THE ANSWER TO THE Report, &c. Which the United Ministers Appointed their Committee to draw up, as in the Preface. ALSO LETTERS of the Right Re­verend the Bishop of Worcester, and the Reverend Dr. Edwards, to Mr. Williams; against whom their Te­stimony was produced by Mr. Lob. And Animadversions on Mr. LOB's De­fence of The Report.

By Daniel Williams.

London, Printed by Sam. Darker, for Iohn Law­rence at the Angel in the Poultrey. 1698.

The Preface.

I Shall give a true Narrative of the Composing and Publishing of the following Sheets. The Vnited Ministers, after their usual recess, met at St. Hel­lens, Sept. 6. 1697. After previous Debates [it was Unanimously voted that the Committee should take notice of the Papers called, The Report and the Remarks. And if any Brother had any thing to offer about the same, that he should communicate it to them, in or­der to their drawing up an Answer.] The Commit­tee consists of Dr. Bates, Mr. Hammond, Mr. How, Mr. Alsop, Mr. Williams, Mr. Stretton, Mr. Woodhouse, Mr. Spademan, Mr. Nath. Taylor.

Sept. 20. 1697. [The Answer of the Committee to the Report, &c. was read, and ordered to be read a se­cond time next Monday.] Note, 1. They of the Com­mittee, who applied themselves to this Work, were Mr. Hammond, Mr. Alsop, Mr. Williams, Mr. Stret­ton, Mr, Woodhouse, Mr. Spademan, and Mr. Nath. Taylor. Six of them severally perused this Answer to the Report; and after several Meetings, all the Seven Unanimously agreed thereto, and brought it to the Meeting as the Answer they had prepared. The most material parts were read to Dr. Bates (particularly the Proposal, p. 27, 28. The Accouut of the Subscri­ption to the first Paper, and concerning my Book, p. 41, 42, &c.) and approved of by him. Our rule is, that no matter of moment shall be determined, un­less it have been openly and freely debated, and a­greed in one Meeting, and then re-assumed and con­cluded in a Second Meeting. 3. This Answer was debated, and agreed to in the Meeting; tho a Bro­ther had objected against its being in the Name of the Body. Sep. 27. 1697. [Resolved that the Reading of the Answer to the Report, be deferred to this day Fortnight, that the Committee may have time to con­sider.] Note, 1. The occasion of this delay, was not any thing objected against any part of this Answer; But three of the Brethren insisted that it was too [Page] great a Condescention in the Body, to Answer so in­significant a Person as the Author of the Report; And that this Present Answer should be Published by a par­ticular Brother, and that some inconveniency might attend putting forth any Answer in the Name of the Body. 2. The thing to be considered by the Commit­tee was, what expedient could be offered, or Reason given, why this Answer should not be Published in the Name of the United Ministers as such. 3. The Committee met, and debated. But one of the foresaid three Brethren remained unsatisfied, that any Answer should be Printed in the Name of the Body of the United Ministers. The debate was put off to another time.

October 11. 1697. [Mr. Hammond acquainted the Brethren that the Committee was not ready to give in their Report.] Upon some of the Brethren begining to express their resentments at these delays; I spake to this effect: [Mr. Moderator, Tho I have met with no Reason that's cogent with me, or with many of the Brethren, why any be unwilling the Answer should be Published in the Name of the Body of the United Ministers, yet the dissatisfaction of any worthy Bro­ther, &c. Is so inconvenient at this juncture, that I shall not insist on the present reading of our Answer here.—But I shall acquaint you, that some or other of the Brethren will cause this Answer to be Printed, with an Account how far it hath proceeded among us.] This proved a satisfying expedient, of which no Man expressed any dislike. Hereupon a Vote which past nemine contradicente, Sep. 27. 1697. (When all were present, who desired further time to consider whether the Answer should be in the Name of all the United Ministers) was now repeated and unanimously appro­ved; the Vote was, [We Judge it needful that there be an Answer to two Papers, called the Report and the Remarks, in Vindication of the United Ministers from the Charge therein made against them.] Thus [Page] far and no further did this Answer to the Report, proceed in our Meeting of Ministers; nor did I keep it a secret when in the Press. But most of the Bre­thren were informed thereof, whereat none expressed (that I know of) any dissatisfaction. As for the Epi­stle and the Reflections on the Remarks, they went no further than the Committee, and were not to be brought to the Meeting till after the Answer had past.

Tho this Narrative informs you, that this Answer is not Published in the Name of the Body of the Uni­ted Ministers, because the Confirmation of it by a se­cond Reading is suspended, and only so. Yet the Ori­ginal Papers and the Matters of Fact declared, are as unquestionable, and the Doctrines herein acknowledg­ed are as much their common sentiments as if the An­swer had been Published in the Name of the Body. For I appeal to the Book of St. Hellens, for the Truth of this Narrative, and to the Copy perused and marked by the Committee, that there is no Change in the An­swer to the Report, except one amendment in the date of time. Nor in the Epistle, or Reflections on the Re­marks, besides one expression softned by the Commit­tees direction.

Could the Answer of a particular Brother, as well express the Doctrines assented to by the United Mini­sters, and obtain the same Credit in a recital of Mat­ters of Fact (in both which lies their Vindication) as this Answer [which their Committee was appointed to draw, and which they brought in to the Meeting as their prepared Answer, and which was once agreed to by the Body, and unexcepted against in any one Pas­sage, when it was suspended to gratify three of the Brethren,] I should have preferred the Liberty of An­swering alone, if I had not Judged it needless after so great an Answer as the Faithful Rebuke, which was so acceptable that only the modesty of the Author pre­veuted the thanks of the United Ministers, for his put­ting [Page] a stop to the evil effects of the Report, whilst their Meetings were discontinued.

I have subjoyned that Second Paper, mentioned in the Report, &c. As also one of the Letters of the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Worcester, and one of the Reverend Dr. Edwards, both whose Books Mr. Lob cites against me: and therefore I thought none fitter to vindicate me against his Charge, and their own Books from the ill use he wrested them to serve. Last­ly, Mr. Lob's Defence of the Report, with a Challenge to me coming forth, when these were in the Press; Friendship and Justice to the Rebuker prompted my be­stowing a few hours to stop the ill effects of this grand peice of Art and Misrepresentation, (it's nothing else) until he shall better fift, and more expose it. And one thing I hint, which I thought proper for him to over­look. If after all this Evidence Mr. Lob can find a peo­ple so credulous and bewitched by prejudice, as to say, The United Ministers, or my self, are Socinians; that the difference on our part (tho it's so on theirs) have been about meer Words or Trifles; that we have op­posed any thing but Gross Crispianism, that we brake the Union, or refused Re-union from a Zeal for Er­rors against the satisfaction of Christ, or Justification by his Righteousness; They deserve Pity rather than Argument. That at last Truth and Peace may pre­vail, is the Prayer of,

Daniel Williams.

To the Reader.

NOne are more afflicted than our selves under those un­seasonable dissentions, which we would have Con­cealed, when our utmost Endeavours and Compliances could neither prevent, nor yet put a Period to. But the Authors of the Printed Papers which we confute, have contrived so to Proclaim our differences, by sending those sheets in Let­ters to most of our Ministers in the Kingdom, yea, to for­reign parts, and to Multitudes of Private Persons: That our [Page] Defence, instead of making our Divisions more known, will scarce reach those already mis-informed. Had the Charge contained only small mistakes, or lesser Errors; Christian Prudence might forbid an Answer. But when they publish us guilty of such destructive Opinions, as they say subvert the Doctrine of Christs satisfaction, yea, and make it im­possible; and this not as rash Censures, but pretending to cite our own Paper for their Charge; A Vindication is ne­cessary, unless we ought to Prostitute our Ministry, betray the Truth, lye under the brand of Heretical Opinions, in­duce others by our Example to entertain such Errors, and Confirm those who are already infected. Had the Accusa­tion been still confined to some particular Brethren, our Pra­ctice hitherto may convince the World, we had not as a bo­dy set forth this Vindication: But when the Authors of the Report, &c. Accuse all who sent the Third Paper, i. e. the Body of the United Brethren in and about London: Nothing short of our own Publick Testimony can be suffi­cient to declare what our Principles be, or acquit us from holding those horrid Errors, they so confidently as well as falsely ascribe unto us. A particular Brothers Defence of us would be incompetent to these Ends, had any one been willing thereby to expose himself.

And yet tho the Reporters write for, and pretend to give the Sense of all the Dissenting Brethren, as well as to Arraign and Condemn all us the Vnited Ministers: Ne­vertheless, we direct our Confutation only to the Authors of the Report, and of that called Remarks, with such as consented to and approved thereof. We are so far from in­tending any other Persons, that we hope, none besides them will esteem themselves reflected on in this our Defence: Nor had we given any Narrative of the rise and progress of our differences (least more might appear intended;) But that the Report and Remarks do so frequently declare, that our Divisions hitherto have been caused only by our contending for Socinian Errors against Christs satisfaction. We also desire the Reader to observe that what we call the First Pa­per, Is that which several Congregational Brethren con­tend [Page] for. That which we call the Third Paper, is, that which the Vnited Brethren sent as a mean of Re-Vnion to those wh [...] have left the Vnion. And when we Term such as left the Vnion, and approve of the Report, Dissenters, it is not from any dis-respect, but because the Report chuseth to call them by the Name of Dissenting Brethren, p. 4. And whereas once or twice we have occasion to give a Nar­rative only of some things declared by some of our Bre­thren, we do not therein determine concerning such things, further than to report that those Brethren have declared such things as we there mention.

With this necessitated Vindication of our selves and Ministry, we think it incumbent on us to warn all Persons, especially such of you as stand more peculiarly related to us; that you be not shaken in mind, but that you remain stedfast in the Faith in this time, when seducers not only abound, but under various disguises are so unusually active, and successful to the Reproach of Christianity, and the ap­parent danger of the Souls seduced by them. Lament with us to see all revealed Religion exposed by some, the God-head and Satisfaction of Christ our Blessed Redeemer deni­ed by others, and Doctrines which have a direct tendency to libertinism espoused too many. All which, with the resi­due of the great Errors at this time Propagated; do (how­ever inconsistent they seem) jointly contribute to the sub­verting of the true Religion, and threaten misery to these Kingdoms.

And as we would excite your Godly Zeal for the Truths and Laws of Christ, against Opinions, subverting the Foun­dations of Faith, and militating against Practical Godli­ness: So with equal concern we must exhort you, to have fervent Charity towards all Christians, and to walk in Peace with all who call upon the Name of the Lord out of a pure Heart. Notwithstanding differences in lesser matters. Whereunto we have attained, let us all walk by the same Rule; waiting with mutual forbearance, till God shall re­veal those things to such, Who at present are otherwise minded than our selves.

PEace is so desirable, that we have suffered our selves to be long misrepresented in hopes that time at least would so abate the Prejudi­ces of our Dissenting Brethren (as the Re­port calls them) as not to necessitate us to a Publick Vin­dication of our selves. But to our grief we find that the more we submitted, the more some were incoura­ged to serve their own purposes, by exposing us and our Ministry. Yet we continued Passive until a Print­ed Paper, entituled, A Report of our Differences: writ­ten by some of them as if in the name, if not with the consent, or countenance of the rest, compels us at last, to state Matters of Fact, as they stand, with respect to Doctrinals, between us the United Ministers in and a­bout London, and such as have Deserted our Union: which we can freely submit to the Judgment of the unbiass'd Reader, altho we forbear to mention several things, which would irritate more than those we are forced to Recite for our Defence against the Paper we are now taking into Consideration.

The Title it bears is, A Report of the present State of the Differences in Doctrinals, &c. But upon Perusal, we find it neither an impartial, clear, nor true Report of those Differences; nor can the design it is to serve be concealed, especially when it is so industriously sent throughout the Kingdom, to impose on such as are unacquainted with our Case. Before we examine the particulars of this Report, it's needful to give an Ac­count of the rise, and progress of our differences, wherein it will appear whether we did any thing to break the Union, or ommitted any thing within our power to induce those Brethren to re-unite, who [Page 2] had separated from us, or were not inclined to live i [...] Peace, when their unperswadeableness made us so un [...]happy, as to be deprived of their des [...]red Society.

About the beginning of the Year, 1691. were Pub [...]lished the [...]eads of an Agreement between the Presbyteri­an and Congregational Ministers (as then distinguish'd in and about London, which were drawn up by a numbe [...] deputed by those of both Denominations: of the fir [...] were, Mr. Hamond, Mr. How, Mr. Williams, Mr Stretton with Dr. Annesly and Mr. Mayo, who both of the [...] are now at rest in the Lord. Of the other were, M [...] Griffith, Mr. Mead, Mr. Chauncey, Mr. Lobb, with Mr [...] Iames and Mr. Mather, which two also are now fal [...]len asleep in the Lord. These Heads of Agreemen [...] were Assented to (as far as we know,) by all the Pres [...]byterian and Congregational Ministers then in and abou [...] London, except Mr. Cole, Mr. Mather, and Mr. Rich. Tay [...]lor. Among other things, we therein declared, Firs [...] ‘We would meet and Consult, without the least sha­dow of separate, or distinct Parties. Secondly, That as to what appertains to soundness of Judgment in matters of Faith, we esteem it sufficient that a Church acknowledge the Scriptures to be the Word of God▪ the perfect and only Rule of Faith and Practice; and own either the Doctrinal part of the Articles of the Church of England, or the Confession, or Catechisms shorter or larger, Compiled by the Assembly at West­minster; or the Confession agreed on at the Savoy to be agreeable to the said Rule.’

By the first, we thought our meetings of Ministers were secured, and opposite Meetings prevented. By the latter, we provided, that our Union should not be dis [...]olved by every different Opinion; especially such as were known to be espoused by Persons when admit­ted Members of the Union, as the Reverend Mr. Bax­ter, Mr. Cockain, &c. This Union was tollerably main­tained for a while, notwithstanding the attempts of [Page 3] some to break it, as we have reason to fear, and of others to make it serviceable to purposes not fit to be mentioned.

About October, 1692. Mr. Chauncey in a meeting of the united Ministers after many warm Expressions de­clared, he would leave their meetings, and break off from their Union. The Cause he alledged, was our taking no Cognizance of a [...]aper of Objections, sub­scribed by Mr. Griffith, Mr. Cole, Mr. Mather, Mr. Chauncey, Mr. Trayl, and Mr. Richard Taylor, against Mr. Williams's Book called, Gospel Truth Stated, &c. writen in Confutation of Dr. Crisps's unsound Opini­ons which had been reviv'd, and divulged by his Works reprinted; to which Book of Mr. Williams's, an Ap­probation is prefixt with several of our Names. There were many Reasons we should take small notice of those Objections in our Meetings, seeing that three of the six Objectors were not of the Vnion: The material Objections were not only ungrounded, but they recit­ed as Mr. Williams's Words in his Book, what we found quite contrary to the Letter of his Expressions▪ We might add many more.

But notwithstanding, we were convinced, That par­ticular Brethrens subscribing Mr. Williams's Confutation of Dr. Crisp's Errors (which were openly propagated to our common Danger and Reproach,) did not affect the Union, nor the united Ministers as such; and therefore could be no just cause of any Brother,s de­serting us; yet we appointed a number of the Brethren to consider those Objections against Mr. Williams's Book, who together with the Objectors accommoda­ted that Affair, by a Subscription to certain Do­ctrinal Propositions, of which you have an account, Printed 1693. called, An Agreement in Doctrinals; out of which we shall only collect these Passages. P. 1. ‘Whereas some differences have of late arisen, occasi­oned by a Book written by Mr. Williams, Entituled, [Page 4] Gospel Truth Stated (wherein Dr. Crisps Works re­printed are considered,) and by certain Books writ­ten by Mr. Chauncey in opposition thereto, and by an Approbation of divers of us prefixt to Mr. Wil­liams's Book, and by a Paper Snbscribed by Mr. Griffith, Mr. Cole, Mr. Mather, Mr. Trayl, and Mr. R. Taylor, in conjunction with Mr. Chauncey: It is hereby declared, that neither they who Subscribed that Approbation prefixed to Mr. Williams's Book, did therein more than signify (as their own Words express,) that they judg'd he had, in all that was material, fully and rightly stated the Truths and Errors therein mentioned as such, with­out delivering their Sense about the Preface, Expli­cations, or Proofs thereto belonging; which Decla­ration is not to be esteemed as a disapproval of the said Preface, Explications, or Proofs.’

Here it's plain, that whatever ground of difference was pretended from that Book, or the Approbation to it, was then considered and adjusted; that being the very express and sole matter, which that Agree­ment refers to: And therefore, how unaccountable is it to maintain Divisions so long after, upon that same pretence?

P. 2. ‘We and they say, in order to the composing of matters of Controversie, &c. We do Subscribe these following Propositions, as what do most fully provide against the Arminian, Antinomian, Socinian, and Popish Errors. &c. Here was declared a full pro­vision against those respective Errors. And is it not strange, that now such Phrases and Words must be the Standard of Orthodoxy, which neither this Agreement, the Church of England, the Assemblies, nor the confessi­on of any Church require.

P. 15. ‘We shall always through God's gracious assistance in our future Ministry, to our utmost avoid all appear­ance [Page 5] of opposition to one another, so as not to hinder or prejudice, but as far as in us lies to promote the success thereof, and the common benefit thereby.’

When the following behaviour of some of our dis­senting Brethren, is observed in many signal instances, [...]t might be well suspected, whether ever they sub­scribed an engagement so solemn, or if they did, what [...]an be contrived to oblige them? But that they sub­scribed; See p. 16.

December 16. 1692. This Day the Brethren, who endeavoured to Accommodate this controversy, did with Mr. Williams, and Mr. Chauncy, and these other five, who with him objected against Mr. W [...]lliams's Book, subscribe to this agreement, and these Do­ctrinal Propositions.

  • Daniel Williams.
  • Samuel Annesley.
  • Math. Barker.
  • Edw. Veal.
  • Iohn Iames.
  • Stephen Lob.
  • Iohn How.
  • George Hamond.
  • Vincent Alsop.
  • Rich. Mayo.
  • Sam. Slater.
  • Isaac Chauncy.
  • Geo. Griffith.
  • Tho. Cole.
  • Nath. Mather.
  • Rob. Trayl.
  • Rich. Taylor.

‘On December 19. This expedient was brought to a Meeting of the united Ministers, who unanimously expressed their approbation in the following words, Viz. That those Brethren, who, at the desire of the United Ministers, considered some Objections against Mr. Williams's Book, having brought in the above-mentioned expedient, for the Accommodation of the matters in controversy; the United Ministers have weighed it, and approve of the same. Besides, it was further declared by them, that whereas the U­nited Ministers Collectively considered, and as such, have not been desired to approve of Mr. Williams's Book; in like manner, they do not by any thing in [Page 6] this agreement, imply an approbation of Mr. Chaun­cy's Writings in this controversy; Nevertheless they do rejoyce, that both Mr. Williams, and Mr. Chauncy, have accepted this offered expedient.’

We hoped after this agreement, Union and Peace were well secured: But (alas!) in a little time (without any occasion given on our parts) we found, besides the endeavours of those, who came not into the Union, to prejudice People against us and our Doctrine, as well as against the Union; Several of those called Congre­gational, who were Members of the Union, frequented not our Meeting, but oft joyned with the former in a Meeting at Pinners-Hall, the very day and hour of the Week, in which our Meetings of Ministers are statedly kept. Yea, and some of them in Print reflected on our Meetings in very unbeseeming Terms, as will be made appear if occasion require. Nevertheless, our Zeal for Peace, did not only prevail with us to be si­lent under these Publick affronts, but set us on making a new Essay for a re-union, about the latter end of the Year 1694. To which end, we appointed a Number to meet, both with the dissenting Brethren, who had left us; and with such▪ who had always refused to be of us. These dissenting Brethren pretended nothing for their separation, but that there were Erroneous Persons in the Union. To gratify them as to this, the Persons deputed by us, admitted such Provision as pleased those Brethren, against whatever Errors they suspected any of our Number guilty of. This you will find in the former Part of the following Paper, which was brought to our Meeting, as what would sa­tisfy the Dissenters, if assented to by us. Some of us, were sensible of this New [...]mposition of theirs (against whose Opinions we had so much to object) and the dangerous Consequences of thus Multiplying confessi­ons, as also of favouring such unjust suspicions of our Principles, which we knew they had no Reason for, as [Page 7] [...] any of our Number. Nevertheless, we submitted [...] Prospect of a Coalition; only we finding their Pa­ [...]r to want due Provision against Crispian and Antino­ [...]an Errors, which many did Publickly Espouse and [...]bet, we desired Mr. How, Mr. Stretton, Mr. Williams, [...]d Mr. Lob, to supply the said defect. The result [...]hereof you have in the ensuing Paper, which was un­ [...]imously agreed to in our Meeting, and sent from us [...] Mr. Lob, to our Dissenting Brethren; In Ian. 7. 1694.

After a Preface it thus follows,

'We the United Ministers in and about London, considering of a way whereby to preserve the Union, and prevent any mistakes, and remove any prejudices that may arise amongst us, to interrupt the foresaid Union, do declare, that we still adhere to the Terms thereof, and do still submit to the Holy Scriptures as the Rule of Faith and Practice, and do own the Do­ctrinal part of those commonly called the Articles of the Church of England, or the Confession, shorter or larger Catechisms, compiled by the Assembly at Westminster, or the Savoy Confession; and do re­nounce, and testify against all Opinions and Do­ctrines dissonant therefrom; as for instance, among many others.

First, That there is no definite Number of Persons elected from all Eternity, whom God will by his ap­pointed means certainly save, and bring to Eternal Life, leaving the rest who fall under a just Condem­nation for their Original and Actual Sins, especially for their neglect and contempt of the means of salva­tion. 2. That Christ died equally for all Men, not intending the final salvation of some more than others. Thirdly, That Men have in their own Power by the use of the Natural Faculties of their reason and will, unassisted by the special Light and Grace of the Holy Ghost, to perform all that is necessary to salvation; or that his special efficacious Light and [Page 8] Grace is not necessary to their conversion, perseve [...]rance, and final salvation. Fourthly, That any o [...] them whom God hath foreknown, predestinated and called effectually according to the purpose of hi [...] Grace, shall fall away either totally, or so as not t [...] be finally gloryfied Fifthly, That Faith, Repen [...]tance, a Holy Conversation, or any Act of Wor [...] whatever done by us, or wrought by the Spirit o [...] God in us, are any part of that Righteousness fo [...] the sake of which, or on the Account whereof, Go [...] doth justify any Man, or Entitle him to Eterna [...] Life.’

On the other side.

First, That Men are under no obligation to mak [...] use of their Natural Faculties, with such Externa [...] means of salvation as God affords them, praying i [...] hope, for his Gracious assistance in order to tha [...] blessed end. Secondly, That God hath not made of [...]fers of Grace by Christ, to all within the sound o [...] the Gospel, testifying that whoever believeth shall b [...] saved, without excluding any, and commandin [...] them to believe accordingly. Thirdly, That any ar [...] in the sight of God justified, or Entitled to Eterna [...] Life, before they are effectually called, or while the remain unregenerate, or in unbelief. Fourthly, Tha [...] any may expect Pardon without Repentance. Fifthly ▪ That continued Repentance towards God, and Fait [...] in our Lord Jesus, and Holyness of Heart and Life are not in the Nature of the thing, and by the con [...]stitution of the Gospel necessary to salvation. Sixthly ▪ That the Moral Law is not of use to unregenerate Men, to awaken their Consciences to fly from th [...] wrath to come, and drive them to Christ, or that 'tis not a rule of Life to them that live under the Gos­pel, as well as others. Seventhly, That believers fal­ling into grievous Sins, do not incur Gods displea­sure; or that they may expect assurance otherwise, [Page 9] than by the evidence of those Graces to which the promises of salvation are made, and by the Testimo­ny of the Spirit of Adoption witnessing with our Spirits, that we are the Children of God. We have thought it our Duty to bear our Testimony against all these Erroneous Opinions, or any other contrary to the plain Tenour of the Gospel of God: And we do further protest against any design of undermi­ning one another in any matter of Church Govern­ment, but do heartily desire to maintain Communi­on with each other, according to the Heads of Agree­ment we have assented to. And if any thing hath been done or spoken by any of us, through mistake or inadvertency, that may cause any just offence to the prejudice of the said Union, we are ready upon bet­ter information to rectify the same, still desiring and continually resolving a Brotherly forbearance towards one another, in any lesser points wherein we may differ.’

Our concern for Union will appear, if it be consider­ed that (to the best of our Knowledge) we retained all the very words sent by them to us, as a guard against each of the Errors, of which they suspected any of us: the Provisions we added, is generally in the words of the Assembly, to which we hoped they would be more easily induced to assent, than if we had expressed our selves in other words; and we limited our additions to such Errors as are the other extreme, as to the Arti­cles they had chosen to insist upon, whereas we might have provided against each of Dr. Crisp's Errors.

A good issue of this Paper was expected by many of us. But to our grief it was rejected, and no Answer sent us concerning it to this very day: Yea, a Coaliti­on hereupon was chearfully hoped for by us, even after their Friends had, Nov. 7. 1694. Necessitated four of our Number to leave the Lecture at Pinners-Hall, and all such of the dissenting Brethren, who were managers of [Page 10] [...]he reiief for Poor Ministers, had deserted their Asso­iates with other things, not so directly belonging to the Body of United Ministers, as such. But alas! (as they had generally absented from us long before) all the Bre [...]hren call'd Congregational (except the Reverend and Upright Mr. Barker, and a very few more) joyned as a separate Party from us, in the Monday's Meeting at Pinners-Hall, with the Ministers who had opposed the Union ever since it was concluded.

The temper of our Brethrens Spirits, the methods taken to expose us, their disappointing us so often, when we thought they had been obliged; And the unsuccessfulness of so many probable attempts for Re­union, might well discourage any further endeavours; yet when we heard that any of these Brethren had the least disposition towards Peace, we applyed our selves to an Accommodation. In order thereunto, the Reve­rend Dr. Bates, Mr. Hammond, Mr. Hill, and Mr. Sla­ter, in concurrence with Mr. How, and Mr. Williams, were desired to draw up a proposal, which they brought to our Meeting, as that wherein they were all agreed; and after we had several days considered the same, it was unanimously assented to, and sent by us in a Letter to our Brethren.

The Paper, by the Report called the third Paper, which was sent by the Vnited Brethren to such as had left the Vnion.

WHereas some unhappy Differences have arisen a­mong us, principally about the Doctrin of Justification, as set forth in Mr. Williams's Book, entituled, Gospel Truth Stated, to which several of our Names are pre [...]ixt; we being willing to give all reasonable satisfaction therein, for the removing the present, and preventing all future Differences, which [Page 11] will otherwise tend to the dishonour of God, dis­quiet of his Churches, and danger of Souls; do here by declare our Judgment concerning the same.

That we adhere to our former Approbation of the Doctrinal Articles of the Church of England, or Con­fession of Faith compiled by the Assembly at VVest­minster, or that at the Savoy, as agreeable to the word of God, and particularly, to the Articles col­lected by us out of the Confession with the Cate­chisms compiled by the same Assembly, printed 1693. A [...]d further declare, That if any shall express him­self disagreeably thereto, in any momentous Points of Doctrin, we will with Brotherly candour and kind­ness endeavour to give, and receive just satisfacti­on therein, bearing with one anothers Infirmities, and different Sentiments in matters of lesser weight, not contending about Logical, or Philosophical Terms, or meer Human Forms of Speech, not judging it reasonable or just, to charge upon any such conse­quences of any expression or opinion of his, which he himself shall disown.

And we further declare, as to the special matters in difference.

I. Concerning Justification. That altho the express word of God do assert the necessity of Regeneration, to our entring into the Kingdom of God; and requires Re­pentance, that our Sins may be blotted out; and Faith in Christ, that we may be justified; and Holiness of Heart and Life, without which we cannot see God. Yet that none of these, or any work done by Men, or wrought by the Spirit of God in them, is, under any Denomination whatsoever, any part of the Righ­teousness for the sake, or on the account whereof, God doth pardon, justifie, or accept Sinners, or entitle them to Eternal Life, that being only the Righteous­ness of Christ without them, imputed to them, and received by Faith alone.

[Page 12]II. Of a Commutation of Persons between Christ and us. As we are to consider our Lord Jesus Christ in his Obedience, and Sufferings, as God and Man▪ invested with the Office of Mediator; So it is apparent, this Commutation of Persons with us was not natural, in respect of either nature, by which his Individual Substance should become ours, and ours his; nor Moral, in respect of Qualities, or Actions, whereby he should become inherently Sinful, and we immediately Sinless. Nor was it any change where­by his office of Mediator should be transfered on us. But it is to be understood in a Legal, or Judicial Sense (as we may call it) viz. He by agreement between the Father and Him, came into our room and stead, not to repent and believe for us, which the Gospel re­quires of us as our Duty (tho he hath undertaken the Ele [...]t shall in due time be inabled thereto) But to an­swer for our violation of the Law of Works: He being made sin for us, that knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Cor. 5 21.

III. Of God's being pleased or displeased with Christ, as standing, and suffering in our stead. We judge that God was always pleased with Christ, both in his Person, and execution of all his Offices, which is exprest most particularly in that of his Priestly, 1 [...] Iohn 17, 18 Therefore doth my father love me, because I lay down my life, &c. And no otherwise displeased than as having a dispassionate Will to inflict upon him the punishment of our Sins, which he had underta­ken to bear, that God might, without injury to his Justice or Honour, pardon and save penitent Believers, for his satisfaction, and Intercession founded thereon.

Mr. VVilliams freely declareth his Concurrence with us in these three particulars, and that his Judg­ment was never contrary to the sence of this Paper, for which he appeals to the said Book: So it is mani­fest, that when he useth the prhase of no change of [Page 13] Person between Christ and the Elect, it could not be intended as a denial o [...] a change of Persons between Christ and us in the General Sence, but only in opposi­tion to the Opinion of his adversary he wrote against, for in that very place he expresly affirms, That Christ suffer'd and dyed in our Room, and stead. And we do declare, that whosoever shall be found, to express themselves in their Preaching or Writing agreeably to this Paper, and to the mentioned Articles or Con­fessions, we shall esteem them to deliver the sincere Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and it shall be remote from us to oppose or reflect upon, but we shall to our utmost Encourage, and give Counte­nance to one anothers Ministry therein.

Such of us, whose Names are prefixed to the said Book, do declare they were given to the State of Truth and Errors, as formerly exprest in the Paper, intituled, The agreement in Doctrine, Subscribed and Published, Anno Dom. 1692.

They who framed this Proposal had before them two Papers, one which the report calls the first Paper, which one of our Brethren had with great Condescen­sion and Inclination to Peace, concerted with some of the Dissenters: Which Paper, altho it was never pro­posed to, nor read in any of our Publick Meetings of Ministers, and was unanimously agreed to be laid aside with a Second Paper, that had been brought unto us by another Brother; Yet it's manifest, the Brethren in the framing of this Third (which is our only Paper) greatly Accommodated themselves to the Model of the first: For they admit a new Debate concerning Mr. Williams's Book, after a Solemn Accommodation of that whole matter, when the Dissenters had unjustly made it an occasion of difference so many Years before; they also recite two Passages of Mr. Williams, as ex­cepted against by the Dissenters, and limit the Declara­tion of our Judgment to the Three Heads, the Objectors [Page 14] did choose to insist upon, whereas you will presently read a Vote of us united Ministers, wherein we require a disowning of very many Antinomian Errors, Published by several of these Dissenters, whenever they shall make the disowning of any Passages out of Books Written against Antinomianism, a Term of Uni­on. Yea further, we retain the whole Provision of the First Paper, against any of our surmized Errors in the Doctrine of Justification, and what we add is in Scrip­ture Words. And in the other two Heads, we come as near as we can with Truth, and Freedom from Am­biguity, in Points of so great Concernment, and in a time when so many are at work to Propagate Crispia­nism, and Antinomianism. A Coalition could be no indifferent thing to such, who to obtain it do thus con­descend, and deny themselves. But to give our at­tempt a yet greater advantage, we omitted not to ad­dress our selves to our Brethren, with the most affecti­onate, fervent, and humble intreaties, and supplicati­ons, as well as perswasive Arguments; as you will see in this Letter which we sent to them, with the fore­mentioned Paper.

Note, It was declared, that by the words [under any Denomination whatsoever] we exclude all Righteousness from being Meritorious, or Attoning, yea, or a procuring Cause of these benefits; none is at all so, but the Righteousness of Christ. But we intended not to exclude what the Gospel re­quireth in order to our interst, in those benefits given for the sake of Christs Righteousness.

To our Reverend, and duely Respected, and Beloved Brethren in our common Lord and Saviour Iesus Christ, Mr. Griffith, Mr. Mead, Mr. Chauncey, Mr. James, Mr. Lobb, and the rest of the Brethren of the Vnion, (who for some time.) have forborn to meet with the Vnited Ministers at Dr. Annesley's Meeting Place.

Reverend Brethren,

YOUR forbearing to meet with us at our ordinary times and places for so many months▪ hath made a deep, and smarting impression on our Spirits, and fil­led our Hearts with Grief and Wonder. With Grief, because we have been so long deprived of much of that Satisfaction and Assistance, which your presence with us was wont to afford us. With Wonder, because we could neither apprehend nor receive any certain In­formation of those Reasons, which prevailed with you, to keep off so long from our Conventions. For to this day you never acquainted us, directly, and clearly, of any Offence that was ever offered to you, by the united Ministers, as standing in that Capacity, had you been pleased to signifie your Resentments to them▪ they take themselves to have been obliged to have sought out proper ways and means for the removal of all Prejudices, and of rendring to you, reasonable and due satisfaction. All the light that we have received about matters in difference between us, hath been from a reverend Brother, who told us, that by Conference with some who forbear to come to our Meetings, he [Page 16] under stood, that they apprehended, there are those in our Union, who have Sentiments about the Doctrin of Justification, different from the common Faith of all Orthodox Protestants, and so dissonant from the Holy Scriptures, and the Confessions, which have been owned and approved by us. The same Brother added that if there were sufficient Evidence and Assurance gi­ven them, that the Body of the United Ministsrs would approve themselves, sound, clear, and stedfast in that most weighty and important Doctrin (which we all acknowledge to be Articulus stantis vel cadentis Eclesiae,) they would then maintain all Brotherly communion with us. When this was notified to us, we presently con­ceived great and good Hopes, that all Jealousies might be easily removed, and that a Redintegration of Affections would immediately follow. And what should hinder? For if you do attentively, and delibe­rately weigh what is Asserted in the Article of Justi­fication, in the inclosed Paper, (which was unanimous­ly agreed unto, after open Reading, and that upon several Days) we are confident, that it will evidently and undeniably appear, that we perfectly agree with our Brethren in the Evangelical Doctrin of Justification, even in the very Phrases and Modes of Expression.

Our Agreement in the Doctrin of Justification, which was as the Test and Cement of our Union, be­ing so happily Established and fixed; we shall need to say but little, touching the other two points mention­ed in the inclosed Paper: which (as we think) are so clearly and candidly stated, that we believe, (as we suppose, upon sure and certain grounds) there will be no­thing remaining (upon that account) to obstruct our en­tire and hearty Union

It would be superfluous to lay before you any con­siderations to set forth the desirableness, usefulness, we may add the necessity of Ministerial Concord: Or to represent the sin, and mischief that will inseparably [Page 17] cleave to our unbrotherly breaches. We all find (by sad experience) what advantage is given thereby, to some who seek occasion to reproach us, and to hinder the success, or acceptableness of our Ministry. They do certainly wish, and will endeavour to make our wound incurable. But we trust, the Lord will blast their Designs, and Frustrate their Expectations, by en­lightning our Minds, to receive and hold fast all Truths, and specially those which are Fundamental: And by his Grace, most sweetly and effectually draw our Hearts to Love as Brethren: That we may closely, strongly, and intimately knit-together in inviolable Bonds: And so Guide us, that we may all follow after the things that make for Peace, and the things wherewith one may edify another.

And now (Dear Brethren) we do, with all sincerity and ardor, beseech you to meet us with the like Frame of Spirit; that our only Emulation and Contention may be, who shall be most Industrious to promote the in­terest of our Lord Redeemer: Be most useful to the Souls we are set to watch over: And be most forward to embrace each other in the Arms of Love.

That these Blessed Ends may be the more effectually pursued, we do (with all importunity and fervor) be­seech you to return to and frequent our Meetings, as ye have formerly done: That we may joyn with you there, in your Holy Prayers: Be assisted with your wholesome Counsels, and be refreshed with your much desired Society: That we may with one Mind, and one Mouth Glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

If, after the perusal of the inclosed Paper, ye meet with any thing therein that may seem to need further Explanation: And ye be willing to entertain a Confe­rence about it: Be pleased to appoint the time and place, when and where, a determinate Number of the United Ministers, may meet with a like Number of [Page 18] the Brethren Nominated by you, and we shall most rea­dily and chearfully comply with your Proposal. How­beit, we must add, That we hope, we have already set down our sentiments, as Nakedly and Perspicuously as we could express, in pursuance of our End, which was to give you all possible satisfaction—We conclude this Paper with two earnest requests to you. (1.) Upon the hopes which you have conceived, that (thro' the Grace and Blessing of our God) the differences which have risen among us, will be brought to an happy com­posure: We importunately beseech you, to use your ut­termost Endeavours, to perswade these Brethren who have not as yet entred into our Union, that they will joyn with us in it. (2.) That you would (assoon as conveniently you can) vouchsafe us an Answer to this our Letter.

Finally, Brethren Farewell, Be Perfect, be of Good Comfort, Be of one Mind, Live in Peace: And the God of Love and Peace shall be with you.
By Mr. Hammond Mode­rator.

To our Letter so Submissive, Peaceable, and Impo [...]tunate, we received this and no other Answer.

Reverend Brethren,

HAving received from you a Letter with a Paper in­closed, in Answer thereunto suffer us to acquaint you, that a Paper Subscribed by a considerable Number of you, and approved of by us some Months since, which we have Reason to believe some of you have had the perusal of; we therefore to whom your Letter is directed, do not reckon it Brotherly in us to forsake them who have Subscribed the foresaid Paper, but do [Page 19] rather Judge our selves bound in Conscience to entreat [...]our hearty Concurrence with them, and us, in that [...]st Paper; which, as we have already said, hath been [...]bscribed by very Principal and Reverend Ministers, [...]ghly esteemed both by you and us: and this we hope, may, through the Blessing of God, be the speediest way [...] obtain the desirable End.

[...]ubscribed in the Name of several of the Brethren, to whom your Letter was Communicated.

THis is the Letter our reporter Complains we gave no reply to, wherein we think we paid a great [...]egard to them who sent it, and we shall still overlook [...] otherwise than to Note, First, It is more than [...]robable some of us perused, what a considerable Num­ [...]er of us Subscribed. Secondly, Our Brethren who [...]ubscribed, could not Judge it unbrotherly, to be for­ [...]aken for laying aside the first Paper, when every one [...]f them had laid it aside before, and joyned in the [...]hird Paper, and in the Letter whereto this Answer is [...]en (which it's strange any of the Dissenters could [...] ignorant of.) Thirdly, What is the desirable End? [...]ad they said Union, it would have been more accep­ [...]able to us, than it seemed to be to such of themselves, [...] declared in one o [...] the Meetings about this expe­ [...]ient, that it was not intended by this attempted a­ [...]reement, that they would joyn with us in our Meet­ [...]gs as United Ministers, but that an agreement in Doctrine might be a step to further Union: Yea, we [...] scarce hope they would have re-united, could we [...] submitted to their Papers, because, as we are infor­ [...]ed, Mr. Cole and Mr. Mather refused their assent to [...] And this their Letter was subscribed in the Name, [...] of several (not of all) to whom it was Communica­ [...]; nor (as we find) was any Union, or Agreement [...]gaged, or expressed, except in Doctrine, had this ex­pedient [Page 20] obtained. This is the true State of the ca [...] between our Brethren and us: Could we have obtai [...]ed a re-union upon mutual forbearance wherein we di [...]fer: Had any of these Accounts of our Principles [...]tisfied them; (Tho' we therein admit so rigid and [...] a Tryal wherein they suspected us, and propose so v [...]ry short and easy a Test when we affirm the Trut [...] denied by them) Had our impo [...]tunity for Peace, atte [...]ded with much Patience and Condescention, been a [...]cepted; the mischievous effects of our differences h [...] been prevented. Nor can we guess what would p [...]vail with the Authors of t [...]ese Divisions, unless tha [...] Book should be disowned, which, the Subscribers [...] convinced, is of great use for the Defence of the Go [...]pel in a time abounding with Errors: And such Trut [...] betrayed, as the usefulness of our Ministry and Prac [...]cal Religion depend upon: things we are sure Chr [...] would not app [...]ove, nor could we expect a Peace bought to prove a Blessing.

We were well assured, that a faithful Account of [...] State of things among us, must acquit us of the bla [...] of those unhappy differences, and prevent the adva [...] ­tages some made by mis-representing us: Neverth [...]less, we had still remained silent, if this so unjust a [...] pors (with a Paper of remarks following it) had [...] been obtruded on the World, and with Art scatter [...] throughout the Kingdom, yea, sent to Forreign Na [...]ions as can be proved; after this, indeed our sile [...] would proclaim us stupidly insensible and unconcern [...] for the common Good, as well as for our own repu [...]tion and usefulness.

We shall proceed to consider what is material in [...] Report.

First, The Report saith, Our differences may be re [...]ced to Christs satisfaction and the Penal Sanction of [...] Law; tho' hitherto, the greatest struggle hath been about [...] first.

[Page 21] Answ. 1. The first was no part of the difference till [...]f late, that Mr. Lobb contrived to make it so, tho' [...]ithout any Reason; for Mr. Williams rightly and fully [...]sserted the first in his Books. And the utmost that [...]an be made of the latter is, that Mr. Williams asserts [...]hat if the Precepts of the Law of Works be consi­ [...]ered, as taken into the Gospel, they fall under the Gospel Sanction; and tho' in this respect there is a [...]hange of the Sanction, yet the Precepts considered [...]ill as a part of the Law of Works, they are under [...]he same Legal Sanction as at first, which is to say, The Covenant of Works and the Gospel Covenant dif­ [...]er. And yet this seems to be reserved for a New Controversy, if we had agreed to their very mode of expressing the point he insisteth on.

Answ. 2. It's a very great mistake, that our differ­ [...]nce with them is reduced to these two points, alas! [...]t extends to many other things (Viz.) Most of Dr. Crisp's Opinions, as to which they refuse to give us sa­ [...]isfaction, tho' he granteth these two are all they quar­rel with us about, and how unjustly will presently be seen. We shall detect his mistake by a brief Narrative.

1. The difference Originally appeareth to be about most of those Positions, called Truths and Errors in the State of them in Mr. Williams's Book; for Six of the Dissenters did not only object some particular Passages; but they deny those to be Truths which are called Truths, and such to be Errors which are called Errors, In the 2.5.7.8.12.16.18. and 19. Chapters of that Book: Yea, they say, They find not Truth and Error rightly Stated in other places besides these; Thus they say, Mr. Chauncyes Neonomianism unmasked, Par. 3. p. 96. Whereas many of our Brethren Subscribed, that each of these were rightly Stated. He that will Read the Truths and Errors in those several Chapters, may judge of the difference, and whether any of Dr. Crisp's Errors will be disowned. 2. In the forcited Articles [Page 22] 1694. You'll find that when we had owned such to be Errors, which they required of us, yet they refused to disown those Errors which we added; and therefore the difference at that time, respected whatever they refused to agree with us in, and was not ever since Accommodated. 3. The Reporter cannot be Igno­rant, that September 15. 1695. ‘This Vote unani­mously passed among the United Brethren, upon reading a Paper relating to several dangerous Ex­pressions in favour of Antinomianism, if that any thing objected out of Books written against Antinomianism be required to be disowned as a Term of Union, that those things read this Day, and further to be Collected of that kind out of the Books on the other side, shall be required to be disowned.’

Some things Collected out of the Books of Mr. Chauncy, Mr. Cole, Mr. Mather, and Mr. Trail.

TO talk of a Gospel threat, is a Catechresis at best, and nothing else can save it from being a Bull. Pardon is rather the Condition of Faith, and much more having a causal influence thereunto, than Faith and Repentance are of Pardon. It was sin, as the [...] that Christ bore, the fault of sin was laid up­on Christ, the sin it self as opposed to guilt. Christ was reputed a Criminal, not only by Man, but by God. As to the Elect, there was never any Guilt upon them, in respect of the Righteous Judgment of God, in foro Dei, but that which Accompanied the Letter of the Law, setting in with the Conscience. Justification is before effectual Vocation—The Doctrine of Justification before Faith is not an Error, but a Great and Glorious Truth. Justification in re­gard [Page 23] of Application must be before believing—The first Application, ordine naturae saltem, is to an un­godly Man, eo nomine that he may believe; we be­lieve that we may be justified declaratively. It is denied, that God requires Faith as an Indispensible Qualification in them, whom he will justify for Christs merits—He denies that unbelief is the Cause why Men are barred from Justification, and Obnoxi­ous to Misery. He saith, you talk of an offer to the Non elect, and that offer you say must be serious, &c. But I Pray, where is any offer of Grace to the Non-elect at all, as such. And shew me any Grace given, or Gospel Duties required of the Non-elect, or Be­nefits promised to the Non-elect, upon their perfor­mance of Grace and Duties, &c. And what if the Non-elect be in as bad a Case as the Devils, Is God bound to be any better to them than to the Devils? God hath not said, I will save a Non-elect Person if he believe, more than he hath said, a Horse shall be a Man, if he can use Reason, or speak, or a Man shall be a Horse if he hath four Feet. God was reconciled to the elect at Christs Death, but we are reconciled to God by the Gospel Ministry. Union with Christ is before Faith, at least Natura, and we partake of the Spirit by Virtue of that Union: there is a Com­pleat Union with Christ before the Act of Faith. All that a believer can pray for, is the further manifesta­tion of Pardon, for he knows that all his sins are Pardoned. A believer is to work from Life and not for Life. It's a great Truth that God sees no sin in a believer, sin can do no real hurt to a believer. God is not displeased with his People, and is not an­gry with the Persons of believers, for their sins. Legal Convictions before saving Faith are no more than sin, it's but the Filthy Conscience polluting guilt of sin. There is no Preparatory work distinct from [Page 24] Gods Act in effectual Calling. The Gospel is no Rule of Judgment, that's the Law only. The Gos­pel is not any part of the Rule of Judgment at the last day, that's only the Law of Creation. Denies that, at the Judgment Day there will be a Tryal, up­on which some will be justified, others Condemned. Christs Precepts are not Laws with a Sanction. Ap­proves of these words, sanctification is not the way of a justified Person to Heaven—If you look upon Graces and Duties, and Salvation, as two distinct things, I deny that they are necessary to give a right to Salvation. All imperfect Holiness is sin. Turn ye, turn ye, why will you dye? Is but the Triumph of the Law over a Dead sinner. An unsaved Person can do nothing in order to salvation. God was displea­sed with Christ as our surety: We in Christ satisfied the Justice of God. We through Christs Righteous­ness have a right to Glory, by Adams Covenant. Adam for one good work, should have entred into full possession and a confirmation therein. To teach that a Christian upon the Actings of Graces, and Performance of Duties, may in the Virtue of the pro­mise made to the exercise of those Graces or Duties, expect any of those promised Blessings, is to teach a low and servile Spirit.

The Eternal Life in which the Angels were Created and Confirmed by Christ, differs from that Eternal Life which believers have in Christ; the one is a Crea­ture Life, or a Created Life, the other is the Eter­nal Life of God Communicated in time. Believers are as Righteous as Christ, I mean not in a way of Si­militude, but in a way of Equality. Christs Incarna­tion was no part of his Humiliation; we Coalesoe upon believing into one mystical Person with Christ, which is distinguisht from Legal Union, which is be­fore Faith. The Gospel hath no Law-Sanction, it's plainly denied that the Gospel is a Law of Grace. [Page 25] Faith is neither a Condition nor Qualification in the Office of Justification; with several things of the same sort as above recited.

Most of these were then included in the Paper, the Vote refers to; which with the other things fur­ther Collected, shall be proved to be in the Printed Books of the foresaid Authors, and Book and Page cited for each, when it shall be required. Yea, at great deal more, if not worse, of the same sort.

By these things it's manifest what the difference is about, tho' a noise hath been raised about things remote from the true occasion, that while we seemed to be on­ly on the defensive part, their Errors might receive Countenance as if unopposed, and the abettors there­of might less appear the cause of our Divisions.

Answ. 3. Altho' Brethren from a Zeal for Peace condescended to mention but three particulars in the third Paper, yet it's too evident, that the Dissenters adhere to their own Paper (called the first) and refuse ours, because this doth provide some Defence against some of the Errors, which our difference is about, (the same cause for which they rejected the Articles in 1694.) And it's plain by what their Paper saith of Ju­stification, they had this our Paper of Ninety four be­fore them, and therefore must know, that we insisted under that Head to have it clearly expressed, ‘That none are justified in the sight of God, or Entitled to Eter­nal Life, before they are effectually called, or whilst they are unregenerate, or in unbelief;’ And that Men must repent in order to forgiveness; as also that con­tinued Repentance, Faith and Holyness of Heart, and Life, are by the constitution of the Gospel, as well as in the Nature of the things themselves, necessary to salvation, &c. Our Dissenting Brethren knew this, and yet insert nothing in that first Paper sufficient to this purpose. By the Reporters arguing against us, their not mentioning those things is their disowning of them, [Page 26] and owning the contrary, yea, we have more reason to infer thus, because what they omit was sent by the body of United Ministers to them as a mean of Uni­on, whereas, what's omitted by us, was not sent to us, much less to that end, nor adjusted by our appoint­ment. But we need not to insist on this, when by com­paring the first and third Papers, it's evident, that the foresaid Errors are inconsistent with the few variations in our Paper, bnt very consistent with theirs, tho' not in the sense designed by our Subscribing Brethren.

In the first part of the Head of Justification, their Paper saith, Repentance, Faith, and a Holy Conversa­tion, are by Gods express word manifestly necessary to Salvation. They do not say, Repentance is necessary to Pardon, nor Faith to Iustification, tho' that be the Head treated of: No, these are necessary to no more than a Holy Conversation is necessary to, i. e. to Eternal Salvation: nor do they say, that the necessity of these to salvation it self is by the Gospel Constitution, or any enacted Connexion between Duty and Benefit. Things being thus worded, it may pass with such who tell us, the Gospel hath neither Precept, Threatning, nor Conditional promise: Repentance is not antece­dently necessary to Pardon, nor Faith to the Justificati­on of our Persons, but only to manifest to our Consci­ences for our inward Peace, that our Persons were ju­stified before God whilst in our unbelief. But such things are prevented by our Paper, which saith, That the Word of God requires Repentance, that our Sins may be blot­ted out, and Faith that we may be justified; And after­wards, the Gospel requires of us as our Duty; that we repent and believe, and God Pardons penitent Believ­ers. In like manner, their Paper in the other Heads expresseth things so, as that such may subscribe it, who think the filth and fault of sin were Transacted on Christ, he was the Criminal, the Murtherer, &c. in Gods Account; that God was really displeased with [Page 27] Christ, and abhorred him as our surety; tho' not con­sidered in himself: and sundry the like (that our Paper gives no Countenance to) which our subscribing Bre­thren do abhor.

It's not then without Reason, that the Dissenters in­sist on the first Paper; whether they be such who hold those Errors, or resolve to indulge such as do so. And yet there wants not Art in placing the differences up­on our omitting a Phrase in the third Paper, wherein the true sense of it is expressed; for the Reporter well saw, a quarrel with us for the omission of a Phrase of so uncertain a sense, is as yet more plausible, than their struggle for Errors of so ill a sound would be.

Answ. 4. But if the Doctrines about which we differ are not yet sufficiently evident, we shall with a desire of Union make this proposal; If our Dissenting Bre­thren will declare their agreement with us. First, That Repentance towards God, is Commanded in order to Remission of Sin. Secondly, That Faith in Christ is Commanded by the Gospel, in order to the Justificati­on of our Persons before God, for the sake of th [...] alone Righteousness of Christ. Thirdly, That the Word of God requires perseverance in true Faith and Holyness, that we may be Partakers of the Heavenly Glory. Fourthly, That the Gospel promiseth Pardon through the Blood of Christ to the penitent, Justifica­ion before God to the Believer, and the Heavenly Glory to such as persevere in Faith and Holyness; and also declareth that God will not Pardon the Impeni­tent, justify the Unbeliever, nor glorify the Apostate or Unholy. Fifthly, That justifying Faith is not only a perswasion of the understanding, but also a receiv­ing and resting upon Christ alone for Salvation. Sixth­ly, That by change of Person is meant, that whereas we were Condemned for our sins, the Lord Jesus was sub­stituted in our Room, to bear the Punishment of our sins, for the satisfaction of Divine Iustice, That whoe­ver [Page 28] believes on him may be acquitted and saved; But it is not intended, that the Filth of sin was upon Christ, nor that he was a Criminal in Gods Account. Se­venthly, That by Christs being our surety is meant, that Jesus Christ our Mediator obliged himself to ex­piate our sins by his Blood, and to purchase Eternal Life for all that believe, and Faith and every saving Grace for the Elect; but it's not intended, that we were legally reputed to make satisfaction, or purchase Eternal Life. Eighthly, That by Christs Answering for us, the Obligations of the violated Law of Works is intended, that whereas the Law obliged us to dye for our sins, Christ became obliged to dye in our stead, and whereas we were, after we had sinned, still obliged to yield perfect obedience; Christ perfectly obeyed the Law, that upon the Account of his Active and Passive obedience believers might be forgiven, and entituled to Eternal Life: but it's not intended that the Sense of the Law of Works should be, that if we, or Christ obey­ed we should live, and if Christ suffered we should not dye, tho' we sinned: Nor that Believers are justifi­ed, or to be judged by the Law of Works, but by the Gospel; altho' the Righteousness for the sake of which they are justified, be as perfect as that Law of Works required, and far more valuable.

If our Dissenting Brethren will Subscribe to these Propositions and Explications, we will subscribe with them even to the Words, Change of Persons, surety, and Answering for us the Obligations of the violated Law of Works, as well as we have already subscribed that no work done by Men, nor wrought by the Spirit of God in them, Is any part of that Righteousness for the sake, or on the Account whereof we are justified, that being only the Righteousness of Christ without ut, imputed to us, and received by Faith alone, which is the procuring cause of all saving Good. How gladly [Page 29] would we Re-unite with them, might this but remove the difference!

And since we are content, to use their very Words and Phrases explained in the Orthodox Sense (the omis­sion whereof is, what is excepted against us) we hope, that such of the Dissenters as shall refuse to agree with us, will not hereafter say, that a difference in the Do­ctrines pretended by the Report▪ is the Reason why they unite not with us: But Acknowledge, that they keep up the differences from their Zeal for the fore­said Opinions of Dr. Crisp and the Antinomians, which we think to be very Erroneous.

Secondly, The Report saith, that the third Paper was taken and sent from some who meet at Little St. Hellens.

Answ. These some had with them all of our Bre­thren, who subscribed the first Paper, yea, several of them were the Framers of it, as well as the whole Body of the United Ministers (as far as we know) con­sented to it.

Thirdly, The Reporter gives the Reasons why the Dis­senters did not approve of the third Paper, which are these.

‘1. He saith the third Paper omitted to mention, that a Change of Persons is the common Doctrine of Protestants, and that neither Justification nor Christs satisfaction can be duly explained, or defended with­out it, and that Grotius and the Reverend Bishop of Worcester have proved a Change of Persons, p. 4.’

Answ. 1. The third Paper asserts a Commutation of Persons, therefore we wonder he, p. 5. affirms, that we have not mentioned it, but having therein fully asserted it in opposition to Socinianism, is it not strange our Paper should be scrupled, because we duly explained Justifica­tion and Christs satisfaction thereby, but did not say, They could not be explained without it, &c. Which tho' we may think, yet the meer saying so is not the hinge of the Controversy, nor would it add any strength to [Page 30] the hedge which we have made without it; or else surely, some of our Protestant Confessions would at least have made mention thereof, and therefore these Brethren must reject every one of those, as well as ours.

Answ. 2. We have affirmed and explained a Change of Persons in the same Sense, as Grotius and the Reve­rend Dr. Stillingfleet Bishop of Worcester, have done (as will appear to any who consult those Authors) but they are far from approving the Crispian Explication of that Phrase, as we shall evidence by a Letter of the said Reverend Bishop to Mr. Williams.

Answ. 3. As we durst not imitate the Reporters liberty, perswading the World, we denyed and re­jected a Commutation or Change of Persons, when we asserted it in express Terms, so we assure him, we de­signed not to offend our Brethren, who, he saith, p. 6. are grieved because our Letter saith, That on our so happy establishing the Doctrine of Iustification, we need say but little in the Point of Commutation of Persons. By which words it's plain we meant not, that we said lit­tle of it in our Paper ▪ where in the second and third Heads we said enough to clear it, even twice more than what we said of Justification: But we say little of it in our Letter, where we have enlarged on Justi­fication; because for several Years the Dissenters pre­tended all their great Quarrel was about that Doctrine; and may not we justly grieve that for our Industry, in clearing our selves beyond all their Challenges as to this, we should be Hereticated by this Report in the New Controversy, started by Mr. Lobb?

The Second Reason occurs so often, that we cannot avoid Answering it again and again.

3. Reason, There is such a wrong Description given of a Change of Person in the Third Paper, as perverts the Do­ctrine of satisfaction, p. 6. yea, p. 7. It tells us, Christ did not, yea, could not make satisfaction upon what you affirm.

[Page 31] Answ. 1. We shall first enquire what description the Reporter gives of a Change of Persons, which is such [...]s must with wise Men justify our careful expressing our Sense of this Phrase, p. 7. ‘He saith, a Commuta­tion is the same with a proper Surrogation, where the surety puts on the Quality▪ State, and Condition of the Debtor, p. 5. He tells us, we are all by Nature under the Curse of the Law▪ And destitute of a Righteousness Entituling to Eternal Life ▪ and addeth, this is our State and Condition, this is the place we are in; a few Lines after he saith, that Christ put himself into our Place, State and Condition, so that whereas We were sin and under a Curse, by this blessed change Christ was made sin and a Curse. Here he plainly expresseth his sense of the Change of Persons: As to what he speaks of Christs being a Curse, we object not further than that Christ was not so by Nature; but the things we observe-are, that he saith, Our State Place and Condition was, that we were destitute of a Righteousness, Entituling to E­ternal Life; this was it: He saith, that Christ put him­self into this our State, Place and Condition; if so, then with him Christ was destitute of a Righteousness, Entituling to Eternal Life. To make this more evident, he saith, we were Sin, this was our Place, State and Con­dition, into which Christ put himself; and by this change was made sin: Now, how were we sin? We were not a sin-offering but sinful vile offenders; we were sinful and destitute of all Righteousness, that was our Condition; yet he saith, Christ came into our conditi­on as we were sin; which must be, that he was changed to be a sinful vile offender, not an offering for sin, for that was not our Condition: By which it's evident, our Reporters Commutation of Persons is not, that Christ became a sin offering, and in our stead subject to the punishments, which by the Law Sinners deserved, that they might be delivered. No, that will not con­tent him; But that Christ was changed to be a sinful [Page 32] Person, destitute of a Righteousness Entituling to E­ternal Life; this is his change, this is his Christs taking on him the Person of Sinners; which is a position not only unworthy of the Praises he bestows on it, p. 5. But so horrid, that we hope, some of our Dissenting Brethren will be provoked to clear themselves from the Imputation, this Reporter seems fond to lay them under.

Answ. 2. The Arguments must be strong by which he saith, Our Account of a change of Person is attaqued, if they will prove that we have thereby perverted the Doctrine of satisfaction, yea, and rendred it impossible. Whether the Arguer and Reporter be the same Person, we enquire not, but of the same Spirit none can doubt: In return whereto, we wish them more Charity and Modesty for the future: However, some might expect they would have consulted their own Credit so far, as not to Proclaim the very same Men, the most Learned and most Orthodox, and yet very Ignorant and Gross­ly Heretical: And that as to the very same Point: The first Character the Reporter bestows on them, for sub­scribing the first Paper; yet it abates nothing to them of the last, seeing they will frame and approve of the Third Paper. But it greatly concerns all of us, to pe­ruse the Arguments which follow.

Arg. 1. When we Discourse of a Commutation, we should consider Christ (who is invested with the Of­fice of Mediator) as our surety in the Execution of his Priestly Office, &c. But wording it as they do, is Cal­culated for their Meridian, who hold Christ suffered on­ly in the Person of a Mediator not in the Person of Sinners: For which Reason we may perceive, why there must not be the least mention of Christs surety­ship in the Third Paper.

Answ. 1. Christs surethyship did not divest him of the Office of his Mediatorship, but Connotes, that as Medi­ator he engaged himself to suffer for Condemned Sin­ners, [Page 33] yea, and to do much more for them, than what's included in the Execution of his Priestly Office, (Viz.) To teach them, overcome their Enemies, &c. Nay more, all Christs sufferings, as a Priest, were his suffer­ings▪ as one mediating for Sinners, and not one become himself a Sinner; as he is represented to be, by making such a vast difference between him as our Mediator, and as surety.

Answ. 2. Tho' we mention not the word Surety (which we Scruple not) yet we did plainly express the thing designed by that Word, as far as belongs to a sub­sequent surety in Criminal Causes (tho not pecuniary) and as is cousistent with Christs being a Mediator, in all his Engagements and Performances for us. A dis­regard to both which occasioneth such confused and mistaken Notions concerning these Doctrines.

Arg. 2. Their Account of a Commutation is: It's to be understood in a Legal or Judicial Sense, as we may call it; not that it is really so▪ only we may so call it.

Answ. 1. As we may call it, Is not opposed to really, but we use it as an Apology for the Term Judicial added to Legal, and as unscriptural; we mean that wherein Christ suffered, he was judicially dealt with, as if he had been the Condemned Sinners, in whose Room he suffered▪ But knowing that many give a dangerous sense of the Word Legal, when without Explication or Limitation, we added judicial thereto.

Answ. 2. The Reporter might have spared saying, They'll not Quarrel about the Term, may the thing they contend for be granted them. Instead of complaining of a disrespect to Fifty or Sixty Ministers, we'll desire all our Brethren were as temperate, which would End all Quarrels about Humane Words, when the Sense is granted; nor would this disparage the Reporter, who seems so fond of a set of Words, as if he highly valu­ed himself, for his discover [...] of them to his Associates; [Page 34] and therefore he will contend for them so stiffly, that neither Union, Orthodox Explications, nor his reve­rence for some of us (when useful to him) shall signify or amount to any thing, if all his Phrases be not still made use of.

Arg. 3. We apprehend this to be their meaning, because in their Explication, there is not a word pro­per and peculiar to a Commutation in a Legal Sense, &c. What tho' Christ dyed in the Person of a Media­tor, to Answer for our violation of the Law of Works, yet if he dyed not in the Person of Sinners, to An­swer for them the violated Law of Works, he did not, he could not, make satisfaction to Vindictive, or Remunerative Justice.

Answ. 1. We shall not insist how proper satisfaction is to Remunerative Justice, nor how unfair it is to ar­gue, as if we had said, Christ dyed only in the Person of a Mediator (when our Paper hath no such thing) only because himself had said, our words are Calculated for the Meridian of such who hold so.

Answ. 2. Our own words will convince the unbiassed, whether there be strength or truth in this Argument; take what we say in the second and third Heads in our Paper, which must be Connected to express our Sense.

‘Christ our Mediator by agreement with the Fa­ther, came into our room and stead to Answer for our Violation of the Law of Works, he being made sin for us, that knew no sin, that we might be made the Righteousness of God in him; and with Christ as standing in our stead, God was no otherwise dis­pleased, than as having a will to inflict on him the punishment of our sins which he had undertaken to bear, that God might, without Injury to his Justice or Honour, Pardon and Save penitent be [...]rs through his satisfaction, and intercession [...]ed thereon.’

[Page 35]Can any read these words, and honestly infer, That we have not a word proper to a Commutation in a Legal Sense, or that we denyed Christs satisfaction, or that Christs satisfaction was impossible by the Account we give thereof? And yet we are charged in the report with each of these: But for the better information of the Reader, we shall shew what our Account con­taineth.

  • First, The Father as the offended Rector proposeth, and agrees upon, Terms with Christ our Mediator, up­on which Condemned Sinners shall be Pardoned and Saved.
  • Secondly, The Terms proposed and agreed are such, as sufficiently secure Gods Honour, and make amends to Justice, so that neither are to suffer any injury by Pardoning the Sinner; and they are such as Answered for all our Violations of the Law of Works, and they are such as render Christs sufferings a punishment for our Sins.
  • Thirdly, The Father and Son agree not only that these Terms are sufficient, but that also they shall be Accounted to us, and performed in our room and stead, we mean, vice nostra, & loco nostro; that therein he was to Answer for our Violations of the Law, and that we should be Pardoned and Saved thereupon.
  • Fourthly, Upon this agreement the Father as a just Ruler, provoked by us Sinners, doth justly inflict the punishment of our sins on Christ, for satisfaction to his Iustice (which is the same, as that his Justice might not be injured.)
  • Fifthly, Christ suffers those punishments in our stead, and is therein a sin-offering for us (tho' not deputed by us) That we might be made the Righteousness of God in him.
  • Sixthly, What he suffered is a satisfaction; his inter­cession is founded upon that satisfaction, for, and by, which the penitent believer is Pardoned and Saved:

[Page 36]If we have not herein affirmed and explained a Legal Commutation, and Christs suretyship in a sound sense (tho' not the Reporter's) and affirmed Christs satisfacti­on, yea, enumerated the essentials of it; we despair that we ever can. And if Men will not Acknowledge, the Reporter doth mis-represent us, and intend his Phrases to be a cover for several Errors, when this Orthodox Sense of them could not satisfy him; we can but be­wail their prejudice and partiality.

Answ. 3. We do not see why our words (Viz.) Christ dyed in our room and stead (which he leaves out) to Answer for our Violations of the Law of Works, &c. Should not make Christs satisfaction possible; yea, and affirm it, as well as their words (Viz.) Christ put on the Person of Sinners and came into their room and stead, to Answer for them the Obligations of the vio­lated Law of Works. Putting on the Person of Sinners, can have no good sense beyond Christs coming into our room and stead, which we have asserted; the words, for them, have but the same import: And seeing the vio­lated Law obliged us to dye, for our Violations of that Law; if Christ in our stead Answered for our Viola­tions of that Law, for which it put us under those Ob­ligations to Dye; then Christ Dyed to Answer for us the obligations of that violated Law, i. e. its obligati­ons on us to dye for our sins; to which Christs satisfa­ction (which is the point in hand) refers.

Answ. 4. From what we observe so oft repeated by the Reporter, had he justly represented the Third Paper, and dealt sincerely, he must have reduced all his Rea­sons and Arguments to prove his heavy charge against us, and to justify the Dissenters refusal of that Paper, to this one Argument, (Viz.)

They, who in a Paper expresly affirm and explain the satisfaction of Christ, omitting to mention these words, Christ took upon him the Person of Sinners, do per­vert, deny and make the satisfaction of Christ imposible. [Page 37] But the Presbyterians (in the Third Paper) expresly affirm and explain the satisfaction of Christ, omitting to mention these words, Christ took upon him the Person of Sinners; Therefore the Presbyterians do in the Third Paper, pervert, deny, and make the satisfaction of Christ impossible.

Upon this Argument, the true weight of the Re­porters cause and charge doth hang; and if the Major be true, the Conseqence will be, that all the Churches of Christ in their Confessions pervert and deny, and make impossible the satisfaction of Christ. For to our Remembrance these words, Christ took on him the Per­son of Sinners, are omitted in the Confessions of all the Churches; and we had much more Reason to omit them, when we knew for what End they are insisted on, by such as the Reporter.

Arg▪ 4. They impose a Sense in express Contra­diction to the Letter, and General Scope of Mr. Wil­liams's Book, that when he saith, There is no Change of Persons between Christ and the Elect, It could not be in­tended as a denial of a Change of Persons, between Christ and us in the General Sense, but only in oppo­sition to his adversary he wrote against; for in that very place he expressly affirms, Christ suffered and dyed in our room and stead; for his words are as ex­clusive of a Change of Persons in every Sense, as words can be, &c. p 37. to 41. Gospel Truth: first E­dition.

Answ. 1. Mr. Williams no where saith, there is not a Change of Persons in the Plural Number, but of Per­son Singular; yet the Paper as Subscribed made him to say the first; however, the Report doth change it now, nor is this a small mistake with him, when he takes a Change of Persons, to refer thus to intelligent beings, (Viz.) Christ dying in the Room of Condemned Sin­ners, which he affirms: But a Change of Person to de­note a Change, as to Office, Acts, Qualities, Adjuncts, [Page 38] &c. Really inseparable, and peculiar to either Christ on the one part, or Men on the other; as is plain by all his Arguments against a Change of Person, p. 41. ‘There is no Change of Person between Christ and the Elect, for Christ was the Saviour; and never ceased to be so; we are the Saved and not the Saviours, Christ was the Redeemer, we the Redeemed and not the Re­deemers: Christ was he who by his own merits forgives us, but never was forgiven; we are forgiven, and ne­ver had merits of our own to forgive our selves, or others. It's profane Arrogance for us to pretend to his Prerogatives, and it's Blasphemy to debase him among them who were Enemies without strength and sinners, for whom he was the dying Sacrifice; it's enough that he reserving the peculiars of a Redeemer, should agree to dye for our sins; it is enough that we are pardoned for his sake, when we deserved endless woe, and are never capable of making the least Attonement.’

Here you have all which Mr. Williams hath written against a Change of Person, wherein is not a word against Change of Persons, and it's evident, he took Change of Person in the afore-recited Sense.

Answ. 2. When he confutes the Sense wherein Dr. Crisp explains a Change of Person, he must in denying his Sense, deny it under that Phrase (Change of Per­son) of which the Dr. gave that Sense: ‘Take then the Doctors words, Christ himself is not so Compleatly Righteous, but we are as Righteous as he; nor we so compleatly sinful, but Christ became as compleatly sin­ful as we; that very sinfulness that we were Christ is made, that very sinfulness before God; so that here is a direct change, Christ takes our Person and Condi­tion, we take Christs Person and Condition; with much of this sort, p. 38.’ Here's the Change of Per­son which Dr. Crisp affirms, this is the change Mr. Williams denies.

[Page 39] Answ. 3. Mr. W. is so far from denying a change of Per­sons in the general Sense, that in that Book he oft asserts and proves what the Orthodox intend by that Phrase, yea, in the very places where he denies a change of Person. See p. 37.39. ‘Christs sufferings and obedi­ence were so in our stead, that God cannot exact from us any other Atonement for Sin, p. 42. He thus ex­plains the Imputation of Christs sufferings; to im­pute to one, what is suffered by another, is to esteem the one undertaken for in the sufferings of the other, and to deal with him as if himself had suf­fered the same things, p. 43. Had not Christ suffered for us, we could not have been absolved for the sake of his sufferings, p. 47. God hath provided for his Iustice and Honour (in saving true Christians) by the satisfaction of Christ, p. 247. The Punishment of our Sins, yea, the Guilt of them as an obligation to pun­ishment was laid upon Christ our Sponsor. See p. 79.13. What words can more distinctly and properly express the Orthodox Sense of a change of Persons?

Answ. 4. His Cavils, p. 9. against Mr. Williams, as not affirming the Sense of a change of Persons, tho he say, Christ suffered and dyed in our room and stead; are weak and individious for,

First, Mr. Williams when he had a fit occasion (as the Reporter knows) duely asserts Christs suretyship, and proves; ‘That Christ suffered not only for our good but in our stead, and that he was a proper [...], See this at large, Man made Righteous, p. 91 &c.

Secondly, The Racovian Catechism in the Amsterdam Edition (and not only Modern Socinians) affirm, Christ dyed in our stead; and Socinus, Crelliu [...] and others, as­serted a change of Persons between Christ and us, and the Sense in which the first take dying in our stead is as Metaphorical, and Improper, as the last do take a change of Persons in. But if our Reporter finds a Soci­nian, [Page 40] to use a Phrase explained in an ill Sense by them­selves, and others make use of that Phrase in a contrary. Sense never so expressly, his way is presently to charge upon them the use of that Phrase in the Socinian Sense; the same dealings towards him were equally just, when he useth the Phrases the Antinomians are wont to do.

Thirdly, After all he hath said, to make the stress of our cause against the Socinians, to depend upon the Terms, change of Persons, &c. An insight into that Controversy would convince him, that there are o­ther things which do fa [...] more certainly define that Controversy about the satisfaction, (Viz.) Was Christ in his Death, an Expiatory Sacrifice? Did he make Atonement to the Justice of God? Did Christ endure the Punishment of our Sins? &c. All these Mr. Willi­ams in Gospel Truth asserts. To what's repeated before out of that Book, we will add, p. 7. ‘Our sins were imputed to Christ with respect to the Guilt thereof, so that he by the Fathers appointment and his own consent became obliged as Mediator, to bear the Pun­ishment of our Sins, and he did bear those Punish­ments to the full satisfaction of Justice, and to our Actual Remission, when we believe.’ If he that writes thus must Socinianize, none are free besides the Antinomian [...]. But what can be safely said in the Opi­nion of the Reporter, who tells us, p. 10. It was a Ri­diculing Dr. Crisp, when Mr. Williams shewing the ground of his mistakes saith, p. 52. ‘Because Christ suffered in our stead, that the Fruit of his sufferings might be our deliverance from suffering and our be­ing saved at last, therefore he thinks there is a change of Person:’ Which very words do evidence plainly, that Mr. Williams by, in our stead, allows the sound Sense of a change of Persons, while he opposeth Dr. Crisps Erroneous Sense of his change of Person; and that Mr. W. took a change of Person and a change of Per­sons in a very different Sense; tho the Disputer or Reporter, [Page 41] seem not to distinguish between a Surrogation, upon which an Innocent expiates anothers Crime, and his becoming the very sinning Criminal; or, to use his own Metaphor with him, He that is a surety to pay the Drunkards Debt, must in Quality, Nature and Condi­tion be the Drunkard too.

Fourthly, Whatever the Reporter saith of the Scope, or offensiveness of that Book of Mr. William's, called, Gos­pel Truth Stated; Those Brethren whom he calleth of biggest Name, who Subscribed the first Paper, have de­clared they intended not by that Paper to censure the passages against which the Dissenters objected; but were so far from Condemning any Passage therein, that they Subscribed the first Paper, because they were sure, that upon enquiry it would appear, there was nothing in that Book of Mr. Williams's contrary to the Sense of that first Paper; and they still as well as formerly de­clare, it is an useful Book, and that it's the ca [...]se of truth it pleads, and have given it under their hands that the State of Truth and Error is not at all enlarged or changed, since they first Subscribed, nor did they mean so in the first Paper; but only that there were in the Book, besides the State of Truth and Error, several Ex­plications and Arguments added thereunto; nor indeed could the State of Truth and Error be enlarged or changed, because (as it is attested by several, even of those sixteen that were the first, who Subscribed to the first Edition) the Book as far as it contained the State of Truth and Error was Printed before they Subscribed the Attestation; nor do we know of any of the Subscri­bers of that Attestation, who do dis-allow the said Book, nor any whose Names are affixed thereto without their consent—We shall conclude with these further remarks.

1. Besides the mis-representation of the points in difference, and of the Account given by us (in the Third Paper) of these Doctrines, &c. We could de­tect great mistakes as to Matters of Fact▪ Some re­fused [Page 40] [...] [Page 41] [...] [Page 42] to Subscribe the first Paper, as Mr. Slater; some who say they never Subscribed it, as Mr. Barker, are yet set down as Subscribers; others are said to express their approbation of it, who vehemently declared their disallowance of it, as Dr. Annesley, &c. The Re­porter saith, he cannot Learn, there are five Pastors of Churches Dissenting from it, when it's Notorious to Persons, more retired, that from the first about Twen­ty Pastors of Churches Assented not; yea, we know not one of our Meeting who did Subscribe it, but were soon convinced that an Explication of it was needful, and therefore agreed to the Third Paper. Other mi­stakes might be added.

2. It was unjust and disingenuous, for the Reporter to Publish this first Paper with the Names of our Bre­thren affixed thereto. They, from a Zeal for Union, con­descended to prepare a way for it by Subscribing, but then they declared they Subscribed not as their conclu­sive Act, but agreed thereto upon condition the Meet­ing of the United Ministers would approve of it, and to whom they did wholly refer it. Yet he publisheth it as a consummate Instrument (tho the Copy was neve deliver'd as such, and the Original not at all) and this without their conse [...]t, and after he knew they had laid it aside, and agreed to another Paper as the Instrument of Union. Such a course must Minister Jealousie, that the Reporter when Active in carrying on that Paper; did more design a breach among the United, than Uni­on with the Dissenters, and that his disappointment produceth this report; when he saw our Union among our selves Consolidated of late, and that one of our Articles is to this effect, that we'll suffer none com­monly called Lay-men, to Preach in our Pulpits.

3. The Reporter hath no reason▪ to glory in any of our Brethrens agreement with him in Doctrine, in any point wherein the first Paper differs from the third: [Page 43] by which third Paper they supply what was wanting, and explain what was doubtfull in the first Paper, and determine their sense of those Doctrines: nor did they ever intend the weight of their Assertions should be laid upon any unscriptnrall words, but upon the or­thodox sense of them, which our Paper stateth.

4. It's matter of grief to us, that in opposiition to the preface of both Papers, Law-terms and humane forms of speech, in Doctrines so fully expressed in the Gospel and capable of being expressed in the words used and appointed by the Holy Ghost, should be made Engines of Division among persons who agree in the sense of such phrases, and yet dare not say, that God designed to limit or extend his Revelations by what such terms may signify in humane Laws or Usages, especially when they need Explications and Limitations to prevent what's grosly erroneous; to instance, Christ took on him the person of Sinners; if it be taken in its extent, it will not only be true, that it was of all Sinners, but that he took upon him all that belonged to sinners as such, and he was to be reputed as sinfull as they, yea, as all of them: But the Churches of Christ have been wiser than to insert such phrases into their Confessions, knowing it would confound the Minds and perplex the Consciences of Christians in points of greatest concernment to their Salvation.

5. This report gives a pregnant instance what Zeal for a party will tempt Men to; even to misrepresent Persons and Things, to invent and applaud slight pre­tences against Union with their Brethren, break all rules of Decency in praising or dispraising men, as their turn is served; raise endless noise and clamours, let the juncture be never so unseasonable; nay, cover and plead for the errors of their associates, which at other times they themselves have condemned.

There is occasion enough to invite our enlargement: but we design to irritate no man; the vindication of [Page 44] our selves from a printed charge so severe (as the per­verting, denying and making the satisfaction of Christ impossible) is so necessary, that all Men must justify our publishing this defence: Without a Narrative of matters of fact as to doctrines (for other things we omit) transacted with the Brethren who left the Union, our Apology had been dark and imperfect; otherwise we had mentioned nothing of that kind. It's this Re­porter must bear the blame, that we are compell'd to say so much to convince the World, that if the Brethren had such a disposition to Peace, as we have all along expressed, the union had never been broken; after they had made a breach we had soon re united; and when a re-union was refused by them, we yet had lived in quietness, and prevented their heats, which have stumbled the well-meaning, and advantaged our ene­mies, by producing such clamorous debates, and un­just reflections and misrepresentations. We have not to our knowledge omitted any thing consistent with integrity to prevent our breaches, or to heal them. Another supplicatory Letter to the Brethren for Union was written in Reply to the discouraging Answer they had given to our former; being contented to repeat those self-denying Methods, which many would judge hardly meet or prudent. But this Report hath pre­vented the sending of this Letter, which was delayed by the time taken up in confirming the Union among our selves. In this our Answer to the Report, we have for a reunion proposed to subscribe the very Phrases they insist on, provided their sense may be duly adjusted, and those plain Truths secured, upon which practicall Godliness and a true Gospel-ministry so much depend. By which proposall we hope many of our dissenting Brethren, who have been imposed on, will be so undeceived, as to reunite with us, and leave such to themselves who will still divide for the sake of such errors as these Brethren cannot approve, and [Page 45] therefore will not for the strengthening of their hands be longer contented to bear the imputation of those Opinions, and contribute to the propagation of them; neither of which can be avoided, if they continue to be of a party with those who so publickly plead for those errors, and divide from us only for defending the opposite Truths. Their own observation will furnish them with many more Arguments at last to change their course, especially if they'll consider where it's like to end; it's already come to this pass, that with a stock of these errors, their ignorant Lay-men set up for the only Gospel-preachers, and are crouded after. Many of their own people are so infected as to decry themselves for Legalists, when they dare preach of any thing besides Believers priveledges, and the Priesthood of Christ; such things cannot but affect all them who mind the interest of Christ above their own; of which number we are perswaded many of the Dissenters be, and will approve themselves. We conclude unfeignedly praying, that the God of Peace will encrease all our Light and Love, that with a truly Christian Spirit we may joyntly serve the interest of our common Lord.

We shall add some Reflections on a Paper called, Re­marks, &c. Which soon follow'd the Report; and too much resemble each other. But having already An­swer'd what's most material, few further reflections will suffice: And we shall speak of the Authors as if but one Man.

First, It was needful to applaud the publishing his reported Paper, as refreshing to himself, p. 1. Because it's so offensive to all serious Persons; nor see we, how even he could be refreshed thereby, further than as he Glorieth in deceiving the simple, loves divisions, and hath a Prospect of attaining some mischievous purpose by our Breaches.

Secondly, These his Papers, instead of removing, do Proclaim and fix that reproach upon him and his adhe­rents, [Page 46] Viz. That they divide for dividing sake, and know not about what they differ, p. 6. for he assigneth their Di­visions to one or two meer words or Law Terms, as to the Sillables and Letters, and not to the Sense, upon which they will not openly fix their disagreement. But if he would remove this reproach, let him plainly and honestly contend for their Errors which we oppose, and no longer deceive the world by impertinently nibbling at a few expressions, and from thence charging us with Opinions which, he is convinced, all of us abhor. Only he thinks it will be a greater reproach to Ac­knowledge, they divide for such horrid Errors, than that they divide for dividing sake, and differ about they know not what; Custome and Nature being some excuse for both these.

Thirdly, The confidence of this remarker is more than ordinary, that p. 7.15. can tell the World, That the Points in Controversy are by his Paper made manifest. Which, he saith, is about a Change of Persons. Where­as this change of Persons never was the whole, nor any part of the Controversy between us. Nota Part, For it is asserted expressly by all of us in the Third Pa­per, assoon as it was objected to us, and the sound Sense of it affirmed in Mr. Williams's Book long before. Far less was this the whole of the Controversy; for tho' he Accounts the bottom in the first Paper to be gene­rous, because our Bre [...]hren therein made so little Pro­vision against the Crispian Errors, yet we must mind him these Errors gave rise to our differences, and the abettors thereof still refuse to give us satisfaction; yea, even as to the most pernicious of their Opinions.

Fourthly, Sure he is conscious, what we must think of him, when p. 7, 8, 9. He heaps so many words to shew that the Difference among us, concerning a Commutation of Persons, is not about trifles, or matters of lesser weight, but what's essential to salvation. He cannot blame us to ask. Is it the meer phrase, change of Persons, or the sound [Page 47] [...]ense of that phrase, which he saith is the Corner-stone of Christs satisfaction, and what's so applauded by Iustin Martyr and Dr. E. &c. If it be the meer phrase, all the Churches of Christ are Condemned, because their Con­fessions omit it. If it be the Sense of the Reporter and Crispians, then the Reverend Bishop Stillingfleet, Grotius, Dr. E. and our Celebrated Antisocinian Authors are in as bad a Case as we, for they reject that Sense. But if it be the sound Sense expressed by Dr. Edwards, as ci­ted in the remarks, which deserves these Praises, they cannot be denied to us, no not to Mr. Williams; for his Book asserts,▪ Not only that Christs Blood was shed in­stead of ours, his life went in exchange for ours, and that to satisfy Justice and Answer the Law; but also, that Christs sufferings were [...]unishments. You'll presently see the Judgment of the Learned Dr. Edwards, whom he recites as a favourer of his cause against Mr. Wil­liams.

Fifthly, If the Congregational Brethren have no more than their Signing the First Paper, to clear them from the Charge of Antinomianism, they must still abide under that charge. Notwithstanding all that's said, p. 9▪ 10, 11. the invalidity of his Reasons will appear by our Answer to each. 1. How can their present Declarati­on of their adhering to their approbation of the Articles of the Church of England, or to the Confessions of Faith, &c. Prove, They are far from being tainted with Antinomianism? When several of them have Pub­lished their Antinomian Opinions, both before and since the like Declaration. 2. They do still affirm, that neither Repentance nor Faith are necessary to a Sinners Pardon, or Justification before God; but only follow that; whatever they be to final salvation. Nor doth this Paper say any thing against it. 3. It's palpably false, that the first Paper affirms, that God doth not Pardon, Justify, or accept a Sinner, nor Entitle him to Eternal Life before the Righteousness of Christ be ap­plyed [Page 48] and received by Faith (it's strange he said not before repentance too) but it's not true as to Faith it self. The Paper saith, The only Righteousness for the sake of which God Pardons, Iustifies, or Accepts Sinners, or Inti­tles them to Eternal Life▪ is the a lone Righteousness of Christ without them, imputed to them, and received by Faith alone. Note, he puts applyed for imputed (which he would not say is by Faith) and here is not so much, as that it's only the believing Sinner who is justified: But above all, he knows of his Party who explains such words, by publishing, that Christs Righteousness when applyed and received by Faith, is only for a manifestation to their Consciences for their quiet, that Christs Righte­ousness had been applyed to the Justification of their Persons before God, long before they believed. This is all the Justification by Christs Righteousness as re­ceived by Faith; but they were Pardoned and Entitu­led to Life as much before, tho' they knew it not. And this Opinion the Paper denies not. 4. The Paper saith, Christ came into the Room of Sinners not to repent, or be­lieve for them, which the Gospel requires. The remarker knew, if the Gospel requires these by its Precepts, it was a slip overlook'd by such of them who deny the Gospel to be a Law, therefore he wordeth it, The elect are not exempt from an obligation of doing it themselves. But he as well knows they hold, there's no obligation on them to repent or believe as a condition or Term of obtaining any benefit purchased by Christ; as to that, they have nothing to do. Also that it was the Law of Works, and that only, which commandeth Faith and Repentence with any Sanction; And the Pa­per contradicteth them not. 5. Tho the Paper saith, there is not such a Moral change whereby Christ be­came Inherently sinful, and we immediately sinless, yet they do and may still hold, that the filth, fault and fact of sin are so Transacted on Christ, that he was in Gods Account a very Criminal, the Blasphemer, &c. [Page 49] And that we are as Righteous as Christ in equality. And the Legal Sense of the [...]ange is such, that we are legal­ly reputed to have made satisfaction our selves by obey­ing and dying▪ because Christ did it in our Persons, and we did it in his Person. 6. The Paper saith, the Father was not offended, much less abhorred Christ, considered as he was in himself, But as in Relation to us as our surety; and the Father was displeased with Christ, as the guilt of our Iniquities was laid upon him. And he knows his Friends do hold, that God was displeased with and abhorred Christ, because of the fault and filth of sin upon him as our surety; which the Paper at least forbids not. It's worth observing, that this Article was framed in opposition to one of the two only Errors objected here against Mr. Williams's Book: Whose words are these: ‘That God testified his threatned indignation against sin, in the awful sufferings of Christ in his Soul and Body, &c. (And that Christ endured the effects of Gods wrath) yet the Father was not displeased with Christ, much less ab­horred him because of the [...]ilthiness of sin upon him, p. 31, 32.’ Here's the Error (and but once mentioned) that required one of the three Articles to oppose it. Our Third Paper hath given them far more ground to make this the point in Controversy, than that of Change of Persons (which it asserts both as to Name and Sense.) But they insist not on this, because of the odious sound of what they must assert in opposition to it. As to the Remarkers hint from the Assemblies words, that Christ endured the weight of Gods wrath; Let us mind him, that displicency is opposed to Com­placential Love, and therefore none can be the object of Gods displeasure, but one who is evil and wicked in the sight of the Lord, and therefore hateful to him as such. But the effects of Gods Rectoral wrath may fall on Christ, tho beloved as our surety, yea, who was not hated but loved for dying, according to his own Vo­luntary [Page 50] Engagements. Review these things, and judge what a poor Vindication from Antinomianism the first Paper affordeth. Unless they [...]hi [...]k, he must be far enough from this Error, that [...]eth the Law of Works to be in full force, and the only Law, altho they also hold, that the elect have fulfilled this Law per­fectly in Christ, and therefore are themselves to yield no sort of obedience in order to any benefit, or pre­venting of any punishment. Here's all the Zeal for the Law which they think enough to acquit them from An­tinomians, and all who think that we under the Gospel are any further obliged, are to be Neonomians. But. 7. Yet as great a Liberty as this Paper gives Antinomians to subscribe it; observe in what a faint and dark manner they do subscribe even this poor defence; their words are; We are glad to find so good an agreement among us as this Paper doth express. This is all. But wherein? or how far? Or under what Limitations▪ Or in hopes of what future advances this agreement is to be con­strued? They have reserved sufficient liberty to explain as occasion offers; and cannot deny the reader a leave to guess, especially when he seeth the Reporter alrea­dy to differ so very much from our Brethren, in his ex­plication of a Change of Persons, and other things contained in that Paper. 8. But yet further, as poor a defence against Antinomianism as the Paper is, if plain­ly assented to; And as meer a nullity as the Subscrip­tion is, there were several of the Congregational who refused to do even thus much; and refused to set their hands to this. Which the Reporter well knows, what­ever Art he hath used to hear what they all have done.

May not we hope upon so plain evidence. That such of our Congregational Brethren as are not Antinomi­ans, will be convinced, it's necessary to do yet more for their Vindication than thus signing this Paper; seeing that, not only they, who are far from being tainted with [Page 51] this Poison, but they who are most infected may safely Sub­scribe as it requires, and they have done, who in the ad­justing of this Paper could not be brought to grant, that Regeneration is necessary to bring us into a good State.

6. Notwithstanding his Complement to a few Subscribers, p. 12, 13, 15. The Presbyterians need not subscribe the first Paper to acquit them from the Socini­an slander, that they are Arminians: No, nor yet from the Reporters slander, that they are Socinians.

They have done it more effectually in the published agreement in Doctrine, 1692. They have done it yet more in the Articles 1694. Which had been also pub­lished, if these Dissenters could have cleared them­selves of Antinomianism, as the Presbyterians did of Ar­minianism. Yea, they have done it as fully by the Third Paper as can be by the First: That retains the same words in the Head of Justification, and in all the rest, as far as they oppose Arminianism. Nay, do not we and Mr. Williams Book, assert Christs sufferings to be a punishment in satisfaction to punitive Justice? which the remarker, p. 14.15. declares to be the distin­guishing point; are not our words, Christ came into our room and stead to dye, to answer for our violations of the Law of Works, and that the punishment of our sins were in­flicted on Christ, that God might without injury to his Iu­stice or Honour, Pardon Sinn [...]rs for his satisfaction? What a slanderous Spirit Acteth this Man, that makes Christs satisfaction to punitive Justice, to be that which distinguisheth the Arminians and Socinians from the Or­thodox? And yet ranketh us among the former, tho he knows all of us assented to the Third Paper, which affirmeth Christs sufferings were a satisfaction to pu­nitive Justice.

7. But how long will this Man acquit any of the Pres­byterians, from the slander of being Arminians and Soci­nians too? He is sure, the World will soon know that even they of our Brethren, who Subscribed the first [Page 52] Paper, have several of them framed, and the others as­sented to the Third Paper, as an Explication of their Sense of the [...]rs [...]. The Reporter saith, the Third Pa­per perverts and denies the [...]a [...]isfaction of Christ, in the Ac [...]ount given of a Change of Persons; If so, he must Account these Brethren hereafter no other than Armi­nians and Socinians in common with the rest of us; per­haps he'll Pro [...]laim them Apostates too, for not adhe­ring to the First [...]aper, in opposition to the [...]hird. And he is too well known for us to doubt that when it serves his turn, no Presbyterian shall be sound in the Faith, be­cause he is not a Crispian in Doctrine.

8. All his artifice, p. 15, 16. hath not, nor ever can reduce the controversy among us into a narrower Room than this. Is Repentance required by the Gospel, in order to the Forgiveness of Sin? and Faith in Christ in order to the Justification of our Persons before God. Unless he'll reduce it to this, Is any Duty on Mans part required by the Gospel in order to his obtaining any saving benefit, or any kind of sin, a bar to his Title to any such benefits by the Gospel constitution? here's the Controversy, and the Third Paper is refused because it is express, for the affirmative beyond the first.

9. We are sorry we have so much Reason to fear, that if this pretended point of a Change of Persons, were Accommodated to the Crispians liking, Mr. Lob would find some occasion to continue our heats and di­visions, wherein he had the greatest Hand under the Name of a Pacificator, as soon as other Agents became a little quiet. What de [...]ign he proposeth, or some o­thers by him, if detrimental to the Common Good, we hope, God will disappoint it, and at last favour such who may be repairers of our breach, and restor­ers of Paths to dwell in.

Reader, Note that our Answer comes out so late, because the Reporter Published his Paper, when he knew our Meetings were laid down, and that we were not to come together till September.

[Page 53]The Report and Answer make mention of a second Paper, which to render the whole matter more plain, is here annexed, with the Occasion of it.

Septemb. 7. 1696. At a meeting of the United Mini­sters, Mr. Williams spake to this effect: ‘Mr. Mode­rator, I hear by some persons, that since our recess, there is a disposition in some of the Congregational Brethren to Peace, if not to Re-union: And that the only pretended obstacle is the want of satisfacti­on concerning the Orthodoxness of all of us in the Points of Iustification, Commutation of Persons, and the Fathers displeasure with Christ. For their dissatis­faction, they instance somewhat out of my Book as a denial of a Commutation of Persons, and insinuate as if the other two were not duly asserted. All proposals for Re-union should begin with this Board, nor ought particular Members conclude them­selves in a matter of this kind till you are consulted. But though, I confess, I know not what can be justly offered, which we have not done already, and all that concerns my Book is long since adjusted; yet that nothing may seem wanting on our part to promote Peace, I would not lose the advantage of their present inclination to it. And being that only my Book is objected against, I have drawn up in this Paper the Heads of a Proposal, to be sent to P. Hall, which I submit to the Judgment of this Board.’

That called the Second Paper.

The Preface is made up of what's Cited p. 4. out of the Agreement 1692; and what is in the Preface of the first and third Papers. The Three Doctrinals are in these words. We declare,

1. Of Iustification, As the Gospel plainly requi­reth Repentance towards God in order to a Sinner's partaking of the Remission of sins, and Faith in our Lord Jesus in order to Justification, and a godly Con­versation in order to eternal Glory, promising Justi­fication [Page 54] and Forgiveness of Sin to all penitent Believers, and eternal Li [...]e to such as persevere in Faith and true Holine [...]; Also declaring all impenitent Unbelievers (wh [...]le su [...]h) to be in a state of Condemnation. So by the same Gospel it is evident, that none of these, nor any w [...]k done by Men, or wrought by the Spirit of God in them, are under any denomination any part of th [...] Righ [...]eo [...]sness, for the sake, or on the account whereof any Blessing is merited or procured, much less Justification or Eternal life. But God justifies, pardons, accepts and entitles Sinners to Eternal life only for the sake of the Righteousness of Christ without them, imputed to them, and received by Faith alone.

2. O Co [...]mutation o [...] [...]ersons. Whereas sinners were obnoxio [...]s to suffer the Punishments threatned by the Law for their Transgressions; The Lord Jesus by his Compact with the Father, became our mediating Surety▪ and as such, he obeyed the Law, and our Punishments were judicially transferred on him; which for our Redemption he endured in our room and stead, to the satisfaction of Justice, that we m [...]ght be justified when we believe, and be dealt with accordingly. Nevertheless we deny that by a Commutation of Persons there is such a reciprocal change of condition betwixt Christ and Sinners, or such an imputation, or translation of qualities, as implies that Christ was as Sinfull as we, and we as Righ­teous as Christ. And though we assert that Christ hath undertaken the Elect shall in due time repent and believe, yet we deny that Christ came into the room of the Elect to repent or believe for them, or that Be­lievers are accounted to have done and suffered what Christ did, or that they are justified by the Law of Works — See more in the next Head.

3. Of the [...]athers being dis [...]leas [...]d with Christ; (Thoug [...] the Phrase be not proper, yet we declare) The Lord Jesus having engaged in the Covenant of Redemption, as our mediation Surety, to suffer the punishment of [Page 55] our Sins for the expiating thereof: He did bear the guilt of our Iniquities, to suffer as Sinners suffer, and to be dealt with as God threatned to deal with them whom he is displeased with, as far as was consistent with Christ's being innocent, and one who became subject to those Punishments by his own consent in Obedience to the Father, and for the Redemption of Sinners. And therefore Christ was under the wrath of God, as that was his will to punish him; yea he endured the weight of that wrath in the punishment of our Sins; which sins, as to the obligation to endure those punishments, were laid on Christ; It pleased the Lord to bruise him, having laid on him the iniquities of us all.

But we deny that our Sins, as to their fil [...]h or fault, were transferr'd on Christ, or that he was inherently, or in legal esteem, or looked on by the Father as one contrary to his holy Nature and Will, either as he was our Surety, or in any other respect. And therefore if by displeased with C [...]ri [...]t, is meant, that the Father hated or abhorred Christ (which is proper only to one evil in the sight of the Lord) because of our sins impu­ted to him; So the Father was not displeased with Christ. But on the contrary, the Father was always well-pleased with him, at all times accounting him (even as our High Priest) holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from Sinners; and therefore such, when he of­fer'd himself an expiating Sacrifice; yea, for that he loved him.

Then follows Mr. William's Concurrence in these three Points, with Citations at large out of his Book that he had oft affirmed the very same, and that the places objected did not at all contradict any of these things.

And then further declareth, that as he had oft pro­posed it, so now he is willing to an Union with the dissenting Brethren, either by mutual forbearance, wherein we differ in judgment; or if satisfaction be [Page 56] insisted on as to any other expressions that have been or shall be objected out of any of his Books (where he knows nothing but what is orthodox) he is willing to give it in the same time and manner as Mr. Cole, Mr. Mather, Mr. Chauncy, Mr. Trayl, &c shall be obliged to give satisfaction as to many material exceptions he hath made, and shall yet make, to what they have published in their Books. But otherwise he will no far­ther concern himself, but keep to the Vo [...]e past, Sept. 16. 1695. notwithstanding that now for Peace-sake, he hath waved the demand thereof in Answering the above mentioned Exceptions, when they are not required to do the like.

Lastly, There is the form of Words for the Sub­scribers of Mr. Williams's Book which you have before, p. 4 cited out of the Agreement 1692: only with this Addition, That Mr. W. did not write his Book, nor they subscribe the Approbation with any design to op­pose our Congregational Brethren as such, or to divide from them.

This Paper was read and received; but Mr. W. de­sired it might be waved, when a proposal was made by a Subscriber of the first Paper, that we should draw up the third Paper out of this and another Paper, called the first; which were both voted to be laid aside, al­tho that called the first [...]aper was never read in the Meeting, nor once proposed to be received there.

A LETTER from the Right Reverend Dr. Stillingfleet, Bishop of Worcester, in An­swer to one from Mr. Williams, who desired his Iudgment as to the following Questions; because his Lordship's Book is in the first Paper, a [...]d the Report pleaded against Mr. Williams.

SIR,

I Return you Thanks for the Papers you were pleased to send me; by which I am able to Understand something more than formerly, of the Present state of the Diffe­rence about the Change of Persons between Christ and us: But I shall meddle no farther in it than I am Obliged to do it in Answer to the Questions you propose to me. And I wish I may be able to do any service therein.

The first is about my sense of Commutation of Persons. It is said in the first Paper, that I do with G [...]otius express­ly affirm and irre [...]ragably prove it with the common senti­ment of Protestants, and that the Doctrines of Iustification and Christs satisfaction, cannot be duely Explained and De­fended consistently with the Denial of any Commutation of Persons between Christ and Believers.

This had been fairly Represented, in Case there could be no other sense of Commutation of Persons than what is asserted by Dr. Crisp, but there is a 3 fold sense of it, very different from each other.

1. Such a Change of Persons as implies that One is Appointed and allowed to Act on behalf of others, and for their Advantage; and this sort of Commutation of Persons the Socinians never denied; as I have shewed in the Discourse of S [...]tisfastion. p. 62. 190▪ 191. It is not therefore the Use of the Words, but the sense of them is to been enquired into For some may Affirm a Change of Persons, and yet be Socinians; and others may deny a Change, and be far enough from Socinianism, [Page 58] according to the sence in which they are understood.

2. Such a Change of Persons as supposes One to be substituted in the Place of others to become an Attone­ment for the [...] in order to their Redemption and Deli­verance. And when such a substitution is by the Will of God and Consent of the Person who suffers; here is a Real Change of Persons as to that Particular End with is designed by it. And in this sense I did Assert a Change of Persons between Christ and us, because by the will of the Father and his own Consent, he became a Sacrifice of Propitiation for our Sins in order to their Remission, and our Recontiliation with God on such Terms as are declared in the Gospel; as may be seen at large in the Discourse already mentioned, particular­ly ch. 4. §. 4

3. Such a Change of Persons as implies an Actual Tra [...]lation of the Personal guilt of all the Sins of Be­lievers on Christ, and his Personal Righteousness on them, without Regard to any Conditions on their Part, but meerly by the free Grace and favour of God. And this I take to be Dr. Crisp's sence of the Change of Per­sons; of which I shall discourse when I come to the last Question.

But the Authors of the first Paper and of the Report, p. 4. seem to take it for granted that there can be but One Sense of Commutation of Persons; wherein they do not discover their profound Knowledge in these Matters, if they thought so; or their Ingenuity, if they knew otherwise, and designed to impose upon those who did not. For it appears that there is a Sense i [...] which it may and ought to be denied, with­out the least Prejudice to the Doctrine of Christ's satis­faction. Although that cannot be Explained or Defended without some kind of Commutation of Persons; yet it very well may and ought to be Defended without and against Dr. Crisps sense of it, as will be made appear afterwards.

[Page 59]The Author of the Report, p. 5. saith, this is the very Hinge on which the Controversy between the Orthodox and Socinian doth turn; which shews him to be not very deep­ly skilled in it; for the Hinge of the Controversy is not about the Words, but the sense of Commutation of Per­sons: and even the sense is not the Original Contro­versy, but Consequential, upon our Asserting Christs Sacrifice to be a Propitiation for our Sins; for upon this they ask how the Act of one Person can be so Benificial to others? and to that we Answer, that altho One Man's Act cannot become anothers, yet if by Consent both of the Father and Son, he becomes our Mediatour, and suffers in our stead, in order to our Reconciliation, then as to that End and Purpose, here is a Change of Persons: for whereas in strictness we ought to have suf­fered the Desert of our own Sins, God was pleased to Accept of his suffering instead of ours, and so by vir­tue of that Propitiation we hope for the Remission of Sins and the Favour of God, according to the Terms of the Gospel. And therein consists the true Controversy between the Socinians and us: viz. whether the suffer­ings of Christ were to be Considered as a Punishment for our Sins, and as a Propitiatory Sacrifice to God for them; o [...] only as an Act of Dominion over an Innocent Person in order to his Advancement to glory.

But it is said in the [...]eport ▪ p 5. that if there be no Change of Persons between Christ and us, there can be no Translation o [...] the Guilt, nor a just infliction of the Punish­ment of our Sins on Christ; that is, there can be no prope [...] Satisfaction.

To this I answer, that there is a twofold Translati­on of Guilt to be Considered.

1. Of the Personal Guilt, which Results from the Acts of sin committed by such Persons. If this guilt be translated, Christ must become the very Person who committed the sins; and so he must be looked on not only as an Actual Sinner, but as the Person that Com­mitted [Page 60] all the Sins of those for whom he died: which comes so near to horrid Blasphemy, that I wonder Per­sons that bear any Reverence to our Blessed Saviour do not abhorr [...]he very thoughts of it.

2. Of Legal Guilt, which lies in the Obligation to Punishment, by virtue of the Sanction of the Divine Law. Now this Guilt implies two things;

  • 1. The Desert of Punishment which follows Person­nal guilt, and cannot be transferred by a Change of Persons; For no man can cease to deserve Punishment for his own faults; nor deserve that another should be punished for them.
  • 2. The Obligation to undergo the deserved Pu­nishment, but because the Execution of Punishment depends both on the Wisdom and Justice of the Legislatour; therefore here a Change of Persons may intervene, and by the wisdom and Justice of God a Mediatour may be Accepted in such a Manner as him­self determines, and upon the Acceptante of his Sacrifice the Offenders may be Pardon'd and Received into the Grace and Favour of God, on such Terms as he hath declared in the Gospel. And in this sense the guilt of our Sins was charged upon Christ as our Mediatour, who was to bear the Punishment of our sins; so as by virtue of his sufferings, we may not only hope to escape the Just Punishment of our Offences, but to be Admit­ted into the Privileges of the Children of God.

But the Reporter out of a certain Manuscript gives another Account of Commutation of Persons, viz. that Commutation in a legal sense is the same with a proper sur­rogation, where the surety puts on the Person, and stands in the Quality, state and condition of the Debtor, and lies un­der the same Obligation to answer for him.

But this I have shewed long since to be a very wrong Notion of Christs Satisfaction; and which in Effect gives up the Cause to the Socinians: For if sins be con­sidered as Debts, God may freely forgive them (with­out [Page 61] disparagement to his Wisdom and Justice) with­out any Satisfaction: and the Right of Punishment then depends on God [...] Absolute Dominion; and Satisfaction must be by way of Compensation; of whiah I have treated at large, Ch. 1. §. 2. ul [...]. But I cannot but won­der at the learned Author of the M. S. that he doth at the same time assert our sins to be considered as Debts, and the Necessity of Vindictive Iustice: For, what vindi­ctive justice belongs to a Creditor? May not a Creditor part with his own Right, and forgive what and whom he pleases, without any violation of Justice? I can hardly think, that those who write so rudely and inconsistently, ever penetrated into these Matters in their own thoughts; but only take up with a sett of Phrases and Common Expressions among those they Converse with, which they look on as the standard and Measure of Truth about these Matters.

But he finds fault with some men who hold that Christ only suffered in the Pe [...]son of a Mediatour, and not in the Person of Sinners. What is the Meaning of this? I had thought, that a Mediatour interposing for that end, that by his sufferings there might be a Propitiation for sins, did so far sustain the Person of Sinners, as to take upon himself the Punishment of their sins, and Procure Grace and Favour for them. But if he means any thing beyond this, he must Explain himself. Christ suffered in the Person of Sinners. Is it that he suffered that others might not suffer? That is not denied by those who say that Christ suffered in the Person of a Me­diatour. For a Mediatour is a Publick Person, and Acts in the stead and on the behalf of others; and if this be called sustaining the Person of Sinners, I suppose they will not quarrel with the Expression. But if more be meant by it, viz. that the Personal Guilt of sinners, in Dr. Cris [...]s sense, is transferred upon Christ, that they have to deny; as I hope to make it appear in Answer to the third Question.

[Page 62]The 2d Question is, whether the Author of Gospel Truth stated, viz. Mr. Williams be chargeable with Socinianism, in what he said, p. 37.40?

The charge stands thus in the Report, p. 4. that he saith, there is no Change of Persons between Christ and Sin­ners: which is there said to be inconsistent with the Do­ctrine of Christ's Satisfaction; which must suppose a Commu­tation of Persons. [...]nd therefore he that denies any Change, cannot assert the Doctrine of Satisfaction.

This is the force of the Objection. And being desired to give my Opinion of it, I examin'd and com­pared several passages in that Book, that I might judge truely and impartially concerning it. And I found the Author, p. 3. saying concerning the Difference with Dr. Crisp, that it was not whether Christ had made full At­tonement for sin; which he thereby owned to be his sense. And p. 7. more fully he owns that our sins were imputed to Christ with Respect to the Guilt thereof, so that he by the Fathers appointment, and his own Consent, became obliged as Mediatour to bear the Punishments to the full satisfaction of Iustice and to our actual Remission when we believe. Can any thing be more clear and express against Socinianism than this? There are other passages, p. 10.19.28. &c. to the same purpose, but these are sufficient to shew, that he could not absolutely deny any Com­mutation of Persous

But in what Words doth he deny it? For it is pos­sible there may be such Words used as may Restrain and limit the sense; and then it is very hard to force such a sense upon them, as is inconsistent with what he had said before, for no man Loves to Contradict himself; especially, when he knows what advantage will be taken by it. The words are these, p. 40 The difference lies in these points. 1. Whether there be a change of Person between Christ and the Elect? Yea, or betwi [...]t Christ and Believers. This the Doctor affirms, and I de­ny. How can any Persons, in common Ingennity, un­derstand [Page 63] this otherwise, than that he deni [...]d such Change of Persons as Dr. Crisp affirmed? But against this it is urged by the Author of the MS. in the Re­port, p. 81. that his Denial of a Change of Persons, is so Express and [...]ull▪ as leaves no room for any distinction, limitation or Restriction, or for an owning it in any sense. What! not in the sense that himself had owned it in before? This is very hard; especially when he mentions what the Doctor affirmed [...]nd he denied ▪ There is a very good passage to this purpose in the first Paper, mentioned in the Report, p. 12. Not thinking it Reasonable or just to charge upon any Brother such Conse­quences of any Expression or Opinion of his, which he him­self shall disown. Why then should such a sense be charged upon him, which he disowns at the same time? There must be something farther in this Matter, than appears to an Indifferent and Impartial Reader; what it is, is no Part of my business to enquire.

But that which must give the best Light into it, will be the Resolution of the last Question.

The 3d Question is, concerning Dr. Crisp's Sense of the Change of Persons, whether it be true or false? Which, I s [...]ppose, is truly set down by the Author of the Gospel-Truth stated; in these words, p. 38. Mark it well, Christ himself is not so compleatly righteous, but we are as righteous as he; nor we so compleatly sinful, but Christ became, being made sin, as sinful as we; Nay, more, we are the same righteousness; for we are made the righteousness of God; that very sinfulness that we were, Christ is made that very sinfulness before God. So that here is a direct Change, Christ takes our Person and Condi­tion, and stands in our stead, and we take Christ's Person, and stand in his stead.

Here is indeed a Change of Persons supposed, but I do not find it proved; and therefore is only to be look'd on as an Imaginary Change, which it is possible for Men to fancy; but that is no Ground to build a [Page 64] Matter of Faith upon; and such as the Salvation of their Souls is so nearly concerned in. But to deliver my Opinion freely and distinctly about it, I shall shew,

  • 1. That it hath no Foundation in Scripture.
  • 2. That it is contrary to the Tenour of it, and the Terms of Salvation contained in the Gospel.
  • 3. That it is attended with very bad Consequences, which naturally follow from it.

1. That it hath no Foundation in Scripture For which I desire it may be considered, that our blessed Saviour himself in all his Preaching, who came to Re­veal the Will of God to Mankind, saith nothing at all of it: and can any possibly think that he would o­mit such a Point, wherein, I perceive, some do think the Substance of the Gospel is conta [...]ned? All that our Saviour saith to this purpose, is, That he came to give his Life a Ransom for many, Mat. 20.28. and that his Blood was shed for many for the Remission of sins, Mat. 26.28. What other Change of Persons is herein im­plied, but that of a Ransom, and a Sacrifice of Propiti­ation? He that knew best for what End he suffered, saith not one word of his taking upon himself the Per­son of sinners, in any other sense than as he suffered in their stead, and for their advantage. Here is nothing like his being as compleatly sinful as we; and our being made as righteous as he. And yet certainly he com­municated to his Disciples those Points on which their Justification and Salvation depended. But how could they apprehend any such Change of Persons in this sense, from any words used by himself to them? And all necessary Points of Faith were deliver'd by our Sa­viour to his Disciples: And therefore to make such a Change of Persons necessary, and yet not mention'd by him, is to charge him with failing in his Propheti­cal Office, which all those ought to consider, who lay such stress upon this Matter.

[Page 65]But doth not St. Paul say, that God hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him? 2 Cor. 5.21. I grant he doth so. But do not these words imply such a Change of Persons as Dr. Crisp asserts? By no means, Which I thus prove: Dr. Crisp's Notion of the Change of Per­sons, supposes the Benefits of this Change to be ante­cedent to any Conditions on our side, viz. that it was by a Transaction between the Father and the Son, without Regard to any Act of ours: But when the A­postle speaks of Christ's being made sin for us, and our being made the righteousness of God in him; he supposes, that before we can have the Benefit of it, we must be first Reconciled to God, which is an Act on our Part. For to this purpose he saith, v. 18, 19. that after the Reconciliation made by Christ at his Death, he had gi­ven to the Apostles the Ministry of Reconciliation. To what purpose? Was it only to let them know what Christ had already done for Mankind? That were to set up a Ministry of Consolation for Believers; but not of Reconciliation. But the Apostle lays great force up­on it, that God had committed to them the Word of Recon­ciliation. Now then, saith he, we are Ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God, v. 20. They were by this Ministry of Reconciliation, after what Christ had done and suffered, prayed; and with great earnestness, to be Recon [...]iled to God? To what End? If according to this Change of Persons, they were more than Reconciled to God already, if they were true Belie­vers; for they were as righteous as Christ himself, and therefore must be in the Grace and Favour of God. If they were not Believers, then, according to this Scheme of the Change of Persons, they could have no Benefit by it; and consequently, this Ministry of Re­conciliation, is wholly subverted, as to the great Pur­pose and Design of it. For either they were Recon­ciled [Page 66] already, or they never could be. And yet the Apostle, after those words, v. 21. immediately sub­joyns Ch. 6.1. We then as Workers together with him, be­seech you also, that ye receive not the Grace of God in vain. What can the meaning of these Words be, if Dr. Crisp's Sense of the Change of Persons hold good? Can they who are compleatly righteous, ever receive the Grace of God in vain? And to what purpose doth he speak of their working together with God, and beseeching them not to do a thi [...]g utterly impossible? For it would be to undo what had long since been done be­tween the Father and the Son in the Change of Persons. So that this Notion of the Change of Persons is as dif­ferent from St. Pauls, as may be; for that supposes no conditions on our side; and the Ministry of Reconcilia­tion in St. Paul, is wholly founded upon it, and really sig­nifies nothing, as to the Ends he proposes without it. For to what purpose is that appointed to perswade Men to be Reconciled to God, if all that ever shall be admitted to Heaven were long since Reconciled at the Death of Christ, and they were made as compleatly Righteous as Christ himself?

It may be said, That the Ministry of Reconciliation is not useless, because it is the means whereby God doth [...]ffectu­ally convey his Grace into the Hearts of Believers. But this cannot satisfy any one that considers St. Pauls Ex­pressions: For his Words are, We pray you in Christs stead, be ye Reconciled to God. If he had said, That God had made Christ to be sin for you already, and you as Righteous as Christ was; How would it have looked to have said after this, We pray you to be Reconciled to God? For, what need they any Reconciliation, who were alrea­dy so much in his favour?

But is there no Change of Persons then implied in those Words of St. Paul; Who made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the Righteousness of God in him? Yes certainly. Such a Change, whereby Christ [Page 67] did undergo the Punishments of our sins; and so Erasmus observes, that Christ is not called a sinner here, as Dr. Crisp would have it, but sin; i. e. a Sacrifice for sin, accor­ding to the Scripture sense: And we are made the Righte­ousness of God in him, i. e. That God upon the Account of his Sacrifice, and our Reconciliation to him, would treat us as Righteous Persons; or receive us into his Grace and Favour; which is all that I can find that St. Paul understood by this Expression.

2. I am now to shew, that this Notion of the Change of Persons, which Dr. Crisp asserts, is contrary to the whole Tenour of the Scripture, and the Terms of Sal­vation contained in the Gospel. I am sensible how large a Field I am enter'd upon: And if I should pur­sue this matter as it deserves, it would take up much more room than I can allow to this Answer. I could easily prove that in all the Transactions between God and Mankind, some Conditions on our side were re­quired in order to his Favour. So it was in the State of Innocency; So it continued after Mans Fall, as ap­pears by those Remarkable Words of God to Cain; If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? If thou doest not well, sin lieth at the Door, Gen. 4.7. So it was in Gods dealing with the Patriarchs, and the most excellent Persons in the Old Testament, Abraham, Moses, Da­vid, Iob, &c. But I pass over these, (altho' I suppose they will not be denied to have been of the Elect, and to have had the Benefit of Christs Righteousness as well as Christians) and come to the Terms of Salvation, as declared by Christ himself. Let any one seriously per­use the Doctrine which he Preached from the time, when he began to Preach and to say, Repent, for the King­dom of Heaven is at Hand, Mat. 4.17. And he shall find the main business of his Preaching was to put Men upon performing such Conditions, as were neces­sary to their Salvation: And for that Reason. As may be seen in his Sermon on the Mount, in which he [Page 68] begins with promising Blessedness to the Humble, Mer­ciful, Pure in Heart, Mat. 5.3, 4. &c. What do these things mean, if they be not Conditions on our Parts necessary in order to Happiness? And that they are considered by God as such? Why doth he say, Except your Righteousness exceed the Righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no Case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, Mat. 5. if such a Righteousness, be not a Condition required in order to such Entrance? And if it be, no Change of Persons without inward and re­al Righteousness can be sufficient. Our Saviour doth not speak of what will be Eventually in some Persons, but of what is required to be done in order to an End. And therefore he concludes his Sermon with saying, Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doth them, I will liken him to a wise Man, who built his House upon a [...]ock, &c. Mat. 7.24. Not he that believes that he is one of those who is made Compleatly Righteous by a Change of Persons, without any Change of Temper or Disposition of Mind: He never promises the least De­gree of Happiness to such; but still insists on our own Endeavours, By striving to enter in at the straight Gate, which St. Paul Calls, working out our own Salvation with Fear and Trembling, and St. Peter, giving all Diligence to make our Calling and Election sure. For, saith he, If ye do these things ye shall never Fall.

Do not these Expressions Note the necessity of the Performance of Conditions on our side? And there­fore all Imaginary Notions of such a Change of Persons, as hath no Regard to any Acts of ours, is wholly Re­pugnant to the main Scope and Design of the Gospel. I meddle not with the dispute about the Mortal Law, which must continue to oblige us as long as the Rea­son of it continues; but the main Argument to me is from the Gospel, as it is delivered by Christ and his Apostles, who certainly understood the Substance and Design of it far better than Dr. Crisp, or the Reporter [Page 69] doth. What was Transacted between the Father and the Son, we know no more than they have Revealed to us; and we know they had no Design to Impose upon Mankind, by laying so much weight upon such Condi­tions as God had no Regard to; and by Concealing from them such a Change of Persons as made them Com­pleatly Righteous without any Act of theirs. Men could never be Reconciled to the just Veneration and Esteem we have of the Sacred Penmen of the Scriptures, nor to their Knowledge of the Mysteries of the Gospel, nor to their Fidelity in declaring them for the Good of Mankind. So that if we find nothing of this Change of Persons in their Writings, and so much as is utterly inconsistent with it, we have all the Reason in the World to Reject it.

This Notion of the Change of Persons is attended with very bad Consequences. Which I do not charge on those who do not see them, or are carrried by some higher Principles above them; but we are not to Judge of Persons but of Things, and the Natural Tendency of Principles.

And so the Change of Persons in this Sense hath these very had Consequences: That it is apt to Lessen our Reverence of the Divine Perfections; our just Sense of the Differences of Good and Evil; Our Obligations to all sorts of Duties; It tends to the Disparagement of that Free Grace they pretend to Exalt; and Exposes the Gospel to the Reproach and Contempt of Infidels, and leaves the Minds of those who embrace it, under Great Temptations to Presumption.

These things I can only mention, because you des [...]r­ed a short Answer to your Questions, and I have brought it into as narrow a Compass as I could.

I am Sir, Your Faithful Friend and Servant, ED. WIGORN.

The Learued Doctor Edwards's Answer to the same Three Questions; in a Letter to Mr. Williams; occasioned by Mr. Lob's Remarks. Wherein he pretends the Doctor's Preservative against Socinianism, condemns Mr. Williams's Iudgment concerning a change of Persons.

SIR,

I Have perused the Passages which you refer to, (viz. Gospel-Truth stated, p. 37, 40. the places objected among the rest) besides severel other parts of your Books, though I have not as yet had Leisure sufficient to read them over; However I have read enough to know your Opinion, and to un­derstand how you state the Matter in debate between you and your Antinomian Adversaries; and thereby am sufficiently instructed to answer your Queries To the First therefore I say, That when speaking of the Sufferings of our Saviour, I assert, as other Divines usually do, a Permutation of Persons: I mean no more than what you affirm; viz. That Christ not only died for the good, but likewise vice, or loco peccato­rum, in the room and place of Sinners. But whe [...] we assert an Exchange, or Permutation of Persons, this must always be understood under such Restrictions and Limitations as may help us to avoid those two Dan­gerous Errors which the Antinomians have Fallen into. And therefore, First, We must affirm, we mean no more thereby then an obligation to Punishment, which he no otherwise Contracted then by his own Free and Voluntary consent and undertaking, to undergo that Punishment which the Law threatned, and our Sins de­served, Viz. Death. But this must by no means be so far misconstrued, as to imagine that thereby the Filth [Page 71] and Turpitude of our sins were Transferred upon him: For tho in the former Sense, he is said to be made sin for us; yet in the latter he still continued Holy, Harmless, Undefiled, separate from Sinners, and at an Eternal distance from them. Neither, Se­condly, Must this Permutation be extended so far as to imply a Reciprocal Exchange of Persons, Viz. Of us Sinners, into the Room and Place of Christ; As if God did look upon us as doing all that Christ did, and consequently, that we do Merit Pardon, attone Justice, compleatly satisfy and fulfill the Law, so that we are actually discharged from Punishment without more ado. No, we continue still under the sentence of the Law, Notwithstanding all that Christ did to free us from it, till we perform those Conditions upon which the application of Pardon is suspended. The immediate therefore Effect and Consequence of the Permutation which we are speaking of, is only this, that Christ by dying in our room, had so far recon­ciled us to his Father, as that he is willing to Pardon and admit us to his favour, provided that we on our Parts perform the Conditions of the New Covenant, Viz. Repentance and Faith. For tho Christ by dying for us hath merited our Pardon, yet it still continues so far in his own Power, as that he will not dispose of it, but upon such Terms as have been agreed upon be­tween him and his Father; which indeed are no other then such, as without which we are neither capable of Pardon, nor can God in Honour bestow it upon us. To apply Pardon to a Sinner while he continues in his obstinacy and impenitence, is not only contrary to the Holyness of God, but inconsistent with his wisdom, and destructive of his Authority and Government. And therefore the Graces before mentioned must be looked upon by us, to be both the necessary Parts of e­very Christians Duty, and the indispensible conditions of his Happyness. (In another Letter) I intend no [Page 72] more by an Exchange of Persons, than what you have affirmed in your Writings. As to your Second Query, I Judge those Assertions and Acknowledgments fre­quently made by you in your Books concerning the sufferings of Christ, and the satisfaction thereby made to the Justice of God for the Sins of Men, do fully ac­quit you from giving any Countenance to the Errors of Socinus in that point. (In another Letter) you have very rightly, and in an Orthodox manner Stated the Doctrine of Christs satisfaction: And it is in perfect agreement with the Doctrine of our own and all the reformed Churches, and therefore fully acquits you from the Imputation of Socinianism. Thirdly, As to the Doctrine of Dr. Crisp and others of that Sect, who affirm such a Permutation of Persons between Christ and Sinners; as if to all intents and purposes, they were to be looked upon in the Room and Place of each other; So that Christ is to be Accounted the Swearer, Drunkard, Blasphemer on one Hand, and the Sinner to be perfectly Righteous on the other; I cannot but look upon it to be not only false, absurd, impossible, but likewise an Impious and Blasphemous Opinion; as be­ing highly Dishonourable to our Saviour, repugnant to the Wisdom and Justice of God, and tends plainly to subvert the whole design of Christianity; which is hereby exposed to the just and unanswerable Reproa­ches of its Adversaries, which can never be wiped off, if the Opinion be true. I would say a great deal more upon this occasion, if it were necessary, but what I have thus briefly suggested, may I suppose be sufficient for your present purpose. And if you think that what I have wrote may be any way Serviceable to the common cause of our Holy Religion, I give you leave to make what use you think fit of it; and in the mean time remain

Sir, Your assured Servant, Jonathan Edwards▪

[Page 73]I had not given this trouble to these Great Men; But that Mr. Lob makes frequent use of their Testi­mony against my Judgment, in favour of them whom I oppose. And being no Authors better understand, and more effectually oppose Socinianism, I was sure their Vindication of me would be past exception, and therefore made bold to propose to them, whether they intended more by a Commutation of Persons than I did affirm in my Books (which I sent them.) Secondly, Whether I was by the Passages excepted against in my Book (by the First Paper and Mr. Lob) chargeable with Socinianism. Thirdly, What their Judgment was concerning that Change of Persons which I oppose, and Dr. Crisp and others of that Sect affirm. To these Questions they were pleased to send these Answers, with a Permission to Print them. I think, every Man will conclude from what they say, that they Account our Holy Religion is struck at by what Errors I oppose; and that Mr. Lob doth wrest their Books when he cites them in Confutation of what I affirm. I might have added another Letter of this R. R. Bishop to the same effect, and wherein he proves that God was not displeased with Christ: And also of the said Reverend Doctor Edwards. But these published abundantly suffice.

Some Animadversions on Mr. Lob's DE­FENCE of the REPORT. By D. W. Note, I call the Author of the Rebuke, Mr. R.

THough I have the Testimony of the Ministers and Elders of all the Dissenting Congregations in Dublin (except One) for my Peaceableness and Dili­gence in the promoting of Union there; yet being [Page 74] industriously branded as the great Divider in this place, it's necessary to represent the Cause of Mens Mistakes. To me is ascribed the Rise of our Divisions, because at the Request of several Ministers, after other means were unsuccessful, I wrote Gospel-Truth stated; when Dr. Crisp's Re-printed Book so obtained as to threaten [...] our Ministry. The Continuance of our Breaches I am charged with, on no better pretence than this, A bea­ten Man makes all that Noise which proceeds from the furious blows that fall upon his Person. I consented to that Expedient 1692. wherein all objected against my Book was adjusted, and gave no Cause for the Ob­jectors to violate that Agreement. Mr. Chauncy, Mr. T. Mr. K. Mr. E. &c. wrote Volumes against that Book; to all which I replied in a Defence of Six Sheets; thinking that sufficient, and in hopes some Rest might be obtained by silence. Mr. M. revives the Assault with a Charge of Blasphemy and Damning Er­rors; This extorted one small book more. Then by Contrivances I was voted out of the Lecture at Pin­ners-Hall. Whereupon Dr. Bates, Mr. How, Mr. Al­sop and my self, remove to Salters-Hall. About two Months after this my Morals (upon a search back to my Childhood) are Impeached, the united Ministers unanimously adjudged and declared me clear and inno­cent of all that was laid to my Charge. I forbear Re­criminations against many, for which I am furnished. The same Book comes again upon the Stage with Mr. Lobs Objections, which I answered in one sheet. Mr. Lob rejoineth, but at the Reverend Doctor Bates re­quest, I laid aside a Book ready for the Press. The Do­ctor and I fully agree in Sense, Notwithstanding he had used some Phrases which Mr. Lob hoped to divide us by. They stop not here, as the result of many pri­vate Meetings with my Adversaries; A Paper is got­ten Subscribed (when I was at Bath) by some at least of my Friends, who fully agreed with me in Doctrine. [Page 75] Herein there were several mistakes in matters of Fact refering to the Subscription to my Book, many insi­nuated reflections (not designed by all) against the Doctrine of that Book, with such Ambiguities and Omissions, as endangered the Truths by me defended, and those Terms proposed to me, which might startle a Man they had no Power over, and justly expected better treatment at least from such whose cause I pleaded. Yet when this Paper was laid aside, and the Third Paper agreed to, I sate still, tho I knew that First Paper (unprinted) was sent through the Nation to my great Detriment. Might not one expect some quiet after such various attempts against this Book and its Author? (Which I do not ascribe to the Congre­gational, as a body, nor had I mentioned most of these things, if I were not charged with all our divisions.) My hopes are disappointed; Mr. Lob Printeth his Re­port, wherein the United Ministers for my sake are branded for Socinians, and therein inserts that unhappy Paper. Nay, he soon follows this with his Remarks, to fasten his charge the deeper upon me. Stops he here? No, in this his Defence I am still pelted, my Doctrine grossly Arraigned, the Learned Mr. R. Cen­sured as a Socinian for defending me. My Book su­stains the Clamour, because it denies the Crispian Change of Person, Nay, he hopeth it hath some invisi­ble evil thing within its Bowels, which if I do not bring forth (for no bodv else can) I must be one of­fensive and halting, p. 88. Nay, as if first in intenti­on, the last Words in his Book are, whether Mr. Wil­liams be sincere or no, he must now shew it; FINIS. The English of this is, if I be sincere I must shew my self Erroneous, that they may have somewhat to ju­stify their past Clamours; for as yet they can prove nothing, and yet (will you not wonder) he gives me, p. 9. more hopes of their Charity and Communion, if I will but write Errors plainly, than they can now al­low [Page 76] me when I assert the opposite Truths. Am not I in a streight? He and others call and provoke me to write, (and they might do it long enough, if the in­terest of the Gospel, and such injuries to my Friend assisted not their Calls.) Yet if I write, I shall be deem'd, the cause of all our Divisions: But so 'twill be if I write not; Nay, if I be not felo de se. I shall therefore adventure, so pressed by Mr. Lob, to give him some hasty thoughts. I may well Call it an adven­ture, for I foresee, unless he is much changed since he wrote this Defence, He will mis-represent what is written with the greatest Caution, and if his Readers shall think him a fair adversary, he is sure to have the better of any Man, as will soon appear. Mr. Lob, p. 35. ‘The Phrase of a Change of Christs Person was ne­ver invented, till the Gentleman who engaged my Brother to enter upon this sorrowful under­taking, started it. And to speak the Truth, it's a Phrase only adjusted, to express no more than what the Socinians do constantly grant, for they say that Christ, tho he suffered not the Punishment due to us for sin, yet he endured grievous and dolorous Pains, which is aptly enough expressed, when it is said, there was a Change of Christs Person for us, for he was, say these Hereticks, Changed from Ease to Pain for our good.

Note, 1. The Phrase, Change of Person, was used by Dr. Crisp, and therefore not invented by me, (whom he meaneth) it's from him I cited it. 2. Is it so ill a Phrase, and serves only a Socinian purpose? Then Mr. Lob should not make me a Socinian, only for de­nying this Phrase. He saith, (and that when he will speak the Truth) it's adjusted only to express what the Socinians constantly grant, and yet Quarrels me for denying this dangerous expression. 3. If this bad Phrase, Change of Person, and that good Phrase Change of Persons differ so far as Heterodox and Or­thodox; [Page 77] did not Mr. Lob deal unfairly all this while, in telling the World I denied that Good Phrase Change of Persons, only because I had denied this bad Phrase Change of Person? for I assure you, I no where deny a Change of Persons in the Plural Number (tho ac­cording to his Liberty he saith I did, p. 42.) and I ful­ly assert the sound Sense of it, as the R. R. the Bishop of Worcester and the Reverend Dr. Edwards do Witness, and they are Men he makes great use of in his Book, as very sound in this point: But being more concerned for my Friend, Mr. Rebuker, I shall with this place, begin an Account of some of the Stabbing inju­ries he receives from Mr. Lob, with an Art thou in Health my Brother?

1. Mr. Lob makes Mr. R— here to say (with the Socinians) that there was a Change only in the Person of Christ, without an Exchange at all with Sinners▪ because Mr. R. saith, there was a Change of the Person of Christ, in exchange for the Persons of Sinners (tho not reciprocally in all respects) this is plain; for a meer Change from Ease to Pain, is only a Change in Christs Person, p. 31. he saith, ‘My Brother is in good earn­est only for a Change of Christs Person, without a Change between Christ and us: When Reb. p. 44. this Phrase the Change of the Person of Christ, hath truly an honest sound Sense, Viz. The substitution of one Person in the Room of another; And a pro­per redemption may be obtained by the Punishment of one in the Room of another — If therefore Christs dying by way of Change, or Exchange, be all they would have, its granted, &c.]’ Yet from this very place Mr. Lob infers, as above.

2. Mr. Lob represents Mr. R. to hold with the Soci­nians, that Christ suffered only so for our Good, as not to suffer truly in our stead. Because Mr. R. affirmed, that Christs suffering properly in our stead was for our good. Mr. Lob saith, p. 47. ‘Whatever my Bro­ther [Page 78] intends, it's manifest, that while he Calls the Socinian Sense of Christs dying in our stead, Knavish— He gives the very Sense of this Phrase, which the Socinians who use it do give, and by it means (if we may Judge his meaning by his words) no more than what Socinus Crellius, and that fraternity do consi­stently with a denial of Christs satisfaction con­stantly grant.’ He saith worse the lines before. See also, p. 36. and 10 times repeats, &c. The Place he grounds this upon is, Reb. p. 35. ‘[The Caviller pro­ceeds, in our place and stead, with some signify no more, than for our good; Why, it's impossible they should: That which Christ suffered in our stead is for our Good, to bear the Punishment of our sins, to satisfy Divine Iustice, was certainly for our good, &c. Therefore for our good because in our stead.]’ Rea­der, is not Christs bearing the Punishment of our sins to satisfy Divine Justice, suffering properly in our stead? And is suffering properly in our stead, and suffering in our stead in the Socinian Sense, (Viz. Im­properly and not at all) the same thing? But Mr. R. said, it's impossible in our stead, should signify any more than for our good. I Answer, That it is consi­dered with respect to our concernment therein, as it is a benefit designed for us; but not to exclude its being in our place and stead, which he fully asserts, and without which we had been ruined for ever. Is not Mans chief end to be happy in the Enjoyment of God? And doth not Christs dying properly in our stead sub­serve that end? Mr. Lob might better say, Mr. R. de­nied that Christs dying in our stead was for Gods Glo­ry, to which our good is Subordinate, than that he denied that Christ dyed properly in our stead, because as to our own felicity it did no more than subserve it, or was it for our hurt, or could it be more beneficial to us than for our good, for it's only as to our benefit he applies the Words.

[Page 79]3. Mr. Lob Represents Mr. R. to deny (with the Socinians) that Christs sufferings are a Proper Punish­ment for our Sins: When Mr. R. doth most expressly assert, that Christs sufferings were the Punishments of our Sins, for satisfaction to the Vindicative Justice of God. Mr. Lob, p. 48. agreeably hereto (the Socinians trifling in a wretched Sense, and rejecting of Phrases to make Christs sufferings not penal) my Brother, as he rejects the Phrases of sustaining the Person of Sinners, and puts an unsound Sense on Christs suffering in our place and stead; so that word (answering the obli­gation of the Violated Law) which was in the first Paper, to make it evident that we esteemed Christs sufferings to be proper Punishments, is rejected; as what cannot in my Brothers Opinion bear a sound Sense. This charge that Mr. R. denies Christs suffer­ings to be Punishments, he imposeth in very many Pages. Whereas Mr. R. saith, p. 35. Christ did bear the Punishment of our sins to the satisfaction of Iustice, p. 48. And it's freely granted that Christ suffered and dyed for the Persons of Sinners, and for the sins of their Persons, and in the room and stead of their Per­sons; And that he suffered and dyed to make satisfaction to the Iustice, to the Vindicative Iustice of God, &c.

What pretends Mr. Lob against so full conviction? No other than that we by the Third Paper rejected this Phrase, obligations of the violated Law: But this is not true, we only waved it, and Mr. R. saith no more. But Mr. Lob saith, the Phrase which we put in its stead, Viz. Christ came to Answer for sinners violation of the Law of Works, differs as much from their Phrase, an­swering for us the obligations of the violated Law of Works, as a Gospel Truth and a Socinian Error, p. 50. One would think it's still a true Phrase after his man­gling it. But pray take it as in our Paper. ‘Christ came into our room and stead to Answer for our Vi­olations of the Law (add what follows) and the [Page 80] Punishment of our sins was inflicted on Christ, that God might without injury to his Justice Pardon and Save penitent Believers.’ Is this a Socinian Er­ror? Or, is a word wanting to make Christs suffer­ings proper Punishments? Nay, what is it for Christ in our stead to Answer for our Violations? But go yet lower: Is not to Answer for our sins, another thing than Socinians hold? even this is no less than suffering the Punishment of our sins, if we were for Violating the Law under its obligations, to suffer those Punish­ments: But I come to Mr. Lob's charge against Mr. R. from the words, cannot bear a sound Sense.

4. Because Mr. R. used certain warm words once, and that only against the unsound Sense of that single Phrase, Commutation of Persons (which yet he there saith, may be capable of receiving a sound meaning) Mr. Lob makes Mr. R. to intend those warm words against the sound Sense of that Phrase, against that Phrase it self, and a great many other good Phrases which himself makes use of as very safe, yea, against the sound Sense of many other Phrases which Mr. R. pleads for. I shall fully recite the only place upon which Mr. Lob grounds his charge, Reb. p. 30. ‘[A change of Persons, which may possibly be capable of receiving a good meaning (elsewhere explained) and yet is more sounding towards a dangerous Sense, the Brethren did unanimously agree to grant as much as the sound Sense could bear, and modestly to wave and pass by the other, which was liable to be interpreted to a Sense, and sound of malignity to the whole of the Gospel.]’ You see the other which could not bear a sound Sense, but was liable to a sound of malignity, is but one thing, for other is not nomen multitudinis, and agrees with the Verb WAS, which is in the singular Num­ber. This other, to which these words are appropriated, cannot be the Phrase, Commutation of Persons, for that is not waved, but retained by us in the Third Paper; [Page 81] nor can it be the sound Sense of that Phrase, for that's provided for by Mr. R. much less can it be all the Phrases and Passages in the first Paper omitted in the Third. It must then be confined to some one thing expressive of the unsound Sense, which the Crispians put upon the Phase Change of Persons; Mr. R's. fol­lowing words point at, [And the Brethren are now more fully perswaded they are in the right by the Re­porters Notions.] What's that? Such a change as makes Christ to be destitute of a Righteousness Entitling to Enter­nal Life, and to become sin as we are sin: Rep. p. 5.7, i. e. filthy sinners.

Yet upon this foresaid Passage of Mr. R. Mr. Lob says, p. 14. ‘[This Passage of my Reverend Brothren doth make it manifest, that the Paragraphs, Terms and Phrases, which were in the First Paper, and were waved and passed by in the Composure of the Third, are looked upon by my Brother, as what could not bear a sound Sense, but a sound of malig­nity to the whole of the Gospel; that is to say, the Phrase of Christs taking on him the Person of Sin­ners, of Answering for us the obligations of the Violated Law of Works, the Term surety, and the Assertion of the necessity of a Commutation of Per­sons— This is the Sense of my Reverend Brother.]’ And so these words cannot bear a sound, &c. Are trumped up I believe forty times with these by tail, p. 48. to 65. nay, in this last, p. 65. ‘[According to what my Brother declares, it must be supposed; this Passage, (Viz. Regeneration, Repentance towards God, Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and a Holy Conversation, are by Gods word manifestly necessa­ry to the salvation of a Sinner) Cannot bear a sound Sense, but is liable to be interpreted to a Sense and Sound of malignity.]’ Must not Mr. R. tho thus loudly warned, find it impossible to guard himself against this Man?

[Page 82]5. Mr. R. p. 17. saith, ‘[These Phrases, Terms, or Ex­pressions, Viz. Change of Persons between Christ and us, and his taking on him the Person of Sinners, are unknown to our Confessions and not to be found in the Body of Confessions.]’ Mr. Lob exposeth him by Citing a Confession that useth some Phrases, Mr. R. makes use of, and others which he never denied, but mentions no Confession that hath the Phrases Mr. R. said, could not be found. Upon this poor work he toiles from, p. 71. to 80. I must stay a little on what occurs, p. 73. and ask, 1. When Mr. R. denied only that these Phrases (not the sound Sense) were in the Confessions? why should Mr. Lob make him deny that the Confessi­ons gave any Countenance to the sound Sense of those Phrases? 2. When Mr. Lob declares he had si­lent, if he had not found these Phrases in some Con­fessions, and Ridicules Mr. R. for denying they were in them; Why did not he shew these Phrases, or one of them in some or other Confession? 3. If these Phrases, as to the Letters and Syllables (which Mr. R. called for) are wherever the sound Sense of them is to be found, (Which is, what Mr. Lob pretends, or fondly argues) why doth he deny that the very Phrases Christ taking on him the Person of Sinners, &c. Are in the Third Paper, and say they are rejected by us, seeing the sound Sense of those very Phrases is there? 4. Mr. Lob saith, ‘[The Phrases of Change of Per­sons, of Christs sustaining our Person, of his being substituted into our Room, and his suffering in our place and stead, are so nearly allied that they live and dye together, grant one and all necessarily come in with it, &c]’ They must then be of the same a­dequate Sense with each other, or the Confession could not assert Christs sustaining in our Person, by its say­ing, Christ dyed in our stead: But if the Sense be ade­quate, then Mr. R. denies the right Sense of none of these Phrases, for he asserts, Christ dyed properly in our [Page 83] place and stead, and that he was substituted in our Room. Whence it will be no better by Mr. Lobs own Confessi­on, than that he makes all this Noise to shew his Copia Verborum: He will have the mentioning of each of the various words of the same signification, to be Terms of Communion, and the omission of any one as great a bar to it, as if the very sense of all those words were denied; Ay, and that when the full just sense of any of those words is granted. For my part, after all his big words, from p. 58. to 65. about Logical Terms, or meer humane forms of Speech, (Tho I believe, they who drew up the Third Paper never dreamt of such designs, as he wtih somewhat too like, malice fastens on them) I would think him a Turbulent, uncharitable Scismatick, who would divide from others meerly be­cause they scrupled this or that humane form of words, so they held and plainly expressed the Scriptural Truth designed by those words, yea, tho they expres­sed it by Terms less proper. How much more culpa­ble is it then, to raise such storms only for our omit­ting a Phrase, because less intelligible to the People, more capable of being abused by the Etimology and Acceptation thereof among the Vulgar, and known to be grossly abused by the Crispians from that occasion. May not Mr. Lob Commence as just a War, of People should omit his fine Phrase, Zeal for Populacy, and yet be willing to use their plain Phrase, Zeal for Popu­larity. But to conclude this head: I deny that his Change of Persons, or Christs suffering in our Person, or in the Crispian Sense, or his own, as Stated, Rep. p. 5. are included in or to be proved from the Confessi­on: to pretend the litereal Phrases from such words as Christ dyed in our stead, was substituted in our Room, is sordid, and the Confessors meaning in those words, is contrary to the Crispian and Reporters Sense; And there­fore Mr: Lobs Phrases are not at all proved from the Confessions; unless a thing be proved where the [Page 84] Phrase is unmentioned and the Sense opposed.

6. Mr. Lob, that he might bring his English Reader to Judge Mr. R. a baffled Man, leaves out a considera­ble word in his Translating a part of the Scotch Con­fession, p. 81. [It became the Redeemer to be true God, and true Man, because he was to suffer the Pun­ishments due for our sins, and to appear [Quasi in per­sona, nostra coram judicio patris, pro nostra transgressione & in obedientia pati, in our Person before the Judgment-Seat of the Father, to suffer for our Transgressions and Disobedience.] Thus Mr. Lob Englisheth the Latin words, and boasteth—Here you see the Church of Sco [...]land useth this very Phrase, &c. But least his admirers should applaud his conquest to an indecency, it's fit they know there's a word QVASI, which Mr. Lob did not think for his purpose to English. He ought to have said thus; And to appear [AS IT WERE] in our Person, that is, Christ appeared nor properly in our Person; that Phrase is too hard, tho there be somewhat towards it in some certain respect; As Calvin in this case useth Quodamodo. But Mr. Lob, by leaving out Quasi, per­forms what he undertook, p. 73. Perhaps it may appear (i. e. to the Englishman) that the Phrase most exposed by him will be found literally in one or other Confession. These words Cited are all, by which he makes it to appear, and Quasi Answers to perhaps. Nay, had the diminu­tive Quasi been out, he is not sure it had served his turn.

But considering the wonted Freedom of the Man, I wonder he left not out this Quasi. For I could give many instances, where the very next words omitted by him, would have defeated his purpose by what he Citeth. But, To prevent a snare, I'll prefer that in His Letter to Dr. Bates, p. 17. he saith, many held Christ and us to be one Person in Law; (And) that it may be said, that we suffered in Christ, is the import of that assertion which saith, that Christ suffered as our [Page 85] surety; and is allowed by Mr. Baxter; (just against this, Mr. Lob Cites in the Margin) It is not so aptly said he satisfied, as that he suffered in the Person of sinners, Mr. Baxter, Cath. Theol. Part 2. p. 79. (It should be, p. 76, 77.) Amazed, I took Mr. Baxters Book, and found the very next words were; Note, ‘That it is not any other Mans Person that Christ suffered in, but his own, and we mean, that he took upon him the Person of a Sinner himself, in as much as he consented to suffer for sin, and so Personating here, is not becom­ing any other Mans Person in Law-Sense, so as that other legally suffered what he did; but it is only his own Person's becoming a sufferer in the stead of sinners for their sins—(And two or three lines before Mr. Baxter tells us) To say that Christ satisfied in our Per­son, and we by him; is false, and subverts the Gospel.

Or why did not Mr. Lob split the word Quasi, and leave out the last sillable si, then qua being oft redulpli­cative, had better fitted, thus he served me, Man made Righteous, p. 108. I had said, ‘Therefore Christ HEREIN is what the Civilians Call, An ex promissor, he suffered alone, tho he Acts for another. Mr. Lob in his Letter to Dr. Bates, p. 12.13. to expose me as un­learned, and himself skilful, Recites several properties of an Expromissor, and will have me to mean that all these did belong to Christ, and then infers what plea­sed himself; whereas I had by the entire word Herein, limited it to one property of an Ex promissor, Viz. He is obliged alone tho he Acts for another, (in Re­demption-work.) Mr. Lob seeing the word Herein would mar his project, He fairly splits the word, leaves out In, and makes it (a local) HERE and so found Scope for his purpose. These few Instances of many, may convince how unsit Mr. Lob is to report other Mens words, tho his Talent seems confined to the Collect­ing and Publishing what Authors write; 'twere well for his Readers, he did it with more of true Judg­ment, [Page 86] and less of Trick; for thereby his Quotations would more edify, and require less care and pains to become sure the Authors are not mis-represented.

7. Men will scarce Judge it decent or prudent in Mr. Lob, (if in his Friend) to publish by that Letter to himself, a reflection on the Rebuker for his Loy­alty to the present Government, as inconsistent with a few Rhetorical expressions, in address to the Late King Iames, (to whom his obligations were somewhat pe­culiar:) But whereby doth his meaning appear so in­sincere at that time? Or what is done by him since, so contradictious to what he said, as to render him an exem­plar of insincerity now? No other than swearing allegi­ance to King William, Signing the Association and Carrying it, becoming a Loyal Subject in his Prayers, Sermons, and Peaceable behaviour and advices? What Fetters are some in, If once addressing the Late King by a few big words, must Eternally Proclaim a Man an Hypocrite, unless he be now a Non-juror, Nonassociator, Plotter, and director of other Ministers (in imitati­on of himself) to pray so for the King, as either of the two Kings may be intended, if they must at all seem to Pray for King William ▪ I hope, few will be gull'd into such a Character, from the fancied obligati­ons of former addresses (tho some of them were highly inconsiderate), nor any discouraged from persevering Loyalty by the forecited Aspersion. This would ad­mit enlargement, which provocations might improve. But I retain a respect sufficient to forbid it, nor had I inserted the least hint at such things, except as a warning against the like instances, when His First-Rate Man is to Execute his Fiery threats, and his very Lear­ned Person already Roused (alike obnoxious) stretcheth forth his Claws. Let Men take their way, but the common interest will not long be Sacrificed, ere some (now imposed on) will find out the Instruments and Designs of our Breaches. I hope, the Reverend Re­buker [Page 87] will Pardon my Interposal, and that I acquain­ted him not therewith. His abilities for a reply, I acknowledge such, that if these short hints serve for a foile to that he is preparing, and in the interim abate the ill Impressions of Mr. Lobs attempt, I shall Ac­count these few hours well employed, which other­wise had been more feelingly spent in resenting those base reflections, that I am his Leader, Master, Principal, and what else became, scarce any Man besides Mr. Lob, their Author.

Mr. Lob, p. 8. owneth, I asserted, besides the effects made ours, the Righteousness of Christ is imputed to Believers, but adds, I mean nothing by this grant: Be­cause I use a simile to illustrate the manner, in Man made Righteous, p. 77. If one give me my Liberty, which he Voluntarily purchased for me at a dear rate. He mediately gives me what he paid for my Ransom, tho immediately he gives me my Liberty and a right thereto.

A. Had he Cited the Apodosis, which is in the next words, He had spoiled his suggestion, I shall Contract what I there enlarge on. I make Pardon and Adop­tion to be benefits, or effects following upon the Impu­tation of Christs Righteousness. And the Righteous­ness of Christ I distinguish into, 1. His performance of the conditions of redemption. 2. His right (or jus adjudicatum) by the Covenant of redemption, to our Pardon and Adoption; for his performance of the conditions adjusted in that Covenant. The former I said, is mediately imputed. The latter I said, is imme­diately imputed; it's reckoned to us when believers, be­cause it was acquired expressly for believers, Iohn 3.16. Isa. 53.10, 11. The judicial imputation of this right of Christ intervening; the Righteousness of Christ (as a performance of the conditions) is imputed as our Plea for that Pardon, it being the procuring cause of that right of Christs, which is immediately imputed to [Page 88] us. And this right I also distinguish from that which the Gospel-promise made to believers doth invest them in, for the former right results immediately to Christ, from the Covenant of Redemption, and is subjectively in him, tho imputed to us: Whereas the promise, he that believes shall be forgiven, or saved, not only supposeth the former Transactions, and is the Instru­ment by which God imputeth Christs Righteousness to the believer; But it also, as a conditional promise, giv­eth believers a right to Forgiveness, whereof they are the immediate Subjects. Here Mr. Lob may see the Vanity of his Objection; it is not Pardon, or such pos­sessed effects that intermediate between Christs Righ­teousness and us, nor only the right given by the Gospels conditional grant. No, it's Christs own right, and that imputed to us by God himself, and that im­mediately to us. And Pray, Is Gods imputing to us Christs performance of the conditions, so far as to be our Plea and Foundation of Claim, no imputation of his Righteousness at all, because the imputation of Christs acquired right Intervenes? Nothing is left out but Gods Legal accounting us to have performed all that, by which Christ merited and made Atonement. Yet without this Proud assumption, nothing will please Mr. Lob.

Being so often pressed to it by Mr. Humfreys and Mr. Lob, I will endeavour their satisfaction. If Christ had acquired by his Death a Power indefinitely to for­give sins, without a Compact determining (either by Name or Qualification) the Persons that should be Pardoned in the Virtue of his Death, or only purcha­sed the Gospel Covenant, as conditionally offering Par­don; I should agree with Mr. H. but it being other­wise, I differ from him. And add, as the possessed ef­fects are not properly imputed, so I will not confine the support of my Faith ultimately, and only to the Gospel conditional promise (tho that's infallible) [Page 89] when God hath made the Compact between the Fa­ther and our Mediator, to be my security, and Christs performance of the conditions of that Compact to be my Plea with God, among which conditions was what Answers the Law of Works, which I have Transgres­sed. Altho I own I must try my interest by Christs Gospel Law, as what describeth the Person who is Entitled to Pardon, and injoyneth us to be such, with a promise of that interest. In short, a believer having for his Security and Plea, the Gospel promise, the Co­venant of Redemption and the Value of Christs Death, I'll retain each; and therefore still say, Besides the ef­fects possessed by me, the Righteousness of Christ is imputed to me, as above Accounted for.

On the other hand, could I think it was by the Co­venant of Works, that Christ was constituted our surety, so that his obligations to suffer the Punishment of our sins, did immediately result from that Law; And that we Sinners were Principals in Redemption Work, and Christ such a surety as to be Ioint Party with us in that Work of Redemption. And that the Law of Works required the Divine Nature, to give a value to what it Accounted to be Righteousness. And last­ly, that this Law promiseth Pardon to sinners for the sake of a Mediators sufferings; I should then agree with Mr. Lob, that we satisfied for our sin, dyed, and obeyed in Christs Person, and he and we paid the Idem. Nay, be a full Crispian and say, I was justified at the time of Christs Death; I had nothing to do to become partaker of the effects of that Death, I was as Righ­teous as Christ, deny any proper forgiveness, Nay, own that Christ was really a sinner; for I am sure the Law could immediately oblige no other to dye.

But I must disagree with Mr. Lob and them, Be­cause I am well perswaded, God never proposed the Work of Redemption to Condemned Sinners, but to Christ our Mediator. Also that to the Redemption [Page 90] of Sinners, God in Justice requiring for the Honour of his Violated Law, that a perfect obedience, and the suf­fering of what was equivalent to its threatned Punish­ments, should in the Humane Nature be summitted to by the Redeemer. Our Blessed Mediator obliged himself to yield that obedience, and bear those Pun­ishments, upon condition that such sinners should be forgiven in his right, who should comply with the Gospel Terms agreed upon between the Father and him. And pursuant hereto, our Mediator did in our Nature perfectly obey and suffer the Punishments of our sins, whereby he had a right to a believers Pardon, and believers do obtain it in the way above described. And Lastly, I am sure the Law of Works never pro­miseth Pardon to sinners for the sake of Christs suffer­ings, the Payment of the full Idem was impossible, (tho there was a supra-equivalent) and the Law accounteth that Righteousness perfect, which an Innocent Holy Creature renders, tho he have not, the Divine Nature to give that value to his obedience; without which (very thing) we had been entirely lost.

Here Mr. Lob may find a surety, Viz. An obliged Mediator. And under the Law, Viz. As an Article taken into the Covenant of Redemption, whereby Christ was obliged: And in our stead, Viz. We were Condemned to suffer, we are by and for his sufferings to be saved. Nay, he may find the [...]ound meaning of his other Phrases, as Change of Persons, yea, Christs suf­fering in the Person of sinners. That is, Christ our obliged Mediator suffers in our stead what we were to suffer; yet it was that we might be delivered for it, but not legally reputed our selves to suffer. And yet here's place le [...]t for Pardon, a Gospel Law, Terms of Application. &c.

That none may mistake, Note, 1. I instance Pardon, &c. for brevity sake, but exclude no saving benefits, and distinguish saving benefits, which are used as Motives [Page 91] to Duty in the Gospel, from the Duties which are Con­ditions of those benefits. 2. And therefore I speak not of Christ's peculiar purchasing Grace for the Elect effectually to perform those Conditions whereby, to­gether with the Decree, their eventual salvation is se­cured. This is my Judgment; but I ought not to con­found this with that adjustment of things, whereby the Gospel-Offer of salvation to all men, and the Gospel-Rule of conferring its benefits, and of our final Judg­ment, are provided for.

Mr. Lob oft objects a Contradiction, if I affirm a Change of Persons, and yet say, I deny there is a Change of Person.

Answ. Besides Answers already given, I say, with­out any design'd Affront, it's no greater than Answer not a Fool according to his Folly, yet Answer a Fool accord­ing to his Folly.

By thus gratifying Mr. Lob's Imperious Humour, I am the freer to tell him,

1. I am sorry that he so boldly averreth many gross mistakes in mattter of Fact, p. 35. I invented the Phrase Change of Person; whereas I cite and use it as Dr. Crisp's Phrase. P. 26.43. I deny a Change of Persons. Where­as I never denied it; what I denied was Dr. Crisp's Change of Person, and fully asserted the Sense of the other. P. 22. I appealed to the Learned Witsius. But this I never did. P. 7. That onely Mr. Toland wrote much in praise of my Book. Whereas he being then in Holland (and not the Man he since appears) desired them who gave an account of Published Books, to give their Judgment of my Book, and the great Praises are theirs; and others have since commended it above its worth. P. 63. That I was the Contriver of the Third Paper. Whereas others had drawn it up before I saw it. His vile Reflections on Mr. R. with respect to this, and his Nine Subscribers of the First Paper, p. 70. makes an account of that Matter necessary. The United Mi­nisters [Page 92] appointed Dr. Bates, Mr. Hamond, Mr. Slater, Mr. Hill, with Mr. How and my self, to compose an Expedient, &c. Two of the Brethren drew it up (which is this Third Paper) and brought it to the rest of us met together: After some Alterations we did all agree to it, and brought it as our agreed Act to the Meeting at Saint Hellen. There, among the rest, Mr. Stretton, Mr. Quick and Mr. Evans agreed to it. Mr. Alsop, Mr. Burgess, and Mr. Showers not being present any of the times when it was read in the Meeting; it was brought to the View of Mr. Alsop, who approved of it. I am very sure also it was shewn to Mr. Bur­gess (his Informer) who appeared to agree to it; and Mr. Showers did to more than one express his Appro­bation of it. So that Mr. Lob hath all the Nine Sub­scribers to my book enumerated. Mr. Lob somewhere saith, all the Phrases of the first Paper, not into the Third, were rejected by my means; And yet several of them are in my own Paper, called the Sccond. Which I am glad was Printed ere I read his Defence. He saith the Third Paper denies a Commutation of Persons, p. 14. when both Phrase and Sense are in it. Other in­stances are not wanting. It's false that the generality of the Pastors do not approve my Book, though they were asked only to subscribe the state of Truth and Errors.

2. The cause he undertakes is miserably defended against the Rebuke: He appears to give, p. 13. a Scheme of his project, Viz. The points left out of the Third Paper which offended the Brethren, but where's his Proof that the United Ministers were obliged to retain so many Phrases of the first Paper as they did? If they had used none but what the Church of Eng­land and the Assembly of Divines Confessions includ­ed, the Heads of Vnion were observed by them, and violated by such as exacted more. Where makes he it good, that the United Ministers rejected all the Phra­ses [Page 93] of the First Paper which they omitted; especially when it was never read nor proposed to them: Or that the omission of those Phrases warrants the breach of Vnion? Such matters ought not to pass unargued, without which none can tell what honest cause the Report pretends to, unless the traducing Men sound in the Faith to cover the Turbulency of the Erroneous, should be so Accounted. As these are waved, so he trifles in what he pretendeth to insist on. Mr. R. demands the difference between a Commutation of Persons between Christ and Sinners, and Christs dy­ing properly in the sinners stead. Mr. Lob grants they are the same, and yet poureth out a Flood of impertinent words against the R. as if they widely differed. Mr. Lob makes Christs suffering the Punish­ment of our sins to the satisfaction of Justice, the thing which distinguisheth the Orthodox from the So­cinians, and yet he represents Mr. R. as a Socinian, who oft asserteth, Christ suffered the Punishment of our sins to the satisfaction of Justice, even Vindicative Justice, Mr. R. chargeth his Account of Change of Persons, Rep. p. 5. with little less than Blasphemy, he bears that with profoundest silence. Mr. R. blames him, that he gave not a full Report of our difference, and from its Rise. To this he saith, he pretended not to give a Narrative of the whole. And yet, Rep. p. 4. The difference hitherto hath been about the satisfacti­on of Christ. And in his Remarks, oft leads his Rea­der to Judge we never had any other Controversy. Indeed his Present State of difference was such a Piece of Art, as he thought it so much pity to spoil it by a fuller Account, that their violation of the Agreement in Doctrines, 1692. He Answers only with a groan. Their refusal of the Pa­per, 1694. Because a disowning of sundry Antinomian Errors was added, he excuseth no bet­ter than by an abrupt Dismiss, after a Suggestion, [Page 94] that nothing had been added but that about Repen­tance, which is not true; and yet this being in the Assemblies Words, he impeacheth the Refusers as insincere in subscribing this in the Assemblies Confes­sio [...], and yet refusing it in that Paper. To the hor­rid Passages out of his Brethren's Books, collected to justifie a Demand of Satisfaction, and a fit Anti­dote when he formed their Creeds: with him 'tis enough they were not sent to P. H. as if it matter'd not that he knew they were in their Books, and before the united Ministers. What saith he to Mr. R.'s Ci­tations out of my Book, fully asserting Christ's Sa­tisfaction? ne [...] quidem, but caluminates still; where states he a fair Question with the R? Instead of that he pursues a Logomachy, cites Authors to prove what Mr. R. pleads for, and to confute what his Party rec­kons he defends; yea, what himself oft-times asserts. Phrases he tires, when the Sense is so disregarded, that I would thank him to shew one Error of Mr. R. (unless by gross wresting of his Words) he once remarketh; or one Doctrinal Truth he pre­tends to prove, which Mr. R. hath not expresly own'd. Upon the whole, the Cause of the Rebuke is still unhurt, otherwise than as its Author is pelted with his smoothest Brothers rotten Eggs; such as not having a Grain of Sense, heretical, false, delirous, Change­ling, and what not? But as for the Cause of the Re­port, the Defendant hath wisely got that into a Wood, in Hopes his Party shall not find it's dead by the Rebukers Wounds.

3. I'll foretell from what I already hear and see, how several sorts are likely to judge, and stand affected to his Performance. His Disciples may say, All we have learned is even this. A Change of Persons and Christs suffering in our Person, if explained to a sound Sense, are no more than Christ's suffering properly in our stead: And yet Christ's suffering properly in [Page 95] our stead, is not so much a Change of Persons, or Suffering in our Person, But that we mnst call them Socinians, who hold Christ suffered in our stead, if they will omit any of our Masters other Phrases, altho they own the Sense of all. The Sagacious Crispians (if any such) will say he hath betrayed our Cause; yea, himself condemns it, and anon e­spouseth it. But one good turn is done, he hath toiled hard to spoil what is a real Confutation of it. The factious Biggots may glory, whatever becomes of Truth, yet it's worth our Contribution, that he has spoiled all Hopes of that ill thing, Union and Peace too, and put the Vnited Ministers to groan we are abused, and as far as this Pacificator can influence, our Breaches shall still be wider. They whom he remarked, saying, The Dissenters differ about they know not what, will loudly boast, we now see with a wit­ness, even the onely Man of close study, that no Man can guess what it is about. They who used to trust to Quotations from Authors, must grow suspi­cious, and resolve always to examine. Hard Stu­dents (some such there are besides Mr. L.) will dread a Common place Book of Phrases, least they should divert them from their more important Sense, and confound themselves to the distracting of the Church, and torment of all Mankind. It's well if some of his reproached Preachers say not, we study Things more than Words, and yet Words more than to speak false English, that we may strut in Bombastick Phrases; and both to better purpose than our assuming Dictator, who brands us with Igno­rance, and a Zeal for Populacy, whilst his Gain by our more common Acceptance, qualifies him for a sort of closer Study; but in time we may become more Politique. But which more affects me, plain serious Christians with Grief will cry, we know not what to think, if the way to Heaven be thus perplexed, [Page 76] and the Articles of our Faith so intricate as these heaps of Obscure Phrases represent them. The Pro­fane are tempted to scoff at Religion as a wordy Noise, and our Enemies well pleased to see us de­stroy each other by dividing, and this for what exposeth us as much to Contempt as Ruine. How much should we pray for Godly sincerity in our appeals to God, and Serviceableness to a common good in our pretended pleadings for Truth! And not still amuse Men, as Mr. Lob hath done, by [...] Book, the Substance whereof is no more than a Mis­representation of the R's words, that the Reader may believe him an Heretick in grain, when the plain sense of his Expression seems oft contended for by Mr. Lob. Nor can people propose a benefit by multiplied Quotations of a Phrase, when the Authors, who use it, design by that Phrase no more than Mr. R. grants. And his Exception is nor [...]gainst their sense of that Phrase, but against impo [...] it is a Term of Union, after the Crispians and Mr. Lob so pervert­ed it.

FINIS.

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