A LETTER TO Mr RICHARD BAXTER Occasioned by several injurious Refle­xions of His upon a Treatise entituled. Justificatio Paulina.

For the better Information of his weake or Credulous Readers.


Prov. 18. 17. He that is first in his own Cause seemeth Just: but his neighbour cometh and SEARCHETH Him.

OXFORD. Printed by Hen. Hall: for John Wilmot, Ann. D. 1675.

[Page]Mr BAXTER,

I have latelie from three several publicke mes­sengers of yours (the later treading still up­on the heels of the former) received your expected Salutations: all of them much resem­bling Ahimaaz, both for the swiftness of their pace, and that they had nothing to say when 2. Sam. 18. 19. they came. The two first indeed approached me as if they had a mind to lye Incognito's, for they took up their lodgings where none would enquire for them; the one in a little corner of a Preface to Mr Danvers, the other in the wide open field of your Catholicke Theologie, where yet he stood plac'd so cunningly, that a man might traverse about three parts of that large Champian, before he could gaine the Satisfaction to see him. Your 3d. is of a freer Conversation, Preface to two Disput. about Orig. Sin. and though He brought the face of warr with him, and seem'd to threaten much, yet I found him civil and good natur'd, and he went off fairely without doing any harme. In your Pre­face to Mr. Danvers, I am beholding to you for the trouble you have sav'd me of transcribing that very little I have of your new Original Sin. vz: [Page 2] Ʋnum vero praetereundum non censeo &c. p. 2. only I beg your leave to English it for the sake of your un-latine Readers, and thus it sounds. One thing I judge ought not to be wav'd, which is a novelty a­mongst the newest (though it may seem a little more remote from the Argument before Ʋs.) that the Pre­facer (I know not by what fortunate Mercury) has found Ʋs another Original Sin of a much later Date then that which claims from Adam. O blind Divines who ever went before! This is my charge, and the whole of it to a word, which I intreat the Reader (for his better satisfaction) to keep carefully in his mind.

Now, Sr, that I doe not praevaricate or mis­report you in a syllable, your Selfe I doubt not will be my Compurgator in your PREFACE to a Treatise of another mans concerning the nature, Ends, and Difference of the two Covenants. Your words are these, most writers, if not most Christians, doe greatly darken the sacred Doctrine by over-looking the Interest of children in the Actions of their neerer Parents, and thinke they participate of no Guilt, and suffer for NO ORIGINAL SIN but ADAMS ONLY. Any that is not blind (and understands the langauge) may see I fasten upon the last clause alone, the new Original SIN, I meddle with no other INTERESTS of Children; this is the All of my charge, A new or (as you pleasantly call it) a SECONDARY Original Sin, that is, a secondary first of All.

Now let us compare your Answer, which in [Page 3] the same Preface is clearly to this effect, that I charge you only for holding some guilt of children in their neerer Parents sins. For although in the close of that period you shuffle in your secondary Original Sin, that comes in but by the By, not as any words of mine but as an Ex abundanti, a private whisper of your own, where it would not by All be so easily minded as any Part, much less as the whole of my Charge.

I appeale now to your selfe, whether this was done as a faire ingenuous Antagonist, or to use your own words, as an Impartial Friend of sacred Dedic. before the Pref of Orig. Sin. Truth who is above the Dominion of Carnal Interest, faction, and false prejudice; and is cur'd of the malady of praesidence, hasty Judging &c. Will any unby­ass'd Reader think you have done me right here, and not rather be tempted to beleive you sought a Quarrel? you should have prov'd that some be­fore your selfe had own'd another Original Sin, and that under the very terms (for I doe not de­sire you should give your self the trouble to make any Consequences for my use) instead of which you present me with some Interest of chil­dren in their Parents Sins, which neither I nor any Body Else I know off denies as to the thing, though as to the Extent and other circumstances all are not agreed, and you may in that enjoy your Opinion for me. Sr, Austin has a sharp re­buke for him, qui verba supprimit quaestionis, and bidds us have an eye to him, but I for­beare.

You goe on there to tell your Reader (I would hope not to expose my Ignorance) I know not your new Original Sin was Austins judgment, and many other antient and modern writers: wherein you have done me but right, for indeed I did not know it, and despaire I ever shall; but more of that anon.

You might have spar'd your objecting the Lita­ny against me with i'ts flourish, that I am less for it then you, which is another peece of newes to me. I admire the mystery so much the more for the no­table proofe you have annexed to perswade me and others to beleive it, viz: because you pray hearti­ly, Remember not Lord our offences &c. Good Sr what would you have me to subsume? I can find nothing but this hard chapter; that I am not so happy as to pray so heartily &c. Ergo you are more for the Litany then I. Who will be able to stand before you, if you fight with such weapons as these? I have heard of some weake or unquiet men, whose fancies or ferments have found in this passage of the Litany a way to Purgatory, but never any till now that discovered by it the Nova Atlantis of a new Original Sin. Why was I not as well attaqu'd with the second Commandment? what need of going any farther?

In the close of the same To Mr Dan­vers. Preface you promise us fuller satisfaction to both these points, Justifica­tion by works, and the Secondary Original Sin. Truly, Sr, I crave your pardon, if I thinke your fullest Satisfaction would be a full entire Retracta­tion [Page 5] of both; of the latter, as you give it the new stamp of another Original Sin; farther I am not engag'd at present against it. 'Tis a pity but those good words of yours should be turn'd into Real Actions, where you profess Appeal to the Light. p. 4. your readiness to buy the Truth at a dearer Rate then the Recantation of your Error. O for more Austins, more Exemplars of that admirable modesty, which enamell'd all the Gold in his other excellent writings: more of that ge­nerous Love to sacred Truth, which should make us lay all our poor concerns and reputations at it's feet, and value one Euge of a good Conscience above all the shouts and acclama­tions of a Triumph. But alas, Sr, how faintly such heroicke selfe-abasements are to be expe­cted your selfe have taught us in remarkea­able words.

I like them so well, that I hope the Reader will not think them unworthy my transcribing. If (say you) you have a Friend that errs, whose recovery you desire, be sure you write not a Con­futation Disput. 5. of Right to sacra­ments. p. 481. 482. of his Errours, for ordinarily that's the way to fasten them in him, and to make him worse. Some will think this is a hard Censure to pass upon learned Godly Men. But there's no rea­soning against Common unquestionable Experience. Of all the Cartloads of Controversial writings that swarm in the world how many can you name that con­vinc'd the Antagonist, and brought him to a Re­cantation? And anon, Assoon as you speak to men in [Page 6] the hearing of the World, they presently apprehend their Reputation to be so engaged, that they are ex­cited to defend it with all their might, and instead of an impartial Consideration of your Arguments, and a rea­dy Entertainment of the Truth, they bend their Wits to study how to make good what once they deliver'd, THAT THE WORLD MAY NOT THINKE THEM SO WEAKE AS TO HAVE MISTAKEN. Nay, they who doe PROFESS TO LOVE THE TRUTH as Truth, yet this SELFE is so near them and so potent with them &c. Words full of truth with the sad experience of all Ages to confirm them: and you that have given us the Ad­viso have a particular obligation to observe them punctually for your selfe upon all occasions. But, Sr, to deal plainly and Christianly with you, 'Tis not only my own fear, but of divers knowing per­sons, who pretend (at least) to be your very Friends, and to have a fair Respect for your Parts and sincerity, that you fall too near the reach of the description, you here give of others. I have a particular reason to fear it. A great Outcry you have made of Me, as chargeing you with things you have retracted; which, if true, I hope is no inexcusable crime on my part, for I'm sure it will amount to no more than a fault of unwillfull Igno­rance. I knew not it was my duty to read all the books your fruitfull pen has brought into the world, much less to look for Retractations, where I had no Encouragement to Expect, nor any In­scription of your numerous Treatises hinted the [Page 7] least promise of so noble a self-denial; and let me assure you I have not been negligent in my Enqui­ries of those that might know better than my self, what you have retracted: All I have met with pro­fess to be as ignorant as my self of this. Your ve­ry late Preface to the Discourse of the two Cove­nants shews us little of Retractation.

And to come closer to you, if I have wrong'd you in this matter (as you allwaies charge me) what's the reason you have not hitherto directed us to the particulars of your Recantation, what, when, where? but throw a general roving Accusa­tion against me without offer of proof. You di­rect me indeed to a small Book above twenty years ago (as you say) retracted, Preface to the two dis­put. of Orig. Sin, p. 44. I suppose you mean your Aphorisms (the most scholar-like and elabo­rate (though erroneous) Book in Controversy you ever compos'd, excepting it's numerous Ora­cular Dictates) and thence Appeal especially to your Disputations about Justification, and some o­thers. But truly, Sr, I cannot trudge up and down to every place you would send me, my legs at pre­sent are too weak. Had you a mind to satisfy your Reader, what would it have cost you to save him a labour with one point of your finger to the particular places? All I can pick up of any seem­ing Retractation (where I have happen'd to be) is that you some where say (after your wary delibe­rate manner) that works are necessary AT LEAST to the Continuation of Our justification. But, Sr, AT [Page 8] LEAST sounds no alteration of Judgement but an Haesitation, or suspension at most: nor have you me for your Antagonist in that (sano sensu) in the known Reformed notion. Our Question, Sr, with your good leave (disguise and darken it as you please) is not what is necessary to the justifi­ed Person, or to the continuance of his Justification, but what to the primary Justification it's self, in which if you disclaim your Works, the Controver­sy will shrink into a narrow point, and then you may in time be oblig'd to unravell all your en­tangled Threds of Justification again, & come to the Penance of speaking as your Neighbours doe.

Only you cannot blame me if I wish you would goe about your farther explanations to some bet­ter purpose than hitherto you have done, that you would not raise clamours of being grosly misrepor­ted by me, for I doubt all the gross Misreports will come to some other door at last, that you would make good your smooth suffestion, that such Tea­chers as oppose you think that Agreeing Men (in P. 7. these points) are not agreed: In short that in a few plain undisguis'd words, you would let us know where We are agreed, and where not, and deli­ver your Reader from the Jealousy you have rais'd that there is no such Agreement. So that if the fear be just and true He may not be surpriz'd; if false he may give it over. Si verus, Ne oppri­mar, sin falsus ut tandem aliquando timere desi­nam. Cic. in Catil.

I have done with your first Attacque, and pro­ceed to the next in your CATHOLIQUE THEOLOGY, fol. 255. There it seems you are pleas'd again not only to arraign and con­demn me for my Doctrine, but to put me also in the Cubb with divers mean and contemptible Ma­lefactours, such as wild Saltmarsh, P. Hobson, and the Marrow of modern Divinity, whose Author (out of great kindness no doubt to some body) you industriously tell us in the margin, is repor­ted to have been an honest Barber; a note which many think you might have spar'd as well as any that ever traded so busily in Controversies of Religion; Thus you think fit to mark out my poor name to Posterity.

But, good Sr, one word with you before we goe off from this suggestion so full of Truth and Civility. Had you no other names in your memory, had you not many scores of greatest Eminence and repute in the Christian World of the same Judgement with me, that you could find no better Fellowes for me then such as these? Know you not I speak the same thing with all the Reformed Churches (where they have occasion) and generally with all the Old Reformed Wri­ters? This sure would be too gross an Imputa­tion of Ignorance to a Person of your Parts, Fame, Industry and Reading. Do you know it? Then you have made me Reparation enough by joining me in that very scandalous Reflexion with such numerous Worthies as those. For shame [Page 10] let it be no longer Dr. Tully, Saltmarsh, &c. But the Church of England with all the rest of the Reformed, and their severall old renown'd Writers; these be your Hobsons, your Saltmarshes, and your Barber-Scriblers. I am heartily sorry you have forc'd me to be so plain with you; had not such names and so many of them been embarqu'd with mine in that odious Insinuation I could have turn'd it into meer Divertisement (for otherwise it could deserve no farther no­tice) But as it is you may well allow me to question by what Spirit you thrust that Para­graph into your Book, and to believe no protesta­tion Contra Factum.

I must not wave the Character you there give your Readers of me and the Honest Barber &c. viz. where you admonish them that such Wri­ters in their learned net-work Treatises (being wise or Orthodox overmuch, entangled and confounded by incongruous notions of man's Invention) are liker to entangle and confound &c. What learned Net-work Treatises some of those names were ever guil­ty off, or what fowl they caught by their Net­work but Widgeons &c. I know not. But let any man seriously peruse your own controver­sial writings in these points, and 'tis not impro­bable but (as in Anselm's dream) he will find all overspread with Nets, so many Windings in and out, off and on, this way and that way, such clouds of Novel Distinctions, Preambles, Limita­tions, &c. such wheelings and lines of Circum­vallation [Page 11] at a modest distance about the Quaesti­on, and faint uncertain Approaches to it, that to my knowledge divers who wish you well have sadly complain'd of it, and profest your fuller Ex­planations (as you call them) have but bewil­dred them more, and sent them away with less sa­tisfaction than they came unto them. You will not, I hope, account me your Enemy for telling you the truth, and yet, so I may do you good, pass what judgement of me you please, it matters little.

And now, Sir, to your large PREFACE before your Disput. of Original Sin, all which you have frankly bestow'd on me, but with such an unfortunate mistake, we are neither of us the better for it, I have no profit, and you no credit by it. For though you charitably intend something for my satisfaction, 'tis all lost in your speaking nothing to the Question. You may remember, Sr, (what stands visible to every eye) that I charg'd you on­ly with your new Original Sin, underiv'd from Adam, unknown, unheard off before in the Christian World, and which therefore I thought well deserv'd the Exclamation, which so pains you, O caecos aniè The­ologos &c. To this your Preface has not one word to the purpose, nothing in all your quotations, that I laid to your charge, of which more a­non.

But because you give us Preface upon Preface, a medley of things that have no great cohaerence with your main design (to smooth, I suppose, [Page 12] your way to some of your more Innocent, but eredulous Readers) I must attend your Mo­tions. P. 3.

And first of all I cannot but approve your Note concerning Good Intentions, that They will not Justi­fy our Errours, and that by our bold hasty Judgeings of those things We never well digested, or understood; we do but bring Our selves into a suspicion, Our Ʋn­derstandings are none of the largest size, or plainly to that affect. Only your Remarque in my Judge­ment had been more compleat with the Addition of that rational sentence in the Law, Magna Ne­gligentia est lata Culpa. Our hast when Willfull and Excessive, may justly bring Our Morals into quaestion too. For willfull ignorance has ever been account­ed somewhat more than a fault of the mind and Ʋnderstanding.

Now, Sr, can you endure a little plain deal­ing from a friendly Antagonist? Do you think your good Admonition has no Aspect upon your selfe? would God it look'd not so full upon you. I ap­peal to your own Conscience (as well as the Rea­ders judgement) whether of us two be deeper in the Guilt of bold and hasty Judgeing; you that in your single leekie Brigandine dare set forth with so high a sail against wind and tide to brave all the Re­formed Churches &c. Or I who content my self to cast my Anchor by theirs upon the Faith and Do­ctrine which was once deliver'd to the Saints, trem­bling at a thought of exalting my self above so ma­ny Worthies at whose feet it would more become [Page 13] you and me to sit with Reverence, than to be thus Pelting at their Heads, and dragging them by the hoary hairs, as a spectacle and a By-word to all, You know, Sr, (at least give others leave to think they doe) what Armies, of what Strength and Qua­lity appear in these Battails against you, and that through such poor Names as mine, you defy and wound them, you may hear more anon.

I see therefore no cause as yet to repent me of calling (as you say) to the Academicall Youth (to All indeed) that, as they love the knowledge of the Truth, they take You not for an Oracle in your bold dividing singularities. I bless God I can with a clear Conscience call upon them again and again to do so.

Next you fall upon that obvious popular Topick of each Parties bidding their Fellows beware of the other, Papists, Protestants, Lutherans, Calvinists p. 5. 6. &c. Of which the natural Inference must be this, Ergo my Admonition (or any other man's of the like nature) concerning Your self is not to be heeded. Might not the false Teachers in the Church's Infancy have us'd the same Plea for them­selves to the many Caveats put in against them by the Apostles? Or were those Caveats to be blasted as Phantasms or Melancholies (in your own Cour­teous p. 51. Phrase) Or were the faithfull Admonitors to withdraw their good Counsels upon Fear that such a roving Topick should be brought against Them? nay does any man practice what you here condemn more than Your self? As particularly You have lately [Page 14] treated me in your foremention'd Catholique Theolo­gy, where you expresly dissuade your Readers to be instructed by Me, or Saltmarsh &c. lest they be led into Errour, Truly, Sr, I wonder what opinion you have of the Age you live in (for Vete­ra praeter ierunt) to think such little wiggles and Evasions will pass for rational Discourse, nay that even your frequent Self-oppositions, though in the open view and light of the Sun, shall slink away unobserv'd.

You say well p. 5. that it is not the part of a good man to set Churches together by the Ears, and to make People believe they differ where they do not. If this be design'd (as no doubt it is) for the Tea­chers of Justification by Faith without works, I pray what Churches are by this Doctrine set by the Ears together? not the Reformed sure, for, as I have show'd you elsewhere, they are of one lip and doubt­less of one Heart too in the Point, with both against your own make-bate Novelties. What other Soci­eties of men you can take in, except Papists, Soci­nians, or of late the Quakers, I understand not. And would you have us yield up the great Truths of the Gospel for fear of offending such Church­shipps as these? In the mean time, Sr, You may do well to Consider who began the Fray, and how much easier 'tis to begin one, than to end it. Next you proceed to some grave Advice com­mended to our Acceptation from the Test of much, and so much Experience of your own, and that in effect is not to conclude difference in Doctrine from [Page 15] different Terms, Orders or Methods of Expression, digesting of Conceptions &c. and withall give us timely notice you are resolved to the utmost of your skill and opportunity to [...] them that think a different name or method is a different Do­ctrine. And 'tis a very Charitable undertakeing where ever such sad creatures can be found, who know not the Some Thing may be express'd in Dif­ferent Names or Languages.

But I pray, Sr, let's fall a little closer to our Business, speak in good sadness: would you not have your friends with the Glib swallow conclude upon this Admonition, that all the Difference betwixt you and me (or others of the same judge­ment) in the point of Justification is meerly Ver­bal, nothing but a strife about Words and Forms of Expression, and that in the Maine we are a­greed? 'Tis clear enough, I think, you would: But not so fast, Sr, my weak legs cannot hear your company at this rate. What? Perfect Contradiction [...] no more than a Difference in words? Faith alone, and no Faith alone, Faith with, and without works, one and the same thing? Excuse our dulness here. I see it is not for (nothing that to an Objection a­gainst your Doctrine as Popist, you return this Heroique Answer, FRIGHTEN NOT ME WITH THE NAME OF PAPIST, when I speak the Truth. It seems you would be taken for a stout Protestant, and so you are. All no doubt in the Point before Us is a meer Logo­machy, with which no Man of Mettle ought now [Page 16] to be frighted, though Our White-liver'd Progeni­tors in the Reformed Churches durst not take the note so high.

Sr, you have taught me to guess What Answer you would return to This: which very likely would be to this effect. What? would you have me frighted from owning a Truth because a Pa­pist owns it too? Then I must not believe there is a God or a Jesus &c. (and so on for two or three pages together) Pref. p. 52. Is this Doctrine fit for an Academical Doctor, and a Master of a literate so­ciety? And having run on a while so pertinently and withall so modestly then wo to some. Sr, most if not all the Differences betwixt Us and the Romish Church were ever held (with your good leave) by as wise and learned Protestants as ever you or I are like to be for more than Triflings of words, and above all in the Article of Justification, which you seem to place amongst your Logomachies, or Logicall notions. Let any discerning Reader compare the 48. Sect. of this Preface with the words in p. 5. of your Appeal to the Light, and 'tis likely he will concurr with me (let him be never so Aiery) in that Melan­choly Phantasm or Fear. For 'tis worth the noting how in that dark Appeal, where you distinguish of Popish points; i. e. some where the Difference is irreconcileable, others in effect but in words; We have no direction upon which Rank we must be­stow Justification, nothing of it at all from you, Name or Thing. But why, next to the allseeing God, you should know best your self.

Sr, pile one Distinction or Evasion upon ano­ther as long as you please, as many severall Faiths, and works, and Justifications as you can name, all this will never make the two Poles meet, your Doctrine I mean of Justification with that of the Reformed Churches. But seeing you are so busie in turning Our greatest Controversies with the Papists &c. into a childish Contest of words; to undeceive some of your Readers, who dream of no harm from such a Name as yours (but in the simplicity of their hearts go along wherever you lead them) we must give it a lit­tle farther Examination. And a little will serve the turn.

Words, Sr, as they are enfranchis'd into Lan­guage, are but the Agents and Factors of Things, for which they continually negotiate with our minds, conveighing errands upon all occasions from one soul to another. Whence it follows that their Ʋse and signification is unalterable, but by the stamp of the like publick Ʋsage and Impo­sition from whence at first they receiv'd their be­ing, and therefore (if I may here accommodate the holy phrase) of no private Interpretation. What all others call a Tree you must not call a Stone, and pretend the difference is but in a name or Words. For although the same thing may be sufficiently represented by different words, 'tis on­ly when they are synonymous and agreeing in sense; It cannot be otherwise, no more than a Stone can be represented to the eye by the Image of a Tree. [Page 18] Now as keeping close to t [...]is common Usage of words is necessary in all affairs of humane life, 'tis so especially in the concerns of Faith and Religion. 'Tis not sure for nothing that Paul advis'd Timothy to hold fast the FORME of sound words, non solùm quoad substantiam, sed 2. Tim. 1. 13. quoad ipsam orationis figuram saith Calvin. For (as the wise and learned Melanchton has minded Praefat. in Luth. Op. Tom. [...]. us well) Amissâ verborum proprietate, quae rerum notae sunt, alias confingi res necesse est. That is, when once we lay aside the propriety of words, which are the notes or Symbols of things, We pass undoubtedly to the minting of new Things themselves. The old Primitive Doctors and Churches were sufficiently aware of this, and therefore would not dispense with the Intrusion of one [...] (much less of one novel word) in any Article or head of Faith, where Custome and the Ʋsage of the Church had authoriz'd another. And this they did upon the great and cogent rea­son Melanchton gave us but now, vz. because they were not to learn that such as thought with the Church, would be content to speak as she did, and that the Contrary Practice never boded good to the Ʋnity, Peace, and Doctrine betru­sted to her care: Of which I think we of this Age have had Instances enough amongst our selves to our cost: so that (to return your kindness) It is not the part of a Good man to set [...] 7. Churches by the Ears together, and to make Our silly Credulous Admirers believe that the Vast [Page 19] gulph which was ever fix'd between Us and the severall branded Corrupters of the Truth is now so neer upon the close that if a man do but goe back a little to take his feeze, he may easily jump over it. Nor is it the part of a wise Teacher to think himself, that Men are agreed, where every eye may see them dealing blowes and Deaths about.

As for the Difference of Method, Ordering, Digesting and expressing our Conceptions (of which you seem to make little account in Compari­son) I know not yet how far you may stretch your Order and Method of conceptions; whether you speak of that order which is no more than a beauty, or Circumstance; or would draw it out to All indefinitely, and so leave nothing but de­formity and Confusion. A child may be born with all the parts and limbs of a perfect man, yet if not plac'd in their rank and Order may be a prodigious Monster: and a Book may want ne'r a letter of the Alphabet (and all repeated many thousand times over) yet not contain a word either of sense or Language for want of Order.

Thus Papists and Protestants are agreed about the necessity of good works, yet the difference is much wider than you seem to make it, be­cause both do not rank that necessity alike; the one stretching it to the first Justification, the other not, but confining it to it's proper Rank and Province of Inhaerent holiness, where it [Page 20] ought to keep. So that upon so crude and ge­nerall an Admonition about different Names, Words, Orders, and wayes of Expression, your weaker Readers had need beware that instead of instructing you do not entangle and confound them.

Next, Sr, you are pleas'd to turn something out of your way to a pleasant Discourse about Melancholy and it's ill effects, perhaps to drive the pernicious humour from all your Readers by your odd introduction of it there (with it's handsome Attendants) as Heraclitus was cur'd of his, pro tempore, by a not extreamely differing Rencontre.

I have now done with that part of your Preface, which you have wasted upon your Secondary Orig. Sin.

But you have one word with me more, and I'm glad it is but one, for such sad work as this might afflict a more Athletique constitution then mine; and in earnest I somewhat wonder how you held out with it your selfe, it must needs make any man sick at the heart.

And now the heavens are on a sudden all co­ver'd with black; a storm is coming, to which the former was but a brisk musical gale. Lets looke to our tackling.

In my Justif. Paulina, I had made two civil requests to you, the one Probè te excutias, that you would well examine and sift your selfe be­fore Cap. 11. God and your own conscience, whom you especially design by that ONE Person, who a­lone [Page 21] (upon supposal of difference) is to be followed before all Dissenters in the matter of Justification, according to your 42. Direct. for the Cure of Church Divisions. My other suit is in these words, Diligentiùs apud se perpenderet &c. That you would diligently consider the great Affinity your Justification has contracted with the Popish.

Now let the Reader well observe how you manage this part of the Battail; and thence take his measures of your skill and dexterity in Controversal Engagements. Let him take notice first where and how you begin, with a meer catch at the word [Diligence] to let us know what a hard Student you have been in your time. p. 44. Your Call for Diligence (say you) tells me you know me not, who have little spar'd for labour these 37. years, and I am now unfit for increased diligence; and this is all we have to that Con­cern.

I pray, Sr, did I ever tax you (directly or indirectly) with sloath in your Studies? and yet do not you suggest unto your Reader I do? And shall we call this Sincerity? my desire was you would take your Ballance and weigh more di­ligently, that so you might see the very small odds betwixt your Justification and the Councel of Trents; for to me neither of them turns the scale upon the other: I spake of no pains or labour, but only a more diligent Consideration.

For give me leave, Sr, by the by to mind [Page 22] you, that much reading and tumbling of Books contains not all the necessary ingredients of an usefull Schollar, no more than the thrusting down of meat in abundance to the Stomach makes a strong or healthfull Body. If we will have good bloud and nutriment, strong Nerves and bones for action, after the best choyce of our meat, we must allow nature her due peri­ods of Concoction, otherwise all will be but un­perfect or hurtfull chyle. 'Tis Meditation, Sr, which is the Stomach of the mind, weighing, sifting, and reflecting upon what we reade: in which if there happen to be an errour, either in point of diligence, or judgement (as too of­ten there does) no after-concoction will make amends; All will be Cruditie and Contagion still.

But now (if you please) to our business of Justification (for you know well enough my words refer only to that) you say you will not summon me before God, or Conscience, but what will the world thinke of my dealing, to bait, and that by gross MISREPORTS, a small Booke, above twenty years RETRACTED.

Sr, I gave you no Summons, but a Friendly Admonition (as all the world may see) and I here do it again. I have MISREPORTED you in nothing, much less GROSSLY (let your friends themselves be Judges) I know of no RETRACTATION you have made to this day, notwithstanding all my diligent en­quiries of Persons that are well acquainted with [Page 23] you: no one Booke under that title (which yet would have been no disgrace to so good a worke) no talke of RETRACTATIONS till I had printed my Booke, and that only from your Selfe, no direction from you either what you have retracted, or where we may find it since; which is yet the more amazing, because in your first complaint of this matter, p. 4. you tell us of about SIXTY Books of Retractations (in part at least) you have writ, and blame me for passing them All by without observation: I en­vy not the readiness and faecundity of your Pen; but you seem a Pretender to Cryptography in writing what few Eyes (if any) besides your own can reade. Well, when we see these fam'd Re­tractations, we shall take our measures accordingly.

But, Sr, for your Own, your Readers, and the Truths sake, I beseech you take care we have no Retractation of those yet invisible Retra­ctations, and that you no where contradict your selfe.

Sr, the world will expect some clearer and more ingenuous satisfaction from you (at this time of the day) then to be wheadl'd with bare Talke, and complaints of gross MISRE­PORTS, where none at all appears. And truly, Sr, I give you this Admonition as a Friend, for otherwise I needed not.

Next you surprise me with a pretty Quaestion, why I turn a Logical case of Defining into a The­ological de Re, and we heare of this new quirke p. 45. [Page 24] of Defining from you more then once, and 'tis All your own fruitfull Invention, Justitia Christi Imputata is one thing (say you) and the Defini­tion of Justice or imputation is another. Of Ju­stice, or Imputation! I take [OR] Sir, to be a Disjunctive, not a Copulative, and so 'tis a plain Fallacy of Division, which any young Lo­gick-Smatterer would tell you. Who knowes not that the wall is one thing, and the whiteness of it another, and so must have their Definitions a­part; but, good Sr, is the Definition of a white wall another thing from a white wall? then it is no good Definition, and our Plea now is not about false De­finitions, but what are suppos'd (at least) to be True; about Definitions indefinitely, for there lies your Novell Instruction.

Justice, Sr, is one thing, and the Imputation of it another. but Imputed Justice cannot differ from it's true Definition, unless you will have it to differ really from it's selfe. Here then we have a tran­sparent Fallacy.

You go on, and ask me if in good earnest I am de­sirous to know whom you meane, and there you stop. Your question is imperfect and speakes out no sense. Mine is plainly this, whom you meane by that p. 45. ONE Rare Person, whose single Judgement is (up­on Difference) to be prefer'd, in the Point of Ju­stification, and to whom; Quem quibus in Doctrina Justificationis anteponat. You need not doubt but that I am in earnest here, for I am ambitious of his Acquaintance. Now let's attend your Answer [Page 25] (and I earnestly desire the Reader to observe it throughout.)

Why, first Pagnine, Buxtorf &c. are very good Hebraicians, Dr. Pocock is good for the Arabique (He is so to a great Eminence in that, and many Lan­guages (with store of other good learning) besides, to say nothing of his rare Christian vertues, the Crown of all.) Dr. Wallis for a Geometrician, (and so he is in many singular endowments and abilities besides) Dr. Willis in Physick, and so on. These, and such like Excellent men, are to be prefer'd in their way, before such as never studyed those sciences (a slender commendation for so eminent and worthy Persons!) A whole Page and a halfe consum'd in this ramble. But now at last you will fall to the point, and tell me their names, who are better Defi­ners of Justification, Faith, and Imputation, and have deliver'd us far more judicious, and digested thoughts of P. 47. these things then my self. Indeed! your servant, was that ever any Question of mine! And is this all you have to say in the matter, and in the audi­ence of the world too? not one syllable more. To save you farther labour, I yield to all the worthy per­sons you have nam'd (excepting only your own Disciples) I am not worthy to be compar'd with them. I desire no man (young or old) to preferr me before my Betters, least of all when I am sin­gular, and walke alone.

But, Sr, with your favour, this will not do your work; we must have some other account of, quem quibus, then what you have given us yet. I shall [Page 26] take leave to present our indifferent Readers with a more ingenuous, and truer state of the Question, farr more suitable both to my plain meaning, and the clear purport of your own direction. Let the case be this. There is ONE, who of late has raisd much dust amongst us about the grand article of Justification, whether it be by Faith without works, or by Faith and WORKS too. All our old re­nowned Divines on this side, and beyond the seas, are unanimously agreed that Justification is by Faith alone, i. e. without Works. This ONE Person has often published his Judgement to the contrary. The matter is of very great concern by the confession of both. So that a poor Acade­mical Doctor may very rationally enquire of you, who in this case is to be preferr'd; That ONE, or those Many. If that ONE, then I am all most brought to the Person I sought for; and why should he be so bashful to be willingly conceald? nay, why so injurious to the Publique? 'Tis true it would be some small reflexion upon those innumerable worthies who have gone before him, such as our Jewel, Rainolds, Abbot, White, Field, Whitaker, Perkins, Andrews, Davenant, &c.

But Truth is Truth still, and men must not be over modest in it's cause, and why may not ONE Lynceus, that can see through a stone wall, disco­ver more then a thousand that cannot? But now * See Mr Bax­ters Direct. [...]. if I am not to goe along with him, then I am left still to herd it with the illiterate Rulers and Majo­rity: and if this be my duty, why should not that [Page 27] ONE encourage me by his Example? nay suppose he is upon all occasions (as openly as he yet thinks fit) perswading me, that they are more worthy to be directed by him then he by them. To some such case as this, Sr, I expected your Answer, and not a needless insignificant scorn of my poor indea­vours in the cause of so great a Truth.

There remaines yet one small sub-question, and then I am quit at present from the tediousest taske I ever yet undertooke. You desire me to tell you, whether I differ from you in the rule of counsel, which you there gave your ignorant people or no.

Sr, our young men in the Ʋniversity call this a Fallacy of several questions in one. Your direction is built of various materialls and several apparti­ments, some of which I like well enough, others not. I am only concern'd (as the blind may see) about your matters of high and difficult speculation in the close of your direction, wherein you would have that ONE man to be prefer'd before all the rest. Amongst those in the Application of your rule you place the Definition of Justification (i. e. undenyably (for all your mincing) the Thing it selfe).

Now, Sr, without any rovings, wheelings, or evasions I give you this plain Categorical answer, that I exceedingly differ from you, and that upon these two Accounts:

1. Because I neither hold the Doctrine of Justi­fication to be properly of speculative concern, but wholly practical: nor 2. Do I think it to be so full of difficulty, as your very discouraging suggestion to your ignorant People imparts.

No matter of Speculation: For though in all Practi­cal knowledge there be some antecedent contempla­tion of the nature and properties of the End, or Object, yet 'tis the End and scope alone, which gives the distinct and proper denomination. In Ethicks our schollars are taught the natures of moral acts, vertues, and felicity it's selfe; yet we instruct them also that moral Philosophy is a practical, not a spe­culative science, and that all they know of these matters is to be refer'd and applyed unto the great practical End, how they may be morally happy, as the Philosopher tells us, [...] and if he did not, all, that have but the ordinary use of reason, cannot chuse but know. Hence it fol­lowes, that Justification being at least the first step in order to Eternal Happiness, the knowledge of this is no more of speculative concern, then for a man to know his way home, especially when there is but One way, and if that be mistaken he is in ex­treamest danger of perishing in the way wherein he goes. Indeed to know the certain number of the steps or paces between is a speculative nicety, but to know his way thither, I am of opinion that e­very man who has a home beleives it to be another thing; aske who comes next. We never enter into the way of life till we are Justifyed, nor can we be Justified but in the way and method of Gods own appointment. All other wayes do but lead us from our home.

Nor 2. Is the Doctrine of Justification so high and difficult, but that the meanest christian may un­derstand [Page 29] it sufficiently to Salvation, so far as words can make it intelligible. And you have done lit­tle service to your weaker christian (as well as to the great blessed charter of Salvation) to perswade them otherwise, and to lead them out of the plain road into woods and mazes, to that ONE Man of Extraordinary Judgement and clearness; no body must know what's his name, or where he dwells; and so to whirle them about, till you have made them so giddy, they know not whither to goe.

Sr, I understand somthing at these years (with­out your Tutorage) of the duty both of Pastors and People. But I know not what you meane to make the way to heaven (reveal'd sufficiently to all, and wherein all are so much conoern'd) to be a matter of high abstruse speculation, as if none but great schollars, and men of extraordinary Judgement could by the right use of the Scriptures, and other ordinary common means, be able to find it out, till they have met with that Elias who is to solve all doubts; though here (blessed be God) there is no doubt at all, whatever you have ill suggested to the contrary. The earth may send up clouds enough to darken the noon-day sun, but this does not hinder that glorious Creature to be still both the Fountain of Light, and the most visible of bodies. The Fancies, witts, Passions, and Interests of sinful men may put strange colours upon the face of the clea­rest and most important truth, but when the paint is brought to the fire, it melts off in a [Page 30] moment, to the just reproach of such as dawb'd it on.

But, Sr, (to deale a little more freely with you) I cannot well swallow down in the lump what you would have me and others to do, when you direct us to preferr that ONE man before the Rulers and Majority of Votes, till you acquaint us who that Gentleman is, and what sort of Rulers and Majo­rities you meane.

And first for the single Person (that Monarch in Divinity) to whom we are upon differences to make our Appeals, I beseech you, Sr, how shall your Ig­norant or weaker Christian be able to Judge of fit­ness? If you thinke he may. I know no reason he should be disgrac'd for an Ignorant. He had need to have a very competent measure of abilities him­selfe, who is to give his verdict of anothers, even so farr as to make him his super-Doctor of the Chaire. Or must he take all upon trust from that One mans Fancy of himselfe, or from others that by many se­cret invisible Arts may be easily induc'd to cry him up? But this is to make him a meer Tool, and to turn his discerning faculty into a mechanisme of blind Obedience. Perhaps he may be no such Ʋnu [...] è multis, a person, in the judgement of the most knowing and sober men, of no more then ordinary parts, learning, or vertues, in all much exceeded by o­thers, save in the din of his name. He then can­not be your man, for that seems to be against your own hypothesis.

Next it ought, I thinke, to be well consider'd in a [Page 31] case of so high importance, quem quibus, to what Rulers and Majorities this ONE must be prefer'd (and both plainly were my question) A learned in­telligent Christian (nay one of moderate abilities) in a case of Christianity before Heathens, no doub [...] and little less for a judicious and pious Protestant before a pack'd Synod, or Majority, who hang their eyes upon the lipps of a Pope. But what shall your Ignorant Protestant do? shall one single Protestants judgement in such a case as Justification turn the scale upon the known declar'd judgment of his own Church in conjunction with all the rest of the Refor­med? I wish that be no part of your meaning; and if it be, I like not your Ballance; your direction (at best) is a crude and dangerous Dictate, a Divi­ding, and not a Curing rule. So you have my An­swer to your question.

But, Sr, will you please to gratify me with your positive answer to one of mine, for I despair of sol­ving it my selfe: you desire me to tell you, p. [...]. whether in earnest I differ from you in your direction, or rule of counsel you there give the ignorant peo [...] and without expecting my Answer one minute, or hearing me speake one syllable for my selfe, I find presently your dreadfull sentence pass'd against me in this killing tone, are you not herein a man singu­lar even to admiration! are not all Protestants, Pa­pists, P. 49. christians, learned heathens agreed in the Rule I gave? what may be the meaning of this outcry from a person of your veracity, meekness, charity &c. which has allmost driven me out from the society [Page 32] of men to eat grass with the wild asses of the field? why, I must hold, whether I will or no, that a herd of errant Ignoramns's is to be prefer'd be­fore one learned Judicious man, and that too in his own profession, as those that never read Logick, be­fore Aristotle &c. now let my answer prove what it will, I am condemn'd before hand, singular e­ven to admiration. Then I am set a telling I know not what, tell your schollars, and the world, p. 48. Tell your schollars, you are but one and they are many (which no doubt would be a great piece of newes to them) ibid. Then again, tell the world &c. p. 49. Doubtless there is something in that unfortu­nate (though civil) request of mine, which galls you more then ordinary. For these do not sound like words of mettle, but of paine, and Paroxysm.

But, Sr, will you please to let us walke out a little into the cooler air? (for there is no brea­thing in this Stove.) What is it you would have m [...] tell all these people? why, to this effect (as before) that a child in his horn-booke is to be pre­fe [...]d in his judgement of Latin, Greeke, Hebrew &c. before the ablest criticks of the world in those Lan­guages.

But pray, Sr, may not I be excus'd? whatever I think, it goes against me to tell such stuff to the world, as my own mind and judgement. I would not trumpet my own shame, (whoever do theirs) without a greater cause. I thinke my time may be better employed by minding you that presses are a kind of sacred things, and ought not to be pro­fan'd [Page 33] by the passions, interests, weaknesses, or ex­travagances of men. In private and familiar discour­ses some greater liberty may be allowed; but he that speaks to the whole world, owes reverence and caution to it, without which every book we pub­lish is little better then a libel against our Reader; and even when we court him, we do but en­title him to all the impertinencies and follies of our pens.

But above all, this can never be minded enough, that if of every idle word, much more slanderous and reviling ones account shall be given in the day of Judgement. Had you minded this (as you ought) you could not have vented those very vain words (I will say no worse) you have done against me up and down this preface; as also in the rest of your books where you mention my name.

You have yet a piece of another question, and then it will be high time for us to make an end, and to thinke our readers may have some business besides. 'Tis this, what mean you to bring in the intimation, Pref. p. 50. that thus the great Truths of God will depend on hu­mane suffrages; even whether God shall be God. Sr, if you have not disus'd your Acquaintance with the latin Tongue, and so mistaken, you might have english'd the words I quote out of Tertullian in the like case, with more sincerity. For any one may quickly see, I make not the Divine Existence (as you would have me) an instance of the great Truths of God (though I hope no harme if I did so) but as a consequential dependent, whether it shall be so [Page 34] or no, upon the subjection of the word of God to the will of man; especially of ONE man, in opposi­tion to all others.

Then you would have me to consider whether I do well to number Artificial, Logical Definitions, con­troverted by the greatest Divines, with the great Truths of God.

To which I answer 1. That I am asham'd you should thus over and over expose your selfe with your most illogical evasion of logical and artificial definitions; as if (supposing them true) they were not the same Re with the definitum, as I have told you already. Good Sr, talke what you please in private to such as understand not what you say, and let them give you a Grande [...] for your pains: but you may do well to use more civility to the reason of a schollar, though he hath not yet worn out his freshmans gown.

2. I absolutely deny what you so rashly avow, that the definition of justification is controverted by the greatest Divines. This is one of your liberal Dictates. The Reform'd Divines are all, I thinke, be­fore your selfe agreed about the nature of justifica­tion, its causes &c. and consequently cannot dif­fer about the Definition. Prove the contrary when you can, and let these poore Fig-leaves alone; at least bestow them somwhere else.

The close of your Preface is a cover fit for such a Dish. You tremble not in the audience of God and man to suggest again that hard-fronted Ca­lumny P 52. (how can any man call it less?) vz: that I [Page 35] prefer a majority of ignorants before a learned man in his own profession; and thereupon sound your trumpet to this tune, Is this fit Doctrine for a Doctor, and a Master of a Literate society? you know not what the event of all this may be: for suppose now being dragg'd in my scarlet (a habit more suitable for him that triumphs) at the wheel of your chariot in the view of all men, I should happen to be degra­ded, and turnd out of my literate society; would it not trouble you? no doubt; but then it might happen to be too late.

In the meane time, Sr, (without any disparage­ment to your own degree) the name and quality of a DOCTOR and Master of a Literate society might have been treated more civilly by you. And so let that goe along with it's fellowes. For the pleasant speech to my hearers and schollars, you put into my mouth at parting, I leave it as divertise­ment to any that has a mind to be merry upon so sad an occasion: yet one Asteisme in it must not be omitted, which fronts it thus; Hearers and schollars, this and that is the true definition of Faith and Justifi­cation, even of the various sorts of Faith and Justifi­cation &c.

But, Sr, I fear your hast has betrayed your me­mory, and made you forget that I commend your own definition of faith (logical or artificial) with some needful explanations; and therefore you might at least for my farther encouragement have spar'd me there. As for the bringing all sorts of faith into one definition, I confess my disability to do it, but [Page 36] shall leave it to such as are skill'd in makeing De­finitions and their definitums two several things, with whom it will be an easy worke. So for your various definitions of Justification constitutive, sen­tential, P. 50. executive, in Foro Dei, in Foro conscientiae, &c. one would expect some more then ordinary sense a comming by the train and rumble of words which attend it; when indeed all looks like a meer artifice, to set people a gazing upon some other matters while you are conveighing your selfe with the question out of the way.

If it be not so, what need of this heap of distinctions here, when you know the question betwixt us is of no other Justification, but the constitutive in Foro Dei, that which makes us righteous in the court of heaven. I have nothing to do with you yet in any else, as your own conscience will tell you when you please. If you have not more justice and civility for your intelligent Readers, I wish you would show more compassion to your ignorant homagers, and not thus abuse them with your palpable evasions.

And now, Sr, if your pen can spare you a few minutes, I thinke you may do well to reflect a little upon what you have done allready. You have here and in other places indeavour'd what you could to expose a person who had never been unci­vil to you, but rather had a fair respect for you; and indeed once tooke you for a quite other man, then I have found you now. You have perverted the plain sence of questions between us, hid your selfe from the ignorant in mists and clouds, and impertinencies of words.

And are such WORKS as these the rounds of Jacobs ladders are these your steps and stages to hea­ven; especially when upon all occasions, and e­ven in this Preface you tell us you are going to the great and dreadful tribunal? will you goe out of the world thus? I heartily pray you may not, and hope you will not.

I cannot end without begging the Readers par­don for this trouble I have given him though in my just and necessary defence. I know it must needs be tedious to him, which has been so in such a measure to my selfe.

One word more to you, Sr, and I have done. First, if any words have escap'd me, of greater plainness and liberty then I would otherwise have us'd, I desire you would lay your hand upon your breast, and consider what (indeed unsuffe­rable) provocations you have given me, by your odi­ous representations of me to the world in all the material part of your Preface (such as if they were true I were fit enough to be begg'd for a fool) Your vain triumphs and insultings over me, from nothing but idle fancies of your own. Let the equal reader judge between us.

Next, that being now so well acquainted with you, I intend no farther reply to any thing your shall thinke fit to publish against me hereafter, nor indeed to any other upon these controversies; contenting my selfe to have deliver'd my Judge­ment thus far; wherein if you, or any man re­main unsatisfied, you may, for me, enjoy your [Page 38] opinions in peace; resolving to contend withno man for the small vulgar triumph of the last or loudest word: yet not despairing, but God in his time will infuse courage into men of far more a­bilities then my selfe to defend his cause. So wishing you all the happiness (Temporal, and Eternal) I do to my selfe, I bid you FARE­WELL.

Prov. 9. 8. 9. Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee: Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser.


Pag. 12. lin. 10. read effect. pag. 14. lin. 6. read wriggles. pag 29. lin. 17. read schollars. pag. 27. lin. ult. read imports.

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