THE SUMME OF CHRISTI …

THE SUMME OF CHRISTIAN RELIGION, DELIVERED BY ZACHARIAS URSINUS,

First, by way of CATECHISM, and then afterwards more enlarged by a sound and judicious EXPOSITION, and APPLICATION of the same.

Wherein also are debated and resolved the Questions of whatsoever points of moment have been, or are controversed in DIVINITIE.

First Englished by D. HENRY PARRY, and now again conferred with the best and last Latine Edition of D. DAVID PAREUS, sometimes Professour of Divinity in Heidelberge.

Whereunto is added a large and full Alphabeticall TABLE of such matters as are therein contained: Together with all the Scriptures that are occasionally handled, by way either of Controversie, Expo­sition, or Reconciliation; neither of which was done before, but now is performed for the Readers delight and benefit.

To this WORK of URSINUS are now at last annexed the THEOLOGICALL MISCELLANIES Of D. DAVID PAREUS: In which the orthodoxall Tenets are briefly and solidly confirmed, and the contrary Errours of the Papists, Ubiquitaries, Antitrinitaries, Eutychians, Socinians, and Arminians fully refuted;

And now translated into English out of the originall Latine Copie: By A. R.

LONDON, Printed by James Young, and are to be sold by Steven Bowtell, at the signe of the Bible in Popes-head Alley. 1645.

TO THE CHRISTIAN READERS, HENRY PARRY wisheth grace and peace through Jesus Christ our Lord.

WHereas but a small and short remnant of daies is alloted unto every of us, to try the hazzard and adventure of this world in Christs holy merchandize (yet forty yeeres, and the youngest may, the oldest must depart) I being subject to this common case and most certain uncertain­ty of our life, neither knowing, if perhaps at this present my staffe standeth next the doore; have bin, and am desirous and earnest in this behalfe, so to bestow all my possible endeavours in this my Lord and Ma­sters traffique, as that I may not return unto him with a talent in a Napkin, and withall may leave behinde mee some poore token and testimony of my love and duty towards him and his blessed Spouse, with future posterity. Which my desire and earnest deliberation, struggling and striving so long within mee, untill it had gotten the conquest of such shamefast and fearefull motions, wherewith men are well acquainted, who are at all acquainted with their own infirmities: I was thereby at length drawn to this bold and hardy resolution, as to commit something to the presse, and so to the eyes of them, whose great and sharp censures I have ever with trembling thought of heretofore, and e­ven now would fly them with all willingnesse.

Wherefore also in respect hereof, and of the greennesse of my age, so hath the flame and heat of my desire been slacked and cooled with the water as it were of feare, wherewith I shake in mine owne conceit; as I have not presu­med to draw any shaft out of mine own quiver, or to present the world with an untimely fruit of so young a tree: but rather have made choice of a shaft out of the Lords Armory, framed by the hand and skill of the Lords work­man, fit to make the man blessed who hath his quiver full of them.

If yet in this I have been presumptuous, if bold, if undiscreet, if foolish; my Brethren, for your sakes have I been so, for your sakes have I been pre­sumptuous, bold, undiscreet, and foolish, even for you and for your children. The greater is my hope and trust, that these, whatsoever my paines and la­bours, shall finde favour and grace in your sights, and receive good entertain­ment at your hands; because for you they have been undertaken, and the gaines and commodities that shall arise thereof (if by the blessed will of God any shall arise) shall redound unto you and yours for ever.

It is a case lamentable, deserving the bowels of all Christian pity and com­passion, and able to cause the teares of sorrow to gush out and stream downe the face of a man, who is not frozen too hard in security, and in uncharitable carelesnesse, when he shall but lift up his eies, and see the waste and desola­tion of so many distressed soules, who in so many places of this our land and country have been, and are daily either pined away and consumed to the bone for lacke of Gods sustenance, the Bread of life, the Word of God, the only pre­servative of the soule: or, through the deceitfull poyson of that old Sorceresse and Witches children, infected and baned unrecoverably. Alas! poore soules, faine would they have somewhat to keep life within them: and therefore, as famished and starved creatures, which have been for a space pounded up and pin folded in a ground of barrennesse, debarred of all succour and reliefe, when­ever they may light of any thing that may goe downe the throat, be it as bit­ter as gall, and as deadly as poyson, they swallow bitternesse as Sugar, and licke up death as sweet hony: And yet (I rue to speak it) such is the hard heartednesse and brutish unnaturalnesse of many mercilesse men, if yet men, who have so flinted their fore-heads, seared and sealed up their minds and con­sciences in all impiety, as that they have entered as it were into a league and bond with themselves to forget Christ, never to know the man more, never to speak in the name of Jesus, never to feed the flock of Jesus, whose soules are even as great and deare to him, as the price they cost him: For, had not these men sworn, likeOf Valenti­nus the Cardi­nals religion, who (grace­lesse man) ab jured his Ec­clesiastical vo­cation, to be lifted up to a temporall Dukedome. Sab. Enncad. 10. lib. 9. sons of the earth, to possesse the earth for ever, and to leave heaven, and the heires of heaven, even the chosen of God, to God him­selfe to looke to: it were uncredible, nay, unpossible were it, that after so ma­ny threats and warnings from heaven, from earth, from God, from men, from their foes abroad, and their friends at home, they should not yet once, not once descend into a dutifull consideration of this their heavie trespasse, and so with a speedy industry and assiduity re-enter and recover those their forsaken Charges, which a long while have languished, and worne away for want of pasture, and lye now (the deare Lambs of Christ Jesus) stretching on the [Page]ground for faintnesse, fetching their groans deep, and their pants thick, as ready to give over, and to yeeld up the ghost: O Lord, Jerem. 5.3. are not thine eies upon the truth? thou hast stricken these men, but they have not sorrowed: thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a stone, and have refused to return. Not the losses and unsupportable calamities of Christs people, not the miserable Apostasie and grievous falling away (woe to us therefore) of multitudes of the ignorant and unlettered men from the A­postolike Faith, and the Church of Christ, not the certain dangers and haz­zards of their own persons, Wives, Children and Kins-folks (with all which rods of his fatherly chastisement God hath lately, in his justice, tempered with surpassing mercy, visited them) can awake or rouze them out of that dead and deadly slumber, whereby they have, as much as in them lieth, betray­ed to the powers and forces of Sathan Gods sacred inheritance, and laid open the precious flock of Christ to the mouthes and teeth of Wolves.

But would God the burthen of this sin rested onely on the necks of these wretchlesse persons, whose extreme barbarity yet in letting, through their pro­fane absence, their harmlesse sheep to drop away by famine of the Word, hath raised a louder cry and clamour against them in the eares of God, than any we are able to make by our most just complaint in the eares of men. Another swarm of Caterpillers there are, the very trash and rif-raffe of our Nation: who deeming it a more easie life to say Service in the Church, than doe ser­vice in the house, and to stand at the Altar of God, than to follow the plough of their Master, have, like men of idle and dissolute quality, only moved thereto in a lazie speculation, laid their wicked and sacrilegious hands on the Lords Arke, unreverently entered with shooes and all into his Temple, taken his un­defiled testimonies in their defiled mouthes, disgraced, defaced, and defamed the glory and majesty of Divine rites and mysteries, through their beggarly entring into, and base demeaning themselves in so high an office. Gape not these men, trowe you, for new miracles to raine out of heaven? as if Christ must needs for their sakes lay the foundation of his Church againe, and call againe from the Net, and the receipt of Custome, and other Trades of this world, such as he would despatch abroad for his holy Message, that so these Artisans might be invested with Apostle-ships, Doctor-ships, and the roomes of Prophets, as ready men after a nights sleep, or an houres transe, to turne the Book of God, and mannage the Keyes of heaven. But, my friend, be not deceived; awake out of sleep, and dream no more: Thou art no Prophet; Zach. 13 5. thou art an husband-man, and taught to be an heard-man from thy youth [Page]up. Get away therefore with speed from the Lords house: if thou be a clea­ver, to thy wedge and axe; if an hinde, to thy Masters plough; but meddle not with Gods affaires, lest he break out upon thee, and destroy thee.

But in vaine spend I words to brasse and iron, who, though the Lord have held in his hand for a long time the viall of his wrath, and is now weary with holding it any longer, and about to powre it out upon them for this their horri­ble transgression, yet stagger they not a whit at it, but run out, like hungry companions, with an eye only to the flesh-pots, and so sell both themselves and their people for a morsell of Bread, and a messe of pottage, to the Divell. Shall not I visit for these things, saith the Lord? Or shall not my soul be avenged on such a Nation as this? Jerem 9.9. Yes doubtlesse: He who is able to muster the clouds and winds, and to fight with heavenly powers a­gainst us, shall and will, if we leave not off to make havocke of his children, be avenged on us: hee shall raise up the standard, and make the trumpet blow, neither shall suffer the sight of the one to passe our eyes, nor the sound of the o­ther to forsake our eares, untill destruction come upon destruction, death upon death, plague upon famine, and sword upon both, to the utter overthrow both of our selves and country perpetually. Nay rather, O God, if there be any place for mercy (and why should we doubt of mercy with thee the God of mer­cy?) lookt not upon this drosse and filth, wherewith thine holy house hath been polluted, but sweep them out: but look, O Lord, with thy tender eyes of compassion upon thy silly people (for what have they done?) and stir them up daily, for Pastors and Prophets, wise and skilfull men, whose lips may keep knowledge, and whose hands may break unto them the bread of life.

Now, that this may have a more mature and happy successe, I am humbly to beseech and solicite (if so this my simple work come unto their hands) the reverend Fathers of this Land, to whom I acknowledge all duty and submissi­on in the Lord, and whom with all reverence I solicite in this the Lords cause, that, if their authority be not able to stretch so far as to the throwing out of these dumb, deafe, and blind watch-men, out of Gods Tabernacle, into which they have shuffled (against many of their Honours wils) by those accursed Si­moniacall Patrons, who have sodered and simoned the wals of their houses, with the very bloud of soules: yet it may please their wisedomes to constraine and compell these, wheresoever they shall finde them in any of their Diocesses, to the reading and diligent studying of those Bookes, which their owne Coun­try-men, moved with more pity towards them and their flockes, have painfully delivered unto them in a tongue familiar and common to them all.

And if it shall seem so good and expedient to their Honours, to adjoyne these my labours unto the pains and travels of many the servants of God, who have with great praise endeavoured in the like matter, on the like respects heretofore; I make no doubt, but that out of this short, yet full Summe of Christian Religion, God adding his blessing thereunto, they may in short time receive such furniture and instruction, as they shall save both themseves and others, who both else are in case to perish everlastingly. But if their feet will walk on in the way of blindnesse, and themselves refuse to come out of the darknesse of ignorance, into the bright light of Gods knowledge: yet will I not faint in hope for Israel, but will yet look when once againe God himselfe shall smite on rocks, and water shall flow out of them, that his people in this time of drought may drink.

Even so, O God, for thy promise sake, and for thy troth of old plighted in thy beloved Son vnto thy Chosen, open the rock of stone againe, let againe the waters, the living waters of thy Word flow out, and let the saving rivers of thy Gospel run, and stop not, through all drie places of our Land, that men and Angels may see the felicitie of thy Chosen, and rejoyce in the gladnesse of thy people, and give thanks, and praise, and glory, and honour, with thine inheritance, vnto thy blessed Name for ever.

URSINE'S HORTATORY ORATION TO THE STUDY of Divinity, together with the mani­fold use of Catechisme.

WHereas, by the advice of them that have the charge of your studies, I was appointed to publish an abridgment of those heads of Christian religion, as were of you to be learned: I seriously acknowledge and confesse such a bu­sinesse was required of mee, as to which nothing can be lesse answerable than are my defects: For, this is a do­ctrine which (I say) not only is still unknowne to the wise­est, and most sharp-witted of men,Angels in part ignorant of the Gospel, till they were in­formed by the word of Christ. unlesse they be taught by the voice of the Church, and efficacy of the Spirit; but also in a great part was unknown to the Angels themselves before it was disclosed by the Son, from the se­cret bosome of his eternall Father. Which to unfold and praise, if men and Angels should bend all the strength of wit and eloquence,1 Pet 1.12. yet were they never able to speak of it, according to the due compasse and worth of the thing. Whiles therefore I think with my self how much I might sinke un­der this charge, I had rather it were committed to another, who, at least, might somewhat better, and more successively undergoe the same: But when I well weigh the nature of mine office, I perceive I ought with all cheerefulnesse both to help forward your salvation, and obey God that calls me to so honourable an imployment; especially he promising mee as­sistance, with which whosoever are assisted, may despaire in nothing: for God will be effectuall by weak and abject meanes; according to that of the Psalmist, Out of the mouthes of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength. Psal. 8.2. The word there used, signifieth a child which beginneth to understand and speak. There are that are commonly called children, not onely in regard of age, but also in regard of ability of understanding,Two sorts of children. or performance of a­ny action. Infants, though such in age, are sufficient witnesses of the divine goodnesse and providence, being cleare evidences of Gods presence, in the wonderfull propagation, conservation and education of humane off-spring,Humane off­spring an ar­gument a gainst Atheists denying God. abundantly confuting Divels, and all Atheists that deny either God to be God, or to be such a God as hee hath said himselfe [...] Our Savi­our interpreteth that saying of the Psalmist, of confession.Acts 17.27, 28, 29. Mat. 21.16. In which kind it agreeth unto us all who do meditate or speak any thing concerning God. [Page]For we are all infants in understanding and utterance,In some kind wee are all in­fants. touching all mat­ters divine. In this life we attain but some small beginnings of those things, as the Emperour Gratian, in his confession to Ambrose, piously and truely writes: We speak (saith hee) of God, not what we ought, but what we are able; yea, the Prophets and the Apostles themselves confesse the same thing: 1 Cor. 13.9. For we know in part, and we prophesie in part; but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. And in v. 12. Now we see through a glasse darkely, but then face to face.

But, notwithstanding the beginnings wee learne are small, and also the voice of the ministery be proportioned to our capacity, therein God him­self speaking with us, as with babes, and permitteth us, like babes to speak to him; yet so would the Lord have the doctrine touching himselfe to be known,No hope of life to come, but by know­ing the things revealed con­cerning God. as that he gives us no hope of another life, by any other means. Yea, those beginnings, whatsoever they are, doe with so great a distance surpasse all humane wisedome, that there is no comparison between it and them; for these rudimennts, which to reason are hidden wisdome, are both necessary and sufficient to everlasting salvation. Let us therefore, not onely acknowledge our infancy, but desire also to be of the number of sucking babes. For as the babe growes not to ripenesse of man-hood, unlesse he be fed with the mothers milk, or convenient food: so we likewise, that we may not fail of our hoped perfection,1 Pet. 1.1, 2. ought not to refuse the milk of the Word, whereby we are nourished and suckled to eternall life. This is that spiritu­all infancy well pleasing to the Lord, as Christ witnesseth, rebuking the Pharisees disdain of the childrens cry in the Temple, Hosanna to the Son of Da­vid. These are those infants, in whose voice the Lord will be effectuall: By whose mouthes (as the Psalmist addeth) hee perfecteth strength; Psal. 8.2. Mollerus upon the 8. Psal. v. 2. A description of the king­dom of Christ. or (as they translate who weigh the originall) foundeth a kingdome. Hee speaketh of the strength or kingdome, which is seen in this life, called the kingdome of Christ: which is, the Son of God instituting and preserving of a ministe­ry, thereby gathering a Church, quickning beleevers by the sound of the Gospel, and sanctifying them by the holy Spirit to eternall life, defending the Church in this life against the kingdome of the Divell, and after this life raising them up holy to eternall life; that in them may reign the God­head evidently, and not covertly by the ministery.

The foundati­on of Christs kingdome is Christ, and how many waies.That which is the foundation of this kingdome, St. Paul declares, 1 Cor. 3.11. Other foundation can no man lay, than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Christ is the foundation, first in his proper person: Because all the mem­bers of his kingdom, namely the Saints, being conjoyned and inserted into him, doth he carry about him, keeping and holding them together, as the foundation doth the other parts of the building, as the vine doth its bran­ches. Then again by his doctrine: For, as good laws are the sinews of a poli­ticall-kingdom: so this kingdom is gathered, kept, and governed, by the doctrine concerning Christ. And as without a foundation the building cannot consist:Phil. 3.8. so unlesse we hold to Christ, and what he is, and what he hath done for us, whatsoever else may seem to be piety or comfort, it's fa­ding, it's [...] nothing.

This foundation is laid in the mouths of infants, when they, beleeving this same doctrine upon their hearing of it, do by the incitement of the holy Spi­rit [Page]learne and imbrace the same, and thereby are ingraffed and grow into one with Christ.

In this businesse of maine importance, God useth our infancy to illust­rate his glory; The greatnes of the work,Why God useth weake means for the conversion of them. and weaknes of the instrument plainly proving, that so great a matter is not effected or dependent by and on our, but Gods effectuall power. Also to the end it might blunt the in­solencie of his adversaries, when as their lofty power is subdued under our weaknes, and our seeming folly evinceth, that nothing is more foolish than their wisdom: As it is said, In silence and hope shall be your strength: For the Son of God destroyeth the works of the Divel, snatching from him them that beleeve, remitting their sin, and taking it away, and beginning in them eternall life, defending the Church, accusing and laying open the malice of the enemies, repressing and punishing them both in this present life, and at the full deliverance of the Church from all evils. And these (though hell repines) doth he work and witnes, by the miserable cryes of men: As it is said 2 Cor. 10.4. The weapons of our warfare are not carnall, but mighty through God to the pulling down of the strong holds, casting down imagina­tions, and every high thing that exalteth it self against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. And having in a readinesse to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

As therefore the basenes of the vessell detracts nothing from the worth of the wares it containeth; so our meane and infant expression of the do­ctrine, may not so far be slighted, as than it should derogate one whit from the weight of those motives which invite you to an ardent study of Divi­nity. But whiles I meditate with my self, that I am to take a view of some of those motives in this rehearfall Preface, I am sensibly so overwhelmed with an infinite masse of matter of main importance, that scarcely can I resolve whence to make an entrance. But seeing that some of them must come into consideration,The necessity of Catechismal instruction, is pressed from these motives, 1. Gods com­mand. we will put that foremost which ought to rule all our actions and indeavours; namely, the serious will of God, expressed in apparent commands. For now, we which are citizens of the Church have conference together, and know for certain, that the books of the Prophets and Apostles are most infallible declarations of the mind and will of God. And in them, here and there, are certain precepts delivered and rehearsed, which injoyn men a diligent search and knowledg of the doctrine contain­ed in those books. Such is the precept of the Decalogue touching the Sab­bath. Such is that speech of our Saviour, Luke 10.41. One thing is necessary. The knowledge of this wisdom (saith he) is eternall life. This David com­mendeth, as frequently in other places, so in the first Psalme (which he wri­teth as an Epitomie of it) for that it is a companion of true blessednes. But these have not satisfied our man-loving heavenly Father, that is solicitous of our salvation. He addeth further peculiar precepts touching that summe of doctrine that is to be published to all, especially the youth; namely, the doctrine of Catechismall instruction. Deut. 4.9. Teach them thy sons. Deut. 6.6, 7. These words shall be in thine heart. Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, &c. And thou shalt binde them for a signe upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. Here doe we heare Parents, and those to whom the charge of Parents is committed, commanded that they care [Page]to teach, or see taught the youth; the youth commanded that they learne: and both are commanded that they daily inculcate, rehearse, and meditate on this doctrine. This doctrine would the Lord have both to be delivered unto children, and also to be in our view continually. And its apparent, that brevity and plainnes are required; which what else they, but a Cate­chisme or summe of doctrine, neither prolixe, nor obscure. So Saint Paul, 2. Tim. 1.13. Hold fast the forme of sound words, which thou hast heard of mee, in faith, and love which is in Christ Jesus. In this precept of using and holding his Catechisme, we heare the definition of ours.

The forme of sound words, of C [...]echism [...]l instruct [...]o [...], de­scribed: 1 More large­ly.The Apostle meaning a draught or plat-forme of sound positions, con­cerning each point of doctrine, methodically and briefly comprised, as if it were painted before the eye; together with a kinde and maner of teaching and expression, as is both proper, plain, and agreeable with the stile of the Prophets and Apostles. Therefore doth he name sound words delivered by him, concerning faith and love in Christ: (i.e.) in the knowledge of Christ; as in sundry places he reduceth all piety to faith and love. A Catechisme then, is a summe of doctrine, delivered by the Prophets and Apostles, con­cerning faith and love in Christ.2 More briefly, two wayes. Or, is a summe of doctrine of Christianity, briefly, methodically, and plainly couched together. For it is not for us to invent opinions: but of necessity we must referre our selves, as it is, Esay 8.20. to the Law and the Testimony. And there must be added an exposi­tion, which may be both a manifestation of the parts and method, and an interpretation of words and phrases.

This reason, if there were no more, is of efficacy to them that are not of prophane minds, to excite them to the study of this sacred doctrine. For to such the command of God is a cause of all causes, though nothing more be added. But when as God is so indulgent to our weaknes, as to declare unto us the causes of this command, needs must we weigh them wtih rever­ence. Now God avoucheth, that therefore must we learn this doctrine, because by the knowledge thereof,2. Motive, our salvation. and not any other way, will he con­vert and save all that by age are of understanding, and are to be made heires of eternall life. Marvelous confidently is that spoken of Saint Paul, Rom. 1.16. The Gospel is the power of God to salvation, &c. And, 1 Cor. 1.18. The preaching of the Crosse, is to them that perish foolishnesse; but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God. And Ver. 21. It pleased God, by the fool shnesse of preaching, to save them that beleeve.

But this opinion, howsoever it be delivered, and confirmed by divers and weighty testimonies of the holy Spirit, is oppugned by the utmost endeavours of Sathan.Against the Zwenckf [...]di­ans, touching the point of the [...]fficacy of the Spirit, by the ministiy of the word. [...] For the Father of lyes, seeing how the Paradox of the foolishnesse of preaching the Crosse of Christ, doth not a little pierce the minds of men, snatcheth an occasion of suborning fanaticall minded men, who cry out, that the worke of the ministry is nothing lesse than the means of converting men; but that God communicates himself to us immediately; and that wee Ministers make our voice an Idoll. They bab­ble forth many wonderfull words, carrying with them indeed a shew of special illumination: but heare and consider, I pray, upon what foundation they relye, and how they oppose their wisedome to the divine. The om­nipotent God, say they, doth not at all need that voice, ministry, reading, [Page]meditation, to convert men: Therefore he useth not this instrument, nei­ther is a necessity of labour in learning it to be imposed upon those that are to be saved. Now, say I, to you young men; Is there any one among you so weak and childish in judgment, that doth not perceive such a one to be his­sed at, that would so argue? God can by his omnipotency easily bring to passe, that one without bookes, teachers, study, should become skilfull in all learning and doctrine: as the Apostles, and others of the Primitive Church, spake with tongues which they never learned. He can make the earth fruit­full, and bring forth fruit without the help of husbandmen. He can su­stain the nature of man without food: as Moses and Christ forty dayes: Therefore its not a necessary labour that is undertaken, or any cause of the thing we hope and expect, whiles Schollars ply their bookes and studies, Teachers goe to their schooles, Husbandmen to their ploughes, entring their shares, harrowes, and engines into the ground, and each man spends his life time to maintaine life. You see upon what rockes of blinde mad­nesse the Divell doth split unhappy men; which, having neither learned the grounds of Piety, or the more excellent Arts, nor list to take the paines of learning them, are forward notwithstanding to seeme what they least of all be; and dare exalt themselves against the knowledge of God, and bring the eternall wisdome under their censure. And they have as lit­tle wit as modesty, when as, for their opinion, they alledge the example of them that were converted by miracle; as Paul: or those indued with ex­traordinary gifts; as the Apostles at the Pentecost: or the multitude of them that heard the Gospel, and did not beleeve; or the Scriptures, which speake of the office of the holy Ghost. We know and acknowledge, that, by the blessing of God, God can, without the labour of teaching or learn­ing, convert those that he will: And this to be the end of miracles,The end of miracles. that it may appeare, that the order, whereby God is effectuall in nature, is made and freely preserved by him. We so certainly know, that conversion is the gift of God alone, as that by how much it is a greater and more wonderfull worke, to restore lost man to salvation, than to make him not having any being; by so much the more were it impudency and madnes,Conversion greater than Creation. to attribute this conversion, more than that creation, to the efficacy of mans voice. But withall, we know this too for a certain, that it pleaseth God, by the foolish­nes of preaching, to save them that beleeve. Why it pleaseth God so to do, there is no necessity he should give us an account; yet he lets us understand some reasons of that his counsell: but he propounds not the same reasons to the godly and godlesse. To the godlesse he gives this reasonReasons why God converts by mans mini­stry: 1. In regard of godlesse.2. In regard of godly. Because by this meanes hee would before the whole Church, and their conscien­ces also being witnesse, more manifest his justice in condemning the ma­lice of those that oppugne the word revealed. But other kinde of reasons take place in our consideration; namely, such as make for our instruction and consolation: viz. 1 Whereas the voice of the ministry, and all our thoughts of God are darksome, through which we now see God and his will; the Lord admonisheth us of the greatnesse of our fall, whereby it cometh to passe, that wee no longer now injoy the very sight of God, but he speaketh to us at a distance, and as by an Interpreter, and so exciting us, that we aspire to that celestiall Schoole, in which we shall immediately see [Page]God, who shall be all in all. 2 Besides, the Lord would not have the search­ing, meditation, and profession of the doctrine concerning him and his will, even in this life, to lye secret onely in the mindes of men; but would have it audibly to sound, and to be set forth in the assemblies. And there­fore tyed us with all possible necessity unto this doctrine, promising there­by to recover us againe to salvation.3 And so, when God would make men to be co-workers with him in the most excellent divine work, giving us to his only begotten Sonne for that purpose, how could he have more mani­fested his great esteem of our miserable nature? We averre therefore, that the reading, hearing, knowing of this doctrine, is a necessary meanes of our conversion: Necessary, not in regard of God, but in regard of us; not as if God could not any other way convert, as a Carpenter cannot build an house without his tooles; but because God will not convert any other wav. It is true, it is true indeed, that true faith is nones but Gods gift and worke alone; but such a gift and worke as the holy Spirit workes in us by hearing of the Word.1. Cor. 3.6. Paul planteth, Apollo watereth; but God giveth the in­crease. To the same effect also Paul calleth the Gospel by him preached, the power of God to salvation. Rom 1.16. Ephes. 4.11. the Apostle saith, He hath given some Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, some Pastors and Teachers, for the gathering together of the Saints, for the worke of the Ministry, and the edification of the body of Christ. Can a more glorious speech be uttered touching the office of teaching? Let us not therefore take upon us to be wiser than God, neither let us so much regard the pride, contumacy, and mischiefe of those that contemne the voice of the Gospel, as thereby the lesse to love and respect the fruit and efficacy of the divine ordination in the meanes of mer­cy. Nor let the sluggishnesse and obstinacy of some Schoolemen prove impediments of all good proceedings and goodnes, who perswade others that instruction, study, and doctrines, to get or increase vertue, are unneces­sary things: but rather with obedient & thankfull mindes let us injoy that sweetest consolation, whereby we are assured, that neither our endeavours are unpleasing to God, nor undertaken in vaine; according to that, Eccles. 11.1. Cast. thy bread upon the waters: for after many daies thou shalt finde it. And, 1 Cor. 15.58. Your labour is not in vaine in the Lord. Matthew 18.20. Where two or three are gathered together in my Name, I am in the midst of them. Unlesse these promises were known to be certain, amidst so great outrages of Sathan, [...] and miseries of mankinde (of which its too truly spoken: The most are naught) the best teacher, or the greatest lover of the common good, should be in the unhappiest condition, hardly sitting fast in his own place. For mine owne part, I feele my selfe to be so affected, that (mee thinkes) my sorrow permits me not to stand in this Pulpit, but shuts up my speech within my bowels and jawes; but that I know for certain, that in this our assembly there are, whose hearts entertaine the t [...]e and saving doctrine, & are inflamed with the holy Spirit, in a due manner knowing, & calling upon God, being lively temples of him, & shall hereafter praise him in the celestial Quire. We speak not this to that end, as if we did ex­pect equal knowledge & understanding, or the same gifts of the holy Spirit in all men: For the Apostle commands us, Rom. 12.3. To think soberly of our selves, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. But all [Page]them that will be saved, must of necessity hold the same foundation, that is, that they know and beleeve what a one Christ is, and what he hath done for each of them: as it is said, Iohn 17.3. This is life eternall, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. And, Iohn 3.36. He that beleeveth in the Son, hath eternall life. By these and the like sayings we per­ceive that to be a truth, which Dionysius (which is falsly named the Areo­pagite, but is thought rather to be a Corinthian) ascribes to Bartholomew the Apostle: That the Gospel is brief and large.The Gospel it a briefe large­nesse. Briefe. Its brevity is apparently more curt than the Law of Moses, & ought to be, and is, fixed in the minds and hearts of men; and therfore is the summe of the Gospel so oft deliver­ed, and repeated in the Scriptures of the Prophets and Apostles, and com­prised in the Creed. But much lesse can ever the wisdome of the Gospel be exhausted, than that of the Law. But forasmuch as its certain,Large. that in this mortall life, that which is eternall is but begun;2 Cor. 5 2, 3, 4. For we shall be cloathed upon with that, if so be we are not found naked: This is the nature of true conversion,A true godly man growes in godlinesse. that it suffers not those that are converted unto God to stay in their race, but kindles in them a perpetuall study and desire of further profiting: Therefore is it commanded, 2 Pet. 3.18. Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And, Eph. 2.19, 20, 21. it is said, Yo are no more strangers and forrainers, but fellow-Citizens with the Saints, and of the houshold of God; And are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone, In whom all the building fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. And, Marke 9.24. The man prayed, Lord, I beleeve, help mine unbeliefe. And, Luke 17.5. The Disciples cried, Lord increase our faith. Saints then are commanded, and commended, and are petitioners to be such as goe forward: Therefore they are not of the number of them that have no minde of proceeding onward.Comforts and promises for a tender heart and wounded conscience. Yet let none be out of heart, because they, finding in themselves lesse life and vi­gour, and acknowledging their weaknesse and corruptions, doe with a true sorrow of minde bewail the same. For thus saith the everlasting Father concerning his Son, Esay 42.3. A bruised reed shall he not breake, and the smoaking flax shall he not quench. Againe, the Son saith of the Father, Mat. 18.14. It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. And the Son saith of himself, Iohn 6.37. All that the Fa­ther giveth me, shall come unto me: And him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out: Wheresoever piety is not dissembled, it is, and is cherished of God; and, together with it,Beneficia. [...] all the everlasting and unchangeable benefits of the Gospel are tyed with the indissoluble bond of divine truth: For, unlesse the certainty of our faith and salvation did depend upon the alone free mercy of God (whereby he receiveth all that beleeve) and not upon the degrees of our renovation, there would be no stability at all in our comfort. Hence therefore may be drawn three things, which may be as grounds to judge of a Christian: 1. The laying hold of the foundation. [...], i.e. the criticall markes to dis­cerne a true godly man. 2. An earnest endeavour of increasing (which two include each godly man within the general promise of eternal salvation:) and, 3. Acomfort that, not­withstanding our inequality of gifts and degrees to some others, we shall not perish: which consolation is to be opposed against the cogitation of our owne unworthinesse. These three, as inseparables, hath Saint Paul [Page]comprised in those words, 1 Cor. 3.11. Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ: Now, if any one build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stuble, every ones worke shall be made ma­nifest; for the day shall declare, &c. but hee himselfe shall be saved, so as by fire. By that therefore which hitherto hath been said, it's apparent, that both the Lords injunction and our own salvation doe exhort and bind all men, and among these the youth, being, to wit, a great part, and also the Nur­sery of the Church, to learne, as soone as by age they are capable, the grounds of Christian Religion: Therefore doth this most earnestly and seriously admonish them, to whom the charge of nurturing the younger in yeares doth belong, to be carefull of this their dutie.

3. Motive, the preserva­tion and pro­pagation of the Gospel.For, we that are teachers and learners ought to have a diligent and earn­est care of godlines, not only for our own sakes, but for their sakes also that are ours, and our succeeding posterity: For we finde, by experience, how easily in processe of time an oblivion, and manifold depravation of that doctrine creeps in, the summe whereof is not concisely and perspicuously couched together and known, repeated, inculcated, and divulged abroad. Besides we know,Horat. Quo se­mel est imbuta recens servabit odorem Testa di [...]. — that of what liquor a new vessell is first seasoned with, be it good or bad, it longest savours. There is none in his right minde but will confesse, seeing the evill that we learn doth so constantly stick by us, that when the youth is not instructed in, and inured to religion, it doth threaten the leaving to the ensuing times an age of monsters, contemning God and all religion: and that, being we are hardly by the greatest endea­vours and longest care made pliable to that which is good, the ground­work of the most difficult businesse should be laid in the first age.

4. Motive, the weake capacity of youth, & the more ignorant.Catecheticall instruction therefore is necessary, not only for the preser­vation of the purity and soundness of religion, to us and our posterity, but also for the capacities of younger age, to whom we have shewed this do­ctrine must be taught: For, if it be said of the teaching youth the other arts,

Quicquid praecipies, esto brevis, ut cito dicta
Percipiant animi dociles, teneantque fideles:
Short precepts shalt thou give, which being briefly told,
Apt wits may soon conceive, and faithfull long may hold:

how much more in this heavenly wisdome, which is a stranger to humane wit, should we seek out for, and apply our selves to breifness and plainness, especially seeing divine testimony approves our experience in this? as Heb. 5.13. Every one that useth milk, is unskilfull in the word of righteousnesse, for he is a babe: but strong meat is of those that are of full age. And therefore when Saint Paul speaketh of his manner of teaching, 1 Cor. 3.2. thus he saith, I have fed you with milk, and not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to beare it, nor yet now are ye able: 5. Motive, that alwaies in the Church, there hath bin such a summe of doctrine. for ye are yet carnall. From the first beginning of the Church, there hath bin extant in it some such ground of doctrine, well known publikely, and, for it's briefnesse and plainnesse, easie to be under­stood, reserved for posterity. As, together with the increase of mankind, God himself proceeded on with his own mouth to deliver more summary [Page]doctrines, either of the law, as he began, in these words; If thou doest well, Gen. 4.7. shalt thou not be accepted? Or of the Gospel, as at first, in these words; The seed of the woman shall bruise the Serpents head. Gen. 3.15. Likewise after both the pro­mise and the Decalogue was repeated to Abraham. At last the Creeds, and such summary doctrines as were dispersed here and there in the writ­ings of the Apostles, were fitted into a meet form of Confession, to be di­vine informations for all degrees of age. And indeed, this our accustomed manner of instructing, which we call Catechisme, hath bin anciently used both in the Jewish, and in the Apostolicall Church, as doth appeare by the Apostle Paul, Rom. 2.18. where he calleth the Jewes those that from their tender yeares had bin instructed or catechised out of the law. [...], &c. And Gal. 6.6 Let him that is taught in the word, or catechised in the word, communicate to him that instructeth or catechiseth in all good things. So Luke 1.4. That thou mightest know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast bin instructed or c [...]hised. Because these testimonies are to be preferred before all other, I d [...]ed [...]u re­cite the example of the Church that was in the ensuing times next after the Apostles, being a thing publikly known by histories. I rather adde this, [...]. That, if the now present Church surviving hath till now kept this forme of instruction, brought into the world, with so long continuance,6. Motive, the dangers and heresies of the last times. not by mans device, but by the divine providence; then, in this doting old age of the world, wherin the Church doth daily more and more languish, & thick­er darknes day by day over-cloudeth it, we had need for to sharpen all our diligence, of preserving and propagating this doctrine, rather than any whit to grow remisse: For this is the age of which our Saviour speaketh, Mat. 24.23. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo here is Christ, or there; beleeve it not: for there shall arise false Christs, and false Prophets, and shall shew great signes and wonders; insomuch, as if it were possible, they shall deceive the very Elect. And largely doth Saint Paul speak of this matter, 1 Tim. 4. and 2 Tim. 3. These predictions of the calamities of these last times were written, not only for our consolation and confirmation, but also for exhortation, of us to arme our selves to watch against and prevent errours: for so our Saviour begins that his prophecie: Take heed that no man deceive you. We thinke it necessary therefore, that not only they that come into the place of teaching,Mat. 24.3. but al­so all that love their owne salvation, should have fixed in their hearts the sound positions concerning every part of christian religion: and on the o­ther side, to. the utmost that every man is able to be well fenced against the contrary errors: and that all they to whom the office of instructing and governing is committed, should with great care teach or cause to be taught, those that are committed to their charge, unless they, as curats neg­ligent & unfaithfull in their duty, had rather answer for their perdition. And indeed, the desire of your parents, in this respect, is to be commended; that they will have the summe of godlines to be propounded to, and inculcated into you, not only at home, and in the Church, but also in the schools; For they well perceived what great ignorance ensued, and how great an hint & opportunity was given to the Divel, of detaining men in that ignorance, when once the primitive custome of the Church, of hearing and teaching the Catechists, was lost, and in the room thereof succeeded that silly and foolish dumb shew of Popish confirmation. And they now see that the [Page]same things, or worse than these, are now to be feared, unlesse God out of his singular mercy looke upon us: than the which danger, as scarce any thing can bring greater heavines to all godly persons; so contrariwise, it's not easie to finde out any thing that may be more desirable and pleasant unto all pious Parents, than if they can certainly promise themselves that their children and nephewes shall a while live after them in the same light of divine truth, which now is lighted up amongst us. Wherefore if we are not without naturall affection, [...] Rom. 1.31. and cruell against those which love us more than themselves, let us endeavour to our power, that by our negli­gence we do not destroy their hope, nor crosse their prayers: But that, to­gether with them, we may shew our selves thankfull unto God, who, col­lecting to himself a perpetual Church out of the dregs of this world, hath, by the bringing back againe of the sunne of heavenly doctrine, so dispelled the dirs, ass of the kingdom of Antichrist, that any man that will not wil­fully in [...]his eyes and eares, and oppose the known truth, may behold and diserne them stripped naked of those divel-deceits, which were those faire outsides of which they vauntingly bragged.7 Motive, the benefit if we do, the punish­ment if we doe not study this doctrine. If we doe these things the Sonne of God will conserve and augment those gifts that he hath bestow­ed upon us according to his promise. To him that hath, (i.) to him that desi­reth to goe on forward, shall be given. If we doe contrariwise, then will fol­low upon us that which is threatned in the contrary sentence following, from him that hath not shall be taken that which he hath. Mat. 25.29. And indeed, how the Lord will not endure the contempt of the Gospel revealed, both the divine word of God, and the continuall history of the world doth proclaim. Isa. 5.24. Because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, & despised the word of the holy One of Israel, therefore is the anger of the Lord kindled against his peo­ple, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them. And Amos 5.11. He threatens; Behold the daies come saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the Land; not a famine of bread, not a thirst for water, but of hea­ring the word of God. And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the North e­ven to the East; they shall runne to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not finde it. We now see the nation of the Jewes, which the Lord ho­noured with so many excellent titles and priviledges, with so great successe and miracles, & exalted it far above all other mortall men, now to be more abject than the meanest of all men, and so grosly & strangely grown blind amidst the noone-day-light of the Prophets preaching, that the example thereof duly considereed may (not to say, move laughter or anger) strike a terrour into us. The cause of this so great an evill we heare the words of the Prophets, and of Christ himself to averre, to have bin their contempt and neglect of the sound doctrine concerning God & our salvation. Joh. 5.43. I come in my Fathers name, and yee receive me not. If another shall come in his own name, him will ye receive. I forbeare the recitall of other examples, only one will I touch, which is of the kingdom of England, which a little before was most flourishing and happy,Englands Ma­nian persecuti­on. and that not only because it is a very sad example, but also because there is not one in this our assembly that is such a youth, but that it fell out in his daies. For, in this our age, the knowledge of the divine truth was given to England, and in the reigne of Edward the sixt the Church and Schooles were excellently constituted in a flourishing [Page]estate. And when the King was seventeen yeare old, hee was beautified with piety, vertue, and learning far above the modell of that age; so that nothing in the most glorious kingdome was more glorious than the King; so that this kingdome came behind no part of the whole world in happi­nes. But on a suddain, this Edward, a Prince of great hope, being taken out of this life, the Papal tyranny soon again surprised his kingdom, the most glorious Churches were cruelly wasted with imprisonments, banish­ments, fire, sword; and men of eminent learning & holines, without any re­spect of age, sexe or dignity, some of them haled to the fire, and other most cruell punishments, and others cast out into all corners of the world. It was now onward in the fift yeare, whiles these calamities continued there. But I rather acknowledge and bewaile our owne sins, than take upon me the judging of others. The cries of the English banished, which I heard with these eares, are not out of my hearing, wherewith they complained of the unthankfulnesse, security, and surfeit of the Gospel, that had seized upon their Nation. But doe wee looke to it better to manage our condition? would God we did. When Pilate mingled the bloud of the Galileans with their sacrifices, saith Christ, Luke 13.3. Vnlesse yee repent, yee shall all likewise perish. The tumults and ruines of Empires, by which the Church is shaken, are before our eyes threatning us: the theevish Turkes gape after us, endea­vouring with might and main to take Christ from us, and to obtrude upon us their Mahomet; and we heare that daily they prey upon our neer bloud, drawing away Christian youths to their filthy and blasphemous society, and to make a breach in upon us. The abomination of the kingdome of Antichrist curseth us, and crieth out, that we are to be destroyed. And there are more heresies and depravations of the truth hatched and increased within & without the Church (like Hydraes heads) than can be numbred.Isay 1.2. Rom. 9.10. And now verily is that fulfilled, that unless the Lord preserve unto us a seed, we shal be like to Sodom & Gommorrah, nothing of us remaining. Let us not be now so stupid, or such haters of our selvs, as not to be moved with these things. Let us seek the Lord whiles he may be found. Isay 55.6. Let every one enter into a serious consideration of his own salvation, & to hold fast in our hearts those things which we collect, and are fitted pertinently unto the same, that if the world broken to peeces should fail, yet the ruines thereof should not affright us.

These things we have spoken of do concern al men, but chiefly our order of Scholars. For, all that ever instructed or governed schooles, or have bin imployed in those things, or would have others to be imployed, have agree­ed upon this; That they that are brought up in the schools should be not only more learned, but also more godly. Which being so, let men acknow­ledge, that a school is a company according to Gods ordinance,Scholars should have learned godli­nesse, or godly learning. teaching and learning the doctrine necessary for mankind, concerning God and other good things; that the knowledge of God among men may not be extinguished, but the Church may be preserved,8. Motive, that doctrine [...] be the ma [...]k of the Church, & chiefly of the Schooles. many may be made heirs of eternall life, discipline may be upheld, and men may have other honest benefits by the arts.

Therefore we swerve far from, too far from our scope or marke, unlesse we be setled in this purpose, that we ought to be busily imployed in these Ant-hils and Bee-hives of Christ, not only to be more skilled in learning, [Page]but also more adorned with a good and holy conversation, that we may be more acceptable to God and men. And it is apparent in the Church, that all instruction, without the doctrine of godlines, is nothing else but an er­ring, and a withdrawing from God, from true good, true righteousnes, true salvation. For whatsoever we do not to the glory of God, whatsoever we do not in the name of Christ Jesus, whatsoever we do not of faith, the holy spirit pronounceth as sinfull, vile, and condemned of God. When therefore this doctrine is put out of the Schooles of the Church, then not only no­thing can be taught concerning true perfect vertue, such as God requires; but also those other few and obscure doctrines left behind of bad, would make us far worse: not by reason of their being amongst us; but the want of those things, without which nothing is holy and sound. And although the consent of all men of sound judgement should satisfie us in this matter; yet the divine Commandement,John 5.35. 2 Tim. 2.15. [...]. commanding us to search the Scriptures, to at­tend to reading, and rightly to divide the Word of God, should be of more weight unto us. And because none can orderly and plainly distinguish, and lay open the speeches of the Prophets and Apostles, and the parts of Reli­gion, without the instructions and exercises of the Schooles; who doth not see, with how neere a tye the study of godlines is knit unto the Schooles? That therefore which is the chiefe work amongst men, and cannot be per­formed of us without the help of the Schooles, we judge to be chief in the Schooles: namely, the understanding & interpretation of the Prophets & Apostles. And seeing there is afforded unto us Scholars more ability, and opportunity of more exact knowledge of Religion, than to other men; if in­deed we neglect it, we both make our Religion to be suspected, & shall un­dergo greater punishment for our negligence & ignorance. Neither would the Lord have the care & keeping of the doctrine of Religion committed to us Scholars chiefly, only for our own cause, but others. For the Learned themselves, understanding the termes and method of the doctrine of Re­ligion, it is expected they should instruct, and interpret unto others.

Seeing therefore Religion is to be taught in the Schooles, as unto chil­dren; to the end, that it may be rightly taught, Catechisme is necessary. Neither indeed can this age learne, unlesse brevity be used. Nor can the parts of a discipline be dextrously, and with due proportion of agreement between them be handled, either by teachers or learners, unlesse they first conceive in their mindes some short summ of the same. For both these re­spects is it, [...]. that we read such oft repetitions in the holy Scriptures of brief summes of things: As, Repent, and beleeve the Gospel. He that shall beleeve, and be baptized, shall be saved. War you a good warfare, keeping faith and a good con­science. And seeing that it is said, Colos. 3.16. Let the word of Christ dwell in you plenteously in all wisedome; Explications must be added aggreeable to the speeches of the Prophets and the Apostles. Neither is a Catechisme any thing else, but a briefe explication of such speeches. But because the little book, called Melanchthons Examen, is of that nature, which I propound to you; and the Authour hath comprised, with great fidelity & dexterity, the heads of Christian Religion, under an apt and perspicuous stile of words: as also it is of no small consequence, that a like form of Catechisme should be extant in sundry Churches; stir up your selves to learn, and conceive, [Page]that these wretched papers of ours are swadling-bands, wherein Christ will be found swadled up. You see many are the things which doe com­mend these Swathels unto you, and seriously exhort you to the imbracing of them; by which, I humbly beseech you, to delight in them, as the com­mandement of God, your own salvation, the duty we owe to posterity, the example of the more reformed Church, your condition of life, your present age, your desires and hope, imminent dangers, and the rewards and pu­nishments to be expected from God. But however our admonitions may be necessary, yet of none effect, we well know, without the suggestions of the holy Spirit. Therefore turning our selves unto God, let us give thanks to him, that his will was we should be born in this light of the Gospel, and pray that wee may be taught and governed of him.

CERTAIN PREAMBLES on that Catechisme of Christian Religion, which is delivered and taught in the Churches and Schooles throughout the Dominions of the County Palatine.

THe Preambles or preparatory Prefaces to this Catechisme are partly Generall, concerning the whole Doctrine of the Church; and partly Speciall, concerning Catechisme alone.

The Generall Prefaces touching the Doctrine of the Church are seven.
  • 1 What, and what manner of doctrine, the do­ctrine of the Church is.
  • 2 What are the parts thereof, and what the differences of each part.
  • 3 Wherein it differeth from the doctrine of other Sects, and from Philosophie also, and why these differences are to be retai­ned.
  • 4 Whence it may appeare that it alone came from God.
  • 5 By what testimonies the certainty thereof is confirmed.
  • 6 For what cause no other doctrine besides is to be received in the Church.
  • 7 How manifold is the course of teaching and learning this doctrine.

1 What, and what manner of doctrine, the doctrine of the Church is.

THE doctrine of the Church, is the entire and uncorrupt do­ctrine of the Law and Gospel, touching the true God, The definition of the doctrine of the Church. and his will, workes, and worship; which doctrine is revealed by God himselfe, comprised in the writings of the Prophets and Apo­stles, and confirmed by sundry miracles, and divine testimonies, by which the Holy-Ghost worketh powerfully in the hearts of Gods chosen, and collecteth unto himselfe out of mankinde an everlasting Church, in which he may be glorified both in this life, and in the life to come.

This doctrine is the chiefe and speciall note of the true Church, which God will have eminent in the world, and severed from the rest of mankinde, according un­to these sayings of Scripture; Fly Idols. Come out from amongst them, and separate your selves. If there come any unto you, and bring not THIS DOCTRINE,1 John 5.21. 2 Cor. 6.17. 2 John 10. Esay 52.11. Rev. 18.4. bid him not God speed. Be yee holy, touch no uncleane thing yee that beare the vessels of the Lord. Goe out of her my people, that yee receive not of her plagues. Now God will have this separation made, 1 1. His glory. For his owne glory. For as hee will not have himselfe coupled with Idols and Divels: So hee will have his truth severed from falshood and lyes,2. Reasons why God will have his Church distingui­shed from other Sects. and his houshold separated from the enemies of the Church, that is, from the children of Sathan. It were contumelious so to thinke of God, as that he will have such chil­dren as persecute him.2 Cor 6.15. It were blasphemy to make God the author of impious do­ctrine, and patron of the blasphemous: For, What concord hath Christ with Belial? [Page 2] 2 2. The salvation of his Elect. The consolation and salvation of his Elect. For it is necessary that the Church be visibly beheld in this world, that the Elect dispersed throughout all mankind may know to what society they are to joine themselves, and, being gathered unto the Church, may lay hold on this sound comfort, That they are of that company which is ac­ceptable and pleasing unto God, and hath the promises of everlasting life. For, God will that all which are to be saved, be gathered unto the Church in this life, because, without the Church there is no salvation.

3. Notes whereby the Church is di­stinguished from other Sects. How the Church is knowne, and what are her badges and markes whereby shee is distinguished from other Sects, is at large discoursed of in the tract of the Church. The notes are three: 1 1. Purity of doctrine. 2 2. The right use of the Sacraments. 3 3. O­bedience towards God in every point of doctrine, whether of faith or of manners. Object. Yea but oftentimes great vices abound in the Church also. Answ. I confesse indeed many times great vices over-grow the whole body of the Church, but they are not patro­nised or maintained, as falleth out in other Sects: nay, the true Church is the first her selfe that reprehendeth and condemneth them before any other. In the Church faults are committed, but with present reproofe, and speedy reformation. As long as this remaineth, so long remaineth the Church.

2 What are the parts of the doctrine of the Church, and what the differences of each part

That the Law and Gospel are the two onely parts of Christian do­ctrine, proved by 4. reasons. THE parts of the doctrine of the Church are two; the Law, and the Gospel: in both which the summe of the whole Scriptures is contained. The Law is tearmed the Decalogue, and the Gospel is the doctrine touching Christ our Mediatour, and the free remission of sinnes through faith. This division of Church doctrine is clearly demonstrated to be sufficient, by these evident arguments: 1. All doctrine compri­sed in sacred writ, concerneth either the nature of God, or his will, or his workes, or sinne, which is the proper worke of men and divels: But of all these we are taught either in the Law, or in the Gospel, or in both: Wherefore the Law and the Gospel are the chiefe generall heads which comprehend all the doctrine of the Scripture. 2. Christ himselfe maketh this division of that doctrine which he commandeth to be preached in his name, saying; So it is written, and so it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day, and that in his name should be preached repentance and re­mission of sins. Now the whole summe of all this is delivered in the Law and the Gos­pel. 3. The writings of the Prophets and Apostles doe containe in them the old and new Testament, or covenants between God and man: Therefore it must needs be that in them is declared what God promiseth, and what hee doth unto us; to wit, his fa­vour, remission of sinnes, his holy Spirit, righteousnesse, and life everlasting: as also what he requireth of us; that is to say, Faith and Obedience. And these are the things which are taught in the Law and Gospel. 4. Christ is the foundation and ground of the whole Scripture; and the doctrine of the Law and Gospel is necessary to con­duct us to the knowledge of Christ and of his benefits. For, the Law is our School­master unto Christ, Gal. 3.24. constraining us to flee unto him, and shewing us what that justice is which Christ hath recovered, and restored unto us. The Gospel of purpose amply treateth of the person of Christ, his office and benefits: Therefore, all Scripture and heavenly doctrine is comprehended in the Law and the Gospel.

3. Differences of the Law & GospelThe maine differences of these two parts of Christian doctrine consist in three things:1 In the matter it selfe. In the subject or matter and kind of doctrine which they diliver, because the Law is a doctrine prescribing unto men what is to be done, and prohibiting whatsoever ought to be left undone; whereas the Gospel is a preaching of free re­mission of sinnes by and through Christ.2 In the manner of revealing. In the manner of their revealing; because the Law is knowne by nature, the Gospel is revealed from above.3 In their pro­mises. In their pro­mises; because the Law promiseth life with condition of perfect obedience, the Gospel promiseth the same life on condition of our stedfast faith in Christ, and the inchoation or beginning of new obedience unto God. But hereof more shall be spoken hereafter in his due place.

3 Wherein the doctrine of the Church differeth from the doctrine of other Sects, and from Philosophy also, and why these differences are to be retained.

THE differences betweene the doctrine of Gods Church, and other Religions,4 Differences be­tweene Church-doctrine and o­ther Religions▪ are foure.1 In their Au­thors. GOD is the author of the doctrine of the Church, from whom it was delivered by the ministry of the Prophets and Apostles: other Sects are sprung from men, and have been invented by men through the suggestion of Sathan.2 In their testi­monies of con­firmation. The doctrine of the Church alone hath divine testimonies, firme and infallible, such as quiet con­sciences, and convince all other Sects of errour.3 In teaching and not teaching a­right the whole Law. In the Church the entire and uncor­rupt Law of GOD is perfectly retained and kept: as for other Sects and Religions, they maime and corrupt the Law of GOD. For they utterly reject the doctrine of the first Table concerning the true knowledge and worship of GOD, either fra­ming unto themselves another God besides that GOD who by his word and workes hath revealed himselfe unto his Church; or seeking to know God, but not by and in his Son; or worshipping GOD otherwise than hee hath commanded in his word. They are also altogether ignorant of the inward and spirituall obedi­ence of the second Table. That little good and truth which they have, is a part of the commandements of the second Table concerning externall discipline, and ci­vill duties towards men.4 In preaching & not preaching a­right the whole Gospel. The Gospel of Christ is wholly taught and rightly under­stood in the Church onely; other Sects are either cleane ignorant of it, and despise it; as the Ethnickes, Philosophers, Jewes, and Turkes: or they doe patch some little part of it out of the doctrine of the Apostles unto their owne errours, of which part yet they neither know not perceive the use; as the Arrians, Papists, Anaba­ptists, and all other Heretickes; of whom some maintaine errours concerning the person, others concerning the office of our Mediatour. These maine discords doe prove that the doctrine of the Church alone is zealously to be followed and kept, and the Religion and doctrine of other Sects repugnant to the truth, warily to be prevented and avoided; according as it is said in Scripture, BEWARE of false Prophets: and, FLY Idols.

The case holdeth not alike in Philosophy: For true Philosophy, howsoever it vary much from the doctrine of the Church, yet it impugneth it not; it is no lye, as are the false doctrines of other Sects, but it is absolute truth, and as it were a certaine bright-shining ray of Gods divine wisdome, fixed in mans understanding at the cre­ation: For, it is a doctrine treating of God and his creatures,The nature of Philosophy, with the lawfull and fruitfull use there­of. and other things good and profitable unto mankind, compiled by wise and grave men through the light of Nature, and grounded on principles in their own nature plaine and evident. Whence it followeth, that it is a thing not only lawfull, but profitable also for Christans to im­ploy their labour and travell in the studies of Philosophy; whereas contrariwise we may not busie our wits in the doctrine of other Sects, but detest them all as untruths and lies coined by the Divel. Notwithstanding, between Philosophy & the doctrine of the Church there is great difference, especially consisting in these points:3 Differences be­tween Philosophy and Church-do­ctrine: 1 In their grin­ciples. They disagree in their principles: For Philosophy in her principles, is meerly naturall, found­ed and built on things naturally knowne unto every man: but the doctrine of the Church, although it contain many things depending on nature; yet the chiefest part thereof, I meane the Gospel, so far surpasseth the reach and capacity of nature, that had not the Sonne of God revealed it unto us out of his Fathers bosome, no wit of men or Angels could have attained unto it.2 In their sub­jects They vary in their subjects, and matter which they handle: For the doctrine of the Church comprehendeth the full, perfect, and entire sense both of the Law and Gospel; but Philosophy is quite ignorant of the Gospel, and omitteth the principall parts of the Law, and rawly and obscurely pro­poundeth that small portion it retaineth concerning discipline, and externall duties, drawn but out of some few precepts of the Decalogue. It teacherh us also other arts and sciences meete and serviceable for mans life; as Logick, Physick, and the Mathe­matickes▪ all which are not delivered in Church doctrine, but have their proper ne­cessary use in handling and learning the same.3 In their effects. They concurre not in their severall [Page 4]effects: For the doctrine of the Church alone sheweth us the originall of all evils, and mans misery; to wit, the fall disobedience, or sin of our first parents. Moreover it mi­nistreth true and lively comfort unto our consciences, pointing out the meanes by which wee may wade out of the danger of sin and death, and assuring us of life eter­nall through Christ. As for Philosophy, it knoweth not the cause of our evils, neither yeeldeth it us any sound comfort or consolation. Philosophy hath certain comforts common unto her with Divinity;Comforts com­mon both to Phi­losophy and Di­vinity. such are 1. The providence of God. 2. The necessity of obeying of God. 3. A good conscience. 4. The worthinesse of vertue. 5. The finall cau­ses or the ends which vertue proposeth. 6. The examples of others. 7. Hope of reward. 8. A comparing of events, because a lesse evil compared unto a greater carrieth a shew and shadow of good: but true comforts against sinne and death are proper to the Church;Comforts proper to Gods Church. such as are 1. Free remission of sins by and for Christ. 2. The grace and pre­sence of God in our very miseries. 3. Our finall delivery, and life everlasting. Wherefore Philosophy, though in respect of Divinity it be unperfect, and faile in these pre­misses; yet it never impugneth Divinity. Whatsoever erroneous opinions, contrary to the true doctrine of the Church, occurre in the writings of Philosophers, or are ci­ted out of Philosophy to overthrow Scripture; all these are either no way Philosophi­call, but the vaine sleights of mans wit, and very biles and sores of true Philosophy; such as was the opinion of Aristotle concerning the eternity of the world, and of Epi­curus touching the mortality of the soule, and such like: or else they are indeed Philo­sophicall opinions, but unfitly applyed to Divinity.

The use of these differences in do­ctrine.These maine differences between Christian doctrine and other Religions, and Philosophy also, are very worthy observation, for these ends: 1 1. That Gods glory be no way impaired of us, but reserved wholly unto himselfe; which cannot be, unlesse wee acknowledge and confesse in the face and eye of the world, whatsoever he hath pre­cisely commanded us to beleeve, either concerning himselfe, or his will; and that wee adde nothing of our owne braine unto that which hee hath revealed. For God cannot be mingled with Idols, nor his truth confounded with Satans forgeries with­out high dishonour to his name. 2 2. That we hazzard not, nor endanger our salvation, which might happen, if erroneously we should imbrace for true Religion any Schis­maticall doctrine, or heathenish Philosophy. 3 3. That our faith and comfort in Christ Jesus might be strengthened and confirmed, which falleth out, when wee discerne the perfection of the doctrine of the Church before all other Religions: how many im­portant and weighty matters are found in our Religion, which are wanting in o­thers: What are the causes why they alone are saved who professe this doctrine, and other Religions with their Sectaries and adherents are damned, and of God reje­cted: Finally, that we separate our selves from Epicures and Academicks, who ei­ther make a mockery of pietie and godlinesse, or so rack Religion, that they thinke every man in every Religion shall be saved; wresting in this sense that saying of the Apostle, The just man shall live by HIS faith. Now these Epicures are not worthy the answering:Rom. 1.17. Hab. 2.4. as for those Academicks, they manifestly falsifie the sentence and mean­ing of the Apostle, and are easily refuted. For, the pronoune HIS in no sort signifi­eth whatsoever faith every man frameth unto himselfe, but the true Catholike faith, par­ticularly appropriated unto every man; and this word HIS standeth in opposition against any other mans faith, though it be a true and good faith; and thwarteth and crosseth also the opinion of Justification by works. So that the naturall sense of that Text is, The just man is justified, not by the works of the Law, but by faith alone in Christ, and that by his owne private faith, not by the faith of another man.

4 Whence it may appeare that the doctrine of the Church alone was delivered of God.
5 By what testimonies the certainty of Christian Religion, or Church-doctrine is con­firmed.

GOD in the very creation of the world put this bridle in the mouth of all reaso­nable creatures, that no man, without extreame and manifest impudeney, such [Page 5]as was the Divell in Paradise, durst say, that any thing, if it were once apparently known to have been spoken, or commanded by God, might be called into question, or that any man might refuse to obey it. Here-hence are those things so often in­culcated in the Prophets. Hearken, O heavens, and hearken, O earth, for the Lord hath spoken. Thus saith the Lord. The word of the Lord came to Esaias, Jeremias, &c. Sith there­fore it appeareth, that the bookes of the Old and New Testament are the words of God, there is no place left of doubting, whether that be the true Religion and Do­ctrine which is contained in them: but whether these books were written by divine instinct, and by what proofes and testimonies we are certaine of so great a matter, this is a question not to be let passe of us.Wherefore this question is neces­sary. For except this above all other things re­maine stedfast and immoveable, that whatsoever we read in the bookes of the Pro­phets and Apostles, doth as truly declare the will of God unto us, as if we did heare God openly speaking tous from heaven; it cannot chuse, but that the very founda­tion and whole certainty of Christian Religion must be weakned. Wherefore, it is a consideration worthy those who are desirous of the glory of God, and doe seek for sure comfort, to enquire whence it may appeare unto us, The first part. The authority of the Scripture doth depend on the Church. that the holy Scripture is the Word of God. To this question now long since answer hath been made by the Papists, that forsooth it is not otherwise certaine, then because the Church doth confirme it by her testimony. But we, as we neither reject nor contemne the testimony of the true Church; so we doubt not, but their opinion is pestilent and detestable, who do often say, that the holy Scriptures have not their authority else-where, then from the word of the Church.

1 Reason. The reproach of God.For first, wicked is it and blasphemous to say, that the authority of Gods Word dependeth of the testimony of man. And if it be so, that the chiefest cause why we beleeve that the Scriptures were delivered from heaven be the witnesse of the Church, who seeth not, that hereby the authority of a mans voice is made greater then the voice of God? For he that yeeldeth his testimony unto another, so that he is the only, or the chiefe cause why credence is given unto the other, out of all doubt, greater credit is given unto him, then unto the other who receiveth his testimony. Wherefore it is a speech most unworthy the majesty of God, that the voice of God speaking in his holy Book is not acknowledged, except it be confirmed by the wit­nesse of men.

2 Reason. Our comfort. Faith is grounded on approved wit­nesse, therefore not on mans.Secondarily, whereas the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles doth preach of so great matters, as the certaine knowledge whereof is so greatly desired of all, who are well disposed, and the conflicts of doubtfulnesse in all mens minds are so great; what full assurance of our faith can there be, what sure consolation against assaults or temptations, if that that voice, on which our confidence relieth, be no otherwise knowne unto us to be indeed the voice of God, but because men say so, in whom we see so much ignorance, errour, and vanity to be, that no man scarcely, especially in matters of some weight, doth attribute much unto their word, except other reason concurre with it?

3 Reason. The confutation of our enemies.Thirdly, the truth of God and Christian Religion is plainly exposed unto the mocks and scoffes of the wicked, if we, going about to stop their mouths, doe there­fore only desire that we should be credited, that our Religion is from God, because our selves say so. For if they be by no other confutation repressed, they will with no lesse shew of truth deny it, then we affirme it.

4 Reason. Witnesses.Last of all, the Scripture it selfe in many places is against this opinion, and doth challenge a far higher authority unto it selfe, then which hangeth upon mens words. For so saith Christ himselfe, I receive not the record of man: signifying thereby,John 5. that his doctrine stood not, no not on John Baptists testimony, although yet he did al­ledge it, but as of lesse account; that he might omit nothing, by which men might be moved to beleeve. Therefore he addeth, But I say these things that you may beleeve. I have a greater witnesse then the witnesse of John. And if Christ now, being humbled, said these things of himselfe, then surely shall they be no lesse true of him being in glory, and sitting in his Throne. Paul saith,1 Cor. 2. My word and my preaching stood not in entising speech of mans wisdome, but in plaine evidence of spirit, and of power, that your faith [Page 6]should not be in the wisdome of men, but in the power of God. If so be then our faith must not rest, no not upon reasons wisely framed by men, much lesse shall it depend on the bare word of men.Ephes. 2. The Church her selfe is said to be built upon the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles: If then the confidence and confession of the Church stayeth on the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles, as on the foundation; the certainty of Scripture cannot hang on the Churches witnesse: for so should not the Church be upheld by the testimony of the Prophets and Apostles, but by her owne. And it is said,1 John 5. If we receive the witnesse of men, the witnesse of God is greater: If it be greater, then the authority of it hangeth not on the record of man; but we are to give more cre­dence unto God, witnessing the Prophets and Apostles writings to be indeed his voice, then unto the Church affirming the same.

1 Object. That they are true, the Church alone doth wit­nesse. Ans. The Minor is false.Now that it is said of the contrary, That by the Churches record alone, it doth appeare unto us, that the sacred bookes which wee have, were written by the Prophets and Apostles, whose names they beare in their fore-head, and that even unto us they are come uncorrupt: this we grant not, For God far more certainly testifieth both in Scripture, and in the hearts of his Saints, that no feigned or forged thing is in these books, then it can be by the Church, and all the creatures of the world, confirmed. They therefore who stand upon the Churches testimony alone in this point, shew that themselves have not as yet felt or understood the chiefest testimony.

2 Object. The di­scerning of books. Ans The Minor is false. 1 The working of the holy Ghost.Furthermore they say, That the bookes authenticke, or, as they terme them, Canoni­call, of both Testaments, are discerned from the Apocryphall by the Churches judgement: and therefore that the authority of holy Canon doth depend on the Churches wisdome. But that this difference of the bookes is not determined by the Churches judgement, but be­ing imprinted into the bookes themselves by the Spirit of God, is onely acknow­ledged and approved by the Church; this is easily to be understood, if the causes of this difference be considered. For either in these which are called Apocryphall, the force and majesty of the heavenly Spirit doth lesse evidently appeare in the weight and vehemency of word and matter, then in others; of which it is cleere, that they are the heavenly Oracles,2 The certainty of Authors. set down in writing by the divine instinct, that they might be the rule of our faith: or it cannot be determined, neither out of these bookes themselves, nor out of others which are Canonicall, that they were written either by the Prophets or Apostles: because either they were not opened by those, whom God by certain testimonies hath warranted unto us to be endued with a Propheti­call spirit; or themselves doe not shew any certain Authours of them; or by their form of speech, or other reasons it may be gathered, that they were not left of them whose names they beare. Now as touching either this evidence of spirit, or certainty of the authours, we build not our judgement on the testimony of the Church, but of the bookes themselves. And therefore not for the Churches judgement only do we judge some books to be Canonicall, and the foundation and rule of our faith, and do therefore accept of the doctrine of other some, because they agree with the Canoni­call; but rather for the very cause of this difference which we find in the bookes themselves.

3 Object. The Church is more ancient then the Scripture. 1 Ans. The Minor is false.As for that which some men say, that the Church is ancienter then the Scriptures, and therefore of greater authority, it is too trifling. For the Word of God is the everlasting wisdome in God himselfe. Neither was the knowledge of it then first manifested unto the Church, when it was committed to writing, but the manifest­ing of it began together with the creation of mankind, and the first beginnings of the Church in Paradise: yea, the Word is that immortall seed, of which the Church was borne.

The Church therefore could not be, except the word were first delivered. Now when we name the holy Scripture,The Scripture is first in nature as the cause. we mean not so much the characters of the letters, and the volumes; but rather the sentences which are contained in them, which they shall never be able to prove to be of lesse antiquity then the Church. For albeit they were repeated and declared often after the beginning of the gathering of the Church:2 Ans. The Minor is false. yet the summe of the Law and Gospel was the same for ever.

To conclude, neither is that which they assume alwayes true, That the authority [Page 7]of the ancienter witnesse is greater then of the younger: A younger work­man may be more skilfull then an elder. for such may be the condition and quality of the younger witnesse, that he may deserve greater credit then the an­cienter. Christ, being man, bare witnesse of himselfe: Moses also and the Prophets had long time before borne witnesse of him; yet neither his, nor all other witnesses au­thority is therefore greater then Christs alone. In like sort the Church witnesseth, that the holy Scripture which wee have, is the Word of God. The Scripture it selfe also doth witnesse of it self the same, but with that kind of witnesse that is more cer­taine and sure then all the others of Angels and men.

There is alledged also to this purpose a place,4 Object. The pillar of truth. 1 Tim 3. where the Church is called the pillar and ground of the truth. But sith the Scripture doth teach other-where, and that not once, that the foundation of the Church is Christ and his word; it is manifest enough that the Church is the pillar of the truth: not a fundamentall, or upholding pillar, but a ministeriall, that is, a keeper and spreader of it abroad, and as it were a mansion place, or sure seat, which might carry the truth left with her, and committed unto her, in the open face of all mankind:Acts 9. Galat. 2. 1 Thes. 2. 2 Thes. 1. Titus 1. Galat. 2. even as the holy Apostle Paul was called an elect ves­sell, to beare the Name of God before the Gentiles and Kings: neither yet did Paul get credit unto the Gospel, but the Gospel unto Paul. So likewise are the Apostles termed pillars, not that the Church rested on their persons, but that they were the chiefe teachers of the Gospel, and as it were the Chieftaines and Masters of doctrine: for a man is not bound to beleeve those that teach, on their bare word, but for the proofes which they bring of their doctrine.

Furthermore, they alledge a sentence of Austine out of his book entituled,5 Object. Chap. 5. A place of Au­gustine. 1 Ans. An Ex­ample maketh no rule. Against the Epistle of the foundation, I (saith Austine) would not beleeve the Gospel, except the authority of the Catholike Church did move mee thereunto. But first, if it were true, that either Austine, or some others did give credence unto the Gospel onely for the Churches authority, yet might there not be fashioned a rule hence of that which all men either did, or ought to doe. But that this is not the meaning of Austine, which these men would have, they doe easily perceive, who weigh both the whole course of this place, and the phrase of speech which is usuall unto Austine. For Au­stine going about to shew that the Manichees were destitute of all proofe of their doctrine, first hee opposeth one, who as yet beleeveth not the Gospel,2 Ans. He speak­eth of himselfe, as yet not con­verted, or not suf­ficiently confir­med. and denieth that such a one is able any way to be convicted by the Manicheans; for he were to be convicted either by arguments drawne out of the doctrine it selfe, of which themselves were departed: for example sake he proposeth himselfe, who should not have beleeved the Gospel, except the authority of the Catholike Church had moved him thereunto. Austine therefore speaketh this not of himselfe, as he was then when he writ these things against the Manicheans; but of himselfe, before he was yet converted, or not sufficiently confirmed. And that he speaketh not of the present, but of the time past, the words that follow doe manifestly declare: Whom then I be­leeved, when they said, Believe the Gospel: why should I not beleeve them, when they say, Be­leeve not a Manichean? For hence it appeareth, that when he saith, he was moved especially by the authority of the Church, hee meanes it of that time, at which he obeyed the Churches voice, that is, departed from the Manicheans unto the true Church. But after that once he was converted, and had perceived the truth of do­ctrine; that his faith was not now any more builded on the authority of the Church, but on a farre other foundation, himselfe is a most sufficient witnesse for us, whereas in the selfe same booke, hee saith on this wise:Chap. 14. Therefore he did beleeve the Church especi­ally, before he was able to per­ceive it. Thou hast proposed nothing else, but to commend that thy selfe beleevest, and to laugh at that which I beleeve. And when as I of the other side shall commend that which my selfe beleeve, and laugh at that which thou beleevest; what dost thou thinke we must determine, or doe, but even to shake hands with them, who bid us to know certaine things, afterward will us to beleeve things that are uncer­taine? and, Let us follow them, who bid us first to beleeve that, which as yet we are not able to perceive, that being more enabled by faith it selfe, we may discerne to understand that which wee beleeve; not men now, but God himselfe, inwardly strengthening and enlightening our mind. Wherefore they doe manifest injury unto Austine, who draw that which him­selfe [Page 8]confesseth of himselfe, when he was not yet converted, or was but weake, unto that time, when he affirmeth farre otherwise, both of himselfe, and all the godly. For so reverent a regard ought wee to have of the word of God,The application of the answer. and such also is the force and efficacie of the holy Spirit in confirming the hearts of beleevers, that we beleeve God, yea without any creatures testimonie, even as Elias forsooke not God, no not when hee thought,1 Kings 19. That followeth not which they would: 1 Because there is more in the con­sequent, than in the antecedent.2 Because there is a fallacy of the Accident. A declaration of the like example. that himselfe was onely left alive of the true worshippers of God. If therefore either Austine, or whosoever else being not as yet converted unto Religion, not as yet having experience of the certainty of it in his heart, was moved rather by humane than divine testimonies to embrace it: it cannot thereof be gathered that the certainty of the holy Scripture dependeth on no other testimonies, or that by no o­ther we are assured of it: because that some are moved especially by humane voyces to reverence it, cometh not thereof to passe, for that the Scripture is not maintai­ned by any other authority; but it chanceth through the fault and weaknesse of them, who sticking upon humane records, doe not feele as yet, or understand divine. An Image and example of these degrees of faith, is the story of the Samaritane woman. For many of the Samaritans are said to have beleeved in Christ, 1 The Samaritans. because of the speech of the woman, who testified, that hee had told her whatsoever she had done. But after that they had Christ with them for two daies, many more beleeved because of his owne speech; and they said unto the woman, Now wee beleeve, not because of thy saying, for wee have heard him our selves, and know that this is indeed the Christ the Saviour of the world. All men come not by the same occasions, nor have not the same begin­nings unto faith.2 The Emulation of the Jewes. Rom. 11. Paul saith, that salvation was come unto the Gentiles, and that hee did magnifie his ministry, that the Jewes might be provoked to follow the Gentiles. In the first of Peter,3 The honesty of wives. Chap. 3. wives are willed to be subject unto their husbands, that even they which obey not the word, may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives, while they behold their pure conversation which is with feare. Even then as the Samritans were moved, first by the speech of the woman, to beleeve in Christ, but after they had seen Christ, and heard him, they were so confirmed, that they said they would now beleeve though the woman held her peace: so also may it be, that they which are not as yet converted, or but weaklings, may be moved especially by the Churches testimony, (as which runneth more into their eies) to give credence unto the Scripture; who yet neverthelesse, after they are once illuminated with a more plentifull light of faith, do finde by experience, that they are confirmed by a farre superiour and more certaine testimonie, that the Scripture is the word of God, and do know by the force and evi­dence of it, that they must keep their faith, were all the Angels and men perswaders to the contrary: as it is said by the Apostle: Though we, or an Angel from heaven, preach unto you otherwise then that which wee have preached unto you, [...] let him be accursed. By these things therefore it may be understood, that the voice and consent of the catholike Church may and ought,The conclusion of the first part. amongst other testimonies, to serve for our confirmation; and yet the authority of the holy Scripture not to hang upon it: but that out of the Scrip­ture it selfe rather wee must learne by what arguments we may be brought to know that it was delivered from God; because that God himselfe doth witnesse it: and al­so such is the force and quality of that heavenly doctrine, that although all men should gainsay it, yet it should not be any otherwise more manifestly and certainly knowne to be the voice of God, than by it self.

But left any man may thinke, that by any arguments, which even reason by a na­turall light judgeth to be sound,The second part. Arguments shew­ing the certainty of the Scripture. without the singular grace of the spirit, this may be wrought in the mindes of the wicked, as either to obey the truth, or to leave off to reproach it: first, hee must remember that the arguments or testimonies are of two sorts, which shew the certainty of Christian Religion, and maintaine the authority of the Scripture. For there is but one onely testimony, which is appropriated unto them alone who are regenerated by the spirit of Christ, and unto them alone is it knowne: the force of which testimony is so great, that it doth not onely abundantly testifie and seale in our mindes the truth of the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles, but it also inclineth and moveth our hearts to the embracing and following of it. Other testi­monies, whatsoever may be brought, they are understood indeed both of the godly [Page 9]and the wicked, and doe compell their consciences to confesse, that this Religion rather then others is pleasing unto God, and that it came from him: but unlesse that one other come also, which is known of the godly alone, these testimonies will never bring to passe, that men shall imbrace the truth, although it be knowne unto them. The arguments therefore which shew the truth and certainty of the Scripture, or Church-doctrine, are these:

1 The purity of doctrine. The purity and perfectnesse of the Law therein contained: For impossible it is, that that Religion should be true, and derived from God, which maketh Idols, or appro­veth open out-rages, flat against the expresse Law of God, and sound judgement of reason. Now all religions (that only excepted which is delivered in Scripture, and received of the Church) are manifestly convicted of this crime: For (as before hath been sufficiently declared) they either abrogate and cancell the first Table of Gods Law touching the true God, and his worship, or they shamefully defile and disgrace it with their feigned untruths; and of the second Table they reserve onely a part, touching outward decent demeanour, and civill duties. Only the Church, according to the prescript of Scripture, retaineth both Tables of the Law whole and sound. Wherefore the doctrine of the Church alone is true and divine.

2 The Gospel, shewing our deli­verance. The gospel, which sheweth us the onely way to escape, and find deliverance from out the power of sin and death: For questionlesse that doctrine and religion is true and divine, which directeth us unto the meanes of avoiding sin and death, without violating Gods justice, and which yeeldeth effectuall and lively consolation to mens consci­ences concerning life everlasting. But it is the doctrine of the Church alone set downe in the Gospel, which openeth and proclaimeth unto us this freedome from misery, and sealeth unto mens consciences these solid comforts: Therefore that do­ctrine alone is true and divine.

3 Antiquity. The antiquity of this doctrine, which is found to be most ancient: For the doctrine of the Church alone delivered in Scripture, deriveth her originall from God, and is able to prove her continuall descent from the beginning of the world. The confe­rence of the histories of the whole world with divine history sheweth, that all other religions rose long time after it, and are Novices in respect thereof. Whereas then undoubtedly the ancientest Religion is most true (for men received the first Religi­on that ever was, immediately from God) it followeth, that the doctrine of the Church alone is true and divine.

4 Miracles. The miracles, whereby God from the beginning of the world confirmed the truth of this doctrine, such as the Divell is not able to imitate in deed, nay not to resemble in shew; I meane, The raising of the dead the standing still or going backe of the Sun, Luke 7. Josh. 10.13. 2 Kin. 20. Exod. 14. 2 Kin. 2. Gen. 18. the di­viding of the sea and rivers, the making of the barren fruitfull, and such like; which mi­racles, whereas they are the workes of God alone, wrought for the confirmation of the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles (and God cannot give testimony unto a lye) do powerfully evince, that this doctrine is most true, and proceedeth from God.

For albeit mention is made also of some miracles of the Heathen,1 Object. Others also have mira­cles. Ans. It is not true and it is said of Antichrist and false prophets, that they shall worke signes and great wonders, so that the very elect themselves, if it were possible, should be seduced: yet these neither in number, not in greatnesse are equall unto the miracles of the Church; and by the end, for which they are done, it may easily be discerned, that they are not wrought by any divine power. Wherefore there is a double difference, especially by which true mira­cles are severed from false: For first, Those miracles which are vaunted of by the enemies of the Church, are such as without changing course and order of nature, They differ. 1 In the sub­stance. may be done by the sleights and jugglings of men or Divels: and seem therefore to others to be miracles, be­cause they perceive not the causes of them, and the means wherby they are wrought. Furthermore, they have this as their chiefe end, that they confirme Idols, superstitions, 2 In the ends. ma­nifest errours and mischiefes. But the miracles with which God hath set forth his Church, are workes either besides, or contrary unto the course of nature and second causes: and there­fore not wrought but by the power of God. The which that it might be the more mani­fest, God hath wrought many miracles for the confirming of his truth, whose very shew the divel is never able to imitate or resemble: as the aforesaid miracles; raising [Page 10]of the dead, to stay or call backe the course of the Sunne, to make fruitlesse and barren women fruit full. But specially, the miracles of God are distinguished by their ends from the divellish and feigned. For, they confirme nothing, but that which is agreeing with those things which aforetime were revealed by God, and that in respect of the glory of the true God, of godlinesse, and holinesse, and the salvation of men. And therefore it is said of the miracles of Antichrist,2 Thes [...]. That his coming shall be by the working of Sathan, with all power, and signes, and lying wonders, and in all deceivablenesse of unrighteousnesse, among them that perish, &c. Now,2 Object. They are doubtfull. if any be so bold as to call in question, whether or no the miracles which are reported in the Scriptures, were done so indeed, he is out of all question of very great impudency.Ans. The Ante­cedent is false. For hee may after the same manner give the lye to all both sacred and profane histories. But let us first understand, that as other parts of the holy story, so especially the miracles are recited, as things not wrought in a corner, but done in the publike face of the Church and mankind. In vaine should the Prophets and Apostles have endevoured to get credit unto their doctrine by mi­racles, which men had never seen. Furthermore, the doctrine which they brought was strange unto the judgement of reason, and contrary to the affections of men: and therefore their miracles, except they had been most manifest, would never have found credit. Also it cleerly appeareth, both in the miracles themselves, and in the doctrine which is confirmed by them, that they who writ them, sought not their own glory, or other commodities of this life, but only the glory of God and mens salva­tion. To these arguments agreeth not only the testimony of the Church, but the confession also of the very enemies of Christ, who surely, if by any meanes they could, would have denied and suppressed even those things that were true and knowne; much lesse would they have confirmed by their testimony ought that had been forged, or obscure.

5 Oracles. The Oracles and Prophecies of things to come verified by their events, of which sort many are found in the books of either Testament, whose heavenly fountaine and head-spring is evidently demonstrated, in that it is the property of God alone to utter true Oracles.

6 Consent in the parts of doctrine. The consent of each part of the doctrine of the Church: For that doctrine which is contrary unto it selfe, is neither true, nor of God, sith that truth consorteth with truth, and God contradicteth not himselfe. But the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles alone except, all other Religions manifoldly jarre, discord, and mutinize within themselves, even in their very foundation, and chiefe points. Wherefore the doctrine of the Church alone is true and divine.

7 Enemies con­fession. Luke 4.41. The confession of very enemies: Because the Divell himselfe is enforced to cry out, Thou art the Christ the Sonne of God: and other enemies are constrained to confesse, that this our doctrine is true; for whatsoever goodnesse and truth they have in their Religions, the selfe-same hath our Religion, and that more cleerly and soundly di­sciphered; and they may easily be convicted to have stollen it from our Religion, and intermingled it with their owne forgeries, as indeed it is the custome of the Divell, through Apish imitation of God, to mingle some truth with his manifold falshoods, that thereby he may the more cunningly and easily deceive men. Whence it ariseth, that these things, which other Sects have agreeable with our doctrine, cannot therefore be refelled, because they have borrowed them of us; but those things which are contrary to our doctrine are at the first on set overthrown, because they are the inventions of men.

8 Sathan and wicked mens ha­tred thereof. The hatred of Satan and his instruments exercised against this doctrine: For cer­tainly that doctrine is true and divine, which all the wicked, yea and Satan himselfe with joynt conspiracy despite, and endevour to abolish: For, Truth hatcheth hatred; and,John 8.44. The Divell is a lyar from the beginning, and abode not in the truth. But Satan and the world oppugne not, nor hate more eagerly any doctrine then the doctrine of the Church, because (forsooth) it accuseth them more sharply, and handleth them more rigorously; it oftner calleth their cavils into tryall, sifreth and discovereth their fallacies, and condemneth their Idols, and other vices, then any other Sect, which rather either tolerate and winke at, or patronize and defend them. [Page 11] The world hateth me, because I testifie of it, that the workes thereof are evill. John 5.17. John 15.19. If ye were of the world, the world would love her owne.

9 Gods marvel­lous preservation thereof. The marvellous protection, and wonderfull preservation of this doctrine against the furies of Sathan, and other enemies of the Church. For whereas no Religion is more dangerously at all times without intermission assailed by Tyrants and Heretikes, then this of the Church, and God notwithstanding hath hitherto wonderfully pro­tected it against the cankred rancour and malice of enemies, and the very gates of Hell (insomuch as it alone hath persisted invincible; whereas other Religions, either not at all, or slenderly assailed, have speedily perished, and suddenly fallen to the ground) hence we conclude, that the doctrine of the Church is approved of God, cared for, and secured by him.

10 Punishments of the enemies of it. The punishments of the enemies. For without doubt, that Religion is allowed and advanced by God, whose adversaries God punisheth for oppugning and with­standing it. But histories both old and new have registred and recorded the dread­full and heavie punishments inflicted by God on them who resisted the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles: Therefore God countenanceth and authoriseth that doctrine. Now, although the wicked sometimes flourish in this world, and the Church lieth trodden under foot, yet the end and event testifieth, yea and Scri­pture teacheth, that this is a worke of Gods providence, and no casualty or acci­dent, neither is God therefore more pleased with them, or displeased with his Church. For the Church is alwaies preserved even amidst her persecutions, and is at length delivered; whereas the short felicity of Tyrants and wicked Imps hath a most dolefull and eternall destruction following it. Neither is thereby the force of this proofe weakned, because that all the persecutors of the Church are not in tragicall manner punished in this life, as were Antiochus, Herod, and the rest. For, whiles God doth take vengeance on most of them in this life, he doth sufficiently shew what hee would have to be thought of the rest of their compli­ces; verily, that they are his enemies, whom, without they repent, he will plunge in­to eternall plagues, the beginning and feeling of the which is desperation, in which all the enemies of Christian Re [...]igion end their dayes,2 Object. Not for this cause. yea they who are not oppres­sed with any other calamities of this life. To conclude, that it may be manifest, that they are not only for other transgressions punished of God, God doth so often denounce in his word, that such shall be the ends of his enemies,Ans. Yea, for this cause. and that for this very cause, because they go about to extinguish the people, and true worship of God. Yea, furthermore they are not a few, from whom, while they lie in torments, their conscience wresteth out this confession, that they have drawne these miseries upon themselves, by persecuting the godly: as from Antiochus Epiphanes, and Julian the Apostata. And since that all the adversaries of the Church in their calamities and death are destitute of comfort, it is manifest, that they suffer as the enemies of God; and therefore are far from true Religion. Now that which the wicked alone doe, there is no doubt but that is in the number of their sins, for which they suffer pu­nishment. Wherefore the overthrowes of the enemies of the Church are no obscure testimony of the wrath of God against them, even as God himselfe saith of Pharaoh, To the same purpose have I stirred thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, Exod. 9. Rom. 9. and that my Name might be declared throughout all the earth.

11 Confession and constancy of Martyrs. The testimony and constancy of Martyrs, who sealing this doctrine with their bloud do shew in the very midst of most exquisite torments, that they do so think indeed, as they taught, and are firmly perswaded in their hearts of the truth of that doctrine which they have professed; and that they draw that comfort out of it which they did preach unto others: to wit, that for Christs sake they are truly the sons of God, and that God careth for them in the houre and point of death. God therefore sustaining them by this lively comfort, thereby witnesseth, that he affect­eth the doctrine of the Church, for which they suffer.

12 The piety of the writers and professors therof. The true prety and holinesse of those who wrote the holy Scriptures, and made open pro­fession of the doctrine comprised therein. For that Religion is most sacred & divine, which maketh men holy and acceptable unto God. But the Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, [Page 12]and others, who heretofore have, and now doe earnestly imbrace this doctrine, farre exceed men of other Religions in true vertue and integrity, as by the conference and comparison will appeare. Wherefore it accordeth with reason, that the doctrine of the Church, rather then of any other Religion whatsoever, is true and divine.

13 Their plaine dealing in de­tecting vices. Their ingenuity and plain dealing in opening faults committed either by them or theirs, whom the holy Ghost hath used in committing this doctrine to writing.

14 The testimony of the hol [...] Ghost. The testimony of the holy Ghost, by whose in spiration the Scriptures were writ­ten; the testimony, I say, of the holy Ghost in the hearts of them which beleeve, that is to say, a full faith and firm perswasion that the holy Scripture is the word of God; that God, according unto the tenour of this Scripture, will be mercifull and good unto us; which faith there followeth joyfulnesse, resting on God, and calling on his name with assured hope of obtaining both other good things, which according to the prescript of this word we beg of him, and even eternall life it selfe. For this assent and assurance, this lively consolation of the godly, testeth neither on the testimony of man, nor any other creature, but it is the proper effect of the holy Ghost; which effect how it is enflamed and strengthened by the same spirit, through the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles read, heard, and meditated, all the godly in a lively and certain feeling of their hearts have experience. By this testimony of the holy Ghost, all that are converted unto Christ, have the certainty of heavenly doctrine mainly confirmed, and surely sealed up in their hearts. And this argument, as it is proper un­to the regenerate, so it forceth their hearts alone, not onely to credit the truth and authority of the holy Scripture, but also perswadeth them to give an absolute assent thereunto, and rest settled thereon. All the other testimonies before alledged, are common to those that are not converted unto Christ, whom they also convict, and stop the mouths of them that contradict this doctrine. But of themselves, they nei­ther perswade not move the mind to assent, without the inward testimony of the holy Ghost. But the Spirit of God, when he once breedeth this most assured perswa­sion in our minds, that the doctrine which is contained in the holy Bible, is of a truth the will of God, and worketh that comfort and change of our minds and hearts, which is promised and taught in this book; by our experience and feeling it is so con­firmed, that while this remaineth within us, though all Angels and men should say contrary, yet we would beleeve this to be the voice of God: but if that remaine not, or be not in us, though all should say it, yet we would not beleeve it. Neither doth not the Spirit therefore establish the authority of the Scripture,Object. The Scri­pture beareth witnesse of the Spirit; therefore the Spirit not of it. Answer. because we are to ex­amine what the Spirit speaketh within us by the rule of the Scripture: for, before that this is done of us, the Spirit himselfe declareth unto us, that the Scripture is the word of God, and inspired by him; and that he will teach us nothing in our hearts, which is not agreeable unto that testimony before set down of him in the Scripture. And if this be not first most certainly perswaded us of the Spirit himselfe, we will never re-call our opinions of God and his worship to the Scripture, as the only rule to try them by. Now then after it is declared unto us by divine inspiration, that the Scri­pture is a sufficient witnesse of that divine revelation in our hearts, then at length do we find our selves to be confirmed, by the mutuall testimony of the same Spirit, in the Scripture and in our hearts, and we beleeve the Scripture affirming of it self,2 Tim. 3. 2 Pet. 1. That it was delivered by divine inspiration to the holy men of God.

6 For what cause no doctrine besides the holy Scripture is to be received in the Church.

The Scripture is of God: therefore the rule of faith.Whereas it appeareth unto us, that it is the word of God, which the Prophets and Apostles have left in writing: there is no man which doth not see, that the Scripture must be the rule & square, by which all things, which are taught & done in the Church, must be tried. Now all things, of which there useth to rise questions in the Christian Church, do appertain either unto doctrine, or unto discipline and ceremonies. That the word of God ought to be the rule unto both sorts, it is out of doubt. But in this place we speak of the doctrine of the Church, which consisteth in the sen­tences [Page 13]and decrees, which we are bound by the commandement of god to beleeve or obey; and therefore they cannot be changed by the authority of any creature; and they are become obnoxious unto the wrath of God, whosoever submit not themselves in faith and obedience unto them. To these decrees and precepts the Pa­pists adde many sentences, which not only are no where delivered in Scripture, but are repugnant unto it; and they contend, That the Church or the Bishops have authority of decreeing, yea, contrary and besides the Scripture, what the Church must beleeve or doe: and that mens consciences are bound by those decrees, no lesse then by the words of the holy Scri­pture, to beleeve or obey. Contrariwise, we beleeve and confesse, That no doctrine is to be proposed unto the Church, not only if it be repugnant unto the holy Scripture, but if it be not contained in it. And whatsoever either is not by the expresse testimony of the holy Scripture delivered, or doth not consequently follow out of the words of the Scri­pture rightly understood that we hold, may be without hurt of conscience beleeved or not beleeved changed, abrogated, and omitted.The difference of the Scripture and of other mens opinions. For, we must ever hold a necessary difference between the bookes of the Prophets and Apostles, and the writings and doctrine of others in the Church.1 The Scripture only is of it selfe to be beleeved, & the rule of faith. That the Scripture onely neither hath, nor can have any errour in any matter; other teachers both may erre, and oftentimes also doe erre, when they depart from the written word of God. Againe, that the Scri­ptures are beleeved on their own word, because we know that God speaketh with us in them; others have credit, not because themselves say so, but because the Scripture witnesseth so, neither a whit more then they can prove by the Scripture. Wherefore we do not reject others doctrine and labours in the Church; but only setting them in their owne place, we submit them unto the rule of Gods word. This doctrine first is delivered of God himselfe, and that not in one place only of the Scripture: as, You shall not adde unto the word which I spake unto you, neither shall you take away from it. And, I protest unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecie of this booke, Dent. 4. Revel. 22. if any man shall adde unto th [...]se things, God shall adde unto him the plagues that are written in this booke. And if any man shall diminish of the words, &c. Neither only by these words is forbidden, that no false things, and openly repugnant to the written word, be added to the doctrine of the Church, but also that no uncertaine things, or things not appertaining unto it, be mingled therewith. For, it is not in the power of any creature to pronounce what we are to thinke of God and his will: but this is onely to be learned out of that which is disclosed in his word. And therefore the men of Beraea are commended, Who searched the Scriptures daily, Acts 17. whether these things were so.

2 Faith is ground­ed only on the Word.Secondly faith, which is spoken of in the Church, is a part of divine worship; that is, the sure assent by which we embrace every word of God delivered unto us, be­cause it is impossible for us to be deceived by it, if we understand it aright. Further also, that it may breed in us a true worshipping of God, and comfort of our soules, it must stand sure and immoveable against temptations: But there is no certain doctrine con­cerning God and Religion, besides that which is knowne to be revealed in his word. We may not therefore give the honour which is due unto God, unto men; neither may we go from certaine things to uncertaine, but cleave only to the word of God in the doctrine concerning Religion: and therefore humane decrees must not be accoun­ted amongst those which we are to imbrace by faith: Faith cometh by hearing, hearing by the word of God, &c.

3 Things necessa­ry to be beleeved or done, are part of divine worship. But things not prescribed, are no part of divine worship: There­fore they are not necessary.Thirdly, for so much as the worship of God is a worke commanded of God, per­formed by faith, to this end principally, that God may be honoured; it is manifest, that to beleeve and doe those things which cannot be denied or omitted without offending of God, is the worship of God: and contrariwise, that God cannot be wor­shipped, but by the prescript of his will, both the consciences of all men, and God himselfe in his holy word doth testifie: as, In vain doe they worship me, who teach the do­ctrines and commandements of men. It is as wicked therefore to number those things which are not expressed in the word of God,Isa. 29. Matth. 15. amongst those which are necessary to be beleeved and done in matters of Religion; as it is unlawfull for any creature to thrust upon God that worship which himselfe never required.

4. The Scripture is sufficient.Fourthly, there cannot be any thing added of men unto this doctrine without great injury and contumely done unto the holy Scripture. For if other things, be­sides these that are written, are necessary to the perfection of true Religion; then doth not the Scripture shew the perfect manner of worshipping God, and of attain­ing to salvation; which fighteth with the plain words of Scripture, which affirme, that God hath opened unto us in his Word as much as he would have us know in this life concerning his will towards us:John 15. as Christ saith, All things which I have heard of my Father, I have made knowne unto you. And Paul, I have kept nothing backe, but have shewed you all the counsell of God. Acts 20. And, Knowing that thou hast knowne the holy Scriptures from a child, 2 Tim. 3. which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through the faith which is in Christ Jesus. For the whole Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable to teach, to improve, to correct, and to instruct in righteousnesse.

5. Other Doctors may erre, the Prophets and A­postles cannot; therefore they are tied to these.Fifthly, we are to consider the degrees of them who teach in the Church: For therefore is the authority of the Prophets and Apostles far higher then of other Mi­nisters of the Church, because God called them immediatly to declare his will unto other men, and adorned them with testimonies of miracles, and other things, by which he witnessed, that he did so lighten and guide their minds with his Spirit, that hee suffered them to erre in no one point of doctrine: our Ministers are called by men, and may erre, and doe erre, when they depart from the doctrine of the Prophets and Apo­stles. Wherefore the Apostle Paul saith,Ephes. 2. 1 Cor. 3. That the Church is builded upon the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles. And, That hee had laid the foundation, and other then that could no man lay: others build upon it gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble. Now it is manifest that they who may erre, ought to be tied unto their doctrine who are warranted by the testimonies of God that they cannot erre. Wherefore all other teachers in the Church must not bring any new point of doctrine, but onely propound and expound those things unto the Church, which are delivered by the Prophets and Apostles.The consent of Fathers in this point. For these causes therefore doth the whole ancient Church with great consent submit it selfe unto the rule of the sacred Scriptures, whose au­thority yet ought of right to be greater then these mens, who both in words and deeds fight against this opinion.Basil. serm. de confess. fidei. Basil saith, That it is a falling from the faith, and a fault of pride, either not to admit those things which are written in the holy Scriptures, or to adde any thing unto them. Agust. Epist. 3. And Augustine, For neither ought wee to account of every ones discourses (though they be catholike and worthy men) as of the Canonicall Scriptures, that it may not be lawfull for us, without impairing the reverence, which we owe to those men, to dis­like and refuse any thing in their writings, if peradventure wee shall find that they have thought otherwise then the Scripture hath, as it is by Gods assistance understood either of others, Epist. 112. or of our selves. And, If ought be confirmed by the plain authority of the divine Scri­ptures, of those which are called in the Church Canonicall, wee must without any doubting be­leeve it: as for other testimonies, by which any thing is moved to be beleeved, thou mayest chuse whether thou wilt beleeve them or no.

But against these testimonies of the Scriptures and the ancient Church, the ad­versaries of the truth contend, that besides the doctrine which is comprised in the holy Bi­ble, other decrees also, made by the authority of the Church, are no lesse unchangeable, and ne­cessary to salvation, then the Oracles Propheticall and Apostolike. And, that they may not without some shew and pretence take upon them this authority of decreeing what they list,Objections of the Papists. 1 Object. The Scripture doth not remaine per­fect. Numb. 21. Joshua 10. 1 Kin. 14.19. Jude 9. & 14. 1 Cor. 5. Ephes. 3. John 21.25. besides and contrary unto the Scripture; they alledge places of Scri­pture, in which some writings of the Prophets and Apostles are mentioned, which are not come to our hands: as, The booke of the wars of the Lord, The book of the just, The booke of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah, The prophecie of Enoch, and the story of the body of Moses. And lastly, the Apostle Paul maketh mention of his Epistles, which now the Church hath not. Hence therefore these men will conclude, That the doctrine of the sacred Scripture is maimed, and that therefore the defect hereof must be supplied by the Church. But first of all, concerning the holy Scripture we are to know, that so much thereof hath been preserved of God for us, as was necessary and profitable for the doctrine and consolation of the Church. Furthermore, concerning points of Religi­on, though some holy books are wanting; as those Epistles of Paul, yet it is manifest, [Page 15]that all necessary doctrine is contained in those which are extant.

They alledge, That many things were delivered by word of mouth, 2 Object. Some things de­livered by word of mouth. Answer. both before there were any Scriptures and afterward also by Christ and the Apostles, as John 16.12. 1 Corinth. 11.34. 2 Thessal. 2.15. and elsewhere. But those things which they delivered by word of mouth, are the selfe same which they put in writing, except some matters of ceremonies, as Act. 15.20. 1 Cor. 11.34. which maketh not for the adversaries, whose traditions most of them repugne the Scriptures.

They alledge farther the practice and examples of the Apostles, 3 Object. That the Apostles have decreed a­gainst and besides the Scripture. Titus 1. 1 Timothy. 1 Cor. 11. 1 Cor. 14. 1 Cor. 7. 1 Cor. 6. Answer. as if they did make any ordinances or lawes either besides, or against the Scripture: as when Paul or­daineth many things of chusing Bishops and Deacons, of widowes, of women to be covered, and to containe themselves in silence, of not divorcing the husband, if he be an Infidell, of controversies between Christians. But these men remember not, that their authority is not equall unto the Apostles authority: neither consider they, that there is nothing in all these things appointed of Paul, which is not agreeable to the rest of the Word of God contained in writing, and that many of those things which they alledge, are comprehended in the commandements of the Decalogue. More trifling is it, that they say the forme of Baptisme appointed by Christ was changed by the Apostles, be­cause it is read Acts 28.19. that they baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ. For in those places not the forme of Baptisme, but the use is declared, that is, that men were baptised for to testifie that they did belong to Christ. Neither yet by the example of the Apostles, who interdicted the Churches things offered to Idols, bloud, and that which was strangled, is it lawfull for Councels and Bishops to make decrees and lawes to tie mens consciences. For, first, here againe there must needs be retained a difference between the Apostles, by whom God opened his will unto men (whereupon they also say, It seemeth good to the holy Ghost and to us) and other Ministers of the Church, who are tied unto the Apostles doctrine. Further, as concerning this decree of the Apostles, they decreed nothing else then what the rule of charity commandeth, which at all times would have, that in things indifferent, men should deale without offence. Now if they urge, that these ordinances are called necessary; yet it doth not thereupon follow, that the traditions of Bishops are necessary, especially such as are the Bishops of Rome. Then, that necessity, whereof the Apostles spake, was neither to last continually, neither did it bind consciences for feare of the wrath of God, if these things were not observed: but it dured but for a time, for their infirmity, who were con­verted from Judaisme to Christ, or were to be converted,1 Cor. 10. as Paul doth at large teach.

To these they adde the examples of the Church, 4 Object. Present examples. whom they say even from the Apo­stles to these very times to have beleeved and observed some things,1 not onely not delivered in the Scripture, but contrary to the Scripture. They bring forth the selfe same decree of Jerusalem, concerning things offered to Idols, and bloud: which being made of the Apostles, and expresly set downe in the Scripture, was yet abolished by the Church. But it hath been already said, that that constitution was made, not that it should last for ever, but for a time, for a certaine cause, even for the infirmity of the Church, which was gathered from among the Jewes: and after that cause ceased, that ordinance taketh place no longer. Neither yet did it at that time fetter mens consciences, as if the worshipping or offending of God did lye in it: wherefore the abrogating of it is not contrary, but doth very well agree with it. To these also they reckon the observing of the Lords day. 2 We truly as we doe beleeve this to be an Apostolike tradition, and perceive it to be profitable, and a farre other manner of one then for the most part they are which they would faine thrust upon us under the Apostles name; so we doe not put any worship of God to consist in this thing, but know it to be left arbitrary unto the Church. Even as it is said, Let no man condemne you in respect of a holy day. 3 But they affirme also, that some things not writ­ten are beleeved, which yet to call to question, wee our selves confesse to be unlawfull: as, That Infants are to be baptised, That Christ descended into Hell, Coloss. [...]. That the Sonne of God is consubstantiall unto the eternall Father. But they are too impudent, if they take unto themselves a licence of hatching new opinions, because the Church for [Page 16]to expound the meaning of the Scripture, useth somewhere words which are not extant in the Scripture. But impious are they and blasphemous, if they say the doctrine it selfe which the Church professeth in these words, is not extant in the Scripture.

5 Object. The holy Ghost to teach the Church, therefore not the Scripture.They say also, that the holy Ghost is promised the Church, that it may teach those things which are not delivered in the Scriptures: as, But the Comforter, which is the holy Ghost, whom the Father shall send in my name, hee shall teach you all things. And, When the Spirit of truth shall come, hee shall lead you into all truth. But here they maliciously omit that which is added; And shall bring all things to your remem­brance, which I have told you. John 14.26. and 16.13. Againe, Hee shall beare witnesse of mee. Againe, Hee will reprove the world of sinne, of righteousnesse, and of judgement. Againe, He shall glo­rifie mee,1 for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. For out of these it is manifest,2 that the holy Ghost should speak nothing, but that which was written in the Gospel, and Christ himselfe had before time taught his Disciples: so farre is it that he should bring any thing contrary to them. For neither can he dissent from Christ, nor from himself. So also, when they alledge that, I will put my law in their inward parts, Jerem. 31. 2 Cor. 3.3. and in their hearts I will write it: And, Yee are the Epistle of Christ, written not with inke, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart; they do not mark that the Spirit cannot speak in mens hearts contrary unto these things which be revealed in the Scripture: neither would God write any other law in mens hearts, but that which is already revealed and written; and that therefore the Apostle Paul opposeth not the matter written, but the manner of writing in tables and hearts one against another; because that the same was written in both: but there with ink, and here with the spirit of God. It hath lesse colour, which they go about to build out of that place; If you be otherwise minded, God shall reveale even the same unto you. Phil. 3.15. If therefore, say they, the Church thinke any thing different from the writ­ten word, that proceedeth from the holy Ghost. For the Apostle comforteth and confir­meth the godly, that albeit they did not understand somewhat of that which there hee had written, or were of any other judgement in it: yet that hereafter they should be taught it of God, and should know those things to be true which he had written. When as therefore it is denied that the holy Ghost reveales any thing di­verse from that which is written, the rule and mastership of the Spirit in the Church is not taken away, but the same Spirit is matched with himselfe, that is, with the rule of the Scripture, lest those things should be thrust upon us under his name, which are not his.

Further,6 The Church doth not erre. Matth 18.19. they make their boast that the Church cannot erre: and that there­fore the decrees of the Church are of equall authority with the holy Scripture, be­cause the Church is ruled by the same spirit, by which the Scripture is inspired; e­ven as it is promised, If two of you shall agree in earth upon any thing, whatsoever they shall desire, it shall be given them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them. And, I am with you alway unto the end of the world. Matthew 28.20. 1 John 2.20, 27. So, Yee have an ointment from him that is holy, and ye know all things: Likewise, The annointing which ye received of him, dwelleth in you, and yee need not that any man teach you, but as the same annointing teacheth you of all things, and it is true, and is not lying, and as it taught you, yee shall abide in him. But first of all wee know,1 Answer. The true Church. Matth. 13. Marke 4. Luke 8. that it is the true Church onely which erreth not, and is ruled by the holy Spirit, which is gathered in the name of Christ, that is, which heareth and followeth the voice of the Sonne of God. And therefore these things doe no­thing appertaine to a wicked multitude, which openly maintaineth doctrine con­trary to the Gospel, though it never so much vaunt of the Churches name, yea and beareth sway and rule in the Church, according to that which is said; To him that hath shall be given: but from him that hath not, even that which hee seemeth to have shall be taken away. So did the Pharisees and Sadducees among the Israelites erre, not knowing the Scriptures; neither were they the true Church, though they seised upon the name and place of it. 2. The true Church indeed erreth not universally: For alwaies the light of the truth,2 Answer. Universally. especially concerning the foundation of do­ctrine, [Page 17]is preserved in some mens mindes: whereupon the Church is called the pil­lar and ground of truth. But yet neverthelesse, some of the godly oftentimes fall into errours through ignorance and infirmity: yet so, that they hold the founda­tion, neither do they defend their erroneous opinions contrary to their consci­ence, and at length they forsake them, even as it is said,1 Corinth. 3. If any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, &c. And, If ye be otherwise minded, Ephes. 4. God shal reveal even the same unto you. Last of all, There is given unto every man grace, 1 Corinth. 12. according to the measure of the gift of Christ. And, The Spirit distributeth to every man severally as hee will. Philip. 3.15. The Apostles before they had received the holy Ghost at Whitsontide, were the lively members of the Church; yet erred they concerning the kingdome and office of the Messias. There were of the Chiliasts opinion, great men in the Church as Papyas, Irenaeus, Apollinarius, Tertullian, Victorinus, Lactantius, Methodius, Martyr: And therefore, although the Church erre not universally, yet oftentimes some of her members erre, when as they swerve from the word: which God suffereth not seldome to happen unto them, for to keep us, being warned of our weaknesse and blindnesse, in mo­desty, and his true feare, and in daily invocating of him; and withall, to teach us, that the truth of doctrine is not to be measured by the title of the Church, but by the word de­livered of him by the hands of the Prophets and Apostles: as it is said, Thy word, O Lord, Psamle 129. is a lanterne unto my feet, and a light unto my paths. Likewise,1 Tim. 6.20. Keep that which is com­mitted unto thee, and avoid profane and vain babblings.

This ground being once laid, that, so farre forth the Church erreth not, 7 Object. The Church ought to obey Bishops by the commande­ment of God. Acts 20.28. Marthew 18.7. Luke 10.16. Heb. 13.17. as it doth not swerve from the written word of God, it is easie to answer to that which they make shew of to the contrary, That the Church is ruled by Bishops, and there­fore must obey them; as it is said, Take heed unto all the flocke, whereof the holy Ghost hath made you over-seers, to governe the Church of God. And, If hee refuse to heare the Church, let him be unto thee as an Heathen man, and a Publican. Hee that heareth you heareth mee: and hee that despiseth you despiseth me. And, Obey those who bear rule over you: For both they must rule, and the Church must obey them, according unto the prescript of Gods word, as it is said, If any man preach any other doctrine, let him be ac­cursed. Galatians 1.9. Answer. Necessarily in those things which belong to the Ministry: freely in traditions. Mat. 23.2. Whatsoever therefore the Ministers propound of the word of God unto the Church, we must of necessity obey it; that which the Lord teacheth when hee saith, The Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses chaire: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and doe: For they sit in Moses chaire, who teach Moses doctrine in the Church. If also they ordaine any things indifferent, and of a middle sort, which are profitable, these also are observed for maintaining of order and a­voiding of offence. But if they require us to beleeve or observe things repugnant to the word of God, or things that are in their owne nature indifferent, with putting an opinion of necessity in them, and of worshipping of God, they sit no longer in Moses chaire, but in the chaire of scorners, and of them it is said,John 10. [...]. 1 Tim. 4.1. The sheepe heard them not. Likewise, In the latter times some shall depart from the faith, and shall give heed unto the spirits of errour. And that the decrees of the Bishops also are not to be received among the precepts and decrees of the Church, is confirmed by the exam­ple of the civill Magistrate, whose just and good lawes binde the consciences of the subjects. For the dissimilitude of the examples consisteth in that,1 Instance. The Magistrate doth bind the conscience, there­fore Bishops. that God himselfe by expresse word hath decreed a necessity of obedience to the Lawes and Commandements of the civill Magistrate, which are not repugnant unto his Law: but hath given a liber­tie of conscience in traditions of the Church: so that hee pronounceth himselfe to be angry with him, who obeyeth not civill Magistrates, as long as they command no­thing repugnant to his Lawes: but not with them, which without offence do con­trary to the constitutions of Bishops. For of the Magistrate is is said,Rom. 13.5. Wee must obey him for conscience sake. But of things indifferent in the Church;Col. 2.26. Let no man condemne you in me at or drink, or in respect of a holy day. Likewise,Galat. 5. [...]. Stand fast in the liberty where­with Christ hath made us free.

Now, if againe they reply, that the office of Bishops is above the civill power, 2 Instance. The higher power doth more binde. 1 Answer. and therefore hath greater force than that, to binde men to obey: first, wee grant, that more obedience is due unto the superiour power then to the inferiour, as long as it commandeth [Page 18]nothing contrary to Gods word. As long therefore as the Ministers propound the word of God unto the Church, and for avoiding of offence command such things to be observed, as appertain to decency and order, they do not now offend against them, but against God, whosoever obey them not. But if they require their lawes concerning things different to be observed, with putting an opinion of necessity in them, and of the worship of God, and doe make them necessary, when there is no danger of offence to ensue; because this charge is contrary to the word of God, no obedience is due unto it. Further, we confesse that greater obedience is due unto the su­periour power in those things, in which it is superiour, that is, in which God would have other powers to obey it: But the Ministeriall power is superiour unto the Civill in those things, in which it is superiour; that is, which are of God delivered, com­manded, and committed unto the Ministers, that by them they may be declared unto the Church. But, In matters indifferent, concerning which nothing is either com­manded or forbidden of God, the civill power is superiour, by reason of the authority, which God in these matters hath given unto the civill Magistrate, and not to the Ministers of the Church.

8 Object. Fathers and Councels are cited.But against this they returne againe, That wee also doe alledge the testimonies of Councels and Fathers in confirming the doctrine of the Church: which were but in vaine for us to doe, if their sentences had not the force and authority of Ecclesiasticall doctrine. But we never bring nor receive the testimonies of the ancient Church with that mind,Answer. as if, without the authority of the holy Scripture, they were sufficient for confirmation of any points of doctrine. Neither yet is there regard had of them in vaine.2. Uses of the te­stimonies of Fa­thers in points of doctrine. For, 1. They which are rightly minded, after they are instructed by the voice of the Scriptures concerning the truth, are yet more confirmed by the Church as by a testimony of lower degree. 2. They which attribute more authority unto them then they should▪ or abuse their sayings against the truth, are very well refuted by the testimony of them, whom they have made their Judges.

Also they say,9 Object. Tradi­tions are order. 1 Cor. 14. That order and decency in the Church is necessary by the commandement of God, according as it is said, Let all things be done comely, and in order: For God is not the authour of confusion. Now the order and discipline of the Church doth a great part consist in traditions Ecclesiasticall: wherefore they conclude, that by the violating of these, mens consciences are wounded, Answ. Of meere particulars there is no concluding. A double liberty of the Church in matters of order. and God offended. But as God commandeth some or­der to be appointed and kept in the Church, so hath he given a double liberty in it unto his Church:1 To appoint it. That it be arbitrary for the Church to appoint, as may be most commodious for it, what order shall be in every place, and at every time observed:2 To keep or not to keep it, being appointed, so it be without of­fence. That also after any thing is certainly ordained, it may be kept, or not kept, without hurt of conscience, both of the whole Church, and of every one of the godly, if there be no danger of offence. For it is necessary, that ever a difference be put betwixt the commandements of God (by the observing whereof God is worshipped, and offended by the breaking of them) and those things which God hath left to men to appoint, neither is worshipped or offended, as himselfe pro­nounceth, either by the altering, or omitting of them, so long as there is no cause, or danger of offence.1 Cor. 14.40. Galat. 5.1. Col. 2.16. And the same Apostle, who commandeth all things to be done comely and in order, willeth us to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and that we should be condemned of no man in meat or drinke, or in respect of a holy­day. Wherefore, not they, who without contempt of divine things, or wanton­nesse, or danger of offence, doe something otherwise in these things then is ap­pointed; but they rather offend against the commandement of God, concerning keeping order, who either would have no order in the Church, or trouble that which is well appointed.

These men find fault also with the obscurity of the holy Scripture,10 Object. Ob­scure things do not suffice with­out interpreta­tion. 1 Pet. 3.16. which they prove both by examples of hard places of Scripture, and also out of Peter, where it is said, That there are some things hard to be understood in the Epistles of Paul. And therefore, sith that things darkly spoken, without they be expounded, cannot suffice to perfect and wholesome doctrine, they urge, that the interpretation of the Church also is necessary to be received with the Scripture. But here above all things, they injure the [Page 19]holy Ghost, ascribing darknesse and obscurity unto him,Answer. The Minor is false, if they re­spect the ground. who of purpose endeavour­ed to apply himself in simplicity of speech to the capacity of the common people, and the rudest. For those things which appertaine to the ground of doctrine, which is necessary to be known of all, as are the articles of our Beliefe, and the ten Com­mandements; they are so plainly recited, so often repeated, so plentifully expound­ed in the Scriptures, that they are open and easie to any, but to him who will not learne: even as the 119. Psalme teacheth, where the word of the Lord is called a lan­terne to our feet, and a light to our pathes. Againe, the entrance into thy word sheweth light, and giveth understanding to the simple. The word of the Prophet is called a light shining in a darke place. To which ye doe well that yee take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a darke place, untill the day dawne, and the day-starre arise in your heart. 2 Pet. 1.19. And Solomon affirmeth, that hee writeth to give the simple sharpnesse of wit; and to the child, Prov. 1.4, 20. knowledge and discretion. Againe, that wisedome cryeth without, and uttereth her voice in the streets. Paul also saith, that Christ sent him to preach the Gospel, 1 Corinth. 1.17. 1 Instance. The ground of doctrine is un­knowne to many. Answ. Yea to the reprobate. 2 Cor. 4.3. Isa. 65.2. Rom. 10.21. Psal. 36.3. Mat. 11.25. not with wisedome of words, lest the crosse of Christ should be made of none effect. The ground therefore and summe of doctrine is not obscure, except it be unto the reprobates, who contemne the truth, or stubbornly reject it: as the Apostle saith, If our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that a [...]e lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded their mindes, that is, of the Infidels, that the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ should not shine unto them. All the day long have I stretched forth my hands to a disobedient and gain-saying people. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: hee hath left off to understand and to doe good. I give thee thankes, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise men, and men of understanding, and hast opened them unto babes. Now if they reply againe,2 Instance. Divine matters are obscure unto all men. 1 Cor. 2.14. Answ. Not of themselves, but through our natu­rall blindnesse, which in the rege­nerate is cleared by Gods spirit. Luke 8.10. 2 Cor. 3.15. that divine matters are hard and obscure to all men, as it is said, The naturall man perceiveth not the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishnesse unto him: neither can hee know them, because they are spiritually discerned, they should have called to mind, 1. That this ignorance and hard­nesse riseth not of the obscurity of the Scripture, but of the blindnesse of mans minde. 2. That the obscurity (sith in very deed it is not in the Scripture, but seemeth to be the fault of our nature) doth not alwaies remain in those, who are regenerate, but is re­moved from them by the illumination of the holy Spirit, according to those sayings; It is given unto you to know the secrets of the kingdome of God, but to others in parables, that when they see, they should not see: and when they heare, they should not understand. Ʋntill this day, when Moses is read, the vaile is laid over their hearts: Neverthelesse when their hearts shall be turned unto the Lord, the vaile shall be taken away. From this very place may wee easily refute that which they object: That wee our selves, 3 Instance. The Scripture a long time not knowne. Answer. in that we say the Scripture hath not been understood for these many ages in the Popish Church, doe confesse the obscurity of it. For the ignorance which hath bin from the beginning of the world, and shall be to the end in the adversaries of the truth, is not to be imputed to the obscurity of the Scriptures, but their owne perversenesse, who have not a desire to know and imbrace the truth: as Paul saith, Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, 2 Thes. 2.10, 11. therefore God shall send them strong delusions that they shall beleeve lies.

Whereas therefore it appeareth, that the ground and summe of doctrine is not obscure;4 Instance. Many places obscure. Answer. yet wee confesse that some places of Scripture are more dark and difficult than others: But, 1 1. They are such, that although they were not understood, yet the ground may both stand and be understood. 2 2. The interpretation of these places de­pendeth not on the authority of men, but the exposition of them is to be sought by conference of other places of Scripture more clear. 3 3. If we cannot finde it, yet lest we should affirme any uncertaine thing concerning divine matters, our consci­ence not satisfying us in it; we must suspend our judgment, untill God shall open unto us some certaine meaning: and in the mean season, we are to hold those with thankfull mindes, in which God hath left no place of doubting for us. But when we answer thus unto our adversaries, they rise againe upon us out of those things which we grant them: For because we confesse that some places of Scripture are harder to be understood then others,5 Instance. because of the dulnesse and slownesse of mans [Page 24]minde in learning divine matters,Of the necessity of interpretation Acts 8.13. neither those things which are most cleare, are understood of the people, as the Eunuch of Queen Candaces doth complain: and that the Ministry it selfe was therefore ordained of God in the Church, for that it seemed good unto the holy Ghost to add for our instruction an exposition of the Scripture: which is done by the voice of the Church. To be short, because our selves in writing and teaching doe expound the Scripture, and do exhort all men to the reading and hearing the exposition thereof: out of these they conclude, that besides the reading of the Scripture, the interpretation of the Church is necessary: and that therefore what the Church doth pronounce of the meaning of the Scripture, that is without controversie to be received. Answ. 1. It is ne­cessary as a helpe and instrument, not as if it were impossible to know the truth without it. But wee confesse, 1. That the interpretation of Scripture is necessary in the Church; not for that, without this, to come to the knowledge of hea­venly doctrine is simply impossible (whereas both God is able, when it pleaseth him, to instruct his, even without the Scripture it self, much more then without the ex­position of his Ministers: and the godly learn many things out of Scripture without interpreters: and of the contrary side, except the eies of our minds be opened by the grace of his holy Spirit, heavenly doctrine seemeth alwaies alike obscure unto us, whether it be expounded by the word of the Scripture, or of the Church) but for that it pleased God to appoint this ordinary way of instructing us, and himself hath commanded the maintainance and use of his Ministry in the Church, that it should be an instrument, which the holy Ghost might most freely use for our salvation. 2. Although interpretation of Scripture be necessary,Answ. 2. Though interpreting be necessary, yet so that it must not be a depraving of Scripture. yet this is so farre from grant­ing any license to the Ministers to bring new ordinances into the Church, that no­thing doth more tie them to this doctrine alone, comprehended in the Scripture, then this very function of expounding the Scripture. For to interpret another mans words, is not to faigne at our pleasure a meaning, either divers from them, or repug­nant unto them: but to render the same meaning and sentence, either in moe words, or in more plaine words, or, at least in such as may be more fit for their capacity, whom we teach; and withall, when there is need, to shew, that this is the minde of the author, which we affirme to be. Now such an interpretation of Scripture is made by this meanes:3 Points to be observed in inter­preting Scripture. 1. That the phrase be considered, and the proper sense of the words found out. 2. That the order and coherence of the parts of the doctrine con­tained in the text of the Scripture be declared. 3. That the doctrine be applied to the use of the Church, which it hath in confirming true opinions, or refuting er­rours, in knowing of God and our selves, in exhorting, in comforting, and in direct­ing of our life:2 Tim. 2.15. Titus 1.9. as Paul commandeth, Study to divide the word of truth aright. And, A Bishop must hold fast the faithfull word according to doctrine, that he also may be able to ex­hort with wholesome doctrine, and improve them that say against it. And wisely did Epi­phanius advise,Lib. 2. cont. haeres. Not all words of Scripture have need to be allegorized, or construed accor­ding to a strange sense, but they must be understood as they are: and further, they require meditation and sense for the understanding of the drift and purpose of every argument. That is, All places of Scripture are not to be transformed into allegories: but we must seek out the proper sense of the words, by meditation and sense; that is, using the rules of Art, and having a regard of the propriety of tongues, and our own experi­ence, by which we know the nature of those things, which are signified by words commonly used in the Church.

6 Instance. Concerning the deciding of a con­troversie about the text and mea­ning thereof.But here is cast in another difficulty, for that in controversies concerning the text, and the meaning thereof, such a Judge is required, whose authority and testimony may suffice for determining the meaning of the text. For when both parties, say they, who strive about the meaning, pleadeth each of them that his interpretation is true; except judgement be given of such a Judge, from whom it may not be lawfull to make any ap­peale, the contention will never be decided, and wee shall still remaine doubtfull of the sense of the Scripture, Furthermore, this judgment must needs belong to the Church: for in the Church alone wee are to seek for an examining and determining of controversies concerning Religion. What the Church therefore doth pronounce in these matters, wee must of necessity rest upon that, as the assured meaning of the Scripture. And hereof they say it is manifest, that the decrees of the Church are of no lesse authority then the expresse sen­tence [Page 21]of Scripture. But we, as we willingly grant, that the eontroversies of the Church must be at length determined, Answ. Not the Church, but holy Ghost, is Judge of the Word. and that according to the sentence of that Judge of whom wee may be certainly assured, that wee cannot be deceived: so we acknowledge this Judge to be not the Church, but the holy Ghost himselfe, speaking unto us in the Scripture, and declaring his owne words. For he is the supream Judge, whose judgment the Church onely demandeth, declareth, and signifieth: he cannot be deceived, where­as all men are subject to the danger of errour: in a word, hee being the author of the Scripture, is the best and surest interpreter of his own words. And therefore the Scripture it self in all doubts recalleth us, and bindeth us unto it self:2 Pet. 1.19. John 5.39. Isa. 8.20. We have a most sure word of the Prophets, to which ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place: Search the Scriptures: To the Law and to the Testimony: If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them: The Church doth not alwaies speak the words of the holy Ghost. For although the holy Ghost speaketh also by the Church, yet because shee doth not alwaies speake the words of the holy Ghost, she cannot be the supreame and chiefe Judge of controversies in Religion: For this Judge must be such a one, whose sentence may by no meanes be called in question. But we have none such besides the word of God registred in the Scriptures. Neither do we at all take away the deciding of controversies, Deciding of con­troversies is not taken away. when wee make Scripture Judge of meaning of the Scripture. For although contentious persons alwaies seek sophismes, by which they may delude and shift off the testimonies of Scripture; yet do they this against their conscience: and the lovers of the truth require no other interpreter of the Scripture, but the Scripture; and do acknow­ledge and confesse themselves to be plentifully satisfied by it.

6 Waies how to decide doubtfull places.For whereas unto men also it is granted, to be themselves the best interpreters of their owne words: how much more ought this honour to be yeelded unto the holy Scripture? wherefore, if controversies be moved concerning the meaning of some place in the Scripture, we ought much more to do that here, which we would doe in other writings.1 The analogy of faith. To consider and respect the analogy of faith, that is, to re­ceive no exposition which is against the ground of doctrine, that is, against any article of Faith, or commandement of the Decalogue, or against any plaine testi­mony of Scripture: Even as Paul admonisheth, forbidding to build wood, hay,1 Cor. 3.12. stubble, upon the foundation.2 Examining of Antecedents and Consequents. To weigh the things that go before, and follow after that place which is in question, that so not onely nothing contrary to these may be feigned on it, but also that they may be set for the meaning of it, which these require: For, these ei­ther not being observed, or being dissembled, the meaning of the Scripture is not seldome depraved. So those words of the Psalme,Psal. 91.11. Hee shall give his Angels charge over thee, that they shall beare thee in their hands, that thou hurt not thy foot against a stone: the Divell, tempting Christ, interpreteth them, as if they served to main­taine over-rash and curious attempts; when yet that which is added (In all thy waies) doth shew, that they are to be understood of men doing those things that are proper unto their calling. 3 Resorting to places which teach the same more clearly. To search every where in the Scripture, whether there be extant any place, where it stands for confessed, or is manifest, or may be shewed, that the same doctrine in other words is delivered touching the same matter, which is contained in that place which is in controversie: For if the meaning of the clearer and undoubted place be mani­fested unto us, we shall also be assured of the place which is doubted of, because in both places the same is taught: As when it is said,Rom. 3.28. We conclude that a man is justified by faith without the works of the Law: that in this place, to be justified by faith, is not to please God for the worthinesse of faith, but for the merit of Christ apprehended by faith, and that the workes of the Law signifie not the ceremonies onely, but the whole obedience of the Law, chiefly the morall; other places do teach us, which in moe and clearer words delivered the same doctrine concerning the justification of man before God: as in the same chapter, By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight: Vers. 20, 21, 22, 23. for by the law cometh the knowledge of sinne: But now is the righteousnesse of God made manifest with­out the law, having witnesse of the law and of the Prophets; The righteousnesse of God by the faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all that beleeve; for there is no difference: For all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God: and are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 4 Conferring like places together. To conferre places of Scripture, where though [Page 22]the same words be not spoken of the same thing, yet the words and formes of speaking are used of the like things: For, if the interpretation of the like place be certaine, and there be the same causes for the like interpretation to be given in the place in controversie, which are in the other, then of the like places we must give one and the same judgement.Mat. 5.29, 30. The Lord willeth to put out our eye, to cut off our hand, if they be a cause of offence unto us: Now whereas the Law forbiddeth us to maime our body, Thou shalt not kill; that therefore by this figure of speech the Lord would have us that wee should rather forsake things most deare unto us, than by the rust and motion of them, wee should suffer our selves to be withdrawne from God, the like forme of speech other-where used, Jeremy 22.24. Deut. 32.10. to signifie things most deare and precious, doth shew, as, If Jechoniah were the signet of my right hand yet would I plucke thee thence: and, Hee kept him as the apple of his eye. 5 Consent of the catholike Church, with 3 rules of di­rection therein. John 8.37. When once according to that rule, the controversies con­cerning the text and meaning thereof are judged, we may lawfully also descend to the consent of the Church, yet putting great space betwixt, and not without great advisement. For, lest by the name of the Church we be beguiled, 1. No sentence or meaning is to be received which these rules of examining and judging, which have been now declared, do not suffer: 2. Wee must consider what times, and what writings are purest: what points of doctrine have beene, and in what ages, either rightly expounded, or depraved with errours: 3. Whose interpretation either is of the authour, or may be of [...] confirmed by the testimonies of the Scripture. And to this deciding of all controver­sies about the meaning of the Scripture, drawne out of the Scripture it selfe, doe all the godly and lovers of truth agree; even as it is said, Hee that is of God, heareth the words of God. Now the testimony of the ancient and catholike Church, so farre as they see it to accord with the Scripture, they doe with glad and thankful mindes embrace, and are so much more assured of the knowne truth. But if any quarrel­ling men doe not yeeld unto the testimonies of the Scriptures, we must not seeke, because of them, a Judge higher then the word of God, but must leave them un­to the judgement of God, as the Apostle counselleth us, Reject him that is an here­ticke after once or twice admonition, Titus 3.20. knowing that he that is such, is perverted, and sin­neth, being damned of his owne selfe. 1 Cor. 14.38. Rev. 22.11. And, If any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. Hee that is filthy, let him be more filthy. Neither verily doth he, whom the word of God doth not satisfie, rest on the authority of men, as the truth it selfe doth shew; but as these things are sufficient to shut the mouthes of them who gaine­say the truth, or at leastwise to manifest their impudency: so is there further required for the fencing of the consciences of all the godly in debate of Religion, besides a care of learning the doctrine of the word of God,6 Prayers. An ardent and daily invocating of God, by which wee may desire, that wee may be taught and guided by his holy Spirit. This if wee shall doe, hee will not suffer us to make stay in errour, which may pull us from him: but will open unto us the true and certaine meaning of his word concerning all things necessary to our sal­vation, that our faith may depend not on humane but divine authority, even as it is promised,Mat. 7.7. Aske, and it shall be given you: seeke, and ye shall finde: knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Luke 11.13. James 1.5. For whosoever asketh, receiveth; and hee that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. How much more shall your heavenly Father give the holy Ghost to them that desire him? If any of you do lack wisedome, let him ask it of God, which giveth to all men liberally, and reproacheth no man, and it shall be given him; but let him ask in faith, and waver not.

Object. 11. It is unmeet that the holy Ghost should be subject unto another. Answ. We make him not subject to any other, but compare him with himselfe.To their former arguments our adversaries adde, That it is a shame that the holy Ghost speaking in the Church, should be subject to the examination and judgment of ano­ther: and therefore we must not examine him by the rule of the Scripture. But seeing that the same Spirit speaketh in the Church, and in the Scripture; when wee doe exa­mine the voice of the Church by Scripture, we do not subject the holy Ghost to a­nother, but we compare him with himself. And by this means, 1. We give unto him the praise of truth and constancy, while we do acknowledge and restifie, that he is alwaies like himself, and doth never square from himself: 2. We confesse that the supreme authority of pronouncing the will of God belongeth unto him, while we [Page 23]doe not seek whether those things be true and certaine which he hath spoken, but whether those be his words which men ascribe unto him: and this doe we, even after the selfe same manner which he hath prescribed us; and after we find out by the rule of the written word, that any thing hath proceeded from him to that, without making any controversie, we submit our minds and wils. Contrariwise, it is easie to see,2 Contumelies a­gainst the holy Ghost, issuing out of the Papists opinion of the Judge of the Scripture. that our adversaries themselves are guilty of that contumely against the holy Ghost, of which they accuse us: For while they will have the authority of giving judgement, concerning the meaning of the Scripture, and deciding of controversies, not to belong unto the Scripture, but unto themselves; by this very thing, 1. They imagine that the holy Ghost may dissent from himselfe; 2. They make themselves Judges higher then the holy Ghost, and Word of God.

Lastly, whereas Paul saith, That he is the Minister of the New Testament, Object. 12. The Letter killeth, the Spirit quickneth. 2 Cor. 3.6. not of the Letter, but of the Spirit; for the Letter doth kill, the Spirit doth quicken; some men doe thence gather, That we are to heare, not what the written word of God soundeth, but what the Spirit speaketh by the Church in our hearts. Yea, there hath growne an opi­nion heretofore, That the Grammaticall and Literall meaning of the Scripture is perni­cious, except all be transformed into allegories. But a manifold Paralogisme in this ar­gument doth easily appeare,Two significations of the word Let­ter. if it be considered what the Letter and the Spirit signi­fieth in Paul; for that all the doctrine and knowledge touching God, as also the outward observation of the Law in those that are not regenerate, is called the Let­ter by the Apostle: and the Spirit signifieth, 1. The holy Ghost himselfe: Three significati­ons of the word Spirit. 2. The true doctrine concerning God, when the holy Ghost is of force and efficacy by it: 3. Faith and conversion, and motions pleasing God, being kindled of the holy Ghost through the Word; as it appeares by the words going before: For, for that which here he saith,The proofes of both significati­ons. Vers. 2, 3. That he was made of God a Minister, not of the Letter, but of the Spirit; he said before, That the Epistle of Christ was ministred by him, and written not with inke, but with the Spirit of the living God, in tables of the heart, that is, that his preaching was not in vaine, but of force and efficacy in the hearts of men, the holy Ghost working by it. And in like manner he calleth the ceremony without conversion, Circumcision in the Letter: Rom. 2.27, 29. but conversion it selfe, Circumcision of the heart in the Spirit: Walk in newnesse of Spirit, Rom. 7.9. and not in the oldnesse of the Letter; that is, in true holinesse: such as is begun by the Spi­rit in the regenerate; not in the sin and hypocrisie of them, who know verily the will of God, and make practice also of outward discipline and behaviour, but re­maine without faith and conversion.

Wherefore first, as the doctrine by the fault of men, and not of it selfe, 1 Answ. The Let­ter killeth not of it selfe, but by an accident. remaineth only the Letter; so also not of it own nature, but because of the corruption of men, it kil­leth, that is, it terrifieth mens minds with the judgement of God, and doth stirre up a murmuring and hatred against God, as we are plainly taught by the Apostle,Rom. 7.12, 13, 14. The Law is holy, and the Commandement is holy, and just, and good. Was that then which is good, made death unto mee? God forbid. But sin, that it might appeare sin, wrought death in mee by that which is good, that sin might be out of measure sinfull by the commande­ment: For we know that the Law is spirituall, but I am carnall, sold under sin. But the proper effect of the Scripture is to quicken men, that is, to lighten them with the true knowledge of God, and to move them to the love of God.2 Cor. 2.15. As it is said We are unto God the sweet savour of Christ in them that are saved, and in them which perish, &c. 2 Answ. It killeth, as it is without the Spirit. Albeit the Letter, that is, the doctrine without that spirituall motion, killeth: yet the operation of the holy Ghost accompanying it, when now it is not the Letter, but the Spirit and power of God to salvation unto every one that beleeveth, it doth not kill, but quicken: as it is said, Thy word quickneth me. Wherefore,Psal. 119. that the Let­ter kill us not, we must not cast away the Scripture, but the stubbornnesse of our hearts; and desire of God that he would let his doctrine be in us and others, not the Letter, but the Spirit: that is, that he would forcibly move our hearts by it, and turne them to him.3 Answ. The Spi­rit quickneth, agreeing with the Word. That it is added, that the Spirit quickneth; that calleth us not away from the Scripture to other opinions or revelations: For that Spirit quick­neth, which dissenteth not from the Scripture, but teacheth and mindeth the same which he hath uttered in the Scripture: But that Spirit which leadeth men away [Page 24]from the Scripture, it quickneth not, but may be said much more truly to kill, then the Letter, that is, not by an accident or externall cause, but of it owne nature: For the spirit of Antichrist is a lyar, and a murtherer; and therefore be it accursed unto us.4 Answ. The Apo­stles mis-constru­ed by them. They who by the Letter understand either the characters of letters, or the proper and literall sense, whether it be of the whole Scripture, or of those speeches which are allegorically and figuratively spoken; and by the Spirit, the interpretation of these speeches: it is manifest, that they swerve far from the mind of Paul, both by those things which have been spoken concerning the meaning of Paul, and also because not only every sentence of Scripture, whether it be proper of figurative; but also every interpretation of it is and remaineth the killing Letter, except the quickning force of the holy Ghost come unto it.

Wherefore, sith that neither for interpretation, nor revelation, nor authority, nor any other pretence, it is lawfull, leaving the Scripture of the Prophets and Apo­stles, to depart to whatsoever decrees of Religion, which are not confirmed by the testimony of the Scripture, let us hear it as an Oracle sounding from heaven; bring­ing to the reading thereof not minds fore-stalled, neither with opinions, concei­ved either of our owne braines, or else-where; neither with affections, neither with prejudices: but the love of God, and a desire of knowing the truth. So shall it come to passe, that both wee shall know the true meaning of the Scripture, and by it godlinesse, and sure and sound comfort shall be kindled in us, and great increase.

7. How manifold the course is of teaching and learning the doctrine of the Church.

THere is a threefold order, or there are three parts of the study of Divinity: The first is a Catecheticall institution, 1 Catechising. or a summary and briefe explication of Chri­stian doctrine, and the chiefe generall points thereof, which is called Catechisme. This part is necessary for all men, because both the learned and unlearned ought to know the foundation of Religion.2 Handling of Common places. The second is an handling of Common places; or Common places, which containe a larger explication of every point, and of hard questions, together with their definitions, divisions, reasons, and arguments.

Poure especiall uses of Schoole Divinity.This part properly appertaineth unto the Schooles of Divinity, and is necessary:1 The understand­ing of principall points of divinity. That they who are trained up in Schooles, and may one day be called to teach in the Church, may more easily and fully understand the whole body of Divinity: For, as in other Arts and Sciences, so in the study of Divinity, wee hardly and slowly conceive the grounds thereof; nay, all our knowledge is confuse and imperfect, unlesse every part of the whole doctrine be delivered by the Professors and Readers, and concei­ved by the Auditors and Hearers in some method and order.2 Orderly deli­very thereof in publick. That the Students of Divinity may hereafter plainly and orderly deliver unto their auditory a briefe summe of this whole doctrine, necessary it is, that they themselves first carry in their under­standing a complete frame as it were and perfect body thereof.3 Invention and judgement of the interpretation of Scripture. It is farther ne­cessary to the finding out and judging of the true and naturall interpretation of Scripture: which, whereas it ought to square with faith, that is to say, to impeach no point of this heavenly doctrine; of necessity the Interpreter must have an absolute know­ledge of the main grounds and foundation thereof.4 Examination of controversies in the Church. It is needfull for the increase of judgement in Ecclesiasticall controversies, which are divers, difficult, and dangerous; lest perhaps otherwise we be carried head-long from truth into errour.

3 Reading and meditation.The third course of the study of Divinity, is the reading and diligent meditation of the Scripture, or holy Writ. And this is the highest degree of the study of Divini­ty, for which Catechisme and Common places are learned; to wit, that we may come furnished to the reading, understanding, and propounding of the holy Scripture. For Catechisme and Common places, as they are taken out of the Scripture, and are directed by the Scripture as by their rule; so againe they conduct and lead us as it were by the hand unto the Scripture. Catechisme pertaineth unto the first part of the study of Divinity, whereof it followeth that we presently discourse.

The Speciall Preambles touching CATECHISME.

THE Speciall Prefaces touching CATECHISME, are these five which follow:

  • 1 What Catechising, or Catechisme is.
  • 2 Whether it hath bin alwaies practised, and of the originall thereof in the Church.
  • 3 What are the chiefe points thereof.
  • 4 The reasons why it is necessary.
  • 5 What is the scope and end thereof.

1 What Catechisme is.

THE Greek word, [...] cometh from [...], as also [...] is derived from [...]:The significations of the word Cate­chisme. both these words signifie in their common and largest sense, to resound, to instruct by word of mouth, and to rehearse another mans sayings: But properly, to teach the ru­diments and elements of any doctrine whatsoever: and more pro­perly in Church phrase, to deliver the first principles of Christian Religion; in which sense we read it used, Luke 1.4. Acts 18.25. Gal. 6.6. &c. So then this word Catechisme signifieth in a gene­rall and common sense, the first briefe, and A B C Lecture in whatsoever doctrine delivered by word of mouth. But as the Church useth it, it signifieth an institution of the ruder sort in the elements of Christian doctrine. Wherefore Catechisme is a briefe and plaine exposition, and a rehearsall of Christian doctrine, The definition of Catechisme. framed for the capacity of the ruder sort, select and gathered out of the writings of the Prophets and Apostles, and drawne into certaine questions and answers. Or, Catechisme is a briefe summe of the do­ctrine of the Prophets and Apostles, delivered by mouth unto the simple and ignorant, and exacted or required againe at their hands.

What the Cate­chumeni in the Primitive Church were, and how many sorts of them. 1 Ancient Con­verts. Catechumeni in the Primitive Church were those who learned the Catechisme, that is to say, such as were now of the Church, and were instructed in the principles and beginnings of Christian Religion. Of the Catechumeni there were two sorts: Some of good yeares and ripe age, who of Jewes and Gentiles be­came Christians, but were not yet baptised. These were first instructed in the Catechisme, and afterwards baptised and admitted to the Lords supper. Such a Catechumene was Augustine, when of a Manichee hee became a Christian;Austen. and hee, whiles hee was yet but a Catechumene, wrote many bookes before hee was baptised of Ambrose.Ambrose. Such a Catechumene was Ambrose when hee was cho­sen Bishop of Millaine, the urgent necessity of the state of that Church so re­quiring, for suppressing the pestilent heresie wherewith the Arrians had infe­cted it. Otherwise Paul forbiddeth a Novice or Catechumene to be chosen Bi­shop: For the Neophiti or Novices were those Catechumeni, who as yet were not, [...]. 1 Tim. 3.6. or very lately were baptised, so called from the words [...] and [...], in En­lish New-plants, that is to say, New-beginners and Punies of the Church. Other Catechumeni there were little impes borne in the Church, 2 Young children of Christian pa­rents. the children of Christi­ans. These eft soones after their birth, as being members of the Church were bap­tised, and after they were growne a little elder, they were instructed in the Cate­chisme, which when they had learned, they were confirmed by laying on of hands, and so dismissed out of the companie of the Catechumeni, so that it was law­full for them thence forward to draw neer with the elder sort unto the Lords Sup­per. [Page 26]Of the Catechumeni you may see more in Eusebius tenth book of Ecclesiasti­call history,Euseb. hist. Eccle­siast. lib. 10. cap. 4. Catechists. and fourth chapter, not far from the end. They also were called Ca­techists, who taught the Catechisme, and were the instructers of the Catechumeni.

2. Of the Originall of Catechisme, and of the perpetuall use thereof in the Church.

AS of the whole ministery of the mysteries of Christianity, so must we con­ceive of the originall of Catechisme,The practice of catechising ex­ereised in the time of both the Old and New Te­stament. Gen. 17.7. that it was ordained of God; and hath been of perpetuall continuance in the Church: For whereas God since the begin­ning hath been the God not onely of the aged, but of younglings also, according to the forme of his Covenant made with Abraham; I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed: he hath instituted and appointed that both of them, after the exten [...] and reach of their capacity, be severally instructed in the doctrine of salvation: First the elder, by the publike voice of the Ministery; then the younger, by cate­chising at home and in schooles. Concerning the instruction of the elder sort, the case is cleere, and out of doubt. Touching the catechising of children in the Jew­ish Church,In the time of the Old Testa­ment. there are expresse commands every where extant in holy Scripture. In the 12. and 13. of Exodus God commandeth, that children, and the whole family should be taught the originall and use of the Passover. In the fourth of Deuteronomie God chargeth Parents, that they rehearse unto their little children the whole hi­story of the Law then published. And againe in the sixth he willeth, that the do­ctrine touching one God, and the perfect love of God, be often inculcated in the eares of children. And farther, in the eleventh he biddeth, that the whole Law and Decalogue should be expounded unto them. Wherefore in the Old Testament children were taught the chiefe points of the doctrine of the Prophets; whethe [...] touching God, or the Law, or the promise of the Gospel, or the use of the Sacra­ments and Sacrifices of those times, which were types of the Messias to come, and of his benefits: these, and whatsoever other points of doctrine children were taught either at home by their Parents, or in publike schooles and congregations by the Prophets:2 Kin. 4.38. and 6.1. For I doubt not, but that to this use the houses of the Prophets, of Eliseus, and others were erected. To this purpose God himselfe in briefe deli­vered the whole doctrine of the Law, thus: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, &c. and thy neighbour as thy selfe. To this purpose likewise delivered God summarily the whole doctrine of the Gospel, thus: The seed of the woman shall break the head of the Serpent. And, In thy seed shall all the nations be blessed. They had also Sacrifices, Praiers, and other things, which God would that Abraham and his po­sterity should teach their children, and their whole family: and therefore this doctrine was framed fit for the capacity of children, and the ruder sort.

In the New Testament wee reade how Christ commanded little children to be brought unto him,In the time of the New Testa­ment. Mat. 10.14. on whom he laid his hands, and blessed them: Suffer the little children to come unto mee, saith Christ, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdome of God. And that catechising of children was in use in the Apostles time, witnesse the example of Timothy,1 Tim. 3.15. of whom Paul writeth, that he had learned the Scriptures of a childe. A farther and more direct proofe hereof we have in the Epistle to the Hebrewes,Heb. 6.1, 2. which Epistle layeth downe certaine heads of the Apostles Cate­chisme, of repentance from dead workes, of faith towards God, of the doctrine of Baptism, and of Sacraments, and the laying on of hands, of the resurrection from the dead, and of eternall judgement; all which he entituleth, Milke for children. These and such like grounds of doctrine were required at the hands of the Catechumeni at the time of Baptisme, and of little children at the time of Confirmation by laying on of hands: Therefore the Apostle termeth them, The doctrine of Baptisme, and laying on of hands. Semblably the Fathers also wrote briefe summes of doctrine, certaine remnants of which we see as yet in Popery.E [...]seb. hist. Eccles. [...]ib. 6. cap. 3. Eusebius writeth of Origen, that he restored in Alexandria the custome of catechising, which in time of persecution was decayed. Socrates also reporteth of catechising thus: Our forme of catechising. [Page 27]saith he, is after the manner we received of the Bishops our predecessors going before us, ac­cording as we were taught when we laid the foundation of faith, and were baptised, accor­ding as we have learned out of the Scripture. Pope Gregories Catechisme. Pope Gregory erected and set up Idols and Images in Churches, that they might be the bookes of Lay-men and children. After these times the doctrine of the Church, through the negligence of other Bishops, and subtlety of the Bishop of Rome, was by little and little corrupted, catechising decayed, and at length was transformed into that ridiculous ceremo­nie, which at this day is by them called Confirmation. Thus far of the originall and perpetuall practice of catechising in the Church.

3. What are the parts and chiefe points of Catechisme.

THe especiall parts of the rudiments of Christian Doctrine (as it is said in the place afore-named unto the Hebrewes) were Repentance, and Faith in Christ, that is to say, The Law and the Gospel. Catechisme therefore may primarily, and in the largest sense it beareth, be divided (as the whole doctrine of the Church is) into the Law and the Gospel: For, Catechisme differeth not from the doctrine of the Church in subject and substance of the matter it handleth, but in the forme and manner of handling it: as, solid strong meat prepared for men of yeares (which re­presenteth the doctrine of the Church) and milke, and weak meats chewed for chil­dren (which shadow and resemble Catechisme) vary not in the subject, I meane, the essence, and nature of meat; but in these qualities of being strong, and weake meats. These two parts the vulgar and common sort call by the name of the Deca­logue, or the Apostles Creed: because the Decalogue comprehendeth the summe of the Law; the Creed in briefe the substance of the Gospel. They term it also the doctrine of faith and works, Or, the doctrine of things to be beleeved and done.

Some of the learned divide it into the doctrine concerning God, his will, and his workes. Againe, they distinguish Gods workes into workes of Creation, Preservation, and Redemption. But these three members of this division are all handled either in the Law, or the Gospel, or in both; and therefore this division is easily reduced to the former.

Others make five parts: The Decalogue, The Apostles Creed, Baptisme, the Sup­per of the Lord, and Prayer: of which parts some were immediately delivered by God himselfe; as, The Decalogue: Others mediately, and that either by his Sonne mani­fested in the flesh; as, The Lords Prayer, Baptisme, and the Supper of the Lord: or by the Ministery of the Apostles; as, The Apostles Creed. But these parts are also couched within the two before rehearsed: For, The Decalogue is the summe of the Law; The Creed the briefe of the Gospel, The Sacraments are as appurtenan­ces of the Gospel, and therefore have reference unto the Gospel, as farre forth as they are the Seales of grace promised in the Gospel; but, as they are testimonies of our obedience towards God, so they carry the nature of Sacrifices, and appertaine to the Law. Prayer is a part of the worship of God, and therefore referred to the Law.

The parts of this Catechisme. This Catechisme consisteth of three parts: which are, 1. Mans misery. 2. Mans delivery from this misery. 3. Mans thankefulnesse for this delivery. Which division in effect swerveth not from the rest, because the other parts are coupled in these. The Decalogue pertaineth to the first part, inasmuch as it is the glasse wherein we view, and have sight of our sin and misery: and to the third part, inasmuch as it is the exact rule of true thankefulnesse to God, and of Christian conversation. The Creed, because it descri­beth the manner of our delivery, is contained under the second part. Thither also belong the Sacraments, which are as the appurtenances and seales of the doctrine of faith. Lastly, Prayer, as the principall part of our spirituall worshipping of God, and thankfulnesse towards him, is placed under the third part,

4. The reasons why Catechising is necessary in the Church.

THe diligent exercise of Catechising is necessary in the Church,Deut. 4.9. & 11.19. 1 1. Because of the commandement of God; Ye shall teach them your children. 2 2. Because of the glory of God, which requireth, that God be not onely knowne aright, and magnified by those of riper yeares, but of children also. 3 Thirdly, For our owne comfort and salva­tion: for without the true knowledge of God, and his Son Christ Jesus, that is to say, without Faith and Repentance, no man of sufficient yeares, and able to re­ceive instruction, can be saved, or have any stable or sure confidence that he plea­seth God:John 17.3. Heb. 11.6. For, This is life eternall, that they know thee to be the onely very God. And, Without Faith it is impossible to please God. Now, no man beleeveth on him whom he knoweth not, or of whom he never heard; How shall they beleeve on him of whom they never heard? Rom. 10.17. Faith is by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. As many then as will be saved, must needs hold the foundation, which is the doctrine touching Christ. Wherefore all must be instructed, and such a summe of doctrine must be delivered in the Church, of which the ruder and younger sort also may be capable. Fourthly,4 For the maintaining of a Church and Common weale in this life: For to the establishing of Church and Common-weale there is need of Religion, and the worship of God, Christian discipline, studies, and exercises of godlinesse, honesty, justice, and truth amongst men. All which in vaine we seek for amidst the bar­barous Nations, where there is no practice of piety, or vertue at all. Now there­fore it behoveth, that we be instructed herein from our child-hood, because the heart of man is evill and perverse from his youth: Gen. 1.21. Nay, such is the corruption of na­ture, that unlesse there be sudden redresse, we then too late take physick, when our evill and griefe, through long delay, hath gathered strength, and is become past cure. Wherefore, except we be instructed aright in the will of God out of his Word in our child-hood, and exercised unto godlinesse; hardly, or never doe wee suffer our selves to be withdrawne from those errours which are in-bred in us, and which we drunk in like water in our child-hood; scarcely can we endure to be re­voked and weaned from those vices, in which we have been trained up. Wherefore we must betimes meet with, and bridle mans depraved nature, lest Church and Common-weale go to wracke.5 Fifthly, Because the rule of examining opinions, and discussing the truth of them, must be generally knowne unto all, lest they erre, and be seduced; according to the commandement, Beware of false prophets: Prove all things: Try the spirits, whether they be of God. Now the rule of this tryall is no other, then those chiefe grounds of Catechisme, The Decalogue, and the Apostles Creed. 6 Sixthly, Be­cause they who have throughly learned Catechisme, better understand Sermons, in that they are able easily to reduce whatsoever they heare out of Gods Word, to their severall heads of Catechisme which they have learned: whereas otherwise, Ser­mons for the most part are heard with little fruit and benefit.7 Seventhly, Because Catechisme best fitteth the unskilfull and weak judgement of learners. For a copious and vagrant forme of instruction is hard for youth and beginners, and very unprofita­ble: therefore the doctrine delivered unto them must be briefe, and plaine pack­staffe, such as is Catechisme. 8 Eighthly, Because it is necessary, that the rude and younger sort be severed from Schismatickes, and from the profane Heathen; which di­stinction is no way made but by the knowledge of Catechisme.9 Ninthly, Cate­chisme doctrine is most needfull for Scholars, because they ought to be more expert in Chri­stian doctrine then others, both in regard of their calling, that one day they may in­struct others; as also in respect of their many occasions which daily occurre of learning this doctrine; which, after the example of Timothy, they may not neglect.

To these may be added many impulsive causes, especially with the people to win them drawne either from the end of our Creation, or from the cause of Gods prolonging and preserving our lives untill the time of youth, &c. Also from the dignity andexcellency of the object of Catechisme doctrine, which is the highest and perfectest good even God himselfe; and from the effect of Catechisme, which is the knowledge of this great good, [Page 29]and a community therewith; a thing more precious then all the treasures of the world. This is that costly Jewell digged and hidden in the field of the Church,Mat. 13.44. whereof Christ speaketh: and for whose sake in ancient times Christians, with their little children, suffered martyrdome with cheerfulnesse. Let us view with our eyes the example of Origen in Eusebius his sixth book of Ecclesiasticall History,Euseb. hist. Eccles. lib. 6. cap. 3. Theod. hist. lib. 4. cap. 16. and third chapter. Let us read to this purpose Theodoret his fourth booke of History, and sixteenth chapter. But contrariwise, what is it that we will gladly suffer for Christs glory, if we be ignorant of this doctrine? and how shall we not be igno­rant, if we learn it not in our child-hood? Wherefore the ignorance of Catechisme is not the last and least cause why many now-adaies are carried hither and thi­ther with every winde of doctrine, and why many fall from Christ unto Anti­christ.

5 What is the end of Catechisme and Christian doctrine.

THE scope of Catechisme-doctrine is, our comfort, and salvation. Salvation con­sisteth in the fruition and participation of the highest Good. The comfort thereof is, a certaine hope and expectation of this Good in the life to come, together with a fruition, in part begun in this life. The chiefest Good is that, which if we have, we are blessed; if we want, we become most unhappy and miserable. Further, what, and what manner this onely comfort is, it is resolved in the first question of this Catechisme; where­unto, these Prefaces now ended, we will proceed.

A CATECHISME OF CHRISTIAN RELIGION.

On the first Sabbath.Quest. 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?

Answ. That both in soule and body, whether I live or dye,Rom. 14.8. I am not mine owne,1 Cor. 6.19. but belong wholly unto my most faithfull Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,1 Cor. 3.23. Tit. 2.14. who by his precious bloud, most fully satisfying for all my sins,1 Pet. 1.18. 1 John 1.7. & 2.2. hath delivered me from all the power of the Divell,Heb. 2.14. 1 John 3.8. and to preserve mee,John 6.39. John 10.28. 2 Thes. 3.3. 1 Pet. 1.5. that without the will of my heavenly Father not so much as an haire may fall from my head:Mat. 10.30. Luk. 21.18. yea, all things must serve for my safety.Rom. 8.28. Wherefore by his Spirit also he assureth me of ever­lasting life,2 Corin. 1.22. 2 Cor. 5.5. Ephes. 1.14. Rom. 8.16. and maketh mee ready and prepared, that henceforth I may live to him.Rom. 8.14. 1 John 3.3.

The Explication.

THE question concerning Comfort is therefore handled in the first place, because it containeth the maine scope and drift of Catechism; whose end is to worke in us sure comfort both in our life, and at our death: For to this purpose is all celestiall and heavenly doctrine revealed by God, and is principally to be learned of us. The summe of this comfort is, That we are engraffed into Christ by faith, beloved of him, and recon­ciled unto God, that by him we might be cared for, and saved for ever. Touching this comfort we are to learne,

  • 1 What it is.
  • 2 Of how many parts it consisteth.
  • 3 Why this comfort alone is sound and good.
  • 4 Why it is necessary.
  • 5 How many things are necessary for the at­taining thereto.
1 What comfort is.

COmfort is a certaine argumentation or reasoning,What comfort is.wherein wee oppose some good thing against some present evill, and by the due consideration and meditation thereof, doe mitigate and asswage our griefe conceived, and suffer a while the evill with patience. Where, look how much more grievous the evill is, so much must the good which [Page 32]is desired, exceed the said evill in greatnesse and certainty. So that whereas conso­lation against sin and everlasting death (two the greatest evils that possibly can be­fall to mankind) is here sought for; it is not any common good, but the principall and soveraign good that can be a sufficient salve and remedy thereof. Touching which principall good, Divers opinions of mans chiefest good. without the Scripture and Word of God, so many men, so many opini­ons are broached. The Epicures seat and place this supreme good in sensuality and pleasure. The Stoicks in a decent moderation and bridling of the affections, Or, in the habit of vertue. The Platonicks in their Idea's. The Peripateticks in the action and exercise of vertue. The vulgar sort in honours, riches, power and sway amongst men. But all these are flitting transitory toyes, either lost in the time of life, or left behind us at the terme of death. Now, that principall good we hunt after is such as fadeth not, nor vanisheth, no not in death. I grant the honour of vertue is immortall, and vertue it selfe (as the Poet hath) surviveth after mens funerals: But where liveth it? verily with others, not within our selves. And well said one, that vertues could not justly be reputed mens principall blisse and felicity, whereas we have them witnesses of our distresse and misery. Hypocrites both within and without the Church, as Jewes, Pharisees, and Mahumetists (Papists also doe the like) seek a remedy of death in externall rites and beggarly ceremonies; but all in vaine: For these externall rites do not purge nor cleanse the conscience, and God will not be mocked with petty satisfactions. Howsoever therefore Philosophy, and all other sects enquire after, and promise such a good as may yeeld us sound consolation and contemplation both in life and death, yet they neither find, nor performe any, but such as consciences stagger at, and very sense disclaimeth:True comforts proper to the Church. only the doctrine of the Church presenteth unto us such a good, effectuall, and lively comfort, as wherewith our consciences rest satisfied. For this alone detecteth the fountain of all miseries, whereunto mankind is capti­vated and enthralled:What is the only comfort of the Church. this alone directeth us unto the means of delivery through Christ. This therefore is the only Christian comfort of principall consequence both in life and death; A confidence of free remission of sinnes, and reconciliation with God through Christ, and a certain expectation of eternall life, imprinted in our hearts by his holy Spirit, through the ministery of the Gospel, so that we doubt not but that we belong unto Christ, and are beloved of God, and saved for ever for his sake: according to that of S. Paul, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Rom. 8.35. shall tribulation? or anguish? &c.

2 Of how many parts this comfort consisteth.

SIx parts there are of this comfort: 1 1. Our reconcilement to God by Christ, so that we are no longer enemies,1 Cor. 3.25. but sons of God; neither are we in our own power, but properly belong unto Christ. 2 2. The maner of our reconcilement, even by the bloud of Christ:1 Pet. 1.18. 1 John 1.7. that is to say, by his passion, death, and satisfaction for our sins. 3 3. Our delivery from the misery of sin and death: For Christ doth not onely reconcile us unto God, but also doth exempt and free us out of the power of the Divell, so that sin, death,Heb. 2.14. 1 John 3.8. and Sathan have no power over us. 4 4. The perpetuall preservation and mainte­nance of our reconcilement, freedome, and whatsoever other blessings Christ hath once pur­chased for us. His we are by right: therefore he keepeth us as his owne interest, that not so much as an haire may fall from our head without the will of our hea­venly Father. Neither lieth our salvation in our hands or power; for if it were so, we should lose it a thousand times every moment. 5 5. The turning of all our evils in­to good. Rom. 8.28. The godly indeed are afflicted in this life, nay, they are massacred, they are as sheep appointed to the slaughter: but these things doe not hurt or hinder at all, but further and help forward our salvation; because God giveth a good issue, and turneth all to the best.Rom. 8.28. All things worke together for the best unto them that love God. 6 6. Our full perswasion and assurance of all these good gifts and graces, and of life eter­nall. Two parts of Christian security. This security consisteth,1 The testimony of the holy Ghost. 1. Of the testimony of the holy Ghost, working in us true faith and unfeigned conversion, witnessing unto our spirit, that we are the sons of God, and that these blessings doe truly appertain unto us, because he is the pledge of our inheritance: 2 Effects of true faith. 2. Of the effects of true faith, which we perceive to be in us: such as [Page 33]are true repentance, and a constant purpose of beleeving and obeying God accor­ding to all his precepts: For out of the earnest desire of performing obedience unto God, ariseth our assurance of our true faith; and by faith wee are certainly perswaded of the favour and love of God, and of everlasting salvation. This is the ground of all the other five parts before, specified, without which there is no com­fort in temptations. Briefly therefore the summe of our comfort is this, That we are Christs, reconciled by him unto the Father, of whom wee are beloved, and shall be saved through the gift of the holy Ghost and life everlasting.

3 Why this comfort alone is sound and good.

THat this comfort alone is sound and true, it is apparent: 1. Because it alone faileth us not, no not in death: For, whether we live or dye, we are the Lords. And,Rom. 14.8. Rom. 8.35. who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Neither death nor life, &c. 2. Because it alone stand­eth impregnable and invincible, it alone sustaineth, and assoileth us against all the as­saults and attempts of Sathan. For Sathan thus giveth the on-set:

1 1. Thou art a sinner: Comfort makes answer; But Christ hath satisfied for my sin, and hath redeemed me by his precious bloud, that now I am no longer mine own,The temptation [...] of Sathan, with their remedies, out of this only consolation. but belong unto him.

2 2. Sathan againe assaileth thee: Thou art a child of wrath, and an enemy of God. Ans. I am so by nature, and before reconcilement; but I am reconciled by God through Christ, and received into grace and favour with him.

3 3. Againe he casteth in thy teeth: But thou must dye the death. Answ. Christ hath delivered me from the power of death; and I know, that by Christ I shall escape out of the hands of death into life eternall.

4 4. Hee urgeth further: But in the meane time many miseries happen unto the godly. Answ. Our Lord and Master guardeth and defendeth us in them, and effecteth that they work for our good.

5 5. He yet replieth: But how if thou lose the grace of Christ? For thou mayest fall and perish, because it is a long steep way to heaven. Answ. Christ hath not onely merited his benefits for me, but also bestoweth them, and perpetually preserveth them in mee, and giveth me perseverance, that I faint not, and fall from grace.

6 6. He persisteth: What if grace pertaine not unto thee, and thou be not of the number of them who are the Lords? Answ. I know that grace pertaineth unto mee, and that I am truly Christs: 1. Because the holy Spirit testifieth unto my spirit, that I am the child of God. 2. Because I have true faith, and the promise is generall, pertaining to all that be­leeve.

7 7. He presseth neerer: What if thou have not a true faith? Ans. I know that I have a true faith by the effects thereof; because I have a conscience stedfastly relying on God, and an earnest will and fervent desire to beleeve and obey God.

8 8. He assayeth yet once more: Thy faith is weake, and thy conversation or repentance imperfect. Answ. True: But yet it is entire and unfeigned. And I know,Luke 19.26. Mar. 9.24. that to him which hath shall be given. Lord, I beleeve, help my unbeliefe.

In this great and dangerous conflict, whereof all the children of God have ex­perience, Christian consolation standeth fixed and immoveable, and at length con­cludeth; Therefore Christ with all his benefits appertaineth unto me.

4 Why this comfort is necessary.

BY that which hath been spoken it appeareth, that this comfort is very necessa­ry for us: 1 1. For our salvation, that we faint not, nor despaire in temptation, and wrestling of conscience. 2 2. For the worshipping of God. For, that wee may worship God in this life, and in the life to come (to which end we were created) we must come out of sin and death; not rush into desperation, but be sustained with sure comfort unto the end.

5 How many things are required for the attaining unto this comfort?

THis is resolved in the Catechisme question here immediately following.

Quest. 2. How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayst live and dye happily?

Answ. Three:Mat. 11.28, 29, 30. Ephes. 5.8, 9. The first, what is the greatnesse of my sinne and misery.John 9.41. Mat. 9.12. Rom. 3.11. 1 John 1.9, 10. The second, how I am delivered from all sinne and misery.John 17.3. Acts 4.12. &c. 10.43. The third, what thankes I owe unto God for this delivery.Ephes. 5.10. Psal. 50.14. Matth. 5.16. 1 Pet, 1.12. Rom. 6.13. 2 Tim. 2.15.

The Explication.

THese three are the whole matter, and severall parts of this Catechisme, which jump in with that division of Scripture into the Law and the Gospel, and are sutable with the differences of those parts, as before hath been delivered.

1 1 The knowledge of our misery is necessary for our comfort, not that of it self it ministreth any comfort, or is it self any part thereof;Why the know­ledge of our mi­sery is necessary. for of it self, and in it own nature it terrifieth, rather then comforteth us. But it is necessary for our com­fort:1 To stirre up in us a desire of de­livery thence. 1. Because it stirreth up in us a desire of delivery, as the knowledge of his disease kindleth a desire of remedy in the sick man: whereas on the other side, if we have no knowledge of our misery, we affect not our delivery; as the sicke man when he hath no sense nor feeling of his disease, consulteth not the Physician. Now, if we desire not delivery, we do not seek it; if we seek it not, we obtaine it not, because God giveth delivery only to those that seek it; it is opened only to him that knock­eth: as it is said in Scripture,Mat. 5.6. & 7.9. Mat. 11.28. I [...]a. 37.15. To him that knocketh, it shall be opened. Aske, and it shall be given you. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousnesse. Come unto mee all ye which labour. I dwell in a contrite spirit. So then, That which is necessary to stir up in us a desire of deliverance, that is also necessary for our comfort. But the knowledge of our misery is necessary for the desire of salvation or deliverance: Therefore the knowledge of our misery is necessary for the obtaining of our comfort; necessary, I say, not as a cause working and effecting comfort, but as a motive inducing us to pursue after it: for of it selfe it breedeth terrour, but this terrour is good for us when faith accompanieth it. 2. That thereby we may be the more thankefull for our delivery: To work in us thankfulnesse for our delivery. For we should waxe un­gratefull, if we understood not out of how great miseries we were delivered, be­cause we should never judge aright of the greatnesse of the benefit, and so should not attaine unto our delivery, whereas that is performed onely to the thankfull. 3. Because we can be no fit hearers of the Gospel,To prepare and make us fit hear­ers of the Gospel.without the knowledge of our sin and wret­chednesse. For, unlesse by the preaching of the Law, concerning sin, and the wrath of God, there be a preparation made to the preaching of grace, there followeth car­nall security, and our comfort is made unstable; because sound retired comfort, and carnall security cannot stand together. Hereof it appeareth, that we are to begin from the preaching of the Law, after the example of the Prophets and Apostles, that thereby men may be cast downe from presumption of their own justice, and may be prepared to the knowledge of themselves, and true repentance. Except this be done, through the preaching of grace, men will become more carelesse and stubborn, and Pearles shall be throwne to Swine to be trampled under feet.

2 2. The knowledge of our delivery is necessary for our comfort: 1. That wee fall not into desperation: Why the know­ledge of our deli­very is necessary. For as soon as we have a knowledge of our sinne, wee should be swal­lowed up of despaire, were it not that the meanes of our delivery presented them­selves ready at hand with us to succour us.1 To keep us from despaire. 2. That wee may thereby be touched with a [Page 35]desire thereof. For a good thing not known is not desired: according to that,2 To kindle in us a desire of it. There is no coveting after an unknowne thing. If then we know not the benefit of our deli­very, we shall not long after it, and by consequent we shall not obtaine it: nay, when we either happen to find it, or have it offered unto us, we shall not acknow­ledge it. 3. That it may comfort us: 3 To comfort us. For a good thing not known doth not comfort. 4. Lest through the ignorance thereof, we our selves should imagine, 4 To prevent all erroneous con­ceits therein. or receive imagined by others any manner of delivery, to the reproach of Gods Name, and hazzard of our own sal­vation. 5. That wee might be made partakers thereof through faith: For,5 To gain posses­sion of it by faith. faith is not without knowledge, and our delivery is apprehended only by faith.6 To work thank­fulnesse in us to­wards God for it. 6. That we may be thankefull to God for it. For, as we desire not an unknowne good; so neither do we greatly esteem or account of it, neither doe we thinke of rendring condigne thankes for it. Now the benefit of delivery is not bestowed on the unthankfull; but God imparteth it unto them, in whom it hath that end, whereunto it was or­dained, that is, Thankefulnesse. For these causes, to our sound and true comfort, the knowledge of our delivery is requisite and necessary, both what it is, in what manner, and by whom it was performed. Now this knowledge of our delivery is drawn out of the Gospel, heard, read, and apprehended by faith; because faith alone pro­miseth freedome to them that beleeve in Christ.

3 3. The knowledge of our thankefulnesse is necessary for our comfort: 1. Because God ex­hibiteth this delivery only to the thankefull. 1 Why the know­ledge of our thankfulnesse is necessary. For in these alone God reapeth the end of his benefits; which is his worship, and their gratefulnesse towards him: For thankful­nesse is the chiefe end and scope of our delivery. For this purpose appeared the Son of God, that he might destroy the workes of the Divell.1 Because God performeth it to the thankfull alone. 1 John 3.8.He hath adopted us to the praise of the glory of his grace. 2. That we may offer such thanksgiving as is acceptable unto God: For God will have us no otherwise gratefull unto him, then he hath prescribed in his Word. True thankfulnesse therefore is to be learned out of Gods Word,2 To teach us what thankfulness we are to render unto God. not fa­shioned after our own imagination. 3. That we may know, that those duties, which we perform to God and our neighbour, are no merits, but only a publike declaring of our thank­fulnesse. And what thou givest thankes for,3 To exclude all shew of merit. that thou knowest thou hast not deser­ved. 4. That by our thankefulnesse our faith and comfort may be confirmed, 4 For confirmati­on of faith in us. or that by this thankfulnesse wee may be ascertained of this delivery, as we are sure of the causes of things, when we see their effects: for the thankfull doe acknowledgé and professe an assurance of the good they have received. Now thankfulnesse it self we know in generall out of the Gospel,Thankfulnesse in generall knowne out of the Gospel: in speciall out of the Law. because the Gospel requireth faith and repentance of them that will be saved: We know it in speciall out of the Law, be­cause the Law in speciall doth distinctly declare and determine what workes, and what kind of obedience is pleasing unto God. Wherefore necessarily wee are to treat of thankfulnesse in the Catechisme. Object. That which of it selfe followeth, is not necessary to be taught. But thankefulnesse must needs follow of it selfe, after the acknow­ledgement of our misery and delivery: Therefore it is not necessary to be taught.

Answ. The fallacy of this argument is called in Schooles, A supposall of that to be generally true, which is true but in part. For, thankefulnesse followeth delivery, but not the manner of thankefulnesse likewise: that is, as soone as wee know our deliverance from misery, we presently conceive, that it is a point of our duty to be thankfull for so great a benefit; but what true and acceptable thankfulnesse to God is, we know not, except we be taught: Therefore of the manner of thankefulnesse we are to be instructed out of the Word of God. Furthermore, the Major proposition is not universally true: for a thing, which of it selfe doth follow, may be taught for greater and fuller knowledge and confirmation. And God by this meanes, that is to say, by his Word delivered and knowne, will kindle, increase, and strengthen thankfulnesse in us.

The first generall Part of Catechisme, touching the Misery of Man.

On the second Sabbath.Quest. 3. Whence knowest thou thy misery?

Answ. Out of the Law of God. Rom. 3.10.

The Explication.

IN this first part concerning the Misery of man, principally is handled the common place of sin, and of the effects and punishments of sin. To this are annexed other subordinate places, and in this tract lesse principall then the fore-named, as, the Common places of the creation of man, of the image of God in man, of originall sin, of free­will, and of afflictions. Touching our Misery, we are to know in generall, What it is, Whence it is knowne, and the meanes how.

1 What is meant by the name of misery.The name of Misery stretcheth farther then the name of Sin. By the name of Misery we understand, as well the evill of trespasse or offence, as the evill of punishment. The evill of trespasse is, all sin: The evill of punishment is, all calamity, torment, and de­struction of our reasonable nature. To be short, the evill of punishment comprehendeth all miseries and sins that follow after, wherewith sinnes that goe before are punished. So the numbring of the people committed by David, is both a sin, and a punishment of sin which went before, to wit, of the adultery and murder committed by David; that is to say,What the nature of misery is. it was an evill both of offence, and of punishment: Therefore Mans misery is his wretched estate since the fall, consisting of two great evils; 1. That mans nature through sin is corrupted and averted from God. 2. That for this corruption it is guilty of an eternall malediction, and rejected of God.

2 Whence our mi­sery is known. Rom. 3.20. Deut. 27.26.We have a knowledge of this misery out of the Law of God. By the Law com­eth the knowledge of sin, saith Saint Paul. And it is the voice of the Law; Cursed is he that fulfilleth not all the words of this Law. Now by what meanes the Law yeeldeth us the knowledge of our misery, the two next Questions which follow in order shall declare.

Quest. 4. What doth the Law of God require of us?

Answ. That doth Christ summarily teach us, Matth. 23. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soule, with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first and the great Com­mandement: and the second is like unto this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy selfe. On these two Commandements hangeth the whole Law, and the Prophets.Deut. 6.5. Levit. 19.18. Mar. 12.30. Luk. 10.27.

The Explication.

THis summe of the Law Christ rehearseth, Mat. 22.37. and Luke 10. out of Deut. 6.5. Levit. 19.18. And he expresseth what is meant by that, Cursed is he that fulfilleth not the whole Law: that is to say, who loveth not God with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his mind, and with all his strength; and his neighbour as himselfe. The which severall clauses are particularly to be unfolded more at large.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God. To love God with all the heart, &c. is, on due ac­knowledgement of his infinite goodnesse, reverently to regard him, and to ac­count him our principall and chiefest blisse, and for this cause to love him above all things, to rejoyce in him, to relye on him, to preferre his glory before all things, that there be not found in us not so much as the least thought, inclination, or ap­petite of any thing that may displease him; and rather to part from that which is dearest unto us, and partake of any grievous calamity whatsoever, then suffer our selves to be separated from communion with him, or any way offend him: Lastly, to direct all our actions to this end, that he alone may be glorified by us.

The Lord thy God. As if hee should say: Thou shalt love that God who is the Lord, and thy God; who is revealed unto thee, who conferreth his manifold be­nefits upon thee, and whom thou art bound to serve. It is therefore an Antithesis, or opposition of the true God against false gods.

With all thy heart. By the Heart in this place is understood all the affections, incli­nations, and appetites or desires. Whereas then God requireth our whole heart, his meaning is, that he will have himselfe alone to be acknowledged, and reckoned our soveraign and supreme God, and to be loved above all things: that our whole heart rest on him, and not part thereof to be yeelded unto him, and part unto another. Nay, his will is, that we match and compare nothing with him, much lesse preferre, and admit to share or partake one jot in his love. This the Scripture calleth, to walk before God with a perfect heart: whose contrary is, Not to walk before God with a perfect heart, to wit, to halt, and yeeld himself by halfes unto God. Object. God alone is to be loved: therefore we ought not to love our neighbours, parents, and kinsfolkes. Answ. It is a Sophisme, which Logicians call a fallacy of accident, when we argue from the deniall of the manner of any thing, to the simple and absolute deniall of the thing it selfe: As in this present example, God is chiefly to be loved, and above all things; that is, in such manner, that there be nothing at all which we either prefer or equall with him, and which for his sake we are not ready presently to forgo. We ought to love our neighbour, our parents, and other things also; but not chiefly, not above God, not so that we rather chuse to offend God then our parents; but after God, and for God.

With all thy soule. By the Soule he comprehendeth that part which is willing to any thing, or the motions of the will: therefore he meaneth, with thy whole will and purpose.

With all thy cogitations. By the Cogitations he understandeth the mind and under­standing: as if he should say, So much as thou knowest of God, so much also shalt thou love him: But thou shalt bend all thy cogitations and thoughts to know God per­fectly and aright, and so shalt thou love him. For, so much as we know of God, so much also doe we love him. Now we love him imperfectly,1 Cor. 13.10. because we know him but in part: in the life to come we shall know him perfectly; therefore wee shall love him perfectly, and that which is in part shall be abolished.

With all thy strength. He meaneth all actions both inward and outward, that they be agreeable to the Law of God.

Why the love of God is called the first Commande­ment. This is the first and greatest Commandement. The love of God is called the first Commandement, because it is the spring and fountaine of all the rest, that is, the impul­sive, efficient, and finall cause of obedience in all the rest: For, we therefore love our neighbour because we love God, and that we may declare in the love of our neighbour that we love God. In like manner it is called the greatest Commandement: 1 1. Because the object, which it immediately respecteth and considereth, is the greatest object,Why it is called the greatest Com­mandement.even God himselfe. 2 2. Because it is the end whereunto all the other Commandements are directed. For our whole obedience hath this onely end, that we shew our love to­wards God, and honour his name. 3 3. Because that is the principall worship of God where­unto the ceremoniall worship was to yeeld and give place. For the Pharisees extolled the Ceremoniall law above the Morall. Contrariwise, Christ calleth love the grea­test Commandement, and preferreth the Morall law before the Ceremoniall, be­cause Ceremonies were appointed for love, and are to vaile and submit themselves unto it. Object. Love is the greatest Commandement: therefore love is greater then [Page 38]faith: therefore love justifieth rather then faith. Answ. Love is here taken in generall for our whole obedience which we owe unto God, A distinction of love and faith. under which Faith is comprehended: which faith justifieth, not of it selfe, as it is a vertue in man, but with relation and refe­rence to her object, I meane, the merit of Christ, as it appeareth, and applieth to it selfe that merit. But that love which in speciall is properly called love, is not the same with faith, neither justifieth it; because Christs justice is applied unto us, nor by love, but by faith alone.

The second is like unto this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour. To love thy neighbour as thy selfe, is, for the love thou owest unto God, that is, because thou lovest God, to do well unto thy neighbour according to the commandements of God: or to wish, and doe all things unto him, which thou wouldest in equity, and according to the law to be done unto thee.Our neighbour is every man. Why the love of our neighbour is called the second Commandement. Now every man is our neighbour.

The second. It is called the second commandement: 1. Because it containeth the summe of the second Table, or the duties which are immediately performed unto our neighbour. For, if thou love thy neighbour as thy selfe, thou wilt not murther him, thou wilt not hurt him, &c. 2. Because the love of our neighbour must rise out of the first Table, even from the love of God: therefore it is in nature inferiour to the love of God.

Why it is said to be like unto the first. Is like unto this. It is called like unto the first in three respects: 1 1. In respect of the kind of worship, which is morall, or spirituall, and principall; because it is there in the second Table no lesse commanded then in the first, and is opposed unto the Ceremonies: 2 2. In respect of the punishment, which is eternall, because God doth in­flict this punishment for the breach of either Table.3 3. In respect of the coherence, be­cause neither can be observed without the other.Wherein it is unlike. It is also unlike to the first: 1 1. In respect of the immediate object, which in the first Table is God; in the second, our neighbour: 2 2. In respect of their processe and order; the one being a cause, the other an effect of that cause: For the love of our neighbour ariseth from the love of God, but it falleth not so out on the contrary. 3 3. In respect of the degrees of love: For we must love God above all things: We must love our neighbour, not above all things, nor above God, but as our selves.

Hence riseth an answer unto that objection,Object. The second commandement is like un­to the first: Therefore the first is not the greatest. Or, therefore our neighbour must be set equall with God, Answ. and equally worshipped. For, it is indeed like to the first, not simply and in every point, but in some few; and unlike unto the first in some other points, as be­fore hath been shewed.

On these two Commandements hangeth the whole Law and the Prophets: that is, all the doctrine of the Law and the Prophets is reduced unto these two heads: and all the legall obedience, which is contained in Moses and the Prophets, doth spring from the love of God, and our neighbour. Object. Yea, but the promises and doctrine of the Gospel are found also in the Prophets: Therefore it seemeth that the doctrine of the Pro­phets is unfitly restricted and limited within these two Commandements. Answ. Christ speaketh of the doctrine of the Law, not of the promises of the Gospel, which ap­peareth by the question of the Pharisee, demanding, which was the chiefe Commande­ment, not, which was the chiefe promise in the Law.

Quest. 5. Art thou able to keep all these things perfectly?

Answ. No truly:Rom. 3.10, 20, 23. 1 Joh. 1.8, 10. For by nature I am prone to the hatred of God, and of my neighbour.Rom. 8.7. Ephes. 2.5. Titus 3.3. Genes. 6.5. Genes. 8.21. Jer. 17.9. Rom. 7.2.

The Explication.

THis question, together with the two former,Mans misery known two waies. teacheth that our mise­ry (as there are two parts thereof before specified; so it) is known out of the Law two wayes: 1 1. By a comparing of our selves to the Law: 2 2. By an applying of the curse of the Law unto our selves. The examining of our selves after the Law,What it is to ex­amine our selves by the Law. Rom. 8.7. Ephes. 2.3. Tit. 3.31. and comparing the Law with our selves, is a consi­deration of that purity and uprightnesse which the Law requireth, whether it be in us, or no. The comparison sheweth, that we are not such as the Law requireth: for the Law requireth a perfect love of God; in us there is a hatred and back-sliding from God. The Law requireth a perfect love of our neighbour; in us there is a hate of our neighbour. So then out of the Law is knowne the former part of our misery, I mean, our corrup­tion, whereof the Scripture elsewhere convicteth us.How we do apply the curse of the Law to our selves. The application of the curse of the Law unto our selves is made by the framing of a Syllogisme practicall, that is, assuming and inferring our action; whose Major, or former proposition is the voice of the Law, thus; Cursed is he who continueth not in all which is written in the book of the Law, to doe them. Conscience prompteth and telleth us the Minor or latter propo­sition, thus; I have not continued, &c. The conclusion or shutting up of all is, the allowing and approving of the sentence of the Law, thus: Therefore I am accursed.

Every mans conscience frameth such a Syllogisme: nay, every mans conscience is nothing else but such a practicall Syllogisme, Conscience a pra­cticall Syllogisme. formed in his mind and understand­ing, whose Major is the Law of God, the Minor is the pondering and weighing of our fact, which is contrary to the Law. The Conclusion is the approving of the sentence of the Law condemning us for our sin; which approbation grief and despaire follow at the heeles, unlesse the comfort of the Gospel interpose it selfe, and we perceive the remission of our sins purchased by the Son of God our Mediatour. In this sort the guilt of eternall malediction, which is the second part of our misery, is disclo­sed unto us by the Law. For, we are all convicted by this reason and argument: The Law bindeth all men to obedience, or, if they performe it not, to everlasting punishment and malediction. But no man performeth this obedience: Therefore the Law bindeth all men to eternall malediction.

On the third Sabbath.Quest. 6. Did God then make man so wicked and perverse?

Answ. Not so. But rather he made him good,Gen. 1.31. and to his owne ImageGen. 6.26, 27. Ephes. 4.24. Col. 3.10., that is, endued with true righteousnesse and holinesse, that he might rightly know God his Creatour, and heartily love him, and live with him blessed for ever, and that to laud and magnifie him.2 Cor. 3.18.

The Explication.

HAving hitherto laid downe and proved this Proposition, Mans nature is subject unto sin: the next question to be discussed is Whether it were so created by God; And if not so, What manner of nature was created in man by God; And, Whence sin entred and set foot in man. Wherefore the Common place of the Creation of man, and of the Image of God in man, is hitherto duly referred. Here also we are to make an Anti­thesis, or comparison of mans originall excellency before his fall, and his originall mi­sery since the same, for these causes: 1 1. That the cause and fountain of our misery being discovered, it might not be imputed unto God: 2 2. That the greatnesse of our misery might the more appeare. For look how much more open and eminent our originall excel­lency is unto us, so much more obvious and evident is our misery; as also the bene­fit of our delivery is so much the more precious and honourable in our eyes, by how much the greatnesse of the evils, whence we are freed, is more apparent.

OF THE CREATION OF MAN.

The speciall points touching mans Creation are,
  • 1 What manner of creature man was made by GOD.
  • 2 To what end man was made by GOD.
1 What manner of creature man was made by God.

THis question is proposed even for the same causes for which the whole place it selfe is; namely, 1 1. That it may appear how man was created by God without sin, and that therefore God is not the author of our sin, corruption, and misery. 2 2. That we may perceive from what a heighth of dignity and honour, into how deep a gulfe of wretchednesse and misery we are plunged through sin, and thence may acknowledge the tender mercy and compassion of God, who vouchsafeth to hale and pull us out of the same. 3 3. That we further acknowledge our thankefulnesse for be­nefits heretofore received, and our unworthinesse of receiving any heretofore. 4 4. That wee may the more earnestly thirst after the recovery of the dignity and happinesse wee have lost, and seeke it in Christ. 5 5. That we may be thankefull unto God for the restoring of it. Now what manner of creature man was fashioned by God in the beginning, is shewed in the Answer of this sixth Question, where it is said, He made him good, and to his own Image, &c. Which words require a more ample declaration. Man therefore was created by God on the sixth day of the Creation of the world, consisting of bo­dy and soule. 1 1. His body was fashioned of a masse or lump of earth: immortall, if he stood still in righteousnesse; mortall, if he fell: for mortality ensued on sin as a pu­nishment thereof. 2 2. His soule was made of nothing, but immediatly inspired by God into his body, and was an incorporeall substance, understanding, and imortall. God breathed in his face breath of life, Gen. 2.7. and man was made a living soule. This was by God infused and united to an instrumentall body, to inform or quicken it; and together with it to make one person or Subsistent, namely man, to worke certain motions and actions proper unto man, both externall, and internall; in the body, and without the body; by the ministry of the body, and without the ministry of the body; just, holy, and pleasing unto God. 3 3. After the Image of God: that is, perfectly good, wise, just, holy, blessed, and sole soveraigne of the creatures. Of this Image of God in man more shall hereafter be spoken.

2 To what end man was created.

THE Catechisme maketh answer, That he might rightly know God his Creator, and heartily love him, and live with him blessed for ever, and that to laud and magnifie his name. Wherefore, the last and principall end of mans creation is,1 The glory and praise of God. The glory and praise of God. For God therefore created reasonable creatures, Angels and men, that, being knowne of them, he might be magnified for ever. Man therefore was principally created to the knowledge and worship of God; that is, to the profession and invocation of his Name, to praise and thankesgiving, to love and obedience, which consisteth in the performance of those duties, which concern God and man. For the worship of God comprehendeth in it all these. Obj. Heaven, earth, and other creatures void of reason, Psal. 19. & 146. are said to worship and magnifie God: therefore the worship and praise of God is not the proper end why man was created. Ans. This reason hath a fallacy of equivocation or ambiguity. Creatures void of reason are said to worship and praise God, not that they understand ought of God, or know and worship him; but be­cause [Page 41]they bearing certain prints and stamps of Divinity in them, are the matter of Gods praise and worship, which is properly performed by reasonable creatures. For Angels and men, by the beholding and contemplation of these Gods works, disery in them the infinite goodnesse, wisdome, power, justice, bounty and majesty of God,Rom. 1. 20. and are raised and stirred up to magnifie God by these his creatures. And if God had not formed creatures of reason and understanding, who might behold, consider, and with thankfull mind acknowledge his works, and the order and di­sposing of things in whole nature: other things which are void of reason, might no more be said to praise and worship God, that is, to be the matter and occasion of praising him, then if they never had bin at all. Therefore that which David saith, is spoken by the figure Prosopoeia, or counterfeiting of some other person under that which is presented; as, Praise the Lord ye heavens, sea, and earth, &c. That is, let An­gels and men at the sight and view of these Gods creatures take occasion of laud­ing and magnifying his Name. Many other ends are subordinated to this princi­pall end. For unto Gods worship is substituted,2 The knowledge of God. The true knowledge of him: For God, not being known, cannot be worshipped. And it is the proper work of man, wherein eternall life consisteth, to know and worship God aright. This is everlast­ing life, that they may know thee alone to be the true God. John 17.3. To the knowledge of God is subordinate, or next in order,3 Mans felicity. The felicity and blessednesse of man, which is the frui­tion and everlasting participation of God, and heavently blessings. For out of these appeareth the goodnesse, mercy, and power of God. Obj. The felicity and blessedness of man, his knowledge and worship of God, are qualities and properties in which, or with which man was created; that is, they are a part of the Image of God, and the forme or pro­per nature of man. Therefore they belong unto the first Question; which was, What man was created, and not to this, Of the end of mans creation. Answ. They are a part of mans form and nature, and they are mans end in a diverse respect, in which there is no contrariety. For God made man such a creature, as being blessed and happy, should know and worship him aright: and again, he made him to this end, that thenceforth for ever he might be acknowledged and magnified by him, and might continually communicate himself with all his graces & blessings unto him. Where­fore man was created happy, holy, and religious, and [...]us was his form, which he re­ceived in the Creation, and moreover he was so created, that he should so continue for ever; and this was his end. Therefore both these are fitly spoken, to wit, that man both is created holy, happy, and religious, and is created to be holy, happy, and religious. The former of these is referred to the question What, in respect of the beginning: the latter to the question For what, in respect of continuance and perseverance. So righteousnesse and true holinesse, whereas they are the forme and very being of a new man, are tearmed his end. Neither is it absurd that the same things should in divers respects be called the finall cause, and the formall. For that which is the forme in re­spect of the creature, may be tearmed the end, Ephes. 4.24. in respect of the intent and purpose of the Creator. 4 The manifesta­tion of Gods mer­cy and justice. The manifestation of God, or the declaration of Gods mercy in his chosen to everlasting life, and of his justice and wrath against sinne to be punished in the reprobate. This fourth is subordinated to the knowledge of God, and mans felicity. For that thou mayest know God, and he communicate himselfe unto thee, it is need­full also that he make himselfe manifest unto thee.5 The preservati­on of the societie of men. Psal. 22.23. The preservation of society in mankinde, which end is subordinated to the manifestation of God: For except there were men, God should not have whom to manifest himselfe unto. I will declare thy name unto my brethren. 6 The communi­ty of civill duties amongst men. The communion of mutuall intercourse of du­ties and curtesies amongst men, serving for the preservation of humane society. For that the society and conversing of men together may be maintained, there must needs be peace, and mutuall duties interchangeably passing betweene them. The first creation of man is diligently to be compared with the misery [...]f mankind; as also the end for which wee were created, with the aberration and [...]verving from the end: that so by this meanes also wee may know the greatnesse of our mise­rie. For how much the greater wee see the good was, which wee have lost; so much the greater wee know the evils to be, into which wee are fallen.

OF THE IMAGE OF GOD IN MAN.

The chiefe Questions hereof are,
  • 1 What is the Image of God in man.
  • 2 How farre forth it is lost, and how farre it remaineth.
  • 3 How it is repaired in man.
1 What the Image of God in man is.

What the Image of God is. THE Image of God in man, is a vertue knowing aright the nature, will, and workes of God; and a will freely obeying God; and a correspondence of all the inclinations, desires, and actions, with the will of God; and, in a word, a spi­rituall and unchangeable purity of the soule, and the whole man; perfect bles­sednesse, and joy resting in God; and the dignity of man, and majesty, where­by he excelleth and ruleth other creatures: 5 Parts of the I­mage of God in man. Wherefore the whole Image of God in man comprehendeth, 1 1. The soule it selfe, together with the faculties thereof, indued with reason and will. 2 2. All our naturall notions and knowledge of God, his will, and his works; that is to say, perfect wisedome in the soule. 3 3. All just and holy actions, inclina­tions, and motions of the will,I mean, perfect righteousnesse and holinesse in our heart and will, and all our externall actions. 4 4. Felicity, blessednesse, and glory linked with perfect joy in God, and abundance of all good things, free from all misery and corruption. 5 5. Rule and dominion of man over the creatures; as fishes, fowles, and other living creatures. In all these things this reasonable creature in some sort resembleth his Creator, as the Image expresseth in some sort the Arch-type or principall patterne; yet can he by no meanes be equalled unto his Creator: for in God all things are immense and without measure,Ephes 4.24. and even his essence infinite. The Apostle Paul putteth Righteousnesse and Holinesse as the chiefe parts of this Image; yet doth he not ex­clude, but presuppose wisdome and knowledge: for no man can worship God un­known. But neither doth Paul exclude perfect blessednesse and glory; for this, accord­ing to the order of Gods justice, is necessarily coupled with perfect holinesse or conformity with God. For, where true righteousnesse and holinesse is, there is the absence of all evils, whether of crime or offence.

Righteousnesse and holiness in this text of the Apostle may either be taken for the same thing; or so distinguished, that Righteousness may be meant of the actions both inward and outward, as they have a conformity and congruity of the will and heart with the mind judging aright, and with the Law of God; and Holinesse may be un­derstood of the qualities themselves. 1 Ob. 1. Perfect wisdome and righteousnesse is in God alone,Man was perfect but in a certaine degree and mea­sure: not infinitely as God is.and is not found in any creature; and the wisdome of all creatures, even of the Angels themselves, both may, and doth increase: how then was the Image of God perfect wisdome and righteousness in man? An. By perfect wisdome here is meant not such a kind of wisdome as is ignorant of nothing, but which hath as absolute perfection, as is incident un­to the nature of a creature; as great a portion as the rich Creator hath measured and sundred out unto his creature, sufficient to indue it with happiness and felicity: as the wisdome of the Angels and their blessednesse is perfect, because it is such as God hath ordained, and yet unto it somewhat daily may be added; otherwise it were infinite. So was man perfectly just, because he was conformable to God in all things which God required of him; not that he was of equall perfectnesse, or had justice inherent in him in that degree of perfection which God had, but because he wanted nothing of the full measure of such perfection as God created in him, and would should be in him, and which might suffice a created nature to the attaining of blessedness. There is therefore an ambiguity in the word perfection; & in this sense [Page 43]here expressed, man is said in Scripture to be the image of God, 1 Cor. 15.47. or to be made after the image of God. 2 Obj. 2. The first man was of the earth, earthly; the second man, the Lord from heaven. As the earthly was, such are they that are earthly: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthly, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly. Ans. The Apostle doth not here take away the image of the heavenly man from Adam, when he as yet stood; but compareth his nature and estate as well before, as after his fall, with that heavenly glory, unto which we are restored by Christ; that is, not onely the nature of man corrupted through sin by death, but the degree of the image of God in mans nature before the fall, and before glorification, with that which followeth in glorification.

Christ called the image of God in two respects.Christ is called the image of God in a far different and divers manner: 1. In respect of his divine nature; whereby he is the image of his eternall Father, coeternall, consubstan­tiall, and coequall with his Father in Essence, essentiall properties, and workes; and is that person by which the Father doth mediately reveale himselfe in creating and preserving all things, but chiefly in saving the Elect. And he is indeed called the image not of himselfe, or of the holy Ghost, but of his Father, because he was from all eternity born, not of himself, or of the holy Ghost, but of the Father.2 Of his humane nature. In respect of his humane nature, whereby he is the image of God, created indeed, yet by many degrees, and in number of gifts, John 14.9. as in wisdome, righteousness, power, glory, far exceeding all Angels and men and after a par­ticular manner resembling his Father in doctrine, vertues, and actions; according as him­self saith, Philip, he that hath seen me hath seen my Father. Angels and men the image of God. Gen. 1.26. Not in essence, but in qualities. But Angels and men are term­ed the image of God, as well in respect of the Son and the holy Ghost, as of the Father, where­as it is said, Let us make man in our image, according to our likenesse: and that not for the likenesse or equality of essence, but for the agreeing of some properties; not in degree or es­sence but in kind and imitation. For there is something created by God in Angels and men, proportionable to the counterfeit and patterne of the divine essence.

Adam the image of God, not accor­ding to his body, but according to his soule.They who, as in time past the Anthropomorphitae, will have the image of God to be the forme of mans body, say, that whole Adam was made to the image of God; and therefore according to his body also. But they perceive not the usuall manner of speaking of a person composed of divers natures, which is called, The communicating of properties, when that is communicated to the whole person in the concrete, which is onely proper to one of the natures; as in the same place,The faithfull not in all things like unto the divinity in which they are like Christ: be­cause Christ him­selfe in his body was not like unto God, but unto man. Adam was made a living soul. Now as the Scripture mentioneth the nature of the soule, so also doth it mention such an image of God as agreeth not unto the body. Againe, they object, Christ is the image of God, But the faithfull bear in their body the image of Christ: therefore the body al­so is the image of Christ. There are four termes in this Syllogisme: because Christ is not in his body, but in his divinity, the image of his Father: and in soule, or in the gifts or properties thereof, and actions, he is the image of the whole divinity or Godhead. Wherefore the image of God in the faithfull is not the same which the image of God is in Christ: neither are they in all things like unto the Godhead▪ in which they are like Christ; because there is somewhat in Christ besides his divinity, and the image of the divi­nity which is in the soule; that is, his body, which hath an affinity not with the di­vine nature, but with the nature of our bodies. Again, they say, the frame of mans body is made with admirable skill and cunning: therefore there shineth in it, and is beheld as in an image, the wisdome of the Creator. But it followeth not hereof that the body is the image of God: for so should all things be made to the image of God, see­ing that in all Gods works, his power, wisdome, and goodnesse doth appear, which yet the Scripture doth not permit: which setteth out onely the reasonable crea­tures with this title and commendation, and placeth the image of God in those things which belong not to the body, but to the soule.

How man is said of S. Paul to be the image of God, and not the wo­man.Here also question is made concerning the place of the Apostle, Man is the image and glory of God, but the woman is the glory of man: where Paul seemeth to attribute the image of God onely to man, and to take it away from the woman. But the Apostle meaneth, that man onely is the image of God, not in respect of his nature, 1 Cor. 1.11. being partaker of divine wisdome, righteousnesse, and joy; neither in respect of his dominion over o­ther creatures (for these are common to man and woman) but in respect of civill, do­mesticall, [Page 44]and ecclesiasticall order, in which he will have the publike government and administration to belong unto the man, not to the woman.

2 How farre forth the Image of God was lost, and how farre it remaineth.

SUch then was the image of God, after which God in the beginning created man, and which man before his fall had apparent stamped in him. But man after his fall, by means of sin, lost this glorious image of God, and was transformed into the deformed and ugly shape of the Divell.The remnants of Gods image in man after the fall. Some remnants and sparkes of Gods image continued re [...]iant in man after his fall, and yet remain also, even in the unre­generate: 1 1. The incorporeall substance of the reasonable and immortall soul, together with the powers thereof; and amongst these the liberty of his will, so that whatsoever man will, he willeth it freely. 2 2. Many notions in the understanding; of God, of nature, of the difference of things seemly and unseemly; which notions are the principles of Arts and Sciences. 3 3. Some prints and steps of morall vertues, and some petty abilities con­cerning outward discipline, and behaviour. 4 4. The fruition of many temporall good things. 5 5. A kind of dominion over the creature: For this is not wholly lost, but many are sub­ject to mans government, and man is able to rule many, and to use them. These remnants, I say, of the image of God in man, howsoever they also through sin are mainly defaced, and manifoldly impaired, yet in some sort they are reserved and preserved in nature,The ends for which God pre­serveth these rem­nants in us. and that to these ends: 1. That they might be a testimony of the bounty of God towards us, yea though we were unworthy of it. 2. That God might use them to the restoring of his image in us. 3. That he might leave the Reprobate without excuse.

Howbeit, the good and graces which wee have lost of this image of God, are farre more in number, and of greater worth and moment: As, 1 1. The true, perfect, and saving knowledge of God, and his will. 2 2. The integrity and perfection of the knowledge of Gods workes,What is lost of the image of God in us.and a bright shining light, or a dexterity in the understanding, or discerning truth; in place whereof succeedeth, ignorance, blindnesse, and darknesse. 3 3 Righte­ousnesse and conformity to the Law of God in all our inclinations,1 desires and actions, in our will,2 heart, and outward parts; in whose roome is invested a horrible disorder and corruption of the inclinations and motions of our heart and will,3 whence actuall sinnes are hatched. 4 4. Whole and perfect dominion over the creatures: For those beasts which feared man before, now assault him, they lie in waite for him, and violence him. The fields bring forth thornes and thistles. 5 5. The right and inte­rest of using those creatures, which God granted to his children, not to his enemies. 6 6. The felicity and happinesse both of this life, and of the life to come; in place whereof is come death both temporall and eternall, with all sorts of calamities. Object. The Hea­then excelled in many vertues, and atchieved great workes: therefore it seemeth the image of God was not lost in them. Two causes why the vertues of Ethnicks please not God. Answ. The noble vertues and famous exploits of Hea­then men pertaine indeed to the reliques and remainder of Gods image in man: but so farre are they from being that true and perfect image of God, that they ra­ther are meere maskes and shewes of outward behaviour and discipline,1 They proceed not from a true knowledge of God. without any obedience of the heart towards God, whom they know not, and f [...]ie from: therefore these workes are not pleasing unto God,2 They have not Gods glory pro­posed for their end.whereas they neither proceed from the true knowledge of God, neither are wrought to that end, that all the glory may redound unto God.

3 How the image of God is restored in us.

The repairing of the image of God in us, is the work of all three per­sons. THE repairing of the image of God in man is wrought by God alone, who gave it unto man: for in whose power it is to give life, in his also it is to restore it being lost. The manner of restoring it is this: 1. God the Father restoreth it by his Sonne, because he hath made him unto us, wisdome, justification, sanctification, and redemption. 2. The Sonne by the holy Ghost immediately regenerating us; 1 Cor. 1.30. 2 Cor. 3.18. Rom. 1.16. Wee are changed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord. 3. The holy Ghost restoreth it by the [Page 45]Word and use of the Sacraments: The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Now this renuing is so wrought by God, as that in this life it is onely begun in the chosen, and in them confirmed and augmented unto the end of their life, as concerning the soule; but as concerning the whole man, at the resurrection of the body. Wherefore it is to be obser­ved, who is the author, and what the order and manner of this repairing.

Quest. 7. Whence then ariseth this wickednesse of mans nature?

Answ. From the fall and disobedience of our first Parents, Adam and Eve.Genes. 3. the whole chapter throughout. Romanes 5.12, 18, 19. Hence is our nature so corrupt, that wee are all conceived and borne in sinne.Psalme 51.5. Genesis 5.3. Wisdome 12.10.

The Explication.

HEre wee are first to meditate on the fall and first sin of man; whence the cor­ruption of mans nature had his beginning. Secondly, on sin in generall, and especially on Originall sinne.

Of the fall and first sinne of man.

Concerning the fall and first sinne we are to consider and know,

  • 1 What and what manner of sinne it was.
  • 2 What are the causes thereof.
  • 3 What are the effects.
  • 4 Why God permitted it.
1 What and what manner of sinne that first sinne of Adam and Eve was.

THE fall or first sin of man was the disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve in paradise; or, the eating of the apple and fruit forbidden by God. Gen. 2.16, 17. Thou shalt eate freely of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evill thou shalt not eate of it: for in the day that thou shalt eat thereof, thou shalt die the death. This commandement of God, man through the perswasion of the Divell trangressed, and hence is our corruption and misery derived. Is then the plucking of an apple so heinous a crime? Yea verily, a grievous offence;The manifoldness of the first sin: because in it many horrible sins are fast linked together:1 In pride against God. Pride against God, ambition, and an admiration of himselfe: for man, not content with that state wherein God had placed him, desired to be equal with God. This God doth charge him with, when he saith;Gen. 3.22. Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: 2 In incredulity. Incredulity and unbeliefe, and contempt of Gods ju­stice and mercy: for he tempted God, and charged him with a lye: For God had said, Thou shalt die the death: The Divel denied it, saying, Ye shall not die: Gen. 2.17. and farther, the Divel accused God of envie, saying; But God knoweth that when ye shall eate thereof, Gen. 3.4, 5. your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil. Here Adam gave credence to the Divel, & did eat of the forbidden fruit; neither did he beleeve that God would therefore inflict that punishment on him which he had threatned. Now not to beleeve God, and of the contrary to beleeve the Divel, is to account God for no God; nay, to seat and install the Divell in the place of God. This sin was heavie and horrible above measure.3 In stubbornness and disobedience. Stubbornnesse and disobedience towards God; because a­gainst the expresse commandement of God he did eate of the apple.4 In unthankful­nesse. Ʋnthank­fulnesse for benefits received at his creation; as, for these, that he was created to the I­mage of God, and to eternall life: for which he rendered this thankes, that hee rather hearkened and inclined to the Divel then God.5 In unnatural­ness [...]. Ʋnnaturalnesse and neglect of love towards his posterity: because (miserable and wretched man!) he thought not with [Page 46]himselfe, that as he had received those good things for himselfe and his posterity, so he should by sinning against God make losse of them both from himselfe and them.6 In Apostasie. Apostasie or manifest defection from God to the Divell, whom hee beleeved and obeyed rather then God, whom he set up in the place of God, with-drawing and sundring himselfe from God. Hee did not aske of God those good things which he was to receive; but rejecting the wisdome and direction of God, by the advice of the Divell, will aspire to be equall with God. Wherefore the fall of man was no light and simple, or single fault; but was a manifold and terrible sinne, for which God justly rejected man with all his posterity. Hence wee easily answer that objection: Object. No just Judge inflicteth a great punishment for a small offence; God is a just Judge: Thorefore hee should not have punished the eating of an Apple so grievously. Answ. The eating of the Apple was no small sinne, but manifold and outrageous; in which was conceived Pride, Ʋnthankefulnesse, Apostasie, &c. as hath been already proved: Therefore God justly inflicted a great punishment on man­kind for the same. Repli. Yet at the least hee should have spared mans posterity, be­cause himselfe hath said; Ezek. 18.20. The sonne shall not beare the iniquity of the father. Answ. True, if so the sonne be not partaker of his fathers wickednesse: But here all are partakers of Adams iniquity.

2. What were the causes of the first sin.

The causes of sin are the Divels in­stigation, & mans will freely yeeld­ing unto it.THe first sinne of man sprang not from God, but from the instigation of the Divell, and from the free-will of man: For the Divell provoked man to fall away from God; and man, yeelding to the inticing allurements of the Divell, freely revolted from God, and wilfully forsook him. Now, although God left man destitute in his temptation, yet he is not the cause of his fall, or sinne, or destruction of man: For in that dereliction or forsaking of man, God neither intended, nor effected any of these; but he proved and tried man, to shew how impotent and unable the creature is to doe, or retaine ought that is good, God not preserving and directing him by his Spirit: and together with his triall of man, hee in his just judgement suffered the sinne of man to concurre, but he was no cause or efficient of it. Flesh­ly wisdome thus reasoneth against this doctrine: Object. Whosoever with-draweth grace in the time of temptation, without which the fall cannot be avoided, hee is the cause of the fall; but God with-held from man his grace in the time of temptation, with­out which hee could not but fall: Therefore God was the cause of the fall. Answ. The Major is true onely of him, who with-holdeth grace, when hee is obliged and bound not to with-hold it: and him, who with-draweth it from such a one as desireth it; not from such a one as wilfully rejecteth it: and of him, who of despight and malice with-draweth it. But it is not true of him, who is neither bound to preserve and maintaine the grace which hee sometime gave; and who with-holdeth it not from such a one as desireth to have it continued; but from him, who is willing hee should so doe, and voluntarily refuseth it: and, who denieth it not therefore, because hee envieth the offendors righteousnesse and life eternall, or is delighted with the sinne; but onely to this purpose, to try him to whom hee hath imparted grace: For hee who forsaketh any man on this manner, is not the cause of sinne, howsoever in him, who is thus forsaken, sinne necessarily follow­eth this dereliction and with-drawing of grace. Now God in the temptation of man with-held his grace from him not after the former, but the latter manner here expressed: Wherefore God is not the cause of mans sinne and destruction for with-drawing, but man for wilfull rejecting of grace. Repl. Whosoever will that such a one be tempted, whom he certainly knoweth that he will fall, if he be tempted; he willeth his sinne which falleth: but God would that man should be tempted of the Divell, whom he certainly knew that hee would fall; for otherwise, and against the will of God. man could not have been tempted: Therefore God is the cause of mans fall. Answ. This Major is de­nied as false, if it be simply and precisely taken: For, he is not the cause of sin, who will that he who is apt to fall, be tempted onely for cause of triall, and to make manifest the creatures infirmity. Now God in this sense, and with this intent suffered man to be [Page 47]tempted, that is, to be proved. But the Divel tempting man, to the end that he might sinne, and be separate and distracted from God; and man willingly obeying the Temp­ter against the commandement of God, they both are the true causes of sinne. But of the causes of sinne more shall be spoken hereafter.

3 What the effects of the first sinne are.

THE effects of mans first sinne are:1 Guilt of death. Guiltinesse of death, and a privation and destruction of Gods Image in our first Parents. 2 Originall sinne. Originall sinne in us their posterity, that is to say, the guilt of eternall death, and the corruption and aversenesse of our whole nature from God.3 Actuall sinne. All actuall sinnes which are sprung of originall: for that which is the cause of the cause, is also the cause of the effect: But the first sinne in man is the cause of his originall sinne, and this of his actuall sinne. 4 Punishments in­flicted for sin. All the evils of punishment which are inflicted for sinnes. Therefore the first sinne of man is the cause of all other his sins and punishments. Now whether it stand with Gods justice to punish the posterity for the sinne of the parents, it shall hereafter in the common place of Originall sinne be fully resolved.

4 Why God permitted the first sin of man.

GOD could have kept man from falling if hee would,The causes of Gods permission of the first sin: but hee permitted him to fall, that is, hee gave him not the grace of resistance against the temptati­on of the Divell; and that for two causes:1 To shew mans weaknesse and infirmity. That it might stand for an example of the weakenesse and infirmity of the creature, were it not supported, and preserved in origi­nall righteousnesse by the Creator. 2 To shew his mercy, justice, and power. That by this occasion God might shew his goodnesse, mercy, and grace, in saving the Elect by Christ: and that hee might shew his justice and power in punishing the wicked and reprobate for their sinnes; according to these sayings of Scripture: God hath shut up all in unbeliefe, Rom. 11.32. Rom. 9.22, 23. that he might have mercy on all, and every mouth might be stopped. And, God, to shew his wrath, and make his po­wer knowne, suffered with long patience the vessels of wrath prepared to destruction; and that hee might declare the riches of his glory upon the vessels of mercy, which hee hath pre­pared unto glory.

This doctrine concerning the Creation and fall of man is necessary for the Church, for many causes and uses which it hath. 1 1. Wee must know that man was created of God without sinne,The necessity and use of this do­ctrine of mans creation. lest God be imagined the authour or cause of sinne: 2 2. Whereas mans body was fashioned of clay, let us thinke of our frailty that wee be not lifted up with pride. 3 3. Seeing that the workmanship of God is so admirable in the framing of mans body, and seeing it was created for the mini­stery of Gods worship, and for God to dwell in, and for everlasting life; let us neither abuse it to dishonesty, neither willingly destroy it, neither make it a stie of Divels; but keeping it chaste and clean, endeavour that it be a temple and instru­ment of the holy Ghost to worship God: 4 4. Seeing that God would have man­kind to consist of two sexes, each is to have his due place and honour, neither is the weaker to be contemned, or oppressed by tyranny, or lust, or to be entertained with injuries and contumelies, but justly to be governed and protected: 5 5. But especi­ally, seeing man was created to the image and likenesse of God, this great glory is to be acknowledged and celebrated with thankfull minde, neither through our lewdnesse and malice is the image and likenesse of God to be transformed into the image and likenesse of Satan, neither to be destroyed either in our selves, or others: 6 6. And seeing it is destroyed by sinne through our own fault, wee must acknow­ledge and bewaile the greatnesse of this unthankfulnesse, and the evils which fol­lowed, by comparing therewith those good things which we have lost. 7 7. We must earnestly desire the restoring of this felicity and glory: 8 8. And because the glory and blessednesse, which is restored unto us by the Son of God is greater then that which wee lost in Adam; so much the more must the desire of thankfulnesse and of profiting and increasing in godlinesse be kindled in us: 9 9. And seeing we heare [Page 48]that all things were created for the use of man, and that the dominion over the creatures lost in Adam, is restored unto us in Christ; we must magnifie the boun­tifulnesse of God toward us: we must aske all things of him, as being our Creatour and soveraigne Lord, who hath the right and power of giving all good things, to whom, and how far he will himselfe; and use those things which are granted to our use with a good conscience, and to the glory of God, who gave them. 10 10. And that this may be done, we must not by infidelity cast our selves out of that right which we receive in Christ: and if God of his owne power and authority either give us lesse then wee would, or take away from us that which he hath given, wee must submit our selves patiently to his just purpose, as most profitable for our salvation. 11 11. And seeing the soule is the better part of man, and the happiness of the body dependeth on the happinesse of the soule; and seeing also we are crea­ted to immortall life, we ought to have a greater care of those things which be­long to the soule and eternall life, then of those things which belong unto the body and this temporall life. 12 12. And at length, seeing the end and blessednesse of man is the participation and communicating of God, his knowledge, and wor­ship, let us ever tend unto it, and referre thither all our life and actions. 13 13. And seeing we see one part of mankind to be vessels of wrath, to shew the justice and severity of God against sin, let us be thankfull to God, sith of his meere and infinite goodnesse he would have us to be vessels of mercy, to declare through all eternity the riches of his glory. 14 14. Last of all, that we may learne, consider, and begin these things in this life, let us, to our power, tender and help forward the common society and salvation of others, for which we are borne.

OF SIN IN GENERALL.

The speciall questions of sin in generall are these:

  • 1 Whether sin be, or whence it appeareth to be in the world, and in us.
  • 2 What sin is.
  • 3 How many kinds of sins there are.
  • 4 Whence sin is, & what be the causes therof.
  • 5 What be the effects of sin.
1 Whether sin be in us.

THat sin is not only in the world, but in us also, we are divers waies convin­ced:We know that sin is in us, 1 By Gods owne testimony. Gen. 6.5. & 18.21. Jer. 17.9. Rom. 1.21. & 3.10. & 7.18. Psal. 14. & 53. Isa. 59. By Gods divine testimony, which pronounceth us all guilty of sin; and we are to give credence unto Gods assertion, sith he is the searcher of hearts, and truest eye-witness of our actions:2 By Gods Law. Rom. 3.20. & 4.15. & 5.20. & 7.7 By the Law of God sin is fully knowne, as before in the third and fifth Questions of the Cate­chism hath been at large declared, according to those texts of Scripture, By the Law cometh the knowledge of sin. The Law causeth wrath; for where no Law is, there is no trans­gression. The Law entred thereupon, that the offence should abound: I knew not sin, but by the Law. 3 By conscience and the law of nature. Rom. 1.19. & 1.14 By conscience, which convinceth us of sin: for God, besides the written Law, reserved unto us certain generall notions and principles of the law of Nature imprinted in our understanding, sufficient to accuse and condemn us. Forasmuch as that which may be known of God is manifest in them. The Gentiles doe by nature the things contained in the Law, and shew the effect of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witnesse, and their thoughts accusing one another, or excusing. 4. The punishment and death, whereunto all men are subject and enthralled. Nay, our Church-yards, places of buriall, and of execution are as so many Sermons of sin; because God, being just, inflicteth not punishment on any but for sin,Rom. 5.12. Rom. 6.23. Deut. 27.26. as saith the Scripture: Death went over all men, forasmuch as all men have sinned. Again, The wages of sin is death. Also, Cursed is [Page 49]every one that confirmeth not all the words of this law to doe them.

The use of this question is,The use of the do­ctrine of sinne is, 1 To worke in us Humility and Re­pentance. That we may thence exercise our selves continually in humiliation and repentance: 2 To withstand Anabaptists. That we detest and withstand the outrages of Anabaptists and Libertines, who deny that there is any sin in them; contrary to the express word of God. If we say we have no sinne we deceive our selves; and contrary to all experi­ence: For they both commit many things which God in his law pronounceth to be sins,1 John 1.8. howsoever themselves falsly and blasphemously tearm them the motions of the holy Spirit; and live also in misery, no lesse subject to death and diseases then o­ther men: which truly, were they no sinners, were flat against that precise rule, Where there is no sin, there is no death.

But it is demanded,Object. whether wee have not a knowledge of our sinne by the Go­spel also: For, The Gospel charging us to seek for righteousnesse, not in our selves, but without our selves, even in Christ, pronounceth us sinners. Therefore by the Gospel also wee have knowledge of our sinne, and not by the law alone. Answ. The Gospel pronounceth us sinners, but not in speciall as doth the Law;How the know­ledge of sin com­eth by the Go­spel. neither doth it pur­posely teach what, or how manifold sinne is, what sinne deserveth, &c. which is the pro­perty of the Law: but it executeth this function onely in generall, and lesse principally, and presupposing the whole doctrine and duty of the Law; as inferiour Sciences, which are in order directly one under another, borrow some principles and chiefe grounds from the Sciences next above them: For after that the Law hath ar­raigned and convicted us of sin, and proved that wee are sinners; the Gospel im­mediately taketh this principle, and concludeth, that whereas wee are sinners in our selves, wee must seeke for righteousnesse without our selves in Christ, that wee may be saved. So then by these five meanes wee may finde that sinne is in us:Sin is knowne five waies. 1. By Gods owne assertion: 2. By Gods law principally, and in speciall: 3. By the Gospel lesse princi­pally, and in generall: 4. By the touch and sense of conscience: 5. By the punishments which God, being just, inflicteth not but for sinne.

2 What sinne is.

SIn is a transgression of the law, or, whatsoever is repugnant to the law, that is a defect, 1 John 3.4. or an inclination, or action repugnant to the law of God, offending God, and making the creature that sinneth guilty of the everlasting wrath of God, except remission be granted for the Son of God our Mediatour. The generall nature of sinne is a defect▪ The Logicians call it Genus, which is the more common nature of a thing, or the matter of it. or an incli­nation, or action: but to speak properly, a defect is this generall nature; and inclina­tion. or actions, are rather the matter of sinne. The difference and formall essence of sin, is a repugnancie with the law; which John calleth a transgression of the law. The pro­perty, which necessarily cleaveth fast unto it, is the guilt of the creature offending: that is to say, a binding of the offendor to temporall and eternall punishments, which is done according to the order of Gods justice. And this is that which they com­monly say, that there is a double formality, or two-fold nature of sinne;A two-fold na­ture of sin: 1 Repugnancie with the law.2 Guilt. repugnancy with the law, and guilt: or, that there are two respects, of which the former is a com­parison or a dissimilitude with the law; the other, an ordaining unto punishment. An ac­cidentall condition of sin is expressed in these words, Except remission be granted, &c. because it ariseth not out of the nature of sinne, but it is by occasion and accident, in respect of sinne, that they who beleeve in Christ are not punished with ever­lasting death; because (forsooth) sinne through Christ is not imputed unto them, but remitted by grace. Now these are called defects: In the understanding, igno­rance and doubtfulnesse of God and his will: In the heart, a privation or want of the love of God and our neighbour, of joy in God, and of an earnest desire and endeavour to obey God according to all his commandements; and an omitting of inward and outward actions, which are commanded by the law of God.What corrupt in­clinations are. Corrupt inclinations are said to be stubbornnesse of the heart and will against the law of God, or against the judgement of the minde as touching honest and dishonest a­ctions: or a pronenesse and willingnesse of nature to do those things which God forbiddeth, which evill they call Concupiscence.

That these defects and corrupt inclinations are sins, and condemned by God, is proved,Three proofes that corrupt in­clinations are sins. 1 Gods Law. Out of the Law of God, which expresly condemneth these defects and inclinations, when it saith, Cursed is every one that confirmeth not all the words of the Law to doe them: and, Thou shalt not covet: which Law also requireth in men the contrary graces and faculties, I mean, a perfect knowledge and love of God and our neighbour.Deut. 6.5. John 17.3. Exod. 20.3. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, &c. This is life eter­nall, that they know thee to be the only very God, &c. Thou shalt have no other gods before mee. 2 Testimony of Scripture. Gen. 8.21. Jer. 17.9. Rom. 7 7. John 3.5. 1 Cor. 2.14. & 15.50. Rom. 1.21. & 8.6. By many testimonies of Scripture condemning these evils for sinnes; The frame or imagination of mans heart is evill, even from his youth. The heart is deceitfull and wicked above all things. I had not knowne lust (that is to say, to be sin) unlesse the Law had said, Thou shalt not lust. 3 Death of In­fants. By the punishments and death of Infants, who although they doe neither good nor evill, and offend not after the similitude of A­dams transgression; yet they have sin in them, for which death reigneth over them. And this sinne is the blindnesse and frowardnesse of our nature towards God, of which we have hitherto spoken. 1. Object. That which is not voluntary, neither can be avoided, is not sinne, neither deserveth punishment: Defects and inclinations cannot be avoided by us: Therefore they are no sinne. Answ. The Major holdeth true in a Civill Court, but not in the judgement of God, before whom, whatsoever is repugnant unto his Law (whether it be in our power to avoid it, or no) is sin, and deserveth punishment. For Scripture teacheth both that the wisdome of the flesh cannot be subject to the Law of God; and that all, who are not subject to the Law, are subject to the wrath of God. 2. Object. Nature is good: But our inclinations and de­sires are naturall: Therefore they are good. Answ. True it is, that Nature is good, if you consider it before the corruption. Genes. 1.31. All things were very good which God made. Even now also Nature is good in respect of the substance, and being of it, and as it was made of God; but not in respect of the quality of it, and as it is corrupted. 3. Ob­ject Punishments are not sinnes: But these inclinations and defects are punishments of the first fall: Therefore they are not sinnes. Answ. It is true, that punishments are not sins, if we respect the course of Civill justice; but not so, if we respect Gods justice. For God oftentimes punisheth sins with sins; which the Apostle especially sheweth, Rom. 1.27. 2 Thes 2.11. For God hath power of depriving his creatures of his Spirit; which power his creatures have not.

3. How many kinds of sins there are.
There be five principall divisions of sin.

THe first division is this; All sin is either Originall or Actuall. This distinction is expressed Rom. 5.14. and 7.20. and 9.11.

OF ORIGINALL SIN.

ORiginall sinne is the guilt of all mankind, What Originall s [...]n is. by reason of the fall of our first Parents, and a privation of the knowledge of God and his will in our mind, and of all inclination to obey God with our will and heart; and of the contrary, in these there remaineth a wicked inclination to those things which God forbiddeth, and backwardnesse in those things which he commandeth, ensuing upon the fall of our first Parents, and derived from them unto all their posterity, and so corrupting their whole nature, that all by reason of this corruption are become guilty of the everlasting anger of God, neither can they doe any thing pleasing and acceptable to God, Rom. 5.14. Psal 51.5. Originall sin con­taineth two things. except remission be granted for the Sonne of God the Mediatour, and a renewing of their nature by the holy Ghost. Of this sinne it is said, Death reigned even over them also that sinned not after the like manner of the transgression of Adam. In sin hath my mother conceived mee. Originall sinne then containeth two things:1 Guilt of eter­nall damnation. The guilt of eternall damnation for the sinne of our first Parents. 2 Corrupt [...]on of mans whole na­ture. The corruption of mans whole nature after the fall. Of both these Paul saith, By one man sinne entred into the world, Rom. 5.12. and death by sinne; and so death went over all men, forasmuch as all men have sin­ned. [Page 51]The vulgar definition passing under Anselmus his name, containeth the same in effect with this our definition, save that it more obscurely thus propoundeth it: Originall sinne is a want of originall righteousnesse which should be in us: Anselm's defini­tion of originall sin. For origi­nall righteousnesse was not onely a conformity of our nature with the Law of God, but also it comprehendeth in it Gods acceptation and approbation of this righteous­nesse. Now by the fall of man, in stead of conformity, there succeeded in mans na­ture deformity and corruption; and guiltinesse, in stead of approbation. Such is that definition also of Hugo Cardinall: Originall sin as that which we draw from our birth, Hugo Cardinall his definition. through ignorance in our understanding, and concupiscence in our flesh.

The errour of the Pelagians and Anabaptists in the doctrine of originall sin.Against this doctrine of Originall sin in times past did the Pelagians strive, as at this day the Anabaptists doe, denying that there is any Originall sin, because that neither the posterity are guilty by reason of the first Parents fall; neither is sin de­rived into them from their ancestors by propagation, but every one sinneth, and be­cometh faulty by imitation onely of the first Parents. These Pelagians Saint Augu­stine hath confuted in many bookes.

Others grant, that all became faulty by reason of the fall of our first Parents; but they deny that such corruption was bred in us, as might deserve condemnati­on: for, the defects, as they think, with which we are borne, are no sin. But against these Sectaries and Schismaticks wee are to hold these foure Theoremes or Po­sitions: 1. That all mankind is held guilty of Gods everlasting wrath, Foure Theses of the doctrine of originall sin. Foure proofes shewing that ori­ginall sin is deri­ved by nature un­to posterity. for the disobedience of our first Parents. 2. That there are in us, besides this guilt, defects and inclinations re­pugnant to the Law of God, even from the houre of our birth. 3. That these defects and in­clinations are sins, and deserve the eternall wrath of God. 4. That these evils are derived not by imitation, but by the propagation of a corrupt nature from our first Parents unto all their posterity, except Christ only. The first, second, and third are sufficiently confir­med in that which hath already been spoken.

The fourth is thus proved:1 Testimony of Scripture. Eph [...]s. 2.3. Rom. 5.18, 19. Job 14.4. Psal 51.5. John 3.5. By testimonies of Scripture; Wee are by nature the children of wrath, as well as others. By the offence of one the fault came upon all men to condemnation. By one mans disobedience many were made sinners. Who can bring a cleane thing out of filthinesse? I was borne in wickednesse. Except a man be borne of water and of the spirit, hee cannot enter into the Kingdome of God. 2 Death of In­fants. Isa. 48.8. Gen. 8.21. De bono mortis, cap. 11. Infants dye, and are to be baptised; therefore they have sin: But they cannot as yet sin by imitation. It must needs be then that sin is bred in them. Whence it is said: I called thee a transgres­sour from the womb. The heart of man is evill from his youth. And Ambrose saith; Who is just in the sight of God, whereas an infant of a day old cannot be cleere from sinne? Every thing which is borne carrieth with it the nature of that which bare it,3 Community or participation of nature between parents and chil­dren. as touching the substance and accidents proper to that speciall kind: But wee are all born of corrupt and guilty Parents: We therefore all draw by nature in our birth their corruption and guilt.4 From the dou­ble grace of Christs death; Justification and Regeneration. By the death of Christ, who is the second Adam, we receive a double grace, Justification, and Regeneration: therefore it followeth, that out of the first Adam there issued and flowed a double evill, the guilt, I meane, and corruption of our nature; otherwise wee had not stood in need of a double grace and remedy.

The Pelagians objection.1. Object. If sinne be propagated from the Parents unto their posterity, it passeth to the off-spring, either by their body, or by their soule. Not by the body, because that is bestiall, and unreasonable; nor by the soule, because that is not derived by deduction out of the soule of the Parents, whereas it is a spirituall substance, which may not be severed into parts; neither is it created corrupt by God, whereas God is not the authour of sin: Wherefore cer­tainly originall sinne passeth not by nature from the Parents unto the children. 1. Answ. We deny the Major: because the soule, being created by God pure and undefiled, may draw naughtinesse and corruption from the body, though it be brutish, into which it is infused. Neither is it absurd to say, that the evill disposed tempera­ture of the body is an unfit instrument for the good actions of the soule, and cor­rupteth the soule, not being established in her righteousnesse; so that it present­ly falleth from her integrity as soone as it is infused and united unto the body: 2. Answ. We likewise deny the consequence and coherence of the Major, because in [Page 52]it there is not made a sufficient account and reckoning of the parts by which Ori­ginall sin passeth: For it passeth neither by the body, nor by the soule, but by the of­fence of our Parents, in regard whereof God, even whilest hee createth mans soule, bereaveth it of Originall righteousnesse, and other such like gifts, which hee gave on that condition to our first Parents, that they should continue, or lose them to po­sterity, according as they themselves either kept, or lost them. Neither is God in so doing either unjust, or the cause of sin: for this privation or want of righteous­nesse is in respect of God, which inflicteth it for the offence of our first Parents, no sinne, but a most just punishment: although in respect of the Parents, which draw it unto themselves and their posterity, it be a sinne. Wherefore, if the whole Major be laid downe thus, Originall sinne passeth unto posterity either by the Body, or by the Soule, or by the Sinne of Parents, and merit of this privation of righteousnesse; If the Ma­jor, I say, be thus proposed, the fault of the Argument is soon espied: for, as Ori­ginall sinne first sprung in our Parents by their offence; so by the same it is con­veighed unto posterity.

This is not that little chinke of which the Schoolmen so doubtfully dispute, to wit, of the deduction of our soule from our sinfull Parents, and of the pollution of the soule by meanes of the body coupled therewith; but this is that wide gate, by which originall sinne violently rusheth into our nature, as Paul witnesseth, By one mans disobedience many were made sinners. Repli. 1. The privation or want of originall righteousnesse is sinne: Rom. 5.19. But God inflicteth this punishment of privation, creating our soule in us bereft of those gifts, which otherwise he would have endowed it withall, if Adam had not sinned: Therefore herein God is the authour of sinne. Answ. There is in the Major a fallacy of Accident. This privation is sinne in respect of Adam and us, sith that by his and our fault with might and maine we pull it unto us, and greedily receive it; for that the creature should be destitute of righteousnesse and conformity with God, it is repugnant to the Law, and is sinne: But in respect of God, it is a most just punishment of Adams and our disobedience, agreeable unto nature and the Law of God. Repli. 2. Yea, but God ought not to punish Adams offence with such a pu­nishment, whereby he knew the destruction of all mankind would follow and ensue. Answ. Yea rather let Gods justice be satisfied, and let the whole world perish and come to nought. It behoved God, in regard of his exact justice and truth, to take venge­ance in this sort on the pride of man; because the offending and displeasing of the highest good merited the most extreme punishment, that is, the eternall destru­ction of the creature; and God hath said, Thou shalt die the death. Now it is of his free mercy that out of this generall ruine he saveth some, I meane the Elect through Christ.

Object. 2. The desiring of their proper objects is naturally incident to each faculty and appetite: Therefore it is no sinne. Answ. The ordinate desires of their objects, which God appointed them, are no sins; but the inordinate, and such as are against the Law, they are sinnes: For simply or meerly to desire, is of it selfe no sinne; and the appetite or desire is good, because it is naturall: but to desire contrary to the Law, this is sinne.

Object. 3. Originall sinne is taken away from the Saints of God: Therefore they can­not derive it unto their posterity. Answ. We answer to this Antecedent, that origi­nall sinne is taken away from the Saints of God, as concerning the guilt of it, which is remitted unto them by Christ: but yet, as concerning the pure essence thereof, that is, as it is a sinne repugnant to the Law, so it remaineth in them. For although they be withall regenerated by the holy Ghost, unto whomsoever their sinne is forgi­ven; yet that renewing is not perfected in this life. Wherefore the godly also doe derive such a corrupt nature to their posterity as themselves have. Repli. That which the Parents themselves have not, they cannot derive unto their posterity: But the guilt of Originall sinne is taken away from regenerate Parents: Unrighteousnesse and damnation from our Parents, but righteousnes by the grace of Christ. Therefore at least the guilt is not derived. Answ. We must distinguish of the Major. The Parents indeed conveigh not that to their posterity which by nature they have not. But they are freed from the guilt of sinne, not by nature, but by the grace and benefit of Christ. [Page 53]Wherefore Parents by nature derive unto their posterity, not righteousnesse, which is freely imputed; but unrighteousnesse and damnation, unto which themselves by nature are subject. And the cause why they derive their guilt unto them,Why the parents righteousnesse is not derived unto their children. and not their righteousnesse, is this: Because their posterity are not borne of them according to grace, but according to nature; neither is grace and justification tied to carnall pro­pagation, but to the most free election of God. Examples hereof wee have Jacob and Esau, &c.

Austin illustrateth this point by two similitudes: the one is of the graines of corn, which though they are sown, purged by threshing from their stalke, chaffe, beard, and eare; yet spring againe from out of the earth with all these: and this cometh to passe, because the purging is not naturall to the graine, but is the work of mans industry. The other is of a circumcised father, who though himselfe have no fore-skin; yet he begetteth a son with a fore-skin: and this cometh to passe, because Circumcision was not by nature in the father, but by the Covenant.

Object. 4. If the root be holy, the branches also are holy: Rom. 11.16. Therefore the children of the Saints are holy, and without originall sinne. Answ. Here is committed a fallacy of am­biguity: for holinesse in this place signifieth not a freedome from sinne, or integrity and uprightnesse of nature; but that prerogative and priviledge of Abrahams po­sterity, whereby God, for his league made with Abraham, had appointed alwayes to convert some of his posterity, and to endow them with true and inward holi­nesse; and because all the posterity of Abraham had obtained the right and title of the externall Church.

Object. 5. Your children are holy: Therefore without originall sinne. 1 Cor. 7.14. Answ. This is a fallacy drawne from the abuse of a common manner of speech. They are holy, not that all the children of holy men are regenerate, or have holiness from carnall pro­pagation: for it is said, When they had neither done good nor evill, I have loved Jacob, Rom. 9.11, 13. and have hated Esau: but the children of the godly are holy, in respect of the externall fellowship of the Church; that is to say, they are to be counted for Members or Citizens of the Church, and so also for the chosen and sanctified of God, except themselves, when they come to age, declare themselves to be others by their unbe­liefe and impiety.

Object. 6. They are more miserable unto whom the sins of all their ancestors are derived, then they unto whom have stretched but the sins of some of their ancestors: But if sin passe from the Parents unto the children, then unto the latest of their posterity come the sins of all the ancestors; unto the former only their sins that lived before them: So then the latter are more miserable then all the rest, which would be absurd, and not agreeable to the justice of God. Answ. 1. It were not absurd, although God would punish more heavily, and more forsake the latter of the posterity then the former: For how many more sins are committed and heaped up by mankind, so much the more vehemently is his wrath kindled, and the punishment is more aggravated: whereupon are those sayings; The wickednesse of the Amorites is not yet full. Gen. 15.16. Mat. 23.35. That upon you may come all the righteous bloud, &c. Answ. 2. We deny also the Minor: For although God suffer ori­ginall sin, that is, the corruption and guilt of nature to passe unto all posterity; yet, together with this, he of his meer mercy doth set bounds and limits for sinne, that the posterity may not alwaies pay for the actuall sins of their ancestors, or imitate them, and that it may not be of necessity that the children of evill Parents should be evill, or worse, or more miserable then their Parents.

Object. 7. The sonne shall not beare the iniquity of the father: Ezek. 18, 20. Therefore it is inju­stice, that Adams posterity should beare the punishment of the sin of Adam. Ans. True it is, the son shall not beare the iniquity of the father, or shall not satisfie for his fathers mis-doing, but with this condition; If himselfe approve not, or fall not into the same, but disliketh and avoideth it: But wee justly beare the sinne of Adam;Foure causes for which Adams po­sterity abideth the punishment of his sin. 1. Be­cause wee all approve of the offence, and imitate the same. 2. Because the fault is so A­dams, that it also becometh ours: for wee were all in Adam when hee sinned; and therefore, as the Apostle witnesseth, We all sinned in him. 3. Whereas Adams whole nature was guilty, and wee, as a part of him, proceed out of his substance and masse, Rom 5.19. we [Page 54]cannot but be guilty also our selves. 4. Because Adam received the gifts of God to be im­parted unto us on that condition, if himselfe did retaine them: or lose them unto us, if him­selfe lost them. Whereas then Adam lost them he lost them not only in himself, but in all his posterity also.

Object. 8. All sin is committed with the will; but Infants want will: Therefore they commit no sin. Answ. 1. We grant this argument, if it proceed on actuall sin, not on originall, which is the corruption of nature. Ans. 2. We deny the Minor, because Infants want not the faculty and power of will; and though in act they will not sin, yet they will it by inclination. Repli. on the first answer. The corruption and de­fects of nature rather deserve pardon and commiseration, then punishment and reprehension, as Aristotle testifieth in these words: [...]. Eth. 3. cap. 5. No man reprehendeth the defects of nature; but ori­ginall sin is a defect of nature: Therefore it deserveth not punishment. Answ. The Major is currant in such defects of nature as are gotten not by negligence or misdemea­nour; as, if a man become blind, either by nature, or by some disease, or stroke, he is rather to be pitied for it, then upbraided: But such defects as are procured by some misdemeanour, [...]. as originall sinne was; these all men worthily reprove, as A­ristotle himselfe there addeth: But every man checks such a one as becometh blinde through wine-bibbing, or any other mis-behaviour. And thus much touching originall sinne.

Of actuall sin, and the rest of the distinctions of sin, and of the causes, and effects of sin.

What actuall sin is. ACtuall sin is every inward and outward action which was repugnant to the Law of God, as well in the understanding, will, and heart, as in outward actions: and the omit­ting of those things which the Law commandeth; as to thinke, to will, to follow, and to doe evill; or not to know, not to will, to flye, to omit that which is good. Hitherto belongeth that division into sins of commission or fact, and sins of omission.

The second division of sin.

THe second division of sin is thus:Reigning sin. There is reigning sin, and sin not reigning. Reign­ing sin is that in which the sinner maketh no resistance by the grace of the holy Spirit, and is therefore subject to everlasting death, unlesse he repent, and purchase pardon by the death of Christ. Or, sin reigning is all sin which is repented of, and which is not resisted by the grace of the holy Spirit; and for which, not onely according to the order of Gods ju­stice, but also for the thing it selfe, he is guilty of eternall punishment who hath it. Of this it is said,Rom. 6.12. 1 John 3.8. Let not sin reigne in your mortall bodies. Also, He that committeth sin, that is to say, he which of purpose sinneth, and delighteth therein, is of the Divell; where John speaketh of Reigning sin. It is called Reigning: 1. Because we pamper it, and be­come slaves unto it. Two causes why reigning sin is so called. 2. Because it hath rule over man, and maketh him guilty of eternall damnation.

Such are all sins in the unregenerate, and some also in the regenerate; as errours in the foundation of faith, and slidings and fallings against their conscience, where­with a sure confidence of remission of sins, and true and lively comfort cannot con­sist, unlesse they repent: for that they very regenerate may run head long into reign­ing sin, the dolefull falls of those most holy men, Aaron and David, doe sufficiently declare.Sin not reigning. Sin not reigning is that which the sinner resisteth by the grace of the holy Spirit, and is therefore exempt from eternall death, because he repenteth, and obtaineth remission by Christ. Such kind of sins are all the defects, inclinations, wicked desires, and many sins of ignorance, omission, and infirmity, which remaine in the faithfull, as long as they are in this life; which notwithstanding they acknowledge, bewaile, and hate in themselves, yea they resist them, and pray daily that they may be for­given them through Christ their Mediatour, saying, Forgive us our debts: and there­fore in these they hold fast and imbrace faith and consolation in their Saviour [Page 55]and Redeemer. If we say wee have no sin, we deceive our selves, 1 John 1.8. Rom. 7.17. Rom. 8.1. Psal. 19.12. and there is no truth in us. It is no more I that doe it, but the sin that dwelleth in me. There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, which walk after the Spirit. Who can tell how oft hee of­fendeth? Lord, cleanse thou me from my secret faults. That vulgar distinction of sinne into Mortall and Veniall sin, may be reduced unto this distinction of Reigning, Mortall and Vini­all sin. and not reigning sin: For although all sin in his proper nature be Mortall, that is, deser­veth everlasting death; yet Reigning sin may most fitly so be called, wherein who­soever persevereth, finally perisheth. Now it becometh Veniall, that is to say, it ef­fecteth not everlasting death, when in the regenerate resisting it by the grace of Christ it waxeth not reigning: not that of it selfe it deserveth remission, or that it is not worthy of punishment; but because it is by grace through Christs satisfaction pardoned unto them that beleeve, and is not imputed to them unto condemnati­on: according as it is said,Rom. 8. [...]. There is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Je­sus, &c. And in this sense the distinction of Mortall and Veniall sin may be retain­ed; but by no meanes in that sense in which it is used of the Popes Favourites: as,What the Papists take Mortall and Veniall sin to be. if that were Mortall sinne, which for the grievousnesse thereof deserveth eternall death; that Veniall, which for the lightnesse thereof deserveth not eternall death at Gods hands, but some temporall punishment onely. I had rather, in stead of Mortall and Veniall sin, use the names of Reigning and Not reigning sin: Why the names of Mortall and Veniall sin are im­pertinent, and to be rejected. 1. Because the names of Mortall and Veniall sin are obscure and doubtfull: For all sins are Mortall; and John also calleth Mortall sin, or sin to death, the sin against the holy Ghost. 2. Be­cause the Scripture useth not these termes, especially the name of Veniall sin. 3. Because of the errours of the Papists, who terme Veniall sins those which are light, and deserve not eter­nall paines: whereas the Scripture saith. Cursed is every one that bideth not in all, &c. Deut. 27.26. James 2.10. Rom. 6.23. He which faileth in one point, is guilty of all. The wages of sin is death. Whosoever shall break one of these least commandements, and teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdome of Heaven. In a word, every sin is in his owne nature Mortall, to wit, it deserveth everlasting death; but it is made Veniall, that is, it accomplisheth not death eternall in the regenerate, by grace through Christ.

Object. 1. But the Elect fall not from grace. Answ. Finally they doe not: But they who sin mortally, and doe not repent, perish. This falleth not to the Elect, that they should fall finally; but before the end, they fall easily and often.

Object. 2. The will of God is unchangeable; but hee will the salvation of the Elect: Therefore it is unchangeable. Answ. I grant that it is true, concerning the purpose and counsell of God, but not concerning our affiance, which we have of the remission of sins: for our comfort standeth not together with errours, which are contrary to the foundation, and with sinne committed against our consciences. For then are wee said to have remission of our sinnes, when wee apply these benefits to our selves. Now in Christ Jesus ye which once were farre off, are made neere by the the bloud of Christ. Ephes. 2.13. Hosea 2.23. I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people: And they shall say, Thou art my God.

The Elect may sin against their con­sciences, yet not to death.Object. 3. Hee that is borne of God, sinneth not: Therefore the regenerate sinne not. Answ. 1. He sinneth not to death: For the Elect do not wholly forsake God, albeit they sinne against their consciences; but they retaine still some beginning of true godlinesse, by which, as by sparkles, they are stirred again to repentance: as David, Peter, and others. 2. He sinneth not as he is regenerated: but he sinneth as long as he abideth in this life, sinne not reigning in him, and yet sometimes reigning too, as he is not regenerated by the Spirit of God, but is as yet carnall:Regeneration but begun in this I [...]fe. For regenerati­on, or the renuing of us to the image of God, is not perfected in an instant, but is begun onely in this life, and in the life to come is at length finished. For so doth John himselfe pronounce of himselfe, and all the Saints in this life:1 Epist. cap. 1. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive our selves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithfull and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousnesse. This is therefore the meaning of John, that the regenerate indeed doe sinne, but yet not so, that they make much of their sinne, or doe so at any time yeeld and assent to evill desires, that they cast away all love of godlinesse, and repent not: [Page 56]For alwaies in the regenerate there remaineth some remnant of a regenerate na­ture, which causeth either a strife against sin, or else true repentance: that is, it suf­fereth them not to sin to death, or everlasting destruction, or wholly to forsake God. And this consolation so long they enjoy, as they know themselves to be re­generated, that is, as they keep faith and a good conscience.

Object. 4.1 John 3.9. 1 Pet. 1.23. It is said, His seed remaineth in him, neither can he sin, because hee is borne of God. And, being borne anew, not of mortall seed, but of immortall, by the word of God, who liveth and endureth for ever. If therefore the seed of Gods word never dieth in them that are borne anew, they ever remaine regenerate, and ever retaine grace, neither ever fall into reigning sin. The regenerate in this life may, and doe oftentimes lose the grace of God in part, but not in whole. Answ. 1. The regenerate may lose, and doe often lose grace and the holy Spirit, as concerning some gifts, sometimes mo, sometimes fewer; al­though they lose it not, if we respect all the gifts: For there abideth in them some beginning or print of true faith and conversion, which although when they yeeld to evill inclinations or desires, it is so oppressed and darkened, that it neither can be knowne of others, neither confirme them of the grace of God, and their own salvation for the present; yet it suffereth them not wholly to forsake God and the knowne truth, and to cast away their purpose of embracing by faith the merit of the Son of God.Psal. 51.10, 12. So David prayeth, Create in mee a cleane heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within mee. Againe, Restore me to the joy of thy salvation. He had lost there­fore cleannesse of heart, rightnesse and newnesse of spirit, and the joy of salvati­on, which he beggeth of God to be restored unto him; and yet did he not wholly want them: for otherwise he would not have asked, neither would he have look­ed for from God this renewing and restoring. 2. The seed of God, that is, the word of God, working true faith and conversion in the Elect, abideth, and dyeth not in the regenerate, as concerning their conversion and finall perseverance, how ever they fall often grievously before their end:1 John 2.19. If they had been of us, they would have continued with us.

Object. 5.Mat. 7.17. Man in this life is not simply good; and therefore his works are not al­waies good. A good tree cannot bring forth evill fruit. Answ. It cannot, as it is good: For, if it be simply good, all the fruit thereof is good; which shall come so to pass in the life to come: But if it be partly good, and partly evill, such is the fruit also; which we have triall and experience of in this life.

Heretofore it hath been said,All sins mortall in their own nature, but pardonable by the grace of God. Psal. 32.5. Pro. 24.16. That all sins are in their owne nature mortall. Against this sentence some oppose that which is said, I will confesse my wickednesse unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the punishment of my sin. And A just man falleth seven times, and riseth againe. Whence they gather, that there are some sinnes, the commit­ters whereof continue still just; and therefore deserve not eternall death. But they reason amisse from that which befalleth to sinne, but by an accident, to that which is by it selfe in sin: For it is true indeed, that there are many sins, for which the Saints doe not lose holi [...]sse and righteousnesse, neither become obnoxious to the wrath of God. But this cometh to passe, not by the smalnesse, or nature of the sin, whatsoe­ver it be, but by the grace of God, who doth not impute, neither will punish with eternall death those sins, which yet in their owne nature deserved it. This doth the Prophet most evidently shew in the same Psalme,Psal. 143.2. when he saith, Blessed is he whose wickednesse is forgiven. Enter not into judgement with thy servant: for in thy sight shall none that liveth be justified.

Object. 2.Mat. 5.22. It is said Whosoever is angry with his brother unadvisedly, shall be culpable of judgement. And whosoever saith unto his brother, Racha, shall be worthy to be punished by the Councell. And whosoever shall say, Foole, shall be worthy to be punished with hell fire. Whence they conclude, Seeing Christ himselfe maketh degrees of punishments and sins, so that of these former, hee threatneth hell fire but unto the third onely: therefore there are some sins smaller then those which deserve eternall punishment. But the answer unto this is manifest out of the words themselves: which is, that Christ doth not speak of civill judgements and punishments, when he mentioneth Judgement and a Councell: For he doth not here speak of the civill order, but disputeth against the corruptions of the Pharisees, concerning the true meaning of Gods Law; and concerning the judgement of God against both inward and outward sins: For nei­ther [Page 57]can, nor ought to be punished by the Magistrate with corporall punishment; either such gestures, as signifie some bitternesse or contempt; or bad affections, if they have not accompanying them an endevour to doe any man injury. Now, whereas in the third place hee nameth hell fire, hee doth not exempt the other two kinds of sin from eternall punishments, but signifieth that the third shall receive a sharper punish [...]nt at Gods hand then the other.

Object. 3. It is said, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, Mat. 12.31. but the blas­phemy against the holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men, neither in this world, nor in the world to come. Hence they will gather, That some sinnes are forgiven in this world, some in the world to come, that is, in Purgatory; and some are never forgiven: of which these be Mortall, but the others Veniall in their owne nature. Answ. 1. But, Neither here, neither else-where doth Christ teach, that some sins are forgiven in the world to come. Sins are remitted in this world on­ly. For that all other sins are forgiven not in the world to come, but in this world, both Christ signifieth in this place, and the Scripture else-where teacheth, because it is certain, that sins are not remitted, but only to those who repent:No sin which may not be remitted, except the sin against the holy Ghost. But hee denieth that the sinne against the holy Ghost is remitted, either in this world, or in the world to come, that he might more significantly expresse the deniall of pardon to it. 2. Whe­ther they say forgivenesse to be in this world, or in the world to come; yet this standeth immoveable, that it cometh not of the nature or corruption of the sin, but of free mercy for Christs sake. And if every sinne be so grievous, that it could not be purged, but by the bloud of the Son of God; then doubtlesse they doe great de­spite and contumely unto that bloud, who so extenuate any sin, as to deny that it deserveth eternall punishment, unto which the death of the Son of God is equiva­lent. 3. Even by their owne confession, there are many mortall sins, which notwith­standing are forgiven in this life. Wherefore, either they must make all these to be even in their owne nature Veniall, or they will never prove out of this place, that the [...]nalnesse of the sin is the cause of forgivenesse.

Object. 4. It is said, The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodlinesse. Rom. 1.17. And, Know yee not, that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdome of God? 1 Cor. 6. [...]. Out of these and the like places they gather, that seeing they are mortall sins which shut men out of the Kingdome of God, and all sins do not so: therefore there are some sins, which in their owne nature are not mortall. But they conclude more then follow­eth by force of reason: For that some sins are Veniall; there is no doubt;All sins shut men out of the King­dome of God, were they not re­mitted by the grace of God. 1 Cor. 3.15. but that cometh by grace remitting those sins, which, without remission, would shut men doubtlesse from the Kingdome of God.

Object. 5. It is said, If any mans work burne, he shall lose; but he shall be safe himselfe, neverthelesse, yet as it were by fire: Therefore say they, some sins cast men into fire, that is, into some punishment, but not eternall. This also we grant, not in respect of the na­ture of sin, but in respect of pardon, which befalleth to those who hold the founda­tion, which is Christ: For, to build on the foundation wood and stubble (that is, to patch the Word of God with unnecessary questions, humane opinions and tra­ditions, which often are occasions of Schismes in the Church, and often of Idolatry and errors) it is not so light a sin as they deem it who doit, but deserveth eternall malediction, except remission be made by the Son of God, as it is declared in the Revelation, Chap. 22.

Object. 6. It is said, A high Priest taken from among men is bound to offer for sinnes, Heb 5.1. as well for his owne part, as for the peoples. Ans. This place sheweth, that the sins of the Priest are not Veniall by themselves, or of their owne nature, but for the sacri­fice of Christ, which was signified by the typicall sacrifices: and therefore it quite and cleane overthroweth the opinion of our adversaries. For, if all sins even of a righteous Priest are in the sight of God so great, that they cannot be purged, but by the death of the Son of God; it necessarily followeth, that they of their owne nature deserved everlasting death.

Ob. 7. It is said, When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; Jam. 1.15. and sin when it is fini­ [...]ed bringeth forth death. Here, say they, James saith, that there is one sin finished, when as the will upon deliberation consenteth to evill lust: another not finished, when a man sin­neth [Page 58]without deliberation) and to sin finished he ascribeth, that it bringeth forth death. We answer, that the consequence of this is not o [...] force, because that a property which belongeth to divers kinds, when it is ascribed to one kind, it followeth not thereof, that it is to be removed from the other.Actuall sin is an effect of Originall sin, and a cause of death; which though purchased by Originall, yet is aggravated by Actuall. For S. James distinguisheth the kinds or degrees of sins, Originall and Actuall: and saith, that death followeth after Actu­all; not as if death did not follow after Originall, but because that actuall is a mid­dle between Originall sin and death, as a cause of this, and an effect of that, and doth aggravate death or punishment, which already was purchased by Originall sin. Neither doth he chiefly speak of the degrees of punishments, but of the cause and originall of them to be sought in the corruption of our owne nature.

Object. 8. It is said,Jam. 3.2. In many things we sin all. Hence our adversaries will prove. That the sins of the just are Veniall, because they fall either into few sins, or into no mortall sins. To this, as also to most of that which hath gone before, we answer, that the sins of the just, who by faith retain or receive righteousnesse, are Veniall, not of their owne nature, but by grace.

Gods justice is not at variance with his mercy, though it judge the least sin wor­thy of eternall death.Object. 9. God is not cruell, but mercifull, n [...]her light in his love, but constant: Where­fore he doth not for every light sin judge a man worthy of eternall punishments. Answ. But they imagine, that the judgement of God concerning sinne is at variance with his mercy: which two are not at variance, but do very well agree: For God is in such wise mercifull, as he is also just. Now the justice of God requireth that hee judge all, even the least offence and contempt of his majesty, worthy of eternall damna­tion. This judgement against every sin, the mercy and constancy of Gods love doth not take away; but for the shewing and declaring thereof it is sufficient, that hee rejoyceth not at the destruction of them that perish, and that for testimony there­of, he inviteth all to repentance, and forgiveth them who repent their sins, which by themselves were worthy of everlasting death: that is, hee punisheth them, and causeth satisfaction for them not in the sinners, but in his owne Son sent to take flesh, by punishment answering and satisfying his justice.

Object. 10. It is said,Mat. 5.19. Whosoever shall break one of these least commandements, and teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdome of Heaven. This they interpret after this sort, That he, who both by sin and teaching doth against the Law, is fallen from the Kingdome of God; and not he, who in teaching subscribeth to the Law, although sometimes he doth a little contrary to that he teacheth. But the opposition or contrariety which Christ addeth, But whosoever shall observe and teach them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdome of God, doth shew, that Christ in the former part of the speech doth understand those who breake, that is, violate the Law which they teach: so that the meaning is, Although one teach well, and yet violate one of these commande­ments, which the Pharisees terme the least, that is, of the commandements of the Decalogue; hee shall find these commandements so not to be the least, but the greatest, as himselfe thereby shall become the least, that is, in no place in the King­dome of God. Albeit it be granted unto them, that in the words of Christ, to teach so, is the same, that to teach contrary to the Law; yet can it not at all be gathe­red thence, that they alone shall be the least in the Kingdome of God, who by teaching and sinning break the Law, and not they also, who by sinning only, and not teaching,Christ calleth them the least, not as in his owne judgement, but as in the judgement of the Pharisees: and so he imita­teth them in thus speaking. transgresse it. The first reason is in the very words of Christ: because he calleth those commandements the least, by a figure of speech called Imitation, which are the greatest; and the breach whereof, whether it be committed in deed, or in doctrine, or in both, God judgeth worthy the shutting out of his Kingdome, e­ven by our adversaries confession; that is, the whole Decalogue, which the Pharisees did set behind their traditions. The second reason is in the words which Christ ad­deth: For I say unto you, Except your righteousnes exceed the righteousnes of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall not enter into the Kingdome of heaven. In these words Christ shew­eth, that a far other righteousnesse is required by the Law of God, then the Phari­sees thought of; and that those sins also are so great, that they shut men out of the Kingdome of heaven, which the Pharisees accounted either for light, or no sins: as, to be angry with thy brother unadvisedly: to say unto him, Racha, or foole: to be troubled [Page 59]with an evill affection, or desire of revenge; for even these things also he saith are to be avoided, if we will avoid hell fire, and be the children of our heavenly Father: Therefore he saith, Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, Mat. 5.28. hath committed adul­tery with her already in his heart. And, Whosoever hateth his brother is a man-slayer: and yee know that no man-slayer hath eternall life abiding in him. 1 John 3.15. And therefore not they only which commit the greater sins, but they also who commit the lesser, cannot escape everlasting death, but by the satisfaction of Christ imputed to them.

But as our adversaries accuse this sentence of too much rigour,Sin made veniall unto the repen­tant by grace, for the intercession and satisfaction of Christ. That all sinnes are by themselves of their owne nature Mortall, that is, deserve eternall death; so also the o­ther sentence, That sins are made Veniall to those that repent, which of their owne nature are Mortall, they reprehend as too gentle, and repugnant to Gods justice: because to call that Veniall which is Mortall, is contrary to truth and justice. But the an­swer is ready, That God, if we respect the nature of sin, adjudgeth all sin worthy of everlasting death; and giveth pardon to none but of free grace, for the inter­cession and satisfaction of his Son our Mediatour.

The third division of sin.

THere is sin against the conscience, and sin not against the conscience. Sin against the conscience. Sin against the conscience is, when a man, knowing the will of God, of set purpose doth expresly against the same. Or, it is a sinne committed of those who wittingly and willingly sinne, as David wittingly committed adultery and murder, contrary to the Law.Sin not against the conscience. Sin not against the conscience is that, which we either not willing, or not witting commit: or, which is in­deed acknowledged to be sinne, and is lamented of by the offender, but cannot perfectly be a­voided in this life: such as is Originall sin, and many sins of omission, ignorance and infirmity. For we omit many good things, and commit evill, being suddenly over­come and overtaken by infirmities: as Peter of infirmity in imminent danger is overcome, and denieth Christ, wittingly indeed, but not willingly: therefore hee weepeth bitterly, and loseth not utterly his faith, according to Christs promise, I have prayed for thee that thy faith faile not. It was not reigning sin,Luk. 22.32. much lesse the sin against the holy Ghost, because he loved Christ no lesse when he denied him, then when he bewailed his offence, though that affection did not at that time for feare of imminent danger shew it selfe. Such sin Paul acknowledgeth in himselfe, and lamenteth it, I doe not the good which I would, but the evill which I would not, Rom. 9.1. that doe I, &c. His blasphemy also, and persecution and violence against the Church was a sin of ignorance: For, I did it ignorantly, saith he, therefore God had mercy on me. 1 Tim. 1.13. This third division of sin, and the definition of both sins, Christ hath expresly delivered, saying, The servant that knew his Masters will, and prepared not himselfe, The proofe of this division of sin. neither did ac­cording to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes: but hee that knew it not, and yet did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. Luk. 12.47.

The fourth division of sin.

THere is sinne unpardonable: or, a sinne against the holy Ghost: or, a sin unto death. What unpardo­nable sin, or sin against the holy Ghost is. There is also sinne pardonable: or, not against the holy Ghost: or, not unto death. This distinction is deduced out of Matthew 12.31. Mark 3.29. 1 John 5.16. Sinne unpardonable, or sinne against the holy Ghost, and unto death, is a deniall and oppugning of the knowne truth of God, and his will and workes, of which mens consci­ences and minds are fully ascertained and convicted by the testimony of the holy Ghost; not of feare or infirmity, but of set purpose and hatred of the truth, and of a despite­full malicious stomacke conceived against the same: which sinne whosoever commit, they are punished of God with a perpetuall blindnesse, Perpetuall blind­nesse an effect of it. Why it is called unpardonable. that they can never returne to God by true repentance in this life, and by consequent can obtain no pardon. It is called unpardonable, not that by the grievousness thereof it exceedeth the worth of Christs merit; but because he who offendeth herein, is punished with sinfull blindnesse▪ and hath not the gift of repentance: For, because it is a peculiar kind of sin, a peculiar kind [Page 60]of punishment is also inflicted thereon: namely, finall blindnesse and impeniten­cie. And without repentance,Mat. 12.32. Mar. 3.29. there is no remission: Whosoever shall speak against the holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come. And, Whosoever blasphemeth against the holy Ghost, shall never have forgivenesse, but is culpa­ble of eternall damnation. Why it is called thy sin against the holy Ghost. It is called sinne against the holy Ghost, not as if the holy Ghost might be offended by any man, and not the Father also, and the Son, but by an eminent significancy of speech, because it is in a speciall manner committed against the holy Ghost: that is, against his proper and immediate office or operation, which is the enlightning of their minds.Why it is called a sin unto death 1 John 5.16. It is called sin unto death by John, not that this alone is mortall, or deserveth death; but by an emphaticall significancy of speech, because it especially deserveth death, and all they who commit this sin assuredly die therein, because none of them repenteth of it: Therefore John will that we pray not for it; be­cause (forsooth) in vaine the remission thereof is craved at Gods hands. The Scri­pture elsewhere speaketh of this sin, as Hebr. 6.4, 5, 6, 7, 8. chapt. 10.26, 27, 28, 29. and Tit. 3.10, 11.

Certaine Rules to be observed touching the sin against the holy Ghost.

1 It is not in eve­ry reprobate. The sin against the holy Ghost is not found in every reprobate person, but in those only who are lightned by the holy Ghost, and convicted in conscience of the truth: as Saul, Ju­das. &c. Object. Every unpardonable sin is a sin against the holy Ghost, because Christ saith, The difference between other sins pardoned, and this sin against the holy Ghost. that the sin against the holy Ghost is unpardonable; but finall perseverance in what­soever sin without repentance, is remitted to no man: And therefore it is a sinne against the holy Ghost; and by a consequent, all that perish sinne against the holy Ghost. Answ. The ambiguity of unpardonable sin maketh foure terms in this Syllogism: For in the Major it signifieth that kind of sinne which is never remitted to any; because whosoever commit it, whether at the end, or before the end of their life, they persevere in it even to the end without repentance: But in the Minor it signifieth not a certaine kind of sinne, but all their sinnes who repent not; which indeed are not remitted to them, because they persevere in them to the end without repen­tance: and they are unpardonable, not before the end, but in the very end of their life; yet are they remitted to others who persevere not in them, but re­pent: For, perseverance in sin is nothing else then the sinnes themselves, which are continued unto the end; and therefore this is the meaning of the Minor: Sins, in which men persevere without repentance unto the end, are not pardoned them who persevere in them; but now all men doe not persevere in them, as they per­severe in the sin against the holy Ghost, even whosoever once fall into it. And Christ in this speech sheweth not, for what sins men are punished with everlasting death: For it is certaine, that it befalleth for all sinnes of which men repent not; but he sheweth what sinnes are such, as whosoever doe commit them, they doe never repent. This he affirmeth of no kind of sin, but onely of blasphemy against the holy Ghost.

2 It is not every Reigning sin. Every sin against the holy Ghost is Reigning sin, and sin against conscience; but not contrariwise every Reigning sin, sin against the holy Ghost: For it may fall out, that some man either ignorantly, or else wittingly and willingly may patronize some errours, or make breach of some commandement by reason of weaknesse, terrour of present torment, or feare of danger; and yet not oppugne of purpose and ma­lice the truth knowne unto him, or make an utter Apostasie from Religion and Piety, and persevere in a sensuall senslesse contempt, but retire unto repentance in this life: Wherefore Reigning sin, or the sin against the holy Ghost differ as a generall from a particular; the latter of them intimating a precedency of the former, but not the former a consequence of the latter.

3 It is not inci­dent to the Elect. John 10.28. 2 Tim. 2.19. 1 Pet. 1.5. 1 John 5.15. 1 John 2.19. The sin against the holy Ghost is not incident unto the Elect, and those who are truly converted; because the Elect can never perish, but are certainly saved by God: My sheep shall no man plucke out of my hands; with the like places. They then who thus offend, were never truly converted and chosen: They went out from us, because they were not of us.

That many of the Reprobate are said to be lightened, and to be made partakers [Page 61]of the holy Ghost, to have tasted the heavenly gift, the good Word of God, and of the powers of the world to come,How many of the reprobates are said in Scripture to be lightned and sanctified. 1 Pet. 2. Heb. 6.7. and last of all to have been sanctified with the bloud of the Testament. Likewise in Peter, to have escaped from the filthinesse of the world: the Apostles themselves shew that this is to be understood of the know­ledge of the truth, and the fore-going and detesiation of errours and vices for a sea­son; and lastly, of the sufficiency of Christs merits, even for the wiping away of their sins also, and the offer thereof made to them by his Word and Sacraments: which they shew, when they interpret that lightning and taste to be the know­ledge of the truth and righteousnesse, and call them dogs and swine, not made so a­gain, but returning to their vomit, and wallowing in the mire; and compare them to the earth, drinking in the raine, but bringing forth, in stead of good herbs, thornes and bryars: For these things agree not to true faith and conversion.

4 We are not, last­ly, to pronounce any man a sinner against the holy Ghost, untill we see him give up the ghost in apo­stasie & blasphe­my. We are not rashly to pronounce who they be that sinne against the holy Ghost: and we may not judge of this sinne, untill the end, that is, untill wee know them who once had the truth, and confesse themselves to be convicted and perswaded of it, with hatred thereof to persecute and reproach it, or to end their life in hatred and de­spite against it. The reason hereof is manifest, because we are not the beholders of mens hearts. If it be objected, that there is a sinne unto death, I say not, that thou shouldest pray for it: if he will not that we shall pray for those who sinne to death, it must needs be, that we may discerne them from others. Wee answer, that John doth not universally forbid that we pray for any so sinning; but at such time, as that is manifest unto us, either by some divine testimony, or by manifest arguments, and the sinners owne profession. But, before this is certaine and manifest unto us, we ought to de­sire of God the conversion of all men; and, as much as in us lieth, to endevour it, as it is said: I exhort, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, 1 Tim. 2.1. 2 Tim. 2.24, 25, 26. Mat. 5.44. Act. 7.60. Our prayer for the adversaries of the truth must be conditionall, with submission to Gods will. and giving of thankes be made for all men. And, The servant of the Lord must not strive, but must be gentle toward all men, apt to teach, suffering the evill men patiently, instructing them with meeknesse that are contrary minded; proving if God at any time will give them repentance, that they may know the truth, and that being delivered out of the snare of the Divell, of whom they are taken, they may come to amendment, and performe his will. And, Pray for them which hurt you, and persecute you. And, Lord, lay not this sinne to their charge. If it be replied, That so it will come to passe that our prayer shall be contrary to the will of God if not knowing of it, we pray for them who sinne against the holy Ghost: The answer is ready, That prayer is made for them with a condition,Our prayer for them being but conditionall, it ar­gueth not, but that their sin may be notwithstand­ing unpardona­ble. by which we submit our will and desires to the counsell of God, that he will convert and save the adversa­ries of the truth, if they may be recovered; but that hee will represse them and punish them, if hee have not appointed to recover them. By the same answer is this argument dissolved, Their sin is not unpardonable for whom we must pray; but we must pray for all men: Therefore no mans sinne is unpardonable. 1. We deny the Mi­nor: because, if it appeareth by any divine testimony, or by manifest arguments and their owne profession that they are cast away, whether they sinne against the holy Ghost, or otherwise do not repent, we must not pray for them. 2. Neither is the Major true: For, if we know not whether they sin against the holy Ghost, or are rejected of God or no, we must pray for them, but with that condition, if they may be recovered. Our of these things also which have been spoken, answer is made to this Object. He that must feare lest he hath any unpardonable sin, The feare of un­pardonable sin belongeth to the wicked, not to the faithfull. can never be assured of remission of his sins and life everlasting; but if there be any sin unpardonable, which is committed before the end of a mans life, no man can be assured that he hath not, or shall not have such sin: Therefore there is either no such sin, or no man can be assured of the grace of God, and his owne salvation: For the Minor of this reason is false, con­cerning those who beleeve: for they must certainly thinke, that they neither had, nor have the sinne against the holy Ghost; because there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ: neither that they shall have this sin, because that no man can pluck the sheep of Christ out of his hand.

Obj. 1. Adam and Peter obtained remission of sins: Adam and Peter sinned against the holy Ghost, because they denied the manifest and knowne truth of God: Therefore some men [Page 62]sinning against the holy Ghost obtaine remission of sins. Answ. The proofe of the Minor is a false definition: For, not every deniall or rejection of the truth is sin against the holy Ghost, but that onely which hath accompanying it an inward hatred of the truth, and which of a purposed intent, and with horrible fury endevoureth to op­presse it: which hatred of truth was not in Adam or Peter: Augustine therefore saith, Faith failed not Peter in his heart, when confession failed him in his mouth.

God sparing Cains life, doth not thereby shew his pardoning of his sin, but a fur­ther revenging of it.Object. 2. The sinne of Cain was not unpardonable, because God would not have him killed, therefore he pardoned him his sinne; but Cains sinne was committed against the holy Ghost: Therefore some sinne against the holy Ghost is not unpardonable. Answ. In the proofe of the Major is a fallacy, putting that which is no cause, as if it were a cause. For the cause why God would not have him killed, was not, for that hee had par­doned Cain his sinne, not repenting him of it; but that the murderer might be the longer tormented with the furies of his conscience, that in so long time not re­penting, he might be made inexcusable: and further also, that murders might not wax rife among men.

Every sin of the unregenerate un­pardonable, be­cause not repen­ted of, which to others through repentance are pardoned.Object. 3. They who are altogether ignorant of Christ, sin not against the holy Ghost; but all that know not Christ have unpardonable sinne, because it is never pardoned them: Therefore some unpardonable sinne is not against the holy Ghost. Answ. We grant the whole reason, if in the Minor and Conclusion thereof be understood by unpardo­nable sinne, those sinnes of the unregenerate, which are not indeed remitted unto them, for that they persist in those sinnes to the end without repentance; yet to others they are remitted, who persist not in them, but repent of them in this life: For not all who commit them, persist in them. But if that kind of sinne be under­stood, it is never remitted to any man, because all they who commit it, persist in it to the end of their life without repentance; then is the Minor false: And so is there no consequence in this reason.

What pardona­ble sin is. Pardonable sinne, or sinne not against the holy Ghost, is any sinne whereof some repent and obtaine pardon.

The fifth division of sinne.

THere is some sinne which is of it selfe sinne, and some which cometh to be sinne by an accident. Sinnes of themselves, and in their owne nature, are all those things which are forbidden in the Law of God; What is sin of it selfe. as are inclinations, motions, and acti­ons disagreeing from the Law of God: yet they are not sinnes, as they are motions, nor in respect of God moving all things: (For motions, as they are meere motions, are good in themselves, and proceed from God, in whom we live, move, and have our being) but they are sins in regard of us, as they are committed by us against the Law of God: For in this sense of themselves, and in their owne nature, they are sins. Sins by an accident are the actions of the unregenerate and hypocrites, which are indeed pre­scribed and commanded by God; What is sin by an, accident. but yet are displeasing unto him, because they are done without Faith and Repentance. Of this kind are all actions also of indifferency, which are effected with scandall: Whatsoever is not of faith, is sinne. To them that are de [...]iled and unbeleeving is nothing pure. Rom. 14.23. Tit. 1.15. Heb. 11.6. The vertues of the unregenerate are sins by acci­dent. Without faith it is impossible to please God: Wherefore all the vertues of the unregenerate; as the chastity of Scipio, the valour of Julius Cesar, the fidelity of Regulus, the justice of Aristides, &c. howsoever in themselves they are good actions, and enjoyned by God, yet by occasion and accident they are sin, and displease God; both because the person, from whom those actions proceed, pleaseth not God, neither is reconciled unto God: and also because the actions themselves are not done after the same manner, neither to the same end which God would have them to be done; that is, they are not grounded on faith, nor wrought to the glory of God, which conditions and circumstances are so necessarily required to a good work, that without them our best actions are defects and sins: as, it is sin when a wicked man or an hypocrite prayeth, giveth almes, offereth sacrifice, &c. because hee doth it not of faith, nor referreth it unto Gods glory: Hypocrites give, Mat. 6.2. Isa. 60.3. &c. He that killeth a bullocke, &c.

There is then a main difference betweene the vertues of the regenerate and the unregenerate: For 1. The good workes of the regenerate are wrought, The differences between the ver­tues of the rege­nerate and the unregenerate. having Faith for their harbenger, and are accepted of God. But it fareth not so with the unregenerate. 2. The regenerate do all things to the glory of God; the unregenerate and hypocrites to their owne praise and glory. 3. The workes of the regenerate are linked with inward obedience, and a true desire of pleasing God: the unregenerate and hypocrites onely performe an out­ward discipline and homage, without the inward obedience; therefore their vertues are meer maskes of hypocrisie, and no true vertues. 4. The imperfection of the workes of the regene­rate is covered by the satisfaction and intercession of Christ; and the spots of sinne where­with they are stained, are not imputed unto them, neither is it objected unto them that they defile the gifts of God with their sinnes: The vertues of the unregenerate being in them­selves good, notwithstanding become and continue sinnes by accident, and are polluted with many other sinnes. 5. The good workes of the unregenerate are adorned by God with temporall rewards onely, and that, not as if they pleased God, but that by this meanes hee might invite both them and others to honesty and outward discipline of civility, necessary for mankind. But the good works of the godly, God accepteth for Christs sake, and crowneth them with temporall and eternall rewards; as it is said, 1 Tit. 4.8. Godlinesse hath the promise of the life present, and that that is to come. 6. The unregenerate by practising good workes enacted by God, obtaine indeed mitigation of their punishment, lest they should with other wicked Impes suffer more exquisite tortures in this life: but the good workes of the godly serve not onely for this, that they may suffer lighter and easier punishments, but also that they may be quite freed from all evill. Object. We may not do that which is sinne: The morall acti­ons of the unre­generate are not therefore to be omitted of us, be­cause in them­selves they are sin: but we must avoid the sin, and performe the action. Why civill disci­pline is necessary amongst the un­regenerate. The workes of the unregenetate, though civilly good, are sinnes: therefore we may not do them. Answ. Here is a fallacy of accident. The Major is true, of sinnes which are in themselves sinnes; The Minor, of sins which are sins by accident. Now those things which are in them­selves sinne, ought simply to be omitted: but those which are sins by accident ought not to be omitted, but to be reformed, and performed after the manner, and the end which God hath prescribed.

Externall discipline therefore is necessary even in the unregenerate: 1. In respect of the commandement of God. 2. For avoiding the grievousnesse of punishments which ensue upon the breach of discipline. 3. For the preservation of the peace and society of mankind. 4. For a way and entrance of conversion, which is stopped by persevering and persisting in manifest offences.

If instance be given: Hypocrisie is sin of it selfe, and is to be avoided, as Mat. 6. it is said, Be not as Hypocrites; but the discipline or outward behaviour of the wicked is hypo­crisie: Therefore it is sin of it selfe, and they should omit it. We answer to the Major,The good actions of hypocrites are not to be omit­ted, but their hy­pocrisie therein only to be eschewed. by distinguishing the diversity of Hypocrisie. There is a double Hypocrisie: one is in workes not commanded of God, done for ostentation sake, or to deceive, as those which Christ mentioneth, Matth. 6. to make a Trumpet to be blowne be­fore him when he giveth almes, to pray standing in the Synagogues, and in the cor­ners of the streets, to look sowerly, and disfigure his face in fasting, and all other superstitious and humane traditions, which appertaine not to the edifying of the Church. That these things are to be omitted and left undone, there is no doubt: as it is said, In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandements of men. And therefore they are here expresly condemned and forbidden of Christ. There is another hypocrisie in workes commanded of God, but not done after that man­ner which God requireth. These are not to be left undone, but to be corrected, and to be done without hypocrisie, that is, with true faith and godlinesse: as in the same place Christ teacheth of almes, prayer, fasting, not to be omitted of the god­ly, but to be otherwise performed then they were of Hypocrites.

So also is there a great difference between the sins of regenerate men and un­regenerate: for, as it hath been heretofore (especially in the second distinction of sin) said; In all the regenerate there remain as yet many reliques of sin: as, 1. Ori­ginall sin. 2. Many actuall sins, as of ignorance, omission, and infirmity, which never­thelesse they acknowledge and bewaile, and strive and struggle with them; and therefore lose not a good conscience, nor endanger the remission of their sinnes. [Page 64] 3. Some also sometimes fall into errours, which fight with the foundation it selfe, or into sins against their conscience, for which they lose a good conscience, and many gifts of the holy Ghost, and should be condemned, if they persevered in them unto the end; but they perish not in them, because they repent in this life. In the mean time there resteth a three-fold difference,The difference of the sins of the re­generate and the unregenerate. Rom. 7.16. Luke 21.22. 1 John 3.9. 1 Pet. 1.23. Jos. 4.2, 3. Psal. 37.24. whereby the regenerate differ in sinning from the wicked: 1. Because the purpose of God is to keep the Elect for ever. 2. In the regenerate, when they offend, there is assured and certaine repen­tance in the end. 3. In these, when they slip, there remaineth some spark of true faith and repentance, which is sometimes greater and mightier, and so wrestleth against sin, that they fall not into Reigning sin, or errours repugnant to the foun­dation: sometimes lesse and weaker, and is for a time overcome of temptation; but yet it prevaileth so far, that they who are once truly turned unto God, make not a finall Apostasie from him: as appeareth in David, Peter, &c. In the unre­generate, when they sin, none of these is found, but the contrary altogether. By this which hath been spoken it is manifest for what cause this difference of sinnes, which are of themselves sins, Two uses of the difference be­tween sins which are of themselves sins, and those which are made so by an accident. and by an accident sins, is necessary: 1. Lest that a false perswasion of their own righteousness or merits should rest in mens minds: 2. Lest with sinnes, which are of themselves sinnes, should be cast away also good things which come to be sins but by an accident, and so should be increased and heaped up the sins and punishments of mankind.

4. What are the causes of sin.

GOD is the cause of no sinne, as is proved: 1. By testimonies of Scipture, God saw those things which he had made, Gen. 1.31. Psal. 5.4. and they were very good. Thou art the God that hast no pleasure in wickednesse, &c. 2. Because God is exactly and perfectly good and holy, so that no effect of his is evill. 3. Because he forbiddeth all sinne in his Law. 4. He punisheth all sin most severely, which he could not rightly do, if he wrought or caused it. 5. He himselfe destroyeth not his owne Image in man: therefore he causeth not sinne, which is the destruction of this Image. The proper and onely efficient cause of sinne is the will of Divels and men,The cause of sin is the will of Di­vels and men. Wisd. 2.24. John 8.44. whereby they freely fell from God, and robbed and spoiled themselves of the Image of God. Through envie of the Divell came death into the world. But death is the punishment of sinne: Ye are of your father the Divell, and the lusts of your father ye will do: hee hath beene a murtherer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When hee speaketh a lye, 1 John 3.8. then speaketh he of his owne: for he is a lyar, and the father thereof. He that committeth sinne, is of the Divell: for the Divell sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose appeared the Sonne of God, Rom. 5.12. that he might loose the worke of the Divell. By one man sin entred into the world.

An order in the causes of sin. 1 The Divell.The Divell then was the cause of the first sinne, or of the fall of our first Parents in Paradise, provoking man to sinne; 2 Mans will.and with the Divell mans will freely declining from God, and yeelding obedience to the Divell. 3 The first sin.That first fall of Adam is the effi­cient cause of Originall sin both in Adam and in his posterity: By one mans disobedi­ence many were made sinners; and the precedent and (as it were) preparative cause of all actuall sins in posterity, is originall sinne. The sin that dwelleth in mee doth evill. When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sinne. The accidentary or casuall motives to sinne, are those objects which solicite men to sinne: Sinne tooke an occasion by the commandement, 4 Originall sin. Rom. 7.17. James 1.5. Rom. 7.8. and wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. Actuall sins precedent, are the causes of other actuall sins which follow: whereas the Scripture lessoneth us, that God plagueth and scourgeth sin with sin, and the sins which follow, are the punishments of sins which went before.5 Actuall sin. Wherefore also God gave them up to their hearts lust, unto uncleannesse they wrought filthinesse, and received in themselves such recompence of their errour as was meet: 6 Objects of sin. Rom. 24, 27. 2 Thes. 2.1. Therefore God shall send them strong delusions, that they should beleeve lies, &c. But whereas the wit of man (to such a height of insolency it is grown) is accustomed to frame the like arguments for the excusing of it selfe, and shifting and posting it from it selfe unto God: we must here enter [Page 65]some large discourse of the causes of sin, and shake off mans frivolous pretences in his owne behalfe.

1 Destiny.Some derive the originall cause of sin from the destiny of the Stars, saying:Foure pretended causes of sin. I have sinned, because I was borne under an unluckie Planet. 2 The Divell. Others when they sin, and are rebuked for their sinne, they make answer, Not I, but the Divell was in fault that committed this deed. 3 Gods will. Others, leaving excuses, directly cast the fault upon God, saying: God would have it so; for if he would not, I should not have sinned. 4 Gods permis­sion. O­thers, When God (say they) might have hindered me, and yet did not, himselfe is the au­thour of my sin. With these and the like pretences it is no new thing for men to sharpen their blasphemous tongues against God: For our first Parents, when they had sinned, and were accused of their sin by God, they translate and passe over the fault committed from themselves to others, neither ingenuously confesse the truth. Adam returneth the fault not so much upon his wife, as upon God himselfe: The woman (saith he) which thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, Gen 3.12, 13. and I did eate: as if he should say, Except thou hadst joyned her to me, I had not sinned. The woman simply imputeth the fault to the Divell, saying: The Serpent beguiled me, and I did eate. These are the false, impious, and detestable judgements concerning the originall of sinne, whereby the majesty, truth, and justice of God is grievously of­fended. For the nature of man is not the cause of sinne: for, God created it good and perfect, according as it is said, And God saw all things which he had made, and lo they were very good. Sin is an accessary quality which took possession of man after the fall, and no substantiall property; although after the fall it became naturall, and is fitly so termed by Augustine, because now we are all borne in sinne, Ephes. 2.3. and are by nature the children of wrath as well as others. But this point would be more amplified and enlarged.

1. They who make Destiny a cloak for sinne, define Destiny to be a linked order through all eternity, and a certaine perpetuall necessity of intents and workes, according to the counsell of God, or according to the evill Planets. Now if you aske them, Who made the Planets? God, say they: Therefore these men lay their evill to Gods charge; but such a destiny did not all the sounder Philosophers maintaine,Destiny is not the cause of sin. Lib. 2. cap. 6. much lesse Christians. Saint Augustine against two Epistles of the Pelagians unto Bo­niface: They, saith he, who hold destiny, maintaine that not only actions and events, but also our wils themselves depend on the position of the Planets, at the time of every ones con­ception or nativity, which they call constellations: But the grace of God surpasseth not onely all the stars, and all the heavens, but also the Angels. Let us conclude these things with the word of the Lord by his Prophet Jeremy, pronouncing to this sense:Jer. 10.2, 3. Thus saith the Lord, Learne not the way of the Heathen, and be not affraid for the signes of hea­ven, though the Heathen be affraid of such: for the customes of the people are vaine. Wherefore that the Astrologers call the Planet of Saturn unmercifull, sharp, and cruell; and the Planet of Venus favourable and gentle, it is the vanity of vanities: for the stars have no force of doing good or ill; and therefore the fault of sinners ought not to be imputed unto them.

2. That the Divell is not the onely authour of sin, who when as wee commit sin,The Divell not the only author of sin. should beare alone the blame of the sin, and our selves be free from fault, it is most of all declared in this, that he is able to induce and entice a man to evill, but not to compell him: For God keepeth under the Divell by his power, that he cannot doe what he will; but only what, and so much as God permitteth him. Nay, hee hath not so much as power over filthy Swine, much lesse over the most noble Soules of men. He hath indeed a subtilty & great force in perswading; but God is stronger, who also never ceaseth himself to put good motions into mans mind: neither per­mitteth he more to Sathan, then he maketh profitable for man. Which wee may see in that most holy man Job, in the example of Paul, and in his words:1 Cor. 10.13. God is faithfull, which will not suffer you to be tempted above that you be able: Wherefore they are vain men, who unload the blame of their wickednesse on the Divels shoulders.

3. It remaineth that we shew also, that God is not the authour of sin.God is no cause of sin. God, say these miscreants, would have it so: for, if hee would not, I should not have sinned. A­gaine, [Page 66] When he might have hindered me, and yet did not, himselfe is the author of my sin. These are meere cavils, and foisty Sophismes of the impious rout. God might by his absolute power hinder evill; but he will not corrupt his creature man, being just and righteous: Wherefore he dealeth with man after the order of man; he proposeth lawes unto him, he proposeth rewards and punishments, he willeth him to imbrace good, and flye evill. To the doing of which thing, neither denieth he his grace, without which we can do nothing; neither refuseth he our diligence and labour. Here if a man cease and give over, the sinne and negligence is ascribed to man, not to God, though he could have hindred it and did not; because he ought not to hinder it, lest he should trouble his appointed and settled order, and destroy his owne work: Wherefore God is not author of evill or sin.

Now in the processe of this our discourse, wee will gather in one the testimo­nies of Scripture, resolve certain doubts, and discover the very fountain and origi­nall of sin. Many are the testimonies of Scripture which teach us, that God is not the author of sin; of which it shall suffice to propose only some few: God made not death, Wisd. 1.13. Ezek. 13.11. Psal. 5.4, 5. neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living. I desire not the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turne from his way, and live: For thou art not a God that lo­veth wickednesse, neither shall evill dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight. God made man righteous, Eccles. 7.31. but they have sought many inventions. Our unrighteousnesse commendeth the righteousnesse of God. Rom. 3.5. Rom. 5.12. Rom. 7.18. Sin ariseth from man himselfe. By one man sin entred into the world, and death by sin. I know that in me there dwelleth no good thing. Of this we conclude, that God is not the author of sinne, but that the originall of evill springeth from man him­selfe, by the instigation of the Divell; yet so neverthelesse, that wee say, that the Divell, being at the first corrupted, did corrupt man; but could have done nothing, except man of his owne accord had consented to evill.The cause of sin is to be sought in our first father through the Di­vels instigation: and so by descent to be found in us. Here are we to remember againe the fall of our father Adam. God made Adam to his owne image and si­militude; that is, he made him most good, uncorrupt, holy, righteous, and immor­tall; he furnished him with most excellent gifts, that nothing might be wanting unto him to all blessednesse in God: Wherefore his Understanding was wholly di­vine, his Will most free, and most holy, he had power of doing good and evill; a law was given him of God, which shewed him what hee should doe, or what hee should not doe: For the Lord said,Gen. 2.17. Thou shalt not eat of the tree of knowledge both of good and evill. God simply required of him Obedience and Faith, and that the whole Adam should depend of him, and that not constrained by necessity, but should doe it freely.Eccles. 15.14, 15. God made man from the beginning, and left him in in the hand of his counsell, saying: If thou wilt, thou shalt observe the commandements, and testifie thy good will. Therefore when the Serpent tempted man, and counselled him to taste of the forbidden tree, man was not ignorant that the counsell of the Serpent did not agree with the commandement of God:Gen. 2.17. Yee shall not eat of the tree, neither shall yee touch it, lest ye die. Wherefore it was in the hand of his counsell to ear, or not to eat: God declared unto him his will, plainly charging him that he should not eat; and adding the perill, he did withdraw him from eating, lest perhaps thou die. Satan also (as neither could he) did not use any force, but did probably move him unto it, and at length did overcome him: for when the will of the woman declined to the word of the Divell, her mind departed from the word of God, and rejecting a good law, she committeth an evill work. Afterwards she drew on her husband, willingly following her, to be partaker of her sinne. That doth the Scripture in­culcate in these words:Gen. 3.6. So the woman (seeing that the tree was good for meat, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to get knowledge) took of the fruit there­of, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her, and he did eat. Here have you the beginning of evill, the Divell, and that which moved the Will of man, that is, the false commendation of the Divell; and even as a meere lye, and the delectable shew and sightlinesse of the tree: Wherefore Adam and Eve doe of their owne accord that which they doe, being led with a hope of more excellent wisdome, which the Se­ducer had lyingly promised them.

We conclude therefore, that sinne hath his beginning not from God, who forbi­deth [Page 67]evill, but from the Divell, and the free electron of man, The beginning of sin from the Di­vell, and the free election of man corrupted by his seducement. which was corrupted by the Divels falshood: And therefore the Divell, and mans corrupted will obeying him, are the most true cause of sinne. This evill floweth from our first Parents un­to all their pos [...]erity, so that sinne hath not else-whence his beginning then from our selves, and our corrupt judgement and wicked will, and the suggestion of Sa­than: For an evill root, and that first corruption, bringeth forth of it a rotten branch agreeable to the nature thereof, which Sathan now also setteth forward, and laboureth it, as it were plants, by his guiles and lies: but in vaine doth hee la­bour, except we yeeld our selves to be fashioned and dressed by him. That is cal­led Originall sinne, which proceedeth from the first Originall, that is, was derived from the first Patents into all by propagation or generation: for this sin we bring with us in our nature out of our mothers womb into this life; I was borne in iniqui­tie Psal. 51.5. and in sin hath my mother conceived mee. And of the Divell Christ speaketh thus: He hath been a murtherer from the beginning, John 8.44. and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lye, he speaketh of his owne: For he is a lyar, and the father thereof.

To this may be added this reason,Sin the proper effect of a reaso­nable nature, transgressing the Law. That sin cannot be a proper and naturall effect of any cause, but of that which hath power to doe against the Law; but this no nature hath power to doe, besides the nature of Angels and of men: for God is a Law unto himselfe, and cannot doe or intend any thing against his Law. And other crea­tures, whereas they are not endued with reason, and therefore the Law not made for them, they cannot commit sin; because, take away the Law, and there is no place left for sin: Wherefore it necessarily followeth, that sin is such an effect, as agreeth to those Angels alone who fell, and to men.

If humane reason doe here object, That God is the author and causer of punishment: God the causer of sins, as they are punishments, but not as they are sins. If therefore sins be the punishments of sins, it followeth, that God is the cause of sins. We answer, that there is a fallacy of the accident in the Minor: For it cometh to passe by an accident, that is, by the fault of those who sin, that when by the just judge­ment of God, either themselves or others are punished by evill men, they in the meane season (God permitting, that is, not shewing them that hee would have those things to be done by them for to punish them. which things yet hee hateth, and which he will punish both in this life and the life to come) do fulfill their de­sires, swerving from the Law of God, and estranging themselves more and more from God by sinning, do purchase more grievous punishments unto themselves. Or if we will distinguish the Major, it is in effect the same: For punishments come from God, as author and causer of them, as they are punishments: but inasmuch as they are sins, so they come, God neither willing them, nor approving them, nor causing, but only permitting: For to permit this kind of punishments, which sinners by sin­ning inflict either upon themselves or others, is nothing else then not to cause that evill men should do this, which God would have done for punishment, to the same end, that they may obey this will of God.

So also we answer to that argument, The privation or want of righteousnesse and divine wisdome, God inflicteth as a punishment upon men; but that privation is sin: There­fore God is the causer of sin: For this privation is not sin, as by the just judgement of God it is inflicted; but as it is of men themselves, voluntarily brought upon them by their owne misdeeds and demerits, and is admitted or received into the mind, will, and heart; even as evill actions are not sins, as they are governed by God, but as they are done by man.

They say further, Hee that mindeth the end, mindeth also the meanes: God mind­eth the ends of sin, that is, punishment, Punishment and the Manifestation of Gods glory & justice are not the ends of sin, because men are not by them mo­ved to sin. The proper ends of sin. and the shewing of justice and wrath in punish­ment: Wherefore hee mindeth sinne also, by which those ends are come unto. But the Mi­nor is to be denied, that Punishment and the Manifestation of the glory of God are the ends of sinne: For the end is that which moveth the efficient cause to bring forth an effect; but Punishment, or the Manifestation of the glory of God, do not move the sinners to sin: These cannot therefore be said to be the ends of sin. But those are the proper ends of sinne, which the Divels and men respect in sinning: [Page 68]that is, the destruction of men, the fulfilling of evill desires, the oppression and re­proach of God, and his truth.

God respecteth those as ends, not of mens sin, but of his permission of their sin.If they reply, That men indeed have not those ends, but that God respecteth them: For that which God permitteth, to shew his justice by punishing it, the end which God proposeth thereof, is the punishment of the sinners, and his owne glory; but he permitteth sin to punish it, and to declare himselfe just by punishing it: Therefore these are the ends of sin, in respect of the purpose and intent of God. We deny the Major: for God, suffering sinne to be committed, respecteth as the end (not of anothers work, that is, of the sinne of Di­vels or men; but of his own work, that is, of his permission of sin) the punish­ment of sin, and the manifestation of his owne justice: For sin is one thing, and the permission of sin another,Exod. 9.16. whereof is spoken, For this cause have I appointed thee, to shew my power in thee, Prov. 16.4. and to declare my name throughout all the world. The Lord hath made all things for his owne sake: yea even the wicked man for the day of evill. God, be­ing willing to shew his truth, Rom. 9.22. and to make his power knowne, hath suffered with long pati­ence the vessels of wrath prepared to destruction: Wherefore punishment is not the end, but the consequent or proper effect of sin; and an accidentary effect thereof is the manifestation of the glory of God:Rom. 3.7. as Paul sheweth, For, if the verity of God hath more abounded through my lie to his glory, &c.

How God is said to will punish­ment, which is the Consequent of sin, and not sin it selfe, which is the Antecedent.If here againe they reply, He that will the Consequent, will also the Antecedent; but God will these things which are the Consequents of sins, that is, Punishment and Execution of his justice: Therefore he will also the Antecedent, that is, Sin it selfe, without which these should not follow, or be Consequents. We deny the whole consequence of this reason: For nothing followeth, or can be concluded in reason, when both the former pro­positions are meere particular. For the Major of this reason is not universally true, but only then holdeth it, when as the Antecedent, together with the Conse­quent, agreeth with the nature of him which will the Consequent; and not when only the Consequent agreeth, and not the Antecedent: For when it falleth thus out, then is the Consequent by his will, but the Antecedent is not by his will, but only by permission: For God is said to will those things which he liketh, as agree­ing with his nature and rightnesse; but to permit those things which yet he dis­liketh, abhorreth, and condemneth, but neverthelesse for just causes hindereth them not from being done. And therefore it is said in the Scripture, that he will, and causeth life everlasting, which is the Consequent; and the conversion of men, which is the Antecedent, and goeth before: and that he will not, but only permit­teth punishment, as it is sin, which followeth, and is the Consequent of sins: as is delivered in holy Scripture.

If againe they urge,Rom. 9. Ephes. 1. He that forbiddeth not sin, when he may forbid it to be committed, in him is some cause and fault of sinne; but God permitteth it, when he might forbid it: Therefore there is some cause and fault of sin in him. We deny the Consequent, be­cause the Major is not universally true: For it is onely true of him who doth not perfectly hate sinne,The reasons why God not forbid­ding sin, is yet no cause of sin. and therefore forbiddeth it not, when hee may; and who is bound to hinder sin, that it be not committed: But it is not true of God, who with unspeakable anger accurseth and condemneth sin, neither yet hindereth is from being committed; because he is neither bound to do so, neither doth he per­mit it, without most good and just causes.

God doth not evill, when he permitteth evill. Rom. 3.8.If they object farther, He that doth evill that good may come of it, doth not well; God, when he permitteth evill for good ends, doth evill that good may come of it: Wherefore he doth against his justice and law; and by a Consequent is bound to hinder evill. Wee deny the Minor: for God, when he permitteth evill, doth not evill, but good. For the permission of sin is one thing, which is the good and just work of God; and sin is another thing, which is the evill and unjust work of the Divell, or man sin­ning and transgressing the Law.

Lastly, they say, What God permitteth willingly, that he will to be done; but he wil­lingly permitteth sin: wherefore hee will sin to be committed, and by a Consequent is the cause of sin. God permitting sin, doth not will sin to be done. But the Major is to be denied: God will the permission, that is, the privation of his spirit and grace: but the sinne of his creature, which concurreth [Page 69]with it, he will not: because he neither mindeth it, nor approveth it. They con­firme their Major by this argument: To permit, is either to Will, or, Not to will: but it is not, Not to will (for then either that should not be done, which God is said to per­mit, or something should be done that God would not: both of which are absurd.) Where­fore to Permit, is the same that to Will, and by a Consequent, God when hee permitteth sinne, doth will sinne. Wee deny the Consequence, because there is not a sufficient ennumeration of the diversities of will in the Minor: for God is said to Will, and not to Will a thing after two waies: Either to will, as when together he both liketh and worketh a thing; or, as he liketh a thing onely, (under which also is comprehend­ed his commanding) but doth not worke it. And he is said, Not to will any thing, either, as he both disliketh and hindereth a thing; or, as he onely disliketh it, but doth not forbid or hinder it. Both which kindes of will are contained in the Ma­jor; but onely one of them in the Minor: which is, both to dislike and hinder a thing from being done. For, it God in that sense would not sinne to be commit­ted, then those absurdities should follow which they speake of. But when we say that God will not sinnes, wee understand that they doe greatly displease him, and yet that God hindereth them not from being committed: which also is not, to Will, but to Not will sinne. For God can will nothing, but that which is agreeable to his owne nature and goodnesse: neither doth the holie Scripture shew any where, that God will those things which are contrary to his nature, in such sort as they are contrary.

God the cause of mans will, but not of the corrupti­on: or his will is not a cause of sin, whereof mans will corrupted is a cause.This is also objected, Hee that is the cause or the efficient of a Cause, is also the au­thor of the Effects of that cause, if not the next, yet afarre off. But God is the cause of that Will, which is the cause of sinne: therefore is hee the cause of the Effect of the Will, that is, of sinne. Wee answer to the Major, by distinguishing of the cause. For a cause which is afarr off a cause, is sometimes by it selfe, and sometimes onely by an accident a cause. That is, a cause by it selfe of an effect, which doth not onely bring forth the next cause of the effect, but also doth move and governe it in bringing forth the effect which it selfe intended, or unto which it was appointed; as when God frameth and bendeth the will of men, which himselfe made, to good workes, or to such actions as himselfe will have done; when the Father or Master bringeth up his Son or his Schollar to good things, and the learning which he instilleth into his minde moveth him to doe well: when the Sun and raine maketh the earth fertill, and the earth bringeth forth corne. But when the cause which is a farre off a cause ei­ther doth not move the next cause of the effect, or doth not intend or minde the effect, neither is appointed thereunto, it cannot be said to be a cause of that effect, but by an accident: as, when of a good Father, is borne an evill and evil-living Son; or of an evil Father, a good and wel-living Sonne: when a godly Magistrate by his commandement [...]o­veth the will of a wicked executioner to execute a guilty person, and he, being im­pelled either by desire of revenge, or by hatred, or by cruelty, reioyceth at his evil whom hee executeth, and so committeth murther before God: and lastly, when one maketh a sword, and another useth it well, or ill. Now, as aften as the next cause is either before the bringing forth of the effect depraved, or in the very bringing of it forth, either by it selfe, or by an other cause; then bringeth it forth a bad effect, which the cause removed, or a farre off, that either bringeth forth or moveth this next cause, neither intendeth neither, as by any ordination or appointment unto it, produceth. As when the will and hand of the cleaver purpose to cut a thing, and the iron, being too dull causeth that to breake which is taken in hand to be cut: So also God maketh and moveth the will; but because the will of men is depraved by the Divel and it selfe, it bringeth forth sin, which God neither when hee maketh nor when hee moveth the will, intendeth or mindeth to bring forth. Wherefore it followeth not at all, that God is the cause of those things which are committed by his creatures, depra­ved and corrupted of themselves.

Likewise it is objected: Second causes are able to doe nothing without the first cause, which is good: Wherefore neither is sinne brought forth, neither doe they deprave them­selves, but that also the first cause worketh it with them. We answer to the Antecedent, [Page 70] The second causes doe nothing without the first cause, that is, without the first cause preserve and move them to doe,God the first cause doth not concurr with secu [...]dary causes to the brin­ging forth of sin. Esa. 30.1. so farre forth as it is good which they doe: but they doe without the first cause concurring with them to the bringing forth of e­vill, as it is a fault, or of sinne. Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsell, but not of me: and cover with a covering, but not by my spirit, that they may lay sinne upon sinne.

Likewise they object: That which is good, cannot by sinning corrupt it selfe, except it be some otherway corrupted: as it is said: A good tree cannot bring forth evill fruit: The will of the Devill & Adam, before the fall of both, was good: Therefore it could not corrupt it selfe by sinning, except it were by some other meanes corrupted. We deny the Major. For although the creature be good,How the good will of man cor­rupteth it selfe. yet God not preserving his goodnesse, that is, moving or willing that his wil should be moved by outward objects, neither in the meane season lightning and governing the will with the knowledge of his owne divine wil, it is not onely possible, but it must necessarily follow that he must sin, become an evil tree, and through his owne wil and fault avert himselfe from God, run to worse and worse, and purchase blindnesse, the just punishment of sin, both unto him and his:John 15.5. as it is said; Without me ye can doe nothing.

That is not of God, but of man and the Devill which maketh sin.Againe, they object: He that is the cause of those things which make sin, is the cause of sin. God is the cause of those things which make sin, that is, of the Action, which is the mat­ter, and of the privation of righteousnesse in man, which is the forme of sin. Wherefore he is the author of sin. To these the answer hath been made before: For the Minor is to be denyed; because the action and privation of the divine light and direction doe make sin as they are contrary to the law: and they are contrary to the law of God, and make sin as they are committed by man, and are in him: but as they are guided by God, and inflicted, they are not sin, but a tryal of him that would sin, or a punishment of him that had sinned. Wherefore that is not of God, but of man and the Devil which maketh sin.

Whether God would the fal of Adam, and how.Last of all they urge: Seeing that God would the fall of Adam, either as it was sin, or as a punishment, and could not will it as a punishment, because no sin had gone before which should be therewith punished; it seemeth to follow that God would that worke as it was sin. But this consequence also is deceitfull, because there is not a sufficient ennumera­tion in the Major. For although the first sin was no punishment, yet God would that action not as a sin, and contrary to his will and nature; but as in punishing, and receiving againe mankinde into favour by his Son, it was a way and occasion of exercising and manifesting his justice and mercy, and an example of the weake­nesse of al creatures, yea of the most excellent, if they be not by the singular good­nesse of the Creator preserved; as it is declared, God hath shut up all in unbeleefe, that he might have mercy on all. Rom. 11.32. And in the same place it is shewed concerning the blindnesse of the Jews, That partly this obstinacy was come to Israel, untill the ful­nesse of the Gentiles were come in: and that the Jewes are enemies, of the Gospel for our sakes; and that wee have obtained mercy through their unbeleefe: That is, that God would this their obstinacy, not as it was a sin of the Jewes, neither only as a punish­ment of other sinnes, but also an occasion of translating the Gospel unto the Gen­tiles. And it is said that God in the preaching of the Law respecteth this, That al the world be culpable before him. Rom. 3.19. Wherefore this also he respected and would in permit­ting of sin, which if it had not come betweene, The Law had not made the world cul­pable before God.

Object. 1. Sathan was made of God: And therefore the malice also of Sathan. Answ. God made indeed all the Angels;God made Sathan good, and Sathan made himselfe evill. yea those who became Apostates and Devils: but yet he created al the Angels at the beginning good. But Sathan is said not to have stood stedfast in the truth: Then before his fall he stood in the truth; but after hee treacherously fell from his allegeance, and sinned against God: and therefore the crime of that evill sticketh in that run-away the Devill. For since that time, after he fell, there is no truth in him, no faith, no integrity, no feare of God, no light, no goodnesse.1 John 3.8. He that committeth sin is of the Devill, &c. for he is the first sinner, and the fountaine of sinne.

Object. 2. God made Adam: Therefore he made sin. Answ. Sin is the corruption of nature created good of God, but not any creature made of God in man.Sin not made of God, because it is no creature, but the corruption of a creature. God made man good; who by Sathans perswasion corrupted willingly that goodnesse which he received of God, so that now sin is mans, and not a creature of God created in man. Neither is the nature of man the cause of sin: for God, who created all things, and the very nature of man, created them all good;Sin a natural pro­perty of man cor­rupted, but not of man simply as hee was first created. wherefore the very nature of man also was created good: but sinne is an accidentall quality which befell unto man in his fall, and after his fall, being even from the beginning such as now it is, but no substantiall property, nor of the nature of man. Now indeed whereas we are borne in sin, sin is a naturall property of men, Cont. Manich. c. 9. according to the judgement of Augu­stine. But and if we say any man to be naturally evill, we say so, because of the ori­ginall of the old sin, in which all our mortality now is borne.

Object. 3. But the will and power which was in Adam was from God: Therefore sin also is from God. Ans. God gave not man a will and power to work evill.God gave not man a will and power to work evill, but to do good. For hee made a Law to forbid evill. Wherefore Adam himself did ill bestow that will and power which he received of God, in ill using of them. The prodigall son received money of his father, not that he should lash it out wastfully, but that he might have so much as sufficed need. Wherefore when himself did ill bestow his money, and perished; he perished through his owne default, and not by his father, though hee received the money of his father. Therefore the fault is in the abuse. He that gi­veth thee them, leaveth the use of them unto thee. If he be just, he giveth them thee for to use, and not to abuse. When thou abusest them, the fault is laid on thee who abusest them, and not on him who gave them. So God gave a will and power to Adam to do good, not to work evill.

Object. 4. God made man so as he might fall, It was necessary that man should have free power either to stand or fall. Rom. 9.20. Isa. 45.9. neither did confirm and establish in him the goodnesse of his nature. Wherefore he would have him to fall, or sin. Answ. The Scri­pture beateth back this forwardnesse of men wickedly curious. Who art thou which pleadest against God? Woe be unto him that striveth with his Maker. Except God had made man so as hee might fall, there had been no praise of his work or vertue. And what if it were necessary that man should be so made as he might fall? For so did the very nature of God require. God doth not grant his glory to any creature. Adam was a man, no God. And as God is good, so is he also just. He doth good unto men, but hee will have them to be obedient and thankfull unto him. He be­stoweth infinite goodnesse upon man, therefore he should have been thankfull, and obedient, and subject unto him. For he declareth by his law what hee would, and what he would not. Of the tree of knowledge of good and evill, saith hee, thou shalt not eat: When thou eatest, thou shalt die. As if he should say; Thou shalt regard me, thou shalt cleave unto me, obey me, serve me: neither shalt thou else-where seek for the rules of good and evill but of mee, and so shalt thou shew thy selfe obedient unto me. Repl. God fore-knew the fall of man, which if he would, he might have hindred: but hee did not hinder it: Therefore God was in the fault that Adam sinned. Ans. Unto this objection answer hath been made before: neither doth that necessity follow upon the fore-knowledge of God, that Adam must needs have sinned, because God did fore-know that he would sin. Some wise father did fore-know by some signes and tokens that his son should hereafter at some time be slain with a sword. Neither doth this his fore-knowledge deceive him: for he was thrust thorow for fornication. But hee is not therefore thought to be slain, because his father did fore-know that he should be slain, but because he was a fornicator.Lib. 2. De vo [...]. gent. c. 4. Lib. 3. d [...] libero arbit. cap. 4. So saith Am­brose, speaking of the murther which Cain committed: Verily God did fore-know to what the fury of him, being in a rage, would come: neither yet was the attempt of his will for­ced of necessity to sin, because the knowledge of God could not be deceived. And Austine: God is a just revenger of those things, of which yet he is not an evill authour. Wherefore, those sinnes which ensue and follow, are, in respect of God, considered as most just punishments; which, as they are punishments, have their being from him as their authour and causer: but as they are sinnes, in respect of men, they come God neither willing nor causing them, but permitting only, seeing hee doth not [Page 72]cause men to do that which he would have done for a punishment, to this end, as for to obey therein his will: For, one and the same work is good and holy in respect of God,Two differences in the working of God and man. and sin in respect of men, by reason of the diversity both of the efficients, and of the ends. For, 1 1. Man, by reason of his great both ignorance and corruption, wills and worketh evill only; but God, because he is exceeding good, and the very rule of goodnesse and righteousnesse, doing in all things what hee will, wills and worketh alwaies only that which is good. 2 2. Men have such an end of their actions as is disagree­ing from the Law of God, that is, what they doe, they doe not to that end to obey God, but to fulfill their bad and corrupt desires; but God hath the end of all his works agreeing with his Nature and Law, even that hee may declare and execute his justice, goodnesse, and mercy. By these two things it cometh to passe, that the rea­sonable creature, working together with God, God working uprightly and holi­ly, doth neverthelesse it selfe work unholily and corruptly.

5. What are the effects of sin.

NOw that it is defined what sinne is, and from whence it came, we are to consider also, what be the evils which follow sin: For, except this be also known, we know not yet how great evill there is in sin, and with how great hatred God pursueth it. It hath been said before, that evill was of two sorts: one of crime or offence, which is sin; the other of paine or punishment. The evill of punishment is the effect of the evill of offence. That this may be the better understood, we must here againe re­member, that of punishments, some are Onely punishments, as are the destruction of nature, or torments: others, Both punishments and sin, as all sins, which have follow­ed since the first fall.

1 Sins ensuing, ef­fects of sins which goe before. Rom. 5.19. The sins which follow are the effects of those which goe before. So Originall sin is the effect of the sin or fall of our first Parents: By one mans disobedience many were made sinners.

2 Actuall sins ef­fects of originall. Rom. 7.11. All Actuall sins are effects of Originall sin. Sin took an occasion by the commande­ment, and deceived me.

3 Increase of sins the effect of actuall sins. Rom. 1.24. 2 Thes. 2.11. Mat. 25.29. The effect of actuall sin is the increase of them, that is, greater guiltinesse by reason of the most just judgement of God; because God punisheth sins with sins. Where­fore God also gave them up to their hearts lusts: And therefore God shall send them strong delusions, that they should beleeve lies. From him that hath not, shall be taken away also that which he hath.

4 Other mens sins oftentimes effects of actuall sin.The effect of all actuall sins are also oftentimes other mens sins, by reason of scandall or example, whereby some are made worse of others, and are intised or moved to sin. So the perswasion of the Divell caused man to decline from God; and now it worketh in stubborn-minded men. The Divell put it into the heart of Ju­das to betray Christ. John 13.27. 1 Cor. 15.33. Evill speeches corrupt good manners: So evill teachers do withdraw men from God to errours, idolatry, and other sins. So a use of liberty, out of sea­son, offendeth, and draweth men to sin.

5 An evill con­science an effect of sin.There followeth sin, in the immoveable and perpetuall order of Gods judge­ment, an evill conscience, which is the knowledge and dislike which wee have in our mind of our own sin, and the knowledge of the judgement of God against sin, and that proceeding out of the knowledge of Gods Law, upon which ensueth the feare of the wrath of God and punishment, according to the order of Gods justice, and a flying and hatred of God who destroyeth sin; which is the beginning of despaira­ [...]ion and eternall torments, except it be cured by the comfort of the Gospel. The Gentiles shew the effect of the Law written in their hearts, Rom. 2.15. their conscience also bearing wit­nesse, Isa. 57.21. and their thoughts accusing one another, or excusing. And, There is no peace to the wicked.

6 Temporall and spirituall evils effects of sin. Temporall and Spirituall evils: as temporall death, and in a word all the cala­mities of this life: These evils are only punishments, that is, torments and dissolution of nature. If any man object, That they also are subject to temporall death and other calamities, who have all their sinnes remitted; and therefore all temporall evils are not the [Page 73]punishments or effects of sinne, but some have other causes. Wee answer,Temporall evils in the regenerate are effect, of sin, not as punish­ments, but as cha­stisements. that the con­sequence holdeth not from the deniall of one particular to the deniall of the ge­nerall. For albeit the calamities of the regenerate are not effects of sinne as a pu­nishment, which is inflicted on men sinning, that so the justice of God might be satisfied; yet are they effects of sin, as chastisements and exercises, whereby sin is repressed, and more and more purged out, untill at length by corporall death the whole be abolished. Now that of the blind man, Neither this man hath sinned, John 9.3. nor his Parents, Christ meaneth not simply that they had not sinned, or that their sins were not a cause of this calamity; but that their sins were not the principall cause why he was borne blind: but that the workes of God should be shewed on him, Christ by a miracle opening his eyes.

7 Eternall death the effect of sin Eternall death, which is the effect of all sins, as they are sins: For all sinnes, of what quality soever they be, are punished either with eternall pain, as in the Reprobate; or with equivalent paine to eternall, as in the Son of God. This death doth begin in the Reprobate, even in this world, that is, anxiety, and torment of conscience, which we also should feele except we were delivered by the grace of God. Now, by the name of eternall death is not understood the destruction of the soule or bo­dy, or the separation of them; but the abandoning and banishing of the soule and body living from the face of God, a continuall horrour, and torment, and a feeling and flying of Gods wrath and judgement, a horrible murmuring against God, ta­king vengeance of their sins. If they object, That the sinnes of those who beleeve in Christ, are not punished with eternall death: We answer, that those were punished in Christ with a punishment, which both for the grievousnesse of the punishment, and for the dignity of the person who suffered it, is equivalent to those eternall punishments, which were to be inflicted upon us for our sins: As it is said,Isa. 53.6. He hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all. Against that which we affirm, That eternall death is the effect of all sins, yea even of the least, some thus dispute: Ob. Like is not to be given to things unlike; but sins are not like: Therefore all ought not to be punished with eternall death. Answ. There is more in the conclusion of this reason,The regenerate, though they sin, are not punished with this death, because Christ hath suffered an equivalent pu­nishment for them. Why the during of punishment ought to be alike to all sins, but not the degree of pu­nishment. Luke 12.47. Mat. 11.24. All sins are not equall. then was in the pre­misses; for only this followeth to be concluded: Therefore all sins ought not to be punished with like punishment. For all sinnes, even the least, deserve eternall punishment; because all sins offend against the eternall and infinite good. Where­fore, as concerning the durance and lasting of the punishment, all sins are punished with like punishment; but not as concerning the degrees of punishment: All sins are punished with eternall torments, yet so, as not with equall torments. The ser­vant who knoweth the will of his Master, and doth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes. It shall be easier for them of the land of Sodome in the day of judgement, then for thee. Greater sins shall be punished with more grievous torments, and lesser sins with lighter, but both for ever.

Here the Stoicks object, That all sins or vices are joyned with any one vice; and there­fore all are like and equall: But neither is this consequence of force, whereas also things unlike & unequall may be joyned together; neither is the Antecedent grant­ed, that seemeth to be proved by the saying of James, He that faileth in one, Jam. 2.10. is guilty of all. But James saith not, that all sins or vices concurre and are joyned with one: but first, that in the breach of one point the whole Law is violated; as the whole body is said to be hurt, when one part is harmed: Then, that there concurreth with every sin the fountain or cause of all other sins, that is, the contempt of God. And this evill being seated in the heart, doth violate the love of God, and so all o­ther parts of our obedience towards God: For no worke, which proceedeth not from the perfect love, dread & reverence of God, can agree with the Law of God, or please God. And yet have we experience that this hindreth not, but that which is infected with one vice, may be propense and prone to some sins more, and to some lesse, especially since vices themselves also are one opposite to another; by the one of which contraries, and not by both at one time, every man violateth vertue. Neither are those principles also of the Stoicall Philosophers to be granted: That how farre soever thou goe in sinning, after thou hast once past the line or middle, which [Page 74]is vertue, it is not materiall for the increasing or augmenting the fault of passing beyond the line: and that all vertues are alike and equall one to another, so that no man is stronger then a strong man. For, whereas sin is a swerving from the middle, it is manifest, that how much greater the swerving is, so much is the sin more grievous. And that vertues are both in the same, and in divers men, other-whiles greater, other-whiles lesser, even as much as the qualities of the body are different in degrees, ex­perience doth witnesse: Wherefore in the judgement of God also there are de­grees put as well of punishments as of sins.

The use of this doctrine of sin in the Church.It is requisite that this doctrine be knowne in the Church: 1 1. That knowing how great an evill sin is, we may yeeld the praise of justice unto God, who doth most severely punish it. 2 2. That we may abhorre all sins with our whole heart, and desire the more earnestly to be fenced and defended of God against all sin. 3 3. That by extenuating or lessning any, wee flatter not our selves in a conceit of our owne righteousnesse, or in hope of escaping. 4 4. That measuring our sin by the Law of God, neither esteeming evill for good, or good evill, we loose not our consciences when God bindeth them, nor bind them when God looseth them: and acknow­ledging the remnant of sin in us, and our manifold fallings, wee should not de­spaire of pardon, flying to God the Mediatour with boldnesse. 5 5. That also wee may be able to discerne our selves from the wicked and profane men, in whom sin reigneth, and from all those that sin against the holy Ghost, and that wee may conceive in our mind hope and confidence of Gods mercy. 6 6. That wee lay not the cause or fault of our sins and destruction on God, but remember that it is to be sought in our selves. 7 7. That knowing there are degrees of punishments, and sins, we adde not sins to sins, but consider, that lesser sins shall be punished with les­ser punishments, and greater with greater. 8 8. That remembring the sins of Parents are punished also in their posterity, we spare not only our selves, but our posterity also in avoiding sins. 9 9. That we may give and render thankes unto God for this benefit, that he, for his owne glory, and the gathering and salvation of his Church, doth maintain and continue also amongst the wicked some order of vertue and discipline. 10 10. That true and perpetuall thankfulnesse may be kindled in us towards God, and his Son our Lord Jesus Christ, in that he hath delivered us from these great evils, sin, and the paines and punishment of sin.

Quest. 8. Are wee so corrupt, that wee are not all apt to doe well, and are prone to all vice?

Answ. Indeed we are,Gen. 8.19. and 6.5. Job 14.4. and 15.14, 16, 35. John 3.6. Isa. 53.6. except we be regenerated by the holy Ghost.John 3.3, 5. 1 Cor. 12.3. 2 Cor. 3.5.

The Explication.

THe Question of Free-will, or of the power of mans will in well-doing, and performing obedience to God, occurreth next in order after the tract of Mans Misery: For necessary it is to know, what ability man was of before his fall, and of what strength after the same, that thence descrying aright the effects of the first sin, we may be the more prick­ed forwards and provoked to humility, and to an earnest desire of Gods divine grace and protection, and finally unto thankfulnesse towards him. For this do­ctrine of Free-will is a view or contemplation not of mens ability and excellency, but of their weaknesse and misery.

OF FREE-WILL.

The state of the maine question about Free-will. THE principall scope and question of this disputation is, Whether as man averted himselfe from God; so on the other side hee be able by his owne strength to returne to God, to receive grace offered by God, and to amend himselfe. And further, Whether the Will of man be the first and principall cause why others are converted, others persist in their sinnes: and as well of the converted, as not converted, others are more, others lesse good or evill; and in a word, doe either good or evill, some after one manner, some after another. To this question the Pelagians and the like adversaries make answer, That so much grace is both given of, and left by nature to all men, that they are able to returne unto God, and obey him: neither ought wee to seeke any other cause before, or above mans Will, for which others re­ceive or retaine, others refuse or cast away divine succour and aide in avoiding sinne, and doe after this or that manner order and institute their counsels and actions. Contrariwise, we have learned out of the sacred Scriptures, That no worke pleasing to God can be undertaken or performed by any man without regeneration, and the s [...]all grace of the ho­ly Spirit; neither can more or lesse good be in any mans counsels or actions, then God of his free goodnesse doth cause in them; neither any other way can the will of any creature be in­clined, then whither it shall seeme good to the eternall and good counsell of God: and yet all the actions of the created will, both good and bad, are wrought freely. For the clearing hereof we are to consider:

  • 1 What the liberty of the will, or free-will is.
  • 2 What difference there is of the free-will which is in God, and that which is in reaso­nable creatures, Angels and Man.
  • 3 Whether there be any liberty of mans will.
  • 4 What manner of liberty of will is in man; or how many are the degrees of free-will, according to the foure estates of man.
1 What the liberty of will, or free-will is.

Liberty from bond, bondage, and misery. LIberty sometime signifieth a relation or respect, to wit, the power or right, that is, the or­dering either of person or thing, made either by ones will, or by nature, to deale at his own arbitrement or motion, according to honest lawes, or order agreeable to his nature, and to enjoy commodities convenient for him, without inhibition or impediment, and not to sustaine the defects and burdens or encombrances which are not proper to his nature. This liberty may be termed a liberty from bond and misery, and it is opposed unto slavery. So God is most free, because he is bound to no man: So the Romans and the Jewes were free, that is, stood not charged with forraigne governments and burdens: So a Ci­tie is free from tyranny and servitude after a civill kind of freedome: So we, be­ing justified by faith, are by Christ freed from the wrath of God, the curse of the Law, and Moses Ceremonies. But this signification of liberty appertaineth not to this present disputation of free-will; because it is agreed upon on all sides, that we all are the servants of God, and are obliged by his Law, either to obey him, or to suffer punishment. Our Will also willeth many things freely, the liberty or power of performing whereof notwithstanding it hath not.

Liberty from constraint.Secondly, liberty is opposed unto constraint, and is a quality of the Will, or a natu­rall power of a reasonable creature, concurring with the Will: that is, a faculty of chusing or refusing any object or action represented unto it by the Ʋnderstanding, by it owne proper motion, without any constraint, the nature of the Will remaining still entire and free to doe this or that, or also to suspend, forbeare, and deferre any action: as, a man may be wil­ling to walk, or not to walk. And this is to put any thing in action upon mature deliberation, which is the proper manner of the working of the Will.

This liberty of Will is in God, Angels, and men; and their free-will is called free Arbitremen. That thing is called free, which is endowed with this faculty and li­berty of willing or nilling: But Abitrement is the Will it selfe, as far as it follow­eth [Page 76]or refuseth in her choice the judgement of the Understanding; for it compri­seth both faculties of the mind: to wit, both the judgement of the mind, or understan­ding of the object,What free-will is. & the Will either receiving or refusing it. Free Arbitrement there­fore is a faculty or power of willing, or nilling, or of chusing, or refusing any object represented unto it by the Ʋnderstanding, by proper motion without constraint. And this faculty or power of the soule is called Arbitrement, Arbitrement. in respect of the mind, shewing unto the Will an object to be chosen or refused: and it is called free, in respect of the Will following of her own accord, and without constraint, the judgement of the mind or understanding.Free. For that is called free which is voluntary, and which is opposed to that which is involuntary and constrained; not which is opposed to that which is ne­cessary: For that which is voluntary may well stand with that which is necessary, but not with that which is involuntary. As God and the holy Angels are necessarily good, yet not involuntarily and constrainedly against their will, but with most free will; because they have the beginning and cause of their goodnesse within themselves, I mean,Constrained. free-will. But that is said to be constrained, which hath only an externall be­ginning and cause of motion, and not also an internall, whereby it may move it self to do on this or that manner.Necessary. Wherefore, there is such a difference between necessary and constrained, as is between a generall and a speciall: For, whatsoever is con­strained is necessary; but not contrariwise, whatsoever is necessary is constrained. Whence there ariseth a double necessity: A double neces­sity. A necessity of Ʋnchangeablenesse, and a neces­sity of Constraint. The former may stand with that which is voluntary: the latter cannot.Contingent. The like difference is between things contingent and free. For, Whatsoever is free is contingent; but not contrariwise, all that is contingent is free.

2. What difference there is of the free-will which is in God, and that which is in reasonable creatures, Angels and men.

Two things com­mon to God and creatures in their will.TWo things there are common to God and reasonable creatures, as touching the liberty of Will: 1. That God and reasonable creatures do things upon delibe­ration and advice; that is, they chuse or refuse whatsoever objects, with an under­standing going before the action, and a will accompanying the action of chusing or refusing. 2. They chuse or refuse any thing of their proper and inward motion without constraint: that is, the Will being fit in it owne nature to will the con­trary of that which it willeth, or to suspend the action it intendeth, of it owne ac­cord inclineth to the one part, Psal. 104.24. & 115.3. Gen. 3.6. Isa. 1.19. Mat. 23.37.

Difference of li­berty in God and his creatures:But the differences also of this liberty in God and in the creatures are three:1. In the Under­standing. In the Ʋnderstanding; because God understandeth and knoweth all things of him­self perfectly and from all eternity, without any ignorance or errour of judgment: but the creatures know neither of themselves, neither all things, neither the same at all times; but they understand of God his will and works, so much, and at such time, how much, and when it pleaseth God to reveale unto them: And therefore many things they are ignorant of, and erre in many. The testimonies of this dif­ference are:Mat. 24.36. Dan. 2.21. Isa. 40.13. Heb. 4 13. Of that day and houre knoweth no man, no not the Angels of heaven, but my Father only. He giveth wisdome unto the wise, and understanding to those that understand: Who hath instructed the Spirit of the Lord? Neither is there any creature which is not ma­nifest in his sight. John 1.9. He lightneth every man that cometh into the world. 2 In the Will. In the Will. The will of God is governed by no other, nor dependeth of any o­ther cause but of it selfe. But the wils of Angels and men, are so the causes of their actions, that neverthelesse they are carried by the secret counsel of God and his pro­vidence to the chusing or refusing of any object; & that either immediatly by God, or mediately by instruments, some good, some bad, which it seemeth good unto God to use; so that it is impossible for them to do any thing beside the eternall de­cree and counsell of God. And therefore the word [...], (that is, to be absolute­ly his own, at his owne will, and in his own power,) whereby the Greek Divines expresse Free-will, agreeth more properly unto God, who perfectly and simply is his owne, and at his owne will. But of the creatures more rightly is used [...], (that [Page 77]is, voluntary and free) which word the Apostle useth to Philemon, Ver. 14. Hebr. 10.26. 1 Pet. 5.2. The testimonies and arguments of this difference are laid down in the doctrine of Providence. And, that God indeed is the first cause of his coun­sels, these and the like sayings of Scripture doe testifie:Psal. 115.3. Dan. 4.32. He hath done what soever he would. Who, according to his will, worketh in the army of heaven, and in the inhabitants of the earth. But that the wils and counsels of the creatures depend on Gods beck and permission, these and the like speeches doe prove:Gen. 24.7. Exod. 3.16. Acts 2.23. & 3.18. & 4.27, 28. The Lord shall send his Angel be­fore thee, &c. Goe and gather the Elders of Israel together, &c. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsell and fore-knowledge of God, ye have slaine: But God hath fulfilled these things. Herod and Pontius Pilate gathered themselves together, to doe whatsoever thine hand, and thy counsell had determined before to be done. I know, Jer. 10.23. that the way of a man is not in himselfe, neither is it in man to walke, and to direct his steps. The Kings heart is in the hand of the Lord: Therefore the wils of Angels and men,Pro. 21.1. and all other second causes, as they were created of God their first supreme and sove­raigne cause, so are they ruled of him; but the will of God is ruled by no one of his creatures: because as God hath no efficient cause without, and besides himselfe, so neither hath hee any moving or inclining cause; otherwise hee were not God, that is, the supreme and soveraigne cause of all his workes, and the creatures should be invested in Gods room.The wils of the creatures are r [...] ­led by God, not inforced. Moreover God ruleth and bendeth the wils of his crea­tures, and doth not draw or enforce them; that is, by objects represented to the mind hee effectually moveth, affecteth, and allureth the Will to will that which then the mind judgeth good, and refuse that which seemeth evill.

3 In the will and understanding. In the Ʋnderstanding and Will both together: because God, as hee unchangeably knoweth all things so also he hath determined from everlasting, and will unchange­ab [...]y all things which are done, as they are good; and permitteth them, as they are sins. Now, as the creatures notions and judgements of things, so also their wils are changeable: so that they will that, which before they would not: and will not that, which before they would. For, seeing that all the counsels of God are most good, most just and most wise; he never disliketh, correcteth, or changeth them, as often­times men do, when as they do perceive themselves to have determined any thing unadvisedly before. Hither appertain those sayings, God is not as man, Num. 23.19. that hee should lye. I am the Lord and change not. Object.Mal. 3.6. The unchange­ablenesse of Gods purpose taketh not away the li­berty of his will. Hee that cannot change his counsell and pur­pose, hath not free-will; but God cannot change his counsell and purpose. which he hath once appointed: Therefore his will is not free. First, we deny the Major: For not he which doth not change his purpose which he hath once appointed, hath no liberty of will; but he which could not purpose any other thing, being let by some external cause: But the liberty of God consisteth not in the change of his will or purpose, but in this, that God will all things (whatsoever he will) altogether with his will, and of himself, and could have had otherwise decreed, or not decreed all things, which he decreed from everlasting, of the creation, preservation, and government of things, according to these sayings: With men this is impossible, Mat. 19.26. Luk. 18.27. but with God all things are pos­sible. These and the like sayings shew, that God hath so appointed from everla­sting with himselfe the creation of things, and the gathering and saving of his Church, not as if he could not have not done this, or not have appointed it otherwise; but because so it seemed good to him: neither must men seek any superiour cause then his will, of all his divine works which he exerciseth in his creatures; neither is there any other necessity to be found in them, then which dependeth of the most free appointment of God himselfe. For, as to resolve of such a purpose as is to be changed; so also to change it either to better or to worse, is rather servitude or bondage, then freedome & liberty: for it proceedeth of ignorance or impotency. For they change their counsels and purposes, who either erre in taking them, or are not able to perform the counsell which they have taken. But to resolve of such a purpose, as might alike either have been decreed, or not decreed; and which after it is decreed, is neither changed, nor to be changed at any time, this is perfect and di­vine liberty. Now God, whatsoever he hath decreed, could either not have decreed it at all, or have decreed it otherwise. And that he changeth not that which he hath [Page 78]once decreed, the perfectnesse of his nature, even his infinite wisdome and good­nesse is cause thereof. For most wisely and rightly doth hee decree all things, and constantly persisteth in that which is good and right. Wherefore the immu­tability in God doth as well not diminish his liberty as his immortality, and other things which are proper unto his divinity. Secondly, if any man urge, That it is a point of liberty, not only to resolve of any advice what he will, but after he hath resolved, to be able either to follow it, or change it: We understand by those things which have been alrea­dy spoken, that this doth agree to the creatures, which may erre in their purposes, and therefore stand in need of changes and alterations; but not to God, who can never erre, and therefore requires no change of his purpose. Lastly, if they reply, That not to be able to alter a purpose once undertaken, is a defect of ability or power; and therefore against the liberty of God: We answer, That the Antecedent of this reply is true, if the change of it be impossible by reason of some impediment, coming from some externall cause, or by reason of defect of nature or ability; but the Antece­dent is most false, if the impossibility of change proceed from a perfection of that nature, which is not changed, and from a wisdome and rightnesse of that purpose which is unchangeable, and from a perseverance and constancy of the will in that which is good and right: after which sort it is apparent to be in God.

Gods directing of our will, taketh not away the li­berty thereof.But against that, where it was said, That the wils of all creatures are so guided by God, that neither they are able to will what he from everlasting hath not de­creed, neither not to will what he hath decreed for them to will, more question is used to be made: 1. That which is ruled by the unchangeable will of God, doth not worke freely; the will of Angels and men is ruled by the unchangeable will of God: Therefore ei­ther it hath no liberty, or the choice which it maketh is not tied to the will of God. Answer we make to the Major by a distinction: It is not a free agent which is so ruled by God, as it hath no deliberation and election of his owne. But that which God so ruleth, as he sheweth the object unto the understanding, and by it effectually mo­veth and affecteth the will to chuse it; that doth notwithstanding freely work, al­beit it be inclined at the beck and will of God, whither hee will have it. For to work freely in the creatures, is not to work without any ones government, but with deliberation, and with a proper and selfe-motion of the will, although this motion be else-whence raised and ruled. Wherefore, it is not the immutability and operation of the divine will and providence, which is against this liberty, but a privation and constraint of judgement; which is an impulsion, or a motion pro­ceeding not from an inward cause or faculty, but only from an outward cause, be­side or against the nature of that which is moved. Now, such an impulsion falleth not into the will; but God moveth it, leading and bringing it on as it were by ob­jects, to chuse that which he will. For the faculty or ability and power of the will cannot be brought into act, that is, to shew and expresse it self without an object; and,Act. 17.28. We are, live, and move in God: But, to be moved of no other cause but of him­selfe only, this is exceeding and infinite perfection and liberty, agreeing to God alone, which the creature cannot desire, much lesse arrogate and challenge unto it selfe, without notorious blasphemy.

Necessity taketh not away libetry of will in us. This necessity proceedeth from Gods working in us, which rather preserveth this liberty. Absolute necessi­ty doth not take away in God greater liberty: much lesse can a lesse absolute ne­cessity take away a lesse liberty in us.Further, it may easily be shewed, That the necessity or immutability which ariseth not from constraint, but from the nature of the will, or from the commotion of it, stirred by other causes, to chuse or refuse an object thought of by the mind, doth not at all withstand or hinder the liberty of will: 1. Because this necessity doth not take away, but effectuateth and perswadeth the judgement of the mind, and free or voluntary assent of the will, inasmuch as God doth cause and work in men both the notions & election of objects. 2. Because God, albeit he is by nature, that is, by ex­ceeding and absolute necessity, good, and hath begotten his Son, and had his holy Spirit from all eternity: yet will he not by a constrained, but most free will, be, live, be blessed, and good, have his Son and holy Spirit, and will all his purposes and works to be good and just, although it be impossible that he should will any thing contrary to these which he hath already determined. If then this absolute necessity of willing things in God, doth not take away even the greatest liberty; there is no [Page 79]doubt but that necessity, which is but only conditionall, that is according to the decree and government of God, doth not take away that liberty, which agreeth unto the creatures, that is, judgment and election, free and voluntary.Angels & Saints have greater li­berty of will, and yet greater neces­sity. 3. The holy Angels and blessed men in the celestiall life, even by our adversaries owne confes­sion, are indued with greater liberty of Wil, then we are in this life: But they ne­cessarily will those things only which are right and just, and hate & abhorre al things whatsoever are evil and unjust, because they are made such of God, and establihed by him, and are so illuminated and guided by the holy Ghost, that they cannot other wise will or work: neither by this necessity of Willing those things which are good and pleasing to God, is the liberty of Wil taken away or diminished in them; but rather is increased, and confirmed, as who with all willingnesse choose and doe those things only which are just. Fourthly,Many places of Scripture con­firme the neces­sity of those acti­ons, the liberty of which yet both we and our adver­saries acknow­ledge. it is shewed by many testimonies of Scripture, that the Wils and voluntary Actions of good and wicked men, which our adversaries maintaine to be and have been free, and we also, according to the right meaning of this word Liberty, doe willingly confesse, are so guided by the secret and unchangeable purpose of God, that they neither can or could either doe, or be otherwise. Wherefore either so many manifest places of Scripture must be denied, or openly corrupted: or it must be granted, that one and the same Action of the Wil is free & contingent in respect of the Wil, and necessary in respect of Gods go­vernment. Fiftly, it is declared by many places of Scripture,Contingent ef­fects lose not their contingen­cie, by reason of any necessity im­ported by Gods decree. The same is to be said of the effects of the will, which are in respect thereof contin­gent, that is, free, and might as well not be done, as be done. that al contingent ef­fects doe retain their contingency, which they have from the nature of their causes, although they be done by the unchangable determination of the purpose or provi­dence of God: But al voluntary effects or motions are contingent in respect of the Wil, which by nature was alike able to have done the plaine contrary unto them. They therefore retain their contingency, that is, their liberty (for this is the contin­gency of the actions of the Wil) although they be so determined of by Gods Wil, that there can be no other. The reason of the Major in this argument is, for that God so moveth the second causes, and by them bringeth to passe what he wil, that in the mean season by this providence he doth not destroy or abolish their nature wch he gave them at their creation, but rather preserveth and nourisheth it: so that as concerning their nature, some work contingently, some necessarily, although in respect of the liberty of Gods purpose, al work contingently, and in respect of the un­changeablenesse of his decree, all work necessarily, so as they doe. For when God by the rising of the Sun lightneth the world, hee maketh not the Sun so, as if be­ing risen it did not necessarily lighten, or were apt by nature not to lighten: and yet it is in the power of God, either to change the nature of the Sun, or that re­maining as it is, not to lighten the world: as he shewed in Egypt, and at the passion of Christ. In like manner, when the Quailes light at the Tents of the Israelites, and the Ravens carry meat to Elias, and one sparrow falleth on the ground, God doth not make the nature of these living creatures such, as could not be carried elsewhere: and yet that they can have no other motion then that which they have, by reason of the wil of God interposed & coming betweene, the Scripture plain­ly affirmeth. Whereof it is manifest, that as in other things, which work contin­gently, their contingency; so in the will, the liberty wch is given it of God, is not taken away, but rather preserved by Gods government. Now then, if our adversa­ries in their argument understand that Liberty which consisteth in the deliberation of the mind and free assent of the wil; we do not only grant, but also better main­taine then they the liberty of wil in all actions thereof: and so the Major of their argument shal be false, to wit, that those things which are done by the unchange­able decree of God, are not done by the free-wil of men and Angels. For this liber­ty the providence of God doth so not hinder, but rather establish and confirm, that without this, that liberty cannot so much as be: for God both keepeth his order which he appointed at the creation by his perpetuall efficacy and operation, and doth inspire into al by his vertue true notions and right election. But if they chal­lenge a liberty unto the creature depending of no other cause wherby it is guided, we deny their whole argument, as knowing such a liberty of creatures to stand a­gainst [Page 80]the whole Scripture, and that it onely agreeth unto God. For him alone doe all things serve: In him we live, and move, and have our being: he giveth un­to all not onely life or power of moving themselves, but even breathing too, that is, very moving it selfe.

The will worketh together with God, and is not meere passive.Object. 2. If the will when it is converted by God, or turned and inclined to other objects, cannot withstand, it is even meere passive, and so worketh not at all. Answ. This con­sequence deceiveth them, because in the Antecedent there is not a sufficient en­numeration of those actions which the will may have, when it is moved of God: For it is able not onely to withstand God moving it, but also of it owne proper motion to assent and obey him. And when it doth this, it is not idle, neither doth it onely suffer or is moved, but it selfe exerciseth and moveth her owne actions; and yet this is to be understood of the actions of the Will, not of the new qualities or inclinations which it hath to obey God. For these the Will receiveth not by her owne operation, but by the working of the holy Ghost.

The will of man withstanding the revealed will of God, is yet guided by his secret will: and therefore re­sisting doth not [...]esist.Object. 3. That which withstandeth the will of God is not guided by it: But the will of men in many actions withstandeth the will of God: It is not therefore alwayes guided by the will of God. Answ. The consequence here faileth, because there are four termes. For the Major is true, if both the revealed and the secret will of God be under­stood, so that simply and in all respects it bee withstood, and that bee done which simply and by no meanes it would have done: that which is impossible to come to passe, because of the omnipotency and liberty of God. But in the Minor, the will of God must bee understood, as it is revealed. For the secret decrees of Gods will and providence are ever ratified, and are performed in all, even in those who most of all withstand Gods commandements. Neither yet are there contrary wils in God: for nothing is found in his secret purposes, which disagreeth with his nature revealed in his word: and God openeth unto us in his law what he approv­eth and liketh, and what agreeth with his nature and the order of his mind; but hee doth not promise or reveale how much grace hee will, or purposeth to give to every one to obey his commandements.

God, though the mover of wicked wils, yet not the mover of the wic­kednesse of the wils.Object. 4. If all motions, even of wicked wils, are raised and ruled by the will of God, and many of these disagree from the law of God, and are sinnes; God seemeth to bee made the causer of sinnes. The answer is, That it is a Paralogisme of the Accident. For, they disagree from the law, not as they are ordained by, or proceed from the will of God (for thus farre they agree very well with the justice and law of God) but as they are done by men, or Divels: and that by reason of this defect; because either they doe not know the will of God when they doe it, or are not moved by the sight and knowledge thereof to doe it; that is, they doe it not to that end, that they may obey God, who wil so have it. For whatsoever is done to this end, it disagree­eth not from the law, seeing the law doth not, but with this condition, either command or forbid any thing, if God hath not commanded a man to doe other­wise. So doth the Law of God forbid to kill any man, except whom God had commanded any to kill. Whosoever then killeth a man, God not commanding it, he out of doubt doth sin, and offendeth against the Law. Neither doth God dissent from himselfe or his Law, when he wil have some thing done either by his revealed or secret will, otherwise then according to the generall rule prescribed by himselfe in the law. For he hath such ends and causes of all his purposes, as that they cannot but most exactly agree with his nature and justice.

Object. 5. Liberty which is guided of another, cannot be an image of that liberty which dependeth on no other, which is in God. But the liberty of mans will is the image of the li­berty which is in God: Therefore the liberty of mans will dependeth not, or is not guided by the will of God. Wee deny the Major. For seeing that every thing which is like, is not the same with that unto which it is like; to conceive in some sort the liberty of God, it is enough that reasonable creatures doe worke upon deliberation and free election of wil, albeit this election in the creatures is both guided by them­selves and others; in God, by no other then by his owne divine wisedome. The image of a thing is not the thing it selfe: and the inequality of degrees taketh not [Page 81]away the image, as neither the likenesse and similitude of some parts taketh away the dissimilitude of others. Wherefore the liberty of reasonable creatures both is governed of God, and is notwithstanding a certain image of the liberty which is in God, because it chuseth things once known unto it, by her own, and free, or volun­tary motion. For as of other faculties or properties, so also of liberty, it is impossi­ble that the degrees should be equall in God and his creatures; whereas all things are infinite in God, and finite in his creatures. Seeing therefore wisdome, righte­ousnesse, and strength in the creatures, is the image of the unmeasurable wisdome, righteousnesse, and power which is in God; a portion also of liberty agreeable and competent for the creatures may be the image of liberty which is in God.

Object. 6. If the creature cannot but do that which God will have done, and cannot doe what God will not have done; the will hath no active force, but is wholly passive, especially in our conversion, which is the work of God: Likewise there is no use of lawes, doctrine, disci­pline, exhortation, threatnings, punishments, examples, promises, and lastly, of our study and endeavour. We deny the consequence,The will is not idle, or meer pas­sive when God worketh by it; no more then the sun, rain, and such like instruments of Gods operation. We deny the consequence, because the first or principall cause being put, the second or instrumentall cause is not thereby taken away: For as God light­neth the world and doth quicken the earth, bringeth forth corn, nourisheth living creatures, and yet are not the instruments of Gods working idle, as the sun, the rain, the earth, husbandmen and food: So God converteth men, ruleth their pur­poses, wils and actions, that is, teacheth and moveth them to approve and chuse what he will, by lawes, by magistrates, by doctrines, by rewards, by punishments, and lastly, by their owne will, all which he useth as instruments, not as if he could not without these enlighten the minde with notions, and incline the will; but be­cause it so seemeth good to him to exercise his power by these. If they reply, that that would necessarily come to passe so which is done, and even without them, and therefore they are in vain used. Wee deny the Antecedent:Albeit God was able to have wrought what he would without the will, yet be­cause he will work by the will, the working of the wil is not in vain. For although God were able to move mens wils without these, and if hee had so decreed to doe, men doubtlesse should doe without these, what now they do being moved by these: yet whereas God hath once so decreed the effects, as he hath also appointed their second instru­mentall and impulsive causes; that verily shall be done which God will have done, but yet not without middle and second causes, by whose means and working com­ing between and interposed, God will bring his purposes and decrees to passe.Luke 11.13. He will give his holy Spirit to those who ask him. Whom he hath predestinated, Rom 8.30. them hath hee also called. If they reply again, Although it be granted that these are not in vain in those in whom God will shew his force, and be effectuall by them; yet in others who are not moved by them there is no use of them: Ans. 1. Although there were no use, yet because that it is not known unto us whom God will move or not move, wee are to labour in teaching and urging all, and to commit the event and fruit of our labour to God. Preach the word, be instant in season, &c. 2 Tim 4.3 [...]. Ezek. 3.19. If thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickednesse, he shall die in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered thy soul. Ans. 2. The con­sequence followeth not from the denyall of one particular, to the denyall of the generall, or from an unsufficient ennumeration: For although many obey not tea­ching and admonition, neither are moved with rewards and punishments; yet this use is great, that by this means their naughtinesse and stubbornesse is opened, and so the justice of God made more manifest in their punishment.John 15.24. If I had not done works among them which none other man did, they had not had sin. Rom. 1.19, 20. God hath shewed it unto them, to the intent that they might be without excuse. Wee are to God the sweet savour of Christ in them that are saved, and in them who perish. Repl.2 Cor. 2.15. Externall discipline is called the righteousnesse of the flesh; Therefore it dependeth on mans will. The consequence of this reason is to be denied: which doth not hold from the position or putting of the second cause, to the removing of the first cause. For as it followeth not, The Sun causeth day, therefore God doth not: so neither doth this follow, The unre­generate perform outward discipline; therefore they do it, God not causing it in them, nor ruling and directing them.

Object. 8. They alledge testimonies also, Which confirme that men doe evill or good with free will: As, The children of Israel offered free gifts unto the Lord. I have set [Page 82]before thee life and death, Exo. 25.2. & 35.3. Deut. 30.19. How the Scri­ptures admit li­berty of will. good and evill, blessings and cursings: Therefore chuse life, that both thou and thy seed may live. But in these and all the like places, only that liberty of mans will is affirmed, which hath been spoken of before that is, that the Will o­beyeth or withstandeth the precedent judgement of the understanding, with free and voluntary motion, without any constraint; but the government of God is not at all removed from voluntary actions: For it was shewed before, that this liberty of Will doth not stand against that necessity, which by the providence of God doth accompany it.

Object. 9. They bring forth testimonies also, in which necessity is removed and ta­ken away from voluntary actions.Levit. 22.19. Acts 5.4. Of these ye shall offer willingly. Whiles it remained, ap­pertained it not to thee? 1 Cor. 7.37. And after it was sold, was it not in thine owne power? Hee that standeth firme in his heart, that he hath no necessity, but hath power over his owne will, &c. As every man wisheth in his heart, 2 Cor. 9.7. 1 Pet. 5.2. What necessity the Scripture re­moveth from vo­luntary actions. so let him give. Feed the flocke of God, caring for it not by constraint, but willingly. But these sayings speak of obligation or binding, which sometimes is signified by the name of necessity, as the freeing from any bond by the name of liberty, as Levit. 22. Act. 5. partly of coaction or constraint, as 2 Cor. 9. and 1 Pet. 5. or also of need, as 1 Cor. 7. which yet may be referred to obligation or bond, by which the Parents are bound to have regard of the infirmity of their chil­dren. So also the power of Will in the same place signifieth the right or power of determining any thing, no obligation or bond hindering it. But the removing of any obligation or coaction doth not at all take away the unchangeablenesse of vo­luntary actions, which unchangeablenesse hangeth on the decree of God. For as wel his will, who is not bound, neither by any need or want constrained, is guided and moved by the purpose and counsell of Gods providence; as his, whom either bond or need constraineth to resolve of any purpose. Wherefore the Scripture denieth not, that the will is moved and ruled by God, when it is not driven by bond, or want, or feare, to do any thing: for there are besides these, many other reasons and causes by which God can move it, either to will, or not to will.

How in Scripture God is said not to will that which yet he will. Jer. 7.13, 14. Mat. 23.37.Object. 10. They bring places of Scripture which testifie, that men will, or doe somewhat, God bidding and willing otherwise. Because I have called you, and ye have not answered, I will doe unto this house as I have done to Silo. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thy children, even as the hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not? If then they did that which God would not, their actions did de­pend only on their owne will, and not of Gods. Answ. It is a fallacy, concluding that which is in some sort so, to be in all respects and simply so: For God will not the actions of sinners as they are sins; but hee will them as they are punishments of sins, and the execution of his just judgement. Wherefore this consequence hold­eth not, God will not the actions of the wicked, as they are sinnes; Therefore simply he will not have them to be done, but they depend only on the will of the wicked: For if God simply would them not, they could by no meanes be done. And except there were some­what in them, which did agree with his justice and nature, he would not by reason of his goodnesse, infinite and passing measure, suffer them to be done. If they re­ply, That God would things contrary to these which men doe, as it is said, How often would I have gathered thee? and therefore it is done onely by the will of men whatsoever men doe: the same answer serveth, that God would the obedience of all his reaso­nable creatures towards his Law, as concerning his commanding and approving it: For he requireth it of all, and bindeth all to it, and approveth it in all, as being agreeable to his nature and purity; but neither will he alwaies it, nor in all, as con­cerning his working and grace, whereby they who are directed and guided, doe that which God approveth and requireth. The Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, Deut. 29.4. and eares to heare, unto this day.

2. Whether there be any liberty in us, and what it is.

THat there is liberty of will in men it is proved: 1. Because man was made to the Image of God; and free-will is part of the Image of God. 2. By places of Scri­pture: [Page 83] Let us make man in our Image, according to our likenesse. Gen. 1.26. Syrac. God made man from the beginning, and left man in the hand of his counsell. 3. By the definition of that liberty, which agreeth to man; for man worketh upon deliberation, that is, freely, know­ing, desiring, and refusing this or that object. And because the definition agreeth unto man, therefore also doth the thing which is defined agree to him.

The doctrine of Originall sin not overthrowne by that liberty, which we hold to be in man.Object. 1. If there be in man liberty of will, the doctrine of Originall sin is overthrowne; for these are contrary: Not to be able to obey God, and, To have liberty of will. Ans. They are not contrary, because we have liberty to will and do good only in part, to wit, as we are regenerated by the holy Spirit; but not in whole and full, neither in that degree in which before the fall we had it, and shall have it in the life to come. Again, although the unregenerate are only able to will those things which are e­vill; yet they will them upon deliberation, without constraint, even by their owne proper and inward motion; and therefore freely.

Ability to chuse as well good as bad, is not neces­sarily joyned with free-will.Object. 2. He that hath not ability to chuse as well good as bad, hath not free-will and ar­bitrement; but man hath not ability to chuse as well good as evill: Therefore hee hath not free-will. Ans. The Major consisteth of a bad definition of free-will: For the liberty of reasonable creatures consisteth in the judgement and deliberation of the mind or understanding, and in the free assent of the Will; not in a power to will as well good as evill, or contrary. The good Angels, by reason of the wisdome and right­nesse of their judgement, and of the great and constant propension or readiness of their will to that which they know to be good and right, cannot will evill and un­just things, but only things good and honest; and yet notwithstanding they most freely chuse and doe those things which are just: Right so, men by reason of their in bred ignorance, and corrupt judgement of those things which are to be done, and of the end, as also by reason of the stubbornnesse & frowardnesse of their will, can will only those things which are evill, which also they follow and pursue with exceeding willingnesse and pleasure, untill they are regenerated by Gods Spirit. Object. 3. That is free, which is ruled of none other but of it selfe only, or which is bound to none; Mans will is not ruled of it self only, but of another, and is bound to the Law: There­fore it is not free. Answ. The Major is true, if it be meant of that liberty which is in God; but false, being meant of mans liberty: For, man to be ruled of none, is not liberty, but a shamefull barbarity, and a wretched slavery. But the true liberty of the creature is to be subject unto honest and just lawes, and to obey them: It is a power of living as thou wilt, according unto the Law of God. Object. 4. That which is a servant, and in bondage, is not free; but our will is a servant, and in bondage: The will of man is servant to sin, and yet inclineth to sin freely. There­fore our will is not free. Answ. There is an ambiguity in this reason; for it affirmeth that to be simply so, which is but in some respect and sort so: or the conclusion fetcheth in more then was in the premisses. That which is in bondage, is not free, that is, not in that respect or consideration as it is in bondage: Our arbitrement or will is in bondage, to wit, under sin: Therefore it is not free, that is, from sin, which it is not able to shake off by any force which it self hath, except it be freed and de­livered by the grace of God. But thereof it followeth not; therefore simply no way it is free. For it is free, as touching the objects represented unto it by the understan­ding: because it chuseth or refuseth them being once knowne; or suspendeth and forbeareth her action by her owne and proper motion, without constraint. The summe of all is: We grant the conclusion, if free be taken for that which hath abili­ty to do those things which are good and pleasing to God: (for so far is it in servi­tude under sin, and hath power only to sin) but we deny the whole, if free be taken for voluntary, or deliberative, which chuseth the objects represented unto it by vo­luntary motion, not constrained or forced thereto by any externall agent.

4. What manner of liberty of will is in man, or how many are the degrees of free-will according to the foure estates of men.

IT is farther questioned, and it importeth much to the knolwedge of our selves to enquire, What manner of liberty, or to what actions the liberty which was in [Page 84]mans will before the fall extended it selfe: and, Whether it were any or none at all; and if it were any, In what state it remaineth after the fall: and Whether it be restored; and, How, and by what meanes: and, How far forth it is restored. Whence it is appa­rent, that the degrees of free-will may most fitly be considered and distinguished according to the foure estates of man: namely, of man not yet fallen into sin, or fal­len; or renewed and restored, or glorified: that is, what manner, and how great the li­berty of mans will was before the fall; what manner of liberty remaineth after the fall, before regeneration: of what condition it is in this life after regeneration, and what it shall be in the life to come after glorification.

The first degree of liberty before the fall.The first degree of liberty in man not yet fallen, was a mind lightened with the perfect and certaine knowledge of God, and a will by the proper inclination and free motion thereof yeelding perfect obedience unto God; but yet not so confirmed in this knowledge and inclina­tion, but that it could decline and defect from that obedience by her owne proper and free motion, if hope or shew of any good to come by defecting were offered unto it: that is, the Will of man was free to good and evill; or freely chose good, but so, that it had an ability of chusing evill: so that it might persist in good, God preserving it; and might also fall into evill, God forsaking it. The former is proved from the per­fection of the Image of God in which man was created; the latter is too evi­dent by the event of the thing it selfe, and by testimonies of Scripture▪ God hath made man righteous; Eccles. 7.3. Rom. 11.32. but they have sought many inventions. God hath shut up all in un­beliefe, that he might have mercy on all. In which words Paul testifieth, that God of especiall deep wisdome confirmed not the first man against the fall, nor allotted him such a portion of grace, that he might not be seduced by the Divell, and mo­ved to sin; but that hee therefore permitted him to be seduced, and fall into sin and death, that as many as were saved out of the common ruine, might be saved by his mercy alone: For, if nothing be done without the everlasting and most good counsell of God, the fall also of our first Parents may be so much the lesse exempted from it, by how much the more God had precisely and exactly deter­mined from everlasting concerning his chief work, even mankind, what he would have done.

The creature can by no meanes retain that righteousnesse and conformity with God except God, who gave it, keep it; neither can be lose it, if God will have it kept:James 1.17. according to these sayings, Every good giving, and every perfect gift is from a­bove, John 1.4. and cometh downe from the Father of lights. In it was life, and the life was the light of men, which lightneth every man that cometh into the world. Take not away thy holy Spi­rit from me. Psal. 51.11. & 104.29. 2 Tim. 2.19. If thou hide thy face they are troubled. The foundation of God remaineth sure, and hath this seale: The Lord knoweth who are his. And of our confirmation and esta­blishment in the life to come:Mat. 22.30. In the resurrection they are as the Angels of God in hea­ven. As then man could not have fallen except God had withdrawne his hand, and not so forcibly and effectually affected his will, and ruled it in temptation; so nei­ther could he persist in integrity, when he was tempted, except God had sustained and confirmed him, even as he confirmed the blessed Angels, that they should not defect and fall away together with the other Apostates. Seeing therefore such was the first mans estate, from which he wittingly and willingly fell; the crime and fault of sin neither can, nor ought to be laid on God, but on man only, albeit not­withstanding he fell by the eternall counsell and will of God.

The causes of hu­mane reason refu­ted, which lay the fault of the first sin on God.Humane reason fancying her owne wit, deriving the blame of sin from her self, when she heareth these things, is troubled, and keepeth a stirre, and feigneth many absurdities to follow, except such a liberty of doing well or evill be given to man, that his perseverance or falling depend of his owne will alone: First, That God was the cause of that first sin, and by consequent, of all other sins, as which came all of the first fall. Likewise, That he was the cause of the sin of the Divell seducing man: especi­ally seeing the first sinne is not to be accounted a punishment, as other sins: for no sinne had gone before, which should be punished with that sinne: and therefore, seeing God would not will that as a punishment, he may seem to have willed it as a sin. Answ. But although there be nothing to the contrary why sin may not be the punishment even of it [Page 85]selfe: whereas in the same action both the creature,How the first sin might be a pu­nishment unto it selfe, and to that end permitted of God. depriving himselfe of that conformity which he had with God, might sinne, and God depriving him of that good, which he of his owne accord casteth away, might punish, as it is said of cove­tousnesse, There is nothing worse then when one envieth himselfe: and this is a reward of his wickednesse. Yet notwithstanding there are other ends besides punishment,Syrac. 14. for which it was convenient for God to will the action both of the Divell and of man. God would the temptation of man, which was done by the Divell,Other ends and causes why God would the action, though not the sin, both of Sa­than and Adam. as a triall of man, by which it might be made manifest, whether he would persevere in true piety towards God: even as God himselfe did tempt Abraham immediately, when hee commanded him to doe that which hee yet would not have done. God would that assent of man, by which he did yeeld unto the Divell against the will of God, as a manifestation of the weaknesse and feeblenesse of the creature, which cannot keep the gifts wherewith he was adorned by God, without Gods speciall instinct and aide. Likewise, he would have this done as an occasion or way, to ma­nifest his justice and severity in punishing, and his mercy in saving sinners: as Ex­odus 9. Romanes 9. Now God, respecting and willing these things in that perswa­sion and enticement of Sathan, and in mans assenting and yeelding thereunto, did notwithstanding all this while hate the sinne of both; and therefore did not will it, neither cause it, but justly permitted and suffered it to be done: For first, What­soever things God doth, they are alwaies just. 2. Hee was not bound unto man to preserve and confirme him in goodnesse. 3. He would have man to be tempted and to fall, that he might try mans perseverance in true piety towards God. 4. That hee might manifest the weaknesse of the creature. 5. That his fall might be an occasion and way to manifest Gods justice and mercy. These things very well agree with the nature and law of God. Now that they say, That man did not fall of his owne free-will, except hee had equall power as well to persist in obedience, as to fall: the consequence is not of force, because they reason from an ill definition of mans liberty, which they imagine cannot stand, if it be determined and ruled by God. But the whole Scripture witnesseth, that it suf­ficeth for the liberty of the creature, if the Will be inclinable of it selfe to the contrary of that which it chuseth, and doth of it owne accord chuse that which the mind either liketh, or disliketh.

And hence also is that dissolved that they say, That man is not justly punished of God, if he could not avoid his fall: For he that sinneth willingly, or doth draw on himself the necessity of sinning, is justly punished, his owne conscience accusing him; nei­ther is it unjust that he is forsaken of God, and deprived of the grace of the holy Ghost, who wittingly and willingly casteth it away, and that he suffer the punish­ment of this his ingratitude and contempt of God, although he cannot, God for­saking him, doe otherwise: For none is forsaken of God, except he be willing to be forsaken: As, It must needs be that offences shall come, Mat. 18.7. but woe be unto that man by whom the offence cometh.

Gods deniall of grace no cruelty, but a way to greater mercy.At length they say, That God is made cruell, envious, and far from bounty and mer­cie, if he did not bestow that grace upon man, without which he knew man could not stand or consist in temptation; and yet would have him tempted of the Divell. But these and the like tauntings and reproachings of the workes and judgements of God, out of doubt are joyned with great impiety, because they over-turn the ground and prin­ciple, which is the first degree and step to godlinesse and reverence towards God, that is, that whatsoever God doth, it is good and just, and not disagreeing from his nature and law, whether the reason thereof be knowne unto us, or unknowne: Wherefore this answer should suffice, that it disagreeth not from the mercy and goodnesse of God, whatsoever he doth. But there is not want also of other answers: As, that deniall of grace doth not disagree, but very well agreeth with the mercy & bounty of God, when God will have this to be an occasion of bestowing a grea­ter grace and benefit; as it is apparent in the fall and restoring of man againe, that that is not disagreeing from mercy, or any other vertue, which doth appertaine to the manifesting of the glory of the chiefe good, which is God: For although it be mercy not to rejoyce in the ruine or destruction of his creature, yet mercy ought [Page 86]not to fight with justice: now it is just, that more regard should be had of the chiefe good, that is, God (both by himselfe, and by others) then of all creatures. Wherefore very well doe agree together in God, his mercy, which will not the death of a sinner; and his justice which suffereth mankind to fall, that by his fall the severity and goodnesse of God may appeare.

The second de­gree of liberty after the fall.The second degree of free-will is in man fallen, borne of corrupt parents, and as yet not regenerate. In this state the Will verily doth worke freely, but it is carried to evill only, and can doe nought else but sin. The reason is, because the privation of the knowledge of God in the understanding ensued on the fall, and the want of in­clination in the heart and will unto obedience; in whose stead blindness and avers­nesse from God succeeded, which man cannot shake off, unlesse he be regenerated by the holy Ghost. Briefly, it is the fitnesse and pronenesse in man after his fall, be­ing unregenerate, to chuse only evill. Of this blindnesse and corruption of mans nature after the fall it is said:Genes. 6.5. Jer. 13.23. Syrac. 17.14. Mat. 7.18. Ephes. 2.1, 3. 2 Cor. 3.5. All the thoughts of man are only evill. Can the Blackmoore change his skin? &c. Every man from his youth is given to evill, and their stony hearts cannot become flesh. A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit. We were dead in our sins: by nature the sons of wrath. Wee are not able of our selves to thinke any thing as of our selves. With these testimonies concurreth every mans experience, and the weary sense of conscience, which proclaimeth, that we have no liberty and pronenesse of will to doe that which is good; but too great freedome and readinesse to practise evill,Jer. 31.18. unlesse we be regenerate: as it is said, Convert thou me, and I shall be converted: Wherefore there is no love of God in us by nature; and therefore we have by na­ture no readinesse to obey God.

The liberty which is in man now after his fall, and not yet rege­nerated and reco­vered, is the very bondage of sin. Rom. 6.16.This liberty of the unregenerate is the most wretched servitude of sin, and ve­ry death in sins, whereof the Scripture teacheth in many places: Whosoever commit­teth sin is the servant of sin. Know ye not, that to whomsoever ye give your selves as ser­vants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether it be of sin unto death, or of obe­dience unto righteousnesse? Promising unto them liberty, and are themselves servants of corruption. Object. 1. Nothing more easie, saith Erasmus, then to keep a mans hand from stealing. Againe, Socrates, Aristides, and many others have shewed and exercised many vertues: Therefore they had free-will to doe good before regeneration. Answ. This is an ill definition of a good worke and free-will to doe good, which is a power of yeelding obedience pleasing to God.2 Pet. 2.19. Free-will to out­ward good acti­ons, without an inward faith and obedience, is not free-will to good. The unregenerate steale within by their lust and desire, though not by outward fact: that the unregenerate containe their hands, that is, observe outward discipline, this is also Gods benefit, who by his generall providence governeth also the hearts of the wicked, and bridleth their in-bred wickednesse, that it break not forth, and affect that which it would. But hereof it followeth not, that it is easie to begin inward obedience, or that to con­taine their hands from stealing is simply a good worke. Neither are these good workes before God, that is, pleasing unto God, which have not joyned with them faith and inward obedience: But faith and inward obedience could not be in them, because they were not regenerated. Repl. 1. The workes of the Law are good; Hea­then men did the workes of the Law: Therefore the works of the Heathen were good: And by consequence, Heathen men also, or unregenerate, had liberty of doing good. We answer to the Major by a distinction:The outward actions good in themselves, are made evill by want of an inward faith. The workes of the Law are good; true, by them­selves: but they are made ill by an accident; and so are the works of the Law made ill by an accident of the unregenerate: because they are not done by them for that end, and after that sort which God commanded. Repl. 2. There remaine also many true notions in the minds of the unregenerate concerning God and his will, and the right or­dering of their life: Wherefore the Will working according to these notions, and the direction of true reason, doth not sin, but worketh well. Ans. 1. Those legall notions, whether they belong to the first,The remnants of spirituall life in the unregenerate are not sufficient to make their workes good. or to the second Table of the Decalogue, they are not perfect and sufficient: And therefore God cannot be rightly worshipped, according to these remaines or reliques of spirituall light, except there come thereunto the knowledge of God, and his divine will out of the Word of God, which is delive­red to the Church. 2. Men not brought up in the Church, doe patch many false [Page 87]things with these true imprinted notions of nature, and do heap sins upon errours. 3. Such is the frowardnesse of the will and affections, even against the judgement of rightly informed and ruled reason, that they obey not so much as those natu­rall notions, much lesse those which are to be adjoyned out of the Word of God. Wherefore also are those complaints even of the Heathen: I see the better, and I like them, but I follow the worse: and that accusation of the Apostle,Rom. 1.18. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodlinesse and unrighteousnesse of men, which with-hold the truth in unrighteousnesse: wherefore those notions, without the grace of the ho­ly Ghost, do not engender true godlinesse in them.

The praise and commendation which is given of God to our good works, doth not prove, that they proceed fr [...]m our selves, but rather are his gifts. Rom. 9.30.Object. 2. God commendeth us for good workes: Therefore good workes are in our power and will. Answ. This is a fallacy, concluding of that which is no cause, as if it were a cause. God commendeth our good workes, not because they are or can be per­formed of us, without our renewing by the holy Ghost; but because they are a­greeable unto his Law, and good and pleasing unto him: yea, because they are his own gifts and effects in us, and we his instruments, unto whom he communicateth himselfe and his blessings: according as it is said, Whom he predestinated, them also he called. Repl. Who doth not in such sort work well, as that it is in his owne power to doe either well or ill, hee deserveth neither commendation nor reward; but those good things which men doe, are not in their power and arbitrement: Therefore they deserve not either commendation or rewards for their vertues. Answ. If the question be of desert, we grant the whole argument: For it is true, that no creature can deserve or merit ought at Gods hand; neither ought the praise, or commendation, or glory be given to us, as if the good which we do were of our selves, it being God which worketh whatsoever is good in all. But if they say, that neither reward or commendation is justly given, more is in the conclusion then was in the premisses: For God, to testifie that righteousnesse pleaseth him, and to shew forth more and more his bounty and goodnesse, doth adorne it with free rewards.

How God is said to wish our con­version and good works, and yet they not thereby proved to be in our power. Deut. 32.29. Luke 19.41.Obj. 3. What God doth wish and will to be done of us, that we are able to performe by our selves; but God doth wish and will our conversion, and our good works: Therefore we are able to performe them by our selves: And so consequently, we need not the operation and work­ing of the holy Ghost. Answ. This reason is a fallacy, deceiving by the ambiguity or the word wish: For in the Major proposition it is taken, as it useth properly to signifie: in the Minor not so. God is said to wish, by a figure of speech called An­thropopathy, making God to be affected after the order of men: and therefore the kind of affirmation is divers in the Major, and in the Minor. But God is said to wish in two respects: 1. In respect of his commanding and inviting. Two waies God is said to wish any thing. 2. In respect of his love to­wards his creatures, and in respect of the torment of them that perish, but not in respect of the execution of his justice. Repl. 1. Hee it is that inviteth others, and is delighted with their well-doing: it followeth thereof, that their well-doing is in their owne power, and not in his▪ who inviteth them; but God is he who inviteth us, and is delighted with our well-doing: Therefore it is in our selves to doe well. Answ. We deny the Minor, because it is not enough that God inviteth us: but our will also to do well must be adjoyned, which we cannot have but from God only. God therefore doth wish our conver­sion, and doth invite all unto it, that is, he requireth obedience towards his Law of all, he liketh it in all, and for the love which hee beareth unto his creature, hee wisheth nothing more then that all performe it, and all be saved; but yet a will to performe it they only have, whom God doth regenerate by his Spirit: Yee have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes: Deut. 29.4. yet the Lord hath not given you a heart to per­ceive, and eyes to see, and eares to heare unto this day.

Object. 4. That which cannot be avoided, is not sinne; The unregenerate cannot avoid sinne: Therefore their workes are not to be accounted sins. Answ. We deny the Major:The inevitable­nesse of an ill action doth noth take away sinful­nesse from it. For it is enough to make sin, if it be voluntary. And how much the more necessa­rily men sin, with so much the greater will they sin. They cannot therefore pre­tend necessity to cloak their fault. This doth the example of the Divell prove, who sinneth so much the more grievously, how much the more necessarily hee sin­neth, wittingly and willingly striving against God, and contumeliously despiting [Page 88]him. But they doe vainly and wickedly cavill, That the justice of God doth not impute those sins to the Divell, which he necessarily doth commit after his corruption. Likewise, That the Divell is now finally and without hope of pardon cast away of God, but men have power yet in this life either to persist in sin, or to forsake it; and therefore those actions only of theirs are sins, in which sin cannot be avoided: For God is wroth with all sins of men and Divels, and punisheth all sins with eternall paines, or with equivalent punish­ment unto eternall. Neither doth therefore necessary and inevitable or unavoida­ble sin cease to be sin, for that there is, or is not hope of obtaining recovery and pardon: For, whatsoever is committed against the Law of God, that is sin, whether it can be avoided, or not avoided, whether he who sinneth, forsaketh his sin, or per­sisteth in it.

Object. 5. They who cannot but sin, are unjustly punished; but the unregenerate cannot but sin: They who neces­sarily sin, are just­ly punished, be­cause they do it voluntarily. Therefore God doth unjustly punish them. Answ. They who necessarily sinne, are unjustly punished, except that necessity come voluntarily, and by their owne will. But men have drawne upon them that necessity voluntarily in the first Pa­rents, and themselves also doe willingly sinne: Therefore God doth justly punish them.

Object. 6. They who have not equall and like ability to chuse good or evill, must needs be either all good, or all evill, The unregenerate have not like ability to chuse good and evill, but only liberty to chuse evill: Therefore they must needs be all alike evill. Answ. If the argument be understood of humane nature, as it is without the grace of the holy Spirit, it is wholly to be granted: for it is certaine, that all men before regenera­tion are alike, and equally estranged from faith and conversion; yea, neither would they observe outward discipline & behaviour, except God bridled them, that they should not commit outrage.Gen. 20.6. I kept thee, that thou shouldest not sin against me. But if they conclude, that all must needs continue alike evill, when the holy Spirit mo­veth and inclineth their hearts and minds to conversion, there is more in the con­clusion then in the former propositions: For as it is impossible, that they should be converted whom God moveth not; so it is not only possible, but also necessary, that they whom he vouchsafeth the grace of regeneration should be converted: All that the Father giveth me, John 6.37. Hos. 13.9. Isa. 59.2. shall come unto me. Repl. It is said, Thy destruction cometh of thy selfe, Israel. Your iniquities have separated between you and your God: Therefore the cause of this difference, that some are converted, and some not, is in the will of man, and not in the bestowing or withdrawing of Gods grace: that is, before the grace of regeneration is bestow­ed, so are some better then others, as that they take that grace which others refuse. But Ho­seas addeth an answer: In me only is thy help. He sheweth that our safety doth so de­pend on God, that wee cannot have it without his singular mercy and grace: Wherefore destruction cometh of those that perish, as concerning the merit of punishment; but this taketh not away the superiour cause, that is, Gods reprobati­on: For the last cause taketh not away the first cause. The same is answered to that of Esaiah: Sins separate the chosen from God for a time, the reprobate for ever; but yet the divine purpose and counsell of God going before, by which God decreed to adjoyne those unto him, or to cast them from him, whom it seemed good to him so to deale with.Rom. 9.18. He hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardeneth.

Object. 7. He that hath no liberty to doe good, and eschew evill, is in vaine pressed with precepts and doctrine; but the unregenerate have not liberty to doe good workes and omit evill: Therefore obedience is in vaine commanded them. Ans. The Major is to be denied; for when God doth suffer his will to be denounced to the wicked,The Word of God not without good cause decla­red to the unre­generate. either hee doth together lighten them, and move them within by his Spirit to obey his voice; or pricketh them with the pricks of conscience, either to observe externall order and discipline, or not so much to persecute the knowne truth, or he doth discover their hypocrisie and madnesse oppugning it; or hee maketh manifest their weaknesse and ignorance, and at length maketh them inexcusable in this life, and in the last judgement. Repl. 1. Whose conversion and obedience dependeth of the grace of God, hee hath no need of exhortations and precepts; but in them also who are converted, their con­version dependeth of grace: Therefore precepts are vaine and needlesse. We make answer [Page 89]to the Major by a distinction. If conversion depend of grace, so that the Spirit doth not adjoyne doctrine as an instrument, whereby to teach their minds, and move their hearts, let this verily be granted: although, as hath been before said, there remaine as yet other uses of doctrine. But when it hath pleased God by this instrument both to lighten, and move, or encline mens minds to faith and obedi­ence, the Major is false: For it is written,Rom. 1.16. The Gospel is the power of God unto salva­tion to every one that beleeveth. Repl. 2. It is not mercy, but cruelty to propound precepts and doctrine to those who are denied the grace of obeying, and who are by it more hardened, and more grievously condemned: God therefore doth not this, who is exceeding mercifull. We deny againe the Major: 1. Because Gods exceeding mercy doth not take away his justice. 2. Because he so will have them to be made inexcusable by the preaching of his heavenly do­ctrine, as that in the meane season he rejoyceth not at their destruction and punishment: But for the manifestation of his justice, (whereof, that greater regard should be had then of all the creatures, even Gods justice it selfe requireth) he will that which o­therwise he abhorreth in his mercy and goodnesse towards all creatures,Ezek. 18.32. I will not the death of him that dieth.

Object. 8. He that prepareth himselfe to receive grace, by which he may do good work [...], 4. Readinesse of mind to receive g [...]c [...], is not be­fore conversion, but after. 1 Sam 7.3. Act. 10.4. he now doth works pleasing to God; but men prepare themselves to receive grace: Therefore also before regeneration they do works pleasing to God. We deny the Major, which yet these places seem to prove: Prepare your heart unto the Lord. The prayers and alines of Cornelius before he was taught and baptised of Peter, come up into remembrance before God. But in these and the like places, to prepare, or to have in readinesse, or to confirme the heart, is not to do works before the conversion, by which God may be invited to bestow the grace of regeneration upon men; but it signifieth, that a rea­dy and firme will of obeying God, and persevering in true godlinesse, is shewed of those which are already regenerated and converted: For the people of Israel had repented, when Samuel said this unto them. For there goeth before in the same place, All the house of Israel lamented and followed the Lord. Act. 10.2. Likewise Corne­lius, before he was taught of Peter, that Jesus was the Messias, is said to have been then godly and serving God, and so called and invocated on him, that his prayers pleased God, and were heard.

Albeit good workes are said [...]o be ours, ver [...]t fol­loweth [...]ot, that we are [...]n hors of then, but the in­s [...]uments where­by the author worketh them.Object. 9. The workes which are not in our power to performe, are not our workes, neither are truly and properly said to be done by us; but good workes are said to be ours, and to be done by us: Therefore it is in our will to d [...] them, or not to do them. We d [...]ny the Ma­jor: For they are not therefore said to be ours, or to be done by us, because they are of our selves; but because God worketh them in us, as in the subject, and by us as instruments: and that so, as our will doth them of her owne proper motion, al­though not except it berenewed, rais [...]d, and guided by the holy Ghost. For being regenerated and moved by him, wee are not idle, but hee worketh in us, wee our selves also work well, and that freely without constraint: For by regeneration the Will is not taken away, but corrected, as which before would onely that which is evill, will now that which is good.Ephes. 2.10. We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good workes, which God hath ordained that we should walk in them.

God helpeth us in working and yet beginneth our working in us.Object. 10. He that is holpen by another in conversion and in beginning good works doth somewhat of them himselfe, before he is holpen: For he that hath help, beginneth the action; God helpeth us: wherefore it is of our selves to begin good works. The Minor is proved, Lord, I beleeve, help my unbeliefe: the Spirit helpeth our infirmity. Mar. 9.24. Rom. 8.26. Ans. Nothing can fol­low in conclusion of meere particular propositions: For the Major here is not uni­versall, seeing not only he may help who beginneth a work, but he also in whom it is begun, and accomplished by another. Now so doth God help us, that himselfe doth first breed and engender in us true knowledge of him, and an inclination to obey him and the beginnings of good motions, and doth increase also and perfect the same begun by him. But he is therefore said to help us, because he doth so work in us, that we are not idle, but worke while hee worketh: and yet we are able no more to persist, or to bring it to an end, without him, then to begin it: And there­fore we, being enclined, moved, and governed by him, will also of our selves of [Page 90]our owne accord, and are able to work well, and do worke well, that is, because God worketh good things not onely in us, but also by us, as joynt-workers with him:Phil. 1.6. & 2.13. Hee that hath begun this good worke in you, will performe it untill the day of Jesus Christ. It is God who worketh in you both the will and the deed, even of his good pleasure. Repl. The beginning, and proceeding, and accomplishment of conversion is the free work and gift of God: Therefore mans will, when he is converted, doth nothing, but is meere passive. There should be no use also (as hath been said before) of lawes, discipline, doctrine, exhor­tations, and such like. Answ. We deny the consequence of this reason: because the reason proceedeth from the putting of the first cause, to the removing of the se­cond or instrumentall cause. Againe, it is a meere fallacy, concluding that to be simply so, which is but in some respect so: For, 1. The Will, as also the whole man re­newed, is both the subject and instrument co-operating and joyntly working of his conversion,No generall pre­venting grace in us, which we have in our own power to me or refuse; but the speciall grace of the Spirit only worketh in us conversion the want whereof causeth our con­tinuance in sin. that is, is converted of God, and doth convert himselfe: For the action of God converting and enclining the Will, goeth before the assent of the Will, not in time, but in nature only. 2. The holy Ghost regenerating and converting us, work­eth in us both new qualities, in receiving whereof we are meere passive, and worke not our selves (for we cannot make to our selves a fleshly heart of a stony, and God worketh in us even to will) and also new actions, in working which we are both passive and active: For we, being regenerated by Gods Spirit, are not stockes, but joynt-workers with him, because we are made of unwilling and unfit to do good, willing and fit, and able to do good. 3. The holy Ghost worketh this regeneration not without precepts, doctrine and other means, but by them; because it so pleased him. Wherefore they cannot be neglected without shewing an impious and wicked contempt of God himself. But here especially our adversaries will reply again, that indeed we cannot be converted to God, except his grace prevent us, and move us to conversi­on: but this grace, preventing those who are to be converted, is so far given to all, as it is in themselves, or in their owne power to use it or refuse it, that is, to be turned from, or to persist in sin. And then at length, they who have used rightly that first and universall grace preventing all men, that is, have by their liberty applyed themselves to chuse that good, unto the chusing whereof they are solicited, but yet not effectually moved of God; unto these is given also the subsequent and joynt-working grace, so that what they could not have performed without this, this now coming between, they may do, that is, may truly turn unto God, and persevere. This they prove by sentences of Scripture, which seem to hang the grace of God upon the condition of mans will:Zach. 1.3. Isa. 1.19. Jer. 7.13. Turn to me, and I will turn to you. If ye consent, ye shall eat the good things of the earth. I called you, and ye answered not. But it is certainly manifest out of the Scripture, that neither any man can be converted, except the holy Ghost be given him; neither is hee given to all men of God, but to those only, whom he of his free mercy vouchsafeth this benefit: so that the cause is not to be sought in men, but in God alone, why these, rather then they, beleeve Gods voice, and are turned unto him; and therefore all truly might be converted, as concerning the liberty and power of God, and the changeable na­ture of mans will: but not, both in respect of the averting of their nature from God, and of that in-bred corruption in all, which may indeed be taken away by God, but cannot without his working be laid aside or put off by us; & also in respect of the unchangeable decree of God, whereby God hath determined to leave some in sin and destruction, into which he hath permitted them to fall: and therefore either not to lighten their minds with his knowledge, or not to renew their hearts and wils with new inclinations or powers, nor effectually to move them to yeeld obedience to the known truth. Neither do the testimonies teach otherwise which the adversaries alledge: God willeth us to turne to him, that he may turne to us, that is, may turn away and mitigate our punishments, and bestow his benefits upon us; not as if our conversion were in our own power, but because he will effectuate & con­firme these precepts and commandements in the hearts of his chosen. He promiseth good things to those who will obey him, not as if it were in our power to will obedi­ence, but because he will stirre up by his promises that will in us. Hee chargeth the stubborne with their wickednesse, not as if it were in their owne power to put it off; [Page 91]but because he will, by accusing their wilfull stubbornnesse, take away all excuse from them when he judgeth them. Againe, they urge,The will of recei­ving Gods grace goeth not before faith and conver­sion, but is part and the begin­ning thereof. Isa. 55.1. Although no man can be con­verted to doe well without grace, yet not only the consequent gifts and benefits of God, but the first grace also of his holy Spirit, whereby we are converted, all who are willing may have, seeing God promiseth that he will give to all that will: As, All yee that thirst, come to the waters; but all may will: Therefore all may be converted. We deny the Minor. Repl. The will of receiving goeth before the receiving it selfe: Therefore they who as yet have not grace, may have will to receive it. We deny the Antecedent, as concerning the grace of con­version: for no man can desire this, except he have the beginning of it in him. For, It is God who worketh in us both to will, and to doe. Phil. 2.13. Wherefore the will of beleeving and repenting is the very beginning of faith and conversion, the which whosoever have true and unfeigned, it is increased and perfected in them, as it is said, Hee that hath begun this good worke in you, will performe it.

Object. 11. They gather also & collect these sayings, which promise Gods boun­ty with a condition of our obedience: As, If thou wilt enter into life, Mat. 19.17. Luke 10.21. Gods promises not unprofitable, though made with an impossi­ble condition to the unregenerate, which yet is made possible to the regenerate by Christ. keep the comman­dements. Likewise, Do this, and thou shalt live. Out of these thus they reason: A promise which hath adjoyned an impossible condition, is unprofitable, and mocketh him unto whom it is made; but Gods promises have an impossible condition: Therefore they are all uncertain, yea never to be performed and nothing but a mockery. Ans. We deny the Ma­jor: For the promise, even in those who receive it not, hath this use, that it may be made manifest, that God doth not rejoyce at the destruction of any, and that he is just in punishing, when as he doth so invite them unto him, who through their in­gratitude contemn and refuse Gods promises. 2. We distinguish, that unto them indeed the promise is unprofitable, to whom the condition adjoyned is never made possible through faith & grace of justification by Christ, & of regeneration of the holy Ghost; but so it is made possible unto the elect: Wherefore God deludeth nei­ther, but earnestly declareth to both of them what they ought to be unto whom he giveth everlasting life, and how unworthy they are of Gods benefits; and shal never be partakers of them, unlesse by the free mercy of God they be exempted from destruction. Further also he allureth more and more, and confirmeth the faithful to yeeld obedience. Lastly, they cite all other sayings, which seem to place conversion and good works in the will of men: I have applied my heart to fulfill thy statutes. Psal. 119. He that is begotten of God keepeth himselfe. 1 John 5.18. These and the like sayings attribute the work of God unto men: 1. Because they are not only the object, but the instrument also of Gods working,Two causes why the workes of God are attribu­ted to men. which the holy Spirit exerciseth in them. 2. Because they are such an instrument, which being renewed and moved by the holy Spirit, doth also it self work together, and move it selfe: For there is not one effect ascribed unto the holy Ghost, and another to mans will, but the same to both; unto the holy Ghost, as the principall cause, unto mans will, as a secondary and instrumentall cause.

The third degree of liberty in man regenerated. The third degree of liberty belongeth to man in this life, as hee is regenerated, but yet not glorified; or in whom regeneration is begun, but not accomplished or per­fected. In this state the Will useth her liberty not only to work evill, as in the se­cond degree; but partly to do ill, and partly to do well. And this is to be understood two waies: 1. That some workes of the regenerate are good and pleasing to God, which are done of them according to Gods commandement; but some evill and displeasing to God, which they doe contrary to the commandement of God: which is mani­fest by the infinite fallings of holy men. 2. That even those good works which the con­verted doe in this life, albeit they please God by reason of Christs satisfaction imputed unto them; yet are they not perfectly good, that is, agreeable to Gods Law, but unper­fect, and stained with many sinnes: and therefore they cannot, if they be beheld without Christ, stand in judgement, and escape damnation.The cause of the renewing and be­ginning of this li­berty in man to good, is the Spirit working by the Will. The cause for which the Will beginneth to work well, is this: Because by the singular grace or benefit of the holy Spirit mans nature is renewed by the Word of God, there is kind­led in the mind a new light and knowledge of God, in the heart new affecti­ons, in the will new inclinations, agreeing with the Law of God, and the will is forcibly and effectually moved to doe, according to these notions and inclina­tions, [Page 92]and so it recovereth both the power of willing that which God approveth, and the use of that power, and beginneth to be conformed and agreeable to God, and to obey him.Deut. 30.6. The Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, that thou mayest love the Lord thy God with all thine heart. Ezek. 36.26. A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your body▪ and I will give you an heart of flesh, and I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes. Act. 16.14. The Lord opened the heart of Lidia, that shee should attend to those things which were spoken of Paul. 1 Cor. 3.17. Why the Will in the regenerate useth liberty not only to good, but to evill also. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. The causes for which the will useth her liberty not only to the chusing of good, but of evill also, are in number two: 1. For that in this life the renewing of our nature is not perfect, neither as concerning the knowledge of God, neither as concerning our inclination to obey God; and therefore in the best men, while they live here, remaine still many and great sinnes both Originall, and others. 2. For that the re­generate be not alwaies ruled by the holy Spirit, but are sometimes forsaken of God, either for to try, or to chastise and humble them; but yet are re-called to repentance, that they perish not. Of the first cause it is said,Rom. 7.18. I know that in mee, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but I find no means to performe that which is good. Mar. 9.24. I beleeve, Lord, but help thou my unbeliefe. Of the second cause it is said,Psal. 51.11. Take not thy holy Spirit from me. O Lord, why hast thou made us to erre from thy waies, and hardened our heart from thy feare? Returne for thy servants sake. The Lord our God be with us; Isa. 63.17. 1 Kin. 8.57. that he forsake us not, neither leave us. Therefore the rege­nerate man in this life doth alwaies go either forward, or backward; neither con­tinueth in the same state.

Hence are deduced these two conclusions: 1. As man corrupted, before he be regene­rated, cannot begin new obedience pleasing and acceptable unto God; so he that is regene­rated in this life, although he begin to obey God, (that is, hath some inclination and purpose to obey God according to all his commandements, and that unfeigned, though yet weak and struggling with evill inclinations, affections, and desires; and therefore there shine in his life and manners a desire of piety towards God and his neighbour) yet can he not yeeld whole and perfect obedience to God: because, neither his knowledge, nor his love to God is so great and so sincere, as the Law of God re­quireth; and therefore is not such righteousnesse as may stand before God, accor­ding to that saying,Psal. 143.2. Enter not into judgement with thy servant: for in thy sight shall none that liveth be justified. 2. They who are converted, can no farther retaine good inclinations, neither thoughts and affections, and a good purpose to persevere and goe forward therein, then as the holy Spirit worketh and preserveth these in them: For, if hee guide and rule them, they judge and do aright; but if he forsake them, they are blind, they wan­der, slip, and fall away: yet so, that they perish not, but repent and are saved, if so be they were ever truly converted.1 Cor. 4.7. Phil. 1.6. & 2.13. What hast thou that thou hast not received? If thou hast received it, why rejoycest thou as if thou hadst not received it? I am perswaded, that he who hath begun this good work in you, will performe it untill the day of Jesus Christ. It is God that worketh in you both the will and the deed, John 15.5. even of his good pleasure. With­out me you can doe nothing. Who shall also confirme you to the end, that ye may be blamelesse in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 1.8. and 10.13. God is faithfull, which will not suffer you to be tempted above that you be able, but will even give the issue with the temptation, that ye may be able to beare it. 1 Pet. 1.5. You are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation.

This doctrine, that the regenerate neither perfectly nor continually can obey God, and that,Reasons to prove the former do­ctrine. as the beginning, so the continuance of our conversion dependeth of God, is confirmed, besides these testimonies, by evident reasons: as, 1 1. We receive all good things from God; much more then these good things, which are the greatest of all,Jam. 1.17. that is, our conformity with God, and perseverance therein.

2 2. Nothing can be done besides the eternall decree of God; but the good works which the converted doe,Ephes. 2.10. God from everlasting did decree: We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good workes, which God hath ordained that wee should walke in them. Jer. 1.5. Before I formed thee in the wombe I knew thee, and before thou camest out of the womb I sanctified thee. Wherefore they are able to doe neither more, [Page 93]nor lesse of such workes, then God hath decreed to worke in them by his Spirit.

3 3. The gifts of the holy Spirit are not in the will and power of men, but in the power of the Spirit, who dispenseth them. All these things worketh even the selfe same Spirit, distributing to every man severally as he will. 2 Cor. 12.11. Ephes 4.7. 2 Thes. 3.2. Ʋnto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. All men have not faith. Now perse­verance in true godlinesse, and a will and desire to persevere, and the craving of the confirmation, strengthening and aide of the holy Spirit, are no lesse the gift of the holy Spirit, then regeneration it selfe, and faith, and conversion, as hath been shewed before. Wherefore to persevere in faith, and conversion, is no more in our power, then to beleeve, and be converted.

4 4. In whose power and arbitrement our perseverance is, be is the preservation of our safety: But God, and not we, is the author and preserver of safety.John 10.28. No man shall plucke my sheep out of my hand: Therefore our perseverance is not in our owne power and arbitrement, but in Gods.

5 5. As our conversion, so also our perseverance is the free gift of God: that is, As God findeth no cause in us why to convert us: so neither findeth he cause in us whereby he should be moved to keep us being converted, that wee doe not defect or fall. For neither is there cause in us why he should more keep us from falling away, then our Parents in Paradise: neither is the chiefe cause in the Saints them­selves, why God should defend some rather then some, against temptations and sins, as Samuel, and Josaphat, rather then Sampson, and David. But if to persevere were in our power, or not to persevere, then the cause of this diversity should be in us. Wherefore, perseverance in godlinesse, and abstaining from sin, is not to be a­scribed to our selves, but to the mercy of God.

But against the former sentence, to wit, that even the best workes of the Saints in this life are not perfectly good; and therefore are not able to stand in the judge­ment of God, and to please God, but by the imputation of Christs satisfaction, the Papists oppose themselves.

Object. 1. The Workes of Christ and the holy Spirit, say they, cannot be impure, and not please God. The good workes of the regenerate, Christ worketh in them by his Spirit. Where­fore it is necessary, and must needs be, that they are pure and perfect, and please God, even as they are considered in themselves. For God cannot condemne his owne workes, although he examine them according to the rigour of his judgment. The good work [...] of the regenerate are not perfect, so long as them­selves, who work joyntly with the spirit, are not perfect. We answer to the Major: The workes of God are pure, and worthy no reprehension, as the workes of God, and such as God worketh; but not as they are depraved by the creature: neither are they alwayes pure, which are not the workes of God only, but the creatures also: For these, as they are of God, are voide of all fault: but as they are done by the creatures, they are good also, and without reprehension, if the creature, by which God worketh them, be perfectly conformable to the will of God: but im­pure and unperfect, and according to the sentence of the Law, subject to damnati­on, if the creature, by which God worketh them, be corrupt and vicious, that is, de­praved by the not knowing of God, and by averting from God.

Object. 2. God cannot condemne the members of his Son. There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. Rom. 8.1. The regenerate are the members of Christ: Therefore, even as they are considered of themselves, they and their workes cannot be condemned in the judg­ment of God. Answ. There is more in the conclusion then in the premisses.The imperfecti­ons of the rege­nerate and their workes are blot­ted out, and par­doned in Christ. For this only followeth, that the Saints cannot be condemned: but this cometh in respect of Christ his satisfaction imputed to them, not in respect of their owne o­bedience, which pleaseth God, not because it perfectly agreeth with the Law, but because the defects and faults which cleave unto it, are pardoned through Christ.

Object. 3. Christ in judgment will render unto every one according to his workes: But the severity of Gods justice doth not render good according to workes, which are not perfect­ly good: Wherefore the workes of Saints are so perfect, as that they cannot be condemned in the judgement of God. We answer unto the Major: The justice of God doth not render good, but according unto perfect workes, if hee judge legally, according [Page 94]to the covenant of perfect obedience towards the law. But he rendreth good also according to the imperfect workes,How Christ will render unto every one according to his workes. and such as deserve damnation, except the sin that cleaveth unto them be pardoned, when as he judgeth according to the Gospel, that is, not according to the covenant of workes, or our owne obedience, which should satisfie the law, but according to the covenant of faith, or of the righteousnesse of Christ applied unto us by faith; and yet according to workes as according to the tokens or testimonies of faith, from which they proceed, and which they, as effects thereof, doe shew to be in men.

Object. 4. The Scripture in many places ascribeth perfection of good workes to Saints, even in this life, and saith that they are perfect, and did walke with their whole and perfect heart before God. I have sought thee with my whole heart. Psal. 119.10. Psal 119.2. Genes. 6.9. 2 Chro. 15.17. Matth. 5.48. In what sense the Scripture some­times ascribes perfection of works to the re­generate in this life. And in the same Psalme, Bles­sed are they that keepe his testimonies, and seeke him with their whole heart. Noah was a just and upright man in his time. The heart of Asa was perfect in all his dayes. Be ye perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect. Answ. First, these and the like speeches speake of that perfection which is not of degrees, but of parts, or of the integritie and since­rity of the obedience begun in them. Perfection of degrees, or obedience perfect in degrees, is that which hath not only all the parts of obedience, but that degree al­so which the law requireth in us. Such a perfection have not the regenerate in this life: They have indeed all the parts of obedience begun in them, but yet weakely; so that they are here daily more and more perfected, but attaine not to the chiefe and due degree thereof, untill they enjoy the life to come. The perfecti­on of parts, is the integrity of obedience, or whole obedience begun according to the whole law; or it is a desire and endeavour to obey God, and withstand cor­rupt lusts, according not to some onely, but to all the commandements of his law. The perfection of sincerity, is a desire or study of obedience and godlinesse, not feign­ed, but true and earnest, albeit somewhat be wanting to the parts, as touching the degree. This perfection, to wit, both the integrity and sincerity of obedi­ence, is in all the regenerate. For unto them it is proper to submit themselves to the commandements of God, even to all without exception, and to begin in this life all the parts of true godlinesse or obedience. This is called also the justice of a good conscience, because it is a necessary effect of faith, and pleaseth God through Christ. And albeit in all men, even in the most holy, much hypocrisie remaineth, as it is said,Rom. 3 4. Every man is a lyar: yet there is a great difference betweene them who are wholly hypocrites, and please themselves in their hypocrisy, having no be­ginning or feeling of true godlinesse in their hearts; and those, who acknowledge­ing and bewailing the remnants of hypocrisy which are in them, have withall the beginning of true faith and conversion unto God. Those hypocrites are con­demned of God: these are received into favour, not for this beginning of obedi­ence in them, but for the perfect obedience of Christ, which is imputed unto them. And therefore to this declaration or exposition another is also to be added: That they who are converted, are perfect in the sight of God, not only in respect of the parts of true godlinesse which are all begun in them, but also in respect of the degrees of true and perfect righteousnesse of Christ imputed unto them, as it is said:Colos. 2.10. Heb. 10.14. 1 Cor. 2.6. & 14.20. Ephes. 4.19. Ye are all complete in him. With one offering hath he consecrated for ever them that are sanctified. But they reply, That the perfection also of degrees is attribu­ted unto the Saints in the Scripture [...] Wee speake wisdome among them that are perfect. Be perfect in understanding. Till wee all meet together in the unity of faith and knowledge of the Sonne of God unto a perfect man, and unto the measure of the age of the fullnesse of Christ. But these places also doe not call them perfect in respect of the law of God, that is, in respect of the degree of knowledge and obedience which the law requireth in us: but in respect of the weaker, who have lesse light, and certainty and readinesse, confirmed by use and exercise to obey God, to resist carnall lusts, and to beare the crosse. For so is this perfection expounded, That we be no more children, Ephes. 4.14. Heb. 5.14. Philip. 3.12. wandring and carried about with every winde of doctrine. Not as though I had already attained to it, or were already perfect. They oppose against these answers a place out of John,1 John 4.17, 18. Herein is the love perfect in us, that we should have boldnes in the day of [Page 95]judgement: for as he is, even so are we in this world. There is no feare in love, but perfect love casteth out feare; for feare hath painfulnesse: and he that feareth is not perfect in love. But S. John meaneth not that our love towards God,Our regeneration and newnesse of life doth assure us of justification, as being an effect thereof. Rom. 5.5. but Gods love towards us is perfect, that is, declared and fully known unto us by the effects or benefits of God bestowed upon us in Christ: Or, as Saint Paul speaketh, Rom. 5. where hee saith, That the love of God, shed abroad in our hearts by the holy Ghost, is the cause, why wee doe without feare, and with boldnesse expect the day of Judgement; and of this mercy and free love of God towards us, he signifieth, that by this token or testi­mony we are assured, because in this life we are reformed by the holy Spirit to his Image: For, by our regeneration we are assured of our justification, not as by the cause of the effect, but as by the effect of the cause. Now, though regeneration be not perfect in this life, yet if it be indeed begun, it sufficeth for the confirmation and proving of the truth of our faith unto our consciences. And these very words, which S. John addeth, Love casteth out feare, shew, that love is not yet perfect in us, because wee are not perfectly delivered in this life from feare of the wrath and judgement of God, and eternall punishment:John 3.21. 1 John 3.23, Psal. 119. For these two contrary motions are now together in the godly, even the feare and love of God in remisse and low de­grees, their feare decreasing, and their love and comfort, or joy in God increasing, untill joy get the conquest, and perfectly cast out all trembling in the life to come, when God shall wipe away every teare.

These places of Scripture are to be understood of the uprightnesse of a good consci­ence, not of any perfect fulfilling of the Law in the godly.Object. 5. Hee that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his deeds might be made ma­nifest, that they are wrought according to God. If our heart condemne us not, then have we boldnesse towards God. I have not declined from thy Law: Therefore the good workes of the regenerate may be alledged, and stand in Gods judgement as perfectly answerable unto his Law. Answ. These and the like sayings doe not challenge to the godly in this life perfect fulfilling of the Law; but the uprightnesse of a good conscience, without which faith cannot consist or stand: as neither can a good conscience without faith. As it is said, Fight a good fight, having faith and a good conscience. 1 Tim. 1.18, 19. And, Then being justified by faith, Rom. 5.1. wee have peace towards God through our Lord Je­sus Christ. For, a good conscience is a certaine knowledge that we have faith, and a purpose to obey God according to all his commandements, and that wee and our obedience, though maimed and scarce begun, please God; not for that it satis­fieth his Law, but because those sins and defects which remaine in us, are forgiven us for the satisfaction of Christ which is imputed unto us: For as new obedience is begun by faith, so by faith also it pleaseth God. Wherefore the godly slacke not to bring forth their life into the light, neither shake and shiver they at the Tri­bunall of Christ, but comfort themselves with the conscience, or inward know­ledge thereof.

Object. 6. Give diligence to make your calling and election sure: 2 Pet. 1.10. 1 John 3.9. for if you do these things, ye shall never fall. Whatsoever is borne of God, sinneth not. Ans. These sentences in times past the Pelagians also and Catharists, and now the Anabaptists abuse, to establish perfection of new obedience in the regenerate: but to fall and to commit or doe sin, signifieth in those places of Peter and John to have reigning sin, and to yeeld unto it, and persevere in it: and in this sort the regenerate sin not. But that there remaine notwithstanding remnants of sin and defects in them, is expresly shewed: If we say we have no sin, the truth is not in us. 1 John 10.

Mat. 6.22. Luke 11.34. The similitude which is used by Christ, calling the eye the light of the body, doth not inforce the lightsomnesse of the mind.Object. 7. The light of the body is the eye: if then thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be light: hereof they gather, That the minds of the regenerate are so purged in this life, that the whole heap and multitude of their works is light and pure, that is, perfectly answer­able to the Law. But seeing the speech of Christ is conditionall, it is manifest, that neither the Antecedent nor Consequent, but only the sequele thereof is affirmed; and that the Antecedent also being supposed, the Consequent is no otherwise put then the Antecedent: Wherefore Christ doth not affirme by this similitude of the eye guiding the body, that the minds of men are lightsome, and so all their acti­ons to be well directed, and without sin; but rather he accuseth the frowardnesse of men, who goe about to oppresse and put out even that light which is left them [Page 96]by nature,Rom. 1.18. and doe with hold the truth, as S. Paul speaketh, in unrighteousnesse; and therefore are wholly, that is, in all their actions, darke, corrupt, and worthy of damnation. Furthermore, the purity of actions can be but so far supposed, as the purity and light of mens minds is supposed: For the light of nature being suppo­sed, actions morally good follow; spirituall light supposed, actions also spiritually good, or good workes follow: imperfect illightning supposed, imperfect obedi­ence; perfect illightning supposed, perfect obedience also followeth. Seeing then in this life perfect light and knowledge of God and his will, and as much as the Law of God requireth, is not kindled in the regenerate, but is deferred untill the life to come.1 Cor. 13.9, 10. (For we know in part, and we prophesie in part, but when that which is per­fect is is come, then that which is in part shall be abolished) therefore neither in other parts perfect conformity with the Law can be in this life: yet neverthelesse, even now concerning imputation of perfect purity, it is true, that the godly are pure and without sin in the sight of God, when he beholdeth them in Christ, which is then, when the light of faith is kindled in their hearts. So also that is to be taken: Christ gave himselfe for the Church, Ephes. 5.25, 26, 27. that hee might sanctifie it, and cleanse it by the washing of water, through the word, that he might make it unto himselfe a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy, and without blame: For the Baptisme of water, by reason of the word of promise adjoyned, signifieth and sealeth to the faithfull a cleansing by the bloud of Christ, which is most perfect, and presenteth us in this life unblameable before God: and a cleansing by his Spi­rit, which is begun in this life, and perfect in the life to come; and therefore can­not pacifie and quiet our conscience.

There are also objections against the second part of the former doctrine, con­cerning the third degree of liberty; by which objections they contend, that it is in the power of the regenerate, either to persevere in righteousnesse, or to depart from it. Object. 1. They who have liberty (say they) to chuse good, have liberty to perse­vere▪ The regenerate have liberty to chuse good. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty: 2 Cor. 3.17. Therefore they have power to persevere. Answ. If the conclusion of this reason be rightly meant, the whole reason may be granted, to wit, That the re­generate have so farre forth liberty to persevere, as they are lightned and guided by the holy Ghost: For the liberty which they have to chuse good, dependeth upon his working and motion. But if it be meant, that the godly have this liberty either alwaies, or so, that this perseverance dependeth of themselves, there will be more found in the conclusion, then was in the premisses: and that for two causes: 1. Be­cause they have liberty alwaies to persevere, who are never destitute of the guid­ing of the holy Spirit: which shall be in the life to come. 2. Because their liberty also to good, who are never forsaken of the holy Spirit, yet dependeth not of themselves, but of God. But here they reply: Hee that is not forsaken of the holy Ghost, except himselfe first with-stand the motion of the holy Ghost, hath alwaies the aide and assistance of the holy Ghost ready, that hee may persist in that good which hee purpo­seth; But the godly are not forsaken of the holy Ghost, unlesse themselves first with-stand him: Therefore they have alwaies the assistance of the holy Ghost ready, that they may persevere. But hee who hath this, hath in his owne power to persevere, or to decline: be­cause the cause is in his owne will alone why he doth either obey or resist the Spirit moving him. When wee deny the Minor of this reason, they prove it thus: The justice of God doth not inflict punishment, but on those who sin; but to be forsaken of the holy Ghost, is a punishment of sin and unthankefulnesse: Therefore no man is forsaken of the holy Ghost, but who hath first deserved that forsaking through his owne stubbornnesse. The answer hereof is double:The regenerate deserve the depar­ture of Gods Spi­rit from them through their ma­nifold sins, which yet the mercy of Christ and his power preserveth in them. 1. The argument may be granted, as concerning the regenerate: For in them, as long as they are in this life, there is alwaies such remaining of sin, as they deserve not onely temporall, but eternall desertion and forsaking: and although, because the sinne which remaineth in them, is forgiven them of Christ, therefore they are freed from everlasting punishment; yet are they not free from chastisement, so long as the remnants of sinne abide in them. There is therefore in respect of their sinnes also alwaies most just cause why sometimes for a season [Page 97]God would bereave them of the grace and guiding of the Spirit: As it is said, And the wrath of the Lord was againe kindled against Israel, 2 Sam. 24.1. and hee moved David against them in that he said, Goe and number Israel and Judah. 2. We answer to the Minor,Every forsaking, or rather sleeping as it were of the holy Ghost in the regenerate, is not a punishment, nei­ther done to that end. That every forsaking is not a punishment, or done to that end as to punish: but some­times also for triall, that is, for to make knowne and open the weaknesse even of the best and holiest, both to themselves and others, that they may learne, that they cannot for one instant or moment stand against the tentations and assaults of Sa­than, if they be not presently sustained and ruled by the conduct of the holy Spi­rit; and that so they may be made more watchfull, and more earnest to call here­after for the assistance of the holy Spirit, and to beware of relapses and fallings. Lastly, that both in this life, and in the world to come, they may the better know and set forth their own unworthinesse, and the mercy of God towards them, who hath reclaimed and re-called them out of so many and grievous sins unto himself, and having deserved a thousand times death and destruction, hath not yet suffered them to perish. For these causes it is said,2 Cor. 12. Lest I should be exalted out of measure through the aboundance of revelations, there was given unto me a prick in the flesh. And, God hath shut up all in unbeliefe, that he might have mercy on all. Against this they say,Rom. 11. That God doth promise the assistance of his holy Spirit to all that aske it. But this is gene­rall only concerning finall perseverance, but not so as touching continuall perseve­rance: For God promiseth no where that he will so guide his Saints by his Spirit in this life, that they shall never fall.

By this which hath been said, that objection also vanisheth to nothing, when they say, That the converted, seeing they have in their own power to depart from that which is right, and to resist, have also perseverance in their owne power: For although he con­straineth not, or violently draweth their wils, but maketh them of rebels and ene­mies, willingly and of their own accord to become the Sons of God; and as con­cerning mens wils in this life, there is nothing more prone then they to evill: yet as touching the counsel, purpose, and working of God, evidence of truth constrain­eth even the adversaries themselves to confesse, that it cannot be, but that the will of man must then obey, when God, according to his everlasting counsels, hath de­creed forcibly to move and encline it either to conversion or to perseverance. Nei­ther doth this immutability and efficacy of Gods purpose take away the liberty of will in the converted, but rather increaseth and preserveth it; and how much the more effectually God moveth it, with so much the greater propension and readi­nesse it both will and doth good, which the example of the blessed Angels confir­meth. This is also more frivolous that they say. That the godly are made carelesse and slothfull, and the desire to persevere is diminished in them, if they heare that their perseve­rance dependeth of the grace of the holy Spirit alone: For we may very well invert this, and returne it upon our adversaries; seeing nothing doth more give an edge unto the Saints, and those who are indeed godly, to a desire and endevour to beware of falling, and to a daily and earnest calling upon God, then if they knew, that they cannot so much as one moment stand against the tentation of the Divell and their flesh, except by the vertue and instinct of the holy Spirit they be withdrawn from evill, and be forcibly moved to good: but contrariwise that opinion, as expe­rience teacheth, maketh men carelesse and lesse minding to beware of sin, by which men imagine, that it is in their own power to depart from God, listning a while, and yeelding to their owne lusts, and to returne again to God, as oft as themselves think good so to do. Now, if so be this sentence concerning true perseverance, de­pending on the grace of the holy Spirit, breed in the reprobate and profane men a carelesnesse and contempt of God: it is both foolish and injurious to judge of the elect and godly by their humour, or for their frowardnesse to hide and smother the truth.

Lastly, against the defects of liberty in the second and third state of degree of man, they object after this sort: If the whole conversion and perseverance doe so depend on Gods will, and be the worke of God in men, that neither they can have it in whom he doth not worke it, neither they cannot but have it, in whom he will worke it: then not [Page 98]only the liberty, The working of [...]he instrumentall cause, which is our will, is not taken away, when we put the work­ing of the princi­pall cause, which is God. but all the action and operation of the Will is taken away, and there remain­eth only that it be constrained, and suffer: which is against the Scripture, experience the in­ward strife and combate of the godly, & our own confession. But we answer, that the Wil is not therfore taken away, when as it doth not resist the Spirit forcibly moving it: For to assent also and obey is an action of the Will. But when they reply, That we make that obedience of the Will in conversion and perseverance wholly the worke of God, and so leave nothing to the Will what to do; they run into another Paralogisme of conse­quent, whereas they remove the working of the second or instrumentall cause, for that the first cause or principall agent is put: For that which is so wholly the work of God in man, that man is onely as the subject in which God worketh, in that we grant the Will is only passive, and suffereth, and doth work nothing; as imprinting, or working, or maintaining in the Will and heart new qualities or inclinations: But that which is so the work of God, that the Will of man is not only the object, but the instrument also of Gods working, and an agent by it own force given it of God in producing an effect, in that the Will is not only passive, but both active and passive, forasmuch as it is to this end moved of the Spirit to worke, that it selfe might doe that, which God will work by it: which also cometh to passe in all the good actions of the Will; even as in ill actions also, when it is inci­ted either by the Divell or other causes, it selfe is not in the meane season idle. Wherefore in Ezekiel it is added, I will cause you to walke in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements, and doe them.

The fourth de­gree of liberty is in man perfectly regenerated after his glorification. The fourth degree of liberty is in man perfectly regenerated after his glorification, or af­ter the end and consummation of this present life. In this liberty the Will shall be only free to chuse good and not to chuse evill: and this shall be the perfect liberty of our will, by which we shall not only not sin, but shall abhorre nothing more then sin, and also shall not be able to sin any more. The reasons thereof are these: 1 1. Because in the mind shall shine the perfect knowledge of God,Two reasons of our perfect liber­ty after glorifi­cat [...]on.and his will; in the will and heart a most perfect and exceeding inclination to obey God, an exceeding love of God, and a joy resting in God, and an agreeablenesse or conformity with God: Wherefore no place shall be for ignorance, for errour, or any doubting of God; yea, or for the least stubbornnesse against God. 2 2. That conformity in the elect, of all their inward powers and faculties with God, and the effectuall guiding of the holy Ghost shall be continued to all eternity: This last degree or liberty after mans glorificati­on greater then the first before h [...]s fall, because th [...]s excludeth all possibility of fal­ling, the other did not. For the blessed Saints are never forsaken, but continually ruled by the holy Ghost in all their actions, in the celestiall life. For which cause it cannot pos­sibly be, that any motions or actions of man there should once swerve from righ­teousnesse. And therefore it is said, They are as the Angels of God in heaven. Neither by this meanes is the liberty of will taken away, or diminished, but is truly confir­med and perfected in the blessed Angels and men: Forasmuch as both the under­standing is free from all errour, ignorance, and doubtfulnesse, and lightened with the perfect knowledge of God:Mat. 22.30. and the heart & will free from all stubbornnesse, and without all soliciting or suggestion to withstand God, is carried with an ex­ceeding love of God, and an alacrity to obey the known will of God. And hence it appeareth also how much more excellent our state shall be, then was Adams before his fall. Adam truly before his fall was perfectly conformed to God, but hee could will both good and evill; and therefore had some infirmity joyned with his excel­lent gifts even a power to depart from God, and lose his gifts: that is, hee was changeably good. But we shall not be able but to will good only. And as the wicked are only carried to evill, because they are wicked; so shall we also onely love and chuse good, because we shall be good. It shall be then impossible for us to will any evill, because we shall be preserved by Gods grace, in that perfect liberty of will, that is,The use of this doctrine concer­ning the diversity of liberty which is in God, and in man, and of the divers degrees of mans liberty. we shall be unchangeably good.

It is necessary that this doctrine, Of the similitude and difference of free-will which is in God, and his creatures, and in divers states and degrees of mans nature, delivered hi­therto out of the Scripture, should be manifest and known in the Church for many and weighty causes: 1 1. That this glory may be given to God, that he alone is the most free agent, whose liberty & wisdome dependeth of no other: and that all the [Page 99]creatures are subject to his government. 2 2. That we may remember, that they who wittingly and willingly sin, or have cast themselves into a necessity of sinning, are not at all excused: and so not God, but their own wils declining of their owne ac­cord from Gods commandements, to be the cause of their sins. 3 3. That wee may know God alone to be of himselfe, and unchangeably good, and the fountaine of goodnesse: but no creature to be able neither to have, nor to keep more goodness then God of his free goodnesse will work and keep in him; and therefore he must desire it of him, and ascribe it received to him. 4 4. That we knowing God to be a most free governour of all things, may confesse that hee is able, for his glory and our safety, to change those things which seem most unchangeable. 5 5. That we, knowing from what excellency of our nature we have fallen by our owne fault, may the more deplore and bewaile our unthankfulnesse; and magnifie Gods mer­cy, who advanceth & lifteth us up even to a greater excellency. 6 6. That knowing the misery and naughtinesse of our nature and disposition, if once God forsake us, we may be humbled in his sight, and ardently desire to wade and come out of these evils. 7 7. That having knowledge of that liberty, into which the Son of God restoreth us, we may the more desire his benefits, and be thankfull unto him for them. 8 8. That knowing wee are by the mercy of God alone severed from them that perish, that we rather then they might be converted, we be not lifted up with an opinion of our goodnesse or wisdome, but ascribe the whole benefit of our justi­fication and salvation, not to any cause appearing in us, but to the mercy of God alone. 9 9. That acknowledging the weaknesse & corruption which remaineth even in us regenerated, we may seek for justification in Christ alone, and may withstand those evils. 10 10. That knowing our selves not to be able to stand against tentations without the singular assistance of the holy Spirit, we may ardently & daily desire to be preserved and guided by God. 11 11. That understanding that we are not pre­served against our will, but with our wils, we may wrestle with tentations, and en­deavour to make our calling and election sure. 12 12. That understanding the counsel of God concerning the converting of men by the doctrine of the Gospel, and mi­nistery of the Church, we may embrace earnestly and desirously the use thereof.

On the fourth Sabbath.Quest. 9. Doth not God then injury to man, who, in the Law, requireth that of him, which he is not able to performe?

Answ. No:Eph. 4.24. For God hath made man such a one as hee might per­forme it;Gen. 3.13. 1 Tim. 2.13. Wisd. 2.23. but man, by the impulsion of the Divell,Gen. 3.6. Rom. 5.12. Luk. 10.30. and his own stubbornnesse, bereaved himselfe, and all his posterity of those di­vine graces.

The Explication.

THis question is an objection framed by humane reason against the question here proposed: For, if man be so corrupt, that he is no way apt to do any thing well, in vain God seemeth and unjustly to require at his hands perfect obedience to the Law. Object. He that requireth or commandeth that which is impossible, is unjust; God in the Law requireth of man that which is impossible, to wit, perfect obedience, which hee is not able to performe: Therefore God seemeth to be unjust. Ans. The Major is to be distinguished. He is un­just that commandeth things impossible: 1. Except himselfe first gave an ability to perform those things which he commanded. 2. Except man, who is commanded, covet that impotency and unability, and of his own accord hath purchased it unto himselfe. 3. Except the commandement, which is impossible, be a spur unto him, who is commanded, of acknowledging and bewailing his insufficiency. But God by creating man after his Image, gave him possibility, that is, a power of performing [Page 100]that obedience which in right hee requireth of him: Wherefore, if man, by his owne fault and folly, lost and cast away this his good ability, and procured unto himselfe this unability of obeying God; God hath not therefore lost his right to require due obedience of him. Nay rather, because wee have rejected this good, by transgressing Gods commandement, and because God threatned punishment to the transgressors, therefore he justly punisheth us. Repl. But not wee, but Adam drew on us this sin. Answ. Our first Parents, being fallen, lost this ability both unto themselves and to their posterity; like as they received it for themselves and their posterity. If a Prince give unto a noble man a Lordship, and he traiterously rebell against him, he loseth his Lordship not only from himself, but also from his poste­rity: neither doth the Prince any injury to his children, if hee restore no [...] unto them the Lordship lost by their fathers fault and disobedience; and if he doe re­store it, he doth it of free grace and mercy. Repl. He that commandeth things im­possible, God commanding things impossi­ble, doth yet com­mand them for good causes, and to good ends, both in the godly and ungodly. In the godly. doth in vaine command them; but God commandeth things impossible to be per­formed by man now after his fall: Therefore in vaine he commandeth them. Answ. 1. In this reason there is a fallacy from that which is spoken and verified but in part: as, God doth not in vain command, though wee performe not that which hee com­mandeth; because there are other ends besides of the commandement, both in the godly and ungodly: For the commandement requireth of the godly, 1 1. That they acknowledge their owne weaknesse and impotency: By the Law cometh the know­ledge of sin. Rom. 3.20. 2 2. That they know what they were before the fall. 3 3. That they know what they ought chiefly to ask of God, to wit, the renewing of their nature. 4 4. That they understand and conceive what Christ hath performed on their behalf, I mean, that he hath satisfied for us, and regenerateth us. 5 5. That a new kind of obedience be begun in us: because it teacheth us how wee ought to behave and carry our selves towards God in lieu of this benefit of freedome; or what God requireth a­gain on our part.In the ungodly. Again, the ungodly are commanded obedience: 1 1. That the ju­stice of God in condemning them may be made manifest and conspicuous, because they know what they ought to do. Whereas then they doe it not, they are justly condemned;Luk. 12.47. That servant that knew his Masters will, and did it not, &c. 2 2. That at least outward order and discipline might be observed amongst them. 3 3. That such amongst them as are to be converted, may be converted. Ans. 2. We answer to the Major of this syllogisme, thus distinguishing: In vaine he commandeth, who comman­deth things impossible; if withall he give not the possibility: But God, commanding the elect the performance of these things, giveth them also power of obeying, begin­ning it now by the doctrine of the Gospel▪ and in the end perfecting it. Augustine, Give, De bona persever. cap. 20. Lord, what thou commandest, and command what thou wilt: and thou shalt not in vaine command it. Therefore this impossible exigent is the greatest benefit, because it is the high-way to attaine possibility.

Quest. 10. Doth God leave this stubbornnesse and falling away of man unpunished?

Answ. No: but is angry in most dreadfull manner,Gen. 2.27. Rom. 5.12. as well for the sins wherein we are borne, as also for those which our selves commit; and in most just judgement punisheth them with temporall and eternall punishmentsPsal. 20. and 21. and 5.6. Nah. 1.2. Exod. 20.5. and 34.7. Rom. 1.18. Ephes. 5.6., as himselfe pronounceth; Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this Law to doe them. Deut. 25.26. Gal. 3.10.

The Explication.

IN this question is handled the other part of mans misery, even the evill of paine and punishment: and it is said, that God doth most grievously, most justly, and most certainly punish sin. Most grievously: that is, with present and eternall paines for the greatnesse of sin, because the infinite good is offended thereby. Most justly; be­cause every, even the least, sin violateth Gods Law; and therefore by the order of Gods justice meriteth eternall punishment and abjection. Most certainly; because God is true, and never changeth his sentence denounced in the Law: Cursed is hee that continueth not in all, &c. Object. But the wicked flourish here, Galat. 3.10. and carry many things cleere without punishment: Therefore all sins are not punished. Ans. Yea, but they shall at length be paid home for them; yea,How the wicked are punished in this life. and in this life they are punished: 1. In conscience, with whose gnawings the wicked are tortured. 2. In those good things which they use with greatest pleasure; and verily so much the more, how much the lesse they know and acknowledge themselves to be punished: For it is a most grievous punishment, not to receive Gods gifts in respect of Gods promise, not to know the right use of them, neither with his gifts to receive a will and abi­lity also to use them well: For if these things concurre not in the fruition of good things, mens sins and punishment must needs be the more increased and exaspera­ted; and thereby, except there come conversion, eternall destruction or death is certainly purchased. 3. They are afflicted with other punishments also most grievous of­tentimes, yet with more grievous in the life to come, where it shall be a continuall death, not to be dead. Object. 2. God made not evill, and death: Therefore hee will not so grievously punish sin with them. Answ. He made them not in the beginning; yet when sin was committed, he in his just judgement inflicted death as a punishment on sinners, according to his commination, Thou shalt die the death. Gen. 2.17. Amos 3.6. Whence it is also said: Shall there be evill in a City, and the Lord hath not done it? Obj. 3. If God pu­nish sin with present and everlasting punishments, he punisheth the same twice, and is unjust; but he is not unjust, neither punisheth he the same offence twice: Therefore he will not pu­nish sin with temporall and eternall paines. Ans. The Major is denied: For the punish­ment which God inflicteth on the wicked in this life, and in the life to come, is but one punishment, but hath severall parts: For present punishments are but the be­ginning [...] of everlasting; neither are they a distinct or entire punishment several­ly, because they are not sufficient to satisfie Gods justice. Object. 4. If God punish sins with eternall punishments, then either all of us perish, or Gods justice is not satisfied. Ans. If God should punish our sins in us with eternall punishments, wee should all perish indeed: but he doth not punish them in us with eternall paines, neither yet is his justice impeached or violated, because hee punisheth our sins in Christ with a punishment temporall, but yet equivalent to everlasting. This equability doth the Gospel adde unto the Law. Repl. If he punish them in Christ, and be just, he ought no further to punish them in us: Therefore the godly are unjustly afflicted in this life. Ans. The afflictions of the godly are not punishments and satisfactions for their sinnes, but only fatherly chastisements, and the Crosse, whereby they are brought to humility. Which that it may be the better understood, we are here necessarily to speak of af­flictions or calamities: but first, the next question is to be expounded.

Quest. 11. Is not God therefore mercifull?

Ans. Yea verily he is mercifull,Exo. 34.6, 7. and 20.6. but so, that he is also just.Psal. 10.7. Exod. 20.5. & 23▪ 7 & 34.6. Psal. 5.56. Nah. 1.2, [...]. Wherefore his justice requireth, that the same which is committed against the divine Majesty of God, should also be recompenced with extreme, that is, everlasting punishments both of body and soule.

The Explication.

THis question of the Catechisme is an objection against that do­ctrine, That God punisheth all and every sin with everlasting paines; and thus it is framed. Object. It is the property of him that is exceeding mer­cifull, to remit somewhat of extreme justice; but God is exceeding merci­full: Therefore he will remit somewhat of extreme justice, and will not pu­nish sin with eternall paines. Answ. We answer to the Major on this wise: It is the point of him that is mercifull to remit something, but without breach of justice, if he be exactly just. Now God is so exceeding mercifull, that he is also exactly just: Therefore he will so exercise mercy, that not withstanding he will not impaire his justice. And the justice of God exacteth, that all sins committed against his sove­raigne majesty should be punished with most exquisite, that is, everlasting paines both of body and soule, that there may be some proportion between the crime and the penalty. Repl. 1. Exceeding strict justice doth not stand with exceeding mercy; in God there is exceeding mercy: Therefore in God exceeding strict justice standeth not with it. Answ. The Major is denied. Repl. Thus it is proved, Exceeding mercy admitteth mitigating equity; but strict and exact justice, such as is in God, admitteth not this: Er­go, &c. Ans. Yes, the justice of God admitteth mitigating equity and favourable­nesse, not by omitting, but by transferring the punishment on some other. Repl. 2. With him that followeth extreme or strict justice, mercy and equity hath no place; but God doth strict­ly execute his Law: Therefore with him mercy hath no place. Or thus, He who remitteth nought of extreme right, he is not mercifull, but only just; but God remitteth nought of his right, because he punisheth all sin with sufficient punishment. Ans. 1. We deny the Minor: For God remitteth a great deale of his strict right, though he punish sins with eter­nall paines. For, as touching the reprobate, he useth much favourable dealing towards them, whiles he both now deferreth their punishments, & inviteth them by many benefits unto repentance, and in the eternity it self of their punishment wil punish them more mildly then they deserved. And as touching the elect, he useth much tole­ration againe towards them, because he giveth us his Son, and subjecteth him unto punishment on our behalf of his meer mercy, obliged & bound thereto by no right or merit of ours. 2. The Major is denied as false in respect of him, who for his wisdome knoweth means of exercising mercy without breach of his justice: also in respect of him, who whilest he executeth his justice, yet rejoyceth not in the destruction of man, but had rather he were saved: As, when a Judge condemneth a robber to the wheele, and yet rejoyceth not in his punishment; hee though hee seem to execute the extremity of Law, yet useth lenity. Much more God ming­leth marvellous equity with his justice: For he is not delighted with the destructi­on of the ungodly (because hee will not the death of a sinner) and though hee punish all sins with everlasting paines,Ezek. 33.11. yet he also taketh pity on us, in deriving the pu­nishment from us, and laying it on his Son. Repl. 3. The Prophet Jeremy saith, Forgive not their iniquity, neither put out their sinne from thy sight: The mercy there­fore of God is not extended to the Reprobate. Answ. 1. It is true, when God deni­eth his mercy unto them repenting;What mercy God extendeth to the wicked. and except hee have just cause why hee doth not save all. But God hath most just cause why he suffereth them to perish, even the manifestation of his justice and power in punishing the wicked. 2. It is to be understood of that degree of his mercy, which hee sheweth towards his chosen, e­ven of his mercy, whereby he giveth them remission of sinnes, his holy Spirit, and life everlasting: but it is not to be granted, concerning that generall mercy, whereby he guideth and governeth all creatures. Repl. 4. The Lord saith in Isaiah: Ah, I will ease mee of mine adversaries: Therefore God is delighted with the destruction of his enemies. Answ. These and the like speeches are spoken after the order of men, by an Anthropopathy, or humane affection, and by them is signified, that God will the execution of his justice, but is not delighted with the death or destructi­on of men, as being his creatures. Repl. 5. Nay, neither on the penitent doth God [Page 103]exercise mercy: For if God punish all sins with sufficient punishment in Christ, hee is not mercifull. Answ. I deny the consequence of this Proposition, because he gave us his Son freely, who should satisfie for us. This satisfaction did the Gospel adde.

OF AFFLICTIONS.

Three principall questions there are touching afflictions.
  • 1. How many kinds of afflictions there be.
  • 2. What be the causes of them.
  • 3. What comforts are to be opposed against them.
1. How many kinds of afflictions there be.

Two sorts of afflictions. 1. Temporall.2. Eternall. SOme afflictions are temporall, and some eternall: Eternall are the torments of the soule and body, ever to endure, and never to have end; into which all the Divels are to be thrown, and all wicked men; who are not converted in this life. They are cal­led in Scripture hell-fire, a worme, torment, everlasting death, be­cause the tortures shall be perpetuall, and such as men endure at the point of death, who by dying daily, can never dye: For this shall be everlasting death, alwaies to die and never be dead; or a continuance of death with infinite excesse of torments. The testimonies of Scripture which de­monstrate that there are eternall paines, are these: Their worm shall not die, Isa. 66.24. and their fire shall not be put out. It is better for thee to enter into life maimed, Mar. 9.43. then having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched, where their worme dieth not, and the fire never goeth out. Mat. 25.41. Depart into everlasting fire which is prepared for the Divell and his angels. If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appeare? 1 Pet. 4.18. The reason is evident; because for sin committed against the infinite good, an infinite punishment is justly exacted, whereas by any temporall punishment of a meere creature, there could not be made sufficient satisfaction unto Gods infinite & eter­nall justice. That eternall punishment is both of soul and body, Christ testifieth;Mat. 10.2 [...]. Feare him who can cast both soule and body into hell fire. The soule is the cause and fountain of sins. The body, as a thing without reason and brutish, doth execute that which the soul sheweth and commandeth: Wherefore both the author and instrument of sin shall be punished. Object. He that is exceeding mercifull cannot behold the eternall tor­ments of his creatures, much lesse inflict them. Gods mercy is great, and far exceedeth our sins: Therefore he cannot behold the eternall torments of his creatures. Answ. We answer to the Major, that it is true, unlesse the same also be exceeding just: But God is so exceeding mercifull, that he is also exceeding just; as before hath been declared.

Temporall affli­ctions belong both to the godly and ungodly. Temporall afflictions are incident both to the godly, and to the ungodly: as dis­eases, poverty, contempt, reproach, oppression, banishment, wars, and other miseries of this life, and lastly, temporall death it selfe: These are either punishments, or the Crosse. The punishment is either destruction or torment, Punishment. inflicted by order of justice on the person guilty of sin. And this is proper unto the reprobate,In the wicked they are punish­ments, in the god­ly the Crosse. because it is inflicted on them to this end, that Gods justice may be satisfied: For the Law bindeth all men either to obedience or to punishment.

Object. But the evils which the wicked suffer in this life, are lighter then that they should satisfie Gods justice. Answ. They are a part of their punishment, and a beginning of satisfaction which shall be exacted through all eternity,Degrees of pu­nishments of the ungodly. though they be not their whole punishment. Now, as every part of the aire is called aire; so every part of punishment is punishment. Howbeit, there are degrees of punishment. 1 The first de­gree [Page 104]is in this life: For when the conscience of their mis-deeds doth gnaw, vex, and terrifie them, then beginneth their hellish and infernall worm. 2 The second degree is in temporall death: For then they begin to feele the wrath of God, when the soul is separated from the body without all consolation, and is plunged into the place of torment. 3 The third degree is at the day of the last judgement, when both body and soule shall be cast into hell fire, and the everlasting paines of hell shall fall in troups together on all the wicked.

The Crosse is the affliction of the godly, The Crosse. which properly is not a punishment, because it is not inflicted, that thereby Gods justice should be satisfied for their sins. Now the Crosse is of foure sorts, which are all distinguished by their ends:1 Chastisements. Chastise­ments, which God layeth on the godly for their sins, but according to his mercy, as a father gently chastiseth his son, with much toleration; and therefore they are not properly punishments, but fatherly corrections, whereby they are admonished of their uncleannesse, their private sins, and peculiar falls, and stirred to repentance, and brought again into the way; as David was expelled his Kingdome for his fall: For, even in the Saints, singular and grievous corrections accompany singular and severall sins. But they are not a recompence for sin, but effects of Gods divine ju­stice▪ by which God ascertaineth us and others of his justice, that he verily is angry with sin, and will punish it not only in this life, but in that other also with death, unlesse we make a speedy returne unto him.2 Trials. Proofes and trials of faith, hope, in­vocation, feare of God, and patience in the Saints, that they may goe forward in these vertues: and oftentimes that their infirmity may be laid open to themselves and others. Such was the affliction of Job.3 Martyrdome. Martyrdomes, which are testificati­ons of the Saints concerning their doctrine, when they confirme and seale with their bloud the doctrine which they professe, that it is true, and that they in the middest of death thence feele and have experience of the comfort which they did promise in teaching it unto others, and that there remaineth another life, and an­other judgement after this life.4 Ransome. Ransome is the obedience of Christ alone, which is a satisfaction for our sins, consisting of his whole humiliation, from the very first point of his conception in the womb, to his last agony on the Crosse.

A briefe type or table of mans afflictions.
  • Afflictions are some
    • 1. Tempo­rall in the
      • Wicked: as punishments properly, and in speciall so called.
      • Godly: as the Crosse; and that is
        • 1. Chastisements.
        • 2. Trialls.
        • 3. Martyrdome.
        • 4. Ransome.
    • 2. Eternall: as the hellish torments of the damned.
2. What are the causes of affliction.

THe causes of punishment in the wicked are: 1. Sinne, the impellent cause; that sin may be recompenced with punishment. 2. The justice of God, the principall efficient cause, inflicting punishment for sinne. 3. Instrumentall causes thereof are di­vers: Angels and Men, both good and bad, and other creatures, which are all armed against sin, and fight under Gods Banner.

Eight causes of the afflictions of the godly.The causes of the Crosse of the godly are:1 The acknowledg­ing and purging out of sin. 1 Cor. 11.32. Psal. 119.71. Sin; but otherwise then in the wic­ked: For the godly are afflicted for sin, not to satisfie Gods justice, but that sin may be acknowledged by them, and purged out from among them by the Crosse. They are fatherly chastised for the acknowledgement of their fals, and these chastise­ments are unto them Sermons of repentance: When we are judged, we are chastised of the Lord. It is good for me, O Lord, that thou hast humbled me. But God giveth the reins to the wicked, that they may gallop to destruction; he endoweth them with the commodities of this life, & suffereth them to enjoy a short joy, thereby to shew his love towards them, as being his creatures, and to convince them of unthankfulnesse, [Page 105]and to take away all excuse from them. Now contrariwise, by the Crosse he a­mendeth the godly.2 The hatred of the Divell and evill men. John 15.10. Ephes. 16.12. 1 John 3.15. That we may learn to hate sin, the Divell, and the world; If ye were of the world the world would love you. We wrestle not against flesh and bloud but against principalities, against powers. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. 3 Exercise of god­linesse. Our exercise or triall; that we may go forward, and increase in faith, hope, patience, obedience and prayer; or that we may have occasion of exercising and trying our selves, and that both unto our selves and others our hope, faith, and patience may be made known: For it is an easie matter to glory of our faith in prosperity, but in adversity the glory or grace of vertue is conspicuous and eminent. He that hath not been tempted, what knoweth he? Experience bringeth hope. Syrac. 34.10. Rom. 5.4. 4 Particular defects in the godly. Particu­lar defects and failings in the Saints; Manasses had his faults, Josaphat his, and others have other defects; therefore Gods chastisements are also divers, wherein he shew­eth, that he is angry also with the sins of the godly, and will more severely revenge them unlesse they repent: The servant which knew his masters will and did it not, Luke 12.47. shall be beaten with many stripes. 5 Gods glory in their deliverance. The revealing and setting forth of Gods glory in the deliverance of the Church and the godly; for God often times bringeth his into extreme dangers, that their delivery may be the more glorious; as appeareth in the slavery of the Israelites in Egypt, and their captivity in Babylon, &c. that he may, I say, gloriously deliver them, and shew that he hath found a way of delivery where no creature could hope or look for it: The Lord bringeth down to hell, 1 Sam. 2.6. and raiseth up againe. 6 A conformity be­tween them and Christ. 2 Tim. 2.12. Rom. 8.29. Matth. 10.24. The conformity of the members with their head Christ in affliction and glory: If we suffer with him, we shall also reigne with him. Those which he knew before, he also did predestinate to be made like to the image of his Son. The servant is not greater then his Lord, neither the disciple above his Master. 7 Confirmation and testimony of the truth by their martyrdome. Joh. 21.18. The confirmation and testimony of their doctrine in their martyrdoms; For when faithfull and godly men suffer any evils, and death it selfe for the confession and maintenance of their do­ctrine, they give ample testimony to the world, that they are so verily perswaded of the truth of this doctrine, that by no means they can forgoe it: and moreo­ver, that this doctrine yeeldeth and ministreth true and solid comfort in death it selfe; and therefore of necessity is the very truth. Peter is foretold by what death hee should glorifie God. 8 A confirmation of the life to come. 2 Thess. 1.5. The afflictions of the godly are a confirmation and testimony of the judgement and life to come: For the justice and truth of God requireth, that at length it goe well with the good, and ill with the bad; But this cometh not to passe in this life; Therefore there is remaining yet another life; which is a token of the righteous judgement of God. Out of these causes we are to answer the argu­ment which the world useth against the providence of God. Object. The Church is oppugned throughout the whole world, and trodden under foot of all men: Therefore it is not the true Church, nor protected by God. Ans. Nay rather, because it is persecuted by the wicked ones of this world, it is apparantly the true Church: For if it were of the world, the world would love her owne. Joh. 15.19. But the causes of the afflictions of the Church are manifest and evident, and the event and end of things shall one day convict the world.

3. Comforts to be opposed against afflictions.

Comforts in affli­ction.OF comforts in afflictions, some are proper unto the Church, some are common to it with Philosophy. Proper are the first, and the two last of those which shall be recited; the rest are common, and that but in outward shew only, and in name; but not being farther entred into and discoursed of. 1 Remission of sins and reconcili­ation unto God. Remission of sins. This is the ground and foundation of the rest, because without this the rest mini­ster no comfort unto us whilest we doubt of our reconcilement to God; for other­wise we alwaies doubt whether the promise of grace belong unto us: But if this be once surely grounded, the rest are soon built upon it; for if God be our Father, he will then no way endamage us, but be our guardian in whatsoever distresse:Rom. 8.31. If God be with us, who can be against us? The reason is, because, Take away the cause, and you take away the effect: take away sin, and the punishment of sin is also taken [Page 106]away. 2 The necessity of obeying God, and the love which we owe him. The will and providence of God; or the necessity of obeying God in prospe­rity and adversity, because either of these is according to his will and good pleasure. The reason of this consequence of obedience is not only because we are unable to resist God, but especially we must therefore obey him: 1. Because he is our Father. 2. Because he hath so deserved of us, that for his sake we ought to suffer far greater evils. 3. Because the miseries he sendeth us are his fatherly chastisements. This comfort cal­meth our storming stomacks, because it intimateth, that it is our Fathers pleasure we should so suffer:Job 13.15. Job 1 21. Psal. 39.10. Loe, though hee slay mee, yet will I trust in him. As it pleased the Lord, so it is come to passe; blessed be the name of the Lord. I became dumb and opened not my mouth, for it was thy doing. The Philosophers say, that it is patiently to be suf­fered which cannot be altered and avoyded. They establish a fatall necessity, and therefore foolishnesse it were to kick against the pricks: but in the heat of cala­mities they submit not themselves to God, nor acknowledge his indignation and wrath, nor suffer adversity to that end as thereby to obey him, but because they cannot shake them off nor wrest themselves out of them at pleasure. This is a mi­serable cold comfort.3 The worthiness of vertue. The worthinesse of vertue; that is, of obedience towards God, which is true vertue, for which a man is not to cast away his courage in bea­ring the crosse. Temporall goods are great blessings of God; but farre greater benefits are obedience, faith, hope, &c. Wherefore let us not preferre lesse things before greater; neither let us take away the things of greater value to redeem the losse of things of [...]esse worth.Mat. 10.37. & 16.25. Hee that hateth not his father and mother for my sake is not worthy of me. He that seeketh to save his soule shall lose it. This dignity of vertue do the Philosophers most of all urge, but coldly, because they are destitute of true ver­tues.4 A good consci­ence. A good conscience; which is not really and truly but in the godly, who per­fectly know that God is at peace with them by and through Christ the Mediator: Now if God be favourable and gracious unto us, we cannot but enjoy tranquilli­ty and quietnesse of mind. The Philosophers comfort not theirs on this manner: for the Philosopher being once afflicted, thinketh, Why doth not good fortune follow a good conscience? and therefore he murmureth against God, and fretteth, as did Cato and others.5 The finall cau­ses or their affli­ctions. 1 Cor. 2.32, Act. 5.41. The finall causes; which are, 1. Gods glory, which shineth in our delivery. 2. Our salvation; for, We are chastened of the Lord, because we should not be condemned with the world. 3. The conversion of others, and the enlarging of the Church. For this cause the Apostles rejoyced that they were counted worthy to suffer re­buke for Christs name; namely the conversion of others, and strengthening of many in the faith. The Philosophers say, It is a good end for which thou sufferest, that thou maist save thy Country, and attain unto everlasting renown and glory: But yet in the mean season, wretched man he thinketh, What will these things profit me when my selfe perish?6 The comparing of ends & [...]ents. The conference and comparing together of events: It is better for a short time to be chastised of the Lord, then to live in plenty and abun­dance of all things, and to be pulled from God, and to run into everlasting per­dition. The Philosophers conferring and comparing evils together, find but little good arising out of so many evils: but the principall good, for the obtaining where­of we ought to suffer whatsoever evils, they are wholly ignorant of.7 The hope of recompence. Mat. 5 12. The hope of recompence or reward in this and another life: Your reward is great in heaven. Wee know that there remaine other blessings for us after this life, nothing to be com­pared with the moment any afflictions of this present world: Even in this life also the god [...]y receive greater blessings then other men; for they have God pacified and pleased with them, and other spirituall gifts. Corporall blessings, though they be small,Mar. 10. [...]9, 30. yet are they profitable for their salvation: There is no man that hath for sa­ken house, or &c. but he shall receive an hundred fold now at this present, and in the world to come eternall life. Psal. 37.17. Rom. 5.3. John 15.20. Phil. 2.5. 2 Cor. 8.9. A small thing that the righteous hath is better then great riches of the ungodly. We rejoyce in affections, &c. A recompence in small evils doth in some sort comfort the Philosophers, but in great evils not at all: because they think that they had rather want that recompence then buy it so dear; because it is but un­certain, small, and transitory.8 The example of Christ and his Saints, who have suffered before us. The example of Christ and his saints: The servant is not greater then his Master. And God will have us to be made like to the image of [Page 107]his Son. Let us accompany therefore Christ in ignominy and glory. This the thank­fulnesse which we owe requireth, because Christ died for our salvation. Holy and godly Martyrs have suffered, and have not perished in afflictions. Wee are not to challenge any peculiar estate unto our selves, or better then theirs, sith that we are not better then they, but much worse. They have endured the crosse, and have been preserved by God amidst their afflictions; let us then expect the like event, because the love of God towards his is immutable, and knoweth no change.Matth. 5.12. 1 Pet. 5.9. So did they per­secute the prophets which have been before you. Resist, stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren which are in the world. 9 The certaine presence & assi­stance of God. The presence and assistance of God in afflictions; God is present with us by his Spirit, strengthening us, and comforting us in our crosse, not suffering us to be tempted above that wee are able, but even giving the issue with the tentation, and alwaies poising in equall balance and proportion the affliction and our power, that thereby wee may be able to endure unto the end. We have the first fruits of the Spirit. Rom. 8.23. Psal. 91.15. Joh. 14.16, 18, 23. Isa. 49.15. I am with him in tribu­lation. He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. I and my Father will come unto him, and dwell with him. I will not leave you comfortlesse. Can a wo­man forget her childe, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Though she should forget, yet will I not forget thee. 10 The finall and full delivery. The finall and full delivery is the period of all the rest. The first is the ground and principall, but this is the end and consummation: for as of punishments, so also of delivery, there are three degrees; 1. In this life, where we have the beginning of eternall life. 2. In our bodily death, when the soul of poor Lazarus is carried into Abrahams bosome. 3. In the resurrection of the dead, and their glorification after the resurrection, when we shall be both in body and soul perfectly blessed: Then shall God wipe away all tears from their eyes. Wherefore, as the first con­solation is the foundation and beginning; so this last is the finishing and accom­plishment of all the rest.

THE SECOND PART. OF MANS DELIVERY.

ON THE 5. SABBATH.Quest. 12. Seeing then by the just judgement of God, we are subject both to tempo­rall and eternall punishments; is there yet any means or way remaining, whereby we may be delivered from these punishments, and be reconciled to God?

Ans. God will have his justice satisfied:Gen. 3.37. Exod. 20.5. & 23.7. Ezek. 18.4. Matth. 5.26. 2 Thess. 1.6. Luke 16, 2. Rom. 8.3. wherefore it is necessary, that we satisfie either by our selves, or by another.

The Explication.

AFter it hath been shewed in the first Part, that men are become obno­xious unto everlasting pains and punishments, by reason of obedience not yeelded unto the Law, a question by and by ariseth, Whether there is, or may be granted any escape or delivery from these punishments? To this question the Catechism maketh answer, that delivery is granted, so that perfect satisfaction be made unto the law and justice of God by sufficient punishment paid for the sins committed: for the law bindeth either to obedience, or, that being not performed, to punishment: the performance of both which is perfect righteous­nesse and justice: and on both followeth the approbation and allowing of him, in whom that righteousnesse is. Now the means and manner of satisfaction by pu­nishments [Page 108]are two: One by our selves, which the law teacheth, and the justice of God requireth;Legall satisfacti­on. Galat. 3.10. Evangelicall sa­tisfaction. Rom. 8.3. John 3.16. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, &c. this is legall. The o­ther means of satisfying is by another; which the Gospel revealeth, and Gods mer­cy admitteth: That that was impossible to the law, God sending his own Son, &c. So God loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, &c. this is evangelicall satisfaction. Indeed in the law it is not taught, but it is no where therein disallowed or exclu­ded, neither is it repugnant to the justice of God: For so there be satisfaction per­formed by man through a sufficient punishment for the disobedience of man, the law resteth contented, and the justice of God permitteth that the party offendant be absolved, and received into favour: This is the summe of all. Furthermore, by this question of the Catechism here propounded, two things are taught concerning mans delivery: 1. That delivery is possible. 2. By what means it may be atchieved. That these may be more fully understood, we are to consider:

  • 1. What mans delivery is, and in what things it consisteth.
  • 2. Whether any such delivery be possible, or might be wrought after the fall.
  • 3. Whether it be necessary and certain.
  • 4. Whether wee may expect that it be per­fect.
  • 5. By what means it may be wrought.
1. What mans delivery is, and wherein it consisteth.

THis word Delivery is respective: For all delivery and liberty hath a re­spect of the thing from which it exempteth, and of the thing into which it freeth or delivereth: as, delivery from captivity and bondage, into liberty and freedome, respecteth captivity, whence it absolveth; and liberty, whereof it gives us possession. Now men are by nature the slaves of sin, Sathan, and death. We can therefore no way better conceive and un­derstand what mans delivery is,Heb 2.14. 2 Tim. 2.26. then by a serious meditation and examination what his misery is. Mans misery consisteth, 1. In his losse of righteousnesse, and his inbred cor­ruption, to wit, sin. 2. In the punishments of sin. His delivery therefore from this mi­sery requireth, 1. A perfect pardoning and abolishment of sin, with a renuing in us the righteousnesse we have lost. 2. An immunity from all penalties and miseries, which are the wages of sin. As then there are two parts of mans misery, I mean, Sin and Death: So there are on the other side two parts of his delivery, to wit, from sin, and from death. His delivery from sin is both a pardoning of the sin, that it may not for ever be imputed; and an abolishing of it in us by the renewing of our nature, that it reigne not in our mortall body. His delivery from death is first, a delivery from desperation, or the feeling of Gods wrath, which being in the wicked here begun, shall continue everlastingly, and is called everlasting death: and secondly, from all calamities and miseries of this life; and lastly, from temporall and eternall death. Hence it appeareth what, and of what quality mans delivery is;What mans deli­very is. to wit, A perfect acquitall of man, being fallen, from all the misery of sin and death, and a full restoring by Christ of righteousnesse, holinesse, life, and everlasting felicity or perfect blessednesse; which in all true beleevers is begun here in this life, and shall be perfected in the life to come.

2. Whether any such delivery be possible; that is, might be wrought after the fall.

THis question is necessary: for if there be no delivery of us out of misery, in vain make we question of the rest. Again, there is some cause to doubt thereof, to them especially unto whom the doctrine of the Gospel is unknown. The deli­very therefore of man,Three causes of the possiblenesse of mans delivery. being fallen, is possible; and the causes of the possiblenesse thereof are in God alone, declared in the Scripture, which are these:1 Gods goodness. Gods im­measurable goodnesse and mercy, which would not suffer all mankind to perish for e­ver.2 Gods wisdome. Gods infinite wisdom, whereby he was able to find out such a way of delivery, [Page 109]whereby he might shew his exceeding mercy towards mankinde, and yet no whit impeach his justice.3 Gods omnipo­tency. Gods omnipotency, whereby as he had power to create man of nothing after his owne image; so he had equall ability to restore him after his fal, and free him from sin and death. To deny then the possibility of mans deli­very, is to spoile God of infinite wisdome, goodnesse, and omnipotency; whereas verily in him there is no defect at al of wise counsell, immeasurable goodnesse, and infinite power, as it is said; The Lord bringeth downe to the grave, and raiseth up. 1. Sam. 2.6. Psal. 68.20. Esay 59.1. To the Lord God belong the issues of death. The Lords hand is not shortned.

But the question is moved especially concerning us, Whence we know this delive­ry to be possible; and, whether mans reason, without the word of God, may attaine unto the knowledge thereof; and, whether Adam after his fall could have a perfect knowledge and assured hope of the same. Answ. That our delivery was possible,Humane reason how it might know, or not know ought tou­ching our delive­rie. is now evident by the event and accomplishment thereof, and we know it by the Gospel or divine reve­lation: But humane reason knoweth no one tittle or jot of this delivery, or the manner whereby it was effected although probably it may be conjectured, that in humane reason it was not simply impossible; whereas there is no likelihood at all, 1. That so glorious and excellent a creature should be framed to eternall misery: or, 2. That God should authorise such a law, as could never be fulfilled. Which two arguments of mans brain are in themselves powerful and invincible: but mans reason, through her corrupt and weak judgment, giveth no credit to so apparent a truth, neither as­senteth unto it, without the promise and grace of the holy Ghost; that is, is not a­ble out of these two axiomes and principles certainly and necessarily to infer, that he knoweth and hopeth for his deliverance out of paine and misery. As then they who are sequestred from the Church, and are ignorant of the Gospel, can have no knowledge or hope of delivery: so Adam after his fall, by the meere instinct and conduct of naturall reason, without Gods especiall revelation, and peculiar pro­mise, could not possibly have intelligence or confidence thereof. For, sin being once committed, nothing could be conversant in his mind and understanding, nothing obvious to his eyes, but the severe and exact justice of God, which suffereth not sin to escape unpunished, and Gods unchangeable truth, which had pronounced,Genes. 2.19. In what day soever thou eatest thereof, thou shalt die the death. Adam well perceived, that this Gods justice and truth must needs be satisfied with the perpetuall ruine and de­struction of the transgressor; and therefore out of this contemplation and conside­ration could collect no hold or hope of liberty. He might indeed probably gather, that a delivery might be compassed, if by any meanes this Gods justice and truth might be satisfied; but he could neither hope for it, nor conceive what manner of delivery it should be, or by whom it should be performed. Nay, the very Angels themselves could not at any time have complotted or devised the means whereby this delivery might be wrought, had not God of his unmeasurable wisdome and goodnesse invented it himselfe, and revealed it unto men by his Gospel. But some man may except and say; If delivery seemed impossible unto Adam, by reason of Gods justice and truth, then now also it may seeme impossible: (For Gods truth and justice may no more be impeached now, then heretofore) But a sinners recovery and escaping out of punish­ment and misery would impeach the justice and truth of God. Ans. The escaping of a sin­ner should impeach the justice and truth of God indeed, if it hapned without suf­ficient satisfaction mediating for the offence.How Adam after his fall might not despaire of, and how he could not assuredly hope for delivery, before by speciall revela­tion he was assu­red of the pro­mise. This resolution unto the objection proposed, if Adam saw, he had good ground why he should not simply despaire of delivery, especially if withall he considered the nature of God, that is, his unlimi­ted bounty, wisdome, and power, and if he uprightly weighed the end of mans cre­ation; that it was not meet that so gracious & good a God, so wise, & so mighty, should make so excellent a creature as man, to sustain perpetuall misery: or, that he should deliver such a Law to man, as could never perfectly be performed by him: yet on this could he ground no constant perswasion or immoveable hope; because, as hath been said, before the publishing of the Gospel, neither he, nor any creature was able, or should for ever have been able of himselfe to perceive, or so much as imagine unto himselfe a maner of escaping punishment not repugnant to [Page 110]the justice of God, except God had declared and revealed the same by his Son. The summe of all is this: Man being fallen, could hope for no delivery from sin and death, before the joyfull and gladsome promise of the seed of the woman, which should crush and break in peeces the head of the Serpent: yet neither ought hee hereupon, neither indeed simply could he despaire thereof, as of a thing impossible. For, howsoever he could not conceive any necessary ground or reason, whereby he might infallibly infer and conclude his future delivery; neither yet could under­stand the manner and meanes of making satisfaction; nevertheless in consequent it is, that, If no creature could invent it, then neither could God devise it. It behoved him therefore to depend and rely on Gods profound wisedome, exceeding goodnesse, and mighty power; and not in any case despaire hereof, though indeed all things seemed to solicite and to provoke him to despairation. Notwithstanding, except the voice of the Gospel had also sounded in his eares, nothing could have sufficiently comforted and sustained him against the Divels temptations: But when once the sweet promise sounded in his eares, then he understood the meanes of satisfaction by Christ; and then he might not only wax confident of his delivery, but by ver­tue thereof resolve all doubts to the contrary, such as are these here following: Argum [...]nts a­gainst the possibi­lity of mans delivery.Object. 1. The justice of God suffereth not those to escape unpunished: who deserve eter­nall damnation. But we have deserved eternall damnation: Therefore in regard of Gods justice, our delivery is impossible. Ans. Adam saw an answer to the Major of this Syl­logisme; namely, That the justice of God absolveth not, neither dismisseth unpu­nished those that deserve everlasting damnation, except there be interposed a full and perfect satisfaction by condigne punishment of the offence. Object 2. When that is not executed which the justice of God requireth, and his truth menaceth, they are both impeached. But if man escape out of misery, that is not executed which the justice of God requireth, and his truth menaceth, to wit, due punishment, and ever­lasting death is not inflicted: Therefore mans escape and wading out of misery cannot be without the impeaching of both; which impeachment is impossible. Answ. Here againe Adam perceived that the Minor was only true, if no punishment at all were in­flicted either on the sinner himselfe, or on some other, who offered himselfe to sustaine the penalty in the sinners place. Now knowing thus much, he had also fur­ther learned out of Gods promise, that in mans behalfe, Christ, the seed of the woman, should breake the head of the Serpent. Object. 3. What the unchangeable truth and justice of God requireth, that is necessary and unchangeable. But the unchangeable justice and truth of God requireth the casting a­way of a sinner into everlasting paines: Therefore the casting away and perdition of a sinner is necessary and unchangeable. Ans. He discerned here also what might be answered to the imperfection of the Major, namely, that that is unchangeable which the ju­stice of God requireth, to wit, simply, and without all condition; not that which is re­quired with condition, and by way of exchange in this sort, that either there be a casting away of the sinner into everlasting punishments, or a satisfaction made by Christ. Object. 4. Whence we have no ability to come out, all delivery thence is impossible: But to shake off sin and death, and come out of them we have no ability: Therefore this escape is impossible. Ans. Here also he descrieth the falshood of the Major, that the escape is indeed impossible, unless God know the meanes, and lay open the way of escape­ing out of these evils, which in it selfe to humane reason, and to all creatures is ut­terly unknowne, and impossible to be found out. These and the like darts of Sa­than, Adam had learned by the promise of the Gospel to ward and shiver in pie­ces. But we at this day far more clearly see and perceive the vertue and efficacy of these solutions, then heretofore Adam could; whereas we out of the Gospel, and by the event and accomplishment thereof, and by the sense and feeling of our pri­vate consciences, have an infallible knowledge, that the delivery of man is possible, and should one day be performed, as Adam saw, but that it is already finished and atchieved by Christ. Mans delivery therefore now is, and alwayes was possible unto God.

3. Whether delivery be necessary and certaine.

ALthough God was not bound at all to deliver man out of his thraldome of misery, but it remained free unto him to relinquish and leave all men in the power of death, and save none; (For, Who hath given unto him first, Rom. 11.35. and he shall be re­compenced?) yet we may well say, that Mans delivery was, and now is necessary, not by any absolute necessity, but by such as is called necessity by supposition, that is, with sup­posall of some speciall condition it was alwaies necessary:1 The necessity of mans delivery not absolute, but depending on the unchangeable wil & decree of God. Exod. 33.11. Because God hath most freely and unchangeably decreed and promised this delivery published; and impossible it is that he should lie, or be deceived: As I live, I desire not the death of a sinner, but that the wicked turne from his way, and live. 2 From the end of the Creation. Ephes. 1.6. Psal. 86.46. Because God in the begin­ning created man, that he might for ever be magnified of him: He hath made us to the praise of the glory of his grace. And, Hast thou made all men for nought? 3 From the end of sending his Son into the world. John 6.39, 40. Mat. 9.13. Mat. 18.11. Rom. 4.25. Gal. 2.21. Because God did not in vain send his Son into the world, neither did Christ die to no pur­pose: I came downe from heaven to do his will that sent me. And this is the Fathers will which sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing. I am come to call sinners to repentance. The Son of man is come to save that which was lost. He died for our sins, and is risen again for our justification. If righteousnesse be by the Law, then Christ died without a cause. 4 From the sta­ture of God. Because God more enclineth to the exercising and setting forth of his mercy, then of his anger. But he sheweth his anger in punishing the wicked: therefore much more will he shew his mercy in saving the godly.

4. Whether we may expect and hope for perfect delivery.

How our delive­ry is perfect.THe delivery and setting of man at liberty is in this life complete and perfect, but as by a beginning onely, and in some measure or degree: in the next it shall be perfect by a finall consummation, and in all competent degrees. Our delivery is now per­fect, but as concerning the parts thereof from both evils, both of crime and paine; that is, all the parts of obedience are begun in the redeemed or beleever, so that as long as we live here, it is daily augmented by new accessions and increasing: but then it shall be perfect also in degrees, when all teares shall be wiped from our eyes, the perfect Image of God renewed in us, and God shall be all in all; that is, shall immediatly blesse us with exceeding happinesse, so that nothing shall remain in us repugnant to God, but whatsoever shall be in us, that shall be of God. This is proved: 1. Because God is not a deliverer in part only, but saveth and loveth per­fectly those whom he saveth.1 John 17. The bloud of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sinne: to wit, as touching both the formall parts thereof, the guilt and the corruption of sinne. 2. Because he will perfectly punish the wicked, that they may exactly satisfie his ju­stice by their punishments: Therefore will he likewise perfectly deliver the god­ly from punishment, because hee is more inclined and propense to mercy, then to anger: For Christs benefit is not imperfecter, or of lesse force then the sin of A­dam; which it would be, if he did not perfectly deliver: because we have all lost all our righteousness, salvation, and blessedness in Adam. We must therefore expect and look for perfect delivery, but by degrees, as hath been declared: namely, in this life perfect; in the resurrection more perfect; and in our glorification most perfect.

5. By what meanes delivery may be wrought.

Two necessary meanes of our delivery.THis our delivery may be wrought and accomplished:1 Satisfaction. By a full and sufficient satisfaction for our offence committed; that is, by eternall punishment, or such a temporall punishment, as is correspondent and equivalent with eternall.2 Regeneration. By a purging, and abolishment of sinne in us, and a renewing of our nature, that is, a restoring of the righteousnesse we have lost, and new fashioning of the Image of God in us, or a perfect regeneration of our corrupt nature: both these are necessary for our delivery. 1. Satisfaction is necessary, Why satisfaction is necessary. because the mercy of God (as heretofore hath [Page 112]been shewed) overthroweth not his justice, which must be satisfied; and the Law bindeth us either to obedience or punishment. Now by obedience satisfaction cannot be made, because our precedent obedience is already impaired by the fall, and our o­bedience (were it any) which hath followed since the fall, cannot satisfie for the former offence, whereas man is every moment obliged thereunto, as to a present debt. Therefore obedience being once defective, there remaineth, according to the com­mination, If thou shalt eate thereof, thou shalt die the death, no other satisfaction, but by enduring punishment; which punishment being once sufficiently payd, God is re­conciled with the offendor, and delivery may follow thereon. 2. The cleansing from sinne, Why regenerati­on is necessary. and renewing of our nature is likewise required: For God will on that condition accept of this satisfaction, and for it pardon our sin, so that we leave off to offend him hereafter through our sins, and be thankful unto him for our reconciliation. For to be willing to be received into Gods favour, and yet not to be willing to cease from sinning, is to mock God. But we cannot cease from sinning, unless our nature be renewed. Thus then mans delivery is possible to be effected, to wit, if such a satisfaction be made, whereby condigne punishment and equall to the fault is suffered, and which no after-slip and offence annihilate or make void.

Quest. 13. Are wee able to satisfie by our selves?

Answ. Not a whit. Nay rather we do every day encrease our debt?John 9.1. and 15.16. Psal. 130 3. Mat. 6.12. & 16.26. & 18.25..

The Explication.

SIth it is out of doubt that the meanes of our delivery consist­eth in the satisfaction and cleansing of our sin; it is further de­manded, by whom this satisfaction and cleansing of sin may be performed; whether by us, or by some other; and if by some other, whether by any meere creature; and if by no meere creature, by what then, and what kinde of Mediatour. To the first of these in­terrogatories answer is made in this thirteenth Question: to the other two which follow, in the fourteenth and fif­teenth Questions of the Catechisme.

Two causes why we can make no satisfaction by o­bedience. Satisfaction cannot be performed of us and by us, neither by obedience nor by pun­ishment. Not by obedience; 1. Because what good soever we do, by vertue of present bond and obligation we owe it unto God. By it therefore we cannot satisfie for our former faults. For we can deserve nothing at Gods hands for the present, much lesse for time to come: neither can a double merit for the time both present and to come issue out of one satisfaction. 2. In the Catechisme a more familiar reason is yeeld­ed, Because we dayly heap up offences and debts. For we sin uncessantly, and by sinning heap up and increase our guilt, and Gods wrath. Now he who goeth on still in of­fending, never appeaseth the party offended; as the debtor never riddeth himselfe out of debt, who without any acquittance of ancient Bils, entreth daily new bonds and covenants. Neither yet can we satisfie by our punishments, We can make no satisfaction by suf­ficient punish­ment. because our of­fence being infinite, deserveth infinite punishment, that is, eternall; or if temporall, yet answe­ring in equality to eternall. For al sin is an offence against the infinite good, and me­riteth everlasting damnation, or at least such a temporal condemnation, as yet is equal to eternal. Eternal punishment we cannot sustaine; because then we should ne­vet be delivered or recovered thence.Not by eternall punishment. We should indeed be alwaies satisfying Gods justice, but it could never be said that we had satisfied; our satisfaction would never be perfect, we should never returne with conquest of sin & death, but our satisfa­ction continuing still unperfect, should be prorogued to all eternity: which satisfa­ction is such as is the punishment of the Devils and reprobate men, which never shal have end.Not by temporal. Now for a temporal punishment, which should be answerable & equal to e­ternal, such as is required to the intent that the satisfaction may prove a victory over [Page 113]and a quelling and suppressing thereof, there is no creature (as shortly shall be pro­ved) by reason of manifold imperfection, who can perform it. Sith then wee are not able by our selves, if we covet our delivery, we must needs make satisfaction by another. Hence we easily deduce an answer to this objection: Ob. We never sa­tisfie the law, neither by obedience, neither yet by punishment: Therefore this manner of de­livery by satisfaction is vain and imaginary. Answ. It is no way frivolous: because though we be not able to satisfie by obedience, yet we are by paying the full pe­nalty, not in our own person, but in the person of Christ, who amply satisfied the law, both by obedience, and by punishment. Repl. 1. The law requireth Our obedi­ence or punishment, because it is written; Hee which doth these things, shall live by them. Cursed is hee who continueth not in all. Answ. Gal. 3.10. Verily the law requireth our obedi­ence, or our punishment, but not exclusively: to wit, so, that it doth not admit it to be performed by another for us: for it no where excludeth or disalloweth anothers satisfaction on our behalfe, albeit it teach not, or know not the same. But this the Gospel revealeth, and pointeth it out unto us in Christ. Repl. 2. That another should be punished for offenders, is unjust: Therefore Christ could not undergoe our punish­ment. Ans. That another should be punished for offenders, is not disagreeing with Gods justice, if these conditions concurre withall:The conditions to be respected in him who may be punished for ano­ther. 1. If hee who is punished be inno­cent. 2. If he be of the same nature with the offenders. 3. If of his own accord he offer him­selfe to punishment. 4. If of himselfe he be able to recover out of punishment. And this is the cause that men cannot justly punish ones offences in another, because they cannot bring to passe, that the party punished should not perish in the punishment. 5. If hee wish and attain unto that end which Christ respected, even the glory of God, and salvation of men.

Quest. 14. Is there any creature able in heaven or in earth, which is only a crea­ture, to satisfie for us?

Answ. None: For first, God will not punish that sin in any other crea­ture, which man had committedEzek. 18.4. Gen. 3.17.. And further, neither can that which is nothing but a creature, sustain the wrath of God against sin, and deliver others from itNah. 1.6. Psal. 130.3..

The Explication.

THe exclusive particle onely is added to the question, that the negative answer may prove true: For it was behoovefull that a creature should satisfie for the sin of a creature, but not such a one as was meerly or only a creature; because such a one could not satisfie, as hereafter shall appeare. Whereas, when we are to satisfie by another, the question is,1 No other crea­ture but man could satisfie for man. Ezek. 18.20. Whether that other by whom wee must satisfie may be any creature besides man. 2 No meer crea­ture could satisfie for man. And that a meer and bare creature. Both of these is on good reason denyed. The reason of the former is; Because God will not punish that in another creatare which man hath committed: and this he doth according to the inviolable order of his justice. which permitteth not, that one creature offend, and another bear the punishment: The soule that sinneth shall die. This reason demonstrateth, that no creature but man could satisfie for man: that God could not be satisfied for the sin of man, no not by the utter and eternall destruction of heaven and earth, or the Angels themselves, and all creatures else whatsoever. The reason of the latter is; 1. Because the power and vigour of no creature is such, that it may sustain a finite and temporall punishment equivalent to infinite and eternall, due to the infinite crime of man: For sooner should the creature be wasted and consumed to nothing, then it could satisfie God by this means: For God is a consuming fire. If thou shalt mark what is done amisse, Deut. 4.24. Psal. 130.3. Rom. 8.3. O Lord, who may abide it? Because the law was not able to justifie, in as much as it was weak through [Page 114]the flesh, God sent his Son in the similitude of sinfull flesh, &c. This reason proveth, that no creature in the whole frame of nature was able to satisfie God by enduring punishment, that it could it self wade out of the brunt and perill thereof; which e­scape is necessary to the accomplishment of delivery: By reason therefore of the infirmity and weaknesse of the creature, there would not be any just proportion between the punishment and the sin. 2. Because the punishment of a meer creature could not be a price of sufficient worthinesse and value for our redemption. 3. Because a bare creature could not have purged humane nature from the contagion and corruption wherewith it was infected, neither yet could effect, that from henceforth we should sin no more: all which it behooved our Deliverer to perform.

Quest. 15. What manner of Mediatour then and Deliverer must we seek for?

Ans. Such a one verily as is very man1 Cor. 15.21., and perfectly justHeb. 7.26. Isa. 7.14. & 9.6 Jer. 23.6. Luke 11.22., and yet in power above all creatures; that is, who also is very God.

The Explication.

SIth then wee our selves are not able to satisfie God, but have need of some other to become a satisfier and mediatour in our behalfe; the question is, What kind of Mediatour he ought to be that should make satisfa­ction in our stead. For of force and necessity he must be either a creature alone, or God alone, or both in one. A sole creature he may not be, for the causes before discovered and expressed.Meerley God could not satisfie for man. Meerly God he could not be, both 1. Because not God, but man sinned: and also 2. Because it behooved the Mediatour to suffer and die for the sin of man; neither of which are incident to the Deity; so that God can nei­ther suffer, nor die: It remaineth therefore that we stand in need of such a Medi­atour as is both in one, that is to say, which is both God and man. The causes hereof shall be assigned in the questions immediately following.

ON THE 6. SABBATH.Quest. 16. Wherefore is it necessary that he be very man, and perfectly just too?

Ans. Because the justice of God requireth, that the same humane nature which hath sinned, doe it selfe likewise make recompence for sinEze. 18.4, 20. Rom. 3.18. 1 Cor. 15.21. He. 2.14, 15, 16.: but he that is himselfe a sinner cannot make a recompence for othersHeb. 7.26, 27 Psal. 49.7, 8.1 Pet. 3.18..

The Explication.

IT behooved our Mediatour to be 1. man, 2. and indeed very man, 3. and that man also perfectly just.

Our Mediatour must be man. Rom. 5.12. 1 Cor. 15.21. He ought to be Man, 1. Because it was man that sinned; there­fore man must make recompence. As by one man sin entred into the world, and death by sin, and so death, &c. Sith by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. 2. That he might suffer death: for he ought to make satisfaction for us by dying and shedding his bloud;Gen. 2 17. Heb. 9.22. because it was said, Thou shalt die the death. Without shedding of bloud is no remission.

He must be true man. He ought to be True man; that is, descending and springing of mankind which had sinned; not created of nothing, or coming from heaven, but every way subject to all our infirmities, sin only except: 1 1. Because of Gods justice, which requireth that the self same humane nature which had sinned, should pay for those sins: For, The soule which sinneth shall die. Ezek. 18.20. Gen. 2.17. And, In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt die [Page 115]the death. Wherefore true man, of the posterity of Adam which transgressed, ought to pay for men that which was required at their hands. Hitherto tend those say­ings; Since by man came death by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 1 Cor. 15.21. 1 Tim. 2.5. Heb. 2.16, 17. Col. 2.12. There is one God, and one Mediatour between God and man, which is the Man Christ Jesus. He took the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it became him to be made like unto his brethren, &c. Hereof the Apostle also saith, that we are buried with Christ through baptisme, in whom we are also raised up together, &c. And Augustine, in his book of true religion,Aug. lib. de vera Religione. cip. 53. saith, The same nature was to be taken which was to be delivered. 2 2. For the truth of God; who often by the Prophets describeth our Mediat our to be such a man as is poor, weake, contemptible: And of Isaiah especially is he described to be such a one. 3 3. For our comfort; for except we knew him to have come out of Adams loyns, and sprung of his bloud, we should never be able to resolve that he is the promised Messias and Saviour, and our naturall brother. For it is registred in Scripture, that The seed of the woman should break the head of the serpent. Gen. 2.15. Gen. 22.18. In thy seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed. Whence the Apostle teacheth, that Hee that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified are all of one; (that is, of the same humane nature) wherefore he is not ashamed to call them brethren. Now therefore that he might be our brother, it was re­quisite that he should be born of Adam: For,Heb. 2.14. Forasmuch as the children were parta­kers of flesh and bloud, he also himselfe likewise took part with them, &c. 4 4. That he might be a faithfull high Priest, and might help and relieve our infirmities. For,Heb. 2.17, 18. It be­came him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a mercifull and a faithfull high Priest in things concerning God, that he might make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he suffered and was tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

He must be per­fectly just. It is necessary that he be a man perfectly just; that is, defiled with no spot of originall or actuall sin, that he might worthily be our Saviour, and his passion and sacrifice be a ransome not for himself, but for us: for had he himself been a sinner, he must have satisfied for his own sins. Hence the Scripture testifieth of him;Isa. 53.11. 1 Pet. 2.22. 1 Pet. 3.18. My righteous servant shall justifie many. Who did no sin, neither &c. Christ hath once suffered for sin, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. Yea, if the Mediatour him­selfe had been subject to any sin, he should not have been able to have avoyded the wrath of God, much lesse to have merited for others freedome from punishment, and the favour of God: neither could his passion and death, who had not suffered as an innocent, have been the price and ransome of others sins. Therefore God made him to be sin for us (that is, to be a sacrifice for sin) which knew no sin, 2 Cor. 5.21. that were should be made the righteousnesse of God in him. For such an high Priest it became us to have, Heb. 7.26, 27. which is holy harmlesse, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher then the heavens; which needeth not daily, as those high Priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the peoples. Now four manner of wayes was the man Christ perfectly just,Christ said to be perfectly just four wayes. or hath perfectly fulfilled the law. 1 1. By his own righteousnesse; For Christ alone per­formed perfect obedience, such as the law requireth. 2 2. By paying sufficient punish­ment for our sins. It was necessary that this double fulfilling of the law should be in Christ: for had not his righteousnesse been full and perfect, hee could not have satisfied for the offence of others. And except his suffering of punishment had been sufficient, we by it should never have been delivered from everlasting punish­ment. The former of these is called, The fulfilling of the law by obedience, whereby himself was conformable in all points to the law: The latter is termed, The fulfil­ling of the law by punishment; to wit, which he suffered for us, lest we should remaine subject unto everlasting death. 3 3. He doth fulfill the law in us by his Spirit, when as he regenerateth us by the same Spirit, and by the law traineth us to obedience both outward and inward, which the law challengeth of us, and wee begin it in this life, but shall perform it wholly and fully in the life to come. 4 4. Christ ful­filleth the law, by teaching it, and purging it from errours and corruptions, and by resto­ring the true sense, doctrine and understanding thereof: as it is said;Matt. 5.17. I came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. For (as it appeareth by the Evangelist Saint Matthew) the Scribes and Pharisees had so corrupted the spirituall meaning of the law, [Page 116]wholly restraining it to bodily actions, that Christ was enforced thereby to give the right sense of many places thereof, and so by the light of the truth to scatter the mist of their corruptions.

Quest. 17. Why must he also be very God?

Answ. That he might by his God-headIsa. 9. & 63.3. sustain in his fleshIsa. 53.4, 11. the bur­den of Gods wrathDeut. 4.24. Nahum 1.9. Psal. 130.3., and might recover and restore unto us that righteousnesse and life which we lostIsa. 53.5, 10..

The Explication.

IT was requisite that our Mediatour should be not only man, Our Mediatour must be true God. and that true and very man, and that man perfectly just; but be­sides all this, that he should be God also; and that a true and mighty God, not an imaginary, and only adorned with excel­lent gifts above all the angels and saints, as hereticks decipher him. The reasons hereof are these which follow: 1 Because of the grievousness of the punishment hee was to endure. That by the power of his divinity hee might sustain in his flesh the infinite wrath and indignation of God against sin, and endure such a punish­ment, as in durance should indeed be temporall, but infinite in weight, worth, and value. For certainly he had been brought to nothing by reason of infirmity, whosoever, being but meer man, had adventured to undertake the huge heap and heavie burthen of Gods indignation. It was therefore behoovefull that our Mediator should be of in­finite strength, and so to be God, who should suffer, without falling into despair, or being brought unto nothing,Which punish­ment was of infi­nite value. so unmeasurable punishment. Now it was necessary that the punishment of the Mediator should be of infinite value, and equivalent to eternall, that there might be a proportion betwixt the sin and the punishment thereof. For there is no one sin amongst all the sins committed from the beginning of the world to the end thereof so little, as that it deserveth not everlasting death: they are all so exceeding evill, that they cannot be expiated and done away by the endlesse destruction of any creature. Notwithstanding this punishment ought to be finite in respect of time; because it behooved our Mediatour not to be shut up in death for ever, but to wrest himself out of the power thereof, to the intent that he might accomplish the benefit of our redemption; that is to say, that he might me­rit perfectly for us our redemption; and now, when it was perfectly merited, apply it, or bestow it upon us by his forcible working, and effectually save us. For it be­came our Mediator to perform both; namely, to merit first, and then to bestow righ­teousnesse, that thence he might prove a perfect Saviour as well in efficacie and fruit, as in merit and desert. These things could not have been done by a meer man, who, of whatsoever strength he be, cannot by his own force or power wrestle out of the hands of death. Wherefore it was requisite, that he which was to save others from death, should by his power overcome death, and first depell it and shake it off from himself; which thing he could not accomplish except he were God.

2 Because of the worth of the ran­some he was to pay. It was needfull that the price or ransome which our Mediatour paid should be of in­finite value, that it might be a sufficient and full worthy ransome for the redemption of our souls; that is, that it might be reputed sufficient in Gods judgment for the purging and putting away of our sins, and for the repairing of that righteousnesse and life which wee had lost. Therefore it became the person also that should pay this price to be of infinite worthinesse, to wit, very God. For the worth of this price, for which it is acceptable unto God, and is of infinite estimate, though it were but temporall,Which worth consisted 1. In the worthiness of the person paying. consisteth in two things: 1. In the worthinesse of the person paying it. 2. In the grievousnesse and extremity of the penalty endured. The worthinesse of the person. Herein appeareth, that the person which suffered is God, himselfe the Creator [Page 117]of all things. For that he should die for the sins of the world is infinitely more then the death and destruction of all creatures, and is at higher rate and reckoning then the conformity or correspondence of all the Angels and holy men with God. Wherefore the Apostles when they speak of Christs passion, ever almost make men­tion of his God-head: God hath purchased the Church with his bloud. Acts 20.28. 1 John 1.7. John 1.26. Gen. 3.15. The bloud of Je­sus Christ cleanseth us from all sin. Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world. Yea, God himself in Paradise joyneth these two; The seed of the woman shall break thine head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. In the grievous­nesse of the pu­nishment. Psal. 18.4. Deut. 4.24. Isa. 5.36. The grievousnesse of the punishment was, that Christ sustained the dreadfull torments of hell, and the heavie wrath of God against the sins of the whole world: The pains of hell came about me. God is a consuming fi [...]e. The Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all. Whence it is under­stood why Christ did so greatly tremble at death, whereas many Martyrs have without fear or trembling offered their throats to the persecuters. Ob. The perfect fulfilling of the law by obedience might have been a satisfaction for our sins: But a meer man, so be were absolutely just might by his obedience have perfectly fulfilled the law: There­fore meer man, being perfectly just, might sat is fie for our sins; and by force of consequent, it was not necessary that our Mediatour should be God. Answ. 1. The Major is false, be­cause, as hath before been shewed, obedience being once forsaken and shaken off, Gods justice could not be satisfied for our offence, but only by sufficient and due punishment, in regard of his commination once uttered;Gen. 2.17. In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt die the death. Ans. 2. Though we grant the Minor, that forsooth, a meer man by his obedience might perfectly fulfill the law; yet this obedience could not have been a price for anothers debt, since every man is bound to perform the same. It was required therefore that our Mediatour should pay a sufficient punishment for us, and in regard hereof, be armed with the power of the God-head: for the di­vels themselves are not able to sustain the weight of Gods wrath against sin▪ much lesse should man be able to do it. Repl. But all the divels and wicked men bear and sustain, and are constrained to bear and sustain the everlasting wrath of God. Ans. They indeed bear the immeasurable wrath of God,Wicked men and divels satisfie in never satisfying. but so that they never satisfie Gods justice, neither recover out of punishment; for their punishment is extended to all eternity. But it beseemed the Mediatour so to bear the burthen of Gods wrath, that after he had satisfied for our sins, he might shake off that burthen, and take it away both from himself and from us.

3 Because of revea­ling Gods will unto us. Our Mediatour must be God, That he might reveal and make known unto us the secret will of God concerning the redemption of mankind, whereof except he were God, he could have no knowledge. For no creature could at any time have searched out the bot­tomlesse depth thereof, and conceived so intricate a mystery, had not the Son of God displayed, and laid it open unto us. No man hath seen God at any time: John 1.18. the onely begotten Son which is in the bosome of the Father, he hath declared him.

4 Because of giving the Spirit. Our Mediatour must be God, That he may give the holy Ghost, by whom he may gather in one his Church, be present with it in the world, and bestow on us, maintain and per­fect in us the benefits purchased by his death; remission of sins, righteousnesse, new o­bedience, and life everlasting. For it is not sufficient for our Mediatour to be made a sacrifice for us, to break the bonds of death, and make intercession with God for us: but it is necessary also that he promise on our behalf that we shall imbrace the decree concerning our redemption by our Mediatour, and cease at length to offend God through our sins; which is the other part of the Covenant made be­tween God and us, and is performed by us, that the Covenant may remain firme and ratified: But this, by reason of our corruption, could be promised of no man in our behalfe, except he have the power also of giving the holy Ghost, by whom he might work in us to assent, and to be more and more conformed to the image of God. Now to give the holy Ghost, and by him to regenerate our hearts, and work forcibly in us faith, conversion, and salvation, belongeth to God alone, whose also is the Spirit; Whom I will send you from the Father. John 15.26. For only the Lord of nature is able to reforme nature.

5 Jerem. 23.6. Lastly, it behooved the Messias to be the Lord our righteousnesse. Object.The [Page 118] party offended cannot be Mediatour: Christ is the Mediatour: Therefore he cannot be the party offended, that is, God. Ans. The Major proposition is true, if the party offended be such a one, as in whom there are not more persons: But a most cleer testimo­ny, whereby are taught in few words those three former, to wit, that the mediatour is both true man, Acts 20.28. and perfectly just, and true God, is extant, when it is said, God hath pur­chased the Church with his bloud: for he is true man, who sheddeth his own bloud: Hee is perfectly just, who sheddeth it for the redemption of others: Hee is true God, to whom both the name and properties of true God are given, which is, to be a Redeemer both by his merit, and also by his efficacy and power, and that, of the Church, that is, the elect and chosen.

Quest. 18. And who is that Mediatour which is together both very God 1 Joh. 5.20. Rom. 9.5. Gal. 4.4. Isa 9.6. Jer. 23.6. Mal. 3.1., and a very Luke 1.24. & 2.6, 7. Rom. 1.3. & 9.5. Phil. 2.7. Heb. 2.14, 16, 17. & 4.15. perfectly just man Isa. 53.9, 11. Jer. 23.5. Luke 1.35. Joh. 8.46. Heb. 4.15. & 7.26. 1 Pet. 1.19. & 2.22. & 3.18.?

Ans. Even our Lord Jesus Christ1 Tim. 2.5. & 3.16. Ma [...]th. 1.23. Heb. 2.9. Luke 2.11., who is made to us of God wisdome, righteousnesse, sanctification, and redemption1 Cor. 1.30..

The Explication.

WHat kind of Mediatour is necessary for us hath already been de­clared.The Mediatour was to be God; yet not the Father, nor the H. Ghost, but the Son only. Eight reasons hereof. Now the question is of the person who is such a Media­tour. This Mediatour therefore is Jesus Christ alone, the Sonne of God manifested in the flesh; which position is proved by these reasons: 1 1. Our Mediatour must be true God, as heretofore hath been evidently shewed: But God the Father could not be Me­diatour, because he worketh not by himsefe and immediatly, but mediatly by the Son and the holy Ghost. Neither is he the messenger; because he is sent of none, but he sendeth the Mediatour. Neither yet could God the holy Ghost be Mediatour; because he was to be sent of the Mediatour into the hearts of the elect: therefore necessarily the Son, and he only was to be our Mediator. 2 2. That which our Mediatour should impart unto us, he must needs first have it himself: But it belonged unto him to confer and bestow on us the right and title of the sons of God whence we were fallen; that is, to work that through him we might be a­dopted of God to be his sons, because this was in his power alone, sith he alone had the sole claim and interest herein: For the holy Ghost had it not, because he is not the Son; neither had God the Father it, because he also is not the Son, and was to adopt us by his Son to be his sons: The Word therefore only, which is that naturall Son of God, is our Mediatour, in whom, as in the first begotten of God, we are a­dopted to be the sons of God;John S. 36. John 1.12. as it is said, If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. As many as received him, to them he gave power to become the sons of God. Who hath predestinate to be adopted through Jesus Christ unto himselfe: Ephes. 1.5, 6. With his grace he hath made us accepted in his beloved. 3 3. The Son alone is the Word, his Fathers embassador and delegate, and that person which is sent unto mankind, by whom the Father o­peneth his will, by whom he worketh, and giveth his holy Spirit, by whom also is made the second creation; for by the Son we are made new creatures. There­fore the Scripture joyneth every where the first creation with the second,John 1.3.2 Cor. 5.17. Gal. 6.15. Ephes. 2.10. Col. 1.16. Heb. 1.10. because the second creation was to be made by the same party by whom the first was wrought: By the Son were made all things. But this was proper to the Mediatour, to be a messenger and truce-man between God and us, and to regenerate us by his Spirit: Therefore only the Son must be this Mediatour. 4 4. It belongeth unto the Mediatour immediatly to send the holy Ghost: But the Son alone immediat­ly sendeth the holy Ghost. The Father also indeed sendeth the holy Ghost, but [Page 119] mediately by the Sonne: the Sonne immediately from the Father, as himselfe te­stifieth; whom I will send unto you from the Father. John 15.26. 5 5. It belongeth to the Media­tour to suffer and die for us: But the Sonne only is he, who taking our flesh on him, hath suffered in it and died: God is manifested in the flesh, &c. 1 Tim. 3.16. 1 Pet. 3.18. Christ was put to death concerning the flesh, &c. Therefore hee only is the Mediatour. 6 6. That the Son is the Mediatour is proved by conference of revelations and prophesies in the old Testament, and by the fulfilling of the same in the new. 7 7. The same is proved by the works and miracles which Christ wrought;John 5.36. John 7.31. John 10.38. Matth. 11.4, 5. The works that I do bear witnesse of mee, that the Father sent mee. When Christ cometh, will hee doe moe miracles then this man hath done? Beleeve my works. Goe and shew John what things yee have heard and seen: the blind receive sight, &c. 8 8. By testimonies of Scripture: There is one Mediatour between God and man, which is the man Christ Jesus. 1 Tim. 2.5. 1 Cor. 1.30. Christ Jesus of God is made unto us wisdome, and righteousnesse, and sanctification, and redemption; that is to say, he is made unto us a teacher of wisdome, a Justifier, and Sanctifier, and Redeemer, to wit, a Mediatour and Saviour in full merit and efficacy: For in this speech of the Apostle the Abstracts, wisdome, justification, sanctification, and redem­ption, are put for the Concretes, a teacher of wisdome, a Justifier, a Sanctifier, a Redee­mer. In this sentence of the Apostle that is worthy observation, whereas hee saith that the Mediatour was made unto us of God, he meaneth, was appointed and given.The Mediatour was given us by God. A Mediatour should have been given unto us, and proceeded from us: because we were the offenders: But we were unable to supply any from amongst our selves, because we were all the sons of wrath: Wherefore it was necessary that a Media­tour should be given us of God. Here we are to note farther, that justice or righte­ousnesse, and sanctity or holinesse in us before the fall, were one and the same thing, to wit, an inherent conformity in us with God and the law; as at this day in the ho­ly Angels they are one and the same. But now since the fall, they continue no longer the same in us: For now Christ is our righteousnesse, How justification and sanctification, and justice & san­ctity are now since the fall different and diverse in us. and our justification is the imputa­tion of Christs righteousnesse, whereby we are accounted righteous before God. Ho­linesse also is our inchoative or new begun conformity with God; and sanctification is the working of a conformity with God in us, which is here imperfect, and shall be perfe­cted in the life to come, where holinesse and righteousnesse shall be again one and the same even in us. Now followeth a brief recapitulation of the whole doctrine touching the Mediatour.

OF THE MEDIATOUR.

The causes why this doctrine of the Mediatour is to be in the Church.THe doctrine touching the Mediatour (whereas it so neerly concerneth Gods glory and our comfort) is to be held and diligently considered for these causes: 1 1. That we may acknowledge and magnifie the mercy and goodnesse of God towards us, in that he hath given us his Son to be our Mediatour, and to be made a sacrifice for our sins. 2 2. That we may know that God is just, and doth not of any lenity pardon sins; but is so grievously offended therewith, that he granteth no pardon to them, except the satisfaction of his Son mediate and come between. 3 3. That wee enjoy­ing such a Mediatour may be assured of eternall life; because this our Mediatour is both willing and able to grant it. 4 4. Because it is the foundation and short summe of Christian doctrine. 5 5. Because of Hereticks, who at all times most grievously op­pugne this doctrine, that against them we may be able to defend it. The doctrine concerning the Mediatour seemeth to belong to the place of Justification; because there also the office of the Mediator is declared: But it is one thing to teach, What, and what manner of benefit the benefit of justification is, and how it is received, which is performed in the common place touching Justification: another thing to shew whose that benefit is, and by whom it is bestowed, which is proper to this present place here handled: and these are different and diverse propositions; Justification belongeth to the Mediatour, or, is wrought by the Mediatour: and, remission of sins is our justifica­tion. In the former proposition Justication is the subject; that is, it is that where­of [Page 120]another thing is affirmed: in the latter it is the Attribute or Predicate; that is, ju­stification it self is affirmed of another thing, even of remission of sins.

The principall Questions touching the Mediatour are these:
  • 1. What in generall a Mediatour is.
  • 2. Whether wee need any Mediatour with God for us.
  • 3. What his office is.
  • 4. What manner of one is necessary.
  • 5. Who, or what person is, or may be our Mediatour.
  • 6. Whether there may be moe Mediatours.
1 What a Mediatour is.

What a mediator [...] in generall. A Mediatour in generall signifieth him who reconcileth two parties at variance, by interposing himselfe and mitigating the offence, or ap­peasing the offended by intreatie, satisfaction, and caution lest the like offence be again occasioned and committed.To reconcile hath four parts. For, to reconcile, is,1 1 To make intercession for him who offendeth, unto him who is offended. 2 2 To make satisfaction for the injury offered. 3 3 To promise and to bring to passe that the par­ty who hath offended offend no more: For except this be brought to passe and effectu­ated, the fruit and commodity of the intercession is lost.4 4 To bring them to an attonement and agreement who were before at enmity. If one of these conditions be wanting,A Mediatour in speciall. there cannot be any true reconcilement. But in speciall and as here it is used and meant of Christ, A Mediatour is a person reconciling God who is of­fended and angry with sin, and mankinde offending and subject to eternall death for the same; and that by the satisfying of Gods justice by his death, by praying and intreating for the guilty, and by applying forcibly and effectually his merit through faith on them that be­leeve, and regenerating them by his holy Spirit, effecting that they cease from sinning, and lastly, hearing their grones and petitions when they call on him. Or, A Mediatour is a pa­cifier or reconciler of God and men, asswaging Gods wrath, and restoring men into Gods favour by intercession and satisfaction for their sins, and by causing God to love men, and men to love God, so that hence issueth an inviolable peace and agreement between God and ma [...].

How a middle person and a Me­diatour differ: & how Christ is the one & the other. A middle person and a Mediatour are different; because that is the name of the person, this of the office: both which Christ is between God the Father and us. He is a middle person, because in him both natures, divine and humane, are united per­sonally: And a Mediatour, because he reconcileth us to God his Father; albeit in some sort hee is also in the same respect the middle person, in which he is a Media­tour, because in him two extremes are joyned, God and man. It is demanded, Whe­ther Adam had need of a Mediatour before his fall? Answer is to be made by distin­guishing of the divers meanings and significations of a Mediatour: If a Mediatour be meant to be such a one through whose mediation, or by whom God doth bestow his be­nefits, and communicate himself unto us, Adam verily even before his fall had need of a Mediatour, because Christ ever was that person by whom God the Father crea­teth and quickeneth all things:John 1.4. For, In him was life, to wit, all both corporall and spi­rituall life; and the life was the light of men. But if the Mediatour be understood to be him who performeth both these and all other parts of a Mediatours office, Adam did not stand in need of a Mediatour before his fall. We must observe notwithstanding, that in the Scriptures this phrase is not found, whereby Christ is said to have been the Mediatour also before the fall of man.

2. Whether we need any Mediatour with God for us.

No reconcile­ment without a Mediatour.A Mediatour is necessary for us, 1. Because the justice of God admitteth no recon­cilement without the recovery and new purchase of his grace and favour; therefore it is very requisite that we have an Advocate: neither yet without intercession; therefore [Page 121]we have need of an intercessor: neither without satisfaction; therefore a satisfier is necessary for us: neither without an applying of these severall benefits; (for the benefits must be received) therefore it became us to have such an applier: Lastly, not with­out a purging of sin, and a restoring of Gods image in us, to the end we may cease to offend him; therefore of force we ought to have such a cleanser of our sinfull corruption, and renewer of a better nature. Now we are not able to perform this, to wit, to ap­pease God being offended with us, and to make our selves acceptable unto God: we have need therefore of another Mediatour who may perform this for us. 2. God required a Mediatour of the party offending: for God, as God, would not receive sa­tisfaction of himself, but would, for his justice sake, that the party offending should perform the same, or else obtain favour by a Mediatour, and should himselfe pre­sent such a one as should be able to make perfect satisfaction, and also should be most acceptable unto God, lest he might suffer a repulse; and farther, such a one as might easily by his favour, whereby he should prevaile with God, reconcile us unto him through satisfying, and making intreaty and intercession for us. Now, wee were not able to beare this person, neither yet to supply any of our race and line sufficient to sustaine the same; because wee were all the children of wrath. Therefore we stood in need of a third Mediatour, which third God tendered unto us, even such a one as was both a man and a man most acceptable to God. 3. They who to procure their delivery must necessarily satisfie Gods justice, either by themselves, or by another, and are not able by themselves, have need of a Mediatour: But we, to pur­chase our freedome, must satisfie Gods justice either by our selves or by another; and by our selves we are not able: Therefore wee have need of a Mediatour. But exception is made against the distinction of the Major proposition of our reason, in appointing either our selves, or another, thus: Ob. Where only one means of satisfying is set down, there no other may be enquired after or proposed: But the law acknowledgeth and assigneth onely one means and way of satisfying, to wit, By our selves: Therefore wee must not set down any other, neither must wee say, Either by our selves, or else by ano­ther. Answ. We grant the whole reason, being understood of the law, or accor­ding to the declaration of the law: For in the law one onely means of satisfying is prescribed, and in vain is any other sought after: yet so the law assigneth one means, that it denyeth not another. For the law verily saith, that we must satisfie by our selves; but it no where saith, Only by our selves: The law requireth our selves to satis­fie: the Gospel sheweth, & Gods mercy admitteth another to satis­fie. therefore it no where exclu­deth the means of satisfying by another. And albeit God did not expresse this o­ther means in the law: yet in his secret counsell hee understood it, and afterwards revealed it in the Gospel. Wherefore certainly the law discloseth no such means, but leaveth it to be discovered by the Gospel. Rep. The doctrine then of the Gospel is disagreeing from the law. Ans. It is not disagreeing: for what the Gospel propoun­deth, that the law denyeth not; because the law no where addeth the exclusive par­ticle, namely, that Onely by us satisfaction ought to be made. 4. That a mediatour with God is necessary for us, many other things declare: 1. The tremblings and torments of conscience in us. 2. The pains of the wicked. 3. The sacrifices ordai­ned by God, whereby was deciphered Christs only and perfect sacrifice. 4. The sa­crifices of the heathen, and Papists, whereby they labour to pacifie God, because they perceive that we stand in need of satisfaction before God.

3. What is the office of a Mediatour.

What our Medi­atour doth with God.THe office of a Mediatour is to deal with both parties both the offended, and the offen­der. So Christ our Mediatour treateth with either party: With God who was of­fended he doth these things: 1 1. He maketh intercession for us unto his Father, and cra­veth pardon for our fault. 2 2. He offereth himself to satisfie for us. 3 3. He in very deed maketh this satisfaction by dying for us, and suffering sufficient punishment, finite indeed in time, but of infinite worth and value. 4 4. He becometh our surety, and promiseth on our behalf that hereafter we shall no more offend him: For with­out this suretiship or promise, intercession findeth no place, no not with men, much [Page 122]lesse with God. 5. He worketh this his covenant and promise on our part in us by giving us his holy Spirit,What our Media­tour doth with us. and life everlasting. With us also, as being the party offending, he doth these things: 1 1. He presenteth himself unto us as his Fathers messenger and embassadour, opening and shewing this decree of the Father, that hee should give himself to be our Mediatour, and that his Father accepteth of his satisfaction. 2 2. He performeth this satisfaction, and imputeth, granteth, and applieth it, being perfor­med, unto us. 3 3. He worketh faith in us by giving us his holy Spirit, to agnise this so great a benefit, and to imbrace, and not to reject it: for no reconcilement or a­mity can be between parties which are at variance,Philip. 2.13. except both parties accord. He worketh in us both to will and to do. 4 4. He by the same Spirit causeth us to leave off to sin, and to begin a new life. 5 5. He preserveth, maintaineth, and shieldeth us in this reconcilement, faith, and obedience begun in us against the Divels, and all enemies, yea, against our own selves, lest we revolt again. 6 6. He will raise us up again from the dead, and glorifie us, that is, will perfect and finish our salvation which is begun, with all the gifts, both which we have lost in Adam, and those which himself hath merited for us. All these things Christ worketh, accomplisheth, and perfecteth not onely by his merit, but also by the efficacy and powerfull operation of the same: whence he is termed a Mediatour in regard both of merit, Christ a Mediator both in merit and efficacy. and efficacy of merit; be­cause he not only meriteth for us by his sacrifice, but also by vertue of his Spirit doth effectually impart unto us his benefits, righteousnesse, and life everlasting: witnesse those sayings;John 10.15, 28. & 5.20, 26. I lay down my life for my sheep. I give unto them eternall life. As the Father hath life in himself, so likewise hath he given to the Son to have life in himselfe. As the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, so the Son quickeneth whom he will. Without me ye can do nothing. John 15.5.

The benefits of the Mediatour.Now when question is made of the office of the Mediatour, question is made with­all concerning his benefits. For the office enjoyned of God unto the Mediatour, is to bestow benefits on his Church; which Paul summarily compriseth in these four generall heads as it were,1 Cor. 1.30. when he faith, Ye are of him in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdome, and righteousnesse, and sanctification, and redemption. He is made unto us wisdome, 1. Wisdome. 1 1. Because he is the matter or subject of our wisdome. I esteemed not to know any thing amongst you, but Jesus Christ, and him crucified. We preach Christ crucified unto the Jews even a stumbling block, 1 Cor. 2.2. 1. Cor. 1.23, 24. and unto the Grecians foolishnesse: But un­to them which are called both of Jews and Grecians, we preach Christ the power of God, and the wisdome of God. 2 2. Because he is the cause or authour of our wisdome, and that three wayes;Christ the author of our wisdome three wayes. 1 1. Because he hath brought forth out of the bosome of the eternall Father wisdom, that is, the doctrine of our redemption. 2 2. Because he hath ordained, and preserveth the ministery of his word, by which he informeth us of his Fathers will, and his office. 3 3. Because he is forcible and effectuall in the hearts of the cho­sen, and maketh them to yeeld their assent unto the word or doctrine, and to be reformed by it according to his image. Shorter thus; Christ is called our wisdome, because he is, 1. The subject, 2. The authour, 3. The means of our wisdom. He is made unto us righteousnesse, 2. Righteousness. that is, our justifier: for in him our righteousnesse is, as in the subject, and is made ours by his merit, and forcible operation: For, 1. He suffered the punishment of our sins, which is justice and righteousnesse, and the merit for which we are reputed just and righteous. 2. He by his power maketh us righteous in the sight of God, by imputing unto us his righteousnesse, and by giving us faith, whereby our selves also receiving it,3. Sanctification. may apply it unto us. He is made unto us sanctification, that is, our sanctifier; because he doth regenerate and sanctifie us by his holy Spirit. He is made unto us redemption, 4. Redemption. that is, our redeemer; because he finally delivereth us: for the word [...](which we interpret redemption) doth not only signifie the price, but also the effect and full complement thereof.

4. What manner of Mediatour ours ought to be.

THis question hath good and orderly dependance of the former: for whereas it appeareth, 1. That we must satisfie. 2. That we must satisfie by another. 3. That we [Page 123]must satisfie with that satisfaction of our Mediatour, which hath already been discoursed of, and described at large. It is well demanded next, 4. What manner of Mediatour is requi­red. Our Mediatour therefore must be, 1. Man. 2. True man, deriving his nature of our kind, and retaining it for ever. 3. A man perfectly just. 4. True God. In a word, hee must be such a person as is God and man, having both natures divine and hu­mane, in the unity of his person, so that he may be truly middle and Mediatour be­tween God and men. Now the demonstrations and proofs concerning the person of the Mediatour are drawn from his office: for, because such is his office, himself al­so ought to be such a one. They have been already handled in the Explication of the 15, 16, 17, & 18. Questions of the Catechisme, where they may be reviewed.

5. Who is this Mediatour God and man.

Three things in the person of the Mediatour.HItherto the Mediatour hath been described to be the very Sonne of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, as hath been lively expressed before in the Explication of the eighteenth Question of this Catechism: the summe is, that the Scripture ascri­beth to one Christ, and him only, these three things: 1 1. That he is God: The Word was God. All things were made by it. God purchased the Church with his bloud. Who wasJohn 1.2, 3. Acts 20.28. Rom. 1.4. &. 10.11 1 John 5.7.declared mightily to be the Son of God, touching the spirit of sanctification. Whosoever be­leeveth in him shall not be ashamed. There are three which bear record in heaven, the Fa­ther, the Word, and the holy Ghost; and these three are one. To these also are to be added those places in which is attributed to Christ, divine worship, invocation, hearing of our prayers, and works proper to God alone. In like manner, those which attribute unto Christ the name of Jehovah. Likewise those, in which those things which are spo­ken of Jehovah are applied to Christ. 2 2. That he is true man: Hitherto belong those places which call Christ man, and the son of man, the son of David,Jerem. 23.6. Zech. 2.10. Malac. 3.1. Isa. 9.6. John 12.40. 1 Tim. 2.5. Mat. 9.6. & 16.13. Matth. 1.1. Luke 1.42. Rom. 1.3. & 9.5. Coloss. 1.22. 1 John. 4.2.and Abraham, the fruit of Maries womb. Also when he is said to be made of the seed of David accor­ding to the flesh, to have a body of flesh, to have come in the flesh: Hitherto belong all those places which attribute unto Christ things proper unto man; as, to grow, to eat, to drink to be ignorant of some things, to rest, to be weary, to be circumcised, to be baptized, to lament, rejoyce, &c. 3 3. That two natures in Christ make one person: Hither are re­ferred the places, which by the communicating of the properties of each nature, at­tribute those things to the person of Christ, which are proper to either his divine or humane nature: The Word was made flesh. He was made partaker of flesh and bloud. God purchased the Church with his bloud. Before Abraham was, I am. John 1.14. Heb. 2.14. Acts 20.28. John 8.25. Matth. 28.20. Heb. 1.1. 1 John 4.3. Rom. 9.5. 1 Cor. 2.8.I am with you al­wayes, unto the end of the world. He spake unto us by his Son, by whom he made the world. Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. Who is God over all praised for ever. Had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

6. Whether there may be moe Mediatours.

There can be but one Mediatour, because there is but one naturall Son of God. THere is only one Mediatour between God and man: the reason is, because the Son only is Mediatour, and can perform the office of the Mediatour. And there is but one only naturall Son of God. Object. The Saints also make intercession for us; therefore they are Mediatours. Answ. There is great difference between the inter­cession of Christ, and of the Saints, who live in the world, and pray for themselves and others, yea, for their persecuters and enemies: for the Saints depend upon the merit of Christ, Christ on his own merit; and Christ only offered himself a surety and a satisfier, sanctifying himselfe for us; that is, presenting himself in our stead before Gods judgment seat: which thing can no way be said of the Saints. Ob­ject. Where are many means, there is not one Mediatour: But there are many means of our salvation: Therefore there is not one only Mediatour. Ans. The Major proposition we deny: For it is one thing to be the means, another thing to be the Mediatour of our salvation.

Of the COVENANT of God.

IT was said, that the Mediatour is a person reconciling parties which are at variance, to wit, God and men. Now this reconciliation in the Scriptures is termed, The Covenant and Testament, which is the Correlative, that is, hath a mutuall respect to the Mediatour: for every Mediatour is the Mediatour of some covenant, and a re­conciler of parties who are at enmity. Wherefore the doctrine which treateth of the Covenant of God, is linked with the Place concerning the Mediatour. The chief Questions hereof are these:

  • 1. What a Covenant is.
  • 2. Whether it can be made without a Me­diatour.
  • 3. Whether there be but one and the same Covenant, or more.
  • 4. In what the old and new Covenant agree, and in what they differ.
1. What a Covenant is.

What a Covenant in generall is. A Covenant in generall signifieth a mutuall contract or agreement of two parties joyned in the Covenant, whereby is made a bond or obli­gation or certaine conditions for the performance of giving or taking something, with addition of outward signes and tokens, for solemn te­stimony and confirmation, that the compact and promise shall be kept inviolable. Hence we easily collect the definition and nature of Gods Covenant:What Gods Co­venant with us is. For it is A mutuall promise and agreement be­tween God and men, whereby God giveth men assurance, that he will be gracious and favourable to them, remit their sins, bestow new righteousnesse his holy Spi­rit, and life eternall for and by his Son our Mediatour: And on the other side, men bind them­selves to faith and repentance; that is to receive this so great a benefit with true faith, and to yeeld true obedience unto God. This mutuall compact between God and men is sealed and confirmed by outward badges and tokens,Sacraments the signes of the Co­venant. A Testament. which we call Sacraments; that is, sacred signes, testifying Gods good will towards us, and our thankfulnesse and ob­sequious dutifulnesse towards him. A Testament is the last will of a Testator, where­by hee at his death disposeth of his things what hee would have done concerning them.Testament and Covenant of like signification. In Scripture the name of Covenant and Testament, to expresse significantly this Gods Covenant, are used and taken alike for one and the same thing: for both of them shew our reconciliation with God, or the mutuall agreement between God and man.Why our reconci­liation is called a Covenant. This agreement and reconcilement is called a Covenant, because God promiseth unto us certain blessings: and on the other side, demandeth of us, as a pledge, our obedience, using withall certain solemn ceremonies to the confirmation and strengthening of the contract.Why it is also called a Testa­ment. It is called a Testament, because this reconcilia­tion was made by the death of the Testator Christ coming betweene, that so it might be firme and ratified: or, because Christ hath purchased this our reconcile­ment with God by his death, and hath left it unto us, even as parents at their decease deliver their goods unto their children. This reason is alledged in the Epistle to the Hebrews:Heb. 9.15, 16, 17. For this cause (saith the Apostle) is he the Mediatour of the new Testament, that through death they which were called might receive the promise of eternall inheritance. For where a Testament is, there must be the death of him that made the Testament. For the Testament is confirmed when men are dead: for it is yet of no force, as long as he that made it is alive. For while the Testator liveth, he retaineth a right to change, detract, or add any thing. The Hebrew word Berith only signifieth a Covenant, not a Testament: yet the Interpreters translate it by the word [...], which word with the Greeks [Page 125]signifieth both a covenant and testament; whence it is gathered, that that Epistle was not written in Hebrew (as some think) but in Greek.Acts 20.28. Obj. A Testament is ra­tified by the death of the Testator: But God cannot die: Therefore his Testament is not ra­tified, or at leastwise this reconcilement may not be called a Testament. Ans. The Minor is to be denyed, because God is said to have redeemed the Church with his bloud, there­fore he died; but he died according to his humanity: for Christ is the Testator, who is both God and man; but he died according to his humanity only:1 Pet. 3.18. The same is cal­led an intercessi­on in respect of Christ, who by in­tercession work­eth it: and recon­ciliation in respect of us, who are re­conciled. witnesse Peter, who saith, He was put to death concerning the flesh. Repl. But Christ is the Intercessor, and God the Testator: Therefore the reconciliation is not of force. Ans. They differ in per­son and offices: the person of Christ differeth from the person of the Father, and the holy Ghost in office, not in efficacy and power; and in respect of him it is an in­tercession; in respect of us, a reconciliation, or receiving into favour.

2. How a Covenant may be made between God and men.

THat Covenant could not be made without a Mediatour: for we could neither satisfie, nor come again in favour with God, no nor receive the benefit of re­conciliation procured by another. Furthermore, God in his justice would not ad­mit of us without sufficient satisfaction: we were the enemies of God, therefore the entrance and accesse to God lay not open to us before he was pacified by the merit of our Mediatour, as it hath been shewed more at large before in that que­stion, Why a Mediatour is necessary for us. The reconciliation could not be plenarily accomplished without the satisfaction and death of the Mediatour. Again, with­out the Mediatour regenerating us, we should not have been able to stand to the conditions; and so had the Covenant been made of no force.

3. Whether there be one or moe Covenants.

There is but one Covenant in sub­stance, two in cir­cumstance.THe Covenant of God is but one in substance and matter, but two in circum­stances: that is, it is one in respect of the more generall conditions by which God combineth or compoundeth with us, and we with God: but it is two in re­spect of lesse principall conditions, or (as some speak) it is two, as touching the manner of the administration thereof. There is but one in substance, How one in sub­stance. 1. Because there is but one God; one Mediatour between God and men, Christ Jesus; one mean of reconcilement; one faith; one way of the salvation of all who are saved, and have been saved from the beginning. It is a great question, Whether the ancient Fa­thers were saved by any other means then we are: which, except it be well and circum­spectly construed, obscureth with palpable darknesse the light of the Gospel. But these testimonies of Scripture doe lesson and schoole us the truth herein;Hebr. 13.8. Eph. 1.22. & 4.1. Jesus Christ yesterday, and to day, and the same also for ever. God hath appointed him over all things to be the head of the Church. By whom all the body is coupled and knit together, &c. No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son, which is in the bosome of the Fa­ther, John 1.18. he hath declared him. There is given no other name under heaven whereby we must be saved. No man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveale him. Acts 4.12. Matth. 11.27. John 14.6. I am the way the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father but by me: Hee mea­neth, I alone am the way by which even Adam attained salvation.Luke 20.24. John 8.56. Many kings have desired to see these things which ye see, and have not seen them. Abraham rejoyced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad. All therefore, as well under the Law as under the Gospel, who were to be saved, had respect to the onely Mediatour Christ, by whom alone they were reconciled unto God, and saved: Therefore there is but one Covenant. 2. The Covenant is only one, because the principall conditions, which are termed the substance of the Covenant, are the same, both before and since Christs incarnation: for in both Testaments, before and after the exhibiting of Christ, God promiseth remission of sins to beleevers, and repentant sinners: and men bind themselves to beliefe and repentance. There are said to be two Cove­nants,How two in cir­cumstance. the old and the new, as concerning the circumstances, and those conditions which are [Page 126]lesse principall, which are the forme of administration serving for the principall conditions, that the faithfull may attain unto them by the help of these. Now, what these principall conditions are, shall appear out of that which followeth. A rule here may be observed:The diversity of Covenants is known by the di­versity of their conditions. In all Covenants their conditions are ever to be considered: which if they be the same, then are the Covenants also the same; if diverse, then the Covenants also diverse; if partly the same, and partly diverse, then the Cove­nants are also in part the same, and in part diverse, as in this Covenant.

4. In what the old and new Covenant agree, and in what they differ.

The old and new Covenant agree in three things:WHereas the Covenant is one, and yet the Scripture speaketh thereof as of two, we are to consider wherein the old and new Testament concurre and agree, and wherein they differ. They agree,1 In their Author and Mediatour. In their Authour, which is God; and in their Mediatour, which is Christ. Object. But some man will say, Moses was the Mediatour of the old Covenant. Ans. True, as in a type, adjoyned to the Mediatour which was signified, who then also was Mediatour, but now is sole Mediatour with­out that typicall Mediatour: For he is manifested in the flesh, and is no more co­vered with types.2 In the promise of grace. In the promise of grace, touching remission of sins, and life ever­lasting to be given freely by and for Christ the Mediatour, to those only who be­leeve; which promise was common to the old Church, as well as to us: For God promised the same grace and mercy unto all who beleeve in the Mediatour; In thy seed shall the nations of the earth be blessed. Gen. 22.18. Gen. 3.15. Gen. 17.7. John 3.36. The seed of the woman shall break the head of the serpent. I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed. He that beleeveth in the Son hath life everlasting. We beleeve, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to be saved, even as they doe. Now here wee speak not in particular of the circumstances of grace; but in generall, of the promise of grace. But Covenants have the same corporall promises also, but that only in generall.3 In their condi­tion in respect of us. Gen. 17.1. Mark 1.15. In their tenour and condition in respect of us: for in both God requireth of men faith and obedience: Walk before me, and be thou upright. And, Repent and beleeve the Gospel. The new and o [...]d Covenant there­fore agree, as concerning the principall conditions of the Covenant, both in respect of God, and in respect of man.

But the two Covenants differ,The old and new Covenant differ, 1 In promises of corporall bene­fits. In the promises of corporall benefits: for the old Co­venant had speciall promises of some certain definite corporall blessings, as the pro­mise of the land to be given to the Church, of the form of ceremoniall worship, and Mosaicall policie or government to be observed in that region and nation un­till the coming of the Messias, and lastly, for the Messias to be born out of that peo­ple. But the new Testament hath no such speciall promises of corporall benefits, but only generall; as, that God will preserve his Church unto the end, and give it some abiding and resting place.2 In the circum­stance of the pro­mise of grace. In the circumstance of the promise of grace; for in the old Covenant the beleevers were reconciled unto God, and saved for the Messi­as sake which should be exhibited, and for his sacrifice to come: in the new Cove­nant we are saved for the Messias being come and exhibited, and for his sacrifice already offered.3 In the signes of the promise of grace. In the rights or signes added to the promise of grace: In the old Co­venant the Sacraments were divers and painfull; as the Circumcision, the Passeo­ver, the Sacrifices and Oblations: But the Sacraments in the new are few and plain, even Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.4 In cleernesse and evidence. In cleernesse and evidence. The old had types and shadows of good things to come, all things were figurative, as their Priests and Sacrifices, and therefore the more obscure and dark: In the new is an accomplishment of these types, and so all things are more cleer, as well in the Sa­craments, as the doctrine thereof.5 In gifts. In gifts: In the old the effusion and powring out of the gifts of the holy Ghost was more narrow and sparing; in the new it is more large and plentifull:Jer. 31.31. 1 Cor. 3.9. Joel 2.28. I will make a new covenant. If the ministration of condemna­tion was glorious, much more doth the ministration of righteousnesse exceed in glory. I will powre out my spirit upon all flesh &c. 6 In continuance. Jer. 32.40. In continuance: The old was but for a time, during untill the coming of the Messias: the new is for ever; I will make an ever­lasting Covenant with them. 7 In their manner of binding. In their bond, or manner of binding: The old Covenant [Page 127]bound them to the obedience of the whole Mosaicall law, morall, ceremoniall, and civil: the new bindeth us only to the morall or spirituall law, and to the use of the Sacraments.8 In extent. In extent: In the old Covenant, the Church was inclosed and limi­ted within the Jewish nation, whereunto it became all others that would be saved to repair: In the new the Church is spread over all nations, and there is an entrance into it open to all beleevers of whatsoever nation, estate, or language.

Why the old Co­venant is taken for the Law, and the new for the Gospel.Here is to be observed, that the old Testament or Covenant is in Scripture oftentimes taken by a figure of speech called Synecdoche (which we use, when we take the whole for a part, or a part for the whole) for the law, in respect of that part which is espe­cially handled there: for in the old Testament the law was more urged, and there were many parts thereof; the Gospel was then more obscure. Contrariwise, the new Testament or Covenant is for the most part taken for the Gospel; because in the new Testament a great part of Moses law is abrogated, and the manifestation and knowledge of the Gospel is to us more cleer and ample.

Quest. 19. Whence knowest thou this?

Ans. Out of the Gospel, which God first made known in ParadiseGen. 3.15. and afterwards did spread it abroad by the PatriarksGen. 22.18. & 12.3. & 49.10. and ProphetsIsa. 5.3. & 42.1, 2, 3, 4. & 43.25. & 45.5, 6, 22, 23. Jer. 23.56. & 31.32, 33, & 33.39, 40, 41. Mic. 7.18, 19, 20. Acts 10.34. & 3.22, 23, 24. Rom. 1.2. Heb. 1.1. shadowed it by sacrifices, and other ceremonies of the lawHeb. 10.7. Col. 2.17. John 5.46., and lastly, accomplished it by his only begotten SonRom. 10.4. Gal. 4.4. & 3.24. Col. 2.17..

The Explication.

The order & cor­respondence of this question in the second part of the Catechism, which the third question in the first part thereof. THis nineteenth Question of the Catechisme, which is concerning the Gospel, is like to the third: For as there it is demanded, Whence know­est thou thy misery? and answer is made; Out of the Law: So here the Question is Whence knowest thou thy delivery? the answer hereof is, Out of the Gospel. Seeing then it hath been already spoken of the Media­tour, we are necessarily also to speak of the doctrine in which the Mediatour is de­clared, described, and offered unto us: that doctrine is the Gospel. Afterwards we are also to speak of the mean whereby wee are made partakers of the Mediatour and his benefits: that mean is faith. First therefore the common place concerning the Gospel cometh to be handled, which is fitly annexed to the former doctrine con­cerning the Mediatour and Covenant between God and men: 1. Because Christ the Mediatour is the subject or matter of the Gospel, which teacheth, who, and what manner of Mediatour this is. 2. Because he is the author and publisher of the same; for it is part of the Mediatours office to publish the Gospel, as it is said, The only begotten, John 1.8. which is in the bosome of the Father, he hath declared him. 3. Because the Gospel is a part of the Covenant, and the new Covenant is often taken for the Gospel.

The principall Questions are:
  • 1. What the Gospel is.
  • 2. Whether it be any new doctrine.
  • 3. How it differeth from the Law.
  • 4. What are the proper effects of the Gospel.
  • 5. Whence the truth and certainty of the Go­spel may appear.
1. What the Gospel is.

Three significati­ons of the word Gospel.THe Greek word [...], for which wee use Gospel, signifieth, 1. A joyfull message or news. 2. The sacrifice which is offered to God for this joyfull news. 3. The [Page 128]reward which is given to him who bringeth glad tidings. Here it is taken for the doctrine or joyfull newes of Christ exhibited in th flesh:Luke 2.10. as, Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy, because to you this day Christ is born. There is a difference also to be ob­served between the words [...] and [...] for the word [...] is the promise of the Mediatour to be exhibited hereafter; How the words [...] and [...] some­times differ in Scripture. the word [...], the tidings of the Messias already exhibited. Neverthelesse this difference of these words is not perpetuall, and it consisteth rather in the letter and words themselves, then in the thing signified by the words; for both of them declare the same benefits of the Messias: but the difference is only in the circumstance of time, and in the man­ner of his manifestation and exhibiting, as appeareth out of these sayings; A­braham saw my day, John 8.56. John 14.6. John 10.7. Ephes 1.22. [...]ebr. 13 8. What the Gospel [...] and was glad. No man cometh to the Father but by mee. I am the doore, &c. God hath appointed him over all things to be the head to the Church. Jesus Christ yesterday, & to day, &c. Now, The Gospel is the doctrine revealed in Paradise from heaven by the Son of God, the Mediatour, presently after the fall of mankinde into sin and death: wherein freedome from sin, death, and from the curse and wrath of God, that is, remission of sinnes, salvation, and life everlasting, by and for the same his Sons sake our Mediatour, is of the free grace of God promised, and preached to all that beleeve in the Sonne of God, and imbrace repentance: by which doctrine the holy Ghost doth for­cibly worke in the hearts of the faithfull, kindling in them faith, repentance, and the be­ginning of everlasting life. Or out of the 18, 19, and 20 Questions of the Cate­chisme such a definition of the Gospel is framed: The Gospel is a doctrine which God first made known in Paradise, and afterwards spread it abroad by the Patriarks and Prophets, shadowed it by sacrifices, and other ceremonies of the law, and lastly, accom­plished it by his onely begotten Son; teaching, that the Son of God, even our Lord Jesus Christ, is made of God unto us wisdome, righteousnesse, sanctification, and redemption; that is to say a perfect Mediatour satisfying for the sin of mankinde, and restoring righ­teousnesse and life everlasting to all them who by a true faith are engraffed into him, and doe imbrace his benefits. This definition all the summes which are in Scripture de­livered of the Gospel,John 6.70. doe confirme: as, This is the will of him that sent me, that every man that seeth the Son and beleeveth in him should have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day. [...]ke 24 47. John 1.17. Through his Name was repentance and remission of sins to be preached to all nations. The law was given by Moses; but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

By these and the like testimonies of Scripture it is manifest, that both the Law and the Gospel preacheth repentance; and that the instrument whereby God doth work in us repentance or true conversion, is properly the Gospel. But this order in proceeding must be observed: First, the Law is to be proposed, that thence we may know our misery:What order is to be observed in teaching the Law and Gospel. Then, that we may not despair after our misery is known unto us, the Gospel is to be taught, which both giveth us a certain hope of retur­ning into Gods promised favour by Christ our Mediatour, and sheweth unto us the manner how we are to repent. Thirdly, that after we attain unto our delivery, we wex not carelesse and wanton, the Law is to be taught again, that it may be the le­vell, square, and rule of our life and actions.

2. Whether the Gospel hath been alwayes known in the Church, or whether it be any new doctrine.

The perpetuall continuance of the Gospel pro­ved.The Gospel sometimes signifieth the doctrine of the promise of grace, and of remissi­on of sins freely to be given for the sacrifice of the Messias, as yet not manifested in the flesh; and sometimes the doctrine of the Messias already exhibited. In the latter sense and signification the Gospel hath not been of perpetuall continuance, but began with the new Testament: In the former meaning it hath alwayes been extant in the Church; for presently after mans fall it was manifested in Paradise to our first parents, and afterwards spread abroad and expounded by the Patriarks and Pro­phets, and finally, at length consummated and absolved by Christ, both in the fulfil­ling or full performance, as also in a more cleer declaration of those things which [Page 129]had before time been promised in the old Testament. This is confirmed,1 By testimonies of Peter, Paul, and Christ himselfe. Acts 10 43. 1 Pet. 1.10 Rom. 1.2. John 5.46. By the records of the Apostles, as of Peter; To whom also give all the Prophets witnesse, that through his name all that bele [...]ve in him shall receive remission of sins. Of the which salvati­on the Prophets enquired and searched. Likewise of Paul; which (Gospel) he had promi­sed afore by his Prophets in the holy Scriptures. Of Christ himself also saying, Had yee beleeved Moses, ye would have beleeved me, for he wrote of me. 2 By all the pro­phecies of the Messias. The same is manifested by all the promises and prophecies which speak of the Messias. This is therefore diligent­ly to be marked because God will have us know, that there was and is, from the beginning of the world unto the end, one onely doctrine and way of salvation, which is by Christ: Jesus Christ yesterday, and to day, the same also is for ever. Heb. 13.8. Joh. 14 6. & 5.46. I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no man cometh to the Father but by me. Moses wrote of me. How (say you) wrote Moses of Christ? 1. Because hee recounteth the promises concerning the Messias:Why Moses is said to write of Christ. Gen. 12.3. Deut. 10.15. Num. 24.17. Gen 49.10. In thy seed shall all nations be blessed. God shall raise up a Pro­phet &c. A Star shall rise out of Jacob. The Scepter shall not depart from Judah untill Shi­loh come. 2. Because hee restraineth these promises concerning the Messias unto a certain family, of which the Messias was to be born, and to which afterwards the promise of the Messias was more and more renewed and revealed. 3. The whole Leviticall priesthood, and the whole ceremoniall worship, as the sacrifices, the ob­lations, the altar, the temple and other things which Moses described, had a respect, and were referred unto Christ: yea the kingdome also and the kings were a type of Christ and of his kingdome: Wherefore Moses wrote very many things of Christ. Object. 1. But Paul saith, that The Gospel was promised by the Prophets; Rom. 1.2. And Peter, that The Prophets prophesied of the grace which should come unto us: 2 Pet. 1.10. Wherefore the Gospel hath not been alwayes. Answ. Wee accept of the whole reason as true, of the Gospel understood and taken in the second signification above rehearsed, that is, of the doctrine of the promise of grace fulfilled by Christ exhibited in the flesh, and of the evidence of this doctrine: for in former ancient times the Gospel indeed was not, but was promised onely by the Prophets; to wit,How the Gospel is said to have been promised un­to the Fathers. 1. As concerning the fulfilling of those things which in the old Testament were fore-told of the Messias. 2. In respect of the more manifest knowledge of the promise of grace. 3. In respect of a more large powring out of the gifts of the holy Ghost; that is, the Gospel then was not the doctrine of Christ already exhibited, dead, and raised again from the dead, and sitting at the right hand of his Father, as now it is; but it was a preach­ing of Christ which should hereafter be exhibited, and perform all these things. Not­withstanding, there was a Gospel, that is, some glad tidings of the benefits of the Messias to come, sufficient to the Fathers to salvation: according as it is said, Abra­ham saw my day, and rejoyced. To him bear all the Prophets witnesse, &c. John 8.56. Acts 10.43. Rom. 10.4. and 16.25. Ephes. 3.5. Christ is the end of the Law. Object. 2. The same Apostle Paul saith, that The Gospel is the mystery which was kept secret since the world began: and that, In other ages it was not opened unto the sons of men. Answ. This reason hath in it a fallacie of division (as Logicians call it) dis-membring and dis-joyning those things which are to be joyned: for the Apo­stle in the same place presently addeth, as it is now; which clause is not to be omit­ted, because it sheweth that in former times it was also known, though not so plainly, and to fewer speciall men then now it is. It is also a fallacy in affirming that simply to be said so, which was so said but in some respect: for it followeth not that it was simply and meerly unknown then, or utterly covered and hidden, because now it is more cleerly, and that by more particular persons discerned; for it was known unto the Fathers, though not so distinctly known as it is now unto us:The one signifieth the promise of Christ to come; the other the prea­ching of Christ already come. John 1.18. And hither properly belongeth the distinction and difference of the words [...], and [...] above expounded. Ob. 3. The Law was given by Moses, grace and truth by Jesus Christ: Therefore the Gospel was not from the beginning. Ans. Grace and truth did appear by Christ exhibited and manifested, to wit, in respect of the fulfilling of the types, and ful performance, and plentiful application of those things which of ancient were promised in the old Testament: But hereof it followeth not, that they in the old Testament were destitute of this grace; for unto them also was the same grace effectually applyed by Christ, and for Christ, but being as yet [Page 130]to be manifested hereafter in the flesh; and therefore more sparingly and faintly then unto us. Whatsoever grace and true knowledge of God was ever in any men, they had it by Christ,Joh. 1.18. & 14.6. & 15.5. as the Scripture saith, No man hath seen God at any time: the on­ly begotten Son which is in the bosome of the Father, he hath declared him unto us. No man cometh to the Father but by me. Without me ye can do nothing. Repl. But hee saith, The law was given by Moses: Therefore not the Gospel. Ans. The law is said to be given by Moses, because this was chiefly belonging to his office, that hee should publish the law; though withall he taught the Gospel, albeit more obscurely and sparingly, as hath been already proved; But it was Christs chief function to publish the Gospel; albeit he also taught the law, but not principally, as did Moses: for he purged the morall law from corruptions by rightly interpreting it, and did write it by the wor­king of his holy Spirit in the hearts of men; he fulfilled the ceremoniall law, and together with the judiciall law abrogated the same.

3. How the Gospel differeth from the Law.

Four differences between the Law and the Gospel.THe Law and the Gospel agree in this, that each doctrine proceeded from God, and that in both of them is entreated of the nature of God, and of his will and works: howbeit, there is a very great difference between them both;1 The Law knowne by the light of nature. Rom. 2.15. In their re­vealings, or in the manner of their revealing. The knowledge of the Law was graffed and engendred in the minds of men in the very creation, and therefore is known unto all, although there were no more revealing of it: The Gentiles have the effect of the law written in their hearts. The Gospel is not known by nature, but is peculiarly revealed from heaven to the Church alone by Christ our Mediatour:The Gospel known by the light of grace only. For no crea­ture could have seen or hoped for that mitigation of the law touching satisfaction for our sins by another (of which we have before entreated) except the Son had re­vealed it:Matt. 11.27. & 16.17. John 1.18. No man knoweth the Father but the Son and he to whom the Son will reveal him. Flesh and bloud hath not revealed it unto thee. The only begotten Son which is in the bosome of the Father, he hath declared him. 2 The law teacheth what we ought to be, but not how we may be as wee ought. The Gospel tea­cheth how wee may be. In the very kind of doctrine, or in the subject or mat­ters which they deliver; for the law teacheth us what we ought to be, and what we stand bound to perform to God; but it administreth us no ability of performing this duty, neither pointeth it out the means by which we may become such as it re­quireth us to be: but the Gospel sheweth the means whereby wee may be made such as the law requireth: for it offereth unto us the promise of grace touching Christs righteousnesse imputed unto us by faith, no otherwise then if it were pro­perly our own, teaching us, that we by this imputation of Christs righteousnesse, are reputed just before God.Matt. 18.28. Luke 10.28. Mark 5.36. The Law saith, Restore that thou owest. Do this and live. The Gospel saith, Only beleeve. 3 The law requireth our righteousness; the Gospel admit­teth of anothers. Levit. 18.5. Matth. 19.17. The Law and the Gospel are not contrary. In the promises: the Law promiseth life to them that are just and righteous in themselves, or with a condition of our own righteousnesse, and perfect obedience performed by us; He that doth them shall live in them. If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandements. The Gospel promiseth the same life to them that are justified by faith in Christ, or with condition of anothers righteous­nesse, to wit, Christs, applied unto us by faith. Neither for these respects are the Law and the Gospel at ods one with the other: for albeit the Law will that thou keep the commandements, if thou wilt enter into life; yet doth it not shut thee from everlasting life if another fulfill the Law for thee: for it verily setteth downe one way of satisfying for sins, namely, by thy selfe; but it doth not exclude the o­ther, that is, satisfying by another, as hath been heretofore shewed.4 Rom. 3.20. & 4.15. 2 Cor. 3.6. The Law is the ministery of death. In effects: The Law without the Gospel is the letter which killeth, and the ministery of death: By the Law cometh the knowledge of sin. The Law causeth wrath, &c. and, The letter killeth. By the letter is understood the outward preaching and bare knowledge of those things which we ought to do: for it teacheth indeed our duty, and that righ­teousnesse which God requireth at our hands; but it doth not make us able to per­forme that righteousnesse, neither doth it shew us any hope to attain thereunto by another, but rather accuseth and condemneth our righteousnesse. The Gospel is the ministery of life,The Gospel is the ministery of life. and of the Spirit; that is, it hath the forcible operation of [Page 131]the holy Ghost adjoyned, and doth quicken; because by it the holy Ghost, as by an instrument, worketh faith and life in the elect:Rom. 1.15. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that beleeveth.

The Gospel is the preaching of re­pentance.It was said in the definition of the Gospel, and in the third difference between the Law and the Gospel, that the Gospel requireth both faith and repentance, or new obe­dience, and so is the preaching both of remission of sins, and of repentance. Against this Flac­cius Sectaries keep a stir, and reason after this sort: Ob. There is no precept or com­mandement belonging to the Gospel, but to the Law: The preaching of repentance is a pre­cept or commandement: Therefore the preaching of repentance belongeth not to the Gospel, but to the Law. Ans. We deny the Major, if it be generally meant: for this precept is proper unto the Gospel, that it commandeth us to beleeve it, to imbrace the be­nefit of Christ, and now being justified, to begin new obedience, or that righteous­nesse which the law requireth of us. Repl. Yea, but the law also willeth us to beleeve God: Therefore it is not proper unto the Gospel to command us to beleeve. Ans.Both the Law and the Gospel re­quire faith. The Law exhor­teth in generall unto faith, and un­to such and such works in speciall. Both the Law and the Gospel commandeth faith and conversion to God, but diversly; The Law only in generall commandeth us to beleeve God, or to give credit to all his promises, commandements, and threatnings, and that with a denouncing of punish­ment except we do it: the Law saith, Beleeve every word of God; it willeth there­fore that we beleeve and obey this commandement also, by which God in the Go­spel commandeth us to return unto him, and to beleeve in Christ.The Gospel ex­horteth in speciall unto faith, and in generall unto works. But the Gospel in speciall and expresly willeth us to imbrace by faith the promise of grace by Christ, and to return unto God; that is, saith not in generall, Beleeve all the promises and de­nouncings of God, &c. (for that it leaveth unto the Law:) but it saith plainly and ex­presly, Beleeve this promise; to wit, that thy sins are pardoned thee, and that thou art received of God into favour by and for Christ; and return unto God. Further, it exhorteth us both inwardly and outwardly by the holy Spirit, and by the word, That we walk worthy of the Gospel; that is, do such works as are pleasing to God; but this it doth only in generall, not prescribing in particular, Thou shalt do this or that, but leaveth this unto the Law: as contrariwise it saith not in generall, beleeve all Gods promises, leaving this to the Law; but in speciall saith, Beleeve this promise; Fly unto Christ, and thy sins shall be forgiven thee.

4. What are the proper effects of the Gospel.

THe proper effects of the Gospel are, 1. Faith: because Faith is by hearing, Rom. 10.17. 2 Cor. 3.8. Rom. 1.16. and hearing by the word of God. The Gospel is the ministration of the Spirit, the power of God unto salvation. 2. Through faith our whole conversion unto God, justification, regeneration, and salvation: for by faith, as by the instrument, whole Christ, toge­ther with all his benefits is received.

5. Whence the truth and certainty of the Gospel may appear.

THe truth and certainty of the Gospel appeareth, 1. By the testimony of the holy Ghost. 2. By the prophesies which have been uttered by the Prophets and other holy men. 3. By the fulfilling of those prophesies, which were accompli­shed in the new Testament. 4. By the miracles whereby the doctrine of the Go­spel was confirmed. 5. By the end or property of the doctrine of the Gospel; be­cause that alone sheweth the way how to escape sin and death, and ministreth sound comfort unto afflicted consciences.

ON THE 7. SABBATH.Quest. 20. Is then salvation restored by Christ to all men who perished in Adam?

Ans. Not to allMatt. 7.14. & 22.14., but to those only who by a true faith are engraffed into him, and receive his benefitsMark 16.16. Joh. 1.12. & 3.16, 18, 36. Isa. 53.11. Psal. 2.12. Rom. 3.22. & 11.20. Heb. 4.3. & 5.9. & 10.39. & 11.6..

The Explication.

HAving declared the doctrine concerning the means of our delivery through Christ, the question Who, and By what means they are made partakers of this delivery, whether all, or only some, orderly followeth. This twentieth Question therefore is a preparation to the doctrine of faith, without which, neither the Mediatour, nor the preaching of the Gospel profiteth any man. Hereby also carnall security is prevented or met withall,Gal. 2.17. and that opprobrious contumely, that Christ is the mini­ster of sin. The answer to this question consisteth of two parts: 1. Salvation is not restored by Christ to all that perished in Adam: 2. But to those onely who by true faith are ingraffed into Christ, and imbrace his benefits. The former part is too too evident by daily experience:John 3.36. John 3.5. Mat. 7.21. He which beleeveth not in the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. Except a man be born from above he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdome of heaven. The cause why all are not saved by Christ,Why all are not saved by Christ. is not the insufficiency of the merit and grace of Christ, (for Christ is the full propitiatory sacrifice for the sinnes of the whole world, as concerning the worth and sufficiency of the ransome and price which he paid) but it is the infidelity of men, whereby they refuse the benefits of Christ offered in the Gospel; and therefore perish not through any defect of Christs me­rit, but through their own fault. The other part also is proved by Scripture: As many as received him, John 1.12. Isa. 53.11. to them he gave power to be the sons of God. By his knowledge my righteous servant shall justifie many. Now the reason why beleevers only are saved, is,Why the faithfull only are saved by Christ. because they only lay hold on, and imbrace the benefits of Christ; and because in them alone God obtaineth the end for which he delivered up his Son unto death: for the faithfull only agnise the mercy and grace of God, and yeeld thanks unto him for the same.

The summe therefore of all is, that though the satisfaction of Christ our Media­tor for our sins is most perfect, yet all are not delivered by it, but they only who be­leeve the Gospel, and do apply the merit of Christ by a true faith unto themselves.

Object. 1. Grace exceedeth the sinne of Adam: If therefore for the sin of Adam all men are cast away; much more by the grace of Christ all, and not beleevers onely, shall be saved. Answer to the antecedent. Grace exceedeth and is above sin, in respect of the sufficiency of the satisfaction, not in respect of the application thereof: Where­fore, that all are not saved through the satisfaction or obedience of Christ, the fault thereof sticketh in men themselves, and is to be ascribed unto the unbelee­vers, who imbrace not the grace of Christ offered, but like ungratefull men reject it. Object. 2. Whomsoever Christ hath fully satisfied for, they are to be received of God into favour; for so doth the justice of God require: But Christ hath fully satisfied for all the sins of all men: Therefore all men are to be received of God into favour; or if this be not done, God shall be unjust, or somewhat is derogated from Christs merit. Answ. The Major proposition being understood simply, and without any limitation, is false. All are received into favour for whom Christ hath satisfied, with this conditi­on, if they apply the satisfation of Christ unto themselves by faith: This condition is ex­presly added;John 3.10. So God loved the world, that hee gave his Sonne, that whosoever be­leeveth in him should not perish, but might have everlasting life. Object. 3. Adam by one sinne made all subject to condemnation; but Christ doth justifie onely some: The force therefore of Adams sin is greater to condemne, then of Christs satisfaction to save. Answ. The force of Christs satisfacti­on is seen not in the multitude of them who are sa­ved, but in the greatnesse of the benefit. We deny the consequence of this argument, because the force, excellency, and efficacy of Christs satisfaction is not to be esteemed by the multitude or num­ber of those men who are thereby saved, but by the greatnesse of the benefit it selfe. For it is a greater work to deliver and save even one from everlasting death, then to make all men by one sin guilty of everlasting death: for be it that Christ should save even but one man, yet it was necessary, 1. That he should pay in a finite time a punishment in greatnesse and value infinite, not onely for that one sin of A­dam, [Page 133]but for other infinite sins which follow it, of which every one also deserves infinite punishment. It was required also, 2. That he should purge and take away, not only that originall and birth-sin, but also infinite others; 3. And should restore in him a perfect con­formity with God. Wherefore the grace of Christ in saving even one man, doth in infinite manner exceed the sin of Adam. Ans. 2. Again, that the force of that effi­cacy which is in Christs merit and benefit passeth not through all men, as the strength of Adams sin passed through all his posterity; the fault hereof is in men, who do not as much apply unto themselves by a true faith Christs merit, as they do apply unto themselves the sin of Adam, both by being born in it, and consenting unto it, and fostering it. Now the reason why all men do not beleeve, nor apply this Christs benefit unto themselves, is a question of higher and deeper speculation, im­pertinent to this place. This may suffice for answer herein,Rom 9.28, God hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardeneth. And he will so shew his mercy, that hee will also exercise his justice.

Quest. 21. What is true faith?

Answ. It is not only a certain knowledge whereby I surely assent to all things which God hath revealed unto us in his wordJames 2.19., but also an assured trustHeb. 11.1, 7. Rom. 4.18, 19, 20, 21. & 10.10. Ephes. 3.12. Hebr. 4.6. James 1.6. kindled in my heart by the holy GhostGal. 5.22. Matth. 16.17. 2 Cor. 4.13. Joh. 6.29. Eph. 2.8. Act. 16.14. Phil. 1.19. through the GospelRom. 1.16. & 10.17. 1 Cor. 1.21. Act. 10.44. & 16.14., whereby I make my repose in God, being assuredly re­solved that remission of sins, everlasting righteousnesse, and life is gi­ven, not to others only, but to me alsoRom. 1.17. & 5.1. Gal. 3.11. & 2.16., and that freely, through the mercy of God, for the merit of Christ aloneEph. 2.8. Rom. 3.24. & 5.19. Luke 1.77, 78.

The Explication.

THe doctrine of Faith followeth: 1. Because faith is the means whereby we are made partakers of the Mediatour. 2. Because without faith the preaching of the Gospel profiteth and availeth nothing.

The Questions touching Faith are,
  • 1. What faith is in generall.
  • 2. How many kindes of faith there are in Scripture.
  • 3. How faith differeth from hope.
  • 4. What are the efficient causes of justify­ing faith.
  • 5. What are the effects of it.
  • 6. To whom it is given.
1. What faith is in generall.

THe word fides or faith, according to Cicero's derivation,Whence faith hath his name. Cic. Offic. 1. receiveth his appellation and name from the Gerund fiendo, which signifieth doing, because that which is covenanted is performed; and is defined by him to be The assurance and truth of contracts, and whatsoever kind of compositi­on; yea, the very foundation of justice. The generall na­ture of faith as it is extended unto all things. It is commonly defined to be A cer­tain or grounded knowledge of propositions or conclusions, to which we assent on authority of the assertion of true witnesses, whom wee may not except against or doubt of, whether it be God, or Angels, or man, or experience. The generall na­ture of faith as it concerneth onely divine things, and is taught in Scri­pture. But whereas in the most generall distincti­on of faith, there is one kind of faith in divine matters, another in humane; the question here is, what Theologicall faith, or faith in divine things is. Wherefore we must give a more strict difinition of faith taken in generall, which notwithstanding [Page 134]must be such, as that it comprise all the specials of faith delivered in Scripture. In generall therefore,The divers ac­ceptations and uses of the name of faith. whatsoever faith is mentioned in Scripture, it is A certain know­ledge firmly yeelding assent to all things which are delivered in the sacred Scriptures, of God, his will, works, and grace, whereunto we condescend even because God himselfe doth affirme it. Or, it is to yeeld assent to every word of God delivered to the Church, either in the law or in the Gospel, for that it is the asseveration or avouching of God himselfe. Oftentimes faith is taken for the very doctrine of the Church, or those things whereby wee are out of Gods word informed and instructed unto faith, or assent and beleefe: as when wee use to say, The Christian faith, the Apostolike faith. Oftentimes it is used for the fulfilling of ancient promises, or the things themselves which are beleeved: as, Be­fore faith came we were kept under the law, and shut up unto the faith which should after­ward be revealed. Gal. 3.23.

How faith differ­eth from all o­ther kindes of knowledge.Furthermore, albeit there be also other certain notices whereunto we firmly give assent, as understanding, or apprehension of principles, science, sapience, art, prudence (for the assent coming unto the notice, doth confirme and perfect it, so that what knowledge of a thing it had without assent, it is imperfect and unprofi­table) yet none of those are that faith, especially the Theologicall, such as a little before is described: for to those notices or apprehensions we do assent, either because they are naturally engraffed in our minds, or for that they bring demonstrance, or some other true and certain proofs. But the Theologicall assent or faith is not, neither ari­seth it out of the instinct of nature, neither out of sense or experience neither out of demonstrations or reasons borrowed from Philosophy; but cometh and de­pendeth of a peculiar and supernaturall revelation or divine testimony. That there­fore which is added in the former description, for the asseveration of God himselfe, di­stinguisheth Theologicall faith from all other knowledges, even the most certain. And this generall definition of Theologicall faith is necessary, that wee may not think, that out of Philosophy, or such principles as are naturally known to all, are to be drawn reasons or arguments sound and sufficient to confirme the articles of our faith; but may know, that the word of God, and those good and necessary consequences and arguments which are framed out of it are a supernaturall light, and more certain then all, though most exact and exquisite, demonstrances, either Naturall or Mathematicall of Philosophers.

2. How many kinds of faith there are in Scripture.

FOur sorts of faith are found rehearsed in Scripture; 1 1. Historicall, 2. Temporary. 3. Working miracles. 4. Justifying or saving faith. The difference of these kinds one from the other appeareth out of their definitions: Historicall faith is to know and think all those things to be true which are manifested from above, What historicall faith is. either by voice, or by visions, or by oracles, or by any other manner of revelation, and are taught in the books of the Prophets and Apostles; and thus to be perswaded of them for the asseveration and testimony of God himselfe. It is called historicall, because it is a bare knowledge of such things as God is said to have done, to do, or that he will do hereafter: of this faith these testimonies of holy Scripture make mention;1 Cor. 13.2. If I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, &c. Which saying notwithstanding may be construed of all the sorts of faith,James 2.19. justifying faith only excepted. The divels beleeve, and tremble: for the di­vell knoweth exactly both what things are written in the word, and also what are not written, because hee is a spirit witty, quick, and learned; hee is present, and seeth whatsoever things are done in the Church, and also through long experience hath known the doctrine of the Church to be true.Acts 8.13. Simon Magus beleeved; to wit, that the doctrine was true which the Apostle Peter propounded: but he had not a justifying faith.

2 Temporary faith is to assent unto the doctrine of the Church, together with profession and joy therein, What temporall faith is. though not true and unfained; that is to say, not springing from a lively sense of the grace of God towards them, but of some other cause whatsoever: therefore it endureth but for a time, and in the instant of affliction vanisheth. Or, It is to assent unto [Page 135]the heavenly doctrine which is delivered by the Prophets and Apostles, to professe it, to glory therein, and to rejoyce in the knowledge thereof for a time; not for the application of the promise to themselves, to wit, not for any feeling in their hearts of Gods grace towards them, but for other causes; and therefore without any true conversion and finall perseverance in the profession of this doctrine. This definition is drawn from the parable and words of Christ; He that receiveth seed in the stony ground, is he which heareth the word, and in­continently with joy receiveth it; yet hath hee not root in himselfe, and dureth but a season: Mat. 13.20, 21. for as soon as tribulation or persecution cometh, &c. The causes of this kind of joy are in a manner infinite, and diverse in divers persons, yet all of them temporary; at whose fading, such faith also as is grounded on them flitteth and vanisheth. Hy­pocrites rejoyce at the hearing of the Gospel,Temporary faith is led in a string with the commo­dities of the world, and with them doth live and die. either because it is a new doctrine in their ears, or because it seemeth to sooth and flatter their affections whilest it disburdeneth them of mens traditions, as doth the doctrine of Christian liberty, of justification, &c. or because they haunt a licentious custome of sinning, or hunt af­ter profits and commodities, whether publike or private, as riches, honour, glory, &c. which then appeareth when the crosse overtaketh them. For then, because they have no root, they are parched and wasted with the heat thereof. Thus hypo­crites rejoyce; they rejoyce not as true beleevers, I mean, on a sense and feeling of Gods grace working in them, and on an application unto themselves of the bles­sings offered in the word; which one thing only in the faithfull is the cause that they are rapt with exceeding true and perfect joy; and the removing of this cause sufficeth to make faith temporary.The difference of temporall and hi­storicall faith. This time serving faith differeth from historicall only in that joy which accompanieth it, and not the other: for the historicall faith hath a bare and naked knowledge only; but temporary faith, besides this know­ledge, rejoyceth therein: for time-serving men receive the word with joy; whereas divels beleeve historically▪ and yet are hereon touched with no joy, but rather trem­ble: they, I say, joy not in that knowledge they have, but wish it were quite ex­tinguished. Nay farther, they professe not themselves to be followers of that do­ctrine, though they know it to be true, but horribly persecute, and maliciously op­pugne the same. Notwithstanding in men, historicall faith is sometimes coupled with profession, and sometimes also severed from it: for oftentimes men professe, for I know not what causes, that religion and truth which in heart they hate: ma­ny also which are resolved, and know assuredly the verity of Christian doctrine, notwithstanding oppose themselves, and set their faces against it; and these are they which sin against the holy Ghost. Object. Yea, but the divell hath often profes­sed Christ: therefore he doth not oppugne this doctrine. The divel profes­sed Christ, that for his testimonies sake he might be lesse beleeved. Mark 1.25. Acts 16.18. Ans. He did this not for any de­sire of promoting and advancing Christs doctrine, but for the hatred he bare unto it, that by his testimony he might cause it to be suspected, and might mingle there­with his own errours and lies: therefore Christ doth command him silence, as Paul also doth in the Acts.

3 The faith of miracles is an especiall gift of effecting some extraordinary worke, or fore­telling some certain event by divine revelation: Or,What the faith of working miracles is. It is a certain perswasion springing from an especiall revelation and peculiar promise of God touching some miraculous effect which he would have done, and foretelleth that it shall come to passe. For this kinde of faith cannot be drawne simply out of the generall word of God, unlesse some singular promise or revelation of God be annexed therewith: Of this faith the Apostle saith; If I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains: 1 Cor. 13.2. for although this speech be understood of all the kindes of faith, excepting justifying faith; yet it is especially referred to the faith of miracles. That this faith is diverse from the o­ther kindes, is proved by these reasons: 1. By that saying of Christ;How it differeth from the rest. Matt. 17.20. If ye have faith as much as is a graine of mustard seed, yee shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove: But many holy men who had a stable faith, and both knew the word of God, and rejoyced therein, and applyed it unto them­selves, as Abraham, David, &c. yet did not remove mountains: Therefore this is a diverse kind of faith from that justifying faith which they had. 2. Many Ex­orcists, and the sons of Sceva in the Acts endeavoured to cast out divels,Acts 19.1 [...]. whereas [Page 136]they had not the gift of it, to wit, speciall revelation from above, and therefore it fell out ill with them, the spirit of the possessed man invading, disarming, and woun­ding them.Acts 8.13. 3. Simon Magus is said to have beleeved, and yet could hee not work miracles; and therefore he would have bought and gotten this power with mony. 4. The divell knoweth the story of the Scripture, neither yet doth he work mira­cles; because none besides the Creator is able to change the nature of things. 5. Ju­das taught and wrought miracles, as did the other Apostles; therefore he had an historicall faith (yea, and perhaps a temporall faith) and the faith of miracles, yet had he not a justifying faith; for hee is called of Christ a divell. 6. Many shall say unto Christ,John 6.70. Matth. 7.22, 23. Lord, Lord, have not wee by thy name cast out divels? but Christ will answer them, I never knew you: Wherefore the gift of working miracles is given to hy­pocrites also. 7. The other kinds of faith extend to all things that are written in the word, and therein proposed to be beleeved: but this of miracles is appropria­ted and restrained to some certain works, or extraordinary effects to come: there­fore it is a distinct kind of faith, and different from the rest.

4 Justifying or saving faith is properly that which is defined in the Answer to the 21. Question of the Catechism;What justifying faith is. in which definition, the generall or common nature is, a knowledge and stedfast assent; for of an unknown doctrine there is no faith, and it behoveth every man to know the doctrine before he beleeve it:1. The materiall cause thereof. whence the Pa­pists implicite faith is refuted.2. The formall. The difference or speciall nature, is the confidence and applying which every particular man maketh to himselfe of free remission of sins by and through Christ: The property and peculiar affection thereof is to rest and re­joyce in God for this so great good:3. The efficient. The efficient cause is the holy Ghost: The in­strumentall cause is the Gospel,4. The instrumen­tall. under which the use also of the Sacraments is com­prehended:The difference thereof from the rest. The subject where it is seated is the will and heart of man. Justifying or saving faith differeth from the other kinds of faith; in that this onely is the cer­tain confidence whereby we apply Christs merit unto our selves:1. In nature. It is a confidence unmoveable. and we apply it unto our selves when every one of us do certainly resolve, that the righteousnesse or merit of Christ is also given and imputed to us; that we may be esteemed just and righteous of God, and also may be regenerated and glorified. Confidence or trust is a motion of the heart or will, following and pursuing some good thing, and rejoycing and resting thereon: for the words [...] and [...], which signifie beleefe, and to beleeve, come from [...], which is to be strongly perswaded: Whence the word [...], to credit and beleeve, even with profane authors is used in this sense, to wax confident, and to rest on any thing: [...] 145. as wee read in Phocilides, Credit not the Commons, for the mul­titude is deceitfull: And in Demosthenes, Thou art confident on thy selfe, or buildest too much on thine owne person. Confidence is a motion of the heart, because it is a following and pursuing of a good thing, and a desire of retaining that good which a man already doth enjoy: It is a rejoycing, because it is glad of the pre­sent grace of God towards every of us, of full deliverance from the guilt of sin, and from sin it selfe in part: and because by that which every one enjoyeth in present hee conceiveth hope of everlasting blessings to come, as of everlasting life, and full delivery from all evill both of crime and pain, and therefore is free from the fear of future evill:Matth. 25.29. 1 Cor. 1.22. & 5.5. Ephes. 1.13. To him that hath shall be given. The holy Spirit given unto us is the earnest and pledge of our full redemption. Again, Justifying faith differ­eth from the rest in this also, that this justifying faith is concerning all spirituall gifts, and whatsoever belong to our salvation, 2. In object. It only concer­neth spirituall things. and is properly and simply, or absolutely called faith in the Scripture; and is proper also and peculiar to the elect and cho­sen. The faith of miracles is a certain gift whereby we are not bettered, which we may want without any hindrance to our salvation: neither is it given to all the faithfull, nor at all times. Historicall faith is a part of the justifying, and befalleth all the godly and hypocrites: but is not sufficient alone to salvation, because it apply­eth not to it selfe those benefits which are made known unto it out of the word: Temporary faith hypocrites have. 3. In extent. It comprehen­deth the rest, but is not compre­hended by them. Justifying faith therefore differeth from Histo­ricall faith, in that it alwayes comprehendeth Historicall: but this is not suffici­ent to make a justifying faith, as neither are the other two. And it differeth from [Page 137]them all, because by justifying faith alone righteousnesse and inheritance is obtained. For if, as the Apostle saith, we are justified by faith, and faith is imputed for righteousnesse, 4. In effect & end. It only obtaineth the inheritance. Rom. 3.28. Rom. 4.5. and the inheritance is by faith; that faith then shall be one of these four: But it is not historicall faith, for then the divels also should be accounted righteous, and heirs of the promise; neither temporary, for that is rejected by Christ; nor the faith of miracles, for if so, Judas also should be heir: Righteousnesse therefore and the inheri­tance is of justifying faith alone, which indeed is properly, simply, and absolutely ter­med faith in the Scripture, and is peculiar to the elect and chosen.

No man knoweth what justifying faith is, but hee that hath it.Now, what justifying faith is, no man truly understandeth but he who hath it (for he that beleeveth, knoweth that he doth beleeve;) as he who never saw or tasted hony, knoweth not of what quality it is in the taste, though you tell him much of the sweetnesse of hony. But whosoever truly beleeveth, that is, hath a saving faith, he both hath experience in himself of these things, and also is able to declare them to others. For, 1 1. He being convicted thereof in his conscience knoweth, Properties of ju­stifying faith. John 3.36. that whatsoever things are spoken in the Scripture are true and divine: For faith is builded upon a certain or assured and divine testimony, otherwise it were not a full perswasion. 2 2. He findeth himself bound to beleeve them: for if we confesse them to be true, it is then just and meet that we should assent unto them. 3 3. He principally respecteth, imbraceth, and ap­plyeth to himselfe the promise of grace, and of free remission of sins, righteousnesse, and life everlasting by and for Christ, as it is said,John 8.36. Hee which beleeveth in the Son of God hath life everlasting. 4 4. He being emboldned on this confidence, relyeth on the present grace of God, and out of it doth thus gather and conclude of further grace: By the pre­sent love of God towards mee, and the beginnings of the first fruits of the holy Ghost, which so great blessings God imparteth unto me, I certainly resolve, and am perswaded, that God will never change his good will towards me, sith he himselfe is unchangeable and his gifts without repentance: therefore I hope also for a con­summation and accomplishment of these blessings, that is, for plenary and full re­demption. 5 5. He rejoyceth in the present blessings which he hath, but most of all in the cer­tain and perfect salvation to come: and this is that peace of conscience which passeth all mens understanding. 6 6. Hee hath a will to obey the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles without any exception in doing or suffering whatsoever is therein commanded. If I will be­leeve God, I must obey his will, and think that this his will is not revealed unto us from men, but from him. Wherefore, a man indued with justifying faith doth that duty which is imposed upon him, strive the world and the divell never so much a­gainst him; and undergoeth, beareth, and suffereth whatsoever adversities for the glory of God cheerfully and boldly, having God his most benign and good Father. 7 7. He is certain, that his faith, though it be in this life imperfect and languishing, and often­times very much eclipsed, yet being builded upon the promise of God which is unchangeable, doth never altogether faile or die; but the purpose which it hath of beleeving and o­beying God continueth, it striveth with doubts and temptations, and at length van­quisheth, and in the celestiall life which is to come shall be changed into a full and most certain knowledge of God and his will, where we shall see God face to face. 1 Cor. 13.12. All this whosoever truly beleeveth, he feeleth sensibly in himself; and whosoever feeleth this sensibly in himselfe, he truly beleeveth.

4. How faith and hope differ.

Faith apprehen­deth things pre­sent: hope respe­cteth things to come. JUstifying faith is not confounded with hope, though they both respect the same benefits: for, faith taketh hold of the present good; as remission of sins, or recon­ciliation, and regeneration, or the beginning of obedience and life everlasting in us: Hope eyeth the good to come; as the continuance of our reconciliation, and the perfecting or accomplishment of everlasting life, or our conformity with God; that is full delivery from all evill. Object. Life everlasting is a thing to come: We be­leeve life everlasting: We beleeve therefore that which is to come; that is, faith is also of things to come, and so faith is hope it self. Ans. The Major must be distinguished. Life everlasting is to come: true, as concerning the consummation or accomplishment [Page 138]thereof, in this respect it is not now simply beleeved, but hoped for. We are saved by hope. Rom. 8.24. 1 John 3.2. How life everla­sting is a present, and how a future good. Now we are the sons of God; but it doth not appear what we shall be. Life everla­sting is also a present good; 1. As concerning the will and unchangeable purpose of God, who hath decreed from everlasting that which he hath begun in us, and will also in due time accomplish it. 2. As concerning the beginning thereof in this present life: for everlasting life is begun here in the elect by the holy Ghost; and in this respect is not hoped, but beleeved: according to those aphorismes and brief sentences of Scri­pture; He that beleeveth in the Son hath life everlasting, John 5.24. and hath passed from death unto life. John 17.3. This is life eternall, that they know thee to be the only very God, and whom thou hast sent, Jesus Christ. By faith then we are certain, that those blessings which as yet we have not, are not withstanding ours for Gods promise, and for the unchangeable will in God to give them us: but in certain hope we look for them as concerning their ac­complishment. The summe is, There is one and the same act and operation of faith and hope, but they differ in consideration: It is called faith, as it doth apprehend things to come as if they were present: in regard of the unchangeablenesse of Gods will, it is called hope, as it doth certainly look for the bestowing of those things. And in this sense the Apostle saith, that faith is conversant in things hoped for: Faith (saith he) is the ground and substance of things hoped for; Hebr. 11.1. that is, it is that which ma­keth things which are hoped for to be extant and present, and is the evidence of things which appear not, or are not seen, to wit, as touching their accomplishment and consummation. Some reconcile the difference of these two in this manner; Faith apprehendeth the promises proposed in the Creed concerning things to come: Hope, the things themselves promised which are to come. But this reconcilement is not so popular and easie to be conceived by the vulgar fort, as is the other. Object. 2. Faith is the evidence of things which are not seen: Therefore not of things present. Answ. It is the evidence of things which are not seen, to wit, by the outward sense: but they are seen by the eyes of the mind, even as if they did lie open to the eyes of the body. Again, they are not seen (as is afore-shewed) in respect of their accomplish­ment and consummation.

5. What are the causes of faith.

How the H. Ghost is the principall & efficient cause of faith. Ephes. 2.8.THe first and principall efficient cause of faith, both historicall, temporary, and of working miracles, is the holy Ghost: howbeit, hee is cause of these by his di­vine generall working only: but he is cause of justifying faith by a speciall kinde of wor­king. By the grace of God ye are saved through faith, and that not of your selves: it is the gift of God, who enlightneth the minde, that it may understand the word; and moveth the will, that it may assent unto the word once understood. Object. The divell hath historicall faith: It is therefore wrought in him by the holy Ghost. Ans. Yea, even whatsoever faith is in the divell is wrought by the Spirit of God, but that by a generall and universall working only (as hath been said) whereby he worketh in all; not by a speciall and proper action, because by such a kind of working the holy Ghost fashioneth and frameth a justifying faith in the elect alone For verily, what­soever knowledge and understanding is in divels and hypocrites, God effecteth it by his Spirit; but not so as to regenerate or justifie them, that they might rightly acknowledge him to be the authour of this gift, and magnifie him therefore; for after this manner hee worketh faith in the elect alone. The divels therefore and hypocrites have faith from the Spirit of God: but the elect from the Spirit of God san­ctifying them.

The word of God preached, the in­strumentall cause of faith. Rom. 1.16. Rom 10 17. 1 Cor▪ 4.15.The instrumentall cause of faith in generall, is the whole word of God comprehen­ded in the books of the old and new Testament, in which writings also are con­tained many works and miracles of God besides the word. But the chief and pro­per instrument of justifying faith is the preaching of the Gospel. The Gosel is the pow­er of God unto salvation to every one that beleeveth. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. This instrument doth the holy Ghost use (yet not as necessa­ry in regard of his working; but arbitrary, and at his own good pleasure) both [Page 139]to stir up faith in us, and to nourish, strengthen, and increase the same. Wherefore ordinarily justifying faith is never engendered in those who are of yeers to receive it, without the preaching of the Gospel.Speciall revelati­on the cause of faith of miracles. The formall cause of faith. The object of faith. The subject of faith. The ends of faith. The cause of that faith which worketh miracles is not simply the word of God, but there must necessarily come thereto an especiall or immediate revelation from God. The formall cause of justifying faith is a cer­tain knowledge and confidence in Christ. The object of it is whole Christ, and his benefits promised in the word. The subject or part of man wherein it remaineth is the un­derstanding, will, and heart of man. The end or finall cause, 1. The glory of God, to wit, the celebration of his truth, justice, bounty, mercy which hee hath shewed in the sending of his Son, and in the giving of faith in him. 2. Our salvation, that wee may receive the blessings which are promised in the word.

6. What are the effects of faith.

The effects of faith.THe effects of justifying faith are, 1 1. The justifying of us before God. 2 2. Joy, resting on God, and peace of conscience. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God. 3 3. Our whole conversion, regeneration, and all our obedience, which followeth faith, and begin­neth at the same time with faith: For, by faith God purifieth our hearts. Rom. 5.1. To the effects of faith appertaine also the consequents thereof; that is, increase of spirituall and corporall gifts, and the receiving of the things themselves which faith aimeth at.Acts 15.9. The first then and immediate effect of justifying faith is justification: from this af­terwards flow all other benefits purchased by the bloud of Christ, which all we be­leeve to be given us by faith, faith it selfe being the cause of them: for, That which is the cause unto any cause of any effect, is likewise a cause of that effect. If thererefore faith be the next cause of our justification in respect of us, it is also a cause of those things which necessarily follow justification: Thy faith hath saved thee. Luke 8.48. In a word: The effects of faith are justification and regeneration, which is begun here, and is to be perfected in the life to come, Rom. 3.28. & 10.10. Acts 13.39.

7. Unto whom faith is given.

Justifying faith is given to all the e­lect, and to them only. Joh. 6.44 & 10.26. Matth. 13.11. Acts 13.48. Rom. 8.30. Ephes. 2.8. Rom. 10.16. 2 Thes. 3.2. Mat. 7.22.JUstifying faith is only proper to the elect, and that to all of them: for it is gi­ven to the elect alone, and to all the elect, even to infants, as concerning some inclination: No man can come to mee, except the Father which hath sent mee draw him. Ye beleeve not, for ye are not of my sheep. It is given to you to know the secrets of heaven: but unto them it is not given. And they beleeved as many as were ordained to everlasting life. Whom he predestinated, them also he called: and whom hee called▪ them also hee justi­fied. Faith is the gift of God. All have not hearkened to the Gospel. For all men have not faith. Temporary faith, and the faith of miracles is given to those who are members of the visible Church only, that is, hypocrites. Have wee not by thy Name done many great works? Cast out divels? But now neverthelesse this faith of miracles ceaseth, which flourished in the primitive Church; for that now the doctrine is sufficiently confirmed.

Historicall faith all they have, who are by profession of the Church, whether they be of the godly or reprobates; yea, and they also who are not members of the Church, but enemies, as divels and tyrants. Historicall is a part of justifying faith: because there can be no assent or perswasion of a thing which is not first known. Object. Historicall faith is a good work: The divels have historicall faith: Therefore they have good works. Answ. Historicall faith is a good work, if it be joyned with an application of those things whereto it assenteth, that is, with confidence. Repl. Historicall faith is a good work though it be not joyned with confidence, because it is an ef­fect of the Spirit of God: Therefore the divels have good works, even without peculiar application and confidence. Answ. Historicall faith is a good work in it selfe,Historicall faith which is good in it selfe, is made ill by an accident. but it is made ill by an accident, for that the reprobate do not apply those things to themselves, which they know and beleeve to be true: Wherefore the divels are said to tremble; for that they doe not think that God is towards them also such as [Page 140]he is described in his word, good, mercifull, &c. The summe is: As the substance it selfe of the divels, and other things which they retaine still of their first crea­tion; so also both the knowledge and faith which they have concerning divine matters, are in themselves very good, because they are the effects and gifts of God: but they are made evill by an accident, even by reason of their abusing of them, for that they referre them not to this end, as to shew themselves gratefull unto God the author of these good things, and to magnifie him for them.A beleeving incli­nation in infants, though not an a­ctuall beleefe. Against this, That all the elect are said to have faith, some thus reason; Object. Many infants are of the elect, and yet have not faith: Therefore all the elect have not faith. Ans. They have not indeed actuall faith, as men of ripe years; but they have a power or incli­nation to beleeve, which the holy Ghost, as it fitteth for their capacity and condi­tion, worketh in them; for whereas the holy Ghost is promised unto infants, hee cannot be idle in them: Wherefore that remaineth still which before was confir­med, That all the elect have faith. And further this I a