right; Or Christ's Sa­tisfaction must be laid aside. They can never be together. The setting up the One, is a casting down the other.

This being the true State of the Case, the Socinians Unable to see, how the Necessity of our Holiness, and Good Works, can be main­tain'd consistently with the laying aside Condi­tions; chose rather to part with the Doctrine of Christ's Satisfaction, than deny Faith. Re­pentance, &c. to be the Conditions, giving Right to Pardon.

If there be a full Satisfaction made by Christ for any Sinners, a Discharge (say the Socinians) must be immediately given them. They can't see any middle Way between themselves and the Antinomian. Justification must flow either Immediately from Christ's Satisfaction to the Elect whil'st in the Heigth of Iniquity, or from a Condition Perform'd by them, Giving Right thereunto. If the former that's Antinomianism; If the latter, then no Satisfaction, which is So­cinianism.

Thus you see in what sense the word Condi­tion is taken by the Papist, Arminian, and Soci­nian, and diversly Urged to Establish the Do­ctrine of our Merit, and Destroying those other about Christ's Meriting the First Grace, his Spirits working it, Particular Election, and Christ's Satisfaction, which Considerations may frighten Men, sound in the Faith, from the Ʋse of the word; and Provoke the Generation of the Just to Reject it, unless, when Used, it be with an Explication.

What the Learned Dr. O. hath on this Oc­casion is worthy of our weightiest thoughts, who speaking of the Term [Condition] is Express, ‘That the word is no where used in the Scrip­ture in this matter: which I argue no farther [Page 87](saith he) but that we have no certain Rule, or Standard to try, and measure its Significa­tion by. Wherefore, it cannot first be intro­duced in what sense Men please, and then that sense turned into Argument for other Ends. For thus on a Supposed Concession, that it is the Condition of our Justification, some heighten it into a Subordinate Righteousness im­puted unto us antecedently, as I suppose, unto the Imputation of the Righteousness of Christ, in any sense, whereof it is the Condition: And some, who pretend to lessen its Efficiency, or Dignity in the use of it in our Justification, say, it is only Causa sine quâ non, which leaves us at as great an Uncertainty as to the Nature and Efficacy of this Condition as we were before. Nor is the true sense of things at all Illustrated, but rather darkned by such Notions.’

Conditio in the best Latine Writers is vari­ously used; answering [...], in the Greek; That is, Status, Fortuna, Dignitas, Causa, Pactum initum. In which of their Significations it is here to be understood, is not easie to be determined. In common use among us, it sometimes denotes the State and Quality of Men, that is, [...]; and sometimes a valuable Consideration of what is to be done, that is, [...]. But herein, it is applied unto things in great varie­ty; sometimes the Principal-Procuring-Purcha­sing-Cause, is so expressed. As the Condition whereon a Man lends another an Hundred Pound, is, that he be Paid it again with In­terest. The Condition whereon a Man con­veyeth [Page 88]his Land unto another, is, that he Re­ceive so much Money for it. And some­times, it signifies such things as are added to the Principal Cause, whereon its Operation is suspended. As a man bequeaths an Hun­dred Pound unto another, on Condition, that he come or go to such a Place and Demand it. This is no valuable Consideration, yet is the Effect of the Principal Cause; or the Will of the Testator suspended thereon. And as unto degrees of Respect unto that, whereof any thing is a Condition, as to Purchase, Pro­curement, Valuable Consideration. necessary Presence, the Variety is Endless. We there­fore cannot obtain a determinate sense of this word, Condition, but from a particular Decla­ration of what is intended by it, wherever it is used. And although this be not sufficient to exclude the use of it from the Declaration of the way and manner, how we are justified by Faith; yet it is so to exclude the Imposition of any Precise signification of it, any other than is given it by the Matter treated of. Without this, every thing is left Ambiguous, and un­certain whereunto it is Applied.’

‘For Instance; It is commonly said, That Faith and New Obedience are the Condition of the New Covenant. But yet, because of the Ambiguous signification and various use of that Tern (Condition) we cannot certainly under­stand what is intended in the Assertion. If no more be intended but that God in, and by the New Covenant doth Indispensably re­quire these things of us, that is, the Restipu­lation of a good Conscience towards God by the [Page 89]Resurrection of Christ from the Dead, in order unto his own Glory, and our full Enjoyment of all he Benefits of it, it is Unquestionably true. But, if it be intended, that they are such a Condition of the Covenant, as to be by us perform'd antecedently unto the Partici­pation of any Grace, Mercy, or Priviledge of it, so as that they should be the Considera­tion, and Procuring Causes of them; that they should be all of them, as some speak, the Reward of our Faith, and Obedience, it is most false, and not only contrary to express Testimonies of Scripture; but Destructive of the Nature of the Covenant it self. If it be intended, that these things, tho' promised in the Covenant, and wrought in by the Grace of God, are yet Duties Required of us in order unto the Participation and Enjoyment of the full End of the Covenant in Glory, it is the Truth, which is asserted. But if it be said that Faith, and New Obedience, that is, Works of Righteousness, which we do, are so the Condition of the Covenant, as that whatever the one is ordained of God as the means of, and in order to such or such an End, as Justi­fication, that the other is likewise ordained unto the same End, with the same kind of Efficiency,Dr. O. Of. Justific. or with the same Respect unto the Effect, it is expresly contrary to the whole Scope, and Express Design of the Apostle on that Subject.’

But, notwithstanding the various senses the word [Condition] is Capable of; and how mischievous soever the Popish, Arminian and Socinian Usages of it are; there is a Sound [Page 90]Sense in which the Word may be used.

Relativa Quis, Qui, Quae, Quod Juncta ver­bo futuri temporis fa­ciunt suum Antecedens' Conditionale. Ot. Phil. Zepper. Cy­nos. Legal.That Faith is a Condition (if we may in our Interpreting of Scripture, observe the Rules of the Juncts) is as certain, as if it had been ex­presly mention'd in the Holy Scriptures. These words [He that believes shall be saved] Import a Condition. For, Relativum junctum Verbo fu­turi temporis conditionem facit: which, our Mo­dern Divines, who Reject the above-mentioned Errors, do yet approve; but in what Sense, is our Business at this time to Explain.

Condition then may be Distributed into Le­gall, and Gospel, or Testamentary. A Legall Condition is Obedience to the Preceptive Part of a Law, giving Right to the Reward; such was that of the Covenant of Works made with Adam; and of this sort are the Popish, Arminian, and Socinian Conditions. A Gospel Condition is of the same Kind with what Peculiarly belongs to Testamentary Disposition. It is, (say the Ci­vilians) Lex Negotio apposita, unde Ipsius Even­tus pendet. Or, Lex addita negotio quae donec praestetur suspendit Eventum. ‘Which, (says Dr. Owen) signifies such things, as are added to the Principal Cause, whereon its Opera­tion is suspended. As a man bequeaths an Hundred Pound unto another, on Condition, that he come, or go to such a Place, and Demand it. This is no Valuable Consideration, yet is the Effect of the Principal Cause, or the Will of the Testator suspended thereupon.’

To understand this Testamentary Condition, we must consider that there is a Principal Cause, whose Operation is suspended, till a Rule, added thereunto, be observed. There is the Promise, [Page 91]or Donation of a Legacy, which must be given according to the last Will of the Testator. But to this Promise, or Donation, there is added a Rule, that must be Regarded, viz. That this Legacy be given either in such a time or Place, or in such a way, or manner. This is the Lex addita Negotio that must be observed before the Legacy be actually given. It is the Condition, which, till Perform'd, suspends the Event; namely, the giving of the Legacy. And (as the Learned Mr. Baxter explains it) 'tis only the Modus Promissionis Donationis, Cath. Thiol. lib. 2. p. 248. vel Contractus; where, the fulfilling of the Promise, is as Really suspended until this Modus be observed, as if it had Resulted from the Obser­vation of it.Dispositio enim facta sub Conditione vel modo nibil valet, nisi Conditio & Nodus adim­pleatur. Nunquam [...]nim actio in Es­sictu competit nisiprius oblat â & praeslit â Cautione de made adimplendo, quia alias locum ha­bet Exceptio doli—Mode defi­ciente extinguatur debitum pe­rinde ac si deficeret Conditio: Or. Phil. Zepper. Cynos. Legal. A Disposition made on Condition, or sub modo, signi­fieth nothing until the Condition or Mode be perform'd. Tho' it hath no Causality in Producing the Effect; yet, is the Effect, as Really suspended thereby, as if it had. Thus it has Pleased the Testator to dispose, and his Dis­position none can disannul.

In this sense, seeing Justification is Promised, in the Last Will, and Testament of our Lord Jesus, to Him, that Believeth, Faith is the Modus Promissionis, vel Donationis So that altho' Justi­fication be not the Result of our Faith, but of Christ's Righteousness alone; yet Faith being made by the Testator, a Modus of the Disposi­tion or Donation, there can be no Justification without it. The Operation of Christ's Righte­ousness, which in this Case, is the Negotium, or [Page 92]Principal Cause of our Justification, is by the Non-Performance of Faith suspended, and so long we remain Unjustified.

It hath pleased God to fix such an Order in the Dispensation of his Blessings, that the one necessarily antecedes the other, and what goeth before another hath an Influence upon that other, as it is so setled, and establish'd by the Ordinance of God. Not that the former gives Right unto the latter; but so it is appointed of God, that such an Order be observed in the disposing of these Blessings, that he who has not the first, shall not have the second; He that hath not Faith shall not be Justified.

But whether it be a Condition of the Covenant of Grace; Or, a Condition in this Covenant; Or only a Condition of our Justification, tho' our Divines have different Sentiments about it, yet 'tis generally held, that Faith is a Condition of Justification. They that scruple the use of the Word, own the thing signified thereby.

The Learned Author of Anti-sozzo saith, that Faith is a Condition in the Covenant of Grace, tho' not of it, and they, who hold, that the Covenant of Grace was made with Christ as a Second Adam, do assert, that it is also made with the Faithful, the Members of Christ,Discourse of the two Covenants, lib. 3. c. 3. p. 162. for which the Judicious Mr, Strong gives several Reasons; namely, ‘That the Saints may see that they are as strictly bound to Obedience in their own Persons under the Second Cove­nant, as they were, under the First. And that the Doctrine of the Gospel, tho' it be a Do­ctrine of Liberty, is not a Doctrine of Licen­tiousness; and that they may stand in awe of the [Page 93]Threats of God. This Doctrine (saith he) I do the rather pitch upon in Opposition to the Licentious Tenent of the Antinomians, who say, that all is Required of Christ, and nothing of Us.’

This Notion of a Condition, as it doth most fully Provide against Antinomianism, by Infer­ring the Necessity of Faith's being in Order of Nature before Justification; so, it doth as effec­ctually secure us from the Popish, Arminian, and Socinian Rocks, in that it is not a Legal, but a Testamentary Condition, that cannot Establish the Merit of Good Works, nor Interfere with Christ's meriting, or the Spirits working the First Grace; nor Subvert the Doctrine of Sa­tisfaction, or Particular Election. All Testa­mentary Dispositions, whatever be the Modes of Donation, are of Free Grace, not of Metit, and being Given to us, as the Children of a Testator, the Merit and Gift of the First Grace, which is necessary to our being such Children, cannot be Destroyed by such a Modus, or Condition.

These things will Appear with much more Clearness if we consider, that the Holy Scrip­tures Represent Christ as a Second-Adam; the Father of a Spiritual Off-spring.

Two things Christ did, as a Second-Adam. He undertook to beget a Seed, and Raise that Seed unto Glory. This Seed Christ Purchased, and on his Purchase they are given him by the Father according to the terms Agreed on be­tween the Father, and the Son in the Eternal Compact.

That Christ begets a Seed, and by his Word and Spirit Governs, and Raises them unto [Page 94]Glory, is so far from being inconsistent with his Meriting, and Giving the First Grace, that it is in Pursuance of it. Christ merited a Seed; and, that he may have what he merited, a Seed is Given him; which is by the Fathers drawing, the Sons gathering, and the Spirits working Grace in them.

Christ also, as a Second-Adam, made satis­faction for his Children; who, as soon as they do spiritually by Regeneration Descend from him, have a Right to Impunity. If the Satis­faction had been made by Christ, as a Mediator for the Elect, as such, then indeed, as soon as they had any Being, they would have been Dis­charg'd from the Debt. But Christ making Satisfaction for the Elect as his Seed, they can­not partake of the Right resulting from it, but as they become his Seed. As they are his Seed Virtually, they have a Virtual Discharge; but an Actual Discharge, they cannot have, till they are Actually born again.

Moreover, the Covenant of Grace being made with Christ, as a Second-Adam, the Promises are made unto Christ, as the Reward of his Obe­dience, but for his Seed; so that in Christ you must be by Faith, that you may be Pardoned, and Saved; and yet your Pardon and Salva­tion Results not from your Faith; but from Christ's Righteousness: whereby, it's manifest, that Gospel-Promises are Powerful Motives to Engage us to do our utmost to Believe and Re­pent, and must be Preached to this Very-End, and Purpose.

Thus the Doctrine of our Merit is laid by, Christ's meriting and working the First Grace, [Page 95]and his making Satisfaction to God's Justice, and the necessity of our Faith, Repentance and Sanctification are abundantly cleared by this Gospel-Representation, that is made of Christ, as he is a Second Adam, with whom the Cove­nant of Grace is made, and with his Seed, as such, which is so far from destroying Particu­lar Election, that it establisheth it. For the Elect were Promised unto Christ, merited by him, and given unto him, as the Reward of his Sufferings, whereby it is made sure; that the Death of Christ shall not be altogether in vain. He shall see the Elect as the Travel of his Soul, and be satisfied.

Thus as in Opposition to Popery, Arminianism, and Socinianism, Legal Conditions are Justly Re­jected; so in Contradiction to the Antinomian Error Testamentary Conditions are here expli­cated and asserted.


The Notion the first Reformers had of Justi­fying Faith, not Antinomian. Their De­ctrine in Opposition to the Papist, Armi­nian, and Socinian Described. That they did not hold Justification to be before Faith, Nor did they Exclude all Doubt­ings from Faith; nor hold that we might live, as we list, and whilst so, Believe, and be Justified.

To Assert, [That Faith is a Certain, and Full Perswasion wrought in the Heart of Man, through the Holy Ghost, whereby he is Assured of the Mercy of God, Promised in Christ, that his Sins are Forgiven him] is not Antinomianism.

THE Antinomians, (I mean such as are re­ally so) have had too much Honour given them by such as Grant, that their Notion about Faith is supported by the Suffrage of the First-Reformers: Whereas, on a Diligent search, 'twill Appear, that the Difference between them is very great; the Antinomians holding Actual Justification in the Sight of God to be before Faith, and the Others Deny it.

To Vindicate the First Reformers from this Unjust Charge, I will impartially propose what they held of it, and show, how they have op­posed [Page 97]the Papists, Arminians, and Socinians, and wherein they differ from the Antinomians.

The Account they give of Faith is the same with what I have laid down, they make it to be a Firm Perswasion, wrought in the Heart of Man, that his Sins are forgiven him.

Luther defines it thus. ‘Faith is a Firm, and Certain Knowledge,Fides est firma, & certa co­gitatio, seu fiducia de Deo, quod per Christum sit Propitius, quod per Christum Cogitet de nobis Cogitationes pacis, non irae. Luth. in Gen. c. 15. or Perswa­sion, that God is propitious through Jesus Christ; and that through him, he hath thoughts of Peace, and not of Wrath con­cerning us.’

Melanchton, in the First Part of his Works, saith, ‘That Faith is, not only a Knowledge of the Scripture History,Fides significat non tantum Historiae notitiam; sed FI­DUCIAM miserecordiae Promissae propter filium Dei. but a Perswasion of the Mercy of God Promised in and through his Son— That the Knowledge of the History would terrifie, and frighten us, unless we fix it in our Souls, That Christ is our Propitiator, who will lead us to the Father. To clear thus much, he assures us, he could Produce Authorities Innumera­ble.’ And, amongst many others insists on the Testimony of—Addam & Bernardi Te­stimonium— Necesse est pri­vio omnium credere quod Remis­sionem Peccatorum habene possis nisi per Indulgentiam Dei, sed adde ut Credas & hoc quod per ipsum Peccata Te TIBI do­nantur. Melanch. Oper. Pat. 1. St. Bernard, ‘who affirms it to be necessary in the first Place to believe that the Remission of Sins is to be had only through the Mercy and Grace of God, and then to Believe, that the Pardon of Sin is Given to Thee; Melanchton also adds, That to Place Faith in a Fiducia, a Perswasion, or Confidence of the Mercy of God in Christ, [Page 98]is, according to the sense of the Reformed Churches; That the first and chief Object of Faith is God Reconciled according to the Promise; or the Promise of Reconcilia­tion. That Paul takes Faith to be that, by which we so Embrace the Promise, as to Believe,Melanct. Oper. Pars 2. our Sins in Particular are for­given, and that we are Reconciled.’

Calvin in his Institutions makes Faith to be a Certain, and Firm Know­ledge of the Mercy of God towards Vs, Nunc Jacta Fidei Definitio nobis constabit, si dicamus esse Divine erga nos Benenolen­tiae firmam certam (que) Cognitio­nem, &c. Instit. lib. 3. c. 2. §. 7. Founded on the Truth of the Free Promise in Christ, made known, and sealod to our Hearts by the Holy Spirit. And his Ca­techism, Translated into English, and Joyned to the Form of Prayers, &c. used in the English Congregation at Geneva, in Queen Maries Reign, hath it thus: ‘Faith is a sure Perswasion, and a stedfast Knowledge of God's Tender Love towards Vs, according as he hath plainly uttered in his Gospel, that he will be both a Father, and a Sa­viour unto Vs, through the Means of Je­sus Christ.’

Beza thus.Quaest. & Resp. ‘That we may Distinguish the Children of Light from the Children of Dark­ness, we must not make Faith to lye only in that Knowledge, which is Common to us, and the Devils; whereby we know all those Things to be True, which are contained in the Writings of the Prophets and Apostles: But moreover, in a Firm Assent of the Mind, whereby we do in a very Peculiar manner so Apply the Promise of Eternal Life, as if it [Page 99]had been Actually fulfilled. More fully, in his Annotations on Rom. 1.16. ‘Faith is that cer­tain and full Assurance, by which he, that believes, is perswaded,Fidem esse disinimus fermam illam & constantem, animi [...], id est, certio­rationem, quà certus est apud se unusquis (que) sidelium— Pro­missiones Dei de Gratuitâ per Christum Reconciliatione— sed etiam istas per praedicationem & Sacramenta sibi oblatas-CREDIT AD SE PRO­PRIE, ac PECULIARITER pertinere. Bez. in Rom. 1.16. not only, that the Word of God in General, and more especially, the Promises of Reconciliation through Christ are firm and sure; but that these Promises, in the Ministry of the Word, and Sacraments, offer'd unto him, do properly, and in a peculiar man­ner belong unto him. Faith is that, by which the Promise of Eternal Life, Purchased by the Blood of Christ for every one that Believeth, is particularly embraced and applied to ones self.

Peter Martyr, tho' he Defines not Faith thus,Loc Com. Clas. 3. c. 3. § 10. yet holds, ‘That every saving Believer is Per­swaded, he is by Adoption the Child of God, and chosen to Eternal Life.’ In like manner, Zanchy, affirms, ‘That he is not a sound Be­liever who is not with a strong Confidence perswaded, that God is a propitious,Tom. 8. Loc. 7. De fide, p. 713. and merciful Father unto him.— Nor can he be esteemed to hope in God aright, who doth not Confidently believe he is an Heir of the Heavenly Kingdom.’

But Paraeus, on the Romans saith, ‘That Faith is not only a General Assent to the Do­ctrine of the Gospel; but a certain Knowledge, Assent, and Belief of the Gospel Promise con­cerning the Blessings procured by Christ for every Believer; and therefore as belonging to me in Particular. Or, It is a Certain and [Page 100]Firm Assent unto the Doctrine of Christ, with a full Perswasion of the free Pardon of our Sins,Parae [...]s in Rom. 3.21. and Eternal Life through Jesus Christ.’

Hemingius is of the same Mind. And, who ever will,Herping. O­pusc. in his Enchir. Theol Clas. 1 c. 12. may see, in Le Blank, many others, making Faith to lye in a Firm Perswasion, that our Sins are Forgiven.

Dr. Willet affirms it to have been held by Blessed Martyrs in Henry the Eighth,Thes. Theol. de Fid. Ju­stif. Nat. Symp. Papis. Contr. 19. Part 2. Quest. 2. and Queen Mary's Reigns, and by the later Helvetian, Saxo­ny, and Bohemian Confessions: And, sure I am, that it is very Express in our Book of Homilies, established by Act of Parliament.

This Notion of Justifying Faith, the Luthe­ran, and Calvinian Reformers insisted very much upon, in their Opposition unto the Pa­pists, who held Faith to be but an Historical Assent: And yet, it must be acknowledged that Cassander offers some Considerations of great weight to Prove,Consul [...]. Art. 4. that the Generality of the most Learned in the Church of Rome agreed with the Reformed here­in,No [...] recte Protestantes Eccle­si [...]m pras [...]tem incusant, quod doctat & jubeat, de gratia Dei, & vita Aeterna dubitar [...], at (que) hane blasphemam (ut aiunt) Do­ctrinam, inter praecipuas Cau­sas po [...]unt, cur ab ea Disceden­dum sibi putent. blaming us for insinuating, as if they taught the People to doubt of the Grace of God, and of their Salvation, and then make it a Reason of the Sepa­ration.

‘In the Enchiridion of Christian Religion, Published by the Provincial Council at Cologne, A. D. 1536. it is (saith Cassander) expresly granted, That to our Justification it's Required, not only to believe in general, that Sins are forgiven all, that Repent; but that [Page 101]my sins in Particular through Christ by Faith are forgiven me. That this very Explication of Faith is in the Emperor's Book, drawn up at Ratisbone, and Approv'd; where 'tis thus. It is sound Doctrine to hold, that a Sinner is Justified by a lively Efficacious Faith. By a Lively Faith, we mean, a Mo­tion of the Holy Ghost,Firma & sana Doctrina est, per fidem vivam & efficacem Justificari peccatorem, Vocamus autem sidem vivam, motum Spi­ritus Sancti, quo vere poe [...]iten­tes veteris vitae, eriguntur ad Deum, & verè apprehendunt miserecordiam in Christo promis­sam, ut jam verè sentiant, quod Remissiorem Peccatorum, & Re­concitiationem propter meritum Christi, gratuita Dei bonitate acceperunt, &c. Cassand. Consult. Art. 4. where­by they, who Repent of their past Life, are turn'd towards God, and do truly apprehend the Grace Promised in Christ; so as that they do Really perceive, they have Obtain'd the Pardon of their Sins, and Reconcilia­tion through the Merit of Christ.

However, Alfonsus de Castro will have it, that not many of their Church were of this Opinion, that the Enchiridion of Christian Reli­gion was not much to be regarded, because Her­mannus, the Archbishop of Cologne, who called the Provincial Council, by which 'twas Pub­lished, was an Heretick; But, Binius, Consiliam Coloniense Provinciale Auctoritate Hermanni Archiepisco­pi (qui PO­STEA in Haeresin lap­sus est) pro Reformatio­ne, &c. in the Ti­tle, prefixed to this Council, saith, 'twas after this that the Archbishop fell into Heresie: And yet nevertheless, it must be yielded, That 'twas greatly Controverted between Papist and Protestant, Whether Faith was a Fiducia, and lay in a firm Perswasion of our being Pardoned; Or, only a General Assent?

And as the Reformed Defended this Notion about Faith in Opposition to the Papists; so they did it also against the Arminian, and Socinian.

Bodecherus, Bodecher. Socin. Rem. 6.11. p. 79, 80. in his Sociniano-Remonstrantismus, doth out of the Remonstrants Confession and Writings of Socinus show an Agreement be­tween the Socinian, and Arminian, in their De­nying this Fiducia, or Perswasion to be Saving Faith.

Johannes Peltius in his Harmony, out of Ar­minius; Episcopius; Arnoldus; the Remonstrants Conference, at the Hague; their Confession, and Apology, &c. as also out of Ostorodius, and Soci­nus puts it out of all Doubt, that the Arminians and Socinians concur in their oppugning Faiths being such a firm Perswasion: And out of the Belgick Confession, and Catechism, and the National Synod at Dort. He makes it manifest, that the Reformed held Faith to be a Perswasion that our Sins are Pardoned.

Polyander, Rivet, Walaeus, and Thysius in their Censure of the Remonstrants Confession, having shown the Parallel between the Arminians, and Socinians, are Positive, ‘that the very Hinge of the Controversie between them,Nobiscum Remonstrantes con­sentiunt, quod fides sal [...]ifica FIDUCIA, dicatur & sit, quam etiam Sociniani, ut vi­dianes, VERAM FIDUCI­AM esse dicunt. Sed in quo talis, Fiducia consistat, & quodnam sit ejus Objectum pro­prium, in eo totius Contro­versiae, quam nunc omnibus Eccless [...]s Reformatis movent, vertitur CARDO. Cersa c. 11. p. 158. and the Refor­med Churches Turn on this Point. That Saving Faith is a Fiducia, or full Perswasion the Socinians themselves, (as these Great men Express it) do Con­fess; But the Enquiry is, What is the Proper Object of this Fidu­cia, or Perswasion? Whether it be the Special Mercy of God, through the Merit of Christ, which he, who Be­lieves, doth by this Fiducia, Apply unto him­self? or, what?’ To this, these Authors of [Page 103]the Censure, in Opposition unto the Papist, Ar­minian, and Socinian, do give it as the sense of the Reformed, that the Remission of Sin, de prae­senti, is the Proper Object of this Fiducia, or Perswasion, and that Justifying Faith lyeth in such a Perswasion, as that by which we Believe, our Sins in praesenti are Forgiven us.

Against this Doctrine Bellarmine, Socinus, and the Remonstrants raise several Objections, Ex­posing the Notion, and all that Defended it to the utmost Reproach, and Contempt, as if here­by the Pardon of Sin was made a Necessary An­tecedent unto Justifying Faith, and none could have Faith but they, who had a Comfortable Assurance, and that whoever could but Confi­dently Perswade himself his Sins were Par­doned, how wickedly soever he lived, had Saving Faith, and was Justified. Besides, a­mongst Protestants themselves, there have been of late years too many, who not searching dili­gently enough into the Writings of the First Reformers, have too hastily condemn'd them, and given too much Countenance to the Un­righteous Accusations of Papists, Arminians, and Socinians, and Encouraged the Antimonians to go on the more boldly in their Error, as if they had Luther, Calvin, and all their Followers to Abet it; whereas, on a fair and equal Tryal, these Charges will appear to be Groundless, and Unreasonable, which with much clearness may be evinced, if we consider, How the First Reformers held, That Iustification is not before Faith. That many Fears, and Doubt­ings are consistent with it. And, That none, who continued to live under the Reigning [Page 104]Power of their Lusts had; or, whilst so, could have Saving Faith.

These things, for the Readers greater Satis­faction; I will, with all the Plainness I can, particularly Prove.

To the First, That Iustification is not be­fore Faith.

1. Thus much necessarily flows from their Asserting Faith to be the Instrumental Cause of Justification. If Faith be a Cause, tho' but a less Principal One of Justification; Justification can't be before it. 'Twould be the Greatest Injustice Imaginable, to Insinuate, that the first Reformers, affirmed, That Justification was before Faith, and yet Faith any Cause of Justi­fication. They could not be so grosly Ignorant as to think the Effect had an Existence before its Cause.

That they insisted on Faiths being the Instru­mental Cause of Justification is so much the Burden of their Writings, that whoever con­sults them, can't find room for the Least Doubt concerning it.De Reconcil. Par. 1. lib. 2. c. 11. Our Learned Wotton instances in Calvin, Ʋrsin, Hannius, Bastingius, Chemni­tius, Bucanus, Willet, and Perkins, as Asserters of it, And he might have added Paraeus, Beza, Peter Martyr, Zanchy, and many others.

Quenstedius, Theol. Di­dact. Polem. Par. 3. c. 8. § 2. q. 6. a Lutheran, mentions Gerhardus, Battus, Dorscheus, Kester, the Theologi Giessenses, Hulsemannus, Calovius, and Dannhawerus, as Men of Great Learning, who made Faith to lye in a firm Perswasion of the Pardon of Sin, and yet Affirm'd it to be the Instrumental Cause of Justification. But,

2. This will appear with more Conviction on an Equal Proposal of what the Reformers themselves have Deliver'd in Explicating the Notion, they had of Justifying Faith, whose Disquisitions, for the Investigation of Truth, were very Close and Profound: They weighed the Difficulties on every hand, and their De­terminations were after much Consideration, and with Great Judgment.

But this thing having been already done by the Learned Le Blank, I must beseech my Rea­der to have Recourse unto him; And yet, for the help of such as have him not, I will out of him, and some other Judicious Writers on this Subject, give the sense of the Reformed.

The Learned Robert Baronius, in Le Blank, Explicates the Notion about Fiducia, thus: First, The Object of this Perswasion is not (saith he) only the Pardon of Sin to be Impetrated, and had;De objecto igitur sidei sal­vificae haec tenenda sunt. Pri­mo tenendum est, Objectum fi­duciae non solum esse Remissio­nem peccatorum impetrandam, & obtinendam, sed etiam to­rum Remissionem jam Impe­tratam. Secundo, Fiduciam in haec duo tendere per duos distinctos actus, quorum alter praecedit Justificationem, ut ejus causa Instrumentalis; alter eam sequitur, ut ejus effectum, & Consequens. Tertio, actum fidu­cialem, qui Justificationem prae­cedit, ut ejus causa, esse persuasio­nem de Christi satisfactione pro nobis in particulari, & dere­missione peccatorum obtinendaper & propter ejus satisfactionem. Quarto, Actum fiducialem, qui Justificationem sequitur, esse Persuasionem de remissiane Pec­catorum jam Impetrata, & de nostrâ Perseverantiâ in eo statu, us (que) ad finem vitae. Baronius in Le Biank. Thes. de fid. Justif. Nat. § LXII. but also as already obtain'd. Secondly, That this Perswasion respects these two Objects by two Distinct Acts: The one of which goeth before Justifica­tion, as its Instrumental Cause: The other followeth it, as its Effect, and Consequent. Third­ly, The Fiducial Act, which Precedes Justification, as its Cause, is a Perswasion of the Satisfaction of Christ for us in Particular, and of the Remis­sion of Sins to be obtain'd by and for his Satisfaction. [Page 106] Fourthly, This Fiducial Act, which followeth Justification, is a Perswasion of the Re­mission of Sins already Impe­trated, and of our Perseve­rance in that state to the end of our Lives.’

Maresius, saith, That there is a Threefold Act of Faith, distinctly to be Considered in our Justification. The first Dispositive, where­by I believe, that Christ hath merited the Pardon of Sin for them, that are his, &c. The Second is formally Justificatory, whereby I, who am now Sorrowing for my Sin, and Purposing Amendment of Life do believe, that all my Sins are at this present Forgi­ven: The Third Consolatory whereby I Be­lieve, that all my Sins have been Pardoned, and that I shall never more be in a State of Condemnation. In the First sense, Faith is before Justification. In the Second, Simul­taneous with it; In the Third, it followeth it. Paraeus expresseth himself to the same purpose. Before the Act of Justification, (that is to say, in order of Nature, not of time) Our Faith or Perswasion hath for its Object this Proposition, de futuro, [My Sins shall be Forgiven me on my believing.] In the very Act of Justification, it hath this Proposition de praesenti, [My Sins are For­given me;] After my Justification, this de Praeterito. [My Sins have already been Par­doned.]

The Authors of the Censure, Omnes autem isti [viz. Bel­larmious, Socinus, & Re­monstrantes] adversus Ʋm­bram suam pugnant, & contra Chimaeram, quam sibi confixe­runt, tela sua, dirigunt; sup­ponentes nos statuere peccata no­stra quoad efficaciam, deleri, priusquam credamus, &c. Cen­sur. Conf. Rem. c. 11. p. 159. do on this occasion declare, ‘That the Remonstrants Fight against their own Shadow, against a Chi­maera of their own feigning, when they insinuate, as if we held, that our Sins were efficaciously blot­ted out before we believe; and that then we are Justified when we Believe, that they are blotted out. From which absurd Opinion 'twould follow, that the Remission of Sin was neither the whole, nor a part of our Justification; but, that our Justification was somewhat after it. Which cannot be allowed, unless Justification be taken for the Sense of Justification in our selves; or for a Manifestation, or Declaration of it unto others. We do not therefore say, That, that Perswasion, by which we are Justi­fied, is of the Remission of Sins already had; Or, that the Object of this Perswasion is the Pardon of Sin before obtained: But that Per­swasion, by which we all believe our Sins to be in praesenti forgiven us, not properly in praeterito, or in futuro, altho' both belong to Justifying Faith, yet not to the formal Act of Justification, as we usually Express it. Where­fore when the Mercy of God and the Pardon of Sin is offer'd to us in the Gospel through Christ, we are not only in the General Per­swaded, that all, who believe, shall have their Sins forgiven them: But, he that savingly believes, doth firmly perswade himself, that the Promise of Pardon doth belong to him, and is received by that very Act of Faith, and ac­cordingly [Page 108]then his Sin is forgiven him; and that Blessedness spoken of in Rom. 6.7. made his—Thus the Remission of Sin, and a Per­swasion of that Remission are in a Saving Be­liever at the same time; But he, who is Per­swaded, that if he believes, he shall be Justi­fied, is not therefore as yet Justified, Unless he doth Actually and in praesenti believe, That that Righteousness is given him, which he Receives with the same Act of Faith. What he afterwards believes de praeterito doth not Justifie him, but supposes him to be already Justified. All these Acts are of one and the same Justifying Faith. The First Disposes for Justification: The Second Properly Justifieth: The Third Quiets Conscience according to that in Rom. 5.1, 2.’

‘From what hath been here said, it's appa­rent, that there is no force at all in this Soci­nian, and Arminian Objection against us, for they oppose us, as if we assign'd to Justifying Faith one only single Act, whereas nothing can be more manifest than that we make them three Distinct Acts; whence, it's easie enough to Conceive, how Justifying Faith is a Perswa­sion of the special Mercy of God to be, de futuro, obtain'd; and which in praesenti, by the very Act of Believing, is Perceiv'd.’

‘This Fiducia, or Perswasion, as Described by the Remonstrants to be a firm Belief, that it's not possible for any to escape Eternal Death, and attain to Everlasting Life, any other way than by Jesus Christ, and as he hath Prescribed; is not a Justifying; it is but an Historical, or Dogmatick Faith. It only re­spects [Page 109]what is Future, not what is Past, or Pre­sent; nor doth it beget in the Minds of Be­lievers any thing certain of the Impetration of Salvation; but only of its Possibility, Manner, Censur. Con­fes. Rem. c. 11. p. 158, 159, &c. and Reason, &c. So far the Censure of the Re­monstrants Confession.

By what I have here gather'd out of Le Blank, and some others, it's manifest, That tho' the Reformed took into the Description they gave of Justifying Faith, the Perswasion of the Pardon of Sin, yet Generally they Agreed in Denying Justification to be before it. The Methods they took for the clearing thus much, you see, were divers.

Zanchy, Bucerus is lib. de Re­concil. Ec­clesiarum i [...] Artic. de Justific. mul tis Demon­strat fidem [...] fiducia dif­ferre: quan quam sempe sint ambae in separabiliter Conjunctae Zanch. Oper. Tom. 7. de Persever. Sanctor. p. 354. following the Excellent Martin Bu­cer, held Faith, and Fiducia to be Inseparably conjoyn'd, but yet the one different from the other. Beza and Garisiolius took this Fiducia or Firm Perswasion to be an Inseparable Effect of Faith. And, they, who made it the the For­mal Reason and the Justifying Act, considered the Objects of this Perswasion distinctly, as the Pardon was either Future, de praesenti, or de prae­terito: As it was a Pardon that either should be; Or, as then actually had; Or, as what had been before: and so made the Perswasion of a Pardon to be had, Antecedaneous to Justifica­tion; But as de praesenti obtained, Simultaneous with it; And the other after it, That tho' they Defined it by Perswasion of a Pardon already had; yet made it not the Justifying Act. The utmost Point, to which they went, was, That this Fiducia, or Particular Perswasion of For­giveness de praesenti, was Simultaneous, and in the same Instant of Nature with Justification, [Page 110]which is a Motion contrary unto, and destructive of the Antinomian Error, as hereby it's made impossible for an Elect Person to be actually justified in the sight of God one Instant of Na­ture before he be by Faith United unto Christ, that every such person, so long as he is in a state of Unbelief and Unregeneracy, is unjusti­fied is in a state of Condemnation, and under the Curse of the Law.

This particular is very clearly expressed by the Learned Dr. Ames, who saith, ‘That this Justifying Faith doth,Fides ista Justificans suâ Vaturâ producit, atque adeo onjunctam secum habet specia­lem ac certam persuesionem, de gratia ac miserecordia Dei in Christo: unde etiam per istam persuesionem Fides justificans non malè saepe describitur ab Orthodoxis, praesereim cum im­pugnant generalem illam Fidem, [...]ui omnia tribuunt Pontisicii. Ame. Medul. l. 7. c. 27. § 19. of its own Nature, beget, and therefore hath conjoyn'd with it a special, and sure Perswasion of the Grace and Mercy of God in Christ; whence it is oft described by the Orthodox to be such a Per­swasion, especially, when they oppugn that General Faith, to which the Papists ascribe every thing. Or, as Le Blank hath it. If any enquire,Sed siquis jam quaerat, cur Fidem Justificantem difiniunt [...]b Actu, qui revera non ju­ [...]tificat, sid siquitur jamfictam Justificationent potius quam ab [...]lo, quo revera justisicamur, ad [...]stud [...]o videntur inducti, quod [...]ctus iste posterior praecidentem supponat, & clarius Fidei per­ [...]ectionem explicet, & ad co [...]so­lationem sidelium maxime fa­ [...]iat, &c. Thes. de Fid. Just. [...]at. § 68. why they define Justifying Faith by an Act that doth not really justifie, but fol­lows Justification, rather than by an Act, by which we are justi­fied? It seems very evident, they were induced thereunto by these considerations; namely, That that last Act praesupposes the former, and doth more clearly explicate the entire nature of Faith, and contribute more to the comfort of Believers. In a word; this Assurance of the [Page 111]pardon of sin was the more insisted on by the Reformers, because so much opposed by the Papists, with whom the Controversie then mostly was. So far Le Blank.

To give a more particular Account of the the Lesser Differences among the First Refor­mers, as well as among our Modern Divines, and show how they variously explicated the Doctrine of Justification by Faith, being more to gratifie the Curiosity of some, than satisfie the Consciences of any, I will wave it, and go on to

The second; That many Fears and Doubts are consistent with Justifying Faith.

Tho' they made Justifying Faith to be a firm perswasion of the pardon of sin, yet they meant not such a perswasion as was so exclusive of all Doubts and Fears about our Salvation, that whoever in the least doubted, was destitute of Faith.

‘This Perswasion (saith Dr. Amés) as to the sense of it, doth not always accompany Faith: For, it may be, and often is, either through the weakness of Judgment, or by reason of many Temptations and Troubles of Spirit, that he, who savingly believes, and is by Faith justified in the sight of God, may, for a time, judging of himself by what he feels, conclude that he neither savingly believes, nor is re­conciled to God.’

Thus much the Dr. adds immediately after he had told us, that many who were Orthodox described Faith by a perswasion of the Grace and Mercy of God in Christ, whereby he seems to insinuate a distinction to be between the [Page 112] Perswasion of Pardon, and the sense of that Per­swasion; as if they who had not the sense of it might yet have the perswasion. And it must be granted, that there is somewhat of this na­ture obvious to the Experience of those Di­vines, who are most conversant with troubled Consciences. For, it is commonly observed by them, that godly persons, even when under the Horror of Despair, crying out, They shall be damned; if asked, whether they will part with what Interest they have in Christ, will answer, they'll not do it for a World; which intimates, as if they had a secret perswasion of pardon, tho' they wanted a sense of it; which the first Reformers explained by distinguishing between the Habit, and Act of Saving Faith.

True Justifying Faith (say they) may be taken in a two-fold sense:
  • 1. For the Habit it self, or for that power which is by the Holy Ghost infused into the hearts of the Elect.
  • Or 2. For the Act, which proceeds from that Qua­lity, Habit or Power, by which we are said Actually to believe in Christ: Or that by which we do by an actual perswasion believe in him.
That Faith in Scripture is oft ta­ken for an Act, no one doubts: That it is an Habit, Power or Quality, those Scrip­tures evince, which say, The Just shall live by Faith: And, Without Faith it is impossible to please God. For the Just, when asleep, and by an actual Faith, think not on Christ, do yet then live by Faith, and please God. Faith is also in the Scriptures call'd, Science, Knowledge, a full Perswasion; all which reside in the heart, when we do not actually think [Page 113]of God. As Scientia is by Philosophers put in­to the praedicament of Quality. Thus a Child, in whom can be no Acts of Knowledge, Sense or Perswasion has yet the Spirit, the Power or Habit of Faith, as All the Learned do confess; particularly Martin Bucer.

Besides, they are very particular and distinct in their Endeavours to make it manifest that Faith, and Fears are consistent. For they suppose Faith to be oft conflicting with Doubts and Fears, which they, to continue the use of Zanchy's words, thus solve: ‘There is no absurdity in asserting Faith to be a firm Perswasion, and yet the Be­liever disturb'd with afflictive doubts; for there being in ever [...] Believer Flesh, as well as Spirit; when the Spirit prevails, there is a sense of goodness, sweetly refreshing the Soul; a looking to the Gospel-Promise, a relying on it, an apprehending Eternal Life as prepared for him, rejoycing in it. But when the Flesh conquers, there is a sight of sin and misery fil­ling the Soul with the anguish of sorrow; a view of its obnoxiousness to death, at which he trembles, fearing lest he die eternally, which is occasioned by the weakness of our Faith, which never, whilst in this Life, arrives to that degree of Perfection,Zanch. Oper. Tom. 8. [...]e 7. de Fide. as to cure the Believer wholly of his Unbelief and Diffi­dence.’ It's true, the first Believers have not explicated Justifying Faith as distinct from As­surance so clearly as our more Modern Divines have done; amongst whom the Westminster Assembly in their Confession, as Le Blanc hath well observ'd, have excelled. However, they did carefully endeavour to express their Senti­ments [Page 114]so, as to prevent the despair of such, who, tho' sound Believers, were afflicted with many fears and doubts about the pardon of their sins, and their interest in the Mercy of God. They insisted on a perswasion, a firm belief of the forgiveness of sins; but on such a perswasion as admitting of different degrees was in many so weak and feeble, as not to be always perceptible. A Notion, as they explicated it, easie enough to be understood. For in other Instances, what more common than to distinguish between Acts and Habits? That the Acts are seen, when the Habits from whence they flow lies undisco­ver'd. Every one knows whether he believes this or the other Report; loves this, or the other person; as well as whether he seeth this, or the other Object. The Acts of the Under­standing, and Rational Appetite, when exerted, are as perceivable in their way, as our Sensitive Acts. But then it should be minded, that these Acts are oft look'd upon in their Habits, and when actuated, are commonly blended with such other as are conversant about contra­ry Objects, and their prevalence over these other so inconsiderable, that it's not at all times discernable, to which if we add, the considera­tion of the World's Allurements, Satan's many subtle Temptations, &c. it cannot but be that true Believers fall into great perplexities about the forgiveness of their sins; which tho' great, destroy not their Faith, nor are they incon­sistent with this firm perswasion. Strong fears, and many doubts may consist with a moral cer­tainty of the same Truths. How many have a moral certainty of the Immortality of their [Page 115]Souls, and yet grievously tormented with ama­zing frights about it?

This very Point the Learned Mr. Baxter in discourse with me did thus illustrate: It is (saith he) as with a Man so firmly chain'd to the top of a high Spire, as to have the Greatest Cer­tainty of his Fastness, yet looking down, could not but fear a Fall.

We may then easily perceive, that from the making Faith to lie in a perswasion of the pardon of sin, it cannot be justly inferred, that whoever doubts of God's Mercy in Christ, is destitute of Justifying Faith: for this perswasion may be in the Habit, where not in the Act, and is consistent enough with strong fears, and many doubts, as the first Reformers expresly affirm­ed; which is enough to free them from the Re­proach of driving by their Doctrine every sound Believer who hath any doubts about his being pardoned, into the Horrour of Despair.

Nor did they so describe Justifying Faith as to give unto any an occasion to expect Heaven, whilst they lived under the Reigning Power of their sins. On the contrary they held,

III. That none, who continue to live under the Reigning Power of their Lusts had, or whilst so, can have Saving Faith.

'Twas constantly asserted by them, ‘That to true Justifying Faith, whether strong, or weak, Life, and Perpetuity were too essential, and inseparable Properties; the first is necessary, that it may be a Living Faith, exciting in the Believer the Life of Christ, that is to say, [Page 116]such a Life as stirred up in his heart such new, and heavenly motions, thoughts and desires, conform to God's Law, as drove out all earth­ly Affections. Thus much, they said, was the Import of those Scriptures, which speak of purifying the heart, mortifying the flesh, quickning of the spirit, crucifying, and burying the Old Man, putting on the New. The Holy Ghost in the Sacred Scriptures doth so very much press this one thing, especially in the Epistles of James and John, that it must be acknowledged, that this is so Essential a Property of Faith, that it cannot be true Justifying Faith without it, as all of us unanimoustly hold.

These are the words of the Learned Zanchy, De Persev. Sanct. Con­fess. p. 349. who in answer to an Objection against the Per­severance of the Saints, carrying in it this very Calumny. ‘[That the Protestant Doctrine is such as makes Repentance of nouse, lets loose the Reins to all manner of Profaneness, ren­dring men so very secure, as to embolden them to venture on sin contrary to the con­victions of their Consciences] doth further declare That true Justifying Faith cannot be where sin doth reign; that sound Belie­vers, altho' they sin not as the wicked do,Ipsorum [vid. fidelium] lap­sus suapte naturâ, aternâ morte esse dignissimos; item displicere Deo; item punitum iri à Deo, &c. Zanch. de pers. Sanct. p. 159. yet the sins they fall into, are in their own na­ture most worthy of Eternal Death. Displease God, and are punished by him: The Fervour of the Holy Spirit in them much abated; the flames of their Faith quenched; their minds troubled; let them therefore repent of their sins, return to the [Page 117]Lord, as Children to their Father, not cut off from Christ, nor wholly forsaken of the Holy Spirit. Again; This is the nature of true Faith, to stir up in us true Repentance,Zanch. Oper. Tom. 6. loc. 5. de Fide, p. 43. and inflame our hearts with Love to God, and a Zeal to please him, and promote his Glory, to provoke us sincerely to love our Neigh­bour, that as much as in us lieth we may live peaceably with all men; that it fill our Souls with a love to true Holiness, a hatred unto all sin, and that in all things we walk worthy of the Gospel of Christ.’

But the sense of the Reformed may be more fully seen in our Book of Homilies, touching the Doctrine of Justification, Serm 3d of Salvat. highly approved of by the generality of the Reformed, where it's thus; ‘Now you shall hear the office and duty of a Christian-man unto God. Our office is not to pass the time of this present Life unfruit­fully, and idly, after that we are Baptized, or Iustified, not caring how few good works we do, to the Glory of God, and Profit of our Neighbours: Much less is it our office, after that we be once made Christ's Members, to live contrary to the same, making of our selves Members of the Devil, walking after his Inticements, and after the Suggestions of the World, and the Flesh, whereby we know, that we do serve the World, and the Devil, and not God. For that Faith, which bringeth forth (without Repentance) either Evil Works, or no Good Works, is not a Right, [...] and Lively Faith, but a Mean, Devilish, Counter­feit and Feigned Faith, as St. Paul, and St. James call it.—For the Right, and True Chri­stian [Page 118] Faith is, not only to believe that Holy Scriptures are true, but also to have a Sure Trust, and Confidence in God's Merciful Promi­ses, to be saved from Everlasting Damnation by Christ; whereof doth follow a loving heart to obey his Commandments. And this true Christian Faith neither any Devil hath nor yet any Man, which in the outward Profession of his Mouth, and the outward Receiving of the Sacraments, in coming to the Church, and in all other outward Appearances, seemeth to be a Christian-man, and yet in his Living and Deeds showeth the contrary. For, how can a Man have this True Faith, this Sure Trust and Confidence in God, that by the Merits of Christ his sins be forgiven, and be reconciled to the Favour of God, and to be partaker of the Kingdom of Hea­ven by Christ, when he iveth ungodly, and denieth Christ in his Deeds? Surely, no such ungodly man can have this Faith, and Trust in God. For, as they know Christ to be the on­ly Saviour of the World; so they know also that wicked men shall not enjoy the Kingdom of God. They know, that God Hateth Unrigh­teousness, that he will destroy all those that speak untruly, that those that have done good works, (which cannot be done without a Lively Faith in Christ) shall come forth into the Resurrection of Life, and those that have done Evil, shall come unto the Resurrection of Judgment: Very well they know also, that to them, that be contentious, and to them, that will not be obedient unto the Truth, but will obey Unrighteousness, shall come Indignation, Wrath, and Affliction, &c.— [Page 119]These great and merciful Benefits of God, (if they be well considered) do neither minister unto us Decasion to be Idle, and to live with­out doing any good works; neither yet stir­eth us by any means, to do evil things: But, contrary-ways, if we be not Desperate Persons, and our hearts Harder than Stones they move us to render our selves unto God, wholly, with all our Will, Heart, Might and Power, to serve him in all good Deeds, obeying his Com­mandments during our Lives, to seek in all things his Honour and Glory; not our Sen­sual Pleasures & Vain Glory, evermore dread­ing willingly to offend such a Merciful God, & Loving Redeemer in Word, Thought, or Deed.

Thus much and more to the same purpose in the Book of Homilies, evincing how that the First Reformers were far from encouraging any to please themselves with hopes of Heaven, whilst they remained lovers of their Pleasures, more than lovers of God. For, as they oft de­clared, that Justifying Faith was a lively work­ing Faith; that Faith without Repentance▪ Love to God, and a Holy Life, was a Dead, a Devilish Faith: So altho they denied the meritorious­ness of Good works, yet asserted their necessi­ty; even such a necessity of their presence, of their following Faith, as made it certain, that no Salvation could be had without them. They who were offended with their being made necessary to Salvation, fearing lest such an As­sertion should introduce the merit of good works, held good works necessary necessitate Pracepti, as also necessitate Medii, taking the means not for an Ethical, but Physical, [Page 120]or Mathematical, middle between two extreams, as the Aequator is between the two Tropicks; and the Ecliptick Line in the Zodiak, affirming them (to use the words of Cromayer) to be necessary Ante, tho' not Ad salutem.

To give my Reader a clearer light into this matter, I will acquaint him with a Controver­sie, that disturb'd the Churches Peace, soon after the Beginning of the Reformation.

George Major, who, as Melchior Adamus in his Life reports, being an Intimate of Luther, and Melancthon, and chosen with Martin Bucer, Brentius, Sed cum ni­hit sit, quod non made in­to pretando possit depra­vari [...] in [...]r­rit & Major in Grarisli­mam In­vi [...]am & Odium: quod aliquando, ut fuit Zelotis & Sanctimoniae Commendator summus, dixe­rat, FIERI NON POSSE ƲT QƲI NON STƲDE ANY BONIS OP E­RIBƲS SALƲTEM CONSEQƲANTƲR AETERNAM; & BONO­RƲM OPERƲM STƲDIƲM ESSE NECESSARIƲM AD SALƲ ­TEM. Adversarii enim ejus, de quibus Antesignani suerunt Matthias Flacius Illvricus, Nic. Gallus, Nic. Amsdorffius, pup sitionem hanc, Bona Opera ne­cessaria sunt ad salutem, interpretari sunt ira; quasi statutrat Major jurta Origenicam, & Pontiticiam Synecdochen, BONA OPERA CƲM FIDE MERERI REMISSIONEM PECCATORƲM & ESSE CAƲSAM JƲSTIFICATIONIS CORAM DEO. Melch. Adam Viz. Geor. Major. and Erhardus Snepsius to concert mat­ters Religious at Ratisbone with Petrus Mal­venda, Eberbardus Billicus, Johannes Hofmeisre­rus. and Johannes Cocklaus, was a zealous Pro­moter of Holiness, asterting, that he, who was not studious of, good works, could not obtain Eter­nal Life; and that the study of good works was & necessary to Salvation.

This Great Man, tho' extraordinary useful in carrying on the Reformation, having laid down these Assertions, could not escape the Hatred, the Malice and Rage of Good Men, but soon feelingly knew, what were the Fatal Effects of [Page 121]Evil Surmisings, and Rash Censurings, for no meaner persons than Flacius Illyricus, Nicholaus Gallus, and Nicholaus Amsdorffius affirmed, that according to the Origenic, and Popish Synecdoche, Major meant nothing less than that Good Works with Faith do merit the pardon of sin, and are the cause of our Justification in the sight of God.

In opposition unto Major, Amsdorffius, who with Hieronymus Schuffius a Lawyer, and Justus Jonas a Divine, accompanied Luther to Wormes, held Good Works to be Noxious and Hurtful to our Salvation.

This Controversie in its first Appearances is great;Milch. Adam. in Vit. Nich. Amsdorf. and through a warm and peevish manage­ment, in its Effects, was very pernicious; and yet, if, as in Charity we are bound, we do but believe George Majors Solemn Protestations, and Regard what the more moderate judged of Amsdorffius, we shall see enough to oblige us to think they meant the same thing, and that the Controversie was more owing unto the mistakes and misrepresentations made of one another than to any Real Differences amongst them.

George Major, to vindicate himself from the Charge brought against him,Major in Confessione Publicè edi­tâ, & Dis­putationibus; testatus est nunquam se ita sensisse, nunquam ita docuisse; sed totum Justificationis nostrae negotium, & salutis Beneficium in solidum acceptum retulisse, & referre miserecordiae Divinae, at (que) unici Sal­vatoris nostri Jesu Christi merito; id (que) solâ fide a [...]cipi, quam bona opera, ut fructus certissimi, sequantur. Quin imò disertè testatus est; se positione illâ, quâ videret aliquos offende, deinceps non usurum. Melch. Adam. Vit. Major. emits a Confes­sion of his Faith, and at Publick Disputations declares, He never taught as Illyrious, &c. sug­gested, nor ever held any such Doctrimes; but always believ'd, That the whole of our Justifica­tion and Salvation must be ascribed to the Mercy [Page 122]of God, and Merit of Jesus Christ our only Saviour; and that it is receiv'd only by Faith, attended with Good Works as indubitable Fruits thereof; further protesting, that seeing this Proposition [Good Works are necessary to Salvation] was offensive, he would never use it more.

On the other hand Kromayer mentions some excusing Amsdorffius, they being of Opinion,Sunt qui Amsdorffium ex­cusant ac si bona opera per­niciosa dixtrit ad salutem per accidens, quatenus Fiducia in Operions collocetur. Krom. Theol. Pos. Po. Art. 12. de bon. oper. he held Good Works to be pernicious to Salvation only by Accident, as men place their Trust and Confidence in them. And adds, that Amsdorffe in a Book, written in the German Tongue against George Major, complains of his being unrighteously reproached by Ma­jor. George Major (saith he) so interprets me, as if I had taught, that Good Works are a hin­derance to Salvation, and a shame to a Chri­stian. God forgive him; I never believed, nor so much as thought that our Opinion should have been so falsly and untrully repre­presented —Such ungodly words should not be mentioned or heard in a Christian Church.’

Thus they both complain of Misrepresenta­tion, which gave little or no Relief; for there being amongst 'em many Forming of Parties and Factions, what he, who best understands his own sense, avers, is not to be regarded. The Accuser, tho' under the Government of his Passions, and knows least of his Adversary, obtains the greatest Credit with the generality, [Page 123]which occasioned Adamus to say,Sed, quae est hominum Cre­dulitas, ac calumniae efficaci­tas! effugere suspicionem Do­ctrime diversae nunquam po­tnit. Adeo verum est illud. Calumniare Audacter; sem­per aliquid haeret. Melch, Adam. Vit. Maj. That such is the Credulity of most, such the power of Calum­ny, that Major could never whol­ly free himself from unjust suspi­cions. So true is that saying, Calumniare audacter; semper ali­quid haeret.

However, tho' there were different Opi­nions amongst them managed with most vio­lent Heats, they were rather about words, and lesser matters, than about what was substantial, Kromayer. ubi supra. as the Formula Concordiae in Kromayerus has it. ‘The first Schism, amongst certain Divines, was occasioned by some mens asserting Good Works to be necessary to Salvation, that it's impossible for any to be saved without them, and no one ever was: And others taught, that Good Works were hurtful. Another Schism arose amongst some about the words [Neces­sary, and Free] one Party holding, that the word [Necessary] is not to be affirm'd of our New Obedience, for that is not to proceed from Necessity, or Constraint; but from a Free Spi­rit: Others plead for the Retaining this word, because New Obedience is not left to our plea­sure to render it as we list; for the Regene­rate themselves are bound to New Obedience.

This being the true state of the several Con­troversies about Good Works; which were held to be Necessary to Salvation by George Major, to be Free, by Andreas Musculus, and to be Hurtful, by Amsdorffius, The Formula proceeds to a Decision thus. ‘We reject and condemn these following Phrases, [Good Works are neces­sary [Page 124]to Salvation. No one was ever sav'd without them. It is impossible to be saved without Good Works]. We do also reject, and condem that most offensive Phrase, as pernicious to Chri­stian Discipline [That Good Works hinder our Salvation.] We Believe, Teach [...] and Confess, Credimus, docemus, & pro­ficemur, omnes quidem homines, praecipuè vero eos, qui per Spi­ritum Sanctum Regenerati sunt, & Renovati, ad BONA OPERA facienda DEBI­TORES esse. Et in hâc sen­tentiâ vocabula illa NECES­SARIƲM, DEBERE, O­PORIERE, recte usu [...]pan­tur, &c. that all men, more especially they who are Rege­nerated, and Renewed by the Holy Spirit, are bound to do Good Works. And, that in this case these words [Necessary, Ought. Obliged] are rightly used even with respect to them that are Renewed, and are agreeable to the Form of sound words. And yet nevertheless these words [Necessity, Neces­sary] when spoken of the Regenerate, must not be understood as if they imported the same with Coaction, or Force; but only of that Obedience, which is Due, to which we are Bound, and Obliged; which true Believers, as Renewed, do perform, not by the Compul­sion and Force of the Law, but spontaneously, with a Free Spirit, in as much as they are no longer under the Law, but Grace.’

They condemn not the men as Embracers of Unsound Doctrine, but reject and condemn the usage of some unsafe and hurtful Phrases, all holding Good Works to be a Duty, to which we are obliged by the holy Commandment, not to be perform'd by Force, and Constraint, but freely; not to be trusted in for our Justification or Salvation; and yet springing out necessarily of a True and Lively Faith, are acceptable unto God.

From what hath been collected out of the Writings of the first Reformers, we may see that the Antinomians can find no place to shelter themselves under their shadow; for tho' they asserted that Justifying Faith lay in the perswa­sion of the forgiveness of sin, yet they did, con­sistently enough with this Notion, deny that Pardon was before Faith, or that Fears and Doubts, and Justifying Faith, could not stand together; or, that a man, whilst remaining un­der the Reigning Power of his sins, could have Faith: They were positive, that the Justifying Act of Faith was in order of Nature (as most) antecedent, or, at least, simultaneous, (as others) with Justification; that true Believers were continually conflicting with Fears, and Doubts; and, that that Faith, which was not fruitful, in producing Good Works, was not a Saving, 'twas a Devilish Faith. Nor did they make it the duty of all men in the World immediately to believe their sins were pardoned: But held convictions of sin, arising from the Know­ledge of the Law to be necessary, and that there were some Acts of Faith Dispositive, and there­fore Antecedent to Justification, and to the Ju­stifying Act of Faith, of which I design, if God will, to treat more fully in my second Part.


The sense of the Papists, Arminians, and So­cinians, about the Subject of Faith. The different Apprehensions of the Orthodox about the same. Camero, Amyrald, Dally held, that the Understanding was the only Subject of Saving Faith; yet not Antino­mians. How they hereby were enabled to oppose Justification by Works, as held either by Papist, Socinian, or Arminian.

THE denying Saving Faith to be an Act of the Will is not Antinomianism. Touching the Subject, or Seat of Faith, whe­ther it be the Understanding only, or the Will, or both, the Learned have different Apprehen­sions. And some great Men, sound in the Faith, are positive, that 'tis only in the Ʋnder­standing.

The Papists, who for the most part make an Historick Faith to be Saving, confine it to the Ʋnderstanding: And yet Estius, conform to the sense of Aquinas, yields, that it hath its Rise from the Will, by which the Understand­ing is inclin'd to believe. Contarenus goeth further, holding, that it doth also terminate in the Will. Cajetane is for Faiths being an Act of both Faculties; which according to the account Bonaventure gives of it, hath been the Opinion of the Antient Schoolmen: And [Page 127]as Le Blanc, Nam si Ser­mo sit de fide vivâ, & per dilectio­nem operan­te, quam formatam ap­pellant, dubitari non potest, quin illa etiam ex eorum mente, non intellectum tan­tùm, sed voluntatem etiam occupet, & in eâ sedem habet. Le Blanc Thes. de Subj. Fid. p. 239. out of whom I have taken these passages, the Papists, if they speak of their Li­ving Faith, their Fides formata, must place it in the Will, it being Love, an Act of the Will, that, according unto them, is the Form of Faith.

Limborch, giving the sense of the Remonstrants, Nos dicimus Fidem nec esse merum Intellectus, nec merum voluntatis Actum; sed mixtum, partim Intellectus, partim Voluntatis. Limb. Theol. Christ. lib. 5. cap. 9. § 23. saith, ‘That Faith is not meerly an Act of the Understanding, nor meerly of the Will, but mix'd partly of the one, and partly of the other.’

Crellius, the Socinian, in his Christian Ethicks, Fides dus­bus modis considerari potest; vel so­la, vel cum suis effectis conjuncla; adeo (que) auplex iterum oritur fidei signifi­catio; altera Propria; al­tera Figura­ta, in quâ Meconynda cum Synecdoche concurrit. De Priori jam satis. dictum; iaque intelligitur, 1 Cor. 13. ubi Fides à Spe, & Charitate distinguitur. Posterior, quae ad Volun­tarem, aeque, aut magis, quam ad Mentem pertinet; est fiducia in Deum, aut etiam Christum collocata, quae est Asser. sus firmus Dei Promissis adhibitus, cum ve­hementi desiderio conjunctus. Ita (que) haec fides spem quoque in se compleclitar. Crel. Christ. Ethic. lib. 1. cap. 5. tells us, ‘That Faith may be considered after a twofold manner, either as it is in it self alone; or as in conjunction with its effects;’ whence it hath a double signification, the one proper, the other figurative, in which a Metonymy doth meet with a Synechdoche. The first hath been oft spoken unto; it being that Faith mentioned in 1 Cor. 13 where 'tis distinguished from Hope, and Charity: The other is that, which doth as much, if not more, belong to the Will, as to the Understanding, &c.

This Point hath been of late years much con­troverted amongst the Orthodox. Le Blanc brings in Chamier, Le Blanc ubi sup. VVendelin, Bucanus, Rivet, and Altingius as holding Faith to be seated both in the Ʋnderstanding, Hoornb. Vet. & Nov. l. 3. c. 12. and VVill. Hoornbeeck adds to these as concurring with them the Dutch Catechism, Ʋrsine, Paraeus. Trelcatius, Ti­lenus, and amongst our English Divines Preston and Ball.

Davenant, and Wotton, tho' they are for Faiths being a Fiducia, yet distinguish it from that which imports a firm Perswasion, and make it to be a Relying on Christ for Pardon, and an Act of the Will, and to belong to both Facul­ties. Dr. Ames in Le Blanc fixeth it only in the Will.

Cloppenburg saith,Clip. Com­pend. Socin. Consat. c. 7. Le Blanc. ubi sup. Hurab. ubi sup. that 'tis a Problem amongst the Orthodox, whether the Understanding or Will be the Subject of Faith. Le Blanc thinks that this Controversie is but Philosophical, and may be passed by without Division. Hoorn­beeck, tho' he placeth Faith in the Understand­ing and Will, yet doth not esteem it necessary to contend about it.Nanne omnis difficultas tolleretur, &c. Wits. Oecon. Foed. l. 3. c. 7. § 4. ‘Would not (saith he) every Difficulty be removed, and the whole Controversie so much agitated amongst Di­vines about the Subject of Faith the composed, if, as well we may deny any real. Difference between the Understanding and Will, or be­tween these Faculties and the Soul?’

However there are amongst the Reformed, some Great Divines, highly valued for their Learning, who lay much stress on this Contro­versie and are Zealous for Faith, being only an Act of the Understanding.

Baronius, See L. Blanc ubi supra. tho' he looks on Faith to belong to the Will in several respects, as it hath its Origin and Rise from it, assent it self being an Imperate Act of the Will, and therefore may be denominated a Voluntary, Free Act; as also with respect to the Acts annex'd unto, and concomitant with Faith; for, in that very instant Faith in the Understanding assents to Gospel-Promises, and with a firm Judgment applies them to ones self, the Will with an ardent Love embraces the Grace and Favour of God. Last­ly, with respect to its Fruits, Sanctification, and softning of the Will, follows the Illumination of Faith in the Mind; yet Faith properly, sub­jectively, and with respect to its Essence, is only in the Ʋnderstanding.

Camero, discoursing of Effectual Calling, refers to that Promise in Ezekiel 36. for the taking away the Heart of Stone, and giving a Heart of Flesh, saith, ‘That the Heart of Stone is, by the Apostle Paul, interpreted by [...], a Carnal Mind. In another place the Apostle is more express, affirming the Gospel to be written in the Fleshly, [not Stony] Tables of the Heart, which cannot be under­stood of the Will; [the Law is not written in the Will] but in the Mind, whose part it is to understand it. Besides, to understand in Scrip­ture is attributed to the Heart. So it is Rom. 1.21. [...], a Foolish Heart, or a Heart without Ʋnderstanding. So Deut. 29.4. the Lord hath not given you an Heart to Perceive; and in Rom. 10. With the heart man believes to Righteousness, where, by the Heart, the Mind undoubtedly is meant; for to Believe is an [Page 130]Act of the Ʋnderstanding; that is to say, to Believe is an Act that hath Truth for its Object, and therefore must be in the Mind. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who promises Eternal Life to Faith alone, defines Faith by Knowledge; [This is Life Eternal to know thee the Only True God, &c.] By the Heart then in Scripture we must understand the Mind, not that which Philosophers call simply Theoretick, but rather the Practick Ʋnderstanding, which the Will cannot but follow.Cam. praelect. de Eccles. p. 214. The same Au­thor on Matth. 18.7. hath it thus; 'Faith can­not be separated from Love, and yet Faith is in the Understanding; the Ʋnderstanding therefore draws with it, and necessarily leads the Will, otherwise there would be no Incon­sistency between a man's being a sound Belie­ver, and a most vicious person. To this it may be objected, That Faith, at least as to some part of it, is in the Will. It's not our business at this time to dispute concerning the Subject of Faith, and yet, without being guilty of any imperti­nence, we may assert, that Faith as to some part of it, is necessarily in the Ʋnderstanding. Now what is that part of Faith? they'll tell you. 'tis Knowledge. But that part of Faith, which doth necessarily work Love. Whatever is in the Ʋnderstanding, most cer­tainly is Knowledge; not every Knowledge, but that Knowledge, by which thou dost fix it in thy Soul, that the thing is thine, and cannot be separated from Love. Nor can it be granted, that any one simple Habit should be in divers Subjects. They are Distinct Habits of the Understanding and Will; so that the Will [Page 131]and Understanding are distinguished from each other. In a word, who can deny that the [...] credere, to believe, is an Act of the Mind? Certainly Belief hath Truth for its Object; so that he who believeth not, is said to make God a Lyar, &c.

Amyrald, in the Theses Salmurienses, speaking of the Subject, in which the Habit of Faith in­heres, affirms it to be the Ʋnder­standing Faculty. Subjectum cui Habitus Fi­dei innascitur at (que) inhaeret, facultatem eam esse quae in he­mine Intellectus appellatur, de­bet esse extra controversiam apud omnes, qui saltem rem istam considerant non omnino oscitanter, &c. Thes. Sal­mur. de Fide par. pri. § 15. &c. ‘This (saith he) should be embrac'd by all, innascitur at (que) but controverted by none, ex­cept by such as have not closely studied this Point. To have Faith imports nothing else than to Believe; to believe is to be perswaded of the Truth of a thing, and therefore must be­long to the Ʋnderstanding. For Truth is the Object thereof, and Perswasion is no otherwise than by admitting or receiving into the Mind those Reasons, and Arguments, by which a thing demonstrates it self to be True. Nor can any other thing be gathered from the Holy Scriptures. If we consult those expressions used to represent Faith unto us, whether they be Proper, or Metaphorical, they all direct us to conclude Faith to belong to the Mind. To begin with what words are proper; The Ob­ject of Faith is said to be Truth; the Faculty the Heart, or Mind (Heart in Scripture, and amongst other good Authors, denotes the Ʋnderstand­ing.) The Effect arising from Faith is Know­ledge, Wisdom, &c. The State of them, who attain unto this is such, that they, who are in [Page 132]it are said to be Intelligent, and Knowing; and they who are in Ʋnbelief are Fools, and Ʋnwise. The Metaphors which import the same Notion of Faith, are numberless.’ This, and much more hath Amyrald, with whom many great Divines agree.

Spanhemius, in his Exercitations about Ʋniver­sal Grace, provoking his Adversary to the Na­tional Synod of Dort, Synodus pro­fitetur, Sa­cras Scriptu­ras testari, Deum novas Qualitates Fidei, Obe­dientiae, ac­sensûs amo ris sui Cordibus noshis infundere. Hoc [...] er [...] consistere non potest, si Fidei Sub­jectum sit tantum intellectus, ut docet vir doctus in Thes. suis de Fide. Span. Exercit. Grat. Univers. p 1675, 1676. endeavours to press him with that Synods declaring, 'That from the Holy Scriptures, it's clear, God infuses in­to our Hearts the New Qualities of Faith, Obe­dience, and the Sense of his Love, which cannot (saith Spanhem) consist with Amyrald's mak­ing the Understanding the only Seat of Faith.

To this the Learned Dalley, in his Apology for the two National Synods, namely Abenson, and Chaventon in France, returns this Answer; ‘'Tis true,Quod ait Synodus & Fidem, Obedien­tiam, & sensum A­moris Dei Cordibus nostris in­fundi, verum esse fatentur FRATRES Fides enim Menti, quae Cor est, sensus item Menti, (sentire enim Mentis est, non voluntatis;) Obedienna partim Menti, partim Voluntati, quae & ipsa Cor est▪ convenit. Cor vero an Intellectu distinctum sedem esse istorum omnium Spiritus donorum, accusat [...]s dictatum est; non est Synodi Decretum. Dall. Apol. p. 658. the Synod declares, that Faith, Obe­dience, and the sense of God's Love are infused in­to our hearts. For Faith belongs to the Ʋnder­standing, and so doth a sense of Love (to perceive a thing, being the part of the Understanding; not of the Will;) Obedience is partly in the Mind, and partly in the Will. which is also the Heart. But that the Heart, as distinct from the Mind, is the Seat of the Gifts of the Spirit is [Page 133]the Dictate of the Accuser, not a Decree of the Synod.

However, tho' they made Faith to lie only in the Understanding, yet held it to be such a Practical Assent unto Gospel Truths as effectually engaged the Will most intensely to Love Christ; and this Love to be such as influenced them to receive the Lord Jesus on his own Terms, and keep his Commands; asserting also, Faith and Love tho' distinct Graces to be Inseparable, and Saving Faith to be Prolifick of Good Works; so that where these were absent, there the Faith was not saving; so carefully did they Fence against Antinomianism.

Besides, by this Notion of Saving Faith, they kept themselves at a great distance from the Arminian, and Socinian Dogmata about Justifica­tion, as will appear plainly on a fairer and just proposal of their Sentiments in these Points.

Crellius, considering Faith, as conjunct with its Effects, such as Hope, Love, and Obedience, asserts it to be Justifying as thus conjoyn'd, and so makes Good Works to have the same Interest in our Justification, that Faith hath.

‘That Faith (saith he) by which we are Justified, or which on our part is the nearest and only Cause of our Justification, is a Firm Hope in the Divine Promises, placed in God through Christ, begetting Obedience to the Commands; the Fiducia, or Firm Hope taken properly, may be the Genus of Justifying Faith; but Obedience to Christ's Commands, flowing from this Firm Hope, may be the Form; or, as St. James hath it, is the Life, the Soul of Faith. This Faith, thus defin'd, is that, which [Page 134]is required as necessary to Salvation under the New Testament.Crel. Ethic. Christ. lib. 1. c. 5.

As Crellius, in his Christian Ethicks gives this account of Faith; in like manner he doth the same,Rom. 3.22. Gal. 2.16. Est vero Com­mentarius hic, vivente adbuc Jo­anne Crel­lio—Colle­ [...]a into desi­deratissimo à me consectus & el [...]cubra­tus, ita ut in eruendis Epistolae isti­us sinsibus omnis mibi cum Crellio sociata fucrit opera, id (que) ita ut ei primas hic partes merito deferre debtam; Praesat. ad Lector. Slichtin. in Heb. c. 11. v. 1. on the Romans, and Galatians, and con­curs with Slichtingius in his Commentary on the Hebrews, in composing which he had a great hand, as Slichtingius, in his Preface doth ingeniously confess, where it's thus: Faith, if properly, and strictly taken, differs from Obe­dience; and our coming unto God: For, Faith must be in him, who seeks God, before he doth it. Faith more largely by a Synechdo­dochical Metonymy, comprehends within it its Effects, namely, all Works of Piety and Righ­teousness.

Slichtingius, John 5.24. Fides in Christum trahit secum observationem mandato­rum ejus, quae nisi sequatur, vanam, & irritam esse sidem oportet. on John, thus; ‘Faith in Christ carries with it an observation of his Com­mands, and without it all Faith is vain, yea dead.—In this Faith therefore an observation of Christs Commandments is included.’ Wolzogenius, Fides duas habet partes Primarias; una est Fiducia in Deum per Christum, inque promissiones ejus collocata; al­tera Obedientia, ac observan­tia Preceptorum [...]jus. Wol­zog. Instruct. ad util. Lect. Lib. N. T. cap. 6. ‘Faith hath two Prin­cipal parts; the one is a Trust in God through Christ, and in his Promises; the other is Obedi­ence to his Commandments.’ Smalcius in his Refutation of Frantzius is more express. Note: Smal [...]. Refut. Thes. de Caus. peccat. p. 450. [Page 135] ‘Even as the Soul is the Essential Form of Man; so are Works and Christian Piety the Essence, and Form of Faith. Trust in God through Christ may be Ratione distinguished from true Piety, and Obedience; but yet there is no Real difference between them. Socinus himself thus;Fidei siquidem nomine ex qua Justificemur, intelligit Pau­lus Fiduciam ejusmodi in Deo, per Christum collocatam, ex quâ necessariô Obedientia Prae­ceptorum Christi nas [...]atur; quae etiam Obedientia sit tanquam forma & substantia ist. us Fi­dei. Socin Lect. Sacr. in Bibl. Polon. That Faith by which we are Justified, accord­ing to the Apostle Paul, is a Trust in God through Christ, from whence Obedience to his Commandments doth necessarily flow; for it is as the form and substance of this Faith.’

Thus the Socinians, distinguishing between Faith, as taken properly, or strictly; and figura­tively, as largely, make the first to be only a Fiducia; the second, which they affirm to be Justifying, is comprehensive of Hope▪ Love, and Works, which (say they) are the Essential form of a Living Justifying Faith, whereby they in­troduce Justification by Works; Not the Me­rit of our Works: This they strenuously op­pose. So Wolzogenius, who, speaking of the Merit of our Good Works, assures us, ‘That if we look closely into this matter, nothing can appear to be more certain and true than that we cannot by our Good Works Merit any thing of God. For, he is our Creator, and as such, hath a right to all we can do without the proposal of any Compensation or Reward— Besides, it's a Dictate of Right Reason, that the Fruit belongs to him that soweth, Welzog. in Luc. c. 17. c. 7. and surely it is God that worketh in us to will, and to do of his own good pleasure. These and some other [Page 136]considerations he offers against the Merit of our Good Works.Crel. in Eph. c. 3 v. 1.11. Socin. Frag. de Justific. The same is done by Crellius. Socinus is vehement in his opposition against all Merit, which must necessarily be done by them, who ascribe so much to Free Grace, as to de­ny both the Satisfaction of Christ's Death, and Merit of his Righteousness.

Et [...]t no­stram [...]de [...]e s [...]a [...], [...]e [...] ­t [...] [...]atz. & [...] omnes, [...] nui [...] [...]mnino dari Meri­tum quem­admodum nec ipsa [...]ox MERITI in t [...]to sacro Codice us­quam reperi­tur, mequic­quameiaequi­pol ens; & quod ad Christum attinet, non ob aliam causam dicitur Phil. 2. eum idio Exaltatum esse, quòd us (que) ad mo [...]tem obediens suerit, quam quod sine isla obe­dientia exaltatus non fuerit. Merit [...]m autem in to nullum f [...]isse, hinc apparet quod Apostolus ibidem mox addit; & donavit, ( [...]) ei nomen quod (est) supra omne Nomen. Nihil autem me [...]ito propriè accepto cum Donatione Commine est. Smalc. contra Fran [...]z. Disp. 3. p. 88. ‘That Frantzius, and all others, (saith Smalcius) may know our sense in this matter, we declare against all Merit whatever; for, neither the word [Merit] or any thing signi­fying what is equivalent thereunto, can be found in Scripture; and what was said of Christ touching his Exaltation for his being obedient to the Death of the Cross, imports no more than that if he had not been obedi­ent, he would not have been Exalted. But that he did not Merit, is manifest from the following words [He gave him ( [...]) a name above every name] for Merit, and Free Gist are incompatible with each other.’

Id [...] nec us­quam in sa­cris Lite [...]is Meriti, aut Mereudi [...]oces m [...]is de Christo quam de nobis, rispectu Dei, usu [...]pantur; ut longè praestat cum Scrip­turâ loqui, & Christi Obedientiae potius, ac Morti salutem nostram tribuere quam Meritis, per illud enim GRATIA Dei non tantum non obscuratur, sed etiam logè magis illushatur; sat per Meritum propriè dictum imminuitur, & tollitur. Slicir. in Phil. c. [...]. v. 9. Slichtingius, on the Philippians saith, ‘That the word Merit. as it is not in all the Sa­cred Writings attributed to Man's VVorks, with respect to God; so neither is it unto Chrit's.’ [Page 137]Whence it's much better, with the Holy Scrip­tures to ascribe Salvation to Christ's Death and Obedience, rather than unto his Merits; for to do so, doth not obscure, but illustrate the Grace of God; whereas Merit taken properly doth Eclipse, yea Destroy Free Grace.

These passages may suffice to shew how much the Socinians are against the Merit of Good VVorks; and, yet hold our Works to be an Es­sential of that Faith, which they say is a cause of our Justification.

Faith, as it apprehends Christ's Righteousness for Justification, they explode; and, by making it an Act of the Will, they take within the compass of its Formal Nature, Hope, Love, and Obedience, and to bring in Good Works amongst the Causes of our Justification.

‘The Nature, and Efficacy of True Faith, saith Slichtingius) lieth in this, that it begets Love to God: Who can believe he shall ob­tain Eternal Life, if he loves his Neighbour that will not love him? But because of some difficulties, it may so happen that a Man may be more discouraged with the present Labour, than mov'd by future Advantages. Love is therefore required with Faith, as a Condition annex'd to the Divine Promise, that, by the fulfilling it, we may attain Salvation; but it's no wonder, that they who define Faith by our apprehending and applying Christ's Merit, do exclude Love,Slicht. in 1 Cor. 13. v. 13. and in Heb. 11.6. and every other Good VVork from the Causes of our Salvation.’

‘To speak accurately, Faith is not the In­strumental Cause of our Justification, and yet it is an Efficient, not a Principal, but the Causa [Page 138]sine quâ non of it, whence it is, that we are said to be Justified by Faith. But this Faith, under the New Testament, is not, as Frantzius dreams, an Application of Christ's Merit, but a Trust in God thro Christ, whose nature is, in hope of the Eternal Life promised by Jesus Christ, to Obey him.Disp. 4. p. 103. Socin. Synop. 2. Justisic. So Smalcius against Erantzius. As we must take heed, lest we, (as many at this time) do make Holiness of Life the Effect of our Justification in the fight of God: So we must look to it, that we believe not this Holi­ness to be our Justification: Or, that it is an Efficient, or Impulsive Cause, but only a Causa sine quâ non. Our Good Works, that is, the Obedience we render unto Christ, tho' they are not the Efficient, Socin. This. de Justific. or Meritorious Cause, yet are they a Causa sine quâ non of our Justification before God and of our Eternal Salvation. So far Socinus.

But tho' they make Justification by Faith to be the same with that by Good Works; yet that they may reconcile this their Doctrine with what hath been delivered by the Apostle Paul, who denieth Justification by Works; they find it necessary to assert, That we are in this Gospel-day under two Laws; the one called the Law of Obedience, or the Rule of Duty; the other the Law of Reward or Punishment.

LEGES, quae ad quodvis bene constitutum Regimen re­quiruntur, sunt diplicis generis. Primò, sunt LEGES, quibus praescribuntur subditis OF­FICIA quomodo se quis (que) in suis actionibus gerere debeat; seu quid cuique [...]aciendum vel. VVolzogen [...]us is full in deliver­ing the Socinian sense on this Point. ‘In every well constituted Go­vernment (saith he) there are Laws of two sorts: The first are such as shew the Subject's Duty, what he must do; and, [Page 139] what he must not. Omittendum sit. Quae LEGES ad distinctionem caetirarum PRAECEPTA & INTER­DICTA vocantur. Deind sunt LEGES, quibus propo nuntur sidis, ac morigeris sub. ditis PRAEMIA, pro ipsorun Obedientià ac malisivis merit, pae [...]ae. Haec duo LEGUN genera reperiuntur etiam i [...] Regno Christi. Wolzog. In struct, ad Lect. lib. N.T.c. [...] These Laws, to distinguish them from the other, are called Praecepts, and Prohibitions. Then there are Laws, by which Rewards are proposed to good Subjects for the Encouragement of their Obedience, and Punishments threatned against the Disobe­dient. Both these sorts of Laws, or Rules are in the Kingdom of Christ.’

Answerable to these two Laws, or Rules of Duty and the Promise, there is a twofold Obe­dience. By the Rule of the Precept the highest & most absolutely Perfect Obedience is injoyn­ed. By the Law of the Promise, or Rule of the Reward, Faith, and Repentance, with a certain purpose of Amendment is what entitles to the Reward.Duplex dat Obedienti Pr [...]eceptis Divinis pr [...] standa, & ita duple. Perfectionis consiratio: A [...] ra est, utmo nunqu [...] quicquam co [...]itta adversus Praecepta Dei; altera est, at in nullo ullius Peccati habitu haer, Islam priorem, &c. Smalc. contr. Frantz. Disp. 12. p. 427. ‘There is (saith Salm [...]cius) a two-fold Obedience, and a double consideration of Perfection: The first is, that we never trans­gress, or deviate from God's Commands: The other is, that no one Habit of Sin remain in us The first sort of Obedience we do not think necessary to Salvation, it being sufficient, if there be always a Tendency towards it: The other is necessary to Salvation, and its ob­servance possible.

That God in distributing Rewards observes another Rule than that of the Praecept, even that of the Promise, which contains a Grant of the Reward to him who is upright in heart, VVolzogenius doth, in the plainest Terms affirm. [Page 140] ‘Christ (saith he) is our King, but so that (as all other Kings ought to be) he is at the same time our Father, and Faithful Pastor: His Promises are limited by certain Conditions, and yet these Conditions are not over Rigidly in­sisted on, in those cases where somewhat of Ignorance or other Infirmity intervenes. The Promise of Eternal Life Requires an Observa­tion of his Commands; but he, knowing our Frailties, will not impute to us our daily sins, if so be there remains in us an Ʋpright Heart, and True Repentance, Walzog. Instr. ad util. Lect. lib. N.T. c. 6. and a certain Purpose of Amendment.

By this Distinction they endeavour to Re­concile Paul, and James. ‘Tho' Paul (saith Socinus) affirms, [That we are justified by Faith, and not by the VVorks of the Law;] and James, [That we are not justified by Faith alone, but by VVorks,] yet on an explication of the words [Faith] and [Works] the Agreement be­tween them will be made manifest. For Paul doth mean by [Faith] such a Trust in God through Christ, as necessarily begets Obedi­ence to his Commandments, an Obedience that is as the Form, and Substance of Faith; and by [Works] he understands a Perfect Obser­servance of the Divine Law, and all its Prae­cepts: By which▪ because of the weakness of our Flesh, none can be justified. James by [Faith] means such an Assent as is imperfect, and without Good Works; and by [Works] not the most perfect, but that Obedience on­ly which is necessarily required of us, that we may appear Just before him.’ And accordingly Paul declares, that we are not justified by those [Page 141] VVorks, which are in all respects conform to the Law; but by a Faith informed by Obedience. James, we are not justified by a Faith void of Good VVorks, but by VVorks, which, tho' they are not most perfect, yet are such as may be justly denominated Obedience, or Good VVorks.

To this Effect Socinus doth oft express him­self,Lect. Sacr. Fragment. de Justif. which compared with what I have taken out of VVolzogenius, and Smalcius, is, as if it had been said, ‘That we must distinguish between the Law of Pracepts, or the Rule of Duty; and the Law of Rewards, or Rule of the Promise. That by the Law, as it is the Rule of Duty, Per­fection in the strictest sense, as exclusive of the least Dissonancy from the Command, is re­quired. But by the Law of the Rewaerd, or Rule of the Promise, that Obedience which is with a sincere and upright heart answering the Rule of the Promise is accepted. Besides, there is a double consideration of Faith, and of Good Works. There is a Faith perfected with Love and Obedience, and a Faith Inchoate, a bare Assent without Love and Obedience. There are Works, answering the Rule of Duty in every respect conform to the Com­mands; and there are Works, which, tho' Imperfect, may justly be denominated Good, to which, by the Rule of the Promise, the Reward belongs.’

Faith Perfected; or, which hath Love and Obedience for its Formal Reason by which alone, saith St. Paul, we are justified, in opposition to Works, is the same (say these Socinians) with what St. James means by Works; so that the Works Paul excludes from having an Interest in [Page 142]our Justification are such, as are conform to the Rule of Duty,Vid. Crel. in Rom. 8.32. Gal. 2.16. 1 Cor. 1.30. and absolutely perfect. The Faith St. James affirms to be insufficient for our Justification, is an Imperfect Faith without Works; and the Works, by which (St. James saith) we are justified, is Faith inform'd with such Works as are conform'd to the Rule of the Promise.

This in short is the Socinian Scheme; viz. Faith is an Act of the Will; having, for its Es­sential Form, Hope, Love, and Obedience; which, tho' imperfect, as not fully conform to the Rule of Duty, and therefore no way Meritorious; yet as Answering the Law of the Reward, or Rule of the Promise is perfect, and is a Cause, not Instrumental; but sine quâ non, of our Justifica­tion.

By this Notion they frame of Justifying Faith, they make it one Moral Habit, compri­zing within its own nature every Good Work, and when they assert Justification to be only by Faith, they in doing so, raise Good Works to the dignity of being a Causa sine quâ non, of Justifi­cation. By the word [Faith] they understand Trust, Hope, Love, and Obedience, and consequent­ly to be Justified by Faith, is to be Justified by our Trust, Hope, Love, & Obedience, or Good Works.

The Arminians are of the same mind with the Socinians; for in their Apology, they freely declare,Et sant, si quis [...]a, quae à Socino dicuntur in bâc materiâ, sine gratià sine odio expendát, is velit nolit, con­fiteri tandem cogetur, eum in substantia Rei cum Reformatis consentire, manente hoc solum Descrimine causam semper [...] exeipe. Exam. Censur. cap. 10. pag. 114. ‘That whoever will impartially exa­amine the Socinian Notion in this matter, can­not [Page 143]but confess, that Socinus, as to the sub­stance of this Doctrine (excepting that one particular about the External Procuring Cause of our Justification) holds the same with the Reformed.’

But how boldly soever the Arminian assert an Agreement between Socinus, and the Re­formed; their Assertion can import no more than a Free Acknowledgment, that there is a Harmony between themselves, and the Socinians. For the Reformed, who place Faith in the Will, as well as in the Ʋnderstanding, and make it to be a Work, do by no means allow of its Justi­fying us, as a Work, but exclude all Works from being either an Instrumental Cause or a Causa sine quâ non; or any other cause whatsoever of our Justification. And they that confine Faith to the Understanding hold, that Faith is not a Work, and therefore cannot justifie, as such; whereby they effectually destroy Justification by Works, and set themselves at the greatest di­stance from the Arminian, and Socinian Errors.

Excellent Camero hath deliver'd the sense of them, who make the Ʋnderstanding, the only Subject of Faith, with much clearness, assuring us, ‘That we must abide by this, that Faith is not a Work. The Papists (saith he) think they press us with this Argument; viz. seeing Faith is a Work, the asserting that we are Justi­fied by Faith, can import nothing less than that we are Justified by some Work. There are others, who profess to abhor nothing more than this Popish Doctrine, who confess, That Faith is a Work, but then add, that it doth not Justifie as a Work. But the Scriptures do always [Page 144]distinguish Faith from Works, yea oppose Faith to Works in the matter of our Justification. And the Papists themselves, when they say we are Justified partly by Faith, and partly by Works, unless they will be guilty of a very gross ab­surdity, must distinguish the one from the other. Faith therefore is not a Work: that it is called the Work of God, Joh. 6.29. is only by way of Allusion, as Paul, Rom. 3.27. calls Faith a Law. The Jews continually glorying in their Works, in the Law, in their Preroga­tives, as they were the Children of Abraham, Christ in answer unto them, having attributed Justification to Faith, useth their own words, who expecting to be Justified by Works; Christ doth as it were thus speak unto them: Will ye have Life by your Works? then work this Work, Believe in the Son of God. How­ever, there is this difference between Faith, and Works: Faith gives nothing to God; it on­ly receives: Works are an Eucharistical Sacri­fice, which we offer unto God. Faith is the Instrument, it is as the Hand of the Soul by which we receive saving Benefits from God.’

‘Laying this Foundation, we go on, and af­firm. That Justification is by Faith, not by Works. 1. The Apostle, when he doth pro­fessedly dispute of Justification, he never op­poses the Works of Holiness, or Sanctification unto Works of the Law; which undoubtedly he would have done, if he had thought that any thing in our Justification must be attri­buted to Works. His Adversaries making it their business to expose him, as one, who, by by his Doctrine, lets loose the Reins to all [Page 145]manner of Licensciousness, if he had thought that Justification had been by any Works, what­soever, could easily have answered them by saying, He denyed not Justification by Works, but earnestly contended for its being by the Works of Sanctification. But that he never did for healways opposed Faith to Good Works.

2. ‘All our Salvation consists in the Free-Pardon of Sin, which God in the Gospel doth offer unto men, not singly, but so as thereby to invite them to Repentance: If there had been no place for the Remission of Sin, a Sinner could never entertain a thought about Repentance; and in this respect would be in the same case with the Devils, who Re­pent not, because without the least hope of Pardon. God, therefore to take away all Dispair from men, offers them the Forgiveness of Sin, that is to say, in his Son Jesus Christ. For no Remission without a Sacrifice, and no Expiatory Attoning Sacrifice, besides that of Christ. Now what Faculty of the Soul is that by which the Remission of Sin is Perceiv­ed? None surely but Faith. 'Tis Faith which Believeth God, who maketh the Pro­mise. Hope is that, which expests the thing Promised: But Charity, beholding the Good­ness of him who Promises, in the Excellen­cy of the Promise Loves him. Whrefore seeing 'tis Faith only, which acquiesces in the Free Promise of God through Jesus Christ; and apprehends the Forgiveness of Sin; Justifi­cation is by the Holy Ghost ascrib'd only an­to Faith. However by the way it must be ob­serv'd, That no one doth certainly and seri­ously [Page 146]believe the Promise made unto him, but he immediately Repents of his Sin. For on his be­lieving all occasion of Dispair is taken out of the way, and such is the Excellency, Beau­ty, and Glory of the Promise, as to take off the Heart from the Love of the World; whence it may be truly said, that we are Justifyed by Faith alone, and that we are Sanctifyed by Faith alone, for 'tis Faith that purifyeth the Heart, Act. 13.9.’

3. ‘The reason why God forgives the Sins of the Penitent is this, namely Because satis­faction is made to Gods Justice by Jesus Christ, who has purchased this Grace for us: But the satisfaction of Christ cannot be apprehended by us any other way but by Faith: Justification therefore must be ascribed only unto Faith. So far Camero.

There are other Arguments, which he urg­eth to this very purpose. But from what he hath here delivered, It's plain, that Faith, not being an Act of the Will, is not a Work; but is distinguished from it, and opposed unto it, and that therefore when it is said, we are Justified by Faith; it cannot be that we are Justified by a work. That Christs satisfaction hath purchased Pardon; which can be appre­hended by us no otherwise than by Faith; that Faith is the Instrument, or as the hand of the Soul by which we receive forgiveness. That tho from this Faith, Hope, Love, and Obedience immediately slow, and are inseparable; yet they are no cause at all of our Justification; which is enough to make it manifest that one, who is far from Antinomianism, may deny [Page 147]Faiths being an Act of the Will, and confine it wholly to the Understanding. For Faith, Hope, and Love, may be distinct Graces, though whilst in this Life inseparable: and so long as Hope, Love, and Gospel Obodience are held to be inseparable from Faith there is, there can be no danger in placing Faith only in the Understanding. But many Advantages against the Papist, Arminian, and Socinian, to the Exaltation of the Glory of Free Grace are hereby obtained.


A Summary of the Principal Antinomian Errors, compared with the opposite Truths. The present Controversie not with the De­scribed Antinomians. The Agreement between the Contending Brethren in Sub­stantials suggested. The Conclusion.

THese Doctrines I have thought meet to vindicate from the unrighteous charge of Antinomianism; because, by a giving them up for Antinomian, not only many who abhor it are accused for being Abettors of it; but some important Truths, which strike at the very Root of this Error are represented to be Antinomian.

It hath been the care of the Papist, Armi­nian, and Socinian, to insinuate into the minds of Persons, less studied in these Controversies, [Page 148]as if the Orthodox Protestant had, in opposition unto them run into the Antinomian Extreme; and have inserted in the Catalogue of Anti­nomian Errors several Gospel-Truths, particu­larly the ensuing Assertions.

  • 1. That Jesus Christ is a Second Adam, a Root Person, and Publick Representative, with whom the Covenant of Grace is made.
  • 2. That the Guilt, as well as Punishment of Sin was laid on Christ.
  • 3. That the Covenant of Grace is not Con­ditional in that sense the Papists hold it.
  • 4. That Faith is a certain, and a full Perswa­sion, wrought in the heart of a man. through the Holy Ghost, whereby he is Assured of the Mercy of God promised in Christ, that his Sins are for­given him.
  • 5. That Iustifying Faith is not an Act of the Will, but of the Understanding only. Tho' the Papists for some special Reasons oppose not this Notion; yet the Arminians and Socinians do, to the end they may bring in Works among the Causes of our Justification.

These Assertions are of such a Nature, as do really cut the very sinews of Popery, and Socinia­nism; as I have already in part cleared, and hope more fully to evince in my Second Part: But by those, who deviate from the Truth; all but the last have been heretofore, and now the last is, by men more Orthodox, made the Source of Antinomianism; the Spring, and Fountain, from [Page 149]whence the following Conclusions do naturally, and necessarily flow. Thus they infer from the

  • First, That Christ must be our Delegate, or Substitute, who Believed, Repented, and Obey­ed, to exempt the Elect from doing either, as ne­cessary to their Pardon, and Salvation.
  • Second, That Christ so took our Person, and Con­dition on him, as to have the Filth, and Pollu­tion of our Sins laid on him.
  • Third, That the Promise of Pardon, and Salva­tion is made to Sinners as Sinners.
  • Fourth, That the Pardon of Sin was before Faith, even whilst we are in the Heighth of Ini­quity, and Enemies against God, and Despisers of Jesus Christ.
  • Fifth, That We may have Saving Faith, tho' our Wills remain onchanged, and obstinately set against God.

These are the Antinomian Errors said to flow from the above-mentioned Assertions, which, if once granted, we shall be necessitated to ac­knowledge, that there will be no Vse at all of the Law, nor of Faith, Repentante, Confession of Sin, &c. but we may live, as we list, and yet be saved.

But we have made it plainly to appear, that these Points are so far from being Antinomian, that they do carry with them a Confutation of that Error. That the Reader may the more [Page 150]clearly see the Difference there is between the one, and the other; I will be very particular in shewing the opposition.

Assertion I.

That Jesus Christ is a Second Adam, a Root-Person, and Publick Representative, with whom the Covenant of Grace is made.

From this Assertion it necessarily follows, that Christ must have a Spiritual Seed, and be the Representative of that Seed, so far as Adam would have been of his, if he had perfectly obeyed. And it is certain, that if Adam had rendred the Required Obedience, his Posterity would have been, not only made Righteous, and de­rive a Holy Nature from him, but be also obliged to Personal Holiness. In like manner, so is it with the Posterity of the Secoud Adam.

The utmost then that can be fairly inferred from Christ's being a Second Adam, &c. is, That he hath a Spiritual Off-spring; That they be Justi­fied by his Righteousness; derive a New Nature from him, and be obliged to a Personal Obedience.

The Opposition.
1. Christ is our Dele­gate or Substitute.1. Christ is a Second A­dam, but not our De­legate or Substitute.

As the First Adam was the Head, and Pub­lick Representative of his Posterity; but not their Substitute, or Delegate; so Christ, tho' a Publick Repeesentative, yet not our Substitute, as D. O. doth excellently well show, when he saith, ‘That Christ and Believers are neither One Natural Person, nor a Legal, or Politi­cal Person, nor any such Person, as the Laws, Customs, or Vsages of men do know, or allow of: They are One Mystical Person, whereof, although there may be some Imperfect Re­semblances found in Natural, or Political Ʋnions, yet the Vnion from whence that Denomination is taken between Him, and Ʋs, is of that Nature, and arises from such Reasons, and Causes, as no Personal Union among Men (or the Ʋnion of many Persons) hath any concernment in.Dr. O. of Ju­stific. p. 250.

2. Christ being our Sub­stitute, or Delegate, Be­lieved, and Repented for us, so as to exempt us from the necessity of doing it.2. Christ did not Re­pent for us; nor ex­empt us from the ne­cessity of doing it our selves.

'Tis true, that Christ, our Surety, who Sa­tisfied, and Merited, to exempt us from the necessity of doing either our selves, did under­take to enable the Elect to Believe, Repent, and Personally Obey the Holy Commandments; but never undertook to exempt them from the ne­cessity of Believing, and Repenting.

Assertion II.

That the Guilt, as well as Punishment of Sin was laid on Christ.

We have made it clearly to appear, that though the Guilt, and Punishment of Sin was laid on Christ; yet the Sin it self, in its formal Nature, the Macula, or Filth of Sin, was not. Guilt (as I have shown) is a Relation, which hath a Formal Sin for its Foundation. The Foun­dation of Guilt is Sin, formally considered, the [...], the Macula, the Filth; and Guilt, the Reatus Culpae, doth immediately Result from the Sin, that is a transgression of the Praecept. It is not then the Sin it self, the [...], the Ma­cula, the Filth, that was laid on Christ, but the the Guilt which resulted from it; the Macula, the Filth remained in us; the Guilt, that imme­diately resulted from it as it respected the Sanction of the Law, was laid on Christ, but this being somewhat distinct from the Moral Filth, Christ remained Pure, and Spotless, not­withstanding 'twas transferr'd over to him.

The Opposition.
3. Sin, and Guilt are the same.3. Sin, and Guilt, are Not the same.
4. Not only the Punish­ment, and Guilt, but the Sin it self, the Filth of Sin was laid on Christ.4. The Punishment, and Guilt of Sin was laid on Christ; but not the Sin it self, its Ma­cula, or Filth.

In this particular the Difference is manifest. And it's plain, that tho' the Antinomian blas­pheme the Son of God by making him Inhe­rently a Sinner; yet they who are against the transferring the Filth of Sin on Christ, are far from it; for, whilst They are opposing the Papist, and Socinian, they do most effectually Fence against Antinomianism.

Assertion III.

That the Covenant of Grace is not Conditional, in that sense the Papists hold it to be so.

The sense in which the Papists are for the Conditionality of Faith and Good Works, hath been already stated; and the Difference be­tween the First Reformers, and Modern Pro­testant Divines, cleared. All Popish Conditions, that is to say, All Such Conditions in us, as give Right to the Reward, are excluded from having any Interest in our Justification: And yet Faith is made so necessary to our Justifica­tion, that without it we cannot be Justified; that our Justification is suspended during its absence, and that Faith is an Instrumental Cause of Justification. That the Promise of Pardon and Eternal Life is not made to Sinners, as Sinners; but it is made to them that have Faith, and are in Covenant with God; and on­ly unto such.

The Opposition.
5. That the Covenant of Grace is without All Conditions, in every sense.5: The Covenant of Grace is not without Condi­tions, in every sense; for, Faith is the Con­dition of Pardon.
6. That the Promise of Pardon is to Sin­ners, as Sinners.6. The Promise of Pardon is not to Sinners, as Sinners; it is only to them that have Faith, and are in Covenant.

Thus, whilst the Popish Doctrine of Merit is opposed, there is wrested out of the hands of Arminians, and Socinians, that, by which they endeavour to destroy Particular Election, Christ's meriting, and the Spirit's giving the first Grace, together with the glorious Doctrine of Christ's Satisfaction, and a sufficient Provision is laid in against the Antinomian Doctrine of Ʋniversal Redemption.

Assertion IV.

That Faith is a Certain, and Full Perswasion, wrought in the heart of Man through the Holy Ghost, whereby he is Assured of the Mercy of God▪ promised in Christ, that his Sins are forgiven him.

By such as have not throughly enough search'd into this Controversie, the First Refor­mers, [Page 155]for holding this Assertion, have been charg'd with Antinomianism: But, we have shown, 'twas unjustly. For, tho' of late years, our Divines, who have indeed rather describ'd, than defin'd Faith, and so, for the help of Doubting Souls, have put them on Enquiries after the constant Concomitants, and inseparable Effects of Saving Faith, to the end they might be help'd to well-grounded Evidences of their Interest in Christ; yet the First Reformers in the ensuing Instances about Saving Faith dif­fer'd very much from the Antinomians.

Antinomians.First Reformers.
7. Faith lieth in a con­fident Perswasion, that my Sins were forgi­ven before I did be­lieve.7. Faith, tho' it lies in a Perswasion of the Forgiveness of Sins; yet not that Sin was Pardoned be­fore Faith, but in the Instant of Be­lieving.
8. This Faith admits of no Doubtings.8. Faith admits of Fears and Doubtings.
9. A Person may have this Faith, and apply the Promise of Par­don, as well whilst under the Power of Sin, as after.9. No Man whilst un­der the Power of Sin, can apply the Pro­mise of Pardon, as well as after.

Assertion V.

That Justifying Faith is not an Act of the Will, but of the Understanding only.

That Faith is only an Act of the Under­standing, hath not been embraced by Prote­stants universally; the chief Defenders of it being Camero, Amyrald, and Dally. However, to do the New Methodists Justice, & that I might set forth this Controversie in its proper Light, and shew how they hereby secure themselves from the Popish, Arminian, and Socinian No­tions about Justification, and how far they are from the Unjust Charge of Antinomianism, I have added the foregoing Chapter.

The Opposition.
Antinomians.The New Methodists.
10. True Faith may be, where no change of the Will is.10. Tho' Faith be not an Act of the Will; yet is it not where the Will remains un­changed.

Here then we may see not only the Diffe­rence there is between the above-mentioned Assertions, and Antinomianism; but have set before us such a Scheme of the Antinomian Errors, as makes the Law of no use at all.

But let us consider what manner of Persons would be brought within the Antinomian Verge, [Page 157]if these Assertions were Antinomian. Really the Reverend Assembly of Divines at Westminster, and all that drew up the Savoy Confession, with the whole Body of Ʋnited Ministers, must come in for Receiving the First Assertion; the Lutherans, and Calvinists for holding the Se­cond; the First Reformers generally, and many Learned Protestant Divines at this time, par­ticularly Dr. Witsius, Divinity Professor at Ʋtricht, (who, with the greatest Respect is ear­nestly desired to communicate his Thoughts freely on this occasion) for Defending the Third; All the First Reformers for the Fourth; and the New-Methodists for Propugning the Fifth; and none but the Papist, Arminian, and Socinian would be able to escape the Slander. And yet according to the best of my Judg­ment, the chief reason, why some worthy Bre­thren, have been Reflected on as Antino­mians, hath been their Zeal for the first Four Assertions. For they do not make Christ our Delegate, or Substitute, who Believed and Repented for us, to the end he might exempt us from the necessity of doing either our selves. Nor do they make the Filth and Guilt of Sin the same, and lay them on Christ, making him thereby Filthy. Nor do they say, that the Covenant of Grace is in every respect without Conditions; or that the Pro­mise of Pardon is to Sinners, as Sinners; or, that Faith lieth in a Perswasion, that Sin was Pardoned before we Believe; or, that Faith is Exclusive of the Least Fears, or Doubtings; or, that an Elect Person can apply the Promise of Pardon to it self as well before Regeneration, [Page 158]as after; nor do they make the Law useless, but do hold, ‘That in reference unto the work of Regeneration it self, positively con­sidered, we may observe, that ordinarily there are certain Praevious, and Praeparatory works,Sunt quaedam effecta in­terna ad Conversionem PRAE­VIA, quae virtute verbi, spi­ritus (que) in nondum Regenera­torum cordibus excitantur, qualia sunt NOTITIA VO­LUNTATIS DIVINAE, SENSUS PECCATI, TI­MOR POENAE; COSI­TATIO de LIBERATIONE spes aliqua veniae. Synod. Dord. Suffrag. Theol. Brit. and Art. 4. Thes. 2. or workings in and upon the Souls of Men, that are Antecedent, and Dis­positive unto it: But, yet Re­generation doth not consist in them, nor can it be educed out of them. This is for the Sub­stance of it, the Position of the Divines of the Church of Eng­land, at the Synod of Dort—I speak in this Position of them only that are Adult—’ ‘And the Dispositions I intend, are only materially so; not such as contain Grace of the same Nature as is Rege­neration it self. A Material Disposition is that, which Disposeth, and some way maketh a subject fit for the Reception of that, which shall be communicated added, or infused in­to it as its Form. So Wood by dryness, and a due composure is made fit and ready to admit of Firing. A Formal Disposition is where one degree of the same kind disposeth the subject unto further degrees of it. The former we allow, not the latter.’ So far Dr. Owen in his Discourse concerning the Holy Spirit.Lib. 3. c. 3. p. 191, 192. And for thus much are the Accused Brethren, and on no more do the other Bre­thren, who have been charged with favouring Arminianism insist; so that in all these things, so far as I understand them, they mean the [Page 159]same thing, and are in the Substance Agreed.

My next work is to enter on the conside­ration of the Arminian, and Socinian Notions: But this Part having swoln so big, and to give a just account of these Errors, and shew what is not Arminianism, nor Socinianism, will make the Discourse too large. I am content, that this Part go forth by it self, which shall be fol­lowed with the other, as soon as God gives opportunity to finish it.


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