Accommodated to the Capacity and Use of such as may be in danger to be seduced: and the establishment of the Truth.

John 5. 39. Search the Scriptures.

By J. Owen D. D.

LONDON, Printed by R. W. for Nath. Ponder, at the Sign of the Peacock in Chancery-Lane near Fleetstreet. 1669.


Rob. Grove, R. F. D. Episcop. Lond. à Sac. Dom.
Feb. 3. 1668/69.


Christian Reader,

THis Small Treatise hath no other de­sign but thy Good, and establish­ment in the Truth. And there­fore as laying aside that Conside­ration alone: I could desirously [Page] have been excused from the La­bour of those Hours which were spent in its Composure, so in the Work it self, I admitted of no one thought, but how the things treated of in it, might, and ought to be mannaged un­to thy spiritual Benefit and Advantage. Other designs most men have in writing what is to be exposed to publick view, and lawfully may have so; in this I have nothing but meer­ly thy Good. I have neither been particularly provoked, nor op­posed by the Adversaries of the Truth here pleaded for; nor have any need from any self respect, to publish such a small plain discourse as this; Love alone to the Truth, and the [Page] welfare of thy soul, have given Efficacy to their importunity who pressed me to this small ser­vice.

The matters here treated of, are on all hands confessed to be of the greatest moment; such as the Eternal welfare of the souls of men, is immediately and directly concerned in. This all those who believe the Sacred Truths here proposed and ex­plained, do unanimously profess and contend for; nor is it denyed by those by whom they are op­posed. There is no need there­fore to give thee any especial Reasons to evince thy concern­ment in these things, nor the greatness of that concernment, thereby to induce thee unto their [Page] serious consideration. It were well indeed that these great, sacred, and mysterious Truths, might without contention or controversies about them, be left unto the Faith of Believers as proposed in the Scripture, with that Explanation of them which in the ordinary Ministry and Dispensation of the Gospel is ne­cessary and required.

Certainly these tremendous Mysteries, are not by us willing­ly to be exposed, or prostituted to the Cavils of every perverse querist, and disputer; those [...]; whose pre­tended Wisdom, indeed igno­rance, darkness and folly, God hath designed to confound and destroy in them and by them. [Page] For my part, I can assure thee, Reader, I have no mind to con­tend and dispute about these things which I humbly adore and believe as they are revealed. It is the Importunity of Adver­saries, in their Attempts to draw and seduce the souls of men from the Truth and Simplicity of the Gospel in these great Fundamen­tals of it, that alone can justi­fie any to debate upon, or eristi­cally to handle these awful Myste­ries. This renders it our Duty, and that indispensibly, in as much as we are required to contend earnestly for the Faith once delivered unto the Saints. But yet also when this necessity is imposed on us, we are by no means discharged from that [Page] humble Reverence of mind, wherewith we ought alwayes to be conversant about them; nor from that regard unto the way and manner of their Revelation in the Scripture, which may preserve us from all unnecessary intermixture of litigious or ex­otick Phrases and Expressions, in their Assertion and declara­tion. I know our Adversaries would upon the matter decry any thing peculiarly Mysterious in these things; although they are frequently, and emphatical­ly in the Scriptures affirmed so to be. But whilest they deny the Mysteries of the things them­selves, which are such as every may become the glorious Being and Wisdom of God, they are [Page] forced to a [...]sign such an aenig­matical sense unto the Words, Expressions and Propositions wherein they are revealed and declared in the scripture, as to turn almost the whole Gospel into an Allegory, wherein no­thing is properly expressed, but in some kind of Allusion unto what is so elsewhere; which ir­rational way of proceeding, leav­ing nothing certain in what is or may be expressed by Word or Writing, is covered over with a pretence of Right Rea­son, which utterly refuseth to be so employed. These things the Reader will find afterwards made manifest, so far as the nature of this brief discourse will bear. And I shall only [Page] desire these few things of him that intends its perusal. First, That he would not look on the subject here treated of, as the matter of an ordinary Controver­sie in Religion.

—Neque enim hic levia aut ludicra petuntur
Praemia; lectoris de vita ani­mae (que) salute Certatur;

They are things which imme­diately and directly in them­selves concern the eternal salva­tion of the souls of men; and their consideration ought alwayes to be attended with a due sense of their weight and importance. Secondly, Let him bring with [Page] him a due Reverence of the Ma­jesty and Infinite, incompre­hensible nature of God, as that which is not to be prostituted to the captious and sophistical scanning of men of corrupt minds, but to be humbly adored according to the Revelation that he hath made of him­self. Thirdly, That he be wil­ling to submit his Soul and Conscience, to the plain and obvious sense of Scripture Pro­positions and Testimonies, with­out seeking out Evasions and pre­tenses for unbelief. These Re­quests I cannot but judge equal, and fear not the success, where they are sincerely complyed with­all.

[Page] I have only to add; that in handling the Doctrine of the Satisfaction of Christ, I have proceeded on that Principle, which as it is fully confirmed in the Scripture, so it hath constantly been maintained and adhered unto by the most of those, who with Judgement and Success have managed these Controversies against the Soci­nians. And this is that the Essential Holiness of God, with his Justice or Righteousness, as the Supream Governour of all, did indispensibly require that sin should not absolutely go un­punished; and that it should do so, stands in a Repugnancy to those Holy Properties of his Nature. This I say, hath been [Page] alwayes constantly maintain­ed by far the greatest number of them, who have throughly understood the Controversie in this matter, and have success­fully engaged in it. And as their Arguments for their As­sertion, are plainly unanswe­rable, so the neglect of abiding by it, is causelesly to forego one of the most fundamental and invincille Principles in our Cause. He who first laboured in the defence of the Doctrine of the Satisfaction of Christ, after Socinus had formed his imaginations about the salva­tion that he wrought, and be­gan to dispute about it, was Covetus, a Learned man, who laid the foundation of his whole [Page] Disputation in the Justice of God, necessarily requiring and in­dispensibly the punishment of sin. And indeed the state of the Controversie as it is laid down by Socinus, in his Book De Jesu Christo servatore, which is an Answer to this Covetus, is genuine, and that which ought not to be receded from, as having been the direct ground of all the Controversial Writ­ings on that subject, which have since been published in Europe. And it is in these words laid down by Socinus himself. Communis & Ortho­doxa (ut asseris) sententia est, Iesum Christum ideo ser­vatorem nostrum esse, quia divinae Justiciae per quam pec­catores [Page] damnari merebamur, pro peccatis nostris plene sa­tisfecerit; quae satisfactio Per fidem imputatur Nobis ex dono Dei credentibus. This he ascribes to Covet. The Common and Orthodox Judge­ment is, that Jesus Christ is therefore our Saviour, because he hath satisfied the Justice of God, by which we being sin­ners deserved to be condemned, for all our sins. In opposition whereunto he thus expresseth his own opinion. Ego vero cen­seo & Orthodoxam sententi­am esse arbitror, Iesum Chri­stum ideo servatorem no­strum esse, quia salutis aeter­nae viam nobis annuntiaverit, confirmaverit, & in sua ipsi­us [Page] persona, cum vitae exem­plo, tum ex mortuis resur­gendo, manifeste ostenderit, vitamque aeternam nobis ei fidem habentibus ipse datu­rus sit. Divinae autem justi­tiae, per quam peccatores damnari meremur, pro pec­catis nostris neque illum sa­tisfecisse, neque ut satisface­ret, opus fuisse arbitror. I judge and suppose it to be the Orthodox Opinion, that Jesus Christ is therefore our Saviour, because he hath declared unto us the way of eternal salvati­on, and confirmed it in his own person; manifestly shewing it, both by the example of his life, and by rising from the dead; and in that he will give eter­nal [Page] life unto us believing in him. And I affirm that he neither made satisfaction to the Justice of God, whereby we de­served to be damned for our sins, nor was there any need that he should so do. This is the true state of the Question; and the principal subtilty of Crellius, the great Defender of this part of the Doctrine of Socinus, in his Book of the Causes of the Death of Christ, and the Defence of this Book De Iesu Christo servatore, consists in speaking almost the same words with those whom he doth oppose, but still intend­ing the same things with Soci­nus himself: This Opinion as was said of Socinus, Covetus [Page] opposed and everted on the Principle before mentioned.

The same Truth was confirm­ed also by Zarnovitius who first wrote against Socinus his Book; as also by Otto Casmannus who engaged in the same work; and by Abraham Salinarius. Vpon the same Foundation do proceed, Paraeus, Piscator, Lubbertus, Lucius, Camero, Voetius, Amiraldus, Placaeus, Rivetus, Walaeus, Thysius, Altingius, Maresius, Esseni­us, Arnoldus, Turretinus, Baxter, With many others; The Lutherans, who have managed these Controversies, as Tar­novius, Meisnerus, Calovius, Stegmannus, Martinius, Fran­zius, with all others of their, [Page] way, have constantly maintain­ed the same great fundamental Principle of this Doctrine of the satisfaction of Christ; and it hath well, and solidly been of late asserted among our selves on the same foundation. And as many of these Authors do ex­presly blame some of the School­men, as Aquinas, Durandus, Biel, Tataretus, for granting a possibility of pardon without satisfaction, as opening a way to the Socinian Error in this matter; so also they fear not to affirm, that the foregoing of this Principle of Gods Vindi­ctive Justice indispensibly re­quiring the Punishment of sin, doth not only weaken the cause of the Truth, but indeed leave it [Page] indefensible. However I sup­pose, men ought to be wary how they censure the Authors menti­oned, as such who expose the Cause they undertook to defend, unto contempt; for greater, more able, and Learned Defenders, this Truth hath not as yet found, nor doth stand in need of.

J. O.


THE Disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, having made that great confession of him, in distinction and opposition un­to them who ac­counted him only as a Prophet, thou art Christ the Son of the living God, Mat. 16. 14, 15, 16. He doth on the occasion thereof, give out unto them that Great Charter of the Churches stability and continuance; Vpon this Rock I will build my Church, and the [Page 2] gates of Hell shall not prevail against it, v. 18. He is himself the Rock upon which his Church is built; as God is called the Rock of his People, on the account of his eternal power and immutability, Deut. 32. 4, 18, 31. Isa. 26. 4. And himself the Spiritual Rock which gave out supplies of Mercy and Assistance to the people in the Wilderness, 1 Cor. 10. 4.

The Relation of the Professing Church unto this Rock, consists in the faith of this Confession, that he is Christ the Son of the living God. This our Lord Jesus Christ hath promised to secure against all attempts; yet so as plainly to declare, that there should be great and severe opposition made thereunto. For whereas the Prevalency of the Gates of Hell in an enmity unto this confession is deny­ed, a great and vigorous attempt to prevail therein is no less certainly foretold; neither hath it otherwise fallen out. In all Ages from the first solemn foundation of the Church of [Page 3] the New Testament, it hath one way or other been fiercely attempted by the Gates of Hell. For some time after the Resurrection of Christ from the dead, the principal endeavours of Sa­tan, and Men acting under him, or acted by him, were pointed against the very foundation of the Church, as laid in the expression before men­tioned. Almost all the Errours and Heresies wherewith for three or four Centuries of years it was perplexed, were principally against the Person of Christ himself, and consequently the Nature and Being of the holy and blessed Trinity. But being disap­pointed in his design herein, through the watchful care of the Lord Christ over his Promise; in the following Ages, Satan turned his craft and vio­lence against sundry parts of the su­perstructure; and by the assistance of the Papacy cast them into confusion, nothing as it were remaining firm, stable, and in order, but only this one confession, which in a particular manner [Page 4] the Lord Christ hath taken upon him­self to secure.

In these latter Ages of the World, the power and care of Jesus Christ reviving towards his Church in the Reformation of it, even the ruined heaps of its building have been again reduced into some tolerable order and beauty. The old Enemy of its peace and welfare falling hereby under a disappointment, and finding his tra­vail and labour for many Generations in a great part frustrate, he is return­ed again to his old work of attacque­ing the Foundation it self; as he is unweary and restless, and can be quiet neither Conquerour nor conquered; nor will be so, until he is bound and cast into the lake that burneth with fire. For no sooner had the Reformation of Religion firmed it self in some of the Europaean Provinces, but immediately, in a proportion of distance not unan­swerable unto what fell out from the first foundation of the Church, sundry Persons by the instigation of Satan [Page 5] attempted the disturbance and ruine of it, by the very same errours and Heresies about the Trinity, the Person of Christ, and his Offices, the person of the Holy Ghost and his Grace, wherewith its first trouble and ruine was endeavoured. And hereof we have of late an instance given among our selves; and that so notoriously known, through a mixture of impru­dence and impudence in the managers of it, that a very brief reflection up­on it will suffice unto our present de­sign.

It was alwaies supposed, and known to some, that there are sundry Persons in this Nation, who having been themselves seduced into Socinia­nism, did make it their business un­der various pretences to draw others into a compliance with them in the same way and perswasion. Neither hath this for sundry years been so se­cretly carryed, but that the design of it hath variously discovered it self by overt acts of Conferences, disputati­ons, [Page 6] and publishing of Books; which last way of late hath been sedulously pursued. Unto these three is now a visible Accession made, by that sort of People whom Men will call Quakers, from their deportment at the first ere­ction of their way, long since deserted by them; until by some new Revo­lutions of Opinions, they cast them­selves under a more proper denomi­nation. That there is a conjunction issued between both these sorts of Men, in an Opposition to the holy Trinity, with the Person and Grace of Christ, the Pamphlets of late published by the one and the other do sufficiently evince. For however they may seem in sundry things as yet to look divers waies, yet like Sampson's Foxes, they are knit together by the tayle of con­sent in these fire-brand Opinions, and joyntly endeavour to consume the standing Corn of the Church of God. And their joynt management of their business of late, hath been as though it were their design, to give as great a [Page 7] vogue and report to their Opinions, as by any waies they are able. Hence besides their attempts to be proclaim­ing their Opinions under various pre­tences, in all Assemblies whereunto they may intrude themselves, as they know without trouble, they are ex­ceedingly sedulous in scattering and giving away, yea imposing gratis, and as to some ingratiis, their small books which they publish, upon all sorts of persons promiscuously, as they have advantage so to do. By this means their Opinions being of late become the talk and discourse of the common sort of Christians, and the Exercise of many, amongst whom are not a few, that on sundry accounts, which I shall not mention, may possibly be exposed unto disadvantage and prejudice thereby, it hath been thought meet by some, that the Sacred Truths which these men oppose, should be plainly and briefly asserted and confirmed from the Scripture; that those of the meanest sort of Professors, who a [...]e [Page 8] Sincere and upright, exercising them­selves to keep a good conscience in matters of faith and obedience to God, may have somewhat in a rea­diness, both to guide them in their further enquiry into the Truth, as al­so to confirm their Faith in what they have already received, when at any time it is shaken or opposed by the cunning sleights of men that lye in wait to deceive.

And this comprizeth the design of the ensuing discourse. It may possibly be judged needless by some, as it was in its first proposal by him by whom it is wri [...], and that be­cause this matter at present is by an especial providence cast on other hands, who both have, and doubt­less, as occasion shall require, will well acquit themselves in the defence of the Truths opposed. Not to give any other account of the Reasons of this small undertaking, it may suffice, that in publico discrimine omnis homo miles est. Every mans concernment [Page 9] lying in a common danger, it is free for every one to manage it as he thinks best, and is able, so it be with­out prejudice to the whole, or the particular concerns of others. If a City be on fire, whose bucket that brings water to quench it ought to be refused? The attempt to cast fire into the City of God, by the Opini­ons mentioned, is open and plain, and a timely stop being to be put un­to it, the more hands are orderly employed in its quenching, the more speedy and secure is the effect like to be.

Now, because the Assertors of the Opinions mentioned do seem to set out themselves to be some great Ones, above the ordinary rate of men, as having found out, and being able pub­lickly to maintain such things, as never would have entred into the minds of others to have thought on, or con­ceived; and also that they seem with many to be thought worthy of their consideration because they now are [Page 10] new, and such as they have not been acquainted withall; I shall in this Prefatory entrance, briefly manifest that those who have amongst us un­dertaken the management of these Opinions, have brought nothing new unto them, but either a little contemptible Sophistry and caption of words on the one hand, or futulous, affected, unintelligible expressions on the other; the Opinions them­selves being no other; but such as the Church of God having been op­posed by, and troubled with from the beginning, hath prevailed against, and triumphed over in all generations. And were it not that Confidence is the only relief which engaged im­potency adheres unto, and expects supplies from, I should greatly ad­mire that those amongst us who have undertaken an inforcement of these old exploded errours, whose weakness doth so openly discover and proclaim it self in all their en­deavours, should judge themselves [Page 11] competent to give a new spirit of life to the dead carkass of these rot­ten Heresies, which the faith of the Saints in all Ages hath triumphed over; and which Truth and Learn­ing have under the care and watch­fulness of Christ, so often baffled out of the world.

The Jews in the time of our Savi­ours converse on the earth, being fal­len greatly from the Faith and Wor­ship of their forefathers, and ready to sink into their last and utmost Apostacy from God, seem amongst many other truths, to have much lost that of the Doctrine of the Ho­ly Trinity, and of the Person of the Messiah. It was indeed suited in the dispensation of God, unto the work that the Lord Jesus had to ful­fill in the world, that before his Pas­sion and Resurrection, the knowledge of his Divine Nature as unto his indi­vidual person, should be concealed from the most of men. For this cause, although he was in the form of [Page 12] God, and thought it no robbery to be equal with God, yet he made himself of no reputation, by taking on him the form of a servant, and made in the likeness of men, that being found in the fashion of a man, he might be obedient unto death, Phil. 2. 7, 8, 9. whereby his Divine Glory was veiled for a season, until he was declared to be the Son of God with power, accord­ing unto the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, Rom. 1. 4. And then was glorified with that glo­ry which he had with the Father before the world was, John 17. 3. And as this dispensation was needful unto the accomplishment of the whole work which as our M [...]diator he had under­taken, so in particular, he who was in himself the Lord of Hosts, a Sanctu­ary to them that feared him, became hereby, a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence to both the Houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabi­tants of Jerusalem, Isa. 8. 13, 14. See Luke 2. 34. Rom. 9. 33. 1 Pet. 2. 8. [Page 13] Isa. 28. 26. But yet notwithstanding, as occasions required, suitably unto his own holy ends and designs, he forbare not to give plain and open testimony to his own Divine Nature and eternal pre-existence unto his Incarnation. And this was it, which of all other things most provoked the carnal Jews with whom he had to do. For having, as was said, lost the Doctrine of the Trinity and Person of the Messiah in a great measure, when ever he asserted his Deity, they were immediately enraged and endeavour­ed to destroy him. So was it plainly, John. 8. 56, 57, 58 59. Saith he, Your Father Abraham rejoyced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad; then said the Jews unto him, thou art n [...]t yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, verily I say unto you, before Abraham was I am: then took they up stones to cast at him. So also, John 10. 30, 31, 32, 33. I and my Father are one: then the Jews took up stones again to stone [Page 14] him; Jesus answered them, many good works have I shewed you from my Fa­ther, for which of those works do you stone me? The Jews answered him say­ing, for a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy, and because that thou being a Man makest thy self God. They understood well enough the meaning of those words, I and my Father are one; namely, that they were a plain Assertion of his being God. This caused their rage. And this the Jews all abide by to this day; namely, that he declared him­self to be God, and therefore they slew him. Whereas therefore the first discovery of a plurality of Per­sons in the Divine Essence consists in the Revelation of the Divine Nature and personality of the Son, this being op­posed, persecuted, and blasphemed by these Jews, they may be justly looked upon and esteemed as the first Assertors of that misbelief, which now some seek again so earnestly to pro­mote. The Jews persecuted the [Page 15] Lord Christ, because he being a Man, declared himself also to be God; and others are ready to revile and re­proach them, who believe and teach what he declared.

After the Resurrection and Ascen­sion of the Lord Jesus, all things be­ing filled with tokens, evidences and effects of his Divine Nature and Power, Rom. 1. 4. The Church that began to be gathered in his name, and according to his Doctrine, being by his especial institution to be initi­ated into the express profession of the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity, as being to be baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, which confession comprizeth the whole of the truth contended for, and by the indispensible placing of it at the first entrance into all obedience unto him, is made the doctrinal foundation of the Church, it continued for a season in the quiet and undisturbed possession of this Sacred Treasure.

[Page 16] The first who gave disquietment unto the Disciples of Christ by pervert­ing the Doctrine of the Trinity was Simon Magus, with his followers; an account of whose monstrous fig­ments, and unintelligible imagina­tions, with their coincidence with what some men dream in these lat­ter daies, shall elsewhere be given. Nor shall I need here to mention the Colluvies of Gnosticks, Valentinians, Marcionites and Manichees, the foun­dation of all whose abominations lay in their mis-apprehensions of the being of God, their unbelief of the Trinity and Person of Christ, as do those of some others also.

In especial there was one Cerinthus, who was more active than others in his opposition to the Doctrine of the person of Christ, and therein of the Holy Trinity. To put a stop unto his Abominations, all Authors agree that John writing his Gospel, prefixed unto it that plain declarati­on of the eternal Deity of Christ which [Page 17] it is prefaced withall. And the sto­ry is well attested by Irenaeus, Euse­bius, and others, from Polycarpus who was his Disciple, that this Cerinthus coming into the place where the Apostle was, he left it, adding as a reason of his departure, lest the building through the just judgement of God should fall upon them. And it was of the Holy, Wise Providence of God, to suffer some impious Per­sons to oppose this Doctrine before the death of that Apostle, that he might by infallible Inspiration far­ther reveal, manifest and declare it to the establishment of the Church in future Ages. For what can far­ther be desired to satisfie the minds of men, who in any sense own the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Scriptures, than that this Controversie about the Trinity and Person of Christ (for they stand and fall together) should be so eminently and expresly deter­mined, as it were immediately from Heaven.

[Page 18] But he, with whom we have to deal in this matter, neither ever did, nor ever will, nor can acquiesce or rest in the divine determination of any thing which he hath stirred up strife and controversie about. For as Cerinthus and the Ebionites persist­ed in the Heresie of the Jews, who would have slain our Saviour for bearing witness to his own Deity, notwithstanding the evidence of that testimony, and the right apprehen­sion which the Jews had of his mind therein; so he excited others to engage and persist in their Oppo­sition to the truth, notwithstanding this second particular determination of it from Heaven, for their confuta­tion or confusion. For after the more weak and confused oppositions made unto it by Theodotus Coriarius, Artemon, and some others, at length a stout Champion appears visibly and expresly engaged against these fundamentals of our faith. This was Paulus Sa nosatenus Bishop of the [Page 19] Church of Antioch about the year 272. A man of most intolerable pride, passion, and folly; the great­est that hath left a name upon Ec­clesiastical Records. This man openly and avowedly denyed the Doctrine of the Trinity, and the Deity of Christ in an especial manner. For although he endeavoured for a while, to cloud his impious sentiments in ambiguous expressions, as others also have done, (Euseb. lib. 7. cap. 27.) yet being pressed by the Professors of the truth, and supposing his party was somewhat confirmed, he plainly de­fended his Heresie, and was cast out of the Church wherein he pre­sided. Some sixty years after, Pho­tinus Bishop of Syrmium, with a pretence of more sobriety in life and conversation, undertook the ma­nagement of the same design, with the same success.

What ensued afterwards among the Churches of God in this matter, is of too large and diffused a nature [Page 20] to be here reported. These instances I have fixed on, only to intimate unto persons whose condition or occasions afford them not ability or leisure of themselves, to enquire into the me­morials of times past amongst the Pro­fessors of the Gospel of Christ, that these oppositions which are made at present amongst us unto these funda­mental Truths, and derived immedi­ately from the late renewed inforce­ment of them made by Faustus Socinus and his followers, are nothing but old baffled attempts of Satan, against the Rock of the Church and the building thereon, in the confession of the Son of the living God.

Now, as all men who have ought of a due Reverence of God or his truth remaining with them, cannot but be wary how they give the least admit­tance to such Opinions as have from the beginning been witnessed against, and condemned by Christ himself, his Apostles and all that followed them in their faith and waies in all Generati­ons; [Page 21] so others whose hearts may tremble for the danger they appre­hend which these sacred Truths may be in, of being corrupted or defamed, by the present opposition against them, may know that it is no other, but what the Church and faith of Pro­fessors hath already been exercised with, and through the power of him that enables them have constantly tri­umphed over. And for my part, I look upon it as a blessed effect of the holy wise providence of God, that those who have long harboured these Abominations of denying the holy Tri­nity, the person and satisfaction of Christ in their minds, but yet have sheltered themselves from common observation under the shades of dark obscure and uncouth expressions, with many other specious pretences, should be given up to joyn themselves with such Persons, and to profess a community of per­swasion with them in those opinions, as have rendred themselves infamous from the first foundation of Christia­nity, [Page 22] and wherein they will assuredly meet with the same success as those have done, who have gone before them.

For the other head of Opposition made by these Persons unto the truth in Reference unto the satisfaction of Christ, and the imputation of his Righ­teousness thereon unto our Justification, I have not much to say as to the time past. In general, the doctrine where­in they boast, being first brought forth in a rude mishapen manner by the Pelagian Hereticks, was afterwards im­proved by one Abailardus a Sophisti­cal Scholar in France; but owes its principal form and poison unto the endeavours of Faustus Socinus, & those who have followed him in his subtle attempt to corrupt the whole doctrine of the Gospel. Of these M [...]n, are those amongst us who at this day so busily dispute and write about the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, and his satisfaction, the Followers and Disciples. And it is much more from their Masters who were some of them Men learned, dili­gent, [Page 23] and subtle, than from them­selves that they are judged to be of any great consideration. For I can truly say, that upon the sedate exami­nation of all that I could ever yet hear, or get a sight of, either spoken or written by them, that is any amongst us; I never yet observed an undertak­ing of so great importance managed with a greater evidence of incompe­tency and inability, to give any to­lerable countenance unto it. If any of them shall for the future attempt to give any new countenance or props to their tottering errours, it will doubtless be attended unto, by some of those many, who cannot but know that it is incumbent on them, to contend earnestly for the Faith once delivered unto the Saints. This present brief endeavour is only to assist and direct those, who are less exercised in the waies of managing controversies in Religion, that they may have a brief compre­hension of the truths opposed, with the firm foundations whereon they are [Page 24] built, and have in a readiness to shield their Faith, both against the fiery darts of Satan, and secure their minds against the cunning sleights of Men who lye in wait to deceive. And wherein this discourse seems in any thing to be too brief, or concise, the Author is not to be blamed; who was confined unto these strait bounds, by those whose requests injoyned him this service.

The Doctrine of the Holy Trinity Explained and Vindicated.

THe Doctrine of the blessed Trinity may be considered two wayes. First, In respect unto the Revelation and proposal of it in the Scripture, to direct us unto the Au­thor, Object, and End of our Faith, in our worship and obedience. Se­condly, As it is farther declared and explained, in terms, expressions, and propositions, educed from the Origi­nal Revelation of it, suited thereunto, and meet to direct and keep the mind [Page 26] from undue apprehensions of the things it believes; and to declare them unto farther edification.

In the first way, it consists meerly in the propositions wherein the Revela­tion of God is expressed in the Scri­pture; And in this regard two things are required of us. First, To under­stand the terms of the propositions, as they are Enunciations of Truth; And Secondly, To believe the things taught, revealed, and declared in them.

In the first Instance, no more, I say, is required of us, but that we assent unto the Assertions and Testimonies of God concerning himself, according to their natural and genuine sence, as he will be known, believed in, feared and worshipped by us; as he is our Creator, Lord, and Rewarder; and that be­cause he himself hath by his Revelati­on, not only warranted us so to do, but also made it our duty necessary and indispensible. Now the sum of this Revelation in this matter is, that God is one; that this one God, is Father, Son [Page 27] and Holy Ghost; that the Father is the Father of the Son; and the Son, the Son of the Father; and the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of the Father and the Son; and that in respect of this their mu­tual Relation, they are distinct from each other.

This is the substance of the Doctrine of the Trinity as to the first direct con­cernment of faith therein. The first intention of the Scripture in the Re­velation of God towards us is, as was said, that we might fear him, believe, worship, obey him, and live unto him, as God. That we may do this in a due manner, and worship the only true God, and not adore the false imagina­tions of our own minds, it declares, as was said, that this God is one, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; that the Father is this one God, and therefore is to be believed in, worshipped, obeyed, lived unto, and in all things considered by us as the first cause, soveraign Lord, and last end of all: that the Son, is the one true God, and therefore is to [Page 28] be believed in, worshipped, obeyed, lived unto, and in all things considered by us as the first cause, Soveraign Lord, and last end of all. And so also of the Holy Ghost. This is the whole of Faiths concernment in this matter, as it respects the direct Revelation of God made by himself in the Scripture, and the first proper general end there­of Let this be clearly confirmed by di­rect and positive divine Testimonies con­taining the declaration and Revelation of God concerning himself, and faith is secured as to all its concerns. For it hath both its proper formal object, and is sufficiently enabled to be directive of divine Worship and Obedience.

The Explication of this Doctrine unto Edification suitable unto the Re­velation mentioned, is of another con­sideration. And two things are in­cumbent on us to take care of therein. First that what is affirmed and taught, do directly tend unto the ends of the Revelation it self, by informing and inlightning of the mind in the know­ledge [Page 29] of the mysterie of it, so far as in this life we are by Divine Assistance capable to comprehend it; that is, that faith may be increased, strengthned and confirmed against temptations and oppositions of Satan, and men of corrupt minds; and that we may be distinctly directed unto, and encou­raged in the Obedience unto, and Worship of God that are required of us. Secondly, That nothing be affirmed or taught herein, that may beget, or occasion any undue appre­hensions concerning God, or our Obe­dience unto him, with respect unto the best, highest, securest Revelations, that we have of him and our duty. These things being done and secured, the End of the Declaration of this Doctrine concerning God is at­tained.

In the declaration then of this Doctrine unto the Edification of the Church, there is contained a farther Explanation of the things before as­serted, as proposed directly, and in [Page 30] themselves as the object of our faith, namely, how God is one, in respect of his Nature, Substance, Essence, God­head, or Divine [...] Being. How being Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, he sub­sisteth in these three distinct per­sons, or Hypost [...]sies: and what are their mutual respects to each other, by which as their peculiar proper­ties giving them the manner of their subsistence, they are distinguished one from another; with sundry other things of the like necessary consequence unto the Revelation mentioned. And herein as in the Application of all other Divine Truths and Mysteries whatever, yea, of all moral commanded duties, use is to be made of such words and expres­sions as it may be are not literally and formally contained in the Scripture; but only are unto our conceptions and apprehensions expository of what is so contained. And to deny the Liberty, yea, the necessity hereof, is to deny all interpretation of the Scripture, [Page 31] all endeavours to express the sense of the words of it, unto the understand­ings of one another; which is in a word to render the Scripture it self al­together useless. For if it be unlawful for me to speak or write what I con­ceive to be the sense of the words of the Scripture, and the nature of the thing signified and expressed by them, it is unlawful for me also to think or conceive in my mind what is the sense of the words or nature of the things; which to say, is to make brutes of our selves, and to frustrate the whole design of God in giving unto us the great priviledge of his word.

Wherefore in the declaration of the Doctrine of the Trinity, we may law­fully, nay we must necessarily, make use of other words, phrases and expressi­ons that what are Literally and Syllabi­cally contained in the Scriptures, but teach no other things.

Moreover whatever is so revealed in the Scripture, is no less true and [Page 32] divine as to whatever necessarily fol­loweth thereon, than it is, as unto that which is principally revealed and directly expressed. For how far so­ever the lines be drawn and extended, from truth nothing can follow and ensue but what is true also; and that in the same kind of truth, with that which it is derived and deduced from. For if the principal Assertion be a truth of Divine Revelation, so is also whatever is included therein, and which may be rightly from thence collected. Hence it follows, that when the Scripture revealeth the Fa­ther, Son, and Holy Ghost, to be one God, seeing it necessarily and unavoid­ably follows thereon that they are one in Essence, wherein alone it is possible they can be one; and three in their distinct Subsistences, wherein alone it is possible they can be three: This is no less of Divine Revelation, than the first principle from whence these things follow.

These being the respects which the [Page 33] Doctrine of the Trinity falls under, the necessary method of [...] and Reason in the beheving and declar [...] ­ing of it, is plain and evident.

1. The Revelation [...] it is to be asserted and vindicated, as it [...] pro­posed to be believed for the ends mentioned. Now this is, as was de­clared, that there is one God, that this God, is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and so, that the Father is God, so is the Son, so is the Holy Ghost.

This being received and admitted by faith, the Explication of it is, (2.) To be insisted on, and not taken into consideration untill the other be admitted. And herein lyes the preposterous course of those who fallaciously and captiously go about to oppose this sacred truth. They will alwayes begin their opposition, not unto the Revelation of it, but unto the Explanation of it which is used only for farther edification. Their Disputes and Cavils shall be against the Trinity, Essence, Substance, Persons, [Page 34] Personality, Respects, Properties of the Divine Persons, with the modes of expressing these things, whilst the plain Scriptural Revelation of the things themselves from whence they are but explanatory deductions, is not spoken to, nor admitted unto confirmation. By this means have they entangled many weak unstable souls, who when they have met with things too high, hard and difficult for them, (which in Divine Mysteries they may quickly do) in the Expli­cation of this Doctrine, have suffered themselves to be taken off from a due consideration of the full and plain Revelation of the thing it self in Scripture; until their temptations being made strong, and their dark­ness increased, it was too late for them to return unto it; as bringing along with them the Cavils where­with they were prepossessed rather than that Faith and Obedience which is required. But yet all this while these Explanations so excepted [Page 35] against, are indeed not of any Ori­ginal consideration in this matter. Let the direct express Revelations of the Doctrine be firmed, they will fol­low of themselves, nor will be excepted against by those who believe and re­ceive it. Let that be rejected, and they will fall of themselves, and never be contended for by those who did make use of them. But of these things we shall treat again after­wards.

This therefore is the way, the only way that we rationally can, and that which in duty we ought to proceed in, and by, for the asserting and con­firming of the Doctrine of the holy Trinity under consideration; name­ly, that we produce Divine Revelati­ons, or Testimonies, wherein faith may safely rest and acquiesce, that God is one; that this one God, is Fa­ther, Son, and holy Ghost; So that the Father is God; so also is the Son, and the holy Ghost likewise, and as such are to be believed in, obeyed, worship­ped, [Page 36] acknowledged as the first cause, and last end of all, our Lord and Reward. If this be not admitted, if somewhat of it▪ be not particular­ly denyed, we need not, we have no warrant or ground, to proceed any farther, or at all to discourse about the Unity of the Divine Essence, or the distinction of Persons.

We have not therefore any original contest in this matter with any, but such as deny either God to be one, or the Father to be God, or the Son to be God, or the Holy Ghost so to be. If any de­ny either of these in particular, we are ready to confirm it by sufficient Testimonies of Scripture, or clear and undeniable Divine Revelation. When this is evinced and vindicated, we shall, willingly proceed to manifest that the explications used of this Do­ctrine unto the Edification of the Church are according to truth; and such as necessarily are required by the nature of the things themselves. And this gives us the method of [Page 37] the small ensuing Discourse, with the Reasons of it.

The first thing which we affirm to be delivered unto us by divine Re­velation as the Object o [...] ou [...] Faith is, that God is one. I know that this may be uncontroulably evidenced by the [...]ight of Reason it self, unto as good and quiet an Assurance as the mind of man is capable of in any of its apprehensions whatever. But I speak of it now, as it is confirmed unto us by Divine Revelation. How this Assertion, of one God, respects the Nature, Essence, or Divine Being of God, shall be declared afterwards. At present it is enough to represent the Testimonies that he is one, only one. And because we have no diffe­rence with our Adversaries distinctly about this matter, I shall only name some few of them, Deut. 6. 4. Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. A most pregnant Testimony; and yet notwithstanding, as I shall else­where manifest, the Trinity it self, in [Page 38] that one divine Essence is here assert­ed, Isa. 44. 6, 8. Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of Hosts, I am the first, and I am the last, and besides me there is no God; Is there a God besides me? Yea there is no God, I know not any; In which also we may manifest that a plurality of Persons is included and expressed. And although there be no more absolute and sacred truth than this, that God is one; yet it may be evinced, that it is no where menti­oned in the Scripture, but that either in the words themselves, or the con­text of the place, a plurality of persons in that one sence is intimated.

Secondly, It is proposed as the ob­ject of our Faith, that the Father is God. And herein as is pretended there is also an agreement, between us, and those who oppose the Doctrine of the Trinity. But there is a mistake in this matter. Their hypothesis as they call it, or indeed presumptuous errour, casts all the conceptions that [Page 39] are given us concerning God in the Scripture, into disorder and confu­sion. For the Father, as he whom we worship, is often called so, only with reference unto his Son; as the Son is so, with reference to the Father. He is the only begotten of the Father, John 1. 14. But now, is this Son had no praeexistence in his Divine nature be­fore he was born of the Virgin, there was no God the Father seventeen hundred years ago, because there was no Son. And on this ground did the Marcionites of old, plainly deny the Father whom under the New Testa­ment we Worship, to be the God of the Old Testament, who made the World and was Wo [...]shipped from the foundation of it. For it seems to fol­low, that he whom we worship being the Father, and on this supposition that the Son had no praexistence unto his incarnation, he was not the Father under the Old Testament, he is some other from him that was so revealed: I know the folly of that inference; yet [Page 40] how on this opinion of the sole ex­istence of the Son in time, Men can prove the Father to be God, let others determine. He who abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Fa­ther and the Son, but whosoever trans­gresseth and abideth not in the Doctrine of Christ, he hath not God, 2 John 9. Whoever denyes Christ the Son, as the Son, that is the eternal Son of God, he loses the Father also, and the true God; he hath not God. For that God which is not the Father, and which ever was, and was not the Fa­ther, is not the true God. Hence ma­ny of the Fathers, even of the first Writers of the Church, were forced unto great pains in the confirmation of this truth, that the Father of Jesus Christ was he who made the World, gave the Law, spake by the Pro­phets, and was the Author of the Old Testament; and that against Men who professed themselves to be Christians. And this bruitish apprehension of theirs, arose from no [Page 41] other principle but this, that the Son had only a temporal Existence, and was not the Eternal Son of God.

But that I may not in this brief discourse digress unto other Contro­versies than what lyes directly before us, and seeing the Adversaries of the truth we contend for, do, in words at least, grant that the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is the true God, or the only true God, I shall not further shew the inconsistency of their hypo­thesis with this confession; But take it for granted, that to us there is one God the Father, 1 Cor. 8. 6. See John 17. 3. So that he who is not the Fa­ther, who was not so from Eternity, whose paternity is not equally co­existent unto his Deity, is no God un­to us.

Thirdly, It is asserted and believed by the Church that Jesus Christ is God; the Eternal Son of God; that is, He is proposed, declared and revealed unto us in the Scripture, to be God, [Page 42] that is to be served, worshipped, be­lieved in, obeyed as God, upon the account of his own Divine excellencies. And whereas we believe and know that he was Man, that he was born, lived, and dyed as a Man, it is decla­red that he is God also; and that as God, he did preexist in the form of God before his Incarnation, which was effected by voluntary actings of his own; which could not be with­out a preexistence in another nature. This is proposed unto us to be believ­ed upon Divine Testimony, and by Divine Revelation. And the sole en­quiry in this matter is, whether this be proposed in the Scripture as an Object of Faith, and that which is in­dispensibly necessary for us to believe. Let us then nakedly attend unto what the Scripture asserts in this matter, and that in the order of the Books of it in some particular instances which at present occurr to mind; as these that follow,

Psalm 45. 6. Thy Throne O God is [Page 43] for ever and ever, applyed unto Christ, H [...]b. 1. 8. But unto thy Son he saith, thy Throne O God is for ever and ever.

Psalm 68. 17, 18, 19. The Chari­ots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of Angels, the Lord is among them as in Sinai in the holy place; thou hast ascended on high, thou hast lead Cap­tivity Captive, thou hast received gifts for Men, yea, for the Rebellious also, that the Lord God may dwell among them, applyed unto the Son, Ephes. 4. 8. Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led Captivity captive, and gave gifts unto Men. Now that he ascended, what is it but that be also de­scended first into the lower parts of the Earth; He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all Heavens, that he might fill all things.

Psalm 110. 1. The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand; applyed unto Christ by himself, Mat. 22. 44.

[Page 44] Psalm 102. 15, 16, 17. Of old th [...]u hast laid the foundation of the Earth and the Heavens are the work of thy hands; they shall perish but thou shalt endure, yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment, as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed, but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. Declared by the Apostle to be meant of the Son, Heb. 1. 10.

Prov. 8. 22. to the 31. The Lord possest Me in the beginning of his wayes; before his works of old: I was set up from everlasting, in the beginning or ever the Earth was, when there were no depths, I was brought forth when there were no Fountains abounding with waters, before the Mountains were setled, before the Hills was I brought forth; while as yet he had not made the Earth, nor the Fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the World; When he prepared the Heavens I was there; when he set a compass upon the face of the Earth, when he established the clouds above; and [Page 45] the fountains of the deep; when he gave to the Sea his decree that the waters should not pass his commandment; when he appointed the foundations of the Earth; then I was by him as one brought up with him, and I was daily his delight, rejoycing alwayes before him; rejoycing in the habitable parts of his Earth, and my delights were with the Sons of Men.

Isa. 6. 1, 2, 3. I saw also the Lord sitting upon a Throne, high and lifted up and his train filled the Temple; above it stood the Seraphims, each one had six wings, with twain he cover­ed his face, with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did flye: and one cryed unto another and said, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of his Glory. applyed unto the Son, John 12. 41, 42.

Isa 8. 13, 14. Sanctifie the Lord of Hosts himself, and let him be your dread; let him be your fear, and he shall be for a Sanctuary, but for a stone of [Page 46] Stumbling, and for a rock of offence to both the Houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the Inhabitants of Jerusa­lem, applyed unto the Son, Luk. 2. 34. Rom. 9. 33. 1 Pet. 2. 8.

Isa. 9. 6. For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the Government shall be upon his shoulders; and his name shall be called wonder­ful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace; of the increase of his Government and peace there shall be no end.

Jer. 23. 5, 6. Behold the day is come saith the Lord that I will raise unto David a righteous branch, and this is his name whereby he shall be called, Jehovah our Righteousness.

Hos. 12. 3, 4, 5. He took his Brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God; yea, he had power over the Angel and prevailed, he wept and made supplications unto him; he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us, even the Lord [Page 47] God of Hosts, the Lord is his memo­rial.

Zach. 2. 8, 9. For thus saith the Lord of Hosts, after the glory hath he sent me unto the Nations which spoiled ye, and ye shall know that the Lord of Hosts hath sent Me.

Mat. 16. 16. Thou art Christ the Son of the living God. Luk. 1. 35. The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, the power of the most High shall over­shaddew thee, therefore also shall that Holy thing which shall be born of thee, be called the Son of God.

John 1. 1, 2, 3. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God; all things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Ver. 14. And we beheld his Glory, the Glory as of the only begotten of the Father.

John 3. 3. And no Man hath ascended up to Heaven, but he that▪ [Page 48] came down from Heaven, even the Son of man which is in Heaven.

John 8. 56, 57, 58. Then said the Jews unto him, thou art not fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus saith unto them, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.

John 10. 30. I and my Father are one.

John 17. 3. And now O Father glo­rifie thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the World was.

John 20. 28. And Thomas answer­ed and said unto him, my Lord and my God.

Acts 20. 28. Feed the Church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Rom 1. 3, 4. Concerning his Son Jesus our Lord, which was made of the [...]eed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

Rom. 9. 5. Of whom as concerning [Page 49] the flesh Christ came; who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

Rom. 14. 10, 11, 12. For we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ; as it is written, as I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us, shall give an ac­count of himself to God.

1 Cor. 8. 6. And one Lord Jesus, by whom are all things, and we by him.

1 Cor. 10. 9. Neither let us also tempt Christ as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of Serpents; com­pared with, Numb. 21. 6.

Phil. 2. 5, 6. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus; who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.

Col. 1. 15, 16, 17. Who is the Image of the invisible God, the first born of every Creature; for by him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in Earth, Visible and In­visible, whether they be Thrones, or Do­minions, or Principalities, or Powers, [Page 50] all things were created by him and for him, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

1 Tim. 3. 16. Without Controversie great is the Mysterie of godliness, God was manifested in the flesh.

Tit. 2. 13. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearance of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us.

Hebrewes the first throughout.

Chap. 3. 4. For every house is build­ed by some man, but he that built all things is God.

1 Pet. 1. 11. Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signifie.

Chap. 3. 18, 19. But Christ also hath once suffered for sinners, being put to death in the flesh, but quickned by the Spirit; by which also he went and preached unto the Spirits in Prison which sometimes were disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the dayes of Noah.

1 John 3. 16. Hereby we perceive the [Page 51] Love of God, because he laid down his life for us.

Chap. 5. 20. And we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ, this is the true God and Eternal life.

Rev. 1. 8. I am Alpha, and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Ver. 11. I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, and what thou seest, write in a Book: and I turned to see the voice that spake with me; and being turned, I saw seven Golden Candlesticks, and in the midst of the seven Candle­sticks, one like unto the Son of Man.

Ver. 17. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead; and he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, fear not, I am the First and the Last.

Chap. 2. 23. I am he which search­eth the reins and hearts, and will give unto every one of you according to your works.

These are some of the places where­in the truth under consideration is [Page 52] revealed and declared; some of the Divine Testimonies whereby it is con­firmed, and established; which I have not at present enquired after, but suddenly repeated as they came to mind. Many more of the like nu­ture and importance may be added unto them; and shall be so as occasi­on doth require.

Let now any one who owns the Scripture to be the Word of God, to contain an infallible Revelation of the things proposed in it to be be­lieved, and who hath any conscience exercised towards God for the re­ceiving and submitting unto what he declares and reveals, take a view of these Testimonies, and consider whether they do not sufficiently pro­pose this Object of our faith. Shall a few poor trifling Sophisms, whose terms are scarcely understood, by the most that amongst us make use of them, according as they have found them framed by others, be thought meet to be set up in opposition unto [Page 53] these multiplyed Testimonies of the Ho­ly Ghost, and to cast the Truth con­firmed by them down from its credit and reputation in the consciences of men. For my part, I do not see in any thing, but that the Testimonies given to the Godhead of Christ, the Eternal Son of God, are every way as clear and unquestionable, as those are, which testifie to the Being of God, or that there is any God at all. Were men acquainted with the Scriptures as they ought to be, and as the most, considering the means and advantages they have had, might have been, did they ponder and believe on what they [...], or had any tenderness in their consciences as to that Reverence, Obedience, and Subjection of soul, which God requires unto his Word, it were utterly impossible that their faith in this matter should ever in the least be shaken, by a few lewd Sophisms, or loud clamours of men desti­tute of the truth, and of the Spirit of it.

[Page 54] That we may now improve these Testimonies unto the end under de­sign, as the nature of this brief dis­course will bear, I shall first remove the general Answers which the Soci­nians give unto them; and then ma­nifest farther, how incontrolable they are, by giving an instance in the frivolous exceptions of the same Per­sons to One of them in particular. And we are ready, God assisting, to maintain, that there is not any one of them, which doth not give a suffici­ent ground for faith to rest on in this matter concerning the Deity of Christ; and that against all the Socinians in the world.

They say therefore commonly, that we prove not by these testimo­nies what is by them denyed. For they acknowledge Christ to be God, and that because he is exalted unto that Glory and Authority that all creatures are put into subjection unto him; and all both men and Angels are commanded to worship [Page 55] and adore him. So that he is God by Office, though he be not God by nature. He is God, but he is not the most high God. And this last expres­sion they have almost continually in their mouths. He is not the most high God. And commonly with great contempt and scorn they are ready to reproach them who have solidly confirmed the Doctrine of the Deity of Christ, as ignorant of the state of controversie, in that they have not proved him to be the most high God, in subordination unto whom, they acknowledge Christ to be God, and that he ought to be worshipped with Divine and Religious worship.

But there cannot be any thing more empty and vain than these pretences. And besides they accu­mulate in them, their former Er­rors, with the addition of new ones. For,

First, The name of the most high God, is first ascribed unto God in Gen. 49. 18, 19, 22. denoting his So­veraignty [Page 56] and Dominion. Now, as other Attributes of God, it is not di­stinctive of the subject, but only des­scriptive of it. So are all other Ex­cellencies of the nature of God. It doth not intimate that there are other Gods, only he is the most high, or one over them all, but only that the true God, is most high, that is in­dued with Soveraign Power, Domi­nion and Authority over all. To say then, that Christ indeed is God, but not the most high God, is all one as to say he is God, but not the most holy God, or not the true God. And so they have brought their Christ into the number of false Gods, whilst they deny the true Christ who in his di­vine nature, is over all God blessed for ever, Rom. 9. 5. A phrase of speech, perfectly expressing this Attribute, of the most high God.

Secondly, This Answer is suited on­ly unto those testimonies which ex­press the name of God with a corre­ [...]ponding Power and Authority unto [Page 57] that name. For in reference unto these alone can it be pleaded with any pretence of reason, that he is a God by Office; though that also be done very Futilously and impertinently. But most of the Testimonies produc [...]d, speak directly unto his divine Excel [...]en­cies, and properties, which belong un­to his nature necessarily and abso­lutely. That he is Eternal, Omnipo­tent, Immense, Omniscient, Infinitely wise, and that he is, and worketh and produceth Effects suitable unto all these properties, and such as no­thing but they can enable him for, is abundantly proved by the foregoing Testimonies. Now all these concern a divine nature, a natural Essence, a Godhead, and not such power or au­thority as a man may be exalted un­to. Yea, the ascribing any of them to such a one, implyes the highest con­tradiction expressible.

Thirdly, This God in Authority and Office, and not by nature, that should be the Object of Divine Wor­ship, [Page 58] is a new abomination. For they are divine, essential excellencies that are the formal Reason and Object of Wor­ship Religious and divine. And to ascribe it unto any one, that is not God by nature, is Idolatry. By make­ing therefore their Christ such a God as they describe, they bring him un­der the severe commination of the true God, Jer. 10. 11. The Gods that have not made the Heavens and the Earth, even they shall perish from the Earth, and from under these Heavens. That Christ they worship, they say is a God; but they deny that he is that God that made the Heavens and the Earth: and so leave him exposed to the threatnings of him, who will ac­complish it to the uttermost.

Some other general exceptions sometimes they make use of, which the Reader may free himself from the entanglement of, if he do but heed these ensuing Rules.

X. Distinction of persons, (of which afterwards) it being in an in­finite [Page 59] substance, doth no way prove a difference of Essence between the Father and the Son. Where there fore Christ as the Son, is said to be Another from the Father, or God, spoken personally of the Father, it argues not in the least that he is not partaker of the same nature with him. That in one Essence, there can be but one person, may be true where the substance is finite and lim [...]ted, but hath no place in that which is in­finite.

2. Distinction and Inequality in respect of Office in Christ, doth not in the least take away his equality and sameness with the Father, in respect of nature and Essence, Phil. 2. 7, 8. A Son, of the same nature with his Father, and therein Equal to him, may in Office be his inferiour, his subject.

Thirdly, The Advancement and ex­altation of Christ as Mediator to any dignity whatever, upon, or in refe­rence to the work of our Redemp­tion [Page 60] and salvation, is not at all incon­sistent with the essential Honour, Dig­nity, and Worth which he hath in himself as God blessed for ever. Though he humbled himself and was exalted in Office, yet in Nature he was one and the same, he changed not.

Fourthly, The Scriptures asserting the Humanity of Christ with the con­cerments thereof, as his birth, life, and death, do no more thereby deny his Deity, than by asserting his Deity with the essential properties thereof, they deny his humanity.

Fifthly, God working in and by Christ as he was Mediator, denotes the Fathers Soveraign Appointment of the things mentioned to be done, not his immediate efficiency in the doing of the things themselves.

These Rules are proposed a little before their due place in the Method which we pursue. But I thought meet to interpose them here, as con­taining a sufficient ground for the resolution and answering of all the [Page 61] Sophisms and Objections which the Adversaries use in this cause.

From the cloud of witnesses before produced, every one where of is singly sufficient to evert the Socinian Infide­lity; I shall in one of them give an in­fiance both of the clearness of the Evidence, and the weakness of the ex­ceptions which are wont to put in against them as was promised. And this is, John 1. 1, 2, 3. In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, the same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

By the Word, here, or [...], on what account soever he be so called, either as being the Eternal Word and wisdom of the Father, or as the great Revealer of the Will of God unto us, Jesus Christ the Son of God is intend­ed. This is on all hands acknow­ledged, and the context will admit of no haesitation about it. For of this [Page 62] Word, it is said, that he came into the World, v. 10. was rejected by his own, v. 11. was made flesh and dwelt amongst us whose glory was the glory of the only begotten Son of the Father, v. 14. called expresly Jesus Christ, v. 17. the only begotten Son of the Fa­ther, v. 18. The subject then treated of is here agreed upon. And it is no less evident that it is the design of the Apostle to declare both who, and what he was of whom he treateth. Here then, if any where, we may learn what we are to believe concerning the person of Christ; which also we may certainly do, if our minds are not perverted through prejudice, whereby the God of this world doth blind the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ who is the image of God, should shine unto them, 2 Cor. 4. 4. Of this Word then, this Son of God it is affirmed that he was in the beginning. And this Word if it doth not absolutely and formally express Eternity, yet it doth [Page 63] a preexistence unto the whole Creation which amounts to the same. For nothing can preexist unto all Crea­tures but in the nature of God which is eternal; unless we shall suppose a creature before the Creation of any. But what is meant by this expression, the Scripture doth elsewhere declare. Prov. 8. 23. I was set up from ever­lasting before the beginning, or ever the earth was, John 17. 5. Glorifie thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. Both which places as they ex­plain this phrase, so also do they un­deniably testifie unto the Eternal pre­existence of Christ the Son of God. And in this case we prevail against our Adversaries, if we prove any pre­existence of Christ unto his Incarna­tion, which as they absolutely deny, so to grant it, would overthrow their whole heresie in this matter. And therefore they know that the testimo­ny of our Saviour concerning him­self, if understood in a proper in­telligible [Page 64] sense, is perfectly destructive of their pretensions. John 8. 58. Be­fore Abraham was, I am. For al­though there be no proper sense in the words but a gross [...]quivocation, if the Existence of Christ before Abra­ham was born be not asserted in them, seeing he spake in Answer to that ob­jection of the Jews, that He was n [...]t yet fifty years old, and so could not have seen Abraham, nor Abraham him; and the Jews that were present un­derstood well enough that he asserted a divine preexistence unto his being born so long ago, as that hereon, after their manner, they took up stones to stone him, as supposing him to have blasphemed in asserting his Deity as others now do in the denying of it; yet they seeing how fatal this prae-existence, though not here absolutely asserted to be eternal, would be to their cause, they contend that the meaning of the words, is, that Christ was to be the light of the world before Abraham was made the Father of many Nations. An in­terpretation [Page 65] so absurd and sottish, as never any man not infatuated by the God of this world could once admit and give countenance unto.

But in the Beginning, as absolutely used, is the same with From Everlast­ing, as it is expounded, Prov. 8. 23. and denoteth an eternal existence, which is here affirmed of the Word the Son of God. But let the Word beginning, be restrained unto the subject matter treated of which is the Crea­tion of all things, and the praeexistence of Christ in his divine nature unto the Creation of all things is plainly revealed and inevitably asserted. And indeed, not only the Word, but the discourse of these verses, doth plainly relate unto, and is expository of the first verse in the Bible, Gen. 1. 1. In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth. There it is asserted that in the beginning God created all things, here, that the Word was in the begin­ning and made all things. This then is the least that we have obtained [Page 66] from this first word of our Testi­mony; namely, that the Word or Son of God had a personal praeexistence unto the whole Creation. In what nature this must be, let these men of Reason satisfie themselves, who know that Creator and Creatures, take up the whole nature of Beings; one of them he must be; and it may be well supposed that he was not a Creature before the Creation of any.

But, Secondly, Where, or with whom, was this Word in the begin­ning? it was saith the Holy Ghost, with God. There being no creature then existing, he could be no where but with God; that is, the Father as it is expressed in one of the testimo­nies before going, Prov. 8. 22. The Lord possest me in the beginning of his wayes before his works of old; ver. 30. Then was I by him as one brought up with him, and I was daily his delight, rejoycing alwayes before him; that is, in the beginning, this Word or Wis­dom of God was with God.

[Page 67] And this is the same, which our Lord Jesus asserts concerning himself, John 3. 13. And no man, saith he, hath ascended up to Heaven, but he that came down from Heaven, even the Son of man which is in Heaven. And so in other places. He affirms his being in Heaven, that is, with God, at the same time when he was in the earth; whereby He declares the immensity of his Nature, and the distinction of his person; and his coming down from Heaven before he was Incarnate on the earth, declaring his preexistence; by both manifesting the meaning of this Expression, that in the beginning he was with God. But hereunto they have invented a notable evasion. For although they know not well what to make of the last clause of the words, that say, then he was in Hea­ven when he spake on Earth; the Son of man which is in Heaven, answera­ble to the description of Gods Im­mensity, do not I fill Heaven and Earth saith the Lord, Jer. 23. 27. But say, [Page 68] that he was there, by Heavenly medi­tation as another man may be; yet they give a very clear Answer to what must of necess [...]y be included in his descending from Heaven, namely his preexistence to his Incarnation. For they tell us, that before his publick Ministry, he was in his humane na­ture, (which is all they allow unto him) taken up into Heaven, and there taught the Gospel; as the great Im­postor Mahomet pretended he was taught his Alcoran; If you ask them, who told them so, they cannot tell; but th [...]y can tell when it was; name­ly, when he was led by the spirit into the Wilderness for forty days after his baptism. But yet this instance is sub­ject to another her misadventure; in that one of the E [...]angelists plainly affirms that he was those forty dayes in the Wil­derness with the wild beasts, Mark 17. 13. And so surely not in Heaven in the same nature by his bodily pre­sence with God and his holy An­gels.

[Page 69] And let me add this by the way that the Interpretation of this place, Joh. 1. 1. to be mentioned after wards; and those of the two places before mentioned, John 8. 58. chap. 3. 31. Faustus Socin [...]s learned out of his Uncle Laelius papers as he confesseth, and doth more than intimate that he be­lieved he had them as it were by Re­velation; and it may be so; they are indeed so forced, absurd, and irratio­nal, that no man could ever fix upon them by any reasonable Investigation. But the Author of this Revelation, if we may judge of the Parent by the Child, could be no other but the spi­rit of Error and darkness. I suppose therefore that notwithstanding these exceptions, Christians will believe, that in the beginning the word was with God; that is, that the Son was with the Father, as is frequently elsewhere declared.

But who was this Word? saith the Apostle, He was God. He was so with God, that is the Father, as that he [Page 70] himself was God also. God, in that the notion of God, which both na­ture, and the Scripture doth repre­sent. Not a God by Office, one ex­alted to that dignity, (which cannot well be pretended before the Creati­on of the world) but as Thomas con­fessed him, our Lord and our God, John 20. 28. Or as Paul expresses it; over all God blessed for ever; or the most high God, which these men love to deny. Let not the infidelity of men excited by the craft and malice of Satan s [...]ek for blind occasions, and this matter is determined; if the Word and Testimo­ny of God be able to umpire a diffe­rence amongst the Children of men. Here is the sum of our Creed in this matter; In the beginning the Word was God; and so continues unto Eternity; being Alpha and Om [...]ga, the first and the last, the Lord God Almighty.

And to shew that he was so God in the beginning, as that he was distinct, one, in some thing from God the Fa­ther, by whom afterwards he was sent [Page 71] into the world, he adds, ver. 2. the same was in the beginning with God. Father also to evince what he hath asserted, and revealed for us to be­lieve, the Holy Ghost adds, both as a firm declaration of his Eternal Dei­ty; and also his immediate care of the world (which how he variously exercised both in a way of provi­dence, and grace, he afterwards de­clares) verse 3. All things were made by him. He was so in the beginning, before all things, as that he made them all. And that it may not be sup­posed, that the All that he is said to make, or create, was to be limited un­to any certain sort of things, he adds, that without him nothing was made that was made; which gives the first As­sertion an absolute universality as to its subject.

And this he farther describes, v. 10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him. The world that was made, hath an usual distribution in the Scripture, into the Heavens and [Page 72] the Earth, and all things contained in them; as Acts 4. 24. Lord thou art God which hast made Heaven and Earth and the Sea, and all that in them is; that is the world, the making whereof is expresly assigned unto the Son, Heb. 1. 10. Thou Lord in the be­ginning, hast laid the foundation of the Earth, and the Heavens are the works of thine hands. And the Apostle Paul to secure our understandings in this matter, instanceth in the most noble parts of the creation, and which if any might seem to be excepted from being made by him, Col. 1. 16. For by him were all things created that are in Heaven, and that are in Earth visi­ble and invisible, whether they be Thrones, or Dominions, or Principalities, or Pow­ers, all things were created by him and for him. The Socinians say indeed, that he made Angels to be Thrones and Principalities; that is, he gave them their Order, but not their Be­ing; which is expresly contrary to the words of the Text; so that a [Page 73] man knows not well what to say to these persons, who at their pleasure cast off the authority of God in his word: By him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in Earth.

What now can be required to se­cure our faith in this matter? In what words possible, could a divine Reve­lation of the Eternal Power and Godhead of the Son of God, be made more plain and clear unto the Sons of men? Or how could the truth of any thing more evidently be repre­sented unto their minds? If we un­derstand not the mind of God, and Intention of the Holy Ghost in this matter, we may utterly despair ever to come to an acquaintance with any thing that God reveals unto us; or indeed with any thing else that is expressed, or is to be expressed by words. It is directly said that the Word, that is Christ, as is acknow­ledged by all, was with God; distinct from him, and was God, one with [Page 74] him; that he was so in the begin­ing, before the Creation; that he made all things, the world, all things in Heaven and in Earth; and if he be not God, who is? The summ is, All the waies whereby we may know God, are his Name, his Properties, and his works. But they are all here ascribed by the Holy Ghost to the Son, to the Word; and he therefore is God, or we know neither who, nor what God is.

But say the Socinians, these things are quite otherwise, and the words have another sense in them than you imagine. What is it I pray? we bring none to them, we impose no sense upon them; we strain not any word in them, from, besides, or beyond its native, genuine signification, its con­stant application in the Scripture, and common use amongst men. What then is this latent sense that is intend­ed, and is discoverable only by them­selves? let us hear them coyning and [...] this sense of theirs.

[Page 75] First, They say that by in the begin­ing, is not meant of the beginning of all things, or the creation of them; but the beginning of the preaching of the Gospel. But why so I pray? Where ever these words are else used in the Scripture, they denote the beginning of all things, or Eternity absolutely, or an Existence preceding their crea­tion. In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth, Gen. 1. 1. I was set up from everlasting from the begin­ing ere ever the earth was, Prov. 8. 23. Thou Lord in the beginning hast laid the foundations of the Earth, Heb. 1. 10. And besides, these words are never used absolutely any where for the be­ginning of the Gospel. There is men­tion made indeed of the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Mark 1. 1. which is referred to the preaching of John Baptist. But in the beginning absolutely, is never so used or ap­plied. And they must meet with men of no small inclination unto them, who will upon their desire in [Page 76] a matter of so great importance, fore­go the sense of words, which is na­tural and proper, fixed by its con­stant use in the Scripture, when ap­plyed in the same kind; for that which is forced, and strained, and not once exemplified in the whole book of God. But the words they say are to be restrained to the subject mat­ter treated of. Well, what is that sub­ject matter? the new creation by the Preaching of the Gospel. But this is plainly false; nor will the words al­low any such sense; nor the context: nor is any thing offered to give evidence unto this corrupt pervert­ing of the words, unless it be a farther perverting of other testimonies, no less clear than this.

For what is according to this Inter­pretation the meaning of those words, in the beginning was the Word? that is, when John Baptist preached, and said, this is the Lamb of God, which was signally the beginning of the Gospel, then he was. That [Page 77] is, he was when he was, no doubt of it. And is not this a notable way of interpreting of Scripture, which these great pretenders to a Dictator­ship in Reason, indeed Hucksters in So­phistry, do make use of? But to go on with them in this supposition; how was he then with God, the Word was with God. That is, say they, he was then known only to God, before John Baptist preached him in the begin­ing. But what shall compell us to admit of this uncouth sense and Exposi­tion. He was with God, that is, he was known to God alone. What is their singular herein, concerning how many things may the same be af­firmed? Besides, it is absolutely false. He was known to the Angel Gabriel who came to his Mother with the Message of his Incarnation, Luke 1. 35. He was known to the two Angels which appeared to the Shepherds upon his birth, Luke 2. To all the Heaven­ly Host assembled to give praise and glory to God on the Account of his [Page 78] Nativity, as those who came to wor­ship him, and to pay him the ho­mage due unto him, Luke 2. 10, 13, 14. He was known to his Mo­ther, the Blessed Virgin; and to Jo­seph; and Zachariah; and to Eliza­beth; to Simeon and Anna, to John Baptist; and probably to many more to whom Simeon and Anna spake of him, Luke 2. 38. So that the sense pretended to be wrung out and ex­torted from these words, against their proper meaning and intendment, is indeed false and frivolous, and belongs not at all unto them.

But let this pass. What shall we say to the next words, And the word was God. Give us leave without di­sturbance from you, but to believe this expression which comprizeth a Revelation of God proposed to us on purpose that we should believe it, and there will be, as was said, an end of this difference and debate. Yea, but say they, these words have ano­ther sense also. Strange I they seem [Page 79] to be so plain and positive, that it is impossible any other sense should be fixed on them, but only this, that the Word was in the beginning, and was God, and therefore is so still, un­less he who is once God can cease so to be. But the meaning is; that afterwards, God exalted him and made him God, as to Rule, Authority and Power. This making of him God, is an expression very offensive to the ears of all sober Christians, and was there­fore before exploded. And these things here, as all other figments, hang together like a rope of sands. In the beginning of the Gospel he was God, before any knew him but only God. That is, after he had preached the Gospel, and dyed, and rose again, and was exalted at the right hand of God, he was made God, and that not properly, which is absolutely impossible, but in an improper sense. How prove they then this perverse non-sense to be the sense of these plain words. They say it must needs be [Page 80] so. Let them believe them who are willing to perish with them.

Thus far then we have their sense; In the beginning, that is, about sixteen or seventeen hundred years ago; the Word, that is, the Humane nature of Christ before it was made flesh, which it was in its being; was with God; that is, known to God alone; and in the beginning, that is afterwards, not in the Beginning, was made God; which is the summ of their Exposi­tion of this place.

But what shall we say, to what is affirmed concerning his making of all things, so as that without him, that is, without his making of it, nothing was made that was made; especially see­ing that these all things are expresly said to be the world, vers. 10. And all things therein contained, even in Heaven and Earth, Col. 1. 16. An or­dinary man would think that they should now be taken hold of, and that there is no way of escape left unto them. But they have it in a readi­ness. [Page 81] By the all things here are in­tended all things of the Gospel, the preaching of it, the sending of the Apostles to preach it, and to declare the Will of God; and by the world, is intended the world to come, or the new state of things under the Gospel. This is the substance of what is pleaded by the greatest masters amongst them in this matter, and they are not ashamed thus to plead.

And the Reader in this instance may easily discern what a desperate cause they are engaged in, and how bold and desperate they are in the management of it. For,

First, The words are a plain Illu­stration of the Divine Nature of the Word, by his Divine Power and works, as the very series of them declares. He was God, and he made all things; for he that made all things is God, Heb. 3. 4.

Secondly, There is no one word spoken concerning the Gospel, nor the [Page 82] Preaching of it, nor any effects of that Preaching, which the Apostle expresly insists upon and declares af­terwards, verse 14. and so on­wards.

Thirdly, The making of all things here ascribed unto the Word, was done in the beginning. But that making of all things which they intend, in erecting the Church by the Preaching of the VVord, was not done in the be­ginning, but afterwards; most of it as themselves confess, after the Ascen­sion of Christ into Heaven.

Fourthly, In this gloss what is the meaning of all things? only some things say the Socinians. VVhat is the mean­ing of were made? that is, were mend­ed? by him that is the Apostles princi­pally preaching the Gospel; and this in the beginning; after it was past; for so they say expresly that the Principal things here intended, were effected by the Apostles afterwards.

I think since the beginning, place it when you will the beginning of the [Page 83] world, or the beginning of the Go­spel, there was never such an Exposi­tion of the word; of God or man con­tended for.

Fifthly, It is said he made the World, and he came into it; namely, the world which he made and the World, or the Inhabitants of it, knew him not. But the VVorld they intend did know him; or the Church knew him, and acknowledged him to be the Son of God. For that was the foundation that it was built up­on.

I have instanced directly in this only testimony to give the Reader a pledge of the full confirmation which may be given unto this great fundamental truth, by a due improvement of those other Testimonies, or distinct Reve­lations which speak no less expresly to the same purpose. And of them there is not any one, but we are ready to vindicate it, if called thereunto, from the exceptions of these men; which how bold and Sophistical they [Page 84] are, we may in these now considered, also learn and know.

It appeareth then that there is a full sufficient Revelation made in the Scripture of the Eternal Deity of the Son of God; and that he is so, as is the Father also. More particular testimonies I shall not at present insist upon, referring the full discussion and vindication of these truths, to another season.

We are therefore in the next place to manifest that the same, or the like testimony, is given unto the Deity of the Holy Spirit; that is, that he is re­vealed and declared in the Scripture, as the Object of our Faith, Worship, and Obedience on the account, and for the R [...]ason of those divine Excel­leneies which are the sole Reason of our yielding religious worship unto any, or expecting from any the Re­ward that is promised unto us, or to be brought by them to the end for which we are. And herein, lyes as was shewed, the concernment of faith. [Page 85] When that knows what it is to believe as on Divine Revelation, and is en­abled thereby to regulate the soul in its present obedience and future expe­ctation, seeing it is its▪ nature to work by love and hope, there it rests. Now this is done to the utmost satisfaction in the Revelation that is made of the divine Existence, divine Excellencies, and divine Operations of the Spirit as shall be briefly manifested.

But before we proceed, we may in our way observe a great congruency of success in those who have denyed the Deity of the Son, and those who have denyed that of the holy Spirit. For as to the Son, after some men be­gan once to dis-believe the Revelation concerning him, and would not ac­knowledge him to be God and man in one person, they could never settle nor agree, either what, or who he was, or who was his Father, or why he was the Son. Some said he was a Phantasm or appearance; and that he had no real subsistence in this world, [Page 86] and that all that was done by him was an appearance, he himself being they know not what elsewhere. That proud beast Paulus Sam [...]satenus, whose flagitious life, contended for a prehe­minence in wickedness with his pro­digious heresies, was one of the first after the Jews, that positively con­tended for his being a man and no more, who was followed by Photi­nus and some others. The Arians perceiving the folly of this opinion, with the odium of it amongst all that bare the name of Christians, and that they had as good deny the whole Scripture as not grant unto him a preexistence in a divine nature antece­dent to his Incarnation, they framed a new Deity which God should make before the world, in all things like to himself, but not the same with him in Essence and substance; but to be so like him, that by the writings of some of them, ye can scarce know one from the other; and that this was the Son of God also who was afterwards In­carnate. [Page 87] Others in the mean time had more monstrous imaginations; some that he was an Angel, some that he was the Sun, some that he was the Soul of the World, some the light within men. Departing from their proper rest, so have they hovered about, and so have they continued to do, until this day.

In the same manner it is come to pass with them who have denyed the Deity of the Holy Ghost. They could never find where to stand or abide; but one hath cryed up one thing, ano­ther another. At first they observed that such things were every where ascribed unto him in the Scripture, as uncontroulably evidenced him to be an intelligent voluntary Agent. This they found so plain and evident, that they could not deny, but that he was a person or an intelligent subsistence. Wherefore seeing they were resolved not to assent unto the Revelation of his be­ing God, they made him a created spi­rit, chief and above all others. But [Page 88] still whatever else he were, he was only a Creature. And this course some of late also have steered.

The Socinians on the other hand, observing that such things are assigned and ascribed unto him, as that if they acknowledge him to be a person, or a substance, they must upon necessity ad­mit him to be God, though they seem­ed not at first at all agreed what to think or say concerning him positive­ly, yet they all coneurred perempto­rily in denying his personality. Here­on, some of them said he was the Gospel, which others of them have confuted; some that he was Christ. Neither could they agree whether there was one Holy Ghost or more; whether the spirit of God and the Good spirit of God, and the holy spirit, be the same or no. In general now they conclude that he is vis Dei, or virtus Dei, or efficacia Dei; no substance, but a quality that may be considered either as being in God, and then they say it is the spirit of God; or as sanctifying, [Page 89] and conforming men unto God, and then they say, it is the Holy Ghost. Whether these things do answer the Revelation made in the Scripture con­cerning the Eternal Spirit of God, will be immediately manifested. Our Quakers, who have for a long season hovered up and down like a swarm of flies with a confused noise and humming, begin now to settle in the opinions lately by them declared for. But what their thoughts will fall into be, concerning the Holy Ghost, when they shall be contented to speak Intel­ligibly, and according to the usage of other men, or the pattern of Scri­pture, the great rule of speaking or treating about spiritual things, I know not; and am uncertain whether they do so themselves or no. Whether he may be the light within them, or an infallible afflatus is uncertain. In the mean time, what is revealed unto us in the Scripture to be believed con­cerning the Holy Ghost, his Deity, and personality, may be seen in the ensuing testimonies.

[Page 90] The summ of this Revelation is, that the Holy Spirit is an eternally di­vine existing substance, the Author of Divine operations, and the Object of Divine and Religious Worship; that is, over all God Blessed for ever; as the ensuing testimonies evince. Gen 1. 2. The spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Psalm 33. 6. By the word of the Lord were the Heavens made, and all the Host of them by the Spirit of his mouth.

Job 26. 13. By his Spirit he hath garnished the Heavens.

Job 33. 4. The Spirit of God hath made me.

Psalm 104. 30. Thou sendest forth thy Spirit; they are Created.

Mat. 28. 19. Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 1. 16. That Scripture must needs have been fulfilled which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake.

Acts 5. 3. Peter said to Ananias, why [Page 91] hath Satan filled thy heart to lye to the Holy Ghost? Vers. 4. Thou hast not lyed unto men but unto God.

Acts 28. 25, 26. Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the Prophet unto our Fa­thers, saying, go unto this people and say—

1 Cor. 3. 16. Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.

1 Cor. 12. 11. All these worketh that one and self-same spirit, dividing to every man as he will, 2. 6. And there are deversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

2 Cor. 13. 14. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all.

Acts 20. 28. Take heed to the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers.

Matth. 12. 31. All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, but the Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

[Page 92] Psal. 139. 7. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?

John 14. 26. But the Comforte [...] which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.

Luke 12. 12. The Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what you ought to say.

Acts 13. 3. And as they ministred to the Lord and fasted; the Holy Ghost said, separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

Vers. 4. So they being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed into, &c.

2 Pet. 1. 21. For the Prophecy came not in old time by the will of men, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

It is evident upon the first conside­ration, that there is not any thing which we believe concerning the Holy Ghost, but that it is plainly re­vealed and declared in these testi­monies. He is directly affirmed to be, and is called God, Acts 5. 3, 4. [Page 93] Which the Socinians will not say is by vertue of an Exaltation unto an Office or Authority, as they say of the Son; That he is an intelligent volun­tary Divine Agent; he knoweth, he worketh as he will, which things if in their frequent repetition, they are not sufficient to evince an intelligent Agent, a personal subsistence, that hath Being, Life and Will, we must confess that the Scripture was written on purpose to lead us into mistakes and misapprehensions of what we are under penalty of eternal ruine rightly to apprehend and believe. It declareth also, that he is the Au­thor and Worker of all sorts of Di­vine Operations requiring Immensity, Omnipotency, Omnisciency, and all other Divine Excellencies unto their working and effecting. Moreover, it is revealed, that he is peculiarly to be believed in; and may peculiarly be sinned against; the great Author of all Grace in Believers, and order in the Church. This is the summ of [Page 94] what we believe of what is revealed in the Scripture concerning the Holy Ghost.

As in the consideration of the pre­ceding head, we vindicated one Te­stimony in particular from the ex­ceptions of the adversaries of the truth, so on this we may briefly summ up the evidence that is given us in the testimonies before produced, that the Reader may the more easily un­derstand their intendment, and what in particular, they bear witnesse unto.

The summ is, that the Holy Ghost is a divine distinct person, and neither meerly the power or vertue of God, nor any created Spirit whatever. This plainly appears from what is revealed concerning him. For he who is placed in the same series or order with other divine persons, without the least note of difference or distinction from them, as to an Interest in per­sonality, who hath the names proper to a divine person only, and is fre­quently [Page 95] and directly called by them, who also hath personal properties, and is the voluntary Author of personal divine Operations, and the proper Obj [...]ct of Divine Worship, he is a distinct divine person. And if these things be not a sufficient evidence and demonstration of a divine intelli­gent substance, I shall, as was said be­fore, despair to understand any thing that is expressed and declared by words. But now thus it is with the Holy Ghost according to the Re­velation made concerning him in the Scripture. For,

First, He is placed in the same rank and order without any note of dif­ference or distinction as to a distinct interest in the Divine Nature, that is, as we shall see, personality, with other Divine persons, Matth. 28. 19. Baptizing them in the name of the Fa­ther, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, 1 John 5. 7. There be three that bear witness in Heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, and these three are one, [Page 96] 1 Cor. 12. 3, 4, 5, 6. No man can say the Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost; now there are diver­sities of gifts, but the same Spirit, and there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord; and there are diver­sities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. Neither doth a denyal of his divine being and distinct existence leave any tole­rable sense unto these Expressions. For read the words of the first place from the mind of the Socinians, and see what is it can be gathered from them. Baptizing them, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the vertue or efficacy of the Father. Can any thing be more absonant from Faith and Reason, than this absurd expres­sion? And yet is it the direct sense, if it be any, that these men put upon the words. To joyn a quality with ac­knowledged persons, and that in such things and cases, as wherein they are proposed under a personal considera­tion, is a strange kind of Mysterie. And [Page 97] the like may be manifested concern­ing the other places.

Secondly, He also hath the Names proper to a divine person only. For he is expresly called God, Acts 5. He who is termed the Holy Ghost, ver. 3. And the Spirit of the Lord, verse 9. Is called also God, ver. 4. Now this is the name of a divine Person on one Account or other. The Soci­nians would not allow Christ to be called God, were he not a divine per­son, though not by nature, yet by [...]ffice and authority. And I suppose, they will not find out an office for the Holy Ghost whereunto he might be exalted on the account whereof he might become God, seeing this would acknowledge him to be a person which they deny. So he is called the Comforter, John 16. 7. A personal Ap­pellation this is also; and because he is the Comforter of all Gods people, it can be the name of none but a di­vine person. In the [...] it is frequently [...] [Page 98] come, that he shall, and will do such and such things, all of them declaring him to be a person.

Thirdly, He hath personal proper­ties assigned unto him, as a Will, 1 Cor. 12. 11. He divideth to every man severally as he will; and under­standing, 1 Cor. 2. 10. The Spirit search­eth all things, yea, the deep things of God. As also all the actings that are ascribed unto him are all of them such, as undeniably affirm personal properties in their principle and Agent. For,

Fourthly, He is the voluntary Au­thor of Divine operations. He of old cherished the creation, Gen. 1. 3. The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. He formed and gar­nished the Heavens. He inspired, acted and spake, in and by the Prophets, Acts 28. 25, 26. Well spake the Holy Ghost by Isaiah the Prophet unto our Fa­thers, 2 Pet. 1. 21. The Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were [Page 99] moved by the Holy Ghost. He regene­rateth, enlightneth, sanctifieth, com­forteth, instructeth, leadeth, guideth, all the Disciples of Christ, as the Scriptures every where testifie. Now all these are personal Operations, and cannot with any pretence of so­briety or consistency with Reason be constantly and uniformly assigned un­to a quality or vertue. He is, as the Father and Son, God with the pro­perties of Omniscience and Omnipo­tency, of Life, Understanding and Will; and by these properties, works, acts, and produceth effects according to Wisdom, Choice, and Power.

Fifthly, The same regard is had to him in Faith, Worship, and Obedi­ence, as unto the other persons of the Father and Son. For our being bap­tized into his name, is our solemn engagement to believe in him, to yield obedience to him, and to worship him, as it puts the same obligation upon us to the Father and the Son. So also in reference unto the Wor­ship [Page 100] of the Church. He commands that the Ministers of it be separated unto himself, Acts 13. 2. The Holy Ghost said, separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. Ver. 4. So they being sent forth by the Holy Ghost departed, which is com­prehensive of all the religious Wor­ship of the Church.

And on the same account is he sin­ned against, as Acts 5. 3, 4, 9. For there is the same Reason of Sin and Obedience. Against whom a man may sin formally and ultimately, him he is bound to obey, worship, and be­lieve in. And this can be no quali­ty, but God himself. For what may be the sense of this expression: Thou hast lyed to the efficacy of God in his operations; Or how can we be for­mally obliged unto obedience to a quality. There must then an antece­dent Obligation unto Faith, Trust, and Religious Obedience be supposed as the ground of rendring a person capable of being guilty of sin to­wards [Page 101] wards any. For sin is but a [...]ailure in Faith, Obedience or Worship. These therefore are due unto the Holy Ghost; or a man could not sin against him so signally and fatally as some are said to do, in the foregoing testi­monies.

I say therefore unto this part of our Cause, as unto the other, that unless we will cast off all Reverence of God, and in a king of Atheism, which as I suppose the prevailing wickedness of this Age hath not yet arrived unto, say that the Scriptures were written on purpose to deceive us, and to lead us into mistakes about, and misapprehensions of what it proposeth unto us, we must ac­knowledge the Holy Ghost to be a substance, a person, God; yet distinct from the Father and the Son. For to tell us, that he will come unto us, that he will be our Comforter, that he will teach us, lead us, guide us, that he spake of old, in and by the Prophets, that they were moved by him, acted [Page 102] by him, that he searcheth the deep things of God, works as he will, that he appointeth to himself Ministers in the Church; In a word, to declare in places innumerable, what he hath done, what he doth, what he will do, what he sayes, and speaks, how he acts, and proceeds, what his will is, and to warn us, that we grieve him not, sin not against him, with things innumerable of the like na­ture, and all this while to oblige us to believe that he is not a person, an helper, a comforter, a searcher, a willer, but a quality in some especial operations of God, or his power and vertue in them, were to distract men, not to instruct them, and leave them no certain conclusion but this, that there is nothing certain in the whole Book of God. And of no other tendency are these and the like ima­ginations of our Adversaries in this matter.

But let us briefly consider what is objected in general unto the truth we have confirmed.

[Page 103] First, They say, the Holy Spirit is said to be given, to be sent, to be be­stowed on men, and to be promised unto them; and therefore it cannot be that he should be God; for how can any of these things be spoken of God.

I answer, As these Expressions do not prove him to be God, nor did ever any produce them to that pur­pose, yet they undeniably prove him to be a person; or an intellingent vo­luntary Agent, concerning whom they are spoken and affirmed. For how can the power of God, or a qua­lity as they speak, be said to be sent, to be given, to be bestowed on men; so that these very Expressions are de­structive to their imaginations.

Secondly, He who is God equal in nature and being with the Father, may be promised, sent, and given, with respect unto the holy dispensa­tion and condescension wherein he hath undertaken the Office of being our Comforter and Sanctifier.

[Page 104] Thirdly, The communications, distributions, impartings, divisions of the spirit, which they mention, as they respect the Object of them, Or those on whom they were, or are bestowed, de­note only works, gifts, operations and effects of the spirit, the rule whereof is expressed, 1 Cor. 12. 7. He workeeth them in whom he will, and as he will. And whether these, and the like ex­ceptions, taken from Actings and ope­rations, which are plainly interpreted and explained in sundry places of Scripture, and evidently enough in the particular places where they are used, are sufficient to impeach the truth of the Revelation before declared, all who have a due reverence of God, his word and truths, will easily under­stand and discern.

These things being declared in the Scripture concerning the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, it is more­over Revealed, and these three are one; that is, one God, joyntly to be worshipped, feared, adored, believed [Page 105] in and obeyed, in order unto eternal life. For although this doth abso­lutely and necessarily follow from what is declared and hath been spoken concerning the one God, or onenes [...] of the Derty, yet for the confirmation of our faith, and that we may not by the distinct consideration of the three be taken off from the one, it is parti­cularly declared, that these three are one, that one, the one and same God, But whereas, as was said before, this can no otherwise be, the testimonies given thereunto are not so frequently multiplyed as they are unto those other heads of this truth, which through the craft of Satan, and the pride of men, might be more lyable to exceptions. But yet they are clear, full, and distinctly sufficient for faith to acquiesce in immediately, without any other expositions, interpretati­ons, or arguments, beyond our un­derstanding of the naked importance of the words. Such are they, of the Father the Son, John 10. 30. I and [Page 106] my Father are one. Father, Son and Spirit, Joh. 5. 7. three that bare witness in Heaven, Father, Son and Spirit, and these three are one, Mat. 28. 19. Bap­tizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit. For if those into whose name we are Baptized be not one in nature, we are by our Baptism engaged into the Service and Worship of more Gods than one. For as be­ing Baptized, or sacredly initiated in­to, or in the name of any one doth Sacramentally bind us unto a holy and Religious obedience unto him, and in all things to the avowing of him as the God whose we are, and whom we serve, as here we are in the Name of the Father, Son and Spirit, so if they are not one God, the Blasphemous consequence before mentioned must unavoidably be admitted; which it also doth upon the Socinian princi­ple, who whilest of all others they seem to contend most for one God, are indeed direct polutheists, by owning others with Religious respect, due [Page 107] to God alone, which are not so.

Once more! it is revealed also, that these three are distinct among themselves by certain peculiar Rela­tive properties, if I may yet use these terms. So that they are distinct, liv­ing, divine, intelligent voluntary prin­ciples of operation or working, and that in, and by internal acts one to­wards another, and in acts that out­wardly respect the Creation and the several parts of it. Now this distin­ction originally lyeth in this; that the Father begetteth the Son, and the Son is begotten of the Father; and the Holy Spirit proceedeth from both of them. The manner of these things, so far as they may be expressed unto our Edifi­cation, shall afterwards be spoken to. At present it sufficeth for the satis­faction and confirmation of our faith, that the distinctions named are clearly revealed in the Scripture, and are pro­posed to be its proper object in this matter. Psalm 2. 7. Thou art my Son, [Page 108] this day have I begotten thee. Matth. 16. 16. Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. Joh. 1. 14. We saw his Glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father. Ver. 18. No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son which is in the bosome of the Father he hath revealed him. John 5. 26. For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in him­self. 1 Joh. 5. 20. The Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding. Joh. 14. 26. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father even the spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testifie of me.

Now as the nature of this distincti­on, lies in their mutual Relation one to another, so it is the foundation of those distinct actings and operations, whereby the distinction it self is clear­ly manifested and confirmed. And these actings as was said, are either such, as where one of them is the object of anothers actings, or such as have the creature for their objects [...] [Page 109] The first sort are testified unto, Psalm 110. 1. John 1. 18. Chap. 5. 20. Chap. 17. 5. 1 Cor. 2. 10, 11. Prov. 8. 21, 22. Most of which places have been before recited. They, which thus know each other, love each other, delight in each other, must needs be distinct; and so are they represented unto our faith. And for the other sort of actings the Scripture is full of the expressions of them; see▪ Gen. 19. 24. Zachariah 2. 8. Joh. 5. 17. 1 Cor. 12. 7, 8, 9. 1 Cor. 8. 9.

Our conclusion from the whole is; that there is nothing more fully ex­pressed in the Scripture, than this sa­cred truth is; that there is one God, Father, Son, and holy Ghost; which are divine, distinct, intelligent, volunta­ry, omnipotent principles of operation, and working, which whosoever thinks himself obliged to believe the Scripture must believe; and concerning others, in this discourse, we are not solicitous.

This is that which was first pro­posed; namely, to manifest what is [Page 110] expresly revealed in the Scripture concerning God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; so as that we may duly believe in him, yield Obedience unto him, enjoy communion with him, walk in his love and fear, and so come at length to be blessed with him for evermore. Nor doth faith for its secu­rity, establishment and direction, ab­solutely stand in need of any farther Exposition or Explanation of these things; or the use of any terms not consecrated to the present service by the Holy Ghost. But whereas it may be variously assaulted by the Tempta­tions of Satan, and opposed by the subtle s [...]phisms of men of corrupt minds; and whereas it is the duty of the Disciples of Christ to grow in the knowledge of God, and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by an ex­plicit apprehension of the things they do believe, so far as they are capable of them; this Doctrine hath in all ages of the Church, been explained and taught, in and by such Expressions, [Page 111] Terms, and Propositions, as farther declare what is necessarily included in it, or consequent unto it; with an exclusion of such things, notions, and apprehensions, as are neither the one, nor the other. This I shall briefly manifest, and then vindicate the whole from some exceptions, and so close this dissertation.

That God is One, was declared and proved. Now this Oneness can respect nothing but the Nature, Being, Substance or Essence of God. God is one in this respect. Some of these words indeed are not used in the Scripture. But whereas they are of the same importance and signification, and none of them include any thing of imperfection, they are properly used in the declaration of the Vnity of the God-head. There is mention in the Scripture of the God-head of God, Rom. 1. 20. His Eter­nal power and Godhead. And of his Nature, by excluding them from be­ing objects of our Worship, who are not God by nature, Gal. 4. 8. Now [Page 112] this natural Godhead of God, is, his Substance or Essence with all the Holy divine Excellencies which naturally and necessarily appertain thereunto. Such are Eternity, Immensity, Omni­potency, Life, Infinite Holiness, Good­ness, and the like. This one Nature, Substance or Essence, being the Na­ture, Substance, or Essence of God, as God, is the Nature, Essence and Sub­stance of the Father, Son, and Spirit, one and the same absolutely in and unto each of them. For none can be God as they are revealed to be, but by vertue of this divine Nature or. Being. Herein consists the Vnity of the Godhead.

Secondly, The distinction which the Scripture reveals between Father, Son, and Spirit is that whereby they are three [...]p [...]stasis, or Persons, distinctly subsisting in the same divine Essence or Being. Now a divine person, is no­thing but the divine Essence upon the account of an especial property, subsist­ing in an especial manner. As in the [Page 113] Person of the Father, there is the Di­vine Essence, and Being, with its pro­perty of begetting the Son, subsisting in an especial manner as the Father. And because this Person hath the whole Divine Nature, all the Essential Properties of that nature are in that person. The Wisdom, the Under­standing of God, the Will of God, the Immensity of God, is in that person; not as that Person, but as the Person is God. The like is to be said of the Persons of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Hereby each Person having the Understanding, the Will, and power of God, becomes a distinct principle of operation; and yet all their actings ad extra being the act­ings of God, they are undivided, and are all the works of one, of the self same God. And these things do not only necessarily follow, but are direct­ly included in the Revelation made concerning God, and his subsistence in the Scriptures.

There are indeed very many other [Page 114] things that are taught, and disputed, about this Doctrine of the [...]rinity, as the manner of the eternal Genera [...]on of the Son, of the Essence of the Fa­ther; of the procession of the Holy Ghost, and the difference of it from the Generation of the Son; of the mutual in-being of the persons, by rea­son of their unity in the same Sub­stance or Essence; the nature of their personal subsistence, with respect unto the properties whereby they are mu­tually distinguished, all which are true and defensible against all the Sophisms of the Adversaries of this truth. Yet because the distinct apprehension of them, and their accurate expression, is not necessary unto faith, as it is our guide and principle in and unto▪ Reli­gious Worship and obedience, they need not here be insisted on. Nor are those brief Explications them­selves before mentioned, so proposed as to be placed immediately in the same rank or order with the Origi­nal Revelations before infisted on, but [Page 115] only are pressed as proper Expressions of what is revealed to increase our light and further our edification. And although they cannot rationally be opposed or denyed, nor ever were by any, but such as deny and oppose the things themselves as revealed, yet they that do so deny or oppose them, are to be required positively in the first place to deny or disapprove the Oneness of the Deity, or to prove that the Father, or Son, or Holy Ghost in particular, are not God, before they be allowed to speak one word against the manner of the Explication of the truth concerning them. For either they grant the Revelation declared and contended for, or they do not: If they do; let that concession be first laid down, namely, that the Father, Son, and Spirit are one God; and then let it be debated whether they are one in Substance and three in Persons, or how else the matter is to be stated. If they deny it; it is a plain madness to dispute of the manner of any thing, [Page 116] and the way of expressing it, whilst the thing it self is denyed to have a being: for of that which is not, there is neither manner, property, adjunct, nor effect. Let then such persons, as this sort of men are ready to attempt with their Sophistry, and to amuse with cavils about persons, substances, subsistences, and the like, desire to know of them what it is that they would be at. What would they de­ny, what would they disapprove. Is it that God is one; or that the Fa­ther is God, or the Son, or the Holy Ghost is so. If they deny, or oppose either of these, they have Testimo­nies and instances of divine Revela­tion, or may have, in a readiness, to confound the Devil and all his Emis­saries. If they will not do so, if they refuse it, then let them know, that it is most foolish and unreasonable to contend about Expressions and Expla­nations of any thing, or doctrine, about the manner, respects, or relati­ons of any thing, untill the thing [Page 117] it self, or Doctrine, be plainly con­fessed or denyed. If this they refuse, as generally they do and will, which I speak upon sufficient experience, and will not be induced to deal openly, properly and rationally, but will keep to their Cavils and Sophisms, about terms and expressions, all far­ther debate, or conference with them, may justly, and ought both consci­enciously and rationally to be refused, and rejected. For these sacred my­steries of God and the Gospel, are not lightly to be made the subject of mens contests and disputations.

But as we dealt before in particu­lar, so here I shall give Instances of the Sophistical exceptions that are used against the whole of this Do­ctrine; and that with respect unto some late collections, and Representa­tions of them: From whence they are taken up and used by many who seem not to understand the words, Phrases and Expressions themselves, which they make use of.

[Page 118] The summ of what they say in general, is, How can these things be? How can three be one, and one be three? Every person hath its own substance, and therefore if there be three persons, there must be three substances; and so three Gods.

Answ. 1. Every person hath di­stinctly its own substance, for the one substance of the Deity, is the substance of each person, so it is still but one. But each person hath not its own di­stinct substance, because the substance of them all is the same, as hath been proved.

2. They say, That if each person be God, then each person is Infinite, and there being three persons there must be three Infinites.

Answ. This follows not in the least; for each person is Infinite as he is God. Al [...] divine properties, such as to be Infinite is, belong not to the per­sons on the account of their persona­lity, but on the account of their na­ture, which is one, for they are all na­tural properties.

[Page 119] But they say, If each person be God, and that God subsist in three persons, then in each person there are three per­sons or Gods.

Answ. The collusion of this So­phism consists in that expression, be God; and that God; in the first place, the nature of God is intend­ed; in the latter a singular person. Place the words intelligibly and they are thus; If each person be God, and the nature of God subsists in three persons, then in each person there are three persons; and then the folly of it will be evi­dent.

But they farther infer; That if we deny the persons to be Infinite, then an Infinite Being hath a finite mode of sub­sisting, and so I know not what supposi­tion they make hence; that seeing there are not three Infinites, then the Father, Son, and Spirit are three finites that make up an Infinite.

The pitiful weakness of this Cavil is open to all: for finite and Infinite [Page 120] are properties and adjuncts of Beings, and not of the manner of the sub­sistence of any thing. The nature of each person is Infinite, and so is each person, because of that nature. Of the manner of their subsistence, fi­ni [...]e and Infinite cannot be predi­cated or spoken, no farther than to say, an Infinite Being doth so subsist.

But you grant, say they, that the on­ly true God is the Father, and then if Christ be the only true God, he is the Father.

Answ. We say, the only true God is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We never say, the Scripture never sayes, that the Father only is the true God, whence it would follow, that he that is the true God, is the Father. But we grant the Father to be the only trne God: and so we [...] is the Son also. And it doth not [...] all thence follow, that the Son is [...] Father. Because in saying the [...] the true God, we respect [Page 121] not his paternity, or his paternal Re­lation to his Son; but his Nature, Es­sence and Being. And the same we af­firm concerning the other persons. And to say, that because each person is God, one person must be another, is to crave leave to disbelieve what God hath revealed, without giving any Reason at all for their so doing.

But this Sophism being borrowed from another, namely Crellius, who insisted much upon it, I shall upon his account, and not on theirs, who as far as I can apprehend, understand little of the intendment of it, re­move it more fully out of the way. It is proposed by him in way of Syl­logism, thus, The only true God is the Father; Christ is the only true God; therefore he is the Father. Now this Syllogism is ridiculously Sophystical. For in a Categorical Syllogism the Major Proposition is not to be particular, nor equipollent to a particular. For from such a Proposition, when any thing communicable to more is the [Page 122] subject of it, and is restrained unto one particular, nothing can be infer­red in the conclusion. But such is this Proposition here, the only true God is the Father. It is a particular Proposition; wherein the subject is restrained unto a singular, or indivi­dual predicate, though in it self com­municable to more. Now the Pro­position being [...]o made particular, the terms of the subject or predicate are supposed rec [...]procal; namely, that one God, and the Father, are the same; which is false: Unless it be first proved, that the name God, is com­municable to no more, or no other, than is the other term of Father; which to suppose, is to begg the whole Question. For the only true God, hath a larger signification than the term of Father, or Son. So that though the only true God be the Fa­ther, yet every one who is true God, is not the Father: Seeing then that the name of God here, supplyes the pla [...]e of a species, though it be sin­gular [Page 123] absolutely, as it respects the Divine Nature which is absolutely singular, and one, and cannot be multiplyed; yet in respect of communication it is otherwise, it is communicated unto more, namely, to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. And therefore if any thing be intend­ed to be concluded from hence, the Proposition must be expressed ac­cording to what the subject requires, as capable of communication or Attri­bution to more than one, as thus; who ever is the only true God, is the Father; which Proposition these Persons and their Masters, shall never be able to prove.

I have given in particular these strictures thus briefly, upon these empty Sophisms; partly, because they are well removed already, and partly because they are meer exscriptions out of an Author not long since translated into English, un­to whom an entire answer may ere long be returned.

[Page 124] That which at present shall suffice, is to give a general answer unto all these cavills, with all of the same kind, which the men of these prin­ciples do usually insist upon.

I. The things, they say, which we teach concerning the Trinity, are contra­ry to Reason; and thereof they en­deavour to give sundry instances, wherein the summ of the opposition which they make unto this truth doth consist. But first, I ask what Reason is it that they intend? It is their own, the carnal reason of men. By that they will judge of these Di­vine Mysteries. The Scripture tells us indeed, that the Spirit of a man w [...]ich is in him knows the things of a man. A mans Spirit, by natural Rea­son, may judge of natural things. But the things of God, knoweth no man but the spirit of God, 1 Cor. 2. 11. So that what we know of these things, we must receive upon the R [...]v [...]lation of the Spirit of God meerly; if the Apostle may be be­lieved. [Page 125] And it is given unto men to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God. To some, and not to others; and unless it be so given them they cannot know them. In particular, none can know the Father, unless the Son reveal him. Nor will, or doth, or can, flesh and blood reveal or understand Jesus Christ to be the Son of the living God, unless the Father reveal him, and instruct us in the truth of it, Matth. 16. 18. The way to come to the acknowledgement of these things, is that described by the Apostle, Ephes. 3. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Je­sus Christ, of whom the whole family in Heaven and Earth is named, that he would grant ye, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthned with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all Saints, &c. As also Col. 2. 2. That ye might come [Page 126] unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the Mysterie of God, and of the Father, and of Christ. In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. It is by faith and prayer, and through the Revelation of God, that we may come to the acknowledgement of these things; and not by the carnal reasonings of men of corrupt minds.

2. What Reason do they intend? If Reason absolutely, the Reason of things; we grant that nothing con­trary unto it, is to be admitted. But Reason as it is in this or that man, particularly in themselves, we know to be weak, maimed and imperfect; and that they are, and all other men, extreamly remote from a just and full comprehension of the whole Reason of things. Are they in such an estate, as that their apprehension shall pass for the measure of the nature of all things; we know they are far from it, So that though we will not ad­mit of any thing, that is contrary [Page 127] to reason, yet the least intimation of a Truth by Divine Revelation, will make me embrace it, although it should be contrary to the reason of all the Socinians in the world. Reason in the abstract, or the just measure of the answering of one thing unto another, is of great moment: But Reason, that is, what is pretended to be so, or appears to be so unto this or that man, espe­cially in and about things of Divine Revelation, is of very small impor­tance; of none at all where it riseth up against the express testimonies of Scripture, and these multiplyed to their mutual confirmation and expla­nation.

3. Many things are above Reason, that is, as considered in this or that subject, as men, which are not at all against it. It is an easie thing to compel the most curious enquirers of these dayes to a ready confession hereof, by multitudes of Instances in things finite and temporary. And shall any dare to deny but it may be [Page 128] so, in things Heavenly, Divine, and Spiritual? Nay, there is no concern­ment of the Being of God, or his properties, but is absolutely above the comprehension of our reason. We cannot by searching find out God, we cannot find out the Almighty to perfe­ction.

4. The very foundation of all their Objections and Cavils against this truth, is destructive of as fundamen­tal principles of reason, as are in the world. They are all at best reduced to this; it cannot be thus in things finite; the same Being cannot in one respect be one, in another three, and the like, and therefore it is so in things Infinite. All these reasonings are built upon this supposition, that that which is finite can perfectly com­prehend that which is Infinite. An as­sertion absurd, foolish and contradicto­ry unto it self! Again, it is the highest reason in things of pure Revelation, to captivate our understandings to the Authority of the Revealer, which [Page 129] here is rejected. So that by a loud specious pretence of Reason, these men by a little captious So­phistry endeavour not only to coun­tenance their unbelief, but to evert the greatest principles of Reason it self.

5. The Objections these men prin­cipally insist upon, are meerly against the Explanations we use of this Do­ctrine; not against the Primitive Re­velation of it, which is the principal object of our faith, which how pre­posterous and irrational a course of proceeding it is, hath been de­clared.

6. It is a Rule among Phil [...]sophers; that if a man on just grounds and reasons have embraced any opini­on or perswasion, he is not to de­sert it, meerly because he cannot an­swer every Objection against it. For if the Objections wherewith we may be entangled, be not of the same weight and importance, with the reason on which we embraced the [Page 130] opinion, it is a madness to forego it on the Account thereof. And much more must this hold amongst the common sort of Christians, in things spiritual and divine. If they will let go, and part with their faith in any truth, because they are not able to answer distinctly some Objections that may be made against it, they may quickly find themselves disputed into Atheism.

7. There is so great an intima­tion made of such an expression, and resemblance of a Trinity in Unity, in the very works of the Creation, as learned men have ma­nifested by various instances, that it is most unreasonable to suppose that to be contrary to reason, which many objects of rational considera­tion, do more or less present unto our minds.

8. To add no more considerati­ons of this nature; Let any of the Adversaries produce any one Argu­ment or grounds of reason, or [Page 131] those pretended to be such, against that that hath been asserted, that hath not already been baffl [...]d a thousand times, and it shall re­ceive an answer, or a publick acknowledgement that it is Indis­soluble.

Of the Person of Christ.

THE next Head of Opposition made by the men of this con­spiracy, against this sacred truth; is against the head of all truth, the per­son of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Socinians indeed would willingly put a better face, or colour upon their Er­ror, about the Person of Christ, then it will bear, or indure to lye on it. For in their Catechism unto this Question, Is the Lord Jesus Christ, purus Homo, a meer man? they Answer; by no means. How then? hath he a divine nature also? which is their next question: To this they say, by no means, for this is contrary to right reason. How then will these pretended Masters of Reason reconcile these things? For to us it seems, that [Page 133] if Christ have no other nature but that of a man, he is as to his nature, purus Homo, a meer man, and no more. Why, they answer, that he is not a meer man, because he was born of a Vir­gin; Strange! that that should be an argument to prove him more than a man, which the Scripture and all men in their right wits grant to be an in­vincible reason, to prove him to be a man, and as he was born of her, no more. Rom. 1. 3. Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, Rom. 9. 5. Whose are the Fa­thers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came. Gal. 4. 4. God sent forth his Son, made of a Woman, made under the Law. But say they; he was en­dowed with the Spirit, wrought Mira­cles, was raised from the dead, had all power given in Heaven and Earth; for by these degrees, he became to be God. But all men see that the inquiry is about the nature of Christ; and this Answer is about his state and condition. [Page 134] Now this changeth not his nature on the one hand, no more than his being humbled, poor and dying, did on the other. This is the right reason we have to deal withall in these men. If a man should have enquired of some of them of old, whether Mel­chizedeck were purus Homo, a meer man? some of them would have said, no, because he was the Holy Ghost; some no, because he was the Son of God him­self; and some no, because he was an Angel; for such foolish opinions have men fallen into. But how sottish so­ever their conceptions were, their Answer to that enquiry would have been regular, beca [...]se the Question and Answer respect the same subject, in the same respect. But never any was so stupid, as to answer, he was not a meer man, that is by nature, because he was a Priest of the high God, which respects his Office, and condi­tion. Yet such is the pretence of these men about the Person of Christ to incrustate and give some co­lour [Page 135] unto their soul mis-belief; as supposing that it would be much to their disadvantage to own. Christ only as a meer man, though the most part of their disputes that they have troubled the Christian World withall, have had no other design nor aim but to prove him so to be, and nothing else. I shall briefly, accord­ing to the method insisted on, first lay down what is the direct Revelation which is the object of our faith in this matter; then express the Revela­tion it self in the Scripture testimo­nies wherein it is recorded; and ha­ving vindicated some one or other of them from their exceptions, manifest how the Doctrine hereof is farther explained, unto the Edification of them that believe.

That there is a Second Person, the Son of God, in the holy Trin-Vnity of the God-head▪ we have proved before. That this Person did of his infinite Love and Grace take upon him our nature, bumane nature, so as that the [Page 136] divine and humane nature should be come one Person, one Christ, God and Man in one; so that whatever he doth in, and about our Salvation, it is done by that one Person, God and Man, is revealed unto us in the Scripture, as the Object of our Faith. And this is that which we believe concerning the Per­son of Christ. Whatever acts are ascrib [...]d unto him, however immediately per­formed, in, or by the Humane Nature, or in and by his Divine Nature, they are all the acts of that one Person, in whom are both these natures. That this Christ, God and Man, is because he is God, and on the account of what he hath done for us as Man, to be believ­ed in, worshipped, with worship Reli­gious and Divine, to be trusted and obeyed; this also is asserted in the Scri­pture. And these things are as it were the common notions of Christian Religi­on; the common Principles of our Profession; which the Scriptures also abundantly testifie unto.

Isa. 7. 14. Behold a Virgin shall conceive [Page 137] and bare a Son, and shall call his name Emanuel; that is, he shall be God with us, or God in our nature. Not, that that should be his name whereby he should be called in this World; but that this should be the condition of his Person, he should be God with us; God in our nature. So are the words expounded, Mat. 1. 21, 22, 23. That which is conceiv­ed in her is of the Holy Ghost; and she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his People from their sins. Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the Prophet, saying, Behold, a Virgin shall be with Child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call his name Emanuel, which being interpreted, is God with us. His name whereby he was to be called, was Jesus, that is a Saviour. And thereby was accomplished the pre­diction of the Prophet, that he should be Emanuel, which being interpreted, is God with us. Now a Child born to be God with us, is God in that [Page 138] Child taking our nature upon him, and no otherwise can the words be understood.

Isa. 9. 6. Vnto us a Child is born, un­to us a Son is given, and his name shall be called the migh [...]y God. The Child that is born, the Son that is given, is the mighty God; and as the migh [...]y God, and a Child born, or Son, given, he is the Prince of peace, as he is there called, or our Saviour.

John 1. 14. The Word was made flesh. That the Word was God, who made all things he had before de­clared. Now he affirms that this Word was made flesh. How! con­verted into flesh, into a Man, so that he who was God ceased so to be, and was turned or changed into flesh, that is a Man? besides that this is utterly impossible, it is not affirmed. For the Word continued the Word still, al­though he was made flesh, or made of a Woman, as it is elsewhere expres­sed, or made of the seed of David, or took our flesh or nature to be his [Page 139] own. Himself continuing God, as he was, became Man also, which before he was not. The Word was made flesh; this is that which we believe and assert in this mat­ter.

See John 3. 13. and ver. 31. John 6. 62. Chap. 16. 28. All which places assert the Person of Christ to have descended from Heaven in the As­sumption of Humane nature, and ascended into Heaven therein being assumed; and to have been in Heaven as to his Divine nature, when he was in the Earth in the flesh that he had assumed.

Acts 20. 28. Feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. The Person spoken of is said to be God absolutely; the Church of God. And this God is said to have blood of his own; the blood of Jesus Christ, being the blood of him that was God, though not the blood of him as God; For God is a Spirit. And this undeniably testifies [Page 140] to the unity of his Person as God and Man.

Rom. 1. 3, 4. Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of H [...]liness, by the Resurrection from the Dead. Rom. 9. 5. Whose are the Fathers, and of whom concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever, Amen. This is all we desire; that we may believe without distur­bance from the clamours of these Men. Namely, that the same Christ, as con­cerning the flesh, came of the Fathers, of David, and in himself, is over all God blessed for ever. This the Scri­pture asserts plainly, and why we should not believe it firmly, let these Men give a reason when they are able.

Gal. 6. 4. God sent forth his Son made of a Woman; He was his Son, and was made of a woman; accord­ing as he expresses it, Heb. 10. 5. A [Page 141] body hast thou prepared Me; as also, Rom. 8. 3.

Phil. 2. 5, 6, 7. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a Servant, and was made in the likeness of M [...]n. It is the same Christ that is spoken of. And it is here affirmed of him that he was in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God; But is this all; is this Jesus Christ God only? Doth he subsist only in the form or nature of God? No, saith the Apostle, he took upon him the form of a Servant, was made in the likeness of Men, and was found in fashion as a Man; that his being truly a Man is expres­sed in these words our Adversaries deny not; and we therefore believe that the same Jesus Christ is God also, because that is no less plainly ex­pressed.

1 Tim. 3. 16. And without contro­versie [Page 142] great is the mysterie of Godliness, God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of Angels. It is a Mysterie indeed, under which name it is de­spised now and reproached; nor are we allowed so to call it, but are re­flected on, as flying to mysteries for our defence. But we must take leave to speak in this matter, according to his directions, without whom we cannot speak at all. A Mysterie it is, and that a great mysterie; and that confessedly so, by all that do believe. And this is, that God was manifested in the flesh. That it is the Lord Christ who is spoken of, every one of the ensuing expressions do evince, Justi­fied in the Spirit, seen of Angels, Preach­ed unto the Gentiles, believed on in the World, received up into Glory. And this also is the substance of what we believe in this matter; Namely, That Christ is God, manifest in the flesh, which we acknowledge, own, and be­lieve to be true, but a great mysterie; yet no less great and Sacred a truth notwithstanding.

[Page 143] Heb. 2. 14. For as much then as the Children were partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same. ver. 16. For verily he took not on him the nature of An­gels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham. And this plainly af­firms his pre-existence unto that As­sumption of our nature, and the unity of his Person in it being so assumed.

1 John 3. 16. Hereby perceive we the Love of God, because he laid down his life for us. He who was God laid down for a season, and parted with that life, which was his own in that nature of ours which he had assumed. And that taking of our nature is called his coming in the flesh, which who so denyes, is not of God, but is the Spirit of Anti-Christ, 1 John 4. 3.

These are some of the places, wherein the Person of Christ is re­vealed unto our Faith, that we may believe on the Son of God, and have Eternal Life.

[Page 144] The Method formerly proposed would require that I should take off the general Objections of the Adversaries against this Divine Reve­lation; as also vindicate some pecu­liar Testimonies from their excepti­ons. But because a particular op­position unto this Truth, hath not as yet publickly and directly been maintained and managed by any that I know of among our selves, though the denyal of it be expresly included in what they do affirm; I shall leave the further confirmation there­of unto some other occasion, if it be offered, and it be judged neces­sary.

And this is that which the Faith of Believers rests in, as that which is plainly revealed unto them; name­ly, that Jesus Christ is God and Man in one Person; and that all his act­ings in their behalf are the actings of him who is God and Man; and that this Son of God, God and Man, is to be believed in by them, and [Page 145] obeyed that they have Eternal Life.

What is farther added unto these express testimonies, and the full Re­velation of the Truth contained in them in this matter, in way of ex­plication educed from them, and suit­able unto them, to the edification of the Church, or information of the minds of Believers in the right ap­prehension of this great Mysterie of God manifested in the flesh, may be reduced to these heads.

(1.) That the Person of the Son of God, did in his assuming humane nature to be his own, not take an in­dividual Person of any one into a near conjunction with himself, but pre­venting the personal subsistence of humane nature in that flesh which he assumed, he gave it its subsistence in his own Person, whence it hath its individuation and distinction▪ from all other persons whatever This is the Personal Union. The Di­vine and humane nature in Christ [Page 146] have but one personal subsistence; and so are but one Christ, one distinct personal principle of all Operations of all that he did, or doth, as Medi­ator. And this undeniably follows from what is declared in the Testi­monies mentioned. For the Word could not be made flesh, nor could he take on him the seed of Abraham, nor could the mighty God be a Child born and given unto us, nor could God shed his blood for his Church, but that the two natures so directly expres­sed, must be united in one Person; for otherwise as they are two natures still, they would be two Persons also.

2. Each nature thus united in Christ, is entire, and preserves unto it self its own natural properties. For he is no less perfect God, for being made Man, nor no less a true perfect Man, consisting of soul and body with all their essential parts by that natures being taken into subsistence with the Son of God, His Divine na­ture [Page 147] still continues Immense, Omnisci­ent, Omnipotent, infinite in Holi­ness, &c. his bumane nature, finite, li­mited, and before its Glorification, subject to all infirmities of life and death, that the same nature in others absolutely considered, is obnoxious unto.

3. In each of these natures, he acts suitably unto the essential properties and principles of that nature. As God, he made all things, upholds all things, by the word of his Power, fills Heaven and Earth, &c. As man, he lived, hungred, suffered, dyed, rose, ascended into Heaven. Yet by rea­son of the Union of both these na­tures in the same Person: not only his own Person is said to do all these things, but the Person expres­sed by the name which he hath on the account of one nature, is said to do that which he did only in the other. So God is said to redeem his Church with his own blood, and to lay down his life for us; and the Son [Page 148] of Man to be in Heaven, when he was in the Earth. All because of the uni­ty of his Person as was declared. And these things do all of them directly and undeniably flow from what is revealed concerning his Per­son, as before is declared.

Of the Satisfaction of CHRIST.

THE last thing to be enquired in­to, upon occasion of the late opposition to the great fundamental Truths of the Gospel, is the satisfa­ction of Christ. And the Doctrine hereof is such, as I eonceive needs rather to be explained than vindi­cated. For it being the Center wherein most, if not all the Lines of Gospel Promises, and Precepts do meet, and the great medium of all our Communion with God in Faith and Obedience, the great di­stinction between the Religion of Chri­stians, and that of all others in the world, it will easily on a due pro­posal be assented unto by all, who [Page 150] would be esteemed Disciples of Je­sus Christ. And whether a parcel of insipid Cavils, may be thought suffi­cient to obliterate the Revelation of it, men of sober minds will judge and discern.

For the term of Satisfaction, we contend not about it. It doth indeed properly express and connote that great Eff [...]ct of the Death of Christ which in the cause before us, we plead for. But yet because it belongs rather to the Explanation of the Truth con­tended for, then is used expresly in the Revelation of it, and because the right understanding of the Word it self depends on some notions of Law, that as yet we need not take into con­sideration, I shall not in this entrance of our discourse, insist precisely up­on it, but leave it as the natural con­clusion of what we shall find expres­ly declared in the Scripture. Nei­ther do I say this, as though I did decline the Word, or the right use of it, or what is properly signified [Page 151] by it, but do only cast it into its pro­per place answerable unto our method and design in the whole of this brie [...] discourse.

I know some have taken a new way of expressing and declaring the Doctrine concerning the Mediation of Christ, with the causes and ends of his death, which they think more ra­tional, than that usually insisted on. But as what I have yet heard of or seen in that kind, hath been not only unscriptural, but also very irrational, and most remote from that accuracy whereunto they pretend, who make use of it; so if they shall publish their conceptions, it is not improba­ble but that they may meet with a Scholastical Examination by some hand or other.

Our present work, as hath been of­ten declared, is for the establishment of the Faith of them, who may be attempted, if not brought into dan­ger to be seduced by the slights of some who lye in wait to deceive, and [Page 152] the clamours of others who openly drive the same design. What there­fore the Scripture plainly and clearly reveals in this matter, is the subject of our present enquiry. And either in so doing, as occasion shall be offered, we shall obviate, or in the close of it remove those Sophisms that the Sacred Truth now proposed to consideration hath been attempted withal.

The summ of what the Scripture reveals about this great truth, com­monly called the satisfaction of Christ, may be reduced unto these ensuing heads.

1. That Adam being made upright, sinned against God, and all mankind, all his posterity in him. Gen. 1. 27. So God created man in hit own Image, in the Image of God created he him, Male and Female created he them, Gen. 3. 11. And he said, who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the Tree whreof I commandeded thee that then shouldst not eat? Eccles. 7. 29. [Page 153] Lo, this only have I found, that God made man upright, but he hath sought out many inventions. Rom. 5. 12. Wherefore as by one man sin entred into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Ver. 18. Therefore by the offence of one, judgement came upon all men to condemnation, Ver. 19. By one mans disobedience many were made sinners.

2. That by this Sin of our first Pa­rents, all men are brought into an Estate of Sin, and Apostacy from God, and of an enmity unto him, Gen. 6. 5. God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the Earth, and that every ima­gination of the thoughts of his heart, was only evil continually, Psal. 51. 5. Behold, I was s [...]pen in iniquity, and in sin did my Mother conceive me. Rom. 3. 23. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, Rom. 8. 7. The carnal mind is enmity against God, f [...]r it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be Ephes. 4. 18. [Page 154] Having the understanding darkned, be­ing alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart, Chap. 2. 1. Col. 2. 13.

Thirdly, That in this state all men continue in sin against God, nor of them­selves can do otherwise, Rom. 3. 10, 11, 12. There is none righteous, no not one, there is none that understand­eth, there is none that seeketh after God; they are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable, there is none that doth good, no not one.

Fourthly, That the Justice and Ho­liness of God, as he is the Supream Governour and Judge of all the world, require that sin be punished, Exod. 34. 7. That will by no means clear the guilty, Josh. 24. 19. He is an holy God, he is a jealous God, he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins, Psalm 5. 4, 5, 6. For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness, neither shall evil dwell with thee; the foolish shall not stand in thy sight; thou [Page 155] hatest all workers of iniquity, thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing. Hab. 1. 13. Thou art of purer eyes than to be­hold evil, and canst not look upon iniqui­ty. Isa. 33. 14. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire, who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? Rom. 1. 32. Who knowing the judgement of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death. Rom. 3. 5, 6. Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? I speak as a man, God for­bid! for then how shall God judge the world? 2 Thes. 1. 6. It is a righteous thing with God, to recompence tribulati­on to them that trouble you. Heb. 12. 29. For our God is a consuming fire. From Deut. 4. 24.

Fifthly, That God hath also en­gaged his veracity and faithfulness in the Sanction of the Law not to leave sin unpunished, Gen. 2. 17. In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely dye. Deut. 27. 26. Cursed be he that con­firmeth not all the words of this Law to do them. In this state and conditi­on [Page 156] all mankind had they been left without divine aid and help, must have perished Eternally.

Sixthly, That God out of his in­finite Goodness, Grace and Love to mankind, sent his only Son to save and deliver them out of this condi­tion, Matth. 1. 21. Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his People from their sins, John 3. 16, 17. God so loved the world, that be gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have ever­lasting life: for God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. Rom. 5. 8. God commendeth his love towards us, in that while we were ye [...] sinners Christ dyed for us, 1 John 4. 9. In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him, v. 10. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his▪ Son to be a propitiation for our sins, 1. Thes. 1. 10. [Page 157] Even Jesus which delivereth us from the wrath to come.

Seventhly, That this Love was the same in Father and Son, acted di­stinctly in the manner that shall be afterwards declared; so vain are the pretences of men who from the Love of the Father in this matter, would argue against the Love of the Son; or on the contrary.

Eightly, That the way in general whereby the Son of God being In­carnate, was to save lost sinners, was by a substitution of himself according to the design and appointment of God in the room of those whom he was so save, 2 Cor. 5. 21. He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might become the righ­teousness of God in him, Gal. 3. 13. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us. Rom. 5. 7, 8. For scarcely for a Righteous Man will one dye, yet perad­venture for a good man some will even dare to dye; but God commendeth his [Page 158] love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ dyed us. Rom. 8. 3. For what the Law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the Righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us. 1 Pet. 2. 24. Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the Tree; Chap. 3. 18. For Christ also hath once suffered for us, the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us unto God. All these ex­pressions undeniably evince a substitu­tion of Christ as to suffering in the stead of them whom he was to save; which in general is all that we in­tend by his satisfaction; namely, that he was made sin for us, a curse for us, dyed for us, that is in our stead, that we might be saved from the wrath to come. And all these Ex­pressions as to their true genuine im­portance shall be vindicated, as occasi­on shall require.

[Page 159] Ninthly, This way of his saving sin­ners is in particular, several wayes ex­pressed in the Scripture. As,

1. That he offered himself a Sacri­fice to God, to make attonement for our sins, and that in his death and suf­ferings. Isa. 53. 10. When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin. John 1. 29. Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the World, Eph. 5. 2. Christ hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a Sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour, Heb. 2. 17. Was a merciful high Priest in things pertain­ing to God, to make reconciliation for the Sins of the People, Heb. 9. 11, 12, 13, 14. But Christ being come an high Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect Tabernacle not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building, neither by the blood of Goats and Calves, but by his own blood, he entred in once into the Holy place; having ob­tained Eternal Redemption for us; For if the blood of Bulls, &c. How much [Page 160] more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your Consci­ences from dead works?

2. That he Redeemed us by paying a price, a ransome for our Redempti­on. Mark 10. 45. The Son of Man came to give his life a ransome for ma­ny. 1 Cor. 6. 20. For ye are bought with a price, 7. 23. 1 Tim. 2. 6. Who gave himself a ransome for all to be testified in due time. Tit. 2. 14. Who gave himself for us, that he might Redeem us from all iniquity, 1 Pet. 1. 18. For we were not Redeemed with Silver and Gold and corruptible things. 19. But with the pretious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and with­out spot.

3. That he bare our sins, or the pu­nishment due unto them. Isa. 53. 5. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes are we healed; All we like Sheep have gone astray, we [Page 161] have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the ini­quity of us all. 11. For he shall bear their iniquities. 1 Pet. 2. 24. Who his own self bare our sins in his own Body on the Tree.

4. That he answered the Law and the penalty of it; Rom. 8. 3. God sent forth his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the Righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us. Gal. 3. 13. Christ hath Redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us. Chap. 4. 4, 5. God sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the Law, to Redeem them that were under the Law.

5. That he dyed for sin, and sin­ners, to expiate the one, and in the stead of the other. Rom. 4. 25. He was delivered for our offences. Rom. 5. 10. When we were Enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son. 1 Cor. 15. 3. Christ dyed for our sins according to the Scriptures. [Page 162] 2 Cor. 5. 14. For the Love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one dyed for all, then were all dead, 1 Thes. 5. 9, 10.

6. Hence on the part of God, it is affirmed that he spared him not, but de­livered him up for us all; Rom. 8. 32. And caused all our iniquities to meet upon him, Isa. 53. 7.

7. The Effect hereof was,

1. That the Righteousness of God was glorified, Rom. 3. 25, 26. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitia­tion through Faith in his blood, to de­clare his Righteousness for the remission of sins. (2.) The Law fulfilled and satisfied, as in the places before quoted. Rom. 8. 3. Gal. 3. 13, 14. Gal. 4. 5. (3.) God reconciled, 2 Cor. 5. 18, 19. God was in Christ reconciling the World unto himself, not imputing their tres­passes unto them. Heb. 2. 17. He made reconciliation for the sins of the People. (4.) Attonement was made for sin, Rom. 5. 11. By whom we have now received the Attonement; and peace [Page 163] was made with God, Eph. 2. 14. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, that he might reconcile both unto God in one Body by the Cross, having slain the emnity thereby. [...] Made an end of sin, Dan. 9. 24. To finish transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting Righteousness. The glory of God in all these things being exalted, himself well pleased, Righteousness and ever­lasting Redemption or Salvation pur­chased for Sinners, Heb. 9. 14. In that the chastisement of our peace was up­on him, and that by his stripes we are healed, he being punished that we might go free, himself became a Cap­tain of Salvation unto all that do obey him.

I have fixed on these particulars; to give every Ordinary Reader an in­stance how fully and plainly what he is to believe in this matter is reveal­ed in the Scripture. And should I pro­duce all the Testimonies which ex­presly give witness unto these posi­tions, [Page 164] it is known how great a part of the Bible must be transcribed. And these are the things which are indispensibly required of us to believe, that we may be able [...] and re­gulate our obedience according to the mind and will of God. In the Ex­planation of this Doctrine unto fur­ther Edification, sundry things are usually insisted on, which necessarily and infallibly ensue upon the propo­sitions of Scripture before laid down; and serve to beget in the minds of Believers a due apprehension, and right understanding of them. As,

1. That God in this matter is to be considered as the chief, supream, absolute Rector and Governour of all; as the Lord of the Law, and of sin­ners; but yet so as an offended Ruler. Not as an offended Person, but as an offended Ruler, who hath right to ex­act punishment upon Transgressors, and whose Righteousness of Rule re­quires that he should so do.

2. That because he is Righteous [Page 165] and Holy, as he is the supream Judge of all the World, it is necessary that he do right in the punishing of sin, without which the order of the Crea­tion cannot be preserved. For sin be­ing the Creatures deduction of it self from the order of its dependance up­on and obedience unto the Creator, and supream Lord of all, without a reduction of it by punishment, confu­sion would be brought into the whole Creation.

3. That whereas the Law and the Sanction of it is the moral or declara­tive cause of the punishment of sin, and it directly obligeth the sinner himself unto punishment; God as the supream Ruler, dispenseth, not with the act of the Law, but the immedi­ate object; and substitutes another sufferer in the room of them who are principally lyable unto the sentence of it, and are now to be acquitted or freed; that so the Law may be satis­fied, requiring the punishment of sin, Justice exalted, whereof the Law [Page 166] is an effect, and yet the sinner saved.

4. That the Person thus substitu­ted was the Son of God incarnate, who had power so to dispose of him­self with will and readiness for it; and was upon the account of the dig­nity of his Person, able to answer the penalty which all others had incurred and deserved.

5. That God upon his voluntary susception of this Office, and con­descention to this work, did so lay our sins in and by the sentence of the Law upon him, that he made there­in full satisfaction for whatever legally could be charged on them for whom he dyed or suffered.

6. That the special way terms and conditions whereby and whereon sin­ners may be interested in this satis­ [...]action made by Christ, are determi­ned by the Will of God, and declared in the Scripture.

These and the like things are usu­ally insisted on in the Explication [Page 167] or declaration of this head of our confession. And there is not any of them but may be sufficiently confirm­ed by Divine Testimonies. It may al­so be farther evinced that there is nothing asserted in them, but what is excellently suited unto the common notions which mankind hath of God and his Righteousness; and that in their practice they answer the light of nature, and common reason exempli­fied in sundry Instances among the Nations of the World.

I shall therefore take one Argu­ment from some of the testimonies before produced in the confirmation of this Sacred Truth, and proceed to remove the objections that are com­monly banded against it.

If the Lord Christ according to the Will of the Father, and by his own counsel and choice, was substituted, and did substitute himself as the Media­tour of the Covenant, in the room and in the stead of sinners that they might be saved, and therein bare [Page 168] their sins, or the punishment due un­to their sins, by undergoing the curse and penalty of the Law, and therein also according to the Will of God of­fered up himself for a propitiatory, expiatory Sacrifice to make Attone­ment for sin, and Reconciliation for sinners, that the Justice of God being appeased, and the Law fulfilled, they might go free, or be delivered from the wrath to come; and if therein al­so he paid a real satisfactory price for their Redemption; then he made satisfaction to God for sin. For these are the things that we intend by that expression, of satisfaction. But now all those things are openly, and fully witnessed unto in the Testimonies be­fore produced; as may be observed by suiting some of them unto the several particulars here asserted.

As 1. What was done in this mat­ter, was from the will, purpose, and love of God the Father. Psalm 40. 6, 7, 8. Heb. 10. 5, 6, 7. Act. 4. 28. John 3. 16. Rom. 8. 3.

[Page 169] 2. It was also done by his own vo­luntary consent, Phil. 2. 6, 7, 8.

3. He was Substituted, and did Substitute himself as the Mediator of the Covenant in the room and stead of sinners, that they may be saved, Heb. 10. 5, 6, 7. Chap. 7. 22. Rom. 3. 25, 26. Rom. 5. 7, 8.

4. And he did therein bear their sins, or the punishment due to their sins. Isa. 53. 6, 11. 1 Pet. 2. 23. And this,

5. By undergoing the Curse and penalty of the Law, Gal. 3. 13. Or the punishment of sin required by the Law, 2 Cor. 5. 21. Rom. 8. 3.

6. Herein, also according to the will of God, He offered up himself [...] propitiatory and expiatory Sacrifice to make Attonement for sin, and Re­conciliation for sinners, Ephes. 5. 2. Rom. 2. 17. Heb. 9. 11, 12, 13, 14. Which he did that the Justice of God being satisfied, and the Law fulfilled, sinners might be freed from the wrath to come, Rom. 3. 25. 1 Thes. 1. last.

[Page 70] 7. And hereby also, He paid a real price of Redemption for sin and sin­ners, 1 Pet. 1. 17, 18. 1 Cor. 6. last. These are the things which we are to believe, concerning the satisfaction of Christ; And our Explication of this Doctrine, We are ready to defend, when called thereunto.

The consideration of the Objections which are raised against this great fundamental Truth, shall close this Discourse. And they are of two sorts. First, In general, to the whole Doctrine, as declared, or some of the more signal heads, or parts of it. Se­condly, Particular Instances, in this or that supposal, as consequences of the Doctrine asserted. And in ge­neral,

1. They say, This is contrary to, and inconsistent with the Love, Grace, Mer­cy, and Goodness of God, which are so celebrated in the Scripture as the prin­cipal properties of his nature, and Acts of his Will, wherein he will be glorifi­ed. Especially contrary to the freedom [Page 171] of Forgiveness, which we are encou­raged to expect, and commanded to believe. And this exception they en­deavour to firm by Testimonies, that the Lord is Good and Gracious, and that He doth freely forgive us our sins and trespasses.

Answer: First, I readily grant that whatever is really contrary to the Grace, Goodness and Mercy of God, whatever is Inconsistent with the free Forgiveness of sin, is not to be admitted. For these things are fully revealed in the Scripture, and must have a consistency with whatever else is therein revealed of God, or his Will.

Secondly, As God is Good and Gracious, and Merciful, so also He is Holy, Righteous, True and Faithful. And these things are no less revealed concerning him than the other; and are no less Essential Pro­perties of his Nature than his Good­ness and Grace. And as they are all Essentially the same in him, and con­sidered [Page 172] only under a different habi­tude or respect as they are exerted by Acts of his will; so it belongs to his Infinite Wisdom, that the effects of them, though divers, and produced by divers waies, and means, may no way be contrary one to the other, but that Mercy may be exercised, without the prejudice of Justice, or Holiness; and Justice be preserved entire, without any obstruction to the Exercise of Mercy.

Thirdly, The Grace and Love of God that in this matter the Scripture reveals to be exercised, in order un­to the forgiveness of sinners, con­sists principally in two things. 1. In his Holy Eternal Purpose of pro­viding a relief for lost sinners. He hath done it, to the praise of the Glory of his Grace, Eph. 1. 6. 2. In the sending his Son in the pursuit▪ and for the accomplishment of the holy purpose of his Will and Grace. Herein most eminently doth the Scripture celebrate the Love, Good­ness, [Page 173] and kindness of God; as that whereby, in Infinite, and for ever to be adored Wisdom and Grace, he made way for the forgiveness of our sins. Joh. 3. 16. God so loved the world, as he gave his only begotten Son, Rom. 3. 24, 25. Whom he hath set forth to be a propitiation through saith in his blood, Rom. 5. 7, 8. God commendeth his Love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ dyed for us, Titus 3. 4. 1 John 4. 8, 9. Herein consists that ever to be adored Love, Goodness, Grace, Mercy and Condescension of God. Add here­unto, that in that act of causing our iniquities to meet on Christ, wherein he immediately intended the Decla­ration of his Justice, Rom. 3. 25. (Not sparing him, in delivering him up to death for us all, Rom. 8. 32.) There was a blessed harmony in the highest Justice, and most excellent Grace and M [...]rcy. This Grace, this Goodness, this Love of God toward mankind, towards sinners, our Ad­versaries [Page 174] in this matter neither know, nor understand; and so indeed what lyes in them, remove the foundati­on of the whole Gospel, and of all that faith and obedience, which God requires at our hands.

Fourthly, Forgiveness, or the actu­al condonation of sinners, the par­don and forgiveness of sins, is free; but yet so, as it is every where re­strained unto a respect unto Christ, unto his death and blood-shedding, Eph. 1. 7. We have Redemption in his blood, even the forgiveness of sins, Chap. 4. 32. God for Christs sake hath for­given you, Rom. 3. 25, 26. God hath set him forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the forgiveness of sins. It is absolutely free in respect of all immediate transactions between God and sinners. Free on the part of God.

First, In the Eternal purpose of it, when he might justly have suffered all men to have perished under the [Page 175] guilt of their sins. 2. Free in the means that he used to effect it unto his Glory. (1.) In the sending of his Son; and (2.) In laying the pu­nishment of our sin upon him. (3.) In his Covenant with him, that it should be accepted on our behalf. (4.) In his tender and proposal of it by the Gospel unto sinn [...]rs to be received without money or without price. (5.) In the actual condona­tion and pardon of them that do believe.

Secondly, It is free on the part of the persons that are forgiven. In that (1.) It is given and granted to them without any satisfaction made by them for their former transgres­sions. (2.) Without any merit to purch [...]se or procure it. (3.) Without any poenal satisfactory suffering here, or in a purgatory hereafter. (4.) With­out any Expectation of a future re­compence; or that being pardon­ed, they should then make or give any satisfaction for what they had [Page 176] done before. And as any of these things would, so nothing else can impeach the freedom of pardon and forgiveness. Whether then we re­spect the pardoner or the pardoned, Pardon is every way free; namely, on the part of God who forgives, and on the part of sinners that are for­given. If God now hath be­sides all this, provided himself a Lamb for a Sacrifice; if he hath in Infinite Wisdom and Grace found out a way, thus freely to forgive us out sins, to the praise and glory of his own Holiness, Righteousness and se­verity against sin, as well as unto the unspeakable advancement of that Grace, Goodness and bounty which he immediately exerciseth in the par­don of sin, are these mens eyes evil, because he is good? Will they not be contented to be pardoned, un­less they may have it at the rate of dispoiling God of his Holiness, Truth, Righteousness and Faithful­ness? And as this is certainly done [Page 177] by that way of pardon which these men propose, no reserve in the least being made for the glory of God in those holy properties of his nature which are immediately injured and opposed by sin; so that pardon it self which they pretend so to mag­nifie, having nothing to influence it but a meer arbitrary act of Gods will, is utterly d [...]based from its own proper worth and excellency. And I shall willingly undertake to ma­nifest, that they derogate no less from Grace and Mercy in pardon, than they do from the Righteous­ness and Holiness of God by the for­giveness which they have feigned; and that in it both of them are per­verted, and dispoiled of all their glory.

But they yet say, If God can freely pardon sin, why doth he not do it with­out satisfaction; if he cannot, he is weaker and more imperfect than man, who can do so.

[Page 178] Answ. First, God cannot do. many things that men can do; nor that he is more imperfect than they, but he cannot do them on the account of his perfection. He cannot lye, he cannot deny himself, he cannot change, which men can do, and do every day.

Secondly, To pardon sin without satisfaction in him who is absolutely Holy, Righteous, True and Faithful, the absolute necessary supream Go­vernour of all sinners, the Author of the Law, and sanction of it, wherein punishment is threatned and declar­ed, is to deny himself, and to do what one infinitely perfect, cannot do,

Thirdly, I ask of these men, why God doth not pardon sins freely without requiring faith, repentance and obedience in them that are par­doned; yea, as the conditions on which they may be pardoned? For seeing he is so infinitely good and gracious [...], cannot he pardon men [Page 179] without prescribing such terms and conditions unto them, as he knoweth, that men, and that incomparably the greatest number of them will never come up unto; and so must of ne­cessity perish for ever. Yea, but they say, this cannot be; neither doth this impeach the freedom of pardon. For it is certain that God doth prescribe these things, and yet he pardoneth freely. And it would altogether unbecome the holy God to pardon sinners that continue so to live and dye in their sins. But do not these men see that they have hereby given away their Cause which they contend for? For if a prescrip­tion of sundry things to the sinner himself, without which he shall not be pardoned, do not at all impeach, as they say, the freedom of pardon, but God may be said freely to pardon sin notwithstanding it▪ How shall the receiving of satisfaction by another, nothing a [...] all being required of the sinner; have the least appearance of [Page 180] any such thing? If the freedom of forgiveness consists in such a bound­less notion as these men imagine, it is certain that the prescribing of faith and repentance in and unto sinners antecedently to their participation of it, is much more evidently con­trary unto it, than the receiving of sa­tisfaction from another who is not to be pardoned, can to any appear to be. Secondly, If it be contrary to the holiness of God to pardon any, without requiring Faith, Re­pentance and Obedience in them, as it is indeed; let not these persons be offended, if we believe him when he so frequently declares it, that it was so to remit sin without the ful­filling of his Law and satisfaction of his Justice.

Secondly, They say, There is no such thing as Justice in God requiring the punishment of sin, but that that, which in him requireth and calleth for the punishment of sin, is his Anger and Wrath, which expressions denote free Acts [Page 181] of his Will, and not any essential pro­perties of his nature. So that God may punish sin, or not punish it at his pleasure. Therefore there is no Reason that he should require any satisfaction for sin, seeing he may pass it by absolutely as he pleaseth.

Answ. Is it not strange that the great Governour, the Judge of all the world, which on the supposition of the Creation of it, God is naturally and necessarily, should not also natu­rally be so righteous, as to do right, in rendring unto every one accord­ing to his works?

(2.) The Sanction and penalty of the Law, which is the Rule of punish­ment, was as I suppose, an effect of Justice, of Gods natural and essen­tial Justice, and not of his Anger or Wrath. Certainly never did any man make a Law for the Government of a people in anger. Draco's Laws were not made in wrath, but ac­cording to the best apprehension of right and Justice that he had, though [Page 182] said to be written in blood. And shall we think otherwise of the Law of God?

(3.) Anger and Wrath in God express the effects of Justice; and so are not meerly free acts of his will. This therefore is a tottering cause, that is built on the denyal of Gods Essential Righteousness. But it was proved before, and it is so else­where.

(3.) They say that the Sacrifice of Christ was Metaphorically only so. That he was a metaphorical Priest, not one properly so called. And therefore that his Sacrifice did not consist in his death and blood-shedding, but in his appearing in Heaven upon his Ascer­sion, presenting himself unto God in the most Holy Place not made with hands as the Mediator of the new Covenant.

Answ. When once these men come to this Evasion, they think themselves safe, and that they may go whither they will without controll. For [Page 183] they say it is true, Christ was a Priest, but only he was a Metaphorical one. He offered Sacrifice, but it was a Metaphorical one. He redeemed us, but with a Metaphorical Redemption; and so we are Justified thereon, but with a Metaphorical Justification; and so for ought I know they are like to be saved, with a Metaphorical Sal­vation. This is the substance of their plea in this matter. Christ was not really a Priest, but did somewhat like a Priest. He offered not Sacrifice re­ally, but did somewhat that was like a Sacrifice. He redeemed us not re­ally, but did somewhat that looked like Redemption. And what these things are, wherein their Analog [...]e consisteth, what proportion the things that Christ hath done, bare to the things that are really so, from whence they receive their denomi­nation, that it is meet it should be wholly in the power of these per­sons to declare. But,

(2.) What should hinder the death [Page 184] of Christ to be a Sacrifice, a proper Sa­crifice, and according to the nature, end, and use of Sacrifices to have made Attonement, and Satisfaction for sin? (1.) It is expresly called so in the Scripture; wherein he is said to offer himself, to make his soul an offering, to offer himself a Sacrifice, Eph. 5. 2. Heb. 1. 3. Heb. 9. 14, 25. 26. Chap. 7. 27. And he is himself directly said to be a Priest or a Sacrificer, Heb. 2. 18. And it is no where intimated, much less expressed that these things are not spoken properly but Metaphorically only. (2.) The Legal Sacrifices of the Old Law were instituted on pur­pose to represent and prepare the way for the bringing in of the Sa­crifice of the L [...]mb of God, so to take away the sin of the World. And is it not strange, that true and real Sa­crifices, should be Types and R pre­sentations of that which was not so? On this supposition all those Sacri­fices are but so many seductions from the right understanding of things be­tween [Page 185] God and sinners. (3.) No­thing is wanting to render it a proper propitiatory Sacrifice, for, (1.) There was the person of­fering, and that was Christ himself, Heb. 9. 14. He offered himself unto God. He, that is the Sacrificer, de­notes the person of Christ God and Man; and Himself as the Sacrifice denotes his Humane Nature; whence God is said to purchase his Church with his own blood, Act. 20. 28. For he offered himself through the Eternal Spirit; so that (2.) There was the Matter of the Sacrifice, which was the Humane Nature of Christ soul and body; His soul was made an offering for Sin, Isa. 53. 10 And his body, the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, Hob. 10 11. His blood especially, which is often Sy­necdochically mentioned for the whole. (4.) His death had the nature of a Sacrifice: For (1.) Therein were the sins of men laid upon him, and not in his entrance into Heaven; for he bare our sins in his own body on the [Page 186] tree, 1 Pet. 2. 23. God made our sins then to meet upon him, Isa. 53. 6. Which gives the formality unto any Sacrifices. Quod in ejus Caput sit, is the formal reason of all Propitiatory Sacrifices, and ever was so, as is ex­presly declared, Lev. 16. 21, 22. And the phrase of bearing sin, of bearing iniquity, is constantly used for the un­dergoing of the punishment due to sin. (2.) It had the End of a pro­per Sacrifice; it made expiation of sin, propitiation and attonement for sin with reconciliation with God, and so took away that enmity that was between God and sinners, Heb. 1. 3. Rom. 3. 25, 26. Heb. 2. 17, 18. Heb. 5. 10. Rom. 8. 3. 2 Cor. 5. 18, 19. And although God himself pesigned, appointed, and contrived in Wisdom this way of Reconcilia­tion, as he did the means for the at­toning of his own Anger towards the friends of Job, commanding them to go unto him, and with him offer Sacrifices for themselves which he [Page 187] would accept, Chap. 4. 28. Yet as He was the Supream Governour, the Lord of all, attended with Infinite Justice, and Holiness, Attonement was made with him, and satisfaction to him thereby.

What hath been spoken, may suf­fice to discover the emptiness and weakness of those exceptions which in general these men make against the Truth before laid down from the Scripture. A brief examination of some particular instances, wherein they seek not so much to oppose, as to reproach the Revelation of this Mysterie of the Gospel, shall put a close to this discourse. It is said then,

1. That if this be so, then it will fol­low, that God is gracious to Forgive, and yet impossible for him unless the debt be fully satisfied.

Answ. I suppose the confused and abrupt expression of things here, in words scarcely affording a tolerable sense, is rather from weakness than [Page 188] captiousness; and so I shall let the manner of the proposal pass. (2.) What is this should follow, that God is gracious to forgive sinners, and yet will not, cannot, on the ac­count of his own Holiness and Righ­teousness, actually forgive any, with­out Satisfaction and Attonement made for sin? the worst that can be hence concluded is, that the Scripture is true which affirms both these in many places. (3.) This sets out the ex­ceeding greatness of the Grace of God in forgiveness, that when sin could not be forgiven without satisfaction, and the sinner himself could no way make any such satisfaction, that he provid­ed himself a Sacrifice of Attone­ment, that the sinner might be dis­charged and pardoned. (4.) Sin is not properly a debt, for then it might be paid in kind, by sin it self; but is called so, only because it binds over the sinner to punishment, which is the satisfaction to be made for that which is properly a Transgression, and im­properly [Page 189] only a debt. It is ad­ded,

2. Hence it follows that the finite and impotent creature is more capable of extending Mercy and Forgiveness, than the Infinite and Omnipotent Creator.

Answ. God being Essentially Holy and Righteous, having ingaged his faithfulness in the sanction of the Law, and being naturally and necessarily the Governour and Ruler of the World, the Forgiving of sin without satis­faction, would be no perfection in him, but an effect of impotency, and imperfection; a thing which God cannot do; as he cannot lye, nor deny himself. (2.) The direct contrary of what is insinuated, is asserted by this Doctrine; for on the supposition of the Satisfaction, and Attonement insisted on, not only doth God freely forgive, but that in such a way of Righteousness and Goodness as no Creature is able to conceive or express the glory and excellency of it. And [Page 190] to speak of the poor halving pardons of private Men, upon particular of­fences against themselves, who are commanded so to do, and have no right nor authority to require or ex­act punishment nor is any due upon the meer account of their own con­cernment, in comparison with the forgiveness of God, ariseth out of a deep ignorance of the whole matter under consideration.

3. It is added by them, that hence it follows, that God so loved the World, he gave his only Son to save it; and yet that God stood off in high displeasure, and Christ gave himself as a compleat satisfaction to offended Justice.

Answ. 1. Something these Men would say, if they knew what or how; for (1.) That God so loved the World, as to give his only Son to save it, is the expression of the Scripture, and the foundation of the Doctrine whose truth we contend for. That Christ offered himself to make Attone­ment for sinners, and therein made [Page 191] satisfaction to the Justice of God, is the Doctrine it self which these Men oppose, and not any consequent of it. (3.) That God stood off in high dis­pleasure, is an expression which nei­ther the Scripture useth, nor those who declare this Doctrine from thence, nor is suited unto divine per­fections, or the manner of divine ope­rations. That intended seems to be that the Righteousness and Law of God required the punishment due to Sin, to be undergone, and thereby satisfaction to be made unto God; which is no consequent of the Do­ctrine, but the Doctrine it self.

4. It is yet farther objected, that if Christ made satisfaction for sin, then he did it either as God, or as Man, or as God and Man.

Answ, (1.) As God and Man, Acts 20. 28. God redeemed his Church with his own blood, 1 John 3. 16. Herein was manifest the Love of God, that he laid down his life for us, Heb. 9. 14. (2.) This dilemma is proposed as [Page 192] that which proceeds on a supposition of our own principles, that Christ is God and Man in one Person, which indeed makes the pretended difficulty to be vain and a meer effect of igno­rance. For all the Mediatory acts of Christ being the acts of his Person, must of necessity be the acts of him as God and Man. (3.) There is yet another mistake in this inquiry; for satisfaction is in it looked on as a real act or operation of one, or the other nature in Christ; when it is the Ap [...]telesma or Effect of the actings, the doing and suffering of Christ; the Dignity of what he did in refe­rence unto the end for which he did it. For the two natures are so united in Christ, as not to have a third com­pound principle of Physical acts and operations thence arising; but each nature acts distinctly according to its own being and properties; yet so, as what is the immediate act of either nature, is the act of him who is one in both, from whence it hath its dig­nity. [Page 193] (4.) The summ is; that in all the Mediatory actions of Christ we are to consider, (1.) The Agent, and that is the Person of Christ. (2.) The immediate principle by which, and from which the Agent worketh; and that is the natures in the Person. (3.) The Actions, which are the ef­fectual Operations of either nature. (4.) The Effect or work with respect to God and us; and this relates unto the Person of the Agent, the Lord Christ, God and Man. A blending of the natures into one common prin­ciple of operation, as the compound­ing of Mediums unto one end, is ridi­culously supposed in this matter.

But yet again it is pretended that sundry consequences irreligious and ir­rational do ensue upon a supposition of the satisfaction pleaded for. What then are they?

1. That it is unlawful and impossible for God All-mighty to be gracious, and merciful, or to pardon Transgres­sors.

[Page 194] Answ. (1.) The miserable confused misapprehension of things, which the proposal of this, and the like conse­quences doth evidence, manifests suffi­ciently how unfit the makers of them are to mannage Controversi [...]s of this nature. For (1.) It is supposed that for God to be Gracious and Merciful, or to pardon Sinners, are the same; which is to confound the Essential properties of his nature, with the free acts of his will. (2.) Lawful, or unlawful, are terms that can with no tolerable sense be used concerning any properties of God, all which are na­tural and necessary unto his Being; as Goodness, Grace, and Mercy in particular are. (3.) That it is impos­sible for God to pardon Transgressors according to this Doctrine, is a fond Imagination, for it is only a declara­tion of the manner how he doth it. (4.) As God is gracious and Merci­ful, so also he is Holy, and Righteous, and true; and it became him, or was every way meet for him, in his way [Page 195] of exercising Grace and Mercy to­wards sinners, to order all things so, as that it might be done without the impeachment of his Holiness, Righ­teousness and Truth. It is said again,

2. That God was inevitably com­pelled to this way of saving Men; the highest affront to his uncontroulable Nature.

Answ. Were the Authors of these exceptions put to declare what they mean by Gods uncontroulable nature, they would hardly disentangle them­selves with common sence. Such Masters of Reason are they indeed, whatever they would fain pretend to be. Controulable, or uncontroulable, respect actings and operations, not Beings or Natures. (2.) That upon the Principle opposed by these Men, God was inevitably compelled to this way of saving Men, is a fond and Childish Imagination. The whole business of the Salvation of Men ac­cording unto this Doctrine, depends [Page 196] on a meer free Soveraign act of Gods will exerting it self in a way of Infi­nite Wisdom, Holiness, and Grace. (3.) The meaning of this Objection (if it hath either sence or meaning in it) is, that God freely purposing to save lost sinners, did it in a way be­coming his holy Nature, and righteous Law. What other course Infinite Wisdom could have taken for the sa­tisfaction of his Justice we know not; That Justice was to be satisfied, and that this way it is done, we know and believe.

3. They say it hence follows, that it is unworthy of God to pardon, but not to inflict punishment on the Inno­cent; or require a satisfaction where there was nothing due.

Answ. (1.) What is Worthy or un­worthy of God, himself alone knows, and of men not any but according to what he is pleased to declare and re­veal. But certainly, it is unworthy any Person pretending to the least In­terest in Ingenuity or use of Reason, [Page 197] to use such frivolous Instances in any case of importance which have not the least pretence of Argument in them but what ariseth from a gross misapprehension, or misrepresentation of a Doctrine designed to opposition. (2.) To pardon sinners, is a thing be­coming the Goodness and Grace of God; to do it by Christ, that which becometh them, and his Holiness and Righteousness also. Rom. 3. 25. Ephes. 1. 6, 7. (3.) The Lord Christ was Personally Innocent; but He who knew no sin was made sin for us, 2 Cor. 5. 21. And as the Mediator and Surety of the Covenant, he was to answer for the sins of them whom he undertook to save from the wrath to come; by giving himself a ransome for them, and making his soul an Offering for their sin. (4) That no­thing is due to the Justice of God for sin, that is, that sin doth not in the Justice of God deserve punishment, is [...] good comfortable Doctrine, for Men that are resolved to continue in [Page 198] their sins whilest they live in this World. The Scripture tells us, that Christ paid what he took not; that all our iniquities were caused to meet upon him; that he bare them in his own body on the Tree; that his soul was made an offering for sin, and therei by made Reconciliation or Atione­ment for the sins of the People; if these Persons be otherwise minded, we cannot help it.

4. It is added; that this Doctrine doth not only disadvantage the true vertue and real intent of Christs life and death, but intirely deprives G [...]d of that praise which is o [...]ing to his greatest Love and Goodness.

Answ. I suppose that this is the first time, that this Doctrine fell under this imputation; nor could it possibly be lyable unto this charge from any, who did either understand it, or the grounds on which it is commonly opposed. For, there is no end of the Life or death of Christ, which the Socinians themselves admit of, but it [Page 199] is also allowed, and asserted in the Doctrine now called in Question. Do they say, that he taught the Truth or revealed the whole mind and will of God concerning his Worship and our obedience? We say the same. D [...] they say, that by his death he hare testimony unto, and confirmed the truth which he had taught? it is also owned by us. Do they say that in what he did, and su [...]fered, he set us an Ex­ample that we should labour after conformity unto? it is what we ac­knowledge and teach. Only we say that all these things belong principally to his Prophetical Office. But we moreover affirm and believe, that as a Priest, or in the discharge of his Sa­cerdotal Office, he did in his death and sufferings, offer himself a Sacrifice to God, to make Attonement for our sins, which they deny; and that he dyed for us, or in our stead, that we might go free; without the faith and acknowledgement whereof no part of the Gospel can be rightly under­stood. [Page 200] All the ends then which they themselves assign of the Life and death of Christ, are by us granted; and the principal one, which gives life and efficacy to the rest, is by them denyed. Neither (2.) doth it fall under any possible imagination, that the praise due unto God should be Ecclipsed hereby. The Love and Kindness of God towards us, is in the Scripture fixed principally and fundamentally, on his sending of his only begotten Son to dye for us. And certainly the greater the work was that he had to do, the greater ought our acknow­ledgement of his Love and kindness to be; but it is said,

5. That it represents the Son more kind and compassionate than the Father; whereas if both be the same God, then either the Father is as loving as the Son, or the Son as angry as the Father.

Answ. (1.) The Scripture referreth the Love of the Father, unto two heads. (1.) The sending of his Son to dye for us, John 3. 16. Rom. 5. 8. [Page 201] 1 John 4. 8. (2.) In choosing sinners unto a participation of the fruits of his love, Ephes. 1. 3, 4, 5▪ 6. The Love of the Son, is fixed signally on his actual giving himself to dye for us, Gal. 2. 20. Ephes. 5. 25. Rev. 1. 5. What ballances these Persons have got, to weigh these Loves in, and to conclude which is the greatest or most weighty, I know not.

2. Although only the actual dis­charge of his Office be directly as­signed to the Love of Christ, yet his cond [...]scention in taking our nature upon him expressed by his mind, Ephes 6. 7. and the readiness of his Will, Psalm 40. 8. doth eminently comprise Love in it also.

Thirdly, The Love of the Father in sending of the Son, was an act of his will, which being a natural and essential property of God, it was so far the act of the Son also, as he is partaker of the same nature; though eminently and in respect of order it was peculiarly the act of the Father.

[Page 202] (4.) The anger of [...]od against sin, is an effect of his essential Righteousness and Holiness which belong to him as God; which yet hinders not, but that both Father, and Son, and Spirit acted Love towards sinners. They say again,

6. It robs God of the gift of his Son for our redemption, which the Scriptures attribute to the unmerited Love he had for the World, in affirming the Son purchased that redemption from the Father, by the gift of himself to God as our compleat satisfaction.

Answ. (1.) It were endless to con­sider the improper and absurd expres­sions which are made use of in these exceptions; as here the last words have no tolerable sence in them ac­cording to any principles whatever. (2.) If the Son's purchasing Redem­ption for us, procuring, obtaining it, do rob God of the gift of his Son for our redemption; the Holy Ghost must answer for it: For having obtained for us, or procured, or purchased [Page 203] eternal redemption, is the word used by himself, Heb. 9. 14. And to deny that he hath laid down his Life a ran­some for us, and to have bought us with a price, is openly to deny the Gospel. (2.) In a word, the great gift of God consisted in giving his Son to obtain Redemption for us. (3.) Herein he offered himself unto God, and gave himself for us; and if these Persons are offended herewithal, what are we that we should withstand God. They say,

7. Since Christ could not pay what was not his own, it follows that in the payment of his own, the case still remains equally grievous. Since the debt is not hereby absolved or forgiven, but trans­ferred only; and by consequence we are no better provided for salvation than be­fore, owing that now to the Son, which was once owing to the Father.

Answ. The looseness, and dubi­ousness of the expressions here used, makes an appearance that there is something in them, when indeed there [Page 204] is not. There is an Allusion in them to a debt and a payment, which is the most improper expression that is used in this matter, and the interpretation thereof is to be regulated by other proper expressions of the same thing. But to keep to the Allusion, (1.) Christ paid his own, but not for himself, Dan. 9. 26. (2.) Paying it for us, the debt is discharged, and our actual discharge is to be given out according to the wayes and means, and upon the con­ditions appointed and constituted by the Father and Son. (3.) When a debt is so transferred as that one is accepted in the room, and obliged to payment in the stead of another, and that pay­ment is made and accepted accord­ingly, all Law and Reason require that the original Debtor be discharg­ed. (4.) What on this account we owe to the Son, is praise, thankful­ness, and obedience, and not the debt which he took upon himself, and dis­charged for us, when we were non-solvent, by his love. So that this mat­ter [Page 205] is plain enough, and not to be in­volved by such cloudy expressions and incoherent discourse, following the Metaphor of a debt. For if God be considered as the Creditor, we all as Debtors, and being insolvent, Christ undertook out of his Love to pay the debt for us, and did so accordingly, which was accepted with God; it follows that we are to be discharged, upon Gods terms, and under a new obligation unto his Love, who hath made this satisfaction for us, which we shall eternally acknowledge. It is said,

8. It no way renders Men beholding, or in the least obliged to God, since by their Doctrine he would not have abated us, nor did he Christ the least farthing; so that the acknowledgements, are peculiarly the Sons, which destroyes the whole cur­rent of Scripture Testimony for his good will towards Men. O the infamous por­traicture this Doctrine draws of the In­finite Goodness; is this your retribution, O injurious Satisfactionists?

Answ. This is but a bold Repeti­tion [Page 206] of what in other words was mentioned before over and over. Wherein the Love of God in this matter consisted, and what is the ob­ligation on us unto thankfulness and obedience, hath been before also decla­red. And we are not to be moved in Fundamental Truths, by vain ex­clamations of weak and unstable Men. It is said,

9. That Gods Justice is satisfied for sins past, present and to come, whereby God and Christ have lost both their power of inj [...]yning Godliness, and prerogative of punishing disobedience; for what is once paid, is not revokable; and if pu­nishment should arrest any for their debts, it argues a breach on God or Christs part; or e [...]se that it hath not been sufficiently solved; and the penalty compleat sustained by another.

Answ. The intention of this pre­tended consequence of our Doctrine is, that upon a supposition of satisfa­ction made by Christ, there is no solid foundation remaining for the pre­scription [Page 207] of Faith, Repentance, and Obedience on the one hand, or of pu­nishing them who refuse so to obey, believe, or repent, on the other. The Reason of this Inference insinuated, seems to be this; that sin being satis­fied for, cannot be called again to an Account. For the former part of the pretended consequence, namely that on this supposition, there is no foun­dation left for the prescription of God­liness, I cannot discern any thing in the least looking towards the confir­mation of it, in the words of the Ob­jection laid down. But these things are quite otherwise; as is manifest unto them that read and obey the Gospel. For (1.) Christs satisfaction for sins, acquits not the creature of that dependance on God, and duty which he owes to God, which not­withstanding that, God may Justly, and doth prescribe unto him, suitable to his own Nature, Holiness and Will. The whole of our regard unto God, doth not lye in an acquitment from [Page 208] sin. It is moreover required of us as a necessary and indispensible conse­quence of the Relation wherein we stand unto him, that we live to him and obey him, whether sin be satisfied for, or no. The manner and measure hereof are to be regulated by his pre­scriptions, which are suited to his own Wisdom and our condition. And they are now referred to the heads mentioned of Faith, Repentance, and new Obedience. (2.) The Satisfaction made for sin, being not made by the sinner himself, there must of necessity be a Rule, Order, and law-Constituti­on how the sinner may come to be interested in it, and made partaker of it. For the consequent of the Free­dom of one by the suffering of ano­ther, is not natural or necessary, but must proceed and arise from a Law-Constitution, Compact, and Agree­ment. Now the way Constituted and Appointed, is that of Faith, or believ­ing, as explained in the Scripture. If Men believe not, they are no less liable [Page 209] to the punishment due to their sins, than if no satisfaction at all were made for sinners. And whereas it is added, forgetting that every one must Appear before the Judgement seat of Christ, to receive according to things done in the body; Yea and every one must give an Account of himself to God; closing all with this, but many more are the gross absurdities and Blasphemies that are the genuine fruits of this so confidently be­lieved Doctrine of satisfaction. I say it is (3.) Certain, that we must all Ap­pear before the Judgement seat of Christ, to receive according to the things done in the body; and therefore Wo will be unto them at the great day, who are not able to plead the Attonement made for their sins by the blood of Christ, and an Evidence of their interest therein by their faith and obedience, or the things done and wrought in them, and by them whilst they were in the body here in this World. And this it would better become these persons to betake them­selves [Page 210] unto the consideration of, than to exercise themselves unto an unpa­rallel'd confidence in reproaching those with absurdities and blasphemies, who believe the Deity and Satisfaction of Jesus Christ the Son of the living God, who dyed for us, which is the ground and bottom of all our Expectation of a blessed life and immortality to come.

The removal of these Objections against the Truth scattered of late up and down in the hands of all sorts of Men, may suffice for our present pur­pose. If any amongst these Men, who judge that they have an ability to mannage the opposition against the Truth as declared by us, with such pleas, Arguments, and exceptions, as may pretend an interest in appearing Reason, they shall, God assisting, be attended unto. With men, given up to a spirit of railing or reviling, though it be no small honour to be reproached by them who reject with scorn the eternal Deity of the Son of God, and the Satisfactory Attone­ment [Page 211] he made for the sins of Men, no Person of Sobriety will con­tend. And I shall further only desire the Reader to take notice, that though these few sheets were written in few hours, upon the desire, and for the sa­tisfaction of some private Friends, and therefore contain meerly an expression of present thoughts, without the least design or diversion of mind towards accuracy or Ornament; yet the Au­thor is so far confident that the Truth, and nothing else is proposed and con­firmed in them, that he fears not but that an opposition to what is here declared will be removed, and the Truth reinforced in such a way and manner as may not be to its disad­vantage.


An Appendix.

THE preceding Dis­course, (as hath been declared) was writ­ten for the Use of Ordinary Christians; or such as might be in danger to be seduced, or any way entangled in their minds, by the late attempts against the Truths pleaded for. For those to whom the dispen­sation of the Gospel is committed, are debtors both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the Wise and to the unwise, Rom. 1. 14. It was there­fore thought meet, to insist only on things necessary, and such as their faith [Page 214] is immediately concerned in; and not to immix therewithall, any such Arguments or Considerations, as might not, by reason of the Terms wherein they are expressed, be ob­vious to their Capacity and Under­standing. Unto Plainness and Perspi­cuity, Brevity was also required, by such as judged this work necessary. That design we hope is answered, and now discharged in some usesul mea­sure. But yet because many of our Arguments on the head of the satis­faction of Christ, depend upon the genuine signification and notion of the Words and Terms wherein the Do­ctrine of it is delivered, which for the Reasons before mentioned could not conveniently be discussed in the foregoing discourse, I shall here in some few Instances, give an Account of what farther confirmation the Truth might receive, by a due Explanation of them. And I shall mention here but few of them, because a large Dissertation concerning them all, is [Page 215] intended in another way.

First, For the Term of satisfaction it self; It is granted that in this mat­ter it is not found in the Scripture. That is, it is not so [...], or Syllabi­cally, but it is [...], the thing it self intended is asserted in it, beyond all Modest con­tradiction. Neither indeed is there in the Hebrew Language any word that doth adequately answer unto it; no nor yet in the Greek. As it is used in this cause, [...], which is pro­perly sponsio or fide jussio, in its actual discharge, maketh the nearest approach unto it. [...] is used to the same purpose. But there are Words and Phrases both in the Old Testa­ment, and in the New, that are equi­pollent unto it, and express the mat­ter or thing intended by it: As in the Old are, [...] and [...] This last word we render satisfaction, Numb. 35. 32, 33. where God de­nyes that any compensation, Sacred or Civil, shall be received to free a Mur­derer [Page 216] from the punishment due unto him; which properly expresseth what we intend. Thou shalt admit of no satisfaction for the life of a Mur­derer.

In the New Testament; [...]; and the Verbs; [...], are of the same im­portance; and some of them ac­commodated to express the thing intended, beyond that which hath obtained in vulgar use. For that which we intended hereby, is, the Vo­luntary Obedience unto Death, and the Passion or suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ, God and Man, whereby, and wherein he offered himself through the Eternal Spirit, for a propitiatory Sa­crifice, that he might fulfill the Law, or answer all its universal Postulata, and as our Sponsor, undertaking our Cause, when we were under the sentence of con­demnation, underwent the punishment due to us from the Justice of God, be­ing transferred on him; whereby have­ing [Page 217] made a perfect and absolute Propiti­ation or Attonement for our sins, he pro­cured for us deliverance from death, and the Curse, and a Right unto life ever­lacting. Now this is more properly expressed by some of the words be­fore mentioned, than by that of Satis­faction; which yet nevertheless as usually explained, is comprehensive, and no way unsuited to the matter in­tended by it.

In general, men by this word un­derstand either reparationem offensae, or solutionem debiti: either Reparati­on made for offence given unto any; or the payment of a debt. Debitum is either oriminale, or pecuniarium; that is, either, the obnoxiousness of a man to punishment for crimes, or the guilt of them, in answer to that justice and Law which he is neces­sarily liable and subject unto; or, unto a payment or compensation by, and of money, or what is valued by it; which last consideration, neither in it self, nor in any reasonings from [Page 218] an Analogie unto it, can in this mat­ter have any proper place. Satisfa­ction is the effect of the doing or suffering, what is required for the an­swering of his charge against faults or sins, who hath Right, Authority and Power to require, exact, and inflict punishment for them. Some of the Schoolment define it, by voluntaris radditio aequivalentis indebiti; of which more elsewhere. The true meaning of to satisfie, or make sa­tisfaction, is tantum facere aut pati, quantum satis sit juste irato ad vin­dictam. This satisfaction is impleaded, as inconsistent with free Remission of Sins; how causlesly we have seen. It is so far from it, that it is necessary to make way for it, in case of a Righ­teous law transgressed, and the pub­lick Order of the Universal Gover­nour and Government of all, di­sturbed. And this God directs unto, Lev. 4. 31. The Priest shall make an Attonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him. This Attonement was a [Page 219] Legal Satisfaction; and it is by God himself premised to Remission or Pardon. And Paul prayes Philemon to forgive Onesimus, though he took upon himself to make satisfaction for all the wrong or dammage that he had sustained, Epist. v. 18, 19. And when God was displeased with the friends of Job he prescribes a way to them, or what they shall do, and what they shall get done for them, that they might be accepted and pardoned, Job 42. 7, 8. The Lord said unto Eliphaz, my wrath is kindled against thee and against thy two friends, therefore take unto you now seven Bul­locks and seven Ramms, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for your selves a burnt offering, and my servant Job shall pray for you, for him I will ac­cept; lest I deal with you after your folly. He plainly enjoyneth an At­tonement, that he might Freely pardon them. And both these, namely satisfaction and pardon, with their order and consistency, were [Page 220] solemnly represented by the great In­stitution of the Sacrifice of the Scape Goat. For after all the sins of the people were put upon him, or the punishment of them transferred unto him in a Type and Representation with quod in ejus caput-sit, the For­mal Reason of all Sacrifices propiti­atory, he was sent away with them, denoting the oblation or forgiveness of sin, after a Translation made of its punishment, Lev. 16. 21, 22. And whereas it is not expresly said, that that Goat suffered, or was slain, but was either [...] Hircus [...], a Goat sent away, or was sent to a Rock called Azazel in the Wilder­ness, as Vatablus and Oleaster, with some others think, (which is not probable, seeing though it might then be done whilest the people were in the Wilderness of Sinai; yet could not by reason of its distance, when the people were setled in Canaan be annually observed;) it was from the poverty of the Types, whereof no [Page 221] one could fully represent that Grace which it had particular respect unto. What therefore was wanting in that Goat, was supplyed in the other, which was slain as a sin offering, v. 11. 15.

Neither doth it follow, that on the supposition of the satisfaction pleaded for, the Freedom, Pardon, or Acquitment of the person originally guilty and liable to punishment, must immediately and ipso facto, ensue. It is not of the nature of every solution or satisfaction, that deliverance must ipso facto follow. And the Reason of it is, because this satisfaction by a succedaneous substitution of one to un­dergo punishment for another, must be founded in a voluntary compact, and Agreement, For there is required unto it, a Relaxation of the Law, though not as unto the punishment to be inflicted, yet as unto the per­son to be punished. And it is other­wise in personal guilt, than in pecu­niary debts. In these the Debt it self [Page 222] is solely intended, the person only ob­liged with reference thereunto. In the other, the person is firstly and prin­cipally under the Obligation. And therefore when a pecuniary debs is paid, by whomsoever it be paid, the Ob­ligation of the person himself unto payment ceaseth ipso facto. But in things criminal, the guilty person him­self, being firstly, immediately and in­tentionally under the Obligation unto punishment, when there is introduced by compact, a vicarious solution in the fubstitution of another to suffer, though he suffer the same absolutely which those should have done for whom he suffers; yet because of the Acceptation of his person to suffer, which might have been refused, and could not be admitted, without some Relaxation of the Law, Deliverance of the guilty persons cannot ensue ipso facto, but by the intervention of the Terms fixed on in the Covenant or Agreement for an admittance of the substitution.

[Page 223] It appears from what hath been spoken, that in this matter of Satis­faction, God is not considered as a Creditor, and sin as a debt, and the Law as an obligation to the payment of that Debt, and the Lord Christ as paying it; though these notions may have been used by some for the Il­lustration of the whole matter; and that not without countenance from sundry expressions in the Scripture to the same purpose; But God is con­sidered as the infinitely holy and righ­teous Author of the Law, and Supream Governour of all mankind, according to the Tenor and Sanction of it. Man is considered as a sinner, a transgres­sor of that Law, and thereby obnoxi­ous and liable to the punishment con­stituted in it, and by it, answerably unto the Justice and Holiness of its Author. The Substitution of Christ was meerly Voluntary on the part of God, and of himself, undertaking to be a Sponsor to answer for the sins of men, by undergoing the punish­ment [Page 224] due unto them. That to this End there was a Relaxation of the Law, as to the persons that were to suffer, though not as to what was to be suf­fered. Without the former, the Sub­stitution mentioned could not have been admitted. And on supposition of the latter, the suffering of Christ could not have had the nature of punishment properly so called. For punishment relates to the Justice and Righteousness in Government of him that exacts it, and inflicts it. And this the Justice of God doth not, but by the Law. Nor could the Law be any way satisfied, or fulfilled by the suffering of Christ, if antecedently thereunto its obligation or power of obliging unto the penalty constituted in its Sanction, unto sin, was relaxed, dissolved, or dispensed withall. Nor was it agreeable to Justice, nor would the nature of the things themselves admit of it, that another punish­ment should be inflicted on Christ, than what we had deserved, nor [Page 225] could our sin be the impulsive cause of his death: nor could we have had any benefit thereby. And this may suffice to be added unto what was spoken before, as to the nature of satisfaction, so far as the brevity of the discourse whereunto we are con­fined, will bear, or the use whereun­to it is designed doth require.

Secondly, The Nature of the Do­ctrine contended for, being declared and cleared, we may in one or two in­stances manifest how evidently it is revealed, and how fully it may be confirmed or vindicated. It is then in the Scripture declared, that Christ dyed for us; that he dyed for our sins, and that we are thereby delivered. This is the foundation of Christian Religi­on as such. Without the faith, and acknowledgement of it, we are not Christians. Neither is it in these ge­neral terms, at all denyed by the Socinians. It remains therefore, that we consider, (1.) How this is re­vealed and affirmed in the Scripture: [Page 226] and (2.) What is the true meaning of the Expressions and Propositions wherein it is revealed and affirmed; for in them, as in sundry others, we affirm, that the satisfaction pleaded for, is contained.

1. Christ is said to dye, to give him­self, to be delivered, [...] &c. for us, for his sheep, for the life of the world; for sinners, John 6. 51. Chap. 10. 15. Rom. 5. 6. 2 Cor. 5. 14, 15. Gal. 2. 20. Heb. 2. 9. Moreover he is said to dye [...], for sins, 1 Cor. 15. 3. Gal. 1. 4. The End whereof every where expressed in the Go­spel, is, that we might be freed, de­livered, and saved. These things as was said, are agreed unto, and acknow­leded.

2. The meaning and importance, we say of these Expr [...]ssions, is; that Christ dyed in our Room, Place, or Stead, undergoing the Death or Pu­nishment which we should have un­dergone in the way and manner be­fore declared. And this is the satis­faction [Page 227] we plead for. It remains therefore, that from the Scripture, the nature of the things treated of, the proper signification and constant use of the. Expressions mentioned, the Ex­emplification of them in the Customs and Usages of the Nations of the World, we do evince and manifest, that what we have laid down, is the true and proper sense of the words, wherein this Revelation of Christs dy­ing for us is expressed; so that they who deny Christ to have dyed for us in this sense, do indeed deny that he properly dyed for us at all; what ever benefits they grant, that by his death we may obtain.

First, We may consider the Use of this Expression in the Scripture, ei­ther indefinitely, or in particular In­stances.

Only we must take this along with us, that dying for sins and Transgressi­ons, being added unto dying for sin­ners or persons, maketh the substitu­tion of one in the room and stead of [Page 228] another, more evident, than when the dying of one for another only, is mentioned. For whereas all Predi­cates are regulated by their subjects, and it is ridiculous to say, that one dyeth in the stead of sins, the mean­ing can be no other, but the bearing or answering of the sins of the sin­ner, in whose stead any one dyeth. And this is in the Scripture declared to be the sense of that Expression, as we shall see afterwards. Let us there­fore consider some Instances.

John 11. 50. The words of Cai­aphas Counsel are, [...]. It is expedi­ent for us, that one man should dye for the people, and that the whole Nation perish not: which is expressed again, Chap. 18. 14. [...], perish for the people. Caiaphas feared, that if Christ were spared, the people would be destroyed by the Romans. The way to free them, he thought was by the destruction of Christ; [Page 229] him therefore he devoted to death, in lieu of the People. As He ‘Vnum pro multis dabitur Caput.’ One head shall be given for many. Not unlike the Speech of Otho the Empe­rour in Xiphilin, when he slew him­self to preserve his Army; For when they would have perswaded him to renew the war after the defeat of some of his Forces, and offered to lay down their lives to secure him; he replyed, that he would not; ad­ding this Reason, [...]. It is far better, and more just that one should pe­rish or dye for all; than that many should perish for one; that is, One in the stead of many, that they may go free; or as another speaks;

[...]. Eurip.
Let one be given up to dye in the stead of all.

[Page 230] Joh. 13. 38. [...]. They are the words of St. Peter unto Christ; I will lay down my life for thee; To free thee, I will expose my own head to danger, my life to death; that thou maist live and I dye. It is plain that he intended the same thing with the celebrated [...] of old, who exposed their own lives, ( [...]) for one another, such were Damon and Pythias, Orestes & Pylades, Nisur & Eurialus. Whence is that saying of Seneca, Succurram perituro; sed ut ipse n [...]n peream; nisi si futurus ero magni hominis, aut magnae rei merces. I will relieve or succour one that is ready to perish; yet so as that I pe­rish not my self; unless thereby, I be taken in lieu of some great man, or great mat­ter. For a great man, a man of great worth and usefulness I could perish, or dye in his stead, that he might live and go free.

We have a great Example also of the importance of this Expression in those words of David concerning [Page 213] Absolom, 2 Sam. 18. 33. [...] Who will grant me to dye, I for thee, or in thy stead; My Son Absolom. It was never doubted, but that David wished that he had dyed in the stead of his Son; and to have undergone the death which he did, to have preserved him alive. As to the same purpose, though in another sense, M [...]zentius in Virgil expresseth himself, when his Son Lausus inter­posing b [...]tween him and danger in Battel, was slain by Aeneas.

Tantane me tenuit vivendi nate vo­luptas,

Vt pro me hostili paterer succedere dextrae
Quem genui? tuane haec genitor per vulnera servor?
Morte tuâ vivam?

Hast thou O Son, fallen under the Ene­mies hand in my stead; am I saved by thy wounds; do I live by thy death?

And the word [...] used by Da­vid [Page 232] doth signifie, when applyed un­to persons, either a succession, or a sub­stitution; still the coming of one into the Place and Room of another: When one succeeded to another in Government, it is expressed by that word, 2 Sam. 10. 1. 1 Kings 7. 7. Chap. 19. 16. In other cases it denotes a substitution. So Jehu tells his Gurad, that if any one of them let any of Baals Priests escape, [...], 2 Kings 10. 24. his life should go in the stead of the life that he had suffered to escape.

And this answereth unto [...] in the Greek, which is also used in this matter; and ever denotes either equality, contrariety, or substitution. The two former senses, can here have no place; the latter alone hath. So it is said, that Archelaus reigned, [...]; Mat. 2. 1, 2. In the room or stead of Herod his Fa­ther. So [...], Matth. 5. 38. is an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, And [Page 233] this word also is used in expressing the death of Christ for us. He came, [...]. Matth. 20. 28. To give his life a ran­some for many; that is, in their stead to dye. So the words are used again, Mark 10. 45. And both these notes of a succedaneous substitution are join­ed together, 1 Tim. 2. 6. [...]. And this the Greeks call [...] to buy any thing, to purchase or procure any thing, with the price of ones life. So Tigranes in Xenophon, when Cyrus askt him what he would give or do for the liberty of his Wife whom he had taken prisoner; answered, [...]; I will purchase her li­berty with my life, or the price of my soul. Whereon the Woman being freed, affirmed afterwards, that she considered none in the company, but him who said, [...]; that he would [Page 234] purchase my liberty with his own life.

And these things are added on the occasion of the Instances mentioned in the Scripture, whence it appears, that this expression of dying for ano­ther, hath no other sense or mean­ing, but only dying instead of another, undergoing the death that he should undergo, that he might go free. And in this matter of Christs dying for us, add that he so dyed for us, as that he also dyed for our sins, that is, ei­ther to bear their punishment, or to expiate their guilt, (for other sense the words cannot admit) and he that pretends to give any other sense of them than that contended for, which implyes the whole of what lyes in the Doctrine of Satis­faction, erit mihi magnus Apollo; even he who was the Author of all ambi­guous Oracles of old.

And this is the common sense of mori pro alio, and pati pro alio, or pro alio discrimen capitis subire; a substi­tution [Page 235] is still denoted by that expres­sion, which sufficeth us in this whole cause; for we know both into whose room he came, and what they were to suff [...]r. Thus Entellus killing and sacrificing an Ox to Eryx in the stead of Dares whom he was ready to have slain, when he was taken from him, expresseth himself;

Hanc tibi Eryx meliorem animam pro morte Daretis Persolvo.

He offered the Ox, a better Sacrifice, in the stead of Dares, taken from him. So

Fratrem Pollux alternà morte redemit.

And they speak so not only with re­spect unto death, but where ever any thing of Durance or suffering is in­tended. So the Angry Master in the Comoedian,

[Page 236]
Verberibus Caesum te Dave in pistri­num dedam us (que) ad necem.
Eâ lege atque omine, ut si inde te exe­merim, ego pro te molam.

He threatned his Servant to cast him into Prison to be macerated to death with labour, and that with this en­gagement, that if he ever let him out he would grind for him; that is, in his stead. Wherefore without of­fering Violence to the common means of Understanding things amongst men, another sense cannot be affixed to these words.

The Nature of the thing it self will admit of no other Exposition than that given unto it; and it hath been manifoldly exemplified among the Nations of the world. For suppose a man guilty of any crime, and on the account thereof, to be exposed unto Danger from God or man, in a way of Justice, Wrath, or Venge­ance, and when he is ready to be [Page 237] given up unto suffering according un­to his demerit, another should ten­der himself to dye for him that he might be freed, let an appeal be made to the common Reason and Understandings of all men, whether the intention of this his dying for ano­ther, be not, that he substitutes him­self in his stead to undergo what he should have done, however the trans­lation of punishment from one to another may be brought about and asserted. For at present we treat not of the Right, but of the fact, or the thing it self. And to deny this to be the case as to the sufferings of Christ, is as far as I can understand, to sub­vert the whole Gospel.

Moreover, as was said, this harh been variously exemplified among the Nations of the world; whose actings in such cases, because they excellent­ly shadow out the general notion of the death of Christ for others, for sinners; and are appealed unto directly by the Apostle to this pur­pose, [Page 238] Rom. 5. 7, 8. I shall in a few Instances reflect upon.

Not to insist on the voluntary sur­rogations of private Persons, one into the Room of another, mutually to un­dergo dangers and death for one ano­ther, as before mentioned, I shall only remember some publick Transactions in reference unto communities, in Na­tions, Cities, or Armies. Nothing is more celebrated amongst the Ancients than this; that when they supposed themselves in Danger, from the Anger and displeasure of their Gods, by rea­son of any guilt or crimes among them, some one person should either devote himself, or be devoted by the people, to dye for them, and therein to be made as it were an expiatory Sa­crifice. For where sin is the cause, and God is the object respected, the making of satisfaction by undergoing punishment, and expiating of sin by a propitiatory Sacrifice, are but various expressions of the same thing. Now those whoso devoted themselves, as [Page 239] was said, to dye in the stead of others, or to expiate their sins, and turn away the Anger of the God they feared by their death, designed two things in what they did. First, That the Evils which were impendent on the people and feared, might fall on themselves, so that the people might go free. Secondly, That all good things which themselves desired, might be confer­red on the People; which things have a notable shaddow in them of the great expiatory Sacrifice concerning which we treat, and expound the Ex­pressions wherein it is declared. The Instance of the Decii, is known; of whom the Poet,

Plebeiae Deciorum animae, plebeia fuerunt
Nomina; pro totis legionibu [...] hitam [...]n, & pro
Omnibus auxiliis, at (que) omni plehe Latins.
Sufficiunt Diis infernis.

The two Decii, Father and Son, in imminent dangers of the people, de­voted [Page 240] themselves, at several times, un­to Death and Destruction. And saith he; sufficiunt Diis infernis; they sa­tisfied for the whole people; adding the Reason whence so it might be;

Pluris enim Decii quam qui servantur ab illis.

They were more to be valued, than all that were saved by them. And the great Historian doth excellently de­scribe both the Actions, and Expecta­tions of the one and the other in what they did. The Father, when the Ro­man Army commanded by himself and Titus M [...]nlius, was near a total ruine by the Latines, called for the publick Priest, and caused him with the usual solemn Ceremonies, to devote him to death, for the deliverance and safety of the Army: after which making his requests to his Gods, (dii quorum est potestas nostrorum hostium (que)) the gods that had power over them and their Adversaries, as he supposed, he cast [Page 241] himself into death by the swords of the Enemy. Conspectus ab utraque acie aliquanto augustior humano visu, sicut coelo missus, piaculum omnis Deorum irae, qui pestem ab suis aversam in hostes ferret. He was looked on by both Armies, as one more August than a man, as one sent from Heaven, to be a piacu­lar Sacrifice; to appease the Anger of the gods, and to transferre destru­ction from their own Army to the Ene­mies, Liv. Hist. 8. His Son in like manner in a great and dangerous bat­tel against the Galls and Samnites; wherein he commanded in Chief, de­voting himself as his Father had done, added unto the former solemn depre­cations; prae se, agere sese, formidinem ac fugam, caedemque ac cruorem, coel stium, infernorum iras, lib. 11. That he carryed away before him, (from those for whom he devoted himself) fear and flight, slaughter and blood, the anger of the Coelestial and Infernal gods. And as they did in this devoting of them­selves design, averuncare malum, de­ûm [Page 242] iras, lustrare p [...]pulum, aut exerci­tum, piaculum fieri or [...], expiare crimina, scelus, reatum, or to remove all evil from others by taking it on themselves in their stead; so also they thought they might, and intended in what did, to covenant and contract for the good things they desired. So did these Decii, and so is Menaeceus reported to have done▪ when he devoted himself for the City of Thebes in danger to be destroyed by the Argives. So Papi­nius introduceth him treating his gods,

Armorum superi, tu (que), ô quifunere tanto
Indulges mihi Phoebe mori, date gaudia Thebis,
Quae pepegi, & toto quae sanguine prodi gus emi.

He reckoned that he had not only repelled all death and danger from Thebes, by his own, but that he had purchased joy, in peace and liberty for the people.

[Page 243] And where there was none in pub­lick calamities, that did voluntarily devote themselves, the people were wont to take some obnoxious person, to make him exercra [...]le, and to lay on him according to their superstition, all the wrath of their Gods, and so give him up to Destruction. Such the Apostle alludes unto, Rom. 9. 3. 1 Cor. 4. 9, 13. So the Massilians were wont to explate their City by taking a Person devoted, imprecating on his head all the evil that the City was obnoxious unto, casting him into the Sea with th [...]se words, [...] be thou our expiatory Sacrifice; To which purpose were the solemn words that many used in their expi­atory Sacrifices; as Herodotus test [...]fieth of the Aegyptians, bringing their Of­ferings, saith he, [...]; they laid these imprecations on their heads; that if any Evil were happening [Page 244] towards the Sacrificer, or all Egypt, let it be all turned and laid on this devoted head.

And the persons whom they thus dealt withall, and made execrate, were commonly of the vilest of the people, or such as had rendred themselves de­testable by their own crimes; whence was the complaint of the Mother of M [...]naeceus upon her Sons devoting himself,

Lustralemne feris, ego te puer inclyte Thebis,
D [...]votum (que) caput, vilis seu mater alebam?

I have recounted these Instances to evince the common intention, sense, and understanding of that expression, of one dying for another; and to ma­nifest by Examples, what is the sense of mankind, about any ones being devoted and substituted in the Room of others, to deliver them from death and danger; the consideration where­of, added to the constant use of the [Page 245] words mentioned, in the Scripture, is sufficient to f [...]nd and confirm this conclusion.

That whereas it is fr [...]quently af­firmed, in the Scripture, th [...]ir Christ dy­ed for us, and for our sins, &c. to deny that he dyed and suffered in our stead, undergoing the death where­unto we were obnoxious, and the punishment due to our sins, is; if we respect in what we say or believe▪ the constant use of those words in the Scripture, the nature of the thing it self concerning which they are used, the uncontrolled use of that Expressi­on in all sorts of Writers, in expres­sing the same thing, which the in­stances and examples of its meaning and intention among the Nations of the World, is to deny that he dyed for us at all.

Neither will his dying for our Good or advantage only, in what way or sense soever, answer or make good, or true, the Assertion of his dying for us, and our sins. And this is evident in [Page 246] the Death of the Apostles and Mar­tyrs; they all dyed for our Good; our advantage and benefit was one end of their sufferings, in the will and ap­pointment of God; And yet it can­not be said, that they dyed for us, or our sins.

And if Christ dyed only for our Good, though in a more effectual manner than they did, yet this alter­eth not the kind of his dying for us; nor can he thence be said properly, according to the only due sense of that expression, so to do.

I shall in this brief and hasty dis­course, add only one consideration more about the death of Christ to confirm the Truth pleaded for. And that is that he is said in dying for sinners, to bear their sins, Isa. 53. 11. He shall bear their iniquities, v. 12. He bare the sins of many; explained, v. 5. He was wounded for our Trans­gressions, he was bruised for our iniqui­ties, the Chastisement of our peace was upon him, 1 Pet. 2. 24. Who his own [Page 247] self bare our sins in his own body on the Tree, &c.

This expression is purely Sacred. It occurreth not directly in other Au­thors, though the sense of it in other words do frequently. They call it luere peccata; that is, delictorum sup­plicium ferre; to bear the punishment of sins. The meaning therefore of this phrase of speech, is to be taken from the Scripture alone, and princi­pally from the Old Testament, where it is originally used; and from whence it is tranferred into the New Testament in the same sense, and no other. Let us consider some of the places.

Isa. 53. 11. [...] The same word [...] is used, vers. 4. [...] And our griefs he hath born them. The word signifies, properly to bear a Weight or a Burden, as a man bears it on his shoulders; bajulo, porto. And it is never used with respect unto sin, but openly and plainly it signifies the undergoing of the punishment due unto it; so it [Page 248] occurrs directly to our purpose, Lam. 5. 7. [...] Our Fathers have sinned and are not; and we have born their iniquities; The punishment due to their sins. And why a new sense should be forged for these words, when they are spoken concerning Christ, who can give a just reason?

Again [...] is used to the same pur­pose. [...] vers. 12. And he bear the sin of many. [...] is often used with respect unto sin; sometimes with reference unto Gods actings about it, and sometimes with reference unto mens concerns in it. In the first way, or when it denotes an act of God, it signifies to lift up, to take away, or pardon sin; and leaves the word [...] where with it is joyned under its first significa­tion, of iniquity; or the g [...]ilt of sin, with respect unto punishment ensuing as its consequent. For God pardoning the guilt of sin, the re­moval of the punishment doth ne­cessarily [Page 249] ensue; Guilt containing an Obligation unto punishment. In the latter way, as it respects men or sinners, it constantly denotes the bearing of the punishment of sin, and gives that sense unto [...], with respect unto the guilt of sin as its cause. And hence ariseth the am­biguity of those words of Cain, Gen. 14. 13. [...], if [...] de­notes an act of God, if the words be spoken with reference in the first place to any acting of his towards Cain, [...] retains the sense of ini­quity, and the words are rightly ren­dered, My sin is greater than to be fo­given. If it respect Cain himself firstly, [...] assumes the significati­on of Punishment, and the words are to be rendred; My punishment is greater than I can bear, or is to be born by me.

This I say is the constant sense of this expression, nor can any Instance to the contrary be pro­duced. Some may be mentioned in [Page 250] the confirmation of it. Numb. 14. 33. Your children shall wander in the Wilderness forty years, [...] and shall bear your Whoredoms, v. 34. [...] Ye sh [...]ll bear your in quities forty years; that is, the punishment due to your whoredoms and iniquities, accord­ing to Gods Provideneial d [...]aling with them at that time. Lev. 19. 8. He that eateth it, [...] shall bear his iniquities, How? [...] that s [...]ul shall be cut off. To b [...] cut off for sin, by the punishment of it, and for its guilt, is to bear in quity. So Chap. [...]0 16, 17 18. for a man to bear his iniquity, and to be killed, slain, or put to death for it, are the same.

Ezek. 18. 20. [...] [...]; the soul that sinneth it shall dye; the Son shall not bear the sin of the Father. To bear sin, and to dye for sin, are the same. More Instances might be added, all uniformity speaking the same sense of the words.

[Page 251] And as this sense is sufficiently in­deed invincibly established by the invariable use of that Expression in the Scripture, so the manner where­by it is affirmed that the Lord Christ bare our iniquities, sets it absolutely free from all danger by Opposition. For he bare our iniqui­ties when [...] the Lord made to meet on him, or laid on him, the iniquity of us all, Isa. 53. 6. which words the LXX. render, [...] [...], The Lord gave him up, or delivered him unto our sins. That is, to be punished for them; for other sense the words can have none; He made him sin for us, 2 Cor. 5. 21. so he bore our sins, Isa. 53. 11. How? in his own Body on the tree, 1 Pet. 2. 24. that when he was, and in his being stricken, smitten, afflicted, wounded, bruised, slain, so was the chastisement of our Peace up­on him.

Wherefore to deny that the Lord [Page 252] Christ in his death and suffering for us, underwent the punishment due to our sins, what we had deserved, that we might be delivered, as it everts the great foundation of the Gospel, so by an open perverting of the plain words of the Scripture, because not suited in their sense and importance to the vain imaginations of men, it gives no small counte­nance to Infidelity and Atheism.


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