A Vindication OF SOME PASSAGES IN A DISCOURSE Concerning Communion with GOD, From the Exceptions of WILLIAM SHERLOCK, Rector of St. George Buttolph-Lane.

By the Author of the said Discourse. John Owen: D: D:

London, Printed for N. Ponder, at the Peacock in Chancery-Lane, 1674.

A VINDICATION Of some PASSAGES IN A DISCOURSE Concerning Communion with GOD.

IT is now near twenty years; since I wrote and published a Discourse con­cerning Communion with God. Of what Use and Advantage it hath been to any▪ as to their furtherance in the de­sign aimed at therein, is left unto them to judge, by whom it hath been pe [...]d with any candid diligence. And I do [Page 4] know that multitudes of Persons fearing God, and desiring to walk before him in sincerity, are ready if occasion require to give Testimony unto the benefit which they have received thereby; as I can also at any time produce the Testimonies of Learned and Holy Persons, it may be as any I know living, both in England and out of it, who owning the Truth con­tained in it, have highly avowed its usefulness, and are ready yet so to do. With all other Persons, so far as ever I heard, it passed at the rate of a tolerable acceptation with Discourses of the same kind and nature. And however any thing or passage in it might not possibly suit the Apprehensions of some; yet being wholly practical, designed for popular e­dification, without any direct ingage­ment into things controversial, I looked for no opposition unto it or exception against it; but that it would at least be suf­fered to pass at that rate of allowance, which is universally granted unto that sort of Writings both of Ancient and Modern Authors. Accordingly it so fell out and continued for many years, until some [Page 5] Persons began to judge it their Interest, and to make it their business to cavil at my Writings, and to load my Person with Reproaches. With what little suc­cess as to their avowed designs, they have laboured therein; how openly their en­deavours are sunk into contempt with all sorts of Persons pretending unto the least Sobriety or modesty; I suppose they are not themselves altogether unsensible▪ Among the things which this sort of Men sought to make an Advantage of against me, I found that two or three of them began to reflect on that Discourse, though it ap­peared they had not satisfied themselves what as yet to fix upon, their nibling Cavils being exceedingly ridiculous.

But yet from those Intimations of some Mens good will towards it, sufficient to provoke the Industry of such as either needed their Assistance, or valued their Favour, I was in expectation that one or other would possess that Province, and attempt the whole Discourse or some parts of it. Nor was I dissatisfied in my Ap­prehensions of that design. For being [Page 6] earnestly solicited to suffer it to be Re­printed, I was very willing to see what ei­ther could or would be objected against it, before it received another Impression. For whereas it was Written now near twenty years ago, when there was the deepest Peace in the minds of all Men a­bout the Things treated of therein, and when I had no Apprehension of any dis­sent from the Principal Design, Scope, and Parts of it by any called Christians in the World, the Socinians only excep­ted, (whom I had therein no regard un­to) I thought it highly probable, that some things might have been so expressed as to render a Review and Amendment of them more than ordinarily necessary. And I reckoned it not improbable, but that from one malevolent Adversary, I might receive a more instructive Informa­tion of such escapes of Diligence, than I could do in so long a Time from all the more impartial Readers of it; for as un­to the substance of the Doctrine declared in it, I was sufficiently secure not only of its Truth, but that it would immoveably endure the rudest assaults of such oppo­sitions [Page 7] as I did expect. I was therefore very well satisfied when I heard of the publishing of this Treatise of Mr. Sher­lock's, which, as I was informed, and since have found true, was principally intend­ed against my self, and that Discourse, that is, that Book, because I was the Au­thor of it, which will at last prove to be its only Guilt and Crime. For I thought I should be at once now satisfied, both what it was which was so long contriv­ing against it whereof I could give no con­jecture, as also be directed unto any such mistakes as might have befallen me in matter or manner of Expression, which I would or might rectify before the Book received another Edition. But upon a View and Perusal of this Discourse, I found my self under a double surprisal. For first in reference to my own, I could not find any thing, any Doctrine, any Ex­pressions, any Words reflected on, which the Exceptions of this Man do give me the least occasion to alter, or to desire that they had been otherwise either expressed or delivered; not any thing which now after near twenty years, which I do not still e­qually [Page 8] approve of, and which I am not yet ready to justifie. The other part of my Surprisal was somewhat particular, though in Truth it ought to have been none at all. And this was with respect unto those Doctrinal Principles which he manageth his oppositions upon. A sur­prisal they were unto me, because Wild, Uncouth, Extravagant, and contrary to the common Faith of Christians; being all of them traduced, and some of them transcribed from the Writings of the Soci­nians; yet ought not to have been so, be­cause I was assured that an opposition unto that Discourse could be managed on no other. But however the Doctrine maintained by this Man, and those op­posed or scorned by him, are not my spe­cial concernment. For what is it to me what the Rector of &c. Preacheth or Publisheth, beyond my Common Inte­rest in the Truths of the Gospel with o­ther Men as great strangers unto him as my self, who to my knowledg never saw him, nor heard of his Name till infa­med by his Book. Only I shall take leave to say, that the Doctrine here pub­lished [Page 9] and Licensed so to be, is either the Doctrine of the present Church of England; or it is not: If it be so, I shall be forced to declare that I neither have, nor will have any Communion therein, and that as for other Reasons, so in parti­cular, because I will not renounce or de­part from that which I know to be the True Ancient and Catholick Doctrine of this Church; if it be not so, as I am assu­red with respect unto many Bishops and other Learned Men, that it is not, it is certainly the concernment of them who preside therein, to take care that such kind of Discourses be not countenanced with the stamp of their publick Authority, lest they and the Church be represented unto a great disadvantage with many.

It was some Months after the publishing of this Discourse, before I entertained any thoughts of taking the least notice of it; yea I was resolved to the contrary, and declared those Resolutions as I had occasion. Neither was it until very late­ly, that my second Thoughts came to a compliance with the desires of some o­thers, [Page 10] to consider my own peculiar con­cernment therein, And this is all which I now design; for the examination of the Opinions which this Author hath veuted under the countenance of pub­lick License, whatever they may think, I know to be more the concernment of other Men than mine. Nor yet do I enter into the Consideration of what is written by this Author with the least re­spect unto my self or my own reputation, which I have the satisfaction to conceive not to be prejudiced by such pittiful At­tempts; nor have I the least desire to preserve it in the minds of such Persons as wherein it can suffer on this occasion. But the Vindication of some sacred Truths petulantly traduced by this Author seems to be cast on me in an especial manner; because he hath opposed them, and en­deavoured to expose them to scorn as de­clared in my Book; whence others more meet for this work might think themselves discharged from taking notice of them. Setting aside this consideration I can freely give this sort of Men leave to go on with their Revilings and Scoffings until they are [Page 11] weary or ashamed, which as far as I can discern upon Consideration of their Abili­ty for such a Work, and their Confi­dence therein, is not like to be in haste: At least they can change their course, and when they are out of breath in pursuit of one sort of calumnies, betake themselves unto another. Witness the late malici­ous, and yet withal ridiculous Reports that they have divulged concerning me even with respect unto Civil Affairs, and their industry therein. For although they were such as had not any thing of the least probability or likelihood to give them countenance, yet were they so impetu­ously divulged, and so readily entertain­ed by many, as made me think there was more than the common artifices of Calum­ny employed in their raising and improve­ment, especially considering what Persons I can justly charge those Reports upon. But in this course they may proceed whilst they please and think convenient; I find my self no more concerned in what they Write or say of this Nature than if it were no more; But

[Page 12]
[...],
[...].

It is the Doctrine traduced only that I am concerned about, and that as it hath been the Doctrine of the Church of Eng­land.

It may be, it will be said, (for there is no security against Confidence and Imo­desty backed with secular Advantages) that the Doctrinal Principles asserted in this Book are agreeable with the Doctrine of the Church in former Times, and there­fore those opposed in it, such as are con­demned thereby. Hereabout I shall make no long contest with them who once dis­cover that their Minds are by any means emboldned to undertake the Defence of such shameless Untruths. Nor shall I mul­tiply Testimonies to prove the Contrary, which others are more concerned to do, if they intend not to betray the Religion of that Church, with whose Preservation and Defence they are intrusted. Only because there are Ancient Divines of this Church, who I am perswaded will be allowed with the most to have known as well the Do­ctrine [Page 13] of it, and as firmly to have adhered thereunto, as this Author, who have parti­cularly spoken unto most of the Things which he hath opposed or rather reproach­ed, I shall transcribe the Words of one of them, whereby he, and those who employ him, may be minded with whom they have to do in those things. For as to the Wri­ters of the Antient Church there is herein no regard had unto them. He whom I shall Name is Mr. Hooker, and that in his Fa­mous Book of Ecclesiastical Policy, who in the 5th Book thereof and 56 Paragraph, thus discourseth.

We have hitherto spoken of the Person and of the presence of Christ. Participation is that mutual inward hold which Christ hath of us and we of him, in such sort that each pos­sesseth other by way of special Interest, Pro­perty, and Inherent Copulation. And after the interposition of some things concern­ing the mutual in-being and Love of the Father and the Son, he thus proceedeth. We are by Nature the Sons of Adam. When God Created Adam he Created us, and as many as are descended from Adam have in themselves the Root out of which they Spring. The Sons [Page 14] of God we neither are, all, nor any of Us other­wise than only by Grace and Favour. The Sons of God have Gods own Natural Son as a second Adam from Heaven, whose Race and Progeny they are by Spiritual and Heavenly Birth. God therefore loving Eternally his Son, he must needs Eternally in him have loved and preferred before all others, them which are Spiritually sithence descended and sprung out of him. These are in God as in their Saviour and not as in their Creator only. It was the Purpose of his saving Goodness, his Saving Power, and his Saving Wisdom which incli­ned it self towards them. They which thus are in God eternally, by their intended admis­sion to Life, have by Vocation or Adoption, God actually now in them, as the Artificer is in that Work which his hand doth presently frame. Life as all other Gifts and Benefits groweth originally from the Father, and com­eth not to Us but by the Son, nor by the Son to any of Us in particular, but through the Spi­rit. For this cause the Apostle wisheth to the Church of Corinth the Grace our Lord Je­sus Christ, and the Love of God, and the Fel­lowship of the Holy Ghost: which three Saint Peter comprehendeth in one, the Participati­on [Page 15] of the Divine Nature. We are therefore in God through Christ Eternally, according to that intent and purpose whereby we are chosen to be made his in this present World, before the World it self was made. We were in God through the knowledg which is had of Us, and the Love which is born towards Us from Ever­lasting. But in God we actually are no long­er than only from the Time of our Actual Ad­option into the Body of his true Church, into the Fellowship of his Children. For his Church he knoweth and loveth, so that they that are in the Church are thereby known to be in him. Our being in Christ by Eternal foreknowledg Saveth Us not, without our actual and real A­doption into the Fellowship of his Saints in this present World. For in him we actually are by our actual incorporation into that society which hath him for their head and doth make together with him one Body. (He and they in that respect having one Name) For which cause by vertue of this Mystical conjunction, we are of him and in him, even as though our very flesh and bones should be made continuate with his. We are in Christ because he knoweth and Lo­veth Us even as parts of himself. No Man is actually in him but they in whom he actual­ly [Page 16] is. For he which hath not the Son of God hath not life. I am the Vine and you are the Branches, he which abideth in Me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much Fruit; but the Branch severed from the Vine withereth. We are therefore adopted Sons of God to Eternal Life, by Participation of the only begotten Son of God, whose Life is the well-Spring and Cause of ours. It is too cold an Interpretati­on, whereby some Men expound our being in Christ, to import nothing else but only that the self-same Nature which maketh Us to be Men; is in him and maketh him Man as We are. For what Man is there in the World which hath not so far forth Communion with Jesus Christ. It is not this can sustain the weight of such sentences as speak of the Mystery of our Coherence with Jesus Christ. The Church is in Christ as Eve was in Adam. Yea by Grace we are every of Us in Christ, and in his Church, as by Nature we are in those our first Parents. God made Eve of the Rib of Adam; and his Church he formed out of the very flesh, the very wound and bleeding side of the Son of Man. His Body crucified and his Blood shed for the Life of the World, were the true Ele­ments of that Heavenly being which maketh [Page 17] Us such as himself is of whom we come. For which cause the words of Adam may be fitly the Words of Christ concerning his Church, Flesh of my flesh and Bone of my Bones; a true Native Extract out of mine own Body. So that in him, even according to his Man­hood, we according to our Heavenly being, are as Branches in that Root out of which they grow. To all things he is Life, and to Men Light as the Son of God, to the Church both Life and Light Eternal by being made the Son of Man for Us, and by being in Us a Saviour whether we respect him as God or as Man. Adam is in us as an original Cause of our Nature, and of that Corruption of Na­ture which causeth Death. Christ as the Cause Original of Restauration to Life. The Per­son of Adam is not in us but his Nature, and the Corruption of his nature derived into all Men by Propagation. Christ having Adam's Nature as we have, but incorrupt deriveth not Nature but incorruption, and that immediate­ly from his own Person into all that belong un­to him. As therefore we are really partakers of the Body of Sin and Death received from Adam, so except we be truly partakers of Christ, and as really possessed of his Spirit, [Page 18] all we speak of Eternal Life is but a Dream. That which quickneth us, is the Spirit of the Second Adam, and his Flesh that wherewith he quickneth. That which in him made our Nature uncorrupt was the Union of his Deity with our Nature. And in that respect the Sentence of Death and Condemnation which only taketh hold upon sinful flesh, could no way possibly extend unto him. This caused his Vo­luntary Death for others, to prevail with God and to have the force of an Expiatory Sacri­fice. The Blood of Christ, as the Apostle wit­nesseth, doth therefore take away Sin, because through the Eternal Spirit he offered himself unto God without spot; as that which sancti­fyed our nature in Christ, that which made it a Sacrifice available to take away sin, is the same which quickneth it, raised it out of the Grave after Death, and exalted it unto Glory. Seeing therefore Christ is in Us as a quickning Spirit, the first degree of Communion with Christ must needs consist in the participation of his Spirit which Cyprian in that respect well termeth germanissimam Societatem, the highest and truest Society that can be between Man, and him which is both God and Man in One. These things Saint Cyril duly considering reproveth [Page 19] their Speeches, which taught that only the Deity of Christ is the Vine, whereupon we by Faith do depend as Branches, and that neither his Flesh nor our Body are comprised in this Resemblance. For doth any Man doubt but that even from the flesh of Christ our very Bo­dies do receive that Life which shall make them Glorious at the Latter Day, and for which they are already accounted parts of his Blessed Body? Our Corruptible Bodies could never live the Life they shall live, were it not that here they were joyned with his Body which is incorruptible, and that his is in ours as a Cause of Immortality, a cause by removing through the Death and Merit of his own flesh that which hindred the Life of Ours. Christ is therefore both as God and as Man that true Vine whereof we both Spiritually and Corpo­really are Branches. The Mixture of his Bo­dily S [...]bstance with ours is a thing which the Ancient Fathers disclaim. Yet the Mixture of his Flesh with ours they speak of to signify what our very Bodies through Mystical Con­junction do receive from that Vital Efficacy which we know to be in his; and from Bodily Mixtures they borrow divers similitudes ra­ther to declare the Truth than the manner [Page 20] of Coherence between his sacred and the sanct [...] ­fyed Bodies of Saints. Thus much no Chri­stian Man will deny, that when Chr [...]st sanctify­ed his own flesh giving as God, and taking as Man the Holy Ghost, he did not this for him­self only, but for our sakes, that the Grace of Sanctification and Life, which was first recei­ved in him▪ might pass from him▪ to his whole Race, as Malediction came from Adam unto all Mankind. Howbeit▪ because the work of his Spirit to those Effects, is in us prevented by Sin and Death, possessing us before, it is of ne­cessity, that as well our present Sanctification unto ne [...]ness of Life, as the future restauration of our Bodies, should presuppose a participation of the Grace, Efficacy, Merit or Vertue of his Body and Blood; without which Foundation first laid there is no Place for those other opera­tions of the Spirit of Christ to ensue. So that Christ imparteth plainly himself by degrees. It pleaseth him▪ in Mercy▪ to account himself in­compleat and maimed without us, But most assured we are▪ that we all receive of his fulness, because he is in Us as a Moving and Working Cause▪ from which many blessed Effects are re­ally found to ensue. And that in Sundry both kinds and Degrees, all tending to Eternal [Page 21] Happiness. It must be confessed, that of Christ working as Creator and as Governour of the World by Providence all are Partakers, not all Partakers of that Grace whereby he inhabiteth whom he Saveth. Again, as he dwelleth not by Grace in all, so neither doth he equally work in all them in whom he dwelleth Whence is it (saith Saint Augustin) that some be Holier than others are▪ but because God doth dwell in some more plentifully than in others. And be­cause the Divine substance of Christ is equally in all, his Human Substance equally distinct from all, it appeareth that the participation of Christ, wherein there are many Degrees and Differences, must needs consist in such Effects, as being derived from both Natures of Christ really into Us, are made our own, and we by ha­ving them in us are truly said to have him from whom they come; Christ also more or less to Inhabit and impart himself, as the Graces are fewer or more, greater or smaller, which really flow into us from Christ, Christ is whole with the whole Church and whole with every part of the Church, as touching his person, which can no way divide it self or be possest by Degrees and Portions. But the partici­pation of Christ importeth, besides the pre­sence [Page 22] of Christs Person, and besides the My­stical Copulation thereof with the parts and Members of his whole Church, a true actual Influence of Grace whereby the life which we live according to Godliness is his, and from him we receive those perfections wherein our Eternal Happiness consisteth. Thus we par­ticipate Christ partly by Imputation, as when those things which he did and suffered for us are imputed unto us for Righteousness; Partly by habitual and real Infusion, as when Grace is in­wardly bestowed while we are on Earth, and af­terwards more fully both our Souls and Bodies made like unto his in Glory. The first thing of his so infused into our hearts in this Life is the Spirit of Christ, whereupon because the rest of what kind soever do all both necessarily depend and infallibly also ensue, therefore the Apostles term it sometimes the Seed of God, sometimes the Pledge of our Heavenly Inheritance, some­times the hansel or earnest of that which is to come. From hence it is that they which belong to the Mystical Body of our Saviour Christ, and be in number as the Stars in Heaven, divi­ded sucessively by reason of their Mortal Con­dition into many Generations, are notwith­standing coupled every one to Christ their [Page 23] Head, and all unto every particular person amongst themselves, in as much as the same Spirit which anointed the Blessed Soul of our Saviour Christ, doth so formalize, unite, and actuate his whole Race, as if both he and they were so many Limbs compacted into one Body, by being all with one and the same Soul quick­ned. That wherein we are partakers of Je­sus Christ by Imputation are each equally un­to all that have it. For it consisteth in such Acts and Deeds of his, as could not have lon­ger continuance, than while they were in doing; nor at that very time belong unto any other but to him from whom they came; and therefore how Men either then or before or sithence should be made partakers of them, there can be no way imagined, but only by Imputation. Again a Deed must either not be imputed to a­ny, but rest altogether in him whose it is, or if at all it be imputed, they which have it by Im­putation must have it such as it is, whole. So that Degrees being neither in the personal pre­sence of Christ, nor in the participation of those Effects which are ours by Imputation only, it resteth that we wholly apply them to the parti­cipation of Christs infused Grace: although even in this kind also the First beginning of [Page 24] Life, the Seed of God, the First-Fruits of Christ's Spirit be without Latitude. For we have hereby only the being of the Sons of God, in which number how far soever one may seem to excel another, yet touching this that all are Sons, they are all Equals; some happily better Sons than the rest are, but none any more a Son than another. Thus therefore we see how the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father, how both are in all things and all in them; what Communion Christ hath with his Church, how his Church and every Member thereof, is in him by Original Derivation, and he personally in them by Way of Mystical As­sociation, wrought through the Gift of the Ho­ly Ghost, which they that are his receive from him, and together with the same, what benefit soever the Vital Force of his Body and Blood may yield. Yea by Steps and Degrees, they re­ceive the compleat Measure of all such Divine Grace as doth sanctify and save throughout, till the Day of their Final Exaltation to a state of Fellowship in Glory with him, whose par­takers they now are in those things that tend to Glory.

This one Testimony ought to be enough unto this sort of Men, whilst they are at a­ny [Page 25] consistency with their own Reputation. For it is evident that there is nothing con­cerning personal Election, Effectual Vo­cation, Justification by the Imputation of the Righteousness of Christ, Participation of him, Union of Believers unto and with his Person, Derivation of Grace from him, &c. which are so reproached by our pre­sent Author, but they are asserted by this great Champion of the Church of England, who undoubtedly knew the Doctrine which it owned and in his Days approved, and that in such words and Expressions as remote from the sentiments, or at least as unsavoury to the Palats of these Men, as a­ny they except against in others.

And what themselves so severely charge on us in point of Discipline, that nothing be spoken about it until all is answered that is written by Mr Hooker in its Defence, may I hope not immodestly be so far re­turned, as to desire them that in point of Doctrine they will grant us Truce, until they have moved out of the way what is writ [...]en to the same purpose by Mr. Hooker. Why do not they speak to him to leave fooling, and to speak sense as they do to others? [Page 26] But let these things be as they are. I have no especial Concernment in them, nor shall take any farther notice of them, but only as they influence the Exceptions which this Author makes unto some passa­ges in that Book of mine. And in what I shall do herein, I shall take as little No­tice as may be of those Scurrilous and Re­proachful Expressions which either his In­clination or his Circumstances induced him to make use of. If he be pleased with such a course of procedure, I can only assure him that as to my Concernment, I am not dis­pleased, and so he is left unto his full Li­berty for the Future.

The first thing he quarrels about is my as­serting the Necessity of Acquaintance with the person of Christ, which Expression he fre­quently makes use of afterwards in a way of Reproach. The Use of the Word Ac­quaintance in this Matter is Warranted by our Translation of the Scripture, and that properly, where it is required of Us to ac­quaint our selves with God. And that I in­tended nothing thereby but the Knowledg of Jesus Christ, is evident beyond any pre­tence to the contrary to be suggested by [Page 27] the most subtile or Inventive Malice. The Crime therefore wherewith I am here charged, is my Assertion that it is necessary that Christians should know Jesus Christ, which I have afterwards increased, by af­firming also that they ought to Love him. For by Jesus Christ all the World of Christians intend the person of Christ, and the most of them, all of them, the Socinians only ex­cepted, by his Person the Word made Flesh, or the Son of God Incarnate, the Mediator between God and Man. For because the Name Christ is sometimes used Metonymi­cally to conclude thence that Jesus Christ is not Jesus Christ, or that it is not the Person of Christ that is firstly and properly intend­ed by that name in the Gospel, is a lewd and impious Imagination. And we may as well make Christ to be only a Light within Us, as to be the Doctrine of the Gospel without Us. This Knowledg of Jesus Christ, I aver to be the only Fountain of all Saving Knowledg, which is farther re­flected on by this Author. And he adds (no doubt out of respect unto Me) that he will not envy the Glory of this discovery unto its Author, and therefore honestly confesseth [Page 28] that he met with it in my Book. But what doth he intend? whither will Prejudice and Corrupt Designs carry and transport the Minds of Men? Is it possible that he should be ignorant that it is the Duty of all Christians to know Jesus Christ, to be ac­quainted with the person of Christ, and that this is the Fountain of all Saving Knowledg, until he met with it in my Book about Communion with God, which I dare say he looked not into, but only to find what he might except against? It is the Ho­ly Ghost himself that is the Author of this Discovery, and it is the great Fundamen­tal Principle of the Gospel. Wherefore sure­ly this cannot be the Man's intention, and therefore we must look a little further to see what it is that he aimeth at. After then the Repetition of some Words of mine he adds as his sence upon them pag. 39. So that it seems the Gospel of Christ makes a ve­ry imperfect and obscure Discovery of the Na­ture, Attributes, and the Will of God, and the Methods of our Recovery. We may throughly understand whatever is revealed in the Gospel, and yet not have a clear and Saving Know­ledg of these things, until we get a more inti­mate [Page 29] Acquaintance with the Person of Christ. And again pag. 40. I shall shew you what additions these Men make to the Gospel of Christ by an Acquaintance with his Person; and I confess I am very much beholding to this Author, for acknowledging whence they fetch all their Orthodox and Gospel-Myste­ries, for I had almost pored my Eyes out with seeking for them in the Gospel, but could never find them; but I learn now that indeed they are not to be found there unless we be first ac­quainted with the Person of Christ. So far as I can gather up the sence of these loose Expressions it is, that I assert a knowledg of the Person of Jesus Christ, which is not revealed in the Gospel, which is not taught Us in the Writings of Moses, the Prophets, or Apostles, but must be had some other way. He tells me afterwards pag. 41. That I put in a Word fallaciously which expresseth the contrary, as though I intended another Knowledg of Christ than what is declared in the Gospel. Now he either thought that this was not my Design or Intention, but would make use of a pretence of it for his Advantage unto an end aimed at, which what it was I know well enough, or [Page 30] he thought indeed that I did assert and maintain such a knowledg of the Person of Christ as was not received by Scripture-Revelation. If it was the first, we have an Instance of that new Morality which these new Doctrines are accompanied withal; if the latter, he discovers how meet a person he is to treat of things of this Nature. Wherefore to prevent such scan­dalous Miscarriages or futilous Imaginati­ons for the future, I here tell him that if he can find in that Book, or any other of my Writings, any Expression or Word or Syllable intimating any Knowledg of Christ, or any Acquaintance with the Per­son of Christ, but what is revealed and de­clared in the Gospel, in the Writings of Moses, the Prophets, and Apostles, and as it is so revealed and declared, and learned from thence, I will publiquely burn that Book with my own hands to give him and all the World Satisfaction. Nay I say more, if an Angel from Heaven pretend to give any other knowledg of the Person of Christ but what is revealed in the Gospel, let him be accursed. And here I leave this Author to consider with himsef, what was [Page 31] the true occasion why he should first thus represent himself unto the World in Print by the avowing of so unworthy and Noto­rious a Calumny.

Whereas therefore by an Acquaintance with the Person of Christ, it is undeniably evident; that I intended nothing but that Knowledg of Christ which it is the Duty of every Christian to labour after, no other but what is revealed, declared and deliver­ed in the Scripture, as almost every Page of my Book doth manifest where I treat of these things: I do here again with the good Leave of this Author assert, that this know­ledge of Christ is very necessary unto Christians, and the Fountain of all Saving Knowledg whatever. And as he may if he please re­view the Honesty and Truth of that Passage pag. 38. So that our Acquaintance with Christ's Person in this Mans Divinity signifies such a Knowledg of what Christ is, hath done and suffered for Us, from whence we may learn those greater, deeper, and more Sa­ving Mysteries of the Gospel, which Christ hath not expresly revealed to Us; So I will not so far suspect the Christianity of them with whom we have to do, as to think it neces­sary [Page 32] to confirm by Texts of Scripture either of these assertions, which whoever denies is an open Apostate from the Gospel.

Having laid this Foundation in an equal Mixture of that Truth and Sobriety where­with Sundry late Writings of this Nature, and to the same Purpose, have been stuf­fed, he proceeds to declare what desperate Consequences ensue upon the Necessity of that Knowledg of Jesus Christ which I have asserted, addressing himself thereun­to, pag. 40.

Many Instances of such dealings, will make me apt to think that some Men, whatever they pretend to the contrary, have but little Knowledg of Jesus Christ indeed. But whatever this Man thinks of him, an Accouut must one Day be given before and unto him of such false Calum­nies as his Lines are stuffed withal. Those who will believe him that he hath almost pored out his Eyes in reading the Gospel with a Design to find out Mysteries that are not in it, are left by me to their Liberty. On­ly I cannot but say that his way of Expres­sing the study of the Scripture is such as be­cometh a Man of his Wisdom, Gravity and [Page 33] Principles. He will I hope one day be better acquainted with what belongs unto the due Investigation of sacred Truth in the Scripture, than to suppose it represent­ed by such Childish expressions. What he hath Learned from me I know not, but that I have any where taught that there are Mysteries of Religion that are not to be found in the Gospel, unless we are first acquainted with the Person of Christ, is a Frontless and Impudent Falshood. I own no other, never taught other knowledge of Christ, or acquaintance with his Person, but what is revealed and declared in the Gospel; and therefore no Mysteries of Religion can be thence known and recei­ved before we are acquainted with the Gospel it self. Yet I will mind this Au­thor of that whereof if he be ignorant, he is unfit to be a Teacher of others, and which if he deny, he is unworthy the Name of a Christian; Namely, that by the Knowledge of the Person of Christ; the great Mystery of God manifest in the Flesh, as revealed and declared in the Gos­pel, we are led into a clear and full un­derstanding of many other Mysteries of [Page 34] Grace and Truth which are all centred in his Person, and without which we can have no true nor sound understanding of them. I shall speak it yet again, that this Author if it be possible may understand it; or however, that he and his Co-partners in Design may know that I neither am nor ever will be ashamed of it; that with­out the Knowledge of the Person of Christ which is our Acquaintance with him, as we are commanded to ac­quaint our selves with God, as he is the Eternal Son of God Incarnate, the Media­tor between God and Man with the My­stery of the Love, Grace and Truth of God therein, as revealed and declared in the Scripture; there is no true useful Saving Knowledge of any other Mysteries or Truths of the Gospel to be attained. This being the substance of what is assert­ed in my Discourse, I challenge this Man, or any to whose pleasure and Favour his endeavours in this kind are Sacrificed to assert and maintain the contrary, if so be they are indeed armed with such a Confi­dence as to impugne the Foundations of Christianity.

[Page 35]But to evince his Intention he transcri­beth the ensuing passages out of my Dis­course, pag. 41. The sum of all true Wisdom and Knowledge may be reduced to these three Heads. (1) The Knowledge of God his Nature and Properties.

(2) The Knowledge of our selves with refe­rence to the will of God concerning us.

(3) Skill to walk in Communion with God. In these three is summed up all True Wisdome and Knowledge, and not any of them is to any purpose to be obtained or is manifested but on­ly in and by the Lord Christ.

This whole passage I am far from disliking upon this Representation of it, or any Expression in it. Those who are not pleased with this distribution of spiri­tual Wisdom, may make use of any such of their own wherewith they are better sa­tisfied. This of mine was sufficient unto my purpose. Hereon this censure is passed by him. Where, By, is fallaciously added to include the Revelations Christ hath made, whereas his first undertaking was to show how impossible it is to understand these things sa­vingly and clearly notwithstanding all these Revelations God hath made of himself and [Page 36] his will by Moses and the Prophets and by Christ himself without an acquaintance with his person. The fallacy pretended is merely of his own coyning [...] my words are plain and s [...]ited unto my own purpose, and to declare my mind in what I intend; which he openly corrupting or not at all under­standing, frames an end never thought of by me, and then feigns fallacious means of attaining it. The knowledge I mean is to be learned by Christ, neither is any thing to be learned in him but what is learned by him. I do say indeed now what­ever I have said before, that it is impossible to understand any sacred Truth savingly and clearly without the knowledge of the Person of Christ, and shall say so still, let this Man and his Companions say what they will to the contrary; but that in my so saying I exclude the consideration of the Revelations which Christ hath made, or that God hath made of himself by Mo­ses and the Prophets, and Christ himself, the principal whereof concern his Person, and whence alone we come to know him, is an Assertion becoming the modesty and Ingenuity of this Author. But hereon [Page 37] he proceeds and says, that as to the first head he will take notice of those peculiar Dis­coveries of the Nature of God of which the world was ignorant before, and of which Reve­lation is wholly silent, but are now clearly and savingly Learned from an Acquaintance with Christs Person. But what in the mean time is become of Modesty, Truth and Hone­sty? Do men reckon that there is no Ac­compt to be given of such falsifications? Is there any one Word or Tittle in my dis­course, of any such knowledge of the Nature or Properties of God as where­of Revelation is wholly silent? What doth this Man intend? Doth he either not at all understand what I say, or doth he not care what he says himself? What have I done to him? wherein have I injured him? how have I provoked him that he should sacrifice his Conscience and Reputation unto such a Revenge? must he yet hear it again? I never thought, I never owned, I never wrote, that there was any Ac­quaintance to be obtained with any pro­perty of the Nature of God by the know­ledge of the Person of Christ, but what is Taught and Revealed in the Gospel; [Page 38] from whence alone all knowledge of Christ, his Person, and his Doctrine, is to be Learned. And yet I will say again, if we Learn not thence to know the Lord Christ, that is, his Person, we shall never know any thing of God, our Selves, or our Duty, clearly and savingly (I use the words again, notwithstanding the Reflecti­ons on them, as more proper in this Mat­ter than any used by our Author in his Eloquent Discourse) and as we ought to do. From hence he proceeds unto weak and confused Discourses about the Know­ledge of God and his Properties without any Knowledge of Christ. For he not only tells us what reason we had to believe such and such things of God, if Christ had never appeared in the World (take care I pray that we be thought as little beholding to him as may be) but, that Gods readiness to Pardon, and the like are plainly revealed in the Scripture, without any farther Acquain­tance with the Person of Christ. Pag. 43. What this farther Acquaintance with the person of Christ should mean, I do not well understand: It may be any more Ac­quaintance with respect unto some that is [Page 39] necessary; It may be without any more adoe as to an acquaintance with him. And if this be his Intention, (as it must be if there be sense in his words,) that God's read [...]ness to pardon Sinners is revealed in the Scripture without respect unto the Per­son of Jesus Christ, it is a piece of dull Socin [...]anism, which because I have suffi­ciently confuted else where, I shall not here farther discover the folly of. For a Knowledge of God's Essential Properties by the Light of Nature, it was never de­nyed by me, yea I have written and con­tended for it in another way than can be impeached by such trifling Declamations. But yet with his good leave, I do yet be­l [...]eve that there is no saving Knowledge of or acquaintance with God, or his Proper­ties, to be attained, but in and through Je­sus Christ, as revealed unto us in the Gos­pel. And this I can confirm with Testi­monies of the Scripture, Fathers, School­men, and Divines of all sorts, with Rea­sons and Arguments, such as I know this Author cannot Answer. And whatever great apprehensions he may have of his Skill and Abilities to know God and his [Page 40] Properties by the Light of Nature, now he neither knowes nor is able to distin­guish, what he Learns from thence, and what he hath imbibed in his Education from an Emanation of Divine Rvelation; yet, I believe there were as wise men as himself amongst those Ancient Philoso­phers concerning whom and their enqui­ries into the Nature of God, our Apostle pronounces those censures, Rom. 1. 1 Cor. 1.

But on this goodly Foundation he pro­ceeds unto a particular Inference, pag. 44. saying; And is not this a Confident Man to tell us that the Love of God to Sinners, and his Pardoning Mercy could never have en­tred into the Heart of Man, but by Christ; when the experience of the whole World con­futes him? For whatever becomes of his new Theories, both Jews and Heathens who under­stood nothing at all of what Christ was to do in order to our Recovery, did believe God to be Gracious and Merciful to Sinners, and had reason to do so; because God himself had assu­red the Jewes that he was a Gracious and Merciful God, pardoning Iniquity, Trans­gressions and Sins. And those natural No­tions Heathens had of God, and all those [Page 41] Discoveries God had made of himself in the works of Creation and Providence, did as­sure them that God is very Good, and it is not possible to understand what Goodness is, without pardoning Grace.

I beg his Excuse; Truth and good Company will give a modest Man a little Confidence sometimes. And against his Experience of the whole World, falsly pretended, I can oppose the Testimonies of the Scripture, and all the Ancient wri­ters of the Church, very few excepted. We can know of God only what he hath, one way or other, revealed of himself and nothing else. And I say again that God hath not revealed his Love unto Sinners, and his Pardoning Mercy, any other way but in and by Jesus Christ. For what he adds as to the knowledge which the Jews had of these things by Gods Revelation in the Scripture; when he can prove that all those Revelations or any of them had not respect unto the Promised Seed the Son of God to be exhibited in the Flesh to destroy the works of the Devil, he will speak somewhat unto his Purpose. In the mean time, this insertion of the con­sideration [Page 42] of them who enjoyed that Re­velation of Christ, which God was plea­sed to build his Church upon under the old Testament is weak and impertinent. Their apprehensions I acknowledge con­cerning the Person of Christ, and the spe­cialty of the work of his Mediation, were dark and obscure; but so also proportio­nably was their Knowledge of all other Sacred Truths, which yet with all Dili­gence they enquired into. That whic [...] I intended is expressed by the Apostle, 1 Cor. 2.9. It is written Eye hath not seen, nor Ear heard, neither have entred into the Heart of Man, the things which God hath prepared for them that Love him; but God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit. What a Confident Man was this Apostle, as to affirm that the things of the Grace and Mercy of God did never enter into the heart of Man to conceive, nor would so have done, had they not been revealed by the Spirit of God in the Gos­pel through Jesus Christ.

But this is only a Transient Charge, there insues that which is much more se­vere, pag. 45. As for Instance he tells us, [Page 43] that in Christ, (that is, in his Death and Sufferings for our sins) God hath manifested the Naturalness of this Righteousness (i. e. Vindictive Justice in punishing Sin) that it was impossible that it should be diverted from Sinners without the interposing of a Pro­pitiation, that is, that God is so Just and Righteous, that he cannot pardon sin without satisfaction to his Justice. Now this indeed is such a Notion of Justice as is perfectly New, which neither Scripture nor Nature acquaints us with. For all Mankind have accounted it an Act of Goodness without the least suspi­cion of injustice in it, to remit injuries and of­fences without exacting any punishment; that he is so far from being Just, that he is cruel and savage who will remit no offence till he hath satisfied his Revenge. The Reader who is in any measure or degree acquaint­ed with these things, knows full well what is intended by that which I have asserted. It is no more but this; that such is the Es­sential Holiness and Righteousness of the Nature of God, that considering him as the Supreme Governour and Ruler of all Mankind, it was inconsistent with the Ho­liness and Rectitude of his Rule, and the [Page 44] Glory of his Government, to pass by sin absolutely, or to pardon it without Satis­faction, Propitiation, or Atonement. This I said was made Evident in the Death and Sufferings of Christ, wherein God made all our Iniquities to meet upon him, and spared him not, that we might obtain Mercy and Grace. This is here now cal­led out by our Author as a very dangerous or Foolish Passage in my Discourse, which he thought he might highly advantage his Reputation by Reflecting upon. But as the Orator said to his Adversary, Equidem ve­hementer laetor eum esse me, in quem tu cumcu­peres, nullam contumeliam jacere potueris, quae non ad maximam partem civium conveniret. So it is here fallen out; If this man knows not that this is the Judgment of the gene­rality of the most Learned Divines of Europe, upon the matter of all who have engaged with any success against the Soci­nians one or two only excepted, I can pitty him, but not relieve him in his un­happiness, unless he will be pleased to take more pains in reading good Books, than as yet he appeareth to have done. But for the thing it self, and his Reflecti­ons [Page 45] upon it, I shall observe yet some few things and so pass on. As first, the op­position that he makes unto my Position is nothing but a crude Assertion of one of the meanest and most absurd Sophisms which the Socinians use in this Cause; Namely, that every one may remit injuries and offences as he pleaseth without exacting any Punishment. Which as it is true in most Cases of Injuries and offences against Private Persons, wherein no others are concerned but themselves, nor are they obliged by any Law of the Community to pursue their own Right; so with respect unto Publick Rulers of the Community, & unto such Injuries and offences as are done against supreme Rule, tending directly un­to the Dissolution of the Society centring in it, to suppose that such Rulers are not obliged to inflict those punishments which Justice and the preservation of the Com­munity doth require, is a fond and ridi­culous Imagination; destructive if pursued unto all Humane Society, and rendring Government an useless thing in the World. Therefore what this Author (who seems to understand very little of these things) [Page 46] adds, that Governours may spare or punish as they see Reason for it; if the Rule of that Reason and Judgment be not that Justice which respects the Good and Benefit of the Society or Community, they do amiss and sin in sparing and punishing, which I suppose he will not ascribe unto the Go­vernment of God. But I have fully de­bated these things in sundry writings against the Socinians, so that I will not again enlarge upon them without a more important occasion. It is not improbable but he knows where to find those Discour­ses, and he may when he pleases exercise his skill upon them. Again, I cannot but remarque upon the Consequences that he chargeth this Position withal, and yet I cannot do it without begging pardon for repeating such horrid and desperate Blas­phemies; pag. 46. The Account saith he, of this is very plain because the Justice of God hath glutted it self with Revenge on sin in the Death of Christ, and so henceforward we may be sure he will be very kind, as a Re­vengful man is when his Passion is over. pag. 47, The sum of which is that God is all Love and Patience when he hath taken [Page 47] his fill of Revenge, as others use to say that the Devil is very good when he is pleased. pag. 59, The Justice and Vengeance of God, ha­ving their Actings assigned them to the full, being glutted and satiated with the Blood of Christ, God may, &c. I desire the Rea­der to remember that the Supposition whereon all these inferences are built is only that of the Necessity of the Satisfacti­on of Christ with respect unto the Holi­ness and Righteousness of God as the Au­thor of the Law, and the supream Gover­nour of Mankind. And is this Language becoming a Son of the Church of England? Might it not be more justly expected from a Jew or a Mahumetan, from Servetus or Socinus, from whom it is borrowed, than from a Son of this Church, in a Book published by Licence and Authority? But it is to no purpose to complain; those who are pleased with these things let them be so. But what if after all, these impious Blasphemous consequences do follow as much upon this Author's opinion as upon mine, and that with a greater shew of Pro­bability? And what if forgetting himself within a few Leaves, he says the very same [Page 48] thing that I do, and casts himself under his own severest Condemnation? For the first▪ I presume he owns the Satisfaction of Christ, and I will suppose it until he di­rectly denies it; therefore also he owns and grants that God would not pardon any sin, but upon a supposition of a previous satis­faction made by Jesus Christ. Here then lies all the difference between us; that I say God could not with respect unto his Holiness and Justice as the Author of the Law and Governour of the World, pardon sin absolutely without Satisfaction; he says that although he might have done so with­out the least diminution of his Glory, yet he would not, but would have his Son by his Death and suffering to make Satisfaction for Sin. I leave it now not only to every learned and impartial Reader, but to every Man in his Wits who understands com­mon sense, whether the Blasphemous Con­sequences which I will not again defile Ink and Paper with the Expression of, do not seem to follow more directly upon his Opinion than mine. For whereas I say not, that God requireth any thing unto the Exercise of Grace and Mercy but [Page 49] what he grants that he doth so also. Only I say he doth it because requisite unto his Justice, he because he chose it by a free Act of his Will and Wisdom when he might have done otherwise without the least disadvantage unto his Righteousness or Rule, or the least Impeachment to the Glory of his Holiness, the odious Blasphe­mies mentioned do apparently seem to make a nearer approach unto his Asserti­on than unto mine. I cannot proceed un­to a farther Declaration of it, because I abhor the Rehearsal of such horrid Pro­phaneness. The Truth is, they follow not in the Least (if there be any thing in them but odious Satanical Exprobrations of the Truth of the Satisfaction of Christ) on ei­ther Opinion; though I say this Author knows not well how to discharge himfelf of them. But what if he be all this while [...]ly roving in his Discourse about the things that he hath no due comprehension of, merely out of a transporting desire to gratifie himself and others in traducing and making Exceptions against my Wri­tings! What if when he comes a little to himself and expresseth the Notions that [Page 50] have been instilled into him, he saith ex­presly as much as I do, or have done in any place of my writings? It is plain he doth so, pag. 49. in these words: As for sin, the Gospel assures us that God is an irreconcileable Enemy to all Wickedness, it being so contrary to his own most Holy Na­ture, that if he have any love for Himself, and any esteem for his own Perfections and Works, he must hate Sin which is so unlike himself, and which destroys the beauty and per­fection of his Workmanship. For this End he sent his Son into the World to destroy the works of the Devil, &c. Here is the Sub­stance of what at any time in this Subject I have pleaded for. God is an irreconcile­able Enemy to all wickedness, that it is con­trary to his Holy Nature, so that he must [...]ate it, and therefore sends his Son, &c. If Sin be contrary to Gods Holy Nature, if he must hate it unless he will not Love, himself nor value his own perfections, and therefore sent his Son to make Satisfa­ction, we are absolutely agreed in this matte [...], and our Author hath lost operam & oleum in his attempt. But for the mat­ter it self, if he be able to come unto any [Page 51] consistency in his thoughts, or to know what is his own mind therein; I do here­by acquaint him, that I have written one intire Discourse on that Subject, and have lately reinforced the same Argument in my Exer [...]itations on the Epistle to the Hebrews, wherein my Judgment in this Point is declared and maintained. Let him attempt an Answer if he please unto them, or do it if he can. What he farther discourseth on this Subject, pag. 46, 47. consisteth only in odious Representations and vile Reflections on the Principal Doctrines of the Gospel, not to be men­tioned without offence and Horrour. But as to me he proceeds to except after his Scoffing manner against another Passage, pag. 47, 48. But however sinners have great Reasons to rejoyce in it, when they con­sider the Nature and End of God's Patience and forbearance towards them, viz. That it is God's taking a Course in his Infinite Wisdom and Goodness that we should not be destroyed notwithstanding our Sins; that as before the least Sin could not escape without Punishment, Justice being so natural to God, that he can­not forgive without Punishing: So the Ju­stice [Page 52] of God being now satisfied by the Death of Christ the greatest Sins can do us no hurt, but we shall escape with a notwithstanding our Sins, this it seems we learn from an Acquaintance with Christ's Person, though his Gospel instructs us▪ otherwise, that without Holiness no Man shall see God. But he is here again at a Loss, & understands not what he is about. That whereof he was discoursing, is the neces­sity of the Satisfaction of Christ, and that must be it which he maketh his Inference from. But the Passage he insists on, he layes down as expressive of the End of God's Patience and forbearance towards Sinners, which here is of no Place nor Consideration. But so it falls out that he is seldom at any agreement with himself in any Parts of his Discourse; the Reason whereof I do somewhat more than guess at. However, for the Passage which he cites out of my Discourse, I like it so well, as that I shall not trouble my self to in­quire whether it be there or no, or on what occasion it is introduced. The Words are, that God hath in his Justice, Wisdome and Goodness taken a Course that we should not be destroyed, notwithstanding our Sins, [Page 53] (that is to save Sinners) for he that believeth although he be a Sinner, shall be saved; and he that believeth not, shall be damned, as one hath assured us, whom I desire to believe and trust unto. If this be not so, what will become of this Man and my self, with all our Writings; for I know that we are both Sinners; and if God will not save us, or deliver us from destruction not­withstanding our Sins, that is, pardon them through the bloodshedding of Jesus Christ, wherein we have Redemption even the forgiveness of Sins, it had been better for us that we had never been born. And I do yet again say, that God doth not, that he will not pardon the least Sin with­out respect unto the Satisfaction of Christ, according as the Apostle declares, 2 Cor. 5.18, 19, 20, 21. And the Expression which must be set on the other side, on the supposition thereof the greatest Sin can do us no harm, is this Mans addition, which his usual respect unto Truth hath produ­ced. But withal, I never said, I never wrote, that the only supposition of the Sa­tisfaction of Christ is sufficient of it self to free us from Destruction by Sin.

[Page 54]There is moreover required on our Part, Faith and Repentance, without which we can have no Advantage by it, or Inte­rest in it. But he seems to understand by that Expression notwithstanding our Sins, though we should live and dye in our Sins without Faith, Repentance, or New-Obedience. For he supposeth it suffici­ent to manifest the Folly of this Assertion, to mention that Declaration o [...] the mind of Christ in the Gospel, that without Ho­liness no Man shall see God. I wonder whet [...]er he thinks that those who believe the Satisfaction of Christ, and the Neces­si [...]y thereof, wherein God made him to be Sin who knew no Sin, that we might be made the Righteousness of God in him, do believe that t [...]e Personal Holiness of Men is indispensibly necessary unto the pleasing and enjoyment of God: If he suppose that the Satisfaction o [...] Christ and the necessity of o [...]r Personal Holiness are really inconsistent, he m [...]st be treated in another manner; If he suppose that al­though they are consistent, yet those whom he opposeth do so trust to the Satis­faction of Christ, as to judge, that Faith, [Page 55] Repentance and Holiness are not indi­spensibly necessary to salvation, he mani­fests how well skilled he is in their Prin­ciples and Practices. I have always look­ed on it as a piece of the highest disinge­nuity among the Quakers, that when any one pleads for the Satisfaction of Christ or the Imputation of his Righteousness, they will clamorously cry out and hear nothing to the contrary, yea you are for the Saving of polluted, defiled Sinners; let men live in their Sins and be all foul within, it is no matter, so long as they have a Righteousness and a Christ without them. I have I say al­ways looked upon it as a most disingenu­ous procedure in them, seeing no one is Catechised amongst us, who knoweth not that we press a necessity of Sanctifica­tion and Holiness, equal with that of Ju­stification and Righteousness. And yet this very course is here steered by this Au­thor. Contrary to the constant Declaration of the Judgments of them with whom he hath to do, contrary to the common evi­dence of their Writings, Preaching, Praying, D [...]sputing unto another purpose, and that without relieving or coun [...]enancing him­self by any one Word or Expression used [Page 56] or utterred by them, he chargeth, as though they made Holiness a very indifferent thing and such as it doth not much concern any Man whether he have an Interest in or no. And I know not whether is more marve­lous unto me, that some Men can so far con­coct all Principles of Conscience and Mo­desty as to publish such slaunderous Un­truths, or that others can take content­ment and satisfaction therein, who can­not but understand their Disingenuity and Falshood.

His proceed in the same Page is to Ex­cept against that Revelation of the Wise­dom of God, which I affirm to have been made in the Person and Sufferings of Christ, which I thought I might have as­serted without offence. But this Man will have it, that there is no Wisdome therein, if Justice be so Natural to God that nothing could satisfy him but the Death of his own Son. That any thing else could satisfy Divine Justice but the sufferings and Death of the Son of God, so far as I know he is the first that found out or dis­covered, if he hath yet found it out. Some have imagined that God will pardon Sin, and doth so, without any satisfaction at [Page 57] all. And some have thought that other ways of the Reparation of Lost Mankind were possible without this Satisfaction of Divine Justice, which yet God in his Wis­dome determined on. But that Satisfacti­on could be any otherwise made to Di­vine Justice, but by the Death of the Son of God Incarnate, none have used to say who know what they say in these things. But Wisdom, he saith, consists in the choice of the best and fittest means to attain an End when there were more ways than one of doing it; but it requires no great Wisdom to chuse when there is but one possible way. Yea this it is to measure God, things Infinite and Divine, by our selves. Doth this Man think that God's Ends as ours have an Ex­istence in themselves out of him, antece­dent unto any Acts of his Divine Wisdom? Doth he imagine that he ballanceth Pro­bable means for the attaining of an end, chusing some and rejecting others? Doth he surmise that the Acts of Divine Wis­dom with respect unto the End and Means are so really distinct, as the one to have a Priority in time before the others? Alas, that Men should have the Confidence to [Page 58] publish such slight & crude Imaginations! Again, the Scripture which so often expres­seth the Incarnation of the Son of God, and the whole work of his Mediation thereon, as the Effect of the Infinite Wis­dom of God, as that wherein the Stores, Riches and Treasures of it are laid forth, doth no where so speak of it in compari­son with other means not so suited unto the same end, but absolutely and as it is in its own Nature; unless i [...] be when it is compared with those Typical Institutions which being appointed to resemble it, some did rest in. And lastly, whereas there was but this one way for the Redemption of Mankind and the Restauration of the Honour of Gods Justice and Holiness, as he is the Supreme Lawgiver and Gover­nour of the Universe; and whereas this one way was not in the least pervious unto any Created Understanding Angelical or Humane, nor could the least of its Con­cerns have ever entred into the Hearts of any, nor it may be shall they ever know, or be able to find it out unto perfection, but it will be left the Object of their Admira­tion unto Eternity; if this Author can see [Page 59] no Wisdom or no great Wisdom in the find­ing out and appointing of this way, who can help it? I wish he would more dili­gently attend unto their Teachings who are able to instruct him better, and from whom, as having no prejudice against them, he may be willing to Learn.

But this is the least Part of what this worthy Censurer of Theological Discour­ses rebukes and corrects. For, whereas I had said that we might Learn our Disabili­ty to answer the mind and will of God in all or any part of the obedience he requireth, that is, without Christ, or out of him; he adds, that is, that it is impossible for us to do any thing that is Good, but we must be acted like Machines by an External Force, by the irre­sistible Power of the Grace and Spirit of God. This I am sure is a new Discovery, we Learn no such thing from the Gospel, and I do not see how he proves it from an Aquaintance with Christ. But if he intends what he speaks, we can do no good but must be acted like Machines by an External Force, and chargeth this on me, it is a false accusation proceeding from Malice or Ignorance or a Mixture of both. If he intend that we [Page 60] can of our selves do any thing that is spi­ritually good and acceptable before God, without the efficacious working of the Spirit and Grace of God in us, which I only deny, He is a Pelagian, and stands anathematized by many Councils of the Ancient Church. And for what is my Judgment about the Impotency that is in us by Nature unto any Spiritual Good, the Necessity of the Effectual Operation of the Spirit of God in and to our Conversion, with his Aids and Assistances of Actual Grace in our whole Course of Obedience, which is no other but that of the Ancient Church, the most Learned Fathers, and the Church of England it self in former days, I have now sufficiently declared and confirmed it in another Discourse, whi­ther this Author is remitted either to Learn to speak Honestly of what he op­poseth, or to understand it better, or to Answer it if he can,

He adds! But still there is a more Glori­ous Discovery than this behind, and that is, the Glorious End whereunto sin is appointed and ordained (I suppose he means by God) is discovered in Christ, viz. For the Demon­stration [Page 61] of God's Vindictive Justice, in mea­suring out to it a meet Recompence of Reward; and for the Praise of God▪s Glorious Grace in the Pardon and Forgiveness of it; that is, that it could not be known how Just and severe God is, but by punishing Sin, nor how Good and Gracious God is, but by par­doning of it; and therefore lest his Justice and Mercy should never be known to the World he appoints and ordains Sin to this End; That is, Decrees that Men shall Sin that he may make some of them the Vessels of his Wrath and the Examples of his fierce Vengeance and Displeasure, and others the Vessels of his Mercy, to the Praise and Glo­ry of his free Grace in Christ. This indeed is such a Discovery, as Nature and Revela­tion could not make, pag. 51. which in the next Page he calls God's truckling and bar­tering with Sin and the Devil for his Glo­ry.

Although there is nothing in the words here reported as mine, which is not ca­pable of a fair Defence, seeing it is ex­presly affirmed, that God set forth his Son to be a Propitiation to declare his Righte­ousness, yet I know not how it came to [Page 62] pass that I had a mind to turn unto the Passage it self in my Discourse, which I had not done before on any occasion, as not supposing that he would falsify my Words, with whom it was so easie to per­vert my meaning at any Time, and to re­proach what he could not confute. But that I may give a Specimen of this Man's Honesty and Ingenuity, I shall transcribe the Passage which he excepts against, be­cause I confess it gave me some surpr [...]sal upon its first Perusal. My words are these. There is a Glorious End whereunto Sin is ap­pointed and ordained, discovered in Christ, that others are unacquainted withal. Sin in its own Nature tends meerely to the Dis­honour of God, the Debasement of his Maje­sty and the Ruine of the Creature in whom it is. Hell it self is but the filling of wretched Creatures with the Fruit of their own devices. The Comminations and Threats of God in the Law do manifest one other end of it, even the Demonstration of the Vindictive Justice of God in measuring out unto it a meet Recompence of Reward, But here the Law stays, and with it all other Light, and Discovers no other Use or End of it at all. In the Lord Jesus [Page 63] Christ there is the Manifestation of another and more Glorious End, to wit, the Praise of Gods Glorious Grace in the Pardon and For­giveness of it. God having taken order in Christ, that that thing which tended meerly to his Dishonour, should be managed to his Infi­nite Glory, and that which of all things he desireth to exalt, even that he may be known and believed to be a God Pardoning Iniquity Transgression and Sin. Such was my Igno­rance, that I did not think that any Chri­stian, unless he were a professed Socinian, would ever have made Exceptions against any thing in this Discourse, the whole of it being openly proclaimed in the Gospel and confirmed in the particulars by sundry Texts of Scripture, quoted in the Margent of my Book, which this Man took no no­tice of. For the Advantage he would make from the Expression about the End whereunto Sin is Appointed and Ordained, it is Childish and Ridiculous. For every one who is not wilfully blind, must see that by Ordained I intended not any Or­dination as to the Futurition of Sin, but the Disposal of Sin to its Proper End be­ing Committed, or to ordain it unto its [Page 64] End upon a Supposition of its Being, which quite spoils this Authors ensuing Harangue. But my Judgment in this matter is better expressed by another than I am able to do it my self, and therefore in his words I shall represent it. It is Augustine, Saith he, Saluberrime confite­mur quod rectissime credimus, Deum Domi­numque rerum omnium qui creavit omnia bo­na valde, & mala ex bonis exortura esse prae­scivit, & scivit magis ad suam omnipoten­tissimam bonitatem pertinere, etiam de malis benefacere, quam mala esse non sinere; sic ordinâsse Angelorum & hominum vitam, ut in ea prius ostenderet quid posset eorum libe­rum Arbitrinm, deinde quid posset suae Gra­tiae beneficium Justitiaeque judicium.

This our Author would have to be God's bartering with Sin & the Devil for his Glo­ry; the bold impiety of which expression among many others, for whose necessary expression I crave pardon, manifests with what frame of Spirit, with what Reverence of God himself and all holy things, this Discourse is managed.

But it seems I add, that the Demonstra­tion of God's Justice in Measuring out unto [Page 65] Sin a meet Recompence of Reward is Dis­covered in Christ, as this Author says. Let him read again; The Comminations and Threatnings of God in the Law, &c. If this Man were acquainted with Christ, he could not but Learn somewhat more of Truth and Modesty unless he be wilfully stupid. But what is the Crime of this Paragraph? That which it teacheth is, that Sin in its own Nature hath no End, but the dishonour of God, and the Eter­nal Ruine of the Sinner. That by the Sentence and Curse of the Law God hath manifested that he will Glorify his Justice in the Punishing of it, as also that in and through Jesus Christ he will Glorify Grace and Mercy in its Pardon on the Terms of the Gospel. What would he be at? If he have a mind to quarrel the Bible, and to conflict the Fundamental Principles of Christianity, to what pur­pose doth he cavil at my obscure Discour­ses, when the proper Object of his Dis­pleasure lies plainly before him.

Let us proceed yet a little farther with our Author, although I confess my self to be already utterly wearied with the Peru­sal [Page 66] of such Vain and Frivolous Imaginati­ons. Yet thus he goes on pag. 53. Thus much for the Knowledge of our selves with re­spect to Sin which is hid only in the Lord Christ. But then we Learn what our Righte­ousness is, wherewith we must appear before God, from an Acquaintance with Christ. We have already Learned how unable we are to make atonement for our Sins, without which they can never be forgiven, and how unable we are to do any thing that is Good, and yet nothing can deliver us from the Ju­stice and Wrath of God but a full satisfa­ction for our sins, and nothing can give us a Title to a Reward but a perfect and unsinning Righteousness. What should we do in this Case? how shall we escape Hell, or get to Heaven, when we can neither Expiate for our part Sins or do any Good for the Time to come? Why, here we are relieved again by an Acquaintance with Christ. His death Ex­piates former Iniquities, and removes the whole guilt of Sin. But this is not enough, that we are not Guilty, we must also be actu­ally Righteous, not only all Sin is to be an­swered for, but all Righteousness is to be ful­filled. Now this Righteousness we find only [Page 67] in Christ, we are reconciled to God by his Death, and saved by his Life. That actual Obedience he yielded to the whole Law of God is that Righteousness whereby we are saved; we are Innocent by Vertue of his Sacrifice and Ex­piation and righteous with his Righteousness.

What is here interposed, that we cannot do any Good for the Time to come, must be interpreted of our selves without the Ayd or Assistance of the Grace of God. And the Things here reported by this Author, are so expressed and represented, to ex­pose them to Reproach and Scorn, to have them esteemed not only false but ridi­culous. But whether he be in his Wits or no, or what he intends so to traduce and scoff at the Fundamental Doctrines of the Gospel, I profess I know not. What is it he would deny? What is it he would as­sert? Are we able to make an Atonement for our Sins? Can we be forgiven without an Atonement? Can we of our selves do any good without the Aid and Assi­stance of Grace? Can any Thing we do be a full Satisfaction for our Sins, or deli­ver us from the wrath of God▪ that is the Punishment due to our Sins? Doth not the [Page 68] Death of Christ expiate former Iniquities, and remove the whole Guilt of Sin? Is the contrary to these things the Doctrine of the Church of England? Is this the Reli­gion which is Authorised to be Preached, and are these the Opinions that are Licen­sed to be publshed unto all the World? But as I observed before, these things are other Mens Concernment more than mine, and with them I leave them. But I have said, as he quotes the Place, that we are reconciled to God by the Death of Christ, and saved by his Life, that actual Obedience which he yielded to the whole Law of God. As the former part of these words are expresly the Apostles, Rom. 5.10. and so produced by me; so the next words I add, are these of the same Apostle, if so be we are found in him, not having on our own Righteousness which is of the Law, but the Righteousness which is of God by Faith; which he may do well to consider, and answer when he can.

Once more and I shall be beholding to this Author for a little respite of severity, whilst he diverts to the Magisterial Re­proof of some other persons. Thus then [Page 69] he proceeds, pag. 55. The third part of our Wisdom is to walk with God, and to that is required Agreement, Acquaintance, a Way, Strength, Boldness, and aiming at the same End, and all these with the Wisdom of them are hid in Jesus Christ. So far are my words, to which he adds. The sum of which in short is this, that Christ having expiated our Sins, and fulfilled all Righte­ousness for us, though we have no personal Righteousness of our own, but are as contra­ry unto God as Darkness is to Light, and Death to Life, and an Universal Pollution and Defilement, to an Universal and Glorious Holiness, and Hatred to Love, yet the Righteousness of Christ is a sufficient, nay the only Foundation of our Agreement, and upon that of our walking with God; though St. John tells us if we say we have fellow­ship with him, and walk in Darkness, we lye and do not the Truth; but if we walk in the Light, as God is in the Light, then have we fellowship one with another, and then the Blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all Sins, 1 John Chap. 1. v. 6, 7. And our only Acquaintance with God, and Knowledge of him is hid in Christ, which his [Page 70] Word and Works could not discover, as you heard above. And he is the only way where­in we must walk with God, and we receive all our strength from him, and he makes us bold and confident too, having removed the Guilt of Sin, that now we may look Justice in the Face, and whet our Knife at the Coun­ter-Door, all our Debts being discharged by Christ, as these bold Acquaintances and Fa­miliars of Christ use to speak. And in Christ we design the same End that God doth, which is the Advancement of his own Glory, that is, I suppose by trusting unto the Expiation and Righteousness of Christ for Salvation, without doing any thing our selves, we take Care that God shall not be wronged of the Glory of his free Grace, by a Competition of any Merits and Deserts of our own.

What the Author affi [...]ms to be the sum of my Discourse, in that Place which in­deed he doth not transcribe, is as to his Affirmation of it as contrary to God as Darkness is to Light, or Death to Life, or Falshood to the Truth, that is, it is Flagi­tiously false. That there is any Agree­ment with God, or walking with God for any Men who have no Personal Righteous­ness [Page 71] of their own, but are contrary to God, &c. I never thought, I never wrote, nor any thing that should give the least Coun­tenance unto a suspicion to that Purpose. The necessity of an Habitual and Actual Personal Inherent Righteousness, of San­ctification and Holiness, of Gospel-Obe­dience, of Fruitfulness in Good Works, unto all who intend to walk with God or come to the Enjoyment of him, I have asserted and proved with other manner of Arguments than this Author is acquainted withal. The Remainder of his Discourse in this Place is composed of Immorality and Profaneness. To the First I must refer his Charge, that our only Acquaintance with God and Knowledge of him, is hid in Christ, which his Word could not discover; as he again expresseth it, pag. 98, 99. But that the Reverend Doctor, confessed the plain Truth, that their Religion is wholly owing to an Acquaintance with the Person of Christ, and could never have been clearly and saving­ly Learned from his Gospel, had they not first grown acquainted with his Person, which is plainly false. I own no Knowledge of God, nor of Christ, but what is revealed [Page 72] in the Word, as was before declared. And unto the other Head belongs the most of what ensues. For what is the intendment of those Reproaches which are cast on my supposed Assertions? Christ is the on­ly way wherein or whereby we must walk with God: Yes, so he says, I am the way, there is no coming to God but by me; he having consecrated for us in himself a New and Living Way of drawing nigh to God. We receive all our strength from him, Yes For he says without me ye can do nothing. He makes us bold and confi­dent also, having removed the Guilt of Sin; So the Apostle tells us, Heb. 10.19, 20, 21, 22. What then? What followes upon these plain Positive Divine Asserti­ons of the Scripture? Why then we may look J [...]stice in the Face, and whet our Knife at the Counter-Door. Goodly Son of the Church of England; Not that I impu [...]e these Profane Scoffings unto the Church i [...]self, which I shall never do untill it be discovered that the Rulers of it do give approbation to such Abominations; But I would mind the Man of his Relation to that Church which to my Knowledge teach­eth [Page 73] better Learning and Manners.

From pag. 57. to the End of his second Section, pag. 75. he giveth us a Scheme of Religion which in his Scoffing Lan­guage, he says, Men Learn from an Ac­quaintance with the Person of Christ, and affirms that there needs no more to Expose it to Scorn with considering Men than his pro­posal of it, which therein he owns to be his Design. I know not any peculiar con­cernment of mine therein, until he comes towards the Close of it which I shall par­ticularly consider. But the Substance of the Religion which he thus avowedly at­tempts to expose to scorn, is the Doctrine of God's Eternal Election; of his Infi­nite Wisdom in sending his Son to declare his Righteousness for the forgiveness of Sins, or in satisfying his Justice, that Sin might be pardoned to the praise of the Glory of his Grace; of the Imputation of the Righteousness of Christ unto them tha [...] do believe; of a sence of Sin, Hu­miliation for it, looking unto Christ for Life and Salvation as the Israelites looked up to the Brasen Serpent in the Wilderness; of going to Christ by Faith for healing [Page 74] our Natures and cleansing our sins, with some other Doctrines of the same Impor­tance. These are the Principles which ac­cording to his Ability he Sarcastically tra­duceth and endeavoureth to reflect Scorn upon, by the false Representation of some of them, and debasing others, with an intermixture of Vile and Profane Expres­sions. It is not impossible but that some or other may judge it their Duty to rebuke this horrible (and yet were it not for the Ignorance and Profaneness of some men's minds, every way contemptible) Petu­lancy. For my part I have other things to do, and shall only add that I know no other Christian State in the World where­in such Discourses would be allowed to pass under the signature of Publick Authority. Only I wish the Author more Modesty and Sobriety than to attempt, or suppose he shall succeed, in exposing to Scorn the avowed Doctrine in general of the Church wherein he Lives, and which hath in the parts of it been asserted and defended by the Greatest and most Learned Prelates thereof, in the foregoing Ages, such as Jewel, Whitgift, Abbot, Morton, Usher, [Page 75] Hall, Davenant, Prideaux, &c. With the most Learned Persons of its Commu­nion, as Reynolds, Whittaker, Hooker, Sutcliff, &c. and others innumerable▪ testified unto in the Name of this Church by the Divines, sent by Publick Authority to the Synod of Dort, taught by the Principal Practical Divines of this Na­tion, and maintained by the most Learned of the Dignified Clergy at this Day. He is no doubt at Liberty to dissent from the Doctrine of the Church and of all the Learned Men thereof: But for a young Man to suppose, that with a few loose idle words he shall expose to Scorn, that Do­ctrine which the persons mentioned and others innumerable, have not only ex­plained, confirmed, and defended with pains indefatigable, all kind of Learning and Skill, Ecclesiastical, Philosophical, and Theological, in Books and Volumes which the Christian World as yet knoweth, peru­seth and prizeth, but also lived long in fervent Prayers to God for the Revelation of his Mind and Truth unto them, and in the Holy Practice of Obedience suited un­to the Doctrines they Professed, is some­what [Page 76] remote from that Christian Humility which he ought not only to exercise in himself, but to give an Example of un­to Others. But if this be the Fruit of despising the Knowledge of the Person of Chrst, of the Necessity of his Satisfacti­on, of the Imputation of his Righteousness, of Union unto his Person as our Head, of a sense of the Displeasure of God due to Sin, of the Spirit of Bondage and Adop­tion, of the Corruption of Nature, and our Disability to do any thing that is spiri­tually Good without the effectual Ayds of Grace; If these I say, and the like Issues of appearing Pride and Elation of Mind, be the Fruit and Consequent of rejecting these Principles of the Doctrine of the Gospel, it manifests that there is, and will be a proportion between the Errours of Mens Minds, and the depravation of their Affections. It were a most easy task to go over all the particulars mentioned by him, and to manifest how foully he hath prevaricated in their Representation, how he hath cast contempt on some Duties of Religion indispensibly necessary unto Sal­vation, and brought in the very words of [Page 77] the Scripture & that in the true proper sence and intendment of them, according to the Judgment, of all Christians, Ancient & Mo­dern, as that of Looking to Christ, as the Israelites looked to the Brasen Serpent in the Wilderness, to bear a share and part in his Scorn and Contempt; as also to defend and vindicate not his odious disingenious Expressions, but what he invidiously design­eth to Expose, beyond his Ability to gainsay or with any pretence of sober Learning to reply unto. But I give it up into the hands of those who are more concerned in the Chastisment of such Imaginations. Only I cannot but tell this Author what I have Learned by long Observation, Name­ly, that those who in opposing others make it their Design to, and place their Confi­dence in false Representations and invidi­ons Expressions of their Judgments and Opinions, waving a true Stating of the things in Difference, and weighing of the Arguments wherewith they are confirm­ed, whatever pretence they may make of Confidence and Contempt of them with whom they have to do; Yet this way of writing proceeds from a secret sense of [Page 78] their disability to maintain their own Opi­nions, or to reply to the Reasonings of their Adversaries in a fair and lawful Disputation; or from such depraved Af­fections as are sufficient to deter any sober Person from the least Communication in those Principles which are so pleaded for. And the same I must say of that kind of Writing which in some late Authors fills up almost every Page in their Books, which beyond a Design to load the per­sons of Men with Reproaches and Calum­nies, consist only in the Collecting of pas­sages here and there, up and down, out of the writings of others, which as cut off from the Body of their Discourses and Design of the Places which they belong unto, may with a little Artifice either of Addition or Detraction, with some false Glosses, whereof we shall have an immedi­ate Instance, be represented weak or un­true or improper or some way or other ob­noxious to Censure. When Diligence, Modesty, Love of Truth, Sobriety, true use of Learning, shall again visit the World in a more plentiful manner, though Differences should continue amongst us; [Page 79] yet men will be enabled to manage them honestly, without contracting so much Guilt on themselves, or giving such fearful Offence & Scandal unto others: But I return.

That wherein I am particularly con­cerned is the Close wherewith he winds up this Candid Ingenious Discourse, pag. 74. He quotes my Words, That the Soul con­sents to take Christ on his own Terms to save him in his own way: and saith, Lord I would have had thee, and Salvation in my way, that it might have been partly of mine Endea­vours, and as it were by the works of the Law (that is by obeying the Laws of the Go­spel) but I am now willing to receive Thee, and to be saved in thy way, meerly by Grace (that is without doing any thing, without obey­ing Thee). The most contented Spouse, certainly that ever was in the World, to subm [...]t to such hard conditions as to be saved for nothing. But what a pretty Complement doth the Soul make to Christ after all this, when she adds; And though I would have walked according to my own mind, yet now I wholly give up my self to be ruled by the Spirit.

If the Reader will be at the pains to look on the Discourse whence these passages are taken, I shall desire no more of his favour [Page 80] but that he profess himself to be a Christi­an and then let him freely pronounce whe­ther he find any thing in it obnoxious to Censure. Or I desire that any Man who hath not forfeited all Reason and Ingenu­ity unto Faction and Party, if he differ from me, truly to state wherein, and op­pose what I have said, with an Answer un­to the Testimonies wherewith it is con­firmed, referred unto in the Margent of my Discourse. But the way of this Au­thors proceeding, if there be no plea to be made for it from his Ignorance and unacquaintedness not only with the Person of Christ, but with most of the other things he undertakes to write about, is altogether unexcusable. The way where­by I have expressed the consent of the Soul in the receiving of Jesus Christ to be Justifyed, Sanctifyed, Saved by him, I still avow, as suited unto the mind of the Holy Ghost, and the Experience of them that really believe. And whereas I added that before Believing the Soul did seek for Salvation by the works of the Law, as it is natural unto all, and as the Holy-Ghost affirms of some, whose words alone I used and expresly quoted that Place [Page 81] from whence I took them, namely Rom. 9.31, 32. This Man adds as an Exposition of that Expression, that is by obeying of the Laws of the Gospel. But he knew that these were the words of the Apostle, or he did not? If he did not, nor would take no­tice of them so to be although directed to the place from whence they are taken, it is evident how meet he is to debate matters of this Nature and Concernment, and how far he is yet from being in danger to Pore out his Eyes in reading the Scripture, as he pretends. If he did know them to be his words, why doth he put such a sense upon them as in his own Apprehension is dero­gatory to Gospel-obedience? What-ever he thught of before and, it is likely he will now say, that it is my sense, and not the Apo­stles which he intends. But how will he prove that I intended any other sence than that of the Apostle? How should this ap­pear? Let him if he can, produce any Word in my whole Discourse intimating any other sence. Nay, it is evident that I had no other intention but only to refer unto that Place of the Apostle and the proper sence of it, which is to express the Mind and actings of those who being ig­norant [Page 82] ignorant of the Righteousness of God, go about to establish their own Righteous­ness, as He farther explains himself, Rom. 10.3, 4. That I could not intend Obe­dience unto the Laws of the Gospel is so evi­dent that nothing but abominable Preju­dice or ignorance could hinder any Man from discerning it. For that Faith which I expressed by the Soul's consent to take Christ as a Saviour and a Ruler, is the very first Act of Obedience unto the Gospel; So that therein or thereon to exclude O­bedience unto the Gospel, is to deny what I assert, which under the favour of this Author I understand my self better than to do. And as to all other Acts of Obedience unto the Laws of the Gospel, following and proceeding from sincere Believing, it is openly evident that I could not understand them, when I spake only of what was antecedent unto them. And if this Man knowes not what transactions are in the Minds of many before they do come unto the Acceptance of Christ on his own Terms, or believe in him accor­ding to the Tenour of the Gospel, there is Reason to pitty the People that are com­mitted [Page 83] unto his Care and Instruction, what regard soever ought to be had unto him­self. And his Pittiful trifling in the Expo­sition he adds of this Passage to be saved without doing any thing, without obeying Thee, and the Law, do but increase the Guilt of his Prevarications. For the words im­mediately added in my Discourse are, and although I have walked according unto mine own Mind, yet now I wholly give up my self to be ruled by thy Spirit, which unto the Understanding of all Men who under­stand any thing in these Matters, signify no less than an Engagement unto the Uni­versal relinquishment of Sin, and entire Obedience unto Jesus Christ in all things. But this faith He, is a pretty Complement that the Soul makes to Christ after all. But why is this to be esteemed only a pretty Complement? It is spoken at the same Time, and as it were with the same Breath, there being in the Discourse no Period between this Passage and that before. And why must it be esteemed quite of another Na­ture, so that herein the Soul should only Complement, and be real in what is before expressed? what if one should say it was [Page 84] real only in this latter Expression and En­gagement, that the former was only a Pretty Complement? May it not with re­spect unto my sence and intention (from any thing in my words or that can be ga­thered from them or any Circumstances of the Place) be spoken with as much re­gard unto Truth and Honesty? What Re­ligion these Men are of I know not; if it be such as teacheth them these Practices and Countenanceth them in them, I open­ly declare that I am not of it, nor would be so for all that this World can afford. I shall have done, when I have desired him to take notice, that I not only believe and maintain the necessity of Obedience unto all the Laws, Precepts, Commands, and Institutions of the Gospel, of Universal Holiness, the Mortification of all Sin, Fruitfulness in good Works, in all that intend or design Salvation by Jesus Christ, but also have proved and confirmed my Perswasion and Assertions by better and more Cogent Arguments than any, which by his Writings he seems as yet to be ac­quainted withal. And unless he can prove that I have spoken or written any thing to [Page 85] the contrary, or he can disprove the Arguments whereby I have confirmed it, I do here declare him a person altogether unfit to be dealt withal about things of this Nature, his Ignorance or Malice being Invincible; nor shall I on any Provoca­tion ever hereafter take notice of him un­till he hath mended his Manners.

His third Section pag. 76. consists of three parts; First, that some (wherein it is apparent, that I am chiefly if not only in­tended) do found a Religion upon a pretend­ed acquaintance with Christ▪s Person without and besides the Gospel, whereunto he oppo­seth his running Title of, no Acquaintance with Christ but by Revelation. Secondly, a Supposition of a Scheme of Religion drawn from the Knowledge of Christs Person whereunto he opposeth another which he he judgeth better. Thirdly, an Essay to draw up the whole Plot and De­sign of Christianity with the method of the Recovery of Sinners unto God. In the first of these I suppose that I am, if not solely, yet principally intended; especial­ly considering what he affi [...]ms, pag. 98, 99 Namely, that I plainly confess our Religion [Page 86] is wholly owing unto acquaintance with the Person of Christ, & could never have been clear­ly and savingly Learned from the Gospel had we not first grown acquainted with his Person. Now herein there is an especial Instance of that Truth and Honesty wherewith my Writings are entertained by this sort of Men. It is true, I have asserted that it is necessary for Christians to know Jesus Christ, to be acquainted with his Person, that is (as I have fully and largely declared it in the Discourse excepted against) the Glory of his Divine Nature, the Purity of his Humane, the Infinite Condescen­tion of his Person in the Assumption of our Nature, his Love and Grace, &c. as is at large there declared. And now I add that he by whom this is denied, is no Christian. Secondly I have taught that by this Knowledge of the Person of Christ, or an Understanding of the great Mystery of Godliness, God Manifested in the Flesh, which we ought to pray for and la­bour after, we come more fully and clear­ly to understand sundry other important Mysteries of Heavenly Truth, which without the Knowledge of Christ we can­not [Page 87] attain unto. And how impertinent this Man's Exceptions are against this As­sertion we have seen already. But Thirdly, that this Knowledge of Christ or Acquain­tance with him, is to be attained before we come to know the Gospel, or by any other Means than the Gospel, or is any other but the Declaration that is made thereof in and by the Gospel was never thought, spoken, or written by me, and is here falsly supposed by this Author as elsewhere falsly charged on me. And I again chal­lenge him to produce any one Letter or Tittle out of any of my Writings to give Countenance unto this frontless Calumny. And therefore although I do not like his Expression pag. 77. Whoever would under­stand the Religion of our Saviour, must learn it from his Doctrine, and not from his Per­son, for many Reasons I could give; yet I believe no less than he, that the efficacy of Christ's Mediation depending on God's Appointment, can be known only by Revelation, and that no Man can draw any one Conlusion from the Person of Christ, which the Gospel hath not ex­presly taught; because we can know no more of its excellency, worth and works [Page 88] than what is there revealed; whereby he may see how [...]iserably Ill-Will, Malice, or Ignorance have betrayed him into the fu­tilous pains of writing this Section upon a contrary supposition falsly imputed unto me. And as for his drawing Schemes of Religion I must tell him, and let him disprove it if he be able, I own no Reli­gion, no Article of Faith, but what are taught expresly in the Scripture, mostly confirmed by the ancient General Coun­cils of the Primitive Church, and the Writings of the most Learned Fathers against all sorts of Heret [...]cks, especially the Gnosticks, Photinians and Pelagians, consonant to the Articles of the Church of England, and the Doctrine of all the Re­formed Ch [...]rches of Europe. And if in the Exposition of any place of Scripture I dissent from any, that for the Substance of it own the Religion I do, I do it not wi [...]hout Cogent Reasons from the Scrip­ture it self; and where, in any opinions which Learned Men have, and it may be always had different Apprehensions about, which hath not been thought to prejudice the Unity of Faith amongst them, I hope [Page 89] I do endeavour to manage that dissent with that Modesty and Sobriety which be­cometh me. And as for the Schemes, Plots, or Designs of Religion or Chri­stianity given us by this Author, and own­ed by him, it being taken pretendedly from the Person of Christ, when it is hoped that he may have a better to give us from the Gospel, seeing he hath told us we must Learn our Religion from his Doctrine and not from his Person; besides that it is lia­ble unto Innumerable Exceptions in par­ticular which may easily be given in against it, by such as have nothing else to do, w [...]ereas it makes no mention of the ef­fectual Grace of Christ and the Gospel for the Conversion and Sanctification of Sin­ners, and the necessity thereof unto all Acts of Holy Obedience, it is merely Pela­gian, and stands Anathematised by sundry Councils of the Antient Church. I shall not therefore concern my self farther in any Passages of this Section, most of them wherein it reflects on others standing in competition for Truth and Ingenuity with the Foundation and Design of the whole. Only I shall say that the Passage [Page 90] of 88, 89. This made the Divine Goodness so restlesly zealous and concerned for the Re­covery of Mankind; various ways be at­tempted in former Ages, but with little suc­cess, as I observed before, but at last God sent his own Son our Lord Jesus Christ into the World, without a very Cautious Expla­nation and Charitable Construction, is false, scandalous and blasphemous. For allow this Author, who contends so severely for Propriety of Expressions against Allu­sions and Metaphors, to say that the Di­vine Goodness was restlesly Zealous and Concerned (for indeed such is our Weakness that whether we will or no, we must some­times learn and teach Divine things, in such words as are suited to convey an Ap­prehension of them unto our Minds, though in their Application unto the Di­vine Nature, they are incapable of being understood in the Propriety of their Sig­nification, though this be as untowardly expressed as any thing I have of late met withal) yet what colour can be put upon, what excuse can be made for this Doctrine, That God in former Ages by various ways at­tempted the Recovery of mankind but with [Page 91] little success I know not. Various attempts in God for any End without Success, do not lead the Mind into right Notions of his Infinite Wisdom and Omnipotency. And that God by any way at any time at­tempted the Recovery of Mankind di­stinctly and separately from the sending of his Son, is lewdly false.

In the greatest part of his fourth Section entituled, how Men pervert the Scripture to make it comply with their fancy, I am not much concerned, save that the Founda­tion of the whole and that which animates his Discourse from first to last is laid in an Impudent Calumny, namely, that I declare that our Religion is wholly owing to an ac­quaintance with the Person of Christ, & could ne­ver have been clearly & savingly Learned from his Gospel, had we not first grown acquainted with his Person. This shameless Falshood is that alone whence he takes occasion and confidence to reproach my self and others, to condemn the Doctrine of all the Refor­med Churches, and openly to traduce and vilify the Scripture it self. I shall only briefly touch on some of the impotent dictates of this great Corrector of Divini­ty [Page 92] and Religion? His Discourse of ac­commodating Scripture-Expressions to Mens own Dreamns, pag. 99, 100.101. be­ing such as any Man may use concerning any other men on the like occasion if they have a mind unto it, and intend to have no more regard to their Consciences than some others seem to have, may be passed by, pag. 102. He falls upon the ways of expounding Scripture among those whom he sets himself against, and positively affirms, that there are two ways of it in great Vogue among them. First, by the sound and Clink of the words and Phrases which, as he says, is all some Men understand by keeping a Form of Sound words. (2) When this will not do, they reason about the sence of them from their own preconceived Notions and O­pinions, and prove that this must be the mea­ning of Scripture, because otherwise it is not reconcileable to their Dreams, which is called expounding Scripture by the Analogy of Faith.

Thus far he; and yet we shall have the same Man not long hence pleading for the Necessity of Holiness. But I wish for my part he would take notice, that I despise [Page 93] that Holiness and the Principles of it, which will allow Men to Coin, Invent and publish such notorious untruths against any sort of Men whatever. And whereas by what immediately follows, I seem to be principally intended in this Charge, as I know the Untruth of it, so I have published some Expositions on some Parts of the Scripture to the Judgment of the Christian World, to which I ap­peal from the Censures of this Man and his Companions, as also for those which if I Live and God will I shall yet publish: and do declare that for Reasons very satis­factory to my Mind, I will not come to him nor them, to learn how to expound the Scripture.

But he will Justify his Charge by parti­cular Instances, telling us, pag. 102. Thus when Men are possessed with a Fancy of an acquaintance with Christ's Person, then to know Christ can signify nothing else but to know his Person, and all his Personal Ex­cellencies, and Beauties, Fullness and Preti­ousness, &c. And when Christ is said to be made Wisdom to us, this is a plain proof that we must Learn all our spiritual Wisdom [Page 94] from an acquaintance with his Person▪ though some duller Men can understand no more by it than the Wisdom of those Revelations Christ hath made of God's Will to the World. I would beg of this Man that if he hath any regard unto the Honour of Christian Religion or Care of his own Soul he would be tender in this matter, and not re­flect with his usual disdain upon the Know­ledge of the Person of Christ. I must tell him again, what all Chritians believe, Je­sus Christ is Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God Incarnate. The Person of Christ is Christ himself, and nothing else. His personal Excellencies are the properties of his Person, as his two Natures are uni­ted therein, and as he was thereby made Meet to be the Mediator between God and Man. To know Christ in the Lan­guage of the Scripture, the whole Church of God antient and present, in Com­mon Sense and Understanding, is to know the Person of Christ as revealed and declared in the Gospel with respect unto the Ends for which he is proposed and made known therein. And this Know­ledge of him, as it is accompanied with [Page 95] and cannot be without the Knowledge of his Mind and Will declared in his Precepts, Promises and Institutions, is effectual to work & produce in the Souls of them who so know him, that Faith in him, and Obedi­ence unto him, which he doth require. And what would this Man have? He who is otherwise minded hath renounced his Christianity if ever he had any. And if he be thus perswaded, to what purpose is it to set up and combate the Mormoes and Chimaeras of his own Imagination? well then I do maintain that to know Christ according to the Gospel, is to know the Person of Christ, for Christ and his Person are the same. Would he now have me to prove this by Testimonies or Arguments or the consent of the Ancient Church? I must beg his Excuse at pre­sent and so for the future, unless I have oc­casion to deal with Gnosticks, Familists, or Quakers. And as for the latter Clause wherein Christ is said to be made Wisdom unto us, he says, some Duller Men can under­stand no more by it than the Wisdom of those Revelations Christ hath made of God's will to the World, who are dull Men indeed, and so let them pass.

[Page 96]His ensuing Discourses in pag. 103, 104 105. contain the Boldest Reflections on; and openest Derisions of the Expressions and way of Teaching spiritual things war­ranted in and by the Scripture, that to my Knowledge I ever read in a Book Licen­sed to be Printed by publick Authority. As in particular the Expressions o [...] Faith in Christ by coming unto him and receiving of him, which are the Words of the Holy-Ghost, and used by him in his Wisdom to instruct us in the Nature of this Duty, are amongst others the Subjects of his Scorn▪ The First part of it, though I remember not to have given any occasion to be parti­cularly concerned in it, I shall briefly consi­der, pag. 103. Thus when Men have first Learned from an acquaintance with Christ, to place all their hopes of Salvation in a perso­nal Union with Christ, from whom they receive the free Communications of Pardon and Grace, Righteousness and Salvation, what more plain Proof can any Man who is resolved to believe this, desire of it than 1 John 5.12. He that hath the Son hath Life, and he that hath not the Son hath not Life. And what can having the Son signify but having an In­terest [Page 97] in him, being made one with him, though some will be so perverse as to understand it of believing, and having his Gospel. But the Phrase of having the Son confutes that dull & Moral Interpretation, especially when we re­member it is called, being in Christ, and abi­ding in him, which must signify a very near Union between Christs Person and Us.

I suppose that Expression of Personal Union sprung out of Design, and not out of Ig­norance; for if I mistake not, he doth somewhere in his Book take notice that it is disclaimed, and only an Union of Belie­vers with or unto the Person of Christ as­serted. Or if it be his mistake all comes to the same Issue. Personal or Hypostati­cal Union is that of different Natures in the same Person, giving them the same singu­lar subsistence. This none Pretend unto with Jesus Christ; but it is the Union of Be­vers unto the Person of Christ which is spiritual and Mystical, whereby they are in him and he in them, and so are one with him, their Head, as Members of his Mystical Body, which is pleaded for herein, with the free Communications of Grace, Righteousness and Salvation, in the seve­ral [Page 98] and distinct ways whereby we are capa­ble to receive them from him, or be made partakers of them, we place all hopes of Salvation. And we do Judge moreover that he who is otherwise minded must be­take himself unto another Gospel, for he compleatly renounceth that in our Bibles. Is this our Crime, that which we are thus charged with, and trad [...]ced for? Is the Contrary hereunto the Doctrine that the present Church of England approveth and instructs her Children in? Or doth any Man think that we will be scared from our Faith and Hope, by such weak and fri­volous Attempts against them? Yea, but it may be, it is not so much the thing it self, as the miserable Proof which we pro­duce from the Scripture in the Confirma­tion of it, for we do it from that of the Apostle 1 John 5.12. If he think that we prove these things only by this Testi­mony he is mistaken at his wonted rate. Our Faith herein is built upon innume­rable express Testimonies of the Scripture, indeed the whole Revelation of the Will of God and the way of Salvation by Jesus Christ in the Gospel. Those who prove [Page 99] it also from this Text, have sufficient Ground and Reason for what they plead. And notwithstanding the pleasant scoffing humour of this Author, we yet say that it is Perverse Folly for any one to say, that the having of the Son or Christ, expressed in the Text, doth intend either the having an Interest in him and Union with him, or the obeying of his Gospel, exclusively to the other; these being inseparable and in­cluded in the same Expression. And as to what he adds about being in Christ and abi­ding in him▪ which are the greatest Privi­ledges of Believers, and that as expressed in words taught by the Holy Ghost, it is of the same strain of prophaneness with much of what ensues, which I shall not farther enquire into.

I find not my self concerned in his en­suing Talk, but only in one Reflection on the words of the Scripture, and the Re­petition of his old Putid and shameless Calumny, pag. 108. untill we come to pag. 126. Where he arraigns an Occasi­onal Discourse of mine about the Necessi­ty of Holiness and good works, wherein he hath only filched out of the whole what [Page 100] he thought be could wrest unto his End, and scoffingly descant upon. I shall there­fore for once transcribe the whole Pas­sage as it lies in my Book, and refer it to the Judgment of the Reader, pag. 206.

The second Objection is, that if the Righteousness and Obedience of Christ to the Law, be imputed unto us, then what need we yield obedience our selves?’ To this also I shall return answer as briefly as I can, in the ensuing observations: Then

‘1. The placeing of our Gospel-Obedi­enceon the right foot of account, that it may neithr be exalted into a State, Condition, Use, nor End, not given it of God; nor any Reason, Cause, Motive, End, Necessity of it on the other hand, taken away, weakned or impaired, is a matter of great importance. Some make our Obedience, the works of Faith, our Works, the Matter or Cause of our Ju­stification; some the Condition of the Im­putation of the Righteousness of Christ, s [...] t [...]e Qualification of the person Ju­stified, on the one hand; some exclude all the necessity of them, and turn the [Page 101] Grace of God into Lasciviousness, on the other. To debate these Differences, is not my present Business: only I say, on this and other Accounts, the right stating of our Obedience, is of great importance as to our walking with God.’

2. ‘We do by no means, assign the same Place, Condition, State and Use, to the Obedience of Christ imputed to us, and our Obedience performed to God. If we did, they were really inconsistent. And therefore those who affirm that our Obedience is the Condition or Cause of our Justification, do all of them deny the Imputation of the Obedience of Christ unto us. The Righteousness of Christ is imputed to us, as that on the account whereof we are Accepted, and esteemed R [...]ghteous before God, and are really so, though not inherently. We are as truly Righteous with the Obedience of Christ, imputed to us, as Adam was or could have been by a compleat Righte­ousness of his own performance. So Rom. 5.18. By his Obedience we are made Righteous; made so truly, and so ac­cepted, as by the Disobedience of Adam [Page 102] we are truely made Trespassers and so ac­counted. And this is that which the Apostle desires to be found in, in oppo­sition to his own Righteousness Phil. 3.9. But our own Obedience is not the Righte­ousness whereupon we are accepted and ju­stified before God; although it be ac­ceptable to God, that we should abound therein. And this Distinction the Apostle doth evidently deliver and confirm, so as nothing can be more clearly revealed, Eph. 2.8, 9, 10. For by Grace we are saved through Faith, and this not of our selves. It is the Gift of God. Not of works, lest any Man should boast. For we are his workmanship, Created in Christ Jesus unto Good Works which God hath prepared that we should walk in them. We are saved, or Justified (for that it is where­of the Apostle treats) by Grace through Faith, which receives Jesus Christ and his Obedience, not of Works lest any Man should Boast: but what Works are they which the Apostle intends? The Works of Believers, as in the very beginning of the next words, is manifest; for we are; we Believers with our Obedience [Page 103] and our Works, of whom I speak: yea, but what need then of Works; need still there is, We are the Workmanship, &c. Two things the Apostle intimates in these words.’

1. ‘A Reason why we cannot be saved by Works: Namely, because we do them not in, or by our own strength, which is necessary we should do if we will be saved by them, or Justified by them: but this is not so saith the Apostle, for We are the Workmanship of God, &c. all our Works are wrought in us, by full and effectual undeserved Grace.’

2. ‘An Assertion of the Ncessity of good Works, notwithstanding that we are not saved by them, and that is, that God has Ordained that we shall walk in them: which is a sufficient Ground of our Obedience whatever be the Use of it.’

‘If you will say then, what are the true and proper Gospel-Grounds, Reasons, Uses, and Motives of our Obedience, whence the Necessity thereof may be demonstrated, and our Souls be stirred up, to abound and be fruitful therein? I say [Page 104] they are so many and ly so deep in the Mystery of the Gospel, and Dispensation of Grace, spread themselves so through­out the whole Revelation of the Will of God unto us, that to handle them fully and distinctly, and to give them their due weight, is a thing that I cannot en­gage in, lest I should be turned aside from what I principally intend. I shall only give you some brief heads of what might at large be insisted on.’

1. ‘Our universal Obedience, and good Works, are indispensibly Necessary from the Soveraign Appointment and Will of God: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.’

1. ‘In General: This is the Will of God even our Sanctification, or Holiness, 1 Thes. 4.3. This is that which God Wills, which he requires of us, that we be Holy, that we be Obedient, that we do his Will as the Angels do in Heaven: The Equi­ty, Necessity, Profit and Advantage of this ground of our Obedience, might at large be insisted on. And were there no more, this might suffice alone. If it be the Will of God, it is our Duty.

[Page 105]1. ‘The Father hath Ordained or ap­pointed it: It is the Will of the Father Ephes. [...].10. The Father is spoken of Personally; Christ being mentioned as Mediator.’

2. ‘The Son hath ordained and ap­pointed it as Mediator, John 15.16. I have Ordained you that you should bring forth Fruit, (of Obedience) and that it should remain. And,

3. ‘The Holy Ghost appoints and Or­dains Believers to Works of Obedience and Holiness, and to work Holiness in others: so in particular, Acts 13.2. He appoints and designs Men to the great Work of Obedience in preaching the Gos­pel, and in sinning Men sin against him.’

2. ‘Our Holiness, our Obedience, Work of Righteousness, is one Eminent and Especial End of the peculiar Dispen­sation of Father, Son, and Spirit, in the Business of Exalting the Glory of God in our Salvation: of the Electing Love of the Father: the purchasing Love of the Son: and the Operative Love of the Spi­rit.’

1. ‘It is a peculiar End of the Electing [Page 106] Love of the Father▪ Ephes. 1.4. He hath chosen us that we should be Holy & unblame­able. So, Isa. 4.3, 4. His aim and design in choosing of us was, that we should be Holy, and unblameable before him in Love. This he is to accomplish, and will bring about in them that are his. He chooses us to Salvation, through the Sanctificati­on of the Spirit, and belief of the Truth: 2 Thes. 2.12. This the Father designed as the first and immediate End of Electing Love; And proposes the consideration of that Love, as a Motive to Holiness, 1 John 4.8, 9, 10.’

2. ‘It is so also of the Exceeding Love of the Son, whereof the Testimonies are innumerable. I shall give but one or two, Tit. 2.14. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all Iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good Works. This was his Aim, his De­sign, in giving himself for us: as Ephes. 5.26, 27. Christ Loved the Church and gave himself for it, that he might Sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of Water by the Word: that he might present it to him­self a Glorious Church, not having spot or [Page 107] Wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be Holy and without blemish, 2 Cor. 5.15. Rom. 6.5.’

3. ‘It is the very work of the Love of the Holy Ghost: his whole work upon us, in us, for us consists in preparing of us for Obedience, enabling of us thereunto, and bringing forth the fruits of it in us: and this he doth in opposition to a Righ­teousness of our own, either before it, or to be made up by it: Tit. 3.5. I need not insist on this; The fruits of the Spirit in us are known, Gal. 5.22.’

‘And thus have we a twofold bottom of the Necessity of our Obedience, and personal Holiness: God hath appointed it: He requires it. And it is an emi­nent immediate End of the distinct Dis­pensation of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, in the Work of our Salvation. If God's Soveraignty over us is to be owned; if his Love towards us be to be regarded, if the whole Work of the ever-blessed Tri­nity, for us, in us, be of any Moment, our Obedience is necessary.

3. ‘It is Necessary in respect of the End thereof: and that whether you con­sider [Page 108] God, our Selves, or the World.’

1. ‘The End of our obedience in respect of God, is his Glory and Honour, Mal. 1.6. This is God's Honour, all that we give him. It is true he will take his Honour from the Stoutest and Proudest Rebel in the World: but all we give him, is in our Obedience. The Glori­fying of God by our Obedience, is all that we are or can be.’ Particularly,

1. ‘It is the Glory of the Father, Mat. 5.16. Let your Light so shine before Men, that they may see your good works and glori­fy your Father which is in Heaven. By our walking in the Light of Faith, doth Glo­ry arise to the Father. The Fruits of his Love, of his Grace, of his Kindness, are seen upon us, and God is Glorified in our Behalf: And’

2. The Son is Glorified thereby. It is the ‘Will of God, that as all Men Honour the Father, so should they Honour the Son, John 5.23. and how is this done? by believing in him, John 14.1. obeying of him. Hence, John 17.10. He says he is Glorified in Believers: and prays for an increase of Grace and Union for them, [Page 109] that he may yet be more Glorified, and all might know that as Mediator he was sent of God.’

3. ‘The Spirit is Glorified also by it: He is grieved by our Disobedience, Eph. 4.30. And therefore his Glory is in our bringing forth Fruit. He dwells in us as in his Temple, which is not to be defiled: Holiness becometh his Habitation for ever.’

‘Now if this that hath been said, be not sufficient to evince a necessity of our Obe­dience, we must suppose our selves to speak with a sort of Men, who regard neither the Soveraignty, nor Love, nor Glory of God, Father, Son, or Holy Ghost. Let Men say what they please, though our Obedience should be all lost, and never re­garded, ‘which is impossible, (for God is not unjust to forget our Labour of Love) yet here is a sufficient bottom, ground and Reason of yielding more Obedience unto God, than ever we shall do, whilst we live in this World. I speak also only of Gospel-Grounds of Obedience, and not of those that are Natural and Legal, which are indispensible to all Mankind.’

[Page 110]2. The End in respect of our selves im­mediately, ‘is threefold, 1. Honour. 2. Peace. 3. Usefulness.’

1. Honour, It is by Holiness that we are made like, unto God, and his Image is renewed again in us. This was our Ho­nour at our Creation; this exalted us above all our Fellow-Creatures here below; we were made in the Image of God. This we lost by Sin, and became like the Beasts that perish. To this Honour of Con­formity to God, of bearing his Image, are we exalted again by Holiness alone. Be ye Holy says God, because I am Holy, 1 Pet. 1.16. And be you perfect, that is, in doing good, as your Heavenly Father is Perfect, Math. 5.48 in a Likeness and Con­formity to him. And herein is the Image of God renewed: Ephes. 4.23, 24. Therein we put on the New Man which after God is created in Righteousness and Holiness of Truth. This was that which originally was attended with Power and Dominion; is still all that is Beautiful or Comely in the World; How it makes Men Honourable and Precious in the sight of God, of Angels, of Men, how alone it [Page 111] is that which is not despised, which is of Price before the Lord; what contempt and Scorn He hath of them in whom it is not, in what Abomination he hath them and all their ways, might easily be evin­ced.’

2. Peace; by it we have Communion with ‘God, wherein Peace alone is to be en­joyed. The wicked are like a troubled Sea that cannot rest, and there is no Peace to them, saith my God: Isa. 48.21. There is no Peace, Rest, or Quietness, in a Di­stance, Separation, or Alienation from God. He is the Rest of our Souls: In the Light of his Countenance is Life and Peace. Now if we walk in the Light as he is Light, we have Fellowship one with another, 1 Joh. 1.7. and verily our Fel­lowship is with the Father, and with the Son Jesus Christ, v. 3. He that walks in the Light of new Obedience, he hath Communion with God, and in his Presence is fulness of Joy for ever: without is there nothing but darkness, and wandring and Confusion.’

3. ‘Usefulness; a man without Holi­ness is good for nothing: Ephraim, says [Page 112] the Propbet, is an empty Vine, that brings forth Fruit to it self. And what is such a Vine good for? Nothing, saith another Prophet; a man cannot make a pin of it, so much as to hang a Vessel on: A barren tree is good for nothing, but to be cut down for the Fire. Notwithstanding the seeming Usefulness of men, who serve the Providence of God in their Genera­tions, I could easily manifest that the World and the Church might want them and that indeed in themselves they are Good for nothing: only the Holy man is commune bonum.

3. ‘The End of it in respect of others in the world is manifold.’

1. It serves to the Conviction, and stop­ping ‘the mouths of some of the Enemies of God, both here and hereafter.’ Here 1. Pet. 3.16. Keeping a good Conscience, that ‘wherein they speak against you as Evil Do­ers they may be ashamed, beholding your good Conversation in Christ.’ By our keep­ing of a good Conscience, Men will be ‘made ashamed of their false Accusati­ons. That whereas their Malice and Ha­tred of the ways of God, hath provo­ked [Page 113] them to speak all manner of evil of the Profession of them; by the Holiness and Righteousness of the Saints, they are convinced, and made ashamed, as a Thief is when he is taken, and driven to acknowledge that God is amongst them, and that they are wicked them­selves, Joh. 17.23.2. Hereaf­ter it is said that the Saints shall judg the World: It is on this as well as upon other Considerations. Their Good Works, their Righteousness, their Holiness shall be brought forth, and manifested to all the World, and the Righteousness of God's Judgments against Wicked Men, be thence evinced; See, says Christ; these are they that I own, whom you so de­spised and abhorred; and see their Works following them, this and that they have done, when you wallowed in your Abo­minations, Math. 25.42, 43.’

2. The Conversion of others, 1 Pet. 2.12. Having your Conversation honest among the Gentiles, that wherein they speak against you as Evil Doers, beholding your good works, they may Glorify God in the day of Visitation, Mat. 5.17. Even Re­vilers, Persecutors, Evil speakers, have [Page 114] been overcome by the Constant holy walk­ing of Professors, and when their Day of Visitation hath come, have Glorified God on that Account, 1 Pet. 3.1, 2.’

3. The Benefit of all: Partly in keep­ing ‘of Judgments from the Residue of Men,Note: Gen. 18.32, 33. as ten good Men would have pre­served Sodom: Partly, by their real Communication of Good to them with whom they have to do in their Generati­on. Holiness makes a man a Good Man; Useful to all, and others eat of the Fruits of the Spirit, that he brings forth continually.’

4. ‘It is Necessary in respect of the State and Condition of Justified Persons; and that whether you consider their Re­lative State of acceptation, or their State of Sanctification.

1. ‘They are Accepted and received in­to Friendship, with an Holy God; a God of Purer Eys than to behold Iniquity; who hates every unclean thing. And is it not Necessary, that they should be Holy who are admitted into his Presence, walk in his Sight, yea lie in his Bosom? should they not with all Diligence cleanse themselves from all Pollution of Flesh [Page 115] and Spirit, and perfect Holiness in the fear of the Lord.’

‘2. In respect of Sanctification; we have in us a new Creature, 2 Cor. 5.17. This New Creature is fed, cherished, nou­rished, kept alive by the Fruits of Holi­ness: to what End hath God given us New Hearts, and New Creatures? Is it that we should kill them, stifle the Crea­ture that is found in us, in the Womb? That we should give him to the Old Man to be devoured?’

5. ‘It is necessary in respect of the proper place of Holiness in the New Covenant, and that is twofold.’

1. ‘Of the Means unto the End:Note: Rom. 6.23. Heb. 11.6. Gen. 15.1. Psal. 19.11.58, 11. Mat. 5.12. Chap. 10.14. Ro. 4.4. Col. 2.18. Chap. 3.24. Heb. 10.35. Ch. 11.26. God hath ap­pointed that Holiness, shall be the Means, the Way, to that Eternal Life, which as in it self and Original­ly is his Gift, by Jesus Christ, so with regard to his Constitution of our Obedience, as the Means of at­taining it, is a reward: and God in be­stowing of it a Rewarder. Though it be neither, the Cause, Matter, nor Conditi­on of our Justification, yet it is the Way [Page 116] appointed of God, for us to Walk in, for the obtaining of Sal­vation:Note: 2. Pet. 2.51. And therefore he that hath hope of Eternal Life, purifies himself, as He is pure: and none shall ever come to that End, who walketh not in the Way: for with­out Holiness it is impossible to see God.’

2. ‘It is a Testimony and Pledge of Adop­tion: a sign and Evidence of Grace, that is, of Acceptation with God. And 3. The whole Expression of our Thank­fulness. Now there is not one of all these Causes and Reasons of the Necessity, the indispensible necessity of our Obedi­ence, good Works, and Personal Righ­teousness, but would require a more large Discourse to unfold and explain, than I have allotted to the Proposal of them all. And innumerable others there are of the same import, that I cannot name. He that upon these Accounts doth not think Universal Holiness and Obedience to be of indispensible necessity, unless also it be exalted into the Room of the Obedience and Righteousness of Christ, let him be fil­thy still.

I confess this whole Discourse proceed­eth [Page 117] on the Supposition of the Imputation of the Righteousness of Christ unto us, for our Justification. And herein I have as good Company as the Prelacy and whole Church of England can afford; Sundry from among them having written large Discourses in its Confirmation, and the rest having till of late approved of it in others. I wish this Man, or any of his Companions in Design, would undertake the answering of Bishop Downham on this Subject. No Man ever carried this Mat­ter higher than Luther, nor did he in all his writings more positively and plainly contend for it, than in his Comment on the Epistle to the Galatians. Yet was that Book translated into English by the Appro­bation of the then Bishop of London who also prefixed himself a Commendatory E­pistle unto it. The judgment of Hooker we have heard before. But what need I mention in particular any of the rest of those Great and Learned Names who have made famous the profession of the Church of England by their writings throughout the World. Had this Man in their days treated this Doctrine with his present scof­fing Petulancy he had scarce been Rector [Page 118] of St. George Buttolph-Lane, much less filled with such hopes and expectations of future Advancements, as it is not impossi­ble that he is now possessed with, upon his memorable Atchievments. But on this supposition I do first appeal to the Judg­ment of the Church of England it self, as to the Truth of the Doctrine delivered in my Discourse, and the Principles which this Man proceedeth on in his Exceptions against it. 2. Though it be but a part of a Popular Discourse and never intended for Scholastick Accuracy, yet as to the Asser­tions contained in it, I challenge this Au­thor to take and allow the ordinary usual sence of the Words with the open Design of them, and to answer them when he can. And. 3. In the mean time I appeal unto every indifferent Reader whether the mere perusal of this whole Passage, do not cast this Man's Futilous Cavils out of all Consideration: so that I shall content my self with very few Remarques upon them.

First upon my asserting the necessity of Good Works he adds, A very suspicious Word, which methinks these Men should be afraid to name. And why so? We do ac­knowledge [Page 119] that we do not seek for Righ­teousness by the Works of the Law. We design not our Personal Justification by them, nor to merit Life or Salvation, but betake our selves unto what even Bel­larmine himself came to at Last as the sa­fest Retreat, namely the Merits and Righ­teousness of Christ. But for Attendance unto them, Performance of them, and fruitfulness in them, we are not afraid nor ashamed at any Time to enter into Judg­ment with them by whom we are traduc'd. And as I have nothing to say unto this Au­thor who is known unto me only by that Portraicture and Character which he hath given of himself in this Book, which I could have wished for his own sake had been drawn with a mixture of more Lines of Truth and Modesty; so I know there are not a few, who in the Course of a Vain Worldly Conversation, whilst there is scarce a Back or Belly of a Disciple of Christ that blesseth God upon the account of their Bounty or Charity, (the Footsteps of Levity, Vanity, Scurrility, and Prophane­ness, being moreover left upon all the Paths of their haunt) are wont to declaim about Holiness, Good Works and Justi­fication [Page 120] by them, which is a ready way to instruct men to Atheism, or the scorn of every thing that is professed in Religion. But yet 2. He shews how impotent and impertinent our Arguments are for the Proof of the Necessity of Holiness. And as to the first of them from the Commands of God, he saith, that if after all these Com­mands, God hath left it indifferent whether we obey him or no, I hope such Commands cannot make Obedience Necessary. Won­derful Divinity! A Man must needs be well acquainted with God and himself who can suppose that any of his Com­mands shall leave it indifferent, whether we will obey them or no. Yea, but will he damn Men if they do not obey his Commands for Holiness? Yes, yes, no doubt he will do so. Yea, but we may be notwithstanding this Command Justified and Saved without this Holiness; False and Impertinent. We are neither Justified nor saved without them, though we are not Justified by them, nor saved for them.

Unto my Inforcement of the Necessi­ty of Holiness from the Ends of God in Election and Redemption, he Replies page 127. The Father hath Elected us to [Page 121] be Holy and the Son Redeemed us to be Holy. But will the Father Elect and the Son Re­deem none but those who are Holy, and Re­ject and Reprobate all others? Doth this E­lection and Redemption, suppose Holiness in us, or is it without any regard to it? For if we be Elected and Redeemed without any regard unto our own being Holy, our Election and Redemption is secure whether we be Holy or not. Wonderful Divinity again! Electi­on and Redemption suppose Holiness in us. We are Elected and Redeemed with regard unto our own Holiness; that is ante­cedently unto our Election and Redemp­tion: For Holiness being the Effect and Fruit of them, is that which he opposeth. Not many Pages after this, he falls into a great Admiration of the Catechism of the Church of England, which none blamed that I know of, as to what is contained in it. But it were to be wished that he had been well instructed in some others, that he might not have divulged & obtru­ded on the World such Crude and Palpable Mistakes. For this Respect, of Redemp­tion at least, unto an Antecedent Holiness in us, that is antecedent unto it, is such a piece of Foppery in Religion as a Man [Page 122] would wonder how any one could be guilty of, who hath almost pored out his Eyes in Reading the Scripture. All the remaining Cavils of this Chapter are but the Effects of the like fulsom Ignorance. For out of some Passages scraped together from several parts of my Discourse, (and those not only cut off from their proper scope and End which is not mentioned by him at all, but also mangled in their Representation) he would frame the Ap­pearance of a Contradiction between what I say on the one hand, that there is no Peace with God to be obtained by and for Sinners but by the Atonement that is made for them in the Blood of Jesus Christ, with the Remission of Sin and Justification by Faith which ensue thereon; which I hope I shall not live to hear denyed by the Church of England, and the Necessity of Holiness and Fruitfulness in Obedience, to maintain in our own Souls a sence of that Peace with God which we have being Ju­stified by Faith. And he who understands not the Consistency of those things hath little Reason to despise good Catechisms, what-ever thoughts he hath had of his own Sufficiency.

[Page 123]The whole Design of what remains of this Section, is to insinuate that there can be no Necessity of Holiness or Obedience un­to God unless we are Justified and saved thereby, which I knew not before to to have been, nor indeed do yet know it to be the Doctrine of the Church of En­gland. But be it whose it will, I am sure it is not that of the Scripture, and I have so disproved it in other Discourses which this Man may now see if he please, as that I shall not here again reassume the same Argument. And although I am weary of consulting this woful mixture of Disinge­nuity and Ignorance, yet I shall mark somewhat on one or two Passages more, and leave him if he please unto a due Ap­prehension that what remains is unanswe­rable Scoffing.

The First is that of Page 131. But however Holiness is Necessary with respect to Sanctification, we have in us a New Creature, 2. Cor. 5.17. This new Creature is fed, Cherished, Nourished and kept alive, by the Fruits of Holiness, To what End hath God given us new Hearts and New Na­tures? Is it that we should Kill them, stifle the Creature that is formed in us, in the [Page 124] Womb? That we should give him to the old Man to be devoured. The Phrase of this is admirable and the Reasoning unanswerable. For if Men be New Creatures they will cer­tainly live new Lives, and this makes Ho­liness absolutely necessary by the same Rea­son that every thing necessarily is what it is, but still we enquire after a Necessary Obli­gation to the Practice of Holiness, and that we cannot yet discover.

The Reader will see easily how this is pickt out of the whole Discourse as that which he imagined would yield some Ad­vantage to reflect upon. For let him pre­tend what he please to the Contrary, he hath laid this End too open to be denied, and I am no way solicitous what will be his success therein. Had he aimed at the Discovery of Truth he ought to have exa­mined the whole of the Discourse, and not thus have rent one piece of it from the another. As to the Phrase of Speech which I use, it is I acknowledge Metapho­rical, but yet being used only in a Popu­lar way of Instruction is sufficiently war­ranted from the Scripture which admini­sters occasion and gives Countenance unto every Expression in it, the whole being [Page 125] full well understood by those who are Ex­ercised in the Life of God. And for the Reasoning of it, it is such as I know this man cannot Answer. For the New Crea­ture, whatever he may fancy, is not a new Conversation nor a Living Holily, but it is the Principle and Spiritual Ability produced in Believers by the Power and Grace of the Holy Ghost, enabling them to walk in newness of Life and Holiness of Conversation. And this Principle being bestowed on us, wrought in us, for that very End, it is necessary for us unless we will neglect and despise the Grace which we have received, that we walk in Holi­ness and abound in the Fruits of Righte­ousness whereunto it leads and tends. Let him answer this if he can, and when he hath done so, answer the Apostle in like manner, or scoff not only at me but at him also.

The last passage I shall remarque upon in this Section is what he gives us as the sum of the whole, Pag. 135. The sum of all is, that to know Christ is not to be thus acquainted with his Person, but to understand his Gospel in its full Latitude and Extent. It is not the Person but the Gospel of Christ [Page 126] which is the Way, the Truth and the Life, which directs us in the way to Life and Hap­piness. And again this acquaintance with Christs Person, which these Men pretend to is only a work of Fancy, and teaches Men the Arts of Hypocrisie, &c.

I do not know that ever I met with any thing thus crudely asserted among the Quakers in contempt of the Person of Christ. For whereas he says of himself expresly I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, to say he is not so (for Jesus Christ is his Person and nothing else) carries in it a bold Contradiction, both parts of which cannot be true. When the Subject of a Proposition is owned, there may be great Controversy about the sense of the Pre­dicate; as when Christ says he is the Vine. There may be so also about the Subject of a Proposition, when the Expression is of a third Thing, and dubious; as where Christ says this is my Body. But when the person speaking is the Subject, and speaks of himself, to deny what he says, is to give him the Lye. I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life, saith Christ; He is not saith our Author, but the Gospel is so. If he had allowed our Lord Jesus Christ to [Page 127] have spoken the Truth, but only to have added, though he was so, yet he was so no otherwise but by the Gospel, there had been somewhat of modesty in the Expres­sion. But this saying that the Person of Christ is not, the Gospel is so, is intolera­ble. It is so however, that this young Man without consulting, or despising the Exposition of all Divines Ancient or Mo­dern, and the Common sence of all Chri­stians should dare to obtrude his crude and indigested Conceptions upon so great a Word of Christ himself, countenanced only by the corrupt and false glosses of some obscure Socinians, which some or other may possibly in due time mind him of; I have other work to do.

But according to his Exposition of this Heavenly Oracle, what shall any one ima­gine to be the sence of the Context where I and Me spoken of Christ do so often oc­cur. Suppose that the words of that whole Verse I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no Man cometh to the Father but by me, have this sence; not Christ himself is the Way, Truth and the Life, but the Gospel; No man cometh to the Father but by Me, that is, not by me, but by the [Page 128] Gospel; must not all the Expressions of the same nature in the Context have the same Exposition, as namely Vers 1. Ye believe in God, believe also in me; that is, not in me but in the Gospel? I go to prepare a place for you; That is, not I do so but the Gospel. Ver. 3. I will come again and receive you to my self; That is, not I but the Gospel will do so; And so of all other things which Christ in that place seems to speak of himself. If this be his way of Interpreting Scripture, I wonder not that he blames others for their Defect and miscarriages therein.

When I first considered these two last Sections, I did not suspect but that he had at least truely represented my Words which he thought meet to reflect upon and Scoff at; as knowing how easie it was for any one whose Conscience would give him a Dispensation for such an under­taking, to pick out sayings and Expressi­ons from the most Innocent Discourse, and odiously to propose them as cut off from their proper Coherence; and under a Concealment of the End and the Princi­pal Sence, designed in them. Wherefore I did not so much as read over the Dis­course [Page 129] excepted against, only once or twice observing my words as quoted by him, not directly to comply with what I knew to be my sence and intention, I turn­ed unto the particular Places to discover his Prevarication. But having gon through this ungrateful task, I took the Pains to read over the whole Digression in my Book which his Exceptions are Levelled against; And upon my review of it, my Admira­tion of his dealing was not a little increased I cannot therefore but desire of the most Partial Adherers unto this Censurer of o­ther Mens Labours, Judgments, and Ex­pressions, but once to read over that Dis­course, and if they own themselves to be Christians, I shall submit the whole of it, with the consideration of his Reflections upon it, unto their Judgments. If they refuse so to do, I let them know I despise their Censures, and do look on the satis­faction they take in this Mans scoffing Reflections, as the Laughter of Fools, or the Crackling of Thorns under a Pot. For those who will be at so much pains to undeceive themselves, they will find that that Expression of the Person of Christ is but once or twice used in all that long Dis­course, [Page 131] and that occasionally, which by the outcrys here made against it, any one would suppose to have filled up almost all the Pages of it. He will find also that I have owned and declared the Revelation that God hath made of himself, the proper­ties of his Nature, and his Will in his works of Creation and Providence in its full Ex­tent and Efficacy; and that by the Know­ledge of God in Christ which I so much insist upon, I openly, plainly, and decla­redly, intend nothing but the Declarati­on that God hath made of himself in Jesus Christ by the Gospel, whereof the Know­ledge of his Person the Great Mystery of Godliness, God manifested in the Flesh, with what he did & suffered, as the Mediator be­tween God & Man, is the chiefest Instance; in which Knowledg consisteth all our Wis­dom of Living unto God. Hereon I have no more to add, but that he by whom these things are denied or derided, doth open­ly renounce his Christianity. And that I do not lay this unto the Charge of this doughty Writer, is because I am satisfied that he hath not done it out of any such design, but partly out of Ignorance of the things which he undertakes to write about, [Page 130] and partly to satisfy the malevolence of himself and some others against my Person which sort of depraved Affections where Men give up themselves unto their preva­lency, will blind the Eyes, and pervert the Judgments of Persons as wise as he.

In the First Section of his fourth Chap­ter I am not particularly concerned, and whilst he only vents his own conceits, be they never so idle or Atheological, I shall never trouble my self either with their Examination or Confutation. So many as he can perswade to be of his Mind, That we have no Union with Christ but by Vertue of Union with the Church, the contrary whereof is absolutely true; That Christ is so an Head of Rule and Government unto the Church, as that he is not an Head of In­fluence and supplies of Spiritual Life, con­trary to the Faith of the Catholick Church in all Ages; That these assertions of his have any Countenance from Antiquity or, the least from the Passages quoted out of Chrysostom by himself; That his Glosses up­on many Texts of Scripture, which have an admirable Coincidence with those of two other persons whom I shall name when Occasion requires it; are sufficient to af­fix [Page 132] upon them the sence which he pleads for, with many other things of an Equal Falshood and Impertinency wherewith this Section is stuffed, shall without any far­ther trouble from me be left to follow their own Inclinations. But yet notwith­standing all the great Pains he hath taken to Instruct us in the Nature of the Uni­on between Christ and Believers, I shall take leave to prefer that given by Mr. Hooker before it, not only as more true and agreeable unto the Scripture, but also as better expressing the Doctrine of the Church of England in this matter. And if these things please the present Rulers of the Church, wherein upon the matter Christ is shuffled off, and the whole of our Spiritual Union is resolved into the Do­ctrine of the Gospel, and the Rule of the Church by Bishops and Pastors; let it imply what Contradiction it will, as it doth the Highest, seeing it is by the Doctrine of the Gospel that we are taught our Uni­on with Christ, and his Rule of the Church by his Laws and Spirit, I have only the the Advantage to know somewhat more than I did formerly, though not much to my Satisfaction.

[Page 131]But he that shall consider what reflecti­ons are cast in this Discourse, on the ne­cessity of Satisfaction to be made unto Di­vine Justice, and from whom they are borrowed; the miserable weak Attempt that is made therein, to reduce all Christ's mediatory Actings unto his Kingly Office, and in particular his Intercession; the faint mention that is made of the Satisfaction of Christ, clogged with the addition of Ig­norance of the Philosophy of it, as it is called, well enough complying with them who grant that the Lord Christ did what God was satisfied withal, with sundry other things of the like nature; will not be to seek whence these things come, nor whi­ther they are going, nor to whom our Author is beholden for most of his rare Notions, which it is an easie thing at any time to acquaint him withal.

The second Section of this Chapter is filled principally with Exceptions against my Discourse, about the Personal Excel­lencies of Christ as Mediator, if I may not rather say with the Reflections on the Glory of Christ himself. For my own Discourse upon it I acknowledge to be weak, and not only inconceiveably be­neath [Page 135] the Dignity and Merit of the Sub­ject, but also far short of what is taught and delivered by many Ancient Writers of the Church unto that purpose. And for his Exceptions they are such a Compositi­on of ignorance and spite, as is hardly to be paralel'd. His Entrance upon his Work is pag 200. as followeth. Secondly, Let us enquire what they mean by the Person of Christ, to which Believers must be united. And here they have outdone all the Metaphy­sical Subtilties of Suarez, and have found out a Person for Christ distinct from his God-head and Man-hood; for there can be no other Sense made of what Dr. Owen tells us, that by the Graces of his Person he doth not mean the Glorious Excellencies of his Deity consi­dered in it self, abstracting from the Office which for us as God and Man be undertook, nor the outward appearance of his Humane Nature when he conversed here on Earth, nor yet as now Exalted in Glory, but the Graces of the Person of Christ, as he is vested with the Office of Mediation; his Spiritual Emi­nency, Comeliness, Beauty, as appointed and anointed by the Father unto that Great Work of bringing home all his Elect into his Bosom. Now unless the Person of Christ as Mediator, [Page 134] be distinct from his Person as God-Man all this is Idle talk. For what Personal Gra­ces are there in Christ as Mediator, which do not belong to him either as God or Man? There are some things indeed which our Savi­our did, and suffered, which he was not ob­liged to, either as God or Man, but as Me­diator, but surely he will not call the Peculiar Duties and Actions of an Office Personal Graces.

I have now learned not to trust unto the Honesty and Ingenuity of our Author, as to his Quotations out of my Book, which I find that he hath here mangled and altered as in other Places, and shall therefore transcribe the whole Passage in my own Words, Pag. 51. It is Christ as Mediator of whom we speak; and therefore by the Grace of his Person I understand not; First, the Glorious Excellencies of his Deity considered in it self, abstracting from the Office which for us as God and Man be un­dertook. 2. Nor the outward appearance of his humane Nature, neither when he con­versed here on Earth bearing our Infirmities, whereof by reason of the Charge that was laid upon him, the Prophet gives quite ano­ther Character, Isa. 52, 14. Concerning which [Page 136] some of the Ancients are very Poetical in their Expressions; nor yet as now exalted in Glo­ry, a Vain Imagination whereof, makes ma­ny bear a false, a Corrupted respect unto Christ, even upon Carnal Apprehensions of the mighty Exaltation of the Humane Nature, which is but to know Christ after the Flesh, a Mischief much improved by the Abomination of Foolish Imagery. But this is that which I intend; the Graces of the Person of Christ as he is vest­ed with the office of Mediation, his Spiritu­al Eminency, Comelyness and Beauty &c. Now in this respect the Scripture describes him as exceeding Excellent Comely and De­sirable, far above comparison with the choy­cest Chiefest Created Good or any Endowment imaginable: which I prove at large from Psal. 45.2. Isa. 4.2. Cant. 5.9. add­ing on Explanation of the whole.

In the Digression, some Passages where­of he carps at in this Section, my Design was to declare, as was said, somewhat of the Glory of the Person of Christ: To this End I considered both the Glory of his Divine and the many Excellencies of his humane Nature. But that which I prin­cipally insisted on was the Excellency of Person as God and Man in one, whereby [Page 137] he was meet and able to be the Mediator between God and Man, and to effect all the great and blessed Ends of his Media­tion. That our Lord Jesus Christ was God, and that there were on that account in his Person the Essential Ex­cellencies and Properties of the Divine Nature, I suppose he will not deny. Nor will he do so, that he was truly Man, and that his Humane Nature was endowed with many Glorious Graces and Excellen­cies which are Peculiar thereunto. That the [...]e is a distinct Consideration of his Per­son as both these Natures are united there­in, is that which he seems to have a mind to except against. And is it meet that any one who hath ought else to do, should spend any moments of that Time which he knows how better to improve, in the pursuit of a Mans Impertinencies, who is so bewildred in his own Ignorance and Confidence, that he knowes neither where he is, nor what he says. Did not the Son of God by assuming our Hu­mane Nature, continuing what he was, become what he was not? Was not the Person of Christ by the Commu­nication of the Properties of each Nature in it and to it, a Principle of such operati­ons [Page 139] as he could not have wrought either as God or Man, separately considered? How else did God Redeem his Church with his own Blood? Or how is that true which he says John 3.13. And no Man hath ascended up to Heaven, but he that came down from Heaven, even the Son of Man which is in Heaven? Was not the Union of the two Natures in the same Person (which was a Property neither of the Divine nor Hu­mane Nature, but a distinct ineffable Ef­fect of Divine Condescention, Wisdom and Grace which the Antients Unani­mously call the Grace of Union whose Subject is the Person of Christ) that where­by he was fit, mee [...] and able for all the Works of his Mediation? Doth not the Scripture moreover propose unto our Faith and Consolation the Glory, Power and Grace of the Person of Christ as he is God over all blessed for ever, and his Love, Sympathy, Care, and Compassion as Man, yet all acting themselves in the one and self same Person of the Son of God? Let him read the first Chap. of the Epistle to the Hebrews and see what account he can give thereof. And are not these such Principles of Christian Religion as no Man [Page 138] ought to be ignorant of, or can deny with­out the Guilt of the Heresies condemned in the first General Councils? And they are no other Principles which my whole Discourse excepted against, doth proceed. upon. But saith our Author, unless the Person of Christ as Mediator be distinct from his Per­son as God Man all this is idle Talk. Very Good! and why so? Why, what Personal Graces are there in Christ as Mediator which do not belong unto him either as God or Man? But is he not ashamed of this Ig­norance? Is it not a Personal Grace and Excellency that he is God and Man in one Person which belongs not to him either as God or Man? And are there not Personal Operations innumerable depending here­on, which could not have been wrought by him either as God or Man, as raising himself from the Dead by his own Power and Redeeming the Church with his Blood Are not most of the Descriptions that are given us of Christ in the Scripture, most of the Operations which are assign­ed unto him such as neither belong un­to, nor proceed from the Divine or Hu­mane Nature, separately considered, but from the Person of Christ as both these [Page 140] Natures are united in it. That which seems to have led him into the Maze, wherein he is bewildred in his ensuing Discourse, is, that considering there are but two Natures in Christ the Divine and the Hu­mane, & Nature is the Principle of all Ope­rations, he supposed that nothing could be said of Christ, nothing ascribed to his Per­son, but what was directly formally pre­dicated of one of his Natures, distinctly considered. But he might have easily en­quired of himself, that seeing all the Pro­perties and Acts of the Divine Nature are absolutely Divine, and all those of the Humane Nature absolutely Humane, whence it came to pass that all the Ope­rations and Works of Christ as Mediator are Theandrical. Although there be no­thing in the Person of Christ but his Di­vine and Humane Nature, yet the Per­son of Christ is neither his Divine Nature nor his Humane. For the Humane Na­ture is and ever was of it self [...], and the Divine to the compleat Consti­tution of the Person of the Mediator in and unto its own Hypostasis assumed the Humane, so that although every Energy or Operation be [...], [Page 141] and so the distinct Natures are distinct Principles of Christ's operations, yet his Person is the Principal or only Agent, which being God-Man, all the Actions thereof by vertue of the Communication of Properties of both Natures therein are Theandrical; And the Excellency of this Person of Christ wherein he was every way fitted for the work of Mediation I call sometimes his Personal Grace, and will not go to him to Learn to speak and express my self in these things. And it is most false which he affirms pag. 203. That I distin­guish the Graces of Christ's Person as Medi­ator, from the Graces of his Person as God and Man. Neither could any Man have run into such an Imagination, who had competently understood the things which he speaks about. And the bare proposal of these things is enough to defeat the De­sign of all his ensuing Cavils and Excep­tions.

And as to what he closeth withal, that Surely I will not call the peculiar Duties and Actions of an office Personal Graces; I sup­pose that he knoweth not well what he intends thereby. Whatever he hath fan­cied about Christ being the Name of an Of­fice, [Page 143] Jesus Christ of whom we speak is an Person and not an Office. And there are no such things in rerum natura as the actions of an Office. And if by them he intends the Actions of a Person in the dis­charge of an Office, whatever he calls them, I will call the Habits in Christ from whence all his Actions in the performance of his Office do proceed, Personal Gra­ces, and that whether he will or no. So he is a merciful, faithful and compassionate High-Priest, Heb. 2.17. 4.15. 5.2. And all his Actions in the discharge of his Of­fice of Priesthood being principled and re­gulated by those Qualifications, I do call them his Personal Graces, and do hope that for the future I may obtain his leave so to do. The like may be said of his o­ther Offices.

The Discourse which he thus raves against is Didactical and accommodated unto a Popular way of Instruction, and it hath been hitherto the common Ingenuity of all Learned Men to give an Allowance unto such Discourses, so as not to exact from them an accuracy and propriety in Expressions, such as is required in those that are Scholastical or Polemical. It is that [Page 142] which by common consent is allowed to the Tractates of the Ancients of that Na­ture, especially where nothing is taught but what for the substance of it is conso­nant unto the Truth. But this Man at­tempts not only a Severity in nibling at all Expressions which he fancyeth liable unto his Censures; but with a disingenuous Arti­fice waving the Tenour and Process of the Discourse, which I presume he found not himself able to oppose, he takes out some­times here, sometimes there, up and down backward and forward, at his Pleasure, what he will, to put if it be possible an ill Sence upon the whole. And if he have not hereby given a sufficient Discovery of his good will towards the doing of some­what to my disadvantage, he hath failed in his whole Endeavour. For there is no Expression which he hath fixed on as the Subject of his Reflections, which is truely mine; but that as it is used by me, and with respect unto its End, I will defend it against him and all his Co-partners, whilst the Scripture may be allowed to be the Rule and Measure of our Conceptions and Expressions about Sacred things. And al­though at present I am utterly wearied with the consideration of such sad Triflings [Page 144] I shall accept from him the kindness of an Obligation to so much Patience as is ne­cessary unto the perusal of the ensuing Leaves wherein I am concerned.

First; Pag. 202. He would pick something if he knew what out of my Quotations of Cant. 5.9. to express or illustrate the Ex­cellency of Christ, which first he calls an Excellent Proof by way of scorn. But as it is far from being the only Proof produced in the Confirmation of the same Truth, and is applyed rather to illustrate what was spoken then to prove it; yet by his favour, I shall make bold to continue my appre­hensions of the occasional Exposition of the words which I have given in that Place, un­til he is pleased to acquaint me with a bet­ter, which I suppose will be long enough. For what he adds; But however White and Ruddy belong to his Divine and Humane Na­ture, and that without regard to his Mediatory Office, for he had been White in the Glory of his Deity, and Ruddy with the Red Earth of his Humanity, whether he had been considered as Mediator or not; it comes from the same spring of skill and Benevolence with those afore. For what wise talk is it of Christ's be­ing God & Man without the Consideration of his being Mediator, as though he were [Page 145] ever, or ever should have been God and Man, but with respect unto his Media­tion. His Scoff at the red Earth of Christ's Humanity represented as my words, is grounded upon a palpable falsification. For my words are, He was also ruddy in the Beauty of his Humanity. Man was called Adam from the red Earth whereof he was made. The word here used, points him out as the second Adam, partaker of Flesh and Blood, because the Children also partook of the same. And if he be displea­sed with these Expressions, let him take his own time to be pleased again, it is that wherein I am not concerned. But my fault which so highly deserved his Correction is, that I apply that to the person of Christ which belongs unto his Natures. But what if I say no such thing, or had no such De­sign in that place? For although I do maintain a distinct Consideration of the Excellency of Christ's person, as com­prising both his Natures united, though every real thing in his person belongs for­mally and radically unto one of the Na­tures, (those other Excellencies being the Exurgency of their Union) whereby his [Page 146] person was fitted and suited unto his Me­diatory operations, which in neither na­ture singly considered he could have per­formed, and shall continue to maintain it against whosoever dares directly to op­pose it; yet in this place I intended it not, which this man knew well enough, the very next words unto what he pre­tends to prove it being, The beauty and comeliness of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Vnion of both these in one Person shall after­wards be declared. And so we have an equality in Judgement and Ingenuity throughout this Censure.

Hence he leaps to pag. 64. of my Book, thence backwards to 53. and then up and down I know not how nor whither. He begins with pag. 64. And in his first Digression concerning the Excellency of Christ Jesus, to invite us to Communion with him in a Conjugal Relation, he tells us that Christ is exceeding Excellent and Desirable in his Deity, and the Glory thereof; He is Desirable and Worthy our Acceptation as considered in his Humanity, in his Free­dom from Sin, Fulness of Grace, &c. Now though this look very like a Contradiction, [Page 147] that by the Graces of his Person he meant neither the Excellencies of his Divine nor Humane Nature, yet he hath a Salvo which will deliver him both from Contradiction and from Sense, that he doth not consider these Excellencies of his Deity or Humanity as abstracted from his Office of Mediator; though he might if he pleased: For he consi­ders those Excellencies which are not pecu­liar to the Office of Mediation, but which would have belonged unto him as God and Man, whether he had been Mediator or not; But what becomes of his Distinction of the Graces of Christ's Person as Mediator, from the Graces of his Person as God and Man, when there are no personal Graces in Christ but what belong to his Deity or his Humanity.

I am sufficiently satisfyed that he nei­ther knows where he is, nor what he doth, or hath no due comprehension of the things he treats about. That which he opposeth, if he intend to oppose any thing by me asserted, is, that whereas Christ is God, the Essential properties of his Divine Nature are to be considered as the formal Motive unto, and Object [Page 148] of Faith, Love, and Obedience; and whereas he is Man also, his Excellencies in the Glorious Endowment of his Hu­mane Nature, with his Alliance unto us therein, and his Furniture of Grace for the Discharge of his Office, are proposed unto our Faith and Love in the Scrip­ture, And of these things we ought to take a distinct Consideration; our Faith concerning them being not only Taught in the Scripture, but fully confirmed in the Confessions and Determinations of the Primitive Church. But the Person of Christ wherein these two Natures are united, is of another distinct Considera­tion, and such things are spoken thereof as cannot under any single Enunciation be ascribed unto either Nature, though nothing be so, but what formally belongs unto one of them, or is the necessary consequent & Exurgency of their Union. See Isa. 9.6. 2 Tim. 3.16. John 1.14. It is of the Glory of the Word of God made Flesh, that I discourse. But this Man talks of what would have belonged to Christ as God-Man, whether he had been Mediator or not, as though the Son of [Page 149] God either was, or was ever designed to be, or can be considered as God-Man, and not as Mediator. And thence he would re­leive himself by the Calumny of assigning a Distinction unto me between the Graces of Christ's person as Mediator, & the Gra­ces of his person as God & Man, that is one person, which is a meer figment of his own misunderstanding. Upon the whole he comes to that accurate Thesis of his own, that there are no personal Graces in Christ but what belong to his Deity or Humani­ty, Personal Graces belonging unto the Humanity or Humane Nature of Christ, that Nature being [...], or such as hath no personal subsistence of its own, is a Notion that those may thank him for who have a mind to do it. And he may do well to consider what his thoughts are of the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, mentioned Phill. 2.7, 8, 9, 10, 11.

But he will now discover the Design of all these things, and afterward make it good by Quotations out of my Book. The first he doth pag. 203. and onwards, But whatever becomes of the sense of the Di­stinction, there is a very deep fetch in it, the [Page 150] observing of which will discover the whole mystery of the Person of Christ, and our V­nion to him. For these men consider that Christ saves us as he is our Mediator, and not meerly considered as God or Man, and they imagine that we receive Grace and Sal­vation from Christ's Person, just as we do water out of a Conduit, or a Gift and Lar­gess from a Prince, that it flows to us from our Vnion to his person, and therefore they dress up the Person of the Mediator with all those personal Excellencies and Graces which may make him a fit Saviour, that those who are thus united to his Person, of which more in the next Section, need not fear missing of Salvation. Hence they ransack all the bound­less perfections of the Deity, and whatever they can find or fancy speaks any Comfort to Sinners, this is presently a personal Grace of the Mediator. They consider all the Glori­ous effects of his Mediation, and whatever Great things are spoken of his Gospel, or Re­ligion, or Intercession for us, these serve as personal Graces; so that all our hopes may be built not on the Gospel Covenant, but on the Person of Christ; so that the Dispute now lyes between the Person of Christ and his [Page 151] Gospel, which must be the Foundation of our Hope, which is the way to life and happiness.

First, We do consider and Believe that Christ saves us as a Mediator, that is, as God and Man in one person, exercising the Office of a Mediator, and not meerly as God or Man. This we believe with all the Catholick Church of Christ, and can with boldness say, he that doth not so, let him be Anathema Maranatha. Secondly, We do not imagine, but believe from the Scripture, and with the whole Church of God, that we receive Grace and Salvation from the Person of Christ, in those distinct wayes wherein they are capable of being received; and let him be anathema who believes otherwise. On­ly whether his putting of Grace and Sal­vation into the same way of Reception, belong unto his Accuracy in expressing his own Sentiments, or his Ingenuity in the representation of other Mens words, I leave undetermined. The Similitudes he useth to express our Faith in these things, shew his good will towards Scof­fing and Prophaneness. We say, there is real Communication of Grace from the [Page 152] person of Christ as the Head of the Church unto all the Members of his Mystical Body by his Spirit, whereby they are quickened, sanctifyed, and enabled unto all Holy Obedience, and if it be denyed by him he stands anathematized by sundry Coun­sels of the Ancient Church. We say not, that we receive it as water out of a Con­duit, which is of a limited determined Capacity, whereas we say the person of Christ by reason of his Deity is an im­mense Eternal living Spring or Fountain of all Grace. And when God calls him­self a Fountain of living water, and the Lord Christ calls his Spirit communicated to Believers living Water, under which Apellations he was frequently promised in the Old Testament, as also the Grace and Mercy of the Gospel the waters of Life, inviting us to receive them, and to drink of them, this Author may be ad­vised to take heed of Prophane Scoffing at these things. Whether any have said that we receive Grace and Salvation from Christ as a Guift or Largess from a Prince I know not; if they have the sole defect therein is that the Allusion doth [Page 153] no way sufficiently set forth the freedom and bounty of Christ in the Communica­tion of them unto Sinners, and wherein else it offends, let him soberly declare if he can. This is the Charge upon us in point of Faith and Judgement, which in one word amounts to no more but this, that we are Christians, and so by the Grace of God we intend to continue, let this man deride us whilst he pleaseth. His next Charge concerns our Practice in the pursuit of these dreadful Principles, which by their Repetition he hath expo­sed to scorn. And therefore they dress up &c. What doth this poor man intend? What is the Design of all this Prophane­ness? The Declaration of the Natures and Person of Christ, of his Grace and work, the ascribing unto him what is directly and expressly in terms ascribed unto him in the Scripture, or relating as we are able, the Description it gives of him, is here called dressing up the person of the Mediator with all those personal Graces that may make him a fit Saviour.

The Preparation of the Person of Christ to be a fit and meet Saviour for Sinners, [Page 154] which he prophanely compares to the Dressing up of—is the Greatest, most Glorious and Admirable Effect that ever Infinite Wisdom, Goodness, Pow­er and Love wrought and produced, or will do so unto Eternity. And those on whom he reflects, design nothing, doe nothing in this Matter, but only endea­vour according to the Measure of the Gift of Christ which they have received, to declare and explain what is revealed and taught in the Scripture thereof; and those who exceed the bounds of Scrip­ture Revelation herein, (if any do so) we do abhorr. And as for those who are united unto Christ, although we say not that they need not fear missing of Salvati­on, seeing they are to be brought unto it not only through the Exercise of all Graces, whereof Fear is one, but also through such Tryals and Temptations as will alwayes give them a Fear of heed and Diligence, and sometimes such a Fear of the Event of things, as shall combate their Faith, and shake its firmest Resolves, yet we fear not to say, that those who are really united unto Jesus Christ, shall [Page 155] be assuredly saved, which I have proved elsewhere beyond the fear of any Oppo­sition from this Author or others like minded. 4ly, He addes hence, They ran­sack, &c. But what is the meaning of these Expressions? Doth not the Scripture de­clare, that Christ is God as well as Man? Doth it not build all our Faith, Obedi­ence and Salvation on that Considera­tion? Are not the Properties of the Di­vine Nature every where in the Scrip­ture declared and proposed unto us, for the ingenerating and establishing Faith in us, and to be the Object of, and Ex­ercise of all Grace and Obedience? And is it now become a Crime, that any should seek to declare and instruct others in these things from the Scripture, and to the same End for which they are there­in revealed? Is this with any Evidence of Sobriety to be traduced as a ransacking the boundless Perfections of the Divine Na­ture, to dress up the Person of the Media­tor? Is he a Christian, or doth he deserve that Name, who contemns or despiseth the Consideration of the Propertyes of the Divine Nature in the Person of [Page 156] Christ? (See Isa. 6.1, 2, 3. Joh. 12.41. Isa. 9.6. Joh. 1.14. Phil. 2.6. &c.) or shall think that the Grace or Excellen­cies of his Person do not principally con­sist in them, as the Humane Nature is uni­ted thereunto. 5ly, They consider all the Glorious Effects of his Mediation. All the Effects of Christs Mediation, all the Things that are spoken of the Gospel, &c. do all of them declare the Excellency of the Per­son of Christ, as Effects declare their Cause, and may and ought to be considered un­to that end as Occasion doth require. And no otherwise are they considered by those whom he doth oppose. 6ly But the End of these strange Principles and Practices he tells us is, that all our hopes may be built, not on the Gospel Covenant, but on the Person of Christ. But I say again, what is it that this Man intends? What is be­come of a common Regard to God and Man? who do so build their hopes on Christ as to reject or despise the Gospel-Covenant, as he calls it, though I am a­fraid should he come to explain himself, he will be at a loss about the true Nature of the Gospel-Covenant, as I find him to [Page 157] be about the Person and Grace of Christ. He telleth us indeed, that not the Person of Christ, but the Gospel is the Way, did we ever say, not the Covenant of Grace but the Person of Christ is all we regard? But whence comes this causeless Fear and Jealousie; or rather this evil Surmise, that if any endeavour to exalt the Per­son of Christ, immediately the Covenant of the Gospel (that is in truth the Cove­nant which is declared in the Gospel) must be discarded? Is there an incon­sistency between Christ and the Cove­nant? I never met with any who was so fearfull and jealous least too much should be ascribed in the matter of our Salva­tion to Jesus Christ; and when there is no more so, but what the Scripture doth expressely and in words assign unto him and affirm of him, instantly we have an Outcry that the Gospel and the Cove­nant are rejected, and that a Dispute lyes between the Person of Christ and his Gospel. But let him not trouble himself, for as he cannot, and as he knowes he cannot produce any one word or one syl­lable out of any Writings of mine, that [Page 158] should derogate any thing from the Ex­cellency, Nature, Necessity or Use of the New Covenant, so though it may be he do not, and doth therefore fancy and dream of Disputes between Christ and the Gospel, we do know how to respect both the Person of Christ and the Cove­nant, both Jesus Christ and the Gospel in their proper places. And in particular we do know, that as it is the Person of Christ who is the Author of the Gospel, and who as Mediator in his Work of Me­diation gives Life and Efficacy and Esta­blishment unto the Covenant of Grace, so both the Gospel and that Covenant do declare the Glory, and design the Exalta­tion of Jesus Christ himself. Speaking therefore comparatively, all our hopes are built on Jesus Christ, who alone filleth all things; yet also we have our hopes in God through the Covenant declared in the Gospel, as the way designing the Rule of our Obedience, securing our Accep­tance and Reward. And to deal as gently as I can warrant my self to do with this Writer, the Dispute he mentions between the Person of Christ & the Gospel, which [Page 159] shall be the Foundation of our Hope, is only in his own fond imagination, distem­pered by Disingenuity and Malevolence. For if I should charge what the appear­rance of his Expressions will well bare, what he sayes seems to be out of a Design influenced by Ignorance or Heresie, to exclude Jesus Christ God and Man from being the principal Foundation of the Church, and which all its hopes are built upon. This being the summe of his Charge I hope he will fully prove it in the Quo­tations from my Discourse, which he now sets himself to produce; assuring him that if he do not, but come short therein, set­ting aside his odious and foppish pro­phane Deductions, I doe averre them all in plain terms, that he may on his next occasion of Writing, save his labour in searching after what he may oppose. Thus therefore he proceeds pag. 205.

To make this appear, I shall consider that account which Dr. Owen gives us of the personal Graces and Excellencies of Christ, which in general consist in three things; First, his Fitness to save, from the Grace of Vnion, and the proper and necessary Effects thereof. Secondly, his Fulness to save from [Page 160] the Grace of Communion, or the free Con­sequences of the Grace of Vnion; and Third­ly, his Excellency to endear, from his com­pleat suitableness to all the wants of the Souls of men. First, That he is fit to be a Saviour from the Grace of Vnion; and if you will understand what this strange Grace of Vnion is, it is the uniting the Nature of God and Man in one Person, which makes him fit to be a Saviour to the uttermost; He layes his hand upon God, by partaking of his Nature; and he layes his hand on us, by partaking of our Nature; and so becomes a Dayes-man or Vmpire between both. Now though this be a great Truth, that the Vni­on of the Divine and Humane Nature in Christ did excellently qualifie him for the Office of a Mediator, yet this is the Vnhap­piest man in Expressing and proving it, that I have met with; For what an un­toward Representation is this of Christs Mediation, That he came to make Peace, by laying his hands on God and Men, as if he came to part a Fray or Scuffle; and he might as well have named Gen. 1.1. or Matth. 1.1. or any other place of Scripture for the proof of it, as those he mentions.

[Page 161]To what End it is that he cites these Passages out of my Discourse, is some­what difficult to divine. Himself con­fesseth that what is asserted, (at least in one of them) is a great Truth, only I am the unhappiest man in expressing and proving it that ever he met with. It is evident enough to me, that he hath not met with many who have treated of this Subject, or hath little understood those he hath met withall; so that there may be yet some behind as unhappy as my self. And seeing he hath so good a Leisure from other Occasions, as to spend his Time in telling the world how unhappy I am in my Proving and Expressing of what himself acknowledgeth to be true, he may be pleased to take notice, that I am now sensible of my own unhappiness also, in having fallen under a Diversion from better Employments by such sad and wofull Impertinencies. But being at once charged with both these misadven­tures, untowardness in Expression, and weakness in the Proof of a plain Truth, I shall willingly admit of Information to [Page 162] mend my way of writing for the future. And the first Reflection he casts on my Expressions, is my calling the Union of the two Natures in Christ in the same Person, the Grace of Vnion, for so he sayes, If you would understand what this strange Grace of Vnion is. But I crave his Pardon in not complying with his Directions, for my Companyes sake. No man who hath once consulted the Wri­tings of the Ancients on this Subject, can be a stranger unto [...], and Gra­tia Vnionis, they so continually occurre in the Writings of all sorts of Divines both Ancient and Modern. Yea but there is yet worse behind; for what an untoward Representation is this of Christs Mediation, that he came to make Peace by laying his hands on God and Men, as if he came to part a fray or scuffle. My words are, the Uniting of the Natures of God and Man in one Person, made him fit to be a Saviour to the uttermost; he layd his hand upon God by partaking of his Nature, Zach. 13.7. And he layes his hand upon us by partaking of our Na­ture, Heb. 2.14, 16. and so becomes a [Page 163] Dayes-man or Vmpire between both. See what it is to be adventurous. I doubt not but that he thought that I had in­vented that Expression, or at least that I was the first who ever applyed it unto this Interposition of Christ between God and Man. But as I took the words, and so my warranty for the Expression from the Scripture, Job 9.33. So it hath com­monly been applyed by Divines in the same manner, particularly by Bishop Vsher (in his Immanuel, p. 8, 9. as I re­member) whose Unhappiness in expres­sing himself in Divinity, this man needs not much to bewayl. But let my Ex­pressions be what they will, I shall not escape the unhappiness of weakness in my Proofs, for I might, he sayes, as well have quoted Gen. 1.1. and Matth. 1.1. for the Proof of the Unity of the Divine and Humane Nature in the Person of Christ, and his Fitness thence to be a Saviour, as those I named, viz. Zach. 13.7. Heb. 2.14, 16. Say you so; why then I do here undertake to maintain the Personal Vni­on, and the fitness of Christ from thence to be a Saviour, from these two Texts, [Page 164] against this Man and all his Fraternity in Design. And at present I cannot but wonder at his Confidence, seeing I am sure be cannot be ignorant that one of these Places at least, namely that of Heb. 2.16. is as much, as frequently, as ve­hemently pleaded by all sorts of Divines Ancient and Modern, to prove the As­sumption of our Humane Nature into Personal subsistence with the Son of God, that so he might be [...], fit and able to save us, as any one Testimony in the whole Scripture. And the same Truth is as evidently contained and expressed in the former, seeing no man could be the Fellow of the Lord of Hosts, but he that was partaker of the same Nature with him, and no one could have the sword of God upon him to smite him, which was needfull unto our Salvation, but he that was partaker of our Nature, or Man also. And the meer recital of these Testimonies was sufficient unto my purpose in that place, where I designed onely to declare and not dispute the Truth. If he yet think that I cannot prove what I assert from these Testimo­nies, [Page 165] let him consult my Vindiciae Evan­gelicae, where according as that work required I have directly pleaded these Scriptures to the same purpose, insisting at large on the Vindication of one of them, and let him answer what I have there pleaded, if he be able. And I shall allow him to make his Advantage unto that purpose, if he please, of what­ever Evasions the Socinians have found out to escape the force of that Testi­mony. For there is none of them of any note, but have attempted by various Artifices to shield their Opinion in de­nying the Assumption of our Humane Nature into personal Union with the Son of God, and therewithal his Prae­existence unto his Nativity of the blessed Virgin, from the Divine Evidence given against it in that place of Heb. 2.16. which yet (if this Author may be be­lieved) doth make no more against them than Gen. 1.1. Wherefore, this severe Censure, together with the Modesty of the Expression, wherein Christ making Peace between God and Man is compa­red to the Parting of a Fray or Scuffle, [Page 166] may pass at the same Rate and Value with those which are gone before.

His ensuing Pages are taken up for the most part with the transcription of Passages out of my Discourse, raked to­gether from several Places at his plea­sure. I shall not impose the needless La­bour on the reader of a third Perusal of them; nor shall I take the pains to restore the several Passages to their proper Place and Coherence, which he hath rent them from, to trye his skill and strength upon them separately and apart. For I see not that they stand in need of using the least of their own cir­cumstantial Evidence in their Vindica­tion. I shall therefore only take notice of his Exceptions against them. And pag. 207. whereas I had said on some Occa­sion, that in such a supposition we could have supplyes of Grace only in a moral Way, it falls under his Derision in his Parenthesis (and that is a very pitifull way indeed.) But I must yet tell him by the way, that if he allow of no supplies of Grace but in a Moral way, he is a Pe­lagian, [Page 167] and as such stands condemned by the Catholick Church. And when his Occasions will permit it, I desire he would answer what is written by my self in another Discourse, in the Refu­tation of this Sole Moral Operation of Grace, and the Assertion of another way of the Communication of it unto us. Leave fooling, and the Vnhappiest man in expressing himself that ever I met with, will not doe it; He must betake him­self to another Course, if he intend to engage into the handling of things of this Nature. He addes, whereas I had said, the Grace of the Promises, (of the Person of Christ you mean:) I know well enough what I mean, but the Truth is I know not well what he means; nor whether it be out of ignorance, that he doth indeed fancy an Opposition be­tween Christ and the Promises, that what is ascribed unto the one, must needs be derogated from the other, when the Promise is but the Means and Instrument of conveying the Grace of Christ unto us▪ or whether it proceed from a real Dislike, that the Person of Christ, that [Page 168] is, Jesus Christ himself should be esteem­ed of any Use or Consideration in Re­ligion, that he talks at this rate. But from whence ever it proceeds, this ca­villing Humour is unworthy of any Man of Ingenuity or Learning. By his fol­lowing Parenthesis (a World of Sin is something) I suppose I have somewhere used that Expression, whence it is re­flected on; but he quotes not the place, and I cannot find it. I shall therefore only at present tell him, as (if I remem­ber aright) I have done already, that I will not come to him nor any of his Companions, to learn to Express my self in these things; and moreover, that I despise their Censures. The Discourses he is carping at, in particular in this place, are neither Doctrinal nor Argu­mentative, but consist in the Applica­tion of Truths before proved unto the Minds and Affections of men. And (as I said) I will not come to him nor his Fraternity, to learn how to manage such a subject, much less a Logical and Argumentative way of Reasoning; nor have any inducement thereunto from [Page 169] any thing that as yet I have seen in their Writings. It also troubles him pag. 208. That whereas I know how unsuited the best and most accurate of our Expressions are unto the true Nature and Being of Divine things, as they are in themselves, and what need we have to make use of Allusions, and sometimes less proper Ex­pressions, to convey a sence of them un­to the Minds and Affections of men, I had once or twice used that [...], if I may so say, which yet if he had not known used in other good Authors, treating of things of the same Nature, he knew I could take protection against his severity under the Example of the Apostle using words to the same Pur­pose, upon an alike Occasion, Heb. 7. But at length he intends to be serious, and from those words of mine, Here is Mercy enough for the greatest, the oldest, the stubbornest Transgressor; he addes, ‘Enough in all Reason this, what a Comfort is it to Sinners to have such a God for their Saviour, whose Grace is boundless and bottomless, and ex­ceeds the largest Dimensions of their [Page 170] Sins, though there be a world of sin in them. But what now if the Divine Nature it self have not such an endless boundless, bottomless Grace and Com­passion as the Doctor now talks of? For at other times, when it serves his turn better, we can hear nothing from him but the Naturalness of Gods Vindictive Justice. Though God be rich in Mercy, he never told us, that his Mercy was so boundless and bottomless; he had given a great ma­ny Demonstrations of the severity of his Anger against sinners, who could not be much worse than the Greatest, the Oldest and stubbornest Trans­gressors.’

Let the Reader take notice, that I propose no Grace in Christ unto or for such Sinners, but only that which may invite all sorts of them, though under the most discouraging Qualifications, to come unto him for Grace and Mercy by Faith and Repentance. And on suppo­sition that this was my sence, as he can­not deny it to be, I adde only in An­swer, [Page 171] that this his prophane scoffing at it, is that which reflects on Christ, and his Gospel, and God himself, and his Word, which must be accounted for. See Isa. 55.7. 2dly, For the Opposition which he childishly frames between Gods Vin­dictive Justice and his Mercy and Grace, it is answered already. 3dly, It is false, that God hath not told us, that his Grace is boundless and bottomless in the sence wherein I use those words, suffi­cient to pardon the greatest, the oldest, the stubbornest of sinners; namely, that turn unto him by Faith and Repentance. And he who knowes not how this con­sists with Severity and Anger against im­penitent sinners, is yet to Learn his Ca­techism. But yet he addes further, pag. 208, 209. ‘Supposing the Divine Na­ture were such a bottomless Fountain of Grace, how comes this to be a Per­sonal Grace of the Mediator: For a Mediator as Mediator, ought not to be considered as the Fountain, but as the Minister of Grace; God the Father certainly ought to come in for a share at least, in being the Fountain of [Page 272] Grace, though the Doctor is pleased to take no notice of him. But how excellent is the Grace of Christs Per­son, above the Grace of the Gospel, for that is a bounded and limited thing, a straight Gate and narrow Way, that leadeth unto Life. There is no such Boundless Mercy as all the sins in the World cannot equal its Di­mensions, as will save the Greatest, the Oldest, and the stubbornest Trans­gressors.’

I begg the Reader to believe, that I am now so utterly weary with the Re­petition of these impertinencies, that I can hardly prevail with my self to fill my Pen once more with Ink about them. And I see no reason now to goe on, but only that I have begun. And on all ac­counts I shall be as brief as possible. I say then First, I did not consider this boundless Grace in Christ as Mediator, but considered it as in him who is Media­tor, and so the Divine Nature with all its Properties are greatly to be consi­dered in him, if the Gospel be true. But [Page 173] 2dly, It is untrue, that Christ as Mediator is only the Minister of Grace, and not the Fountain of it; for he is Mediator as God and Man in one Person. 3dly, To suppose an exemption of the Person of the Father from being the Fountain of Grace absolutely, in the Order of the Divine Subsistence of the Persons in the Trinity, and of their Operations suited thereunto, upon the Ascription of it un­to the Son, is a fond Imagination, which could befall no man who understands any thing of things of this Nature. It doth as well follow, that if the Son crea­ted the World, the Father did not; if the Son uphold all things by the Word of his Power, the Father doth not; that is, that the Son is not in the Father, nor the Father in the Son. The Acts in­deed of Christs Mediation respect the Ministration of Grace, being the pro­curing and communicating Causes there­of; but the Person of Christ the Me­diator is the Fountain of Grace. So they thought who beheld his Glory, the Glo­ry as of the only begotten of the Father full of Grace and Truth. But the especial Re­lation [Page 174] of Grace unto the Father as send­ing the Son, unto the Son as sent by him and incarnate, and unto the Holy Spi­rit as proceeding from and sent by them both, I have elsewhere fully declared, and shall not in this place (which in­deed will scarce give Admittance unto any thing of so serious a nature) again insist thereon. 4thly, The Opposition which he would again set between Christ and the Gospel, is impious in it self, and if he thinks to charge it on me openly false. I challenge him and all his Com­plices, to produce any one word out of any Writing of mine, that from a Plea or pretence of Grace in Christ, should give Countenance unto any in the neg­lect of the least Precept given, or Duty required in the Gospel. And notwith­standing all that I have said or taught, concerning the Boundless, Bottomless Grace and Mercy of Christ towards be­lieving, humble, penitent Sinners, I doe believe the Way of Gospel Obedience indispensibly required to be walked in by all that will come to the Enjoyment of God, to be so narrow, that no Re­vilers, [Page 175] nor false Accusers, nor Scoffers, nor Despisers of Gospel Mysteries, con­tinuing so to be, can walk therein. But that there is not Grace and Mercy de­clared and tendred in the Gospel also, unto all sorts of sinners, under any qua­lifications whatever, who upon its Invi­tation will come to God through Christ, by Faith and Repentance, is an impi­ous Imagination.

A Discourse much of the same Nature followes, concerning the Love of Christ, after he hath treated his Person and Grace at his pleasure. And this he takes occasion for, from some Passages in my Book (as formerly) scraped together from several places, so as he thought fit and convenient unto his Purpose. Page 209. ‘Thus the Love of Christ is an Eternal Love, because his Divine Na­ture is Eternal; and it is an Unchange­able Love because his Divine Nature is Unchangeable; and his Love is Fruit­full, for it being the Love of God, it must be effectual and fruitfull in pro­ducing all the things which he willeth [Page 176] unto his Beloved. He loves Life, Grace, Holiness into us, loves us into Covenant, loves us into Heaven. This is an Excel­lent Love indeed, which doth all for us, and leaves nothing for us to do. We owe this Discovery to an Aquaintance with Christ's Person, or rather with his Di­vine Nature, for the Gospel is very silent in this matter. All that the Gospel tells us is, that Christ Loveth Sin­ners so as to die for them, that he Loves Good men who believe and obey his Gospel, so as to save them, that he con­tinues to Love them while they conti­tinue to be good, but hates them when they return to their old Vices; and therefore I say there is great Reason for Sinners to fetch their Comforts not from the Gospel, but from the Person of Christ, which as far excells the Go­spel, as the Gospel excells the Law.’

I do suppose the Expressions men­tioned are for the substance of them in my Book, and shall therefore only en­quire what it is in them which he except­eth against, and for which I am reproach­ched, [Page 177] as one that hath an Acquaintance with Christ's person, which is now grown so Common and Trite an Expression, that were it not condited unto some Mens Pallats by its Prophaneness, it would ar­gue a great barrenness in this Author's Invention, that can vary no more in the Topick of Reviling. It had been well if his Licenser had accommodated him with some part of his Talent herein. But what is it that is excepted against? Is it, that the love of Christ as he is God is Eternal? or is it that it is Unchangeable? or is it that it is Fruitful or effective of Good things unto the persons Beloved? The Philosopher tells us, that to Love for any one is, [...]. It is this Efficacy of the Love of Christ which must bear all the present Charge. The meaning of my words therefore is, that the Love of Christ is unto us the Cause of Life, Grace, Holiness, and the Reward of Heaven. And because it is in the Nature of Love to be effective, according unto the Ability of the person Loving, of the Good which it wills unto the Object be­loved, [Page 178] I expressed it as I thought meet, by Loving these things to us. And I am so far on this occasion, and the severe Reflection on me for an Acquaintance with Christ from altering my thoughts, that I say still with Confidence, he who is otherwise minded, is no Christian. And if this Man knows not how the Love of Christ is the Cause of Grace and Glory, how it is effective of them, and that in a perfect consistency with all other Causes and means of them, and the Necessity of our Obedience, he may do well to ab­stain a little from Writing, until he is better informed. But, saith he, this is an Excellent Love indeed, which doth all for us, and leaves us nothing to do. But who told him so? who ever said so? Doth he think that if our Life, Grace, Holiness, Glory, be from the Love of Christ Originally, Causally, by vertue of his Divine Gracious operations in us and towards us, that there is no Duty incum­bent on them who would be made parta­kers of them, or use, or improve them unto their proper ends? Shall we then to please him say, that we have neither [Page 179] Life, nor Grace, nor Holiness, nor Glory, from the Love of Christ, but whereas most of them are our own Duties, we have them wholly from our selves? Let them do so who have a mind to renounce Christ and his Gospel; I shall co [...]e into no Partnership with them. For what he adds, all that the Gospel teaches us, &c. He should have done well to have said, as far as he knows, which is a Limitation with a witness. If this be all the Gospel which the Man knows and Preaches, I pity them whom he hath taken under his Instruction. Doth Christ in his Love do nothing unto the quickning and Conver­sion of Men? Nothing to the Purification and Sanctification of Believers? Nothing as to their Consolation and Establish­ment? Nothing as to the Administration of strength against Temptations? No­thing as to Supplies of Grace in the in­crease of Faith, Love and Obedience, &c. This Ignorance or Prophaneness is greatly to be bewailed, as his ensuing Scoff re­peated now usque ad Nauseam, about an opposition between Christ and his Go­spel, is to be despised. And if the Lord [Page 180] Christ hath no other Love but what this man will allow, the state of the Church in this world depends on a very slender thread. But attempts of this Nature will fall short enough of prevailing with sober Christians to foregoe their Faith and Perswasion, that it is from the Love of Christ, that Believers are pre­served in that condition wherein he doth and will approve of them. Yea, to suppose that this is all the Grace of the Gospel, that whilest me, are good Christ loves them, and when they are bad he hates them, both which are true, and farther that he doth by his Grace neither make them Good, nor preserve them that are so made, is to renounce all that is properly so called.

He yet proceeds, first to evert this Love which I asserted, and then to de­clare his own Apprehensions concerning the Love of Christ. The first in the en­suing words, Pag. 210. ‘But methinks this is a very odd way of arguing from the Divine Nature; For if the Love of Christ as God be so Infinite, Eternal, [Page 181] Unchangeable, Fruitfull, I would willingly understand how Sin, Death and Misery came into the World. For if this Love be so Eternal and Un­changeable, because the Divine Na­ture is so, then it was alwayes so; For God alwayes was what he is, and that which is Eternal could never be other than it is now; and why could not this Eternal, and Unchangeable, and Fruitfull Love, as well preserve us from falling into Sin, and Misery, and Death, as love Life and Holiness into us? For it is a little odd, first to love us into Sin and Death, that then he may love us into Life and Holiness; which indeed could not be, if this Love of God were alwayes so un­changeable and Fruitfull as this Au­thor perswades us it is now; For if this Love had alwayes loved Life and and Holiness into us, I cannot con­ceive how it should happen, that we should sin and dye.’

It is well if he know what it is that he aims at in these Words; I am sure [Page 182] what he sayes doth not in the least im­peach the Truth which he designs to oppose. The Name and Nature of God are every where in the Scripture pro­posed unto us, as the Object of and En­couragement unto our Faith, and his Love in particular is therein represented unchangeable, because he himself is so. But it doth not hence follow, that God loveth any one Naturally or Necessari­ly. His Love is a free Act of his Will, and therefore though it be like himself, such as becomes his Nature, yet it is not necessarily determined on any Object, nor limited as unto the Nature, Degrees and Effects of it. He Loves whom he pleaseth, and as unto what End he plea­seth. Jacob he loved, and Esau he hated; and those Effects which from his Love, or out of it, he will communicate unto them, are various, according to the Councel of his Will. Some he Loves only as to Temporal and Common Mer­cies, some as to spiritual Grace and Glo­ry, for he hath Mercy on whom he will have Mercy. Wherefore, it is no way con­trary unto and inconsistent with the Eter­nity, [Page 183] the Immutability and Fruitfulness of the Love of God, that he suffered Sin to enter into the World, or that he doth dispense more Grace in Jesus Christ under the New Testament than he did under the Old. God is alwayes the same that he was. Love in God is alwayes of the same Nature that it was; But the Objects, Acts and Effects of this Love, with the Measures and Degrees of them, are the Issues of the Councel or free Pur­poses of his Will. Want of the under­standing hereof, makes this man imagine that if Gods Love in Christ wherewith he loveth us, be Eternal and Fruitfull, then must God necessarily, alwayes, in or out of Christ, under the Old or New Covenant, love all Persons, Elect or not Elect, with the same Love as to the Effects and Fruits of it, which is a won­drous profound Apprehension. The Reader therefore if he please may take notice, that the Love which I intend, and whereunto I ascribe those Proper­ties, is the especial Love of God in Christ unto the Elect. Concerning this himself sayes, that he loves them with [Page 184] an everlasting Love, and therefore drawes them with loving Kindness, Jerem. 31.3. which Love I shall be bold to say, is Eternal and Fruitfull. And hence, as he changeth not, whereon the Sons of Jacob are not consumed, Mal. 3.6. there being with him neither variableness nor shadow of turning, Jam. 1.17. so accordingly he hath in this matter, by his Promise and Oath, declared the Immutability of his Councel, Heb. 6.17, 18. which seems to intimate that his Love is unchangeable. And whereas this Eternal Love is in Christ Jesus as the Way and Means of making it certain in all its Effects, and with respect unto its whole Design, it is fruitfull in all Grace and Glory, Ephes. 1.3, 4, 5. And if he cannot un­derstand how notwithstanding all this, Sin so entred into the World under the Law of Creation and the first Covenant, as to defeat in us all the Benefits there­of, at present I cannot help him. For as I am sure enough he would scorn to learn any thing of me, so I am not at leasure to put it to the trial.

[Page 185]His own Account of the Love of God succeeds, pag. 211. ‘Not that I deny, that the Love of God is Eternal, Un­changeable, Fruitfull; that is, that God was alwayes Good, and alwayes con­tinues Good, and manifesteth his Love and Goodness in such wayes as are suitable to his Nature, which is the Fruitfulness of it. But then the Un­changeableness of Gods Love, doth not consist in being alwayes determin­ed to the same Object, but that he al­wayes loves for the same Reason; that is, that he alwayes loves true Vertue and Goodness wherever he sees it, and never ceases to love any Person till he ceases to be Good; and then the Im­mutability of his Love is the Reason why he loves no longer. For, should he love a Wicked man, the Reason and Nature of his Love would change; and the Fruitfulness of Gods Love with respect to the Methods of his Grace and Providence, doth not con­sist in producing what he loves by an Omnipotent and Irrisistble Power, for [Page 186] then Sin and Death could never have entred into the World, but he Go­verns and doth good to his Creatures in such Wayes as are most suitable to their Natures. He governs Reasonable Creatures by Principles of Reason, as he doth the Material World by the necessary Laws of Matter, and Brute Creatures by the Instincts and Pro­pensities of Nature.’

This may pass for a Systeme of his Di­vinity, which how he will reconcile un­to the Doctrine of the Church of Eng­land in her Articles, she and he may do well to consider. But whatever he means by the Love of God alwayes determin­ed unto the same Object, it were an easie thing to prove beyond the reach of his Contradiction, that Persons are the Ob­jects of Gods Eternal Love as well as Things and Qualifications are of his Ap­probation, or that he loves some Per­sons with an Everlasting and Unchange­able Love, so as to preserve them from all ruining Evils, and so as they may be alwayes meet Objects of his approving [Page 187] Love unto his Glory. And whereas these things have been debated and disputed on all hands with much Learning and Diligence, our Author is a very happy man, if with a few such loose Expressi­ons as these repeated, he thinks to de­termine all the Controversies about Election and Effectual Grace, with Per­severance on the Pelagian side. The Hy­pothesis here maintained, that because God alwayes, and unchangeably ap­proves of what is Good in any, or of the Obedience of his Creatures, and dis­approves or hates sin, condemning it in his Law; that therefore he may love the same Person one day and hate him ano­ther, notwithstanding his Pretences that he is constant unto the Reason of his Love, will inevitably fall into one of these Conclusions; ether that God in­deed never loveth any Man be he who he will, or that he is changeable in his Love upon outward external Reasons as we are; and let him choose which he will own. In the mean time, such a Love of God towards Believers as shall al­wayes effectually preserve them meet [Page 288] Objects of his Love and Approbation, is not to be baffled by such trifling im­pertinencies. His next Reflection is on the Manner of Gods Operations in the Communication of Grace and Holiness, which he sayes, is not by an omnipotent and Irresistible Power, confirming his As­sertion by that Consideration, that then Sin and Death could never have entred into the World, which is resolved into another sweet supposition, That God must needs act the same Power of Grace towards all men, at all times, under each Covenant, whether he will or no. But this it is to be a happy Disputant, all things succeed well with such Per­sons which they undertake. And as to the Manner of the Operation of Grace, how far Grace it self may be said to be Omnipotent, and in its Operations irresisti­ble, I have fully declared there where he may oppose and refute it if he have any Mind thereunto. His present Attempt against it in those words, that God go­verns Reasonable Creatures by Principles of Reason, is so weak in this Case and impertinent, that it deserves no Conside­ration. [Page 189] For all the Operations of Divine Grace are suited unto the Rational Con­stitution of our Beings; neither was ever man so wild as to fancy any of them such as are inconsistent with, or do offer force unto the Faculties of our Souls in their Operations. Yea that which elevates, aids and assists our Rational Faculties in their Operations on and towards their proper Objects, which is the work of Efficacious Grace, is the principal Pre­servative of their Power and Liberty, and can be no way to their Prejudice. And we do moreover acknowledge, that those Proposals which are made in the Gospel unto our Reason, are eminently suited to excite and prevail with it unto its proper Use and Exercise, in comply­ance with them. Hence, although the Habit of Faith or Power of Believing, be wrought in us by the Holy Ghost, yet the Word of the Gospel is the Cause and Means of all its Acts, and the whole Obedience which it produceth. But if by governing Reasonable Creatures by the Principle of Reason, he intends that God deals no otherwise by his Grace with [Page 190] the Souls of men, but only by proposing Objective Arguments and Motives unto a Complyance with his Will, without internal Aids and Assistances of Grace, it is a gross piece of Pe [...]gianisme, de­structive of the Gospel, sufficiently con­futed elsewhere; and he may explain himself as he pleaseth.

His proceed is to transcribe some o­ther Passages taken out of my Book, here and there, in whose repetition he inserts some impertinent Exceptions. But the design of the whole is to state a Contro­versie as he calls it between us and them, or those whom he calleth They and We, whoever they be. And this upon the Occasion of my mentioning the fulness of Grace, Life and Righteousness that is in Christ, he doth in these Words, pag. 215. ‘They say, that these are the Per­sonal Graces of Christ as Mediator, which are inherent in him, and must be derived from his Person; we say, they signifie the Perfection and Ex­cellency of his Religion, as being the most perfect and compleat Declara­tion [Page 191] of the Will of God, and the most powerfull Method of the Divine Wis­dom, for the reforming of the World, as it prescribe [...] the only Righteousness which is [...] [...]ble to God, and di­rects us in the only way to Life and Immortality.’

I shall not absolutely accept of the Terms of this Controversie as to the state of it on our part proposed by him, and yet I shall not much vary from them. We say therefore, that Jesus Christ being full of all Grace, Excellencies and Per­fections, he communicates them unto us, in that Degree as is necessary for us, and in proportion unto his abundant Charity and Goodness towards us. And we Chri­stians as his Body or fellow Members of his Humane Nature, receive Grace and Mer­cy flowing from him to us. This state of the Controversie on our side I suppose he will not refuse, nor the terms of it; but will own them to be ours, though he will not it may be allow some of them to be Proper or Convenient. And that he may know who his They are, [Page 192] who are at this End of the Difference, he may be pleased to take notice, that these words are the whole and intire Pa­raphrase of Dr. Hammond on Joh. 1.16. the first Testimony he [...]rtakes to an­swer. And when this Author hath re­plyed to Mr. Hooker, Dr. Jackson and Him, and such other Pillars of the Church of England as concurre with them, it will be time enough for me to consider how I shall defend my self a­gainst him. Or if he will take the Con­troversie on our part in Terms more di­rectly Expressive of my Mind, It is the Person of Christ is the Fountain of all Grace to the Church, as he well observes my Judgement to be, and that from him all Grace and Mercy is derived unto us; And then I do maintain, that the They whom he opposeth, are not onely the Church of England, but the whole Ca­tholick Church in all Ages. Who the We are on the other hand, who reject this Assertion, and believe that all the Testi­monies concerning the fulness of Grace in Christ, and the Communication there­of unto us, do only declare the Excel­lency [Page 193] of his Religion, is not easie to be conjectured. For unless it be the People of Racow, I know not who are his Asso­ciates. And let him but name three Di­vines of any Reputation in the Church of England since the Reformation, who have given the least Countenance unto his Assertions, Negative or Positive, and I will acknowledge that he hath better Associates in his Profession, than as yet I believe he hath. But that Jesus Christ himself, God and Man in one Person, the Mediator between God and Man, is not a Fountain of Grace and Mercy to his Church, that there is no real internal Grace communicated by him, or deri­ved from him unto his Mystical Body, that the Fulness which is in him, or said to be in him, of Grace and Truth, of unsearchable Riches of Grace, &c. is no­thing but the Doctrine which he taught, as the most compleat and perfect Decla­ration of the Will of God, are Opinions that cannot be divulged under pretence of Authority, without the most perni­cious scandal to the present Church of England. And if this be the Mans Reli­gion, [Page 194] that this is all the Fulness we re­ceive from Christ, ‘A perfect Revela­tion of the Divine Will concerning the Salvation of Mankind, which con­tains so many excellent Promises that it may well be called Grace, and pre­scribes such a plain and simple Reli­gion, so agreeable to the natural No­tions of Good and Evil, that it may well be called Truth; that complying with its Doctrine, or yielding Obe­dience unto its Precepts, and believing the Promises which it gives, in our own strength, without any real Aid, Assistance or Communication of internal saving Grace from the Person of Jesus Christ, is our Righteousness before God, whereon and for which we are Justified, I know as well as he whence it came, and perhaps better than he whither it will go.’

The remaining Discourse of this Chap­ter consisteth of two parts; First an Attempt to disprove any Communica­tion of real internal Grace from the Lord Christ unto Believers for their Sanctification. Secondly, an Endeavour [Page 195] to refute the Imputation of his Righte­ousness unto us for our Justification. In the first he contends, that all the Ful­ness of Grace and Truth said to be in Christ, consists either in the Doctrine of the Gospel, or in the Largeness of his Church; In the latter, that Faith in Christ is nothing but Believing the Go­spel, and the Authority of Christ who revealed it, and by yielding Obedience whereunto, we are justified before God on the account of an internal inherent Righteousness in our selves. Now these are no small Undertakings; the first of them being expressely contrary to the sence of the Catholick Church in all Ages; For the Pelagians and the Soci­nians are by common Agreement exclu­ded from an Interest therein; And the latter of them contrary to the plain Con­fessions of all the Reformed Churches, with the constant Doctrine of this Church of England, and therefore we may justly expect that they should be managed with much strength of Argu­ment, and evident Demonstration. But the Unhappiness of it is, I will not say [Page 196] his, but ours, that these are not things which our Author as yet hath accustom­ed himself unto; and I cannot but say, that to my knowledge I never read a more weak loose and impertinent Dis­course, upon so weighty Subjects, in my whole Life before: He must have little to doe, who can afford to spend his Time in a particular Examination of it, unless it be in the Exposition of those places which are almost Verbatim tran­scribed out of Schlictingius. Besides, for the first Truth which he opposeth, I have confirmed it in a Discourse which I suppose may be made publick before this come to View, beyond what I ex­pect any sober Reply unto from him. Some Texts of Scripture that mention a Fulness in Christ, he chooseth out to manifest (to speak a Word by the way) that indeed they do not intend any such Fulness in Christ himself. And the first is Joh. 1.16. The Exposition where­of which he gives, is that of Schlictin­gius, who yet extends the import of the words beyond what he will allow. The Enforcement which he gives unto his [Page 197] Exposition by comparing the 14 and 17 Verses with the 16. is both weak and contradictory of it self. For the words of the 14 Verse, are The Word was made Flesh, and dwelt amongst us, and we beheld his Glory, the Glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth; It is evident beyond contradiction, that the Expression full of Grace and Truth is Exe­getical of his Glory, as the only begotten of the Father, which was the Glory of his Person, and not the Doctrine of the Gospel. And for the opposition that is made between the Law given by Moses, and the Grace and Truth which came by Jesus Christ, I shall yet rather adhere to the sense of the Ancient Church, and the most Eminent Doctors of it, which if he knows not it to be concerning the Effectual Communication of real renew­ing sanctifying Grace by Jesus Christ, there are [...]now who can inform him, rather than that woeful gloss upon them, his Doctrine is called Grace, because accompa­nyed with such Excellent Promises, and may well be called Truth, because so agree­able to the Natural Notions of Good and [Page 198] Evil; which is the Confession of the Pelagian unbelief; but these things are not my present concernment. For the latter part of his Discourse in his oppo­sition unto the Imputation of the Righte­ousness of Christ, as he doth not go about once to state or declare the sense wherein it is pleaded for, nor produceth any one of the Arguments wherewith it is con­firmed, and omitteth the mention of most of the particular Testimonies which declare and establish it; so as unto those few which he takes notice of, he expresly founds his Answers unto them in that woful Subterfuge, that if they are capa­ble of another Interpretation, or having another sense given unto them, then no­thing can be concluded from them to that purpose, by which the Socinians seek to shelter themselves from all the Testimonies that are given to his Deity and Satisfaction. But I have no con­cernment, as I said, either in his Opinions or his way of Reasoning, and do know that those who have so, need not desire a better Cause, nor an easier Adversary to deal withall.

[Page 199]In his third Section pag. 279. he enters upon his exceptions unto the Union of Believers unto Jesus Christ, and with great modesty at the entrance of his Discourse, tells us. First, how these men with whom he hath to doe, have fittted the Person of Christ unto all the wants and ne­cessities of the sinner, which yet if he de­nies God himself to have done, he is openly injurious unto his Wisdom and Grace. The very first Promise that was given concerning him, was that he should save sinners from all their wants, evils and miseries, that might, did, or could befall them by the entrance of sin. But thus it falls out, when men will be talking of what they doe not understand. Again, he adds, how he hath ‘Explained the Scripture Metaphors whereby the Uni­on between Christ and Christians is represented, but that these men in stead of explaining of those Metaphors, turn all Religion into an Allegory.’ But what if one should now tell him, that his Explanation of these Metaphors, is the most absurd and irrational, and ar­gues the most fulsome ignorance of the [Page 200] Mystery of the Gospel that can be ima­gined, and that on the other side those whom he traduceth, doe explain them unto the understanding and experience of all that believe, and that in a way suited and directed unto by the Holy Ghost himself, to farther their Faith, Obe­dience and Consolation; as far as I per­ceive, he would be at no small loss how to relieve himself under this censure. The first thing he begins withal, and wherein in the first place I fall under his Displea­sure, is about the Conjugal Relation be­tween Christ and Believers, which he treats of pag. 280. ‘As for Example (saith he) Christ is called an Husband, the Church his Spouse; and now all the invitations of the Gospel, are Christ's wooing and making love to his Spouse; and what other men call believing the Gospel of Christ, whereby we devote our selves to his Service, these men call that consent and contract which makes up the Marriage betwixt Christ and Be­lievers. Christ takes us for his Spouse, and we take Christ for our Husband, and that with all the Solemnities of [Page 201] Marriage, except the Ring, which is left out as an Antichristian Ceremony; Christ saying thus, This is that we will consent unto, that I will be for thee, and thou shalt be for me and not for another. Christ gives himself to the Soul with all his Excellencies, Righte­ousness, Preciousness, Graces, and Emi­nencies, to be its Saviour, Head and Husband, to dwell with it in this Ho­ly Relation; and the Soul likes Christ for his Excellencies, Graces, Suitable­ness, farr above all other Beloveds whatsoever, and accepts of Christ by the Will, for its Husband, Lord and Saviour. And thus the Marriage is compleated, and this is the Day of Christs Espousals, and of the Glad­ness of his Heart; and now follow all mutual conjugal Affections, which on Christs part consist in Delight, Valua­tion, Pity, Compassion, Bounty; on the Saints part, in Delight, Valuation, Chastity, Duty. But I have already corrected this fooling with Scripture Metaphors and Phrases.’

[Page 202]It might perhaps not unbecome this Author to be a little more sparing of his Correction, unless his Authority were more then it is, and his skill also in the mannagement of it. For at present those whom he attempts upon, are altogether insensible of any Effects of his severity. But whereas he seems much at a loss how to evidence his own Wisdom, any other way than by calling them Fools with whom he hath to do, it is sufficient to plead his Excuse. But what is it, that he is here so displeased at, as unfit for a Man of his Wisdom to bear withal, and therefore calls it Fooling? Is it that there is a conjugal Relation between Christ and the Church? That he is the Bride­groom and Husband of the Church, and that the Church is his Bride and Spouse? That he becomes so unto it by a volun­tarily Gracious Act of his Love, and that the Church enters into that Relation with him by their acceptance of him in that Relation, & voluntarily giving up them­selves unto him in Faith, Love, and Obe­dience suited thereunto? Is it that he loveth his Church and cherisheth it as an [Page 203] Husband? Or that the Church gives up it self in chaste and holy obedience unto him as her Spouse? Or is it my way and manner of expressing these things where­with he is so provoked? If it be the latter, I desire he would for his own satisfaction take notice, that I contemn his censures, and appeal to the Judgment of those who have more understanding and ex­perience in these things, than for ought I can discern by his Writings, he hath yet attained unto. If it be the for­mer, they are all of them so proved and confirmed from the Scripture in that very Discourse which he excepteth against, as that he is not able to answer or reply one serious word thereunto. Indeed to deny it, is to renounce the Gospel, and the Catholick Faith. It is therefore to no purpose for me here to go over again the Nature of this Relation between Christ and the Church, where­in really and truly it doth consist, what it is the Scripture instructeth us in there­by, what is that Love, Care, & Tenderness of Christ which it would have us thence to Learn, and what is our own duty with, [Page 204] respect thereunto, together with the Consolation thence arising; the whole of this work is already discharged in that discourse which these impertinent Cavils are raised against, and that suitably to the sence of the Church in all Ages, and of all sound Expositors of those very many places of Scripture which I have urged and insisted on to that purpose. Let him if he please a little lay aside the severity of his Corrections, and befooling of Men, and answer any Material passage in the whole discourse if he be able, or discover any thing in it not agreeable to the Ana­logy of Faith, or the sence of the Ancient Church, if he can. And though he seem both here and in some of his ensuing pa­ges, to have a particular [...] of what is cited or improved ou [...] of the Book of Canticles to this purpose; yet if he either deny, that that whole Book doth mystically express the conjugal Re­lation that is between Christ and his Church, with their mutual affections and delight in each other; or that the places particularly insisted on by me, are not duly applyed unto their proper inten­tion; [Page 205] I can at least confirm them both, by the Authority of such persons as whose Antiquity and Learning will exercise the utmost of his confidence in calling them Fools for their pains.

From hence for sundry Pages he is pleased to give me a little respite, whilest he diverts his severity unto another, un­to whose Will and Choyce what to doe in it, I shall leave his peculiar Concern, as knowing full well how easie it is for him to vindicate what he hath written on this Subject from his impertinent Ex­ceptions, if he please. In the mean time, if this Author supposeth to adde unto the Reputation of his Ingenuity and Mo­desty, by assaulting with a few pitifull Cavils a Book written with so much Learning, Judgement and Moderation, as that is which he excepts against, not daring in the mean time to contend with it in any thing of the Expository, or the Argumentative part of it, but only to discover a malevolent desire to obstruct the use which it hath been of, and may yet further be to the Church of God, I [Page 206] hope he will not find many Rivals in such a Design. For my part, I do sup­pose it more becoming Christian Mo­desty and Sobriety, where men have la­boured according to their Ability in the Explication of the Mysteries of Chri­stian Religion, and that with an avow­ed intention to promote Holiness and Gospel Obedience, to accept of what they have attained, wherein we can come unto a Complyance with them, then passing by whatever we cannot but ap­prove of, or are not able to disprove, to make it our Business to cavil at such Expressions as either we do not like, or hope to pervert and abuse to their disad­vantage.

Pag. 296. he returns again to my Dis­course, and fiercely pursues it for sun­dry Leafs▪ in such a Manner as becomes him, and is usual with him. That part of my Book which he deals withall, is from pag. 176. unto pag. 187. And if any person of Ingenuity and Judgement will be pleased but to peruse it, and to compare it with this mans Exceptions, [Page 207] I am secure it will need no farther Vin­dication; but as it is represented in his Cavilling way, it is impossible for any man either to conceive what is the true Design of my Discourse, or what the Arguments wherewith what I assert is confirmed, which he doth most unduely pretend to give an Account of. For he so chops and changes and alters at his pleasure, going backwards and forwards, and that from one thing to another, with­out any regard unto a Scholastick or In­genuous Debate of any thing that might be called a Controversie, meerly to seek out an Appearance of Advantage to vent his cavilling Exceptions, as no Judge­ment can Rationally be made of his whole Discourse, but only that he had a mind to have cast Aspersions on mine if he had known how. But such stuffe as it is, we must now take the Measure of it, and consider of what Use it may be. And first he quotes those words from my Book, ‘That Christ fulfilled all Righteousness as he was Mediator, and that whatever he did as Mediator he did it for them whose Mediator he [Page 208] was, or in whose stead, and for whose Good he executed the Office of a Mediator before God; and hence it is, that his compleat and perfect Obe­dience to the Law is reckoned to us. He addes, This is well said, if it were as well proved. And because this is a Matter of great consequence, I shall first examine those Reasons the Doctor alleadges to prove that Christ fulfilled all Righteousness as he was Mediator, in their stead whose Mediator he was.’

These Assertions are gathered up from several places in my Discourse; though pag. 182. is cited for them all. And if any one find himself concerned in these things, I may demand of him the La­bour of their perusal in my Book it self; and for those who shall refuse a Com­plyance with so reasonable a Request, I do not esteem my self obliged to ten­der them any farther satisfaction. How­ever I say again, that the Lord Christ fulfilled all Righteousness as Mediator, and that what he did as Mediator, he did it for them whose Mediator he was, [Page 209] or in whose stead and for whose Good he executed the Office of a Mediator before God. He sayes, it is well said, if it were as well proved. I say it is all proved in the Places where it is asserted, and that with such Testimonies and Argu­ments as he dares not touch upon. And although he pretends to examine the Reasons that I alleadge, to prove that Christ fulfilled all Righteousness as he was Mediator, in their stead whose Me­diator he was, yet indeed he doth not do so. For First, I say no such thing as he here feigns me to say, namely, that Christ as Mediator fulfilled all Righteous­ness in our stead, but only that Christ being the Mediator in our stead, fulfilled all Righteousness for us; which is ano­ther thing, though perhaps he un­derstands not the difference. Nor doth he so much as take notice of that Testi­mony which is immediately subjoyned unto the words he cites, in the Confir­mation of them. But he will disprove this Assertion, or at least manifest that it cannot be proved. And this he enters upon pag 297. ‘As for the first, we [Page 210] have some Reason to require good proof of this, since the Notion of a Mediator includes no such thing. A Mediator is one who interposeth be­tween two differing Partyes, to ac­commodate the Difference; but it was never heard of yet, that it was the Office of a Mediator to perform the Terms and Conditions himself. Moses was the Mediator of the first Cove­nant, Gal. 3.9. And his Office was to receive the Law from God, to deliver it to the People; to command them to observe those Rights and Sacrifices and Expiations which God had or­dained, but he was not to fulfill the Righteousness of the Law for the whole Congregation. Thus Christ is now the Mediator of a better Cove­nant, and his Office required, that he should preach the Gospel, which con­tains the Terms of Peace and Recon­ciliation between God and Men; and since God would not enter into Co­venant with Sinners, without the In­tervention of a Sacrifice, he dyes too, as a Sacrifice and Propitiation for the sins of the World.’

[Page 211]I yet suppose that he observed not the Inconsistencies of this Discourse, and therefore shall a little mind him of them, although I am no way concerned in it or them. For, First he tells us, That a Me­diator is one who interposeth between two differing Parties, to accommodate the Dif­ference; and then gives us an Instance in Moses, who is called a Mediator in re­ceiving the Law, but did therein no way interpose himself between differing Parties, to reconcile them. Secondly, from the Nature of the Mediation of Moses, he would describe the Nature of the Media­tion of Christ; which Socinian Fiction I could direct him to a sufficient Confuta­tion of; but that, Thirdly, He rejects it himself in his next words, that Christ as a Mediator was to dye as a Sacrifice, and Propitiation for the Sins of the World, which renders his Mediation ut­terly of another Kind and Nature than that of Moses. The mistake of this Dis­course is, that he supposeth that men do argue from the general Nature of the Office of a Mediator and the Work of [Page 212] Mediation in this Matter; when that which they do intend hence to prove, and what he intends to oppose, is from the special Nature of the Mediatory Office and Work of Christ, which is pe­culiar, and hath sundry things essentially belonging unto it, that belong not un­to any other kind of Mediation what­ever, whereof himself gives one signal Instance.

In his ensuing pages, he wonderfully perplexeth himself in gathering up sayings backward and forward in my discourse to make some advantage to his purpose, and hopes that he is arrived at no less success than a discovery of I know not what Contradictions in what I have assert­ed. As I said before, so I say again, that I refer the determination and judgement of this whole matter unto any one who will but once read over the discourse excepted against. But for his part, I greatly pity him, as really supposing him at a loss in the sense of what is yet plainly delivered. And I had rather continue to think so, than to be relieved [Page 213] by supposing him guilty of such gross prevarications, as he must be, if he under­stands what he treats about. Plainly I have shewed, that there was an especial Law of Mediation which Christ was sub­ject unto, as the Commandment of the Father. That he should be incarnate, that he should be the King, Priest, and Pro­phet of his Church, that he should bear our Iniquities, make his Soul an offering for sin, and give his life a ransom for many; were the principal parts of this Law. The whole of it I have lately ex­plained in my Exercitations unto the se­cond part of the Exposition on the Epistle to the Hebrews, whereon if he please he may exercise and try his Skill, in a way of opposition. This Law our Lord Jesus Christ did not yield obedience to in our stead, as though we had been obliged originally unto the duties of it, which we neither were nor could be; although what he suffered penally in any of them was in our stead, without which consideration, he could not have righte­ously suffered in any kind. And the fol­lowing trivial Exception of this Author [Page 214] about the Obligation on us to lay down our Lives for the Bretheren, is meet for him to put in; seeing we are not obliged so to dye for any one, as Christ dyed for us. Was Paul crucifyed for you? But secondly, Christ our Mediator, and as Mediator was obliged unto all that obe­dience unto the Moral and all other Laws of God, that the Church was obliged unto; and that which I have asserted hereon is, that the Effects of the former obedience of Christ are communicated unto us, but the latter obedience it self is imputed unto us, and have proved it by those Arguments which this Man does not touch upon. All this is more fully, clearly, and plainly declared in the dis­course it self, and I have only represen­ted so much of it here again, that it might be evident unto all how, frivo­lous are his Exceptions. It is therefore to no purpose for me to transcribe again the Quotations out of my Book, which he filleth up his pages with, seeing it is but little in them which he excepteth against, and whoever pleaseth may con­sult them at large in the places from [Page 215] whence they are taken. Or, because it is not easie to find them out singly, they are so picked up and down backwards and forwards, curtailed and added to at pleasure, any one may in a very little space of time read over the whole unto his full satisfaction. I shall therefore only consider his exceptions, and hast unto an end of this fruitless trouble wherein I am most unwillingly engaged by this man's unsuspected Disingenuity and Igno­rance.

After the Citation of some Passages, he adds pag. 301. ‘This methinks is very strange, that what he did as Me­diator, is not imputed unto us, but what he did not as our Mediator; but as a Man subject to the Law that is imputed to us, and reckoned as if we had done it, by reason of his being our Mediator. And it is as strange to the full that Christ should do whatever was requi­red of us, by vertue of any Law when he was neither Husband, nor Wife, nor Father, Merchant, nor Tradesman, Sea-man nor Soldier, Captain or Lieu­tenant; [Page 216] much less a Temporal Prince and Monarch. And how he should discharge the Duties of these Relations for us, which are required of us by certain Laws, when he never was in any of these Relations, and could not possibly be in all, is an Argument which may Exercise the subtilty of School­men, and to them I leave it.’

It were greatly to be desired that he would be a little more heedful, and with attention read the Writings of other Men, that he might understand them be­fore he comes to make such a bluster in his opposition to them. For I had told him plainly, That though there was a peculiar Law of Mediation, whose Acts and Duties we had no obligation unto, yet the Lord Christ even as Mediator was obliged unto, and did personally per­form all Duties of Obedience unto the Law of God, whereunto we were subject and obliged, pag. 181. Sec. 14. And it is strange to apprehend how he came to imagine that I said he did it not as our Me­diator, but as a Private Man. That which [Page 217] possibly might cast his thoughts into this disorder was, that he knew not that Christ was made a Private Man as Media­tor, which yet the Scripture is sufficiently express in. For the following Obje­ctions that the Lord Christ was neither Husband nor Wife, Father nor Trades­man, &c. wherein yet possibly he is out in his Account, I have frequently smiled at it when I have met with it in the Soci­nians, who are perking with it at every turn; but here it ought to be admired. But yet without troubling those Bug­bears the School-men, he may be pleased to take notice, that the Grace of Duty and Obedience in all Relations is the same, the Relations administring only an External Occasion unto its Peculiar Ex­ercise. And what our Lord Jesus Christ did in the fulfilling of all Righteous­ness in the Circumstances and Relations wherein he stood, may be imputed to us for our Righteousness in all our Re­lations, every Act of Duty and Sin in them respecting the same Law and Prin­ciple. And hereon all his following Ex­ceptions for sundry pages, wherein he [Page 218] seems much to have pleased himself, do fall to nothing, as being resolved into his own Mistakes, if he doth not preva­ricate against his Science and Conscience. For the summe of them all he gives us in these words, pag. 304. That Christ did those things as Mediator, which did not belong to the Laws of his Mediation; which in what sence he did so, is fully explain­ed in my Discourse. And I am apt to guess, that either he is deceived, or doth design to deceive in expressing it by the Laws of his Mediation, which may comprize all the Laws which as Media­tor he was subject unto; and so it is most true, that he did nothing as Media­tor, but what belonged unto the Laws of his Mediation. But most false, that I have affirmed that he did. For I did di­stinguish between that peculiar Law which required the publick Acts of his Mediation, and those other Laws which as Mediator, he was made subject unto. And if he neither doth nor will under­stand these things when he is told them, and they are proved unto him beyond what he can contradict, I know no rea­son [Page 219] why I should trouble my self with one that contends with his own Mor­moes, though he never so lewdly or loudly call my Name upon them. And whereas I know my self sufficiently sub­ject unto Mistakes and Slips, so when I actually fall into them, as I shall not desire this mans Forgiveness, but leave him to exercise the utmost of his severi­ty, so I despise his ridiculous attempts to represent Contradictions in my Dis­course, pag. 306. All pretences where­unto are taken from his own Ignorance or feigned in his Imagination. Of the like Nature are all his ensuing Cavils; I desire no more of any Reader, but to peruse the places in my Discourse which he carpeth at, and if he be a Person of ordinary understanding in these things, I declare that I will stand to his Cen­sure and Judgement, without giving him the least farther Intimation of the sence and Intendment of what I have written, or Vindication of its Truth. Thus where­as I had plainly declared that the way whereby the Lord Christ in his own Per­son became obnoxious and subject unto [Page 220] the Law of Creation, was by his own voluntary antecedent Choyce, other­wise than it is with those who are inevi­tably subject unto it by Natural Gene­ration under it, as also that the Hypo­statical Union in the first instant where­of the Humane Nature was fitted for Glory, might have exempted him from the Oblgation of any outward Law whatever, whence it appears that his consequential Obedience, though Ne­cessary to himself, when he had sub­mitted himself unto the Law (as Loe I come to doe thy Will O God) was design­edly for us, he miserably perplexeth himself, to abuse his credulous Readers with an Apprehension that I had talked like himself, at such a rate of Nonsence as any one in his Wits must needs de­spise. The meaning and summe of my Discourse he would have to be this. Pag. 308. That Christ had not been bound to live like a man, had he not been a Man; with I know not what futulous Cavils of the like nature; when all that I in­sisted on, was the Reason why Christ would be a Man, and live like a Man, [Page 221] which was that we might receive the Benefit and Profit of his Obedience as he was our Mediator. So in the close of the same wise Harangue, from my say­ing, That the Lord Christ by vertue of the Hypostatical Union might be ex­empted as it were, and lifted above the Law, which yet he willingly submitted unto, and in the same instant wherein he was made of a Woman, was made also under the Law, whence Obedience unto it became Necessary unto him, the man feigns I know not what Contra­dictions in his Fancy, whereof there is not the least Appearance in the words unto any one who understands the Mat­ter expressed in them. And that the Assumption of the Humane Nature into Union with the Son of God, with sub­mission unto the Law thereon to be per­formed in that Nature, are distinct parts of the Humiliation of Christ, I shall prove when more serious Occasion is administered unto me.

In like manner he proceeds to put in his Exceptions unto what I discoursed [Page 222] about the Laws that an innocent man is liable unto. For I said, that God never gave any other Law to an Innocent per­son, but onely the Law of his Creation, with such Symbolical precepts as might be instances of his obedience thereunto. Something he would find fault with, but well knows not what, and therefore turmoiles himself to give countenance unto a putid Cavil. He tells us, ‘That it is a great favour that I acknowledge pag. 310. that God might adde what Symbolls he pleased unto the Law of Creation.’ But the childishness of these impertinencies is shamefull. To whom I pray is it a favour, or what doth the man intend by such a senseless scoff? Is there any word in my whole discourse intimating that God might not in a state of Innocency give what positive Laws he pleased unto innocent persons, as means and wayes to express that obedi­ence which they owed unto the Law of Creation? The task wherein I am en­gaged is so fruitless, so barren of any good use in contending with such imper­tinent effects of malice and ignorance, [Page 223] that I am weary of every word I am forced to add in the pursuit of it, but he will yet have it that an ‘Inno­cent person such as Christ was absolute­ly, may be obliged for his own sake to the observation of such Laws and institutions as were introduced by the occasion of sin, and respected all of them the personal sins of them that were obliged by them; which if he can believe he is at Liberty for me to perswade as many as he can to be of his mind, whil'st I may be left unto my own Liberty and Choice, yea to the necessi­ty of my mind in not believing contra­dictions.’ And for what he adds that ‘I know those who conceit themselves above all forms of External Worship, I must say to him that at present personal­ly I know none that doe so, but fear that some such there are, as also others who despising not only the ways of External Worship appointed by God himself, but also the Laws of internal Faith and Grace, doe satisfie themselves in a Custo­mary observance of Forms of Worship of their own devising.’

[Page 224]In his next attempt he had been sin­gular, and had spoken something which had looked like an Answer to an Argu­ment, had he well laid the Foundation of his procedure. For, that Position which he designeth the Confutation of, is thus laid down by him as mine, ‘There can be no reason assigned of Christ's Obe­dience unto the Law, but only this, that he did it in our stead; whereas my words are, That the end of the Active Obedience of Christ cannot be assigned to be that he might be fit for his Death and Oblation.’ And hereon what is afterwards said against this particular End, he interprets as spoken against all other Ends whatever, instancing in such as are every way consistent with the Im­putation of his Obedience unto us, which could not be, had the only End of it been for himself to fit him for his Death and Oblation. And this wilful mistake is sufficient to give occasion to combat his own. Imaginations for two or three pages together. pag. 314. He pretends un­to the recital of an Argument of mine [Page 225] for the Imputation of the Righteousness of Christ with the like pretence of at­tempting an answer unto it. But his de­sign is not to mannage any controversie with me, or against me, but as he phra­seth it, to expose my mistakes. I cannot therefore justly expect from him so much as common Honesty will require, in case the real handling of a Controversie in Religion had been intended. But his way of procedure so far as I know and understand may be best suited unto his design. In this place he doth neither fairly nor truly report my words, nor take the least notice of the Confirmation of my Argument, by the removal of Objections whereunto it seemed liable, nor of the Reasons and Testimonies whereby it is farther proved; but taking out of my Discourse what expressions he pleaseth, putting them together with the same Rule, he thinks he hath suffi­ciently exposed my mistakes, the thing he aimed at. I have no more concernment in this matter, but to refer both him and the Reader to the places in my Discourse reflected on; Him truly to report and [Page 226] Answer my Arguments if he be able, and the Reader to judge as he pleaseth be­tween us. And I would for this once desire of him, that if he indeed be con­cerned in these things, he would peruse my Discourse here raved at, and deter­mine in his own Mind, whether I confi­dently affirm what is in Dispute (that is, what I had then in Dispute; for who could divine so long agoe what a Dough­ty Disputant this Author would by this time sprout up into) and that this goes for an Argument, or that he impudently affirms me so to do, contrary unto his Science and Conscience, if he had not quite pored out his Eyes before he came to the End of a page or two in my Book. And for the state of the Question here proposed by him, let none expect that upon so slight an occasion I shall divert unto the discussion of it. When this Au­thor or any of his Consorts in design, shall Soberly and Candidly without scoffing or railing, in a way of Argu­ment or Reasoning becoming Divines, and Men of Learning, answer any of those many Writings which are extant against [Page 227] that Socinian Justification which he here approves and contends for, or those written by the Divines of the Church of England on the same subject, in the proof of what he denyes, and confutation of what he affirms, they may deserve to be taken notice of in the same Rank and Order with those with whom they asso­ciate themselves. And yet I will not say but that these cavilling Exceptions giving a sufficient Intimation of what some Men would be at, if Ability and Opportunity did occurr, may give occasion also un­to a renewed Vindication of the Truths opposed by them, in a way suited unto the Use and Edification of the Church, in due time and Season.

From pag. 185. of my Book, he retires upon his new Triumph unto pag. 176. as hoping to hook something from thence, that might contribute unto the farthe­rance of his Ingenious Design, although my Discourse in that place have no Con­cernment in what he treateth about. But let him be heard to what purpose he pleaseth. Thus therefore he proceeds [Page 228] pag. 315. ‘The Dr. makes a great flou­rish with some Scripture Phrases, that there is almost nothing that Christ hath done, but we are said to do it with him, we are Crucifyed with him, we are Dead with him, Buried with him, Quickned together with him; In the actings of Christ there is by Vertue of the Compact between him as Mediator and the Father, such an assured Foun­dation laid, that by Communication of the Fruit of these Actings unto those in whose stead he performed them, they are said in the participation of these Fruits to have done the same things with him. But he is quite out in the reason of these Expressions, which is not that we are accounted to do the same things which Christ did; for the things here mentioned belong to the peculiar Office of his Mediation, which he told us before were not rec­koned as done by us, but because we do somethings like them; our dying to Sin is a Conformity to the Death of Christ, and our walking in newness of Life, is our Conformity to his Resur­rection, [Page 229] and the consideration of the Death and Resurrection of Christ, is very powerful to engage us to dye to Sin, and to rise unto a new Life; and this is the true Reason of these Phrases.’

Any man may perceive from what he is pleased here himself to report of my words, that I was not treating about the Imputation of the Righteousness of Christ, which he is now inveighing against. And it will be much more evi­dent unto every one that shall cast an eye on that discourse; but the design of this confused rambling I have been forc'd now frequently to give an account of, and shall if it be possible trouble the Reader with it no more. The present difference between us, which he was ambitious to represent, is only this, that whereas it seems he will allow that those expressions of our being crucified with Christ, dead with him, buried with him, quickned with him, doe intend nothing but only our doing of something like unto that which Christ did, I doe adde more­over, that we doe those things by the [Page 230] vertue and efficacy of the Grace which is communicated unto us from what the Lord Christ so did and acted for us, as the Mediator of the New Covenant, whereby alone we partake of their pow­er, communicate in their vertue, and are conformed unto him as our Head; where­in I know I have, as the Testimony of the Scripture, so the Judgement of the Catholick Church of Christ on my side, and am very little concerned in the cen­sure of this person that I am quite out in the reason of those expressions.

For what remains of his Discourse so far as I am concerned in it, it is made up of such Expositions of some Texts of Scripture, as issue for the most part in a direct contradiction to the Text it self, or some express passages of the Context. So doth that of Gal. 4.4, 5. which he first undertakes to speak unto, giving us nothing but what was first invented by Crellius in his Book against Grotius, and is almost translated Verbatim out of the Comment of Schlicting. upon the place; the remainder of them corruptly Soci­nianising, [Page 231] against the sence of the Church of God. Hereunto are added such piti­full Mistakes, with Reflexions on me for distinguishing between Obeying and Suffering, (which Conceit he most pro­foundly disproves by shewing that one may Obey in Suffering, and that Christ did so, against him who hath written more about the Obedience of Christ in Dying, or laying down his Life for us, than he seems to have read on the same subject, as also concerning the Ends and Uses of his Death, which I challenge him and all his Companions to answer and disprove if they can) as I cannot satisfie my self in the farther Considera­tion of, no not with that speed and haste of Writing now used, which nothing could give countenance unto, but the meanness of the Occasion, and unprofi­tableness of the Argument in hand. Wherefore, this being the manner of the Man, I am not able to give an Account unto my self or the Reader of the mis­pence of more Time in the Review of such Impertinencies; I shall adde a few things and conclude.

[Page 232]First, I desire to know, whether this Author will abide by what he asserts, as his own Judgement, in opposition unto what he puts in his Exception against in my Discourse, pag. 320. All the Influence which the Sacrifice of Christs Death, and the Righteousness of his Life, that I can find in the Scripture is, that to this we owe the Covenant of Grace; that is, as he afterwards explains himself, ‘That God would for the sake of Christ enter in­to a New Covenant with Mankind, wherein he promiseth Pardon of Sin and Eternal Life to them that Believe and Obey the Gospel.’ I leave him herein to his second thoughts, for as he hath now express'd himself, there is no Reconciliation of his Assertion to com­mon sence, or the fundamental Prin­ciples of Christian Religion. That God entred into the New Covenant Originally only for the sake of those things whereby that Covenant was ra­tified and confirmed, and that Christ was so the Mediator of the New Cove­nant, that he dyed not for the Re­demption [Page 233] of Transgressions under the first Covenant, whereby the whole Con­sideration of his Satisfaction and of Re­demption properly so called, is exclu­ded, that there is no Consideration to be had of his Purchase of the Inheri­tance of Grace and Glory, with many other things of the same importance, and that the Gospel or the Doctrine of the Gospel is the New Covenant, which is only a perspicuous Declaration of it, are things that may become these New Sons of the Church of England, which the Elder Church would not have borne withall.

Secondly, The Reader may take no­tice, that in some other Discourses of mine now published, which were all of them finished before I had the Advan­tage to peruse the Friendly and Judi­cious Animadversions of this Author, he will find most of the Matters which he excepts against, both cleared, proved and vindicated. And that those Prin­ciples which he directs his Opposition against, are so established, as that I nei­ther [Page 234] expect nor fear any such Assault upon them from this sort of Men, as be­cometh a serious Debate on things of this Nature.

Thirdly, That I have confined my self in the Consideration of this Authors Discourse unto what I was Personally concerned in, without looking at or ac­cepting of the Advantages which offer­ed themselves of reflecting upon him, either as unto the Matter of his Discour­ses, or unto the Manner of Expressing himself in its Delivery. For, (besides that I have no mind, and that for many Rea­sons, to enter voluntarily into any Con­test with this man) the Mistakes which he hath apparently been led unto by Ig­norance or Prejudice, his fulsome Er­rors against the Scripture, the Doctrine of the Ancient Church, and the Church of England, are so multiplyed and scat­tered throughout the whole, that a Discovery and Confutation of them will scarce deserve the expence of Time that must be wasted therein, untill a more plausible Countenance or strenuous De­fence [Page 235] be given unto them. And as for what he aimeth at, I know well enough where to find the whole of it, handled with more Civility and appearance of Reason, and therefore when I am free or resolved to treat concerning them, I shall doe so in the Consideration of what is taught by his Authors and Masters, and not of what he hath borrowed from them.

Fourthly, I shall assure the Reader, that as a Thousand of such trifling Cavil­lers or Revilers, as I have had some to deal withall, shall neither discourage nor hinder me in the remaining service which I may have yet to fulfill in the Patience of God for the Church of Christ, and Truth of the Gospel; nor it may be occasion me any more to divert in the least unto the Consideration of what they whisper or clamour, unless they are able to betake themselves unto a more sober and Christian way of hand­ling things in Controversie; so if they will not or dare not foregoe this sup­posed Advantage of Reproaching the [Page 236] Doctrine of Nonconformists, under which Pretence they openly and as yet secure­ly scorn and deride them, when they are all of them the avowed Doctrines of all the Reformed Churches, and of this of England in particular; and if they think it not meet to oppose them­selves and Endeavours, unto those Wri­tings which have been composed and published professedly in the Declara­tion and Defence of the Truth scoffed at and impugned by them, but choose rather to exercise their Skill and Anger on Passages rent out of Practical Dis­courses, accommodated in the Manner of their Delivery unto the Capacity of the Community of Believers, as it is fit they should be; I doe suppose that at one time or other, from one hand or another, they may meet with some such Discourse concerning Justification, and the Imputation of the Righteousness of Christ, as may give them Occasion to be quiet, or to Exercise the best of their Skill and Industry in an Opposition unto it; As many such there are al­ready extant, which they wisely take [Page 237] no Notice of, but only rave against Occasional Passages in Discourses of a­nother Nature; unless they Resolve on no Occasion to foregoe the Shelter they have betaken themselves unto.

FINIS.

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