A DISCOURSE CONCERNING THE MESSIAS, In Three CHAPTERS.

The First concerning the Preparatories to his Appearance in the Types and Prophesies of the OLD-TESTAMENT.

The Second demonstrating that it was Ty­pically or Prophetically necessary, that he should be born of a VIRGIN.

The Third, that he is GOD as well as MAN.

To which is prefixed a large Preface, assert­ing and explaining the Doctrine of the Blessed TRINITY, against the Late Writer of the Intellectual System.

And an Appendix is subjoyned concerning the Divine Extension, wherein the Existence of a God is undeniably proved, and the main Principles of CARTESIANISM and ATHEISM overthrown.

By John Turner, Hospitaller of St. Thomas Southwark, and late Fellow of Christ's College in CAMBRIDGE.

[...].

There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, and hid that shall not be known.

LONDON, Printed by T. B. for Randolph Taylor, near STATIONERS-HALL. MDCLXXXV.

[...]

TO MY HONOURED AND Dear Friend Robert Nightingale Esq

SIR,

THE Obligations for which I stand indebted to Your Goodness, are so many and so great, and the Friendship with which you have been pleased to own an unprofitable Ser­vant, so constant, so syncere, so zealous, that I am forced to break out into this publick Resentment, rather out of necessity than deliberation or choice, to ease my self of a Load of Gratitude, which is very troublesom to me, while it keeps within and preys upon it self, without any hopes of ever being consumed, like the Torments of that miserable State to which the un­thankful, [Page iv] as well as the unjust, or cruel, or intemperate are condemned, rather than that I have any prospect of doing any thing by it, which You will interpret a Service or a respect, whose Modesty is such in the midst of many excellent Vertues, that it endeavours to conceal them even from Your self, and will scarce endure to hear of them from others.

You must Pardon me therefore, if be­ing provoked to extremity by an importu­nate Goodness, that pursues me with so unusual an Affection through every Stage, and every days Journey of my Life, I now endeavour to make You, as You ought to be, an Example to the World, that You may not shine any longer in darkness and obscu­rity, though that be no more than the best Diamonds are known to do, but that like the Sun, the King and Fountain of the Day, You may communicate the Bright­ness and Influence of Your Temper to the cold and insensible Corners of the Earth, where the Poles of Humanity move with a listless Pace, and where true Honour and Friendship are not known. Not that I in­tend to present You with a Character of Your self: For it may be dangerous to tell You all Your own, as humble and as equal [Page v] as You are, as free from any thing of Va­nity or Affectation: But instead of that as a further Testimony to, and a new Tryal of, the Goodness and Gallantry of Your mind, I lay this worthless Trifle at Your Feet, and bid You good morrow by the Name of Patron, which I hope You will bear with Patience, not only for my sake, but as You do an hard Frost, or the Mid-summer Heats, or the Autumnal Faintings and De­cays of Nature: For this is no more than one of the common Calamities incident to human Life, and the natural Inconvenience of being an Author's Friend. Yet when I call it worthless and Trifle; two very ill Names to make a Present withal, I mean it only with respect to the transcendent Merit of Him, to whom it is offered, to the smalness of it's Bulk, and the greater meanness and littleness of the Writer, who hath scarce any thing else to value himself upon besides Mr. NIGHTINGALE's kind and charitable Opinion; otherwise for the Subject there can be nothing greater than that which is concerning that auspitious Birth with which impatient Time and Ex­pectation were so long in labour; in which so many Predictions and Prophesies were fulfilled, so many Mystic Types and Sha­dows [Page vi] answered, so many and so costly Sa­crifices and Expiations ended; and for my Management of it, I am so far from being one of those that do magnificè sentire of themselves, especially without, and con­trary to, Reason, as most of those magnifi­cent Opiniators do, That all I dare pretend to say concerning it, is only this, that I have endeavoured to do something, which may in some measure excuse and justifie Your Friendship to me.

Particularly what I have written in the First Part of this Discourse concerning Mo­ses and Joshua, and the rest of the Judges and Saviours of Israel, concerning Hobed and Jesse, and Saul, and David, and Solomon, as having all of them in their Names or Offices, or both, a preparatory Allusion to the Coming of the Messias, the quality of his Person, and the nature of his Dispen­sation, is I think so plain and so convincing to any Man, that shall consider those In­stances singly, and by themselves, and much more all of them in Confederacy together, That I am confident, there is no Man, who hath seriously consider'd with himself, how full of Types and Symbols the Old Testament is, both as to the Names and Things that are contained in it, but will be forced to [Page vii] confess, what I without much Vanity may affirm to be true, That it is no inconside­rable Service which is done to the Gospel, the Person, the Authority of Christ, and con­sequently to Religion by it.

There may yet perhaps be some Scruple concerning the Etymology of David, which I have made to be as much as Dod, or The Beloved; but as it cannot be questioned, but Dod is a very proper Contraction of Daoud, and that Doudaim, a Word of the Dual Form in the Story of the Man­drakes is as much as Daoudaim; so it can as little be doubted, that David and Daoud are exactly the same, only that the former is more usually the Chaldee Form, as the latter is the Hebrew, and yet there are not wanting other Words of exactly the same Form in the Hebrew Bibles them­selves, as Nagid, a Participial Noun for a Captain or Commander from the Adverb Neged, and so also Phakid or Pha­koud are indifferently used, for a Visitor, Intendant or Inspector.

In the Second Part, which is a Defence of the Chastity of the Virgin-Mother, against the Jewish Cavils and Misinterpretations, I see not that it is possible that any thing should be plainer than that Sarah and Eli­zabeth [Page viii] were very proper Types of a con­ceiving Virgin, as she is by the Evangelists represented to have been, and whether the undoubted Agreement as to Signification in the Names of Sarah and Mary with one another, the first of which seems to have received some little alteration on purpose that it might exactly suit and correspond with the latter, do not give invincible strength to the Force of this Conjecture, I leave it to Your self, or to any other candid In­terpreter of things impartially to consider: So also for the Exposition of Psal. 45. v. 16, 17. all that I shall say for it is, That it must be acknowledged to be a fair Exposition, grounded upon a safe and certain bottom, and that if I could discern upon the ma­turest Deliberation, which I am capable of entring into, that there was any other way of untying or explaining the difficul­ty to be found, which could have the shape or colour of a possible Interpretation, I should not so much rely upon it as I do.

For the Application of the Story of Mel­chisedek in this Second Chapter, I will be so ingenuous to acknowledg to You, that I lay no great matter of stress upon it, but am rather inclinable to believe that that whole Verse is alike applicable to the Di­vinity [Page ix] of Christ, not any of it to his being born of a Virgin, and that the several Clauses to be met with in it, are exegeti­cal and explanatory one of another; with­out Father, without Mother, without De­scent, having neither beginning of Days, nor end of Life; only that which I have made use of upon this occasion, was at the least a possible Exposition, which the Laws of Argumentation do not forbid me to use; so the stress and weight of the whole Argu­ment be not laid upon it, which I am so far from having done, that in the last Place, besides those Arguments which were before-hand produc'd, I have after this applyed the History of Lot and his two Daughters to the same purpose, and as there is no Exception against this Applicati­on, but only that, that whole story is made up of Circumstances, of an incestuous and immoral Nature; so whether this be not ve­ry fairly answer'd by the plain proof which I have given that our Saviour was contain'd in the Loines of Moab, by the Genealogy of Pharez, to which we may likewise add the inexcusable Love and ignominious Marri­age of David and Bathshebah, whence So­lomon was descended; and lastly, whether this be not likewise a very fair Interpreta­tion [Page x] of that Passage in the Prophet Esai. concerning the Messias, That He should be numbred with Transgressors, as all of those his Progenotors were in a very high Degree, I refer my self willingly to any man that is not eaten up with prejudice to determine, and what Service it is, which is done to Christianity, by shewing that the Types and Shadows and Prophesies of the Old Testa­ment, as they are related by the Evangelists, do so exactly answer to the Events of the new, although those Types or Prophesies have not been taken notice of by the E­vangelists themselves, I had rather others should frankly confess than that I should seem to boast of my Performance, [...].

For the Third and last Part of this Dis­course which concerns the Divinity of the Person of Christ, in opposition to the A­rians, Photinians, Sabellians and Socinians, though it be a Field that hath been fre­quently trodden by very Learned Men, and the thing in question unanswerably proved to the advantage of the Catholick side, yet it is to be considered that it is a very large Field, and therefore there may be probably some new Paths to be found [Page xi] which have not yet been trodden in be­fore, and such I take my Argument from the Name Emanuel, from the Words of St. John; in the beginning; and without him was not any thing made that was made; and from the Stories of Jonas and Melchisedek, as I have managed them, to be, and indeed the Divinity of our blessed Saviour is a thing so plainly, so industriously, so frequent­ly inculcated and asserted in the Evangeli­cal and Apostolical Writings, that we may as well deny not only his being born of a Virgin, but expound any Proposition, how plain soever in the Sermon on the Mount, to a quite contrary Sense to that in which it is usually received, as scruple or boggle at the Divinity of Christ, when once we have ac­knowledged, as the Socinians profess them­selves to do, the Authority of the Scriptures.

The Socinian Heresie, which answers to that of Photinus and his Followers in the Primitive Times, so far as the Doctrine of the Divinity is concerned, was condem­ned at a Council held at Sirmium, where Photinus was himself Bishop, by the Ari­ans themselves, and this Doctrine in those Times was so generally disliked, so severe­ly prosecuted, and so constantly condem­ned and censur'd, that Epiphanius tells us, [Page xii] that in his Time, which was not long af­ter, it was utterly extinct, and indeed it proceeds out of so perverse and refractory an humour, the very Spirit and Soul of waywardness and disobedience, at the same time acknowledging the Authority of the Scriptures, and yet denying those things which are most plainly Revealed in them, that it ought not to be tolerated in any Common-Wealth, and a frank Deist, who utterly discards the Authority of those Sa­cred Writings, which give so ample Testi­mony to themselves, is much to be pre­ferred before so incoherent, impudent and inconsistent a Fellow, who will swallow Forty Absurdities one after another, rather than let go that Position which he is resol­ved shall be true, let the Scripture say what it pleases, and though at the same time he shall acknowledg the Scripture to be the Word of God, and the undoubted, un­questionable Revelation of the Divine Will to Mankind.

Neither do the Socinians deny only the Divinity, but also the Satisfaction and Ex­piation of Christ, and in this indeed they are consistent to themselves; for the latter hath a manifest Dependance upon the for­mer, and cannot possibly be understood [Page xiii] without it, as I have shewn very briefly, but yet very clearly, in these Papers with which I now humbly present You; but yet what is this in effect, but to ridicule all the Types and Sacrifices of the Law of Mo­ses, and to say that they signifyed just no­thing at all, That Christ was not our Pass­over, nor our Sin and Trespass-Offering, and that when the Apostles compare these things together, it signifyed no more than if it had been a Dream, or some distract­ed and Lunatick Imagination, and that the Old Testament and the Legal Dispensation might well enough have been spared for a­ny Typical Relation they had in them to the New, or to the Dispensation of Christ, and of the Gospel?

Prodigiosa Fides & Thuscis digna libellis,
Quaeque coronata lustrari debeat agna!

But yet as bold and impudent as the He­resie of Photinus was, which seems to have been the true Reason, why it was so soon and so universally exploded, as being so open and so bare-fac'd an Affront put upon the Credit and Authority of the Scriptures, yet the Sabellian seems to me to have been much the less excusable of the Two, being [Page xiv] not only every whit as inconsistent with the express Declarations of the Holy Scrip­tures, or such legitimate Consequences as may be fairly and unanswerably deduc'd from them, but it is all of it Cant and My­stery and Phanatic Non-Sense into the bar­gain; whereas Photinus and his Followers did no question proceed upon the same ground, upon which the modern Revivers of that Heresie have done, that is, they looked upon the Doctrine of the Trinity, as an impossible and contradictious thing, and they would believe nothing of which they could not give some intelligible Ac­count; a great Fault, I confess, when we speak of a Divine, that is, a confessedly in­finite and incomprehensible Subject, but not so great as theirs, who make new difficul­ties to avoid the old, and to escape one Mystery run into another, and that so strangely freakish, and so palpably ridicu­lous, that it is a great dishonour and dispa­ragement to the Scriptures to be thought to have imposed such whimsies upon the World for Articles of Faith, and the most Sacred Mysteries of Religion. For the Do­ctrine of Sabellianism was no other than this, (they are the Words of Your Neighbour Dr. Cudworth in his Intellectual System, p. [Page xv] 605.) That there was but one Hypostasis or singular, individual Essence of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost; and consequently, that they were indeed but three several Names, or Noti­ons or Modes of one and the self-same thing. From whence such Absurdities as these would follow; That the Fathers begetting the Son, was nothing but one Name or Notion or Mode of the Deity's begetting another; or else the same Deity under one Notion, begetting it self un­der another Notion. And when again the Son or Word, and not the Father, is said to have been incarnated, and to have suffered Death for us upon the Cross; That it was nothing but a meer Logical Notion or Mode of the Deity, that was incarnate and suffered, or else the whole of the Deity under one particular No­tion or Mode only.

It would have been very well si sic omnia dixisset, although in this very Citation, there be sufficient matter for a very just Reprehension; For, by the Dr's Favour, the Sabellian Doctrine is by no means a Consequence of this Proposition, That there is but one Hypostasis, or singular, individu­al Essence of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, so far as the Divinity of all the Three Persons is concerned; for the divine Nature in them all is, to use his own way [Page xvi] of Expression, singularly, individually, nu­merically the same, as I shall now immedi­ately shew, and yet for all that the Sabelli­an Doctrine still continues to be as false and as absurd as ever.

But so extremely cautious was the Or­thodox Doctor of running into the Heresie of Sabellius, That he not only denys the Three Persons of the Trinity to have One singular, existent Essence, but to avoid an Assertion, which to him seems to be so full of absurdity, and the more effectually to baffle Atheism, which says there is no God, he tells us, if we will believe him, That there are Three, They are his own Words let him speak for himself, pag. 604. It is e­vident from hence, that these reputed Ortho­dox Fathers, who were not a few, were far from thinking the Three Hypostases of the Tri­nity to have the same singular, existent Essence; they supposing them to have no otherwise one and the same Essence of the Godhead in them, nor to be one God, than three individual Men, have one common specifical Essence of Man­hood in them, and are all one Man. But as this Trinity came afterwards to be decryed for Tritheistic; so in the room thereof started there up that other of Persons Numerically the same, or having all one and the same singu­lar, [Page xvii] existent Essence; a Doctrine which seem­eth not to have been owned by any publick Au­thority in the Christian Church, save that of the Lateran Council only. In which words it is as plain as Words can express it, that he represents the Orthodox Fathers assert­ing the Belief of Three Gods, as much as Three Men are Three Men, numerically di­stinct, though having a specifical Identity with one another, and this I think is to as­sert Three Gods, if the Father, Son and Holy Ghost be as distinct from one ano­ther as Paul and Apollos and Cephas; for no man doubts but they were three seve­ral and distinct Men; nay he owns the thing to save us the trouble and the charge of proving it: For in the Running-Title of that very Page, he calls this Trinity of these reputed Orthodox Fathers, a Tritheistic Tri­nity, and afterwards when he condemns the Doctrine of a singular, existent Essence of Novelty, and by consequence disallows and disapproves it, as he had done de­servedly the Sabellian Doctrine before, we must either conclude him to be himself a Tritheistic, a Sect for which I believe he may have a kindness, because he loves hard Words, or something else without either stick or trick which I will not name, [Page xviii] because his Book pretends to be written a­gainst it.

Neither was he barely content to have insinuated thus much under the Covert of the reputed Orthodox Fathers, but p. 605. He is at it again, being wonderful zealous to expose and baffle this Lateran, Popish Do­ctrine of a singular, existent Essence; The Word [...], saith he, as was before insinu­ated by Petavius, was never used by Greek Writers otherwise, then to signifie the agree­ment of things numerically different from one another, in some common nature or universal essence, or their having a generical Ʋnity or I­dentity of which sundry Instances might be gi­ven; nor indeed is it likely, that the Greek Tongue should have any Name for that, which neither is a thing in Nature nor falls under human Conception, (viz.) several things ha­ving one and the same singular Essence; So that it is plain according to him, having already refuted and blasted the Sabellian Doctrine, that if there be indeed a Tri­nity of Divine Persons, it consists of Three several Natures numerically different; al­though they have a specifical sameness or Identity with one another, that is, in plain English, there are Three Gods, let Nature and the Scripture say what they please; [Page xix] for they do both of them assure us, there is but One; but in regard he hath no where declared for any Trinity at all, as it is his Custom to lye close in a difficult Point, on­ly hath made it his business in a multitude of Words, to expose the Trinity of the reputed Orthodox Fathers; therefore the most that Charity it self can allow him, if it were to step forth, and speak his most fa­vourable Character to the World, is, That he is an Arian, a Socinian, or a Deist; and there­fore he will oblige us very much in the close of the next Volume, (which is expe­cted to come out upon the last day of the last Platonic Term; for the Intellectual Ʋ ­niverse, like the mundus aspectabilis, is to consist of Two Globes, of which the Cele­stial that is the biggest, is yet to come) a­mong which of all these reputed Orthodox Divines he hath enroll'd and listed him­self.

Nay, not yet satisfyed with having, a Man would think, sufficiently betray'd the most sublime and sacred Mystery of the Christian Faith, he confirms and inculcates the same thing by new Arguments and fresh Examples, in what he saith afterwards, p. 611. of the Orthodox Fathers condemn­ing and disallowing the use of the words [Page xx] [...] and [...] in the declaration of their Doctrine and Sentiments concerning the Blessed Trinity, and yet p. 605. after having represented the Absurdity and Fol­ly of the Sabellian Doctrine, he tells us, That should it be averred, that this Trinity which we now speak of (the reputed Orthodox Trinity of the reputed Orthodox Fathers) was not a Trinity of meer Names and Noti­ons, as that of the Sabellians, but of distinct Hypostases or Persons; then must it needs follow, (since every singular Essence is an Hy­postasis, according to the Sence of the Anti­ent Fathers) that there was not a Trinity only, but a Quaternity of Hypostases in the Deity: Which is a thing that none of those Fathers ever dreamed of; perhaps not, and how it came into the Doctours Head, or where the necessity of the consequence lies, that if there be three Persons in the Deity, there must be four, I cannot Ima­gine, and I refer my self as I said before to the second part of his Moreh Nevochim, to resolve this scruple together with the o­ther; for till that Book comes out, which I am very much afraid it will not do, till a little after the coming of Elias, it is more then probable this difficulty will never be explained, only thus much we learn in the [Page xxi] mean time, by what he hath already de­clared, that if he do believe a Trinity at all, it is a Trinity of three several and di­stinct Hypostases or singular existent Essen­ces, numerically distinct from one another, and that if there be three such Hypostases, there must be four, which is absurd, there­fore there is no▪ Trinity at all, quod erat o­stendendum, the very thing he all along de­signed to shew.

[...]

And yet this is the Man that can neither speak a common Truth nor a notorious Fal­shood, but out steps our self, and some­times we our selves a kind of a Platonic Triad of Impertinents, the Doctor, the Professour, and the Master or Keeper, in the Imperial Stile of Patents and Procla­mations, as if R. C. and C. R. were the same, the best and the wisest of Princes and of Men, and a small Euthusiast, a Rosi­crucian Brother, with his Girdle stuck with Noes, and Henades and Antoagathotetes, and such like Platonic and Bombastic Bau­bles, whose Book instead of being, as it calls it self, an Ʋniverse, is a Chaos of crude and indigested Notions; an Abyss of bottom­less Vanity and Ostentation, as Intellectual, as [Page xxii] the Scholastic Intelligences themselves, that move those Orbs which are no where to be found, and a true System by the same sort of Figure, by which a True Protestant is no Protestant at all. But my Zeal for the Honour and Credit of our Religion trans­ports me, I am afraid, to an immoderate Degree, a Degree that would very ill com­port with the known Mildness and Mercy of Your Nature, but that I hope You will consider with Your self, that there is a Ju­stice in Censures, as well as there is in Pu­nishments, and that no Man in the World, let him be who he will, can be too sharply or severely dealt with, who under pretence of defending Christianity hath betrayed it, and who after comparing so many Heathen and Philosophic Trinities together with the Christian, declares that the last of them, if it be any thing at all, is a Trinity, not of Persons but of Gods, and by consequence hath very sliely endeavoured, under pre­tence of representing the Opinion of the Orthodox Fathers, to expose that Doctrine to the scorn and contempt of all conside­ring Men; and if he himself, or any body for him, can put any other Interpretation upon it, than I refuse no Punishment nor any Disgrace; besides, that it is to be con­sidered, [Page xxiii] that he will not allow the Pagans themselves to have been so absurd and foolish as to have paid their Worship to ma­ny supreme and independent Beings, and by vindicating them, it is manifest that at the same time he is to be understood to declare against it himself, otherwise this would not be to vindicate, but accuse, and therefore when he represents this to have been the Opinion of the Fathers, That the Three Persons of the Trinity differ on­ly from one another as Three Men do, by a Numerical Distinction, pertaking all of them of the same generical or specific Na­ture three times repeated to no purpose; for at this rate there is nothing in the one, which is not in the other, what is this but to represent them under the same ill Cha­racter, as Worshippers of three Supreme and Independent Beings; from which he endea­vours to vindicate the Pagans; for if there be a distinct and several Divinity in each of the Persons, which is not numerically to be found in any other, then is it mani­fest that they must all of them be Indepen­dent, for one Divinity cannot possibly pro­duce another, which shall be Numerically different from it self, and shall have equal perfection in all other respects, but only [Page xxiv] that it is not the same; for then there is a possibility, that there may be as many or more Gods then there are Men: And so the Pagans need not be excused from Po­lytheisme, that is, the Worship of more Su­preme and Independent Beings, or may per­haps be mistaken, if they were not guilty of it. To be produced, is plainly the Chara­cter of a Creature, and to be Ʋncreated and Independent, that of God; so that if there be three Divinities Numerically distinct, there must also be three Supreme and Inde­pendent Beings, which being a position so frequently Condemned in Terminis by the Doctour, as it does very well deserve, it is plain he had no other design in setting down the Sentiments of his reputed Ortho­dox Fathers, as to the manner in which the three Hypostases of the Trinity may be said to be three and one at the same time, but only to shew the World that they were but reputedly Orthodox; and to explode the Doctrine of the Trinity together, for he declares there can be no other Trinity but this.

These things are so plain against him, that I am of opinion he would not have dared to Print those Pages by themselves, wherein he sets down the opinion of his [Page xxv] Orthodox Fathers, and explodes the Do­ctrine of a singular existent Essence; but that he had a reasonable ground of Hope, that in so vast an heap of Trinitarian Im­pertinence, which he hath amassed together out of Heathens and Philosophers, rather to gratifie an affectation of appearing learn­ed, then for any Service it is like to do the World, this mock representation of the Blessed Trinity might be the less regarded, by the sound and sober part of the World, and yet might be sure to have its designed Effect upon such as were Heretically or Schismatically given, and that he might not seem so much to have banished this Do­ctrien out of the World, a thing which he will find too difficult for all his Craft and Sophistry to accomplish, as to have lost it in a Wood by chance, without being able to find it any more, but though he cannot find the Trinity, yet it is not to be questi­oned but the Trinity will find him, if he do not seriously repent and publickly re­cant the horrid Indignities which he hath cast upon it.

The notion of three Supreme and Inde­pendent Beings, is therefore an Absurd and Foolish Notion, not only because it makes three Gods to no purpose, there being no­thing [Page xxvi] in any one which is not in the other, but also because it is an impossible one in­to the bargain. For to the notion of this Supreme and Independent Being the attri­bute of Omnipresence does of necessity be­long; wherefore in the case of three Gods, that is, three Supreme and Independent Be­ings, Numerically distinct, although spe­cially the same, there must also be three Ʋbiquitary or Omnipresent Natures at the same time, so that they must of necessity imbibe and penetrate each other, by such a kind of knack, as the Doctour out of the Greek Fathers is pleased to call [...] or Circuminsession; and so being sup­posed before hand to be Specifically the same, it is now the same thing, by reason of this mutual penetration and total Inbibition of each others substance, as if they were the same Numerically too; and in this ap­pears the Non-sense of Polytheism, that is, the worship of many such Supreme and In­dependent substances, if indeed there were ever any to be found that have been so stupid to be guilty of it, that it supposes more Omnipresent Immaterial Natures then one, which if it be once granted to be a possible thing, there is no reason why it may not also be possible, that there may [Page xxvii] be as many Independents in Heaven, as there are upon Earth, and all of them ha­ving the same Understanding, Will, and all other Attributes so many times Nume­rically repeated, that there may be a Bal­lance of Power, an Harmony of Senti­ments, and a Concurrence of Will to hin­der them from falling out or squabling a­mong themselves, so as at this rate, not only Varro's Catalogue would be encreas'd and swell'd to a proportion more prodigi­ous then that ever was esteemed, but even Conception and Arithmetick would fail to find a thought or a number to express them.

The Doctour was not insensible how very invidious it must needs appear, to charge the Orthodox Fathers, and more e­specially Athanasius himself, with assert­ing Three Gods Numerically distinct, and therefore, though he was resolved to lay it home upon them, partly to expose that Doctrine as it deserves, and partly to show the absurdity of a singular existent Essence Numerically the same in three several Per­sons, which he would have us believe to have been so great, that the Fathers ran into Polytheism to avoid it, and by both of these means to open a fair passage for A­rianism [Page xxviii] to enter in, and take possession of the minds of his Readers; yet he draws off and on by very Artificial Movements; for thus he tells us after a Multitude of Cita­tions, as his manner is, p. 606. From all which it is unquestionably evident, that Atha­nasius did not by the word Homoousios un­derstand, that which hath the same Singular and Numerical Essence with another, but the same common, generical or specifical only; and consequently that he conceived the Son to be co-essential or consubstantial with the Father, after that manner, that is, in plain English he conceived the Father and the Son to be two several and distinct Gods, and again, p. 612. (which is falsly marked 596) he hath these words: And now upon all these considerations, our Platonic Christian would conclude, that the Orthodox Trinity of the Antient Christian Church, did herein agree with the genuinely Platonic Trinity, that it was not Monoousian; one sole singular Essence, under three Notions, Conceptions or Modes on­ly, but three Hypostases or Persons, as likewise the right Platonic Trinity does agree with the Antient Orthodox Christians in this, that it is not Heteroousian but Homoousian, Co­essential or Consubstantial; none of their three Hypostases being Creatures or particular Beings [Page xxix] made in time, but all of them Unconceived Eternal and Infinite. And this I think a­gain is to represent the Orthodox Trinity, as consisting of three several Deities, or Divine Substances Numerically distinct, but specifically the same, which is the true In­terpretation of all those cramp words, that they are Homoousian, that is, specifi­cally Co-essential and Consubstantial, not Monoousian nor Tautoousian, that is Nu­merically the same, nor Heteroousian, that is, specifically or generically different from each other, and this, I take it, is to ex­pose the Orthodox Trinity; but he goes on, and I must follow him, Notwithstanding all which, saith he, it must be granted, that though this Homoousiotes, or Co-essentiallity of the three Persons in the Trinity, does imply them to be all God, yet does it not follow from thence of necessity, that they are therefore one God. No, by no means, but it follows unavoidably, that they are three Gods, and that is it which the Doctor would intimate when he tells us that it does not follow from thence of necessity, that they are one God; implying that the contrary does manifestly follow, and so good Night to the Trinity, a Doctrine which ran the reputed Orthodox Fathers, by which it is [Page xxx] implyed, that they were not really so, in­to so many absurdities, and so foul mi­stakes: But this is not all; What then, saith he, shall we conclude that Athanasius himself also entertained that opinion before mentioned and exploded; of the three Persons in the Trinity, being but three Individuals under the same species (as Peter and Paul and Ti­mothy) and having no other natural Unity, or Identity then Specifical only? Indeed some have confidently fastned this upon Athanasius, because in those Dialogues of the Trinity, published amongst his works, and there Inti­tuled to him, the same is grosly owned, and in defence thereof, this absurd Paradox main­tained, that Peter, Paul and Timothy, though they be three Hypostases, yet are not to be accounted three Men, but only then, when they Dissent from one another, or disa­gree in Will or Opinion. But it is certain, from several passages in those Dialogues them­selves, that they could not be written by Atha­nasius, and there hath been also another Fa­ther found for them, to wit, Maximus the Martyr. And this is wonderful pleasant; Indeed some have confidently fastened this upon Athanasius, as if the bashful Do­ctour, whose Chin must be acknowledged to be very Modest and Maidenly, whate­ver [Page xxxi] his Forehead may be, had not done exact­ly the same; for he makes Athanasius himself expresly to assert a Specifical Ʋnity of the Three Persons, and what closer Ʋnity there is, unless it be the Numerical, I do not understand, and I challenge him to explain, unless it be the Emperichoretic or Circumin­sessive, a couple of very fine words to signi­fie just nothing at all, for it is every whit as hard to understand at this rate, how there shall be Three Persons Specifically, as how they shall be Numerically the same; nay, they will be Numerically the same, whi­ther we will or no; for if they are all Om­nipresent, if they do mutually and necessa­rily and eternally penetrate and imbibe one another, if they have the same Will, Ʋn­derstanding, Affections, Operations and Ef­fects, I think it is all one, as if they were Numerically the same, and I know not what notion of Numerical or Individual can be more precise and exact then this is, so that this Emperichoresis, that is Gim-crack; for that is the proper English of the word not Circuminsession, as the Learned Doctour hath rendred it, instead of explaining the Trinity, perfectly destroys it. Nay, Not­withstanding this (for you must know the Doctour did not bring off Athanasius, but [Page xxxii] with a design to bring him on again) thus much must not be denied by us, that Athana­sius, in those others his reputedly genuine Wri­tings, doth sometimes approach so near here­unto (that is, to the making the Unity of the Three Persons to be Specifical only) that he lays no small stress upon this Homoousiotes, this Co-essentiality and common Nature of the Godhead, to all the three Persons, in order to their being one God: And indeed the Citations by him thereafter immedi­ately produced, do sufficient prove, that he did sometimes lay the whole stress and weight of the matter upon it; but yet not with so much steadiness and resolution, but that p. 614. he begins to repent his Bar­gain; for there the Doctour tells us, That Athanasius elsewhere plainly implyeth, that this common Essence or Nature of the Godhead, is not sufficient alone, to make all the three Hy­postases one God, as in his Fourth Oration a­gainst the Arians, where he tells us, that his Tri­nity of Divine Hypostases cannot therefore be accounted Three Gods nor Three Principles, because they are not resembled by him to Three Original Suns, but only to the Sun and its Splendor, and the Light from both. Now Three Suns, according to the Language of Athanasius, have [...], a [Page xxxiii] common Nature, Essence and Substance, and therefore are Co-essential or Consub­stantial; and since they cannot be accounted one Sun, it is manifest, that according to Athanasius, this Specific Identity or Uni­ty, is not sufficient to make the Three Di­vine Hypostases One God. And what is this but plainly to contradict and over­throw all that he had said elsewhere con­cerning the Specific Ʋnity of the Three Persons; for if they are not One, as Three Original Suns are One, then are they not Specifically the same, which was the very thing Athanasius had in other places affirm­ed: Again, if they are not One after this manner, how then are they One? Why as the Sun, the Splendor and the Light; an hopeful Trinity indeed! For the Splendor and the Light are but two words, as I take it, for one and the same thing, and so we have lost one Hypostasis already, and what if the Splendor and the Sun should not be really distinguisht neither? What then be­comes of this excellent comparison? For certain it is, that the Light or Splendor is not in it self a real existent thing, but only the result or effect of the pressure of the subtle matter in the Body of the Sun, upon the Visionary Organs of Animals capable of be­ing [Page xxxiv] affected with it; it is a relative or con­ditional appearance, resulting from the pressure of that subtle matter, and the dis­position of a Nerve or Organ rightly pre­pared to receive that pressure, and this impression, if it be strong and indistinct, it is called Splendor, if it be more gentle and distinct it hath the Name of Light, but now certainly no Man ever affirmed that the pressure, and the Body pressing, are in reality different from one another, any more then a shape or colour, and the Body shaped or coloured can be; and by the same reason the Sun and its Splendor or Light have not any real, but only an ima­ginary, relative or notional distinction, so that whatever becomes of the Rhetorick of this Comparison, it is certain that it savours neither of a sound Philosopher nor a sound Divine. But it is still more express against this Specific Identity, what the Doctor, im­mediately after alledges out of his Writ­ings, [...], &c. Neither do we acknowledge Three Hypostases, divided or separated by themselves (as is to be seen corporeally in Men) that we may not comply with the Pagan Polytheism. From whence it is evident, as the Doctour infers, that neither three separate Men, though Co­essential [Page xxxv] to Athanasius, were accounted by him to be one Man, nor yet the Community of the Specific Nature and Essence of the God­head, can alone by it selfexclude Polytheism from the Trinity, wherefore the true reason, why Athanasius laid so great a stress upon this Homoousiotes, or Co-essentiality of the Trinity, in order to the Unity of the God­head in them, was not because this alone was sufficient to make them one God, but because they could not be so without it; Which last thing he speaks not only as the opinion of Athanasius, but his own; for what else is the meaning of the running Title of p. 614, 615. Co-essentiality necessary to the Ʋnity of the Godhead? and that by Co-essentiality hemeans a Specifical Identity, not a Consubstantiality of singular existent Essence, we have al­ready sufficiently seen, that being an opi­nion, which he hath endeavoured with a­bundance of pains and industry, to ex­plode out of the World, but with how little Skill or Judgment we shall discern more clearly by and by.

To the same purpose with the former Citation, is what he tells us farther p. 616. That though Athanasius no where declare, the Three Hypostases of the Trinity to have one and the same singular Essence, but on the con­trary, [Page xxxvi] denies them to be Monoousian; and though he lay a great stress upon their [...] their Specific or Generic Unity and Co­essentiality, in order to their being one God; for as much as without this they could not be God at all; yet doth he not rely wholly upon this, as alone sufficient to that purpose, but ad­deth certain other considerations thereunto to make it out, in manner as followeth: but let what will follow, it seems to me very ma­nifest without examining the particulars proposed, that the Doctour and Athanasi­us too, if he have represented him aright, are certainly very much beside the mark; for if the Ʋnity of the Trinity be only Specific, then it is plain that it is not Nu­merical, and there can be nothing but a Numerical Identity that can excuse the Three Persons from being Three several and distinct Gods, for if they be not Three Per­sons Numerically the same, as to the com­mon substance of the Divinity, which be­longs to them all, then each Person is like­wise a Divine substance by himself, Nume­rically distinguish'd and seperate from the other two, so as the first substance is not the second, nor the second the third, nor the third the first, and if this be not plain­ly to introduce Polytheism, that is, a Be­lief [Page xxxvii] and Worship of three distinct and Inde­pendent Gods, then I would fain know what is? Notwithstanding that the admis­sion of three such several Divine Substan­ces, be loaded with as great difficulties, and be every whit as hard to understand, as the Lateran Trinity which the Doctour would expose, as hath been already shew­ed, and though that be indeed the only Trinity which the Scripture teacheth, and which the first Christians of Apostolic sim­plicity and antiquity believed, as shall be hereafter more particularly declared.

But what are the Expedients proposed by the Doctour out of Athanasius, to secure the oneness of the Deity, and to exclude Polytheism; notwithstanding the Trinity consists of Substances, which are no more then specifically the same, but have a Nu­merical difference from one another? Why first he tells us, That this (the Athanasian Trinity) is not a Trinity of Principles, but that there is only one Principle or Fountain of the Godhead in it, from which the other are derived; thus does he write in his fifth Oration, [...] There is but one Principle, and accordingly but one God. But what does he mean by one Prin­ciple, are there Three Divine Substances or [Page xxxviii] no? if there are not, then there is but One, Numerically and Individually One, and by consequence, either there is no Trinity of Divine Persons, or they do all of them be­long to that one Divine Substance, which is not specifically, but Numerically one and the same. If there are three Substances properly Divine, that is, Eternal and infinitely perfect, then either one proceeds or is begotten, by way of emanative causality from the other, and so though there are not three Princi­ples, yet there are three Gods notwith­standing, and, à parte post, three Independent Beings, in as much as that Substance which is not only begotten or produced, but may be destroyed, is not a Divine or infinitely perfect Substance, but a meer Creature, ob­noxious to Ruin, and subject to the Will and Power of its first cause, it is indeed Dependent in one sense, in as much as eve­ry Emanative effect hath a perpetual de­pendence upon its Emanative cause, but yet it is such a dependence as the cause it self cannot take away, and therefore if the Cause be Eternal, the Effect must be so too. Besides that, it is perfect Non-sence, as I have already shewn, for one Divine Substance to beget or produce another, ei­ther by an Emanative Power, or by any [Page xxxix] other Power whatsoever, which it may ex­ert or suspend pro Arbitrio, and as it plea­ses: For the Substance begetting and begot­ten, being both of them ex Hypothesi, o­therwise they cannot be Divine Substances, infinitely perfect and omnipresent, indued with the same inclinations of Will, and the same degree of Ʋnderstanding and Power, exerting the same Operations and concurring to the same Effects, mutually imbibing and penetrating one another, it is the same thing as if they were Numeri­cally the same, and it is impossible to con­ceive them otherwise then so, neither is it to any purpose at all that it should be o­therwise, and if it be once admitted that otherwise it may be, there may be infinite Divine Substances for ought we know, all of them Omnipresent and Infinitely perfect to no more or no other purpose, then if there had been but one; and where this Divine facundity will cease, we can no more con­ceive then how it is possible for it to begin.

Again, if they do not proceed from one another by way of Emanation, then they are not only [...], but [...] not only three Gods but three Principles likewise, three Absolute and Independent Be­ings, according to the Doctrine of the [Page xl] Marcionists, and so the former inconveni­ence returns again; for there may be three or thirty, or three hundred Thousand Divine Substances as well as Three, which must be granted to be the extremity of extrava­gant Nonsence, and if it be once admit­ted, will excuse and justifie the most ab­surd Polytheism in the World, the worship of Gods that are infinite in number, and all of them Supreme, Self-existing and In­dependent, and all of them to no more purpose, then if they were exactly and Nu­merically the same, imbibing and penetrating each other, and having a Community of Will, Ʋnderstanding, Operations and Ef­fects, so that they cannot possibly be di­stinguisht from being the same.

But in the next place he tells us, Atha­nasius further addeth, That the three Divine Hypostases are not [...] and [...] separate and disjoyned beings, but [...] indivisibly united to one another, p. 616, 617. By which, if he mean the same with the [...] or Circuminsession, which is the next expedient of working a closer Ʋnion between Substances Numerically different from each other, it hath been already suf­ficiently considered and deservedly explo­ded, but otherwise then this, I know not [Page xli] what to make of it, and so I let it pass to­gether with that other, to which it is so like, that they are more then Twins, and have not so much as a Numerical Dictinction, for one great piece of Enthusiasm split into two, only to swell a Book that is too big already, and adorn'd with Quotations, to please a sort of Men that have a Veneration for Greek Authorities, beyond what they have for English Sense.

Lastly, The same Athanasius in sundry pla­ces, p. 619, still further supposes those three Divine Hypostases, to make up one entire Divinity after the same manner, as the Fountain and the Stream make up one entire River; or the Root and the Stock and the Branches one en­tire Tree: And in this sence also, is the whole Trinity said by him to be [...] and [...] and [...] one Divinity, and one Nature, and one Essence. And accordingly the word [...] seems here to be taken by Athanasius in a further sense, besides that before mentioned; not only for things a­greeing in one common and general Essence, as three Individual Men are Co-essential with one another; but also for such as concurrently together make up one entire thing, and are therefore joyntly Essential thereunto. For when [Page xlii] he affirmeth [...], that the Tree is Congene­rous or Homogenial with the Root, and the Branches Co-essential with the Vine; his meaning is, that the Root, Stock and Bran­ches are not only of one kind, but also alto­gether make up the entire Essence of one Plant or Tree. In like manner, those three Hypo­stases, the Father, Son and Holy-Ghost, are not only Congenerous and Co-essential, as having all the Essence of the Godhead alike in them, but also as concurrently making up one entire Divinity.

In which words it is prodigious to me, and will I perswade my self be so to you also, when I shall have represented my Sentiments concerning them, to consider first the Impertinence of this fourth and last particular it self, to the end, for which it is made use of by the Doctour, and second­ly the strange inconsistence of Athanasius with himself, if the Doctour have truly re­presented him, and thirdly, the manifest contradiction of which the Doctour finds himself guilty, without any other evi­dence then what he produceth himself, as to the signification of the word [...].

That which he asserted, p. 614. was that Co-essentiality or Specifical Identity was ne­cessary [Page xliii] to the Ʋnity or Sameness of the Godhead in the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, but that it was not of its self suf­ficient, and therefore p. 616. he addeth certain other considerations thereto to make it out, of which considerations this which I have last transcribed is the last, by which the Ʋnity of the Godhead is resol­ved into an Ʋnity of Integrant or constituent parts, with relation to the whole, in which they are all Ʋnited, and become as it were one with one another, by their Ʋniversal con­currence to make up that, which consisting of all these in confederacy together, is un­der one denomination called the whole.

But he did not consider that this Speci­fic Ʋnity, which is nothing else but the agreement of several such wholes together, or of things that are considered as entire and perfect in themselves, in the same com­mon nature, and this other Ʋnity resulting from the conspiracy of the parts, to make up the whole, are inconsistent together. For tho' it be trueindeed, that in an whole consisting of simular parts, as in an heap of Sand, a flake of Ice, a massy Stone or Marble, a pain of Wainscot or Glass; there is a Specific Ʋni­ty of the similar parts of which these things consist, as well as a confederacy of them [Page xliv] altogether, to constitute that which is considered as the whole resulting from them, yet the Specific Ʋnity and the Ʋni­ty of Integration, are two several sorts of Ʋnity that have nothing at all to do with one another, and consequently they can­not advance or improve each other, nei­ther can the Integral Ʋnity tye the Speci­fic more closely then it was tyed be­fore; nay, after all, they are both of them, not real, but imaginary Ʋnities; for that which is Specifically Ʋnited, is really distinct from that to which it is said to be Ʋnited, and is as much another thing and at as great a distance from it, as a Man li­ving at Bagdat or Grand Cairo, and ano­ther at the same time inhabiting and resi­ding at London can be, and so the parts of which the whole consists, may each of them be considered as wholes by them­selves, and have no other Band of Ʋnion then only in our way of imagining or con­ceiving things.

But in such integers or wholes as consist of Dissimular and Heterogeneous parts, there cannot be that which Anaxagoras called an [...] or Specific Ʋnity be­tween parts of a different contexture and composition, as the parts of blood are [Page xlv] Specifically Ʋnited, and so of Nerves, Mu­scels, Cartilages, Veins, Arteries, Bones, and the like, but a Bone and a Nerve are Specifically different; and so is a Car­tilage, and a Vein and Fibre, because they consist of parts of a different contexture, it being nothing else but likeness of con­texture, similitude of Uses and Properties and Consistences, which makes the Specifi­cal Ʋnity in these things, and therefore in this case the Integral Ʋnity can by no means advance or improve the Specifical, they being not only in all cases Ʋnities of a different, as I have shewed already, but in this, of an opposite and contrary nature, so that the one does manifestly destroy the other; and yet such is the instance which the Doctour gives us out of Athanasius, of the Root and Stock and Branches of a Tree, which are specifically different from each other, because of their different use, contexture and consistence, although the Root of one Vine and the Root of another be Specifically Ʋnited, and so as to the Stock and Branches.

Neither is that other comparison of A­thanasius any better, concerning the Foun­tain and the Stream making up one entire River; for this is only an whole consisting [Page xlvi] of similar parts, the Particles of all that Water which flows from the same Fountain, being all of them of the same nature and contexture; and though there be a Speci­fic Ʋnity between the parts and an in­tegral Ʋnity of them altogether, by which they make up and constitute the whole, yet these are two sorts of Ʋnities, which have nothing to do with one ano­ther, and both of them only imaginary, as hath been already declared, so that they cannot improve and strengthen one ano­ther; and if this comparison be stretched as far as it will go, it would follow that the Ʋnity of the three Persons in the Bles­sed Trinity, was only Imaginary, and Fan­tastick likewise, which is but to mock and ridicule the most sacred and venerable Arti­cle of Religion; besides that, there is no­thing in the Stream, which was not once, I do not say virtually and eminently, but really, formally and substantially in the Fountain, nothing in the fountain which will not be in the stream, and this is ex­actly the Sabellian Doctrine, which Atha­nasius himself did other times so much and so deservedly detest and abhor, that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are in re­ality all of them the same, only that they [Page xlvii] differ modally and respectively from one another.

Wherefore in the next place it will be very well worth our while to consider a little, if you please, how extremely flu­ctuant and uncertain Athanasius, is, and how extreamly inconsistent with himself; for whereas it hath been above abundantly manifested, that Athanasius and sometimes resolve the Ʋnity of the Godhead into a Specific Ʋnity, as three Men, Peter, Paul and Timothy are one, yet not being able to defend this notion from the Imputation of Polytheism, at other times he recants it, and will by no means stand to his word, as hath been seen already in his own words, as they are cited by the Doctour, p. 614. [...], &c. Neither do we acknow­ledge three Hypostases, divided or separate by themselves (as is to be seen corporeal­ly in Men) that we may not comply with the Pagan Polytheism; he acknowledgeth they are three Hypostases, but not divided or separated, as is to be seen corporeally in Men, that is, they are not Specifically the same; for whatsoever things are Spe­cifically Ʋnited, are at the same time sup­posed to be Numerically distinguished from each other, and it is all one whether they [Page xlviii] be corporeal or incorporeal, for three Hu­man Souls, which are, without question, incorporcal beings, are as truly separate and divided from each other by a Nume­rical distinction, as three Stones or three Trees, or three Stools, or three Flowers, or any other three Bodies or three things what­soever: But this it seems was a way which Athanasius had not, when he was at a dead lift, to distinguish between corporeal and incorporeal without, and contrary to, rea­son, as when he speaks of the Cavil of the Arians against that saying of our Lord, I Intel. Shst. p. 618. am in the Father and the Father in me [...], &c. The Arians began to quarrel with that of our Lord, I am in the Father and the Father in me; objecting, how is it possible, that both the former should be in the latter, and the latter in the former? Or, How can the Fa­ther being greater be received in the Son who is lesser? In why of reply whereunto, saith the Doctour, Athanasius first observes, that the ground of this Arian Cavillation, was the grosseness of their apprehensions, and that they did [...], conceive of incorporeal things after a corporeal man­ner, and then does headd [...] &c. For the Father and the Son are not as they [Page xlix] ‘suppose transvasated and poured out, one into another as into an empty Vessel; as if the Son filled up the Concavity of the Father; and again, the Father that of the Son; and neither of them were full and perfect in themselves: For all this is pro­per to bodies; wherefore though the Fa­ther be in some sence greater than the Son, yet notwithstanding may he be in him after an manner.’ But now if we speak of an an extended Substance; it is manifest that the Arians were thus far in the right, that a lesser Extension, such as is the Humane Soul and Humane Nature of Christ, which was all that they meant in this exception, cannot swallow up and re­ceive into it self a greater, and much less that which is infinite, as the Divine Sub­stance was on both sides acknowledged to be, and therefore to say that the Father was in the Son, that is to say, a greater ex­tension in a less, after an incorporeal man­ner, was an absurd and impossible reply; for Extension is the same in both cases, and it is as impossible that the part should be bigger then the whole in the immaterial, as in the meterial World.

How this Place of Scripture proves a­gainst the Arians, and by consequence the [Page l] Socinians too shall be declared hereafter in the Process of this Address, which I perceive is like to swell to a much grea­ter Proportion than I at first intended for it, and would as little suit with Patience on your part, as with good manners on mine, but that You are used to put a fa­vourable Interpretation upon every thing that I do, and that where no Offence is ta­ken on the one side, neither can there be any given on the other; but I cannot chuse but take notice before I go any fur­ther, that this place of Scripture, by the Confession of the Arians themselves was an utter Enemy to the Arian cause, and in truth, I think the Scripture is so very flat and peremptory against it, that for a Man to profess himself at the same time to be an Arian and a Christian, are two professions that are plainly incompetible and inconsistent together; a Man ought to disown the Au­thority of the Scriptures, before he sets up for an Arian or Socinian, and it would be much less impious, and much more modest to do so, then at the same time, when a Man calls himself a Christian, to oppose with the constancy of a good cause, or the Impudence peculiar to a bad one, that which is so plainly, so expresly, so fre­quently, [Page li] so industriously Revealed in the Gospel.

Yet after all, Athanasius being as little satisfied at sometimes with this fine expe­dient, the distinction I mean betwixt Cor­poreal and Incorporeal, to salve the Unity of the Godhead in the Trinity, as with that o­ther of the Specifical agreement, trys a third conclusion of the Integral parts, of which the Physical totum or whole is constituted and composed, and he illustrates it as hath been seen by the comparison of a Vine, to whose Integrity the Stock, Root and Branch dop. [...] concurrently belong; and in like manner, saith the Doctour, as he thinks according to the Sentiments of Athanasius himself, those three Hypostases, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, are not only Congenerous and Co-essential, as ha­ving all the Essence of the Godhead alike in them, but also as concurrently making up one en­tire Divinity. But herein was the Doctour ve­ry plainly, and very grosly mistaken, for these two Ʋnities as I have shown, are ei­ther opposite and inconsistent the one with the other, or else they are at least Ʋnities of a quite different nature, so that the one cannot improve or strengthen the other, wherefore Athanasius did not pitch upon this expedient, to make the Specifick Ʋni­ty more close, but only that being dissatis­fied [Page lii] with that way of Solution, and being loath, as he had reason, when it is so plain­ly Revealed, to part with his main posi­tion, which was, that there is but one God, notwithstanding, that there are three Di­vine Persons, he fled, as it were, for re­fuge, out of that Solution into this; which was as absurd as the other, for as sure as God is, he is a Being simple and un­compounded, neither is there any possible way to be conceived, wherein this notion may be rendred intelligible, unless it be by conceiving God to be, as he is, an In­finite and Omnipresent Extension, endued with all possible blessedness and perfecti­on, one part of which space shall be look­ed upon as the Father, another as the Son, and another as the Holy Ghost, which bate­ing the Blasphemy and Impiety of it; how foolish and how childishly absurd it is, I leave to any Man of common Sense and common understanding to consider.

So that this way of removing the diffi­culty being every whit as ineffectual, and to as little purpose as the other; he was sometimes forced upon the Numerical es­sence whether he would or no, ‘And accor­dingly, saith the Doctor, Athanasius fur­therp. 619. concludes, these three Divine Hypo­stases [Page liii] have not a consent of will only, but essentially one and the self same will, and that they do also joyntly produce ad Ex­tra, [...] the self same Energy, operation or action; nothing being pecu­liar to the Son as such, but only the Oeconomy of the Incarnation,’ and for this he produces a place of Athanasius; for which I referr you to p. 620. of his Book, for I care not for more Greek then needs must. I Know the connexion of the word accordingly, which is the beginning of this excerption from the Doctor, was designed to confirm what he had said that Athana­sins did sometimes look upon the Trinity, as upon the constituent and concurrent parts, by which the whole is made up: ‘Accordingly whereunto, saith he, Athana­sius concludes, that these three Divine Hy­postases have not a consent of will only, but essentially, one and the self same Will.’ But by his good favour, this is so far from being a consequence, that it is more natu­rally inverted quite the contrary way; for if they have one and the self same Will, which Will, it is absurd to say that it can be divided into three parts, then is it plain that that substance in which this Will re­sides, must likewise of necessity be simple [Page liv] and uncompounded, or else each person, if it have not a piece of a Will, which is a piece of Non-sense, whether you respect the faculty in general, or any particular operation proceeding from it, must have a distinct Will by it self; which though it may possibly be consistent with a consent of Will in them all three, yet with the self same Will it is not, and therefore I rather look upon this, as the Doctor ought to have done, for another instance of the uncer­tain and fluctuating humour of Athanasius then any necessary consequence or result from the Fantastick Trinity of integrati­on, which it is so far from, that the con­trary is evidently true, if there be any such thing as truth or demonstration in the world; and in strictness of Speech that o­ther expression of Athanasius, which he cites in pag. 619. will bear no other sense than this [...]. The Godhead of the Son, is the Godhead of the Father; For this cannot be true of a Specifical Unity, though of a Numeri­cal it may and must, for granting that all the Three Persons have a Specifical agree­ment, yet the Godhead of the one, is not the Godhead of the other, any more then the Person of the one, is the Person of the [Page lv] other; as Peter and Paul agree specifical­ly in the Humane Nature, but yet the Hu­mane Soul of Peter is not the Humane Soul of Paul, any more then the Two Persons of Paul and Peter are the same; and this I think is sufficient to demonstrate that Atha­nasius did not certainly and constantly de­termine upon any thing, as to the Modus by which the Three Persons are one God, on­ly in general he was always stedfast and firm to this position, that there was but one God, notwithstanding that there are Three Divine Persons; and so having fairly dis­patcht this second point, which was of the inconsistency of Athanasius with himself; it is now time to proceed to the third thing proposed to be considered, which was to show that in this respect the Doctor is an exact parallel to the great Athanasius, altho' in other respects the comparison will not hold, for he is also troubled with that worst sort of self-denyal, which consists in palpably contradicting and varying from himself. For it is no longer ago then p. 605. that he told us, as he had it from Pe­tavius's own mouth, (a person well ac­quainted with Ecclesiastick Antiquity, page 604.) that the word Homoousios was ne­ver used by greek Writers otherwise, then [Page lvi] ‘to signifie the agreement of things Nume­rically differing from one another, in some common Nature or Ʋniversal Essence; or their having a Generical Ʋnity or Identity, and what he affirms here of all the Greek Writers in general, that he saith more par­ticularly concerning Athanasius himself, page 606. after many instances there pro­duced, ‘from all which it is unquestionably evident, that Athanasius did not by the word [...] understand that which hath the same singular and Numerical Essence with another, but the same common, gene­rical or specifical only; and consequently, that he conceived the Son to be Co-essential or Con-Substantial with the Father after that manner, and yet here page 619. he hath the confidence to tell us, that Athanasius himself, a Greek Writer to be sure, and the same Athanasius that he was before, that this same Athanasius himself, one of the Greek Writers that never used the word Ho­moousios otherwise then for a specific Ʋni­ty, but only now and then when they do use it otherwise, as the Greeks have always been observed to be of a very changeable and inconstant humour, that this very Athanasius Affirmeth, [...] and [...], [Page lvii] ‘that the Tree is congenerous or homogeni­cal with the Root, and the Branches co-es­sential with the Vine,’ and his meaning is, as it should seem, ‘that the Stock and Branches are not only of one kind, but also altoge­ther make up the entire essence of one Plant or Tree; and this I think hath been suf­ficiently proved to be another sort of Ʋni­ty, than that which is call'd Specific, neither was this the only time, that the Greek Wri­ter Athanasius in spite of Petavius and his Transcriber Dr. C. used the word Homo­ousios; after the same manner, for so the Doctor himself tells us, pag. 606. out of Athanasius, [...] that the Branches are Homoousious and congenerous with the Vine or with the Root thereof; and this testimony is the more to be regarded, not only because it is alledged by the Doctor himself, to the utter undoing of his general observation, pag. 605. ‘that the word Homoousios is never us'd otherwise by Greek Writers then to signifie the agree­ment of things Numerically differing from one another, in some common Nature or Ʋniversal Essence; But still the rather be­cause this is one of those very Citations from which the Doctor infers that observa­tion as a legitimate conclusion in the bot­tom [Page lviii] of that page. ‘From all which it is unquestionably evident, that Athanasius did not by the word Homoousios understand, that which hath the same singular and Nu­merical Essence with another, but the same common, generical or specifical only;’ and a­gain before this also page 598. speaking of the Platonick Trinity, he hath these words: The entireness of the whole Divinity is made up of all these three together, which have all [...] ‘one and the same Energy or Action ad extra, and therefore as the Cen­tre, radious distance, moveable & circum­ference may be all said to be co-essential to a Sphere; and the Root, Stock and Bows or Branches, co-essential to an entire Tree, so but in a much more perfect sense, are the Platonick Tagathon, Nous and Psyche, co-es­sential to that [...] that Divinity in the whole Ʋniverse, neither was Atha­nasius a stranger to this notion of the word [...] also he affirming [...] ‘that the Branches are coessential with, and indivisible from, the Vine, and illustrating the Trinity by that similitude.’

But notwithstanding that at some times, the Doctour may look upon this Ʋnity of Integration, not as a different Ʋnity, tho' [Page lix] such it be most certainly, but as an im­provement of the Specifick, which is the thing he drives at. p. 619. yet at others he is pleased to display his ignorance in ano­ther way, and talks after such a manner, as if the Specific Ʋnity, and the Ʋnity of Integration were the same; for so, p. 606. He not only tells us according to the Do­ctrine and Language of Athanasius, [...], ‘That the Branches are Homoousios (Co-Essential or Con-substantial) and Congenerous with the Vine, or with the Root thereof.’ But he pa­rallels this place of Athanasius with ano­ther of Plotinus, where he affirms concern­ing the Soul, that it is [...], ‘That it is full of Divine things, by reason of its being Cognate or Congenerous & Homoousios with them:’ That is, by reason of its Specifical Agreement in the common genus of the Immaterial and Incorruptible Nature; for this was certain­ly the sense of Plotinus, so that besides the bare sound of the words [...] and [...] which in these two Citations have as dif­ferent Senses, as it is possible for the same words to put on, there is no manner of congruity or agreement betwixt Plotin and Athanasius, and yet the Doctour not only [Page lx] manifestly implies there is, but after having alledged the Testimony of Athanasius, he immediately subjoyns; ‘Besides which, the same Father uses [...] and [...] and [...] differently for [...], in sundry places, none of which words can be thought to signify an Identity of singular Essence, but only of Generical or Specifical: Now the words, be­sides which are manifestly used, if they have any sense, to strengthen and corroborate, what went immediately before, which was the place of Athanasius concerning the Ʋnity of Integration in the several parts of a Vine, which place being parallell'd with a place of Plotinus, concerning the Specific Ʋni­ty, and back'd immediately by an obser­vation which relates to nothing else; we must either say, that the Doctor talks im­pertinently and confounds the Elements of his Intellectual System, so that we may say of that, what Ovid said, of such another Sy­stem, before this comely Fabrick of the World, was brought into that beautiful and Majestic order in which we now be­hold it, that it is,

——rudis, indigesta (que) moles,
Nec quicquam nisi pondus iners, congesta (que) eo­dem
Non bene Junctarum discordia semina rerum.

And the same Character will be exactly true, of the Intellectual Chaos, which that incomparable Poet and Philosopher gives us of the natural,

Qua (que) erat & tellus, illic & Pontus & Aether,
Sic erat instabilis tellus, innabilis unda,
Lucis egens Aer, nulli sua forma manebat,
Obstabat (que) aliis aliud, quia corpore in uno
Frigida pugnabant calidis, humentia siccis,
Mollia cum duris, sine pondere habentia pondus.

Or else if the Character of an imperti­nent, be thought a little too severe and sharp for a Man that is so proud and would be thought so learned, then you will do well the next time you see him, to put him in mind of an honest English Proverb, which is not to be found in Suidas, or Zenodotus, or Michael Apostolius, or any of the Greek Paroemiographers, that ever I have met with, that the greatest Clerks are not always the wi­sest Men; for if it be not Impertinence, it is downright Non-sense, and who would think that so much inconsistent, contradi­ctious, incoherent Stuff should be the work of twice as many weary days and restless nights, as Penelope spent upon her unravel­ling Loom, in the long absence of her dear [Page lxii] Ʋlysses, of twenty painful and laborious years, and of two hundred and sixty va­riable Moons.

O rem ridiculam, Cato, & Jocosam!

I wonder in my heart how the Learned Doctor, as Learned as he is, came to be so cock sure that the word Homoousios never was used otherwise by Greek Writers, than for things that were Specifically the same, but had a Numerical difference from each other, the chief reason he assigns is because Petavius told him so, and in this he seems to be guilty of the same infirmity which he despiseth so much, p. 604. in the [...], the many that are led by new Names and Authorities. It is true, he produceth ma­ny places where the word Homoousios is without question to be understood of a Specifical Unity, but what is that to the purpose? Does it therefore follow that it is never used otherwise? If he had given a par­ticular and compleat Induction of all the places where this word is used in any Greek Writer, and shown that in every one, it could not be understood otherwise then of a Specific Identity, this had been a legiti­mate conclusion, but to say of a word that [Page lxiii] may have divers significations, that in some places it is used altogether in one sense, and therefore there is no place where it hath any other, is an inference peculiar to the Doctors Logick, and shows him sufficiently to have been a very unfit Architect to build an Intel­lectual System, an Intellectual Castle in the Ayr, he should have called it, unless it were built upon more solid Foundations, and had more substantial Pillars to support it.

Well, but Petavius told him so, I mar­ry did he, and what if he did? what then? must we believe every thing that Petavius tells us? why then we must believe that Transubstan­tiation is true, and that the Church of En­gland is Schismatical, in separating from the Church of Rome, for there is no doubt but Pe­tavius would have determined affirmatively upon these questions, as often as any one had put them to him: Nay, but Petavius was a Man well skilled in Ecclesiastic Antiquity, so he was, and so is not the Doctor who pretends to follow him, but yet nothing hinders but both may be deceived; for Petavius was neither Pope nor general Coun­cil, and if he had been both of these at once, yet there is a Pestilent Heresie sprung up in these Northern parts, that will have both of these to be liable to Errour, and [Page lxiv] if Petavius be deceived the Doctor must too, for they are Bithus and Bachius, Hand and Glove, an Original and a Transcript, an Author and a Plagiary, so that if Peta­vius be blind, it follows unavoidably, that the Intellectual Systemer must wink hard for Company, and so they are both in danger of the Ditch; I do not mean Democritus his Ditch, at the bottom of which the Truth was supposed to lie, but of the Ditch of Errour and Hallucination.

But after all, perhaps the Doctors me­mory may fail him, for is he sure that he had this notion from Petavius; why true­ly when the matter comes to be sifted to the bottom, Don John of Austria does not prove so tall as our Enformant first took him to be, for by the Oath he hath taken, he can say no more then that Petavius intimated thus much, p. 605. but how did he inti­mate it? O 'tis no matter for that! Inti­mations, you know Sir, may be made a thousand ways, which it would be tedious at present to recount, and if this were but one of them it is enough, as a Man of com­prehension will tell you, there are several Roads to Heaven, a Man might have ta­ken lately a very convenient opportunity of going thither through Turkey, in the [Page lxv] company of the Grand Visier, or if he will have patience for a little longer, he may have a convenient and safe passage in the Caravan of Count Tekeley, who goes thi­ther in the Hungarian Road, there is a ve­ry pleasant way thither through the Bani­ans Country, and another that goes all a­long under the great Wall of China, and people may go thither in what habit they please, and to what Profession or Sect so­ever they belong, in Fur or in Silk, in a Cowl or a Cassock, with Ribbands up to the Pocket holes, or in a Coller-band, and a yea and nay pinner; but if you do but get to Heaven at last, it is no matter for the Road you take, though you were to pass through Purgatory it self, which is by much the furthest way about.

Petavius was a Jesuite every inch of him, and these Jesuites are mightily given to sham the World with Equivocations and Mental Reservations, and such like Loioli­teish and Ignatian Tricks, as you will see particularly in this Instance, in the Sequel of my Story; for I did my self the Ho­nour to'ther day to make him a visit; and to procure a more easie admittance, and a more kind reception, I thought it best to make use of the Doctor's Name, and I told [Page lxvi] him in as civil Language as I could, that I had Service to give him from Christ's Col­lege, and that it run mightily in the Head of his humble Servant and faithful Transcri­ber, as if he had intimated something that look'd that way, or let fall some words ac­cidentally to that purpose, that the word Homoousios was never used otherwise by Greek Writers, then to signifie an agreement of things Numerically different in the same common Nature or Ʋniversal Essence, and I desired him that he would be plain in the business, and let us know whither we might report this in Company, as from himself to be his opinion: Why truly, said the Je­suite, after a little pause, and he put on, me thought, a very intimating look, that had as much obliging Rhetorick as would have held a Sheet, and that would have sold for a Guiney, had his Worship been to Transcribe it from his Countenance, and Translate it out of red and white, into white and black; truly said he, it is no small com­fort and satisfaction to me to find my Dog­mata so pleasing, to one that is given so extremely to dogmatize himself, yet am I not pleased so much for mine own sake, as for that of the Catholick Religion, which I in that Book have maintained and assert­ed, [Page lxvii] for it is manifest that this Gentleman hath not only read my Book, but that he writ it too; I do not mean so as if it were not mine, but that he writ it after me, so kind is he to any thing that bears my Name, that he indulges and huggs it as if it were his own, and then a smile, unbent the severity of his brow, a false, Jesuitical, in­timating smile it was, and was as much as if he should have said, These Heretics are all of them Plagiaries and Transcribers; but really Sir, continued he, as for what he charges me with, and I perceive he pre­tends great intimacy with me, as if I had made, as if the word Homoousios had no o­ther meaning then what you speak of, in any Greek Writer; believe me Sir, I never said any such thing in all my life, nor any thing that look'd with half an Eye that way, he denied it with all the Asseveration of a Jesuite at the Gallows, so that I knew not what to think; but finding the Man grow warm in his own defence, I was very wea­ry of his Company, and offered to take my leave, making the best Apology I could for giving him this disturbance, and it so happening just at that nick of time, that there were other scruple-mongers rapping at the Door, and in great haste to be resol­ved, [Page lxviii] the Father was glad to take me at my word, and referred me for my further sa­tisfaction to his Book de Trinitate, where he said, I should soon be satisfied how much the Learned Heretic had misreport­ed him, and accordingly, notwithstan­ding that he was a rank Jesuite, yet I found his words afterwards to be very true.

For he tells us plainly in his Fourth Book that the Word [...] was in use not only among the Orthodox, but among the Ma­nichean Heretics themselves, long before the Nicene Council, to express their Notion of the Trinity, which did not consist of a specific Ʋnity, but was taken up wholely in the Ʋnity of Integration, and every part of that whole, of which the Trinity was composed, they called [...], or ra­ther Homoousion according to them signify­ed the whole Substance taken together, of which every single Person was [...] a Part, as our incomparable Bishop of Chester hath observed, and withal corrected the Mi­stake of Petavius in this matter; For whereas the Learned Jesuite speaking of St. Hilary's Translation of the Word Homoousi­on hath these Words: Quod Hilarius ita La­tine reddidit, tanquam Homoousion id signifi­caret, [Page lxix] quod partem substantiae habet ex toto re­sectam, The Judicious Prelate observes, that this was done by Petavius without reason, for, saith he, St. Hillary clearly translates Homoousion barely unius Substantiae, and it was in the Original [...], which he expressed by partem unius Substantiae; from whence it is manifest in the Ʋsage of the Manichees, who were as good Greeks, as the Orthodox themselves, that as [...] signifyed a Part of that Substance, whose whole was all of it of a similar and homo­geneous Nature; so Homoousion by it self sig­nifyed that Substance, which was numerical­ly one with it self, and not specifically one with another; and yet this it seems was an ordinary and constant Ʋse of the Word a­mong some Sort of Men, and which A­thanasius himself favoured in his comparison of the Vine, before the Nicene Creed was known in the World; or if we should al­low that the whole could not so properly be said to be Homoousion, as the Parts of which it consists, yet this is only an Ʋnity of Integral Parts, not a specific Ʋnity of se­veral things, that are consider'd as wholes by themselves, and this is enough to de­stroy the Doctor's Observation; Nay, this Interpretation of the Word Homoousios was [Page lxx] so proper to the Manichees, that, as the same excellent Bishop observes; Arius, for this very reason pretended to reject the Name, Homoousion, lest hereby he should be thought to admit a real Composition, or Division in the Deity; and Eusebius Bishop of Caesarea refused to subscribe to the Creed of the Council of Nice, till this Word was mollifyed by Interpretation; so that he might be sure to take it in an Orthodox Sense.

But it is still more remarkable what Pe­tavius observes, concerning the Schisme that happened at Antioch, about the Hy­postases of the Blessed Trinity, some would have it, that in this Mystery there was but one Hypostasis or Divine Substance; (for that was it which in that Controversy they understood by the word Hypostasis) others that there were three, yet did the one en­deavour so to explain their notion of Three Hypostases (though that in Truth cannot be done) as to avoid Polytheism, and the other so to interpret the Doctrine of one Sub­stance, as to avoid the Heresies of Sabellius and Paulus Samosatenus and Photinus; and therefore meeting together to compose the business at a Synod at Alexandria, both Parties were by the authority of Athana­sius himself perswaded to acquiesce in the [Page lxxi] Nicene Formulary of Faith, to which it was impossible for any one to subscribe with­out acknowledging the Persons of the Blessed Trinity to be Homoousious one with another; for tho' this word before the Ni­cene Council were abused to an unsound & erroneous sense by the Manichean Here­tics, and therefore were at first rejected by the Orthodox themselves; yet at last it began to be looked upon, as a word that did the most significantly declare the meaning of the Orthodox, against Heresies of all sorts, so far as the Mystery of the Trinity was concerned; and for that rea­son it was inserted in the Symbol of Nice, and it is not only clear by the acknow­ledgment of Petavius, but it is unavoida­bly necessary in the nature of the thing, that if both Parties in the Schisma Antio­chenum did equally subscribe to and acqui­esce in the Nicene Confession, that they must also subscribe mutually to the word Homo­ousion, altho' they took it in different senses, the one as expressing only an Ʋnity of Spe­cific Nature, and the other an Ʋnity of In­dividual Essence, and is it not then extream­ly bold in this unskillful pretender to Ec­clesiastick Antiquity? First to tell us with so dogmatical a confidence, that the word [Page lxxxii] Homoousion was never used otherwise by Greek Writers, then to signifie a generical or a Specific Ʋnity, and then to quote Petavi­us for his Author, who does so plainly and so substantially confute him? and moreo­ver shows that even as it is set down in the Nicene Creed, it was not a word of a de­termin'd signification, but signified indiffe­rently according to the different opinion of those who had themselves subscribed to it; either the Specific Ʋnity or the Numerical, though to speak truth, as they that were for one Hypostasis, yet made more then a Sabellian or Nominal distinction betwixt the Three Persons; so they that were for Three yet were ashamed, when they were urged, to explain their Doctrine after such a manner; as if the Three Persons were as distinct and different from one another as three several men are known to be, (which is the Doctors Athanasian sense of Homoou­sios) and would have been very loath to be so understood, as if they ran into Genti­lism to avoid the inconvenience of the Sa­bellian Doctrine; but yet so, as that this was all the while the different principle up­on which they proceeded; the assertors of one Hypostasis were afraid of Polytheism, and the maintainers of three of Sabellia­nism; [Page lxxiii] notwithstanding that when they came to discourse together, neither could explain or vindicate their own Doctrine, so as to make it plain and free from all ex­ception, but both Parties mutually centred in this point, that there was indeed but one only God, notwithstanding that there were Three Divine Persons, but said the one of them how can there be Three Di­vine Hypostases, without admitting Three Gods? to which the other not able to give any satisfactory answer, contented themselves with being able as they thought to charge their adversaries with an equal difficulty on their part, how can there be said to be Three Divine Persons, unless you admit Three Divine Hypostases or Substan­ces also? and this last mentioned difficulty whatever answer it is capable of receiving, yet it is certain, that in Antiquity it never met with any, so that the controversy was endless, and both of the contending Par­ties, being mutually agreed, that there was but one God; notwithstanding that there were Three Divine Persons, though neither could give a satisfactory account of their way of explaining it; it was indeed no bet­ter then a [...] or Controversy about words, when in the main business they [Page lxxiv] were both of them agreed, and neither knew how to explain their particular senti­ments, as to the Modus of it to the other, or to themselves, and this is no more then what St. Jerome expresly tells us in E. 57. ad Damascen cited by Petavius L. 4. C. 4. of his book de Trinitate—fufficiat nobis dicere unam substantiam, Tres Personas subsistentes, perfect as, aequales, coaeternas, taceantur tres Hy­postases, si placet, & una teneatur, non bonae sus­picionis est, cum in eodem sensu verba dis­sentiunt.

This was the true reason that made Atha­nasius and others so extreamly uncertain in their determinations, how there could be Three Divine Persons, and yet but one Di­vine Substance they could not tell; and there is no question, but they were mise­rably run a ground as often as they en­countred with the Arrians about it; and this made them sometimes fly to the Speci­fic Ʋnity, as Athanasius himself is some­times found to have done, but this was more professedly and constantly the Do­ctrine of Gregory Nyssen and Cyrillus Alex­andrinus and some others of the Fathers; but this lying so fairly open to the charge of Gentilism from their Arrian Opposers; they sometimes fled for refuge into the [Page lxxv] Manichean Ʋnity, which was the Ʋnity of the Vine and Stock and Branches or the Ʋ ­nity of Integration, but then at other times being made sufficiently sensible, not only of the weakness but Impiety of this Doctrine, they compared it to the Sun, and its Splen­dor and Light, which have no real dif­ference from one another, and herein, if I am not mistaken, they fell in with the He­resy of the Valentinians who made the Son to be [...] a kind of a ray, or shooting out of that Divine Substance which is called the Father, they are the words of Arrius himself concerning Velenti­nus in his Epistle to Alexander, [...], which St. Hil­lary hath rendred prolationem patris; and this if I am not mistaken is the very same Here­sy which was branded with an Anathema, by several Presbyters and Deacons of the Marcellian Party, under the name of [...] as if the Son were a kind of an enlarge­ment or dilatation of the Divine Substance, of which I shall have occasion to say more in a very little while, so that to avoid the poison of the Arian Doctrine they ran al­most, by turns and without any constancy or fixt assurance, into all other Heresies and absurdities whatsoever, the reason of [Page lxxvi] which was that without discarding the Authority of the Scriptures, they thought they could not by any means let go that Fundamental Position, that there was but one God, notwithstanding that there were Three Divine Persons, and therefore some­times being perplextand entangled in their own Meditations, and at other times for­ced in a manner upon it by the Arians, ur­ging them perpetually to explain the Mo­dus in which it was at least possible for such a thing to be, they resolved the diffi­culty sometimes one way, and sometimes another; and what I say of the Arians the same is to be understood of the Ebionites, and of the Followers of Artemon and Paulus and of the Disciples of Sabellius and Photinus, for all these Heresies were owing more or less to the inconceivable obscurity, and as they thought implicite Contradiction, of this proposition that the Godhead be­ing but One, there were notwithstanding Three Personalties to be met with in it.

Again as the difficulty of explaining the Doctrine of the Trinity, as to the manner wherein it was possible for Three Divine Persons to be really existent, notwithstan­ding that there was but One Divine Sub­stance, occasioned as well the Heresie of [Page lxxvii] the Arians themselves, as all those other Heresies that have been mentioned; so the constant Attestation of the Scripture to this Truth, That there is but One God, or One Divine Substance, and that there were Three Persons, that were truly and properly Divine, did sometimes shake the confidence of the Arian Party, and produced that He­resie which was called Semiarian, which banished the Word Homoousion out of the Creed, as may be seen in the Confession of the Selcucian Synod under Constantius, and introduced that of [...] instead of it, which was received by some of the Catho­licks themselves, though in a different Sense, as Petavius hath observed, and indeed there was no reason why it should not equally have been received by all, if they had look­ed upon the Ʋnity of the Blessed Trinity, to be no more then Specifical, for this is that which [...] does most properly signifie, as Lucretius explains the [...] of Anax­agoras to be a Specifical Identity of similar parts: Furthermore as they acknowledged the Son to be [...], Co-essential or Con­substantial with the Father, tho' in a sense much beneath the Specifical, so did they likewise call him [...], God of God, but in so cold a sense, that when the mat­ter [Page lxxviii] came to be examined to the bottom, they differed scarce any thing from the A­rians themselves, as Epiphanius hath taken notice.

But when all is done Athanasius, when he was not disputing with himself, nor with the Arians or other Heretics, and when he attended only to the declarations of the Scripture concerning this great Mystery of the Christian Faith, the Doctrine of the Tri­nity, he did believe and affirm plainly, that there was but one Hypostasis or Substance in it, and that the three Persons of which it was composed, did all of them belong, to use the Doctors Language, to the same sin­gular Existent Essence, and yet notwithstand­ing he must be supposed all this while to sub­scribe heartily to the word [...] in the Ni­cene Creed, and by consequence did under­stand it after that manner, in which the In­tellectual Dogmatist asserts, that it was ne­ver understood by him or by any other Greek Writer; and because he is pleased to hold the World in hand, that he speaks this by intimation from Petavius, therefore I will prove what I have said to be true, by the Authority of the same Writer, who not only intimates, but plainly affirms the con­trary, L. 4. de Trin. c. 13. where after ha­ving [Page lxxix] cited a passage out of Athanasius, in his Fifth Oration, to prove that he held but one Hypostasis or Divine Substance in the Trini­ty, he adds this Comment upon the Citati­on, Ʋbi quod Divinitate unum ait esse Patrem & Filium, de ea sola, quae speciei convenit, unitate non potest accipi, alioqui non id adjun­geret; Filium a Patre sectum ac divisum non esse ne (que) ab eo separari: cum individua quaelibet sub eadem comprehensa specie, ab iis unde pro­pagata sunt, divisa sint ac separata. And at the end of another Citation out of this Ex­position of Faith, a very good place to Judg of Athanasius's opinion, he hath these words, Prorsus in tribus personis unam & individuam substantiam ac naturam Athanasius agnoscit; non cujusmodi in tribus est hominibus, aut in Diis pluribus, si Dei species esset ulla commu­nis pluribus, sed quem admodum una Fontis a­qua est & Fluvii; quae continua cum sit, ne (que) interrupta; non specie tantum, sed numero a­qua una censetur. And that this was Peta­vius his setled opinion appears from L. 1. c. 13. S. 5. Where he hath these words, refer­ring to this Chapter in his Fourth Book, at vero unam tantum Hypostasin Trinitatis A­thanasius agnoscit, ut Libro quarto demon­strabimus; the Sum of all which is no more than this, that the Systematical Compiler [Page lxxx] thinks Petavius to have intimated as much; as if neither Athanasius nor any other Greek Writer understood the word [...] in any other sense, then only to signifie a Specifi­cal Agreement between things Numerically differing from each other, and Petavius thinks he hath demonstrated the contrary, not only out of Athanasius, but other of the Fathers, who did concur with him in the acknowledgement of a singular Essence, as may be seen in that and other Chapters of that Book, notwithstanding that they did all of them unquestionably subscribe to the word Homoousios in the Nicene Creed; to all which it is still farther to be added, that in the Antiochian Schism, they which were the true occasion of it, were not they who asserted one Hypostasis, but the main­tainers of three, which gave such offence to the Assertors of one, as tending to Po­lytheism, that it occasioned a separation be­tween them, and this happening as it did, though in the same Age, yet somewhat af­ter the Nicene Council, it is manifest that those Fathers before this Schism happened, did generally maintain the singular Exi­stent Essence, and by consequence, that they understood the word [...] in that significa­tion, and so here is a publick, and the great­est [Page lxxxi] of all publick Authorities in the Church, for the Numerical and Individual Essence, long before the Lateran Council was thought of in the World, if we will take the un­questionable Sentiments of the Nicene Fa­thers, for a publick determination upon this question, although they did not de­finitively declare their meaning, in ex­press words, for the individual Essence, which if they had done, it would have been impossible for both parties, in the Schism of Antioch, to acquiesce in the Authority of that Council, and mutually subscribe to their confession of Faith; and indeed the signification of that word, not having been definitively and scrupulously determined by the Council of Nice, is a very strong Argument, that all those Fathers were U­nanimous for the singular Essence, other­wise there would have been a division up­on this account, in the Council it self, An­tecedent to that of Antioch, and this division would either have occasioned a mutual se­paration, as afterwards it did, or they would have explained their Sentiments concerning the Blessed Trinity, in such terms of Latitude, as both parties might well enough acquiesce in, which would have rendred a Schism upon that score, in a manner afterwards impossi­ble.

Another thing which I shall instance in to shew what Sentiments the Council of Nice had in this Affair, shall be the Story of Marcellus Bishop of Ancyra, who was one of those 318 Fathers of which that Coun­cil was composed, a very strong Oppugner of the Arrian Faction, as himself assures us in an Epistle written afterwards in his own Defence to Julius Bishop of Rome, but yet notwithstanding not long after this Council, he was Deposed from his Bishop­rick for Heresie by Eusebius Caesariensis and his Party; but Epiphanius makes a great doubt, whether he should reckon him a­mong Hereticks or no, and it is certain, that he not only approved himself to the said Julius the Roman Bishop, and to Athanasi­us himself for a Man sound in the Faith, but that the Council of Sardis determined in his favour, and judging that he had been abused and misrepresented by the above mentioned Eusebius, restored him to his Bishoprick again. Now if it can be pro­ved that the Doctrine of Marcellus was no other then that of the singular existent Es­sence in the Persons of the Trinity; then it follows likewise, that this was the Judg­ment of Julius and of Athanasius too, to whom he approved himself, and not only [Page lxxxiii] so, but of the Council of Sardis also, by whom he was restored, and the Doctrine of the Nicene Council, being at that time the Orthodox Measure of Faith, we may from hence infer their Sentiments likewise.

The Confession of Marcellus is set down in his Epistle to Julius in Epiphanius, in these words, [...] that is, ‘we are assured from the Holy Scriptures, that the Godhead of the Father and the Son, is indivisibly Ʋnited, for if a­ny one shall separate the Son, that is, the word from God Almighty (or God the Father) it is necessary that he either maintain the ex­istence of two Gods, which is agreed to be repugnant to the Scriptures, or that he say the word is not God, which is equally incon­sistent with the Catholick Faith with the o­ther; for the Evangelist tells us, the word was God, and I have been exactly ( [...]) or certainly taught, that the Son is the in­divisible and inseparable Power of the Fa­ther, for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ saith, I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and whoso hath seen me, hath seen the Fa­ther also. This Faith I having received from the Scriptures, and from the Succession of Believers that have gone before me in the profession of it ( [...]) I Preach in the Church and write it to you. [Page lxxxiv] In which confession Epiphanius himself grants, that there is nothing which is not Or­thodox and sound, but yet he thinks it rea­sonable to believe he might be guilty of some Errours, which occasioned this De­fence of himself, and Petavius saith, That in the Books of Eusebius, which were written against him, there are several excerpta cited out of his own Writings, which cannot bear a Justifiable Interpretation; but yet he acknowledgeth Eusebius to have been too uncharitable and morosely critical and cen­sorious, in putting the worst construction upon every thing, in Marcellus his Writ­ings, and representing every thing to an extremity of disadvantage, very disagree­able to a fair and candid Writer, and the Judgment of Petavius is confirmed by a passage in Epiphanius, concerning Athana­sius, of whom, when Epiphanius himself de­manded what his Judgment was of Marcel­lus, he gave him little or no answer, [...], ‘only intimated by a smile, that he was not far from Heretical pravity, but that he looked upon him as a convert.’ He did not say he ever was an Heretick, but only seemed to intimate some such thing by a smile, [Page lxxxv] upon which a Man might have put diffe­rent Interpretations, as his fancy served, as if he had not been far from something that was amiss, but afterwards both saw and amended his Errour, which is a mighty ex­tenuating way of calling a Man Heretick, as can possibly be imagined: Petavius him­self supposeth him, out of hatred and de­testation of the Arian Herisie, to have run sometimes a little too far into the other extreme, and to have enclined to the Sa­bellian Doctrine; but it is strange to me, that none of the Bishops that sat to Judge and Determine upon his Cause at Sardis, and who were equal Enemies to both Ex­tremes, could discern any such thing; for it is manifest they approved the Man and his opinions, and whereas Petavius gives it still further, as his Judgment, that in this very Epistle, which was directed to Julius, his Confession is worded after so cold a manner, that it will scarce serve to free him from the imputation of Sabellianism, which his Adversaries would have cast up­on him: It is sufficient to me, that it satis­fied Julius at that time, who knew Mar­cellus better then Petavius could do, and that Athanasius himself was one of his Com­purgators, who is unanimously acknow­ledged, [Page lxxxvi] bating the uncertainty of his re­solutions as to the Modus of the Trinity, none of which ought therefore to be look­ed upon as his fixt opinion, to have been far enough from any thing that looked that way, and yet there is one thing in the Con­fession of Marcellus, which might have been thought to savour of Sabellianism, were it not the express Language of the Scripture it self, where speaking of the Son, he says that he was [...], the inseparable and indivisible Power of the Father, as if he were not a distinct Person, but only an Attribute or affection of that Divine Substance which is called the Father, but so the Scripture speaks 1 Cor. 1. 24. Christ, the Power of God, and the Wisdom of God, but what then? does it follow from thence that he was not a di­stinct Person from God the Father? by no means, but only that he was a Person en­dued and furnisht with divine Power and Wisdom; as when the People said, though falsly and mistakenly of Simon Magus, Act. 8. 10. This Man is the great power of God, they meant no more then this, not that he was an Attribute or Affection of God the Father, or God the Father in a certain re­spect, not differing from him in Person, [Page lxxxvii] and in a separate reality of Existence, but only that he was a Person working by Di­vine Power; although I confess what the Apostle said of Christ is true in an infinite­ly more noble and exalted Sense, than that which the People said of Simon Magus, tho all had been true of him, which they can be supposed to have understood by it; for they meant no more than that Simon was a Person working by Divine Power and As­sistance; but St. Paul referred to the Ʋnion of the two Natures in the Person of Christ, by which it came to pass, the same divine Substance being common to both, as shall be hereafter more particularly declared, that the same Power and Wisdom, numeri­cally the same, as belonging inseparably to the same Divine Substance, did belong to both, the Father and the Son, and what that is which distinguishes the Persons, not­withstanding the same singular Essence be­long in common to them both, shall be con­sidered more largely by and by; so that if we reflect upon this Passage of Marcellus, which is the only thing that can derive an Imputation of Heresie upon him; and con­sider first, that it is no more than the Lan­guage of the Scripture it self; and secondly who it was to whom this Epistle was dire­cted [Page lxxxviii] in his own just and necessary Vindica­tion, it will appear in both respects not only charitable, but highly just and reaso­nable to believe, that Marcellus meant no­thing but what was truly Orthodox and unquestionably sound; and it is strange to me, that Petavius should discern so much Art in this Confession of Marcellus, as if it were written so that it might possibly bear a Sabellian Interpretation, notwithstanding that he hath taken no notice of this Pas­sage in it, which is the only thing that looks that way.

And what if Eusebius condemned him in his Writings, and by his interest deposed him from his Bishoprick; certainly the O­pinion of the Bishops that sat in Council concerning his Affair, and his Restoration to his See, which was consequent upon it, is more considerable in his Justification, then the other can redound to his preju­dice or disgrace; they did not condemn him after the example of Eusebius, but on the contrary, censured Eusebius, for what he had done; which is a very great testi­mony of Antiquity in his behalf, besides that notwithstanding some of those excerpta which Eusebius pretends to have taken out of Marcellus, cannot perhaps be reconciled [Page lxxxix] to an Orthodox Sence; yet since it was the Opinion of so many Ancient and unque­stionably Orthodox Bishops, with whom Petavius himself in part agrees: that Euse­bius was possest with a violent prejudice against his adversary, and that he laid hold of the most trifling occasions, of things that would by no means bear it, to run him down; which the Learned Jesuite confesses him to have done, how can we tell but he might misquote him also, for there is nothing more ordi­nary even in our dayes, notwithstanding that since Printing came in, and so many Copies are immediately spread abroad, it is more dangerous to do it now, then it was then; and may be more effectually remedied by Printing, and dispersing a true and impartial representation of the case.

Nay, that there was indeed a great deal of foul play in the behaviour of Mar­cellus his adversaries towards him, of which adversaries Eusebius of Caesarea was the chief, appears from the great praecaution of Marcellus, as to that very Epistle which he sent to Julius, for he took a Copy of it for himself before he sent it away, and he beggs likewise of Julius to send faithful Copies of it to the Bishops within his Ju­risdiction [Page xc] for the prevention of mistakes, and that the world might be satisfyed from himself what manner of man he was, which would have been a needless thing had there not been some ill practi­ces made use of, to represent him amiss, and to make him say what he never inten­ded.

That Marcellus was a firm and resolute Assertor of the singular Divine Essence in the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, may be proved undenyably from the words of his Confession. For first he says, [...], &c. The Godhead of the Father and Son are divisible and inseparable from each other, which is as much as to say in other words; as Athanasius himself did sometimes [...], The Godhead of the Son, is the Godhead of the Father, which can be understood of nothing but the Nu­merical Essence, as I have shown already, and so I find since Dionysius Petavius to have applyed it before me; but now upon supposition of a specifical Ʋnity, there will as really be Two Godheads, and by conse­quence Two Gods, as any two things speci­fically united are numerically distinct from one another; and yet this was that which [Page xci] Marcellus plainly endeavoured to avoid, by saying, [...], That the Godhead of the Father and the Son was inseparable and indivisible, as it appears by what is immediately subjoyned, [...] that is, He that se­parates or divides the Son, that is, the Word from God (the Father) Almighty, it is neces­sary either that he assert Two Gods, which is repugnant to Scripture, or that he deny the Son to be God, which seems to be every whit as inconsistent with the Catholic Faith as the other. In which Words it is as plain as Words can make it, that he affirms, there is but [...] one Almighty, and that Christ himself is that one Almighty, or that he does not differ from him, because upon supposition that he did; one of these two things must be granted, either that Christ was not God, which he rejects as repugnant to the Scrip­ture, or that there must be at once [...] Two Gods, at least Numerically distinct, which is all the sence in which it is possible to conceive of Two Gods, supposing them both to be Omnipresent, Omnipotent and [Page xcii] Infinitely Perfect Beings, (and otherwise then this they are not properly Gods) For they will both of them have the same At­tributes, and the same Perfections, and so can be only Numerically distinct from one another, from whence it follows, that if the Numerical distinction be not of its self sufficient to introduce a Plurality of Gods, then there can be no Polytheisme in the world, that is Polytheism strictly and proper­ly so called, and understood of several Beings infinitely perfect.

Besides that, the Specifick Ʋnity, as it is in it self perfect Non-sence, as hath been already sufficiently declared, so is it per­fectly inconsistent with that notion of the Trinity, to which the Assertors of the Spe­cific Ʋnity did themselves subscribe; For the Son, as such, is begotten by the Father, and the Holy Ghost, as such, proceeds or flows from the Father and the Son; so that here is a manifest and a confest Subordinati­on of the one Person to the other, and the Son though he be begotten by an eternal Gene­ration, though it be true as, the Antient Con­fessions are used to express it, [...], That there was no time when he was not, yet it is manifest that an eternal Generation argues an eternal Dependance upon an eter­nal [Page xciii] Parent, and an eternal Emanation or Pro­cession, an eternal Dependance upon an eter­nal Cause; so that here is self-existence on the one hand, and Dependance on the other; and these two are so far from being specifically united, that they do toto genere, and toto coelo distare, and as the Son hath an eternal dependance on the Father, as his eternal Pa­rent, so is the Holy Ghost proceeding from both, with respect to the Son, posterior na­tura, though not cognitione, as the Logici­ans speak, because there is no time when he was not, so that the Son and Holy Ghost, that is, that Characteristic mark or difference, whatsoever it is, by which the Son and Ho­ly Ghost are distinguished from the Father and from each other, is on both hands a Creature, though it be an eternal one, de­pending upon, and eternally flowing from an eternal cause; for that which constitutes the Person of the Son, is the human nature uni­ted to the Divine, and that which fills up the nature and notion of the Holy Ghost is a certain, subtle, subeternal matter, uni­ted and incorporated with the Divine and Hu­man Nature, and animated by the common life of both, and yet though these two things, by which the Persons are distinguish­ed from each other, and from God the Fa­ther, [Page xciv] who is the Source and Fountain of the Godhead, are without all question Creatures of his making, yet the whole Person which results on either hand from the Ʋnion of the Created and Ʋncreated Nature together, is truly and properly God; for by God no­thing else is or can be understood, but a Person acted and animated by a life that is truly and properly Divine, and such with­out question both of these Persons are, o­therwise there can be no vital Ʋnion be­tween the created and uncreated Nature in them, which is that upon which their Di­vine personality depends, and as they may all three, as well the one as the other, be tru­ly and properly said to be God, so also, notwithstanding what hath been said yet, is the Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate, that is the Godhead which is in the whole Person, the eternal, simple, abstracted Life in the one, the cause of life and personality, and the principal in­gredient of life and personality in the two o­ther, which are Persons of a Dissimilar, He­terogeneous and Compounded Nature, (and the whole Person is rightly denominated from its principal and chiefest Life) is in all three not only Ʋncreate, but Numerically the same, so that there are not three Ʋncreates, but [Page xcv] one Ʋncreate, nor three Incomprehensibles, but one Incomprehensible, nor three Gods, but one God, as it is expresly asserted in that Creed, which goes, how truly I do not now di­spute, under the Name of Athanasius, and was allowed for Orthodox, before the La­teran Council.

But yet, as the rest of the Trinitarian Fathers, when they were pressed by the Arians or other Heretics, or disputed and argued the case too nicely with them­selves, were used to recur to the Specific Ʋnity, and the Emperichoresis and the Ʋnity of Integration, and such like very improper and inadequate expedients to help them­selves, so Marcellus being equally at a loss how to explain the Doctrine of the Trinity, being a firm and resolute Assertor of the Ʋ ­ty of the Godhead, and disdaining to make use of such Ʋnphilosophical ways of solving the difficulty, which was in effect, but to make a new riddle instead of explaining the old, though he could not for his life, being, as he was, a very honest and imparti­al Person, bring himself to doubt, but that the Language of the Scripture, in its most plain and obvious Interpretation, did as­sert the Divinity of Christ and of the Holy Ghost, yet at some times being startled with [Page xcvi] the difficulty of the thing, he would say, with something of doubt and hesitation, betwixt the difficulty of the thing, and the plainness of the Scripture, in asserting and maintaining it, that the Scripture did seem to say thus much; for so in the Confession sent to Julius, he says of those that deni­ed the Divinity of the Son, [...], ‘which seems to be repugnant to the Orthodox Faith groun­ded upon the Scriptures,’ for that is his meaning, as it follows in the next words, [...], for so the Evangelist St. John tells us, that the word was God, but yet it must be confessed that this Interpretation, which I have put upon the word [...] is not the only possible Interpretation, neither, as I do verily be­lieve so agreeable to the Sentiments of Mar­cellus, as another which I will now menti­on, and that is that by [...] may be un­derstood, not as if he had spoken doubt­fully, that the Scripture seems to look that way, as if Christ were a Divine Person as well as God the Father, but that he really is so, and that this appears plainly to be the sence of the Scriptures; for so the word seems to have been used in that place of the Author to the Hebrews, where God is [Page xcv] said to have made the things that are seen out of things which did not appear, [...], that is, out of things which re­ally were not, and so [...] in this place are things, not which barely appear or are sup­posed to be, but which have a real, undoub­ted and positive existence, and in this sense the Adjectives [...] and [...] are used, not for things which are only in fancy or opi­nion, but which have a real and a mani­fest Existence, and are discovered by their own light; and it is plain, that this sense is most agreeable to what follows in Mar­cellus; [...], &c. But I, saith he, have learnt or know for certain, that the Son is the indivisible or inseparable Power of the Father; for our Saviour himself, even our Lord Jesus Christ saith, I am in the Father and the Father in me, and I and the Father are one, and he that hath seen me hath seen the Father also, which citations of his, as they cannot so clearly and so naturally be ap­plied to any thing, as to the Numerical Es­sence, so when he saith, [...], I know, or I have learnt for certain, that the Son, &c. The Rules of Connection do re­quire that this be spoken in opposition to the two Opinions just mentioned before, one of which asserted a Plurality of Gods; and [Page xcvi] the other denyed the Divinity of Christ, and being exprest in such peremptory, dog­matical and categorical Terms; this is a plain and undenyable Testimony of Marcel­lus to himself, that he was for the singular existent Essence, which he did not only maintain in this Epistle to Pope Julius, but he tells him it had always been his constant Doctrine; for so he goes on, [...]; This Faith I having received from the Scriptures and Tradition I preach in the Church, as well as I have owned and asserted it in this Epistle to you.

Nevertheless, for that he would not pre­sume as others did, when they were prest upon it by their Adversaries, or intangl'd in their own private Meditations, to explain the Modus of the Trinity; for this reason he was charged by his Enemies with deny­ing the thing it self, as if in effect he had asserted but one divine Person, because he stuck to one Numerical Substance, without so much as pretending to explain, how it was possible for a Trinity of Persons at this rate to exist; this was the reason, why Athanasi­us himself would sometimes speak with doubt and hesitancy concerning him, or at [Page xcvii] least make broad signs, as Epiphanius would have it, as if he were not far from Heresy, and it was the occasion likewise, why Pho­tinus, who was Scholar to Marcellus, sticking to his Master's Sentiments concerning the Numerical Ʋnity or singular existent Essence of the divine Nature, and not being able upon this supposition to explain the Modus of a Trinity of Persons, did at last run headlong into that desperate Heresie, which is answer'd by that of the Socinians now a days, and therefore Petavius rightly calls the Men of that perswasion the Novi Photini­ani, and did not only deny the Divinity of the Person of Christ, as well as that of the Holy Ghost, considered as a distinct Per­son from God the Father, but which was more then ever was asserted or believed by the Arians themselves, he affirmed of Christ, that he had no manner of Being or Existence Antecedent to his Conception, in the Womb of the Blessed Virgin.

But though the Doctrine of Marcellus, which was very peremptory for the singu­lar Essence, without explaining the mode of it, gave occasion to the Heresie of Pho­tinus, yet that in this he plainly degenera­ted from the Sentiments of his Master, may be seen not only from what hath been said [Page xcviii] already, but also from an Epistle still ex­tant in Epiphanius, which was written by several Presbiters and Deacons, professing and avowing themselves to be Marcellians, to several Bishops of the Province of Dio­caesarea, who were then under Banishment for their adherence to the Orthodox Religi­on, wherein they declare themselves to stand firmly to the declarations and defini­tions of the Nicene Council; they condemn the Heresies of Arius and Sabellius, and Photinus and P. Samosatenus, as also those of the Manichees and Valentinians, in as plain words as it is possible for the Greek Language to speak, which is, I think, a suf­ficient Justification of Marcellus himself, who could not have such Disciples, with­out being a more Orthodox Master, then some of his Enemies would represent him to have been, besides that it is to be con­sidered, that this Epistle being written to Men under Banishment and in affliction, as it is probable, in the Reign of Constantius, who persecuted the Orthodox with a Vati­nian hatred, and a cruelty nothing inferi­or to that of the Blackest Tyrants, it is the greater Argument of the sincerity of the Writers, the greater Justification of Marcel­lus, whose Disciples they do so openly de­clare [Page xcix] themselves to be, and perhaps one of the best proofs that can be alledged of the general Sentiments of the Council of Nice, which they pretend to follow, in favour of the singular Essence.

Lastly, For a still more clear and irrefra­gable Elucidation of this matter, and to show still further, what were the Appre­hensions of the Nicene Fathers generally speaking, and at such times when they did not dispute nicely, either with themselves or others, concerning the Mode in which the Godhead may be said to be one, not­withstanding there be granted to be a Tri­nity of Divine Persons, I will here produce three Testimonies of Epiphanius, with which I will conclude this business. The first is this Ancorat. p. 120. Ed. Petav. where he con­demns and censures the Impiety of the A­rians; in these remarkable words, [...]. That is, ‘the Arians are of all other Heretics, the most wicked and prophane, who have dared to divide and alienate the Son from the substance of the Father, not vouchsa­fing to make him equal in Glory with the [Page c] Father, nor allowing that he is begotten of the Fathers substance;’ from which words, which were without question spo­ken by Epiphanius agreeably, as he thought, to the Catholic Doctrine of Nice, there are two things especially to be observed, First, that he condemns the Arians for dividing the substance of the Son from that of the Father, which yet there is no question but all Men do, who are not friends to the Nu­merical Essence, at the same time Co-existing in the three Persons, and here it is remark­able that he makes use of two several words, [...] and [...], by the first of which a Numerical and by the second a Specifical or Generical difference is manifest­ly to be understood, this being the most easie and natural sence of the words, and without this, one of them must be acknow­ledged to be altogether superfluous and re­dundant, besides that, though the latter in­cluded the sense of the first, yet the first will by no means comprehend and take in the sense of the latter, so that the Arians being here condemned for two things, first, for making the Son a substance distinct from the substance of the Father, and secondly, for making him a substance of another Na­ture, as well Specifically as Numerically Di­stinct, [Page ci] nothing can be plainer, then that Epiphanius in this place was an Assertor of the Numerical Essence.

But secondly, he reproves the Arians for denying the Son to be begotten [...], of the Substance of the Father, as Epiphanius and all the Nicene Fathers asser­ted that he was, and they acknowledging him as they did, to be a Divine Substance United to an Humane, and it being impos­sible for one Divine Substance to beget ano­ther, which being once admitted, it will make an infinite possibility of numberless and endless Gods, and is in it self as down­right Nonsence, as it is possible for any no­tion never so absurd to be, one of these three things must of necessity be allowed, either that that Phrase is impious and pro­phane, that it tends to Polytheism in the most absurd and foolish sense of that word, and yet the only proper sense in which it is possible for Polytheism properly so called to be understood, or that it is impertinent and insignificant, or that it includes in it an Assertion of the Numerical Nature, or the singular existent Essence.

This is the first of the three places pro­posed to be produced out of Epiphanius: The second is, where going about to prove [Page cii] the Divinity of the Holy Ghost, from 1 Cor. c. 2. v. 10. The Spirit teacheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. He argues thus, [...]. That which is not of the substance of God, it is impossible that it should search out the deep things of God, that is, that which is not of the same Numerical Substance; for the sense of the Argument must be taken from the comparison: which is this, the Spirit of God searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God; for what Man knoweth the things of of a Man, save the Spirit of a Man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no Man, but the Spirit of God: Now no Man will pretend that the Spirit and Mind of one Man, knoweth the Spirit or Mind of another, or is acquainted with the in­ward and concealed operation of his Ʋn­derstanding and Will, so that either there is no comparison, or the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Man, must on both sides be understood, not of the Specifical but Nu­merical Nature, and to say that Epiphanius, or those from whom he borrowed it, for there is no question but it was the recei­ved Argument of the Orthodox in those times, neither he or they, though they ur­ged a good Argument, yet understood [Page ciii] wherein the strength of it lay, but that on the contrary they did not argue ad idem, and that according to them, it was no Ar­gument at all, is at once precarious and rude into the bargain, and is almost like the monstrous absurdity of the Epicurean Doctrine, that affirms all things to have come by chance, notwithstanding all the out­strokes, appearances and signatures of the most exquisite Wisdom, and the most per­fect Skill.

The third and last place of Epiphanius which I shall mention is, where speaking of the Antient formulary of Faith, which he saith was delivered by Tradition from the Apostles, and agreed upon in a Council of 310 Bishops in the [...], the Holy City, that is, Jerusalem, he explains that Article, which is at present extant in the Nicene confession, and was taken from thence, [...], Begotten of his Father before all Worlds, by [...], of the Substance of the Father; now there is no other way to e­lude the force of that argument which may be drawn from hence, in favour of the singular Essence, but either to question the Authority of Epiphanius without reason, and to say there was never any such Coun­cil [Page civ] at Jerusalem, nor by consequence any such formulary of Faith agreed upon there­in, or else to affirm with the impious confi­dence of a down right Atheist, that the A­postles did not understand themselves, and that notwithstanding all their pretences to a Divine Spirit, they were yet so foolish and ignorant, to believe that one Divine Substance could beget another.

But yet I am far from pretending that all the Fathers of which the Nicene Assem­bly was composed, were all of them at all times constant and firm, to the defence and maintenance of the singular Essence, no, their fluctuation and uncertainty hath been already sufficiently discovered, and Epi­phanius himself giving his judgment of the meaning of the word Homoousios, not­withstanding his Argument which hath been lately produced, to prove the Divi­nity of the Holy Ghost, speaks thus, [...], that is, the word [...], does not signifie Numerically one, but by the word [...] two perfect natures are to be under­stood, not differing Specifically from each o­ther, nor averse from being United into one,

Neither indeed does there seem to have been any after the Arian Heresie sprung up, from that time till a good while after the Nicene Council, who did stoutly and reso­lutely adhere to the singular Essence, with­out any wavering or hesitation, notwith­standing the difficulties with which it was attended, unless it were this Marcellus and his followers, who from their Masters name, are by Epiphanius called Marcelliani, so that it proves true of him what Horace said of another of the name, after all the reproa­ches and calumnies, with which his Adver­saies have in vain endeavoured to blast his reputation,

Crescit occulto velut arbor aevo
Fama Marcelli——

And if we consider that it was to Julius Bishop of Rome, who had exactly as to this matter the same Apprehensions with Marcellus himself, to whom that Epistle was written, in which this Orthodox Confession is contained, we may also then go on as Flaccus does.

————micat inter omnes
Julium sidus, velut inter ignes Luna minores.

Or in the Language of another Poet, we may say of Marcellus, with respect to the Trinitarian Bishops, who were used to take shelter in the Specific Identity or other inad­aequate expedients that have been mentio­ned.

Aspice ut insignis spoliis Marcellus opimis
Ingreditur, victor (que) viros supreeminet omnes.

And if there be any that stand up firm and faithful to the singular Essence, without be­traying and exposing it, as the Learned Do­ctour hath endeavoured to do, we may say of him as Anchises did when he had finish­ed the Prophetic Character of his Roman Heroe,

Tu Marcellus eris.

And as Marcellus, by his courage and re­solution, answers the great Character of his glorious Namesake in Virgil, so we may e­very whit as justly compare the Hesitating [Page cvii] Fathers, who sometimes seemed to patro­nise the Numerical Essence, and sometimes to seek Patronage and shelter from it, in ve­ry improper and inadaequate expedients, such as rather served to delay the time, and afford new matter of rangling and dispute, then either to consute the Arians, or to assure the Victory of the Orthodox Party, to Fabius the Cunctator, who is immedi­ately before prophetically described by Anchises, and who by frequent halts and countermarches, and by false alarms, with­out daring to come to the decision of a Battel, prepared Hannibal for the Conquest, first of Marcellus, and then of the great Scipio, from his African Trophies sirnamed Africanus, who removed the Seat of War into the Enemies Country, and perfected that Victory, which Fabius had scarce the hardiness to begin.

But still it is true, that though the Fa­thers were generally inconstant and uncer­tain in their resolutions, concerning the Blessed Trinity; yet when ever they swer­ved from the Numerical Essence, it was on­ly because of the puzling absurdities with which it was encompassed, as to the man­ner of it, otherwise there is no question, not only that St. Athanasius and St. Basil, [Page cviii] and others of the Fathers, who seemed to have wavered in their determinations, but even St. Cyril, Damascen and Gregory Nyssen themselves, would have declared unanimously for the Numerical Essence, by which alone the Ʋnity of the Trinity is possible to be maintained, and which a­lone could free them from the imputation and absurdity of Polytheism, with which the Specific Ʋnity was encumbred, such an expedient as this, if it could have been found out in those early ages of the Church, would have nipped the Arian Heresie in the bud; it would have silenced the En­thusiasm of Sabellius (for it was nothing better) and the intollerable impudence of Photinus, and it would have prevented that uncertainty, and those endless jan­gles which happened among the Orthodox themselves, who being destitute of a solid resolution, exposed themselves and one a­nother to contempt by inadaequate fancies, the Creatures not of reason, but ignorance and imagination.

All the several Hereticks would have been ashamed of themselves, and would not have dared to elude the force of so many peremptory Texts, in favour of the Divi­nity of the Son and the Holy Ghost, by far [Page cix] fetcht interpretations and distorted expositi­ons, when not only the Scriptures were plain in their behalf, but also the nature and reason of the thing; this would have rendred the Roman Emperors more favou­rable then they were to the Orthodox par­ty, whereas, for want of this, to put an end to all controversies and animosities that might arise by the disagreeing opini­ons, concerning the modus of the Trinity, disagreeing from each other, and inconsi­stent even with themselves and with that Doctrine which they pretended to explain, Constantine himself, at the latter end of his Reign, began to favour the party of the Arians, and Constantius during his whole time, was a most bitter Persecutor of the Orthodox Bishops; nay, and in Julian's time the Arians were comparatively Favourites in respect of the others, and so were the Donatists too, who seem to have sided with them; for Donatus himself wrote a Book, de sp. sancto pursuant to the Senti­ments of Arius and his Party, and in the joynt Reign of Valentinian and Valens, the Part­ners in the Throne, perhaps out of pruden­tial and Political reasons, the one Espoused the ones Interest, and the other the others, the better to keep all quiet underneath, [Page cx] by the Union of the two consorts, their respective Patrons, in the Imperial Throne.

And as there could not have been a grea­ter Service done to Christianity, in the Pri­mitive times, then by finding out a clear or proper expedient, by which the Ʋnity of the Godhead might have been kept in­violate and sacred, notwithstanding there were a Trinity of Divine Persons, so in this Age there is nothing can so effectually dis­arm the Socinians, and render them inex­cusable if they persist any longer in that impious, and if any errour be so, that dam­nable errour, as the laying down a possi­ble Idea of a Numerical Substance, branch­ing it self out without Polytheism or Sabel­lianism into three intelligible Divine Per­sons, which will render all their tricks and fetches useless, and not only useless, but monstrously foolish and wicked into the bargain; for so it must needs be thought to sophisticate the sence of Scriptures, and to elude the force of those Arguments that are taken from it by strain'd Interpretati­ons, when the most natural, obvious and willing sense, inculcated over and over in an hundred places, and upon an hundred occasions, is also reconcileable to humane reason, as well as revealed by Divine Wis­dom, [Page cxi] and supported by no less Authority then that of God himself, and therefore this is that which I am now about to do, for the Glory of God, and for the Vindi­cation of Religion, from the Corruption of Heretics and the Scorn of Atheists, and the method I intend very briefly to proceed in, shall be this; first I will prove by un­deniable force of Argument, that there are more Divine Persons then one, and second­ly, I will shew clearly how, notwithstand­ing this, that it is very possible there may be but one Divine Substance Numerically the same in all the several Personalities where­in it is found.

For the proof of the first, it will be suf­ficient to refer you to the discourse it self, to which what I have now written, though it were intended only as a Preface, yet it now begins to swell into so large a bulk that it may pass instead of a Preface, for a Book by it self, and may deserve the Name much better than the thing it self, to which it was designed only as a Prefatory Introduction; For in that Discourse I have undenyably proved the Divinity of the Son, considered as a Person distinct from God the Father, and this is enough for the demonstrative clearing of the first thing [Page cxii] proposed, viz. That there are more divine Persons than one; but because nothing can be too sure, especially an Article of this Importance, therefore to what I have said already in the following Papers, I will sub­joyn two things more.

And the first of those two Things, which I shall insist upon, shall be a further Im­provement of the Story of Melchisedec, which hath been already urged in the fol­lowing Papers so far, that it would amount already without any further trouble, if pre­judice were not oftentimes too hard for Demonstration it self, to an unanswerable Demonstration of the Divinity of the Son; this Melchisedek in that Chapter to the He­brews, from whence my Argument is taken, is compared to the Son of God: For it is said of him, v. 3. that made like unto the Son of God, he abideth a Priest continually, [...], which signifies as much as made after a Copy, or made by way of Emanation, as [...] is a Transcript of an Original M. S. and [...] and [...] are streams or rays flowing from an Electrical or a Luminous Body, and so in this place it seems as if there were a Pri­ority of Existence attributed to the Son, af­ter whose Pattern and Resemblance Melchi­sedek [Page cxiii] was made, and yet v. 21. that place of the Psalmist is applyed to our Saviour, Thou art a Priest for ever after the Order of Melchisedek, in which the priority of ex­istence seems to be inverted and attributed not to the Son of God, but to Melchise­dek to whom he is compared, now it be­ing utterly impossible and absurd that the same thing or Person with respect to the same should be both Prior and Posterior in existence, it is impossible to reconcile these places any otherwise than by saying that the same Person is compared with himself; and Melchisedek when he is said to be like to the Son of God, is the Priest of the most High God, who appeared to Abra­ham, compared with that Eternal High-Priest, though he had not yet entred up­on the actual Administration of his Priestly Office, who saith of himself, before Abra­ham was I am, God over all, Blessed for ever, and it is true of both of them, and apply­ed expresly to both, what we find writ­ten in the beginning of that Verse, without Father, without Mother, without Descent, ha­ving neither beginning of days, nor end of Life, which cannot be truly spoken of any but God alone; or, in this place, of the e­ternal Logos, the Word, the Son of God, be­gotten [Page cxiv] of his Father before all Worlds by an Eternal Generation; and there being but one God or one Son of God in this Superlative and transcendent Sense; it is manifest that the same Person is compared with himself, and as Melchisedek appearing in human shape is here compared to the Eternal Son, and in the Comparison is considered as po­sterior to him, notwithstanding he were the very same with him that had existed eternally, and from everlasting without any such humane bodily appearance, and in this respect might well enough be said to be prior or antecedent to him, prior to himself as perfectly incorporeal, with re­spect to himself, as afterwards united to the reality or appearance of an human Body; so is the same Melchisedek, though subse­quent to the Son of God in that Sense, which hath been declared, yet prior to the same considered as incarnate and born after­wards in the Fulness of Time of the Virgin Mary; for this Melchisedek that appeared to Abraham was a Type and Figure of Christ incarnate, and by consequence was really be­fore him; that is, before Christ being born of the Virgin Mary appeared in the Flesh, and dwelt among us, and so Christ is a Priest for ever after the Order of Melchisedek, as well as [Page cxv] Melchisedek was made like to the Son of God; that is, he is God and Man united to­gether into one common Person, as Mel­chisedek was, and taking not only humane Nature, which he did before, but human Flesh upon him, as Melchisedek appeared to Abraham to have done, though in truth it were neither better nor worse than only the Son of God, or the Eternal Word Ʋni­ted by divine Power to a Vehicle of fitly mo­dify'd Air, or other subtle matter, and by that means carrying the external shape and appearance of an human Body.

And that Melchisedek, who is the same with Christ, was God as well as Man, and Man as well as God, that is, that there was a real and vital Ʋnion of two distinct Natures, the Divine and the Humane in his Person, is so unquestionably evident from the same place, that as it is the extremity of impudence and Impiety in conjunction together, to call in question the Authority of this Writer, who hath been allowed for Canonical, and received as such in all Ages of the Church, so it is absurd and foolish to make the least doubt or scruple of his meaning, if his Authority be once recei­ved.

That he was God is plain, and will for ever continue to be so, to the eternal con­fusion of all the Arian and Socinian cavils, till they can shew us a Creature, to whom this Character may justly be applied, with­out Father, without Mother, without Descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life: And as this Character proclaims him God, so his being a Priest, does at the same time confess him to be a Man, other­wise God will be a Priest to himself, which is absurd, but as, without the Godhead Ʋ ­nited to the Humane Nature, Christ who was a Priest after the order of Melchisedec, could not have made an adaequate expia­tion to God the Father, for the sins of the whole World, the value of the Priest and Sacrifice by him offered, which was the Sa­crifice of himself upon the Cross, being en­hanced to an infinite and estimable price, by the infinite perfection and dignity of the Person, who was God as well as Man; so, that he was Man as well as God, is ex­presly testifyed by the sacred PenMan him­self, now consider, saith he, how this great Man, &c. and without his being Man as well as God, it was impossible for him to be ei­ther Priest or Sacrifice at all, so that these things, I think, are so plain, that it is im­possible [Page cxvii] for plainness and perspicuity them­selves to be more, so plain, that I need stay no longer upon this first particular, and therefore I proceed.

The second thing which I had in my mind, was that Miracle of Joshua, which we find recorded, Josh. 10. 12. where Jo­shua speaks thus to the Sun and Moon, Sun, stand thou still in Gibeon and thou Moon in the Valley of Ajalon, and then it follows, v. 13, 14. And the Sun stood still and the Moon stayed until the People had avenged them­selves upon their Enemies, ‘is not this written in the Book of Jasher? so the Sun stood still in the midst of Heaven, and hasted not to go down, about a whole day, and there was no day like that before or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a Man, for the Lord fought for Israel. Now Joshua in several respects, in his Name, and in that he was the Introductor of the Israelites into the Land of Canaan, which was Typical of the eternal rest and peace of the future State, after the toyls, hazzards and temptations of this, was figurative and significative of Je­sus, the Messias that was to come, who had nature at his beck, as being the God of it, and at the instant of whose Pas­sion, as if Nature her self had been expi­ring [Page cxviii] with him, the Sun was darkned and the day was turned into night, and nature her self put on Mourning, to attend the Fu­neral Solemnity of her Lord and Maker, as it is said to have happened at the death of Caesar, which was taken and represented, either by the superstition or flattery of the Romans, for a certain argument of his A­pothesis.

Ille etiam extincta miseratus Caesare Romam,
Tunc caput obscura nitidum ferrugine texit,
Impiaque aeternam timuerunt saecula noctem.
The Sun condoling with afflicted Rome,
When Caesar fell by an untimely doom;
Withdrew his conscious and offended light,
And guilty nations fear'd eternal night.

But not to stretch this Type any further then it will go, I do confess, that if any Man will deny so much to have been pre­signifyed by this miracle of Joshua as I have represented, I know not how to prove it, only I leave it to be considered fairly be­tween Man and Man, whether the allusion be not fairly drawn, and whether in con­currence with other arguments, which prove more directly and with greater force, [Page cxix] it ought not to corroberate the Doctrin of the Divinity of Christ, though the passages that have been cited concerning Melchise­dec alone, if there were nothing else to be considered, are enough to demonstrate unanswerably all that is contended for, and stand in no need of any other confir­mation.

Wherefore it being thus clear, if we will submit our selves to the Authority of Scrip­ture, and to the Voice of God himself, that there are indeed more Divine Persons then one, it remains now only, that I enquire very briefly, how it is possible for a plurali­ty of Persons, distinct from one another, to be consistent with a Numerical Identity of Divine Substance, which the voluminous Creatour of the Intellectual System denies, as an impossible and contradictious notion, where speaking of the word Homoousios, and saying that it was never used other­wise by Greek Writers, then to signifie the agreement of things Numerically differing from one another, in some common Nature or universal Essence; or their having a ge­nerical Ʋnity or Identity, he adds; ‘nor in­deed; is it likely that the Greek Tongue should have any name for that, which nei­ther is a thing in nature nor falls under hu­man [Page cxx] Conception; (viz.) several things ha­ving one and the same singular Essence; and here, though the Doctor did not distinguish so nicely as he ought to have done, betwixt things and persons, yet I will grant him thus much, that several things being supposed to be several, are at the same time what they are Numerically by themselves; and are Nu­merically dictinct from one another.

But yet it does not follow, but that se­veral persons may all have the same Nume­rical Divine Substance, tho' to make a distin­ction of persons in this case, there be re­quisite an accession of some individuating Circumstances or Properties, which shall be superadded to the common Nature; and this is a great errour of which the Doctor, is guilty, if it be consistent with the inso­lence of his humor to endure to be told of his faults, because several things cannot be the same (which is no such very deep and profound speculation, for how can they be several and the same at the same time) there­fore several Persons indued with several in­dividuating differences cannot be partakers of the same common nature, which is false, as I will now immediately show you, pro­ceeding with all imaginable caution, that the intellectual System being a wild coun­try, [Page cxxi] and very full of woods; I may not unadvisedly fall into an Ambuscade, by the following well weigh'd and well consider­ed steps.

First, I say, that that which is in it self one, cannot be conceived as three with­out division.

Secondly, that those things which are in themselves distinctly three, cannot be con­ceived as one without composition.

Thirdly, that the Divine Nature being in­finitely and immutably perfect, is like­wise simple and uncompounded, uncapa­ble of division on the one hand or compo­sition on the other.

Fourthly, by God the Father I understand that simple, similar, and Omnipresent Divine Substance or space, endued with all possi­ble power, goodness and wisdom, whose parts, by reason of the Omnipresence of the whole, are even by cogitation inseparable from each other, or that Omnipresent Divine acti­vity, and life, which is as much and more simply one, in and with it self, then any o­ther secondary or derivative life can be, being all over nothing else but one entire Will, Ʋnderstanding, Goodness, Fruitful­ness, or Power of Action and Production, which being only that which is truly and [Page cxxii] properly God, is therefore called God the Father, as being the most simple in it self, and also the source and fountain of Divinity in the two subordinate Persons, for the Persons are not equally perfect as to their whole nature, although the Divine Sub­stance which makes them all to be God, be in all three Numerically and individually the same.

Fifthly, by God the Son I understand the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, resul­ting from the Ʋnion of the humane Nature, with the Divine Substance, which Divine Substance being endued and furnished with a life by it self, is for that reason a Person by it self, simply and abstractly consider­ed; for this is the most general and com­prehensive notion of a Person, that it is a being endued with life, or with self-con­sciousness or self-sensation, to which Di­vine Life the Human being added, and be­ing influenced, animated and acted by it, and vitally united to it; there arises from hence a compound life, which is distinct from the simple (which is a life by it self, without the accession of the other,) and if a life and a person be the very same, then another sort of life makes another sort of Person, and another sort of per­son [Page cxxiii] is another person, that is a compound Person, which is no more the same with simple, then unity and composition are them­selves the same.

But to make the solidity of this notion the more plainly to appear, it is to be con­sidered, that though these two natures, the Divine and the Human are always vitally united to one another, so as they feel and enjoy the same common life, yet there are some cases to be met with, wherein the Father, that is the Divine and Simple Sub­stance acts as a Person distinctly by it self, without the concurrence of the Human with it, and there are others wherein they act in concurrence together, as if they had but one Will, one Ʋnderstanding, one sim­ple and undivided Power of Action and O­peration.

To the first of these Heads there are the following particulars unquestionably be­longing.

First, when the Father is said to beget and the Son to be begotten, which he did from all Eternity by way of Emanation, as it is very easie for any Man to conceive he might do, for whatsoever is not in it self impossible and contradictory to be done or performed, is a possible object of the [Page cxxiv] Divine Power, and was so without questi­on from all Eternity, because the Divine Nature was always absolutely and infinite­ly perfect, and by consequence the sphere of possibility, to which it is coextended, (for there is nothing possible which is not so a Divine Power) was from all Eternity exactly the same, though there had not been that eternal congruity and disposition, which there appears to have been in the Divine Nature, to the production of the Human, by that means, as it were, to ex­emplifie and enjoy it self in its most per­fect image and resemblance, and the Fa­ther when he is said to have begotten the Son, it is not by any means so to be under­stood, as if one Divine Substance could be­get another, which is the very height of Non-sense and Blasphemy into the bargain; but these two things are manifestly couch­ed under it, and to be understood by it; First, that the Father that is the simple and similar, ubiquitary Divine Substance, did from all Eternity, by way of emanation, pro­duce that Human soul or Personality, which was the pre-existing soul of Christ before his Incarnation and before all Worlds, being the first born of every Creature.

Secondly, he did likewise from all Eter­nity constitute a vital Ʋnion, betwixt his own simple and ubiquitary Substance, and this eternally begotten or emanatively produ­ced Human Soul, so as they were made to feel and enjoy one another, and where ever there is an Ʋnity of self-consciousness and re­ciprocal enjoyment of each others life, so as the human life does at the same time parti­cipate and share in the Divine, this is e­nough to constitute one common person, resulting from the vital Ʋnion of the Di­vine and Human Nature, into this common life and mutual enjoyment; for an Ʋnity of life is the most strict, inseparable, and indivisible sort of Ʋnity that can possibly be conceived, and yet, notwithstanding, the Human Nature, though it were eternally produced, yet it did not nor could not pos­sibly produce it self, which is to suppose a thing or person to be before it is, neither did it or could it possibly unite it self in that entire and close manner with the Di­vine, but in both these respects, the Hu­man Nature is originally passive, though to the latter it may be supposed to concur by a consent of Will though not of Power, and God the Father, that is, the simple and ori­ginal Divine Substance is considered as a per­son acting by himself.

In the second place, when the Father is said to send and the Son to be sent, here the Father or the simple and self-existing Divine Substance is to be considered as a Person by it self, and acting apart from the Son who is said to be sent; for in the first place, the Divine Substance which is Ʋbiquitary and Omnipresent, cannot be said with respect unto it self, either to send or to be sent; for whatsoever is Omnipresent, is at the same time considered as immoveable and quies­cent, there being no place into which it is possible for it to remove, and this per­haps may not improbably be lookt upon as one eternal cause of the blessedness and Tranquillity of the Divine Nature, that by reason of its Omnipresence it is always per­fectly at rest within it self, it is impassible from it self and from any thing without it, it being impossible it should yield or give place to any impressions, or that it should be capable of any motion, mutability or change, in which the very nature of true happiness consists, for perfect rest and perfect peace go together,

Secondly, It is absurd to say that one Di­vine Substance can send another; for this were to suppose a plurality of Gods, which hath been already sufficiently exploded, [Page cxxvii] besides that to send implying a superiori­ty, and to be sent a subjection, both of which are absolutely impossible and ab­surd, with respect to two Divine or infi­nitely perfect substances compared together, it is likewise absurd in this respect to affirm of one Divine Substance, that it sends or commands, or that it is obedient to, or is sent by another.

Thirdly, though the Human Nature of Christ be so intimately twisted with, and so vitally Ʋnited to the Divine and Omnipresent Substance of God the Father, as that these two lives, the Divine and the Human, do by this means become one life, and have a mutual self-consciousness and enjoyment of each other, so as to constitute the same Per­son, the unity of Person consisting in nothing else but an unity of common life, yet when we speak of sending and being sent, this in the utmost propriety of Speech can be understood of nothing else but the Hu­man Nature of Christ, which being former­ly Ʋnited (for it is but finite, and by con­sequence cannot be adequately coextended to the whole divine space, which is infinite and Omnipresent) to that part of the Di­vine space where the most perfect and the most highly honoured and exalted Spirits [Page cxxviii] have their sublime and glorious abode, far above the dreggs and impurities of this Earthy Region, was in the fulness of time, for wise and gracious purposes, predetermin­ed and preordained of God, from everlast­ing, commanded to descend into it; and adding human flesh to human nature, to ap­pear in the likeness of a mortal Man, and to put on the form of a Servant, notwith­standing that the vital union betwixt the Father and him continued all this while, and being really united in that intire and vital manner, to any one part of the Divine Substance or space; it was as much in some sense, as if he had been really and adaequate­ly coextended to the whole, because, tho' in this Divine space, it may be said of this, what is in general true of all extension, that it hath partem extra partem, so that this part is not that, or vice versa, yet in the first place the parts of an Omnipresent extention, are therefore utterly inseparable and indivisible, even by cogitation from each other, because the whole is Omnipresent and fills the very utmost possibility of space, and in the second, tho' the parts be never so distinct, yet are they all of them acted by the same Divine Life, which is one self-con­sciousness or self-sensation running through [Page cxxix] the whole, indivisible, inseparable and tyed to it self, by an Ʋnity of self-enjoyment, which is the highest, the noblest and the strictest unity in the nature of things, by which means it comes to pass, as it is plain it must do, that whatsoever is vitally uni­ted to any part of this Divine space, which is all of it animated by one indivisible and inseparable life, is at the same time effectu­ally united to the whole, and hath always the highest and the closest enjoyment and imbibition of that Divine life, which a finite Substance is capable of receiving.

But yet in this action of sending and be­ing sent, it is not the Human nature but the Divine that sends, and it is not the Divine nature but the Human that is sent, and as the Father is said to beget the Son in these two senses, which have been already ex­plained; first, that he begat or produced the human nature of Christ, out of the emana­tive fruitfulness of the Divine substance, by an eternal generation; secondly, that by the same emanative and eternal power and goodness, he did vitally unite this first born of all the Creatures, the only begotten Son of God, in that immediate and emanative sense, into a feeling, and enjoyment of his own Divine substance and life; so that they be­came [Page cxxx] one Person, which may very truly and properly be said to be God, as being deno-Minated, as there is all the reason in the world it should, from the principal & chiefest life, so the descent of the Human Nature of Christ, from one part of the divine substance to another, notwithstanding, that it were all the while vitally and consciously united to that Divine life, which is indivisibly, in­separably and self-consciously the same, through all the parts of the Divine substance or space, is as plainly asserted, as it is possi­ble for words to express it, in that passage of St. John. c. 3. 13. where our Saviour saith concerning himself, No Man hath as­cended up to Heaven, but he that came down from Heaven, even the Son of Man which is in Heaven; in which place by Heaven, God or the Divine space was understood in the Language of the Jews, and by his coming down from thence, was meant the remo­val of his Human substance from one part of this Divine space to another, and by his be­ing in Heaven, as every Man is in some sense, being included in the large comprehension of the Divine space, is meant in a more es­pecial manner (for it is manifest that some­thing peculiar to himself is here exprest) the vital union of the two natures together, [Page cxxxi] by which he was really God as well as Man, and by his ascending thither, notwithstan­ding that his Human substance continued all this while below, is meant, that he that is vitally united to any one part of the Divine space, does at the same time enjoy a most entire and perfect Communion with the whole, by reason of that indivisible and in­separable Life, which enjoys it self fully, perfectly and entirely in every part of the divine space, which is the strictest Bond of Ʋnity that can be conceived, and by which all the parts, besides that they are actually inseparable by reason of the Omni­presence of the whole, are still more closely and intimately connected with each other, as if they were all the very same.

Thirdly, in that Prayer of our Saviours uttered in the bitter Agonies of his human nature immediately before his Passion; O my Father, if it be possible, let this Cup pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt, which the Evangelist assures us to have been three times repeated; it is manifest that the divine nature or substance is consider'd as a distinct and separate Person by it self, endued and furnished with a distinct Will from that of the human nature, and though it be true that in the human nature it self, [Page cxxxii] there was an absolute resignation to the di­vine Will; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt; yet these Words themselves do sufficiently express it to have been only a passive resignation, and an Instance not so much of Inclination as Obedience, it was an Instance of submission and reluctancy toge­ther; O my Father, if it be possible, let this Cup pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will, but ast thou wilt, and the reluctancy of the fleshly nature, or of the human Soul uni­ted to a Body of Flesh and Blood (for in that it consisted) was so much the more painful and exquisitely tormenting, by rea­son that it was, as it were, a tearing in sun­der the divine and the human Nature, which were at once united by the strongest Bond of Ʋnion; and for that reason must needs be the most tenderly and painfully sensible of any Divorce or Disagreement between them; for in the first place, it was not on­ly a very old but an eternal Ʋnion, there being no time when the human nature of Christ was not, or when it was not united to the divine: Secondly, it was an Ʋnion of Emanation proceeding from, or begotten by, the Eternal Fruitfulness of that divine Substance, which is called God the Father, which shews it not to be a positive union, [Page cxxiii] but a natural; an Ʋnion whose parts are actually inseparable, and therefore upon supposition, that the Natures thus united are indued with Life, and that both, or either of these Natures are passible and capable of being affected with pain; the least en­deavour or tendency towards a Separation must cause an exquisite regret, anguish and pain in that part of the Composition, which is passible and subject to it; wherefore the Ʋnion of the divine and human Nature in the Person of Christ, being an Ʋnion of Affection and Will, an Ʋnion of Intellect and Ʋnderstanding, so far as the human Nature is capable of Ʋnderstanding, and imbibing the Wisdom of the Divine, and an Ʋnion of Life, Self-consciousness and mu­tual Enjoyment; it must needs be, that in the human Nature, which is confessedly passible, upon the least disagreement or re­pugnancy of it to the Will of the Divine, there must arise a most quick, acute and pungent Sense, created in the humanity in­carnate, betwixt the reasonable and the fleshly Nature, the first of which resigns it self up perfectly to the most perfect Wis­dom, to which it hath a vital congruity and with which it studies always to preserve a most perfect agreement, and finds a com­placency [Page cxxxiv] in being conformed to it, withal considering the important Reasons, for which it was necessary that he should suf­fer upon the Cross, and become a Sacrifice for the Sins of the World, in which the Divine Wisdom, Goodness and Justice were all of them in a manner equally concerned, but the latter full of human Passions, Apprehensi­ons and Fears had a Dread and Abhorrence of such a cruel Death, and by consequence found within it self a strange reluctancy, and an unwillingness almost as painful, as the most tormenting and cruel Death it self, to undergo it; besides that being at the same time vitally and personally united to the divine Substance, this was another, and without question the most bitter part of the Agony, which our Saviour underwent be­twixt submission to the divine Will and relu­ctancy against it, both of which it did at the same time, by the Combat of the rea­sonable and the incarnate life, one of which could not think of death, without a most passionate and painful aversation, and to the other disobedience was worse than death, to an extremity not to be exprest, so that though it was only the human na­ture of Christ, which properly speaking, suf­fered upon the Cross, yet by reason of the [Page cxxxv] intimate Ʋnion of it with the Divine, he suffered infinitely more than any other Man could do.

Fourthly, in that Action by which the Fa­ther or the divine Substance perpetually feels and enjoys it self, and adaequately under­stands and comprehends the whole extent and latitude of its own infinite and abso­lute Perfection, in that Action the Father is considered as a Person acting by himself, and because there is no assignable moment of Eternity when he does not do this, there­fore he does always really preserve a distin­ction of his Person and Substance, from the Person of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, as well as by being from, and to, all Eternity vitally united to the human Nature of Christ, and to a certain subtle and aethe­rial Matter, he does at the same time con­cur to the making up of two other Per­sons, in that manner which hath been, and shall be still hereafter more fully and par­ticularly declared; for though the human Nature of Christ be not only the most per­fect in it's kind, but without question the most perfect of any finite, immaterial Sub­stance whatsoever, though you take in all the Hierarchy of Angels and Immortal Spi­rits, and though by being personally and [Page cxxxvi] vitally, and that from all Eternity, united to the divine Substance, it must needs for this reason have the truest Enjoyment, and the fullest comprehension and understanding of it, of any other Creature whatsoever, yet as being but a Creature, though an eternal one, as being but a finite Substance though incomparably and indisputably the most perfect of any other finite Substance whatsoever, it cannot have a just and ad­equate comprehension of an infinitely per­fect Nature; For nothing can adequately and fully comprehend that which is really infinite, or which is all one, which is en­dued with all possible Perfection, which is not so it self, and this the humane nature of Christ is not, neither indeed can it be, un­less you suppose the divine and humane na­ture of Christ, to be the same; for all that is meant by the divine nature, is a nature endued with all possible perfection, so that it remains firm what I have asserted in this fourth particular, that in that action in which God the Father, or the Divine Substance feels, enjoys and understands himself in a full, perfect, adaequate and truly comprehensive manner, he is to be considered as a Person acting by himself, distinct from the Persons of the Son and Holy Ghost.

Fifthly, in that Action or Operation of the Divine mind, by which at once he surveys the whole possibility of things, and hath all their Ideas and all their several pro­perties, differences, relations, connexions and dependencies at the same time present to him, which he always hath, and which it is absolutely impossible for any finite or li­mited understanding, at any one time to comprehend together, in this action like­wise, in its full extent; the Father is consi­dered as a Person by himself, and is really so; for although, as to many particulars there may be, and actually is, a concur­rence of the Divine understanding, and the Human together, so as to view several of these Ideas at the same time, and with a common prospect, and to have exactly the same notion and apprehension concerning them; it being impossible for the Human understanding to differ from the Divine, so far as it is capable of imbibing it, and of being influenced and acted by it, which it always is to the utmost of its capacity, (which is but finite) and so far they act as a common Person informed and amma­ted by one common life,, yet where the Hu­man understanding will not reach, as it will not certainly extend to the utmost possi­bility [Page cxxxviii] of Ideas, at one and the same time, which implies infinite knowledge, or know­ledge in its utmost Latitude and Perfection, an attribute belonging to the Divine Sub­stance, and incommmunicable with any other, there this Divine Substance is again consi­dered▪ in this fifth particular, as a Person acting distinctly by it self.

Sixthly and lastly, in the actuation of those Divine Ideas, or in the bringing them out of a state of notion into a state of re­ality and extra-notional Existence, or in the Creation of the material and intellectual World, together, with the several modifi­cations and motions of the one, the several orders and degrees of the other; in this al­so the Father is to be considered as acting by himself, the Power of Creation, or the producing realities out of a state of non-ex­istence, out of a state of possibility into a state of being, and from a state of notion into a state of impenetrability, tangibility or life, be­ing only competible to God himself, and be­longing only to infinite Power, as the Ideas themselves, which were the principles and patterns, according to which the realities were made, could not in their full extent and comprehension, and at one and the same time, be present to any wisdom or under­standng, [Page cxxxix] but that which was infinite, and by consequence Divine, though I deny not but that the Son, that is, the human nature in conjunction with the divine; for of it self it could not do it, may in some sense be said to have made the World, as the Scripture asserts him to have done, and in what sense that is, shall be now very sud­denly and very clearly declared.

For as there are some operations of the divine nature to be met with, wherein the Father or the simple divine substance acts as a distinct Person by it self, without the con­currence of the human nature, so there are others wherein the divine and human na­ture act joyntly, and as it were confede­rately together, and are considered as one common person endued with one common life, understanding and will, and they are these.

First, in the business of Creation, which though it hath been already appropriated as an incommunicable act to the simple di­vine substance; yet we find notwithstanding in Scripture, that the Creation of the World is attributed to the Son likewise, that is, to the second person of the blessed Trinity, or to the human nature vitally and perso­nally united to the divine as well as to God the Father, or to the simple divine substance [Page cxl] it self, the reasons of which, if I am not mistaken, are principally, if not only, these that follow.

First, that all things being produced out of nothing by the divine power, or by a bare act of the divine will, and the human nature, being vitally and personally united to the divine, so as to be partaker of the life of God, and to be wholly determined and acted by his will, the will of the human nature, being as it were included, absorpt, and swallowed up in the divine, and the one being perfectly determined and acted by the other, whatsoever effect follows any determination or motion of the divine will, may very properly be said to be the effect also of the human, in conjunction with it, and acting as one common person with one indivisible and common determination, it be­ing no more possible to separate the one will from the other, than it is to dissolve the union of the two natures, or to divide any e­manative and immediate effect, from its imme­diate and emanative cause, and it is in a man­ner the same case as in the Line.

[figure]

Where if you consider A as the first mo­ver, and B and C as quiescent, yet B being first moved by the motion of A, the motion of C is rightly affirmed to be owing to them both, acting in common and in conjuncti­on together; notwithstanding, that the o­riginal power of moving be wholly to be ascribed to, and to be derived from A, whose Creature B as to its motion is, as C in the same respect may be said to be the com­mon creature of them both.

Secondly, the human nature of Christ, tho' personally and vitally united to the divine, yet being, as it hath been said already, but a finite nature; and though there were in it a perfect Conjunction and Symphony of will, in all things to the divine will and under­standing, so far as the sphere of its capacity would reach, yet that capacity being finite and imperfect, it wanted some external helps to give it the more full and comprehensive notion of the divine nature, and by conse­quence the more large and plentiful enjoy­ment of it; for which reason it was, that from all Eternity there was Cre­ated [Page cxlii] a Sub-eternal and Aethereal matter, which being united to and animated by the ubiquitary and original life, which is called God the Father, constituted the third Per­son of the Blessed Trinity, which is called the Holy Ghost.

Now God being infinitely perfect and happy in himself, it could not be, that this Aethereal matter was produced by him for the more full and perfect enjoyment of him­self, for there could be nothing in any Crea­ture, especially an inanimate one, as this sub­tle matter, without the conjunction and ani­mation of the divine life, must be, which was not before hand eminently and transcen­dently to be found in himself, who is con­sidered as its emanative and its only cause, neither is it reasonable to conceive, though it proceeded from all eternity from the Divine Substance, by way of emanation, that it was created out of no end or de­sign, or that no use was made of it from all eternity, till in the fulness of time the aspectable Ʋniverse was Created, where­fore it is but reasonable in this case, to sup­pose that this subtle matter was employed partly in forming the Vehicles of the Cae­lestial Hierarchy, the Angels and immortal Spirits, the Morning Stars and Sons of God, [Page cxliii] that sung together and shouted for joy, when the first corner stone of the World was laid, and consequently did exist before it.

And that they were really cloathed with such Aetherial Vehicles or Caelestial Bodies, (as we shall be our selves after the Resurre­ction, if there be any sense in the 15th. Chap­ter of the first to the Corinthians, and our Saviour himself assures us, that in the fu­ture state we shall be [...] or [...] as the Angels or equal to the Angels that are in Heaven) seems to me plainly to be asser­ted by the Psalmist in these words, Psal. 104. 4. Who maketh his Angels Spirits, his Ministers a flaming Fire, not to repeat here what I have Apology for the mid. way & Sermon of the Om­nipresence. elsewhere said concerning the signification of the word [...] or An­gel in the new Testament; and that they had also a pre-existence before the Foundation of the World were laid, seems not obscurely to be imployed by the Psalmist, in that im­mediately after, as if the next thing to the Creation of Angels, were that of the sensi­ble and acceptable world, he subjoyns, who laid the Foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

But this is not all, it was further neces­sary that this subtle matter should be Crea­ted, [Page cxliv] (for it neither is or can be by it self, any more then a Creature) and that from all Eter­nity, by an emanative way, that the Son or the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, or the human nature of Christ, vitally and per­sonally united to the Divine of God the Fa­ther, might have, from all Eternity, the more large and comprehensive notion of that infinitely perfect nature, to which it was thus vitally and personally united, and by consequence might be the more closely uni­ted, and enjoy the more perfect Friendship and Communion with it; for it is but rea­sonable to suppose, that in this subtle mat­ter, not only the Vehicles of Angelick Forms and Spirits, but also the sensible Ideas and Patterns of this lower World were origi­nally drawn, and in this sense the Heavens, that is, the emanative subtle matter in which those Archetypal Ideas were framed, may be said to have declared the Glory of God, in another and an antecedent notion, to that in which the Psalmist understood those words, by representing the Original Patterns of the World, that was designed to be Created in the fulness of time, to the Human nature of Christ, and to those An­gels and separated Spirits which were in time produced before the Foundations of [Page cxlv] the World, which taught them more fully and perfectly to understand and celebrate the Power and Wisdom of God, then with­out such outward helps any finite or created Being was capable of doing, and this was no more then Seneca hath represented con­cerning God himself, that he made use from all Eternity of a certain subtle matter, in which the first Patterns and Archetypal ex­amples of all things whatsoever were drawn: Miremur, saith he in his 58th. E­pistle,See Apol. for middle way A. p. 283 to 289 in sublimi volitantes rerum omnium formas, Deum (que) inter illa versantem ac pro­videntem, quemadmodum quae immortalia sa­cere non potuit, quia materia prohibibat, de­fendat a morte ac ratione vitium corporis vin­cat, in which passage, though it be mani­fest that he supposed God to be one Supreme, Ʋbiquitary and Immaterial Nature, which is his genuine and true notion, and so must not be supposed in this particular, to ad­here strictly to the Stoical Principles, which did not acknowledge any thing but mat­ter in the world, and though that supreme ubiquitary and immaterial Nature, to help him to form and model his Ideas, may not perhaps have any need of any such subtle and subeternal matter (although it be some­what difficult to conceive, how material [Page cxlvi] Ideas can be represented or conveyed o­therwise then by material objects, or by the help of the materia Ideata) yet with respect to the human nature of Christ, it was perhaps a matter of absolute necessity, that such a subtle matter should from all Eternity be created, wherein the first Patterns and Ex­emplars of things should be drawn, to fill it with the more large and comprehensive notion of the Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God, which was a natural means of the most close and intimate Communion with him, and this is a second sense in which the Son may be said no have Created the World, because it was Created as it were on purpose for him, that part of it, I mean, which makes up the subtle matter of the Ʋniverse, which is infinitely the most considerable proportion of it.

But thirdly, the Son may be said to have Created the World in this sense also, not that the Power or Wisdom of the Human Nature could extend so far, as to the Creation of the World, but only that God the Father, that is, the original and radical divine substance did, as it were, take the advice and Council of the human nature in it, that is, he created such a World as should have a beauty & congruity in it, to the Human Nature, because that Na­ture, which in its abstracted & separate Estate, [Page cxlvii] is much the same with the Angelic, was to be the Principal Inhabitant of the Ʋniverse, and therefore, beauty or congruity being nothing else, but a certain satisfaction, com­placency and delight, which a certain object strikes upon a certain nature; such a World was to be Created as was most naturally suited to please its best Inhabitant with its outward appearance, as well as to afford it matter of Contemplation; so, that as all the Creatures were at first brought to Adam to see what he would call them, and what­soever he called them that was the Name thereof, so was the whole Creation presented to the Human Nature of Christ, as it were for his approbation, and to him perhaps it was especially to be applied, what we find written at the end of every days work in the History of the Creation, that God, that is, the human nature of Christ in conjunction with the divine, saw that it was good, that is, it had a goodness of congruity to the Human part, and I take upon me to affirm that no sense can be put upon this place, which gives so intelligible an account of the goodness mentioned in the Text, as this which I have mentioned seems to do, so also St. John tells us, That by him all things were made, and without him was not any thing [Page cxlviii] made that was made; all things were made by him, in the sense already explained, be­cause of the intimate union of the two Natures, by which it comes to pass that the effects and operations of the one, are alike attributed and ascribed to the other; and without him not any thing was made that was made, that is, without his consent, concur­rence and approbation, to whom the World that was to be made, was to be so fitted, that it was to have in it a certain congruity and harmony with his Nature, and to strike a certain Sympathy and complacency upon it, and in this sense it is, that he is perhaps called by the Prophet Isaiah, the Coun­cellor as well as the Mighty God, God ha­ving in this great work of the Creation, consulted principally the happiness of his Creature Man, and ordered matters after such a manner as should be most suitable, most delightful, most congruous and most useful to the human nature.

But secondly, a second instance, in which the divine and human nature may be consi­dered as acting as one commen Person, is the great affair of our Redemption; for the divine nature of it self was impassible, and the human of it self could not satisfie for the sins of the World, but the innocence of [Page cxlix] the human nature of Christ, which was, I take it for granted, owing to the intimate presence and union of it with the Divine; the exquisite and inconceiveable painfulness of that death which our blessed Lord suffer­ed upon the Cross for our sakes, resulting in a great measure from the jarring and dis­agreement of two natures so closely united, and accompanied all the while with a ve­hement desire, to submit in the midst of as vehement an aversation to it, as hath been already declared; and lastly, the vital and inseparable Ʋnion of the Human and Divine life with one another; these were the things that did inhance the merit and value of that Sacrifice, and therefore in this case the Divine and Human Nature are considered as joyntly and equally con­cerned.

Thirdly and lastly, in the business of the Intercession at the Right hand of God; God that is, the divine Nature cannot properly be said to intercede with himself, and yet the Intercession of the human without so close and vital a Connexion with the divine would be every whit as insignificant and unavailable, as without the same Ʋnion the Sacrifice of himself would have been, besides that it would perhaps be inexcusa­ble, [Page cl] were it not for this Ʋnion, For one meer man, a finite and a little Creature, like our selves, to take upon him to sup­plicate and intercede for all the rest, so that as his human Nature entitules him to the Priesthood; for the God and the Priest are supposed to be two things; so it is the Ʋ ­nion of that Nature with the divine, that makes him an High Priest, that Ʋnion is his entrance into the Holy of Holies, and inhan­ces the price and value of his Intercession, and therefore in this third and last particu­lar also, the divine and human Nature are considered as acting joyntly together, and constituting one Person, resulting from the Ʋnion of them both.

And now having laid down so clear a Notion of the blessed Trinity, I cannot see what is wanting to give it all the advantage which it very well deserves, for it is not only very consonant to Scripture, but it hath likewise so clear and so strong a Foun­dation in the reason of things, that when both these meet, as they do here, together, it must be acknowledged to be more then a possible Idea, and that it is neither more nor less then the very truth it self, and a truth that seems to lie so plain, that it is much more wonderful it should be [Page cli] concealed thus long, then that at last it should be discovered.

As for the Scripture, what more plain then that those Texts, I am in the Father and the Fa­ther in me, and I and the Father are one, may by this notion be very clearly explained, for the human nature of Christ is absorped and swallowed up in the Divine of God the Fa­ther, and does on the other hand, by vertue of its intimate Ʋnion, imbibe and take in the Divine Nature into it self, as far as its ca­pacity will reach, which it does much fur­ther then by reason of its littleness and fi­nite Circumscription it may seem to do, be­cause the parts of the Divine Extension be­ing all of them similar and actually inse­parable, by reason that the whole is com­mensurate to an infinite space, whatsoever is united by an unity of life and selfconsci­ousness to any part, is at the same time ef­fectually united to that indivisible life, which is but one and the same self-consciousness and self-enjoyment, through the whole extension. And so, I and the Father are one, that is, one in the common species of immaterial nature, one by mutual penetration and imbi­bition, one by an unity of self-consciousness and reciprocal feeling of each others life, one by an unity of affection and will, and one in [Page clii] many cases, by an unity of operation and mutual concurrence to the same effect; neither is there any other possible difficulty to be started in this case, unless it be how two lives can be so twisted, and intimately in­terwoven together, as to become one life, and to constitute one Person, to which it may be answered.

First, that in fact it is true, that an immate­rial and material Nature may be so Ʋnited, as is plain in every human composition consist­ing of Soul and Body, and that there is a great­er congruity of one immaterial Nature to ano­ther, then there can be of that which is cal­led life and activity, to that which is utterly destitute and devoid of both, which is the case of matter, which yet by its union with an immaterial substance, is made to taste and feel it self, to become the subject and seat, either of pleasure or pain, and to concur with the other towards the constituting of a com­mon Person, resulting from them both.

Secondly, upon supposition that one life is capable of being imprest and influenced by another, as there is more reason that it should, then that that, which is utterly de­void of life should be capable of the same impressions, this is enough to constitute one common person; for by a person nothing [Page cliii] else is meant but a self-conscious nature, and therefore, where there is in two personali­ties a mutual enjoyment or feeling of each others life; there arises a compound persona­lity from the mutual reciprocation, enjoy­ment or imbibition of two several lives, act­ing upon and influencing each other, and being brought to a perfect Harmony, and entire consent of understanding and will, and it is sufficient in this case, that the dif­ficulties in the union of the two natures, to make up and constitute the second person in the Blessed Trinity, are not greater, no nor so great neither, as those in the union of our own soul and body, of which notwithstand­ing we are intimately and perfectly consci­ous to our selves.

Thirdly, there is no way to expound se­veral places of Scripture, with any plausi­bility or shew of truth, but by admitting such an union as this, which seems in those places to be so plainly asserted.

Fourthly and lastly, in the Sympathies of friendship, whether in joy or grief, and in the mutual complacency and satisfaction, which entire friends experience in the con­versation and company of each other, in their common sentiments, common wishes and common designs, there is something very [Page cliv] like this union which we contend for, though it be far from being so perfect and entire.

It being therefore so rational, to believe that there may be such a personal union of two immaterial natures together, to consti­tute the Person of the Son, that other of these two natures or persons so united, to a certain, subtle, subeternal and aethereal mat­ter, to constitute the third Person of the Blessed Trinity, which is called the Holy Ghost, must be admitted as a possible union, because the vital union of an immaterial na­ture to a material, is no more then we do all of us every day experience in our selves, as hath been already observed.

The Father is the simple divine substance by himself, the Son is the vital Ʋnion of an human soul to the substance and Person of God the Father, and the Holy Ghost is no­thing else but an Aethereal and Emanative matter, vitally united to both the former. That which makes them all to be God, is the same Numerical Divine substance be­longing to them all, and that which makes the distinction of the Persons, is the ad­dition of a Created immaterial nature, in the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, of a Created material one in the third, and the [Page clv] substraction or precision of both of these in the first.

The Son is said to be begotten of the Father, being a similar, immaterial, and as it were, univocal effect of his Power and Will, and the Holy Ghost to proceed from them both, because, though the human na­ture of Christ and the subtle matter, which makes the body of that Person which is called the Holy Ghost, be both of them emanative and by consequence eternal, yet the emanation seems more natural from one immaterial nature to another, then from im­material to material, and so the Son is at least prior natura then the Holy Ghost, though not cognitione, and the subtle matter which is one part of the third Person of the Blessed Trinity, being Crea­ted, though from all Eternity, yet, in some sense, for the sake of the Son, as hath been already declared, and being also pro­duced by the Father by a contemporary consent of will in the Son, or in the human nature, though they be supposed contempora­ry to one another, yet this is enough to make it no improper way of expression, to say, that the Holy Ghost proceeded from the Fa­ther and the Son, though in this I do not justifie the heats on either side, between [Page clvi] the Greek and Latin Churches, neither do I think the Schism to be the less inexcusa­ble, because the Latins, in a matter of this subtlety, were in the right.

I do not deny but that the Father or the simple divine substance, is always vitally uni­ted to the human nature of Christ, and also to a certain subtle and aethereal matter, in that manner which hath been already de­clared; but yet notwithstanding the real distinction of the Father from the Son, or of the first Person of the Blessed Trinity from the second, is always as really and as clearly preserved, as if in the first case there were no second Person, or no vital union with the human nature, or as if in the se­cond there were no third or no vital union of the divine and human nature, with the aethereal matter; for in the first place, as hath been already largely represented, there are some operations of the simple di­vine substance, to which the human nature, being but finite, cannot adaequately extend, and in this case, that substance is of neces­sity considered as a Person acting by it self, and in the second, notwithstanding the vi­tal union of one or more immaterial nature to a material, yet there are some abstracted operations wherein the immaterial substances [Page clvii] do perfectly withdraw themselves, from any intercourse or communication with matter, as is plain in those operations of the human soul, which are purely speculative and intelle­ctual, in which the animal, concupiscibl [...] or pla­stick life have no share, but they are purely the operations of separated and abstracted Spirits, and such as would undoubtedly ac­company the mind of Man, though it were disentangled from this mortal body, and yet, the vital union is not interrupted all this while, but the digestion and Animal secre­tion still goes on, the bloud still circulates, and the Plastic faculties perform their office in men not yet arrived to their full growth, as well as in Embrios, not yet attained to their just form and shape in their Mothers Womb; not that I would be thought to compare these things with one another, but only in general to represent, that an im­material nature, tho vitally united to a ma­terial, may yet have operations purely spi­ritual and altogether abstracted, in which that union is not at all concerned, and those operations which are performed on the one hand by the abstracted, and on the other by the Compound and Heterogeneous nature, may well enough be considered as the actions of two Jeveral and distinct persons, as in St. [Page clviii] Paul's description of the strife and conten­tion between the Flesh and Spirit, Rom. 7. 15. That which I do I allow not, for what I would that do I not, but what I hate that do I. Where it is manifest that the soul of man, considered by it self in its most inward and abstracted speculation, is considered as one person, and as united and vitally interwoven with a body or vehicle of matter, as another, and this is enough to show that a compound and a simple person are by no means the same, or to defend the personality of the Holy Ghost, as distinct from the simple substance of God the Father.

Further, that by the Holy Ghost, nothing else is meant but the vital union of an ae­thereal or subtle matter, to the simple and original divine substance of God the Father, is clear not only from the words them­selves, by which it is expressed in Hebrew Rouach and in Greek Pneuma, which signifie nothing else but a subtle matter, but also from the History of the Creation, where the spirit of God is said to have moved upon the face of the Waters, in the Hebrew it is Merachepheth, which the Rabbins inter­pret of the incubation of any bird or fowl, up­on the young or eggs, by which it is manifest that they understood the Spirit of God not simply, [Page clix] of any wind or subtle matter whatsoe­ver, but of such as was animated with a divine life, and fitly disposed by brooding upon the Chaos to make it fruitful and fer­tile, and when God spake to Moses out of the burning bush, when he gave the Law up­on Mount Sinai in Fire and Smoak, when he went before the Camp of the Israe­lites like a Cloud by day, and like a Flame by night, when such flaming and fie­ry apparitions as these, are so frequently cal­led in Scripture by the name of the glory of God, all these are meant of that subtle mat­ter, which being animated and enlivened by a divine life, is called Rouach hachodesh, pneuma hagion, the Holy Spirit, the spirit, or breath, or wind of God; so also when Moses desired to see the face of God, but was denied for this reason, that no Man could see the face of God and live, but yet was permitted to see his back parts which were nothing else but a certain vigorous and piercing flame, the meaning is plainly this, that no Man in this life can converse with the naked essence or immaterial nature of God, but his back parts, or that aethereal and subtle matter, to which from all eternity he hath been vitally united, these may possi­bly fall under human cognizance as they did [Page clx] under that of Moses, even in this life, and this in truth is the main, if not only business of this subtle matter, be­sides the forming of Ideas in it, as hath been already suggested, that being ani­mated and informed by the life of God, it is the instrument of the divine power in its external operations; thus as God being cloathed with this subtle matter, did incu­bate and brood upon the Mass, and or­der and dispose its several parts, as seem­ed best to his infinite goodness and wis­dom, so also those secret operations of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of good Men, are performed by virtue of this subtle matter, animated by a divine life, and directed by a divine council and wisdom, and mixing it self with the Spirits in our brains, giving them such motions and impressions, as are requisite to produce the ends intended; thus we find in the new Testament, that Jesus was driven by the Spirit into the Wilderness: that Philip was caught up by the same spirit and carried to Azotus, that it appeared upon our Saviour at his baptism, in the shape of a Dove, upon the Apostles in the day of Pen­tecost, in that of cloven Tongues like as of Fire; we read also that those who were act­ed by it, were transported and carried be­yond [Page clxi] themselves, almost to a degree of frenzy, so as they were scarce sensible of what they did or said, all which are clear instances of an extraordinary agitation of a certain subtle matter, and that this matter animated by a divine life, is that which is called the Spirit of God, or the Holy Ghost, the third Person of the Blessed Trinity, and I am inclinable to believe, that the same Divine life warming and directing the sub­tle matter of the Ʋniverse, is likewise the immediate instrument of Vegitation in Plants, and of all plastic operations in the animal world.

Thus have I given, I hope, a plain and clear account of the hitherto accounted un­intelligible Doctrine of the blessed Trinity, so as to make it consonant to Reason and Scripture together, by which we shall at once gain a manifest advantage over the Arians and Socinians, whose only scruple against it, is its puzling and unintelligible Nature, and over the Papists, who fly for refuge to this Doctrine as their last Defence to vindicate the Doctrine of Transubstanti­ation, and the truth is, to swallow the bu­siness whole without chewing, as many too credulous people are used to do, as if three could be one or one three, without compo­sition [Page clxii] on the one hand, or without divi­sion on the other, is a fancy every whit as absurd and indefensible as the Do­ctrine of Transubstantiation it self, and as contradictory to experience and common sense. I have added as an Appendix at the end of these discourses, a large disquisiti­on concerning the Divine Extension, which was but necessary to the better understan­ding that notion of the Trinity, which I have laid down, and I think I have not only solidly confuted the most beloved Prin­ciple of the Cartesian Philosophy, which would perswade us that nothing can be ex­tended but matter, but also upon the same ground improved the destraction of the Divine Existence, beyond what any other Writer hath done before me; as for what concerns my usage of Dr. C. (who though he disclaimes it in one place of his System, and though he thanks God very solemnly in another, for taking such care to pre­serve the notion of a Trinity wakeing in the World, yet after all he is either Arian, Socinian or Deist, if his book may be be­lieved, and if he have not taken a great deal of pains to no purpose) all I shall say is, that I thought no severity too great to be used towards him, who hath made use [Page clxiii] of a great, however ill deserved reputa­tion, to undermine the great Pillar and Cor­ner Stone of the Christian Religion, and hath by consequence set at nought the Person and the Sacrifice of Christ, and done no small prejudice, by so doing to the Autho­rity of his Gospel. I did design that this essay and what follows it, should be a mo­nument of our Friendship, and my obligati­on to succeeding times, and so I hope it will, but if I miss of my intention, it is in this case but Justice to accept the Will for the Deed.

I am, dear Sir, Your most affectionate, humble and obedient Servant, JOHN TƲRNER

A DISCOURSE CONCERNING THE MESSIAS, UPON ISAIAH, 7.

Divided into three CHAPTERS.

LONDON, Printed by T. B. in the Year MDCLXXXV.

TO THE READER.

READER,

IF you are inquisitive to know the occasion of the following discourse, it is word for word what was spoken! ast Christmas at St. Thomas his Hospital; bateing that now for methods sake it being divided into three Chap­ters, there must be some little alteration at the beginning of each.

I know not whether you will not blame me in your mind, for entertaining that sort of au­ditory with notions that will seem not calcula­ted for their capacity, though they were first uttered among them, but I think in the midst of some appearance of Novelty and Learning, there is a plainness all the way that suits it self to every common understanding, and I pre­sume there is all along a practical savour and relish to be met with in it, which was not only fitted to the occasion, but very proper for the audience likewise, I wish I could say so much for the Appendix, which was it self the substance of several Sermons delivered in another place, [Page] and made by some little alteration a little more cohaerent, then when it was divided into seve­ral discourses.

I do affirm to you, without any great mat­ter of protestation, which commonly is an ob­struction to beliefe, by a too fierce and violent endeavour to obtain it, that it was not any af­fectation of appearing Learned, before People that are not Judges of such things, that was the occasion of so intricate a discourse, as this must needs seem to a Popular assembly, but only that I was so simple to believe, that things that were so plain to my self, must needs be so to every body else, till I found by the complaints of such as had but too much reason to be displeased at me, for going about, as they thought, to puzzle and confound them, that I was not understood; I beg their pardon with all my heart, though I have now no other reason to do it, then only that experience hath taught me more wit, and made me more sensible of my errour then I was, when I committed it, and if by what I have said I have demonstrated more sensibly the Existence of a God, then others have done before me, I ask no other reward then that you would not laugh at my Infirmitie, of which no man is more severely conscious then my self, and if you meet with any thing by which either you are edifyed or the truth asserted; I ascribe [Page] nothing to my self, but to the giver of every good and perfect gift, and I desire that God may have the Glory and his Church the benefit of my undertaking.

Farewell.

Isai. 7.‘Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his Name Imma­nuel.

CHAP. 1.

MAnkind had no sooner fallen from their Primitive Estate by the diso­bedience of our first Parent, in the effect and consequence of which all his Posteri­ty were so fatally concerned, but it was the immediate care of the Divine good­ness and wisdom, to restore in us that I­mage and Participation of his Nature, which we had lost; and so the Apostles, Barnabas and Paul, in the Acts of the Apo­stles assure us, that in the worst of times, when God seemed to have left the World wholly to it self, and to suffer all Nations to walk in their own wayes, nevertheless he left not himself without Witness, in that he did good, and gave us Rain from Heaven and fruit­ful seasons, filling our Hearts with food and [Page 2] gladness: And so the latter of these Apo­stles tells us in the first Chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, at the twentieth Verse, That the invisible things of him from the Creation of the World are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his Eternal Power and Godhead.

But yet the works of Nature, how preg­nant arguments soever they may afford, in themselves, of the being of a God, and how instructive soever they may appear to a considering Man, as to the true way by which he ought to be worshipped, yet not being sufficiently attended to by sensual or heedless Men; the World for all this was quickly over-run with vice and naughti­ness in civil conversation, and with Ido­latry in Religious worship; and therefore such were the exceeding riches of the Di­vine love and goodness, so tender were his Mercies, and so compassionate Nature, that he did not think it sufficient to have left Men without excuse, by the works of his Hands, and by the wonders of his Pro­vidence, unless he did also by express Mes­sengers dispache, as it were, on purpose from himself, admonish them of their sin and of their danger.

To which purpose it is, that soon after the fall of our first Parent, God raised up Seth in opposition to the accursed Seed of Cain, who. carries envy and disobedience in his Name, to be a Preacher and exam­ple of unblemished life, and of a sound and Orthodox Religion, and to restore that righteous Seed, which was to bruise the Serpents Head, and which was in so great danger of being lost and extinguisht in the death of Abel; for so saith the Scripture expresly concerning Seth, that his Mother who bare him called his Name Seth, for this reason, for God, saith She, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew, and to continue this Blessed Seed to posterity, that it might never fail; Enos not long after was descended of Seth, and in his time it is said expresly, if we will follow that reading which the present Ma­sorethical Bibles do embrace, az Houchal likroth beshem Adonai, that then Men began to call upon the Name of the Lord.

Of the Posterity of Enos down to Noah we have no particular account transmitted to us, only thus much is certain, that none of them are any where taxed with any thing of bad example, that Enoch is ex­presly said to have walked with God, that [Page 4] is, to have lived in his fear and in his fa­vour, and to have enjoyed a constant in­tercourse and communion with him, which is not so to be interpreted, as if the rest did not do so too, but only that his virtue was of a more eminent and extraordinary nature, then any of his Predecessours, which was the reason of his Translation to a better place, before the course of na­ture was expired, and of Noah the last of that succession before the Floud, it is said, that Lamech his Father, who, it seems, was not without a Prophetic foresight of what was afterwards to befall his Son, called his Name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our Hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cur­sed: He was to take off that curse of Bar­renness from the ground, by removing first the cause of it, which was the disobedi­ence of our first Parent, for it is said of him, Gen. 6. 9. That He was a just Man and perfect in his Generation, and Noah walked with God, and secondly, by removing the effect of that curse, which was the Bar­renness and Unfruitfulness of the Earth, by Natural and Secondary means, by his Skill and Diligence, in Husbandry and Tillage, as it is in the 9th, Chapter at the 20th Verse, [Page 5] That He began to be an Husbandman and planted a Vineyard: And in the second Epi­stle of St. Peter, he is called the eighth Prea­cher of Righteousness. Chap. 2. v. 4, 5. God spared not the Angels that sinned, but cast them down to Hell, and delivered them into Chains of darkness to be reserved unto Judgment, and spared not the old World but saved Noah the eighth Person, a Preacher of Righteousness, bringing in the Floud upon the world of the ungodly. Where what we translate the eighth Person, the word Person being supplyed by the Translators to fill up the sense, is by a Learned Prelate of our Church, translated more exactly thus, and spared not the old World, but saved Noah the eighth Preacher of Righteousness, which implies as much as if he had said, that there were seven be­fore him, or that all the Patriarchs from Enos down to Noah, were Preachers of Righteousness and Repentance to the World, so true is it, that God did never leave the World without a Witness of himself, in the worst of times and in the most degenerate ages that have happened; for it was at the conclusion of this interval, that it is said, That God saw that the wickedness of Man was great in the Earth, and that every Ima­gination of the thoughts of his Heart was [Page 6] only evil continually, that the Earth was Cor­rupt before God, and the Earth was filled with violence, that God looked upon the Earth, and behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the Earth, so that it repented the Lord that he had made Man in the Earth, and it grieved him at his Heart: And yet in this very time as bad as it was, God did not only give Testimony to him­self, by the works of the Creation, but also by living Witnesses and express Messen­gers, who as it seems were assisted and act­ed by an extraordinary Spirit, otherwise they would have wanted courage to deli­ver their Message in so degenerate and corrupt an Age, and so St. Peter tells us concerning Noah, who was the last Prea­cher of Repentance to the old World, That Christ was put to death in the Flesh, but quick­ned by the Spirit, by which also he went and Preached unto the Spirits in Prison, which some time were disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the Ark was a preparing, where it is manifest that the Spirits in Prison, being in­terpreted of those disobedient and unre­claimable Persons, for whom the long suf­fering of God waited with so much patience in the days of Noah while the Ark was a pre­paring, [Page 7] the Preaching of Christ must be in­preted of the Preaching of Noah, the eighth Preacher of Righteousness, by the mission and authority of Christ, and by the immediate help and assistance of his Spirit. For (as the same learned Man, whom I have last mentioned with great Judgment observes) though this was not done by an immediate act of the Son of God, as if he personally had appeared on Earth, and actu­ally Preached to that old World, but by the Ministry of a Prophet by the sending of Noah, the eighth Preacher of Righteousness: Yet to do any thing by another not able to perform it without him, as much demonstrates the Exi­stence of the Principal cause, as if he did it of himself without any intervening Instrument.

And when God being provoked to Ex­termity by the sins of the old World, had brought a deluge upon them to destroy them, yet what was this Judgment it self but a Sermon of Repentance and obedi­ence to those eight Persons that were pre­served alive? And was not Noah spared in that Universal Calamity, as well that he might continue, as he did for three hun­dred years together after the Floud, to be an example to those that lived with him, and to those that were afterwards to be [Page 8] descended from him, to preach the same Doctrine to the new World, which had been so little regarded by the old, as up­on account of his own personal Righte­ousness and obedience?

Neither was he altogether unsuccessful in his attempt for Shem did manifestly tread in his Fathers steps, and was a conscienti­ous and a zealous Worshipper of the true and only God, which was the reason of that benediction, which his Father bestow­ed upon him, blessed be the Lord God of Shem, and Canaan shall be his Servant, bles­sed be the Lord God of Shem, which im­plies him to have been a Worshipper of the true and only God, the maker of Heaven and Earth, the God of Noah, as well as of Shem, which was the reason why he blest him, but the God of Noah was the true God in opposition to the Idols of the Hea­then World, and therefore it is plain that the God of Shem was so to, and Canaan shall be his Servant, that is, the Canaanites who were to be descended of his Brother Ham, were, for their Idolatries to be root­ed out, and those that remained alive of them, as the Gibeonites and others did, were to be Servants and Bonslaves to the Poste­rity of Shem, from whom the Children of Israel were descended.

Neither was Shem the only Instance of Vertue and Religion, to be found in the immediate Posterity of Noah, but Japhet, also so far as his own Person was concern­ed, without extending the Character to his Posterity, seems to have been as considera­ble for Piety as the other, which was the reason of that other blessing, Japth Elohim Lejepheth, God shall enlarge Japhet, that is, he shall make him the Father of great and powerful nations, and of the joyning them both together in one common blessing, in opposition to the accursed Canaan, Cursed be Canaan, a Servant of Servants shall he be unto his Brethren.

How long the posterity of Shem continu­ed firm in their obedience to God, we can­not tell, only thus much we may lay down for certain, that before the time of Terah, who was the Father of Abraham, Idolatry had got the perfect and entire possession of an once more Degenerate and Apostate World. For to Terah were born three Sons, Abraham and Nahor and Haran, and that these three were all of them bred up and educated in the Idolatry of the Gentiles, is manifest from this, that Abraham was called to come out from among them by the command of God, and was enjoyned [Page 10] by a particular Revelation or Voice from Heaven, or inward impulse and motion of the Divine Spirit, to forsake his kindred and his Fathers House, that he might be brought into closer engagements with his Maker, and enter into a new Covenant and Ally­ance with him, and also from this, that in the Family of Nahor, who was the Bro­ther of Abraham, Idolatry still continued, as is manifest from the story of Laban and Rebeccah, and if Lot, who was the Son of Haran, and the Nephew of Abraham, were a Worshipper of the true God, and had forsaken the superstitions and abomina­tions of the Heathen, yet this is rather to be attributed to his Converse and Friendship and Cohabitation with the lat­ter, then to his being descended of the for­mer.

The Covenant which Abraham entred into with God, was the Covenant of Circumcision, and in that there were these two things implied; First, the Worship of the true God, in opposition to Idolatry; Secondly, the observation to all Personal vertues, in opposition to the gluttony and intemperance, the luxury and riot of the Heathen World.

First, it implyed in it a promise and obligation in the Person Circumcised to worship the true God, and to serve him only, in opposition to Idolatry, which was the reason why it was performed on the eighth day, that is, seven days compleat af­ter the birth of the Child, to signifie that Worship and Honour that was due to him, who Sanctifyed the Seventh day, by resting upon it; after he had finished the Creation in the other six.

Secondly, there was implyed in it an ob­ligation to Temperance and Chastity and self denyal, it signifyed, by the cutting off of the foreskin, the mortification of all fleshly lusts, all unreasonable appetites and bruitish inclinations, and a casting them a­way never to return, or to be entertained any more, and this is that inward Circum­cision of which the outward was a Symbal, which the Apostle calls the Circumcision of the Heart, in the 2d. Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, at the 28th. and 29. Verses. He is not a Jew which is one outwardly, neither is that Circumcision which is outward in the Flesh, but he is a Jew which is one in­wardly, and Circumcision is that of the Heart, in the Spirit and not in the Letter, whose praise is not of Men, but of God.

To the performance of this Covenant, and of the duties that were shadowed un­der it, the promises made to Abraham and his Posterity were annexed, and in vertue of this Covenant, they continued in a state of separation from the rest of Man­kind, from the time of Abraham to that of his Grandson Jacob, and from thence all along during the Sojourning of the Israe­lites in the Land of Aegypt, not that God did intend to confine the effects of his goodness, which is as large and infinite as his nature, within so narrow a compass, but the Posterity of Abraham's being thus rewarded and blest after so extraordinary a manner, above all other People and Fa­milies whatsoever, was intended as a light and a warning to the rest of Mankind, to deter them from Idolatry, and from the lusts of the Flesh, and to invite them to embrace that Religion, to espouse those Principles, and to follow those whole­some and commendable courses, to which those rewards and promises were annext, as is evident from this, that Abraham was not only obliged to circum­cise his Son, but also his Servants and all that belonged to his House, and that the Jewish Church had always a Power of ad­mitting [Page 13] Proselytes out of the Nations round about them, though they were by no means to converse with such as remain­ed still in a State of Idolatry, Uncircum­cision and Uncleanness.

The Servitude and the Darkness and the Plagues of Aegppt, were Types and Sha­dows of the Slavery, the folly, the incon­venience of Sin, the sprinkling of the bloud of the Paschal Lambs, upon the Posts and Lentils of the Jewish Houses, the night before their escape out of it, was a Type of deliverance by the bloud of that expiatory Sacrifice, which was in time to suffer upon the Cross, and so was their pas­sage through the red Sea, a shadow of de­liverance by bloud, as on the other side the overflowing and drowning the Aegyp­tians in it, signified that the same bloud instead of saving, will but condemn all re­probate and impenitent Sinners, who by open impieties have Crucified their Lord a­fresh, have disclaimed all title and benefit in his Bloud, and have willfully and wickedly neglected and refused so great Salvation.

Moses who was their Conductor out of Aegypt, represented Christ in his Kingly Office, and to this their Names agree in sound exactly well, for Mosheh which is [Page 14] the Hebrew Name of Moses answers to the Hebrew Mashiach, or the anointed, and Mou­ses or Moses which is the Greek answers to the Greek Messias. Moses was succeeded by Joshua, and he that is called Joshua in He­brew, is in Greek Jesus, carrying Salvation and Redemption in his Name; and as Mo­ses and Joshua did Typifie him in his King­ly Office, so did Aaron and his Successors in the Priestly, to which they were anoin­ted, as being the Fore-ruuners and Types of the anointed of God, our Everlasting high Priest, who was to do away all Sacri­fice by the Sacrifice of himfelf once offered, as an Eternal and Everlasting Propitiation, and so were the Kings of Israel anointed too, for they represented him in his King­ly Office, and Prophets were anointed as well as Kings, as being his Predecessors in the Prophetical.

To this purpose it is remarkable, that the first Kings of Israel had their Names from some particular Circumstances belon­ging to them, Saul had his from Shaal, which signifies to ask, because the People asked them a King, but he being a proper and comly personage, and therefore very unfit to presignifie a suffering Messias, a Man of sorrow, and acquainted with griefs, of whom [Page 15] the Prophet Isaiah said, he hath no form nor comlyness, and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him, he was as it seems, for this reason, among others rejected by God, and the rage and mad­ness with which he was possessed at the thoughts, that he and his Posterity were to be supplanted by David, who carried in his very Name a Type of Christ, was an Emblem of that opposition which the Gos­pel was to meet with from the Grandees and Principalities of this World, and from the restless activity of the Powers of Darkness, and on the other side, this fury being as­swaged by the skilful touches of David upon his Harp, signified the dispossessing and ejecting of Evil Spirits by our Savi­our, it signified also the Nature of the Gospel, which was to prevail upon Men by perswasion and gentle means, to over­come the World by submission and obedi­ence, and conquer all opposition by hu­mility and meekness.

David is the same with Daoud or Dod, which is as much in Hebrew as to say the Beloved, it signifies sometimes an Ʋncle which is next in Kindred, and En­dearment to a Father, and the Mandrakes of Leah are called in Hebrew Doudaim, [Page 16] which some have rendred flores amabiles, that is to say, lovely or odoriferous Flowers, and by this Name David represented him who was the beloved of God, his beloved Son in whom he was well pleased, his suffer­ings before the death of Saul, and the dwar­fish meanness and littleness of his Person, were very fit Emblems of a despised and suffering Messias, and of the condition of his first Followers and Disciples, who through much Tribulation, were to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

David, whose time was full of wars and troubles, and therefore he was forbid to build a Temple, was succeeded by Solomon who carries peace in his Name, and this may either signifie that peaceful State of the Trium­phant Church, which is to succeed the war­fare of the Militant here on Earth, or else it is that utmost perfection of the Church of God in this life, if indeed in this life there be such a State actually to be expected, though it be no more then what the Gospel hath a natural tenden­cy to introduce, of which the Pro­phets have foretold, when the Swords shall be turned into Plowshares, and the Spears in­to Pruninghooks, when Nation shall not lift up Sword against Nation, neither shall they [Page 17] learn War any more. And as Solomon was a peaceful Prince, so is he also represented as the wisest that ever sat upon the Throne, and both these were Characters of the Messias that was expected, he was the Coun­cellor as well as the Prince of peace, Isaiah, 9. 6. Ʋnto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the Government shall be upon his Shoulder, and his Name shall be called Wonderful, Councellor, the mighty God, the everlastiug Father, and the Prince of Peace.

Solomon and David were descended of Jesse, because they were both of them to be Typical of Jesus, and Jesse was the Son of Hobed from a word in Hebrew that sig­nifies to serve, because the Messias was to appear in the likeness of Men, and to put on the form of a Servant.

Lastly, Saul who had his Name from Shaal, which signifies to ask, being a beautiful and comly Person, was a Type of him whom the Jews in vain expected, and desired a Triumphant and a glorious Messias, whom God in his Providence would not admit of, as he rejected Saul from being King, but David was the Type of the true Messi­as, who was to be a persecuted and afflicted Person.

Again, the troublesome and tedious pas­sage through the Wilderness out of Aegypt, was a Type of the difficulties, troubles, dangers and temptations, to which our Christian warfare in this life is exposed; the raining of Mannah signified those Spi­ritual and Heavenly assistances of the Spi­rit of Grace, by which we are sustained and supported under them, the raining of the greater proportion upon the sixth day, signified the administring and dispensing of this grace, according to the several ne­cessities of good men, so as there should be no difficulty, no temptation against which God will not furnish every honest mind, that heartily desires and beggs it at his hands, with a proportionable degree of his Grace and Spirit to encounter with it: The Quailes that descended in such a­bundance upon the ground, till the Israe­lites loathed what they longed for before, was an emblem of the vanity and unsatis­factoriness of all earthly pleasures, of their short continuance, and that they soon grow weary of themselves, and are not unfre­quently punished by their enjoyment, the sight which Moses had of Canaan from the top of Pisgah, was a figure and resemblance of the Christians Faith, whose property it [Page 19] is to discern things a far off, and to look upon future things, with the same confi­dence and assurance as if they were pre­sent; the murmuring and repining of the Israelites in the Wilderness, notwith­standing they were all the while so mani­festly under the care and conduct, and e­special Providence of God, was a figure of that contention and strife which there is betwixt the Spiritual and Fleshly Principle in Men, of the Spirits lusting against the Flesh, and the Flesh against the Spirit, and of their being contrary the one to the other, the lifting up of the brazen Serpent in the Wilderness, was by the application of our Saviour him­self typical of his own, being lifted up upon the Cross, the burial of Moses in an unknown place, answers to that of Jesus in a new Se­pulchre where never Man was laid before, and was resembled somewhat, though by the ignorant and causeless suspicion of Mary Magdalen, upon the Morning of the Re­surrection, They have taken away the Lord out of the Sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

After the Death of Moses and of Joshua, the several deliverances which the Jews obtained from under the hand of their E­nemies and Oppressors, were significative [Page 20] and expressive of that great deliverance, which was in the fulness of time to be wrought by Chrict upon the Cross, not on­ly for the Jews but all the World, and ac­cordingly they were stiled Saviours as well as he, though they did not so rightfully deserve the Name, and for this reason a­mong others, our Saviour took Human Na­ture upon him, that he might be our Bro­ther, and as it were of our Family and our Kindred, because the legal Redeemer was always to be of the Kindred of the Party Redeemed.

To conclude all the Ceremonies and Ex­piations, all the Sacrifices and Lustrations of the Jewish Law, did point at that great expiatory Sacrifice of the Messias, which in the Language of the Prophet Daniel, was to make the Sacrifice and the Oblation to cease, to him all the Prophets bare a perpetual Witness, and by the Writings of Daniel they were instructed in the time of his appearance, as well as confirmed in the certainty of it, and his business when he came, was to inform the understandings, to rectifie the mistakes, to purifie the Wills and Consciences, and to attone and satis­fie for the sins of a degenerate World, which that he might the better do, it was ne­cessary [Page 21] that he should answer those Cir­cumstances, as to the mode of his appea­rance and the Character of his Person, which were foretold concerning him, and of these, there are two in the words of the Text, which had the Praeeminence and Praecedence of all others.

First, That he was to be born af a pure and untainted Virgin, and

Secondly, That he was to be God as well as Man. Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bare a Son and shall call his Name Emanuel.

CHAP. 2. That the MESSIAS was to be Born of a VIRGIN.

IN the former Chapter having clearly represented how careful and sollici­tous the Divine goodness and wisdom have all along appeared, to preserve and keep up a due sense of themselves, and of that infinitely perfect Substance to which they belong, for the better ordering and go­vernment of the World, and how all things all the while have had a perpetual tenden­cy to the last Prophet and the last Dispensa­tion that was to be introduced by him, to fill the minds of Men with a desire and ex­pectation of him, and to render them in­excusable, if they did not give him that reception which was due to the greatness of his Character, and the dignity of his Person: I shall now discourse more parti­cularly of the two parts into which the Text does naturally divide it self, first, that it was necessary that the Messias or the Christ that was to come, should be born [Page 23] of a Virgin, secondly, that he was to be God as well as Man.

And for the first of them, nothing can be plainer then that the Evangelists are po­sitive and unanimous in the asserting of this truth, that the Blessed Jesus was born of a pure Virgin. So that nothing more remains to be said upon this head, then on­ly to prove that it was Typically or a Pro­phetically necessary that it should be so.

Behold a Virgin shall Conceive and bare a Son, the Jews to elude the force of so express a Prophecy concerning the Messias, have found out two evasions since our Saviour's time, which if they were at all thought of, yet they were never obstinately per­sisted in before: The first is this, that what we translate Virgin is to be understood in­differently of any Woman whatsoever, not past the Years of Conception, and accor­dingly what the Seventy Interpreters have translated by Parthenos a word in Greek, that signifies a pure and untainted Virgin, that the other Greek Interpreters, who li­ved since our Saviours time, have transla­ted more favourably to the opinion of the Jews [...], Behold a young Woman or Damsel shall conceive; and in consequence of this Notion, they have presumed to tell [Page 24] us farther, that this Prophecy was fulfilled in Hezekiah, which could not possibly be, be­cause this Prophecy was written at some time or other, in the Reign of Ahaz, who Reigned but sixteen years in Jerusalem, whereas Heze­kiah was five and twenty when he began to Reign, and consequently must have lived nine years before Ahaz was advanced to the Kingdom. Besides that, the Hebrew word Al­ma; which is here interpreted a Virgin, hath the same signification in the Punic Language, which was almost the same with the Hebrew, by the Testimony of St. Jerome, who tells us expresly, that Alma in the Punic was the proper and peculiar Name of a Virgin.

But this is not all, there are other pla­ces, which by the Interpretation of the Antient Jews, were constantly expounded in favour of this Doctrine, that the Mes­sias was to be born of a pure Virgin that had never known Man, and such is that of the Prophet Jeremiah, Chap. 31. at the 22d. Verse, The Lord hath Created a new thing on the Earth, a Woman shall compass a Man, a Woman shall compass, that is, a Woman shall enclose or be with Child of a Man; but now this was no such strange thing, if we understand it no otherwise then of the or­dinary way of Generation; for certainly [Page 25] that was no new thing in the Prophet Jere­miah's time, it is therefore of necessity to be interpreted some way different from the course of Nature, and it cannot possi­bly be better expounded then of the Con­ception of a Virgin, as the Ancient Rablins did certainly understand it, and applyed this Prophecy expresly to the Messias.

Lastly, in that first promise which was made of the Messias, The Seed of the Wo­man shall bruise the Serpents Head; it is ma­nifest that this Prophecy or promise is to be understood particularly of the Woman, as she is distinguished and considered a­part from the Man, because it is concern­ing her particularly, that God discourses with the Serpent in that place, Gen. 3. 13. And the Lord God said unto the Woman, what is it that thou hast done? And the Woman said the Serpent beguiled me and I did eat, upon which, v. 14. The Lord God said un­to the Serpent, because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all Cattle, and above every Beast of the Field, upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life, and I will put enmity between thee and the Woman, and between thy Seed and her Seed, it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel; and then it follows verse 17. And [Page 26] unto Adam he said, because thou hast hearken­ed to the voice of thy Wife, &c. From whence it is manifest that the Man and the Woman are here distinguished plainly from one a­nother, and consequently, that what was above prophesyed of the Seed of the Wo­man must be understood of that Seed con­sidered apart from the Man.

But to these Testimonies which have been already made use of by learned Men, and the two first of them interpreted of the Messias by the Jews themselves: I will now add some more which have not been taken notice of by any before; which will give an undeniable strength to the E­vidence of this truth, that the Messias was to be born of a Virgin; and the first thing which I shall instance in, shall be the Con­ception of Sarah, which was without que­stion Typical of that of the blessed Virgin, for Ifaac was a Type of Christ, as is ac­knowledged by all, and his Fathers going about at the command of God to make him a Sacrifice upon the Altar, was a Type of that Sacrifice of the only begotten Son of God, which was in the fulness of time to be offered up for the sins of the whole World.

Isaac carries joy and gladness in his Name, because in his Seed all the Generations of the Earth were to be blessed, as being the Pro­genitor of him who was the desire, and was to be the joy of all nations, of whom the Angel said to the surprized Shepherds, as they were watching of their Flocks by night, Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all People, for unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord, and then it fol­lows, And suddainly there was with the Angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the High­est, on Earth peace, good will towards Men. The joy was so exceeding great, that im­mediately upon the salutation of Mary, the Babe leaped in the Womb of Elizabeth for joy, and she spake with a loud voice, and said, bles­sed art thou among Women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy Womb, and whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come unto me: And upon an errant preparatory to this happy birth, immediately before the birth of John the Baptist, it was that the Angel Gabriel was dispatched to Zacharias, with this message, Thy Wife Eli­zabeth shall bear thee a Son and thou shalt call his Name John, and thou shalt have joy and [Page 28] gladness, and many shall rejoyce at his birth, and when Zacharias questioned, whereby shall I know this, the Angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel that stand in the pre­sence of God, and am sent to speak unto thee these glad tidings, the glad tidings of the birth of John, who came in the Spirit of Elias, and was the forerunner of the Christ that was to come, of whom, when Mary was convinced that she should be the hap­py instrument of bringing him into the World, she broke out immediately into that lofty and triumphant Song, my Soul doth magnifie the Lord, and my Spirit hath rejoyced in God my Saviour, for he hath re­garded the low Estate of his Hand-maiden: For behold from henceforth all Generations shall call me Blessed: And more to the same purpose, and good old Simeon was so ex­ceedingly transported, that he desired to live no longer, having once seen the desire and expectation of Israel and of all Nati­ons. Lord now lettest thou thy Servant depart in peace according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy Salvation, which thou hast pre­pared before the Face of all People, a light to lighten the Gentiles and the Glory of thy Peo­ple Israel.

Isaac was a Type of Christ, as by reason of the great joy that was conceived at his birth, after it had ceased to be with Sa­rah, after the manner of Women, so also in this that he was the only Son of his aged Father, as our Jesus was the only begotten of God, and therefore by Philo Byblius the Translator of Sanchuniathon an anti­ent Phaenitian Writer, he is called Ieoud, which answers to the Hebrew Iachid, and is as much as to say the only begotten, and as Isaac was a Type of Christ, so was Sa­rah his Mother of the Blessed Virgin, and therefore it is remarkable that the signifi­cation of both their Names, though the one be Hebrew, the other Calday or Syriac is exactly the same, signifying a Queen or Prin­cess or a Woman of Principal ranck or qua­lity, as that heap of stones which was by Jacob called in Hebrew Galheed, an heap of Witness or Testimony, was by Laban in the Syriac or Chaldaean Tongue stiled Iegar Sahadoutha, and in this an old Woman, so far stricken in Years, that she was uncapable naturally to conceive, or to bear or bring forth any more Children, was a very proper Type of conception by a Virgin, since both of them are equally impossible by the course of Nature, and [Page 30] depend wholly upon the Divine Power, which nothing hinders but it may exert it self equally in one case as well as the other.

And the same was true in the second place concerning Elizabeth the Mother of John, whom the Scripture declares expresly to have been a forerunner of Christ, for she also was old, and so far beyond the least thought or hopes of any issue to be descen­ded from her, that Zachariah could not believe the message of the Angel, when it was first delivered, Whereby shall I know this? said he, For I am an old Man and my Wife well stricken in Years; and the Angel himself confessed that it was impossible by the course of nature, and that nothing but the immediate and miraculous Power of God was capable of bringing such an ef­fect to pass, in what he saith afterwards to the Blessed Virgin, Behold thy Cousin E­lizabeth she hath also conceived a Son in her Old Age, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren, for with God nothing shall be impossible. But though Sarah and Elizabeth might both of them be very pro­per Types and Forerunners of a Conceiving Virgin, because of the natural inabilities for Conception, which were equal on both sides, yet of any other young and teeming Woman, they could not, so that either we must say, [Page 31] that the Conceptions of Sarah and Eliza­beth, were not Typical and Significative of that of Mary, the Mother of our Lord, which hath been already sufficiently pro­ved, or that the latter was as certainly a pure and untainted Virgin, as that the two former had past the time of Child bearing, and that it had ceased to be with them after the manner of a Women, and therefore it is observable, that as Elizabeth's Son was by the Angel himself called by the Name of John, as much as to say, that he was Con­ceived by the Grace and Favour of God, when Nature was no longer able to bring so wonderful an effect to pass, so is Sarah the Mother of Isaac called by Sanchaniathon Annobert, which is as much as to say, she that conceiveth or bringeth forth by grace, notwithstanding the inabilities and decays of Nature, and they might all three in some respect and degree, as well Isaac and John as our very Jesus himself, be said to have been conceived by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, or by the wonderful Power of God, working without and contrary to nature.

The Third thing which I shall urge to prove that it was Typically and Prophetically necessa­ry that the Messias should be born of a Vir­gin, shall be that passage of the Psalmist, Psal. 45. 16, Instead of thy Fathers thou shalt have [Page 32] Children whom thou mayst make Princes in all Lands, which words if we consider that the Jewish Genealogies, were always rec­koned by the Males, it being not material in any Genealogy who was the Mother, but who was the Father and Male Progenitor of the descending Issue; from whence Women in Hebrew were called Nashim, from a word that signifies to forget, but Men Zecari [...] from another that signifies remembrance, because they were the Root and Spring of Genealogy, and their Names were always inserted into the Tables of descent, and by that means were perpetuated to after ages, I say, from hence it follows, that this place cannot so properly be interpreted of any, as of her, that being a Virgin, was to con­ceive and bring forth, for in this case the Genealogy could not be reckoned by the Father, since there was no such human Parent to be met with, and so it would be true as the Psalmist expresses it, instead of thy Fathers thou shalt have Children, that is, the Genealogy was of necessity in this case to be computed from the maternal stock, and I presume our Church may be supposed to have looked upon this as a genuine interpretation, by appointing this Psalm for one of the proper Psalms for [Page 33] Christmas day, and it is still more pertinent to this purpose, what follows in the next Verse, I will make thy Name to be remem­bred in all Generations; therefore shall the People praise thee for ever: For this is no more then what the Blessed Virgin said expresly of her self, Behold from henceforth all Ge­nerations shall call me Blessed.

My fourth Instance to prove the same thing, shall be taken from the story of Mel­chisedek, as it is represented by the Author to the Hebrews, c. 7. v. 1, 2, 3. compared with the 6th. Chapter and the last Verse, the whole place runs thus, Even Jesus made an high Priest for ever, after the order of Mel­chisedek, for this Melchisedek King of Sa­lem, Priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the Kings and blessed him, to whom also Abra­ham gave a tenth part of all; first being by Interpretation King of Righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is King of Peace, without Father, without Mother, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God, abi­deth apriest continually; where not to insist upon any other instance of the Parallel be­twen Melchisedek and Christ, which will be more properly reserved for the second [Page 34] branch of the Text, wherein I shall assert and vindicate the Divinity of his Person; I shall here only take notice that Melchise­dek, who, in so many several respects was made like unto the Son of God, did also re­semble him in this, that he had neither Fa­ther nor Mother, the first of which, if we speak of an Human Parent, was true, of the whole Person of Christ, and the second was likewise true, if we understand it of the ordinary ways of Generation, or if we extend the title of Mother in propriety of speech, to the Divine Nature as well as to the Human, although I know because of the Union of the two natures in the same Person, the Church hath taken the liber­ty to call her the Mother of God, as well as he calls himself the Son of Man, with reference to his Human and Inferiour Na­ture.

My last Instance shall be taken from the Story of Lot and his two Daughters, a Sto­ry, which though if it were not Recorded in Scripture, and if all Scripture were not written for our Instruction, it might need an Apology; yet being to be found there and having so wholesome and so instruc­tive a Lesson contained in it I shall made none for it, but only observe that from [Page 35] one of these incestuous congressions Moab was descended, from whom the Moabites had their Name; And who was Moab? It is known to all that understand the Sa­cred Language, that Moab is Miab, as much as to say Begotten of his Father, Be­gotten of the same common Parent, who was the Father of his Mother as well as of himself, which was in some sense the Case of our Saviour with respect to the Blessed Virgin; for God is the common Fa­ther of us all, though he were in a more in­timate and immediate sence, the Father of Christ; now it is manifest that Christ accor­ding to his Human nature was contained in the Loyns of Moab by the Mariage of Boaz a Jew to Ruth a Moabitish Woman; neither let it offend any Man, that the Conjunction of Lot with his two Daughters was infamous and incestuous in the Highest degree, for the matter of fact is unquestio­nably true, that Christ was contained, as to his Humane nature in the Loyns of Moab, besides it is farther true, in the Gene­alogy of our Saviour, that he was descend­ed of Pharez, who was the incestuous Off­spring of Judah, Thamar and Pharats, in He­brew, from whence Pharez, had his Name signified to break down or to break through, [Page 36] and he by this Name was a Type as was as a Progenitor, of him that was to break down the Partition Wall betwixt the Jew and Gentile, that so all Mankind might be as one Sheepfold under one Sheepheard; which Ʋnion of the Jew and Gentile, by the Sa­crifice and by the Dispensation, and in the Person of Christ, was likewise Typi­cally denoted in the marriage of Boaz a Jewish Man, to Ruth a Moabitish Woman, that is, of a Jew to a Gentile, besides, that Boaz marrying her by vertue of that Law, by which the next of Kin was to redeem the Inheritance of the Deceased and Childless Husband, this signified that he was to be a Redeemer as well as a Reconci­ler of them both together, so that it might be said in this sense, as well as another, what the Prophet Isaiah hath reported concerning the Messias, that he should be numbred with Transgressors, and he being so nearly related both to the Jewish and the Gentile World, it can be the less suspected that he had any design, but what was for the good and happiness of them both.

So zealous and so tender hath the Church always been in asserting the honour of the Virgin Mother, that she hath always▪ main­tained her perpetual Virginity, as well af­ter [Page 37] the Birth of Christ as before it, whence the Greeks have given her the Title of [...], and the Latins of semper Virgo, and it is not reasonable to conceive, that she who was so honoured, so highly graced and ho­noured with the overshadowing of the Ho­ly Ghost, should ever submit to any mortal Embraces, neither is it reasonable to be­lieve, that a Man of so Pious a Character as Joseph is always represented under, would ever have attempted any thing so prophane, or so extremely Sacrilegious as that may justly be interpreted to be, and the application of a passage in the Prophet Ezekiel, by that excellent Prelate so often appealed to, is extremely ingenious, and like the man that made it, Ezech. 44. 2. This Gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no Man shall enter in by it, because the Lord, the God of Israel hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.

The only reasonable objection against this truth, is contained first in those words of St. Matthew concerning Joseph, Matt. 1. 25. Joseph Knew not Mary until she had brought forth her first born; where Jesus be­ing called the first born, it seems to be im­plyed, as if there were others who were born after him, but to this, to omit another [Page 38] answer of that admirable Person, which in my opinion does either, not reach the business, or else is not satisfactory enough to convince the obstinacy of contentious Men, there is another answer which can­not be withstood, and that is, that there was a Sacrifice due for every first born of the Males, whether ever any other Off­spring were begotten or brought forth or no, and this was the express Law of God, Sanctifie unto me all the first born, whatsoever openeth the Womb among the Children of Is­rael, both of Man and Beast it is mine, and in pursuance of this Law it was, that our Saviours Mother and reputed Father brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord, as it is written in the Law of the Lord, eve­ry Male that openeth the Womb, shall be called Holy to the Lord. So that he was brought to Jerusalem, as the Law required, under the notion of a first born, whether there were a second or a third or no.

But secondly it is objected, that there is mention made in the Gospel of the Bre­thren of our Lord, but to this it is answer­ed, that these may either be understood by the Sons of Joseph, by some other Wife, especially if the age of Joseph were so great as Epiphanius hath reported, or in general, [Page 39] of any that were of the Relation and Fa­mily, either of the Blessed Virgin, or of Joseph his reputed Father: As Abraham cal­led Lot his Brother, though in strictness of speech he was his Brothers Son, and Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the Sons of Ʋzziel the Uncle of Aaron, and said unto them, come near, carry your Brethren, from before the Sanctuary; whereas those Brethren were Nadab and Abihu, the Sons, not of Ʋzziel but of Aaron, as the same worthy Bishop observes.

I shall conclude this point of the Mes­sias his being Born of a Virgin, with obser­ving, first, that the Jews themselves, when they endeavour with so much care, and study to elude the force of so many de­monstrative Texts, wherein this Doctrin is constantly asserted, do in effect confess, that our Jesus was born, as the Gospels have unanimously declared concerning him, of a pure and undefiled Virgin, that had never known Man, for upon suppo­sition that they do not grant thus much, it would have been needless to stretch their wits, to evade the force of those Pro­phecies, wherein it was foretold of the Messias, that he should be born of a Vir­gin, but the ready way would have been, [Page 40] to have affirmed according to the vulgar errour of the Jews themselves, who lived in our Saviour's time, that he was the Son of Joseph the Carpenter, and consequent­ly, that not being born of a Virgin, as the Prophets had foretold, he could not be the Messias that was to come.

Secondly, Since it appears so plainly, by the extorted confession of the Jews them­selves, those Jews, I mean, who since our Saviour's time, have endeavoured to elude the Prophecies concerning him, that he was indeed born, as we affirm and believe after a miraculous manner, of a Virgin; this shows plainly, according to their own extorted confession, that he was certainly a most extraordinary Person, who was brought into the World by such a parti­cular act of Providence, as was peculiar to himself; and it implies, that he was sent into it upon some very important and ex­traordinary occasion, and this, reflected back upon those Prophecies that have been mentioned concerning the Messias, and compared with the Doctrine and the Mira­cles of the Blessed Jesus, makes it still more probable, that they are to be understood of a Virgin, truly and properly so called, and that he was indeed the very Person whom [Page 41] the Prophets foretold, the Messias that was expected in the fulness of time, and so the Jewish Evasions are baffled by themselves, and from what they have granted to be true, they are in effect forced to confess that, which in words and in appearance they deny.

Thirdly and lastly, when there are so ma­ny Types antecedent to the birth of the Messias, which did so plainly presignifie, that the Messias was indeed to be born of a Virgin, which Types have not been ta­ken notice of, or applied, so much as by any of the Evangelists or Apostles, or by our Saviour himself, such as those of Sarah and Elizabeth, and Moab and Melchisedek, when it is plain and evident by many passages of the New Testament, that the Messias was expected by the Jews themselves, at that ve­ry time when our Saviour appeared, when there was no Man in that age that could compare or vye with him, for the inno­cency of his Life, or for the purity of his Doctrine, or for the greatness or the use­fulness of his miracles, all these things com­pared together, are a further attestation to the truth of what the Evangelists have told us, that our Jesus was indeed the Christ, and that he was born of a Virgin; neither is there [Page 42] any thing that gives greater strength and authority to the History of the Gospel, then, by comparing the New Testament and the Old together, to find, that the Types as well as Prophecies of the Old Testament are so exactly answered by the events of the New, and that, in such instances where­in they have not been applied, or compa­pared together by our Saviour himself, or by any of his Apostles, but that the Scrip­ture contains within it self a hidden Trea­sure of Testimony, to its own undoubted authority and truth, which Providence did not think it fit to reveal and lay open, but to let it lye hid in darkness and con­cealment, as a reward to the pious curiosi­ty of such as should afterwards diligently read and search the Scriptures, and that in every age there might some new Evidence appear, for the further confirmation and assurance of the truth, and to render the Atheists and Infidels the more inexcusable, by the dayly encreasing light that conti­nues to surround them.

CHAP. 3. That the MESSIAS was to be GOD as well as MAN.

I Have done with the first branch of the Text, Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, I come now to the Second, and shall call his name Immanuel, which being in­terpreted is God with us, from which words, having already asserted, from the former, the Chastity and Virginity of the Mother of God, I shall now as briefly and as clearly as I can, assert the undoubted and unquestio­nable Divinity of the Son, against those Hereticks, whether of our own or former times, that have with so impious and de­testable confidence, presumed to deny it, and the first argument I shall make use of, shall be taken immediately from the words themselves, and shall call his Name Immanuel; now the question is, whether she [Page 44] did call his Name Emanuel or no, and the answer to this question is very easie, that she did not, and that the Name given him at his Circumcision, was not Imanuel but Jesus; and this by the direction of the Angel himself, because he was to save his People from their sins, wherefore it is clear that these words, and shall call his Name E­manuel, if they have any sense at all, can­not be understood of his Name but of his Nature, and if so, then all that I desire is granted, that he was by Nature God as well as Man, and this is the meaning of that Phrase, and shall call his Name Emanuel, that is, she shall acknowledge him to be God and worship him as such, and if it can be proved that ever she did so, then it is plain that this Prophecy was exactly fulfilled, and that here is all that can be desired for the explication of this place, and what else, I beseech you, is, or can be, the meaning of the first words of her Tri­umphant Song, My Soul doth magnifie the Lord, and my Spirit hath rejoyced in God my Saviour, for he hath regarded the lowliness of his Hand Maiden, that is, God that is about to take Human Flesh and Human Nature up­on him, hath also graciously and mercifully decreed to make me his poor Handmai­den [Page 45] and lowly Servant, the happy Instru­ment of conveying so great a Blessing to the World, or else we may interpret those words, Behold a Virgin shall Conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his Name Emanuel, after this manner; she shall Conceive and bare a Son, and such a Son, as shall be as really God as he is Man; for in the Hebrew Idiom things are said to be called, what in­deed they are, as in that passage concern­ing Elizabeth the Mother of John the Bap­tist, This is the sixth month with her who was called Barren, that is, who was really so; for the Text tells us likewise, that she was old and well striken in years, and the Angel acknowledged that her Conception was impossible by the course of Nature; and so in that passage of the Prophet Isaiah, concerning the Messias, which hath been al­ready made use of to another purpose, in the former part of this discourse, Ʋnto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the Government shall be upon his Shoulder, and his Name shall be called Wonderful, Councel­lor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace; that is, he shall really be all these things, and among o­thers, he shall be the Everlasting Father and the Mighty God; or in the Language of [Page 46] the Socinians, Deus ille altissimus, the God of Melchisedek, the most high God.

And this is my first argument drawn from the consideration of the words of my Text, and shall call his Name Immanuel, neither was that the Name he was called by at his Circumcision, or the Name by which he was known either to his Disci­ples or the Jews, or any other, so that this place cannot possibly be interpreted of his Name, but Nature, and is as much as to say in other words, that he was really God as well as Man.

But Secondly, he that raised up himself from the Grave, after his body had lain there for three days together, was really God as well as Man, but our Jesus raised himself by his own Power, from the dead, after he had lain buried in the Grave for three days together, therefore he was really God as well as Man. That this could not be done by any Human Power, is a thing that cannot, without great folly and stupidity, be questioned or denied, that he did it by his own Power, is equally manifest from his own words, Destroy this Temple, said he, and in three days I will raise it up, which words the Evangelist tells us, he spake of the Temple of his Body, wherefore, if he were [Page 47] raised from the Dead by the Power of God, considered as a Power distinct from that, with which he was truly and properly invested himself; then it is false what he affirms that he himself, in the compass of three days, would raise up and renew the Tem­ple of his Body, after it had been destroyed, but if he did it himself, as he affirms him­self to have done, then he was truly and properly invested with that Power by which it was performed, which Power, since it could be no less then such as was truly and properly Divine, it follows unavoidably that he was really God as well as Man.

Again, in the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, that Prophecy was fulfilled, Thou shalt not leave my Soul in Hell, nor suffer thine Holy one to see Corruption, which words are the words of Christ, speaking by the Mouth and Spirit of the Psalmist to God the Father, and that they were Prophetical of the Re­surrection of Jesus from the dead, we have the express authority of St. Peter for it, in the 2d. of the Acts and the 29, 30, and 31. verses, Men and Brethren, said he, let me freely speak unto you of the Patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his Se­pulchre is with us unto this day, therefore be­ing a Prophet and knowing that God had sworn [Page 48] with an Oath to him, that of the fruit of his Loins according to the Flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his Throne, he, seeing this before, spake of the Resurrection of Christ, that his Soul was not left in Hell, neither his Flesh did see Corruption; and to the Testi­mony of St. Peter, we may add that of St. Paul, in the 13th. of the Acts, from the 34th. to the 37th. verses. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to Corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of Da­vid, wherefore he saith also in another Psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thy Holy one to see Cor­ruption; for David, after he had served his own Generation by the will of God, fell on sleep and was laid unto his Fathers and saw Corruption: But he whom God raised up saw no Corruption.

From which places compared with the words of our Saviour himself, the argu­ment is clear, David, as his words are ex­presly applied by two of the Apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul, introduces Christ ad­dressing himself to God the Father in such terms, as do manifestly ascribe the miracle of the Resurrection to his Power; but our Saviour he ascribes the same miracu­lous event to himself, destroy this Temple, [Page 49] and in three days I will raise it up, the result of which two places compared together, is unavoidably this, that Christ and God the Father are the same, the same in sub­stance, although they be divided and di­stinguished in Person.

Further yet, Jonas his being three days and three nights in the Whales Belly, was Typical of Jesus lying for the same space of time in the Grave, by the application of our Saviour himself; for so he tells us, Mat. 22. at the 39th. and 40th. verses, An evil and adulterous Generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall be no sign given it, but the sign of the Prophet Jonas, for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the Whales Belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the Heart of the Earth, and if the swallowing up of Jonas was Typi­cal of the burial of Christ, and the conti­nuance of the one under that Calamity, Typical of the continuance of the other, then certainly the escape of Jonas after three days, was likewise Typical of the Re­surrection of Christ, after the same space of time, but now Jonas his deliverance was wrought by the immediate Power of God, Jonah, 2d. and the 10th. And the Lord spake unto the Fish, and it vomited out Jonas upon [Page 50] the dry Land, and therefore though, the Scripture had not expresly asserted it, yet the Analogy of Type, and Antitype would have required, that the Resurrection of Jesus should be owing likewise, as indeed it was in it self a much more miraculous event, unto the same Divine Power, but yet our Saviour, as hath been shewn, as­cribes the same event wholly to himself, therefore God and Christ are certainly the same, and this is my second argument for the Divinity of Christ, which is taken from his Resurrection from the dead.

But thirdly, he that made the World, and all things that are therein, he certain­ly was God as well as Man, but Christ made the World and all things that are therein, therefore Christ certainly was God as well as Man.

That no Human Power or Ʋnderstand­ing, nay, that nothing short of the Divi­nity it self could possibly create, contrive, dispose and preserve the World, will, I sup­pose, be granted by all, it being utterly un­conceiveable that any skill or power, but what is infinite should be able to bring so prodigious an effect to pass, but now that Christ made the World, is as plainly asser­ted in the New Testament, as any one thing [Page 51] that is in it, so the Author to the Hebrews tells us, God, who at sundry times and in di­vers manners spake in time past unto the Fa­thers by the Prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath ap­pointed Heir of all things, by whom also he made the World; who being the brightness of his Glory, and the express Image of his Person, and upholding all things by the word of his Power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; and again, Thou Lord, in the begin­ning hast laid the foundation of the Earth, and the Heavens are the work of thine Hands, they shall perish, but thou remainest, and they shall all wax old as doth a Garment, and as a Vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed, but thou art the same and thy years shall not fail; so also St. Paul in his Epistle to the Colossians, By him were all things Cre­ated that are in Heaven, and that are on Earth, visible and invisible, whether they be Thrones or Dominions; or Principalities or Powers: all things were Created by him and for him, and he is before all things and by him all things consist. St. John likewise tells us, that 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 [Page 52] Truth, in which nothing can be plainer then that by the word, Jesus, the Son of God is understood, who did indeed take our Flesh and dwell among us, he took upon him the likeness of Men, and put on the form of a Servant, and it is of this very word that he says, the word was with God and the word was God, and that all things were made by him, which is my third Argument for the Divinity of Christ, which is drawn from the Creation.

But fourthly, St. John goes further, all things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made, from whence the inference is plain, that he him­self was never made, for then there would have been something made without him, for nothing can make it self, but if he were unmade and uncreated, it follows of ne­cessity, that he was Eternal and self-existent and consequently God.

Fifthly, St. John does not only tell us, that he made all things, and that without him was not any thing made that was made, but he says likewise, In the beginning was the word; now this beginning cannot be under­stood of the beginning of the Creation, as it is in the 1st. Chapter of Genesis, In the beginning God Created the Heavens and the [Page 53] Earth, for he that made the World, must of necessity have had his Existence before it, and all being nothing else, beyond the Creation, but a great and vast Eternity behind it, not divided by any Periods or Epochas of time, it is manifest that this word beginning, as it is here used, can imply no­thing else but the Eternity or self-existence of him, of whom it is affirmed; for if there was any thing that was before him, then it would not be true that he was in the beginning, that is, there was no assig­nable, no conceiveable moment of Eter­nity, wherein he did not exist; and this is my fifth Argument. But

Sixthly, he that hath neither beginning of Days nor end of Life, is Eternal, and con­sequently God; but Christ had neither be­ginning of Days nor end of Life, therefore he is Eternal and self-existent, and conse­quently God. They are the words of the Author to the Hebrews, which have been al­ready cited, Melchisedek being by interpre­tation King of Righteousness, and after that also King of Peace, without Father, without Mother, having neither beginning of Days nor end of Life, but made like unto the Son of God, abideth a Priest continually, he was so like him, that he was certainly the same, [Page 54] for there is but one Eternal and Everlasting High Priest, but one Mediatour betwixt God and Men, the Man Christ Jesus, who was King of Righteousness and King of Peace, in whose Dispensation and Person that say­ing was fulfilled, Mercy and Truth have met together, Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other, at whose auspicious birth the quire of Heaven proclaimed with ravish­ing Notes and charming Voices, Glory be to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will towards Men, his Gospel was the Gospel, and he was the Prince of Peace, and his Spirit is the Spirit and the Soul of Peace and Love, and he is said to be like Melchisedek, as he is said in another place to have thought it no robbery to have been equal with God, be­cause he was indeed the very same, besides that the first ingredient in that notion, which we mortals are used to entertain of God, is, that he is a self-originated, self­existent Being, without beginning of Days or end of Life, who is the first cause, the first principle and mover, upon which all other things, whether in Heaven or on Earth, have a necessary dependance, as upon their primitive Sourse and Fountain, and we are as sure that there can be but one such being▪ as that there can be but one [Page 55] God, and that there is none besides him. But,

Seavently, My seventh Argument shall be taken from those words of our Saviour in St. John, No man hath ascended up to Hea­ven, but he that came down from Heaven, e­ven the Son of Man which is in Heaven; now it is clear, that in one sense our Saviour had not yet ascended up to Heaven; nor was he like to do it till after his Resurrection, till when his Body and his Human Nature were to be confined to the Earth, and it is further clear that in this very Sense Eli­jah had ascended in his Fiery Chariot before him, and so had Enoch too before him; wherefore we must refer this Saying to the ubiquitariness and omnipresence of the Di­vine Nature, by which he was in Heaven and Earth at the same time, and was alike present to all places at once, no man hath ascended up into heaven but he that came down from Heaven, even the Son of Man, which is in Heaven; or else we must understand the Word Heaven of God, as the Jews in their Writings do frequently understand it, and to this Sense it is used in several Places of the New Testament and in one of the Old; and so the Sense will be this, no Man hath ascended up to God, that is no man [Page 56] enjoys a perfect and entire Commerce and Correspondence with him; but he that came down from God, even the Son of Man which is in God, as our Saviour says expresly of himself elsewhere, that he is in the Father and the Father in him; and by this way of Interpretation, the Ʋnion of the Divine and Human Nature in the Person of Christ will be very fitly and aptly represented, but otherwise than by one of these two Inter­pretations, I do not see what Sense can be made of the Place.

Eightly, and lastly, For I shall mention no more, though there be a Cloud of o­ther Witnesses, which have been already summoned by other learned Men, to give their Evidence to this mighty Truth; the Divinity and Co-essentiality of the Person of Christ with that of God the Father; I ar­gue the same thing from the nature of that Sacrifice, which he performed for us upon the Cross; for it is certain, that all the Jew­ish Sacrifices did point at this great and fi­nal Propitiation, which was in the fulness of time to be made; and therefore he is called Christ our Pass-over; and the Author to the Hebrews expresly makes the Sin and the Trespass-Offering among the Jews to have been Typical of the Sufferings of [Page 57] Christ upon the Cross; it is certain like­wise, that those Sacrifices were looked up­on to be of an expiatory Nature, by the Priest or the Owners laying his hand upon them, as it were to transfer the guilt up­on their heads, and by the Blouds being forbidden to be eaten among the Jews, be­cause it had contracted a Levitical Un­cleanness by the guilt of the offending Parties; as also by the Sin and the Tres­pass-Offerings, being burnt in many cases without the camp, because of it's Unclean­ness, as Christ suffered without the Gate: For the same reason, if we will believe the Author to the Hebrews, that by this he might answer the Sin-Offering among the Jews. Lastly, it is certain, that this Expiation of the Jewish Sacrifices, whatever Opinion the Jews themselves might have of it, was not real but typical, and pointed at that great Sacrifice; which was indeed, and in truth, to expiate for the Sins of the whole world. For, it was not possible that the bloud of Bulls and Goats should take away Sins; as the Au­thor to the Hebrews tells us; and for the same reason it was as little possible, that the blood of one man should be able to atone and expiate for the sins of another, and much less for those of all mankind, so that it [Page 58] was utterly impossible, that any thing but the blood of God himself should be able to work so great, so universal, and so lasting an Atonement, which is all that I shall of­fer at present as to the second branch of the Text; which concerns the Divinity of the Person of Christ; only from what hath been said, there are some practical Improv­ments to be made, which I will but name.

From his being born of a Virgin, we are in a Figure acquainted with the purity and cleanness of his Person and his Doctrine, and with that Chastity and Innocence, which is expected from us, if we pretend to be his Followers and Disciples, and from the Divinity of his Person there is a twofold Lesson, which we are to learn.

First, the Infiniteness and unconceiva­ble vastness of that condescension, by which he did not only stoop to human na­ture, but to the worst and most afflicting Circumstances of Poverty, Disgrace, Con­tempt and Scorn, that it can be loaded withal, and to the most vile, painful and ignominious Death, which human Nature was capable of Suffering; and this ought when ever we consider it to be a powerful and present Remedy against all manner [Page 59] of Insolence and Pride in our best Con­dition, when the Son of God, who was God himself, humbled himself so much for our sakes, and gave us through the whole course of the time he spent upon Earth a perpetual Example of humility and Meek­ness.

Secondly, it ought to arm us with Pati­ence in adversity, and with submission to the Will of God in the worst and most deplorable circumstances that can befal us.

Thirdly, it ought to inspire us with a Spirit of mutual Charity and mutual For­giveness after his Example, who suffered and forgave so much, who blest his very Enemies, and laid down his Life as a Sa­crifice for them.

Lastly, The consideration of the Divi­nity of his Person, ought always to affect us with a just fear and apprehension of him, whom if we will not obey out of gratitude, yet we ought to do it out of Interest and self-love, least his Justice should punish us as we deserve; when his goodness and his mercy have in vain endeavoured to per­swade us, lest by too frequent provocati­ons and too obstinate impenitence, we kin­dle [Page 60] his wrath against us; so that it cannot be quenched, and turn his merciful expi­ation and intercession on our behalfs into eternal vengeance and displeasure.

AN APPENDIX Concerning the EXTENTION OR OMNIPRESENCE OF THE Divine NATURE.

LONDON, Printed by T. B. in the Year MDCLXXXV.

SECT. 1. Of the Nature of GOD, together with a De­monstration of His EXISTENCE.

I Affirm in the general of the Divine Nature, That it is an infinite Extensi­on or Space endued with all possible Wis­dom, Goodness and Power, and I will prove each of these as distinctly as I can by themselves; For it is very hard to keep them from interfereing with one another; First, that God is an infinite Extention, Se­condly, that he is an Extention furnished with those attributes which I have assign­ed, in their utmost latitude, perfection and extent.

And for the Extention of the Divine Sub­stance, I am so verily perswaded of its truth and of its absolute necessity, to be belie­ved, as the main Foundation of all natural, and by consequence, of all revealed Reli­gion, [Page 64] that I am, and have always been gree­dy upon every occasion, to inculcate and repeat so necessary a Doctrine.

It is the Foundation of natural Religion, because Extention belongs to the very no­tion of Substance or Existence, considered in the general; for nothing is, which is not somewhere, and there is no somewhere which is not extended; and indeed, if we consider the Divine Omnipresence, which is granted by all, though there are some that treat of it after such a manner, as if they did not believe it, how is it possible for any Substance, whether finite or infinite, to be present at this place, and present at that, truly and properly present at both places at the same time, and yet not be present to all the space between them, and if he be present not only to the extremes, but to the intermediate space, then is he manifestly co-extended to that whole space together; from whence it follows plainly, that there can be no notion of the Divine Omnipresence, without supposing him to be infinitely extended.

Again, it is manifest, that motion is a distinct thing from matter, all matter being indifferent in it self, either to rest or mo­tion, neither is there any part of matter be­ing [Page 65] at perfect rest, which may not by a suf­ficient force, be put into a swift degree of motion, nor any part of it never so swiftly moved, which meeting with obstacles and impediments from without, may not be re­duced to perfect rest, so that it is plain since motion is not essential to matter; it must therefore either be a thing subsisting by it self, or it must be the attribute or property of some other Substance.

It cannot be the former, a thing subsisting by it self, because motion in the abstract can­not possibly be conceived, for there can be no motion, but there must at the same time be some substance or other that is moved, or that moves and actuates it self and other things about it, wherefore since it hath been proved so plainly, that motion is not of the essence of matter, which cannot move it self, nor encrease or suspend its own motion, and which from the swiftest motion, may by na­tural impediments be reduced to perfect rest, it is plain that it must unavoidably belong to something which is not matter, that is, to an immaterial or incorporeal Substance.

If therefore motion it self be extended, as it is plain it is in any fluid body, whether of Air, or Water, or Fire, the force and activity, which moves it and keeps it in a [Page 66] state of fluidity, being Co-extended to the substance it self; then is it necessary also, that that Principle upon which it de­pends, and in which it is inhaerent, should be extended in like manner, and to say o­therwise, is to say, that accidents may wan­der from their substance, and they may be separated from one another, which all Men know to be impossible and absurd; for as there can be no colour without some substance which is coloured; no shape or figure without some substance which is figured and shapen, so neither can there be any motion without some substance which does move or is moved; and if there can be no extenti­on of colour or of figure, then certainly there can be no extention of motion nei­ther, without the extention of that substance to which it belongs.

From hence it follows, that that motion or activity, by which the far greatest part of the Universe is kept in a fluid conditi­on, orin a state of perpetual motion, whose parts would otherwise cling together, as the parts of the Earth and Moon and other Planetary bodies do; I say, from hence it follows that this motion or activity must be coextended to some immaterial substance, wherein this power or activity shall reside, as [Page 67] in its proper subject, its efficient cause, its original root and fountain and spring, and that substance can be no other then God himself, or at least it will ultimately termi­nate in him, because all secundary, Created Beings can have no activity or principle of self motion, but what they borrow from the first, which is the sourse and original of all the rest, together with their respe­ctive faculties and powers.

Again, this self-active, this self-moving Principle, this first Cause and Principle of motion in the World, must not only be supposed to be endowed with a Power of Motion and activity from it self, but with a Power of suspending, encreasing, or ut­terly withdrawing this activity, as it plea­ses it self; for otherwise if it did always act to the utmost of it's Power, since the matter is every where in it's own Nature, any otherwise than as it is awakened and stirred up by this Principle from without, equally sluggish, immoveable and unactive, and since this being is uniform and like it self throughout, equally self-moving, self­sufficient and self-active, it would follow from these two things considered together, that all the parts of the Creation should be moved with equal swiftness, that the [Page 68] Earth should be dissolved and shattered in­to the fine and subtle consistence of the purest aether, and that all the Matter in the World should be not only fluid, but ae­thereal too, which is contrary to Experi­ence, wherefore that all things are not mo­ved with equal swiftness, that all the mat­ter of which the Ʋniverse consists, is not crumbled into the finest Air and the most subtle aether; it can be referred to nothing but this, that that Cause or [...]ciple in which the Power of self-activity and self-motion resides, can either suspend, decrease, or utterly withdraw that motion as it pleases it self; and this is confirmed by our own daily Experience of our selves, who being a lower sort of immaterial Beings, are likewise in our Proportion endued with a Power of self-activity and self-motion from within, which, though as being the Pow­er of a finite and imperfect agent, it can­not be extended beyond such a sphere of activity, yet within that sphere or propor­tion, or degree, it may either suspend or encrease, or utterly remove and withdraw its activity as it pleases it self.

Lastly, since this being is not only fur­nished with an ability to act or move, but with a power of proportioning that activi­ty, [Page 69] and that motion, according to its plea­sure and since it appears farther by our daily and perpetual experience of all the objects about us, by the earth which he hath made, and by the Heavens which are the work of his hands, by the admirable beau­ty and artifice of all things considered by themselves, by their agreement and har­mony with one another, for the Preserva­tion of the whole, and by the fitness of the whole Fabrick, and the seeming conspira­cy of its several parts, for the subsistence and happiness of those Creatures that be­long to the sensitive and the reasonable world, I say, since it appears by all this, that the activity or self-motion of the Divine Substance, is tempered by measures of the most obliging goodness, the most exact Justice, the most profound wisdom, and yet that all the several instances compared to­gether, are at the same time an irrefraga­ble argument of a most unbounded and uncontroulable power, this makes up in short the perfect and compleat demonstra­tion of what I undertook to prove, that God is nothing else but an infinite extenti­on or omnipresent Substance, endued with all possible goodness and wisdom and power.

SECT. II. That there is of necessity an Immaterial Extention to be granted, against DES CARTES.

DES Cartez distinguishes very right­ly betwixt cogitation or thinking and extention, for they are two things, and therefore the notion of the latter does not of necessity include in it, that of the for­mer, there may be an extended substance which does not, which cannot think, but yet for all that there can be no thinking substance but what is extended, the reason is, because extention is the common attri­bute of all substance whatsoever, and if the very essence and being of an immaterial sub­stance, do depend wholly and entirely up­on cogitation, and upon nothing else, I would willingly demand of the maintain­ers of this Doctrine, whether we must un­derstand this of actual, or only of potenti­al or possible cogitation?

If the former, if nothing but actual co­gitation [Page 71] will serve the turn, then the Soul in a sleep or trance, or what we are used to call a brown study, ceasing to think, must also cease to be, for there can be no cogitation without self consciousness or a sense of thinking, and when it begins to think again, it must be supposed to be Created a new, or rather every distinct cogitation, every particular thought that comes into our heads must be a distinct Soul, which things are so absurd, that nothing can be more.

But if we understand it only of potential or possible cogitation, that is to say, of a pow­er of thinking, which is sometimes employ­ed and sometimes not, which is all that is true in this notion, then there must be a substance in which this power must reside, which pow­er must therefore be distinct from the sub­stance it self, as causes are distinct from their effects, how immediate or emanative soever those effects be, as modifications, that is, parti­cular shapes, colours, magnitudes or respects of the parts of any body, are distinct from that matter to which they belong, or as the Elasti­city or springiness of recoyling bodies is distinct from the matter of which those bodies are composed, or because nothing can be more plain then the thing it self, I say again, that that substance which hath a power with­in [Page 72] it self, of exerting or suspending a certain degree of activity as it pleases, must needs, be distinct from that power which may ei­ther be exerted or suspended, or indeed, while the Soul continues united to this earthly bo­dy, cannot always be equally exerted in our selves, besides the difference of tempera­ment and constitution, which there is be­twixt our selves and others, though the sub­stance in which this activity resides be al­ways the same in us, and always specifically the same, that is, a substance of exactly the same nature in others.

Des Cartez is the less to be credited, in setting cogitation and extention at so wide a distance from one another, because it is plain he did it to serve a turn, for in that Mecha­nical World which is of his contriving, he hath ordered the matter so, as to divide the whole universe into certain Vortices or Whirl­pools, in the centre of one of which is the Sun, round about which the Earth is moved by the subtle matter of the Heavens, much after the same manner as you shall see a straw turn round in a Whirl-pool of the water, when by reason of too strait a passage, and too swift a motion, the water cannot pass freely on in a direct course, but is obstructed by it self, and is reflected back with an eddy towards the Fountain.

For all natural motion is in a strait line, as is evident by this, that where there is no such obstruction, there the water flows ea­sily in a direct Channel, without any such violent returns upon it self: thus smoak as­cends directly, when its motion is not di­sturbed by the wind, and heavy bodies de­scend in a perpendicular line, and the same is likewise further confirmed by Dez Cartez himself, by the experiment of a Sling, which the faster it is swung about in a circular mo­tion, the more strait and tite is the string or thong of it kept by the stone which is at the bottom, which resists and opposes the circular motion, which is violent and unnatural to it, and endeavours all the while to fly off and be gone in a strait or direct line, besides that motion in a right line, is the most simple and easie sort of motion, whereas there is no such thing in nature, as an exact and Ma­thematical Circle, but it consists in effect on­ly of so many little straight Lines, passing out of one into another, that is, of so many several violences and interruptions done to the direct and rectilinear motion.

Since therefore Des Cartez had divided the whole Universe into so many great Vortices or Whirl pools, one of which is that which we inhabit, the Center of which is the Sun, as all the fixt Stars that we see [Page 74] in a Starry Night, are, if you will believe him, who never was there to see, the Cen­ter of so many other Vortices or Whirlpools, such as this is, in which we dance perpe­tually round about the Sun, and since it appears plainly, that all motion in a Circle is violent and praeternatural, and that it would never be, were it not from some outward impediment or obstruction, which is given to the motion in a right line, the reason why the subtle matter of the Hea­vens is moved in a Circle, must be referred to one of these two causes, either that ex­tension and matter is the same, and then indeed it is impossible but all things must be full, and consequently, that they must obstruct one another in their notions, for there can be no distance which is not ex­tended, and which by consequence is not matter, so that if this notion be true, it is utterly impossible there should be any emptiness or vacuity in the world.

Or else 2dly. tho' there were some other sort of extention besides that of matter al­lowed, yet the extention of matter must still be supposed to be as really infinite, as if there had been no other sort of extention in the world, it must be co-extended to all the possibilities of space, or else the outer­most [Page 75] Vortices, without a Perpetual miracle, which his Mechanical genius disdained to submit to, must of necessity, by the pres­sure and endeavour of all their parts from the Centre, have flown in pieces into the empty space, and by the same reason that one Vortex is destroyed, all the rest must immediately have followed, and so the world which he had built with so great study and pains, would have been irreco­verably lost and spoil'd for ever.

And yet still, when you have granted him this infinite extention, which is more then any Man with modesty can demand, yet there can be no motion, nor any flui­dity possibly conceived, without the ad­mission of such interspersed vacuities, as the old Democritick Philosophy did suppose, for what is all the solidity or hardness in the World, but only the exact fitness or juxta position of one surface to another; neither will all the Epicurean hooks and eyes, all the complications and entanglements of the particles that can possibly be thought of, do any more then this, for after all there is no reason but the same passage, which will let in, will let out, so that so­lidity or hardness after all, is nothing else but a meer Juxta-position of the parts, [Page 76] and a fitness of one surface to another.

If then the whole material Creation be so entirely of a piece, there being no va­cuities between its parts, as if it were all but one and the same body, how comes it to pass that it is not all as hard as Iron, and solid as the Adamant it self? How is it possible for one part to be moved, but all the rest must be moved, at the same time, and with the same degree of motion? Lastly, how can motion begin when no part can yeild, and that which can never begin can never bee?

But because there are some who pretend to a more then ordinary sagacity, and are used to distinguish very nicely betwixt I­magination and Conception, and forty things they can conceive which they cannot ima­gine, nor make out to any body else, this being usually their last shift, when they have nothing else to say for themselves, therefore that in this Philosophical age, I may not seem to be singular in asserting those interspersed vacuities, which are now commonly exploded and turned out of doors, I must of necessity observe, that besides all the antient Epicurean Philosophers, whose Philosophy was indeed, as to other things, very defective, as appears by those accounts which are left of it in Lucretius and Dio­genes [Page 77] Laertius at this day, and whose de­fectiveness hath been sufficiently exposed by our noble and renowned Countryman Mr. Boyle, in his Treatise of the usefulness of ex­perimental Philosophy, yet the same honou­rable and learned Gentleman; who hath much more knowledge in nature, then ever Des Cartez could pretend to, and who is the glory of our age and nation, for his ad­mirable skill in experimental Philosophy, does in several of his discourses upon the expe­riments of his Ayr Pump, acknowledge and defend those vacuities for which I am pleading, and this not only in the cavity of his exhausted Receiver, or in the hollow of the Pump it self, when the Sucker is drawn down, and the Cock of the Receiver stopt to hinder all communication between them and in the top of the inverted Tube de­serted by the subsiding Quick-silver in the Torricellian Experiment, but even in the Water, Air and Aether themselves, and in all fluid Bodies whatsoever.

And Mr. Boyle, setting aside his known In­genuity and Goodness is the rather to be be­lieved, because he does not say this meer­ly to serve a turn, as Des Cartes manifestly did; for if extension and matter be not per­fectly the same, then there may be an ex­tension [Page 78] without, and beyond, his vortices, in­to which they will fly and be destroyed, but if extension and matter be exactly the same, then it is altogether necessary, that the World should be full, it being impossible, there should be any distance which is not extended, and all extension according to him is body.

But if Des Cartez had considered as he ought to have done, that motion is not a thing or Creature subsisting by it self, as he seems to make it, when he tells us that God in the beginning of things Created such a quantity of motion, which hath been ever since preserved, there being no such thing to be conceived as motion in abstracto or motion without some principle that moves it self and communicates that motion to the matter, which hath no self-activity con­tained in its nature, he would then easily have discerned, that this power or activity being so largely diffused, and so widely spread abroad, as we see it is, the cause in which it resides, must of necessity be so too.

He might also have known, if it had been for the interest of his beloved Vorti­ces to do it, that where all things are so cram'd that nothing can yield or give [Page 79] place, it was impossible there should be a­ny motion, and therefore, that the bare granting of such a thing as motion, as well with respect to those bodies upon which it acts, as of that substance in which it resides, and whose Power and Energy it is, does unde­niably prove a space or extention, which is not matter.

And this is so true and so very plain, that though this interspersed vacuity, as well as the ultra mandane spaces, may seem very in­consistent with the construction of a vortex, yet the old Epicureans, who had their Di­nai, that is, their Vortices or Whirl-pools too, and from them it is most likely that Des Cartez received his, yet were forced to admit of such an immaterial space, with­out which they thought, and they thought very rightly, no motion could be perfor­med, and as he received his vortices from Epicurus, so whether his Cometology, the absorption of his Stars, and the Formati­on of his Planets were not a part of the Philosophy of the antient World may be a question, which deserves to be conside­red: For some such thing seems to be al­luded to in that Expression of St. Jude, v. 13. [...], wandring or Planetary Stars to [Page 80] whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

SECTION III. Des Cartez an Atheist, his Argument from the Idaea represented.

BUt I am firmly of opinion, whatever the Philosophers are pleased to say, who whether they be more conceited of themselves, or of their Master Des Cartez is hard to determine, that Des Cartez was as rank an Atheist, and a far more dange­rous one: than either Diagoras or Theodo­rus, or any of those whom Antiquity hath branded with that Name, and that he had a Design of introducing Atheism, and a Belief of nothing, but Body, into the World.

For though indeed he does very rightly affirm the Notions of extension and cogita­tion to be, as they are, very different from [Page 81] one another, yet when he makes extension to be the very Essence and constitutive Na­ture of matter, and takes upon him to as­sert not only, that all matter is extended, but also that nothing is extended but what is matter, the consequence of this is, when I come afterwards to consider, that I can have no notion of Substance without exten­sion, and I have already granted extension and matter to be the same, that cogitation shall be only a certain mode or disposition of the infinitely diversifyed, and variously complicated Parts of this extension.

Again, his rejecting those arguments for the existence of a God, which have been used all along to be taken from the Fabrick and contrivance of the World, as indeed it was necessary for him to do, who had contrived such a giddy Ʋniverse of his own, and substituting in the stead of it, that Bul­rush of an Idea, unable to withstand the least puff of disputation (which instead of defending the existence of a God, is mani­fectly to betray the cause of God and of Re­ligion) does but too plainly discover what thoughts we are to entertain of him, by whom so fallacious and inconclusive an argument was substituted in the stead of that, which is so strong in it self, and hath [Page 82] been so successful in all ages, to preserve the belief and worship of a God among Men. To be sure David and this Philosopher were not of a mind, for he tells us very honestly, for want of this new Philosophy wherewith after ages have been blessed, The Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handy work, day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night shew­eth knowledge, there is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard; Their line is gone out through all the Earth, and their words to the end of the World.

And that we may see the better how weak and inconclusive his argument drawn from the Idea is, I will explain as clearly as I can, what it is that he understands by it, he tells us therefore what is very true, that we are all of us born Infants, and that we come into the world without any know­ledge or experience of the things about us, from whence it so falls out, that in some things we pass a wrong Judgment our selves, and in others we are deceived by taking things upon trust, from those that are them­selves mistaken, that having once embra­ced an errour and espoused it for a long time, it is very hard, as indeed it is for us to undeceive our selves, or to believe o­therwise [Page 83] of it, then as of a most certain and undoubted truth, he saith, that our sen­ses do in many things delude us, and im­pose upon us, as a stick in the water shall appear crooked, tho' it be indeed straight, and a square Tower or Building shall at a distance have the appearance of round, and a Marble touch'd by two fingers cros­sing one another shall affect one with a Sense, as if it were two, though it be in­deed but one, he tells us that in our dreams things do appear to us to be as real, as when we are never so wide awake, and that there is no certain way to distinguish betwixt the realities of the day, and the de­lusions of the night, since the one doth al­ways appear as real as the other, and at that time when they strike our Imagination, we do as really believe them to be true, there are many, saith he, that argue from a false Principle, and then it is impossible, but all the Conclusions, that are built upon it, must either be false or uncertain, there are others that let their Principle be never so right, yet they do not argue rightly from it, and on both sides it happens that those things are taken for certain Demonstrations, which are indeed nothing better, than very foul and palpable Mistakes; and upon such considerations [Page 84] as these he exhorts his Disciple, as the best way to discover the Truth, to doubt of all things, the truth of his Faculties, the evidence of his Senses, the certainty even of direct and Mathematical Demonstrations; but yet at the same time, saith he, it is impossible, I should believe otherwise, but that I that doubt must be; For I can never give my Assent to this Proposition, That that which is not can ei­ther doubt or think; therefore he lays down this as the first proposition of which we can be certain; I doubt therefore I am, or I think therefore I am, that is, I am as yet un­certain of the Existence of my body, which being only an Object of my Senses, I may be de­ceived in it, as well as in any other sensible Object whatsoever, but yet still notwithstand­ing it is most certainly true; I doubt therefore I am, that is, that thing or nature whatever it is, which doubts or thinks or disputes with it self about all other things, must of necessity, have a real and undoubted Existence of its own, and though I be deceived in all the Judg­ments, which I make upon the things about me, or that appear to me, as if they had a Being, yet thus much is still unquestionably true, I am deceived therefore I am; for that which is not cannot be deceived.

Wherefore being certain of the Truth of this first Proposition, that is, so certain, that it is impossible for me to doubt of it any longer, I doubt, or I think, or I am deceived, therefore I am; his next Enquiry is into the nature of this Being that thus pronounces of it self, and from it's thinking infers it's Exi­stence; and, saith he, when I look into my self, I find the Sphere of my knowledg to be very short, and all that I pretend to know ve­ry doubtful and uncertain, when I look back, I cannot recollect that I have been long in Be­ing, and when I look forward I have no cer­tainty that I shall exist the next moment; from whence he infers of himself, That he is an imperfect and dependent Creature, that could not give Being to its self; for then he should always have been; and cannot preserve it self in Being: For then he should be sure of his Existence for ever after, and compa­ring the Idea's or Notions, which he finds within himself, he discovers some of them to be the Ideas or Representatiosn of sensible Objects, in which he cannot tell but he may be deluded and imposed upon, and others, though they appear to be of greater certainty, yet men have been deceived even in Mathematical Conclusions of which they thought themselves as certain as the most certain Evidence, and [Page 86] the most unquestionable Demonstration could make them, but at last after a great deal of Rummaging and Tumbling over the Ideas of his mind, he finds one Idea or Notion of a Being necessarily existent, and this he tells us cannot chuse but be; because it hath neces­sary Existence included in it's Nature, and this is that which he calls God.

SECT. IV. The CARTESIAN Argument from the IDEA Refuted.

I Have laid down in the former Section, as plain and candid a Representation, as I am able to make, of that famous Argu­ment for the Existence of a God, which is drawn from the Idaea, or from the Notion of a God implanted in the minds of Men, [Page 87] including necessary existence in it; from whence the Philosopher is pleased to infer, that thing or Being which is represented by it, must of necessity be.

But against this profound way of Rea­soning, that hath drawn so many eminent Disciples after it, there are these follow­ing Objections to be made.

First, that if we would go the Cartesian way to work, yet this Proposition, I think therefore I am, cannot possibly be the first Proposition, of which I must be certain, but there must of necessity be three other Propositions, of whose Truth I must be well assured before I can be certain of this, and these Propositions are evidently these,

First, Nihili nulla sunt Attributa, that which is not hath no attributes or affections belonging to it.

Secondly, cogitatio est attributum, cogi­tation or thinking is an attribute or affection of some substance. And then,

Thirdly, from this I infer, quod cogitat, est, that which thinks must be, which in the last place I apply to my self, ego cogito, ergo [Page 88] sum, I think therefore I am, so that it is manifestly impossible for a Man to doubt of all things besides his own Exi­stence, since it is so plain and demonstra­bly certain, that there must be three o­ther Propositions of which he must be sure, before he can be sure of that.

Secondly, Suppose a Man to be never so sure of his own existence, yet in this scep­tical way of Reasoning, when I am once at a doubt of the existence of all other things, besides my self; it is utterly impossible, that ever I should get rid of this scruple by any means whatsoever; for though I do find the Idea or Notion of a Being necessa­rily existent, impressed upon my mind; yet if I understand this of any thing without, and besides, my self, how can I tell, but I may be deceived in this Idaea, as well as in any other. It is true indeed there must be somewhat necessarily existent, or else nothing could be; for out of nothing comes nothing, but how can I tell, but I my self am that self-originated, that self-existent Being: For, because I cannot look back for any long space of time, it does by no means follow from thence, that there was any time when I was not; for I may possibly have forgot my self, as those that [Page 89] assert the pre-existence of the Soul, do say, that she had a Being in the Regions above, before she was thrust down into this dun­geon of the Earth; notwithstanding that neither they, nor we, have any the least Sense or Memory of any such thing; and (upon supposition that any thing may be forgotten) when we come to doubt of all things, this is a very unexceptionable way of Reasoning in the case proposed, and so on the other side, though I am not sure I shall exist the next moment, yet it does not follow but I may exist to all Eternity; for I was not sure a minute ago, that I should live till now, and yet for all that it still remains to this very moment, and may do to the next, and so on, a very true Propo­sition, cogito ergo sum, I think therefore I am.

Neither are those frailties or infirmities which I seem to my self to be sensible of, those decays and weaknesses which I seem to feel in my body, any argument at all, that I am indeed that frail and dependent Crea­ture, which I seem to my self to be, for all these are only matters of sence, in which I may possibly be deceived, and after all the complaints which I am perpetually making of Aches in this part, and Sickness in the other; it may still be true accord­ing [Page 90] to Dez Cartez, that all this is nothing but a meer delusion, and that I have no bo­dy, and consequently no pain or sickness a­bout me.

Neither can I make any better inference from the sickness or infirmity, or death of others, that I my self am of a mortal and a fading Nature; for all this, for ought I know, is nothing but a dream, and per­haps there is no Creature, nor any substance in the World besides my self.

Lastly, the narrowness of my sphere of Knowledge or of Power, are not any ar­guments that I am not indeed that necessa­rily Existent being, whose Idaea or notion I have in my mind, for if there be nothing but I, and I know my self, I know as much as can be known, and again, if there be nothing but I, and consequently no Pow­er but what I have, I can do as much as can be done, and by consequence I am endu­ed with those two attributes of Power and Wisdom, in their very utmost latitude and extent, or which is all one, I am a Being endued with all possible perfection, which is all that is meant by God.

So that according to this new method of Philosophysing, it is impossible for a Man, when he is got so far as to call all things [Page 91] into question, ever, to get rid of those in­curable scruples, it is impossible for him to be sure of the Existence of any Substance whatsoever but his own, and though it be never so certain, that there must be some­thing which doth exist of it self, otherwise nothing could ever be, yet since I can have no certainty of the Existence of any thing besides my own Person and Substance, I have more reason to conclude, that I my self am that self-originated and self-existent Being, then that there is any other besides me, and thus hath Des Cartez very fairly banished a God out of the World, and the World out of it self, and left himself alone, to contemplate and admire his own self-exi­stent and solitary being; and if this be not fine Philosophy and profound reasoning, such as deserves that admiration which it hath met with in the World; let his admirers and Champions themselves be Judges.

If this Philosophy were true, Men might e'en shut up their Shops, and sow up their Mouths, and trouble themselves no farther about the things of this Life; for why should any Man concern himself about things that are not, but only seem to be, and when it is utterly impossible for him to get rid of his doubts, I can hardly un­derstand; [Page 92] how it is possible for such a Man to act with that steadiness and gravity, and constant purpose of mind, as if he were well satisfied in the truth of his senses.

It is true indeed, that it does by no means become a Philosopher, to take things upon trust, without examining into their truth himself; but yet to doubt of all things, is notwithstanding every whit as Ʋnphi­losophical as to examine into nothing; for a Philisopher, if he be any thing at all, is a Man that pretends to know somewhat more then his Neighbours, but at this rate of Philosophising he will know less, or at least it will be impossible that they should know less then he, for no man can know less than nothing; and this is the highest pitch to which a Cartesian Philosopher can attain.

But thirdly, I affirm that we have no no­tion of a being necessarily existent, imprin­ted upon us by Nature, but it is only the effect of our reasoning with our selves and with one another, we find our selves by expe­rience to be frail and imperfect Creatures, we are sensible that we come into the world, not by any power or vertue of our own, and that this was the case of our Parents before us, and of theirs before them, we [Page 93] remember that we were once Infants, in­firm and helpless things, that we grew up by slow and insensible proportions, to the strength and stature and maturity of a Man; we find our selves all the while subject to a thousand casualties and diseases, assaulted by infirmities from within, and by enemies from without, that we are liable to hunger and thirst and cold, that we are unable to subsist by our selves, without being mutu­ally kind and helpful to one another, that we stand in need of Houses and Garments and Weapons to defend us against the wea­ther, the wild beasts, and one another, of Food, to recruit the sensible evacuations and the insensible perspirations of Nature, and of Physick to repair its defects, and supply what it wants of sufficiency to preserve it self, that notwithstanding this, our very plea­sures and enjoyments do by degrees impair us, and bring a satiety and loathsomeness upon themselves, that that very food which was intended by nature for the support of Life, does sometimes in the most temperate, prove the occasion of sickness and diseases, that the very Ayr, without which we can­not live or breath, does by degrees con­sume us, and prey upon us in the nature of a menstruum, till, at last old age give a [Page 94] period to all the satisfactions and enjoy­ments of Youth, and Death put an end to the complaints and miseries of Old Age.

And by this means being made sensible of our own imperfection, that we are born with­out our own consent, and that we die whe­ther we will or no, that we cannot subsist without perpetual recruits, and that those recruits themselves do by degrees, impair and weaken that Nature which they were intended to preserve, we are forced to ac­knowledg our selves to be a sort of obnoxi­ous and dependent Creatures, and that we owe our being, which we see so plainly, it was impossible for us to bestow upon our selves, or to preserve it for any length of time, after it was bestowed, to something more perfect, and more noble then our selves, which if it be a dependent and created Na­ture, notwithstanding that it is of greater excellence and perfection, then is to be found in our selves, we must still run higher in the chain of causes, till we come to some cause that hath a self-existence, and a nature which it did not receive or borrow from any other, and this is indeed a Being necessarily Exi­stent, to the knowledge of which we arrive, not by any Idaea or notion, implanted up­on our natures, but by a gradual and pain­ful ratiocination.

Neither indeed were there ever any be­fore Des Cartez, who did assert any such innate Idaeas or inbred Notions, implanted upon the minds of Men, antecedently to their converse with the objects that are a­bout them, and the reasoning which they make within themselves, by comparing and collating things with one another, but the antient Platonists, and those that have received it from them, Men of a Kid­ney far different from Des Cartez and his Disciples, who did it upon this account, that they supposed us to have lived in times past, in a Superiour State, in the Re­gion of Angels and immortal Spirits, cloath­ed all about with bodies of an Aethereal and Heavenly contexture, but that for our Transgressions in that blessed State, we were cast down from thence by the just Judg­ment of God into this lowest Region of the World, which is the very sink and sediment of nature, which was not only intended as a punishment, but as an act of goodness, to make a new experiment upon us, whe­ther we would reform our selves, and, ha­ving obtained a perfect Conquest over our lusts and passions, return again into that blessed place, from whence, by our sins and enormities we had departed, and from [Page 96] hence they supposed that as in a Shipwreck, though the far greatest part of the Vessel and her freight be irrecoverably lost, yet some part of both will frequently swim to shoar, so after this great Shipwreck of our selves, being cast away from the Divine presence, and from the Company of Angels and immaculate Spirits, yet there were still as it were some planks, some broken remain­ders and fragments of Knowledge, that were preserved, and therefore that all our Know­ledge here was nothing else but reminiscen­cy, or a calling to mind those notions with which our Souls were replenished in the o­ther world, and which, though mightily defaced and blemished, made a hard shift to swim along with us, and to preserve some footsteps of themselves in our minds, in, and after, our passage into this.

But not to concern our selves about this Doctrine of Praeexistence, a Doctrine which hath exercised the Wits and Pens of so many learned Men; It is plain that this Platonick fancy of innate or inbred notions, ought by no means to find entertainment in the Creed of wise and understanding Men, not only because it is precarious, but also because it is needless; for it may be evi­dently shewn, by a particular induction, [Page 97] that there is no notion which the mind of Man is capable of receiving, which he may not derive from the information of his senses, by conversing with external objects, by comparing them together, and affirm­ing or denying them, (according to the congruities or disagreements, which by ex­perience we find in them) of one ano­ther.

By conversing with objects singly and by themselves, there arise so many several sin­gle Idaeas or Pictures drawn and painted upon our Imagination, by affirming or de­nying them one of another, we frame pro­positions, and by tying several of these propositions, by those natural connexions which we find in them together, there a­riseth that which we call Syllogism or dis­course or ratiocination.

And if you ask how by the mediation of our Senses we come to have any Knowledg of an immaterial Nature, that is of an Object which neither does nor can affect our Senses, to this I answer, that after ha­ving conversed with several sensible Objects and compared them together, having se­parated those things, which God and Na­ture have separated from one another, and joyned those things and notions which [Page 98] ought to be put together, it is then natu­ral for us to begin to enquire, what it is that makes this reflexion upon the things without us, that disputes and argues pro and con within it self upon the Objects, that come within it's Observation; and this, it is easie to perceive, that it cannot be meer matter, which is a dull, stupid and insensi­ble thing, without any Life, Activity, or Power; but it needs must be something which is not matter, of whose nature, be­cause it is difficult for us to have so clear a Perception from the Information of our Sen­ses, which cannot immediately convey any thing but sensible and material things; therefore we express it by a negative Term, and call it an immaterial Being, which does not tell us positively what it is, but only ne­gatively what it is not, and yet because we have a positive notion of cogitation, with­out which we cannot reflect upon any thing whatsoever, nor have any the least Sense of any the most common Object, that falls under our view and apprehension; therefore to the negative conception of im­material, we add the positive of cogitant, and because we cannot possibly conceive any substance whatsoever, which is not somewhere, and by consequence which is [Page 99] not extended; therefore this makes up the compleat Idea, which we have of our own minds or souls, that they are immaterial, cogitant and extended Beings; and because Wisdom and thought wherever they are found are an Argument in other Substances of an immaterial Nature, as well as they are in us, therefore when we see the admirable wisdom and contrivance, wherewith all things in the World without us are mana­ged and disposed; this brings us to a firm and infallible assurance, that there is one great and universal mind presiding over all things, and appointing to all the several Parts of which either the inanimate, or the sensitive and animated World are made up, all their respective Faculties and Pow­ers, their Offices and Employments, their se­veral Posts and Stations and Places of a­bode, for the better preservation of them­selves, and for the greater harmony, beau­ty and security of the whole, and this is that which, without the help of a Plato­nic or a Cartesian Idea imprinted antece­dently to this ratiocination upon our minds, we are used to call a God.

Besides, that since it is so plain and e­vident, that we have no Notion or Idea in our minds, which we may not derive [Page 100] from the information of our Senses, and if over and above we will needs have re­course to the Platonic Ideas, or inbred No­tions in the mind of Man, then either these Ideas do agree and jump with the Informa­tion of our Senses, or they do not, if the lat­ter, if they do not agree, then either we must renounce the Testimony of our Senses, which we cannot do without making Ship­wreck of Life it self, or of these supposed Platonical Ideas, which is much the more safe and reasonable of the two; especially, if we consider, after all the noise that hath been raised about them, that we are not conscious to our selves of any such things, and that without them, we can give a suf­ficient Account of all that Knowledg to which human Nature is capable of arri­ving.

But in the second Place, if these two, the Ideas of Plato, and the Testimony of Sense do agree and jump with one another, then the Rule holds good, Natura nihil facit frustra, Nature does nothing in vain, if the Ideas be sufficient, what needs the confir­mation of sense, or what signifie those I­deas which cannot be believed till a fur­ther confirmation be given from without, but if the testimony of sense be at last the [Page 101] true touch-stone by which we must measure the truth of our Ideas, then how vain and fruitless are those Ideas themselves? and this I take to be a sufficient confutation of the innate Ideas, of Plato and Des Cartez.

But Fourthly, it is still further to be ob­served, in opposition to this trifling argu­ment of Des Cartez, that it is a meer Cir­cle, as the Logicians use to call it, that is, it is such a sort of Sophistical argumentati­on, wherein two things are proved by one another, for if you ask this great Philoso­pher, as some that are very little ones, are pleased to esteem him, how he can tell, that there is indeed a being necessarily existent, notwithstanding that we find such an Idea implanted upon our natures, in which we may possibly be deceived, he tells you that this depends upon the truth of our intelle­ctual faculties, and if you ask him again, how he can tell that our intellectual facul­ties are true, he proves this by supposing a being necessarily existent, which is endu­ed with such goodness, that it would not deceive us, and so this is no more then mulus mulum scabit, one good turn requires another, or it is the same thing in disputati­on, as if in a Court of Judicature, you should bring two Persons, whose innocence is [Page 102] the matter in question, to purge and vin­dicate one another by their Testimony, which they will be sure to do for their mu­tual advantage and safety, but are for that reason look'd upon in Law, as incompetent Witnesses, and such whose Testimony ought by no means to be taken.

Fifthly, we are so far from having an I­dea of God implanted upon our Natures, immediately by God himself, that in truth we have no such Idea of God at all, either one way or the other, it is true, a very small pro­portion of reason will assure us, that there is such a being as God, but what he is we know not, and we have only negative Conceptions of his nature, we say he is immaterial, and he is infinite, he is immortal and incorrupti­ble, but of these things we have no clear and positive conception, and consequently nothing that can be properly called an I­dea.

All that is meant by immateriality, is, that it includes a negation of matter, and all that is meant by infinite is, that it is not finite, but for us that are poor finite Crea­tures, to have a true and proper notion of that which is infinite, is impossible; for us that have seen so small and inconsiderable a proportion of time passing by us, for us [Page 103] that in the compass of a few years, must molder away and crumble into dust; for us to have a true and adequate notion of im­mortality and incorruptibility, is a thing that can never enter into the mind of Man to believe; all our knowledge of God is ina­dequate and imperfect, we say he is a be­ing of infinite Wisdom, and infinite Good­ness, and infinite Power, but all that we do truly understand by these words, is, that he hath all that Wisdom and Power and Goodness, which we have or can discern in other Creatures, and all that we want, but how much, or what Wisdom that is which we want, we know not, for that very rea­son, because we want it, and because we come infinitely short of it, so that after all, it appears plainly from whence we have that notion of God, which we find dwelling up­on our minds, we receive it from our selves and from the objects about us, by ascribing to God all the perfection which belongs to the Creatures, and so much more as they want, and by excluding or praescinding, as the Schools term it, all their imperfection, and the case is the same, as when I say such a Man is an excellent Mathematician, ano­ther an excellent Orator or Poet or Musiti­an, that is, they have all that skill in these [Page 104] arts which I have, and a great deal more, which I have not, and of which for that reason I can have no apprehension, which Idea is manifestly raised by my self after a confused manner, not imprinted by the Artist himself, upon my mind, any other­wise then as his works and performances in the several kinds, give me some rude conception and inadequate Idea of him, but it is certain, if he himself had been to leave his own impression upon me, he would have made it like himself, and by conse­quence I should have had the same skill in these faculties whch he hath attained.

Just so it is with God, an inadequate I­dea or notion of him may be formed by our selves, from the works of the Creation, without having recourse to any supernatu­ral impression, but an adaequate Idea I can­not have without being a God my self, for no one can have a true and perfect notion of infinite goodness, wisdom or power, but he that is the possessor of them, and he with­out question can be no less then God.

Sixthly and lastly, by this it appears how frivolous this argument of Des Cartez drawn from the Idea, is, that after all, according to him, it is but the Idea of an unextended substance, that is, in plain English of a ne­cessary [Page 105] nothing, and it appears likewise, that God never imprinted this Idea upon any Mans mind, for this would be but to deceive and abuse us, and to make our intellectual fa­culties, which can have no notion of any thing, which is not extended, to contra­dict his impressions, and consequently leave us in a doubt and perplexity, never to be resolved, what notion or Idea we are to en­tertain concerning him.

And thus I have considered more large­ly, then ever any Writer hath hitherto done before me, the manifest inconclusiveness of the Cartesian argument, drawn from the Idea, and that being substituted in the stead of that which was used formerly to be ta­ken from the admirable structure and con­trivance of the World, it seems rather to have been done with a design to introduce Atheism, then with an intention to settle and confirm the belief of a Deity among Men.

SECTION V. Other Arguments to prove DES CAR­TEZ an Atheist.

AND now, that I may dispatch what remains further to be spoken up­on this Argument, I will do these three things.

First, I will go on to give some other proofs, that Des Cartez, who denied this immaterial Extension, did it indeed, with a design to banish all immaterial substance out of the world, notwithstanding, that as well he as Mr. Hobbs, and the Old Epi­curcans are wont to impose upon their Rea­ders, by using the Name of God, that the Laws might not reach them for denying his Existence.

Secondly, I will propose some further considerations, for the proof of this great [Page 107] and fundamental Doctrine of Religion, that God is a Being infinitely extended.

Thirdly, I will shew the advantage of this way of procedure for the proof of the Existence of God, and for the demon­strating, as far as human apprehension can reach, what thoughts we are to entertain concerning his nature.

I begin with the first, that is, to give some other Proofs, that Des Cartez, who denied the Extension of the Divine Sub­stance, did it with a design to banish all Immaterial Beings out of the world.

And the first thing which I shall instance in, shall be his banishing of final Causes out of his Philosophy, that is, the Scripture does expresly assure us, that the ‘Heavens are the works of Gods hands, and that the Moon and the Stars are of his ordaining;’ the Psalmist cries out, being ravished with the contemplation of that infinite beauty, harmony, and contrivance, which appears in all parts of the sensible Creation, how wonderful are thy works O Lord, in wisdom hast thou made them all, and the Holy Job tells us in most emphatical terms, That he looketh to the ends of the Earth, and looketh under the whole Heaven, that he made the weight for the Wind;, and weighed the Wa­ters [Page 108] by measure, that he made a decree for the Rain, and away for the Lightning of the Thun­der, that he did see it and declared it, he se­parated it, yea, and searched it out, and then it follows, and unto Man he said, behold the fear of the Lord, that is Wisdom, and to depart from evil that is Ʋnderstanding, which is as much as to say, that the consideration of the wisdom and contrivance of God in the Crea­tion of the World, this is the great Root and Basis of all Religion, this is that which alone is able to create in us such an awful and Majestic notion of his wisdom, good­ness, immensity and power, as may the most effectually provoke, the most win­ningly entice, and the most powerfully per­swade us to fear, to love and to obey him, to observe his Commandments and to keep his Laws, and to depart from all ways, which he by the voice of Nature or of Reve­lation, hath declared to be foolish and un­reasonable, and displeasing to him.

And in the 38th. and 39th. Chapters of that excellent Book, it is very remarkable to this purpose, to observe the questions which God propounds to Job, in all of which it is implied, that he himself and none but he, not any power or wisdom in­feriour to his own, not any blind chance of [Page 109] the Epicureans, nor any Mechanical Powers of matter with Des Cartez was the cause of that wonderful usefulness and beauty, which appears in the whole Creation and in all its parts, and in the advantage and use and service which they do mutually af­ford and lend to one another. Then the Lord answered Job out of the Whirlwind, and said, who is this that darkneth Council by words, without knowledge? that is, as it appears by what follows, who is this that ascribes to chance or fortune the effects of the most unsearchable wisdom and profound design; and therefore it follows, that Job in his afflicti­ons might not distrust the providence of God, and think that all things were go­verned by an ungovernable necessity, and an inconsiderate fate, Gird up now thy Loyns like a Man, for I will demand of thee and an­swer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the Foundations of the Earth? declare if thou hast understanding, who has laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretch­ed the line upon it? Whereupon are the Foun­dations thereof fastned, or who laid the Cor­ner stone thereof? And much more to the same purpose, in this and the following, and in several other Chapters, wherein the Providence of God, in the Creation of the [Page 110] World, and in the government of it, is with great strength and eloquence vindicated and asserted, as indeed the whole Book of Job, is little else but a discourse upon Pro­vidence, and the best that ever was writ­ten upon that Subject; so also the Prophet speaks as it were, in imitation of Jobs Ca­techistical way, Who hath measured the Wa­ters in the hollow of his hand, and meeted out Heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the Earth in a measure, and weighed the Mountains in scales and the Hills in a ba­lance? Then which expressions it is impos­sible to frame any more significant, to de­clare the power and wisdom of God, and to let us see that this world was not the ef­fect of chance, but of the most wise and wonderful design and knowledge; so like­wise the Apostle to the Romans tells us, tho' I know that place be otherwise interpret­ed by the Socinian Doctors, who have a great deal to answer for, upon ac­count of perverse and distorted Interpre­tations, where he impleads and impeaches the Heathen World, as guilty of inexcusa­ble Idolatry, because, that vvhen they knevv God, they glorified him not as God, neither vvere thankful, but became vain in their Ima­ginations, and their foolish heart vvas dar­kened, [Page 111] and if you ask him how they knevv God? he answers, it vvas by the vvorks of the Creation, in which, as in a Glass, his Divinity and his attributes are clearly re­presented, Rom. 1. v. 19, 20. That vvhich may be seen of God is manifest in them, for God hath shevved it unto them, for the invisi­ble things of him, from the Creation of the World are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal Povv­er and Godhead, so that they are vvithout ex­cuse.

Neither does the Scripture assert the Providence of God only as to the whole creation taken together, or as to the great­er and more considerable parts of it; but that it extends to every individual Crea­ture, and to the most minute, inconsidera­ble, disregarded things that are to be met with in it. Are not two Sparrows, saith our Saviour, sold for a Farthing, and one of them shall not fall to the ground, without your Father? But, as for us, he tells us, that the very Hairs of our Head are all numbred; and in another place, he advises his Dis­ciples in these words: Take ye no thought for to morrow what ye shall eat, nor what ye shall drink, nor yet for your Body what ye shall put on; behold the Fowls of the Air, for [Page 112] they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into Barns, yet your Heavenly Father feed­eth them; are you not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought, can add one cubit unto his Stature? And why take ye thought for Rayment? consider the Lillies of the Field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his Glory, was not arrayed like one of these; wherefore if God so cloth the Grass, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the Oven; shall he not much more cloth you, O ye of little Faith: This is likewise the language of the Book of Job; he provideth for the Raven his food, when his young ones cry unto God; and of the Psalmist, in the 104th Psalm: He sen­deth the Springs into the Valleys, which run among the Hills, they give drink to every Beast of the Field, the Wild Asses quench their thirst, by them shall the Fowls of the Heaven have their Habitation, which sing a­mong the Branches; he watereth the Hills from his Channels, the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works; he causeth the grass to grow for the Cattle, and Herb for the service of man, that he may bring forth Food out of the Earth, and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and Oyl to make his face to [Page 113] shine, and bread which strengtheneth mans heart; and in another place, speaking of the Organization and contexture of his own Body, and of all the Parts and Members and Vessels of which it consists, which may be understood in proportion of the Bodies of all other Animals likewise, he says, thou hast covered me in my Mothers Womb, I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderful­ly made; marvellous are thy Works, and that my Soul knoweth right well, my Substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth, thine eyes did see my Sub­stance yet being imperfect, and in thy Book were all my Members written, which in con­tinuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them: How precious are thy Thoughts unto me, O God? how great is the summe of them? So that this is plainly and constantly the language of the Scrip­tures, as well as it is of nature and of rea­son; that all things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made, that God alone is worthy to re­ceive Glory and Honour and Power, for that he hath created all things, and for his pleasure they are and were created; that he who is the Eternal Source of Wisdom, Power [Page 114] and Goodness, hath created all things for himself, that is, to be testimonies to the world of his Attributes, and his perfections, of his unspeakable Mercy, his unsearcha­ble Knowledge, and his unlimited power, and that all things were made chiefly for these two ends: First, to be a standing Testimony of his existence and his nature, and secondly, to contribute to the happiness of his Creatures, and to the mutual subsistence of each other.

But now the Epicureans they tell us, that all things came by chance, that the Ear was not made for hearing, nor the Eye for seeing, nor the Nostrils for smelling, but that all this seeming contrivance and ap­pearing VVisdom is owing to nothing else, but to the lucky concourse of Atomes happi­ly disposed after such a manner as is requi­site for that purpose; and therefore by consequence that it was but an idle taunt which the Psalmist bestows upon the Idols of the Heathen, Psal. 115.

Their Idols are Silver and Gold, the work of mens hands, they have mouths but they speak not, eyes have they but they see not; they have ears but they hear not; noses have they, but they smell not; they have hands, but they handle not; feet have they, but they walk not; neither speak [Page 115] they through their Throat: For at this rate it could be no manner of disparagement to those Idols, if having such parts as ears and eyes and feet and hands and nose, they had not that use of them, which was meerly accidental; and for which they were ne­ver designed and intended.

And as this alone is sufficient to prove the Epicureans of old to have been down­right Atheists, that they denyed the Pro­vidence of God, and left the VVorld to the management of chance and fortune; for we have no natural reason to perswade us that there is a God, but what is taken from the contrivance, order, beauty and use­fulness of the whole Creation, and of the several Parts whereof it is composed; so the same heavy Impeachment lyes still more pressing and unanswerable against Des Cartez, who being born and bred up in a Country professing Christianity, and a Belief not only of the existence, but the Providence of God, did yet ascribe all things (that he might magnifie himself, as being able to contrive a World, as well as he that really did it) to the Mechanical Powers of matter, which as it hath no mo­tion or activity of it's own, so it is impos­sible it's motions should be regular, unless we [Page 116] suppose them guided by some other Prin­ciple, which is endued with wisdom and understanding.

And indeed what a monstrous piece of the most stupid sottishness and madness is it, instead of that fineness and subtlety to which these Philosophers pretend, to ascribe all this orderly and comely Frame of things, all whose Parts are so useful in themselves, so sitted to their Fellows, and so admirably devised for the support and preservation of the whole, the regular and steady motions of the greater Bodies, the accurate and subtle Frame and Contexture of the lesser, whether in Plants or living Creatures, together with their exact fitness to an infinite number of uses; so that all the wisdom and contrivance in the VVorld, could not have fitted them more exactly than they are, only to the blind Ʋncer­tainty of chance or fortune with the Epicu­reans, or to the Mechanical Powers of matter with Des Cartez? which matter being in it self stupid and insensible, cannot possibly obey those pretended Laws, which this Philosopher hath prescribed to it, any further than they are perpetually enforced by the presence of some principle, more noble and more active than it self, and [Page 117] which if it do always concur to the pro­ducing such effects, as are so exactly suited to such determinate Ends, what folly? what madness? what stupidity is it to af­firm that those ends were not designed? or what better Argument can we expect for the existence of a God, by whom this Ʋ ­niverse was made and govern'd, than that which carried Galen, who was by no means a superstitious Man, and must be acknow­ledged to have been a great Philosopher so far beyond himself, into an extasie of joy and admiration, and filled his mouth, not with poor, contemptible, mechanick Tales, but with a Magnificent Hymn, to his Creator?

How long would it be before Letters, accidentally, and at all adventures thrown and jumbled together, would light into a good Poem or an excellent Oration? be­fore Stone and Timber would of them­selves conspire into a Magnificent Palace or a stately building? and how much more unlikely is it, that chance should be able to compose the whole Mass of matter into so comely, so useful, and so regular a frame, that it should persist in it for so many ages, and that those animals which were themselves at first produced by acci­dental [Page 118] and fortuitous causes, should per­severe to beget and continue one another, by causes that are constant, regular and certain; for so long a course and series of time, and yet this was no more, or at least no better, then what Des Cartez him­self was necestitated to do, having under­taken to make a world of his own, with­out the assistance and concurrence of his Maker.

The next thing which I shall Instance in, as a plain indication, how inclinable this Author was to banish the Notion of a God out of the World, is his declining so indu­striously and so professedly as he does, up­on all occasions, to say any thing of infi­nites, though indeed his whole Philosophy be nothing else but one continued harangue, concerning infinite Extention or matter, and what is this but loudly proclaiming to all the World, that for immaterial Substan­ces, especially that which is pretended to be infinite, they are strange unintelligible things, and that the best way is not to trou­ble our heads about them?

In the next place, his boggling at the seeming inconsistency betwixt the Divine [Page 119] praescience and Human freedom, under the same pretence of not medling with infi­nites, and yet granting the latter, and con­fessing plainly, that it is this inconsistent ac­cording to Human faculties with the for­mer, what is but to say, if he were to speak openly the sence of his mind, that there is no such thing as any such praescience in God, which is as much as to say, if he would speak out, that there is no God at all.

For though Socinus and his followers will not allow God to have any foreknow­ledge of contingent actions, that is to say, of those actions which depend upon hu­man freedom, because being contingent, and consequently uncertain, they tell us, there is no foundation for a certain and determinate knowledge, yet at the same time they grant, that he does certainly foreknow, whatever hath any certain and determinate causes, and is by that means an object of cognoscibility, by which, tho' they may be thought to derogate from the perfe­ction of his Nature, yet his being in general they do expresly acknowledge; but Des Car­tez will not concern himself, whether such actions can be foreknown or no, or whether [Page 120] the Divine foreknowledge being supposed in that extent and latitude, with which it is usually maintained, would be any obstru­ction to the liberty of inferiour Agents, but he slubbers over the business after his usual rate, saying, that the notion of a God includes in it infinite perfection and therefore if it be possible for him to foreknow contingent acti­ons, he does foreknow them, that is, if it be possible there should be a God, there is one, and he desires to be excused from af­firming or denying any thing any further, concerning God Almighty.

Neither is it sufficient to say in this case, that the Liberty of the VVill, which Des Cartes manifestly grants, does undeniably prove an immaterial substance, to which I do very frankly and heartily assent, but yet we know the Old Epicureans did acknow­ledge it as well as Des Cartez, notwithstan­ding that they referred it to a material cause, which however absurd and uncapa­ble it was, of producing such an effect, yet why may not one Philosopher be absurd as well as another? As all that dote upon Me­chanism and matter, must run into infinite absurdities, whether they will or no; and though we should suppose Des Cartes, not to have acquiesced in the solution of his [Page 121] old Masters, who yet were Men, as consi­derable for their parts and wit, as any in their times, nor indeed to have pitcht up­on any particular way, whereby to explain so difficult an effect, yet we have no man­ner of security from him, that it was not his opinion, that it might be owing to some particular disposition of the matter, though what that disposition was he would not take upon him to determine.

For though he distinguishes indeed very nicely betwixt cogitation and extention, yet it being true, that the several disposi­tions or modifications of matter, are distinct from the matter it self, in the general con­sidered, which is capable of being altered and diversifyed infinite ways, and this be­ing joyned to another great truth, that no substance can be conceived but what is ex­tended, I say, all this being true, what se­curity can we have after all his Philosophi­cal parting of things and things from one a­nother, but he did really believe that cogi­tation in general, and all the several sorts and species of it, were but so many seve­ral modes and dispositions of the universal matter?

That prodigious Doctrine of his, where­by he makes brute Beasts no better then meer senseless Engines, begetting one ano­ther to the end of the Chapter, which it is very pleasant for Engines to do, notwith­standing that they give so clear and so con­vincing arguments, of sense, memory, ex­perience, gratitude, love, hatred, fear, hope, cunning, consideration and projection, was an attempt so bold, that nothing but he, who had designed a secret war against all immaterial substance, durst ever have gone about it, and for the same reason, if he durst, he would have proceeded further, and would have made Men as very Images and Puppits as the Beasts that perish, but then he was fearful his Philosophy would have been exploded, and that instead of being courted and admired as he was, by all the Learned Men of Europe, he should have his Book condemned to see no other light, but what the Executioner kindled for its deserved ignominy and utter extirpation, while himself underwent the unfortunate end of his Brother in iniquity, that decla­red and profest Atheist, Vaninus, a worse Philosopher, but a much better Man, be­cause he dealt more frankly with the World.

Lastly, his no less ridiculous then impu­dent sham of the reciprocal motion, and his attempt to explain the contradictious Do­ctrine of Transubstantiation, are sufficient evi­dences what esteem he had for Religion or any thing belonging to it, it being as much as to say, that he was loath to fall into the Circumstances of Galilaeo or Vaninus, and he was mightily desirous to have his Books read and his Philosophy entertained among Men, which it could not be if the Romish Inquisitours were displeased, or the Autho­rity of their Church neglected, much less if he had as openly opposed Religion, as he did industriously betray and undermine it.

SECT. VI. A further Proof of IMMATERIAL EXTENSION.

THus have I endeavoured, which was the first thing proposed to be done, to make a further Discovery of the Carte­sian Arts, to introduce Atheism and Infi­delity into the World, and they all depend upon this one Principle, that there nei­ther is, nor can be, any thing extended, but matter, which though I have already suf­ficiently disproved in a foregoing Discourse, yet that I may further evince the unquesti­onable certainty of so important a Doctrine I will now proceed, as I have promised in the second place to strengthen and confirm it by some other considerations, which I will but just name.

First, therefore if Des Cartez be, as he pretends he is, really in earnest, when he [Page 125] tells us there is a God, and that the matter of which this Ʋniverse consists, was in the beginning of things created by him, then certainly it will be granted, that he that created all things might, if he pleased, have created only one solid Globe or Sphere, and he that might create one, might also if he so pleased, have created two or three, and let these three come as nigh as they can possibly together, yet they cannot touch one another in above one point; so that there will unavoidably be a Triangular space between them, which must of neces­sity be distinct from matter, because it is supposed that there is no more matter in the world, then that of which these three Globes are composed.

Secondly, that a Creation of the matter out of nothing, but out of the goodness and fruitfulness of the Divine being is a possible thing; I prove from these three considerations; First, from the sluggish, in­sensible and unactive nature of the matter it self, which it does not seem as if it were derived from it self, or were capable of preserving it self in being, for one mo­ment of time.

Secondly, from this, that the only rea­son that is pretended, why matter is Eter­nal, [Page 126] or why it could never be Created is this, that no real nature or thing can be produced out of nothing, which is ca­pable of a two fold Answer, First, that the Divine goodness and Power are not to be looked upon as nothing, they being the greatest and the first realities of all, upon which all other things have a necessary dependance, and it is out of the Eternal fruitfulness of these that the matter is Cre­ated. And secondly, that motion is every whit as real a thing and as sensible as matter, and produces every day abundance of very strange and surprizing effects in the world, and yet I have proved clearly in a former discourse, beyond all possibili­ty of doubt or scruple, that this may be, and is actually Created and annihilated as occasion serves, and as it seems good to the Divine wisdom and goodness.

But then thirdly and lastly, we must either say with the Epicureans, that all this Harmo­ny and wonderful contrivance, as it appears to be, was yet notwithstanding nothing better than the effect of chance, that it is preser­ved by an eternal good luck, as well as it was made at first without any design, which is a most incredible and foolish thing to suppose, or else we must acknowledge that [Page 127] there is one great and universal mind, by which the frame and order af all things was contrived, which since it cannot be conceived to be done any otherwise then by a bare act of his Will, it is every whit as easy to conceive, how by the same means he should command the matter in­to Being, when as yet it was not, as how by a meer thought, and an inward Decree and Ordinance within himself, he should dispose and regulate it after so wonderful a manner, or how by a continued and re­peated act of the same goodness and mer­cy he should continue that order and E­stablishment which he had made, for so many several succeeding Generations.

But thirdly, in the motion of Bodies too and fro, it is necessary that there should be a space, into which the bodies that are moved should be received, otherwise there could be no motion at all, and yet several bodies succeeding one another, and taking up exactly the same room, as in the moti­on of the Air, or in the course of a River; or the like, it is a plain case there must be a common extension or space, which is not matter, otherwise none of these bodies could be received into it.

Fourthly, Des Cartes being asked this question, suppose God had created nothing in the beginning of things but only one hollow Vessel, what would you say then? would there not in this case have been an extension, which was not matter, to this question he returned for answer, that in this case the sides of the Vessel would have come together, because there was nothing between them, but this answer was absurd and foolish upon several accounts; first, because the space we have been speaking of has been proved to be a real thing, and that there is and must be supposed to be such a thing in the World. Secondly, that this contradicts the great Principle of the Cartesian Philosophy, which is that every thing will remain in the state wherein it is, except it be disturbed by some external cause, and there being in this case no ex­ternal cause, that appears that should push the sides of the Vessel together, there is no reason, why according to his own Princi­ples it should not remain in the same con­dition in which it vvas created.

But then in the third place, suppose the sides of such a Vessel should come toge­ther, yet they could not come together, except they had been asunder before; [Page 129] and that is sufficient to prove as much as is requisite for my purpose, that there is, or may be a space, vvhich is not matter.

Fifthly and Lastly, DesCartes being hard­ly prest in an Epistle from a learned man which hath been published together with Des Cartes his answer since the death of that Philosoper, and seeing himself driven to this hard dilemma, that either he must de­ny the existénce of Immaterial Substances, or else he must grant their extension: one of which he dare not, and the other he was very loath to do, as a middle expedi­ent between these two extreams: he made answer, Spiritus extenduntur suo modo, Spi­rits or Immaterial Beings are extended after a manner peculiar to themselves; which is all we contend for. For the extension of matter is dead and passive, that of Spirits active and self-moving, the extension of one is an insensible extension, and is only dis­cerned by thought and speculation, but that of the other may very frequently be seen and felt, and is at least a possible Ob­ject of our corporeal senses, and this I think is difference enough.

SECTION. VII. Of the advantages of this way of proving the DIVINE EXISTENCE.

AND so I come to the third thing proposed, which is concerning the advantages which this way of proving the existence of a God, from the considerati­on of the Divine extension hath above all other ways of inferring it that have hi­therto been used. And those advantages, are these three which follow.

First, That it affords a sensible experi­ment that there is such a Being as a God; for I have proved by sense, from every days experience, from the very Being of motion in the World, without which there vvould be no sense or feeling of any thing vvhatsoever vvithout us; that there is infallibly a spac edistinct from matter, and that this space is indued vvith all possible [Page 131] Wisdom, Goodness and Power, vvhich is all that is meant by God; and the same may be proved likewise from the consist­ence of the more hard and solid Bodies, for since the parts of them are not kept together meerly by the fullness of the World, or because all things are so cram'd and stuft that nothing can yield, since there is a space, into which the dissi­pated and disunited parts may fly, that there is any such thing as an hard or solid Body in the world, can be attributed to nothing but a Divine Power by which the parts of the matter are kept together.

Secondly, as this way of proceeding gives the most certain account of the Divine ex­istence, so it serves the best to give an ac­count of his Providence; for it is impossi­ble that an unextended substance should ma­nage all things at so strange a rate, as if he were every where actually present, and this is the answer which Socrates gave to A­ristodemus in Xenophon, when he objected the impossibility of one Being, being able to manage all things by himself, God, said So­crates, is so large a Being, that he can easily manage all things at once, without any trouble or disturbance to himself.

Thirdly and lastly, there is this to be said for this Doctrine of the Divine Extension that it hath been the Catholick Doctrine of the World, and hath been universally own­ed by all that ever pretended to believe a God, till the Schoolmen, under pre­tence of improving, began to corrupt Phi­losophy and Religion, of the truth of which I am so very sure, that I do challenge any man to produce one Instance in Antiquity to the contrary.

NOTES.

Epist. Ded. p. viii. So also for the Ex­position of Ps. 45. 16.—I know this place is otherwise interpreted by St. Austin and St. Jerom, of Bishops succeeding the Apo­stles in the Government of the Church, but whether this ought to be looked upon for so much as a possible Interpretation; let the Learned Judg, God be thanked we do not stand in need of such forc'd Interpre­tations, to defend the Episcopal Government.

Ib. p. ix, x. A very fair Interpretation of that passage in the Prophet Esai.—I know this is interpreted by the Evangelist St. Mark, 15. 28. of our Saviours being Cru­cifyed between two Thieves. And the Scrip­ture was fulfilled, which saith, and he was numbred with the Transgressors. But this is not inconsistent with that Interpretation which I have put upon it, and it is no new thing, that the same Prophecy may have more Senses then one, as in that of Mat. 8. v. 16, 17. He cast out the Spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the Pro­phet, saying, himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses, though there is no questi­on [Page 134] but this place was likewise to be under­stood of his suffering for us, and taking our sins upon him upon the Cross, and so it is expresly applied by St. Peter. 1 Pet. 2. 24. Who his own self bare our sins in his own body, on the Tree, that we being dead to sin, should live unto Righteousness, by whose stripes ye were healed.

Ib. p. x. As they are related by the Evan­gelists themselves, &c. and by and by—although those Types and Prophecies have not been taken notice of by the Evange­lists themselves—which two things may seem contradictory; but my meaning is, that the matters of fact have been taken notice of, but their Typical Relation hath not, which may very well be, and so that Prophecy, he vvas numbred with Transgres­sours, is indeed taken notice of by the E­vangelists, as relating to the Messias, but not in the sense in which I have explained it:

Ib. p. xx. And how it came into the Do­ctour's head, &c. he had it from Servetus and Socinus, and such other modern An­ti-trinitarian Sticklers, and by this you may know whose part the Doctour takes, when he tells you so dogmatically, then must it needs follow, &c. For this was one-way by [Page 135] which those Hereticks were used to expose and ridicule the Trinity; they are the words of Calvin, who translates needs must follow by stulte, as much as to say, then must it needs not follow, Instit. Lib. 1. c. 13. §. 25. Stulte etiam putant se ex nostra sententia col­ligere quaternitatem stat [...]i, quia falso & ca­lumniose cerebri sui commentum nobis aseri­bunt, quasi derivative singamus prodire ex una essentia tres personas: quam ex scriptis nostris liqueat non abstra [...]ere nos personas ab essentia, sed quamvis in ipsa resideant, distin­ctionem interponere, si separat [...] essent ab essen­tia personae, probabilis forte esset eorum ratio, sed hoc modo Trinitas esset Deorum non Per­sonarum, quas in se continet unus Deus, ita solvitur futilis eorum quaestio, concurrat ne es­sentia ad conflandam Trinitat [...]m? quasi tres Deos ex illa descendere Imaginemur. I leave the Doctor to construe this passage of Cal­vin at his leisure, and I think the ground of his cavillation is sufficiently destroyed by what I have said in the sequel of this Epistle, wherein I have shewn plainly, how the same Numerical Divine Substance con­curs to the constituting of three several Persons.

But here I cannot forbear doing Calvin a piece of Justice, the Rhemish Annotators [Page 136] upon John c. 1. & c. 10. have accused him of making the Son, as such, self-originated and independent of the Father, which is false, though they have quoted places that may seem to favour and justifie such a censure, but Calvin distinguishes and explains him­self in the same Paragraph, out of which I have produced the former words: Dei­tatem absolute, saith he, ex seipsa esse dici­mus, unde & sili [...]m, quat [...]nus Deus est, fa­temur ex seipso esse, sublato personae respectu: quatenus vero filius est, dicimus esse ex patre, ita estentia ejus Principio caret: personae vero principium est ipse Deus, but it is not equal­ly true what he says a little above of God the Father or the Divine substance, ad di­stinctionem (personarum) non concurrit ut pars vel membrum, for I have shewn that he does so in the two subordinate Persons, with­out which, the one of them would not be so much as a Person, and the other would not be God, but enough of this, by comparing this place of Mr. Calvin, with the needs must Doctrine of the Intel­lectual System, we see who and who are together, which was the thing I designed.

Ib. LXXV. of which I shall have occasi­on to say more hereafter, &c.) I have pointed somewhat generally and obscurely [Page 137] at it p. 98. where I say that the Marcellian Party among other Heresies, condemned those of the Manichees and the Valentinians. For I reckon that the [...] which they have condemned and the [...] of Valen­tinus were the same, as I have here decla­red, the words of Epiphanius are [...], &c.

Ib. 91. [...], &c. By this Marcellus declares, that there is but One God Almighty, or one Divine Substance which is nothing else, but God the Father, who is peculiarly called [...] and this is all that I contend for.

Ib. p. 103. Three hundred and ten Bi­shops, &c.) the Council of Nice, long after this consisted but of 318. unless you will take Eutychius his account, who inlarges this number to an incredible proportion, so that whether we are to understand this strictly, of 310. Diocesan Bishops, in those early times of the Church, or whether the Chorepiscopi, or in general Presbyters are to be taken in, I leave it to be considered, but the words of Ephiphanius will admit no other safe interpretation, and the argument is e­very whit as strong, which way soever you take it; and the same expedient may perhaps [Page 138] salve the credit of Eutychius as to the num­ber of Bishops assembled in the Council of Nice.

Ib. p. 162. Who though he disclaims it in one place of his system, &c. for p. 630. He says that the Arians were Formal Idolaters, though he will not allow them to have been materially and really so.

Ib. and though he thanks God in ano­ther, &c.) p. 628. ‘wherefore we cannot saith he, but take notice here of a won­derful Providence of Almighty God, that that this Doctrine of a Trinity of Divine Hypostases should find such admittance and entertainment in the Pagan World, and be received by the wisest of all their Philosophers, before the times of Christi­anity, thereby to prepare a more easie way for the reception of Christianity a­mong the Learned Pagans—Excel­lent shuffling and cutting upon my word, and shows if I am not mistaken, by so many and so remarkable samples of his Sincerity, that he scarce believes himself to have proved the existence of a God, when at the same time, when he admires and a­dores Gods Providence; for preserving the notion of a Trinity of Divine Persons, all along stirring in the Heathen World, yet [Page 139] notwithstanding in defyance of that Provi­dence, he hath made it his business to baf­fle and expose it.

Discourse concerning the Messias p. 15. as much in Hebrew as to say, the Beloved,) the same is the signification of the name Dido in Virgill, by reason of the Beauty and Gracefulness of her Person, which from another root gave name to her Sister Anna in the same Poet. The same was the reason why Solomon was called Jedi­diah, by Nathan the Prophet, for it is said, 2 Sam. 12. 24. that the Lord loved him, and v. 25. He called his Name Jedidiah, because of the Lord, and 2 Kings 22. 1. Josiahs Mother is called Jedidah, as I suppose, for the same reason, or perhaps Jedidah, int his last instance is only the Feminine of Jedid, which is as much as David or Dido, signi­fying Beloved, as Jedidiah is Beloved of God by the addition of Jah.

Discourse of the Divine Extension p. 71. subtle matter of the Heavens is moved in a Circle, &c,) or rather in an Eliptical or Parabolical Figure, because the Phenomena to be explained, required such a constru­ction of his Vortices, and because there would of necessity have happen'd a vacui­ty between his vortices, without it, other­wise [Page 140] I cannot see; the endeavour of the subtle matter, being naturally equal, for ought appears to the contrary, to receed in all parts from the Centre, why all the vorti­ces were not exactly circular, as is to be seen in Whirl-pooles in the water, but the great reason why he built his vortices after this manner, was not taken from nature but necessity; for without this, they would not have filled a Space; they would have spoil­ed his notion of extension, they would have been destroyed by flowing into the Trian­gular Spaces that in this case must have been left between the vortices, they would not have salved the Phaenomena, as they make a lame shift to do now; and after all how to place three or four vortices together, so as notwithstanding their contiguity and per­petual rubbing, they shall not obstruct each others motions, needs a wiser man than Des Cartez to contrive. For he himself hath not done it in my Opinion.

To be added to the Notes.

Discourse of the Messias, p. 3. who car­ries envy and disobedience in his Name. From Kinne in Pihel, which signifies as much as invidere, aem [...]lari, as also Zeloty­pum [Page 141] esse, Zelo affectum esse, Zelo prosequi vel commoveri, and from hence, Simon who is called [...], had his Name, or as he is o­therwise called [...] corruptly for [...], the Cananite, for the Cannite, Matt. 10. 4.

Ib. Paulo post. which the present Maso­rethical Bibles do embrace. For the sea­venty translated, and consequently read it otherwise [...] See Mr. Selden in his de diis syris; but the sense is much what the same if the version of the 70 in this place have any sense at all.

Add to the Note upon page 15.

Jedid or Jadid is the Future tense in Hi­phil, having the signification of the present, then which nothing is more frequent in the Hebrew Language, from Doud, which with­out question in the Antient Hebrew signifi­ed as much as amabilem esse, or esse in deli­ciis, and so Jedidiah is quem Deus amat, and other instances there are of a like nature in proper names, as Jeremiah, from roum or ram which signifies exhaltation, is quem Deus exaltat, Jechezchel or Ezekiel, is quem Deus adjuva [...]t, from the Root Chazak, and Jerubbaal, from roub litigare, is qui [Page 142] Baali dicam scribit, vel qui cum eodem bel­lum gerit, vel instituit certamen.

Ib. p. 24. Alma in the Punic, &c. the words of St. Jerome are, Lingua Punica quae de Hebreorum fontibus manare dicitur pro­prie virgo Alma appellatur.

Ib. p. 25. Isaac carries joy and gladness in his name) From the root Tsachak, risit, ar­risit; so where it is said, Gen. 8. That Abi­melech looking out of his window, saw Isaac sporting with his wife; in the Original it is, vehinneh jitschak Metacheek, where Tsachak does without question signifie [...] For by this Abimelech knew her to be his wife—And when Abraham made a great Feast at the weaning of Isaac, it is said Gen. 21. 9. That Sarah saw the Son of Ha­gar the Aegptian which she had born unto A­braham, mocking, in the Hebrew it is Met­sachek the 70, as if the name of Tsaac were alluded to, in this word, [...]. So where Sarah is said to have laughed within her self at the news that she should be with Child in her old age; the word there also is Tsachak with allusion to the name of Isaac that was to be born, three times re­peated, Gen. 18. v. 13, 15.

Pag. 29. answers to the Hebrew Iachid) v. Bochart geog. sacr.

Ib. p. 30. signifying a Queen or Princess) Sarah is the Feminine of Sar signifying a Prince or Lord; which is likewise the signification of Mar and Maran in Syriack, whence Miriam the Prophetess had her name; which is in Greek [...] and [...]

P. 31. By Sanchuniathon, Annobret, &c. Bochart. in geograph sacr.

P. 38. As Epiphanius hath reported) I have not Epiphanius now at hand, but as I remember, he makes Joseph to have been 70 or 80 years of age, when he was Be­trothed to the Blessed Virgin.

Spicilegium tertium.

Epist- Ded. p. 103. The Holy City that is, Jerusalem: So Jerusalem is frequently cal­led in many places, both of the Old and New Testament, which it is needless to re­cite.

Epist. Ded. p. 117. Sun stand thou still in Gibeon, and thou Moon in the Valley of Ai­jalon. I grant that these two, as is certain from divers places in Scripture, were real places in the land of Palestine, but yet the Sun could not stand still in the midst of Heaven in Gibeon, but it must do equally so to all places in the same Meridi­an, at the same time, and to all other pla­ces whatsoever, that were in any other Meridian, at the same certain distance from it, wherefore I take them rather in this place, to be technical Terms, Gibeon is the Zenith of any place, (and of Gibeon it self in this instance,) from Gabah altum, elatum esse, for it is said expresly, that the Sun stood still in the midst of Heaven, that is, in the Zenith or Vertical Point, and the Valley of Ajalon, being as proverbially famous for a low and hollow Valley, as the other was for a mountanous and hilly place, signified [Page 145] the Nadir, or at the least the depression of the Moon, somewhere beneath the Earth; for they had no notion of the An­tipodes. Viderint eruditi.

Discourse of the Messias. p. 20. and by the writings of Daniel, they were instruct­ed in the time of his appearance, see Dan. 9. v. 25, 26.

Ib. p. 41. That the Messias was expected by the Jews themselves, at the very time when our Saviour appeared:) John the Bap­tist did openly declare himself to be the immediate forerunner of the Messias that was to come, and he did implicitly ac­knowledge at his Baptism, that our Jesus was the very Person, who, according to his own Character, coming after him was to be preferred before him, John 1. 27. for so he did actually prefer him before himself, Mat. 3. 14. I have need to be baptised of thee, and comest thou to me? nay, he acknow­ledges still more expresly, that the Messias was actually come, John 1. 6. I Baptize with water, but there standeth one among you whom ye know not, that is, the Messias, as he expresses himself more fully, Mat. 3. 11. I indeed baptise you with water unto Repen­tance; but he that cometh after me is mightier then I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear, [Page 146] he shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost and with Fire, again John 1. 36. John looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, behold the Lamb of God. By which it is plain that he did at once acknowledge him to be the Messias, and that the Messias was to be a Sacrifice for the Sins of the World, that is, a suffering, not a triumphant Person, as the Jews at that time generally expected, not excepting some of the Disciples them­selves, which was the reason of that am­bitious request of the Mother of the Sons of Zebedec, in behalf of her Children, that the one might sit on his right hand, and the other on his left in his Kingdom, and that the Disciples of John, who heard him un­derstood him of the Messias, is plain, by v. 37. 40, 41. compard together, v. 37. and the two Disciples (that were with John v. 35.) heard him speak, and they followed Jesus, and then v. 40, 41. One of the two which heard John speak, was Andrew, Simon Peter's Brother, he first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, we have found the Messias, which is being interpreted, the Christ. So Philip also acknowledgeth him to be the Christ. v. 45. We have found him, of whom Moses in the Law, and the Prophets did write, and Nathaniel. v. 49. Rabbi, thou [Page 147] art the Son of God, thou art the King of Is­rael, but yet John the Baptist afterwards being in Prison, and hearing our Saviours miracles, seems to have doubted with him­self, whether he were really the Messias that was expected, though he still might look upon himself to be the forerunner of that Messias, and might expect his appea­rance, as about that time, notwithstand­ing he was not at that time fully assured, that our Saviour was indeed the very Per­son. Mat. 11. 2, 3. Now when John heard in Prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his Disciples and said unto him, art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? In answer to which our Saviour proves his unction, and undoubted defignation to the Messiasship, by his miracles, and by the uni­versall charity and good will, that appeared as well in his miracles as his Doctrine. v. 4. 5. Jesus answered and said unto them, go and shew John those things which ye do hear and see, the Blind receive their sight and the Lame walk; the Leapers are cleansed, and the Deaf hear, the Dead are raised up, and the Poor have the Gospel preached to them, and then it follows, v. 6. and blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me, that is whosoe­ver, upon the Testimony of those mira­cles [Page 148] which I daily work, and out of a true relish and savour of that excellent Doctrine which I daily preach, shall acknowledge me without scruple or hesitancy for the Mes­sias, and shall believe in me and follow me as such.

Furthermore, that he was generally ex­pected as well by Jews as Samaritans, about the time when he appeared, is evident of the Jews, first by the message which they sent from Jerusalem to John the Baptist. Jo. 1. 19, 20, 21. This is the Record of John, when the Jews sent Priests and Levites from Jerusalem, to ask him who art thou? And he confessed and denied not, but confessed, I am not the Christ; And they asked him, what then art thou Elias? And he saith I am not; Art thou that Prophet; And he answered no, Now these would have been very imper­tinent questions, upon supposition that the Messias or his forerunner Elias, or some other great Prophet in the Spirit, & as it were the Mantle of Elias, baring Testimony of him, and preparing the way for his imme­diate reception, were not expected at that time.

Secondly, this appears again concerning the Jews, by that question of our Saviour to his Disciples, Matt. 16. v. 13. Whom do [Page 149] Men say that I the Son of Man am? To which they answer v. 14. Some say thou art John the Baptist, some Elias, and others Jeremias or one of the Prophets; which is as much as to say, that the Jews were then gene­rally of opinion, that it was necessary, just before the coming of the Messias, that E­lias or some other of the Prophets should rise from the dead, to bear Testimony to him, and that that time was now come, our Saviour by his miracles appearing to be such a Person, as they thought; for the Scribes, that is, the more learned and know­ing sort among the Jews, expected two things concerning the Messias (besides that, he was not to be an afflicted but a trium­phant and a glorious Person, the King of Israel, and such a King, whose Kingdom was to be of this World) First, that he was to be of the Linage and Seed of Da­vid; as appears by our Saviours question, Mark. 12. 35. How say the Scribes, that Christ is the Son of David? And secondly, that be­fore his coming, Elias or some other Pro­phet was to rise from the dead to give no­tice of it, as appears by another question of the Disciples to him, Mat. 17. 10. Why then say the Scribes, that Elias must first come? That is, Elias or some other of the Pro­phers [Page 150] in the Spirit of Elias, and of equal dignity with him, as appears by what hath been said already, and as appears by our Saviours answer, ver. 12. Elias is come al­ready, and they knew him not; speaking of John the Baptist as the Disciples themselves understood it, ver. 13. Which John the Baptist did also declare of himself, that he was the forerunner of Christ in the Spirit of Elias; but he was not believed, because he had not yet risen from the dead, as he was conjectur'd afterwards by Herod the Tetrarch to have done, Mat. 14. 12. At that time Herod the Tetrarch heard of the Fame of Jesus, and said unto his Servants, this is John the Baptist, he is risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. And therefore? where­fore? what meerly because he was risen from the dead? no, but because he was supposed to arise from the dead, for this end, to confirm by Miracles what he had said before; that he was the Forerunuer of the Messias that was to come. For with­out this the Jews would not believe him to be the Elias or the Preparatory Pro­phet that was expected; and upon this no­tion of the Jews, that one risen from the dead was to prepare the way for the Mes­sias [Page 151] that was to come, that circumstance in the parable of the Rich man was founded in the 16th of St. Luke, where he beggs of Abraham, that he would send Lazarus to his Fathers house, to give his Brethren warning, that they might not come into the same place of Torment, verse 29. Abraham saith unto him, they have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them; to which he answers in the next words—ver. 30. nay, Father Abraham, but if one went unto them from the dead they will repent. And perhaps it was to humour this fancy of the Jews, which the Disci­ples themselves as Jews, may reasonably be supposed to have entertained, that Moses and Elias, met as it were at a conference or assignation with our Saviour in an high Mountain in the presence of Peter, James and John, three of the most belo­and highly favoured Disciples, Mat. 17. 3.

Lastly, that the Samaritans had the same opinion with the Jews, that the Messias was expected at the time when our Savi­our appeared upon the Earth, may be seen from the words of the Samaritan-woman, speaking of his coming as a thing then in a manner present, a thing just at the door, and beginning actually to be accomplisht, John 4. 25. I know that Messias cometh, [Page 152] which is called Christ; when he is come, he will tell us all things. And our Saviour assures her in the next verse, that he him­self was the very person, but she not so much relying upon that, as upon his Prophe­tical insight into the most particular pas­sages of her life, said unto the men of the City where she dwelt, verse 29. Come see a man which told me all things that ever I did; is not this the Christ? the Christ that was then expected, the Messias that was then looked upon as being just at the door.

And this was the reason why our Savi­our so frequently forewarned his Disciples to beware of False Prophets, and False Christs; because that being the time when the Christ or the Messias was expected, e­very pretence to the Messiasship was the more dangerous, and the more apt to de­ceive. If you ask why they did not receive him as the Christ, notwithstanding his Miracles, and the time so exactly suiting with the received opinion of the Jews? the answer is fourfold. First, they thought him to have been born in Nazareth of Ga­lilee, from whence no good could arise, as it was then proverbially said, not in Bethlem of Judah; secondly they looked upon him as the Son of Joseph the Carpen­ter, [Page 153] whom they did not look upon to be of the Lineage of David; not of the Vir­gin Mary only, by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost. Thirdly, his opposing himself so much as he did to the Hypocrisie and Formality of the Scribes and Phari­sees, engaged a strong and powerful Facti­on against him, who were resolved whate­ver came of it, to decry him all they could, and blast his reputation to the utmost of their power. Fourthly, they expected not a Suffering, but a Triumphant Messias, who should restore the Kingdom to Israel, and trample upon the necks of all their e­nemies throughout the world, which was the reason of Herods killing of all the children, from two years old and under, as hoping to find the Christ among them, whom he looked upon as a Temporal Prince, thinking by this means to secure the Kingdom to himself.

Ib. p. 55. In several places of the New-Testament, and in one of the old) Dan. 4. 26. Mat. 5. 34. & 21, 25. & 23. 22. Luke 15. 18, 21. James 5. 12. See my discourse of the Tetragrammation.

Discourse of the Divine Extension, p. 97. having separated those things which God and Nature have separated from one [Page 154] another, and joyned those things and no­tions, &c.) nay, tho we are in a mistake, the consequence is the same; equally na­tural and easie, and equally certain; that nothing but an Immaterial Being can so much as be mistaken or think amiss. Co­gitation in general whether true or false, whether of simple apprehension, proposition or inference, or of what kind soever, be­ing sufficient to infer the Existence of a Being, which is not matter.

FINIS.

ERRATA.

Epist. Ded.

PAge 18. l. 9, 10. for insinuated r. intimated. p. 26. l. 8, 9. ib. for specially r. specifically. p. 29. l. 1. ib. for un­conceived r. uncreated. p. 32. l. 12. ib. for sufficient r. suffici­ently. p. 39. l. 22. for facundity r. fecundity. p. 58. l. 13, 14, r. and moveable Circumference. p. 76. l. 12. for this r. his. p. 90. l. 15. for divisible r. indivisible. p. 103. for out- r. out­ward. p. 123. l. 2. after with, insert the. p. 124. l. 7. after so, insert to. p. 142. l. 20. for foundation r. foundations. ib. l. 22. for imployed r. implyed. ib. l. 25. for acceptable r. aspe­ctable. p. 145. l. 3, 4. r without. p. 152. l. 14, 15. for cal­led r all. p. 156. as if in the first case, &c. ib. l. 27. r. na­tures. p. 160. l. 13. for those r. the. p. 162. l. 16. for de­straction r. demonstration.

Discourse of the MESSIAS.

p. 2. l. 26. r. dispatched. p. 8. l. 22. for to r. too. p. 10. l. 25. for to r. of. p. 25. l. 6. r. Rabbins. p. 31. l. 16. r. Sanchuni­athon. ib. l. 17. r. Annobret. p. 25. l. 27. r. Judah and Tha­mar. ib. dele and before Pharats. p. 36. l. 1. r. as well as. p. 36. l. 18. for another r, any other. In the Appendix con­cerning the Divine Extension. p. 66. l. 7. after and insert that. p. 74. l. 20. for notion r. motion, p. 79. l. penult. for [...]. p. 83. l. 16. for doth r. do.

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