A SHORT ESSAY OF Modern Divinity.

BY ROBERT DIXON. D.D.

LONDON, Printed by S. R. for R. Clavell at [...]

THE PREFACE.

THE Invasion of the Pulpit, and the Se­paration from the Publick Worship, are the Mothers and Nurses of Dogm's and Practises of Rebellions and Massacres for the Ruin of Civil and Ecclesiastical Government. The Supream Power hath Religiously commanded general Humiliation of Fasting and Pray­er to prevent our Distractions and Destructions. The Outward Command is obeyed of God and the King; the next is the Inward Duty of Reformation and Fasting from Sin. Let every one turn from the Evil of his Way, and from the Violence that is in his Hands; lest it be returned upon us by God (after our Sawcy Charge upon God; Wherefore have we fasted and thou seest not? Wherefore have we afflicted our Soul, and thou takest no knowledge?) Behold in the day of your Fast you find pleasure, and exact all your labours: Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of Wickedness: Ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on High. Is it such a Fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his Soul? Is it to bow down his Head as a Bullrush, and to spread Sackcloth and Ashes under him? Wilt thou call [...] [Page]this a Fast, and an Acceptable Day to the Lord? Is not this the Fast that I have chosen, to loose the Bonds of Wickedness, to undo the Heavy Burdens, and to let the Oppressed go free, and that ye break every Yoke? Is it not to deal thy Bread to the Hungry, and that thou bring the Poor that are cast out, to thy House? When thou seest the Naked, that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thy self from thine own Flesh? Ʋnto which Praecept is added the Promise due when the Command is performed; Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily, and thy righteousness shall go before thee, and the Glory of the Lord shall be thy Reward. Then shalt thou call and the Lord shall answer, thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the Yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity. And if thou draw out thy Soul to the hungry, and satisfie the afflicted Soul; Then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day; and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfie thy Soul in drought, and make fat thy Bones; and thou shalt be like a watred Garden, and like a Spring of Water whose Waves fail not. And they that shall be of thee, shall build the old waste places, thou shalt raise up the foundations of ma­ny Generations, and thou shalt be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Paths to dwell in, for the Mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Know therefore for certain, That the performance of the Covenant on our Part, engages the performance of the Covenant on God's Part. This is Justice with God and Man. Look to it. Do no private wrong to your Neighbour, do no publick wrong to the Govern­ment of Church or State, which is Gods. Both these are good, nay the best of Governments; yet as all other [Page]things are subject to failings, these may be rectified, but the Government its self must stand, or else we must fall. Blind Sampsons will pull down a strong House over their own heads for a private Revenge, or in fond hopes to build a better, by their Children, when they are dead, but the cause of Ruine is rather like to fall upon them who have ruined others. If therefore after Fasting and Praying we fall to pulling down and rooting up, we mock God and undo our selves with our own hands, so our Destruction is from our selves, and we frustrate our own hopes, when in God we might have help.

The teeming Cause that produces the sad Effects of of all our Miseries and Distractions, being the Ma­lice and Cruelty of the Church of Rome, on the one side, and the Factious Sects on the other side, endea­vouring the same Extirpation of the Church of Eng­and, and of the Government of this Kingdom, which they did once bring to pass in the late Twenty Years Rebellion, to the allmost final Ruine of the Royal Fa­mily, the Nobility, Gentry, Clergy and Magistracy whose Honours & Estates were swallowed up by them: I thought fit to add this small Treatise to demonstrate the necessity of promoting the true Reformation of Theology, from those Seditious, Superstitious and bloody Principles, which have prevailed over this part of Christendom, as being the only Remedy under God to set all to rights in this Church and State. There­fore I beg the favour of all Divines, who most of all Professions have the Peoples ear, and consequently most influence upon their Actions, to make it their more than ordinary business, to Preach and Practise the Pure Doctrine and Spiritual Worship of the Gospel, after the Pattern of the Primitive times. This will be most acceptable service in this Critical Parocysm of [Page]Jealousies and Fears. While we stand stareing one upon another in fury, watching to destroy one another, or as in a storm, in fear looking when the Waves should open their Mouths to devour us all together. When we had more need to look up unto God to save us in our extremity, and by Fasting and Prayer and mutual Charity unite against the Common Enemy to propitiate the offended Deity. Other Remedies be­sides this there can be none, it will be our wisdom to joyn all together for this Holy purpose before it be too late. Are we mad to Act the same Tragedy over again in the same Age, by the same Persons, most of them must be dead on both sides; those that are alive must be old on both sides, and shall the young ones out-fool or out-knave the old ones, shall the young Men rise up to play their bloody sport before the old ones, again will they suffer it? Shall the Sword devour for ever, and we make our selves and our Posterity miserable once more? Take heed, trust them not, you have smarted by them already. It will be bitter in the latter end, And what will you do in the end thereof?

Dulce Bellum inexpertis.

The burnt Child should dread the Fire.

A SHORT ESSAY OF Modern Divinity.

SECT. I.

Christ Infalli­ble. CHrist as God and Man, is Infallible.

The Apostles as all Men, were Fallible; as Inspired,Apostles Infal­lible in Revela­tions. in what they were Inspired while they were In­spired, Infallible: In other things deceived in their own Opinions like other men; As of the Tem­poral Kingdom of Christ, and being the Greatest therein: As of the Day of Judgement to come in their days, &c. Erred in their Manners, de­nied, forsook their Master, sought for greatness, Paul not free, Peter most to blame, sifted by Satan, yet their Faith did not fail. Only their Revelations were Infallible: Such as their Gospels, and Acts, and Epi­stles are; when they give not their own Judgement without Gods, whose Inspirations were proved by Mi­racles-working Faith.

Ancient Fathers Venerable. Modern Writers more learned.Ancient Writers next to them were not Inspired and did no Miracles, yet are Venerable; but Modern Wri­ters long after them are more knowing, but all subject to failings.

They came from the Jews and from the Gentiles, and did not a little partake of the Jewish and Gentile Religion. Consider those Proselytes as men long ac­customed to both Doctrines and Rites, and it is no wonder if they were loth to part with them: Since that by degrees, if the Wits of men are more refined in the Gospel purity of Doctrine and Worship, wonder not at the matter, for they have had more time and more means a great deal to consider things better.

Fathers Wit­nesses. Errors in Fa­thers.The nearest Fathers were the best Witnesses, but the farthest Doctors, are the best Judges.

The Millenaries Opinion was very old; The Com­munion of Infants, Their Damnation without Bap­tism, The Corporeity of Angels and of God himself, The Re-baptizing of such as were Baptized by Here­ticks, The long deferring of Baptism, The Baptism for the Dead, Reliques, The Non-Restoring of the Lapsed, The Denyal of Repentance, Marriage to Priests, Adoring Crosses, The Limbi Patrum & In­fantum, False Miracles, Purgatory, The Invocation of Saints and Angels, Image Worship, and many more Opinions have too much Antiquity and too little Truth.

They held the Fundamental Truths in great Righ­teousness, we hold the same and many more in too much Unrighteousness.

Modern WritersThe Modern Writers have considered all the Rea­sons of the Ancients, and have added to that which their Fathers invented: The Fathers have opened the Door, and their Children have entred into the more Secret Recesses of Divine Truths. They had not [Page 3]time, nor so much skill as their Successors had. They did well in their Generations, but they could not do all. He that lives a thousand Ages hence, shall have no cause to be idle, he shall find work enough to find out what Truths have not been yet discovered, and so to the Worlds end, there are more Worlds to dis­cover.

Multa dies, variusque labor mutabilis aevi, Retulit in melius.

Every day brings new light: Truth is the Daugh­ter of time. What the Fathers saw darkly and afar off peeping through the Lattices, the Children see distinct­ly, the Objects coming to a nearer distance by open Windows.

Judaism and Gentilism came too hot upon them in the First Ages, and they did not, could not put them by so strongly as we have done since.Education. Their Educati­on among Jews and Gentiles was a great hindrance of that work; Our Education among Christians alto­gether, is a great help to the same work. Judaism and Gentilism were but newly renounced, they came reeking from them to contrary Principles. The Doctri­nes and Rites of Judaism and Gentilism are stale now, and obsolete long since, though some would be nibling at them still: Other Errors have crept in, but of a more remote nature, and less contrariant than the former were. The Fountains came pure from the Apostles, but the Streams of Judaism and Gentilism ran quickly into them and pudled those Waters, which since have settled, and grown pure in a good measure, after the Rabbinical and Philosophical Pollutions, especi­ally at the time of the Reformation, which daily ad­vanceth it self more and more, with the Improvement [Page 4]also of all Arts and Sciences in a high and glorious Suc­cess.Improvements.

Venimus ad summum Fortunae, pingimus atque
Psallimus, & meliùs luctamur Achivis.
Virg.

The Greeks outdid the Egyptians, the Romans out­did the Greeks, even in those things which they were taught at Memphis and Athens. We want nothing to excell our Forefathers in, but Piety and Honesty. We are sagaciores in dogmate, nequiores in fide. There are better Expositions of Scriptures than ever were, but worser Manners; Richer Veins of Gold, but more alloied with baser Mettals. Fathers plain and honest, Children gay and crafty. Novelty no real prejudice to the Authority of Ancient Truth. If our Fathers in Reli­gion had refused every Exposition of Scripture that was true, because it was new to them, we should by this time have had nothing old, nor true: If any thing be true, entertain it; though it be found out but yester­day with Men, it was from the beginning with God. Call nothing New, if it be True. The World hath been too long deceived by the Antiquity of Errors: Wise men look beyond them, for there are Ancienter and Wiser than they.

SECT. II.

Suppositious Writings.Very few of the Writings in the first three Centu­ries are come to our hands. Many Books obtruded un­der the Names of the Apostles, Peter, Barnabas, Thomas. Paul to the Laodiceans, Paul and Te [...]la, Euseb. l. 1. &c. This made Eusebius complain, that he had little or no light to guid him [...]n his History of those Primitive Times; because those Christians did not [Page 5]write much, or if they did, their Books were lost: As the Five Books of Papias Bishop of Hierapolis, the Apology of Quadratus Atheniensis, of Aristides, Ba­silides, &c. mentioned by Eusebius, St. Jerom, and others. Clemens, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Irenae­us, Clemens Alexandrinus, Tertullian, Origen, Cy­prian, Arnobius, Lactantius have pretty well esca­ped, though time hath set her Fangs upon them.

The Writings of the Fourth and Fifth Centuries, have exceeded the former for number and good for­tune of more safe conveyance, but not for worth and authority. Many of the oldest are Supposititious, and those that are legitimate, corrupted,Legitimate Writings cor­rupted and ob­scure. and all hard to be understood, by reason of the Languages, and Idi­oms, and Schemes of Oratory, and Logical Subtilties with which they abound; as also the Terms used in a far different Sence then, and safer than now they are. As Pope, Patriarch, Mass, Oblation, Sacrifice, Mysteries, Mortal Sins, Penance, Confession, Satisfaction, Me­rit, Indulgence, Altar, &c. Since that we may com­plain as Gregory Nasianzen that good man did. There was an honest, plain, and solid way of Preaching,Greg. Naz. brief and profitable;Late Innovati­ons. but afterwards a wanton kind of Divi­nity, embroydered with artifices and delicacies came to be the mode; then came in Curiosities, Juglings, and Tricks of Legerdemain. But had he seen the Wagon Loads of Summists, Casuists, Mysticks, Posti­lers, Criticks, Canonists, Ritualists, Cabbalists, which these latter Ages have produced, He, and other Cas­sandrists, that have bore witness in all Ages to the Truth, would have been tired with garbling the Er­rors and Vices of every Sect, and choaked with the swarms of Locusts that rush out of the Bottomless Pit.

Ancient mistakes of Christian Anabaptists, about the Antipodes, The Souls Propagation, and Purgation, Corporeity of Angels, and Souls of Men, Praying for the Dead, &c. are nothing in comparison to the swin­sing Dogma's of Infallibility, Supremacy, Transubstan­tiation, Consubstantiation, worship of Images, An­gels and Saints, Rebellions, Poysonings, Assassinati­ons, &c.

'Twould tire a sturdy Satyr, and quite wear out his Whips of Steel, to lash every Doctrine of Devils that Devillish men have invented to the hurt of Churches and Kingdoms, and the disturbance of the whole World, to bring all things into a Chaos of Confusion, if some men might have their Will.

Long has Popery and Superstition reigned from the days of Phocas.

VVitnesses of [...]he Truth.Against these the Waldenses and Albingenses have protested, with John Hus, Jerom of Prague, Robert of Lincoln, John Gerson, Council of Constance, Eras­mus, Baptista, Montuanus, Cassander, Polydore Virgil, Hesselius, Melancthon, Luther, Calvin, Oecolampadius, Beza, &c. mighty men of valour, famous in their Generations, men of Renown, of a noble Genius, that dared to bid defiance to the De­vil, and to the overwhelming Tyranny of the Pope and Court of Rome.

The same work is prosecuted by us Protestants with might and main, (though there be some small Diffe­rences amongst us; and we have cause to unite, be­cause the Common Enemy seeks to root us out from the Face of the Earth, and Hannibal is at our Gates;) and a wonderful Progress is made therein by rare Ar­tists.

SECT. III.

The Face of things is changed, the Vizar removed, the Natural Beauty appears, no new Religion, but the Old restored.

Hic labor, hoc opus est.

Modern Divinity is the very same with the Ancient Catholick and Apostolical Faith, contained in the Scriptures of the New Testament,Modern Divi­nity. plainly expounded without mixture of Artificial Glosses. As Man was created Righteous, but after that sought out many Inventions; so are the Scriptures easie, till obfuscated by humane Speculations. The pure Gospel unmixed with Judaical and Gentile Praecepts and Ceremonies, Philosophy, Logick, and Oratory. Not wresting the Scriptures from their Literal or Mystical Sense. No need of a living Judge, a Pope, a Conclave, a Coun­cil packt for endless Controversies.

Pruritus disputandi, scabies Ecclesiae.

They say Disputes never did good; Wit against Wit, engender Strife; there is no end of such doings.

Necessary things few.There are but few necessary things; trouble the People of God no farther; if they observe these things, they shall do well. The Simplicity of the Gospel, is the Wisdom and Power of God unto Salvation, migh­ty for the beating down of the strong holds of Sin and Satan. A two-edged Sword for the dividing asunder of the Heart and Reins. The preaching of Christ and him Crucified, to the Jews a stumbling Block, and to the Greeks Foolishness, but unto them which are cal­led, [Page 8]both Jews and Greeks, the Power of God, and the Wisdom of God. Without controversie great is the Mystery of Godliness, Christ manifested in the Flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of Angels, believed on in the World, and received up into Glory. He that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned. This is the Whole Duty of Man, Fear God and keep his Commandments.

Matters of Faith not con­troverted.There are no Matters of Faith in Controversie. The chief Disputes of Antiquity, Prosperity, Succession, Infallibility, Supremacy, Miracles, Transubstantiati­on, &c. are not Matters of Faith, but doubtful Dis­putation. We are to contend for nothing, but the Preservation and Propagation of that Faith which was once delivered to the Saints. There is no Judge of Faith but God, who hath judged it for us, and revealed it unto us. The Truth is lost by vain Janglings. Tu disputa, ego credam. Justinian wisely forbad any Com­ments upon the Text of his Law, but they yielded no obedience to him in that at all, but the quite con­trary.

SECT. IV.

In the Three first Centuries were no Controversies, but such only as the Apostles had with the Jews and Gentiles; Touch not, taste not, handle not, Circum­cision, Days and Years, Meats offered to Idols, &c. They taught Christian Liberty, and a New Crea­ture.

In the Fourth and Fifth Centuries and so forward, came in large Commentaries, Sophistical, and Casu­istical Divinity, innumerable Superstitions,Reformation. and Will-Worship. This needed a Reformation, which all moderate Men studied, and longed for in every Age; [Page 9]but could not effect: The time was not yet come. Throw away Infallibility, Supremacy, &c. Pull up Weeds, Sweep away Rubbish, Cherish Faith and a good Life. When we agree in the things, leave dis­puting of the Modes. Let our Moderation be known unto all Men. The Lord is at hand, we are all in our Journey to Heaven; fall not out by the way; give the Right Hand of Fellowship, one to another; serve one another in Love; keep the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace; serve the Lord with one Lip, and with one Shoulder; contend not about Forms of Dis­cipline; obey the Magistrate; variety of Forms hurt not Faith; let Brotherly Love continue; speak the same things though in a different manner; give that liberty of Prophecying one to another.

Laws are plain, Justice easie, do as we would be done by; all will be at peace, if Spirits be peaceable. If any man be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the Churches of God: Salus Populi Suprema Lex, &c. Suffer no Doctrine which is hurtful to Church or State, and all will be well. Receive the ingrafted Word of God which is able to save your Souls, the sin­cere Milk of the Gospel; receive a weak Brother, but not to doubtful Disputations; offend not him for whom Christ died. Never eat Flesh while the World stands, rather than offend a weak Brother, or wound his ten­der Conscience for whom Christ died. If Tares be sowed, the Enemy hath done this, the Lord will de­stroy both it and them. Let the Tares and the Wheat both grow together until Harvest, when the Angels the Reapers shall bind the Tares in Bundles, and throw them into the Fire, and burn the Chaff with unquench­able Flames; but they will gather the Wheat into Gods Barn, every man must stand or fall to his own Master: Every mans work shall be tried, his Hay and [Page 10]Stubble shall be consumed, which he hath ignorantly built upon a pretious Foundation, but he himself shall be saved, yet so, as by Fire. Whatsoever is of God shall stand; be not found to fight against God, nor con­demn the Generation of the Just. It is in vain to kick against the Pricks: We have not so learned Christ. Let every Soul be Subject to the Higher Powers, for there is no Power but of God. Pure Religion and undefiled is this, To visit the Fatherless and the Widows, and to keep our Souls unspotted from the World, to hate the Garments spotted by the Flesh, to live uprightly in the midst of a crooked and perverse Generation, and to flee from the Wrath to come.

SECT. V.

The Word of God is inwardly by instinct of Nature in our Hearts and Consciences.Word of God.

The Word of God is inwardly by Revelation of Grace written in by his Spirit in our Hearts and Con­sciences.

The Word of God is outwardly written in the Scri­pture.

The Word of God is outwardly written in the whole Creation.

To believe, and serve God only, and not Saints, or Angels, or Idols, is Gods Word.

To Obey Princes and Priests is Gods Word. To Re­bell is Witchcraft, and the Devils Word.

Rewards of Grace, not Merit, is Gods Word.

Christ the only true Priest, and Sacrifice, and Medi­ator, is Gods Word. No other Name given under Heaven by which we can be saved.

Baptism and the Lords Supper in both kinds, is Gods Word.

Marriage in all, is the Ordinance of God, and Gods Word▪

Justice and Mercy to all, is Gods Word.

Religion to be perswaded, not forced, is Gods word.

Common Salvation is Gods Word. Christ died for all.

Scriptures common to all, Gods Testament, Gods Word.

God no Respecter of Persons, is Gods Word.

These things are good and profitable to all men.

These things exhort and teach, with all Patience and long Suffering.

Freely we have received, freely give.

If these Doctrines were preached amongst Papists and Protestant Dissenters of unbiassed Spirits, they would listen diligently, and be pricked in their hearts, and cry out, Men and Brethren, what shall we do? But alas, the poor well-meaning Souls are led away, by the crafty wiliness of those deceitful workers, that lye in wait to deceive, that make a Gain of Godliness, writing, and preaching, and practising un-Gospel-like things. We endeavour, and pray, and hope, and long for this happy Reformation, and till it be perfected, continue to protest against all that is contrary to sound Doctrine, and this is all our Forefathers did, or that we can do, and God accepts of it, and will help our good work and labour of Love: And still God and his Truth shall never want their Witnesses. When we have tried all the ways we can, what ever the Success be, it was fairly offered, we shall not lose our Reward, we have wronged no body, our Reward is with the Lord, it shall return into our own Bosoms, we shall see the travel of our Souls and be satisfied, and the work of the Lord shall prosper in our hands. Let God do his work in his own time, and in his own way, we have saved our own Souls: Their blood shall be upon their own heads.

There is set before us Jewish Divinity, Heathenish Divinity, Popish Divinity, Reformed Divinity. Try all things, hold fast that which is good: But above all, Stand fast in the Liberty with which Christ hath made you free, and be not entangled again in the Yoke of Bondage, which neither you nor your Fore-fathers were able to bear.

SECT. VI.

If there be Custom,Customs. or Education, or Credit, or In­terest in the case, you may come off from all these, for the Gospels sake, and for your Souls sake, and for Gods sake; except ye be Reprobates and will be Reprobates, except ye be Barbarous and will be Barbarous.

The ignorant and slavish Greeks stand off from Re­formation by any Copy,Greek. because they will not alter, though for the better, lest the Turks, under whose Bondage they live, should deny them that Liberty they have, for siding with their Western Enemies. 'Tis a sore necessity; 'tis Barbarism, their Forefathers dis­dained the Title. 'Tis their greater misery, and their less sin; by how much the more they are oppressed, and by how much the less they understand, and by how much the more they would know better if they knew how. If they had known the things that we know, and were in that Liberty and Plenty that we are in, they would do better things than we do. No body knows what Slavery is but they that feel it: No body knows what Poverty is but they that feel it: No body knows what Ignorance is but they that are under it, and think there is no other Knowledge.

Magnum est humanae fragilitatis remedium, Necessitas.

Sen.

Customs barba­rous.Many Customs of Nations, though never so Barba­rous, are diligently observed, as, lying with Mothers and Sisters, among the Persian Magi, Prostituting Wives as the Lacedemonians did and Indians do, and count it a great honour and civility eating their Old Pa­rents alive, so to bury them in their Bowels a great Pi­ety. Stealing, an honourable employment amongst the Idumaeans and Arabians and Algerines, &c. ever since Nimrods time the old Thief-hunter. Canibals eating of Men. Wives buried or burnt alive with their dead Husbands, &c.

But we are a Civilized, as well as a Christianized People, and may and do understand, and practise bet­ter things. We know our Masters Will and do it not, we deserve to be beaten with many stripes. We live not among Turks and Infidels, but among Christians. We are not Slaves but Freemen. We may be wiser and honester, if we will, for we know better things. So that we have no Cloke for our sins, we can make no just excuses, we can frame no righteous pretenses, we are verily guilty for being no better, because we are better taught, than to be Idolaters, Covenant-breakers, Murderers, Robbers, Profane, and down­right Atheists. So making our selves sinful as we are, so making our selves miserable as we are, and more and more sinful and miserable as we deserve to be, e­ven forsaken of God, whom we have forsaken, and then looking upon one another for help, but not upon God.

SECT. VII.

O the Right Spirit of the Gospel is quite another thing than that which shews it self abroad in the World in our days!

1. The Clergy are not to Lord it over the Laity (as far as Princes) as they do,Clergy. for they are the Lord's Inheritance.

2. The Clergy are not to Lord it over the Clergy, as they do, for they are the Lord's Inheritance. How plain is Christ's Prohibition to the contrary. — It shall not be so among you. — My Kingdom is not of this World, &c. This is unreasonable, this is unsufferable. I will not say unpardonable, whether it be in the Pope, as it hath been a long time viis & modis, God knows how! Or whither it be in the Presbyterian, Independant, Anabaptists, or &c. as it was for a short time in comparison, viis & modis, God knows how! To be sure they all equally claim Infallibility and Supremacy,Infallibility and Supremacy. if they could catch it, and would practice equally Rebellion Murder and Ra­pine if they durst. What else are those indeed and in truth, but Simeon and Levi, Brethren in Iniquity, how true is it that Instruments of Cruelty are in their Habitations, how true is it, that they have brought a scandal upon the peaceable Gospel of Christ, to be the cause of all the Blood that hath been sp [...]lt in Christen­dom, and made the names of Christians stink among all the Inhabitants of the World, that have heard of their Doctrines and Doings. Surely the Lord will be avenged upon some body for these things. The true zealous Protestant party wash their hands from this guilt, and though they dy Ten Thousand Deaths, will never stain their hearts with such Blood guiltiness. They have better Principles than so where ever they are, they are the Tru [...]st Church; say the Papists and Sect­aries what they please. Theirs is the only safe way to Salvation.

Sit anima mea cum talibus Christianis.

SECT. VIII.

Therefore the Modern Divinity of the Reformati­on is according to the Pattern of Christ on Mount Si­on, not of Moses on Mount Sinai, Right Preach­ing. agreeable to the Sense, Language, and St [...]le of the New Testament, agreeable to Sense and Reason drawn from the New Testament, explaining the great Points of Grace, Faith, Repentance, Justification, Rege­neration, Adoption, Election, &c. for edification of Souls, without the tincture of Legends of Saints, Mi­racles and Reliques, Penances, Prayers to Saints or Angels, Devotion to Images or the Cross, or to the Host, without School Subtilties or Flourishes of Elo­quence falsly so called, without Enterludes or Masque­rades upon the Passion, Resurrection or Ascension, &c. which things have a shew of Holiness, but nothing of the Power of Godliness at all in them, to please God at all. Therefore the Modern Doctrine Discipline and Worship of the Reformation is agreeable to the pure Antient and Spiritual Doctrine, Discipline and Worship of God in that true evangelical Dispensation after the Abolishment of Mose's Law without Carnal Pomp and Ceremonies, directed to God above through Jesus Christ, without any Applications to Saints or Angels or Images, without Prayers in an unknown Tongue, Half Communion, Penances, Pilgrimages, Vows, Offerings at Shrines, Prayers to or for the dead, which things have a shew and form of Godliness pleasing to the Flesh, but nothing of the power or sub­stance of Religion to please God.

This honest preaching of God's word, and plain form of Publick Worship by solid Prayers, Intercessi­ons, Praises, Thanksgivings and Benedictions, fitting for all conditions, at all times, is the true Modern Christian Service, for Uniformity in Knowledge and [Page 16]Devotion in Spirit and Truth in the publick Congre­gation: leaving every man to liberty of Conscience, in Reading and Praying in his Family, or in his Clo­set, that all may be done for Edification, Decently and in Order.

And if all Protestants would submit, as they are commanded, to the publick hearing of God's word, and to the publick Worship as it is by Law established, in the freedom of the Spirit and Faith, though they scruple at some few indifferent Rites to which they are not in Bondage, reserving their liberty of opening to themselves; they should do no more, then what all Jews did, and what all Heathens did, and what all Papists did and do, and what all other Protestants and Christians over all the World do, keeping peace, though they are not all agreed in other things. Why should our Dissenters be strangers to all Christendom besides?

And this the Poor People would quickly do, if their private Teachers would conform and teach them to do the like, which is the thing so greatly desired, and to which they have been so long woo'd with all kind­ness and encouragement imaginable. O when will they once look upon their dear Mother the Church of England, whom they have pierced, for she is ready to look upon them, as God is, with the eye of tender pity and compassion! Her Bowels yearn upon her Children, who that they may be und [...]ceived, let them know that the bottom of the business is this. The Politick Great ones, pretending to the Title, aim strong­ly at these two things.

  • 1. At the Power Regal.
    Policy.
    Thrones are brave things.
  • 2. At Crown Lands, Church Lands, and Nobilities and Gentries Lands: These are fat morsels. Nobles shall embrace Dunghills, and Slaves shine in purple and Scarlet.

These great Dogs shall swallow the rich prey, the little Curs bark aloud, and starve: You fat Citizens and Countrey Farmers, shall spend your Bloods and Estates, and be turn'd off with Debentures to the pub­lick Faith, till you be as poor as Job, and as very Slaves as the African Negroes: Ile promise you Gospel­lers shall get Sequestrations of your Brethrens Livings, but the Classes and Assemblies shall never be able to set up the Stool of Repentance, nor tyrannize over the Gentry of every Parish by the Assistance of Weavers and Taylors and your Lay Elders. You may remem­ber when you were uppermost, your Patrons never trusted you with Power, nor with the Kings, Nobilities or Gentries or Churches Revenues. Stand off. But the Independants, Anabaptists, Quakers, having the longest Sword would not stand off, but took the Power and Estate too: and the least Dog of yours durst not open his mouth against your dear Brethren. Then were you fairly wip't of all. Then you whin'd and cryed to bring in the King, and upon his knees too, if you could, for your own ends. And now you are not plea­sed, what does infatuation presage? They say,

Quos Jupiter vult perdere hos dementat.

But you may do a great deal of mischief before that time: But you may repent also, and then that time shall never come. And as a Motive to your Repen­tance, I'le be a Prophet for once, that never was a Prophet before.

Your own Lay-Masters and Protectors will engage you to do their work for them, and when they have done, they will fill their own Bellies, and turn you off to live upon the Bridle. For Treason is liked, but the Traytor loathed. And if you will not believe me, [Page 18]Look over into Scotland in Knocks his time; Look beyond the Seas into Holland, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, &c. Observe their Cler­gy, Superintenders, and Lay-Administrators, where the Name of Bishop will not down, but their Estates are gone down glib into Lay-mens Stomacks, and are very well digested: But the new-named Clergy are put off with a Bit and a Knock, pitiful dependent Pen­sioners, and Trencher-Chaplains, easily blown away by the Blast of their Great Dons, or the Puff of a Lur­dy Burger.

Lastly, for I am tired in this Odious Subject; Beside the most deplorable Atheism daily increasing, and the Distractions in the Religion that is left,Rebellion. multiplying upon us, by reason of the Spirit of Rebellion, not only the Prince is affronted by his Subjects, the Magistrate by his Citizens, the Pastor by his Flock, but every Pa­rent by his Children, and every Master of a Family by his Servants. So that if there were no other end but the benefit of enjoying our Temporal Rights, we had need to pray for Kings, and for all that are in Autho­rity, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life here in common honesty, which can never be expected in such a state of Rebellion as we are now in: From which Good Lord deliver us. Amen.

Do but consider, If you should break out into Re­bellion the Second time, how many young poor Crea­tures would you draw away in the simplicity of their Souls, as if it were Gods cause; but especially what multitudes of forlorn, hungry, Desperados, Banditi, and angry Fellows would follow you, for prey and plunder of Churches and Palaces, to the Ruin of the King, Nobility, Clergy, Gentry, Merchants, Citi­zens, and Yeomen. Consider how you would rake [Page 19]Hell for a Brood of Hypocrites with Bibles on their Knees, Writers of Sermons, Preachers, Prayers, and Singers of Psalms, but men of Blood.

These men, if they had been right in their Princi­ples, and had they not been engaged in a damnable Cause, were the best Souldiers in the World, for Va­lour, Discipline, Thrift, Sobriety, and Temperance; as brave Fellows as ever drew Sword for Alexander, Caesar, Pompey, or Hannibal, give them their due, and no less a Terror to the whole World.

The Royal Party had Religious and Gallant Men, that ventured their Noble Lives and Fortunes, and made proof of their undaunted Courage, but wanting the Sinews of War, could not keep the Common Soul­dier in Obedience to war-like Command, who, having the Sword, could not be restrained from Violence and Plunder, no more than from Debauchery and Profane­ness, which was their Ruine.

By this we see the advantage of exact Discipline in War, and that the Name of Gentry cannot carry it: And that the Commons by Nature have as good Limbs, and as stout Hearts as any, and some by Education be­come as Gentile as the best, witness the Army of Cromwel made the School of Civility. They knew their Cause was bad, and therefore wisely took this Course, to imitate the Gentry, to banish all open Swearing and debauchery, for which they were high­ly to be commended. But for Pride, Perjury, Cruel­ty, Sacriledge, and Lyes, they were the Wonder of the World.

Who is then the Gentleman, but he that doth the Gentle Deeds?

Who is then the Honest man, but he that holds the Truth in Righteousness, by submitting to all Laws, [Page 20]that is, by fulfilling all Righteousness, with a true heart and a pure life.

One thing more to me is a great Mystery, even of Iniquity. To the Presbyterians, the Principal Party that first Rebelled, there did accrue according to the Nature of Accessories, the Independants, Anabaptists, Quakers, &c. fighting altogether as in one Body a­gainst the King. When they saw their time, they rose up against their Masters, and smote them Hip and Thigh, and turned them out of the House and Field: Afterward they turned out one another, till the King came, whose Right it was, and turned them all out.

The Thing that I admire, is This, That hating one another as they do, for their Principles and Practices, even unto death, and ready to cut one anothers throats, yet they should be all so ready upon the least overture to be made against the King or the Church, immediate­ly to fall in altogether as one man.

I cannot unfold this Riddle, but I find, for what Cause I wot not, that they are altogether as impla­cable to the Church of England, as they are to the Church of Rome, and seem to be as great Enemies to the Common Prayer, which is the Publick Worship of the Church of England, as they are to the Mass, which is the Publick Worship of the Church of Rome.

And as the Papists teach their People to nickname us Hereticks, so they teach their People to call us Po­pish or Papists in Masquerade: Father forgive them both, for they know not what they do. Mad on both sides.

And as the Papists profess and practise Rebellions and Murders, I would to God the Fanaticks did not the like.

SECT. IX.

They say the finding out of the Disease, is half the Cure.

Church of Eng­land.The Reformed Religion as it is now established in the Church of England, abating humane Imperfecti­ons, in the Judgment of the wisest Christians abroad, (who would be glad to be in our condition,) except the Papists and Fanaticks, is acknowledged to be the purest and freest from all Idolatry and Superstition, and most resembling the Primitive Church of any Re­ligion in the World, justly therefore reverenced as the Patroness and Protectress of all the Reformed Churches in Europe, a Sister and Friend of the Church of Greece, and of the Churches in Asia and Africa, besides the Churches of Russia, Muscovia, &c. of the Greek perswasion, that have not put their necks un­der the Roman-Yoke, nor bowed their knees unto Baal, and whose Mouths have not kissed him.

Kingdom of England.The Government of the Kingdom of England by the Laws of this Land, allowing humane failings, is owned by the wisest Statesmen abroad to be the best contrived Model that ever was projected out of the best Copies in the World. Wherein all Rights are so equally allaied for the Prerogative of the King, and for the Liberty of the Subject, for which all other Nations envy us, and wish for that Honour, Plenty and Freedom which we enjoy above them all, if we knew how to use our own happiness, excepting only the Papists and Fanaticks. A Kingdom honoured and feared, favoured and enriched by the greatest King­doms of the World, which are also honoured and en­riched by her, and glad of her Protection.

Change of Go­vernment.So then, to endeavour the Discomposure or Over­throw of such curious Frames and stately Fabricks as these, must needs be most horrid Malice, Un­thankfulness, and unnatural Rebellion, the Occasion of Atheism, Barbarity, Slavery, and Confusion, in my poor and weak Apprehension. What other Nation in the World seeks to alter their Governments as we do? To introduce a Change of either of these, or both into any other form (if ever it can be done,) must be the Change of the whole Body of the Laws, for where the Principality or Priesthood is changed, there must also of necessity be a Change of the whole Laws, and that cannot be without great Distraction, the work of an Age at least, and wiser Lawyers and Statesmen then they are able to find of their own Par­ty; in which time after a troubled and perplexed life, and much bloodshed, and vast Treasures exhausted, the Engineers will be all dead and rotten, and their Names stink as bad as their Carcasses, and that's the just reward of Innovators, Rebels and Overturners of Church and State, with whose tainted blood good Subjects will scorn to mix, by matching into such Re­bellious Families. The Genius of the English best suites with Monarchy and Episcopacy, into which, af­ter all trials of Alterations, to no purpose, as into a Center, the People will naturally fall, as they have ever done, and there settle, thrive and flourish, and Rebels, become the scorn of Mankind. Which of all our Neighbours, offer to do as we do? Never contented! If they change at any time, it is by the fortune of War, full sore, poor Souls, against their Wills, they rue those changes to be sure, and fain would help it, God knows, if they could tell how. Is it not a Thousand pities, so good a Prince, such wise Counsellers, such learned Divines, and Professors [Page 23]of all Faculties, should be forsaken and ruined, by Ig­norant and Wicked Upstarts, the whole World hath not the like brave and gallant men for Wisdom and Valour, as we have.

Oro miseremini Laborum tantorum, misere­mini Animorum tantorum, non digna ferenti­um! O when will it once be!

There are troubles enow in this life, that will come upon us whether we will or no, we had not need to pull down Calamities upon our selves, in this short time that we have to live.

The Troublers of this Church and State, and con­sequently of themselves and their Posterity will be baffled at last, in their unreasonable, and unseasonable undertakings, by one another, as they have been, not agreeing who shall be the Greatest, each Party stri­ving to be uppermost, justling the other either out of the World or out of all comfortable enjoyments in the World, to the Shame and Ruine of Mankind. They may labour in the very Fire, and be burnt to Ashes. It is in vain to remove Mountains, to dig through Rocks of Steel, to cut Istmu's for Oceans to meet: Nature will not bear such huge Affronts. It is in vain to kick against the Pricks, to Erect Castles in the Air, to build Babel-Towers to climb up to Heaven, to fight against God, they that do such things must be broken in pieces. The poor deluded People will rue it full sore, and be wise, too late, when they are soundly bang'd, made Slaves and Beggars by Lords of misrule of their own creating, and perish at last for going the same mad confounded way to work as their Fathers did in Forty one; in pursuance of such un­warrantable and unpracticable Reformations, under [Page 24]the gilded notions of setting Christ upon his Throne, and making Charles the First a glorious King, of ser­ving the Lord with one Lip and with one Shoulder, to restore the Paths to dwell in, repair the breaches and build up the wast places. As many as will be Wise, and Innocent, and safe, let them suffer themselves, at long running, to be better instructed, and Regulated, and new molded once more into better manners, ac­cording to the Wisdom and Authority of their lawful Governours, who offer themselves to be their Phy­sicians and Saviours, even against their Will, plucking them as Firebrands out of the Fire, who otherwise would consume themselves and their Betters, as they have done in our days, we can speak it by woful expe­rience.

And this is to be done no better way, next to the Ministers preaching of the Gospel and living up to the Rules thereof, and obeying the Discipline of the Church, then by the Justiciary Execution of the Laws of the Land, Cum favore, That is with all respect and kindness as the Law can afford to harmless and tender Consciences, not sparing the obstinate, having com­passion of some, making a difference, by saving others with fear, pulling them out of the Fire, studying all ways how to do them good that are docible, and in­clining to obedience and goodness, providing for their safety, and our own, allways remembring that we our selves may be tempted, lest Satan should get an advantage of us, for we are not ignorant of his de­vices. What else can be said or done? That we might not allways be at this pass? But have some hopes of Union in the Publick Worship at least. I am certain all wise and peaceable men will presently an­swer and say, this is very true, this is a very good way, and more, what better wits shall propound, to­wards [Page 25]Accommodation, but not out of a better mean­ing I am sure, than I do.

I will add, but one short, smart seasonable Memen­to more, to all and for all, and for the good of all, and for good and all, and to conclude all, and it is this.

We are in extremity, as Jacobs Family was in a time of Famine, Why do we stand looking one upon another? Why do we not rather look up unto God, and look out altogether for help where God hath provi­ded it for us? Let us go and buy us a little Food, to keep us from starving. There is Corn enough in E­gypt, there is Balm in Gilead, it wants fetching.

Some men among us do us much mischief, we know who they are, if we let them alone, all the Sons of Belial will run after them, to help forward the Af­fliction. And what then? The next is, Venient Ro­mani, the Romans will come, we know who they are too, that long to invade this our Paradice, unless the Flaming Sword of God's Guardian Angels stand Cen­tinel to keep them out. When they come, they do not use to come alone, nor unprovided, and they threaten no less, then to take away our Religion, Place and Nation. And our Divisions just now open the way for them so to do.

This is a just fear which may very well fall upon a wise and valiant People, which may be a sure means to drive them into a firm and lasting Peace, for the Common safety, with all speed. And then, who knows, or dares say to the contrary, but that by God's help upon our serious Repentance, we may prevent their coming, or if they do attempt it, force them back again with a vengeance: If English men, have but English hearts, to be true to God and their King, and not ineddle with them that are given to change.

SECT. X

Two Handles to every thing. Epictetus saith very wittily, That every thing hath Two Handles, the Right and the Left; that is one Right and the other Wrong.

1. Every thing, which is Right in its self, must needs be Right, and every thing that is wrong in its self, must needs be wrong, but that which is Right in its self, is sometimes understood, or taken up into the Understanding for Right, by the right Apprehension, or right Handle, as you would say, of the thing which is so right in its self.

And again, the same thing which is right in its self, is sometimes understood, or taken up into the Under­standing for wrong, by the wrong Apprehension, or left Handle, as you would say, of the thing which is so right in its self.

2. Every thing which is wrong in its self, must needs be wrong, and is some times understood, or ta­ken up into the Understanding for wrong, by the right Apprehension, or right Handle, as you would say of the thing which is so wrong in its self.

And again, the same thing which is wrong in its self, must needs be wrong, and is some times under­stood or taken up into the Understanding for right, by the wrong Apprehension or left Handle, as you would say of the thing which is so wrong in its self.

Note, That the Truth hath no handle properly, nor needs no Handle, but is right allways, and offers to come up into our Understandings right as she is. But is handled some times gently and right, and some­times rudely and wrong, according as they that handle her prove to be right or wrong. For she is [...]rangely tost up and down to some tune, by those that know [Page 27]not her beauty and worth. As a Diamond is root­ed up and turned over and over by a Swine in the Mire.

This is true especially in all doubtful and controver­ted things, some are taken rightly as they are, and some are mistaken wrongly as they are not, because both cannot be right and wrong. But in matters of real Faith, as in matters of right Reason they are both so clear, the one by Divine Revelation, and the o­ther by Divine Instinct and each so firmly and con­stantly and universally believed and proved by all Faithfull and rational men, that they may be said to have no Handle at all, much less two, one right and the other wrong, for they cannot be right and wrong, nor believed and proved as right and wrong, but certainly are right, and cannot be wrong, or else our Faith and Reason had no sure Foundation, as undoubtedly they have.

Thus God our Creator, and Christ our Redeemer, and the Holy Ghost our Comforter, and the Catholick Church, and the Communion of Saints, the Forgive­ness of Sins, the Resurrection of the Body, and the Life Everlasting, are most certainly true in themselves, as they most certainly are believed, and most cer­tainly revealed to us, and by Reason imprinted in us without mistakes in the main, needing no Judge for them at all; for such Spiritual things are Judged of God, and are to be judged of no man, so carrying the Naked Truth in themselves as to be clear to all men, and no Disputes about them at all, because they are from God and not from men, and true as God is true. And Men can no more be deceived in them, then they can be deceived in God. And therefore there is more certainty in Religion and Reason, then there is, or can be in any thing else,Evidences. say all the Mathematicians [Page 28]or Philosophers in the World what they please. The Testimony of God is sure, and we are all his Offspring, and we all know his Will, and if we will not believe what we know to be true, we are without all excuse. Nor can the Revelations of Faith, and Impressions of Reason be any more questioned than the Light of the Sun can be questioned to be the cause of life and growth of all the Creatures in the lower World. And the evidence of things seen, and heard, and felt, and ta­sted by the mind, is as Scientifical a Demonstration, as the evidence of things seen, and heard, and felt, and tasted by the Body.

To b [...]lieve in God, is to believe all that is of God, as well Spiritual things as Corporeal, and to deny Spiritual things or beings, is all one, as to deny God's Spirit or God's being.

As for the Consequences and Deductions from right and true Faith and Reason in their several Modificati­ons and Qualities,Consequences: I cannot say but that they are and may be wrong and false, and so we may be deceived.

As for instance concerning Faith, Justification, Re­generation, Adoption, New Creation, Union and Communion with Christ, &c. These if you will may have two Handles▪ but, they are both of our own making, not God's, the right and the left, and the left be sure is the wrong, according as our Apprehen­sions, Believings or Reasonings are right or wrong.

Vide my Book of the differen­ces of the Two Covenants.If therefore in any point of Controversal or Con­sequential Divinity I have taken the left or wrong Handle, I am a Man, and 'tis my mistake, as a man, and when I am convinced of my Errour, I will in­geniously confess it, repent of it, and mend it if I can. But if I have taken the right Handle, I must not alter, and let Reason be Judge in all men, which in some will be for me, and in some against me.

There is no Question to be made of the truth of God, of Christ, of the Spirit of Regeneration, New Creation, Union and Communion with God by the Spirit, and of Justification, Sanctification, Election, Faith, Adoption, Presence of Christ, that there are such things, as all Christians Grant.Modes. But in the Man­ner of our Regeneration, New Creature, Union and Communion with God, and of our Justification, Sanct­ification, Election, Faith, Adoption, Presence of Christ, &c. there are too many and great Questions, and too many Disputes Pro and Con about them, some of them grating too much upon Barbarity and Pro­faneness, as to be Godded with God, and Christed with Christ, and that there is no other Christ, nor Light, nor Heaven, nor Hell but what is in us, and Justification, and Sanctification, Law and Gospel are blended together, and some of those contrary Positions may not be hurtfull on either side, and some are. But chiefly the manner of Christ's Presence, in the Holy Supper is become a bloody Question, and in most sus­pense with least cause, in which there are two bold and Magisterial Assertions made de fide, of Transub­stantiation, and Consubstantiation, very hurtfull and dangerous to the overthrowing of the Faith of some. But still there is a Presence, and the Spiritual Presence is safe, to be sure that can do no harm, and is most profitable, and the Carnal Presence can do no good, but may do harm.

SECT. II.

Liberty of Opi­ning.I claim therefore the Liberty of Opining due to all Mankind, most modest and safely as they may that differ in Opinion from me, and both may be good, and both preserve Love and Charity, and let Posterity [Page 30]Judge of both, and choose which they like best, if they be both safe, and impinge not upon God, nor hurt the Souls, Bodies, Estates or Honours of Men.

The Church of Rome is pleased to call our Differen­ces from them by the odious nick-name as they have made it, of Heresies, and falls to Persecution of all Dissenters, called by them Hereticks, as far as de Hae­reticis comburendis. O certainly this is a most inhu­mane, as well as most Unchristian Practice, and no true Protestant, I am sure, will ever follow them in it, no not a far off, nor come so near as to Plundering, Se­questration or Consiscation, because by these though they kill not outright, as the Papists do, yet they starve them, by a lingring death, which in some sense is as bad or worse. And bloody Religions cannot be true.

The Ventilation of some Problems on both sides, if moderately and charitably managed may tend to much Truth, Peace and Love. But if we come to Railing, Fighting, Undoing and Killing, farewell all Religion, Liberty and Peace.

The Effects of our Faith, Justification, Regene­ration, Union and Communion with Christ, we know and feel, which we call the work of Grace; But the Manner how the Causes work such Effects, we do not know. For the wind of this Spirit bloweth where, and when, and how it listeth, and we know not where it cometh nor whither it goeth, and 'tis in vain, and sin­ful to pry too far into these Secrets of God's workings, and therefore Faith, Reverence and silence in these ca­ses is always the safest. But still Peace and Charity are to be maintained by all means, or else we spoil all. In Sum this is all, I do but desire to have fair play for my pains, and hurt no body. And they that do not [Page 31]like my Opinion, may let it alone, and give better if they can.

But to return to Demonstration, the thing we aim at.

SECT. XII.

The Demonstration of God,Demonstration of God. Rom. 1.19, 20. is by his Creatures. Because that which may be known of God, is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them. For the Invisible things of him from the Creation of the World are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his Eternal Power and Godhead.

The Demonstration of God's Reward is his Son.Joh. 6.45, 46. Every man therefore that hath heard and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. He that believeth on me hath e­verlasting life.Matt. 11.27. All things are delivered unto me of my Father, and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father, neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whom soever the Son will reveal him. He that cometh from above, is above all,Joh. 3.31, &c. and what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth. He that hath received his Testimony hath set to his Seal, that God is true. For he whom God hath sent, speaketh the words of God, for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto them. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believ­eth on the Son hath everlasting life, and he that be­lieveth not on the Son shall not see life, but the Wrath of God abideth on him.Joh. 5.9.10. &c He that believeth on the Son of God, hath the witness in himself, he that be­lieveth not God, hath made him a Lyar, because he believeth not the Record that God gave of his Son. If [Page 32]we receive the Witness of Men, the Witness of God is greater, for this is the Witness of God, which he hath testified of his Son. And this is the Record that God hath given unto us, eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life. God was in Christ, reconciling the World unto himself,2 Cor. 5 19. and our life is hid with Christ in God.Col. 3 3. Joh. 5.22. The Father Judgeth no man, but hath committed all Judgment to the Son. He that ho­noureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. He that heareth my word, and be­lieveth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death, into life. As the Father hath life, in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.1 Joh. 4.14 &c. We have seen and do testify that the Father hath sent the Son, to be the Saviour of the World, whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him and he in God.Joh. 1.18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

So he that hath seen Christ hath seen the Father by Faith, and in him all things, even the whole Will of God concerning our Salvation.

We can no more doubt of God, then of Christ. He that believes Christ, believes all, we need no more, because Christ came from the bosom of the Father, therefore we can no more question the one than the o­ther. He that believeth God believeth Christ, and he that believeth Christ believeth God, for Christ and his Father are one.

Our Knowledge by Faith is as sure every way, as our Knowledge by Sense. The Mind sees, and Feels, and tasts, as certainly as our Body. The one sees and [Page 33]feels and tasts Intellectual beings, as fully as the other sees and feels and tasts Corporeal beings.

He hath lost his Nature, that looseth God. For God is true as Nature, and Nature as God, who is the God of Nature. All that believe God, believe Na­ture, and all that believe Nature rightly, believe God. And all that deny Nature, deny God, one is as true as the other.

The Reason and Judgment believes God, the Un­reasonable Will denys God.

We deny immediate Consequences, which is un­reasonable. We cannot deny Principles.

We can no more disbelieve God, that he is, than we can disbelieve that we are.

I Am, is as sure of God, as we are, is sure of us.

I Am, hath sent me, to you that are. And because I am, is, therefore we are, are by him, and are, from him, and in him, in whom we live and move and have our being, and from whom through Jesus Christ, we hope for an everlasting well being.

We are Creatures, as sure as God is Creator. And God is Creator, as sure as we are Creatures.

Relations imply one another, and are Members as sure as the other, Relations are between two, and God is one, and we the other.

So the Father is the Sons, and the Son is the Fa­thers, one Relative demonstrates the other.

This is certain, that God is, or 'tis certain that no­thing is.

Therefore we cannot say that God is not, because something is.

If God is, then it follows as certainly, that he is God.

And thence it follows that he is a Rewarder. And if he be a Rewarder then there are some to be reward­ed.

So that these Consequences are as sure, as the grounds from whence they are taken.

And if God be a Redward, he must be a Reward of those that are good, for nothing is Rewardable, but what is good.

And if God be a Reward, he is also a punish­er.

And if God be a punisher he must be a punisher of those that are bad, for nothing is punishable, but what is bad.

So if there be good, there must be bad, and if there be bad, there must be good.

And if Angels or Men be good, which are Crea­tures, and all other Creatures are very good. Then God must be good much more.

And if Devils and Men be bad, then the Devil must be bad much more.

And if God be a Redeemer, he must be a Rewar­der in Christ, as hath been proved.

SECT. XIII.

Ob. How shall I know that?

Sol. Demonstration of Faith in Christ.Christ himself hath confirmed it by his Miracles, and God gave Testimony of him by a Voice from Heaven, and by all his Prophets and Apostles, and the Testimony of God is true. He did not bear wit­ness of himself. Believe him for his works sake.

Ob. I did not see his Miracles.

Sol. They that did see them have told us the things which they had seen and heard, and handled of the word of life. And these things they have written [Page 35]that we might believe, and that by believing we might have life. And blesse are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. We believe other men for what they have seen and heard, and we never did, yet they wrought no Miracle, to Create Faith, but were honest men and worthy to be believed, and that was enought. Why then should we not believe those that did work Miracles, and were honest too?

Christ worked Miracles, and so did his Apostles, and therefore Christ and his Apostles were Teachers that came from God, for no man could ever work such Miracles as they did, unless they were sent of God.

Doctrine or matter of Law.Beside their Teaching and Doctrine we believe to be true, because we find it to be true by natural Rea­son in matter of Law.

Why should we not believe their Relations to be true also, for matter of Fact. For such men as preach­ed such Doctrines and did such Miracles, must needs make as true Relations of what they had taught and done for matter of Fact. Why should this be the chief Scruple?

Miracles or matter of Fact.Was it impossible for God to work Miracles? We cannot say it. And did he not work Miracles? How can we but say it? What? did he not therefore work them, because we saw them not? Others did, and they tell us of them; and they that did them, tell us what they did, and others that saw them, tell us what they did. Shall we believe no Body nor Thing un­less we see them? How do we believe God, whom we never saw? 'Tis by the Relation of his works, they tell us of him.

Monstrat Quaelibet herba Deum.

The Heavens declare the Glory of God, and the Firmament sheweth his handy work. Would not we that are honest be believed, that have seen and heard, and tell it to others?Conveyance. Why should not Christ's Wit­nesses be believed, when they tell the World what they have seen and heard? Even the wonderfull works of God? The Apostle could not but speak pre­sently after Christ's Resurrection, with great boldness what they had both seen and heard. And though it be now long since to us that are now alive, yet they told it to them that were hard by them, and they told it to them that were next, and so one Generation con­tinued telling it one to another, and so down to our time, and we shall tell it to them that come after us to the Worlds end, there will never be an end of telling it. As the Jews did to their Childrens Children, &c.

Is not this a possible and fair Conveyance? What can be desired more?

Ʋbique, Semper, ab Omnibus.

Ob. Some make false Reports.

Sol. Therefore true Reports are the more Believe­able. Some speak as true as others speak false, or else none speaks true, which no Body can say.

Ob. How shall I be sure who speaks true or false?

Sol. By the Credit of the Witnesses. We that are honest, know that we speak true, and they that are honest do speak true, and therefore all men are not false, but some are true. And by their works you shall know them whether their words be true. Now, Christ and his Disciples went about doing all the good they could, Preaching Repentance to all, and healing every one that was diseased of all manner of Infirmi­ties; [Page 37]therefore they were true. And besides, God was in them and with them to enable them to preach, and do Miracles. For never men spake as they spake, or did as they did, therefore both their words and works were all true, and therefore worthy of all acceptation and belief.

Quod erat. Demonstrandum.

We should take it very ill of others, if we know­ing the Truth to be in our hearts, the World should a­buse us for Lyars and Dissemblers, and that we speak not a word of Truth; when God knows, and our own hearts do know, that we speak the Truth and nothing but the Truth, and that we do call God to witness for what we say or do, to deal with us no otherwise than as we mean honestly and justly in all that we say or do.

We believe our selves when we speak truth. Why should we not believe others that are as true men as our selves? But especially such as had power from God, the God of Truth, to confirm all their Doctrines and Miracles, which power we have not, and yet are true men. But they had therefore these extraordina­ry gifts confirmed upon them, not for their own sakes, but for the sakes of others, that they might believe by their Words and Deeds, to the Glory of God, and to the Comfort and Salvation of their own Souls in the day of the Lord Jesus, when the Secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, and we shall understand all truths without all Scruples; and when Faith and Hope shall cease, because we enjoy the things which we be­lieved and hoped for.

We cannot therefore say that nothing is true, for God is true, and God's People are true, and therefore something must be true; and this, which is the word of God, if any thing, must be true.

But put the Case that men should be so unreasonable as not to believe, as some are, for all men have not Faith, because they will not have it, though they might have it; and especially to believe that which is most reasonably, and worthy, and necessary, and most profitable to believe: That Jesus Christ came in the Flesh to save Sinners. I say, suppose men should be thus far unbelieving as to matter of Fact, concer­ning Christ's coming in the Flesh to dy and rise again to save Sinners.Doctrine. Yet why will they not believe this plain Doctrine of so great a truth as is acknowledged by all; that God is to be worshipped, that they should work Righteousnes, and do to all men as they would be done by, which is matter of Right in all and to all?

Whether Christ came in the Flesh or no to save Sin­ners, yet to be sure all men ought to be honest, why then are so many quite contrary in their practice, though in their mind they do agree as to common Ho­nesty? Though all men are so stubborn that they have not Faith, why should they be so perverse as to have no honesty?

Now what they can say to this or the other, I know not, except they shall say, as they may truly, it is their own fault, if they do not believe nor live ho­nestly. Why? Because they will be high, they will be rich, because they know there is no God, or wish so at least. They will venture it.

Certainly every man as he would willingly be be­lieved when he says truth, so he would as willing be loved, when he does truth; that is, he would be ho­nestly dealt withal every way by every man, with all his heart, as he is willing to deal honestly every way to every man with all his heart. And withall if there be Salvation they would be glad to be saved. Who [Page 39]would not wish to dy the Death of the Righteous, and that his last end may be like unto his? The most wic­ked men after all would be glad to be happy: The wise tells them they must use the right way that leads to happiness, and that calls no other than Holiness.

Well, they that do live honestly are approved, tho not beloved, by the most dishonest. And they that do live dishonestly, are disapproved and hated suffici­ently, by them that are most Honest. But what care they that are Atheists? But they that believe a God, will care.

But wise men do take care of all vitious Actions, of Hatred and Disgrace by men, but not of God, and blame Fools that are so careless even of men, because the poor that are oppressed by them, raise them to their sames, and God much more.

Indeed and in truth they are the shame as well as grief of Mankind, whether they came for it or no. They may depart the world when they will, no Body will stop'um, they have their pass, they shall never be mist, I'le warrant'um.

As they regard nothing but Eating, and Drinking, and Lusting, and Oppressing, &c. so who regards them, though their looks be never so high and scorn­ful?

But to leave these Miscreants and this Diversion.

I am extreemly troubled at the Church of Rome, that calls Divine Revelation into Question, and when they have done, charge us for so doing, as if the truths that be so revealed, might not have been, or might have been otherwise. What odd expressions are these to come from wise men, of both sides? I wish they would better think of it. The Papists glory,Infallibility. of the Infallibility of their Church, and therefore they are Cock-sure. But 'tis we poor wretches, that want [Page 40]this Infallibility, and consequently this Assurance, What a case are we in, and what shall become of us?

I wish some of ours had better considered, than to affirm that the Grounds of our Faith are only probable, and might have been otherwise, so to give the Adver­sary occasion to insult over us, for having no Church, nor no foundation for our Faith at all, so to overthrow our Religion, so to overthrow all Religion, if it were so, that that which is true may be false, then all may be false, and at last all is false, and where are we then?

As for Infallibility (the business so much boasted of,) it is none but God, not the Church, nor all Man­kind, put all together, that have been, or are, or e­ver shall be. They may set their hearts at rest, for they shall never find it, nor shew it us while this World stands.

But yet Christian Religion is certain for all that.Certainty. And the grounds of Faith are such as they have ever been, are, and ever shall be, and could never be o­therwise, though there be no Infallibility in men at all. The Foundation of God standeth sure, be men never so changeable and fallible. And God's word is more dureable than the Frame of the Universe. For though there be no Infallibility in men, yet there is Infallibility in God, and that's enough for us to believe; and the wisest men trust to it, and cannot fail of their hopes thereby. For we believe in God, and not in the Church, nor in Mankind. And this is our Foun­dation, here we fix, and resolve our Faith into God.

Whether hath Pride and Malice driven us? Such is the Papists hatred against the Protestants, to make them odious to all the World, for having no Faith nor no Church. Though we hold the same Christ as [Page 41]they do, and acknowledge that other Foundation can no man lay, than what is already laid, Jesus Christ and him Crucified, and no other name given under Heaven, whereby we can be saved, but only by the Name of Jesus Christ. And no Mediator between God and Man, but the Man Christ Jesus.

They make the Infallibility of the Pope, or a Coun­sel, or the Church to be the Ground of Faith.

We say God is the only Ground of Faith, he cannot deny himself. He will never leave nor forsake his Church, nor shall the Gates of Hell be ever able to prevail against her.

They therefore believe, because the Church is In­fallible. But we believe, because God is Infallible.

And what God hath revealed, he hath revealed to those that are fallible, but the things revealed, are the Infallible Truths of God, and were never other­wise, nor never shall be otherwise; whether our Fa­thers have, or we do, or our Posterity shall believe them or no.

'Tis no absurdity to believe God and his Word to be Infallible, though we be fallible, and to stand the ever­lasting Objects of our Faith, though we be not the Subjects that embrace them.

I hope God is no less true, though man be a Lyar. And I hope the Gospel is no less true, and the same for being believed, or disbelieved. God's word be­ing Eternal and unchangeable as himself.

Well, but all this while we are beating our Brains a­bout finding out the truth.

1. The Athiest he believes nothing, but laughs at all. He goes on and lives and dies in Wickedness,Atheists. like a Beast hoping for no Salvation.

2. The Papist he is the bravest fellow,Papists. and in the safest Condition of any man in the World, for let him [Page 42]sin his heart out, he hath all his Pardons ready, if he should live a Thousand Years. 'Tis but whispring a word in his Confessors Ear, and listning to a word of Absolution from him again, and he is purer than the Chystal Streams, and as clear as the Light it self. He takes no care for himself, for the Church takes all the Care, and provides what he should believe, and what he should do, he need not trouble himself at all, un­less it be to go barefoot a little, or fast, or whip a stroke or two, which he may buy off when he pleases according as his Purse is. Nay to make all sure, if he want Merits, those Saints that have had more than they knew what to do with, have laid them up in store to help their idle Brethren at a dead lift, and the Pope delivers them out at such a Price as the Market goes for them, they are to be purchased every day. In a word, he is sure, be he what he will, because his Church is sure. Sin and Confess, Confess and sin, and so continue till you dy, and be reconciled to the Romish Church; and so at last you go to Heaven to rights.

3. The Fatalist. Fatalists. Be he Jew, or Turk, takes as little care as the rest, for there is a Lottery, thinks he, or a Dooms-day Book. If he be in for a Prize or a Blanck he knows not, therefore Have at all; hit or miss. If it be to come, it will come, once. If it never come, there is no remedy. He is lost, God would have it so, and it must be so, no help for it,

So all alike aim to sin as much as they can, and as long as they can. Thus men are willing to befool themselves, and to charge God foolishly.

But they that walk Righteously, walk safely.

1. Because they are sure of a good Report among the Saints here.

2. Because they are sure of a good Reward with God hereafter. Knowing therefore the Terrors of God. [Page 43]I wonder any should dare to be Hypocrites. To hurt the World, to shame the World, to hurt themselves, to shame themselves, they are quickly gon. Their Estates are quickly vanisht, their Names rot, and their Souls are everlastingly lost.

Let them go, that are such and will be such, I will retire from their fellowship, and have nothing to do with them, for it is in vain: They do no good, nor ne­ver will.

SECT. XIV.

Agreement in Scripture Truth.To come a little closer to the present Subject in Four Points.

  • 1. Agreement.
  • 2. Morality.
  • 3. Judge.
  • 4. Liberty.

1. Agreement, all we agree that the Scriptures are the word of God.

The Truths therein contained, are best exprest in Scripture Language. An honest man relates his own Story best in his own words, so declaring his own mind that he may best be understood.

Every wise Testator signifies his mind and pleasure in his Will and Testament, without sending his Heir to the Interpretation of Law.

Opinions for Faith are certain.

Opinions for Free Grace, Free Will, Election, Pre­destination, Original Sin, &c. may be too narrow.

What Controversies were about Easter-day, as if Eternal Happiness had wholly depended upon it?

The like for the Words [...], between Alexander Bishop of Alexandria, and Arius his Priest, and Athanasius.

The Creed of Christ and his Apostles is sufficient without any more Creeds.One Creed. 1 Tim. 6.3. &c.

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholsom Words, even the Words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the Doctrine which is according unto godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about Questions, and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strifes, railings, evil surmisings, perverse dis­putings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness, from such with­draw thy self. But thou O man of God flee these things, and follow after Righteousness, Godliness, Faith, Love, Patience, Meekness. Fight the good fight of Faith, lay hold on Eternal life whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession, before many wit­nesses.Col. 2.8. Beware lest any man spoil you through Phi­losophy, and vain deceit, after the Tradition of men, after the Rudiments of the World, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bo­dily, and ye are compleat in him, which is the head of all Principality and Power.

The smalness of Christ's and his Apostles writings are full and plain. We admit of God, but cannot be content, unless we dispute about his Nature, Power, and other Attributes, till we are lost in them.

There is Christian Liberty allowable for Opinions, but not for Articles of Faith.

Faith and Life are most to be regarded.

Controversies beget Opinions, but Faith is only to be contended for: The whole Counsel of God is de­livered by Revelation, and Miracles. Believe me that I am in the Father,Joh. 14.10.20. and the Father in me, or else believe me for the very works sake. At that day ye shall know, that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. [Page 45]But if I do, though ye believe not me,Joh. 10.37.38. believe the works, that ye may know and believe, that the Fa­ther is in me and I in him.Joh. 15.24. If I had not done among you the works which no other man did, they had not had sin, but now have they seen and hated both me and my Father. Simon Peter answered and said,Mat. 16.11, 17. Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Je­sus answered and said unto him,Joh. 1.49. Blessed art thou Si­mon Bar-Jona, for Flesh and Blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven. Jesus said to the blind man healed by him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? he answered and said,Joh. 9.35. Who is the Lord, that I might believe on him. And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord I believe, and he worshipped him. Jesus said of the Centurion, Mat. 8.10. I have not found so great Faith, no not in Israel. Je­sus said of the Woman of Canan, Mat. 15.28. O Woman great is thy Faith, be it unto thee even as thou wilt.Luke 23.42. The Thief on the Cross had great Faith when he said, Lord remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom, and Christ approved it, saying, To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise. The Jews that heard Peter, Act. 2.37. were pricked in their hearts, and said, Men and Bre­thren what shall we do? And Peter said, Repent and be Baptized every one of you, in the name of Je­sus Christ, &c. The Gentiles believed, and the Holy Ghost fell upon them, and they were Baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus. The Eunuch upon his de­sire to Philip was Baptized, upon this Condition,Act. 20.47. if thou believest with all thine heart thou mayst,Act. 8.27, &c. and he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The People said to Christ,Act. 17.2, &c. What shall we do that we might work the work of God?Joh. 6 28. Jesus said, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him [Page 46]whom he hath sent.Joh. 8.24. If ye believe not on him, ye shall die in your sins.Act. 16.30, 31. The Jaylor said, Sirs what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy House.Ro. 10.9, 10, 11. If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart, that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved, for with the heart man believeth unto Righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto Salvation; for the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him, shall not be ashamed. Who is a liar, but he that de­nieth that Jesus is the Christ?1 Joh. 2.22. He is Antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God.1 Joh. 4.2, 3. Every Spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the Flesh, is of God, and every Spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the Flesh,1 Joh. 4.15, &c. is not of God. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.1 Joh. 5.1. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God, and every one that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him.Joh. 20.30.31. Many other signs did Jesus in the presence of his Disciples, which are not written in this Book, but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing, ye might have life through his Name.

These and such like are plain Scriptures, and abso­lutely necessary, and sufficient for Salvation. This may quiet all,

Ob. Of what use then are other Scriptures?

Sol. From a Child thou hast known the Holy Scrip­tures,2 Tim. 3.15.16.17. which are able to make thee wise unto Salvati­on, through Faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scrip­ture is given by Inspiration of God, and as profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction, for Instructi­on [Page 47]in Righteousness, that the Man of God may be perfect throughly furnished unto all good works.

All Scriptures are equally true, but not equally im­portant, nor necessary in terminis. The Death and Resurrection of Christ are of greater value, then the Circumstances of them. The Text is of more worth, then the Comments, Paraphrases and Glosses upon them. As long as we believe the main, we are safe for other things.

Errare possum, Haereticus esse nolo.
Aug.

Repentance and Faith are the whole Duties of man.

Every one that doth evil hateth the light,Joh. 3.20.21. neither cometh to the light, lest his Deeds should be repro­ved; but he that doth Truth, cometh to the Light, that his Deeds might be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. The Kingdom of God consist­eth in Righteousness and Peace, and Joy in the Holy Ghost. The Kingdom of Christ is within us.Joh. 1.12 13. As many as received him, to them gave he power to be­come the Sons of God, even to them that believe in his name. Which were born, not of Blood, nor of the Will of the Flesh, nor of the Will of man, but of God. Of him ye are in Christ Jesus,1 Cor. 1.30. who is made unto us, Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctificati­on, and Redemption. See the Sermon on the Mount per totum.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy Soul, and with all thy mind.Mat. 22.37.38 This is the First and great Commandment. And the Second is like unto it, Thou shall love thy Neighbour as thy self. On these two Commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.Joh. 13.34, 35 A New Covenant I give [Page 48]unto you, That ye love one another, as I have lo­ved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know, that ye are my Disciples, if ye have love one to another.

This is my Commandment,Joh. 15.12. That ye love one ano­ther, as I have loved you.

The hour cometh,Joh. 4 21. when ye shall neither in this Mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true Worshippers shall Worship the Father, in Spirit and in Truth, for the Father seeketh such to Worship him. God is a Spirit, and they that Worship him, must Worship him in Spirit and in Truth. We have known and believed the love that God hath to us, God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and he in him.1 Joh. 4.16. Heb. 10.19, &c Having boldness to enter into the Holiest by the Blood of Jesus. By a new and living way which he hath Consecrated for us, through the Vail, that is to say, his Flesh. And having a High Priest over the House of God, let us draw neer with a true heart, in full assurance of Faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil Conscience, and our Bodies washed with pure Water. Whom God hath set forth to be a Pro­pitiation through Faith in his Blood,Ro 3.25, &c. to declare his Righteousness, for the Remission of sins, that are past, through the forbearance of God, &c. One Medi­ator between God and Man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time. If any man sin,Tim. 2.5, 6. we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous,Joh. 2.1, 2. and he is the Propitiati­on for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole World.Mat. 16.24. If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross, and follow me, &c.

He that believeth on him is not condemned,Joh. 3.18. but he that believeth not, is condemned already.Joh. 8.12. I am the Light of the World, he that followeth me, shall not work in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life.Tit. 2.11. The Grace of God that bringeth Salvation hath ap­peared to all men, &c.

SECT. XV.

2. Morality despised is Christianity.Morality. Heb. 11.6. They that fear God, and work Righteousness, are accepted of him. They that believe God, believe Christ. Without Faith it is impossible to please God, for he that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and that he is a Re­warder of them that diligently seek him.

Ob. Moral Men have no Grace, they are many of them in Hell.

Sol. This is the Language,Ro. 2.26, &c. of those that pretend to speak the Language of Canan. Let us hearken to sound words. If the Uncircumcision keep the Righ­teousness of the Law, shall not his Uncircumcision be counted for Circumcision? And shall not Uncir­cumcision, which is by Nature, if it fulfil the Law, Judge thee, who by the Letter and Circumcision doth transgress the Law? For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly, neither is that Circumcision, which is out­wardly in the Flesh: But he is a Jew which is one in­wardly, and Circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the Letter, whose praise is not of Men, but of God.

A Moral Man is a Christian by the surer side. Specu­lations,Mr. Hobs. Notions, Forms, are mistaken. A good life saved Heathens. The Light of Nature is God's Will, though it be more highly revealed.

I must confess I have not yet made the proficiency in the Schools of our Ages, as to see, why the second Table and the Acts of it, are not as properly the part of Religion and Christianity, as the Acts and Observati­ons of the First Table. If I mistake in this 'tis St. James that hath abused me,Jam. 1.17. who saith, Pure Religion and undefiled before God and the Father, is this, To visit the Fatherless and Widows in their Affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the World. So the thing which in the new Dialect signifies nothing but Morality, and Civility, the same, in the Language of the Holy Ghost imports true Religion, and undefiled. Such as we Sow, such shall we Reap. God will re­quire no more than what he hath given. We talk of Special Graces, but Sanctification makes the Saints, and Self-denial the Christians, and he that doth Righte­ousness is Righteous, and he shall live and not die. Fol­low Peace with all men, and Holiness, without which no Man shall see the Lord. [...]eb. 12.14. Lord I have hoped for thy Salvation, and done thy Commandments. Christ said, [...]s. 119.164. I must preach the Kingdom of God, to other Cities also, [...]uke 4.43. for therefore am I sent. The Kingdom of God is within you. [...]uke 17.20. The Grace of God that bring­eth Salvation, hath appeared to all men. Teaching us to deny ungodliness, [...]it. 2.11. &c. All Flesh shall see the Salvation of God. [...]oh. 3.6. The same came for a Witness, to bear witness of the Light, [...]oh. 1.7. [...].8.16. that all men through him might believe.

SECT. XVI.

3. A visible Judge pretended, [...]sible Judge. the Judge is within us, the Spirit its self beareth witness with our Spirits, that we are the Children of God. Let every man prove his own Work, [...]l. 6.45. then shall he have rejoycing in himself [Page 51]alone, and not in another.1 Joh. 3.21. If our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God.

Luke made Theophilus his own Judge of his Wri­tings to him, as the Apostle did them at Rome, Corinth, &c. And the People made the Church. Infallibility takes away the use of every man's Reason. The Pope should conclude us by Conviction, and not by Autho­rity, to make us to believe a Lie.Ro. 1.19. That which may be known of God, is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them.2 Cor. 4.1, 2, &c. As we have received Mercy we faint not, but have renounced the hidden things of dis­honesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the Truth, commending our selves to every man's Con­science, in the sight of God, for if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the God of this World hath blinded the Minds of them which believe not, lest the Light of the Glorious Gospel of Christ, who as the Image of God, should shine unto them, &c.

The Church is not visible, nor Worldly, as other Societies. World and Church like Sosia and Mercury resemble at a vast difference.

SECT. XVII.

4. Liberty, The Jews after hard service under the Law, during their Minority, when the Gospel came,Liberty. were Adult and Free.

The Gentiles knew no Minority, but under Na­tures Law, and upon the preaching of the Gospel were immediately Adult and Free.

The Jews lost their Carnal Priviledges which did them no Good, for they were still Debtors responsible to the Law, which could never be satisfied. But [Page 52]when they and the Gentiles embraced the Gospel, they were by the goodness of God, immediately set at Liberty, and invested with Spiritual Priviledges which did them good, and set them everlastingly free from the Curse of all Law.

So the fulness of Time of the Gentiles came in sud­denly, all at once, upon them for Adoption and Son­ship without the Law. And for their Faith they were made elder Brethren by Grace to the Jews, which were the Elder Brethren by Nature. As Jacob was the Younger to Esau the first Born. The Jews had the first offer to keep their Birthright, but they profanely rejected it, so the offer was made to the Jews they re­fused. So we turn to the Gentiles and they wisely accepted it. The Sons of the Free-Woman were dis­inherited, and the Sons of the Bond-Woman legitima­ted. Great Grace by the Gospel, greater than by the Law.

The Jews stood upon their Carnal Birth, and Car­nal Ordinances, they were Abraham's Children, and Mose's Disciples. But the Gentiles by Faith were the true Children of Faithful Abraham, and the true Dis­ciples of Christ the Lord of Moses.

But between the Believing Jew and the Believing Gentile, there is no difference at all. We perceive by this, that God is no respecter of Persons, but in every Nation, they that fear him, and work Righteousness, are accepted of him. Those that honour God, he will honour, but those that despise him, shall be lightly e­steemed.

The Allegories of Sarah and Agar, Esau and Ja­cob, Jshmael and Isaac, Mount Sinai and Mount Si­on, Jerusalem above and Jerusalem below, are changed in their Natures, and all are free in Christ Jesus, who is all in all.

Ob. We are no Jews no fear of that.

Sol. We are a little Jewish, some fear of that.

Ob. We are not Heathens for Idolatry.

Sol. We are something Heathenish for Superstition.

Therefore in Modern Divinity we distinguish care­fully, between Judaism and Paganism, Conclusion. Carnal and Spiritual Priesthood, Law, Altar, Temple, Sacrifice; between Works, Faith, Liberty, Bondage, Flesh and Spirit; rightly dividing the Word of Truth, like Workmen that need not to be ashamed. These are short Hints of the matter largely displaied in the Dif­ference between the two Covenants in the Two Te­staments of the Law and the Gospel.

FINIS.

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